Drew proudly honors seven exemplary members of the community with Alumni Achievement Awards at Reunion 2014.
For nearly six decades, the College Alumni Association (CAA) has proudly shined a light on a select few of its own during Reunion. The Alumni Achievement Awards are given to college graduates who have made significant contributions in their respective fields, from science to business to service. The common bond is their outstanding character and exceptional loyalty to Drew.
These inspiring alums are chosen by the nominating committee of the CAA from a pool of nominations submitted by faculty, staff and fellow alumni. The slate is then approved by the full CAA board.
Congratulations to the following award recipients, who will be honored during Reunion 2014 at the Alumni Achievement Awards Champagne Brunch, 10 a.m. on May 31 in Crawford Hall.
Amanda C. Johnson ’04
Young Alumni Award
Amanda Johnson is interim executive director of the Oliver Scholars Program, an organization that helps young people of African and Latino descent in New York City to not only gain admission to, but also succeed in, leading independent schools and colleges. Previously, she worked with Figure Skating in Harlem, which supports girls with academic, health and emotional needs through after-school activities. Amanda also taught English as a Second Language at several New York colleges.
Emily M. Litman ’99
Alumni Volunteer Award
Emily Litman teaches fifth grade at the Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, N.J., and designs student enrichment programs with a community service bent. She has co-founded organizations for young lacrosse players and for free English as a Second Language classes. Emily volunteers in a women’s choir and at an animal shelter. She is among several Drew alumni who have created the Jake Stults ’01 Memorial Fund, which provides resources to students in the music department.
Joseph B. Baker ’69
Alumni Service Award
Joseph B. Baker has been a faithful supporter of Drew ever since his graduation. In 2000, he and his family created two major CLA endowments: the Baker Family Professorship in Sociology and the Baker Family Scholarship. Joe has served in many volunteer offices at Drew and, since his retirement from Beneficial Corporation in 1998, has become a campus fixture at lectures, plays, concerts and gatherings. His support puts him in a class of his own.
Janice N. Gabbidon ’94
Frances B. Sellers Award
Janice Gabbidon was a student in the Educational Opportunity Scholars program, and was the first Drew student to minor in African-American/African (now Pan-African) studies. She spent several years as a recruiter and counselor in Drew’s EOS office. In 2000, Janice became an educational program development specialist in the New Jersey Department of Education. Janice meets with school leadership to help schools achieve their goals. She provides professional support, particularly in struggling schools, as educational standards change.
Carrie Hendrickson McMahon ’94
Achievement in the Sciences Award
Carrie Hendrickson McMahon is a consumer safety officer with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She ensures new food ingredients are safe and communicates information on food safety and the science behind food regulations. She has served on the Codex Committee on Food Additives, whose purpose is global harmonization of standards of use for food ingredients. Carrie recently created the Carrie Hendrickson McMahon Summer Research Fellowship for students in the Drew Summer Science Institute.
Paul A. Cunningham ’89
Achievement Award in Business
After graduation, Paul Cunningham worked as a photo researcher and photo editor. By 2006, he was yearning to make something tangible. Paul turned his hobby, working with leather, into a business, Leather Head Sports, which started out making baseballs in the 19th-century style and now also makes balls for football, basketball and rugby, and baseball gloves. He now has a staff and is delighted that he can create jobs, as well as take pride in his work.
W. Barry Thomson ’74
Achievement in the Liberal Arts
Barry Thomson had a successful career in the Woolworth Corporation, retiring in 1996. Since that time, he consults in corporate management, writes and lectures in the field of historical preservation and architectural history and is an active volunteer. He has served on the boards of trustees of many New York City organizations, as well as with New Jersey ARC, for which he produced a documentary film on the advantages of employing persons with developmental disabilities.
Learn more about the Alumni Achievement Awards, view past recipients and make a nomination.