Barbara Bang Knowles '58
Barbara Bang Knowles first discovered her love for the sciences as a biology major here at Middlebury. Since then she has gone on to combine her expertise in building both a career and life that is nothing short of impressive. As she herself has said, “I am a research scientist; and that defines me.” She currently works close to her home in Bar Harbor, Maine — a place she calls “the most beautiful spot in the world” — at the Jackson Laboratory, an independent, non-profit organization focusing on mammalian genetics research, where she is very much a leader in her field. When not in the lab, she teaches at the University of Maine, inspiring graduate students in her path. She was also a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and taught at the Philadelphia-based Wistar Institute, where she headed the cell and development biology training programs. She has published more than 200 papers and is internationally respected for her work in genetics. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. She received her Master of Science and doctorate from Arizona State University, and did her postdoctoral training at the University of California at Berkeley. She serves on the board of the Maine Math and Science Alliance and the Mount Desert Island Historic Society, and is also on the advisory board of the American Type Culture Collection, a private nonprofit biological resource center. She has raised two wonderful children, Jared and Amanda, who, she notes unsurprisingly, both enjoy careers in the arts. We are pleased to honor Barbara here today for the dedication she has shown in her lifelong career.
Dan Curry '68
Dan Curry is no stranger to large-scale success. As a seven-time Emmy Award winner for his work as the visual effects producer of Star Trek and its numerous incarnations since 1988, he is often applauded for the innovations he has brought to the industry. Not surprisingly, Dan was an art major while at Middlebury, and has stayed connected to the college community by volunteering in various alumni capacities, by making the trip east for several his reunions, and by graciously hosting a well-attended 2000 Bicentennial campaign celebration at Paramount Studios. After graduating, Dan joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Thailand for two years, then returned to teach fine arts in Massachusetts before heading west do postgraduate work at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. Soon after, he began working at Universal Studios, and by 1985 he was vice president of Cinema Research Corporation, working on more than 100 feature films. In 1988, he joined crew of “Star Trek, the Next Generation” as the visual effects producer. Dan was elected governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Visual Effects Peer Group in 2006, a position he calls “a great honor and a great responsibility.” These days he enjoys freelancing in Hollywood, especially when developing projects with his son, Devin, who writes and co-produces independent feature films. We are pleased to recognize Dan here today for his seemingly boundless creative spirit.
Paul Rudenberg '78
As a dedicated biology major at Middlebury, Paul Gunther Rudenberg’s educational experience was far more than just academic. He has since recalled that one of the most important lessons he learned, as he “trudged back and forth to the science center,” was to “keep life in perspective.” Paul’s commitment to that balanced life has taken him on some incredible journeys since his undergraduate days, with many notable — and noble — achievements to his name. After graduating, Paul attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and then took some time traveling in Newfoundland to work with young people before joining the Shrewsbury Animal Hospital in Massachusetts. Later he became involved with a farm that raised cattle as part of Heifer International, an organization that works with communities to end hunger and poverty. Not long after, he became Heifer International’s local representative in Haiti, and, while there, worked with community action networks and becoming involved in education with a local university. Even amid the country’s political strife, Paul continued to be hopeful for communities sharing and working together toward the future. He worked closely with small farmers as both a vet and an agricultural educator, and continues today in his role as an academic dean at Haiti’s American University of the Caribbean. We are pleased to honor Paul here today for the time, energy and resources he has spent with such enthusiasm on behalf of those in need.