Distinguished Alumna Award Recipients
2018 Distinguished Alumna
Marne Levine ’88 - COO, Instagram
As the Chief Operating Officer of Instagram, Marne Levine manages the expansion of the community of over 800 million users who “capture and share the world’s moments” on the social network. Since being named the evolving company’s first COO in 2014, Marne learns on-the-go as she identifies business needs and key priorities in a technology realm that is constantly changing. Prior to joining Instagram, she served for four years as Vice President of Global Public Policy at Facebook where she oversaw the company’s interactions with governments and non-governmental organizations. In 2017, she was one of three women recognized by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Woman Making History Award.” And, in December 2016, Business Insider named her the fourth most powerful woman in mobile advertising.
Marne began her career in 1993 at the U.S. Department of Treasury in the Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison. Seven years later, she moved to Boston to serve as Chief of Staff for Harvard University President Larry Summers. After a stint as director of product management for Revolution Money, she returned to the public sector in the Obama Administration as Chief of Staff of the National Economic Council at the White House and Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy where she helped coordinate the development of domestic and international economic policy. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from Miami University and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
She serves on the Advisory Board for LeanIn.org and on the board for Women for Women International, a nonprofit that helps women in countries affected by war and conflict. She also is a board member of LIFT, whose mission is to empower families to break the cycle of poverty, and The Urban Institute.
A champion for girls and women, “Marne believes that the best investment women can make is in each other,” notes Rachel Thomas, President of the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation. “At Instagram, Marne often welcomes junior women into executive meetings so they can get exposure to new ideas and mentor. She has used her success to lift up other women.” For “helping to turn a scrappy startup into a global force” and for working to empower women and girls around the world, the Laurel School Alumnae Association awards Marne Levine ’88 its 2018 Distinguished Alumna Award.
2018 Young Alumna of Distinction
Tamara Broderick ’03 - Assistant Professor, MIT
Tamara Broderick is the ITT Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Her research focuses on Bayesian statistics and machine learning, which has broad implications for data analysis. "One of the leading researchers worldwide in this field," as noted by her Ph.D. advisor, Tamara regularly presents her findings at conferences around the world
She recently was named the recipient of a 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship-Sloan Fellowships are given to rising stars in scientific research. Among her many other awards are a Google faculty research award, a two-year Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate work at Cambridge University and a Young Investigator Program (YIP) research award from the U.S. Army Research Office. She holds an AB in mathematics from Princeton University (where she graduated as the Senior with the highest academic average), master's degrees in mathematics and in physics from the University of Cambridge, and a master's degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley.
In addition to her remarkable academic achievements, Tamara is a strong advocate for young women in STEM fields. As an executive board member of Women in Machine Learning (WIML), she helps promote, through social media, a WIML resource list and workshops, the achievements of women researchers in machine learning. At Princeton, she started a high school math competition with colleagues and at MIT, she is involved with the Women's Technology Program, the very summer program for high school girls interested in science and engineering that first brought her to its campus when she was still a Laurel student. As her nominator wrote, "Tamara is a role model for what she has achieved professionally, her willingness to encourage other women in her field and for how she has made her life in a very challenging field her own." For her striking accomplishments in contemporary academia in a field where women are vastly underrepresented, the Laurel School Alumnae Association awards Tamara Broderick '03 its Young Alumna of Distinction Award.
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award
Kathy Chilcote Pender ’55 - Community Volunteer and Psychotherapist
A tireless advocate, Kathy Chilcote Pender's commitment to children, especially the most vulnerable, is deep and abiding. As her nominator noted of Kathy, "She has devoted her life (and what would appear to be several lifetimes) to serving the needs of and inspiring hope in children and families. Her quiet, soft-spoken ways are but a thin veneer for the dynamic, engaged woman whose actions have always spoken loudly and powerfully in our city."
After graduating from Smith College, Kathy taught for many years, earning two master’s degrees—one in special education with a concentration on emotionally disturbed children and the other in counseling and psychology—before becoming a psychotherapist. Many organizations in Cleveland have benefitted from her wisdom and devotion—including Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Camp Ho Mita Koda, Playhouse Square, Hospice of the Western Reserve and Magnolia Clubhouse—but perhaps none more so than Beech Brook, an agency dedicated to enhancing the emotional well-being and self-sufficiency of youth. Little did she know when she first volunteered at Beech Brook as a reading tutor at the age of 20 that it would become a lifelong connection. In the decades since, she has lent the agency her professional skills as a therapist and has volunteered, organized events, raised funds and served on the Board, including as its Chair. As the former CEO of Beech Brook wrote in a letter of support, “She is the embodiment of the agency’s mission ‘to be a strong voice for children, youth and families.’ Kathy truly believes all children, no matter how traumatized or troubled, can be helped and that fuels her passion and boundless commitment to Beech Brook’s work.”
