Alumni and friends who have been selected by the Alumni Association Awards Committee to receive Alumni Association Awards for distinguished achievement, exceptional service, and pursuing paths in the spirit of Carleton are recognized each year during Reunion Convocation. Varsity athletes of distinction who have been selected by the ‘C’ Club Board are inducted into the ‘C’ Club Hall of Fame during Reunion weekend as well.
Connie C. Harris ’58 • Exceptional Service
Her service rooted in genuine love for her fellow classmates and the college, Connie Harris ’58 is a steadfast and effective volunteer leader. She has served as an assistant class agent for the Alumni Annual Fund since 1980 and leads by example, tirelessly working with a smile and determination to engage alumni in financial support of the college. For a decade, she has helped the Class of ’58 reach the top 10 for participation rates in annual giving. A chemistry major with a master’s degree in biochemistry, Harris co-chaired the gift committee for her 50th reunion and co-chaired her 55th and 60th reunions. Harris’s ability to successfully raise funds for Carleton stems from the relationships and connections she builds with her classmates. From 1958 to 1975 she wrote and mailed an annual newsletter to all the members of the Class of ’58, and she continues to take the time to stay in close contact with classmates. She excels at organizing tasks, mobilizing volunteers, and executing a vision. She is, as one nominator affectionately wrote, the “mother hen” of the class. Harris herself is also a generous supporter of Carleton, joining the Heywood Society and giving to the Class of ’58 Career Mentorship Fund. While Harris has also been a leader in her home community, serving the Girl Scouts organization as a lifelong member, Carleton has always been a core part of her identity—her parents, Roland Chambers ’31 and Beatrice Chambers ’31, received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 1964. Harris lives in Redwood City, California.
William K. Solberg ’58 • Exceptional Service
The impact Bill Solberg ’58 has had on his class—and the college itself—has been immeasurable. Since taking the helm of 1958’s Alumni Annual Fund team in 2008, he has spurred his classmates to higher and higher levels of participation in giving, taking them from an average of 61 percent of the class participating to 82 percent in 2017. Solberg’s story as a volunteer is special and rare—he did not become heavily involved with his class until his 50th reunion, and his leadership demonstrates it is never too late to begin something new. Bill is strategic and innovative, motivating classmate volunteers to not only achieve their fundraising goals but also to take point on other activities that keep the class connected and encourage giving. He and several classmates intend to bicycle from Denver to Northfield for their 60th reunion (Solberg will begin his part of the journey at the Mexican border), inspiring classmates to donate to their class gift in honor of this effort. Solberg has also encouraged the Class of ’58 to embrace technology and creativity to involve everyone: They launched a Facebook page and became early adopters in the new online volunteer portal. He is especially proud that three members of the class of 1958 originated the Schiller tradition, and his iconic sculpture “Breakout” of Friedrich Schiller graces the Gould Library. At Carleton Solberg majored in chemistry/zoology and went on to earn a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota in dentistry. He spent most of his career at UCLA, where he is now a professor emeritus. He specialized in the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and facial pain syndromes. He and his wife, Patricia Smiley, live in Los Angeles.
David Young ’58 • Distinguished Achievement
With a prolific body of work, David Young ’58 is a highly accomplished and respected poet, translator, literary critic, editor, and educator. He has published 11 books of poetry, from Sweating Out the Winter in 1969 to Field of Light and Shadow: Selected and New Poems in 2010. All have been critically lauded; former U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Wright called Young “one of the leading lights of his generation.” For his poetry, Young has been awarded the Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, and an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, among many other accolades. Additionally, he has published one book of creative nonfiction, Seasoning: A Poet’s Year, that combines poetry, recipes, and personal musings. What distinguishes Young in his field, however, is his dedication to teaching and sharing poetry. An English major with a PhD in literature from Yale, Young taught literature and creative writing at Oberlin College from 1961 to 2003 and remains an active emeritus professor. In 1969 he co-founded FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, one of the preeminent poetry journals in the country, and continues to serve as its editor. He has co-edited six anthologies of poetry as well as the FIELD Translation Series, FIELD Editions, and FIELD Poetry Series, and he has translated 21 volumes of poetry in seven languages. As a scholar, Young has published critical studies on Shakespeare, Yeats, and modernist poetry. As a teacher, his classes—including the Oberlin-in-London Program he founded—were always in high demand, as are the Oberlin alumni trips to London he leads every other year. Countless students credit him as their inspiration for publishing, teaching, and scholarly work. He lives in Oberlin, Ohio, with his wife, Georgia Newman.
