College of LAS announces six alumni award winners


Tammy Wen

An exterior view of Lincoln Hall, home to several LAS majors, on October 5th, 2016.

By Michael Semaca, Contributing Writer

Six University alumni have been selected by the College of LAS to receive alumni awards meant to recognize their achievements in various fields.

Of the six, five received the LAS Alumni Achievement Award, which is given to alumni who demonstrate “outstanding professional achievement; creative achievement; worthy cumulative performance through the years; or recent acknowledgement by community or professional peers,” according to the college’s website. 

The recipients of this award include Doris Derby, for her work as a civil rights activist; Sharon Mosher, for her work in geosciences; Laura Niklason, for her work in tissue engineering; Elizabeth Pieroth, for increasing awareness of sports concussions; and James Spudich, for his work on discovering how proteins lead to muscle movement.

In addition to that, one alumni received the Dean’s Quadrangle Award, which is given to alumni who exemplify the college’s mission. The lone recipient this year was Deborah Paul for the HIV research that she conducted after her brother passed away from an AIDS-related illness in 1985.

The difference between the Alumni Achievement Award and the Dean’s Quadrangle Award is that the Alumni Achievement “is given for outstanding professional achievement that demonstrates the values derived from a liberal arts and sciences education,” said Dave Evensen, administrator in the office of communications and marketing for LAS.

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The Dean’s Quadrangle Award, however, is “presented for exhibiting profound confidence in and support of the college’s mission to provide academic excellence,” he said.

Evensen said anyone interested in submitting an alumni nomination may do so. The nominations are then reviewed by LAS’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Although there are a total of five awards, not every award is given out every year.

“The awards are given at the discretion of the Board,” he said.

The awards were established in 1987, and notable recipients include Eugene Hamilton, chief judge of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia; Jean Driscoll, who set a who set a world record after winning eight Boston Marathons in the wheelchair division; and Paul Lisneck, a political analyst for several major television networks such as NBC and CNN.

The six winners received their awards at a Homecoming dinner last Friday.  Nominations for the 2017 awards are open until May 1, 2017, with detailed instructions for submissions on the LAS website.

Gillian Dunlop contributed to this report. 

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