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2016 Bart Lawson Award Recipients

Priscilla Anany

Award for Public Service
MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication ('14)

Priscilla Anany won the Best New Narrative Director Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016 for her film childreN of the mountaiN. Priscilla was born in Ghana and immigrated to the United States where she studied fine arts at the University of North Carolina School of Arts' School of Filmmaking. She earned an MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at NYUSPS in 2014. Priscilla is an advocate of women's empowerment and likes to tell stories about women and their strengths.

David Z. Hirsh

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Real Estate (’90)

David Z. Hirsh is managing director of the Real Estate Asset Management Group at Blackstone. Since joining Blackstone in 2002, David has been involved in the asset management of investments in the hotel, office, retail, industrial, and healthcare sectors. In addition, from 2009 to 2012, he restructured and extended the debt on many of Blackstone’s investments, completing transactions totaling $16 billion that included Equity Office, La Quinta, CarrAmerica, and Boca Resorts, as well as more than $1 billion in DPOs.

Prior to joining Blackstone, David worked at Citigroup for 15 years, including six years in real estate asset management leading the hotel group, and five years in corporate finance specializing in corporate real estate and project lending.

David is on the board of directors (cochairman) of the Thyroid, Head and Neck Cancer (THANC) Foundation and serves as chairman on the board of directors of the Thyroid Cancer Care Collaborative.

David’s commitment and level of support to NYUSPS and the Schack Institute of Real Estate are unsurpassed. He is the current chair of the NYUSPS Alumni Board, serves on the NYU Alumni Board, and is a past member of the NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate Alumni Chapter Board. He is an adjunct professor at the NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate, serves as the vice chair of its advisory board, and was this year’s honoree at the Evening of Monopoly, an alumni event that raised close to $300,000 for Schack student scholarships.

David earned a BBA in Accounting from Pace University and an MS in Real Estate Development from the NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate. He is a certified public accountant.

Channon Lucas

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Global Affairs ('11)

A native of Rochester, New York, Channon Lucas began her career working on political campaigns and in nonprofit development. 

In 2011, she earned an MS in Global Affairs from NYUSPS with the intention of transitioning from her fundraising role at the Archdiocese of New York into development for an international nonprofit or nongovernmental organization. However, she was promoted to director of operations for the archdiocese’s annual fund and ultimately became the director of the campaign. During her 10 years at the Archdiocese of New York, she has increased the annual fund by 15 percent and her campaigns have raised over $300 million in support of the archdiocese’s charitable, pastoral, and spiritual needs.

At present, Channon is the vice chancellor at the archdiocese and assists the chancellor in overseeing its marketing, development, and pastoral offices. She also serves as a special assistant to Cardinal Timothy Dolan for special projects and events. In this capacity, she had the honor of working on the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to New York.

As tribute to her inner-city Catholic school education, she sponsors two Catholic school students in East Harlem through the Inner-City Scholarship Fund’s Be a Student’s Friend program.

Channon has served on the board of the NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs Alumni Society for four years and been its president for the past two years.

Romola Ratnam

Award for Humanitarianism
BS in Sports Management ('08)

Romola Ratnam began her career in the sports industry at the NBA, where, as a manager at 25, she played a key role in the league’s multiyear partnerships with BBVA, Timberland, and Sears. Her interest in international business and development began through her work with NBA Cares to bring in marketing partners to support its global social responsibility initiatives.

After the NBA, Romola worked as a consultant for BBVA, leading its relationship with the NBA, NBA teams, and brand endorsers Kevin Durant and James Harden. While at BBVA, Romola became exposed to the SEED Project—a youth sports nonprofit based in Senegal founded by Amadou Fall, the NBA’s managing director in Africa. Romola went on to colead the SEED Project for two years. At the SEED Project, Romola helped to professionalize the organization’s operations and to win a USAID grant in partnership with the NBA to expand the program to more than 2,000 youth across Senegal. During her tenure there she also added the first elite girls program and helped over 30 students to obtain higher secondary education in the United States.

Currently, Romola is deputy director of corporate partnerships at UNICEF USA. In this role, she works with companies across the country to contribute to UNICEF’s life-saving work for children globally. Romola’s team developed UNICEF’s first corporate program for disaster response and leads relationships with key Fortune 500 organizations based in the United States.

