Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Biographies for the recipients of the awards listed and linked below have been updated when possible. Otherwise, they represent the information available as of the dates of induction. Send updates or corrections.

  • Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Award: Established in September 2000 to recognize Livingston College alumni who have distinguished themselves by contributions they have made in their chosen fields of endeavor, by the leadership they have exhibited, and by the general benefits to the larger society resulting from their activities.
  • Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award: Established in November 2004 in memory of Army First Lt. Seth Jeremy Dvorin '02 (Administration of Justice), who was tragically killed in Iraq on February 3, 2004. The Seth Dvorin Award is presented to Livingston College young alumni 30 years old and under who have distinguished themselves by contributions they have made in their chosen fields of endeavor, by the leadership they have exhibited, and by the general benefits to the larger society resulting from their activities. The three recipients of this award are noted below.

2015 Inductees

The 2015 Livingston College Distinguished Alumni and Livingston Legacy Awards were presented Tuesday, November 10, at the Rutgers Club in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LAA honored three distinguished alumni: 

ROBERT P. BERTRAND  (LC'01) KENNETH B. COP (LC'95) DEBORAH L. STOKES (LC'74)
Robert Bertrand Kenneth Cop Deborah Stokes
Radio Engineer
Bio and video
Rutgers University Executive Director of Police Services / Chief of Police
Bio and video
Museum Curator and Arts Educator
Bio and video

The Livingston Legacy Award went to Wilson Carey McWilliams, a distinguished political science professor from Livingston College who died in 2005.


2013 Inductees

The 2013 LAA Distinguished Alumni and Livingston Legacy Awards were presented Wednesday, October 9, at the Rutgers Club. LAA honored three distinguished alumni:  

NDIDI N. AMUTAH  (LC'03) NICHOLAS FERRONI (LC'03) JESSIE J. HANNA (LC'07)
Ndidi Amutah Nicholas Ferroni Jessie J. Hanna
Assistant Professor
Researcher on Health and Nutrition
Bio and video
Educator and Historian
Bio and videos
Physician
Researcher on Pediatric Cancer
Bio and video

The Livingston Legacy Award went to Roger Cohen, a professor emeritus of Livingston's and Rutgers' journalism program. 


2011 Inductees

On Saturday, May 14, 2011, the Livingston Alumni Association honored Edward M. (Eddie) Jordan and Gregory Q. Brown as Distinguished Alumni, at a ceremony at the Livingston Student Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Brown received the LAA Distinguished Alumni Award in a presentation held on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at Winants Hall, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.) 

GREGORY Q. BROWN (LC'82) EDWARD M. JORDAN (SMLR'15)
Gregory Q. Brown Eddie Jordan
Rutgers Board of Governors Chair;
Business Leader
Bio and video
 Rutgers Men's Basketball Head Coach (2013-2016)
and Player (1973-1977)
Bio and video

2009 Inductees

On Saturday, May 16, 2009, the Livingston Alumni Association presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to the following outstanding Livingston College graduates: 

KEVIN APUZZIO (LC'06) MARLA DIAMOND (LC'92)
Kevin Apuzzio Marla Diamond
Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award
 Heroic
Emergency Medical Technician
(Posthumous, died in 2006)
Video
Radio Journalist
Video
FRANCOISE JACOBSOHN (LC'78) MARTHA NELL SMITH (LC'85)
Francoise Jacobsohn Martha Nell Smith
 Advocate for Women's Rights
Video
Professor of English;
Emily Dickinson Scholar
Video

KEVIN APUZZIO (LC'06, Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumnus) had worked as an emergency medical technician in Rutgers Department of Emergency Services for more than three years before his death in April 2006, when he died trying to save someone in a house fire. One year to the day after Kevin's passing, members of the Rutgers community and the Apuzzio family gathered in the university's Public Safety Building to honor him by renaming the training facility the Kevin Apuzzio Training Center. Kevin was presented posthumously with the Rutgers University Alumni Association Meritorious Service Award for Community Service in 2006.

MARLA DIAMOND (LC'92) has been a mainstay on the WCBS Newsradio 880 staff since 1997. She joined WCBS as its New Jersey correspondent and currently covers New York City for the station. Her radio career started at New Brunswick's WCTC-AM and she also served as a public relations director for a New Jersey hospital. Diamond has won numerous awards in her career at WCBS, including the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in radio reporting.

FRANCOISE JACOBSOHN (LC'78) is the Project Manager for Equality Works, Legal Momentum's Economic Justice Program focusing on expanding women's participation in high-paying non-traditional employment. She was named Project Manager for Women Rebuild in 2004. A former president of NOW-NYC, she most recently worked on an institutional and community-building project for public education in Upper Manhattan. Françoise has been working in women's rights and community building for more than twenty years both in Europe and in the United States. She is a member of the New York City Mayor's Commission on Construction Opportunity, established in March 2005, to ensure that women and minorities gain access to work in the construction trades. Françoise has taught a class on "Women, the Law and Public Opinion" for France's Political Science Institute, worked for a European nonprofit focused on violence against women at the workplace, and helped set up one of the early battered women's shelters in New Jersey in the late 1970s. 

