Alumni Award Winners

2015 Recipients

Distinguished Alumni Award
Pamela Abdy ’95

As the president of production at New Regency Productions, Pamela Abdy manages the creative team and all feature development, production, and post-production. New Regency is currently in production for The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, with Alejandro González Iñárritu directing.

Prior to this, she was president of Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films where she procured, developed, and produced features for the company’s diverse slate. She produced 47 Ronin, Identity Thief, and Kill the Messenger. Shana Feste’s remake of Franco Zefirelli’ Endless Love, based on the novel by Scott Spencer, is the last film Abdy produced for Bluegrass.

She was also the executive vice president at Paramount Pictures, where she oversaw the development and production of a number of films, including Shutter Island, The Love Guru, Drillbit Taylor, World Trade Center, Aeon Flux, Freedom Writers, and the Golden Globe-winning film Babel. In addition, Abdy oversaw production on the Mark Waters-directed Mean Girls.

Abdy started her career as an Emerson intern at Jersey Films. She was hired as the receptionist and went on to become Danny DeVito’s assistant. From there, she rose through the company and ultimately became president where she associate produced Man on the Moon, co-produced Caveman’s Valentine, executive produced How High, and produced Garden State, which won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature Film and a Grammy award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, TV, or other media.

Carole Charnow ’79

A leader in the cultural nonprofit world in the United States and United Kingdom for three decades, Carole Charnow has overseen more than 100 professional theatrical and opera productions, as well as community-based music and arts education programs and events.

As the president and CEO of Boston Children’s Museum, Charnow has leveraged her relationships to transform the Museum’s cultural programming, winning the 2013 IMLS National Medal—the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for extraordinary service to the community, presented by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. The Museum has also recently secured funding from NASA and the federal government’s Race to the Top program, and is the only children’s museum in the country to be awarded these distinguished grants.

As the founder and general director of Opera Boston, Charnow produced 50 operas and musical theater original productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. She received The Boston Globe’s Best of Boston eight years, as well as superlative reviews in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The London Times.

Charnow was chosen from a select group of arts leaders across Massachusetts to attend the Executive Education Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School for Government and is a participant in the prestigious Noyce Leadership Institute Fellowship program. She is a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Planning Steering Committee and was recently named a Barr Fellow in the class of 2015. She serves on the Boards of The Dimock Health Center and the Wheelock Family Theatre, and served on the Nominating Committee for the Accreditation Commission of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and on the 2013 National Program Committee for AAM.

Mike Gonzalez ’83

Mike Gonzalez, senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, spent close to 20 years as a journalist, 15 of them reporting from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He left journalism to serve as speechwriter for SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and then for the State Department’s European Bureau during the George W. Bush administration.

Gonzalez got his first reporting beat in 1980, covering high school sports one summer for The Boston Herald. He went to work for Agence France-Presse in 1987, reporting from around the globe for six years. He also logged 11 years with The Wall Street Journal, writing a column on the stock market in New York before being posted to Hong Kong in 1995 as deputy editor of the editorial pages of the newspaper's Asia edition.

Gonzalez went to Brussels in 1998 to assume similar duties for The Wall Street Journal's Europe edition, a position he held until becoming editor of the editorial pages in Hong Kong in 2003.

Gonzalez was born in Cuba and left at age 12 in 1972. He also has lived in Belgium, France, Spain, Hong Kong, and South Korea and has spent months living in and reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Panama, and Cyprus, among others. He holds a Bachelor's degree in communications from Emerson College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

His book, A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans, was released this fall.

Bethany Nelson ’82, PhD

Senior Theatre-Educator-In-Residence at Emerson College Bethany Nelson instructs graduate and undergraduate students in theater education, playmaking, and multicultural education. She works with Boston high school students through EmersonTHEATRE, using playmaking as a tool for helping them develop performance and advocacy skills.

Her research interests are focused on using applied drama and theater for meeting best practice in multicultural education with at-risk urban youth. Research on the effects of in-role drama, process drama, and playmaking are published in Youth Theatre Journal, Drama Australia Journal, Drama Research: international journal of drama-in-education, and Research in Drama Education Journal: the journal of applied theatre. She regularly presents workshops and papers at national and international conferences and is a contributor to international textbooks on the state of the field: Key concepts in Theatre/Drama Education (2010), edited by Shifra Schonmann, and How Drama Activates Learning: Contemporary Research and Practice, edited by Michael Anderson and Julie Dunn.

