Campus & Community

Extension School announces prizewinners

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This year, the Extension School’s Commencement Speaker award will go to Linda Hime Newberry, A.L.M. ’02, whose speech is titled “An Extension Degree as a Patchwork Quilt.” Francis J. Aguilar, professor of Business Administration Emeritus, will deliver the main address, titled “Cleared for Take-Off,” at the graduate certificate ceremonies.

The following Extension School students and faculty will receive special recognition during Commencement:

Dean’s Prize for outstanding A.L.M. thesis

The Dean’s Prize for the outstanding A.L.M. thesis recognizes work that embodies the highest level of scholarship. Prizes are awarded in each of the four disciplines of the Extension School’s Master’s Degree Program. The Dean’s Thesis Prize for the outstanding A.L.M. thesis in the behavioral sciences goes to psychology concentrator Ellen Merrill, who investigated the “cognitive effects and predictability of the satiating capacity of food” under the direction of Johanna Dwyer and Matt Kramer. She conducted two related experiments to show that expectations influence perceptions of hunger and satiety.

The first-place Dean’s Thesis Prize for the outstanding A.L.M. thesis in the social sciences goes to Joanne Markow, graduate in anthropology and archaeology. Markow’s thesis, “Harmonic Systems of Production in Classic Maya Cylinder Vase Painting,” hypothesizes that rules of proportion common to other cultures govern the compositional layout of the Classic Maya cylinder vases. The thesis director, William Fash, Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology, judged her thesis an “absolutely superb work of scholarship.” Tied for second place are Daniel Friedlander and Linda Hime Newberry, graduates in history. Friedlander’s thesis, “The Propylaea of Paris: Revolutionary Architecture Before the French Revolution,” investigates the paradoxes inherent in the French monarchy’s building of a customs wall around Paris in the 1780s to increase revenue. The thesis director, Patrice Higonnet, Robert Walton Goelet Professor of French History, wrote: “It was an excellent piece of work, well conceived and very well written, a true labor of love.” Newberry’s thesis, “The Fruit of Her Hands: Baltimore Album Quilts as Manifestation of Early 19th Century American Patriotism,” examines the development of the Baltimore Album style of quilting relative to the developing sense of American nationalism in the early 19th century, and its demise as a result of the conflicts that would erupt into the Civil War. The thesis director, John Stilgoe, Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape Development, wrote: “This superb thesis proves itself to be solid documentation of the hypothesis that intense analysis of material-culture objects illuminates known historical themes and reveals others.”

The Dean’s Prize for the outstanding thesis in the humanities goes to Elise Madeleine Ciregna, concentrator in the history of art and architecture, whose thesis, “Museum in the Garden: Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Development of American Sculpture, 1825-1875.” Her thesis was directed by Stilgoe, who praised her work as “one of the finest theses I have read … and a genuinely original contribution to the still-emerging field of art history welded to material-culture and visual-culture studies.”

The Dean’s Thesis Prize in the natural sciences goes to Michelle Lynn Condlin for her work titled, “The Effects of Vitamins C and E Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response and Muscle Soreness After Eccentric Induced Muscle Damage.” Her director, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology Joseph Paulauskis, wrote that she “did an outstanding job on the initial design of these studies. … The laboratory component … was quite extensive and Michelle deserves special recognition.”

Santo J. Aurelio Prize

Santo Joseph Aurelio, A.L.B. ’83, A.L.M. ’85, received his first two degrees at the Extension School after age 50, and went on to earn a doctorate and enter a new profession, college teaching, after a career of more than 35 years as an official court stenographer for the Massachusetts Superior Court. The prize recognizes academic achievement and character for undergraduate degree recipients over 50 years of age.

This year’s recipient, Kenneth Lane Stewart, A.L.B. cum laude (a June 6th graduate) has enjoyed an eclectic mix of careers – cab driver, short-order cook, folk singer, juggler, clown, street- and international-theater performer – before coming to the Extension School in 1993 at his wife Kellie’s urging. Nine years later, Stewart, a stay-at-home dad, is earning his A.L.B., with a concentration in literature and a 3.79 cumulative GPA.

Derek Bok Public Service Prize

The Derek Bok Public Service Prize honors the commitment of former President Bok to adult continuing education and to effective advocacy of community-service activities. It is awarded annually to degree and certificate recipients at the Extension School who, while pursuing academic studies and professional careers, also give generously of their time and skill to improve the quality of life for others in the larger community.

Certificate of Special Studies (C.S.S.) in Administration and Management program graduate Stephen Gendron has served his community of Lowell in a number of ways. He has served as a city councilor, as a member of the board of trustees of the Lowell Library, and as founder of the Spindle City Corps, an organization that encourages the youth of Lowell to contribute to community-service projects.

