May 25, 2006
Vol. 25 No. 17

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    Alumni Association to honor Wilson with Alumni Medal, other alumni for service

    James Wilson, a professor at Pepperdine University, will receive The Alumni Medal, the most prestigious honor given by the Alumni Association.

    The 2006 Alumni Awards will be presented at the Alumni Convocation at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. The influential political scientist James Wilson (A.M.,’57, Ph.D.,’59), winner of the 2006 Alumni Medal, will give the convocation address. Other members of the alumni community who will be honored for their service to the University and to the communities in which they live and work also are featured here.

    The Alumni Medal

    Created in 1941, the Alumni Medal is awarded to recognize achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. It is the highest honor the Alumni Association can bestow. Because its recipients define the value of the medal, it has been given sparingly. The medal is awarded to no more than one person each year and need not be awarded on an annual basis.

    Wilson is one of the most influential political scientists in the nation. His scholarship has challenged conventional wisdom in academic and public thinking on a wide range of topics, including crime, poverty, bureaucracy, civil rights and human morality.

    Wilson’s books on practical policy issues include Political Organizations, Thinking About Crime, and Varieties of Police Behavior. His widely known “broken windows” theory on violent crime prevention has influenced public policy on police administration and crime-fighting strategies. More recently, Wilson has turned his attention to ethical issues with his works On Character, The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families, Moral Judgment, and The Moral Sense. He also has written and published multiple editions of American Government, a leading text in his field.

    Wilson has taught at Harvard University, the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies, the University of California, Los Angeles, and now at Pepperdine University. He serves as chair of the Board of Academic Advisors of the American Electric System and was a director of State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, Protection One and the RAND Corporation.

    Wilson is a former president of the American Political Science Association, which has honored him with three awards for exemplary scholarship in the field of public administration. He has received honorary degrees from six universities and the 2003 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor.

    Young Alumni Service Citations

    The Young Alumni Service Citations—awarded for the first time during the 1992 University Centennial—acknowledge outstanding volunteer service to the University by individuals aged 35 and younger.

    Michael Dodge (A.B.,’93) has brought enthusiasm and energy to the many leadership roles he has assumed at Chicago, acting as a liaison between volunteers and officers of the University.

    As co-chair of his 10th reunion gift committee, Dodge helped raise a record-breaking gift from his fellow classmates. As chair of the Bay Area Leadership Committee, he enlisted new volunteers, many of whom had not been involved with the University since graduating.

    Dodge has served on the Alumni Schools Committee, recruiting dozens of Bay Area students by speaking with them about the power of a Chicago education. He also volunteers for Career Advising and Planning Services to share his professional experience with current Chicago students and graduates.

    He will continue to serve the University as a member of the Los Angeles Regional Annual Giving Committee.

    Kenneth Monahan, (A.B.,’95) is dedicated to keeping his class engaged with the larger alumni community. As vice chair of his 5th and 10th reunions, he planned a series of events to draw classmates back to campus and led his class gift committee to surpass its target goal by more than 50 percent, raising a total of $77,618.

    Monahan has made his professional knowledge accessible to young alumni by serving as a Career Advising and Planning Services contact since 1999. One supporter wrote that he chose his own career path in the financial industry “largely based on Ken’s helpful analysis and recommendation.”

    Monahan has maintained his active involvement with the University across continents and time zones, juggling personal and professional commitments to attend reunion and volunteer events at Chicago. As one friend wrote, “Ken sets the standard for ongoing giving, fund-raising and participation.”

    Alumni Service Citations

    Created in 1988, the Alumni Service Citations are awarded for outstanding volunteer work on behalf of the University through service in alumni programs, on advisory committees and through efforts made to ensure the welfare of the institution.

    Herbert Caplan (A.B.,’52, J.D.,’57) has provided volunteer leadership for the University for more than three decades, helping plan at least six reunions and chairing both his 40th and 45th reunion committees.

