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Alumnae Awards

Newcomb Alumnae Association bestows three awards to Newcomb alumnae each year at Under the Oaks. Award winners have represented Newcomb with distinction since their graduation. 

Nominate an Alumna for a Newcomb Award

The Newcomb Alumnae Association Awards are presented annually at the Under the Oaks celebration in May:

  • Outstanding Alumna - The recipient of this award must reflect Newcomb’s tradition of excellence and should exhibit prominence in a business or professional field and in her contributions to the well being of national, state, or community life. The recipient’s accomplishments and contributions should have been sustained over a long period of time. Optimally, the recipient should have achieved some measure of recognition on the national or international level.
  • Young Alumna - This award is given to a Newcomb/Tulane alum who has exhibited ongoing contributions or achievements. Nominees who have not yet attained the age of 40 are eligible for fifteen years beyond graduation.
  • Community Service - The recipient of this award will be recognized for a significant, long-term commitment to community service.

Nominations are good for three years. The nomination period for 2023 is now open until January 27th.

Nomination Application

2022 Alumnae Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2022 Alumnae Award Winners!

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Newcomb Alumnae Association Awards. These alumnae have represented Newcomb with distinction since their graduation, and all alumnae are invited to celebrate their achievements at the Under the Oaks Ceremony. See the date, time, and location details located under the Events Tab.  

Last year’s recipients are:

Outstanding Alumna:

Photo of Dr. Pamela A. Geller

Pamela A. Geller, Ph.d. (NC ’88)

Inspired by her Newcomb College experience, Dr. Pamela A. Geller’s career trajectory has involved integration of varied disciplines, including clinical and health psychology, public health, and maternal and infant mental health. Dr. Geller graduated from Newcomb College magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with departmental honors in all areas. She received the Senior Scholar Award from both the Art and Psychology departments. She received her MS and PhD in clinical psychology from Kent State University and completed a NIH postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. Dr. Geller is an Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Director of Clinical Training for the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is also Research Associate Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology in Drexel’s College of Medicine.

Dr. Geller’s innovative work in women’s health and perinatal mental health over the past 30 years has served to advance the field and drive change while also having a significant community impact, particularly for underserved populations. Her work focuses on the psychological aspects of events surrounding pregnancy and childbearing, such as infertility, pregnancy loss, and postpartum depression. Dr. Geller is a founder and co-director of Mother Baby Connections, an intensive outpatient perinatal mental health program at Drexel for pregnant and postpartum women experiencing anxiety, and depression and their infants. She is currently leading a team in the creation of a digital solution to support universal mental health screening for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) parents. Through her Women’s Health Psychology Lab at Drexel, Dr. Geller serves as primary mentor to undergraduate, Master’s and doctoral students. In Drexel’s Psychological Services Center, Dr. Geller is a clinical supervisor of PhD students who provide psychotherapy and behavioral medicine services to individuals from the Philadelphia community.

Dr. Geller serves on the Executive Council and chairs the Research Committee of the National Network of NICU Psychologists, an organization she helped to found. She was recently appointed to the Board of the National Perinatal Association. In addition to over 65 peer-reviewed publications and 20 book chapters, Dr. Geller is an editor of the Health Psychology volume of the Handbook of Psychology, as well as the book Women’s Health Psychology. She has presented her work both nationally and internationally and has been featured on BBC Radio programs.

Community Service Award: 

Photo of Amy Gatzemeyer

Amy Gatzemeyer (NC ’06)

Since graduating from Newcomb College in 2006, Amy Gatzemeyer has stayed true to her passion for exploring service learning and active citizenship and fostering conditions for others to serve. Immediately following graduation, Gatzemeyer spent one year teaching middle school in New Orleans, during which she implemented a service-learning program. Following that, she served for four years as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. She served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2009 to 2010, earning a Bronze Star Medal for Service.

