UConn Alumnus John Yearwood, “Dispatches from a World in Need of Healing”

UConn Alumnus John Yearwood, “Dispatches from a World in Need of Healing”Come hear a lecture by UConn alumnus and award-winning multimedia journalist, John Yearwood entitled, “Dispatches From a World in Need of Healing,” on Friday, October 12, at 3:00 p.m. in Konover Auditorium. Mr. Yearwood will discuss his personal journey through some of the past and present major conflicts that have occurred around the world, and his meetings with leaders who offer insight into their behavior, such as President Assad of Syria. He will also discuss other people with whom he’s met—Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Haitian dancer Jeanguy Saintus—who, in their own way, are working to heal the world.

Mr. Yearwood is World Editor of The Miami Herald and host of World Desk with John Yearwood, which focuses on global issues and newsmakers. His department has won numerous awards under his leadership, including two McClatchy Company President’s Awards, an Arthur Ross Award, and recognition as Pulitzer Prize finalist. Yearwood has served on the executive boards of Unity Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists. He also was named one of the 40 most influential African-Americans under 40 in South Florida and one of the 100 most accomplished Caribbean Americans in South Florida.

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Honors Class Notes (Spring 2012 eNewsletter)


William Cremins ’69, ’73 is the Administrative Judge for the Waterbury Judicial District, a member of the State Judicial Review Counsel, and a member of the State Marshal Commission.


Dr. Lisa D. Brush ’85 is a sociology professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Her new book, Poverty, Battered Women, and Work in U.S. Public Policy (Oxford University Press), was named a CHOICE outstanding academic book for 2011. She was in Storrs this May to address the UConn women’s studies students at their Commencement celebration. Robert Rzewnicki ’88 is owner of the FISC Help and Information Desk at Aetna, providing business and technical support for the company’s group and health insurance underwriting and accounting operations. Continue reading

Honors Program Alumni eNewsletter (Spring 2012)

A Message from the Director

To our Honors alumni,

It is with mixed emotions that I write this Director’s Note, having just celebrated my last Medals Ceremony with Honors students and their families in the role of Director. We graduated more than 300 students, our largest number of Honors Scholars in the history of the program.

This year has brought many exciting changes, and some sad ones, as Honors said goodbye to its great friend and one of Honors’ first directors, Dr. John Tanaka, who passed away this April. But as we marked the loss of this important educator, we also paused to realize the advancements of this program under the leadership of its various directors. I am proud that I was able to contribute to its development and participate in the education and success of so many outstanding students. Continue reading

Top U.K. grad programs have Honors Scholars within their ranks

By Cheryl Cranick, Honors Program

Nestled in the quiet country town of Storrs, accomplished students are hard at work preparing for what waits after graduation. These Honors Scholars eventually disperse across the country and beyond; some settle close to home, while others cross an ocean. Two alumni—one an economist, the other a molecular biologist—graduated from the Honors Program just two years apart. They both pursued competitive funding for graduate schools in the United Kingdom—programs with only a handful of slots—and both were successful. They now reside relatively close to each other, though they’ve never met. What they have in common is the firm foundation they gained here at UConn Honors. Continue reading

Understanding culture makes Honors alum a musical visionary

By Cheryl Cranick, Honors Program

Building exterior
Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo courtesy of the Musical Instrument Museum)

In the desert of Phoenix, Ariz., is a sprawling $250 million, 200,000-square-foot facility that blends into the arid background. But inside the walls is a collection of instruments that brings to life the world’s music. The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), led by UConn Honors alumnus Dr. Bill DeWalt ’69, ’76, is not just a museum that displays devices for sound. MIM has a deeper mission: to create an all-encompassing sensory journey around the globe. It promises to be “the most extraordinary museum you’ll ever hear.”

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2012 Distinguished Alumni Award: Bill DeWalt

Bill DeWalt is the founding President and Director of the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), an expansive $250 million institution that opened in April 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. DeWalt was responsible for assisting in the design and overseeing construction of the 200,000-square-foot building, amassing a collection of more than 15,000 musical instruments from nearly every country in the world, and assembling a team of 110 employees and 350 volunteers. He currently manages the operations of the museum, as well as its world-class theater, which offers concerts by artists from across the globe. Continue reading

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award: Marian Kennedy

After completing her undergraduate psychology Honors degree at the University of Connecticut in 1970, Marian Kennedy moved to California with a fellow Honors student. A year later she began law school at the University of Santa Clara. In 1974 she interned with the California Supreme Court, and has worked as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. In 1979 she entered Harvard Law School to complete her Master of Laws degree before moving to The Netherlands to marry a Dutch citizen she had met at Harvard. From 1981 to 1992, the couple worked in California, New York City, and The Netherlands. They also had two children, Nicole and Robert. Continue reading

Honors Program Alumni eNewsletter (Fall 2011)

A Message from the Director

To our Honors alumni,

Can you believe it has been nearly 50 years since President Babbidge envisioned an Honors Program to educate the best and brightest college students from the state of Connecticut and beyond? A handful of outstanding students joined the freshman class in 1964, and they were followed by thousands. Many of these accomplished alumni have, indeed, fulfilled President Babbidge’s dream.

As director of UConn Honors, I have had the privilege of working with extraordinary students and alumni during the past nine years. It has been a goal of mine to share their stories with you, and generally to keep you up to date with news on how—and what—your Honors Program is doing. Since I arrived in 2002 we have been growing and developing at a breath-taking speed, and there has been little time to step back and talk about our work. Continue reading

Honors Class Notes (Fall 2011 eNewsletter)


Holley (Hewitt) Ulbrich ’63 just published the second edition of her textbook, Public Finance in Theory and Practice, with Routledge Publishing. This is her ninth published book. Holley is Alumni Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics at Clemson University. Billie (Bill) DeWalt ’69 left the University of Pittsburgh as Distinguished Service Professor of Public and International Affairs in 2007 to serve as Founding President and Director of the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Ariz. MIM opened on April 24, 2010, and has been recognized as one of the outstanding museums of the world. Continue reading

Honors graduate puts problem-solving skills into practice

By the Honors Program

Outside the window of his classroom was a view of the Mexican border. His students were children growing up too fast in a climate of border violence and poverty. But Jeffrey “Steve” Ferketic ’08 found a way to reach them. Ferketic joined Teach for America, seeking to make a difference in the lives of south Texas students. A biology and political science double major in the Honors Program, Ferketic was inspired by the other teachers in his family. He also knew his UConn education had prepared him for the challenges of this experience. Continue reading