Campus & Community

Faculty, students honored for improving intercultural relations

3 min read

The Harvard Foundation presented its 2008 Faculty/Administrator Award to Benedict H. Gross, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Mathematics, at its annual Harvard Foundation Student/Faculty Awards dinner in Quincy House on May 4. A former dean of Harvard College, Gross was recognized for his enthusiastic support of the Harvard Foundation and its mission to improve intercultural and racial understanding at Harvard.

“Dick Gross and I have worked to improve intercultural relations since we were both resident tutors at Radcliffe in the ’70s,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “He is a remarkable man who has throughout his life reached out to persons of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds with genuine interest and friendship. An excellent teacher, a compassionate and thoughtful leader, he was a superb dean of Harvard College who demonstrated in many ways his commitment to the Harvard Foundation and its mission. The students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation are proud to recognize and honor the contributions and fine example of Professor Benedict Gross.”

Additionally, more than 40 students were given Harvard Foundation Leadership Awards at the ceremony and dinner (which is named in memory of David S. Aloian, former Quincy House master). Faculty, administrators, and House masters nominated the student award recipients, who were then chosen by the faculty and student advisory committee of the Harvard Foundation for their contributions to the intercultural life of Harvard College.

Students who have shown a commitment to improving intercultural life at the College during the entire course of their undergraduate years received the Distinguished Senior Award for Excellence in Leadership. The award went to the following members of the class of 2008: Muriel Payan, Simi Bhat, Marisol Pineda-Conde, Armen Yerevanian, Theresa Cheng, Beatrice Viramontes, Ofole Mgbako, and Marcus Miller.

The 2008 Harvard Foundation awards for notable contributions to intercultural and race relations were given to students who have displayed a sustained effort to improving racial harmony at Harvard College. Recipients included Layusa Isa-Odidi ’09, Matt Clair ’09, Nworah Ayogu ’10, Matt Bresnahan ’09, Petros Egziabher ’09, Elizabeth Eve ’10, Louizza Martinez ’09, Jackie Hairston ’10, Amanda Mangaser ’10, Richie Serna ’10, Lumumba Seegars ’09, Kelsey Leonard ’10, Julie Ann Crommet ’08, Sarah Lockridge-Steckel ’09, Rauda Tellawi ’08, Chaz Beasley ’08, Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey ’08, Anjelica Kelly ’09, Ralph Bouquet ’09, Ola Aljawhary ’09, Michelle Oboite ’08, Susan Yao ’09, Zeba Syed ’09, and Seth Flaxman ’08.

The foundation also recognized undergraduates, mostly freshmen and sophomores, who have begun to make notable contributions to the intercultural life at Harvard College, with a certificate of recognition. These recipients include freshmen Lizzy Eze, Sara Zaidi, Kevin Liu, and Elise Liu; sophomores Giselle Cheung, Jackie Hsieh, Benjamin Wu, Raul Carrillo, Rebecca Gillette, and Jarell Lee; and juniors Yonit Lavin, Diana Robles, and Sabrina Zearott.

Graduate students who served as designated House Race Relations Advisers were also recognized, including Jennifer Kan of Dunster House, Saritha Tice of Mather House, and Jessica Welburn of Currier House.

Beatrice Viramontes ’08 was honored with the Director’s Award, which is given to a student judged to have done the most during his/her undergraduate career to unite the Harvard community through intercultural and multiethnic activities. Seniors Simi Bhat and Marisol Pineda-Conde were selected by fellow students to be honored with the Peer Recognition Award.