The Harvard Extension School has announced the following student prize and faculty award winners for 2008.
Commencement Speaker Prize
The Commencement Speaker Prize is awarded at two of the three Harvard Extension School June graduation ceremonies. Winners Leilani Sevilla A.L.B., cum laude, will deliver the Commencement address “Eye Sights and Worth, Redefined” at the undergraduate/graduate ceremony, and Todd Fawcett A.L.M., a concentrator in psychology, will deliver his speech, “Personal Transformations,” at the graduate ceremony. Jonathan Abbot, president and CEO of WGBH Educational Foundation, will deliver the main address at the graduate management degree/certificate ceremony.
Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis recognizes the thesis that embodies the highest level of imaginative scholarship in each of the disciplines of the Harvard Extension School’s master’s degree programs.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in the Behavioral Sciences is awarded to Martha Lagace, concentrator in anthropology and archaeology, for her thesis “Stealing Clothes, Inciting Murder: Rwandan Women and Their Fatal Alliances During the 1994 Genocide.” Lagace investigated the ways that women both actively and passively participated in the Rwandan Genocide, interviewing accused perpetrators, witnesses, and members of nongovernmental organizations with firsthand knowledge of the atrocities, and searching diligently for corroborating documentation both in the United States and in Kigali. Thesis director Jens Meierhenrich, assistant professor of government and social studies at Harvard wrote, “Ms. Lagace contributed important new insights to our understanding of this underresearched phenomenon.” Meierhenrich was particularly impressed by her “tenacious search for, and interpretation of, little known or forgotten historical and anthropological sources that shed light on gender relations in decades prior to the events of 1994.” As further evidence of Meierhenrich’s high regard for the level of Lagace’s scholarship, he has invited her to accompany him to Rwanda along with several other students this summer, to assist in his ongoing research. Lagace, who received her B.A. from Simmons College, is employed by the Harvard Business School as the senior editor of Working Knowledge.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in the Biological Sciences is awarded to Rosemary Balfour for her thesis, “Temperature Shifts and Habitat Modification Impact the Population of Terrestrial Birds Wintering in Inland Massachusetts.” The thesis investigates the impact of the increasing average winter temperatures and habitat modification on winter populations of terrestrial birds in Massachusetts, based on the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data recorded annually by volunteers for the National Audubon Society. She found that the increasing numbers of winter populations of southern species in Massachusetts are occurring in response to a complex interaction of factors that include climate change, habitat modification, and supplementary food resources. Her work was done as a joint venture between the Harvard Forest and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. David Foster, director of the Harvard Forest and Balfour’s thesis director called her work “superb” for the extraordinary amount of data analysis and interpretation that it contains, stating that it represents an original contribution to the field that should be prepared for publication. Balfour earned a B.S. in biological sciences, with honors, from the University of Stirling, Scotland. After coming to the United States, she worked as a laboratory technician in the biotech industry and later in management at Genzyme Corp., designing and implementing clinical trials for studies on gene therapy. After a long career in the corporate world of science and technology, Balfour became a student once more and was able to pursue her lifelong interest in animal behavior and ecology through the A.L.M. program.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in Biotechnology is awarded to Beverly Neugeboren whose thesis, “Demonstrating the Fitness Costs of Generosity in the Budding Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae,” uses a simple model organism, yeast, to explore a complex biological problem: how cooperation evolves by natural selection. Her thesis director, Andrew Murray, Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Genetics in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard, stated, “This is an original, meticulous, and thoughtfully written thesis. Ms. Neugeboren has taken the time to master and critically evaluate a large body of literature and then executed a demanding strategy to make the complicated strains needed to complete a series of rigorous and demanding experiments.” Neugeboren received her A.L.B. degree from Harvard Extension School in 2000. She graduates with a GPA of 3.81 and will continue her work with Murray as the manager of his lab.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in Educational Technologies is awarded to Denise Gray for her thesis titled “A Model for a Student Technology Assistant Program (STAP) in Higher Education.” Gray, a SUNY Fredonia graduate, currently works at Harvard Law School as an instructional Web developer/analyst. Her thesis adviser, Kenneth Martin, acting director of technology support services at Harvard Law School, comments, “By examining the Harvard University Presidential Instructional Technology Fellows program (PITF) through an organizational lens, the thesis serves as the first research-based effort to better understand the accomplishments of this successful program. Aside from providing a theoretical foundation to the program, Ms. Gray’s research will assist future development of the PITF program at FAS.” The thesis’ specific recommendations have been reviewed and currently are being implemented by Harvard’s Instructional Computing Group (ICG).
