Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
- 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.
|ROBERT P. BERTRAND (LC'01)||KENNETH B. COP (LC'95)||DEBORAH L. STOKES (LC'74)|
| Chief Engineer for CBS Radio in the New York City market.
Bio and video.
| Rutgers University Executive Director of Police Services / Chief of Police.
Bio and video.
| Curator for Education and Head of K-12 Programming at the Smithsonian Institution - Museums.
Bio and video.
NDIDI N. AMUTAH (LC ’03), is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Services, Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Montclair State University, and a fellow of the Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars. Dr. Amutah completed her dissertation focused on infant mortality in Washington, DC, and it specifically examined neighborhood level disadvantage, social determinants of health, and race/ethnicity as predictors of infant mortality. Originally from Trenton, New Jersey, Dr. Amutah has a long-standing commitment to public health that spans more than 10 years of public health experience. Her current research interests include health disparities, reproductive health, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS in ethnic minority populations. Dr. Amutah has worked as a researcher in community-based research settings in a variety of areas including maternal and child health, health disparities, and HIV/AIDS. She has published and presented in the area of HIV/AIDS and infant mortality in urban communities. She has served as president of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues and a director of The Women’s Collective, a nonprofit social service agency for women of color who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in Washington, DC.
On 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 December 14, 2011, at Winants Hall, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.)
When EDDIE JORDAN (LC'77, SMLR'15) took to the basketball court, the College Avenue Gym shook with cheers of "Eddie, Eddie," sparking a wave of enthusiasm and school spirit that captivated the state. He responded in spectacular fashion, scoring a total of 1,632 points and setting all-time Rutgers records with 585 assists and 220 steals. He led the 1975–76 undefeated basketball team to the NCAA Final Four. He was drafted into the NBA in 1977 by the Cleveland Cavaliers and acquired by the New Jersey Nets midway through his rookie year. As a Net, he led the league in total steals in 1978–79 and was second in total steals in 1979–80. He joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980, and earned a place on the 1982 World Championship squad. In his seven-year career, he averaged 8.1 points, 3.8 assists, and 1.82 steals per game. His coaching career began at Rutgers and included a number of positions in both collegiate and professional basketball. He spent four years as lead assistant coach of the Nets, guiding them to consecutive Eastern Conference championships in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, the Washington Wizards named Jordan head coach, a position he held through 2008. Jordan led the Wizards to four straight playoff appearances, which includes the team's first postseason series win since 1982.
GREGORY Q. BROWN (LC '82) is president and chief executive officer of Motorola Solutions, Inc. Brown joined Motorola in 2003 and was elected to the company's board of directors in 2007. He became president and CEO of Motorola in January 2008. Since that time, he has served as CEO or co-CEO of Motorola.
Brown earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Rutgers University and is a member of the Rutgers University board of trustees and board of overseers. In addition to his responsibilities at Motorola Solutions, Brown is an active member of the civic and business communities. He is a member of the Business Council, Business Roundtable, Technology CEO Council, Commercial Club of Chicago and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital board. He is also on the executive committee of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) and is a member of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. Prior to joining Motorola, he was chairman and CEO of Micromuse Inc., a publicly traded network management software company. Before that, he was president of Ameritech Custom Business Services and Ameritech New Media Inc. Prior to joining Ameritech in 1987, Brown held a variety of sales and marketing positions with AT&T.Brown served as president and chief operating officer of Motorola beginning in 2007. Previously, he headed four different businesses at Motorola, including the government and public safety, networks, enterprise and automotive businesses. Brown also led the $3.9 billion acquisition of Symbol Technologies, the second largest transaction in Motorola's history and an important strategic move to strengthen Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business.
On Saturday, May 16, 2009, the Livingston Alumni Association presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to the following outstanding Livingston College graduates:
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 70s.
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 Americains, San 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.
2009 Seth Dvorin Young Alumni Award
KEVIN APUZZIO (LC ‘06) 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.