Marianne Baldrige Culhane ’68 • Distinguished Achievement
Marianne Baldrige Culhane ’68 is highly lauded as an expert in consumer bankruptcy law and a fierce advocate for fair consumer finance laws. In 2010 she became the first female dean of Creighton University School of Law in Omaha where she served on the faculty for 38 years, from 1977 until she retired in 2015. While at Creighton, she conducted groundbreaking empirical research on federal bankruptcy laws and their impact on individuals and families. This was driven, multiple nominators remarked, both by intellectual challenge as well as a strong sense of social justice and empathy for the many people devastated by housing crises and other misfortunes. In 1999, when the consumer credit industry proposed “the means test,” a harsh cutback in consumer bankruptcy relief, she testified before Congress on the effects a more compassionate understanding of financial laws can have on America’s poorest communities. Her work led to many changes in the nation’s bankruptcy code. Culhane’s work has been published in many law review journals and professional publications, and she has authored four books. As an educator and administrator, Culhane guided her students and faculty with expertise, understanding, and thoughtfulness. She was a visiting scholar at the headquarters of the American Bankruptcy Institute in 2003 and at Georgia State Law School in 2008. She served for many years on the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review editorial board and the Iowa Law School Foundation, as well as the Legal Aid Society of Omaha, the American Bar Association, and the American Association of Law Schools. Culhane has received the Special Merit Award from the Nebraska State Bar Association and the Iowa Bar Award of Merit. After graduating from Carleton with a degree in history and the University of Iowa with a JD, Culhane served as law clerk to the Honorable Donald P. Lay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and practiced law in Omaha, where she lives with her husband, Tom.
Printice Gary ’68 • Distinguished Achievement
Over the past 50 years, Printice Gary ’68 has earned great success as a developer, builder, and manager of residential properties throughout the southwestern United States. He founded Carleton Residential Properties—named after his alma mater—in 1991 after leaving a major developer of multifamily housing, and since then, CRP has completed more than 20,000 units. Under his leadership, the organization has distinguished itself as a quality market rate housing developer as well as a major producer of affordable housing. Gary also extends his interest and expertise in affordable housing to public service. He has served on city and state housing task forces as well as the Dallas Real Estate Council and the Dallas Citizens Council. Currently he is a director of Preservation of Affordable Housing, a national nonprofit organization that has developed, owns, and operates almost 9,000 affordable homes nationwide and provides support to the residents of these communities. Gary, who has a degree in economics from Carleton and an MBA from Harvard, notes that providing affordable housing to underserved communities has been the most gratifying part of his business. He also directed fundraising activities for the United Negro College Fund for Greater Dallas for two years and has served as a board member of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. His dedication to education is also strong; from 2003 to 2007 he served on the Carleton College Board of Trustees and has been an advocate of planned giving, creating a challenge grant for his classmates in honor of their 50th reunion. In 2007 he was appointed by Texan Governor Rick Perry to the University of Texas System Board of Regents, where he served until 2013. He and his wife, Cynthia, live in Dallas.
