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Chapman gives $60,000 scholarship to Elise Drakes

The Tomorrow's Leaders program also awarded $15,000 grants to the other seven finalists.

By Karly BarkerPublished: June 15, 2011 10:00 AM

Elise Drakes has won a $60,000 Flex MBA scholarship to Chapman University's Argyros School of Business and Economics. It's part of the institution's Tomorrow's Leaders program, which awards one deserving student with a scholarship to the business college.

Chapman named Drakes the winner on Friday during a reception attended by the eight finalists in the competition, their families and school officials, among others. The finalists were chosen based on essays about their plans to use the MBA to positively affect the local business community. The seven others – Anna Lisa Biason, Amber Bonasoro, Diane Bucka, Michelle Cook, Lisa Craddock, Veronika Knight and James Polanco – were also awarded $15,000 scholarships to the school.
Drakes studied architecture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and currently works in health-care architecture. She was selected based on her "strong commitment to enhancing the quality of health-care design," said Arthur Kraft, Ph.D., dean of Chapman's Argyros School of Business and Economics.

Drakes is no stranger to Orange County's business community; she has worked on the architectural construction of the Hoag Hospital Irvine Renovation, and the Hoag Heart and Vascular Institute Project, in addition to Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach and several smaller projects in the area.

The program, which was started in June of 2010, is designed to tap into the up-and-coming business leaders of Orange County. The hope is to give these grad students the opportunity to mingle with other business leaders and ultimately build a better Orange County, according to the university.

“Her (Drakes') impact on the Orange County business community will only be enhanced by having an MBA education,” said Kraft. “Her dedication to improving people’s lives is exactly the kind of positive impact we were looking for in our scholarship winner.”

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