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2011 Alumni Association Award Recipients

Thomas J. Fiene ’56 • Exceptional Service Award

Since Thomas Fiene has spent his career as a specialist in cardiology and internal medicine, it’s appropriate that nominators say he has always been the heart of his class and an alumnus who represents the true heart of Carleton.

Fiene, first elected president of the Class of ’56 as a college freshman, was re-elected to that post as a senior and has spent the past 55 years as a positive Carleton connection for his classmates.

An attendee at each of the class’s reunions, from 1961 to 2011, Fiene has been involved with reunion planning and was the co-chair of the program committee for his class’s successful 50th reunion.

Whether serving as a panelist for a class reunion discussion, writing letters, or bringing a planning committee to consensus, Fiene is an active presence who, as one nominator wrote, “provides quiet but very effective leadership” and “approaches life with a twinkle in his eye and a creative knack.”

In addition, Fiene served on Carleton’s Alumni Council from 2006 to 2010 and was a member of its awards and nominations committee. He has mentored Carleton pre-med studentsand is a past president of the San Francisco Bay Area Carleton Club.

After graduating from Carleton with a degree in chemistry and zoology, Fiene earned an MD degree at Northwestern University Medical School in 1960 and completed his post-doctoral training at Stanford University.

From 1965 to 1967 Fiene was chief of the cardio-pulmonary service at Andrews U.S. Air Force Base Hospital. From 1965 to 2000 Fiene was a staff member at the Menlo Medical Clinic as well as a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University and the deputy chief of medical service at Stanford Medical Center. He continues as a member of the biomedical ethics committee at Stanford Hospital and an attending physician at the Stanford Pacific Free Clinic.

Besides his service to Carleton, Fiene is on the boards of Channing House Palo Alto and the Portola Valley Ranch Association. He and his wife, Nancy J. Fiene ’56, have four children and live in Portola Valley, Calif., where Fiene is a vineyard master at Portola Ranch Winery.

Harriette Longacre Phelps ’56 Distinguished Achievement Award

Biological scientist and professor Harriette Longacre Phelps has been a groundbreaker and mentor for female and minority undergraduate scientists, of whom there were few at the start of her 36-year teaching career.  She is an expert on the study of estuaries, and her development of a process to locate contamination by using clams to measure the toxicity of river and creek water has garnered attention in recent years.

Phelps built on her Carleton biology major by earning an MS degree at Mount Holyoke College and a PhD at Ohio State University, both in biology.  In 1964 Phelps was elected to the Sigma Xi science honor society and was named an Outstanding Young Woman of the Year.

Phelps then focused her attention more intently on the toxins in waterways, securing grants to continue her work.  She has used the results of her studies to draw attention to polution sources in the Anacostia River watershed (which leads into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay), and in April 2010 one of the affected suburban Maryland counties announced a $2.7 billion plan to restore the watershed Phelps had shown to be contaminated.  Phelps is continuing her research as a mentor in the Eleanor Roosevelt High School honors program and serves on Anacostia River cleanup advisory committees.

Phelps is a member of the American Assocation for the Advancement of Science, the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society, the Estuarine Research Foundation, the National Shellfisheries Association, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.  She was elected to Beta Beta Beta and was named a fellow of the American Association for teh Advancement of Science in 1984.

She has a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren.  Her sister, Marian Longacre '60, and her brother-in-law, and Bruce McCart '60, share her Carleton connection.  Phelps lives in Greenbelt, Maryland.

David F. Appleyard ’61 • Exceptional Service Award

"He stands in my mind as an exemplar of the ideal Carleton teacher. . . . Of all the faculty and staff [members] I've worked with here, I think of him as 'Mr. Carleton.'"  So wrote one nominator of David Appleyard, who served Carleton for 41 years as a professor of mathematics and computer science, teaching more than 4,4000 students in 31 different courses.

Appleyard earned both an MS and a PhD in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, returning to Carleton in 1966 to begin a distinguished career of teaching and leadership.

Appleyard was Carleton's dean of students from 1977 to 1983, president of the faculty from 1988 to 1991, and chair of the mathematics department for five years.  In addition, he served on three College search committees for deans and vice presidents and on one for a president.  He was a faithful and frequent member of many key Carleton committees, including the College Council, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and strategic planning groups.  Coauthor (with Bob Tisdale) of the original Faculty Chair's Handbook in 1990, Appleyard also wrote the Faculty By-Laws (2007).  In addition, he coached the men's varsity swim team in 1970-1971 as a leave replacement for Willard Tuomi.