She is the winner of the 2012 ATHE/KCACTF Prize for Innovative Teaching, the 2014 Helaine and Stanley Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2014 Leonidas Nickole Theatre Educator of the Year Award for the New England Theatre Conference.

Young Alumni Achievement Award
 Flora Charner ‘04
Flora Charner '04, a multimedia journalist focusing on socio-political issues in Latin America, is the winner of this year's Young Alumni Award. Charner began her career shortly after graduating from Emerson with Associated Press Television in Washington, DC. She worked for the AP for nine years where she took on many jobs, including senior producer in Brazil.

In 2013, she completed her Master's degree at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

She currently works as a freelance writer, videojournalist and producer in Rio de Janeiro and New York for Al Jazeera America, The Guardian, America's Quarterly, UN Women and Narratively, among others, and is the author of the Amazon e-book, Shot in the Favela: How Television and Film Influence the Image of Poverty in Rio de Janeiro.

Young Alumni Achievement Award

The Young Alumni Achievement Award is given to an alumna/us who has already begun making their mark in their chosen profession and has graduated within the last 10 years.

2014 Jason E. Grossman '02 & Shira Lazar '04
2013 Seth Grahame-Smith '98
2012 Veronica Belmont ’04 & Jason Castriota ‘97
2011 Morgan First ‘06
2010 Brendan McCarthy ‘04
2009 Iliza Shlesinger ‘05
2008 Maria Menounous ‘00
2006 Sam Presti ‘00
2004 Alex Tse ‘98
2003 Glenn Jones ‘99

Alumni Achievement Awards

Given to an alumnus/alumna for outstanding achievements in their field. This award was originally established in 1978 as the Alumni Recognition Award. In 1987, the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association voted to change the name to the Alumni Achievement Award in order to more accurately reflect the various achievements alumni are making in their fields.

Tisa Jackson '95
David Klotz '94
Tara Sandler '84
Scott Wittman '76

Aaron Snipe '94
Joel Stillerman '84
Susan Wornick '71

Bonnie Comley G’94
Paul Santinelli ‘91

Bonnie Brescia ‘82
Brad Epstein ‘85
Tony Goldman ‘65
Raj Sharma G’83

Judith Johnson Elder ‘67
Michael Mendenhall ‘84
Clyde Terry ‘74

Holly Bario ‘89
Susan Banks ‘76
Larry Rasky ‘77

Alan Clendenning ‘87
Sandra Goldfarb ‘78
Michael McCusker ‘88

Jay Bienstock ‘87
Lucia Cottone ‘92

Victoria ‘Tory’ Johnson x’92
Teresa Anne Nance ‘73
Paul Tetreault ‘84

Brent Jennings ‘74
Denise Kaigler ‘85
Wayne Larrivee ‘77

Maxine Baker ‘73
Randy Barbato ‘82
Rev. John Coffee
William J. Miller ‘74
Richard Charles Willis ‘79

Paul Beck ‘69
Bill Bordy ‘58
Kathryn ‘Kate’ Boutilier ‘81
Elspeth Cypher ‘80
Jim Vescera ‘78

Susan Batson ‘64
Neil Davin ’72, G’79
Morton Dean Dubitsky ‘57
Ira Goldstone ‘71
Tobie S. Stein ‘79

Douglas Holloway ‘76
Judith Spector Huret G’69
Richard LaGravenese ‘80
Evelyn Franz Woolston-May ‘47
Stephen Young ‘62

Kevin Bright ‘76
Marsha Glines ‘70
Howard Atlee Heilen ‘50
Richard Levy ‘68
Michael Marge ‘52
Robert Mehrman ‘51
Stephen Shipps
Bernie Sweet ‘60

Francine Berger
Barry Freeman G’71
Doug Herzog ‘81
Al Jaffe ‘68
Gaynelle Griffin Jones ‘69
Glenn Meehan ‘83

Alicia D. Brown ’76, M’79
Sara Green ‘81
Gary H. Grossman ‘70
Judythe Kerman Isserlis ’67, M’69
Bobbi Brown Plofker ‘79