Michael Francis Maltese, A.L.B. cum laude (a March 19th graduate), made a difference in his academic community by volunteering his time and computer talents to critical applied research projects with extraordinary scholars. Maltese spent countless hours scouring libraries and the Internet for answers to the many questions posed to, a Web site co-founded by Henry Louis Gates Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, that disseminates educational information and news about the black world. In addition, he worked with Habib Ladjevardi, director of the Harvard Iranian Oral History Project, on a volunteer basis to bring audiotapes and English and Persian transcripts from major Iranian public figures to the Internet, enabling scholars from around the world to access this primary resource. By giving his time and talents to these projects, Maltese made a positive contribution to the local, national, and international research community.

Annamae and Allan R. Crite Prize

Established by the Harvard Extension School and the Harvard Extension Alumni Association in honor of Annamae Crite, who for more than a half century faithfully attended Extension courses, and her son, Allan R. Crite, A.B. ’68, who is widely recognized as the dean of African-American artists in the Greater Boston area, these prizes are awarded to Extension School degree recipients who demonstrate “singular dedication to learning and the arts.”

The first Crite Prize is awarded to Thomas Pier Mancuso, concentrator in classical civilizations. Directed by David Gordon Mitten, James Loeb Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology, Mancuso’s thesis, “The Use of Negative Space in Attic Vase Painting: 1050 B.C. to 300 B.C.,” explores the complex subject of how to define and evaluate the aesthetic effects of negative space in more than 40 examples of Athenian vases. Mitten wrote, “[Mancuso] sets this theme within a broad historical and theoretical context, making it relevant to all art historians. He could well transform the thesis into a valuable book, because nothing dealing with negative space in Greek painting has been published.”

Two graduates share the second Crite Prize for their theses. Nini Fung Yip Wong, concentrator in English and American literature and language, wrote “The Role of Rhyme in the Prose of Virginia Woolf,” a study of four varieties of rhyme frequently deployed by Woolf both to heighten the sensate aspects of her language and to convey impressions and sensations bearing on her characters and their surroundings. Wong’s thesis director, Douglas Mao, assistant professor of English and American literature and language, wrote: “[Virginia Woolf] would undoubtedly be pleased by this sensitive, fiercely intelligent, delicately exact tribute. Wong is to be congratulated for producing a work of great vitality and beauty, and for contributing to the field of Woolf scholarship a study of the very highest quality and significance.”

Diciembre Aguilar, concentrator in studio arts, film, and photography, shares the second-place Crite Prize. Her thesis, “Renaissance Perception of Color in Painting from the Perspective of 20th Century Physiological Science,” employs contemporary color theory to explore the apparently intuitive understanding of Renaissance painters of the enduring physical, psychological, and aesthetic effects that certain colors produce. John Stilgoe, the Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape Development, directed the thesis and praised it as “a genuine master’s thesis, since it demonstrates a mastery of art history – and puts that mastery into a context of … the scientific field of cognitive science and anthropology.”

Reginald H. Phelps Prize

The Reginald H. Phelps Prize Fund was established by Edgar Grossman, A.B. ’66, founder and first president of the Extension Alumni Association and the first Extension representative to the Associated Harvard Alumni, for prizes for Extension baccalaureate degree recipients. This year there is a tie for the first-place Phelps Prize.

Deborah Leigh Fairchild, a social science concentrator, is graduating with a 3.94 GPA. Fairchild began her undergraduate academic career 34 years ago at the University of Colorado and Barnard College. She is the director of finance in the Office of the Dean for Student Life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), and plans to continue her education at the Extension School to earn a master of liberal arts degree.

Trey L. Thomas, a computer science concentrator, is also graduating at the top of the class with a 3.94 GPA. Thomas is the founder of Pembridge Group LP, a successful private investment firm, and an A.M.P. graduate of the Harvard Business School. He took a sabbatical to experience an academic challenge in the liberal arts to match his business accomplishments. Thomas has been accepted to M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management.

Robert Matthews is graduating with the second-highest GPA: 3.93. A history of art and architecture concentrator, he has dedicated his professional life to caring for others as a home hospice clinician and an advocate for persons with disabilities. Matthews has been accepted to the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Master of Arts and Education program.

There is also a tie for the third-place Phelps Prize. Lisa Barca is graduating with a GPA of 3.89. Barca, an Italian studies concentrator, is a teacher of English language and Italian language and literature. She has been accepted to the University Chicago’s Ph.D. program in Italian Literature.

Audrey Huff, a library assistant at Widener, is also graduating with a 3.89 GPA. An English and American literature and language concentrator, Huff completed six literature courses through the GSAS as a Special Studies student. She plans to apply to graduate programs in English and then library science to pursue a career in acquisitions.

Thomas Small Prize

Thomas Small was born in Lithuania, came to the United States in 1900 and earned a bachelor in business administration degree from Boston University in 1918. He retired from business in 1965 and that year enrolled in the Extension School. In 1983, at age 89, he received his A.L.M. degree, thereby becoming the oldest earned-graduate-degree recipient in the history of Harvard University. The Thomas Small Prize was established by his family and friends to honor this achievement. This prize is awarded annually to outstanding A.L.M. degree recipients on the basis of “academic achievement and character.”