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), 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." Watch Avery Brooks' video.
COLLEEN FRASER (LC ’74), was one of the heroes of United Airlines Flight 93 who kept their plane from becoming another weapon of destruction on September 11, 2001. Fraser, an advocate for people with disabilities for 20 years, served on the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council for more than 11 years. She was appointed chair of the Council by Governor James Florio in 1990 and served in that position for five years. Watch Colleen Fraser's 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. Watch Mark Helias' video.
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. Watch Liza Kirschenbaum's video.
ANDREA D. LYON (LC '73). In his widely publicized speech in 2003 pardoning several innocent death row prisoners and commuting all death sentences to life imprisonment, then-Governor James Ryan of Illinois singled out for praise DePaul University Law Professor Andrea Lyon, who has spent her career trying capital cases. According to Ryan, Lyon and her students at the Death Penalty Legal Clinic saved the life of inmate Madison Hobley. Lyon is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director, Center for Justice in Capital Cases at DePaul University College of Law. She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of death penalty defense and is a frequent speaker on the topic at legal education conferences around the United States. Watch Andrea Lyons' video.
2006 Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award
GREGG SPIRIDELLIS (LC ’93), the co-owner of JibJab Media. Greg and his brother Evan started their company in 1999 from a garage in Brooklyn, NY. In 2004, Gregg’s lyrics and Evan’s art helped spark an international sensation with the release of JibJab’s election parody “This Land.” The two minute short and its follow-up “Good To Be in DC!” were seen over 80 million times online and on every continent. The media frenzy that followed put the brothers in front of millions of people watching The Tonight Show, CNN, FOX, CNBC and the Today Show. ABC World News Tonight even named the brothers “Persons of the Year. Watch Gregg Spiridellis' video.
On Saturday, November 6, 2004, the following alumni were presented with Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Awards:
FRANK CARVILL (LC '75), was a member of the New Jersey National Guard serving in Iraq. He was killed on June 4 when his convoy was ambushed by a roadside explosive device in the Shiite district of Sadr City in Baghdad. Sgt. Carvill was part of Task Force Baghdad, made up primarily of elements of the Texas-based 1st Cavalry Division. Carvill had survived both terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. On September 11, 2001, he was working in the North Tower as a paralegal for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He was helping a co-worker with a disability get into a van to go to a court appearance in Brooklyn when he saw the first plane hit the building. Sgt. Carvill's accomplishments honor Livingston College and the entire Rutgers community.
GINA COLLINS CUMMINGS (LC '84), was active during college with the New Jersey Public Interest Group (NJPIRG) and continued her work with PIRG after graduation. Her activities in organizing students led her to be the founder of an organization called Green Corps. This programs goal was to train aspiring young activists to become grassroots environmental organizers. While organizing Green Corps, she was also the USPIRG Field Director and ran environmental campaigns in all 50 states. After ten years with Green Corps, she became director of Constituency Outreach for Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). In that capacity, she has developed and implemented the strategic plans for a number of PHR campaigns, including Health Action AIDS, the US Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Campaign to Eliminate Conflict Diamonds and the Campaign for Womens Health in Afghanistan. Most recently, her activities focus on an international effort to fight AIDS and an effort to abolish the death penalty for juveniles in the United States.
EDWARD E. JOHNSON, JR. (LC '79), received his BA degree in Psychology from Livingston College in 1979 and subsequently attended New York University Graduate School of Business Administration in 1983. Edward took an unusual route to Wall Street. Specifically, he went via Fifth Avenue, as in Saks Fifth Avenue, where he was one of its youngest managers. During a summer internship at Salomon Brothers, he was captivated by sales and trading. His skills landed him a full-time job at Salomon and, in 1989, at Merrill Lynch & Co. He was a first vice president of Merrill Lynch's Managed Solutions Group. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Advent Capital Management, LLC. Black Enterprise Magazine named him to its list of The Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street in 2002. He assists his alma mater by serving on the Livingston College Dean's Advisory Council.
