Encouraging Collaboration through Multidisciplinary Fellowships

The MBA/MS option now allows Stanford GSB students to pursue a joint degree in collaboration with the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER).

April 15, 2010

In transforming the model for business education for the decades ahead, Stanford GSB has undertaken a complex endeavor stemming from a simple truth: tomorrow’s leaders must tackle challenging issues across borders and disciplines. For the rising number of business students who choose to explore the intersection of business and the environment, the MBA/MS option allows them to pursue a joint degree in collaboration with the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER).

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Fellowship recipient Elizabeth Zambricki plans to combine her medical and business experience to work on policy issues.

George Davis, AB ’83, MBA ’88, and his wife, Kelly, recently established the Davis Family Fellowship to support these MBA/MS candidates, acting on their belief that the future demands business leaders with multidisciplinary expertise to solve challenges such as green tech investment strategies, creating healthy buildings, and sustaining food and clean water systems. “We wanted to give resources toward environmental improvement as well as to give back to the Stanford community. This program accomplishes both,” said Davis.

First introduced two years ago, the joint degree program has grown to 28 candidates currently enrolled from the Graduate School of Business, including 18 students newly accepted for this academic year. The interest in, and opportunities for, multidisciplinary work across campus also has heightened the need for financial aid. A parallel rise in fellowship support is needed to encourage students who, due to financial barriers, may not otherwise consider applying.

In a similar vein to support students who are pursuing a dual degree between Stanford GSB and medical school, another Stanford GSB alumnus—one who learned the value of multiple degrees in his own career—recently established a fellowship through an anonymous gift for MBA/MD joint degree candidates. The first recipient of this fellowship, Elizabeth Zambricki, began medical school with a concentration in cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine. Now as a first-year MBA student, she said, “I feel deeply passionate about transforming medical education as well as many of the problems on the cost-quality frontier of medicine.” She plans to focus her studies on the healthcare realm with an emphasis on cost-effectiveness and policy.

“Dedicated sources of financial aid for joint and dual degree candidates enable us to attract the best of the best to Stanford GSB,” said Derrick Bolton, assistant dean and director of MBA admissions. Zambricki added, “Stanford GSB has far exceeded even my highest expectations both academically and personally. It has been a challenge and a learning process, but it also has been a lot of fun and has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone of medicine.”

The commitment of these students reflects their passion in multiple areas of expertise and is a testament to the energy and promise that multidisciplinary fellowships such as these are designed to foster.

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