Romola graduated from NYUSPS with a BS in Sports Management.

Kofi Amouzou

Award for Humanitarianism
MS in Tourism Management ('99)

In 2003, Kofi Amouzou founded The Children of Lavie, a grassroots, non-profit organization that promotes education in West Africa. Headed by a dedicated board, the organization works to problem solve and strives to plant the seeds of change by funding the schooling of children who are unable to fulfill their educational goals due to financial constraints. In his book—Kofi, a Child of Lavie—the author and activist details how he was one of the children of Lavie, who roamed his village and was faced with a bleak future working on a farm because his parents couldn’t afford to provide him with an education. Ulitmately, Lavie came to his rescue in an unexpected way—"the gray-haired folks were like the libraries we didn’t have," Kofi states.

Taking from this experience, Kofi’s life informs The Children of Lavie’s efforts to fund youth education and to build libraries that serve villages such as Lavie. To date, The Children of Lavie has helped 1,700 children to complete their primary and secondary education, and has played an instrumental role in preparing 52 alumni for college.

Proceeds from the book’s sale are helping to fund the construction of Lavie’s first library. Visit www.thechildrenoflavie.org for more information.

Kofi earned an MS in Tourism Management from the NYU School of Professional Studies in 1999.

Jeanne Burrus

Award for Public Service
Diploma in Human Resources Management ('93)

Jeanne Burrus is a successful human capital management executive and a social entrepreneur. Early in her career, she enrolled in the Diploma in Human Resource Management, offered by the NYU School of Professional Studies. It was through this program that she discovered her passion for human resources. Jeanne spent 18 years working on Wall Street in human resource strategy for firms including Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.

While acting as a full-time caregiver to her ailing parents, Jeanne created a model for a community-based employment assistance program that is truly visionary. Several years ago, Jeanne learned about Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi's ingenious concept of a community restaurant—Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen—that serves Red Bank, NJ and the surrounding communities. The premise of the restaurant and how it works to help others is simple. If you can afford to pay for your meal, then you can make a donation to help others who are less fortunate. If you are unable to pay for your meal, then you can volunteer at the restaurant in exchange for a meal for you and your family.

From experience, Jeanne knew where there is food insecurity there is unemployment. Given Jeanne's extensive HR background, she began giving her time and expertise to coaching unemployed Soul Kitchen volunteers by offering assistance with their résumés, interviewing skills, and job searches. She quickly realized that many of the people she assisted had myriad challenges that required professional help in addressing. Jeanne recruited 12 such professionals (The Employment & Empowerment Team), who added to the expansion of services.

This comprehensive assistance program that she launched offers job coaching, life coaching, financial literacy, and legal support services as a way to address the challenges facing those who seek help with employment. To date, The Employment & Empowerment Program has been instrumental in helping Soul Kitchen volunteers to secure 60 job offers—an impressive 85% success rate.

Through Jeanne's knowledge, skills, and innovative approach, she has masterfully created a program born from a sincere desire to give back to the community. For more information, please visit jbjsoulkitchen.org.

Jeanne earned a Diploma in Human Resources from the School of Professional Studies in 1993.

Allan Haber

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
BA Paul McGhee Undergraduate Division ('08), JD NYU School of Law ('84)

Allan Haber’s story is somewhat unique. In 1976, he was released from state prison after his third felony conviction for dealing drugs. He was 36 years old at the time, and recovering from a heroin addiction. While incarcerated, something clicked inside him and he realized that education was the way to change his life. He studied while in prison, and when he was released, he enrolled in the NYU School of Professional Studies to earn a bachelor’s degree. The School had a tremendous impact on him, and played a pivotal role in teaching him how to push himself to reach maximum potential as a human being. His undergraduate education paved the way for his application to the NYU School of Law, where he was admitted as a Root Tilden Scholar.

During his law career, Allan has committed himself to contributing in a positive way to the field of criminal justice by representing indigent defendants who are too impoverished to afford an adequate legal defense. Many of his clients also were victims in his eyes. The skills he acquired at NYU helped to prepare him for assisting a class of people who were ill equipped to cope with degradation, illiteracy, and unemployment.

His educational journey granted him the opportunity to turn many other's lives around. Those experiences enriched his life and solidified his belief that we should always look for the humanity in people, rather than what is wrong or bad. We should then do whatever is necessary to stimulate their good traits.