President emeritus Stephen R. Lewis, Jr., noted, "Dave's list of committee service within the College over the years was truly monumental; he was involved with almost everything of consequence that went on during his long teacher career at Carleton, and virtually all of these things were done with no extra compensation."

Appleyard attained the status of full professor in 1977 and was named the Lloyd P. Johnson-Norwest Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science, and the Liberal Arts in 1993, a title he now carries as an ameritus professor, having retired in 2007.  In 2002 he received the Donald J. Cowling Cup "for excellence in teaching and colleagueship as a faculty leader and as the conscience of the Carleton faculty for more than three decades."  In 2006 he received a Mathematical Association of America Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching.  He twice delivered Carleton's annual Honors Convocation address, in 1983 and 2007.

Appleyard and his wife Joey have three sons, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Thomas F. Beech ’61 • Distinguished Achievement Award

Tom Beech is a respected national leader among foundation executives, valued as much for his approach to philanthropy--emphasizing the importance of building relationships based on candor, trust, mutual respect, and integrity--as for his skill and wisdom.

Among community foundations, Beech is recognized as an early leader in establishing community foundations as civic leaders.  Among family foundations, his leadership of the Burnett Foundation modeled how a family can pursue its philanthropic interests in ways that promote the public good.  Among operating foundations, his leadership at Fetzer Institute is an example of vision and focus.  "his impact on American philanthropy is broad and profound," wrote one nominator.

Now president emeritus of the Fetzer Institute, Beech advanced the foundation's mission of fostering love and forgiveness in the global community during his years as its president and CEO from 2002 to 2010.  "He demonstrated international leadership in engaging people and organizations around the world in bringing the healing power of love and forgiveness to places of conflict," wrote one of hi professional colleagues.  Toward that end, Beech developed close working relationships with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, among others.

Beech was the Minneapolis Foundation's executive director from 1978 to 1984; from 1983 to 2002 he further honed his philanthropic expertise as executive vice president and CEO of the Burnett Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas, where he remained until joining the Fetzer Institute.

At Carleton, Beech was a political science major who earned nine varsity letters in football, hockey, baseball, and wrestling; he was elected class president and was a dormitory proctor his senior year.  He pursued graduate studies in theology and political science at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York from 1961 to 1963, where he was a member of Columbia's International Fellows Program.

Always active in the communities where he lives, Beech ans served many organizations and national boards, including the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, the Institute for Community Peace, and Funders Concerned About AIDS.

Beech and his wife, Carol, have two sons and live in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Jeffrey S. Hanor ’61 • Distinguished Achievement Award

Jeffrey Hanor is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of fluids in sedimentary basins.  With a distinguished 41-year teaching career at Louisiana State University (LSU) to his credit, Hanor also has enjoyed an active research life, with areas of interest including the origin and migration of surface and subsurface fluids in sedimentary basins, mineral diagensis and economic resources of sedimentary basins,  surface and subsurface disposal of hazardous wastes, and environmental geology, geochemistry, and hydrogeology in general.

Since joining the LSU faculty in 1970, Hanor has received five major teaching awards (including the American Association of Petroleum Geology, Environmental Geosciences Division, Teacher of the Year Award in 2000) and has been major professor to nearly 60 MS, PhD, and BS honors students.  He was named an endowed LSU Alumni Professor in 1998 in recognition of his outstanding undergraduate teaching, having previously been the Charles L. Johnes Professor of Geology and Geophysics from 1994 to 1998.

A bright scientific future for Hanor could have bee predicted even before he set foot on the Carleton campus--he was a finalist in the 1957 Westinghouse Science Talent Search (now the Intel STS).  A Phi Beta Kappa, Signma Xi, magna cum laude geology major, Hanor went on to earn AM (1964) and PhD (1967) degrees in geology at Harvard University.

Hanor has received nine best paper awards for presentations at national meetings and has given many invited lectures at various universities and meetings, including being the Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer in 1998 for the Geological Society of America, Hydrogeology Division.  During the spring semester of 1998 alone, he spoke at 35 colleges (including Carleton), universities, and national labs.

