Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®) Scholarship for the Advancement of Women in Financial Services Winners Announced

Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®) Scholarship for the Advancement of Women in Financial Services Winners Announced

The American College Center for Women in Financial Services joined with Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS) and Ameritas announce the recipients of a new scholarship program aimed towards advancing women in financial services

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – June 3, 2021 – The American College of Financial Services, together with Ameritas and Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS), are pleased to announce the recipients of the Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®) Scholarship for the Advancement of Women in Financial Services. This is the inaugural year of the scholarship program, an unparalleled educational experience focused on transforming the way you approach wealth management through applied knowledge exclusively offered by The College in collaboration with Ameritas and WIFS.

“At The American College of Financial Services, we’re committed to supporting women in their aspirations for success in the financial services profession through education, research, and awareness. This scholarship program aligns perfectly with our mission to attract and develop more women in the industry,” said Hilary Fiorella, Executive Director of The American College Center for Women in Financial Services. “Our partnership with industry leaders like Ameritas and WIFS allows us to provide our applied investment management knowledge to two dozen female financial professionals, who will in turn, provide comprehensive wealth management practice to their clients.”

The College received nearly 50 applications for the newly created scholarship program, with 24 applications accepted, three of which will be mentors who will take part in the WMCP® program and were chosen by WIFS to lead three cohort groups.  

Winners of the 2021 scholarship program represent a diverse group of women, with 42 percent Black, 45 percent Caucasian, and 13 percent Hispanic/Latina participation. The range of tenure breaks down between early career, mid-career, and more tenured/experienced. (See full list of winners below.)

“This scholarship is a creative and powerful way for us to bring together the strength of three influential organizations,” said Heather Nagengast, Vice President of Wealth Management and Investment Services at Ameritas. “Ameritas has long-standing relationships with both WIFS and The College. Funding this scholarship through our Pike Chair Endowment, we are doing something deeply impactful to grow our next generation of women in this great industry.”

Ameritas has sponsored $75,000 to support the 24 WMCP® scholarship recipients and mentors in 2021. Starting in 2022, the company will contribute $25,000 for eight WMCP® scholarships each year. Funds for this new program were provided by the Larry R. Pike Chair in Insurance and Investments endowment, established by The College and Ameritas. Complimentary WIFS membership will also be provided by Ameritas.

“WIFS is proud to partner with The American College of Financial Services and Ameritas on this exciting new scholarship opportunity for women in the profession," said Carrie D. Sayre, WIFS National President. “Our mentoring program continues to be one of the most highly-popular and well-attended programs we offer, and it is gratifying to help other women advance in their careers with this education program.”

The scholarship program is available to those identifying as female who work in the financial services industry, are interested in earning the WMCP® designation and expanding their advanced financial planning skills, and are not being reimbursed with employer-sponsored education benefits. Ameritas employees are not eligible.

To learn more or apply for the 2022 scholarship program, visit the scholarship page.

2021 WMCP® Scholarship for the Advancement of Women in Financial Services

Scholarship Recipients

*2021 program mentors

  • Christy Aleckson, Single Point Financial Advisors, Inc.
  • Brenda Catugno, BPC, LLC
  • Alexandra Cepeda, Boundless Financial Consulting
  • Joanna Craney, 1847 Financial
  • Karen Darby, Jacobi Capital Management, LLC
  • Joan Gilles, Financial Planning Partners LLC
  • Carolyn Humphrey, Horner Townsend & Kent
  • Elyse Jurman, Diversified Financial Solutions, Inc.
  • Sophie Lancaster, Heritage Wealth Management
  • Patrisha Lee, Self Employed
  • Morgan Marlin, Cetera Advisors
  • Emily Miller, UCL Financial Group, LLC
  • Aywanna Monroe, Self Employed
  • April Murdaugh, National Life Group
  • Tracy Payne, Baltimore Life Companies
  • Ashlee Rehbein, Family First Life
  • Patricia Schutt-Aine, One South Florida Wealth Advisors, LLC
  • Karlene Sears   
  • Davina Sims, Linda Mitchell State Farm Insurance
  • Diana Smith, Cetera Advisors LLC
  • Crystal Sudbury, Baacke Insurance & Financial Services
  • Kimberly Turner, Retirement Planning Doctors
  • Jodi Vawdrey, Jodi Vawdrey DBA OakBridge Asset & Tax Management
  • Clarissa Williams, Capital Financial Group/MassMutual Financial Group


The American College of Financial Services was founded in 1927 and is the nation’s largest nonprofit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has educated one in five financial advisors across the United States and offers two master’s degrees in management and financial services, along with prestigious financial planning designations such as the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®), Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), and education leading to the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification. The College’s faculty represents some of the foremost thought leaders in the financial services profession. Visit TheAmericanCollege.edu and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Founded in 1936, Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS) is an association of financial services professionals working together to Attract, Develop and Advance women in an underrepresented profession. No other financial services organization provides programming designed for women, by women.  WIFS is devoted to advancing career opportunities, providing professional development, and representing women's interests in a male-dominated industry. Through attraction, retention, and a unique focus on mentoring and networking, WIFS is the largest women’s association empowering women in the finance and insurance professions to succeed. For more information, visit wifsnational.org.

Ameritas is a marketing name for Ameritas Mutual Holding Company and its affiliated subsidiary companies, including Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York. Founded in 1887, Ameritas offers a wide range of insurance and financial products and services to individuals, families and businesses. These products and services include life insurance; annuities; individual disability income insurance; group dental, vision and hearing care insurance; retirement plans; investments; asset management; and public finance. Securities offered through affiliate Ameritas Investment Company LLC (AIC), member FINRA/SIPC, and investment advisory services offered through the business name of Ameritas Advisory Services. AIC is not affiliated with any third-party entity mentioned herein. For more information, visit Ameritas.com.