Allan earned a BA in Humanities from the NYU School of Professional Studies in 1980, and a JD from the NYU School of Law in 1984.

Allen M. McFarlane

Allen M. McFarlane

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
BA Paul McGhee Undergraduate Division ('92), MA Steinhardt ('97)

Allen M. McFarlane is the assistant vice president for outreach & engagement within the NYU Division of Student Affairs, Office of the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs. With more than 30 years of service, Allen has amassed a notable list of accomplishments and awards in the areas of student diversity, diversity education, and career development.

In support of NYU's global network, Allen has conducted interviews with more than 1,000 international undergraduate freshman and transfer students to assess their transition and adjustment to campus life. He also co-facilitates a weekly seminar titled, "English Conversation & Culture for International Graduate Students."

In 2015, his article, "Lessons Learned: Internationalization and the Role of Student Affairs Professionals," will appear in the Journal of Student Affairs in Africa.

An adjunct faculty member in the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, Allen conceived and co-developed a course with Dr. Candice Collins, titled Black Diversity Contributions to America. Most recently, and in recognition of his leadership, in 2015, he was awarded the New York University Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for Dedication and Service. In 2013, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NYU College of Arts and Science, Academic Achievement Program.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, Allen returned to New York after his service and enrolled at New York University. He earned an AA degree in 1989 and a BA in Social Sciences in 1992 from the NYU School of Professional Studies. He then pursued an MS in Student Personnel Administration from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in 1997.

Sara Pandolfi

Award for Public Service
MS in Fundraising and Grantmaking ('14)

Sara Pandolfi leads her own consulting firm, Sara Pandolfi & Co, which provides fundraising and marketing solutions as well as event management for corporations and nonprofits, bringing their unique goals to life. She combines skills and expertise in the nonprofit sector with a successful track record in building corporate and community partnerships.

Sara takes on the challenges presented to organizations by understanding their strengths as well as their limitations. She works directly with her clients to formulate a plan that will allow them to achieve their objectives, identify opportunities for growth and improvement, and maintain the integrity of their mission. She assists private-sector clients in leveraging their interest in doing social good by connecting them with charities that make an impact in areas that are relevant to their core values. Sara's most recent fundraising success is the production of "Farm to Tray," an event that raised over 120% of her client’s fundraising goal, ultimately benefitting New York's largest emergency food program.

From managing enrichment programs for at-risk teens, to helping organizations develop the tools to maintain a sustainable and meaningful business operation, Sara has chosen a career path that is aligned with her passion to serve and to help others. She mentors students, giving them unique opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world fundraising initiatives. Sara has spoken on numerous industry panels and has been a guest lecturer in graduate courses. She also serves on the James Beard Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee.

Sara earned an MS in Fundraising and Grantmaking from the NYU School of Professional Studies in 2014.

Scott Harrison

Award for Public Service
AA in Liberal Arts ('96)

In 2006, Scott Harrison founded charity: water, a nonprofit organization that brings clean drinking water to people in developing nations. "Faced with spiritual bankruptcy ..." he writes on the organization's website, "...I signed up for volunteer service aboard a floating hospital with a group called MERCY SHIPS, a humanitarian organization which offered free medical care in the world's poorest nations." This volunteer assignment took him to Liberia, West Africa, where he saw, firsthand, the damaging results of contaminated water. As he began to learn about the world's 800 million people who live without clean water, he decided to raise money to fund water projects that serve these people.

To date, charity: water has raised over $150 million dollars and has funded over 13,000 water projects in 20 countries, benefiting over 4.4 million people. Scott earned an AA in Liberal Arts from the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Division in 1996 and a BA in Journalism from the NYU College of Arts and Science in 1998. For more information about Scott's organization, visit charity: water.

Heather O'Neill

Award for Public Service
MS in Global Affairs ('08)

Heather O'Neill is a designer and social entrepreneur. She has a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts and an MS in Global Affairs from the NYU School of Professional Studies. Since graduating from NYU, she co-founded, with her sister Katie O'Neill, Mushmina, a lifestyle brand of global fair-trade fashion with a social mission of employing artisans in developing countries. The company has a triple bottom line: they practice sustainable production, promote fair pay and better working conditions for artisans, and contribute to artisans' livelihoods and communities. Along with the 85 artisans in North Africa that benefit from collaborating with Mushmina, the sisters opened the Flying Camel Women's Training Center to employ, empower, and educate women in rural Morocco.