    Caplan has served as a board member of the Chicago-area alumni club and a member of the Alumni Emeriti Committee, where he has spearheaded efforts to create the Hutchins Legacy Fund.

    Caplan’s volunteer service extends beyond the University to the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, where he teaches constitutional law to children in the Chicago Public Schools. A supporter wrote that Caplan “has contributed to building a better society by expanding the ideas of what is possible and what can be done, and has provided organizational skills and service that reflect greatly upon the University.”

    Maurice Mandel (A.B.,’56, A.B.,’57) began serving the University while an undergraduate in the College, president of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and a member of the yearbook staff. In an era of major curricular transition, he received an A.B. from the Hutchins College in 1956 and an A.B. from the Business School in 1957. In the five decades since his graduation, Mandel has volunteered on the reunion committees of both classes and served as chair for the 45th and 50th reunions of the College Class of 1956.

    As a member of the New York Leadership Cabinet, Mandel has recruited new volunteers for the University and encouraged generous giving by fellow alumni. His work has been a major part of the University’s efforts to increase alumni engagement and expand the University community in the New York area. Together with his wife Carolyn, he hosted a luncheon for President Randel, where he impressed several prospective donors with his energy and enthusiasm for the University.

    Andy Plisko (S.B.,’78) has been an instrumental force in the development of the alumni community in the Los Angeles area. As a chair of the Alumni Schools Committee for Southern California, Plisko oversees the recruitment and training of alumni to conduct interviews of more than 200 applicants to the College each year. He has taken the time to personally interview dozens of applicants and sponsors annual summer send-off parties for new students and their parents.

    Plisko serves on the board of the Alumni Club of Los Angeles, where he has been willing to take on new challenges to meet the growing needs of the alumni community. Currently he is developing a Great Books Club for alumni in Orange County, Calif. One supporter wrote, “As Los Angeles plays an ever increasing role in the University’s growth, Andy will be one of the principal players who we will have to thank for it.”

    Geri Yoza (A.B.,’81, M.B.A.,’87) and Miguel Arias (A.B.,’81, M.D.,’85) met in their first year on campus. After college, both earned professional degrees at Chicago and went on to successful careers—Yoza as an executive at Toyota and Arias as a psychiatrist— while serving the University for more than two decades.

    As a past president and board member of the Alumni Club of Los Angeles, Yoza has made it one of Chicago’s most successful regional groups. As a member of the Alumni Board of Governors, she helped create a new logo and branding for the Alumni Association and transformed Alumni Weekend into a major campus event. Recently, she has shared her professional expertise with current students and graduates.

    Arias has partnered with Yoza in strengthening alumni activities in Los Angeles. As a telethon volunteer, he has proven to be a skillful advocate for the University. He served with his wife as co-chair for their 15th reunion, and has been involved in local alumni programs and events.

    As co-chairs of their 25th reunion committee, Arias and Yoza have inspired classmates with a pledge to endow a scholarship to the College, in addition to their leadership annual gift.

    Alumni Service Medalist

    The Alumni Service Medal was established in 1983 to honor a lifetime of achievement in service to the University.

    Wai-Keung Cheng (M.B.A.,’73) has been a champion of Chicago’s intellectual ideals in Singapore and across East Asia. As a businessman who built a multimillion-dollar conglomerate of property, builders and lifestyle companies, Cheng’s entrepreneurial resolve and community involvement embody the strength and values of a Chicago education.

    After receiving his M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business, Cheng joined Wing Tai Holdings Ltd., a garment manufactory founded by his father. He now serves as chairman of the board of directors and its managing director, expanding the company’s presence throughout South Asia and as far as Madagascar and the United Kingdom.

    Cheng is chairman of Raffles Holdings Ltd. and Neptune Orient Lines Ltd., as well as a director of several private and public companies. For his service on Singapore government committees and boards he has been awarded two Public Service Stars. He was reappointed Justice of the Peace by the president of Singapore in 2005.