Janet Polasky ’73 • Distinguished Achievement
Janet Polasky ’73 has revolutionized the history world—quite literally. One of the leading scholars of Atlantic revolution, Polasky has delved into topics as diverse as women in Belgium during the French Revolution, European socialism, and political refugees. Her first book, Revolution in Brussels, won the History Award from the Belgian Royal Academy and her most recent book, Revolutions Without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World, was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize and has become a mainstay in history classrooms as it takes a bold transnational approach to global revolutionary-era history. With a history degree from Carleton and a PhD in European history from Stanford, Polasky has taught history at the University of New Hampshire for the past 36 years. She is recognized as a caring and demanding teacher and is known for collaborating across disciplines to offer classes of unique interest to students. Recently she was awarded the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award after previously being recognized with the Liberal Arts Award in Research and Teaching, and since 2008 she has been the Presidential Professor of History and Women’s Studies. Among several other prestigious awards and fellowships, Polasky has twice held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and twice held Fulbrights. She was the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton in the spring of 2017, the most recent of her strong ties to her alma mater. She has served on the Alumni Council, on every one of her reunion committees and as an alumni admissions representative and AAR board member. Polasky and her husband, Bill Lyons ’72, live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Their children David Lyons ’06 and Marta Lyons ’10 are also Carleton graduates.
Rob Smulian ’78 • Exceptional Service
For almost 30 years, Robert Smulian ’78 has embraced significant volunteer roles at Carleton. Recognized by classmates as a pillar of collegiality and thoughtfulness, Smulian, a political science/international relations major with a concentration in art history, was named class co-president in 1978. Smulian has an MBA in marketing from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently the executive director of The Imlay Foundation, and was previously vice president of Philanthropic Services for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and executive director of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Drawing on this professional expertise in the nonprofit world, he served as president of the Alumni Council from 2014 to 2016 and drove improvements in its governing structure and effectiveness. With Smulian’s guidance in transitioning to a “working board” model with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for at-large members, the Council transformed the way it carries out its mission to promote alumni stewardship of the college. Smulian served on the Alumni Council from 2011 to 2017, contributing to programs such as Carleton Connects and regional Clubs. Smulian has been steadfast and effective in his efforts to raise funds for the college as well. He became a class agent in 1989 and a leadership solicitor in 1993, when he also joined the Alumni Annual Fund Board of Directors. Writes one nominator, “In those early years of the AAF, our volunteers were creating a new paradigm relative to alumni leadership and engagement. There was no road map for where we were headed, and I was always challenged and inspired by the creativity of Rob and others to take risks and to push the limits of where Carleton alumni engagement might evolve. Rob was—and remains— one of those volunteers who could always be counted upon to do what he said he would do and whose efforts on behalf of Carleton have been tireless.” In 2003 he chaired his 25th reunion gift committee and was quick to volunteer to help with program planning for his 40th reunion. He and his wife, Lynne Borsuk, live in Decatur, Georgia.
Rob Rothblatt ’83 • Distinguished Achievement
Architect Rob Rothblatt ’83 is a dedicated leader of sustainable design who is committed to the intellectual growth of the industry, and is an influential mentor focused on furthering the talents of others in the field. His love of architecture emerged as he majored in philosophy at Carleton, and he went on to earn a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University. While his many projects include renovating the American History Museum at the Smithsonian Institute, developing a master plan for the United Nations, and designing a full replacement for the multiple buildings of King’s County Hospital in New York, his signature project to date is the Golden One Center of Sacramento. Home of the Sacramento Kings NBA team, Rothblatt’s pioneering sports arena is credited for revitalizing the city’s downtown. It is the only LEED platinum certified sports arena in the world, and its innovative design has won many awards including the 2017 American Architecture Award and the Sports Business Journal’s 2017 New Venue of the Year. Rothblatt also pushed the field of architecture with his design of the Public Call Safety Center II. Built for a post-9/11 New York, the project presented several challenges: It needed bunker-like reinforcement while representing hope and grace to its employees and the community. Rothblatt succeeded in elevating his assignment to reach this higher purpose. Rothblatt is motivated to capture his clients’ vision rather than express his own, and he approaches every project as a chance to learn, grow, and problem-solve as well as mentor younger architects on his team. He and his wife, Mary Randolph, live in Forest Hills, New York, and have one daughter, Hannah Rothblatt ’15.
