‘Family Karma’ Star Dillon Patel Named 2021 Recipient of Wharton’s Prism Fellowship
Indian American Dillon Patel, who stars in the Bravo TV reality show, “Family Karma,” is the 2021 recipient of the Wharton School’s Prism Fellowship, which provides full tuition for an outstanding LGBTQIA+ MBA student. (LinkedIn photo)
India-West Staff Reporter
Dillon Patel is a happy man. The Indian American actor stars in Season 2 of “Family Karma,” the comedic docuseries on Bravo TV that features, for the first time, an all-Indian American cast, and which returned with a supersized episode June 2. But he also recently earned another major honor.
The 27-year-old is the 2021 recipient of Wharton’s Prism Fellowship, which “is awarded to one student who is a member of and demonstrates leadership in support of the LGBTQIA community,” according to the business school’s website. The fellowship covers the full cost of tuition for Wharton’s two-year, full-time MBA program.
Prism Fellows are selected by the Wharton Fellowship Committee based on their leadership qualities, community impact and personal essays submitted with their MBA program application.
Dillon, who graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 2016, will join the MBA Class of 2023 when he begins his studies at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, according to a recent interview with Poets&Quants.
“I was shocked that a fellowship like this even existed, and that the committee chose me considering how many impressive candidates apply each year,” Patel told the publication.
Working toward diversity and inclusion in the workplace has always been Dillon’s priority, including at his current job at Zendesk – he serves as LGBTQ Employee-Group Lead on top of his day job as senior manager of global operations.
“We can always push to be better,” Patel, who has openly been a part of the LGBTQIA+ community for about eight years now, told Poets&Quants. “The time for diversity, inclusivity, and organizational change is now. It is happening all around us. The shift toward acceptance of this community has been so fast. People forget just how much public opinion has reversed in the past 20 years.”
He shared his own coming out story on “Family Karma.”
“I had several people tell me that seeing my story gave them the confidence to come out to their family, or it sparked conversations that were not otherwise happening,” Patel told Poets&Quants.
“Coming out as queer isn’t a single moment,” Patel noted to the publication, adding that although he himself did have a big moment. “Sometimes it’s a process.”
He came out to his family and friends through a written announcement that was published in the Duke Student Chronicle called “Dear Mom.”