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May 26, 2005

   

2005 McPHERSON AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

One of Bryn Mawr College's highest honors, the McPherson Awards for Excellence and Service were awarded to students, a faculty member and staff at five important College gatherings this spring.

At the annual dean's reception in April, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science Dale Kinney announced the GSAS student winner, Robert Ekey, a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate studying molecular photophysics. Kinney noted, "Throughout his career at Bryn Mawr, Bob has been a diligent and productive researcher whose skill with delicate equipment is much admired. He has been a beloved teaching assistant, winning the Doris Sill Carland Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2003. He is a generous and friendly colleague and a mainstay of the many facets of life in Park Science. The service for which the McPherson Prize confers special recognition includes his two years as co-convenor of the Graduate Student Association in 2003, his two years as student representative to the Graduate Council, and his efforts as Bryn Mawr's representative to the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students. Bob's self-effacing concern for the well-being of his fellow students is polite, persistent and persuasive. From health insurance to library policy to financial aid, his voice has been a factor in making Bryn Mawr a better place to be a graduate student. Bob understands the virtues of the liberal-arts-college community, and has consistently put himself out to realize those virtues for graduates and undergraduates at Bryn Mawr." Ekey received a $5,000 award.

President Nancy J. Vickers announced the undergraduate student winners — always three seniors — at May Day convocation. Each received $3,500 to support an internship that allows her to pursue academic, career, personal or service interests.

Natalie Abbott '05 will use her award to attend the Moebius Syndrome Foundation Conference in San Francisco in July. There she will be planning expanded programming for children and young adults, especially girls and young women. A faculty member who nominated Abbott said: "I have known no other English major more dedicated as a scholar, more engaged as a peer to other students, or more involved on the campus level with events and community-building. She is a remarkably balanced, considerate, joyful and sincere young woman whose many talents and deep engagements with the world around her ought to be celebrated as exemplary and as a goal for Bryn Mawr students."

JoAnn Gage '05 will use her award to serve as a "volunteer Wilderness Backcountry Ranger" in the Bridget-Teton National Forest in Wyoming this summer. A staff member's nomination of Gage read: "No one embodies the ideals and values of Bryn Mawr … better than JoAnn. She lives, works and plays with the integrity she holds close to her heart. She is a scholar who will be pursuing graduate studies in geology. As a hall adviser, she cares deeply for her residents, listens to what they say, and never passes judgment on anyone. She is an athlete and a true sportswoman, gracious as a winner and more importantly in the face of defeat."

Yinette Sano '05 will spend the summer in Boston coordinating the Agents of Change program, sponsored by Envision Leadership. She will work with inner-city youth on community action. A staff member nominating Sano wrote: "Yinette takes on a number of leadership roles and does them very well. She is also a serious and successful student. She is positive, responsible and works well with many different kinds of people. Community service, both on campus and at home in Boston, is incredibly important to her, and she radiates joy when she talks about it."

At the community picnic on May 4, Director of Human Resources Joe Bucci announced three staff McPherson Award winners. Each received a $1,000 award.

Barrington Smith, utility housekeeper, joined Bryn Mawr in 1988. His nominators wrote: "Barrington takes great pride in doing his job well, and he is always working hard to keep the halls of Taylor Hall clean and polished, a showplace for students, staff, faculty and visitors. Barrington goes above and beyond his job responsibilities in a very professional manner, and is always very pleasant and helpful … Barrington is in constant motion, giving care and attention to the building and making sure our work spaces and kitchen areas are ready for the work day … I have never seen Barrington shirk his duties or refuse to offer assistance when asked. He is a person with a strong work ethic and one who strives to achieve excellence and service to the Bryn Mawr community."

