Commencement 2016 Award Winners

The following students and faculty members are the recipients of Harvard Extension School's Commencement 2016 awards and prizes. 

Commencement Speaker Award

  • Alissa Renee Musto, undergraduate degree program
  • Kristen Elizabeth Strezo, liberal arts and journalism graduate degree programs
  • Michelle Noelle Moon, professional graduate degree programs
  • Cheryl R. Greenwald, professional degree programs
  • Chiwai Chow, management degree program

Dean’s Prize for Outstanding ALM Thesis and Capstone

Awarded for the first time in 1996, the Dean’s Prize recognizes the thesis or capstone that embodies the highest level of imaginative scholarship. Prizes are awarded in each of the disciplines of the Extension School’s Master’s Degree Program.

Biology thesis: Carlin Fair Aloe

Psychology/clinical psychology thesis: Sukriti Drabu

Social science thesis: Tomoko Ito

International relations thesis: Haneen Khalaf

English thesis: Thomas John Deschenes

Government thesis: Freeha Riaz

Humanities thesis: Leonie Glen

Biotechnology thesis: Jessica Tobias Pinkham

Information technology thesis: Richard Kim

Mathematics for teaching thesis: Joel Thomas Patterson

Sustainability thesis: Nikolaos Georgoulias

Sustainability capstone, independent project: Jeffrey Sargent North

Sustainability capstone, consulting: Bethany Lauren Gorham

Journalism capstone: Laura Piper

Digital media capstone: Patrick Timothy O’Brien

Museum studies capstone: Michelle Noelle Moon

Klein Family history thesis prize: David Kent Zucker

Santo J. Aurelio Prize

This prize recognizes academic achievement and character for undergraduate degree recipients more than 50 years of age.

Recipient: Mary Beth Petersen-Unger

Derek Bok Public Service Prize

This prize is awarded annually to degree or certificate recipients at the Harvard Extension School, who, while pursuing academic studies and professional careers, also give generously of their time and skill to improve the quality of life for others in the larger community.  The prize was established by generous gifts from the Harvard Extension Alumni Association.

Recipient: Reima Yosif Shakeir

Annamae and Allan R. Crite Prize

This prize is awarded to Extension School degree recipients who demonstrate "singular dedication to learning and the arts."

Recipient: David Ackerman and Matthew Justin Bach  

Thomas Small Prize

The Thomas Small prizes are awarded annually on the basis of "academic achievement and character" to outstanding Master of Liberal Arts in extension studies degree recipients.

  • First place: Guanyu Liu
  • Second place: Catherine Robertson Matthews

Reginald H. Phelps Prize

 These prizes are awarded annually on the basis of academic achievement and character to outstanding graduating students receiving Bachelor of Liberal Arts degrees in extension studies.

First prize: Saumya Arya Haas

Second Prize (tie):

  • Robert Brently Knarr Cochran
  • Mary Grace Velasco Navarro

Third Prize: Caitlin Connor Uze

The Katie Y.F. Yang Prize

This prize is awarded annually to the international graduate in the field of management with the most outstanding academic record.


  • Stephen Joseph Dorgan
  • Kayan Olivia Ho

The Harold V. Langlois Outstanding Scholar Award

This award recognizes a management graduate who has demonstrated exceptional academic accomplishment and promise as a manager.

Recipient: Sanjaya T. Swamy

James E. Conway Excellence in Teaching Writing Award

This award recognizes excellence in the teaching of writing in the Harvard Extension School.

Recipient: Rebecca Summerhays

Joanne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award

This award recognizes exceptional teachers in business and management courses.

Recipient:  Teo Nicolais

Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award

These prizes are awarded annually to honor outstanding teaching in the Extension program.


  • Mark Leighton
  • Denise Snyder and Stacie Green
  • Stephen Shoemaker

Dean Michael Shinagel Exceptional Teaching Assistant Award

These prizes are awarded to honor outstanding work by a teaching assistant in the Extension program


  • Justin McCarty
  • Michael Miner
  • Charlotte Szilagyi

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Reverend Lady Savage (not verified) replied:

As a seasoned adult, the opportunity is here! Thank you for the Extension Program.

June 15, 201712:20pm

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