Skip to main content

And the alumni awards go to …

March 21, 2011 By Kate Dixon

The Wisconsin Alumni Association is awarding honors this season to generations of University of Wisconsin–Madison graduates who make positive impacts on campus, across Wisconsin and in communities throughout the world.

Eight UW–Madison graduates are receiving WAA’s 75th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards, the association’s highest honor. Young alumni are being recognized with the Forward under 40 awards, alumni chapters are honoring local graduates with Badger of the Year awards, and WAA is honoring outstanding UW–Madison faculty with the Distinguished Teaching Awards for their role in preparing future graduates.

Information about all WAA award recipients is available here.

“We’re inspired by how these honorees advance the Wisconsin Idea across the globe through their lives and work,” says Paula Bonner MS’78, WAA’s president and CEO. “Their ideas and contributions are truly changing the world, and we are proud to call them Badgers.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award celebrates outstanding UW–Madison graduates whose professional achievements, contributions to society and support of the university exemplify the Wisconsin Idea. This year’s honorees include alumni who have made significant impacts on an international level. These alumni will be recognized during Alumni Weekend in April and at the International Convocation on campus in July.

Now in their fourth year, the Forward under 40 awards recognize UW–Madison alumni under the age of 40 who live the Wisconsin Idea by using their UW–Madison education to improve and enhance the lives of others. The 13 honorees are featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Forward under 40, a publication distributed to 80,000 alumni and WAA members. Full profiles of the honorees are at

The Badger of the Year awards are bestowed by WAA alumni chapters to recognize alumni who make a positive impact on their communities as leaders, volunteers, educators and advocates. The awards have traditionally been awarded from chapters in Wisconsin, but this year, as the association celebrates its 150th anniversary, chapters around the United States are honoring alumni at this season’s Founders’ Day events.

In cooperation with the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, WAA is honoring 10 faculty members with the Distinguished Teaching Awards in recognition of excellence in teaching. Nominated by department faculty, the awards include the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award, the William H. Kiekhofer Distinguished Teaching Award, The Emil Steiger Teaching Awards, the Van Hise Outreach Award, and six Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards. These recipients will be honored at a campus reception on April 27.

WAA also provides financial support for the Wisconsin Alumni Association Awards for Excellence in Leadership, presented to academic staff at UW–Madison by the Academic Staff Assembly’s Professional Development and Recognition Committee.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

The WAA is honoring eight UW–Madison alumni with the 75th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. More details are can be found here.

The honorees are:

  • Dennis Dimick MS’74, Arlington, Va.: Dimick is National Geographic Magazine’s executive editor for the environment. He’s served as picture editor for a dozen National Geographic books, and has overseen projects on energy and climate change that have been recognized by the Overseas Press Club, the Society of Environmental Journalists and Pictures of the Year International.
  • Krishna Ella PhD’93, Hyderabad, India: A scientist turned entrepreneur, Ella is most notably a humanitarian, supplying affordable hepatitis vaccines to millions of people around the globe. His company, Bharat Biotech International, Ltd., has supplied 1.5 billion vaccine doses to more than 65 countries and has paved the way for many other biotech businesses in India.
  • Dong-Soo Hur MS’68, PhD’71, Seoul, Korea: Hur is chairman and chief executive officer of GS Caltex, the oldest private oil company in the Republic of Korea. An advocate of diversification and sustainability, he also chairs the Korean Business Council for Sustainable Development and leads other national committees on the environment.
  • Kamoltip Payakvichien MA’71, Bangkok, Thailand: Payakvichien is the founder of the Wangree Resort hotel in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand. She also co-founded the Wisconsin Alumni Association Thailand Chapter, and established the Farmer Career Center at her resort to help local farmers improve their lives through technology.
  • Aicardo Roa-Espinosa MS’85, PhD’89, Madison: President of Soil Net LLC, a global industry authority in the use of biodegradable polymers in agriculture, Roa-Espinosa was also the first president of Centro Hispano of Dane County. Today, he supports UW–Madison student researchers through his company’s work and is an honorary fellow of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
  • Stephen Roach ’68, New York City: Known as one of Wall Street’s most influential economists, Roach’s 28-year career with Morgan Stanley has included roles as chief economist and chairman of the firm’s Asian businesses. Today he’s a senior fellow and senior lecturer with the Jackson Institute and the School of Management at Yale University.
  • Carol Toussaint ’51, Madison: A tireless advocate for women, civic leadership and community service — and an active volunteer leader for her alma mater — Toussaint is the owner of Vantage Point, a lecture business that promotes networking for Madison-area women. She was also instrumental in the creation of Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts.
  • David Walsh BBA’65, Madison: An attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP, Walsh BBA’65 (JD’70, Harvard) extends his expertise to fields as varied as telecommunications law, sports law and estate planning. His distinguished public service to Madison, the state of Wisconsin and the university includes serving as a member of the UW System Board of Regents, as well as his personal quest to further medical research at UW–Madison.

