Legal scholar Lani Guinier ’71, author Esmeralda Santiago ’76, and former Vermont Gov. Madeleine May Kunin B ’92 are among the distinguished women who will be honored by the Radcliffe Association (formerly the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association [RCAA]) during Commencement/Reunion Week.
The award ceremonies, which will include the presentation of alumnae recognition and distinguished service awards, graduate society medals, and the Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Young Alumna Award, will take place on Radcliffe Day, Friday, June 8.
Six of the award winners, Guinier, Santiago, Kunin, scientist and educator Cecily Cannan Selby ’46, attorney Suzanne Nossel ’91, J.D. ’96, and political scientist Mary Fainsod Katzenstein ’66, B. ’89, will also participate in a symposium, “Women and Leadership: Innovations for Social Change,” on Friday, June 8, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge.
Alumnae Recognition Awards
Guinier, Santiago, and Selby are the recipients of alumnae recognition awards. Presented annually, these awards honor women “whose lives and spirits exemplify the value of a liberal arts education.” Their awards will be presented during the symposium.
In 1998, legal scholar Lani Guinier became the first black woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she was a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During the 1980s, she was head of the voting rights project at the NAACP legal de-fense fund and had served in the civil rights division during the Carter administration. Guinier was nominated by President Clinton in 1993 to head the civil rights division of the Department of Justice, only to have her name withdrawn without a confirmation hearing. She turned the incident into a book, “Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice.” Guinier has also written “Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change” and “The Tyranny of the Majority,” and coauthored “Who’s Qualified?” and “The Miner’s Canary,” both due out this year. A graduate of Radcliffe College and Yale Law School, Guinier has received five honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and the Rosa Parks Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action.
The writing career of Esmeralda Santiago began with essays and op-ed pieces for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Christian Science Monitor. She drew national attention with the publication of her two memoirs “When I Was Puerto Rican” and “Almost a Woman,” which received the Alex Award from the American Library Association and has been adapted into a film. Santiago has also written a novel, “America’s Dream,” which has been translated into six languages, and has coauthored two anthologies of Latino literature.
After graduating from Radcliffe, Santiago earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Sarah Lawrence College in 1992. She and her husband, Frank Cantor, are the founders of Cantomedia, a New York-based film and media production company. Santiago is currently writing a novel.
Cecily Cannan Selby is currently an affiliated scholar at Radcliffe’s Public Policy Center, where she co-chairs the research advisory council of the program in science, society, and gender.
Selby’s career and scholarly writings encompass the fields of science, education, and management. During the 1950s, Selby was a research scientist in virology and electron microscopic cytology at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and an instructor in histology at Cornell Medical School, where she published some of the first papers on cancer and muscle-cell ultra-structure.
After holding management positions in academia for over 20 years, she was appointed a professor of science education at New York University’s School of Education. Selby has served on many governing boards, including two Fortune 500 companies.
Selby holds an undergraduate degree from Radcliffe and a Ph.D. in physical biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). In 1992, she was named Woman of the Year in Science by the New York chapter of the American Women in Science (AWS) and a fellow of AWS for 2000.
Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Young Alumna Award
Suzanne Nossel, an attorney, will receive the Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Young Alumna Award also during the June 8 symposium.
The award is presented annually to an alumna in the 10th reunion class for an outstanding contribution to the advancement of women, to her profession, or to the Institute.
Nossel has recently joined Bertelsmann Inc., as director of business development in the United States. She came to the position after serving as deputy to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for UN management and reform. Nossel served under Richard C. Holbrooke, the permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations.
Earlier in her career, Nossel was an associate in consumer and media practice areas at McKinsey and Co. and a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.
Nossel and Elizabeth Westwall are the coauthors of “Presumed Equal: What America’s Top Women Lawyers Really Think About Their Firms” (Career Press, 1998).
In 1996, Nossel earned a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.
Graduate Society Medals
Katzenstein and Kunin will receive graduate society medals from the Radcliffe Association. The medals are given annually to alumnae of Radcliffe and Harvard graduate schools and Radcliffe’s Bunting Program who have made outstanding contributions to their professions. Katzenstein and Kunin will receive their awards during the symposium on June 8.
Mary Fainsod Katzenstein is a professor of government and a faculty member of the Women’s Studies Program at Cornell University.
Katzenstein’s scholarly work covers gender, race, and politics. She is the author of “Ethnicity and Equality: The Shiv Sena Party and Preferential Policies in Bombay” and the coauthor of “India’s Preferential Politics: Migrants, the Middle Classes and Ethnic Equality.” In 1998, she wrote the award-winning “Faithful and Fearless: Moving Feminist Protest Inside the Church and Military.”
After graduating from Radcliffe in 1966, Katzenstein earned a master’s degree from the University of London and a doctorate in political science from M.I.T. Her numerous awards include a Bunting fellowship at Radcliffe in 1988, a Fulbright teaching assistantship in India, a Ford Foundation grant, and a grant from the American Institute of Indian Studies. This fall, she will be a fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation, working on a project on prisons in America.
Madeleine May Kunin came to national prominence in 1985 as the first female governor of Vermont and was the first woman in history to serve three terms as a governor. Kunin was noted for her education reform, tough environmental standards, and strong support for childcare and human services.
Appointed U.S. deputy secretary of education by President Clinton in 1993, Kunin worked with the administration on Goals 2000, the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, national service, and the Safe Schools Act. She was appointed ambassador to Switzerland in 1996 by Clinton. Kunin is currently the bicentennial scholar-in-residence at Vermont’s Middlebury College.
Kunin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, master’s degrees from Columbia University and the University of Vermont, and numerous honorary degrees. In 1992, she was a visiting fellow at Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute. Kunin is the author of “Living a Political Life : One of America’s First Woman Governors Tells Her Story.” In 1991, she founded a non-governmental organization called The Institute for Sustainable Communities.
Distinguished Service Awards
Teresita Alvarez-Bjelland ’76, M.B.A. ’79, Jane Borthwick ’76, M.B.A. ’84, Josephine Murray ’44, and Enid Maslon Starr ’51, HRPBA ’52 are the recipients of Distinguished Service Awards. The awards are given annually to alumnae “for outstanding service to the Radcliffe Association, and, through it, to the Institute.” Radcliffe Association President A’Lelia Bundles ’74 will announce their names during the annual luncheon on Friday, June 8; the awards will be presented at the annual meeting in Agassiz Theatre that afternoon.