Hanor has produced 134 pa[ers in refereed journals, 133 abstracts of oral reports presented at scientific meetings, and two books.  Currently, he serves on the editorial board of the journal Geofluids.  Hanro has received 45 grants for scientific research during his tenure at LSU, and he is an elected fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Hanor and his wife, Leslie Wise Hanor '63, have two children and live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

G. Andrew Larsen ’61 • Distinguished Achievement Award

Visionary, mentor, catalyst, naturalist critical thinking, educator, free spirit--Andy Larsen was all of these things and more during his career as a dynamic conservationist.  Now director eritus and senior naturalst of the private non-profit Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg, Wisconsin, larsen has helped Riveredge grow exponentially since he arrived there in 1969.  Starting with only 71 acres, a two-person staff, and no environmental education program, Riveredge expanded with Larsen's guidance to become a sanctuary of 360 acres with a staff of 14 (plus hundreds of volunteers) and multiple programs for adults, families, and tens of thousands of children.

In addition, Larsen extended the environmental education programs from Riveredge to the North American prairies, the Russian steppes, the Costa Rican rainforest, Asia, Africa, and Alaska, by running ecology field trips at least once annually--often as many as four times a year--for 25 years.  Larsen also helped found the Tirimbina Rainforest Center in late 1994, which has rescued 750 acres of endangered rainforest from deforestation in Costa Rica.  Tirimbina is part of international efforts to preserve a corridor of forest habitat throughout Central America.

Larsen's environmental education efforts included a weekly statewide column for the Milwaukee Sentinel: "Nature Sketches," a weekly radio program; the book Begin with a Seed, Listen to the River; and 30 years of a bimonthly Riveredge newsletter.

A Carleton geology major who earned a masters of forestry degree from Yale University in 1963 and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Southern Brazil from 1963 to 1965, Larsen has garnered numerous awards for his varied efforts.  In 2008, Larsen received the Environmental Corridor Ovation (ECO) Award from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  In 2001, he was given the Green Umbrella Award.  In addition, Larsen has several other awards for conservation and environmental education to his credit.

Shortly after Larsen retired in 2001, the Riveredge Larsen Legacy Fund was established in his honor, with more than $1.3 million being raised to preserve the nature center.  Larsen has battled Parkinson's disease since 1988, and the Wisconsin Parkinson's Disease Foundation has cited him a positive example.

Larsen married classmate and "co-conspiritor" Judith Dian '61; they have two children and live in Cedarburg and Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Joan Hildebrandt Higinbotham • Exceptional Service Award

"Indefatigable dedication" and "imagination" are two of the qualities Joan Hildebrandt Higinbotham brought to her eight years as Carleton's alumni affairs director, and her efforts boosted alumni engagement and shaped the College's outreach to its alumni for years to come.

But it's not only Higinbotham's above and beyond alumni affairs work from 1995-2003 that qualifies her for this award; she has been a Carleton volunteer on many fronts for decades, both preceding and following her employment with the College.

Since 1989, Higinbotham has volunteered with the Alumni Annual Fund, and currently serves on the annual fund board (2009-present).  She aided the Career Center as a student futures volunteer (1982) and a career explorations volunteer (1986-1987), and has long been a frequent and enthusiastic participant in Twin Cities Carleton Club activities.  For many years, Higinbotham has hosted the annual Carleton in the Twin Cities Holiday Party at her home.  In addition, Higinbotham is part of the Class of 1966's 45th reunion program and gift committees.

During her years as director of alumni affairs, Higinbotham helped guide the transition from the former Alumni Board Structure to the new Alumni Council, and she was instrumental in nuturing newer volunteer and alumni outreach programs, including the new reunion model, the Multicultural Alumni Network and Out After Carleton, for which she was honored by Carleton's LGBT Council in 2006 with the Pride Award.

Higinbothm as a Carleton government major, and her earlier professional positions included working as the international relations coordinator for the City of Minneapolis and as the executive director for Common Cause (1993-1995).

She is also an active community volunteer, serving as a director of the Women's Foundation of Minnesota ad as a director co-chair of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, the Ramsey County Historical Society, and Rainbow Rumpus, and as a board of advisors member for the League of Women Voters of Minneapolis.

Higinbotham has two daughters, Katherine and Caroline Higinbotham Menk '97; Sherri Hildebrandt '80 is her sister.  Higinbotham lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Alice Louise Alldredge • Distinguished Achievement Award

Alice Louise Alldredge is an outstanding scholar, pioneering scientist, and multi-faceted contributor to the fields of biological and chemical oceanography.

