Distinguished Alumni Awards

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Barrett, the Honors College's Alumni Awards seek to recognize members of the alumni community who have distinguished themselves through professional achievements, contributions to society, and support of the university.

Applications are open year round, reviews will take place in January, and awards take place each April during our Celebrating Honors festivities.

Please sign up for our Alumni Newsletter to receive information regarding the Barrett Alumni Awards and additional alumni opportunities.

Matthew Desmond

Award Year: 2018

Matthew Desmond '02 B.S.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipient is Matthew Desmond, who graduated from ASU with honors from Barrett in 2002 with a bachelor of science degrees in justice studies and communication. He received masters and doctorate degrees in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mark Huerta

Award Year: 2018

Mark Huerta ’15 B.S.E.

Huerta is a co-founder and director of project development for 33 Buckets, an organization that provides safe water for people in underdeveloped countries through the use of a multi-layer, gravity-fed filtration system to remove arsenic and disinfects water.

Sophie Zelman

Award Year: 2018

Sophie O’Keefe Zelman '05 B.A.

Zelman graduated summa cum laude from Barrett in 2005 with a degree in political science. During her years at ASU, she served as the Undergraduate Student Body President. She received a master’s in international development and social policy from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Currently, she is a director at OH Strategic Communications, a firm specializing in communications, public affairs, strategic planning, and campaign management.

Award Year: 2016

Alexandra de Sousa ’00 B.A.

Dr. Alexandra de Sousa is a 2000 graduate of Barrett with a BA in Anthropology. Since graduating she attended the prestigious Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology at George Washington University where she received her PhD in human brain evolution.  Since then she has worked as a researchers at the famous C & O Vogt Institute for Brain Research at Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf, formerly home to Lenin’s brain and one of the largest brain collections in the world.

Award Year: 2016

Nicholas Kunz '12 B.S.D.

Nicholas Kunz is a 21st-century renaissance man, blending his talents in design, music and military strategy to craft a career filled with contribution and success. After graduating from ASU, Kunz used his degree as a volunteer community designer for AmeriCorps VISTA, creating a development model for a historically underserved and segregated neighborhood in south Dallas, and served on a multidisciplinary collaborative effort to improve the lives of 60,000 children who suffer from asthma in Dallas County, Texas.

Award Year: 2016

Robert McWhirter '83 B.S., '88 J.D.

Robert McWhirter is a nationally known speaker and author on the topics of trial advocacy, immigration law, and the history of the Bill of Rights. He is the author of several highly regarded works, including "Bills, Quills, and Stills: The History of the Bill of Rights (2015), and "The Criminial Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers" (2006, second edition). In 2010, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky quoted extensively from McWhirter's book.

Award Year: 2016

Bee-Lian Quah '08 B.S.E.

Bee-Lian Quah has leveraged her engineering degree and her passion for entrepreneurship to advance quickly in the corporate workplace. After graduating from ASU with a degree in bioengineering with a technical entrepreneurship emphasis, Quah was accepted into a highly competitive leadership development program at Vanguard in Scottsdale. She then advanced a project lead position at the company, overseeing a five-year, $150 million strategic technology program for Vanguard's retail division.

Award Year: 2015

Shane Daley '00 B.S.

Dr. Shane Daley, who completed his bachelor’s degree in biology at ASU, is a leader in the medical specialty of urology. He is currently an attending urologist at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Award Year: 2015

Gbemisola Disu ’04 B.S.

Gbemisola Disu, who earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from ASU, has proven herself an accomplished leader in higher education, beginning with her work as special assistant to the president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, where she oversaw many aspects of a management school.  She now leads a satellite school of her own as Chief Operating Officer of George Mason University-Korea. She currently serves on the board of Think Global Institute, supporting women entrepreneurs around the world.

Award Year: 2015

Beatrice (Babs) Gordon '87 B.A., '89 M.A., '11 M.A.

Beatrice Gordon used her passion for education to become a significant faculty contributor to the honors community at ASU.  She worked closely with former Barrett Dean Ted Humphrey and taught several honors and advanced composition classes. Gordon retired from teaching in the English Department in 2003. She continues to serve her community by teaching writing and literature classes for Mesa Community College, Tempe Connection, and at the McDowell Village Retirement facility. Gordon has three degrees from ASU: a bachelor’s degree in English, and master’s degrees in English and applied ethics.

Award Year: 2015

Philip Mann ’01 B.MUS.

