The A+ Foundation is proud to announce its 2019 incoming class, Hall of Honor inductees
Dr. Julie Cassiday, Class of 1982: a preeminent scholar and Professor of Russian at Williams College As a college professor, the essence of Dr. Cassiday’s work has been to nurture, teach, and mentor young people. Dr. Cassiday travels extensively for her work and has been invited to present her research at academic venues around the world. Her numerous academic publications have added to the understanding of Russian theater and film, gender and sexuality in Russia, and popular culture in Putin’s Russia. Dr. Cassiday has achieved eminence and recognition as a proponent of social equality for LGBTQ individuals worldwide. Her extensive research on gender and sexuality as culturally constructed phenomena contributes significantly to the understanding of recent trends – both for greater inclusion of LGBTQ subjects and of global homophobia – that affect young people not only in the United States, but around the world. She has spoken at Oxford University, The Ohio State University, Stanford University, the European University in St. Petersburg, Harvard University, and the University of Oregon on this subject.
Dr. William B. Farrar, Class of 1967: a distinguished scholar in the field of surgery, cancer research, and practice. He currently serves as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; the Director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center; Medical Director of Credentialing, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute; Professor of Surgery, The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center; and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solve Chair in Surgical Oncology. He has received over eleven million dollars in grants for Breast and Bowel Cancers Research and given over 200 presentations on cancer research. He has published over 100 articles on cancer research and authored chapters within fourteen books. Included in these articles is how cancer related treatments impact the whole patient and how these treatments relate to depression and anxiety. He speaks to that whole patient and his overall health and recovery. Dr. Farrar has also been recognized by his peers and by professional organizations for his contributions as an educator, researcher, and physician.
Dr. Timothy Fisher, Class of 1987: Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, UCLA. He leads the Nanoscale Transport Research Group, which studies transport processes by electrons, photons, and fluids, addressing problems in aerospace, energy, micro-and nanoelectronics, and sensor systems. He and his team are studying how to diminish/equalize the effects of heat as it is produced on or in an object hurtling or computing at great rates of speed. Dr. Fisher has developed nanotechnology to capture and spread the heat around or through the internal components of aircraft or the outer ‘skin’ of an object, cooling the aircraft/electronics to keep them from overheating and becoming victim to burn out. The applications of this technology are far-reaching - NASA, airlines, computers, and the like. Dr. Fisher is also the founding director of the Center for Integrated Thermal Management of Aerospace Vehicles, which is supported by the US Air Force Research Laboratory. His technical success, combined with his success as a mentor and teacher, has earned him numerous honors and awards. He is well-published in his field and respected by colleagues and students alike.
Mr. Raphael L. Podolsky, Class of 1961: attorney/legislative advocate for the Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut negotiating with the Connecticut legislature for low income housing, landlord-tenant issues, family issues and consumer rights. His specialty has been housing - particularly landlord-tenant law - and he has been involved with most of the housing legislation before the Connecticut General Assembly. He served on the first Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing in 1987-1989, as one of the principal drafters of the Affordable Housing Appeals Procedure, and on the second Blue Ribbon Commission in 1999-2000. He created the Legal Services Housing Index, a research manual for housing lawyers. And, he was one of the authors of an amicus brief to the Connecticut Supreme Court on Connecticut’s retaliatory eviction statute. He has played critical roles in the adoption of the statutes related to plain language in consumer contracts, repossession of consumer goods, limitations on attorney fees, debt collection practices, and rent-to-own contracts. He was one of the founders of Kehilat Chaverin (Community of Friends). Kehilat Chaverim was established to find ways express Jewish identity that is independent of synagogue affiliation.
The Honorable Eric P. Whitaker, Class of 1974: 28 years in the US Foreign Service, positions as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and current posting as the US Ambassador to Niger. Whitaker’s career in service began as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in the Philippines. He joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. The bulk of his assignments have been in Africa. He served as Director of East African Affairs and Acting Deputy Assistance Secretary of State for East Africa and the Sudans at the Department of State. Whitaker’s overriding focus was the humanitarian efforts. He has countered violent extremism and terrorism, assisted in resettling refugees, provided services to American citizens overseas, and promoted democracy and human rights. In his most recent role as Ambassador to Niger, Whitaker has the responsibility for American citizens as well as his Nigerien Embassy personnel. He has earned recognition by the people he serves, and he has earned 12 Superior or Meritorious Honor Awards at the Department of State, as well as the Department of Defense’s Meritorious Civilian Honor Award.
Kristen Ziman, Class of 1991: Chief of Police, Aurora, Illinois. From her cadet years to her being named the first female Police Chief in the State of Illinois happened in 27 years. She is sought as a Keynote speaker. She sits on the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee and works with the Illinois Sentencing Police Advisory Council. As a former President of the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, she continues to mentor women in Law Enforcement. She sits on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Former FBI Director, James Comey, selected Ziman to give input on issues of race, domestic violence, and homicides. She was awarded a FEMA grant to fight terrorism and selected as one of twenty law enforcement professionals to discuss reducing sexual assault on Uber and like platforms. Former Vice President, Joe Biden, selected her to collaborate on gun control laws. Her education includes degrees from Boston University, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Naval Post Graduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security. She is working with the department in developing a Critical Incident Intelligence Center and Drone Program, and is involved in the United Way, the National Latino Peace Officers’ Association, the LGBTQ Equality Commission, and through IACP improving relationships between police and the mental health community.