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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Business School Names 2011 Recipient of the Herman Family Fellowship

Thu, 2011-12-01 16:30 -- Anonymous

December 1, 2011

Lally School of Management and Technology Award Supports Women in Entrepreneurship

Cathy Wheelock

The Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has awarded Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) student Cathy Wheelock its prestigious Herman Family Fellowship award for Women in Entrepreneurship. The annual prize supports women enrolled in the Lally School MBA program in their pursuit of entrepreneurial interests.

“As the Rensselaer business school, the Lally School is uniquely positioned to educate leaders for the global, technology-driven marketplace of the 21st century,” said Dean Thomas Begley. “Our students acquire the tools and skills to formulate effective strategies for decision making in tomorrow’s complex and dynamic business climate.”

Funded annually for nearly 15 years by the Herman Family Foundation, and established by Rensselaer trustee Michael Herman ’62 and his wife Karen,  the fellowship for women in entrepreneurship at the Lally School provides for an individually tailored program of scholastic and practical experience. The fellowship offers a $30,000 scholarship to cover tuition, and also includes career mentoring, access to a network of professional women entrepreneurs, and business experience.

 “Our mission is clearly an ambitious one,” Begley added. “Students who choose the Lally School do so because they are drawn to our innovative approach, working on the frontiers of business and technology. In fact, the content and structure of our curriculum are designed to educate individuals who are agile and creative problem-solvers prepared to tackle 21st century business challenges. Ms. Wheelock’s background and expertise in communications, fundraising, and technology makes her the perfect recipient of the Herman Family Fellowship. As an aspiring entrepreneur, participation in our MBA program will create a platform for her future success and growth as a business professional.”

Wheelock was selected for the honor based on her entrepreneurial spirit, leadership potential, technical proficiency, and strong academic credentials. Prior to Rensselaer, Wheelock earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Ohio Northern University. Following graduation, she worked as a development assistant for EnlightenNext, a nonprofit organization based in Lenox, Mass., and was instrumental in helping the company raise $2 million within three years. With expertise in managing donation systems and processing, Wheelock and her husband have launched a start-up company called Artemis Analytics. They are working to create a computer program and suite of services to help nonprofit organizations collect and use their data about donors to develop more effective fundraising campaigns.

“The Herman Family Fellowship comes at a time for me as I am making a transition in my career,” said Wheelock. “I am interested in building our company. We want to use our computer program to educate fundraising professionals as a way to show them how important analysis can be to their financial success. I honestly know that I am going to be able to go anywhere and do anything with my degree from the Lally School.  I am honored to be this year’s Herman Family Fellow, and the opportunity to meet the Mr. and Mrs. Herman and past fellows has been incredible as it has helped me to connect to other women who are interested in doing something different in the world of business.”

A native of Wheeling, W. Va., Wheelock currently resides in Pittsfield, Mass. She is also an independent jeweler with Premier Designs, and has performed in a series of community theater productions.

“Changing times demand a new way to teach business leaders and imbue them with an innovative spirit and entrepreneurial mindset,” said Jeff Durgee, associate dean for academic programs and associate professor in the Lally School, who nominated Wheelock for the award. “We are excited about having her as a member of our MBA class. Having already launched her own business, she brings a sense of the entrepreneurial spirit that is a core focus of the MBA program. We look forward to the innovative collaborations that will take place between Wheelock, fellow students, and Lally School faculty.”

To date, 15 women have been awarded the Herman Family Fellowship for Women in Entrepreneurship during their study at Rensselaer. As part of the fellowship, current and former fellowship recipients meet annually to network, discuss the challenges women face in entering the business world, and share their experiences.

Contact: Jessica Otitigbe
Phone: (518) 276-6050
E-mail: otitij@rpi.edu