When Michael, their youngest son, died at the age of 19, Kathy and her husband, Jim, could have turned inward. They choose, instead, to turn outward and give meaning to Michael's life. They collaborated with the Hospice of the Western Reserve on a Pediatric Handbook for Parents whose children are dying. At Gilmour Academy, where both Kathy and Jim serve on the Board of Trustees, they have sponsored a Speaker's Series in Michael's name to promote the mission of Gilmour and established a scholarship for a student with special needs. And, the Michael J. Pender Fund they endowed with the Cleveland Foundation provides generous support to Beech Brook and many other organizations that serve children, not only therapeutically, but through other initiatives including innovative arts programming for children in underserved schools and organizations.
Channeling their personal sorrow into action, the Penders have created a beacon of hope for many. For her courage and commitment in the face of adversity, for her lifelong passion for helping children live healthier lives and for providing safe harbor for families in need, the Laurel School Alumnae Association awards Kathy Chilcote Pender '55 with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.
Past Distinguished Alumnae
These are the remarkable women role models on whom the Alumnae Association has bestowed its highest honors:
2017 Deborah Becker ’73, Research Senior Associate and Director, the IPS Employment Center, the Rockville Institute at Westat
Young Alumna of Distinction: Caitlin Leibert ’03, Head of Sustainability, Chipotle
2016 Holly Gleason ’81, Writer, songwriter, music journalist, critic and publicist
Young Alumna of Distinction: Nichelle McCall ’01, Tech Entrepreneur
2015 Shelley Osmun Baranowski '64, Historian, Author, Distinguished Professor
2014 Mary French Conway ’46, Community Volunteer
Young Alumna of Distinction: Lt. Katherine Wirtz ’05, Officer, US Navy
2013 Sandy Buchanan ’74, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action
Young Alumna of Distinction: Emily Johnson Jackle ’98, Organic Farmer
2012 Barbara Peterson Ruhlman '50, Philanthropist, Community Volunteer, Fundraiser
2011 Kathryn Hellerstein '70, Assoc. Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Poet, Scholar/Translator of Yiddish poetry
Young Alumna of Distinction: Tiffany Laufer '91, Filmmaker
2010 Heather Roulston Ettinger '79, Advocate for women and their financial health
Young Alumna of Distinction: Amanda Cinalli '04, Professional athlete (soccer)
2009 Virginia "Ginny" Foote '73 President & Co-Founder of the US-Vietnam Trade Council
Young Alumna of Distinction: Camilla Taylor '89, Attorney, Lambda Legal
2008 Elizabeth D. McKinley ’78, Physician, Academic Society Dean at Case Western Reserve Univ.
Young Alumna of Distinction: Roopal Patel '89, Physician, President's Initiative on Malaria
2007 Kay Sproat Chorao '54, Children's book illustator and author
2007 Kathleen Sullivan ’85, Nuclear disarmament activist and educator
2006 Carol Madison Graham '74, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission
2005 A. Lindsay Frazier ’76, Pediatric oncologist and researcher
2004 Mary DeCredico '77, Author, historian and Vice Academic Dean, U.S. Naval Academy
2003 Virginia deConingh Fleming '48, Activist for social reform
2002 Katharine Lee Reid '59, Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art
2001 Elisabeth Galvin Kirsch ’58, Founder/Director of domestic abuse shelter
2000 Nina Freedlander Gibans ’50, Arts advocate extraordinaire
1999 Anne Hopkins Burnham '47, Community activist, preservationist
1999 Elizabeth Morrison Marcotte '69, Environmentalist, energy conservation consultant
1998 Sylvia Robinson Cruess '47, Physician, hospital administrator and health policy maker
1997 Sally Pastorelle Reed '57, Physician and founder of a free clinic
1996 Anne Hollis Reese '55, Mental health educator
1995 Betty Hitchcock Rose '33, Civic Activist and Inventor
1994 Joan Shook '72, Pediatrician
1994 Priscilla Tyler '26, Educator and specialist in Aboriginal literature and art
1993 Kathryn Beck Kris '51, Psychiatrist
1993 Lucy M. Ziurys '75, Astrophysicist
1992 Donna Ferrato '68, Photojournalist
1991 Jean Steel '53, Nurse Practitioner
1990 Andy Logan Lyon '38, Journalist, Columnist
1989 Gwill Linderme Newman '50, Brain research and mental health activist
1988 Helen Teagle Clements '26, Lobbyist for nursing home standards
1987 Anne O'Neil '46, Provincial, The Sacred Heart Order in the United States
1986 Mary Ellen Beck Wohl '50, Chief of Respiratory Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital
1986 Elaine Grasselli Hadden '49, Community Revitalization Activist
1985 Myra Evans Lapeyrolerie '77, Entrepreneur
1985 Louise Ireland Humphrey '37, President, Metropolitan Opera Association
1984 Terry Horvitz Kovel '46, Authority on antiques/collectibles
1983 Susan Crile '60, Artist
1982 Ann Denton Blair '31, Radio and TV Bureau Chief
1981 Mary Feil Hellerstein '39, Pediatrician
1980 Natalie Moore Babbitt '50, Children's book author/illustrator
1979 Elizabeth Brooks Ford '14, Public health and nursing education advocate
1978 Kate Ireland '48, Chair, Board of Governors, Frontier Nursing Service