Iris J. Burnett ’68, G’70
Pamela M. Cross ‘75
Don DeMesquita ‘70
Robert Fleming
Dr. Norman M. Lear ’44, H’68
Robert W. Mullen Ph.D., ’60, G’62
Franklin H. Silverman Ph.D. ‘60

Roberta “Bobbi” Binder Aungst ‘61
Gary Grossman ‘70
Everett “Rett” Rich ’64, G’68
Sybil Siegel Tonkonogy ‘58
Steven Wright ‘78
Dr. Mickey Zemon

Gary Berkowitz ‘73
Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook ‘76
Jeff Goldstein’66
Helen Ellis Klim ‘51
Susan Elizabeth Lezon ‘80
Che Madyun ‘75
Michael Patti ‘76
Marillyn Tufte Zacharis

Noma Bennett Anderson G’73
George Exoo ‘64
David Glodt ‘70
Stephen Langley ’60 G’61
Walt Littlefield
Peter Meade ‘70
Arthur Teitelbaum ‘60
John Wentworth ‘81

Ken Catandella
Ed Conture ‘67
Linda Corradina ‘81
Denis Leary ‘79
Ric Poole ‘69
Howard Rogut ‘68
Barbara Segal Rutberg ‘68
Mary Sweig Wilson G’65

Jeremy Alliger ‘75
Michele Gillen ‘77
Tim Kelly ‘55
Charles J. Klim ’50, G’53
Paul Kreppel ‘69
Elma Ina Lewis ‘43
Kim Swann ‘81
Sema Ullian

Dr. Phil Amato ’60, G’61
Joe Boren ‘69
Sean Driscoll ‘60
Doug Herzog ‘81
Lloyd Roach ‘71
Charles Rosen ‘68
Arleen Sorkin ‘77
Julian Wolinsky ‘59

Kathie Berlin ‘65
Bill Dana ‘50
Vin Di Bona ’66, H’94
Howard Feuer ‘70
Jeff Greenhawt ‘68
Dr. Jacqueline W. Liebergott
Frank S. Napal III ’69, G’70
Rick Sosny ‘70
Henry Winkler ‘67

C. Thomas Bauer ‘68
Chris Beck ’68, G’69
Spalding Gray ‘65
Jay Leno ‘73
Andrea Martin ‘69
Dallas Mayr ‘68
Eugene Roche ‘53
A.Brooks Russell ’72, G’76

Edithe Avery ‘40
Bruce Barbieri ‘69
Randolph W. Brooksbank ‘69
Sally Wimmer Fishman ‘38
John Goodman ‘70
Dr. Bernadette MacPherson ‘53
Phil Ramuno ‘68
Helen Rose
Barbara Segal Rutberg ‘68
Al Valletta ‘63

Mario Cantone ‘82
Gayle Carson ‘59
Martha Hansen ‘77
Robbie Jason ‘82
Sidney Myer ‘71
Anna Hamilton Phelan ‘65
Dr. Edna Ward ‘55
John C. Zacharis ’58, G’59, H’92

Harry Morgan ’59, G’65
George Quenzel

Paul Beck ‘69
William Bordy ‘58
Helen Cross ‘76
Haig Der Marderosian ’54, G’56

Janet Bookspan ‘54
Irma DiRusso ‘47
Frances Crowley LaShoto ’44, G’47
Louise Pellegrino
Lincoln Stulik ‘58

Vin DiBona ‘66
Ruth Mansur Fritz H’88
Lawrence H. Lentz ‘69
Patricia Moeser ‘70
Colette Phillips ‘76

Kenneth C. Crannell ’55, G’57
Debra Jane Louden Lentz ‘69
Dr. Vito Silvestri G’59

Richard Dysart ’56, H’83
Marcia Southwick Levis ‘73
David Maynard ‘51
June Hamblin Mitchell ’35, G’44
Oliver Woodruff H’79

Rev. W. David Crockett ‘41
Jeffrey Goldstein ‘66
Thomas N. Lux ‘70
Leonidas A. Nickole ’49, H’63

Richard D. Rapiti ‘69

John Gantos, Jr. ‘76
Robert D. Gatti ‘64
Kenneth W. Mellgren ‘68
Dr. Albert T. Murphy ‘49
Leonidas A. Nickole ’49, H’63
Camille Poisson Pantalone ‘43

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