Philip Mann, who received his bachelor’s degree in instrumental music from ASU, is a dedicated and passionate musician who has used his many talents to make a dramatic impact on his community. In 2010, he was named music director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. He transformed the orchestra into a first-class ensemble and brought to the organization a commitment to education and community engagement on an unprecedented scale.

Award Year: 2015

Dawn Valdivia ’97 B.A.

Dawn Valdivia is an Arizona native, a successful attorney, and a committed local community member. She is a 2013 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, was recognized by the “25 Most Influential Hispanic Leaders in Arizona” list produced by AZ Business Magazine and was a “40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40” honoree, in a list produced by Phoenix’s Univision Radio and Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

Award Year: 2013

DeAnna Adkins '94 B.A.

DeAnna Adkins joined the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosciences in 2011. Adkins' current research program investigates how learning-induced neural plasticity can be capitalized upon and used in conjunction with novel pharmacological, behavior and technology treatments to drive better motor and cognitive recovery after brain injury.

Award Year: 2013

Daniel Allen '04

Daniel Allen's work as a Fulbright researcher, National Board Certified teacher, and currently as principal at City Arts & Technology High School in San Francisco, Calif., have all focused on his belief that every student has a right to a transformational education.

Award Year: 2013

Mark Appleton '09 B.A.

Mark Appleton, former ASU Undergraduate Student Government president, is a presidential appointee in the Obama administration where he is serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Energy.

Award Year: 2013

John Arthur '00 B.S.E.

John Arthur has been designing and building cutting edge cognitive computing systems for 13 years. Arthur currently is a research scientist at IBM.

Award Year: 2013

Jennifer (Randolph) Babich '97 B.A.

Jennifer Babich rose through the ranks of producing local news to become the Washington bureau chief for Time Warner Cable's Local News Group, a bureau which she helped launch in 2011.

Award Year: 2013

Jonathan Beekman '02 B.S., '02 B.S., '02 B.A.

Jonathan Beekman, founder and chief executive officer of Man Crates, grew his second startup from nothing to millions in annual revenue within the first year of its founding.

Award Year: 2013

Daniel Bishop '09 B.S.E.

Daniel Bishop is making safe practice healthcare his mission. Bishop is the co-founder and chief innovation officer at Qualaris, a Pittsburgh-based software company that helps hospitals improve critical practices in safe patient care.

Award Year: 2013

Megan Brand '08 B.S., '08 B.A.

Megan Brand builds on her international travels by offering her expertise in forced migration, international relations, and economics. Brand owns her own consulting firm, Megan Brand Consulting, which explores the relationships between local and international institutions.

Award Year: 2013

Matthew Brill '04 B.S.

Matthew Brill spent three years during graduate school leading efforts to improve the built environment in San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Brill currently serves as a principal administrative analyst for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Award Year: 2013

Matthew Cicinelli '08 B.S., '08 B.S.

Matt Cicinelli has worked with business and consumer payment products, including the product conception and management of the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card. He is currently the product manager for Amazon Payments where he will develop commeralization and go-to marketing strategies for new product releases.

Award Year: 2013

Dr. Kristina Collins '02 B.S., '02 B.S.

Dr. Kristina Collins was named Tennessee Woman in Medicine of the Year after co-founding a free medical clinic for the uninsured in the Nashville area during her time at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Currently Collins serves as a representative for the American Academy of Dermatology on the American Family Physicians Editorial Advisory Board.

Award Year: 2013

Jenny Davis '92 B.S.

In 2011, fashion editor and photo shoot stylist Jenny Burg Davis launched a lingerie line called beatrix privé designed specifically for plus-sized professional women.

Award Year: 2013

Jamie Forseth '07 B.A., '07 B.A., '07 B.A., '07 B.Mus., '08 M.A.

Jamie Brooke Forseth analyzes municipal credit on Goldman Sachs' municipal trading desk in New York City.

Award Year: 2013

Ryan Gliha '98 B.A.

Ryan Gliha served only ten years at the U.S. Department of State when he became the first public diplomacy officer from his cohort to be promoted to the rank of FS-01 career Foreign Service officer, the equivalent of a colonel in the uniformed services.

Award Year: 2013

Madeline Grade '12 B.S.E.

Madeline Grade became captivated by clinical research after spending an entire summer at the Mayo Clinic of Arizona, learning how to read electroencephalograms and conducting retrospective studies on epilepsy diagnosis and management. Grade continues to advance her research in neuroimaging as she works towards her Masters of Science in Clinical Neurology at the University College London as a Marshall Scholar.

Award Year: 2013

James Holmes '83 B.S., '83 B.S., '86 J.D.

