MD/MBA Student Profiles

List of students enrolled in the Penn State Smeal MD/MBA program.

Portrait of Michael Abendroth.Michael Abendroth
Class of 2016

Michael graduated from Dartmouth College in 2011 with a degree in Human Biology. He chose Penn State College of Medicine for its exceptional faculty and strong sense of community. He quickly grew an appreciation for hospital operations and strategic leadership, and realized that an MBA would be invaluable. He chose Smeal for the same distinguished faculty and close-knit community that originally drew him to Penn State. He ultimately hopes to integrate his medical and business backgrounds through academic administration or private practice.

Portrait of Christopher Kalmar.Christopher Kalmar
Class of 2016

Chris graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 with High Distinction in Neuroscience.  He has been focused on a career in Surgery and has a passion for ethics and education.  After completing his surgical residency, he hopes to be involved with leadership in academic medicine.  He is excited to pursue an MD/MBA degree to be an asset in harnessing the collaborative potential of his future surgical team and medical institution, as well as capitalizing on financial prospects to further advance surgical innovation and patient care. 

Portrait of Aliasgher Khaku.Aliasgher Khaku
Class of 2016

Aliasgher Khaku, who is currently a 4th year in the Penn State M.D. / M.B.A. joint degree program. Aliasgher, or as he is more commonly known as “Ali,” was born in London, Ontario and was raised in Allentown, PA. He majored in Biochemistry at Temple University, where he graduated in 2010 with Distinctions.

Ali is very active and involved within the college and the community. He has served as President for the Class of 2015 for the past three years and will begin his MBA year in August 2014. He also served a term as the Vice-President of the Penn State Student Assembly, which is the largest governing body at the College of Medicine (incorporating all four medical classes, the graduate student body, and nursing student body). During his 1st three years in medical school he realized fully caring for a patient not only involved understanding the biological, molecular, and pathologic basis for disease but also involved an understanding of hospital policies, regulations, and the cost of health care. Ali decided that a MBA would greatly enhance his knowledge and skill set in order to achieve these future goals. The Penn State Smeal College of Business was an obvious choice to help him fulfill his goals.

He will be applying to a surgical residency and wishes to pursue a career in academic medicine with research interests in education and surgical outcomes.

Portrait of Christopher Otteni.Christopher Otteni
Class of 2016

Christopher originally from Raleigh, NC graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2008 with a degree in Information Science and Technology.  Upon graduation, Christopher worked as an IT Consultant for KPMG LLP in Charlotte, NC. Christopher eventually decided to pursue other endeavors and enter the field of medicine, leaving KPMG to attend medical school at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. Christopher recognizes the need for physicians with strong business acumen in addition to the wealth of opportunities that comes along with this unique skill set. With completion of the MD/MBA, Christopher hopes to become involved in hospital administration as well as electronic medical record implementation and development, as he hopes to be positioned to provide insight into medicine, business and technology.

Portrait of Peggy Schwarz.Peggy Schwarz
Class of 2016

Peggy is a 2010 graduate of Penn State, where she majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and minored in History. Following graduation, she worked for one year in an Emergency Department in Wilkes Barre, PA, where she helped physicians record patient information. She then matriculated at the Penn State College of Medicine.  Her previous work experience prompted her to pursue an MD/MBA degree from the newly minted joint program offered by Penn State. She hopes this joint degree will allow her to provide additional patient care at a variety of levels.