MICHAEL C. LARACY (LC ’74), successfully transferred his bachelor's degree in urban planning and policy analysis into 25-year career of leadership in human services reform in state government and in national philanthropy. His work focuses on income security for low-income children and families. Currently, he is a Senior Associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland, where he is responsible for the Foundations initiatives and grant-making agenda in income security. Laracy has led multi-foundation efforts and has a record of successfully overseeing and directing complex system and policy innovations. For example, Laracys efforts resulted in the crafting of new income security and support systems for low-income working families, including income tax reform most notably the $80 billion expansion of the federal EITC and Child Tax Credit in 2001. Prior to joining the Foundation in 1994, Laracy was Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Program Evaluation in the New Jersey Department of Human Services, where he served for 17 years.
HARRY V. SWAYNE III (LC '90), enjoyed a brilliant career as a defensive tackle for the Scarlet Knights from 1983-1986. His best season came as a senior in 1986, when he registered 51 tackles, five sacks, nine tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked him in the seventh round of the NFL draft in 1987. In 1991, he signed with the San Diego Chargers, with whom he started as left tackle in Super Bowl XXIX. Swayne then signed with the Denver Broncos in 1997, where he won two Super Bowls. He subsequently went on to play for the Baltimore Ravens in 1999-2000 and won another Super Bowl. He most recently played for the Miami Dolphins. Last year, Swayne was inducted into the Rutgers Football Hall of Fame. He is currently the Team Chaplain for the Chicago Bears. He is also a missionary for Athletics in Action, which is affiliated with Campus Crusades for Christ.
2004 Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award
KAREN ROGERS (LC ’92), an honors graduate of Livingston College's Class of 1992. In addition to being valedictorian of her communication class, she was the class speaker at her commencement convocation and is listed in "Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities." Rogers was a 1992-93 Rotary International Scholar and studied at the Graduate Centre for Journalism Studies at the University of Wales. She is currently the weekday weather and traffic anchor for the morning newscast on WPVI-TV (6ABC) Action News in Philadelphia, one of the most widely viewed programs in the country. Rogers joined 6ABC in 1996 as a reporter and producer for AM/Philadelphia. She had previously worked at 6ABC from WHSP-TV in Vineland, NJ, where she was a host and producer of a weekly public affairs program and the monthly show "Congressional Reports." Rogers also anchored daily news cut-ins and filed feature reports for WHSP-TV. Prior to WHSP-TV, she was a features reporter for several cable stations in southern New Jersey. She co-hosts "Philly on Wheels," and reports for the 6ABC/Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 4th of July Parade and First Union Bike Race. In addition to her work at 6ABC, Rogers is active in supporting young people. A first runner-up to Miss New Jersey in 1994, she often hosts or judges local pageants. Rogers has also been active in the fight against child abuse, and has taught elementary school students empowerment skills for reporting and preventing abuse.
On Saturday, October 12, 2002, LAA honored the following Distinguished Alumni:
SUSAN KILLE (LC 74), editor of the in-house wire service connecting 14 regional newspapers of The New York Times Company. Kille graduated from Livingston College in 1974 (five years after its founding) with a major in Human Communications. She was drawn to Livingston because it promised a diverse student body and a social vision that didn't exist on the South Jersey shore. While in college, she was an intern at the Rutgers News Service and also worked at the Targum. She began working for newspapers when she landed a summer job in 1970 at her hometown newspaper, the Ocean City Sentinel-Ledger. She has also worked for The Press in Atlantic City and The Morning Star in Wilmington, N.C. Ms. Kille had been away from the campus for more than 25 years when Dean Arnold G. Hyndman invited her to join his alumni advisory committee. "I like to arrive early for meetings and walk through Tillett Hall, which was one of the first buildings on campus and where just about everything happened during my college days," she says. "I see pieces of the past, but also the activity of the present. Then I walk into Quad 1 and look up at my old window and think -- in words that resonated around those walls in the 70s -- 'what a long, strange trip it's been." Kille is married to Tom Sawyer (yes, that's his real name) and they live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with their two children, Lucy, 20, and Eva, 17.
