2013 Outstanding Alumni Awards, Alumni | Earlham College
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2013 Outstanding Alumni Awards

The following people have received Earlham's 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award. The ceremony took place on Saturday, October 19, 2013 during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.

Juan Dies ’88

0000054616-diesJuan Dies is the co-founder and Executive Director of Sones de México Ensemble, a Grammy- and Latin Grammy-nominated organization based in Chicago since 1994. He performs (vocals, bass), records, and teaches with the ensemble. At Earlham, Juan double-majored in Music and Sociology/Anthropology. Later he earned an M.A. in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University.  

Before devoting himself to Sones de México and other endeavors full-time, he served as Director of Community Outreach at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago for thirteen years. As a freelance folklorist, he has done research to document artists for different agencies across the United States and served as a festival curator for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. He consults regularly on municipal, state, and national arts grants panels.

Sones de México has released six CDs, performed nearly 3,000 shows coast-to-coast, from The Getty Museum in Los Angeles to Carnegie Hall in New York, and produces a syndicated radio show in Spanish. They have been featured on such radio programs as “Morning Edition” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” As a not-for-profit organization, the ensemble works to promote greater appreciation of Mexican folk and traditional music and has introduced thousands of children and adults to the wealth and depth of this aspect of Mexican culture through their educational programs.

Helen Greenwood Hansma ’67

0000054616-Helen -head --Dec 12_1390836-(1)Helen Greenwood Hansma, Ph.D., is a researcher emeritus and associate adjunct professor emeritus at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), where she also earned her doctorate in biological sciences. A prolific researcher in biochemistry and biophysics, she was a pioneer in the development and application of atomic force microscopy to biological questions.

She received a great deal of attention for her well-supported hypothesis that life originated between sheets of mica, which she published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology in 2010. In all, she has published more than 100 scientific papers or book chapters and delivered at least 45 invited lectures. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, which also recruited her to be a program manager for the Directoriate for Biological Sciences – Division of Biological Infrastructure from 2004-08.

Hansma also has been heavily involved in outreach activities to encourage science, technology, engineering and math education in K-12 schools.

Lew Frederick ’73

0000054616-Frederick -formal -1Lew Frederick is a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 43, in Portland. He serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education and is vice-chair of the House Land Use Committee. Frederick is a former member of the State Board of Education.

Professionally, he is a strategic communications consultant focusing on strategic planning, community relations, science and technical issues and crisis communications. Earlier in his career, he worked as television reporter and was director of public information for Portland Public Schools. In addition to Earlham, he has studied at Morehouse College, MIT and the Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratories. He is a doctoral candidate at Portland State University.   


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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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