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Fottlers Establish Endowed Scholarship Fund

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By Elizabeth Herrera

For Professor Myron Fottler and his wife, Carol Fottler, generosity isn't just about rising to the challenge but also about challenging others.

The Dr. Myron D. Fottler and Carol A. Fottler Endowed Scholarship Fund will help students in the health services administration master's degree program and in the health administration specialization of the Doctoral Program in Public Affairs.

Fottler, both a faculty member and an executive director of the health services administration program at UCF, was first approached by Health Services Administration Alumni Chapter Chair Kevin Lenhardt to contribute to the association's scholarship fund. Fottler was willing but offered a challenge: He would double his $500 contribution if every faculty member also contributed. He then broadened the challenge, pledging an additional $1,000 if everyone on all three advisory boards in Central Florida also donated.

The Fottlers also created the scholarship in their name under the principle of incentives.

"If someone is a great student and can get into the University of Alabama at Birmingham or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, they will go there because they can offer better scholarships," Fottler said.

"The goal of the scholarship program is not to recruit more students, because we have a very large number of students. The issue is we want to make sure we get our fair share of the very best students."

Fottler stresses the need to compete with long-established schools in order for UCF's program to excel.

He holds a doctorate in business from Columbia University and became interested in health services administration while writing his dissertation. A professor encouraged him to learn about the field and deliver a dissertation proposal within two weeks, a task he took to eagerly.

Since then, he has worked at several universities, written more than 140 journal articles and published 18 books.

Carol Fottler began her career as a high school social sciences teacher. She later became a trainer for the federal government and has worked for the census bureau and the postal service. She was president of the UCF Women's Club and an integral part of the group's efforts to provide scholarships for nontraditional students.

"We decided to create the master's and Ph.D scholarships in our names to help the young UCF program to continually improve the quality of the student body, encourage future leaders in the health care area to consider UCF and attract students from other parts of the United States to come here for a quality education," she said.

Professor Aaron Liberman, department chair of health management and informatics and of health professions, is proud to have the Fottlers as supporters.

"I think this speaks to the generosity of Myron and Carol Fottler and the fact that they're willing to invest in the future of our department, and we thank them for it," Liberman said.

He believes that big changes are on the way in the health care field.

"What's happening in the health care field today is quite remarkable," Liberman said. "With the economy shrinking in every sector, the health care field is expanding in a robust way. And this is necessitating a development of new organization to support the graying of America, the aging of America's citizens."

Myron Fottler also believes that health care reform, in whatever shape it may come, is almost certain, and that one possibility is an increase in health care jobs. His goal is to figure out how best to help students get jobs in hospitals, long-term care, assisted living, consulting companies, government and insurance companies, as well as competitive fellowships where they can meet mentors.

He credits the support he received during his education, which allowed him to finish with little debt, as one of his reasons for giving.

"It seems to me that if you benefit from other people's generosity, you ought to turn around and do the same thing yourself."

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