Scholars

A focus of the Dawn Gideon Foundation is providing scholarship assistance to deserving individuals who are pursuing a master’s degree in health care administration. In the selection of scholars, the Foundation works with the University to identify potential leaders who embody the skills, imagination, commitment and compassion that Dawn possessed. Going forward our hope is to build a community of scholars who will change and define health care and serve as mentors for all who follow. Being a force for change and creating time to pull others along were important to Dawn and those selected for scholarship will continue that legacy.

2018 Recipient

Emily Joesph is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Public Affairs. After working in education and politics in Indiana and Rhode Island, she returned to her roots in Healthcare Administration and has worked for the past three years as a hospital analyst in process and quality improvement. While in Rhode Island, Emily also helped start an organization to teach medical students about civic action and political advocacy; the organization now works with more than 12 medical schools around the country. Emily will be pursuing her MHA at the University of Pittsburgh in the class of 2020. In her spare time, she enjoys hosting dinner parties, exploring Pittsburgh, and being involved in local politics.

2017 Recipient

Zoe Kaufman, a Connecticut native, has recently moved to Pittsburgh to begin her studies toward an MHA degree. She received Magna Cum Laude honors for her Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Connecticut. Always an interest in medicine, Zoe did an independent study on the history of psychology in the United States. Recently she has been chosen to serve as the Pitt Public Health Alumni Relations Committee representative. Also, Zoe decided to become an active member on the Pitt Public Health Student Government Association by taking the position of social chair. In the near future, she is eager to start volunteering in a medical environment and become involved in local organizations. Beyond academics, Zoe has a passion for traveling the world, reading, and playing golf.

2016 Recipient

Kristin Free completed her undergraduate career at the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Science and Psychology with certificates in Psycho Social Issues in Disability and Children's Literature. After working clinically as a Brain Injury Specialist she decided to return to school to pursue her MHA so that she can make a larger scale difference. Additionally, Kristin is pursuing a certificate in Global Health. Kristin is currently in an extended residency position at Allegheny Health Network in the department of Informatics. In Kristin's free time she enjoys volunteering at local hospitals with her Greyhound providing therapeutic support and riding horses.

Being the first recipient of the Dawn Gideon Scholarship has been a humbling experience. From what I have heard is that Dawn was an exceptional woman who had an incredible way of solving complex problems. Every person who I have met through the foundation has shared an incredible story about Ms. Gideon impacted them, that is what has inspired me. Receiving this scholarship has inspired me to really be my best, but not only my best but to be someone who stands out, who everyone I touch has a great story about me. Additionally, the foundation has provided me with a networking of the most supportive people I can imagine.

During the "Raise the Brow" golfing event someone came up to me and quoted Saving Private Ryan by saying "Earn It". This moment has really resonated with me throughout the program thus far. Every time I think I am doing good enough, I remember that good enough is not what I set out to do.

The Dawn Gideon Foundation is proud to provide recognition to individuals involved in healthcare administration who demonstrate the high ideals that Dawn believed to be so important. With these awards the Dawn Gideon Foundation continues to build the distinguished network of professionals who are a part of that proud legacy.

Since Kaitlyn Chana was knee high she wanted to be a storyteller; she strives for purpose, brings truth, and helps others. It’s the crux of why Kaitlyn founded a nonprofit charitable organization called Reel Stories. Real People., Inc., in hopes, to tell positive stories of exceptional work being done in communities through video. Kaitlyn is working to obtain her master’s degree in Health Administration at the University of North Florida. She’s working on incorporating narrative storytelling in the health care industry to improve patient care. Her passion for storytelling cultivated in her early years after spending time with children with life-threatening illnesses in hospitals through her previous nonprofit organization, Love Letters: Random Cards of Kindness, Inc. As a teenager, she traveled the country speaking about volunteerism as a Congressional Gold Medalist, 2010 Winter Olympic Torchbearer and as a spokesperson for the clothing store, Aeropostale.

Upon Kaitlyn receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, she planted her boots in Bangor, Maine as a television news reporter before moving to another market in Jacksonville, Florida. She asked people to tell their story on a daily basis, which, in turn, compelled her to share her story with you. Kaitlyn is a survivor of three different eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorders. For about ten years her weight talked when she couldn’t verbally say how she was feeling. She’s now using her pain in an effort to change how schools nationwide approach mental health by designing an educational film and guided curriculum on eating disorders. She lives by the motto, “It only takes one person to move a mountain and then others will follow,” and she hopes this quote inspires others to do the unimaginable. 

Jordan McBride graduated with a degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Georgia. During her undergraduate education, she was a medical liaison intern for a pharmaceutical company where she researched and presented finding on potential pharmaceutical drugs and markets. After graduating, Jordan worked as a certified clinical medical assistant, where she utilized her clinical experience and understanding to directly care for patients and implement administrative changes to the clinic. Jordan is pursuing both her MBA and MHA at the University of Pittsburgh. Aside from academics, she enjoys playing sports, reading, and traveling.

Callie Parks earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Central Arkansas and is pursuing a Master of Health Administration at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is actively involved in the MHA student association and currently serves as the Vice President. Callie is completing her summer residency at Baptist Health’s corporate office in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was inspired by Dawn’s story and believes that her commitment to the field has paved the way for aspiring female healthcare leaders like herself.

Samantha Clark is a MHA student at the University of Washington, in Seattle. With a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University in Psychology, she served as a Social Worker in short-term rehabilitation and long-term care before returning to school. Currently, Samantha is also pursuing a certificate in Healthcare Analytics, and working as an Advance Care Planning Coordinator for the WA NW Providence Medical Group. Committed to fostering change, Samantha has implemented a Student Strengths event series to spur leadership development in her fellow classmates, and helped to create a teamwork-fostering school program for elementary students with Type One Diabetes. In her spare time, Samantha can be found exploring the vast beauty of the PNW with her dog, laughing with friends and family, and making the most of every moment she can.