Barb Behringer Geiser ’83 • Exceptional Service
Barb Geiser ’83 is an early champion of Carleton’s transformed Career Center and has worked vigorously to help students launch into meaningful post-graduate lives. Recruited to serve on the first Alumni Careers Board in the midst of the 2008 economic downturn, when graduates everywhere were floundering, Geiser wholeheartedly embraced the call. She eagerly took the helm of both the college’s new Scholars Program and externship initiative and developed ways to communicate the Career Center’s vision for these experiences. She helped recruit alumni hosts that resulted in 14 inaugural winter break externships, laying the foundation for a now-celebrated part of the Carleton student experience. As the country transitioned out of its recession and Carleton welcomed its new president, Geiser served as chair of the Career Center Alumni Board and saw career exploration cemented in importance within the college’s strategic plan. Her prior service includes a term on the Alumni Annual Fund (AAF) Board from 1996 through 2000 and volunteering for her class’s 15th–35th reunions. She worked as an AAF class agent 1994–1998 and 2011–2016. An economics major with a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, Geiser has worked for the U.S. Treasury and World Bank and is the recipient of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury’s Honor Award as well as the World Bank President’s Innovation Award in recognition of her team’s fundraising efforts to fight poverty and promote growth in the world’s poorest countries. Geiser has hosted externs and headlined panel events on campus for students interested in her field. She and her husband, David, live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Peter Gwinn ’93 • Distinguished Achievement
Through studious dedication to theatrical and musical improvisation and shrewd observations of the industry itself, Peter Gwinn ’93 has become a leader in the field of comedy. At Carleton Gwinn crafted a special theater and media major, and after graduating co-founded the musical improv group Baby Wants Candy, which has performed more than 3,000 completely improvised musicals all over the world. He has been a longtime performer at Chicago’s Second City, iO Chicago, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York. In addition to performing, Gwinn also excels at writing. He earned recognition for his comedy writing for shows such Comedy Central’s television hit “The Colbert Report,” where Gwinn is credited for facilitating the appearance of the bust of Schiller on the show. He has also written for Amazon’s original series “Alpha House,” and authored a book titled Group Improvisation: The Manual of Ensemble Group Improv Games. He’s a strong collaborative writer, working jointly on several projects including the musical comedy The Story of a Story (The Untold Story). He has won two Emmy awards, three Writer’s Guild Awards, and two Peabody awards. In a letter supporting Gwinn’s nomination, Stephen Colbert noted that Gwinn is a “gifted writer, comedian, animator, and creator of nearly uncrackable conundrum.” Despite these accolades and praise, Gwinn continues to be guided by the traditional improv adage, “your prime responsibility is to support,” as he teaches and coaches several well-known improv teams in New York and Chicago. His vision pushes groups to branch out into more theatrical forms and reach higher standards of excellence. Gwinn and his wife, Emily Gwinn Hall ’94, live in Chicago, where Gwinn continues to champion the improv comedy scene.
