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Posted 6.4.07

Weatherheadlines recently sat down with part-time MBA student Rebecca Kahl to learn more about receiving the Rita Kicher Award, her background in health care, and training for a half marathon.

Q: In which program are you currently enrolled?
I am in the part-time evening MBA program, with a concentration in health care management and bio-entrepreneurship. I will graduate with my MBA in December 2007.

Q: What brought you to the Weatherhead School?
I was originally interested in the Weatherhead School because of its reputation as a world-class business school, and it’s proximity to work and home. However, it wasn't until my visit to the school that I realized how impressive the program really is. The faculty, staff and students work collaboratively together and enjoy the respect of one another. I had the opportunity to sit in on a class, interview with an admissions counselor and speak to a staff member in student life. In addition, the alumni are actively involved in the recruitment process and have lunch with prospective students in order to answer any questions about the program itself, as well as job prospects after graduation. I knew after my first visit to the Weatherhead School that Case was the school for me.

Q: I understand you are a part-time student. Where do you currently work?
I am a part-time student and work full-time at University Hospitals Case Medical Center as an administrator in the Department of Neurology. In my position, I oversee the academic operations of the department, including government and industry-sponsored research and clinical trials, the residency and fellowship programs, CME activities, and faculty recruitment.

Q: I understand you recently received the Rita Kicher Award. What does this award mean to you both personally and professionally?
I was very excited to win an award recognizing part-time students for their professional accomplishments, leadership capabilities and community involvement. My classmates are hard-working individuals that typically have full-time jobs, some with children and families and yet still find time to be active in the Weatherhead School community. I feel truly honored to be chosen among the many deserving part-time students. After being nominated for the award, I got in touch with a former co-worker of Rita Kicher to learn more about her. I discovered that Rita was an impressive student, a dedicated employee, and a spirited woman who positively affected the lives of many people. I only hope that I can have the same type of impact on others as Rita Kicher did during her lifetime.

Q: While at the Weatherhead School, have you been able to participate in any of the graduate student clubs?
I am the president of the Health Systems Management and Bio-Entrepreneurship Club (HSMBC). The mission of the club is to promote interaction between health care industry leaders and Weatherhead School students. We accomplish this by offering periodic speaking engagements from distinguished visitors, by providing networking opportunities, and by supporting attendance at local and regional health care/bioscience seminars. By doing so, we hope to foster greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities students interested in business and health care can look forward to in their future careers.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most exciting aspect of being part of the Weatherhead School community?
Simply being part of such a community is the most exciting aspect of being at the Weatherhead School. Since my start here, I've made wonderful friends, found mentors to help me develop my talents in certain aspects of business, developed relationships with faculty, and connected with students and professionals outside the university. It is these relationships that will help me succeed on both personal and professional levels.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy outdoor activities, including running, biking and kayaking. I am currently training for my first half marathon this summer in San Francisco and hope to someday work up to a full marathon. I also like to travel to new destinations and explore places I've never been. One of my goals is to visit a new place each year.

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in northeast Ohio? Any dishes you would recommend?
Northeast Ohio has a lot of great restaurants so it's hard to choose just one favorite. Recently, I took my first trip to Grovewood Tavern and had amazing filet medallions, but the China Town Springrolls at Fahrenheit are hard to beat.

Q: What is one surprising fact about yourself that you would like to share with the Weatherhead School community?
This is a difficult question to answer because it's hard to find something surprising about yourself. However, some may find it surprising that prior to starting my degree at the Weatherhead School, I had never taken a business class in my life, outside of high school economics. My undergrad degree was in biology and I had not considered business school until working in health care for nearly six years. I realized that in order to reach my goals as an administrator, I had to further my education in business and health care management. My decision to get my MBA will definitely help me reach my high level goal of running my own business some day.

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