Influential Food Writer and Cookbook Author, Photography’s Most Esteemed Advocate, and Environmental Innovator and Policymaker Named Recipients of Wellesley College’s Alumnae Achievement Awards 2016

Free, public ceremony and reception to be held this evening, Oct. 14

Article ID: 662838

Released: 14-Oct-2016 10:30 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Wellesley College

Newswise — Wellesley, Mass., Friday, Oct. 14 – Wellesley College today announced the recipients of the 2016 Alumnae Achievement Awards. The Achievement Awards, which have been presented annually since 1970 by the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, are the highest honor given to Wellesley alumnae. Recipients are chosen for achievement and distinction in their fields.

The 2016 Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award recipients are: Marian Burros ’54, a New York Times and Washington Post food writer and editor who transformed how Americans cook; Maria Morris Hambourg ’71, a preeminent art scholar who changed how the art world looked at photography as the founding curator of the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Debra Knopman ’75, a leading researcher and policymaker seeking solutions to our most pressing environmental issues. “What propels Wellesley graduates is a desire to contribute, a drive to transform the world around them. This year’s Alumnae Achievement Award recipients each embody this spirit in distinct and powerful ways,” said Wellesley College President Paula Johnson. “They have worked hard to enhance and energize the landscape of their respective fields, developing new ideas and new ways to solve problems. They have forged successful approaches to changing arenas as diverse as the home, the museum, and our natural world.”

A ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of these incredible women will be held on Friday, Oct. 14th at 5 pm in Wellesley’s Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall auditorium (106 Central Street, Wellesley). A reception will immediately follow in the Alumnae Hall ballroom. The award ceremony and reception are free and open to the public. Prior to the ceremony, Marian Burros will be signing copies of her book The New Elegant But Easy Cookbook, the revised edition of her classic bestseller, from 3:30-4:30 pm in the Alumnae Hall Auditorium foyer. Limited copies will be available for purchase.

Marian Burros ’54Transformational Food and Lifestyle JournalistMarian Burros has been a transformative influence in American writing about food, food safety, health, and agriculture, both as a cookbook author and a journalist.

Coming onto the scene when Americans had tired of TV dinners but didn’t always have time to master the art of French cooking, Burros showed a knack for adapting complicated restaurant recipes for home chefs. Her books spoke to the needs of cooks at every skill level. With titles like Elegant But Easy (written with Lois Liebeskind Levine ’52) and Cooking for Comfort, they conveyed a message that cuisine didn’t have to be dauntingly complex to be delicious.

And Burros has focused on food on the public agenda as well as the private dinner table. She made her mark early on as an advocate for healthier, more sustainable eating. (She was one of the first journalists to interview first lady Michelle Obama about her White House kitchen garden.) A longtime food reporter and columnist for the New York Times, she was previously the food editor of the Washington Post. Her many professional honors include Tastemaker awards (sponsored by the R.T. French Company for best American cookbooks of the year) for two of the 13 cookbooks she’s written, and a National Press Club citation for her New York Times coverage of food safety issues in 1988.

Maria Morris Hambourg ’71Photography Champion, Preeminent Art Scholar, CuratorMaria Morris Hambourg is a highly regarded art historian and curator. Her championing of photography led to the creation, in 1992, of the new Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with her as curator. It was the first time in decades that a new department had been established at the museum, and her success in creating it within a deeply traditional institution like the Met has been called “perhaps her most enduring achievement.” In 1987, she served as one of the primary matchmakers in the Met’s receipt of what was at the time the largest corporate gift ever made in the United States to acquire art. The gift, from the Ford Motor Company, was used to acquire the John C. Waddell collection of about 500 interwar avant-garde photographs. In 2005, she assisted the Met with the acquisition of the entire Gilman Paper Company Collection of photographs. Hambourg’s work has captivated the attention of artists, curators, and art connoisseurs worldwide. With her frequent coauthor Pierre Apraxine, she received an Infinity Award for writing from the International Center of Photography in 1994. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. Her publications include The Work of Atget, with John Szarkowski; The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century (Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection), with multiple coauthors; and Earthly Bodies: Irving Penn's Nudes, 1949–50. Hambourg serves on the board of directors of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

Debra Knopman ’75Engineer, Complex Problem Solver, PolicymakerMany of the biggest challenges facing humanity today are scientific and engineering problems: nuclear waste management, for instance, or environmental restoration or long-term water resources planning. And these are the challenges that Debra Knopman has been wrestling with throughout her career. Her contributions to science began with her studies as a chemistry major at Wellesley. After a stint as a freelance science writer and editor, her interest in water issues led her to a master’s in civil engineering from MIT, and eventually a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins. She has served both in government (in the U.S. Geological Survey, in the U.S. Department of the Interior, and in the U.S. Senate, as a staff member) and in the private sector (as director of the Center for Innovation and the Environment at the Progressive Policy Institute and vice president at RAND). In 2014, Knopman transitioned from RAND Vice President—leading its Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment division after 10 years—and returned to full-time research as a principal researcher, one of a select group of senior research leaders. About the Wellesley College Alumnae AssociationThe mission of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association (WCAA) is to support the institutional priorities of Wellesley College by connecting alumnae to the College and to each other. Chartered in 1880 and incorporated in 1916, the WCAA represents more than 35,000 alumnae, serving as a lifelong resource and encouraging alumnae to contribute to the continued excellence of the College. About Wellesley CollegeSince 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to some 2,400 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries. Press Contacts:Sofiya Cabalquinto, Wellesley College, 781-283-3321, scabalqu@wellesley.eduChristopher Hennessy, Wellesley College, 781-283-3201,


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