In 2017, Gatzemeyer completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in a special program for cadets, military service members, and veterans at the United States Military Academy (West Point) and immediately followed up by completing an additional 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training. In 2018, she worked with other veterans to create a yoga training program for military members who want to integrate the tools of yoga into their units. This program has since become the 501c(3) organization We Teach Resilience, Increase Balance, and Endurance (TRIBE). TRIBE’s mission is to teach the tools of yoga—both the physical practice and mindfulness techniques—that align with the military’s culture in order to enhance the resilience, mental and physical endurance and strength, physical vitality, and overall physical readiness of our nation’s active-duty personnel and their families. In addition to being one of the lead trainers and curriculum designers, Gatzemeyer currently serves as the Administrative and Financial Head of TRIBE.

Young Alumna Award: 

Photo of Saira A. Mehmood

Saira A. Mehmood, Ph.d. (SLA ’08, SLA *09)

Saira Mehmood graduated from Newcomb-Tulane College in 2008 as a Newcomb Scholar and Oak Wreath recipient, and with a Master’s in anthropology from Tulane in 2009. After graduating from Tulane, she was a Mayoral Fellow with the City of New Orleans, where she analyzed mental health services in New Orleans and worked on mental health policies in the Mayor’s Office and with other city departments and state legislators. Dr. Mehmood continued her work with the community and research on mental health services for her dissertation, “I am not my illness!: Navigating the mental healthcare system in New Orleans,” which she completed for her Ph.D. in 2019 at Southern Methodist University.

As an activist-scholar, Dr. Mehmood’s work extends to the community and her profession. During her time conducting fieldwork in New Orleans for her dissertation research, Dr. Mehmood was also active as a core organizer with the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee (NOPSC). From 2016 to 2019, she co-led community meetings, direct actions, teach-ins, and served as a guest speaker for numerous venues, including serving as a panelist for Community Action Council of Tulane University Students (CACTUS). Dr. Mehmood with NOPSC co-created the Tahrir Fellowship program, a paid internship made possible through funds raised from the annual New Orleans Palestinian Film Festival, to teach Palestinian youth skills in community organizing and legislative advocacy for effective social justice work.

Dr. Mehmood has received numerous awards and grants over the years for her research, including the American Anthropological Association’s Minority Dissertation Fellowship. From 2019-2021, She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Spelman College. Currently, Dr. Mehmood is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow, with a placement at the National Institutes of Health. Working within the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Past Newcomb Alumnae Winners

Outstanding Alumna
1974    Elizabeth Wisner    N'14    
1975    Bessie Margolin     N'29    
1976    Corinne Claiborne Boggs     N'35    
1977     E. Lucille Smith     N'35     
1978     Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer    N'33     
1979     Ruth Rogan Benerito     N'35     
1980     Betty Werlein Carter     N'31     
1981     Lanier Allingham Simmons     N'50     
1982     Mary Lou Mossy Christovich     N'49     
1983     Odaline de la Martinez     N'72     
1984     Evalyn Stolaroff Gendel     N'43     
1985     Betty Stevens Sherrill     N'44     
1986     Hilda Arndt     N'32     
1987     Lynda Benglis     N'64     
1988     Rosa Freeman Keller     N'32     
1989     Martha Crenshaw     N'67    
1990     Marion J. Siegman     N'54     
1991     Barbara Y. E. Pyle     N'69     
1992     Deirdre Melessa Phillips, M.D.     N'69     
1993     Vivian Gussin Paley     N'50     
1994     Lois E. DeBakey     N'40     
1995     Eugénie Ricau Rocherolle     N'58     
1997     Susan Gold Willard Schorin     N'67     
1998     May Hyman Lesser     N'47    
1999     Martha Walters Barnett     N'69    
2003    Marsha Sidel Firestone     N'65     
2004    Cheryl A. Nickerson     N'83      
2005    Elizabeth A. Weaver    N’62    
2007    Jane Davis Doggett     N'52    
2008    Carol Lavin Bernick    N'74    
2009    Florence Weiland Schornstein    N’56   
2010    Berthe Lathrop Marks Amoss    N’46   
2011    Dee Unglaub Silverthon   N '70 
2012    Marlene Esking Moses N '72 
2013    Margaret Burr Leonard N '63 
2014    Merri Steinberg Ex N '73
2015    Regina Rogers N '68
2016    Jennifer Brush N '78
2017    Sally Kittredge Reeves N'65
2018    Meria Carstarphen NC '92
2019    Marcela Villareal de Panetta  NC ’67
2020    Carter Flemming  NC ’70
2021    Dr. Mara E. Karlin  NC ’01


