The extraordinary alumnae we will celebrate at Reunion 2017 once again represent the incredible drive, intellect, and strength of the Barnard community. Five awards, as well as five Fellowships for Graduate Study, are bestowed on behalf of the Alumnae Association of Barnard College (AABC) at two events throughout the weekend. This years recipients can be found below.
The final day to register is Wednesday, May 17.
Events fill up quickly, so secure your spot today!
In the early 1970's Joan F. Hamburg began a remarkable career in radio broadcasting with small segments on shopping for bargains which aired during the popular Rambling with Gambling program every morning. Thirty years later she was known as the First Lady of New York Radio, hosting a daily two-hour show that had grown from consumer advice to include every imaginable subject of national and local interest. She was recognized for her warmth, her integrity, and her commitment to high quality programming. Legions of devoted listeners relied on the Joan Hamburg Show for cultural information, travel recommendations, dependable restaurant reviews, and even medical advice. Interviews with major celebrities and some of the most powerful political figures of the day were part of the format of the show and her work took her to other countries, including England, France, Spain, Egypt, and Korea.
She also provided useful information through numerous books and articles. While still at Barnard, she wrote New York on $5 a Day, published by Crown with Arthur Frommer, the forerunner of a series of hugely successful travel guides. Later publications included City Weddings, published by Rizzoli; The New York Lunch Book; and Our Little Black Book of Shopping Secrets. For ten years she wrote a column for Family Circle magazine.
Decades of popular broadcasting did not go unnoticed by her peers and the wider community and the awards she received demonstrate the value of her contributions to various audiences. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation and the 2006 Matrix Award for Excellence in Radio Broadcasting from New York Women in Communications. She was named New Yorker of the Year by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce in recognition of her commitment to improving the quality of lives of New Yorkers and those in surrounding areas. She was given the Daughters of the American Revolution Achievement Award and the Gabriel Award for Excellence in Broadcasting, and was named Woman of the Year by the Anti-Defamation League. In 2015 she received what many consider the ultimate Broadway accolade: her portrait was hung in Sardi’s.
Nancy Kung Wong is a retired business executive with extensive line management experience in marketing, strategic planning, market research, advertising, and promotion. She is also a devoted Barnard alumna who brought her talent for management to alumnae service, beginning in 1972 when she chaired and edited the 10th Reunion Class Book and continuing until 2008 when she completed four years as a hard-working Alumnae Trustee. During this period she served as vice president of the Alumnae Association and took on the chairmanship of the AABC Strategic Planning sub-committee. She has also been a member of the Awards, Reunion, and Leadership Assembly committees and has led her class as its president, vice president, and fund chair. She is a member of Barnard’s Athena Society and, with her husband, has endowed three scholarships at Barnard because they believe in the importance of women’s education and providing an educational experience where women can thrive.
Before retiring from business, she was president and managing director of Wordware Ltd., a women-owned corporation which created, licensed, and marketed a line of ceramic giftware and serveware and donated 5% of pre-tax profits to charity. Previously, she was Vice President of Marketing for international and domestic businesses at Kraft General Foods where she worked for over 20 years; she received company awards for her marketing initiatives and for her leadership role in organization development and workforce diversity.
While active in business, she also pursued the equivalent of a second career in the voluntary sector. In addition to her work for Barnard, she chaired the Board of Directors of Family Service of Westchester and was on the Executive Committee of the Westchester Fund for Women and Girls and the board of Girl Scouts of Westchester-Putnam. In every case, she provided leadership that strengthened the organization in the present and built pathways to an even stronger future. Now residing in Florida, she continues to contribute her talents and energy to the sound management and strategic planning of community organizations, with current focus on areas of healthcare and the arts.
During her 25-year career as a preschool teacher, Carol Stock Kranowitz observed many children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) and mild autism. She began to study their behavior in the hope of helping them develop more satisfactory methods of interaction with their peers and with family members and other adults. Determined to find new approaches, she learned to help identify the children’s needs and to help them become more competent in their work and play. She introduced the theory behind sensory processing disorder to parents, educators, and other early childhood professionals around the world through her groundbreaking book series, The Out-of-Sync Child, presenting a drug-free approach that offered hope to parents who had felt isolated and abandoned as they tried to help their children function in society. The first book in the series has sold over one million copies and has been selected by Brain, Child Magazine as one of the top ten books about children with disabilities. Her most recent publication is The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up: Coping with SPD in the Adolescent and Young Adult Years.