A member of the faculty at the University of California--Santa Barbara since 1976, Alldredge has had several breakthroughs, including the use of blue water diving in the open ocean to study zooplankton, the discovery of the existence of abundant gel particles called Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP), the role of marine snow (the form of most settling material in the ocean) in the ecology and the cycling of carbon in the sea, and the existence of diverse guilds of marine plankton that change habitats from day to night.  

In 2008 Alldredge received the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) for her "broad, significant, and ongoing impact of oceanography" and for serving as a "beacon of excellence... through innovative science activities that have deepened our knowledge."  In 1992 Alldredge shared the Henry Bryant Bigelow Gold Medal from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with Dr. Mary Wilcox Silver for their creative research on marine snow.

Alldredge was a elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1990 and of the American Geophysical Union in 1998.  In 1996 she received the Campus Distinguished Teaching Award-Sciences, from UC-Santa Barbara.  Aldredge was the founding chair of the instiution's graduate program in marine science (1995-2004), and she has been chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology since 2004.  In addition, Alldredge has served on and chaired many committees for the ASLO, the National Research Council, and the National Science Foundation.

After majoring in biology at Carleton, Alldredge earned a PhD from the University of California-Davis in 1975 and was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in 1975-1976.

Alldredge and her husband, James M. King, have three children, and Alldredge noted she is grateful to have achieved academic and research success while balancing a family and spiritual life.  A resident of Goleta, California, Alldredge is a leader of a Buddhist meditation community in Santa Barbara and teaches insight/mindfulness meditation there.

Suzanne Lebsock • Distinguished Achievement Award

Scholar, author, and mentor extraordinaire--that's Suzanne Lebsock.  "Suzanne Lebsock is a groundbreaking historian of women and gender, a model mentor, and an important public intellectual," affirmed one of her colleagues.  "However stellar her scholarly contributions, Suzanne Lebsock has made an equally lasting contribution in the area of mentoring and fostering a national network of women historians."

Lebsock's first book, The Free Women of Petersburg, published in 1984, won the 1985 Bancroft Prize and the Berkshire Conference Prize.  Her most recent book, A Murder in Virginia: Southern Justice on Trial, was published in 2003 and honored by the Society of American Historians with the Francis Parkman Prize in 2004. 

In 1988 Lebsock received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1992 she was granted the MacArthur Fellowship (commonly known as the "Genius Award"), which enabled her to write her award-winning 2003 book.

Lebsock earned a PhD at the University of Virginia and was an associate professor at Rutgers University from 1977 to 1993, followed by appointments as a history professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1993-1995) and the University of Washington (1995-2003) before returning to Rutgers in 2003.  She is now the Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers and is an affiliate with the department of women and gender studies.

Lebsock primarily seeks ways to uncover, understand, and write about the lives of ordinary women, mainly in the American South.  writes Lebsock on her Rutgers homepage, "At present I'm curious about several subjects, including the concept of women's culture, the meanings of honor among people who presumably have known, and relationships between history and fiction."

Lebsock was a distinguished lecturer with the Organization of American Historians in 2004-05, and in 2006-07 she was a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow (Radcliffe Institute Fellows).  She is a member of several professional and academic organizations, including the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and Sisters in Crime, to name a few.

Lebsock has two children and lives in Highland Park, New Jersey.

Thomas A. Schroeder '71 • Exceptional Service Award

Tom Schroeder has maintained a high level of enthusiasm and affection for Carleton over the past 40 years, and his record of service to the College clearly reflects his devotion.  "Tom is a 'big picture' person and a 'get in the trenches' worker, so Carleton has been well served by his talents, energy, time, wise advice, upbeat attitude, and good humor," wrote one nominator.

Schroeder's participation extends to almost every area in which an alumnus can be involved--he is a longstanding Alumni Admissions Representative (AAR) and was the AAR Georgia team leader form 2000 to 2004, a member of the Alumni Admissions Board from 2007 to 2010, chair of the Georgia Carleton Club from 1992 to 1995, a member of the Carleton Clubs Advisory Group from 2004 to 2007, and an Alumni Council member from 1995 to 1999.  In addition, Schroeder has been an Alumni Annual Fund volunteer, has assisted with reunion planning for the Class of '71, and is an active volunteer with the Career Center, notably having been a partner in the center's public health and medicine Scholars trip to Atlanta--typically going above and beyond in his work on Carleton's behalf.

When not absorbed with Carleton volunteer projects, Schroeder is a senior attorney with the Georgia Lottery Corporation.  A Carleton math major, he holds a JD degree from Washington University (1974) and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management (1988), the latter of which was funded in part by the Carleton College Lofgren Alumni Business Fellowship.

