Newswise — Five University of Chicago Booth School of Business students have been recognized for their academic achievement and leadership by being named 2015 Siebel Scholars.

Lee Ettleman, Ali Khachan, Solomon Lee, Anna Pione and Neha Poddar were among the 83 winners this year — graduate students studying business, computer science or bioengineering from around the world. The winners each receive $35,000 to use in their final year of study.

"Representing the best and brightest from around the globe, these distinguished students join entrepreneurs, researchers and philanthropists from past Siebel Scholars classes to form an unmatched professional and personal network — bringing together diverse insights and perspectives from business and engineering disciplines at the forefront of solutions to global challenges," Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman of the Siebel Scholars Foundation, said in a release.

Winners, nominated by their deans, are recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership.

Ettleman, from Tampa, received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and worked at Oliver Wyman for five years. Over the summer, he had an internship at Kraft Foods, and his concentrations at Chicago Booth are in marketing and econometrics/statistics, which he hopes to use to make better sense of the world.

"I am excited to be a part of the distinguished community of other Siebel scholars, and hope to be able to interact and learn from them throughout my career," he said.

Khachan, a Lebanese-Canadian, left a senior management position at an enterprise software startup to come to Booth. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical and computer engineering, and previously worked at Advanced Micro Devices, where he developed a system for playing high-definition movies on low-end computers.

"Joining the Siebel Scholars community is a great opportunity to address today's biggest challenges while working with highly talented scholars who come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds," he said.

Lee will be joining Morgan Stanley's Technology Banking Group in Menlo Park, Calif., upon graduating from Booth. He previously was a portfolio manager at Clearwater Advisors, an institutional fixed-income investment management firm, and he received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 2008.

"It is truly a privilege to be numbered among the highly accomplished group of current and past Siebel scholars," Lee said. "I hope to contribute to the community in a meaningful and lasting way."

Pione, who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, is concentrating in strategic management and operations management at Booth. She previously worked as a senior associate in the transaction services advisory group at KPMG, and interned with McKinsey over the summer, where she is planning to return after graduation. She is an Admissions Fellow and co-chair of the Management Consulting Group at Booth.

"I am thrilled and honored to represent Booth as a Class of 2015 Siebel Scholar, and look forward to engaging in the diverse and distinguished Siebel community throughout the years to come," Pione said.

Poddar, from Mumbai, was a vice president in the fixed income division of Nomura. She also interviewed prospective candidates as part of the recruitment team. She received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from IIT Bombay. At Booth, Poddar co-chairs the Investment Banking Group and the South Asian Business Group, and has also organized the India Leadership Track of the Emerging Markets Summit.

"I am thrilled at my inclusion in the Siebel Scholar community. Not only is the scholarship a huge financial boost but it also provides me the unparalleled platform to collaborate with some of the greatest minds in the community," she said.

More than 950 Siebel Scholars remain involved in the program, which focuses on leadership, academic achievement and the collaborative search for solutions to the world’s most critical issues.

More than $45 million in Siebel Scholars grant money is given out each year to students at the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Tsinghua University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pennsylvania. The Siebel Scholars Foundation is funded by the Siebel Foundation, which was founded in 2000.

Register for reporter access to contact details