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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 2022 is now closed.

2021 Alumnae Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2021 Alumnae Award Winners!

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 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.  

This year’s recipients are:

Outstanding Alumna:

Photo of Dr. Mara E. Karlin

Dr. Mara E. Karlin (NC '01)
Dr. Mara Karlin is Performing the Duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Dr. Karlin was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategies, Plans, and Capabilities on August 17, 2021.

Before taking on this role, Dr. Karlin served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. She served on the policy team for the Biden-Harris Transition. Karlin was Director of Strategic Studies, an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Previously, she served in national security roles for five U.S. secretaries of defense, advising on policies spanning strategic planning, defense policy and budgeting, future conflicts, and regional security affairs. She started her government career as a civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and has received the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award. She is the author of two books on defense policy and military history.

Community Service Award: 

Photo of Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker

Isabel González Whitaker (NC '94)
Isabel González Whitaker is a Senior Advisor for the world’s largest healthcare charity, where she leads C-suite thought leadership and executive visibility efforts primarily at the intersection of Purpose. In 2018, Isabel was selected to be a Presidential Leadership Scholar as determined by the Pres. Clinton, H. W. Bush, W. Bush, and Johnson Presidential Centers. As a Scholar, she debuted the first park in the State of Georgia to be named for a Latinx individual, the Sara J. González Memorial Park, which President Clinton wrote: “will have a lasting positive impact on the community [and] inspire all those who visit it in the years to come.” The Atlanta-based park is dedicated to themes of diversity, inclusion, unity, and equity and demonstrates these values through pan-generational, community-centric programming and design. Isabel received the 2018 Cox Corporation and Trust for Public Land Heroes Award and the 2018 Park Pride Inspiration Award for her efforts with the park.  

Young Alumna Award: 

Photo of Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa

Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa (NC '14)
Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa centers youth work, community organizing, and cultural creativity in their life. They believe that ‘words create worlds’ and center storytelling in all aspects of their work & life, from performance to community organizing to daily practices & rituals. FreeQuency has performed and/or spoken at over 100 colleges, and universities across the country focused on gender and antiracism. Frequency is also the CoDirector of LOUD: The New Orleans Queer Youth Theatre.

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)

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)

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)

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