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Distinguished Young Alumna Award Winners

Established in 2009, the Distinguished Young Alumna Award recognizes a member of the 5th, 10th, or 15th Reunion Year Class whose accomplishments since graduation have been extraordinary.

 

 

Das Thakur

Meghna Das Thakur '04 received the Distinguished Young Alumna Award at Reunion 2014. Das Thakur graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hollins with a degree in biology. She received her doctorate in molecular genetics and genomics from Washington University in St. Louis. She was a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Novartis, where she continues her cancer research. She hassuccessfully identified and devised innovative therapeutic strategies to combat drug resistance and cancer progression now being clinically tested. 

Culp
Brandy S. Culp '98 received the Distinguished Young Alumna Award at Reunion 2013. Culp earned a master’s degree from the Bard Graduate Center in New York. As curator of the Historic Charleston Foundation’s collection of fine and decorative arts, she is responsible for obtaining and preserving the collection, which contains more than 4,000 items ranging from portraits to silverware to furniture. She co-authored and edited the book Grandeur Preserved: The House Museums of Historic Charleston. She is the author of articles for publications such as Antiques and Fine Art magazine, and gives local and national lectures for antiques forums and arts advocate groups. She has even led tours of the Hollins campus for prior Reunions, tours of Charleston for the Hollins 1842 Society weekend, and hosted Hollins interns at the Historic Charleston Foundation.

Wannamaker

Wannamaker

Catherine Moore Wannamaker '96 received the Distinguished Young Alumna Award on November 10, 2012, during Hollins' annual 1842 Society Weekend, this year held in Atlanta. Wannamaker was honored for her extraordinary accomplishments since graduation in the fields of law and environmental advocacy. Wannamaker majored in biology at Hollins and studied under Professors Renee Godard and F. Harriet Gray. She went on to earn her master’s degree in biology from North Carolina State University and in 2003 received her law degree from Stanford University. She served three years as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, where she was a member of the professional staff of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries. Since 2008, Wannamaker has been a senior attorney and lead litigator at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Atlanta. > Read more

Potter

At Reunion 2012, Hollins presented the Distinguished Young Alumna Award to Lillian Potter '97. Potter is a globe-trotting attorney who works with a wide variety of clients, from major multinational corporations to migrant agricultural guestworkers. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Hollins, Potter received her law degree at Georgetown. She was then awarded the prestigious Skadden Fellowship, a program described as the “legal Peace Corps,” which allowed her to represent migrant farmworkers in federal employment litigation. She is an expert in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, representing major corporations involving the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She maintains an active pro-bono practice in Washington, D.C.

Connolly

Connolly

The Distinguished Young Alumna Award was presented to Allison Connolly '00 at Reunion 2010. A Hollins Scholar, Connolly graduated summa cum laude with a double-major in French and Spanish. She then earned her master's and Ph.D. in French and Francophone literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where as a teaching fellow and course coordinator she won the prestigious Tanner Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. In 2007 she joined Centre College as assistant professor of French. After only two years at Centre she was presented the Kirk Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has served Hollins as class reporter, admissions volunteer, and a speaker at the Hollins Abroad-Paris 50th Reunion. She will serve as the director for the Centre-in-Strasbourg program for 2010-2011 in Strasbourg, France.

Votypka

Votypka

Veronica Votypka '99 received the inaugural Distinguished Young Alumna Award at Reunion 2009. She has risen through the ranks of television production starting with a Hollins internship at the local ABC television network affiliate. She went on to production jobs at The Evening News with Dan Rather, 60 Minutes, Charlie Rose, and now with The Oprah Winfrey Show. She won a business news Emmy for her work as associate producer with Charlie Rose. Her current work on Oprah involves developing show ideas, scouting talent, finding guests for the show, interviewing them in the field, and editing their stories.