RISD Alumni Awards 2021

Alumni Association Awards

The RISD Alumni Association will honor the 2021 + 2022 Alumni Award recipients at Commencement + Reunion Weekend 2022 (June 3–5, 2022).

About the Awards

The RISD Alumni Association honors alumni who, through their work, exemplify RISD’s core values and positively impact their communities. The Alumni Association Awards Committee issues an annual call for nominations to the RISD community and decides who will receive the awards each year. 

Nominations for the 2022 Alumni Awards are now open! You can submit your nominations through January 15, 2022. Recipients of the awards will be announced later this spring.

The Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf Visionary Award

The Helena Adelia Rowe Metcalf Visionary Award. This award is the highest award by the RISD Alumni Association and honors Helen Metcalf, the founder of RISD, her visionary spirit, and civic generosity. The award recognizes alumni who have achieved outstanding distinction in their life’s work in a professional field, or in community, public or humanitarian service. 


The Emerging Leader Award

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes alumni who graduated within the past 10 years, who have made significant achievements and contributions to their profession and/or community, think boldly, mindfully and creatively, and have helped to create new fields of study or contributed to fundamental change in their area of practice.


The Art and Design Educator Award

The RISD Art + Design Educator Award recognizes alumni who demonstrate exceptional skills as an educator or a clear commitment to the field of art education, and are recognized by their peers and students as having shown those qualities that most encourage students to learn and thrive creatively.


The RISD Serves Award

The RISD Serves Award recognizes alumni who have achieved distinction through significant contributions and voluntary service to improving the lives of others over a sustained period of time. The award recognizes the values of service and civic responsibility that reflect RISD’s core values.


Awards Committee

The Awards Committee solicits nominations and nominates alumni for outstanding leadership and service in a variety of categories. The committee also oversees the administration of the awards program and honors awardees in an annual recognition event. Recognizing alumni achievements is intended to promote and celebrate the meaningful work of alumni, inspire the community, and foster a culture of engagement with and philanthropy towards RISD.

President, Alumni Association
Rex Wong BArch 03

Award Committee Members
Aimee Dixon Anthony 90 AP
Georgie Stout 89 GD

2021 Alumni Award Recipients

Renata Fenton 06 ID and Enrique Lomnitz 06 ID
RISD Serves

Fenton is co-founder, design-engineer and design director and Lomnitz is co-founder, industrial designer and general director for Isla Urbana, an organization that harvests rainwater for water supply in Mexico. They identify ways to design socially and environmentally responsible decentralized systems, alternative water technologies and capacity development for low-income communities. Their work brings clean water to schools, households and health clinics. These sustainable efforts aim to serve approximately 12 million people who do not currently have access to clean water. They have installed more than 21,000 rainwater harvesting systems serving approximately 200,000 people throughout Mexico. The systems reduce the energy consumption of delivering water to communities by truck, and create sustainability and resilience in water access in the most difficult contexts.

Yelitsa Jean-Charles 16 IL
Emerging Leader Award

Jean-Charles is the CEO and founder of Healthy Roots Dolls, a multicultural children’s toy company celebrating the beauty of our diversity. Healthy Roots Dolls first line of products empower young girls to love their natural hair through hairplay. Jean-Charles has won the Startup Stampede, New Voices Fund Pitch competition, participated in the Backstage Capital Accelerator program and was awarded the first Main Street Ventures Wendy S. Lea Female Founders Grant. In 2019, Healthy Roots Dolls took First Place and People's Choice at the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day. Jean-Charles is a 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Honoree. Her mission is to make sure everyone loves their healthy roots.

Brian Selznick 88 IL
Helena Adelia Rowe Metcalf Visionary Award

Selznick is a world-renowned author and illustrator. He created the book The Invention of Hugo, which won the Caldecott Medal and was the basis for the Oscar-winning movie Hugo. He has also written and illustrated Wonderstruck, which was made into a movie for which he authored the screenplay. Other illustrated books include The Marvels, The Doll People, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins and Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride. Selznick wrote a new version of the Nutcracker for Christopher Wheeldon at the Joffrey Ballet, created new cover art for the Harry Potter series for its 20th anniversary and is collaborating with Wheeldon and Ryan Scott Oliver to adapt The Invention of Hugo into a musical. Selznick’s most recent illustrated book Live Oak, With Moss, offers a visual narrative of Walt Whitman’s poems exploring same-sex love.  

Stephanie Silverman 04 FD
RISD Art + Design Educator Award

Silverman chairs the Fine Art Department at Archmere Academy and has served on the boards of the Delaware Art Education Association and the Delaware Foundation for the Visual Arts. Silverman's students have won over 1,000 awards in the national Scholastic Art Awards program and over $2 million in scholarships. She earned National Board Certification in Early Adolescence-Young Adulthood Art Education (K-12) and holds three instructional licenses. Her awards include the NAEA National Eastern Region Secondary Art Educator of the Year, Delaware’s Secondary Art Educator of the Year, the Diane Taylor Foxman Award for Excellence in Art Education and RISD's Tage Frid Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Past Alumni Association Award Recipients

