Campus & Community

Radcliffe recognizes its distinguished alumnae

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The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has announced the 2009 Radcliffe Alumnae Award winners, who will be honored at the Radcliffe Awards Symposium on June 5 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the American Repertory Theater’s Loeb Drama Center. The event will also feature a panel discussion by alumnae award winners, titled “Seeking Harmony in a Tumultuous World: How Does an Individual Make a Difference?”

The award winners are distinguished alumnae who have extended the boundaries of knowledge in a wide range of fields and helped ensure the presence of women at the forefront of scholarship and research. The Radcliffe Institute celebrates their accomplishments and commitment to Radcliffe.

Following are the 2009 Radcliffe alumnae award winners in their respective categories. More extensive biographical information on the winners is available at


Alumnae Recognition Awards are presented to Radcliffe and Harvard alumnae “whose lives and spirits exemplify the value of a liberal arts education.” There are three 2009 Alumnae Recognition Award recipients:

Sarah P. Chayes is an activist, journalist, and photographer who began her reporting career freelancing from Paris for The Christian Science Monitor and other outlets. From 1996 to 2002, she was a Paris reporter for National Public Radio, earning the 1999 Foreign Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi awards for her reporting on the Kosovo War. She has also reported from the Balkans and the Middle East and covered the International War Crimes Tribunal and the European Union. After reporting on the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Chayes left journalism in 2002 to help rebuild the country. She served as field director for the nonprofit group Afghans for Civil Society, ran a dairy cooperative, and, in 2005, established another cooperative with the aim of discouraging opium production. Chayes is the author of “The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban” (Penguin, 2006) and has published articles in the Boston Globe, The New York Times, and other publications. She graduated from Harvard College in 1984, earning the Radcliffe College History Prize.

Raya S. Dreben is an associate justice on recall of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. She was the first law clerk of U.S. District Court Judge Bailey Aldrich. After being a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, she engaged in private practice at several firms. She joined the law firm of Palmer & Dodge (now Edwards & Angel Palmer & Dodge) in 1964, and in 1969, she and another associate became the first female part-time partners at a major Boston law firm. Dreben taught copyright law at Harvard Law School for a number of years while at Palmer & Dodge and was appointed to the Appeals Court by former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1979. She has served as trustee of several organizations, including Radcliffe College, and has been a cherished mentor to men as well as women. Dreben received the Haskell Cohn Distinguished Judicial Service Award from the Boston Bar Association. She graduated from Radcliffe College magna cum laude in 1949 and from Harvard Law School cum laude in 1954.

Clara St. John Longstreth is the music director and founder of the New Amsterdam Singers, a critically acclaimed amateur chorus in New York City. The New Yorker has called her “one of the more imaginative choral programmers around.” She has served on the faculty of Rutgers University and has taught music at private schools. Longstreth has been the guest conductor for performances with the Limón Dance Company, the Messiah Sing-In at Avery Fisher Hall, the New York Choral Society, the Riverside Church Choir, and the West Village Chorale. She has led the New Amsterdam Singers in 15 tours to Europe and South America, adjudicated the New Jersey High School Choral Festival, and given a lecture-demonstration at the American Choral Directors Eastern Division Conference. Longstreth studied government at Radcliffe, graduating cum laude, and studied choral conducting with G. Wallace Woodworth at Harvard College. She earned a master’s in choral conducting from the Juilliard School, where she studied under Richard Westenberg.


The Radcliffe Fellowship Award (formerly the Graduate Society Award) is presented to alumnae/i of Radcliffe’s fellowship programs for outstanding contributions to their professions. There is one inaugural Radcliffe Fellowship Award recipient:

Lisa Randall is a professor of physics at Harvard University, the first woman theoretical physicist to gain tenure at Harvard. She has also served on the faculties of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University, where she was the first tenured woman in the Department of Physics. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. She was a 1991 recipient of a Radcliffe Graduate Society Award. Randall is the author of the acclaimed book “Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions” (Ecco, 2005), partly written at the Radcliffe Institute. She has edited the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science and Nuclear Physics B; she currently edits the Journal of High Energy Physics and is on its advisory board. When she was a senior at Stuyvesant High School, Randall won the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. As an undergraduate at Harvard College, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, Randall was awarded a John Harvard Scholarship and the David J. Robbins Prize, and was named an Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Scholar and Radcliffe Scholar.


The eponymous Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Young Alumna Award, named for the former Radcliffe College Alumnae Association executive director, is presented to an alumna in the 10th reunion class for an outstanding contribution to the advancement of women, her profession, or the Radcliffe Institute. There is one 2009 Jane Rainie Opel ’50 Young Alumna Award recipient:

Bonnie Tsui is a freelance writer and travel journalist. She has lived in Australia, studying at the University of Sydney and writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, and won a Radcliffe Traveling Fellowship to New Zealand. Tsui has written for “Let’s Go” travel guides, has been a contributing editor to the magazine “blue,” and an editor at Travel + Leisure. She also contributes frequently to The Boston Globe and The New York Times. Tsui contributed to “The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006) and edited “A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World” (Sierra Club Books/University of California Press, 2007). She is also the author of “She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil War” (Globe Pequot Press, 2003) and “American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods” (Free Press, 2009). In 2007, she won the Lowell Thomas Award for travel journalism. Tsui graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1999 with a degree in English and American literature and language.


Distinguished Service Awards recognize outstanding service to Radcliffe. The 2009 Distinguished Service Award winners are Louise Fisher Abbot ’49; Judith Kapstein Brodsky ’54; Sheila Malone King ’54; Stephanie Lang Martin ’59; and Marie Louise (M.L.) Scudder ’59.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions, and creative arts. Within this broad purpose, the institute sustains a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender, and society.

For more information about the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, visit