Alumnae Award Winners

The Alumnae Association of Barnard College recognizes 11 women for their outstanding careers and volunteer contributions

By Abigail Beshkin

Woman of Achievement

Laurie Anderson ’69

Internationally acclaimed performance artist, composer, and musician considered a pioneer in electronic music…Works include United States Live (1983), Empty Places (1990), The Nerve Bible (1995), Songs and Stories From Moby Dick (2000), and an orchestra, Songs for Amelia Earhart (2000)…NASA’s first artist in residence, culminating in her 2004 performance The End of the Moon…Recent pieces include Homeland and Delusion…Contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme; to dance pieces by Bill T. Jones and Trisha Brown…Collaborated with Interval Research Corporation on creative tools, including the Talking Stick…Her Self-Playing Violin was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art…Awards include 2007 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for outstanding contribution to the arts...Currently artist in residence at UCLA and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Young Alumna

Elizabeth Kennedy ’99

Associated Press South Asia news director based in New Delhi…Previously AP bureau chief for Lebanon and Syria based in Beirut; prior to working in Beirut, was AP’s East Africa bureau chief in Nairobi…Began her AP career in 2000 in Trenton, N.J., and later became an editor on the AP’s national and international desks in New York…Winner of the AP’s Gramling Award for outstanding staff members and 2012 journalism award for her role in covering Syria’s civil war

McIntosh Award for Feminism

Leslie Calman ’74

CEO of Engineering World Health…Former executive director of the Mautner Project, a lesbian-health organization…Member, executive committee of the board of the National Coalition for LGBT Health…From 2005–2007, vice president for external relations at the International Center for Research on Women…Executive vice president at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund from 1998–2005…Author of two books on social movements in India…Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, 1991–1998

Nancy Biberman ’69

Founder and director of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, providing housing, job training, and other services in the Bronx…Conceived, financed, and built Intervale Green, the nation’s largest multifamily, Energy Star–certified, affordable housing complex, and Urban Horizons, housing created in a renovated hospital…Graduate of Rutgers Law School…In 1976, member of a legal team that won the first class-action suit for access to the court system and police protection for battered women

Service to Barnard

Ruth Musicant Feder ’49

Longtime volunteer, serving as alumnae class president, chair of the Leadership Council committee, and vice president/Reunion chair for her class leading up to its 50th reunion…Former member, AABC board and President’s Advisory Council…Served several terms on the Annual Giving committee…Two-time cochair, the annual benefit for the Barnard division of Everybody’s Thrift Shop…Regular phonathon participant

Margarita (Ari) Brose ’84

Fund chair for 15th reunion, when the class set a record for contributions…Past president, AABC…Former trustee, serving for two years as Audit committee chair…Served on the Athena Leadership Council advisory board…Chaired AABC Careers committee…In 1996 was the youngest donor to date to set up an endowed scholarship fund…In 2003 offered a challenge grant to encourage participation in the Senior Fund…Recipient of the Columbia University Medal for Service and the Columbia Varsity Athletics Alumni Award…Undergraduate captain of the first joint Columbia-Barnard women’s cross-country and track-and-field teams and a founder of a cappella group Bacchantae

Georgianna Pimentel Contiguglia ’64

Newly elected class president…Alumnae admissions representative in Colorado for more than 10 years…Vice president/Reunion chair for the five years leading to her 30th reunion…Regular service on class planning and fund-raising committees for Reunion…Chaired class nominating committee for two five-year cycles…Member, national committee of the Campaign for Barnard…Former AABC director at large…Curator and former president and CEO, Colorado Historical Society

Amy Lai ’89

Worked with classmates to provide stipends for summer internships on Wall Street, then established the Amy Lai ’89 Internship Fund…Alumnae member of the board of trustees, 2001–2005…Former member of the President’s Advisory Council…Member, AABC Awards committee; inspiring speaker at the 2001 Torchbearers reception…In 2008, cohosted the student-alumnae event marking National Coming Out Day…Speaker at the Reunion 2012 LGBTQ Tea…Recent cofounder, Edex Recovery Solutions investment advisory firm

Distinguished Alumna

Sheila Abdus-Salaam ’74

Associate judge, New York State Court of Appeals, state’s highest court…Prior to that, judge in the State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, beginning in 2007…Graduate, Columbia Law School…Joined Brooklyn Legal Services, then became assistant attorney general in the New York State attorney general’s civil rights bureau…General counsel, New York City Division of Labor Services…In 1991, elected to the New York City Civil Court; in 1993, to the State Supreme Court…Former vice president, Columbia Law School Board of Visitors…Honors: Columbia Law School BLSA Distinguished Alumni Award; Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility…Served on the boards of several organizations, including Harlem Legal Services

Beth Seidenberg ’79

General partner since 2005 at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a life sciences venture-capital firm…MD from University of Miami…Former vice president of Merck Research Laboratories…In 1999 named senior vice president for global development at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute…In 2002 moved to Amgen, Inc., where she became senior vice president for development and chief medical officer…Named a Woman to Watch by Fortune magazine in 2004…Member, Barnard’s Science Advisory Council; from 2005–2010, member of Barnard’s board of trustees

Distinguished Alumna

Louise Heublein McCagg ’59

Internationally renowned sculptor…Solo exhibitions around the world include shows at the Center for Creative Arts, Michigan State University; A.I.R. Gallery and the Sculpture Center, New York; Nippon Kan Theater, Seattle; Petofi Museum of Literature and Saint Stefan Museum, Budapest; and Handlung, Hamburg…In 2009, collaborated with Hungarian filmmaker Peter Forgacs on a multimedia project presented at the Venice Biennale…Collaborator with South African artist Senzeni Marasela in a performance and exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery in 2010…Supporter of the visual arts program at Barnard, establishing the Louise Heublein McCagg ’59 Gallery in The Diana Center…Former member of the College’s Arts Advisory Council