GW Brief: GW graduates win Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Seven GW alumni were recognized as 2007 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award winners at Marvin Center last Friday. The winners came from a variety of backgrounds and fields.

“This wonderfully diverse group of alumni is representative of the significant impact GW graduates are having on our nation and around the globe,” University President Steven Knapp said, in a news release. “The contributions of these award winners to science, business, health, education and human flourishing in general are an inspiration to the entire GW community.”

The recipients included Anousheh Ansari (M.S. ’92), Martin Burt (M.A. ’83), Scott Cowen (M.B.A. ’72, D.B.A. ’75), J. Richard Knop (J.D. ’69), Martin Pera (Ph.D. 1973) and Paul Roth (M.D. ’76). Linnea Axman Ph.d. ’03, also received the Recent Alumni Achivement Award, which is given to alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years

Cowen, who currently serves as president of Tulane University, said his experiences at GW put him on his career trajectory.

“I would not have pursued a career in the academia if not for the encouragement of the GW faculty,” said Cowen, who led Tulane in its reopening just a few months after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of its surroundings.

Cowen added, “It is always special to be recognized by your alma mater.”

Some of the distinguished alumni have achieved worldwide recognition for their efforts. Ansari is the founder of Prodea L.L.C., a venture capital firm, and became the first Iranian in space and the first female private space explorer last year when she spent eight days on board the International Space Station.

Pera is director of the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. He made headlines when his lab at Monash University became just the second worldwide to isolate embryonic stem cells from the human blastocyst.

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