THOMAS F. DALEY (LC '75), Appellate Judge in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in Louisiana, a position he has held since 1996. He received his JD from Loyola University School of Law. He served as an Assistant District Attorney for St. John the Baptist Parish, in private practice, and then as State District Court Judge and Chief Judge. Justice Daley is also an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University School of Law, and serves on the Louisiana Supreme Court Committees on Judicial Ethics and Legal Internships.
STEVEN D. PLOFKER (LC '78), real estate developer and attorney. Mr. Plofker earned an MA in Urban Planning/Policy Analysis at Harvard and a JD from Rutgers University School of Law, Newark. Among his many community activities, he serves as a member of the Livingston College Deans Advisory Board, Co-Chair of the Mountainside Hospital Campaign in Montclair, is currently Chair of the Finance Committee for the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, is active in the Montclair Economic Development Corporation, and is a Board Member of the Overseers Committee on University Resources at Harvard. Professionally, Plofker is a real estate developer who specializes in historic renovations, adaptive re-use of older structures and sensitive solutions to community projects. He is also a practicing attorney in Montclair and is a member of the bar in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and the US District Court. In 1991, Plofker was a co-founder and Senior Director of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, a company that grew from a collection of ten lipsticks into full-line global competitor with products distributed in over 300 stores. Plofker later negotiated the sale of the company to Estee Lauder, Inc.
DAVID A LASKOW, M.D. (LC '77), Chief of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Service at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Prior to joining RWJUH, he was the Director of the Division of Transplantation at Allegheny University Hospital--Hahnemann Division. His experience also includes appointments at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and Beth Israel Medical Center. Dr. Laskow is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Physicians, and the Association for Academic Surgery. He has conducted fourteen innovative clinical trials advancing the art and science of kidney transplantation, and has been published in over 40 peer-reviewed journals and books. He resides with his wife and two children in Skillman, NJ.
RIKI JACOBS (LC '80) (1957-2009) was the Executive Director of the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, the largest private AIDS support agency in New Jersey. She was formerly a staff attorney with the Commission of Sex Discrimination in the Statutes and began her professional career with the New Jersey Association on Corrections, where, among other responsibilities, she provided AIDS education to inmates in county jails. She has been involved since 1986 with organizing local and statewide coalitions, including the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network. She served on the Governor's Advisory Council since former Gov. Jim Florio's administration. In addition to her Livingston degree, she received her JD degree from Rutgers-Newark School of Law.
CLIFTON R. LACY, MD, FACC, FACP, (LC '75), New Jersey state Health Commissioner and former Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief of Staff, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Dr. Lacy received his MD degree from the Rutgers Medical School; he was appointed Senior Vice President in 1993 and Chief of Cardiovascular Diseases and Hypertension at UMDNJ in 1997. He is widely published in the field of cardiovascular diseases and is an active research investigator in national and international clinical trials. Dr. Lacy serves on several national, regional, and local clinical and scientific committees and advisory boards, including the National Institutes of Health, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association.
JOHN S. LIPORI (LC '77), Executive Vice President and Chief Trust Officer of The Bank of New York, a position he has held since 1999 after joining the Bank in 1979. He is a Trustee of the Variety Preschooler's Workshop in Syossett, NY, a non-profit organization that works with handicapped preschool children and their families. He has also served as the Chair of Livingston College's Dean's Advisory Council and a member of the Rockefeller University's Committee on Trusts and Estate Gift Plans.
ALFRED E. RAMEY, JR. (LC '73), who presently serves as Counsel to the Executive Commission on Ethical Standards and as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey. During his nearly 25 years of service to New Jersey, he as served as Counsel to the Department of Education, and is one of the state's leading authorities on school funding. he has served on the University's Board of Trustees and as a member of the Trustees of the Mercer County Bar Association. He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Revised November 23, 2015