In 2013, Mushmina won a FedEx Small Business Grant to help fund the company's next venture, a fair-trade mobile boutique (in a refurbished VW van). Coming soon to a city near you! Visit Mushmina to read more about its social mission, vision, and how their products are created.

Margie Pedder

Award for Humanitarianism
MS in Sports Business ('08)

Margie Pedder, originally from the United Kingdom and currently living in San Francisco, is cofounder of The Lauren Beam Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting young women and men battling cancer. She earned an MS in Sports Business from the NYU School of Professional Studies in 2008 and served on the Tisch Center Alumni Society board, as secretary and community service chair, from 2008 to 2012.

The Lauren Beam Foundation is named in honor of Lauren Beam who passed away from colon cancer in 2011. Lauren, also a graduate of the MS in Sports Business, was the head women's swimming coach at NYU and a recipient of this award in 2011. It is the memory of Lauren's generosity and strength that inspires Margie to give back to the community and make a difference.

Margie plays an instrumental part in The Lauren Beam Foundation's mission to provide financial relief to individuals and their families and in inspiring everyone to lead healthy and active lives. She takes a leading role in the Foundation's events, fundraising and marketing efforts, and in organizing its largest initiative in New York City: the Annual 5K River Run. The event takes place on the second Sunday in November each year, and had nearly 400 runners in its inaugural year. The Lauren Beam Foundation made its support application live in January 2014 and, to date, has distributed thousands of dollars to individuals in need. For more information, visit The Lauren Beam Foundation.

Roland Pugh

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MA in Graphic Communications Management and Technology ('14)

Roland Pugh, a native New Yorker, decided to pursue a visual communications career in 2007, after a 10-year career in finance. He earned an MA in Graphic Communications Management and Technology from the NYU School of Professional Studies in 2014. Following his passion for visual storytelling, Roland began working with nonprofit organizations on various local and international photography projects.

Roland's volunteer, humanitarian photography assignments have taken him around the globe, from Ghana, Togo, and South Sudan to Peru and Guatemala. Within the United States, he has volunteered and documented home rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and medical outreach at Harlem Hospital. These photography projects have been instrumental in providing the organizations he volunteers for much needed marketing, brand awareness, and donor transparency.

Roland volunteered for seven years as a photographer and team leader at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY, where he is now director of corporate communications. He lives in Queens with his wife and daughter.

John T. Farrell

John T. Farrell

Award for Public Service
MS in Real Estate ('09)

John has served on the NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate Alumni Board since 2010. He is an active member who regularly mentors young alumni and hosts events to connect alumni to one another. In 2012, he helped establish the Michael Farrell Scholarship Fund, an endowed scholarship named for his late father, a former Schack professor.

In addition, John has been an active member of the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard & Airmen's Club ("SSMAC") since 2004. SSMAC supports active duty military personnel, veterans, and their im­mediate family members through a variety of services and programs, chief among them being low cost accommodations. John was formerly on the SSMAC junior committee, where he organized events and pro­moted outreach and fundraising. In 2012 and 2013, he joined the development committee and advisory board, respectively.

John's commitment  to service includes The New England Society (NES) in the City of New York, which he joined in 2011. NES was founded in 1805 to promote "friendship, charity, and mutual assistance" among and on behalf of New Englanders liv­ing in New York. Today, the Society's chief philanthropic efforts are undergraduate scholarships and book prizes. Since 2011, John has helped NES to broaden its charitable works to include Central Park restoration efforts with a specific em­phasis on the Park's statuary. John has chaired the Society's junior committee since 2012 and joined its board of directors in 2013.

John is a managing director in Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's New York Landauer Valuation & Advisory Group. He specializes in valuation consulting and arbitration/litigation support for rent resets, foreclosures, as well as other types of disputes.

Jessica Grossman

Award for Humanitarianism
MA in Graphic Communications Management and Technology ('12)

Jessica Grossman is the founder and spokesperson for the online awareness campaign Uncover Ostomy, an online blog and Facebook page. Launched in Octo­ber 2009, Uncover Ostomy was created to spark conversation, to change the negative stigma surrounding ostomy surgery, and to spread awareness of this life-saving surgery. Today, Uncover Ostomy has seen a significant change in the public's and the patient's perception of the term. The website has garnered worldwide attention and has been profiled on national news outlets around the country.

