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A Most Excellent Evening

On April 21, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences launched an awards program to recognize the achievements and dedication of alumni, faculty, students, and staff in Emerson Alumni Hall.

By Gigi Marino
Photography by Hannah Pietrick

Company or Nonprofit Partner Award: Florida Humanities Council

The council has been promoting Florida culture since 1973 and has hosted a number of UF humanities faculty members for lectures and workshops across the state. Additionally, Steve Seibert, the council’s director, co-directs UF’s program Humanities and the Sunshine State for educators and high school students.

Superior Staff Award: Ikeade Akinyemi

As the administrative and financial coordinator for the Center for African Studies, Ikeade Akinyemi assists faculty members daily. The center’s director, Brenda Chalfin, says, “It is always a pleasure to work with Ike because I can trust her 110 percent to give me good advice, insight, and a sense of all the options and constraints of a problem.”

Volunteer of the Year Award: Gene Inman PhD’82

As the chair of the Chemistry Leadership Board, Gene Inman was the first board member to contribute to the new chemistry building, Joseph Hernandez Hall. He worked for Eli Lilly for 30 years, during which time he advocated for UF Liberal Arts and Sciences and hired a number of newly-minted PhDs to work at Lilly.

Student Excellence Award: Mar Angel Dominguez ’18, Sarah Pattison ’17, Caroline Nickerson ’17

A biology major, Mar Dominguez volunteers at Shands, the Mobile Outreach Clinic, the Center for Independent Living, and Gator Advance. Sarah Pattison doubled-majored in political science and Latin American Studies, studied in Brazil, and is working at Capital Partners for Education. Caroline Nickerson double majored in Chinese and history, volunteered at the Bob Graham Center, and is an editorial assistant for the UF Department of Psychiatry.

Faculty/Advisor Achievement Award: Professor Joann Mossa and Professor William Logan

Professor Joann Mossa recently finished a long tenure as undergraduate coordinator in the Department of Geography. According to Dean Joe Spillane, “With her help, the department has been a model of curricular innovation, adding a new track in medical geography, adapting the program to be part of the Innovation Academy, and creating an online version of the major within the UF Online program.” Professor of English William Logan was introduced at the ceremony by his advisee Zach Montague ’17, who said, “He recommended I take classes for professors who would inspire me rather than for subjects that interested me, advice I now pass on to my friends.”

group of people pose in front of stage with Greek columns
Left to right, Associate Director of the Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere Sophia Accord, Executive Director of the Florida Humanities Council Steve Seibert (holding Hugh Manatee), Associate Director of the Florida Humanities Council Patricia Putnam, Program Coordinator of the Florida Humanities Council Keith Simmons, Master Lecturer of History Steve Noll, Professor of History Sean Adams, and Associate Professor of History Paul Ortiz. Hannah Pietrick/UF Photography

Horizon Award: Mike Dalewitz ’00

A 2015 Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner, Mike Dalewitz is an attorney, entrepreneur, and founder of Inspired Review, a consistently top-rated legal document service. He supports UF’s Mock Trial Team and recently has started offering seminars on leadership and excellence.

two gentleman flank beaming woman with glass award
Dean Dave Richardson, Joan Forrest ’77, and AVP of Development and Alumni Affairs Ryan Marsh Hannah Pietrick/UF Photography

Outstanding Alumni Award: Joan Forrest ’77

The president and CEO of the Dawson Academy, a highly regarded post-graduate institute for dentists, Joan Forrest is a long-time donor to Liberal Arts and Sciences, member of the Dean’s Circle, and chair of the Dean’s Leadership Council and Bob Graham Center Council of Advisors.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Carter ’78 and Sherry Boydstun ’78, MA’80

Carter Boydstun recently retired from the UF Foundation as a fundraiser and continually advocated for Liberal Arts and Sciences. Both he and his wife, Sherry, who dedicated her career to helping special-needs students, have engaged in a lifetime of philanthropy, giving generously to UF for 33 years.

two distinguished people admire globe-shaped award while MC looks on
David ’60 and The Honorable Nan Rich ’61. Hannah Pietrick/UF Photography

Liberal Arts and Sciences Champion Award: The Honorable Nan ’61 and David Rich ’60

Nan Rich, a Broward County Commissioner and also a former Florida state senator, was the first woman to serve as the Florida Senate Democratic leader. She and her husband, David, who was the president of his fraternity Tau Espilon Phi and graduated with a business degree from Florida, were influential in establishing Holocaust Studies at UF and have given generously to the Center for Jewish Studies.

The Lasting Legacy Award: Dr. Howard ’65 and Brenda Sheridan ’65

Dr. Howard Sheridan graduated with a degree in chemistry, and his wife, Brenda, in journalism. Dr. Sheridan had a long career in interventional and diagnostic radiology. The Sheridans donated $1 million to the auditorium in Joseph Hernandez Hall, which includes a stunning gallery of Dr. Sheridan’s award-winning photography.

Civic Champion Award: The Honorable Bob Graham ’59

Bob Graham served as governor of and senator for Florida. He is a tireless advocate for the state of Florida and all of its people. Sen. Graham leaves a lasting legacy at the University of Florida in the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, which advances advocacy and civic duty. He also is the subject of the cover story for this issue of Ytori.