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Benson Family Fellowship Fund


In 2004, the Bensons made a heartfelt donation, establishing the Benson Family Fellowship Fund in the School of Nursing, as well as a fellowship in the Anderson School of Management, to honor their time together at UCLA where they met and fell in love. Their goal in establishing a fellowship in nursing was to provide financial assistance to graduate students so they may pursue their dreams of becoming nurses, just as Judy did. Judy recently made an additional generous gift to the Fund in memory of her late husband Roger, who passed away earlier this year. Due to the generosity of the Bensons, sixteen exceptional scholars received Benson Family Fellowships for the 2015-16 academic year, and countless other students have received financial assistance since the inception of the Fund.


Panicha Kittipha (P.K), one of the 2015-16 recipients of the Benson Family Fellowship Fund, graduated this past June with a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. Born in Thailand, P.K. immigrated to the U.S. at a very young age. Although her parents were not college educated, they were hard workers and valued education, always encouraging their daughter to attend college. Initially, P.K. had planned to attend medical school, and obtained her undergraduate degree in cellular-molecular biology. However, after taking the MCAT and applying to medical schools, she decided to forgo the med school route and, instead, worked the next two years as an EMT, teaching at a lab, and working for a recreation center in her community.
P.K.’s parents encouraged her to return to the medical field and asked her to consider nursing. Being a spiritual person, P.K. prayed and let her faith guide her into nursing. She did research and applied to a faith-based, accelerated program at Loma Linda. P.K. obtained her RN license and continued working at Loma Linda as a bedside nurse in the ICU until starting graduate school at UCLA. During her time at UCLA School of Nursing, she served as the Advanced Practice Nurse President for the Graduate Student Nursing Association (GSNA) and also submitted a publication geared towards nursing education. Today, she works full time as an acute care nurse practitioner and will start a part-time faculty position at Loma Linda in the fall. 

Throughout graduate school, P.K. took care of her father who had been battling cancer since 2011. This scholarship allowed her to work less hours and spend more time with her father. P.K. says, “Thank you for helping students like myself make our dreams and goals a living reality. It truly could not be made possible without your contribution. It has empowered me and allowed me to succeed during graduate school knowing that I am financially stable to accomplish my goals.” 

Once again, we thank the Bensons for their continued generosity and support for the School of Nursing.