Carol is in constant demand as a speaker, nationally and internationally, with more than 500 sponsors, and is tireless in explaining sensory processing disorder’s effect on children’s learning and behavior and how families, teachers, therapists, and other professionals can help. She has been honored for her work with grants and awards and is widely recognized for her contributions to increased public awareness and understanding of SPD. She is a board member of the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder and received their “Champion of Inspiration” award. In addition to the Out-of-Sync Child books, she has written and edited several manuals and newsletters. In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary of her graduation from Barnard, she is a speaker on the program for Reunion 2017.
Professor Sesae Felicity Mpuchane was born in Africa and she has lived there since receiving her Barnard degree and graduate degrees in microbiology from Ohio University and the University of Surrey (UK). Her contributions to higher education in Botswana have been critical to the nation’s development and she is one of its most respected academics. She has also provided strong leadership in the effort to expand opportunities for women and girls in science.
Although her initial intention was to become a doctor, the teaching she experienced in America caused a shift in her emphasis and she decided that her role in medicine would be as a teacher. In 1974 she joined the University of Botswana (UB) Department of Biological Sciences, then in its infancy; she played a key role in its development and, later, in its upgrading to a graduate level program. In addition to her teaching, she pursued research in food microbiology and safety, subjects of particular concern to the people in that region. By the time she retired in 2009, with the rank of full Professor, she had served as head of the department and Dean of the Faculty of Science. She had also chaired the task force that brought into being the Botswana International University of Science & Technology, which she served as Founding Executive Chairman for two years. She has chaired or been a member of countless committees, councils, working groups, boards, and commissions within the university and in various agencies of government. Among her many official posts, she was appointed to be Founding Chair of the Botswana Bureau of Standards.
A staunch supporter of science education for women and girls, she was the coordinator of the UB “Women in Science” project that encouraged girls to pursue science careers and she organized clinics to mentor and teach girls from all over the country. She has also been chairperson of the Ghana-based African Women’s Development Fund. In 2005, the U.S. Embassy awarded her the “Botswana Vanguard Women Leaders” award and in 2016 she was named a Fellow in the newly established Botswana Academy of Science.
Jan L. Vinokour holds a BA in Political Science, concentrating in Soviet Studies, and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley. Now retired, she has enjoyed a long career as an attorney and as US General Counsel at British Telecom Inc., while also providing invaluable service to her alma mater. During her years as a Barnard student, Jan was vice president of her class and a member of the McIntosh Activities Council (McAc), and she is happily remembered for introducing Ice Cream Nights when she was president of McAc.
Her service to the College as an alumna spans several decades, including fifteen years as class president and active membership of several standing committees of the Alumnae Association. She served on the AABC Board of Directors during her year as chair of the Nominating Committee. Of particular note, Jan was a founding member of Project Continuum, Barnard’s innovative effort to renew and strengthen ties between the College and women who have been alumnae for thirty or more years. She served as chair of the Events Committee of Project Continuum for three years, planning museum tours, gallery visits, history walks, trips to the theater and the Philharmonic, and other activities which created the foundation for the continued success of the group. Members knew her for her thoughtful suggestions of ways to serve the interests and needs of their target audience.
A faithful and insightful supporter of the College, Jan established the Jan Vinokour Internship Fund, which for the past ten years has provided stipends to Barnard students which enable them to take unpaid internships and thus gain valuable experience. The fund supports 2-3 students each semester in various fields including publishing, public relations, scientific and medical research, and nonprofit organizations. She also encourages and inspires classmates and peers to give back by participating every year in the Annual Fund Phonathon. Jan met her husband (MBA Columbia) while at Barnard. They have been together for 43 years.
Dr. Mary Ann LoFrumento has achieved excellence in a multi-faceted career as a pediatrician, filmmaker, and educator, and as a volunteer in the field of global health. At the same time she has been tireless in her support for Barnard. While an undergraduate she was active as a student leader, leading up to the presidency of student government. As an alumna she served her class as president for several terms and was also vice president and class correspondent. She joined the Leadership Assembly Committee of the Alumnae Association, served as AABC vice president and president, and from 2011 to 2015 she was an Alumnae Trustee. She also mentors Barnard students and alumnae who are considering medical school. In addition, her service has followed some less conventional pathways: sharp-eyed members of the audience at alumnae gatherings have noticed her name as producer of the videos which have enhanced reports of many special events.
Professionally, she has been a pediatrician in private practice, authored two books, and produced a series of videos for new parents, called Simply Parenting. She is a pediatric hospitalist and Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Residency at the Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University and Medical Director of the Newborn Nursery at Morristown Medical Center. She is Director of the Child Global Health Program for Atlantic Health, introducing medical students and residents to the challenges of delivering health care to children in developing countries. She is a coordinator for the Breaking Bad News compassionate communication program, an initiative she helped to create that has become a national model for communication training.