    In large part, Cheng’s efforts and support helped bring about the existence of the Graduate School of Business’ Singapore campus. In addition to committing his company’s landmark property for the site, he personally introduced the deans of the GSB to Singapore’s government leaders. His company turned the property into a state-of-the-art educational facility, and Cheng has continued to support the Singapore campus since it opened in 2000.

    Edward Snyder, Dean of the GSB and the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Economics, described Cheng’s valuable service to the University. “Wai-Keung Cheng is a dedicated advocate of the intellectual rigor and global expansion of Chicago GSB and continues to tirelessly support the interests of the University within all levels of government and business communities in Singapore.”

    Public Service Citations

    The Public Service Citations honor those alumni who have fulfilled the obligations of their education through creative citizenship and exemplary leadership in service that has benefited society and reflected credit on the University

    Throughout his career, Charles Baumbach (A.B.,’55, M.B.A.,’56, J.D.,’61) has been an advocate for the economically disadvantaged. He has dedicated half a century to providing access to affordable housing and legal services to those in need.

    Shortly following his graduation from the Law School, Baumbach began setting up poverty law centers in San Francisco, Calif. He arranged hearings for the National Hunger Project that surveyed poverty, nutrition and attendant medical problems in America. His work has focused not only on the provision of individual legal services but also on collective representation of the poor and their interests.

    Later he organized Alaska’s Legal Services Program to aid those pursuing repatriation of tribal lands, and restructured a Milwaukee legal aid program that had been the subject of widespread calls for reform. He originated the idea behind the U.S. Department of Education’s Council on Legal Education Opportunity program, which recruits, trains, and places minority and low-income students who want to enter the legal profession.

    As an educator, Baumbach created a master’s degree program on community development and public service and an elementary school course on writing and storytelling.

    During a long and distinguished career in public service, Nicholas Melas (Ph.B.,’46, S.B.,’48, M.B.A.,’50) has made an indelible mark on the city of Chicago. His leadership and vision have benefited the environment, improved the daily lives of Chicagoans and helped assure the city’s long-term livelihood.

    Before entering the College, Melas served with the U.S. Army during World War II and received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. His career in public service began in 1954 as an administrative assistant to Sheriff Joseph Lohman and continued as supervisor of collections and commissioner of weights and measures.

    In 1962, he was elected a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, a position he held until 1992. As president of the Board of Commissioners from 1975 to 1992, he oversaw the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, a landmark engineering project to protect the region’s drinking water, guard the city from flooding and transform the city’s lakefront and riverfront. Melas is currently a member of the Illinois Pollution Control Board. He continues to be an active member of the University community through his involvement with the Order of the “C,” Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the Chicago area alumni club.

    Professional Achievement Citations

    The Professional Achievement Citations were established in 1967 to recognize alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and credit to the University as well as benefits to their communities through their vocational work.

    Armand “Paul” Alivisatos (A.B.,’81) has made groundbreaking contributions to nanotechnology. Known affectionately as “the king of nanoparticle synthesis” for his work in synthesizing quantum dots from solution, he has opened new and exciting fields of applications, both in solar technology and medical imaging.

    After earning his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, Alivisatos became interested in nanotechnology as a postdoctoral fellow at AT&T Bell Labs. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1988 and currently serves as the Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He also is the founding director of the Molecular Foundry, which is designed to provide access to cutting edge nanoscience for members of industrial, scientific and academic research communities.

    The author of more than 200 scientific papers, Alivisatos is the founding editor of Nano Letters, the leading journal on nanotechnology. His honors include the Presidential Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellowship, the Coblenz Award and the Rank Prize. He is a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as the National Academy of Sciences.

    Brady Dougan (A.B.,’81, M.B.A.,’82) has risen to a position of international influence in the business world as the chief executive officer of Credit Suisse First Boston, where, at the age of 46, he is the youngest CEO on Wall Street.