The campaign is a partnership between the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS), a North America-based nonprofit organization, and Jessica Grossman. The campaign also allows the United Ostomy Associations of America to use its resources to raise awareness amongst its membership.

Having been diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 13, and after years of suffering, Jessica was faced with the choice between life with an ostomy or death. Today, as the public face of the Uncover Ostomy public campaign, she speaks around the world continuing to educate and to raise awareness about the issue. Using the skills she learned at the NYU School of Professional Studies, Jessica has been able to enhance the marketing efforts of this campaign and to reach a worldwide audience.

Stephanie A. Mattera

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication ('09)

Stephanie Mattera is an alumna of the MS in Public Rela­tions and Corporate Communication. In 2010, Stephanie was named spokesperson for the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, a nonprofit organization comprised of 150 New Hope Partners work­ing with New York City's Animal Care & Control to help animals find forever homes. "The passion and love for animals that Stephanie brings to her volunteer role as a spokesperson for the Mayor's Alliance is evident each time she speaks on behalf of the Alliance, whether at events, with media, or with potential adopters or partners. "We are privileged to have such a poised and articu­late member of our team, and an extremely effective advocate for our mission," said Jane Hoffman, president and founder of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.

Stephanie is also passionate about promoting style, fashion, and charity as vehicles of self-expression and empowerment. In 2011, she created the exclusive Charity by Design partnership between lifestyle brand Alex and Ani and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, which has generated more than $150,000 to date through the sale of the exclusive Paw Prints bangle.

Craig Pinto

Award for Public Service
BA in Social Sciences ('10)

Craig founded the Kicking 4 Celiac Foundation in 2011. Through programming, the Foundation has grown and has reached many across the country. Through its scholarship and student ambassador programs, the Foundation prides itself on empowering people to take control of what they may be dealing with and use it as a message to help others as well as to educate and raise awareness about Celiac disease.

Craig was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 12 and then diagnosed with Celiac disease at age 22. He has a passion to give back to the community and has been a guest speaker at various events, and was recently featured on TLC's NY Ink to tell his story about living with Celiac and Crohn's disease. Craig also has appeared on ABC, Bravo, News 12, and as a guest multiple times on the Sirius XM radio shows Dr. Radio and Broadminded, to raise awareness and to educate the public about Celiac dis­ease and the Foundation.

Craig is a former professional indoor football player for the New Jersey Revolution Arena. He became a 2010 Guinness Book of World Records record holder for most field goals kicked in 12 hours—717 40-yard field goals—shattering the mark during a char­ity event to raise awareness for Celiac disease. In 2011, he set his second Guinness World Record within a year, by making the most field goals kicked in 24 hours, an unbelievable 1,000 40-yard field goals in that time frame. Recently, Craig was elected to the American Football Hall of Fame.

Outside of his devotion to the Celiac and Crohn's disease communities, he coaches both youth football and ice hockey at local area schools and is pursuing a graduate degree in fundraising and grantmaking at NYU.

Lorna Tychostup

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Global Affairs ('09)

Lorna Tychostup has over 15 years of experience working as a journalist, editor, photographer, and communications and outreach consultant. She began her career writing for local newspapers and broke into international reporting covering Mexico's Zapatista Revolution. As senior editor of mid-Hudson Valley's Chronogram Magazine, she produced in-depth coverage of regional, national, and international issues not covered by the mass media. Entering Iraq in February 2003, just weeks before the U.S. bombing began, she spent three weeks dodging regime-assigned "minders" in order to visit homes, hospitals, and schools and walk the streets unencumbered. Returning regularly over the years to research, photograph and write about conditions on the ground, Lorna reported stories of the everyday realities facing Iraqis. Not satisfied with simply reporting on the issues, she created greater awareness through speaking engagements at over 100 universities, high schools, and events; exhibiting her Iraq photos nation­ally and internationally.

Today, Lorna is more than happy to work as a reporting officer for an Iraq-based USAID-funded project and teach photojournalism at SUNY New Paltz, while growing her consultancy business from her home in upstate New York. A documentary of her work in Iraq, Bordering on Treason, will be shown at three NYC film festivals (Big Apple, Anthology Film Archives, and DOC NYC) in November 2013.

