“An honor like this connects you in a different way to the Institute,” shares Linda Childs Hothem BAPS ’85, who was honored with the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award as part of the Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday. She goes on to explain that your affiliation begins as a student, and continues as you return to give back. She comments on how this recognition further solidifies the relationship, saying “It truly is a great honor.” The CEO of Pacific American Group, a successful commercial property management company, Hothem is an active member of leadership councils for both of her alma maters, the Middlebury Institute and the University of San Francisco. Her concerns for ocean conservation led Linda and her husband, Dr. Giuseppe Esposito, to offer their support to the Center for the Blue Economy at MIIS.
The Alumni Volunteer Service Award was presented to Garvey McIntosh MAIPS ’03. As an international program specialist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Garvey travels the globe negotiating agreements on behalf of NASA. During his years at MIIS, Garvey served as student body president, received a CNS fellowship, and studied Vietnamese. Today, Garvey is president of the Washington D.C. alumni chapter and an active participant in the group of alumni leaders shaping the chapter community worldwide. “MIIS is such a special place and receiving this award is very gratifying,” he says, adding that he is very proud of the strong DC alumni chapter and considers this an honor for the whole group. Garvey is married to MIIS alumna Melanie Eltz McIntosh MAIPS ’04.
This year the Young Alumni Achievement Award goes to a dynamic duo: Adam Stieglitz MPA ’11 and Aaron Ebner MPA ’11, co-founders of the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD) and the MIIS student research group Team Peru. Since 2009, the AASD has hosted nearly 150 MIIS graduate students and their faculty sponsors as they work to support community-led agricultural initiatives in Peru. The AASD offers students an immersive learning experience that is invaluable both to them and to the local communities they serve. Aaron cannot attend the ceremony on Saturday, but is well-represented by his collaborator. “This is very important to us,” says Adam, “we really believe in the MIIS culture and what students are doing.” He adds that they consider this honor as a recognition not only of the work they are doing in Peru, but also of the learning experience they offer to MIIS students.
“We are looking forward to celebrating these outstanding alumni who truly give of themselves, sharing knowledge, skills, resources, time, and training,” says Leah Gowron, director of Alumni Relations. For more information about the Alumni Achievement Awards, visit the MIIS Alumni website.