Arts & Sciences presents alumni awards, Dean’s Medal

Arts & Sciences will recognize the achievements of five alumni at 4 p.m. May 15 in the Jerzewiak Family Auditorium in the Arts & Sciences Laboratory Sciences Building.

Ralph S. Quatrano, Ph.D., interim dean of Arts & Sciences and the Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts & Sciences, also will present the Dean’s Medal to Edward S. Macias, Ph.D., provost, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, who served as Arts & Sciences dean for 13 years before stepping down June 30, 2008, to take on expanded leadership responsibilities as provost.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented annually to recognize those who have attained distinction in their academic or professional careers and have demonstrated service to their communities and to the University.

Joel W. Abramowitz, M.D., Ph.D. (A.B. ’69), is chief of staff at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital in Houston and listed among the “Top Doctors in America” for oncology.

He studied zoology at WUSTL and earned medical and doctoral degrees in biochemistry from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. He completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.

He is defined professionally by his reputation for being an excellent private-practice oncologist who cares for and supports his patients and their families during an extraordinarily difficult time in their lives.

He and his late wife, Joan, endowed the Jesse Nathan Abramowitz Scholarship in Arts & Sciences in memory of their oldest son, who died shortly after his 1999 graduation from Washington University. Abramowitz is married to Rita Mosko Berger; his middle and youngest sons are Michael Abramowitz and Carl Matthew Abramowitz (A.B. ’04), a Spanish major.

Yvette Drury Dubinsky (A.B. ’64, M.A. ’66, MFA ’90) is an award-winning St. Louis artist whose works — which often combine photography with printmaking, drawing or collage — have been featured in national and international exhibitions and are part of museum, corporate and private collections.

After earning two degrees in sociology, she worked as a researcher and taught at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and at community colleges. In 1972, she married John Dubinsky (A.B. ’65, MBA ’67).

Since earning a visual arts degree, she has taught at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in Massachusetts and at the University of Chicago; later in 2009, she will teach at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in Massachusetts. Her awards include the Cité Internationale des Arts residency in Paris.

A member of the WUSTL Art National Council, she has served on search committees for two art deans.

Shelby L. Jordan (A.B. ’74), considered one of the greatest pass blockers in National Football League history and a member of the 1984 world champion Los Angeles Raiders, has tackled different adversaries since 1989: scarce affordable urban housing and services for those in need.

Jordan and his wife of 30 years, Donzella, fund and direct a Los Angeles nonprofit economic development corporation that permanently removes blight, stabilizing neighborhoods once characterized as economically and socially fragile. The results include six affordable housing complexes for families and seniors.

While in WUSTL’s Career Scholarship Program, directed by his mentor, the late Gloria W. White, Ph.D., Jordan excelled academically and athletically.

A premed student, he earned a degree in psychology while working part-time and gaining local and national collegiate athletic distinctions. He attributes his success as a student-athlete to the environment created by then-Chancellor William H. Danforth, who inspired people to be their best.

Martin K. Sneider (A.B. ’64) majored in history before earning a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and an MBA from Harvard University. He joined Edison Brothers Stores, the nation’s largest retailer of women’s shoes at that time.

Sneider played a key role in developing Edison’s men’s and women’s apparel divisions. When named president and co-CEO in 1987, he became the first person outside the Edison family to hold that position. Before stepping down in 1995, Sneider had successfully transformed the company into a multicategory fashion retailer operating approximately 3,000 stores and generating sales of $1.5 billion.

For the past 16 years, Sneider has been an adjunct professor at the Olin Business School, teaching retailing and corporate social responsibility courses and receiving numerous teaching awards.

He chaired the Alumni Board of Governors and served on the Arts & Sciences National Council. His wife, Jill (A.B. ’66, M.A.’85), is pursuing a doctorate in American literature at WUSTL.

Pamela L. Tremayne, J.D., Ph.D. (A.B. ’64), earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in Latin American studies and Spanish; a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of Florida; and a juris doctorate and a doctorate in sociology from Emory University.

In 1986, she established the Law Offices of Pamela L. Tremayne in Atlanta. As principal in the law firm, she represents clients from business, medicine, law, politics and professional athletics in high-asset, complex domestic relations matters, including divorce and custody.

The St. Louis native enhances her practice with academic, cultural and international experience and hours of pro bono work.

The first woman president and longest-serving president of the International Club of Atlanta, Tremayne also is a seven-year board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. A member of the WUSTL Atlanta Regional Cabinet, she has hosted alumni events and served on the Alumni Board of Governors.

Dean’s Medal

During Macias’ tenure as dean of Arts & Sciences and executive vice chancellor from 1995-2008, Arts & Sciences advanced to the first tier of the nation’s best undergraduate and graduate liberal arts programs. Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton calls Macias “one of the most effective academic leaders in America.”

Equipped with what one department chair called “broad vision, excellent judgment, the ability to make tough decisions, all combined with personal warmth and diplomacy,” Macias strengthened Arts & Sciences by recruiting superb faculty and students and by fostering interdisciplinary programs.

Because Arts & Sciences is the heart of the University, its programs are essential for the interactions Macias is now building among all schools.

In his role as provost, he works with WUSTL’s seven deans to explore common educational issues from intraschool programs to internationalization, and he is developing new ways to enhance diversity as he meets critical academic, budgetary and capital planning responsibilities.

Macias joined WUSTL’s chemistry faculty 39 years ago after completing a doctoral program at MIT.

In addition to teaching, he long studied the chemistry and physics of atmospheric particles and their effects on air pollution.