Catalina Laserna, director of the A.L.M. in Educational Technologies program, adds, “While in practice the PITF program has been well received by Harvard faculty, Denise’s research goes beyond the successful practice to ask: How does it work in theory? The formal model Denise proposes is generic enough for use by other institutions of higher education to build upon.”
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in Environmental Management is awarded to Patrick Hegarty for his thesis titled “Ecosystem Response to the Invasive Ascidian, Didemnum sp. in Long Island Sound.” Hegarty’s research showed that the nonendemic species of Didemnum (Tunicate/sea squirt) causes greatly reduced biodiversity as it covers existing surfaces in temperate Western North Atlantic coastal waters, smothering or preventing larval settlement and growth of other species of marine invertebrates. His thesis director, Gerald Crabtree of PhytoCeutica Inc., wrote, “Mr. Hegarty’s extensive field, laboratory, and reference work have provided a detailed analysis of this organism which has the potential to cause ecological mayhem in Long Island Sound and elsewhere.” Hegarty holds a B.A. in history from the University of Connecticut, and is preparing to apply to area doctoral programs in environmental studies.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in the Humanities is shared by Janet Holladay, concentrator in women’s studies, and Sarah Powell, concentrator in dramatic arts.
Holladay’s thesis, “Right Relationships: Inter-Responsiveness of Nature and Humankind Seen in the Work of Nature Writers Annie Dillard, Helen Hoover, and Sally Carrighar,” poses a question that is both philosophical and theological: how can individuals foster a friendlier universe by redefining their relations with others, both human and nonhuman, so that they are grounded in mutuality and egalitarianism? The three women writers named in her title chronicle their personal experiences in nature and embody three stages of transformation in the conception of self in relation to others. The theological method of Gordon Kaufman, Mallinckrodt Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Harvard — and the director of the thesis — provides the framework for examining this constructive re-visioning of relationships within the world. Kaufman described the work as “a truly brilliant paper on humanity’s situation in nature” and a “highly original piece of thinking and writing. … It is only very rarely that I have seen such a subtle probing employment of theological concepts. … I hope this thesis can be published in the near future as a small book.” Holladay holds a B.A in art history from Smith College and an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School. She graduates with a GPA of 3.84.
Powell’s thesis is titled “Subversion and (Un)containment: Homoeroticism in the Plays of William Shakespeare.” It begins by questioning the theory of Stephen Greenblatt, Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard, that subversive elements within the plays of Shakespeare are ultimately “contained” by play’s end and the normal order of things restored. Powell argues that one subversive element, homosexual or homoerotic relations, is not only uncontained in several of the early comedies but actually leads to the social advancement of the subversive characters, proving what a risk-taker Shakespeare could be. However, in the later tragedies and history plays, the homosexual characters are shut down, when heterosexual marriage and the natural links in the great chain of being are threatened. Greenblatt directed the thesis and stated that he was “deeply impressed” by Powell’s work both for “mak[ing] it even clearer that Shakespeare constructed his explorations of human desire in relation to the overwhelming social obligation to produce offspring in communally legitimized couples” and for demonstrating the range of “counter-desires to which Shakespeare was intensely sensitive.” Powell is a magna cum laude graduate of Davidson College, with a B.A. in German and international studies, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She studied German at Julius Maximilian University and has earned graduate certificates in teaching, TESL, and Shakespeare from the University of Brighton (U.K.), Appalachian State University, and the University of Cambridge (U.K.). She works as an academic adviser and admissions coordinator in the A.L.M. office at the Harvard Extension School and graduates with a 3.86 GPA.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in Information Technology is awarded to John Andrew Sipple for his thesis “Freeview3D: A Point-Based, 3D Video Application with Image-Based Rendering.” Sipple researched three-dimensional video-based rendering, which is the creation of an authentic 3-D computer graphics model of a dynamic real-world scene, captured with multiple synchronized video cameras.