Schroeder belongs to the American Corporate Counsel Association and was chapter secretary and member of the Georgia Chapter Board of Directors.  Other volunteer activities include serving as president of the Atlanta Area Alumni Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (the academic honor society of MBAs and accredited business school graduates) from 2002 to 2009 and as a past club president and area governor of Toastmasters International.  He also was a founding member of the National Safety Alliance Corporation, which made the Inc. 500 list for four consecutive years.

Schroeder and his wife, Susan, live in Acworth, Georgia, and have three daughters.

Barbara L. Fredrickson ’86 • Distinguished Achievement Award

Barbara Fredrickson is a pioneering academic social psychologist and an international leader in the field of positive psychology.  Her "broaden-and-build" theory explains how fleeting and pleasant states--like joy, interest, serenity, and love-- served humans in the past and how they continue to vitally shape people's health and well-being.

In 2006 Fredrickson became the Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she holds appointments in psychology and at the  Kenan-Flagler School of Business.  A summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa Carleton graduate, Fredrickson earned a PhD in psychology from Stanford University in 1990 and previously taught at Duke University (1993-1995) and at the University of Michigan (1997-2005).

At UNC Fredrickson directs the Postive Emotions and Psycholphysiology Laboratory (PEP Lab) where she and her collaborators conduct laboratory studies and randomized controlled trials on the effects of positive emotions on health and well-being, as well as on the body, the brain, and behavior.

Her research is accessible  to general audiences via her 2009 book Positivity, and she is coauthor of a leading introductory psychology textbook.  Her work also has been featured in national news outlets such as the New York Times Sunday Magazine, PBS, National Public Radio, CNN, USA Today, and Oprah Magazine.  In addition, she has met twice with the Dalai Lama to discuss connections between her research and Buddhist philosophy.

Fredrickson has received numerous honors, including the American Psychological Association's inaugural Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology (2000), the Society for Experimental Social Psychology's Career Trajectory Award, and several Excellence in Education and Research Awards.  Her work has received more than 15 consecutive years of research funding from the National Institute of Health, and her scientific contributions have influenced scholars and practitioners worldwide in a variety of disciplines.

Fredrickson is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 8: Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2005) and a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (2007).  She lives with her husband, Jeff Chappell, and their two sons in Carrboro, North Carolina.

C. Jill Moses ’86 • Distinguished Achievement Award

For the past 15 years, Jill Moses has made it her mission to provide pediatric care and public health services to the people of the Navajo Nation.

A pediatrician, Moses arrived at the Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility, Chinle Service Unity, Indian Health Service, in 1996.  Beginning in 1997 Moses also was the preventive medicine consultant there, and in 2001 she established (and continues to direct) the Chinle Division of Public Health--the first such division within the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, now a model for public health divisions in the Native American community.

After graduating from Carleton with a biology major, Moses spent a year teaching English in Taiwan.  She earned an MD degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1991 and completed her pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins in 1994.  Moses capped off her training with an MPH. degree from Johns Hopkins in 1995, along with a preventive medicine residency there in 1996.

Moses has helped the Chinle public health programs grow from a staff of 14 to more than 80, and she has established a wellness center, early intervention home visits, and a workforce development programs, as well as programs addressing school health, diabetes, and community nutrition.  She aims to continue building the public health infrastructure at Chinle to assure effective, responsive, and sustainable public health services into the future.

In addition, Moses developed the Local Emergency Planning Consortium and was instrumental in founding the Central Navajo Public Health Consortium and the Office of Native Medicine, the latter of which is a collaborative effort between traditional Navajo healing practitioners and Western doctors.

She received the Navajo Area Directors Award for Health Promotion in 2000 and has been recognized for her work with the 2005 Navajo Public Health System Assessment.

Moses also is a strong community leader, having helped establish a tenants' association and recycling center and leading a local book club at the government quarters where she and the majority of the health care providers live.

Moses has three teenage sons with her ex-husband, David Kumasaka '86 and Jeanne Moses '85 was her sister.  Moses lives in Chinle and Flagstaff, Arizona.

Jennifer A. Pietenpol ’86 • Distinguished Achievement Award

Jennifer Pietenpol is a preeminent and internationally recognized cancer researcher who performs and oversees research and patient care critical to the ongoing battle against an insidious disease.