2020

2019

2018

  • David Hanson 96 FAV Professional Achievement Award

2017

  • Roz Chast 77 PT Professional Achievement Award

2016

  • Bunny Harvey 67 PT/ MFA 72 Professional Achievement Award

2015

  • Miriam Beerman 45 PT Professional Achievement Award

2014

  • Hildegard Vasquez BArch 94 Professional Achievement Award

2013

  • Tamara Kaplan MAT 00 Art and Education Award

2012

  • Nicholas Felton 99 GD Business of Design Award

2011

  • Katie Salen MFA 92 GD Art and Education Award

2010

  • Deidre Scherer 67 AE Artistic Achievement Award

2009

  • Liz Collins 91 TX/MFA 99 Art and Education Award

2008

  • Walter Lorraine 52 AD Professional Achievement Award

2007

  • Nat Hesse 76 SC Service and Leadership Award

2006

  • Jeffrey Yan BArch 01 Art and Education Award
  • Julie Mehretu MFA 97 PT/PR Artistic Achievement Award
  • DEZCO Entrepreneurial Award
  • Barbara O'Brien MFA 90 PH Professional Achievement Award
  • Philip Trammell Siebert, Jr. (deceased) 67 IA Service and Leadership Award

2005

  • Laura Owens 92 PT Artistic Achievement Award
  • James C. Childress BArch 78 Professional Achievement Award
  • Franz Werner Art of Education Award
  • Jarrett J. Krosoczka 99 IL Service and Leadership Award

2004 

  • Christopher Bing 83 IL Artistic Achievement Award
  • Oren Sherman 78 IL Professional Achievement Award
  • risd/works Business of Design Award
  • Henry Horenstein 71 PH/ MFA 73 Art of Education Award
  • Anthony Belluschi BArch 66 Service and Leadership Award

2003

  • Janine Antoni MFA 89 SC Artistic Achievement Award
  • Steven Kellogg 63 IL Professional Achievement Award
  • Charles Stone III 88 IL Business of Design Award
  • David Paolino 74 IL/MAE 75 Art of Education Award
  • C. Dave Thomas MFA 74 PR Service and Leadership Award

2002

  • Ed Neubauer BArch 92 Service and Leadership Award
  • Tyler Smith 66 GD Business of Design Award
  • Stephen Saunders MAE 84 Art of Education Award
  • Tim Hunter 98 ID Fine Arts Achievement Award

2001

  • Mark Goodkin 87 PT Alumni Volunteer Award
  • Margot Livingston 95 IL Service and Leadership Award
  • Colgate Searle 71 LA Art of Education Award

2000

  • Nancy Davis 79 PH Alumni Volunteer Award
  • David Jaacks BArch 93 Business of Design Award
  • Susan Barbieri Montgomery 71 AE/MAE 78 Service and Leadership Award

1999

  • Sylvia Arnold BArch 80 Alumni Volunteer Award
  • Peter Niemitz BArch 76 Business of Design Award
  • Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges 66 IL Art of Education Award
  • Giancario Ronci Service and Leadership Award

1995

  • Lorraine Howes Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Steven Whitten Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Bud Greenwald (deceased) Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Jackie Rice Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Jocelyn Hobbie 91 PT Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1994

  • Michael Fink Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Carolina Calderin (deceased) Alumni Service Award
  • Maria Tulokas MAE 74/ MFA 76 PR Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Joshua Yeldham 92 FAV Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1993

  • Anita Teto Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Paul Timmons Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • C. George Taylor (deceased) Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Dana Newbrook BArch 63 Alumni Service Award
  • Jim Barnes BArch 69 Faculty Member of the Year Award

1992

  • Nancy Hastings Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Philip Briggs BArch 64 (deceased) Alumni Service Award
  • Jack Massey Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Zachary Stratis 87 FAV Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1991

  • Murray S. Danforth Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Ann Finkbeiner & James Carlin Walker Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Luigi Bianco 69 TX (deceased) Alumni Service Award
  • Ken Hunnibell 69 ID/ MAE 72 (deceased) Faculty Member of the Year Award

1990

  • Adelaide Hawkins Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Marjorie and Robert Catanzaro Distinguished Citizen Award
  • W. Bruce Tillinghast 68 GD Alumni Service Award
  • John Udvardy Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Emily Lisker 86 PT Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1989

  • J. Malcolm Grear Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Honorable Claiborne Pell Distinguished Citizen Award
  • John McCrillis 39 GD Alumni Service Award
  • Gregor Goethals Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Allison Druin 85 GD Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1988

  • Joanne Lynch Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • IBM Distinguished Citizen Award
  • John Davison Allen BArch 68 (deceased) Alumni Service Award
  • C. Warren Luther BArch 49 (deceased) Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Michael Leva 83 AD Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1987

  • Charles Moccio Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Barnet and Jean Fain Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Linda Joy Goldner 73 GD Alumni Service Award
  • Hardu Keck MFA 64 PT Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Geoffrey Adams 83 FAV Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award
  • Erminio Pinque 83 IL Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1986

  • Franklin W. Robinson Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Daphne Farago Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Dick Jones 51 GD (deceased) Alumni Service Award
  • Yvonne Anderson MAE 92 Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Christopher Osgood MFA 85 SC Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1985

  • Bayard Ewing Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • The Louis A Fazzano Family Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Steven Branfman MAE 75 Alumni Service Award
  • Michael Fink Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Donald Friedlich 82 JM Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1984

  • Tyler Smith 66 GD Alumnus of the Year
  • Al Falk Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • The Providence Journal Company Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Erma Leavitt 44 PT Alumni Service Award
  • Lorraine Howes Faculty Member of the Year Award
  • Steven Umbach 80 ID Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1983

  • Carolyn Hawes Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Corning Glass Works Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Peter Meserol 66 ID (deceased) Alumni Service Award
  • Ron Chatalbash 81 IL Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award

1982

  • Gordon Allen (deceased) Honorary Alumnus/na Award
  • Virginia Lynch (deceased) Distinguished Citizen Award
  • Reno Shope, Wharton Assoc. Young Alumnus/na Achievement Award
  • Robert Reno BArch 78
  • Bernard Mapes Wharton BArch 78
  • Allan Palmer Shope BArch 78