MARTHA NELL SMITH (LC'85) is Professor of English and Founding Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. Her numerous print publications include three award-winning books— Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Dickinson, coauthored with Ellen Louise Hart (1998), Comic Power in Emily Dickinson , coauthored with Cristanne Miller and Suzanne Juhasz (1993), Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson (1992)—and more than 40 articles and essays in American Literature, Studies in the Literary Imagination, South Atlantic Quarterly , Women's Studies Quarterly, Profils AmericainsSan Jose Studies, The Emily Dickinson Journal, and A Companion to Digital Humanities. With Mary Loeffelholz, she edited a Companion to Emily Dickinson (December 2007), and she has also written Dickinson, A User's Guide (July 2009) for Wiley-Blackwell. 


2006 Inductees

On Saturday, October 14, 2006, the following alumni were presented with Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Awards (view a photo gallery from the event; photos by Steve Goodman): 

AVERY BROOKS (LC'73) COLLEEN FRASER (LC'74) MARK HELIAS (LC'74)
Avery Brooks Colleen Fraser Mark Helias
Actor; Professor, Mason Gross
School of the Arts
Video
Advocate for People with Disabilities;
Hero of United Airlines Flight 93
(Posthumous, died in 2001)
Bio and video
Jazz Musician and Composer
Video
LIZA KIRSCHENBAUM (LC'87) ANDREA D. LYON (LC'73) GREGG SPIRIDELLIS (LC'93)
Liza Kirschenbaum Andrea D. Lyon Gregg Spiridellis
Advocate for Children in the Courts
Video
Law School Dean;
Expert in Death-Penalty Defense
Bio and video
Seth Dvorin Distinguished
Young Alumni Award

Entrepreneur in Online Entertainment
Bio and video

AVERY BROOKS (LC'73), actor and tenured professor at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, is best known to American TV audiences for his roles as Commodore/Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and Hawk on "Spenser: For Hire." Known for his dedication to African-American issues, Brooks serves as artistic director for the National Black Arts Festival, in association with Rutgers University. He spent 10 years performing the acclaimed role of Phillip Hayes Dean in the play "Paul Robeson," including performances at the Westwood Playhouse and the Kennedy Center. Brooks has hosted several documentaries and served as narrator in such features as the IMAX film "Africa's Elephant Kingdom." 

COLLEEN FRASER (LC'74), Advocate for People with Disabilities. Hero of United Airlines Flight 93. Bio and video.

MARK HELIAS (LC'74), a world-renowned bassist and composer, has been making innovative music since the mid­seventies and epitomizes Livingston’s early reputation as a jazz music school hotbed. He has released eight albums since 1984 and has worked with numerous bands. Helias has also composed music for short film and two feature films by director Jay Anania. In addition to his many performances on records and CDs, Helias has produced recordings for other artists. Helias is currently leading and collaborating on various projects, and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School and The School for Improvised Music.

LIZA KIRSCHENBAUM (LC'87), the founding state director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey. Liza currently serves as CASA’s director of public affairs. She earned her Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law after graduating summa cum laude from Livingston. In addition to fulfilling her duties as CASA of New Jersey’s Director of Public Affairs, Liza serves on the Advisory Board of Foster and Adoptive Family Services of New Jersey, the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and the Task Force Protection Sub-Committee. 

ANDREA D. LYON (LC'73), Law School Dean, Expert in Death-Penalty Defense. Bio amd video.

GREGG SPIRIDELLIS (LC'93, Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumnus), Entrepreneur in Online Entertainment. Bio and video.


2004 Inductees

On Saturday, November 6, 2004, the following alumni were presented with Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Awards:

FRANK CARVILL (LC'75) GINA COLLINS CUMMINGS (LC'84) EDWARD E. JOHNSON, JR. (LC'79)
Frank T. Carvill Gina Collins Cummings Edward E. Johnson, Jr.
New Jersey National Guardsman
Killed in Iraq
(Posthumous, died in 2004)
Bio
Environmental, Health
and Social Justice Activist
Bio
Wall Street Executive
Bio
MICHAEL C. LARACY (LC'74) KAREN ROGERS (LC'92) HARRY V. SWAYNE III (LC'90)
Michael C. Laracy Karen Rogers Harry V. Swayme III
Advocate for Children and Families
Bio
Seth Dvorin Distinguished
Young Alumni Award

Television Meteorologist/Journalist
Bio
Football Executive and Player
Bio

2002 Inductees

On Saturday, October 12, 2002, LAA honored four Distinguished Alumni:

THOMAS F. DALEY (LC'75) SUSAN KILLE (LC'74)
Thomas F. Daley Susan Kille
District Attorney; Judge;
Adjunct Professor of Law
(died in 2015)
Bio
Newspaper Journalist
Bio
DAVID A. LASKOW (LC'77) STEVEN D. PLOFKER (LC'78)
David A. Laskow Steven D. Plofker
Surgeon; Associate Professor of Surgery
Bio
Real Estate Developer; Attorney
Bio

2000 Inductees

At a brunch on Saturday, September 9, 2000, LAA honored four Distinguished Alumni:

RIKI JACOBS (LC'80) CLIFTON R. LACY (LC'75)
Riki Jacobs Clifton R. Lacy
Director of AIDS Support Organization;
Health Educator (died in 2009)
Bio
Medical Leader;
New Jersey State Health Commissioner
Bio
JOHN S. LIPORI (LC'77) ALFRED E. RAMEY, JR. (LC'73)
John S. Lipori Alfred E. Ramey, Jr.
Banking Executive
Bio
University Counsel;
New Jersey Assistant Attorney General
Bio

Revised May 16, 2016