In recognition of her outstanding academic performance, Leslie Goodwill-Cohen is awarded the Thomas Small Prize. In addition to her outstanding classroom performance, Goodwill-Cohen independently studied space syntax analysis, a detailed statistical approach to understanding architectural remains, and used this method to promote understanding of the function of Prudden units in the Pueblo community for her A.L.M. thesis, which was described by director Professor William Fash as “sophisticated analysis.”

Scott Lundgren, the winner of the second Thomas Small Prize, achieved a stellar academic record as a natural sciences concentrator and wrote an honors thesis on “Correlation of Porewater Factors with Phragmites Australis Vigor in a New England Salt Marsh.” Lundgren completed his bachelor of science in biology and environmental science summa cum laude from Tufts University in 1992.

The Phyllis Strimling Award

The Phyllis Strimling Award recognizes the character and achievement of a C.S.S. graduate who has used or is preparing to use the C.S.S. experience for the advancement of women and society. The 2002 recipient of this award is Heather Wynne, officer of the Annual Fund at the Radcliffe Institute. A 1996 graduate of Trinity College, Wynne joined the Radcliffe Institute in 1999, after working in fundraising at WGBH and Trinity College.

Judith Wood Memorial Prize

The Judith Wood Memorial Prize honors students who, while completing courses at the Extension School, face the challenges of a disability. Awarded from an income fund established by the family and friends of the late Judith Wood, who, though born with cystic fibrosis and beset with diabetes and blindness, took Extension School courses as long as she was able, and inspired many other students with her courage and fortitude. The Wood Prize honors those who travel a singularly difficult pathway in an academic setting. This year, two students will receive the Judith Wood Memorial Prize at a ceremony later this summer.

Amit Malkani is a candidate for the master of liberal arts degree with a concentration in the history of science. Nicolle Spence is a candidate in the Certificate in Public Health program.

Katie Y.F. Yang Prize

Named for a 1990 graduate of the C.S.S. program, the Katie Y.F. Yang Prize is awarded annually to the international graduate of the program with the most outstanding academic record. This year, two students compiled identical academic records of seven A’s and one A-minus. Christina Hoefler of Germany and Tuba Yesilakaya of Turkey will each receive the Yang Prize at the Extension School’s certificate-awarding ceremony.

The Carmen S. Bonanno Award

Established in 1990 by the family of Carmen S. Bonanno, who studied languages at the Extension School more than 60 years ago, this award recognizes excellence in foreign-language instruction. This year’s Bonanno Prize winner, Kathryn Ann Chadbourne, proposed teaching elementary modern Irish in the Extension School in 1999, and her students have stayed with her through intermediate and advanced courses, saying “her encouragement and passion for the Irish language is infectious.”

James E. Conway Excellence in Teaching Writing Award

Nora L. Cameron is the recipient of the James E. Conway Excellence in Teaching Writing Award. Cameron is assistant director of promotions and publications at the Harvard Division of Continuing Education, and has taught desktop publishing since 1996. Her students consistently praise her for her enthusiasm for and knowledge of her subject, as well as for her patience and organization. As one student wrote: “I am finishing this class with confidence that I have a thorough command of the major aspects of desktop publishing.”

Jo Anne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award

This year’s recipient of the Jo Anne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes exceptional teaching in C.S.S., is Harold Langlois, who joined the C.S.S. program in 1994. His two popular courses, “The Challenge of Team Management” and “Dealing with Change in Organizations,” are consistently among the most highly rated courses in the Harvard Extension School.

Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award

Established by the Harvard Extension School in memory of Petra T. Shattuck, a distinguished and dedicated teacher in the program who died of a cerebral hemorrhage in the spring of 1988, these prizes are awarded annually to honor outstanding teaching in the Extension program. This year, the three recipients are Mary Crawford-Volk, Benjamin W. Fortson IV, and Scott E. Lukas.

Mary Crawford-Volk’s courses on Spanish art, John Singer Sargent, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are described as “delightful, insightful, wonderful subjects taught flawlessly.” Starting with her “El Greco to Picasso” course in 1987, Crawford-Volk has facilitated the museum visits of hundreds of Extension students.

Students praise Benjamin W. Fortson IV for his accessibility and his engaging presentations. Fortson, who is described as “always available to answer questions” and always willing to advise bachelor of liberal arts students, began teaching “Introduction to Linguistics,” “Historical Linguistics,” and “Indo-European Language and Culture” in 1996.

Scott E. Lukas also began teaching in 1996, and his “Research Methods Proseminar” and “Psychopharmacology of Drug and Alcohol Abuse” courses earn praise from students. “His interest in his students,” said one, “ensuring that we each get the most possible out of the course – academically and for our careers – is outstanding.”