According to his thesis director, Hanspeter Pfister, professor of the practice at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and director of visual computing at Harvard’s Initiative in Innovative Computing, “Applications for this technology are numerous: i.e., in interactive television (freely choosing the perspective on sport scenes) and computer games (inexpensive modeling of realistic human characters).” He regards Sipple’s work as absolutely exceptional, because it encompasses difficult problems in computer graphics, video compression, and signal processing, and Sipple successfully solved them to build a working system. Sipple, who earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota, is employed as a U.S. Army Signal Corps officer.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in Mathematics for Teaching is awarded to Deborah Tully for her thesis, “The Effects of Single Gender Mathematics Classrooms on Self-Perception of Mathematical Ability and Post Secondary Curricular Paths: An Australian Case Study.” Tully’s thesis director, Bret Benesh, preceptor in the Department of Mathematics at Harvard, writes, “Debbie’s thesis is remarkable. It goes so far beyond the requirements of a thesis that I believe it will be published in a quality journal on mathematics education. While this thesis does not solve the problem of why women are underrepresented in mathematics today, it gives a rather sizable datapoint about the role single-gender education may play in the future. This is important research.” Benesh also commented on the remarkable process Tully undertook during the thesis writing process including flying to Australia (because a large number of single-gender schools are located there) to conduct interviews and administer surveys, and teaching herself statistics to determine the quality of the data. Tully holds a B.S. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and teaches mathematics at Newton Country Day School.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in Museum Studies is awarded to Sara Wiepking for her thesis titled “Art Museum Multiple-Visit Programs: Addressing Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of the No Child Left Behind Act.” Her thesis director, independent museum consultant Marion Wingfield, noted that “Sara’s thesis is highly original, an important contribution to the field of museum studies, and exceptionally well-written. She began with a hypothesis that multiple visit field trips were more effective in terms of learning outcomes than the far more typical single-visit field trip, and set about investigating whether or not this was true. The research … effectively validates her hypothesis.” Wiepking holds a B.F.A. in studio art from the University of Denver. She worked in the Denver Art Museum’s education department before moving to Cambridge to pursue her museum studies degree.
The Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in the Social Sciences is awarded to Steven Flanders, concentrator in history, for his thesis, “The Townscape: Consensus, Conflict, and Narrative in the Late Nineteenth-Century Town Histories of Central New England.” His thesis analyzes the testimony of these town histories as evidence for the “vanished civilizations” of post-Civil War New England, and finds that the town histories provide “a different point of view to the more general debates of the period concerning industrialization and the nation’s progress toward greater degrees of political centralization.” Thesis director John Stilgoe, Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape Development at Harvard, writes that it is “[o]ne of the finest theses I have ever encountered” and “a masterpiece of dogged, detailed, and sometimes serendipitous research coupled with the most self-disciplined analytical and compositional efforts.” He commends the thesis for its “mastery of both its immediate material and of U.S. history,” and states that he has rarely found “such contextual mastery in the work of Ph.D. students.” Stilgoe declares that Flanders “is now far and away the preeminent scholar working on New England town histories” and that he “is well on his way to being a major-league historian of New England rural matters and modernization.” He has encouraged Flanders to publish his work as a book. Flanders holds a B.A. in history from St. Lawrence University, an M.A. in history from Syracuse University, and an M.B.A. in economics from Cornell University.
The Santo J. Aurelio Prize
Santo Joseph Aurelio A.L.B. ’83, A.L.M. ’85 received his first two degrees at the Harvard 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 reporter for the Massachusetts Superior Court. The prize recognizes academic achievement and character for undergraduate degree recipients who are 50 or older.
Ann Marie Bender A.L.B., cum laude, is 52 and graduating with a 3.82 cumulative GPA, which represents the top 5 percent of A.L.B. graduates. Bender began her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in 1974. Since 2002 she has diligently worked toward her degree at the Harvard Extension School while working full time as a senior claim manager. Now, nearly 35 years later, she is earning her undergraduate degree with a concentration in social sciences that represents an eclectic array of courses in psychology, environmental management, history, and legal studies.
