Faculty and alumni honored for teaching and service at Alumni Weekend

The 2018 Alumni Service and Faculty Awards, presented by the University of Chicago Alumni Association and the Alumni Board during the most recent Alumni Weekend, honor those who have shaped the world and strengthened UChicago’s global community.

The Norman Maclean Faculty Award recognizes emeritus or senior faculty for extraordinary contributions to teaching and to the student experience of life within the University community. This year’s recipient is Doyal “Al” Harper, professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College.

The Alumni Service Awards recognize the achievements of individuals working on behalf of the University through service in alumni programs, on advisory committees and through efforts made to ensure the welfare of the institution. The Young Alumni Service Awards acknowledge and encourage service to the University by alumni aged 35 and younger.

Norman Maclean Faculty Award

Prof. Doyal “Al” Harper has mentored and supported countless students in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and in the College and has been an enthusiastic research adviser to both undergraduate and graduate students at UChicago. Students have benefited in particular from the wide range of research opportunities he provides—they are able to do hands-on work in the laboratory, design and build instrumentation, carry out observational programs at ground-based and airborne observatories, and develop and employ computational tools for data analysis.

Harper’s research addresses problems in the formation of galaxies, stars and planetary systems; the physics of the interstellar medium; and the properties of interstellar dust. His experimental research group constructs and operates infrared instrumentation and pioneered airborne infrared astronomy and astrophysical observations from the South Pole.

Alumni Service Medal

John McGinn, AB’90, MBA’93, is a former member and president of the Alumni Board (2001–08), McGinn's innovation, dedication and service to UChicago were apparent to fellow volunteers on the Alumni Board, and his efforts on the board culminated in his role as chair of the Joint Task Force on Alumni Relations. This task force laid the groundwork for the expansion of the University’s alumni relations efforts from 2008 to 2014 and inspired the current campaign engagement goal of 125,000 alumni. While serving on the Alumni Board, McGinn cultivated budding talent regionally as well as on the board, pushing future leaders to take on big roles.

McGinn has also volunteered in leadership roles with the Alumni Club of New York City and his College reunions, and he has interviewed prospective students as part of the Alumni Schools Committee and hosted College Admissions events key to recruiting and welcoming new students to UChicago. 

Alumni Service Awards

Martina Keller, AB’87, benefits current, future and former students with her commitment to the University of Chicago. Through her leadership roles with College reunion committees, she has inspired fellow alumni to remain engaged and driven in their support of the University. Keller has generated consistent and regular participation by the reunion committees and made a further impression with her innovation of multicity pre-parties for reunion classes to build momentum toward reunion goals. The Class of 1987 has received the Green Gargoyle Award, presented to one class each year that has gone above and beyond for its reunion—multiple times, thanks largely to Keller’s vision and dedication.

Keller serves on the College Advisory Council, supporting fundraising efforts for student programs, including Metcalf Internships and Odyssey Scholarships. She has interviewed prospective students on behalf of College Admissions, spoken at high schools about the unique attributes of the University and sponsored Metcalf Internships for the past several years.

Carol Trautschold, AB’61, and Jerry Trautschold, MBA’61, have demonstrated volunteer and philanthropic support for the University for more than two decades. Together they have made student recruitment and financial aid a cornerstone of their engagement activity, while thoughtfully helping to fundraise for—and build awareness of—programs in support of students. Jerry is a past member of the Booth Alumni Board, and Carol has served on the College Advisory Council. They have both focused on funding and supporting Odyssey, Metcalf and Booth student scholarships. Additionally, Carol interviewed prospective students with the Alumni Schools Committee and held leadership roles for her 45th reunion.

Carol and Jerry’s support of the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program includes a record of creative events and opportunities to bring interns, alumni, faculty and employers together. They hosted one of the first summer Metcalf receptions in Washington, D.C., partnering with the Institute of Politics and Career Advancement to bring together more than 60 interns for an evening social at the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute. Other projects that have benefited from their support are the Gleacher Center, the John and Barbara Boyer House and the renovation of the organ at Rockefeller Chapel.

Paul Wang, LLM’94, JSD’99, has served as a volunteer for the Alumni Club of Beijing for more than a decade. During much of that time he was the club’s president, and he has been influential in the regional alumni community. Prior to the 2010 opening of the UChicago Center in Beijing, Wang led efforts to bring alumni together, build the community and connect prospective students to alumni and the University. As a result, the center was able to open with an already well-established alumni connection in the city and throughout China.

In 2015, Wang successfully hosted the UChicago China Summit—attended by President Robert J. Zimmer and more than 200 alumni—by recruiting alumni volunteers, securing funding and sponsorships, and handling many of the individual event details himself. In another project, Wang led a group of alumni and students in producing a promotional video about the University of Chicago for the Chinese audience, which has been viewed more than 23.4 million times to date.

Young Alumni Service Awards

Daniel Arking, AB’05, got his professional start with the help of a former classmate from preschool. This opportunity sparked Arking’s interest in networking, mentorship and career development. For the Alumni Club of New York City, Arking organized networking events to showcase industries of interest to local alumni. And as the career chair for the Alumni Club of Washington, D.C., Arking hosted panel discussions focusing on a variety of career-related topics, including an introduction to networking skills and advice on crafting a competitive resume. Arking also worked to connect club members to other UChicago volunteer opportunities, including affinity groups and the Institute of Politics’ Summer in Washington Program, for which he helped match more than 50 current students with local UChicago alumni.

Arking founded the Resume Exchange, which tapped the collective knowledge of the alumni community to help fellow alumni and current students improve the quality and competitiveness of their professional résumés. The Resume Exchange has enabled more than 60 alumni working in diverse fields to advise nearly 350 fellow Maroons.

Candace Wang, AB’07, has served as class council chair for the Class of 2007 for the past 11 years, including in the role of reunion chair for her fifth and 10th reunions. Most recently under her leadership, her class successfully surpassed its 10th reunion participation goal to establish the Class of 2007 Odyssey Scholarship Fund. Wang has created multiple Metcalf Internships and hired recent graduates from the College.

She continually seeks out opportunities to engage in alumni activities, either through attending events sponsored by the Alumni Club of New York City, interviewing prospective students as part of the Alumni Schools Committee or spearheading the launch of an affinity group as president of the Alliance for the Civil Society. Additionally, she has served as a panelist at Taking the Next Step and as co-chair for numerous Participate Chicago events and Phoenixphests in New York.