Forward under 40 Awards

The WAA has honored 13 UW–Madison alumni with the Forward under 40 awards. Full profiles of the honorees are at The 2011 recipients are:

  • Lynsey Addario ’95, New Delhi, India. A freelance photojournalist, Addario risks her life to tell the stories of soldiers and civilians in international war zones.
  • Anthony Eggert ’96, Davis, Calif. Eggert is deputy secretary for energy policy for California EPA, and serves on energy institute boards at the University of California campuses in Berkeley and Davis.
  • Nathan Franz ’01, Washington, D.C. Franz works with underrepresented youth as teacher and chair of the math department at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, located in one of the nation’s most challenged school districts.
  • Heather Hasson ’04 of Santa Monica, Calif. Hasson is CEO and creative director at Fashion Inspired Global Sophistication, where the Threads for Threads program helps kids access education in Africa.
  • Alfred Johnson III ’06, Bellwood, Ill. Johnson is the youngest solution development manager at the Fortune 500 company, W.W. Grainger, and founder of Inspiratude Coaching Solutions.
  • Dalia Mogahed ’91, Arlington, Va. Mogahed is a senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she leads the analysis of an unprecedented survey of Muslims worldwide, and is also the founding director of the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center.
  • Kelly Parthen MA’99, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Shannon Seip MA’97, Madison. The duo started Bean Sprouts Café in Middleton, Wis., and are now expanding their efforts to encourage childhood nutrition.
  • Rudy Quiles ME’09, Monterey, Calif. A civil affairs officer with the U.S. Marine Corps, Quiles worked to create jobs for citizens affected by war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Mark Riccobono ’99, Baltimore, Md. Riccobono promotes Braille literacy for blind children as executive director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.
  • Ryan Sarafolean ’07, St. Paul, Minn. Sarafolean is co-founder and U.S. development director of the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, a free school in Kenya where volunteer teachers empower and educate more 130 women students each year.
  • Leticia Smith-Evans JD’03, MS’04, PhD’10, Brooklyn, N.Y. Smith-Evans is assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she focuses on issues such as school desegregation and closing achievement and opportunity gaps in education.
  • Jake Wood ’05, Burbank, Calif. President of disaster-aid organization Team Rubicon, Wood was recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama for turning his military experience into public service in earthquake-stricken Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

The WAA and the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty are honoring University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty with the 2011 Distinguished Teaching Awards. More information can be found here. The 2011 recipients are:

  • Pablo Ancos-Garcia, assistant professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, William H. Kiekhofer Distinguished Teaching Award;
  • Michael Jay McClure, assistant professor, Department of Art, Emil H. Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award;

Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards:

  • Pupa Gilbert, professor, Department of Physics;
  • Jeffrey D. Hardin, professor, Department of Zoology;
  • Mark L. Louden, professor, Department of German;
  • Melanie Manion, professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs/Department of Political Science;
  • Freida High Wasikhongo Tesfagiorgis, professor, Department of Afro-American Studies;
  •  V. Giri Venkataramanan, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering;
  • Galen A. McKinley, assistant professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award;
  • Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, professor, Department of Chemistry, Van Hise Outreach Award.

Recipients will be honored at a campus reception on Wednesday, April 27, from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Fluno Center. Click here for registration.