PLAN 79: Article
In Memory of Heather Smith Who Died 9/11 on AA Flight 11
Two candidates for the MS in Real Estate Development were awarded Heather Smith Memorial Fellowships at a gala in June. The fellowships are named for the fiancée of SA+P alum Mike Jammen (MSRED’97), who was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11, 2001. Soon after her death, her family and friends, Boston’s real estate community and the members of NEWIRE (New England Women in Real Estate) teamed together to form the Heather Smith Memorial Fund, which has now become The Heather Smith Foundation.
Awarded annually, the fellowship is presented to female students at the MIT Center for Real Estate based on financial need, career objectives and academic standing. To date, over $170K has been awarded, and recipients have gone on to work for prestigious real estate firms and investment banks that include Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Forest City Ratner.
This year’s recipients were:
Christina Fenbert. Originally from Detroit, Christina Fenbert earned her BS in Business Administration from Central Michigan University in 2003, concentrating on international business and French. Soon after graduation, she joined LaSalle Bank in Detroit and began a career in finance. Her interest in real estate began while working for the Urban and Community Development Lending Division of LaSalle Bank. As a Commercial Loan Officer, she financed real estate projects specifically aimed at the city’s redevelopment efforts and was responsible for originating and underwriting commercial loans for key real estate projects that had a direct impact on the city’s revitalization.
In 2007, Fenbert relocated from Detroit to Boston to work at CWCapital LLC, a national real estate and investment management firm. In her role as a Senior Portfolio Manager, Fenbert was responsible for a $1.68B portfolio of highly structured commercial real estate loan transactions ranging from multi-family to office, retail and hospitality properties spread across the United States. Her responsibilities focused on loan compliance, market performance and borrower defaults.
Khadija Oubala. A native of Casablanca, Morocco, Oubala earned her BA in Finance from Al Akhawayn University in 2000 and her?MBA in Finance & International Business from NYU’s Stern School of Business in 2005. She joined MIT after spending five years in the Middle East heading up the real estate division for a sponsored investment firm focusing on emerging Asian markets, particularly India and China. Prior to that, she was recruited upon graduation from NYU’s Stern Business school to join the corporate finance department of one of the largest conglomerates in the Middle East, where she evaluated investing opportunities and lead strategic investment deals. ??
Oubala’s international career started in Morocco as an internal consultant for one the largest international insurance firms, where she focused on post merger and acquisition integration and process reengineering. Her strong work ethic and undergraduate degree helped her to get promoted to Senior Consultant where she was responsible for the identification of competitive strategies, the reengineering of process flows and the implementation of cost-cutting initiatives. Oubala is Fulbright scholar and is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Oubala has asked that we include here a tribute to her brother Yassine, who died June 3 at age 44. ’It was during one of our last conversations,’ she wrote, ‘that he reiterated the pride he felt as a brother after learning that I was awarded the Heather Smith Memorial Fellowship. He has supported and encouraged me to push further and accomplish more my entire life, and I must now rise up to his expectations by being a good mentor to his children, Ghali and Ryan, my 3- and 6-year-old nephews.’
Previous recipients of the Heather Smith Memorial Fellowship were Hongyu Cai and Tamera Larsen (2003); Bonnie Campbell and Heather Clark (2004); Karen Jia Ying Hu and Shwetha Subramanian (2005); Amy Merritt (2006); Nadia Di Carlo, Marianne Ganster and Kathryn Nash (2007); Ai Kong and Yali Wang (2008); and Jodie Copp Poirier (2009).