Dr. Gerald Kominski, HPM faculty, discusses his scholarship, his career in expanding access to healthcare, and why he created a scholarship opportunity for first-generation students. Dr. Kominski has retired after 32 years at the Fielding School of Public Health and wanted to create the Gerald F. Kominski Health Policy Fellowship to support first-generation college graduates. Dr. Kominski says that his career was possible thanks to the sacrifices and encouragement of his mother and father, whose formal education stopped at sixth and ninth grade, respectively.
“I know firsthand the many challenges faced by students who are the first in their families to graduate from college and then seek a graduate degree,” Kominski explains. “I also know the profound impact financial support can have for these students. I wanted to create a fellowship that would make it easier for students to focus on a career in health policy and not have to start their career with substantial debt.”