SU to recognize alumni during Homecoming Weekend
SU to recognize alumni during Homecoming WeekendOctober 02, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Syracuse University will honor outstanding alumni, outstanding young alumni, teacher and alumni club award recipients during Homecoming Weekend 2006, to be held Oct. 6-8.
The Homecoming awards reception and ceremony will take place Friday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. in the Panasci Lounge of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric Spina and Neil Gold ’70, president of the SU Alumni Association, will present the awards.
John Font of Los Gatos, Calif., and Daniel Heumann of Ann Arbor, Mich., will receive Outstanding Alumni Awards. David and Wendy Lane Dworkin of Rochester, N.Y., and Jennifer Erzen of Los Angeles will be honored as Outstanding Young Alumni.
Alejandro Garcia, professor and director in the School of Social Work, and Carla Vaccaro Lloyd, associate professor and associate dean of scholarly and creative activity in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, will each receive the Outstanding Teacher Award.
The Syracuse University Volunteers of Metropolitan New York will be recognized as the Outstanding Club of the Year. Sekia Strange of the Alumni Club of Philadelphia will receive the Outstanding Club Officer of the Year Award. Outstanding Club Program of the Year honors will go to the New Hampshire Alumni Club for their Welcome Back Reception and New Student Send-off, and the Northern New Jersey Hats for Hope for Kids will receive the award for Outstanding Community Service Program.
Outstanding Alumnus — John Font ’53, G’54
John Font was an active student while on campus in the 1950s, competing as an All-American lacrosse player on a full scholarship for four years, holding down two jobs, and participating in the activities of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, and the St. Thomas More Chapel. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1953, Font enrolled in SU’s master’s degree program and completed his degree in 1954. During that year, he worked as a custodian at SU, as well as the freshman lacrosse coach that spring. Font would also go on to earn a Ph.D and the rank of captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Beginning a long teaching career in 1960 as assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology at SU, Font later went on to found and direct the Beacon School in San Jose in 1970, a school focused on supporting and educating junior high- and high school-age students with severe emotional, behavior and learning problems.
Returning to campus for his 45th reunion, Font decided that a scholarship fund was needed to help support a lacrosse player in need of financial assistance. He established the John Echeandia Font Lacrosse Scholarship and has funded it since 1998. Font has also become a member of the Chancellor’s Council, The Founders Fund, the Athletic Advisory Board and the Varsity Club.
Outstanding Alumnus — Daniel Heumann ’91
Daniel “Danny” Heumann didn’t plan to spend his life in a wheelchair. On Aug. 13, 1985, two weeks before beginning his freshman year at SU, he was paralyzed in an auto accident. As he recovered and came to understand his limitations and the possibilities of his new life, his philosophy was forged: Ten percent of life is what happens to you; 90 percent is how you handle it.
After a year, he returned to SU and graduated from the Newhouse School. He received a juris doctor degree from Washington College of Law at American University in 1998.
Heumann has lobbied at state and national levels for spinal cord research funding. He is vice president of the Daniel Heumann Fund for Spinal Cord Research, dedicated to helping medical science find a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Founded in 1986, the fund has raised $5 million for spinal cord research centers around the world.
In 2005, Heumann founded Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures, a grassroots coalition to educate Michigan citizens about the promise of embryonic stem cell research and to overturn two Michigan state laws restricting this research from moving forward.
Heumann is a motivational speaker who inspires audiences at corporations, universities, conferences and conventions through Heumannly Capable Inc. Some of his programs ask the question, “Who’s really in a wheelchair?” Though his life-changing experience left him wheelchair bound, he reminds his audiences that their own emotional paralysis can prevent them from living life to the fullest.
Outstanding Young Alumni — David Dworkin ’91 and Wendy Lane Dworkin ’91
David and Wendy Dworkin are partners in LLD Enterprises, a Rochester-based commercial real estate brokerage, management and development company that owns, develops and manages a diverse portfolio of properties in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.
David received a bachelor’s degree in history from SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and a master’s degree in real estate from New York University. Wendy received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and a juris doctor degree from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
David has received numerous awards, including the Rochester Business Journal’s “40 under 40” Award in 2000. He currently serves on The College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors at SU, as well as on the boards of numerous civic organizations and foundations in the Rochester area. At SU, he was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. He was the chapter president during his junior year and a member of the Zeta Beta Tau National Supreme Council for eight years.