The Derek Bok Public Service Prize
This prize honors the commitment of former president Derek Bok to adult continuing education and to effective advocacy of community service activities. It is awarded annually to Harvard Extension School graduates, who, while pursuing academic studies and professional careers, also gave generously of their time and skill to improve the quality of life for others. This year the Extension School awards Derek Bok Public Service Prizes to the following students:
Roberto Guerra, Certificate in Management (C.M.), a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC), has been an avid community volunteer. He has served food to elderly and bedridden veterans at the Boston VA Hospital, organized cadets to sort food for the Greater Boston Food Bank, provided care packages to deployed military personnel, and organized cleanup activities along the Charles River, among other activities. One of his superior officers has called Guerra “a model for our younger cadets.”
Pierce Durkin A.L.B., entered Harvard Extension School in 2000 and has persevered for eight years to attain his goal of earning his bachelor’s degree. In addition to managing the demands of his full-time career, his undergraduate studies in government, and the untimely death of his sister, Army National Guard soldier Ciara Durkin who was killed while stationed in Afghanistan, Pierce has been for the past five years an active volunteer on the Boston Pride Committee, a nonprofit organization that works to enhance the visibility of New England’s LGBT community through events to promote awareness, dignity, and understanding.
The Phyllis Strimling Award
This award recognizes the character and achievement of a management program graduate who has used or is preparing to use the management experience for the advancement of women in society.
This year’s Strimling Award recipient is Jacqueline Mordi C.M., a citizen of Nigeria, who is interested in the empowerment of African women. She worked from 1995 to 2002 as a teacher of business, computer science, and ethics at Lagoon Secondary School, a high school for girls in Nigeria founded by the nonprofit National Association for Women’s Advancement. One of her students wrote, “She encouraged us to look beyond the prescribed role for African women to forge our own goals of what we wanted our society to look like in the future.” Now located permanently in the United States, Mordi plans to work for the empowerment of African women in this country.
The 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 School courses, and her son, Allan R. Crite A.B.E. ’68, who was widely recognized as the dean of African-American artists in the Greater Boston area, this prize is awarded to Extension School degree recipients who demonstrate “singular dedication to learning and the arts.”
The recipient of the first Crite Prize is Katherine Paige Farrington, concentrator in history. Her thesis, “Seeing Ghosts in Late Eighteenth-Century China in Luo Pin’s 1766 Guiqu tu (Ghost Realm Amusements) Scroll,” focuses on what is arguably the single most important pictorial scroll of 18th century China, depicting eight scenes of ghosts and a medley of characters whose meaning has been widely debated by art historians. Her thesis director, Eugene Wang, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art at Harvard, states, “Farrington’s accomplishment is close to a miracle. Her decision to take on this scroll as her thesis topic at the outset may strike the skeptics as unrealistic. … Any in-depth study requires access to Chinese language sources for sure. Further, very little of the artist’s writing … has been translated into English. With deep respect for voices from other cultures, Farrington took on the daunting task of learning Chinese. Taking courses and working closely with a private tutor, she has managed to translate the artist’s treatise on his convictions about the workings of the cosmos, a key document that sheds abundant light on the scroll. Attaching the translated text to her thesis makes it solidly substantial. She has made it possible for future English-language readers unable to read Chinese to access this important text.” Farrington holds an A.B. in Asian studies, cum laude, from Bowdoin College. After working as a faculty assistant at Harvard Law School for several years while taking her A.L.M. classes, she simultaneously matriculated in the Art Institute of Boston where she will soon complete an M.F.A. in installation art.
The second Crite Prize goes to Siobhan Wheeler, A.L.M. concentrator in history of art and architecture, who graduates with a GPA of 3.56. Her thesis, titled “The Art of Reform: Sarah Wyman Whitman and the Art of Stained Glass Design and the Development of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Boston,” recovers the life and work of an important 19th century painter and stained glass maker, Sarah Wyman Whitman, who was a disciple of John Ruskin and a promoter of the idea of social reform through the nobility of art. Wheeler’s thesis director, John Stilgoe, Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape at Harvard, praised the study as cogently and gracefully “pivot[ing] around several at first seemingly unrelated themes: social reform through the reform of art, Whitman’s growth as an artist to a level equal to that of her male counterparts, and the nuanced changes in stained-glass craftsmanship towards the end of the 19th century. The thesis evidences some of the best descriptive writing about individual windows I have encountered anywhere. But … its author accomplishes something far more valuable by demonstrating that the changes in Whitman’s work must be understood against innovations in stained-glass making itself.” “In a way,” he states, with its superb union of “argument, context, and visual detail, this thesis is as well conceived as Whitman’s windows.” Wheeler holds a B.A. in art history from Providence College and a Certificate in Museum Studies from the Harvard Extension School. She is employed as a research associate at the Vose Galleries in Boston.