Jeff Barber

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Management and Systems ('04)

Dr. Jeff Barber is a highly successful healthcare executive and an experienced change agent, who posseses turnaround skills in academic hospital and healthcare systems. His strengths include successful, proven, leadership in the development and operations of integrated delivery networks, team building, academic medical centers and academic training programs, faith-based initiatives, faculty group practices, and the full continuum of healthcare training and practice. He also is very effective in the management of large-scale capital projects.

He has held numerous professional and civic positions throughout his career. Presently, he serves as a director on several boards including the Kentucky Hospital Association, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro Cancer Research Program, and Kentucky BioProcessing. He previously served as a director of the Owensboro Community and Technical College Foundation, RiverPark Center, and Go Economic Development boards. He began serving as president and CEO of Owensboro Medical Health System in April 2004.

Dr. Barber has an extensive educational background. He earned a Ph.D. in Public Health, Health Services Organizations from the University of Texas; an MS in Management and Systems from the NYU School of Professional Studies; an M.B.A from the University of Houston, Texas; a BA in Arts from University of Houston, Texas; and is Board Certified in Healthcare Management.

Sam Charney

Award for Humanitarianism
MS in Real Estate ('04)

Sam Charney, a native New Yorker, is passionate and hard working with a propensity for helping others. At the age of 30, he felt it was his turn to give back to the community by volunteering. In his search for volunteer opportunities, Sam discovered the New York Association for Blind Athletes (NYABA) and the New York Knights, NYABA's goalball team which he now coaches, and for which he serves as a mentor.

Professionally, Sam has advanced to the notable position of project executive for the real estate developer Two Trees Management Co. LLC, located in DUMBO. During his tenure, he has been the lead developer on over 500,000 square feet of residential and commercial projects. He started at the firm as an intern in 2003 while earning an MS in Real Estate from the NYU School of Professional Studies. Sam also is president and founder of the real estate development company Pangea Development LLC, which owns and operates multifamily properties in Brooklyn.

Inspired by NYABA and dedicated to its cause, Sam has been motivated to lend it his financial expertise in order to ensure the team's and the organization's success and longevity. Over the past two years, he has significantly contributed to the launch of the NYABA website, where visitors can support the organization through online donations.

April De Simone

Award for Public Service
BA in Social Sciences with a Concentration in Political Science ('00)

April De Simone has over 15 years of experience in successfully launching and developing for-profit, nonprofit, and government projects. Ms. De Simone's professional, volunteer, and personal experiences enhance her effectiveness in targeting the most efficient frameworks that maximize the full potential of blended value impact initiatives. Continuing to advocate for progressive strategies, Ms. De Simone is a founding partner of two social hybrid ventures that launched in 2013 (kreatealamode and Access the Change), and is actively involved in various boards, initiatives, and ventures which employ innovative capacities that scale social impact. A graduate of the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Division, Ms. De Simone has been recognized for her leadership and dedication in empowering individuals and communities. Currently, she is a graduate candidate at Parsons The New School for Design in its Design and Urban Ecologies program.

Jennifer Flood

Award for Humanitarianism
BA in Social Sciences with a Concentration in Psychology ('11)

Jennifer Flood is founder and president of the Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America. While still a student at the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Division, Jennifer's father was diagnosed with renal failure. She and her sisters tested to be organ donors, but unfortunately they were not a match. As a practicing nurse, Jennifer knew the national waiting list for transplants was not an option.

The Flood sisters' familiarity with the online community website craigslist.org prompted them to use the network to place notices for a living donor.  After a year and four months, over 100 responses and media exposure, a woman from California came forward as a donor, and helped to save their father's life. From that day forward, the Flood sisters have been working hard to give back and to help others in need through their foundation. Today, they educate the public on organ donation and kidney disease, as well as provide matching services for those in need of kidney donors for transplant all across the United States.

Award for Humanitarianism
MS in Sports Business ('06)

Lauren Beam was an outstanding leader of young women and an accomplished alumna who made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of students during her tenure as head coach of New York University's women's swimming and diving team. She displayed talent, strength, persistence, and perseverance, and demonstrated the ability to stand tall and to succeed in the face of adversity. She made others around her grow and flourish and taught them to understand what it takes to become a winner.

