Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor exceptional alumni from each of the six academic schools and three Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) units in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Selected by the school from which they earned their degree or their respective ROTC unit, alumni are recognized for their significant contributions to the College, Institute, and public welfare. 

2023 Award Recipients

Blurb / Gallery Set

Vernon Headshot

Vernon O’Neal

B.S. in Economics, 1979
Senior Vice President at USI Insurance Services

Rodney Jordan Headshot

Rodney Jordan

M.S. in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science
Global Chief Operating Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities

Alexious Headshot

Alexious Butler

M.S. in International Affairs 2002
Senior Development Advisor, U.S. Central Command, USAID

Jason Ellis Headshot

Jason Ellis

B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture 2006
Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology

Daniela Headshot

Daniela Galvez Sghiatti

B.S. in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies 2016
First Grade Dual Immersion Teacher

Susan Headshot

Susan Graff

M.S. in Technology and Science Policy 1985
Senior Partner and Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability at Resource Recycling Systems

Ignacio Headshot

Ignacio Montoya

AFROTC, Master of Biomedical Innovation and Development 2018
Executive Director, HINRI Labs


zach headshot

2nd Lt. Zach McGee

Army ROTC, B.S. Computer Science 2022
2nd Lieutenant, Cyber branch, U.S. Army

dan headshot

CDR Dan DeCicco

Navy ROTC, B.S. in Industrial Engineering 2001
Operations Research Analyst at Calhoun International

Past Recipients

2022 Awards Recipients

  • Chaunté Lowe, ECON 2008
  • Sybrina Atwaters, M.S. HSTS 2009, Ph.D. HSTS 2014
  • Rachael Lammers, M.S. INTA 2007
  • Nettrice R. Gaskins, Ph.D. DM 2014
  • Tabatha Pilgrim Thompson, IAML-Spanish 2011
  • Margaret Burgess, PUBP 2004, ECON 2004
  • Col. Mark Massaro, AFROTC, CE 1998
  • Retired Col. Tom Taylor, IM 1972
  • 2nd Lt. Nicholas Collins, IA 2021

2021 Awards Recipients

  • Philip Cheaney, ECON 1971
  • Phillip B. Jones, ECON 1971
  • William Thompson, ECON 1971
  • Prakash Kumar, Ph.D. HTS 2004
  • Sarah Cooper, M.S. DM 2001
  • Ted Danowitz, IAML-Chinese 2010
  • Tong Zhao, Ph.D. STIA 2014
  • Fatimot Ladipo, M.S. PUBP 1999

2020 Awards Recipients

  • Sterling Gerdes, International Affairs and Modern Languages - French 2008
  • Nicole B. Kruse, M.S. International Affairs 2000
  • Francois Rollin, History, Technology, and Society 2004
  • Özge Samanci, Ph.D. Digital Media 2009
  • Richard L. Tuley, Economics 1992
  • Cynthia Warrick, M.S. Public Policy 1994

2019 Awards Recipients

  • Blake Butler, Science, Technology, and Culture 2003
  • Angelina Long Callahan, M.S. History and Sociology of Technology and Society 2009 and Ph.D. 2013
  • Leisha DeHart-Davis, M.S. Public Policy 1993 and Ph.D. Public Policy 2000
  • Andrew Harris, M.S. International Affairs 2010
  • Kristin Lundberg, International Affairs and Modern Languages 2006
  • Joseph B. Owens, Jr., Economics 1977

2018 Awards Recipients

  • Melody DeBussey, Public Policy 2006
  • Johnny Jones, International Affairs 2002
  • Kelly Orman, Economics 1995
  • Susan J.Robinson, Ph.D. Digital Media 2015
  • Hannah L. Taylor, International Affairs and Modern Languages - French 2009
  • L. Christopher Young, History, Technology, and Society 2000

2017 Awards Recipients

  • Austin Dickson, M.S. Public Policy 2010
  • Rawi Abdelal, Economics 1993
  • Gwen Ottinger, Science, Technology, and Culture/Aerospace Engineering 1997
  • Laurence Ralph, History, Technology, and Society 2004
  • Jeremy Farris, International Affairs 2004
  • Parker Kemp, Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies - German/Mechanical Engineering 2014

2016 Awards Recipients


The Trailblazer Award recognizes alumni for outstanding early career contributions in their chosen professions and distinguished service to society at large, thus honoring their respective School, Georgia Tech, and Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

  • Benjamin D. Bennett, International Affairs and Modern Languages - French 2012
  • Michelle Homier, History, Technology, and Society 1999
  • Susan Van Aacken, M.S. Public Policy 1999


The Pioneer Award recognizes alumni with long-term personal and professional achievements who have brought distinction to themselves, tangible benefit to their communities, and credit to their School, the Ivan Allen College, and Georgia Tech.

  • Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D. Digital Media 2011
  • Richard R. House Jr., Economics 1985
  • David Cooper, International Affairs 1996

2015 Awards Recipients


  • Scott W. Bray, International Affairs 1996
  • John Lambert, International Affairs and Modern Languages – German 2011
  • Leslie N. Sharp, Ph.D. History, Technology, and Society 2004


  • Gonzalo Frasca, M.S. Information Design and Technology 2001
  • Douglas R. Hooker, M.S. Technology, Science, and Policy 1985
  • Richard B. Inman Jr., Economics 1973