Young Alumna
2005    Jennifer Grotz N’93 
2007    Melissa Ekin Kizildemir N’02 
2008    Erica Trani  N’06
2009    Rebekah Dobrasko N’01
2010    Theresa Schieber N’95
2011    Meaghan K. Callahan N'08
2012    Karoun Bagamain N'01
2013    Elizabeth Bellino N'98
2014    Johanna Gilligan N'03
2015    Jane Kellum N'01
2016    Dr. Mara E. Karlin N'01
2017    Demetria Christo N'06
2018    Lindsey Childs-Kean NC '04
2019    Paula Eichenbrenner NC ’04
2020    Nicole Hutchinson SLA '07
2021    Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa NC '14

Newcomb Community Service and Loyalty Award
1987    Sybil Muths Favrot N’56 
1988    Jane Kelleher Riess N’38
1989    Nellie Mae " Bartlett Kelleher N’30
1990    Carol Downes Cudd N’59
1992    Louise Hoehn Hogan  N’35 
1993    Winifred Delery Hills N’75
1994    Polly Phelps Durham N’52 
1995    Harriet Barry Schupp N’59 
1997    Regan Alford Forrester N'71
1999    Carolyn Robbert Davis N'42
2000    Andrée Keil Moss N'59
2001    Helen Schneidau N'67
2002    Patricia Greene N'67
2003    Karen Deener Depp N'66
2004    Virginia Niehaus Roddy N'60
2005    Barbara Bartlett Haddad N'53
2007    Cynthia Roosth Wolf N'68
2008    Eugenie Jones Huger N'53
2009    Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin N’54

Community Service Award
2010    Adele Redditt Williamson N’45
2011    Sharon Kozlowski Bourgeois N'69
2012    Suzy Guichard McDaniel N'83
2013    Newcomb Sisters & Friends Build
2014    Sylvia Klumok Goodman N'62
2015    Julie Schwam Harris N'74
2016    Roberta Guillory N'59
2017    Rhonda Kalifey-Aluise N'92
2018    Millibeth Currie NC '89
2019    Lisa Helfman NC ’96
2020    Nancy Godecke NC '81
2021    Isabel González Whitaker NC '94

Katrina/Rita Recognition Awards - October 27, 2006
Pamela Montgomery Bryan N'80             
Barbara Gott Bush  N'71    
Beverly Reese Church N'67    
Lea McIntosh Ellison N'69    
Mignon Faget N'55    
Virginia Saussy N'88    
Ruthie Jones Frierson N'62
Patricia Heatherly Gay N'65    
Barbara Barry Hammett N'64    
Leslie Brupbacher Kramer N'77    
Nancy Meyers Marsiglia N'75    
Anne McDonald Milling N'62    
Marcelle D'Aquin Saussy N'61    
Louise Fergusson Saenz N'94    
Cynthia Roosth Wolf N'68    

Newcomb Centennial Awards - Awarded October 11, 1986
Mildred D. Christian N'22, Education/ English
Lucile Jacoby Blum N'24, Music, Performing, & Visual Art
Perrine Dixon McCune N'24, Music
Angela Gregory N'25,  Sculpture
Rena Wilson N'29, Early Childhood Development
Mary Ethel Dichmann N'35, Education
Margaret Pace Willson N'43, Art/ Glass Blowing/ Business
Mary Hanemann Lystad N'49, Social Psychology
Shirley Ann Grau N'50, Author
Mignon Faget N'55, Art/ Jewelry Design
Linda Smith Wilson N'57, Chemistry/EducationalAdministration/Research
Frances F. Switt N'59, Foreign Service/ Cultural Exchange
Emily Watts Card N'63, Financial Management
Shelly Johnson Errington N’66, Anthropology 
Marilyn Thomas Bernard N'68, Music
Janina R. Gerth Galler N'69, Pediatric Mental Health

Alumna of the Year (discontinued)
2005     Helen Carney Evans N’65
2007     Ruthie Jones Frierson  N’62
2007    Anne McDonald Milling N’62