Past Recipients: Distinguished Alumna of the Year

First presented in 1978, the Scripps College Distinguished Alumna Award was established to celebrate the notable achievements of Scripps alumnae and to focus attention on Scripps’ role in the education of women. The award is presented each year during Reunion Weekend.

Latest Recipient: Sara Kim ’86

Sara Kim ’86 was born in Chicago, raised in Seoul, Korea, and returned to the United States as a young adult. After majoring in international relations at Scripps, she pursued a master’s degree in international affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her studies led to an eight-year journey at the World Bank as a researcher in the population, health, and nutrition sector. Teaching researchers the value of the dawning World Wide Web sparked a passion in education. Sara subsequently earned a PhD in education at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. Her dissertation focused on how medical students acquired complex concepts, which led to a faculty position at the UW School of Medicine. Apart from a two-year period when she led the Instructional Design and Technology Unit at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Sara has dedicated her career to UW as a medical educator. She currently serves as associate dean for Educational Quality Improvement, overseeing the medical school’s accreditation. As the George G. B. Bilsten Endowed Professor in the Art of Communication with Peers and Patients in the UW Department of Surgery, Sara has developed and delivered training in resolving interpersonal conflict in healthcare settings. She has taken her training as far as Hungary and Saudi Arabia, and publishes her collaborative work in leading academic journals. She also volunteers as a mediator at the Dispute Resolution Center of King County in Washington. Sara comes from a Claremont legacy family including graduates of Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pomona, and Claremont Graduate University. She credits Scripps and the late ProfessorJim Gould, her advisor at Scripps, for instilling the passion for lifelong learning. She also thanks her parents, Sun Ha and Kui Nam Kim, for their loving support. Sara is an avid hiker and a novice tai chi practitioner.

Past Recipients

Year Alumna Position
2021 Connie de la Vega ’75 International human rights professor at University of San Francisco School of Law
2020 Anne Maltman Campbell ’70 San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, co-founder of Every Kid, Every School
2019 Barbara Brooks Tomblin ’66 Historian and Author
2018 Michelle Cleveland ’00 Middle School Principal
2017 Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle ’57 Minister, Author, Speaker
2016 Gayle Pope Morrison ’71 International Volunteer, Oral Historian
2015 Dwandalyn R. Reece ’85 Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture
2014 Margo Leonetti O’Connell ’64 Trustee, California Science Center
2013 Sally Reeves Osberg ’73 CEO, Skoll Foundation
2012 Maxine Borowsky Junge ’59 Artist/art therapist/writer/educator/social activist
2011 Virginia Stibbs Anami ’66 Educator/Writer/Scholar
2010 Gaye Burpee ’69 Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Catholic Relief Services
2009 Cynthia “Pae” White ’85 Artist
2008 Connie Butler ’84 The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2007 Louise Langlois Francesconi ’75 President, Raytheon Missile Systems
2006 Dr. Kathleen Brogan Schwarz ’64 Pediatric gastroenterologist
2005 Dede Allen ’45 Film Editor
2004 Barbara Cook Wormser ’59 Founder and President, Inland Harvest
2003 Alison Saar ’78 Artist
2002 Pamela Corey-Archer ’62 Minister-Counselor, Madrid, Spain
2001 Hannah-Beth Jackson ’71 Assemblymember, 35th District
2000 Beth Nolan ’73 Counsel, President of the United States
1999 Marsha Genesky ’80 Performer and Recording Artist
1998 Susan Fallows Tierney ’73 Economic and Public Policy Analyst
1997 Barbara Arnwine ’73 Civil Rights Attorney
1996 Elizabeth Arnold Stone ’71 Veterinarian
1995 Marjorie Merryman ’72 Composer
1994 Nancy Neighbor Russell ’53 Environmental Activist
1993 Pamela Bowren Vandiver ’67 Research Scientist in Ceramics
1992 Idelle Feinberg Weber ’54 Artist/Educator
1991 Ruth Ashton Taylor ’43 Television and Radio Journalist
1990 Jil Harris Stark ’58 Volunteer/Educator
1989 Ruth Markowitz Owades ’66 Businesswoman/Entrepreneur
1988 Jean Bixby Smith ’59 Businesswoman/Community Volunteer
1987 Suzanne Muchnic ’62 Art Critic/Journalist
1986 Tanya Cherry Tull ’64 Community Service
1985 Susan Lautmann Hertel ’52 Artist
1984 Nancy Cook Aldrich ’66 Physicist/Engineer
1983 Rosemary Radford Ruether ’58 Theologian
1982 Judith Nelsen Keep ’66 Federal Court Judge
1981 Ruth Churchill ’54 Marketing Director
1980 Laura Thurston Gutman ’57 Pediatrician
1979 Maryanne McNellis ’68 Journalist
1978 Ellen Hutchinson Ellis ’39 Community Service