The Reginald H. Phelps Prize
The Reginald H. Phelps Prize Fund was established by Edgar Grossman A.B.E ’66, founder and first president of the Harvard Extension Alumni Association, and is awarded annually to outstanding bachelor’s degree recipients in honor of a former director of the Extension School. Recipients are chosen on the basis of “academic achievement and character.”
The first Phelps Prize is awarded to Samuel DiBattista A.L.B., cum laude, a computer science concentrator who is graduating at the top of his class with a 3.91 GPA. A musician and band member, he began his undergraduate career at the University of Massachusetts in 1988, and then graduated from Quincy College summa cum laude in 2002. DiBattista, who works full time as a programmer analyst, has immediate plans to attain industry certifications to remain at the forefront of technology. Future plans include graduate studies in computer science as well as one day starting a technology company.
Katrina Ellen Sylor A.L.B., cum laude, the second-place Phelps recipient, is graduating with a 3.88 GPA. Sylor, whose father is a network engineer, grew up playing with computers. With this interest, she began her undergraduate career at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and then University of New Hampshire. Now 13 years later, she is earning her undergraduate degree in computer science with a minor in anthropology and archaeology. Saylor, a former Harvard employee with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has plans to combine her computer expertise with her intellectual interest in anthropology to work as an interactive museum exhibit designer.
The third-place Phelps Prize goes to John Matthew Axten A.L.B., cum laude. Axten, who attended Concord Academy and St. John’s College, has been a full-time student at the Harvard Extension School concentrating in English and American literature and language with a minor in classical languages of Latin and Greek. Completing all of his course work at the Extension School, he was accepted as a special student through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and completed six Harvard College courses, all with high honors grades, in his discipline of English. As a capstone experience, he completed an undergraduate reading and research project on Milton’s “Paradise Lost” with Sacvan Bercovitch, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature Emeritus, which he plans to submit for publication. Axten will apply to Ph.D. programs in English in the fall.
The Thomas Small Prize
Thomas Small came to the United States in 1900 and earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Boston University in 1918. He retired from business in 1965 and that year enrolled at Harvard Extension. 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 singular achievement, and is awarded annually on the basis of “academic achievement and character” to outstanding master of liberal arts degree recipients.
Two graduates share the Thomas Small Prize this year, both with a perfect GPA of 4.0.
Angela Chung graduates with a concentration in foreign literature, language, and culture. Her thesis, “That Vertiginous Feeling: A Brief Survey of the Uncanny-Marvelous or the Marvelous-Uncanny in ‘Fantastic’ Literature,” challenges the theories of Tzvetan Todorov and argues that his understanding of the “uncanny” and the “marvelous” was limited in scope because he viewed these concepts as fixed in time, when in fact they changed with historical and cultural consciousness. Furthermore, because Todorov considered these concepts as static, his contention that “fantastic” texts could not exist after the 19th century is also shown to be incorrect through a series of readings of 20th century texts that are analyzed according to Todorov’s criteria for the “fantastic.” Chung’s thesis director, Panagiotis Roilos, professor of modern Greek studies and of comparative literature at Harvard, praised her thesis as a “completely original” study. Chung grew up in Hong Kong and Australia. She earned an LL.B. from Bond University in Queensland and practiced law in Hong Kong for several years before coming to Boston. She has been admitted with full funding to the Ph.D. program in comparative literature at the University of California, Riverside.
