Alumni Awards

We Celebrate our Shining Stars

The IU School of Liberal Arts proudly honors graduates who exemplify the ideals of a liberal arts education, and in doing so, have made meaningful impact on their industries, their communities, their alma mater, and others' lives around the world.

Each year, the IU School of Liberal Arts Alumni Association recognizes up to three extraordinarily inspiring individuals for achievements in three different categories: the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Career Achievement Award, and the Honorary Alumnus Award.

The annual Liberal Arts Alumni Awards are recognized at the IUPUI Alumni Leaders Dinner. Not only are the School's Alumni Awards recognized during the event, but also the Maynard K. Hine Award winners are recognized. For more information about the IUPUI Alumni Leaders Dinner, go to Maynard K. Hine Award.

Liberal Arts Alumni Award honorees are nominated by IU School of Liberal Arts alumni, faculty, staff, and friends; and they are selected by an awards committee of the IU School of Liberal Arts Alumni Board.

By honoring our alumni, we recognize and celebrate how liberal arts is represented in the cultural interests, talents, career paths, and achievements in all sectors of society.

The application/nomination process is simple and open to all. We encourage you to nominate someone you know for this honor.

Liberal Arts Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award

Our highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizes alumni of the school who have distinguished themselves professionally and/or through extraordinary service to the school, campus, and/or Indiana University. All School of Liberal Arts graduates are eligible for this award.

We’ve listed the recipients’ IU degrees. Their School of Liberal Arts degrees are in italics.


Shehzad H. Qazi
B.A., International and Global Studies
M.A., International Relations and Affairs


Etta Ward
AA Arts and Humanities
BA English
MA Philanthropic Studies


Mautrice Meriweather
BA English
MA Applied Communications


Erin Kelley
MA History


Steve Kern
BA Philosophy
BS in Business, Management and Administration


Dr. Paul Siddens
BA Speech and Theatre


Adam Hayden
BA Philosophy, MA Philosophy


David Driscoll
BA Economics


Ray Boomhower
BA Journalism/Political Science, MA History


Janice Klein
BA Sociology, MSW Social Service


Sheila Gilbert
BA Sociology, Master of Public Affairs


Gregory Mobley
BA History


Christine Dowdeswell
BA Political Science


Peter Carmichael
BA History


Tonja L. Eagan
BA Sociology, Master of Public Affairs


M. Teresa Baer
BA History, MA History


Samuel Graves III
BA Political Science


Byron Buhner
BA Speech, MS Adult Education/Education


Stephen Akard
BA Economics/French, JD/MBA


Kerry Manders
BA Sociology


John Wild
BA Political Science, Specialized Study/Master of Public Affairs


M. William Lutholtz
BA Political Science


Fred Biesecker
BA Political Science, doctoral degree


Sandra Borns
BA History, MS Secondary Education/Education


Mary Parido
BA German, MS Secondary Education/Education


Anne Wilcox


Judith LaFourest
BA English, MAT English

Career Achievement Award

This award is given to alumni for outstanding accomplishments in their professions or in service to the school, campus, and/or Indiana University. Graduates who completed their first School of Liberal Arts degree in the last 5 to 15 years are eligible for this award.

We’ve listed the recipients’ IU degrees. Their School of Liberal Arts degrees are in italics.


Belinda M. Drake
B.A., Political Science


Tory Schendel-Vyvoda
BA German and Individualized Major (Art History & Museum Studies)
MA Museum Studies


Ryan I. Logan
BA Anthropology
MA Applied Anthropology
MPH Public Health
Ph.D. Applied (Medical) Anthropology

  • 2021

    Leon Bates
    BA Africana Studies and History


Marc A. McAleavey
BA Philosophy, MSW Social Work


Sharee Myricks
BA Sociology


Kirby Purciful
BA Economics, MA Economics


  • Sarah Ancel
    BA Political Science/Economics, MA Economics
  • Lauren Guidotti
    BA Communications Studies


Todd Sears
BS Finance, MA Economics


  • Charity Counts
    MA Museum Studies
  • Brian Denton
    BA German/Political Science/Economics, BS Mathematics


Olivia Roney
BA Communication Studies

Honorary Alumnus Award

This award is presented to non-alumni supporters of the school to recognize their outstanding contributions of time, leadership, service, philanthropy, and their efforts to bring greater recognition to liberal arts and/or the school.


Vicki Bohlsen


Rhonda Fox Waltz


  • Stefan S. Davis
  • James East (deceased)
  • Debi Eller
  • Gail M. Plater
    Aristea Vareldzis-Pappas (deceased)
  • Gretchen Wolfram

Alumni Leadership Award

In 2023, the School of Liberal Arts Alumni Association gave a special Alumni Leadership Award to David Girton (BA Econcomics) to recognize David's significant and extraordinary service and leadership within our local community.


David Girton
BA Economics

Nominate a Deserving Liberal Arts Alumni Today!

Please complete the nomination form to recommend a Liberal Arts alumna or alumnus for an alumni award. The nomination process is simple and open to all. We encourage you to nominate someone you know for these honors. Only completed nominations submitted via the form below and received by the deadline will be considered.

Nominations for the 2024 IU School of Liberal Arts Alumni Awards will be accepted through April 30, 2024. Nominations submitted after April 30, 2024 will be considered for the 2025 cycle.

Ideal candidates must:

  • Be a graduate of the IU School of Liberal Arts
  • Have achieved significant recognition or accomplishment in their chosen field (business, non-profit, the arts, academia, military/government, etc.) professionally and/or through extraordinary service to the IU School of Liberal Arts, campus, or Indiana University
  • Be able to accept the award in person and participate in the annual Alumni Leaders Dinner where the Maynard K. Hine Awards are also presented.

  • A completed online nomination form, which includes providing basic information on the nominator and nominee
  • Provide at least one Recommendation Letter. (Required)
  • It is strongly suggested to attach the nominee's current resume/CV/Professional summary or a hyperlink to their LinkedIn profile.

Eligible nominations are reviewed by the IU School of Liberal Arts Alumni Board's Alumni Awards Committee. Award selections are based on demonstrated distinctions and unique professional achievements in the alumni's chosen field of profession, such as:

  • Activities (supported by references) that enhanced, improved, and developed one's profession
  • Well-developed application and nomination letter
  • Overall professional achievements
  • Provided service above and beyond the expected level to the community, the IU School of Liberal Arts, campus, and/or Indiana University.
  • Strong reference(s) included with nomination.

Nominees not selected will be reconsidered for one more year.

Upon selection, award recipients will be notified by the IU School of Liberal Arts Alumni Association. In addition, the nominator(s) and the honoree's current department chair(s) or program director(s) will be notified. Recipient names will be made public after the awards are presented to the honorees.


Contact Tricia O'Neil at or 317-278-1074.