2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Samuel P. Peabody ’59
Peabody founded Reality House, a drug rehabilitation center in northern Manhattan before becoming the director of Broad Jump, a nonprofit for at-risk students. While there, he helped found Prep for Prep, a program that places promising students of color in independent schools throughout the Northeast and helps support them through to college. He also served as chair of the Citizen’s Committee for Children before retiring.
Violeta Petroska-Beshka ’83
Petroska-Beshka is a professor of psychology at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. She is a co-founder and co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, a training and research center dedicated to promoting human rights and advancing diversity education and conflict resolution in multicultural settings. She works closely with UNICEF and USAID funded organizations as a leading player in efforts to reform the education system throughout the country
Diane Ravitch ’75
Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. In addition, she is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She shares a blog called Bridging Differences with Deborah Meier, hosted by Education Week and also blogs for Politico.com/arena and the Huffington Post. Her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 10 books.
Ruth Christ Sullivan ’53
Sullivan, an advocate for autism for over 40 years, is the founder and executive director of the Autism Services Center in Huntington, WV. She was the first president of the National Society for Autistic Children, now Autism Society of America and founded several local and state chapters. She was the first autism lobbyist in US Congress and two states. Sullivan is an expert witness for court proceedings, a public speaker and a consultant, most notably for the movie “Rain Man.”
Since 1987, Totten has taught at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he co-developed the Middle Level Master of Arts Program (MAT) and founded the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project (NWAWP). Totten’s passion in life and the primary focus of his research is the prevention and intervention of genocide and is the co-founding editor of Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal (University of Toronto Press).
2011 Early Career Award Recipient
Paul O’Neill ’01
O’Neill is an education attorney, author and professor who focuses on guiding education organizations through challenges and growth. O’Neill has held lead attorney positions in government, boutique education law firms, a non-profit organization, and the private sector. He is currently President of Tugboat Education Services, which advises education reform organizations on regulatory and strategic matters, and a Principal in the boutique education law practice group of Cohen Schneider LLP.
2011 President's Medal of Excellence Recipients
Smith is currently a medical contributor to ABC’s nationally syndicated, “The View”, a medical columnist for Men’s Health magazine, and the medical/diet expert on VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club.” Smith is also the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Healthwise on American Urban Radio Networks. Smith created the "50 Million Pound Challenge” and the “Makeover Mile” and has published multiple books including the Fat Smash Diet and Happy. Smith has been appointment by President Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.