Suzanne Koven receives her A.L.M. degree with a concentration in literature and creative writing. Her thesis, titled “‘Memoirs of Parents’ and ‘Unveiling,’” is composed of two parts: an investigation of the emerging subgenre of the literary memoir about a mother or father, and an original memoir by Koven of her own father. Part one examines memoirs by Philip Roth, Richard Selzer, Vivian Gornick, Blake Morrison, Paul Auster, and Donald Antrim and considers their diverse perspectives towards the parent-subject, as well as the pacing of their narratives and the revelation of undisclosed facts. Part two is a moving story of Koven’s father and her gradual understanding of the many facets of his life and personality. Its title, “Unveiling,” refers both to the Jewish ritual of uncovering a deceased relative’s gravestone a year after his or her death and to Koven’s uncovering of certain mysteries about her father in the year after his death. Her thesis director, Sven Birkerts, Briggs Copeland Lecturer on English and American Literature and Language at Harvard, commends Koven’s thesis for its elegant writing and deeply felt but controlled narrative. Koven graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in English. She earned her M.D. at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She practices internal medicine with a special interest in weight issues at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and teaches at Harvard Medical School.
The Harold V. Langlois Outstanding Scholar Award
This award recognizes a C.M./master’s in management (A.L.M.M.) graduate who has demonstrated exceptional academic accomplishment and promise as a manager.
This year’s recipient, Ana Carolina de Aguiar A.L.M.M., has worked as an intern in marketing for Bunge and Unilever, and as a product manager for Natura Cosmeticos, all located in her native Brazil. She holds a B.S. in business administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas.
The Katie Y.F. Yang Prize
This prize, named for a 1990 certificate in management graduate, recognizes the initiative, character, and academic achievement of an outstanding international student in the C.M./A.L.M.M. programs.
This year’s recipient, Maria Sampaio A.L.M.M., holds a B.A. in business administration from Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado. Her work experience includes positions as a credit analyst in DuPont and ABN AMRO Bank, both in her native Brazil.
Extension School Faculty Awards
The Carmen S. Bonanno Award
Established in 1990 by the family and friends of Carmen S. Bonanno, who studied a foreign language in the Harvard Extension School many years ago, this award recognizes excellence in foreign language instruction.
Sylvia Zetterstrand is this year’s recipient. She has taught elementary and intermediate Spanish courses to students in Harvard College, Harvard Summer School, and, since 1995, at Harvard Extension School. Her student evaluations are consistently among the highest of all Extension School instructors. One student wrote: “Engaging, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, organized, encouraging. As an instructor she has no weaknesses.” She holds an A.M. and Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard University.
James E. Conway Excellence in Teaching Writing Award
Established in 1991 by James E. Conway A.L.B. ’85, this award recognizes excellence in the teaching of writing at the Harvard Extension School.
This year’s recipient is Christina Thompson, editor of the Harvard Review and author of the forthcoming book “Come Ashore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story.” Thompson has been teaching at the Division of Continuing Education since 2001. Her students praise her for her ability to establish a “vibrant classroom culture,” her intellectual rigor, and her “profound knowledge of the subject.” She currently teaches creative nonfiction in the Harvard Summer School and “Principles of Editing,” one of the core courses in the Extension School’s Certificate in Publishing and Communications program, a program for which she also serves as an adviser.
JoAnne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award
Established by JoAnne Fussa C.S.S. ’85, this award recognizes exceptional teaching in business and management courses.
Fussa Award winner Francis J. Aguilar, professor of business administration emeritus, Harvard Business School, is a specialist in business strategy and ethics. He has been a respected member of the Extension School’s management faculty since 2002 where his course, “General Managers in Action,” has been rated consistently by students as one of the finest in the management curriculum. “Professor Aguilar has the unique ability to challenge students and get the most out of them,” wrote one student, an opinion shared by many others. Aguilar holds the M.B.A. and D.B.A. from Harvard Business 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 who died of a cerebral hemorrhage in the spring of 1988, these prizes are presented annually to honor outstanding teaching in the Harvard Extension School.
This year, Shattuck Award winners are Robert B. Pojasek, William B. Robinson, and Mark Zender.
Robert B. Pojasek, adjunct lecturer on environmental science at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the instructor for “Strategies for Environmental Management,” has been described by his students as “my savior” and “a font of valuable information.” They laud him for his generosity of time, praise him for his sage guidance, and commend him for his depth of knowledge. In teaching the proseminar in environmental management, Pojasek has guided dozens of students to succe