Distinguished Alumni Awards Recipients

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association on alumni, faculty and friends. Recipients of this prestigious award have translated their UMass Amherst experience into distinguished achievement in the public, business or professional realms and bring honor to UMass Amherst and to their field of endeavor.

Mel Yoken Audie Cornish '01
2014 Distinguished Alumni Award
Audie Cornish is a co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country. Prior to this role, she was the host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Cornish has interviewed newsmakers and pop culture icons ranging from former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to entertainers such as Quentin Tarantino.
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Mary SorcinelliJody Daniels '93 MS, '97 PhD
2014 Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Jody J. Daniels is currently serving as a Brigadier General on active duty with the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. She is the Deputy Director (J2 Intelligence and Knowledge Development) responsible for the intelligence and counterintelligence to facilitate situational awareness, warning and assessments on the threats across the 54 countries in the AFRICOM area of responsibility.
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Michaela PommelsJohn Saunders, lll '06
2014 Distinguished Young Alumni Award
John T. Saunders, III is a senior associate at Korn Ferry International where he supports talent searches for senior executives across nonprofit, philanthropic and social enterprise sectors. Formerly, he served as the chief program officer for the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, a rigorous leadership program for high-achieving African American male college students. Under his leadership, the Institute became one of the most competitive summer leadership programs in the country. Read full profile
Sheldon Goldman
2014 Distinguished Faculty Award
Over the course of nearly 50 years at UMass Amherst, Sheldon Goldman has become one of the nation's leading experts on the politics of judicial selection and confirmation. In the 1960s, he was one of the first scholars who sought to expand traditional public law approaches to the study of the judiciary and his research effectively shifted the focus of federal court scholarship from a singular examination of the Supreme Court to a broader and more inclusive study of Law and the Courts.
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Richard NealRobert DeLeo
2014 Distinguished Honorary Alumni Award
Robert DeLeo has represented the 19th Suffolk District, including the Town of the Winthrop and a portion of the City of Revere, in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1991. He became Speaker of the House of Representatives in January 2009. DeLeo led the House in passing two major finance bills, the FY14 budget and the transportation finance bill, both of which are designed to stimulate economic growth.
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Coca-Cola