    After graduating from the College, Dougan completed the professional option program at the Graduate School of Business, earning his M.B.A. at age 22. After heading the Asian derivatives business at Bankers Trust, he joined Credit Suisse First Boston and rose steadily through the company’s ranks. As CEO, he has led the charge to make the investment bank as profitable as its competitors, for which he was named one of Business Week’s “Managers to Watch,” in 2005.

    Throughout his career, Dougan has been a champion of philanthropic causes. He is a strong supporter of Chicago’s Metcalf Internships for College students and spearheaded an effort that raised $1.25 million from alumni at his company to name the Credit Suisse First Boston classroom in the GSB’s Hyde Park Center.

    Miriam Elson (A.M.,’42) is a renowned clinical scholar, educator and writer on the use of psychoanalysis in social work. After earning her master’s degree at the School of Social Service Administration, she developed a model field placement program for the Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society. She subsequently worked at the University’s Student Counseling and Resource Center, giving support to generations of students and taught clinical social work at the SSA.

    Elson’s work played an important role in establishing the field of clinical social work and the acceptance of social workers as equals with psychiatrists and psychologists who practice psychotherapy. Her classic books, The Kohut Seminars and Self Psychology in Clinical Social Work introduced Heinz Kohut’s “psychology of the self,” which greatly expanded the reach of social workers as mental health practitioners.

    In 2000, the Society for Self Psychology recognized Elson with its Lifetime Achievement Award. “Miriam Elson,” a colleague wrote, “is among the most generative and significant clinical scholars writing on the use of psychoanalysis in the social field.”

    Frances Kelsey (Ph.D.,’38, M.D.,’50) won worldwide acclaim when her investigation blocked the distribution of the drug thalidomide in North America during the 1960s. In her first month with the Food & Drug Administration, she resisted pressure from the drug company and insisted on further testing after findings in a British medical journal hinted at dangerous side effects. News of thalidomide-induced birth defects in Germany soon vindicated her caution, and in 1962 she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Service. Her work also resulted in major legislation stipulating more rigorous drug testing in the United States and a shift in the culture at the FDA.

    Kelsey studied at McGill University before coming to the University to earn a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and her M.D. She taught at Chicago and the University of South Dakota before joining the FDA in 1960, where she worked until she retired at age 90 in 2005. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and is a Virtual Mentor for the American Medical Association.

    Andy Marshall (A.M.,’49) has been Director of the Office of Net Assessment for the U.S. Department of Defense since the 1970s. He is responsible for exploring overall defense strategies based on his assessments of political, budgetary, diplomatic, and military resources and constraints.

    As a long-term strategic thinker, he is credited with playing an instrumental role in the winning of the Cold War and the architecture of post-Cold War defense planning. His views of the impact of technology on the wars of the future are widely influential throughout the United States and NATO military establishments.

    After earning his master’s degree in economics at the University, Marshall began his career at the RAND Corporation. His work drew the attention of Henry Kissinger, who brought him to work on the National Security Council. Marshall went on to found the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon’s internal think tank, and he personally mentors generations of defense intellectuals and has influenced the curriculum of the National Defense University.

    During his distinguished legal career, David Tatel (J.D.,’66) has participated in many of the landmark cases that implemented school desegregation. For the past 12 years, he has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, second in influence only to the Supreme Court.

    Tatel began his career as a lawyer for the firm Sidley and Austin, participating in a school desegregation case on behalf of the Chicago Urban League. He became the first director of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and then directed the national organization. He was later appointed to head the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and directed important federal desegregation across all levels of education.

    Returning to private practice at Hogan and Hartson, he directed the firm’s pro bono program and founded its education practice. In 1975, he helped establish the Legal Services Corporation.

    Tatel’s accolades include awards from the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He served as chair of the Board of the Spencer Foundation from 1990 to 1997, and now heads the Board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    Laura Gruen wrote and reported on this story.