Topher Kandik ’93 • Distinguished Achievement
Even among the most dedicated educators, Topher Kandik ’93 stands out for his unbridled enthusiasm, creativity, and energy. As an award-winning English teacher for SEED Public Charter School of Washington, D.C., Kandik makes collaboration a hallmark of his trade. He is a strong proponent of the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program, working to invite multiple authors—such as Ta-Nehisi Coates—into his classroom each year. He co-founded a joint book club between his own public school students and students at a nearby private school in an effort to bridge D.C.’s cultural and socioeconomic divides, prepare students for diversity on college campuses, and create opportunities for open conversations around race and other issues. This project showcases his innovative approach to education: to guide students through a process of personal reflection and public engagement. Kandik also works with the community based writing organization 826DC to enable his students to publish their writing for audiences beyond the classroom. He co-founded DC Miscellanea, a youth writing organization that provides an opportunity to build community through writing projects, and founded the Creative Writing Club at SEED DC. Kandik is widely respected as a mentor to other teachers and is known to continually develop his craft, such as creating an inventive course to take students to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans to understand how place and community convey a lived experience and meaning in comparison to D.C. Kandik and his wife, Allison Denny, are D.C. residents, and in 2016 Kandik received the D.C. Teacher of the Year Award; in 2013 he received the Mayor’s Arts Award. As one of Kandik’s students noted: “He leaves a lasting impact on students because there is a weight to what he says.” Kandik majored in English and holds a master’s of education from George Washington University.
Paul Tewes ’93 • Distinguished Achievement
For the past two decades, political science major Paul Tewes ’93 has been among the most influential change makers shaping American politics and elections. As state director of Barack Obama’s successful 2008 Iowa caucus campaign, Tewes assumed the monumental task of challenging the powerful Clinton political machine. With his acute political acumen, strong leadership, creative strategies, and keen attention to detail, Obama secured the Democratic Party nomination and went on to make history, with Tewes filling various campaign roles all the way. In a letter of support for Tewes’s nomination, Obama wrote that “it was Paul’s activism and belief in all that America can be that made our campaign and administration bigger than any one person or cause. I am forever grateful for Paul’s dedication to strengthening the Democratic Party and building a fairer, more representative democracy.” Obama’s is one of many successful campaigns Tewes has worked for throughout his career; he also led Al Gore’s Iowa caucus campaign in 2000 as well as many U.S. Senate and Congressional campaign runs. Off the campaign trail, he managed national operations for the Democratic National Committee and in 2004 built a national network of organizations that persuaded Congress against privatizing social security. He co-founded the campaign consulting firm Hildebrand Tewes Consulting to advance progressive issues and co-founded the Smoot Tewes Group, a political and public affairs consulting firm that helps organizations develop strategy and messaging on a variety of issues such as healthcare, financial reform, and climate change. Tewes, who lives in Annapolis, Maryland, notes that through his work he hopes to instill in campaign volunteers and staff an inclusive and empowering approach to political campaigning and organizing. “Watching them grow,” he says, “and be successful and ethical in politics, campaigns, and government service is a daily reward.”
Sarah Larson ’03 • In the Spirit of Carleton
With devotion to treating her patients, to training the next generation of cancer physicians, and to advancing knowledge in the field of cancer research, Sarah Larson ’03 epitomizes the Carleton ethos. After majoring in biology/biochemistry and earning an MD from the University of Minnesota, Larson became a prominent hematology/oncology doctor at UCLA as well as the medical director for the Bowyer Oncology Center, the program director for the Hematology/ Oncology Fellowship Program at UCLA, and the director of the Multiple Myeloma Research Program. She treats patients of all ages and supports families and caregivers. She also mentors medical fellows, teaches, lectures, develops curriculum, and oversees all aspects of training young clinicians. In 2017 she received the Division of Hematology/Oncology Teacher of the Year Award. A curious scholar and lifelong learner, Larson also runs a research lab to find innovative treatments for malignancies and is an active researcher in many multi-center clinical trials. She has published ten peer-reviewed research papers and is frequently invited to present her work at national academic conferences. Larson’s career is also distinguished by her philanthropy. While treating a patient facing her second battle with cancer, Larson agreed to join her in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro once the cancer was again in remission. Not only did the pair complete the climb in 2017, they also inspired hundreds of others to do the same and helped spark the idea for a new fundraising campaign called Climb 2 Cure for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They plan to complete their next journey—to the Mt. Everest base camp—in October 2018. Larson lives in Los Angeles.
