MAA Says: ‘Truly a huge help’ for students

Attending conferences and presentations, making time to serve as chapter president with the Student National Medical Association, taking pressure off her family—all of this is happening for Brianna Blake (Class of ’25) thanks to her scholarship from the Medical Alumni Association (MAA).

“This has truly been a huge help to me,” she says. “I don’t think any of those things would be possible without it.”

A first-generation college graduate who received bachelor’s degrees in biology and in biochemistry and molecular biology and a minor in informatics from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Blake is passionate about closing the gap for health literacy in minority youth, serving underserved populations and promoting women’s cardiac health. She’s considering a career in surgery or interventional cardiology.

The MAA scholarship is awarded annually to two first-year medical students and provides $10,000 (in full the first year and $5,000 per semester the following years) each year until graduation, provided the standards of the scholarship are maintained. Otherwise the funds have no restrictions and can be used as needed by the student.

“The scholarship has enabled me to broaden my horizons, beyond simply studying, to give me opportunities I might not have otherwise had,” Blake says. “I would encourage everyone to apply.”

Successful applicants will generally meet the following criteria:

• Remain in good academic standing at Pitt Med.

• Show a commitment to the goals of the MAA. (See:

• Display a dedication to serving the health of patients in Pittsburgh and the larger Western Pennsylvania region.