To honor her determination, dedication, and service, New York University established the "Lauren Beam Inspirational Award" in June 2010. Lauren was the first recipient of this award. Lauren was a true fighter and she touched and inspired many people with both her strength and her enthusiasm for life, as well as her compassion and true kindness. She always put others before herself and her unrelenting drive to help those around her to be the best they could be remained strong, especially with her swimmers. Her example inspired others to be more humble and more giving. As an avid and accomplished athlete herself, Lauren often served as a role model, motivating and teaching others to participate in community events. Lauren was involved with the Relay for Life and a few months before she passed, she gave a motivational speech to Athletes of the American Cancer Society who were competing in a half marathon. She will be greatly missed.

The Award was presented posthumously. Lauren passed away on September 10, 2011 after battling colon cancer for over two years.

Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication ('09)

Carlos Manzano was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as executive director of the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission (LMEC) in May 2007. In this capacity, he has developed strategies and plans that encompass economic development, large-scale events, marketing, public relations, and policy to transform New York City into the capital of Latin media and entertainment. Mr. Manzano works closely with City Hall and government officials, the media, business associations, educational institutions, nonprofits, and many other city-based and national organizations. His efforts led to the identification of 22 major Latin events with a combined economic impact greater than $90 million for the City. He created, in partnership with NYRemezcla, the first Latin media guide; he launched, with LatinVision, an international Latin conference that attracts over 300 participants; and he developed the concept for the annual Latin Media and Entertainment Week (LMEW), which in 2010 included 22 events, boasted over 90,000 participants, and had an economic impact of $3,000,000.

He has been active on the Westside of Manhattan for over 20 years, serving in various community-based organizations such as Community Board 4, the Clinton Seed Fund, the Student Outreach Program, and Encore Senior Citizens Services. He has been a member of the Midtown West Business Association and is a strong supporter of the small businesses that helped revitalize the community in the Hell's Kitchen (Clinton) neighborhood. His contributions have been recognized by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Queens Borough President’s Office, Verizon Hispanic Group, the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, the Puerto Rican Family Foundation, Colombia Exterior, and the Metropolitan Police Officers Association from Washington, D.C.

Award for Public Service
MA in Graphic Communications Management and Technology ('08)

An emergency preparedness specialist at the New York City Office of Emergency Management and chair of the Graphic Communications Management and Technology Alumni Committee, Michael's service to New York City and the New York University family began years ago.

Michael was first recognized for his work in disaster preparedness and response as a volunteer and then staff member of the American Red Cross in Greater New York as well as being the founder and president of the Graphic Communications Management Association. He has been awarded both the NYU President's Service Award and the Graphic Communications Management and Technology Leadership Award. Whether hosting disaster preparedness training at NYU during his time with the American Red Cross, planning events for the students and alumni of the Graphic Communications program, or working long hours during Hurricane Irene and other emergencies, Mike has shown dedication to the community he cares for time and again.

Jamie Leigh Allen Black
Award for Humanitarianism
BA in Humanities ('97)

Matthew Blesso
Award for Humanitarianism
MS in Real Estate–Development and Investment ('04)

Aaron Oliker
Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Digital Imaging and Design ('03)

Brian Laguardia
Award for Public Service
MS in Global Affairs ('10)

E. O'Brien Murray
Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Real Estate–Development and Investment ('01)

Elena Mooney Graham
Award for Public Service
BA in Social Sciences ('08)

Gena Lovett
Award for Professional Service and Outreach
Diploma Financial Management ('95)

Michael Johnson
Award for Public Service
MS in Real Estate–Development and Investment ('01)

Nia Francis
Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Real Estate–Development and Investment ('01)

Marc F. Gustafson
Award for Public Service
BA in Social Sciences ('07)

Travis Sherer
Award for Humanitarianism
BA in Social Sciences ('05)

Mayor Peter Corroon
Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Real Estate Finance ('90)

Kendrick Harris
Award for Public Service
BS in Real Estate ('01)

Jose Maria Gomez
Award for Public Service
BA in Social Sciences ('05)

Edward Bergman
Award for Humanitarianism
BS in Hotel and Tourism Management ('03)

William Freydberg
Award for Professional Service and Outreach
MS in Real Estate ('89)

Karen Lee
Award for Public Service
BA in Social Sciences ('00)