College of LAS « Illinois

College of LAS names alumni award winners

Seven recipients will be honored for exceptional careers

The College of LAS has named seven recipients of the 2018 annual alumni awards.
The College of LAS has named seven recipients of the 2018 annual alumni awards.
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has announced the recipients of its 2018 annual alumni awards. The recipients represent a variety of backgrounds and degrees, from microbiology and economics to history, psychology, and mathematics. Their remarkable achievements are linked to their experiences and connections at the University of Illinois.

Most recipients will be honored on campus during Homecoming weekend, but due to scheduling conflicts one alumna will be honored on campus in September.

“This year’s LAS alumni award winners are an exceptional group,” said Feng Sheng Hu, the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. “We are honored to count them among our alumni, and we are inspired knowing that their outstanding careers have roots in the education they received in the College of LAS.”

The recipients are as follows:

Anne Carpenter (PhD, ’03, cell and structural biology), LAS Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Carpenter is director of the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, where she is also an institute scientist. She directs a team of biologists and computer scientists in developing data image analysis and data exploration methods and software that are freely open to the public.

Joanne Chory (MS, ’80; PhD, ’84; microbiology), LAS Alumni Achievement Award. Chory is a professor and director of the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and was recently awarded a 2018 Breakthrough Prize for her pioneering work deciphering how plants optimize their growth, development, and cellular structure to transform sunlight into chemical energy.

Richard Clarida (BS, ’79, economics), LAS Alumni Achievement Award. Clarida is an American economist, the C. Lowell Harriss Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and global strategic advisor for Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC. He is a former assistant secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy (head of the Office of Economic Policy in the U.S. Department of the Treasury) and is a recipient of the Treasury Medal.

Rebecca Darr (BS, ’90, psychology), LAS Alumni Humanitarian Award. Darr is the chief executive officer of the Women in Need Growing Stronger (WINGS) Program that provides emergency and long-term housing, integrated services, education, and advocacy to end domestic violence. She also serves on the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues and several task forces including the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Northwest Suburban Alliance on Domestic Violence.

Marie Trzupek Lynch (BA, ‘94, history), LAS Alumni Humanitarian Award. Trzupek Lynch is president and CEO of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, a nonprofit organization that guides unemployed and underemployed individuals back to work. Since 2012, Skills has placed more than 5,000 job seekers into jobs at more than 70 businesses, and the organization opened its first expansion site in Rhode Island. Skills has drawn local and national acclaim for its pioneering methods of job placement.

Mary Lynn Reed (MS, ’90; PhD, ’95; mathematics), LAS Alumni Achievement Award. Reed serves as chief of mathematics research at the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA is the largest employer of mathematicians in the United States, and Reed manages roughly 10-15 percent of them. She has set directions for internal research at NSA in both mathematics and computer science, including recent developments in artificial intelligence and cryptanalysis.

John (PhD, ’61, chemistry) and Margaret Witt, LAS Dean’s Quadrangle Award. John Witt studied organic chemistry at Illinois before joining the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle. He and his wife were at Searle when the artificial sweetener Nutrasweet was discovered there in 1965. John later served as vice president for research and development at the Nutrasweet Company. After retirement, John began consulting work as president of his own company, Witt Science Consulting. He has been a guest lecturer at Illinois.

Dave Evensen

Related Topics

  • Alumni Honors
  • Collegewide
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Cell and Structural Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Humanities
  • Social and behavioral science
  • Life science
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