The director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center since 2007, Pietenpol also is the B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Molecular Oncology at Vanderbilt-Ingram.  In 2008 she was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve a six-year term on the 12-member National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute.

After graduating from Carleton as a member of Sigma Xi and with honors in biology, Pietenpol earned a PhD in cell biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1990.  She continued her postgraduate training at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center before returning to Vanderbilt in 1995 as an assistant professor of biochemistry.  She achieved the rank of full professor in 2003.

Pietenpol's research has provided mechanistic insight to the tumor supporesor activity of the p53 gene, the most commonly mutated gene in cancers.  She also has overseen the rapid translation of laboratory research to the clinical therapy for one of the most difficult to treat breast cancers--triple negative breast cancer--and is assembling a team of experts at Vanderbilt to become one of the first health care providers to offer genome-informed cancer care.  Her research is funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, and the Komen Foundation.

In 1997 Pietenpol received the Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator Award in Toxicology.  In 2004 she was hnored with the Excellence in Teaching Award at Vanderbilt for her mentoring of graduate and medical students, and she was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2009.  She has written or co-written more than 100 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Pietenpol is serving a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research.  She was recently selected to serve on  the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Scientific Advisory Council to provide guidance on their research portfolio and scientific programs.

Pietenpol lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her son, Gavin.

T.J. Stiles ’86 • Distinguished Achievement Award

T.J. Stiles is making history, even as he writes it.  His most recent book, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, won the 2009 National Book Award for nonfiction and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for biography.

In April 2011 Stiles was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship to support his work on a new biography of George Armstrong Custer.

Stile's first biography, published in 2002, was Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. It was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was named a New York Times and American Library Association Notable Book, and was named one of the five best biographies of the year by the London Sunday Times.  It also received the English Speaking Union's Ambassador Book Award and the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War scholarship.

After graduating from Carleton with distinction in history, Stiles earned MA (1988) and MPhil (1991( degrees in European history at Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  For about 10 years thereafter he worked in the publishing industry (employed by Oxford University Press and Ballantine Books) and worked part time as a freelance write.

Stiles has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, and the Atlantic online.

A frequent lecturer, Stiles also has taught a master class in nonfiction creative writing at Columbia University's School of the Arts, and he received the Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American History at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2004-2005.

Stiles has practiced traditional Japanese Shotokan karate-do with the Japan Karate Association (JKA) for 30 years, and in 2010 he earned a fifth degree black belt.  He was presiden tof the Carleton Karate Club and founded a JKA karate club at Columbia University in 1986.

In 2006 Stiles moved to San Francisco, California with his wife Jessica; they have one son.  Stiles shares his Carleton roots with his father, Clifford D. Stiles '53 and sister Karen Stiles '90.

Elizabeth L. Robinson '01 • In the Spirit of Carleton Award

Elizabeth Robinson is doing her part to make positive changes in the world--specifically, she is working to eliminate the risk of HIV infection among young Namibians.

In July 2004 Robinson founded Sekolo Projects, an organization focused on HIV prevention education for Namibian youth.  By November 2004 Robinson had received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS, enabling fundraising for Sekolo's first program, "Our HIV ABC."  She ultimately $550,000 over six years to achieve the organization's aims.

Robinson then spent 18 months training 920 teachers at 53 workshops held in regional centers across Namibia, essentially equipping one teacher in each of Namibia's secondary schools to effectively educate teenagers about HIV.  Partly due to Sekolo's training program, the 2008 official figures for new youth HIV infection rates in Namibia decreased by a dramatic 50 percent.

Robinson, who majored in religion and completed a concentration in French and Francophone studies while at Carleton, initially went to Aminuis, Namibia, in January 2002 to be a volunteer teacher with WorldTeach.  During her two-year stint in that position, Robinson taught English classes for sixth- and seventh- grade students while also developing a passion to help those whose health is endangered by HIV.  Her success in founding and leading an HIV and AIDS awareness club for adolescents led her to the idea for Sekolo Projects.

In August 2006 Robinson founded Sekolo Projects Namibia as a Namibian welfare organization--the equivalent of a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization--with a local board of directors.  Currently Robinson is in the midst of a two-year transition period to sustainable local management of Sekolo Projects.

When not in Namibia, Robinson lives with her husband and business partner, Geoffrey Silver, in Astoria, New York. Robinson shares her Carleton connection with several relatives, including her brother, Camenzind Robinson '01, and an aunt, Terry Robinson '62.

 

 

 

 

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