In 2010, after a life-changing medical mission to Haiti following the devastating earthquake, she co-founded Hands Up for Haiti, an organization committed to improving the quality and sustainability of healthcare in northern Haiti. She is president of the organization and coordinator of the Global Health Education Program. In the words of a classmate, “she embodies the truism that those who do the most, give the most, and she does it all with professionalism, warmth, and grace.”
Dr. Aruna Rao is a leading international expert on gender equality, development, and human rights who has introduced or strengthened the theories and practices of feminism in all corners of the world. Over 30 years of experience, particularly in Asia and Africa, she has combined advocacy and cutting-edge research on gender equality and institutional change with leadership and management to produce better results for women and men. She has worked at multiple levels, from global level initiatives to research on human rights and public sector reform, from implementing gender equality policies and practices in the private sector to grassroots engagements with rural poor women.
She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Gender at Work, a transnational feminist network committed to ending discrimination against women in the workplace and advancing cultures of equality. This often requires transforming social norms and upending entrenched historic structures that hold gender inequality in place, challenges she has never failed to meet. She has applied her strong analytical and program skills across different sectors such as rural development, finance and banking, and education. She has chaired the boards of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and been advisor and consultant to a multitude of international organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund for Women, UNIFEM, Oxfam, and the World Bank and various bilateral agencies. She also gained practical experience as head of a major Gender Program in Bangladesh. Recently she has focused on building the capacities of young professional women through courses and workshops on feminist leadership. She co-developed and taught a course for UN Women on transformational leadership for gender equality and an intensive master’s level course, Doing Gender—Approaches and Tools for the Work, at the University of Sussex (UK). She is in enormous demand as a speaker at global conferences on the status of women, gender relations, and organizational change. She has also written extensively on gender equality and institutional change, governance, civil service reform, gender mainstreaming, and social inclusion. Among her publications are Gender at Work: Theory and Practice for 21st Century Organizations, Gender Analysis and Development Planning, and Women’s Studies International: Nairobi and Beyond.
Cindy Similien-Johnson is guided by the principle: “Live to love; work to improve the lives of others; and create a legacy.” In her own work, this takes the form of love of writing, empowerment of women, and promotion of Haitian culture. She is the author of several books, including How to Stay Motivated: Inspiration and Advice for Everyday Living; Goal Chic: Changing the World, One Goal at a Time; and Let's Speak Haitian Food: Stories from the Haitian Diaspora on Cuisine, Community, and Culture. She founded CSJ Media Publishing to inspire, encourage, and empower through the written word. She is also a columnist for the Haitian Times.
With several years of experience in the nonprofit sector, she founded Goal Chic, an initiative whose mission is to educate, engage, and empower women and girls in her community and equip them with the tools they need to succeed in their careers, personal finances, health and wellness, and relationships. It began as a blog to showcase women who overcame obstacles to achieve success but grew to include workshops, conferences, mentorship programs, and strategic partnerships with local institutions and resources. In 2016, she was invited as a change-maker to the first United State of Women Summit convened by First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House.
To stay connected to her Haitian roots, she founded Cook Like a Haitian, a company whose mission is to introduce Haiti's cuisine, community, and culture to the world through cookbooks and cooking classes. A portion of all sales is donated to organizations which improve the lives of people of Haitian descent. As a board member of the United Nations Association-Brooklyn Chapter, she draws attention to global issues such as climate change, gender inequality, and child hunger.
Only ten years after graduating from Barnard, she is admired for her vision and dedication to Brooklyn and is widely recognized for her tireless efforts as a community organizer, author, and cultural ambassador. Her awards include the Star Network’s 40 Stars Under Forty; PowerUP! KREYOL Business Competition Winner; the Caribbean-American Heritage Celebration Economic Development Award, presented by the Borough President of Brooklyn; and the Caribbean Life Impact Award.
The Alumnae Association Fellowship for graduate study is awarded each year to one or more Barnard seniors or alumnae who enroll in full-time graduate study and who show exceptional promise in their chosen field.
Cancer Biology / Biomedical Sciences Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Law Yale Law School
Anthropology (Archaeology) Cornell University
Music Royal Academy of Music
Neurology and Behavior Columbia University
Special thanks to Toni Coffee ’56 for her assistance in recognizing the awardees.
For a list of past AABC Awardees, please click here.