Honors Distinguished Alumni Award

Since 2007, the Honors Program and Honors Board of Associate Directors have awarded the Honors Distinguished Alumni Award to Honors alumni who have excelled in their career fields while making significant contributions to society or academia. The award is also intended to foster alumni relations and create a stronger Honors community.

Criteria for Nomination

  • A recipient must have graduated from the University of Connecticut as an Honors Scholar or University Honors Laureate.
  • Typically, the recipient should have graduated at least 15 years prior to receiving the award.
  • Should exhibit excellence in their professional life or have made a significant contribution to society or academia.
  • The recipient must agree to appear in person at the Honors Medals Ceremony, held the weekend before Commencement.
  • Completed nominations must be submitted by the deadline, found on the current nomination form available through the link at the top of this website.

Selection and Notification of Recipients

  • Candidates will be notified of their nomination during the spring semester.
  • The Honors Program will confirm the recipient’s availability to attend the Honors Medals Ceremony, which will be held in the spring, usually the weekend prior to Commencement. (If a recipient is unable to attend the ceremony that year, they will be invited to the Honors Medals Ceremony for the next calendar year and another recipient will be selected for the current year.)
  • More than one candidate may receive the award in a given year.

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Expectations of Recipients

  • The recipient will submit a short biographical sketch and high-resolution, professional-looking photograph (preferably shoulders and above) for use by the University. The biographical sketch and photograph will be included in the Honors Medals Ceremony event program and used in Honors Program communications about the award (e.g., on the Honors website or social media, etc.).
  • The recipient will agree to attend the Honors Medals Ceremony during the weekend prior to the spring semester Commencement. The recipient is encouraged to invite faculty, family, and friends.
  • The recipient will wear regalia and be recognized on on stage at the Honors Medals Ceremony. The recipient will make remarks at the event and will participate as a member of the platform party.
  • The recipient will be asked to give a presentation on their life and career the day before the Ceremony to an audience that may include Honors students and faculty.

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Who can answer questions or provide additional information about the award?

For more information about the Honors Distinguished Alumni Award, please email the Honors Programming and Events Office.

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Past Honors Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

2020: Sarah Wojiski ’97 CAHNR (Diagnostic Genetic Sciences) is the Director of Education at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT. Following a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University, she completed a teaching and curriculum fellowship at Harvard Medical School, working on graduate and medical genetics curriculum reform.

2019: Alan Bennett ’69 CLAS

2018: The Honors Inaugural Class of 1968

2017: Sarah D. Kambou ’80 CLAS

2017: Kate C. Farrar, ’97 CLAS

2016: David Fetterman’76 CLAS (Anthropology; History)  Recognized as a leading scholar in American education, Dr. Fetterman is author to 16 books and hundreds of articles and chapters on the subject. The recommendations from his book, Excellence and Equality, led the U.S. Department of Education to formulate a panel to select a national center for the gifted and talented.
2016: Mark Romanoff ’79 CLAS (Biopsychology) Dr. Romanoff is on the committee on Narcotic Use and Diversion of the North Carolina Medical Society in North Carolina (NC), one of four states with the highest incidence of abuse. In 2007, Dr. Romanoff helped create a centralized database of all controlled medicines in NC.
2015:  Patricia Friar ’80 BUS is a retired GE human resources business leader who dedicated 26 years to the company. She was responsible for thousands of employees, led due diligence initiatives, and contributed to millions in income growth.
2015: Robert LaBarre ’76 CLAS (Mathematics), ’76 CLAS, ’92 CLAS has been an industrial mathematician at United Technologies Research Center for nearly forty years. He is a lead scientist, inventor, mentor, and educator.
2014: Howard M. Sandler ’78 CLAS (Physics), ’91 CLAS, ’85 MEDICINE is a researcher expert in radiation oncology, and Professor and Chairman of Radiation Oncology at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
2014: Brian Preleski ’87 (English), ’91 LAW is Connecticut State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of New Britain, who is active in professional associations and teaches a graduate seminar at the University of St. Joseph.
2013: Anthony E. Chiodo ’80 CLAS (Psychology), ’84 MEDICINE is an expert in spinal injury and recovery, a researcher and medical director, and a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation.
2013: Chad A. Landmon ’96 CLAS (Political Science and Economics), ’99 LAW is a leading litigator and counselor, focusing on FDA processes and litigating complex patent cases involving drug products.
2012: Marian Kennedy ’70 CLAS (Psychology) is an accomplished attorney, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who has practiced law in the U.S. and The Netherlands.
2012: Bill DeWalt ’69 CLAS (Sociology/Anthropology), ’76 CLAS (Cultural Anthropology) has applied his expansive background in world cultures to a diverse career as a scholar, educator, administrator, consultant, fundraiser, author, and director.
2011: Robert M. Holster ’68 CLAS (Economics) is an expert business leader with extensive experience managing healthcare financial organizations.
2011: Nicole McKinney Lindsay ’96 BUS (Business Administration) is a civic-minded businesswoman who has used her education and experience to advance opportunities for underrepresented minorities.
2010: Roger Ballentine ’85 CLAS (Economics) is an energy and environmental entrepreneur and advisor for both public and private industry.
2010: Virginia DeJohn Anderson ’76 CLAS (History) is a scholar, educator, and prolific author of colonial and Revolutionary American history.
2009: Daniel LeVine ’78 CLAS (Mathematics) provided a unique approach to hedge fund trading through his vast knowledge of mathematical techniques.
2009: Mark Weidenbaum ’77 CLAS (Chemistry) is an orthopedic surgeon known internationally for his professional and academic contributions to his field.
2008: Bonnie Sarno Vontell ’81 CLAS (History), ’84 LAW has represented her community as a public servant, business owner, and non-profit leader.
2007: Carolyn Runowicz ’73 (Biological Sciences) is a physician, researcher, educator, author, and fearless advocate of women’s health.

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