Distinguished Alumni Awards

from left to right: Gil Kelley ’71, Katie Sharff ’98 MD, Sprinavasa Brown ’02

The Catlin Gabel Alumni Council recognizes distinguished alumni through an annual awards program, honoring three distinguished alumni each year. 

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award: Granted to Catlin Gabel graduates or former students for significant accomplishments in business or professional life.

Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award: Granted to Catlin Gabel graduates or former students for extraordinary service to their community, state, nation, or the world.

Distinguished Younger Alumni Award: Granted to Catlin Gabel graduates or former students who have achieved much in the arena of professional accomplishments or social service before the age of 40.

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award RECIPIENTS

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award - Gil Kelley 71 has served as the Chief Urban Planner for several West Coast cities (Portland, Berkeley, San Francisco and Vancouver, BC). After graduating from Catlin Gabel, he pursued education in urban studies and planning at Evergreen, Harvard and MIT and has spent over four decades in public and private sector roles, guiding the planning and development of cities in the US and abroad. He has served as Practitioner in Residence at Portland State University, taught master classes at the University of Amsterdam and maintains an independent consulting practice, advising cities and private clients on urban planning and design strategies, climate action and sustainable development, as well as housing and economic development. He is also a member of the Oregon Investment Board. He and his wife currently live near Hood River, Oregon.

Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award - Katie Sharff 98 MD, is an Infectious Disease physician at Kaiser Permanente in Clackamas, Oregon. Dr. Sharff received her BA in Biology at Williams College, her MD at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Disease fellowship at Oregon Health Sciences University.  As a physician with Kaiser Permanente, she has been the Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship for the NW region, leading a program that was awarded the Infectious Disease Society of America Center of Excellence Designation, an award only bestowed to 131 hospitals nationwide.

Dr. Sharff diagnosed the first case of COVID-19 in Oregon and only the 2nd known case of community transmission in the United States with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.  Throughout the pandemic she has continued to contribute to the medical field and served as the Infectious Disease physician lead at the All4Oregon mass vaccination site at the Oregon Convention Center. She continues to lead vaccination work for the Kaiser Permanente region and serves as a sub-investigator on several COVID-19 vaccine trials at the Center for Health Research. Additionally, she co-chairs the KP National Quality COVID-19 Vaccine Medication Safety Workgroup to impact patient safety related to COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Sharff has appeared in several local and national media outlets throughout the pandemic to educate the public on COVID-19 and vaccines.  Katie enjoys long-distance running and spending time with her husband, 2 children and bernedoodle dog.

Distinguished Younger Alumni Award - Sprinavasa Brown 02 is a recognized change agent, community leader, and advocate for education with a deep passion for social justice, racial equity, and solving complex problems facing Communities of Color. Holding a BA from Oberlin College in Biology and African American Studies and an MA in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University, Sprinavasa has experience advising and working alongside local agencies and regional governments to further engagement with Communities of Color. In 2015 she co-founded ELSO, Inc. as a space where Youth of Color have the opportunity to see people who look like them as their science mentors.

2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Judge John H. Chun ’87 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Washington State Court of Appeals Judge
  • Ted Kaye ’73 - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award, national leader in vexillology
  • Kevin Esvelt ’00 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, leader in evolutionary and ecological engineering

2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Rukaiyah Adams ’91 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust
  • Curt Ellis ’98 - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award, leading voice in America’s food movement
  • Nadya Okamoto ’16 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD

2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Mary Beebe ’58 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, arts administration
  • Liza Gadsby ’76 & Peter Jenkins ’70 - Distinguished Alumni Community Engagement Award, wildlife conservation: biology, ecology, social activism
  • Peter Chaille ’98 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, environmental education

2017 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Cynthia Johnson Haryuama ’77- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Se-ah-dom Edmo ’94- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • David Recordon ’04- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Margot Voorhies Thompson ’66- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Lyla J. Andrews Bashan ’98- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Andrew McCartor ’98- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • J Mary Taylor ’48- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Robin Schauffler ’68- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Nkenge Harmon Johnson ’93- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Dr. Phillip Starr ’79- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Dr. Derrick Butler ’86- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Amelia Templeton ’02- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Gretchen Corbett ’63- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Willard Rowland ’62- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Amani Reed ’93- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Philip Hult ’88- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Pippa Arend ’90- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Michael Manidberg ’91- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • David Shipley ’81- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Roz Nelson Babener ’68- Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Dr. Angel Foster ’91- Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Henry Dick ’65 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, marine geologist
  • Sally Bachman ’75 - Distinguished Alumni Service Award, child labor advocate
  • Rachel Cohen ’90 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, global health advocate

2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

  • Charlotte Coe Murray ’47 - Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, architect and historic preservationist, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Jordan D. Schnitzer ’69 - Distinguished Alumni Service Award, president and CEO, Harsch Investment Properties, Portland; longtime civic leader and philanthropist
  • Phil Buchanan ’88 - Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, president, Center for Effective Philanthropy, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Past Distinguished Alumni Award recipients (before the award restructure)

  • 2007 - George Wolfe Ettelson ’42, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2006 - Alfred Aya ’43, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2005 - Kate Rogers McCarthy ’35, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2004 - Spencer Ehrman ’35*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2003 - David Lawrence ’58, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2002 - David Bragdon ’77, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2001 - Barbara Farrow Walker ’53, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2000 - Roger Meier ’43*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1999 - Nancy Neighbor Russell ’49*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1998 - Phyllis Cantrell Reynolds ’47, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1997 - Marian Wood Kolisch ’37*, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1996 - Philip Hawley ’43, Distinguished Alumni Award

*deceased