Wendy was a recipient of the Rochester Business Journal’s “40 under 40” Award in 2002. She is a board member of The College of Arts and Science Board of Visitors and is also active in numerous civic organizations. At SU, she was a member of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority.
Outstanding Young Alumnae — Jennifer Erzen ’97
Jennifer Erzen graduated from the College of Visual and Performing Arts with a B.F.A. in design and technical theater. By 2002, Erzen was named vice president of events and planned the club’s first Soft Landing program, welcoming recent SU alumni to the Los Angeles area. The program won Alumni Program of the Year for 2002. After two years programming monthly events for the club, Erzen decided to try her hand at recruiting membership for the 2004-05 term. By the end of fiscal year 2005, membership had reached 235 members, a new high for the group. Erzen was elected to the Board of Directors in December 2005.
Erzen works for Fox Entertainment Group Inc. as a department coordinator in the Information Technology Application Shared Services area.
Outstanding Teacher — Alejandro Garcia
Alejandro Garcia has taught in the areas of gerontology, social policy and human diversity for 28 years and currently holds the position of director and professor at the School of Social Work in the College of Human Services and Health Professions (HSHP).
Over the course of his teaching career, Garcia has garnered many honors for his teaching and advocacy of social work education, Hispanic populations and the elderly. Garcia’s many honors include the establishment of a scholarship in his name, the Alejandro Garcia Scholarship for Excellence in Social Work, given by California State University at Sacramento (CSUS). He has also been named Distinguished Social Work Educator of the Decades by the Division of Social Work at CSUS; has had an internship, The Alejandro Garcia Internship on Poverty and Hunger Policy, named after him by the National Hispanic Council on Aging; and has been named Scholar/Teacher of the Year by SU. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; is an elected fellow of the Gerontological Society of America; and has been named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers.
Garcia received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1963 and a master’s degree in social work from CSUS in 1969. He earned his Ph.D. in social welfare policy at Brandeis University in 1980.
Outstanding Teacher — Carla Vaccaro Lloyd ’94
Carla V. Lloyd is associate professor and associate dean of scholarly and creative activity at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and former chair of Newhouse’s advertising department. She teaches advertising and mass communications courses. Her performance in the classroom has earned her numerous awards, including the Panhellenic Teacher of the Year, Panhellenic Professor of the Semester, Newhouse Teacher of the Year 1996 and, most recently, the SU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teaching Award 2006.
Lloyd serves as a chair of site teams sent to evaluate programs for the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, the prestigious national organization that oversees the accrediting process of communications programs. She is one of the 12 high-ranking professionals and academic administrators who serve on the ACEJMC Accrediting Committee, the body that reviews and judges all annual accrediting cases and decisions.
Lloyd holds a Ph.D. in sociology from SU’s Maxwell School. Her academic research focuses on advertising media planning as well as the portrayal of gender roles in advertising and the mass media.
Outstanding Alumni Club-Syracuse University Volunteers, Metropolitan New York
The Syracuse University Volunteers (SUVs) service club for SU alumni in metropolitan New York provides members from the city and surrounding areas opportunities to positively impact their community, affecting social change through service projects and shared fun.
Its projects range from the spring 2003 cleanup of a park in Washington Heights to celebrating National Orange Day 2004 by working with neighborhood children in East Harlem to delivering meals this past spring to the home-bound elderly. Founded by Michael Krupat ’98, SUVs’ service continues, through a second fund-raising effort with the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in the city in October.
Outstanding Alumni Club Officer — Sekia Strange ’96, Philadelphia Club President
The Syracuse University Philadelphia Alumni Club (SUPAC) enjoys the leadership of Sekia Strange, a speech communication and policy studies graduate of SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. A Philadelphia native, Strange works as an analyst with Toyota Lexus Financial Services. In her second year as SUPAC president, Strange continues to look toward the goal of increasing club membership. She has already helped grow the club’s executive board to 15 active members, largest in its history, and she looks forward to seeing more Orange in Philadelphia.
Outstanding Club Program — New Hampshire Alumni Club, Welcome Back Reception and New Student Send-off
Outstanding Community Service — Northern New Jersey — Hats for Hope for Kids
The Northern New Jersey Alumni Club collected 500 hats for pediatric cancer centers and Camp Happy Times.