Brian Klaas ’08 • In the Spirit of Carleton
Brian Klaas ’08 emerged on the international political scene as a staunch defender of democracy and an analyst of the intersection of democracy, authoritarianism, political violence, elections, and U.S. and foreign policy. After graduating with a double major in history and political science/international relations, Klaas received a master’s and doctorate degrees in political science at Oxford University, conducting field research in several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. He conducted field interviews with a range of people, including prime ministers, rebels, and torture victims in Madagascar, Thailand, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, and Zambia. Klaas’s findings are already impacting the academic and policy worlds; he has advised NATO, the European Union, the Carter Center, and International Crisis Group. Klaas has authored The Despot’s Apprentice: Donald Trump’s Attack on Democracy and The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy; he recently co-authored How to Rig an Election. He is a frequent guest commentator on international media outlets, including BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC, and is an opinion columnist for The Washington Post. In addition to his books, Klaas has penned dozens of articles for peer-reviewed journals and other publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Foreign Affairs, among others. Klaas began his career in his home state of Minnesota while serving as policy director/deputy campaign manager on Mark Dayton’s successful 2010 gubernatorial campaign. He currently lives in London and is a fellow in comparative politics at the London School of Economics.
Whitney Richards-Calathes ’08 • In the Spirit of Carleton
Working for social change for more than a decade, Whitney Richards-Calathes ’08 embodies the spirit of Carleton and its values of community and education. Splitting her time between New York and Los Angeles, she dedicates her work and scholarship to empowering youth and giving those with marginalized identities a voice. In Los Angeles she works with the Youth Justice Coalition, a direct-action organization addressing issues of mass incarceration, and its high school, called Fighting for the Revolution that will Empower and Educate Los Angeles (FREE LA). Richards-Calathes has served as teacher, community organizer, and board chair for the school, which educates young people who are impacted by the prison system, who are young parents, or who belong to many other demographics that may end up without diplomas. In New York she co-founded Sweet River Consulting, a New York City-based team of women of color working at the cross-section of education, prison abolition, cultural work, and restorative and transformative justice. Through Sweet River, Richards-Calathes has trained hundreds of youth educators, teachers, parents, and students to establish transformative justice practices in their lives and communities. Her work helped Sweet River secure a highly competitive grant from the Brooklyn Community Foundation to implement these practices in a Brooklyn public high school, and with it she and Sweet River are working alongside teachers and administrators to create a shift from retributive to restorative justice practices and policies in the school. While remaining busy on both coasts, Richards-Calathes, a sociology/ anthropology major, is pursuing a doctorate degree from the Graduate Center at City University of New York. Her research is focused on the lineages of punishment and incarceration systems within Black women’s lives. A native of the Bronx, Richards-Calathes lives in New York.
Fue Lee ’13 • In the Spirit of Carleton
As the first Hmong American elected to Minnesota’s legislature from Minneapolis, Fue Lee ’13 represents North Minneapolis while channeling the spirit of hard work and community impact. A political science/international relations major, Lee was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 after a major upset victory in the preceding primary election, where he faced a 20-year incumbent within the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. His campaign for the primary alone shows resolve and grit; though his opponent secured the DFL Party endorsement, Lee boldly and purposefully embraced the challenge. He worked tirelessly to form a significant volunteer support base, centering his campaign message on improving community and emphasizing fairness in education as well as access to goods and services. After winning the general election, he quickly dived into lawmaking and serving his district. Writes one nominator, “He has shown leadership in the House of Representatives, speaking out and speaking eloquently on important issues of our time. Representative Lee is just getting started.” His notable achievements thus far include securing $2 million in state funding to operate a full-service grocery store in a neighborhood that had not been served by one in more than a decade, passing legislation for teachers to disaggregate their data by race to better measure effort and attract more minority teachers to Minnesota, and securing additional funding for the 2018–2019 school year for English Language Learner students. So far, Lee has chief authored more than two dozen bills all aimed at improving his community.