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News & Events

Kellogg student and alum awarded for outstanding service

By Aaron Mays

5/22/2008 - The Kellogg School took two bows at the Greater Chicago Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) award ceremony on May 9 at Chicago’s Civic Opera House. The organization recognized Elizabeth Gipson (’08) and Kara Palamountain (’04) with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award and Outstanding Alumni Award, respectively. The recipients were honored at the award ceremony, which was attended by many civic leaders, including Illinois Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn.

Kara Palamountain ’04 poses with Timothy Feddersen, the Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, at the Greater Chicago Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) award ceremony. Palamountain received the Outstanding Alumni Award, while Elizabeth Gipson ’08 received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award.
The ASPA is comprised of about 9,000 members nationwide, making it the largest public service professional organization in the nation. Its membership includes scholars, students, and nonprofit and government leaders.

Gipson, who was honored with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, worked at The Boston Consulting Group before attending Kellogg. At Kellogg, she was selected to the Board Fellows Program and served as the program’s student chair. During her tenure as chair, Gipson led 44 Fellows as each one served on a different nonprofit board. She helped to guide the program’s depth and stability to accommodate more students interested in serving the public good through board leadership roles.

Kellogg graduate Palamountain received her award based on her work as the executive director of the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a joint effort between Kellogg, the Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering and several industry partners—Abbott, Inverness and IDEO. Of the billions of dollars spent annually on medical research, it has been estimated that only 10 percent of these dollars are devoted to the diseases that cause 90 percent of the global illness and death. In an effort to narrow the funding gap for medical research, GHI was formed to facilitate a unique partnership between industry, academia and donors to develop medical products for underserved, underdeveloped countries. Palamountain has been integral with this effort since being a student at Kellogg and works to connect students with the tasks required to drive various product development processes.

To date, more than 200 Kellogg students and faculty have volunteered on GHI projects. Students conduct field research in about 17 countries, meeting with a number of in-country stakeholders, some of whom set or implement healthcare policies. The project has helped to redefine the way in which Kellogg integrates classroom learning with real world scenarios.

Gipson and Palamountain exemplify the Kellogg School’s emphasis on leadership and social responsibility. Their achievements serve as a reminder of the benefit of putting classroom theories into practice.

Palamountain will continue to serve as GHI’s executive director. Gipson, who has long had an interest in public service — both in the nonprofit and public sectors — will return to The Boston Consulting Group after graduating with her Kellogg MBA in June.