James Holmes is an experienced trial attorney and litigator, representing major media and entertainment entities, as well as major insurance carriers insuring media and entertainment entities in Los Angeles.

Award Year: 2013

Jenny Holsman Tetreault '00 B.S.

Jenny Holsman Tetreault serves as corporate counsel for Rural/Metro Corporation. She is responsible for all company legal work in the West Zone, including Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Award Year: 2013

Courtney Klein Johnson '05 B.I.S., '10 M.NpS

Courtney Klein Johnson was named one of the "25 Most Dynamic Women in Business" in 2013 by the Phoenix Business Journal for her work as the co-founder of SEED SPOT, a nonprofit incubator supporting Arizona's most innovative social entrepreneurs.

Award Year: 2013

Brent Maddin '99 B.S.

Brent Maddin helped design and launch the first new graduate school of education in New York City in 80 years. Relay Graduate School of Education is a designed program linking the conferral of master degrees to the demonstration of K-12 student achievement.

Award Year: 2013

Dr. Farshad Marvasti '00 B.S.

Dr. Farshad Fani Marvasti serves as an adjunct clinical instructor at the Stanford School of Medicine and as an associate attending physician at Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, Calif.

Award Year: 2013

Devin Mauney '09 B.S.

Devin Mauney graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in May 2013 where he provided legal representation to low-income homeowners facing foreclosure. Mauney will complete a one-year assignment as special assistant to the Enforcement Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Award Year: 2013

Peg Perl '97 B.A., '97 B.A.

Peg Perl dedicated a decade to practicing law in Washington, D.C. where she found her passion for public service and ethical government. She currently holds the position of staff counsel at the Colorado Ethics Watch.

Award Year: 2013

Lauren Popish '12 B.S.D.

Lauren Popish fulfilled her ambitions of working in New York City at one of the most successful interior design firms in the country, Gensler, where she leads the G-Serve Sandy Relief campaign.

Award Year: 2013

Michael Proulx '98 B.S.

Michael Proulx has dedicated his life to research focused on making fundamental findings in psychology and neuroscience to determine if the visually impaired can have their vision restored. He serves as an associate professor at the University of Bath and a visiting senior lecturer in multimedia and vision, electronic engineering and computer science at Queen Mary University of London.

Award Year: 2013

Peter Seymour '12 B.S.E.

After losing his infant daughter, Eleanore, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Peter Seymour has made it his mission to make SIDS a thing of the past. Seymour developed Ella's Monitor, a sleep-apnea monitor designed to prevent SIDS.

Award Year: 2013

Damian Stamer '07 B.F.A.

Damian Stamer focuses on contributing his artistic vision to the international conversation of contemporary art. His latest works were shown at the Stuttgart State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, Germany and at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, N.C..

Award Year: 2013

Michael Trejo '09 B.S.

Michael Trejo recently earned a joint Master's in Public Policy and in Business Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. Trejo is an associate in investment banking for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Award Year: 2013

Elizabeth Vazquez '94 B.A.

Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the president, chief executive officer, and co-founder of WEConnect International, a corporate led nonprofit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets.

Award Year: 2013

Suzanne Vogt '06 B.A.E., '10 M.A.S.

Suzanne Vogt is a National Board Certified Teacher who is currently teaching Advanced Placement United States History and United States/Arizona History at Trevor G. Browne High School in the Phoenix Union High School District.

Award Year: 2006

Kim Demarchi '97

Kim Demarchi is a partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber in the firm's Litigation Practice Group, where she represents public, private, and non-profit clients in civil appeals and in the litigation of complex matters.

Award Year: 2005

Amy Ostrom ‘91

Amy Ostrom has served as a professor in the Marketing department at the W.P. Carey School of Business for 18 years. She been awarded several academic awards such as the Professor of the Year Award in 2007 and the Honors Teacher of the Year in 2009.

Award Year: 2004

Jim E. Rossi ‘88

Jim Rossi is currently the FedEx Research Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School. His courses address energy law, federal administrative law, and state constitutional and administrative law. Before joining Vanderbilt's law faculty, he was the Harry M. Walborsky Professor and associate dean for research at Florida State University College of Law.

Award Year: 2003

Doug Lakin, MD ‘83

For over 22 years, Dr. Doug Lakin has practice internal medicine at the Paradise Valley Medical Clinic PC. After completing his medical school training at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Lakin completed his Internship and Residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa's Hospitals and Clinics.

Award Year: 2002

Dr. James Tucker ‘88

James Tucker is a counsel at Wilson Elser where he has nearly 20 years of law litigation experience, he emphasizes preventive law and counseling and advice as ways to reduce the risk that employers face.