The Stephanie R. Becker, C’06 Memorial Scholarship
A New Scholarship Seeks to Empower Penn’s Student Leaders in Mental Health
FALL 2017 | THE PENN PRIORITY
This fall, Penn will name the inaugural recipient of the Stephanie R. Becker, C’06 Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to a student who is recognized as a campus leader in mental wellness. Established in January 2017 by siblings Michael K. Becker and Julie Becker Gordon, C’12, the scholarship honors their sister, Stephanie Becker (pictured right), who passed away on October 4, 2012.
“I decided to establish the Stephanie Becker Fund the day after Stephanie passed away, asking myself, ‘What would Stephanie have done?’” Michael Becker shared. “The answer was simple: help other people in need.”
Since its founding, the Stephanie Becker Fund has actively promoted mental health both on and off campus, co-sponsoring an emotional wellness in the workplace lecture series in New York, and collabo- rating with Penn’s CogWell group in 2013 to host a community event with actress Brittany Snow, The Jed Foundation, and MTV centered on increasing mental health awareness while decreasing the related social stigma. In addition, the Fund has helped to facilitate I-CARE training sessions—a new initiative taught by Penn’s Counseling and Psychological Services’ expert clinicians aimed at teaching faculty and students how to identify and manage mental health issues.
“Our family agreed that a scholarship would be a meaningful next step for the Stephanie Becker Fund, and an impactful way to partner with the University to bring awareness to the importance of mental health and well-being,” Michael explained.
All who knew Stephanie speak of her tremendous Penn Pride, from her spirited engagement with Sigma Delta Tau sorority to her writing for The Daily Pennsylvanian and her outsized love of the campus bookstore.
“Steph had a positive and magnetic spirit that left a lasting impression on everyone around her. Always inclusive, she was a bright light whose energy and passion made each moment spent with her more magical,” shared Ashley Birnbaum Arons, C’06 and Morgan Satler Greene, C’06, two of Stephanie’s close friends.
“Stephanie loved Penn and continued to be actively involved with the University even after she graduated. She conducted on-campus interviews for IBM—where she excelled for over six years as a Senior Managing Consultant in the company’s strategy and change practice—and served as an engaged member of the Jewish Heritage Programs’ New York City/University of Pennsylvania Alumni Board,” Michael said.
The Stephanie R. Becker, C’06 Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a rising junior majoring in communications, psychology, or pre-med, who is also a member of a student organization focused on mental well-being. Michael sees the scholarship as an extension of the Fund’s mission to promote emotional wellness, and a tribute to his sister’s positive impact on people’s lives.
“We hope the scholarship acts as a catalyst for a student who has already positioned him or herself as a campus leader in mental health and displays potential to continue that important work long after graduation,” he said. “I hope it empowers the student to take what he or she learns at Penn and apply that knowledge to make a difference in his or her community and in the world.”