Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor graduates from each of the six academic schools in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. These individuals have achieved notable success in their profession and may have contributed significantly to the College, the Institute, or the public welfare. Recipients are selected by the schools.

2021 Award Recipients

Blurb / Gallery Set

Philip Cheaney

B.S. Economics, 1971

Retired Vice President from SunTrust Bank (now Truist) International Department

Phillip B. Jones

B.S. Economics, 1971

Retired Director of Research Services of the North American Mission Board

William Thompson

B.S. Economics, 1971

Retired Chief of Real Estate, U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division

Prakash Kumar

Ph.D. History, Technology, and Society, 2004

Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University

Sarah Cooper

M.S. Digital Media, 2001

Comedian, Speaker, and Author

Ted Danowitz

B.S. International Affairs and Modern Languages, 2010

Foreign Service Officer - U.S. Department of State

Tong Zhao

Ph.D. Science, Technology, and International Affairs, 2014

Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Fatimot Ladipo

M.S. Public Policy, 1999

Director of Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability - South Zone
The Coca-Cola Company

Past Recipients

2020 Awards Recipients

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

2019 Awards Recipients

  • Blake Butler: Science, Technology, and Culture 2003
  • Angelina Long Callahan: History and Sociology of Technology and Society MS 2009 and PHD 2013
  • Leisha DeHart-Davis: Public Policy MS 1993 and PHD 2000
  • Andrew Harris: MS 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: Digital Media Ph.D. 2015
  • Hannah L. Taylor: International Affairs and Modern Languages 2009
  • L. Christopher Young: History, Technology, and Society 2000

2017 Awards Recipients

  • Austin Dickson: Public Policy M.S. 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/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: Public Policy M.S. 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: Digital Media Ph.D. 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: History, Technology, and Society Ph.D. 2004


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