2013 Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel, Gores awards honor faculty, students and staff

Three professors, two staff members, two doctoral candidates and an undergraduate are being honored for their exceptional contributions to the university. The awards will be presented at the Commencement ceremony.

Eight members of the Stanford community will be recognized at Commencement with Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel and Gores awards.

The awards honor individuals for exceptional contributions to Stanford, for distinctive contributions to undergraduate education and for excellence in teaching. Three professors, two staff members, one undergraduate student and two doctoral candidates will receive the awards on Sunday, June 16, at the Commencement ceremony.

Cuthbertson Award

 The Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for Exceptional Contributions to Stanford University, which was established by members of the faculty in 1981, was named after one of the early architects of Stanford's long-term financial planning and fundraising program.

L.A. CiceroLarry Horton portrait

Larry N. Horton

Larry N. Horton, senior associate vice president for government and community relations, is the 2013 Cuthbertson Award winner.

Horton was honored "for the breadth and scope of his service to Stanford over more than 40 years," from working with Student Affairs to create the student housing 'Draw' system to leveraging contacts in Washington to improve the student experience. The citation acknowledges Horton's  "many accomplishments in community and government relations, including the 2000 Community Plan/General Use Permit, future development of the university’s Medical Center, the Mayfield Development Agreement and conclusion of the Trails Agreement with Santa Clara County."

The award cited Horton "for his exceptional leadership and his ability to develop close relationships and effective coalitions that have enabled the university’s success at the state and federal levels" and "for being a great champion of higher education, working with the Association of American Universities and collaborating with peer institutions to advance university research and educational goals in Washington."

Horton also was commended "for being an effective, trustworthy and fearless adviser to four Stanford presidents" and "for his complete dedication and integrity, sometimes in the most difficult circumstances, always taking the long view, always in service to Stanford."

Dinkelspiel Awards

 The Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Awards for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education, named after the president of the Board of Trustees who served from 1953 to 1958, recognize distinctive contributions to undergraduate education or to the quality of student life. The 2013 winners are:

L.A. CiceroRussell Berman portrait


Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities, a professor of comparative literature and German Studies, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was honored "for more than three decades of excellence as a teacher and scholar at Stanford and as a national voice, working to re-envision humanities education in this time of transition."

The award cited Berman "for his leadership in freshman education, in recent years guiding Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities program through a series of major reforms and laying the groundwork for the redesign of the first year of undergraduate education in the Thinking Matters program."

Berman also was honored "for creating a strong teaching culture that has shaped a new cohort of dedicated undergraduate teachers at Stanford" and "for his steadfast focus on the development and promotion of students – from first-term freshmen to graduate students – so that learning from him is 'nothing short of unforgettable.'"

L.A. CiceroHolly Fetter portrait

Holly Elizabeth Fetter

Holly Elizabeth Fetter, a senior in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and a coterminal master's degree candidate in sociology. She was honored "for her effectiveness as an educator – teaching students how to build community, to learn from differences, to overcome challenges and to be a dedicated ally."

The award cited Fetter "for her efforts to include and empower all students, engaging and helping everyone feel part of the Stanford community" and "for her vision and leadership in a number of organizations – including Stanford STATIC, the First-Generation, Low-Income Partnership and the ASSU Community Action Board."

Fetter also was honored "for her grace, empathy and compassion – and for inspiring others to work to improve the Stanford experience."

Joy LeightonMegan Fogarty portrait

Megan Swezey Fogarty

Megan Swezey Fogarty, director of fellowships and postgraduate public service at the Haas Center for Public Service. She was honored "for her work with students in Stanford in Government, which has enabled them to increase community awareness of public policy and political issues, for the benefit of thousands of Stanford students."

The award cited Fogarty "for her tireless efforts in finding new ways to tackle and solve longstanding problems, inspiring both students and colleagues to work for social change" and "for her contagious enthusiasm and commitment to ethical and effective public service."

Fogarty also was honored "for leading a generation of Stanford students into public service."

Gores Awards

 The Walter J. Gores Awards are the university's highest teaching honor. They are named for Professor Walter J. Gores, a member of the Stanford Class of 1917 who became a professor of design at the University of Michigan. The 2013 winners are:

L.A. CiceroLynn Hildemann portrait

Lynn M. Hildemann

Lynn M. Hildemann, a professor of civil and environmental engineering. She was honored "for her generosity and excellence as a teacher, always working to improve her courses, creatively redesigning problems and incorporating new techniques to convey difficult concepts."

The award cited Hildemann "for creating an environment that engages students beyond the classroom and helps them understand how engineering concepts can be applied to real-world problems" and "for her innovative and inspired approaches to teaching that have included dancing around the classroom to mimic the zigzag motion of particles in the air and using Halloween candy to demonstrate reactions between atmospheric molecules."

Hildemann also was honored "for her enthusiasm and contagious joy in teaching, prompting student after student to write – 'She set the bar I strive for,' 'I want to be a teacher like her' and 'Taking her course changed my life.'"

Gina ValentinoStephen Sohn portrait

Stephen Hong Sohn

Stephen Hong Sohn, assistant professor of English. He was honored "for his intellectual generosity, encouraging and guiding graduate students as they develop their ideas and grow as scholars."

The award cited Sohn "for his enthusiastic support of student initiatives and projects, such as Oceanic Tongues, the new literary journal and writers’ workshop on Asian American topics, which have built community among students."

Sohn also was honored "for fostering a classroom dynamic among students from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and interests that invites intellectual debate, respect and camaraderie" and "for his inspired teaching and passionate engagement, which have led students to develop a deeper understanding of diversity."

L.A. CiceroAndrew Isaacson portrait

Andrew Isaacson

Andrew Isaacson, a doctoral candidate in sociology. He was honored "for his unbridled enthusiasm for his subject and willingness to take on new learning and teaching challenges."

The award cited Isaacson "for his ability to put students at ease and encourage intellectual thinking and curiosity about statistics – too often thought of with trepidation – by incorporating statistical jokes and student interests to demonstrate concepts" and "for his great gifts as a teacher, transforming statistical modeling – described by one student as 'excruciatingly dry' – into something that same student now calls 'vibrant and interesting.'"

Isaacson also was honored "for his deep commitment to students, always encouraging and challenging them to perform at their full potential."

L.A. CiceroKaren LaRocque portrait

Karen Fossum LaRocque

Karen Fossum LaRocque, a doctoral candidate in psychology. She was honored "for her mastery of statistics and the impressive clarity of her explanations, curing any bewilderment and leading to long lines of students outside of her door until well after office hours were over."

The award cited LaRocque "for her clear and thoughtful guidance to other TAs, engaging them fully in the culture of teaching and improving student learning" and "for her remarkable breadth and skill as a teacher in demanding courses, such as Cellular Neuroscience, in which she was the head teaching assistant, assessing student understanding and helping them grasp concepts spanning electrophysiology, molecular and cell biology, neuroanatomy and psychology."

LaRocque also was honored "for her dedicated and exceptional teaching, which makes good students better and has had a profound impact on her fellow TAs and the faculty colleagues with whom she has worked."