Helene Studdy, program assistant for the arts, joined the College in 1985. Her nominators wrote: "Helene is a major goodwill ambassador for our institution. In her countless interactions with outside people who call or visit to get information for arts-related events, she serves as a primary interface between Bryn Mawr and the outside world. Her knowledge of the events of Bryn Mawr combined with a graciousness and wonderful sense of humor guarantee that anyone who has contact with Helene comes away with a great feeling about Bryn Mawr and its offerings … Helene has a lot of interactions with students on matters ranging from practice rooms to student subscriptions to student performances. I am always impressed with the way she makes them feel welcome and valued. She goes to many of their performances and takes a real interest in their growth as artists … The Arts Office runs smoothly not only because Helene is competent, well organized and flexible but also because she possesses extraordinary interpersonal gifts. Helene is a wonderful person within the Bryn Mawr community."

Claudia Ginanni, Web content manager, joined the College's Public Affairs Office in 2001. Her nominators wrote: "Claudia has made outstanding contributions to key recruiting sections of the College's Web site, for example, the humorous copy of the virtual tour, the mini-site highlighting alumnae careers, and the refashioning of the GSAS site. In all of these, she went way beyond the requirements of her job to exceed expectations and to delight readers … Claudia stepped in and personally designed our page. This included choosing the colors, figuring out the navigation and even taking the photographs. We were very happy to see the result but even so I was delighted to learn from staff how much praise it receives from its target constituency: applicants and current students … When I joined the Sustained Dialogue Discussion Group, I didn't expect to see any faculty or staff members in my group, even though it was open to all members of the Bryn Mawr community, but Claudia was there and stayed! For her participation in this group, and her sensitive, respectful stories discussing student activities, such as Smart Women Vote, I nominate her for this award. She is so deserving."

At Commencement rehearsal, Co-Deans of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research Raymond Albert and Marcia Martin announced two GSSWSR student winners, each of whom received a $3,000 award.

Autumn Dickman, M.S.S. and M.L.S.P. '05, spent her second-year field placement at the Juvenile Law Project, the oldest public-interest law firm for children in the United States. Martin noted, "Autumn helped to draft a policy statement that focused on improving re-entry for delinquent youth returning from court-ordered residential placements. The policy has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, Juvenile Court Judges' Commission, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. In addition, for the past two years, Autumn has organized a study tour to Washington, D.C., for students in our Policy Planning and Advocacy track, offering them an opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the policy process and the role advocates play in the process."

Alice Muludiang, M.S.S. '05, completed a second-year field placement at the American Friends Service Committee, an agency committed to nonviolence and social justice. According to Martin, "Alice's work was centered in Project Voice, a program focusing on strengthening the voices of immigrants and immigrant-led organizations in setting the national agenda for immigration policy and immigrants' rights. Alice is a refugee from Sudan and has established a charitable foundation named Southern Sudanese Refugees Relief Foundation through which she has worked with Sudanese women. In addition, Alice has worked with the Lost Boys of Sudan program through Lutheran Family Services and has provided foster care and mentoring to eight young men.

"What is apparent in the work of both of these women is their deep commitment to enhance individual, societal and global well-being and to promote social justice," said Martin.

During Commencement, President Nancy J. Vickers announced the 2005 faculty winner, Marion Reilly Professor of Physics Al Albano. Among his past honors, Albano was named the 1996 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He also received the College's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching that year. Albano retired at the conclusion of this spring semester, after a 35-year career at Bryn Mawr. A nominator from the Committee on Appointments noted, "Al has been one of the most respected faculty members for many years: he has been elected repeatedly to important leadership roles, has provided a voice of calm intelligence during faculty deliberations on important issues, and has received national recognition for his teaching and scholarship." Albano's McPherson Award was $5,000 in research funds.

The McPherson Fund For Excellence was established in 1997 to honor President Emeritus Mary Patterson McPherson's contribution to the Bryn Mawr community, and to inspire outstanding faculty and staff members, graduate students and undergraduates with the McPherson Awards. Award recipients are recognized for excellence and service to the community, either within or beyond the boundaries of this institution.

 

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