The 2020 Alumnae Association Award Winners

Barnard recognized eight extraordinary alumnae whose professional achievements and contributions to the College embody the Barnard spirit.

Headshot of Allegra Happy Haynes

Allegra “Happy” Haynes ’75

Distinguished Alumna Award

Allegra “Happy” Haynes has dedicated 40 years to a career in state and local government. She is currently the executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation and a member of the Mayor’s Cabinet. She served as an at-large member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education and chief community engagement officer for the school district. In addition to her service as a long-term member of the Denver City Council, she has worked as a senior staff member for a lieutenant governor, school superintendent, and three mayors. After earning a political science degree from Barnard and a master’s in public policy from the University of Colorado at Denver, Haynes spent four years in the private sector as a senior associate with the public affairs firm CRL Associates. She’s currently active on a number of boards, including the Colorado Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land, the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities, and the Denver Botanic Gardens, as well as being a founding board member of several organizations, such as the Mile High Youth Corps, Colorado Black Women for Political Action, and the Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Headshot of Cordelia Heaney

Cordelia Heaney ’00 

Millicent Carey McIntosh Award for Feminism

Throughout her career, Cordelia Heaney has worked to promote gender equity and women’s rights in a variety of professional fields, from the nonprofit sector to higher education. She’s currently the executive director of the Compass Center for Women and Families in North Carolina, which provides individuals and families with domestic violence crisis services and financial and professional resources. She served as the executive director of the Office on Women’s Policy for the State of Louisiana and as the director of student leadership and engagement for the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University. In addition to her more than full-time dedication to feminist causes, Heaney has served as president of her Barnard class and as leader of the Barnard Club of the Triangle. She has a B.A. in English from Barnard, an MBA from Tulane, and an MFA in poetry and creative writing from the New School.

Headshot of Florence Mann

Florence Mann ’55

Award for Service to Barnard

As both an undergraduate and graduate, Florence Mann has always “endeavored to support and serve the College, its students, staff, and faculty in its programs, goals, and mission.” She’s worn many hats in her service to Barnard, including Nominating Committee chairperson, Alumni Association trustee, Project Continuum chairperson, member of the Class of 1955 Reunion Committee, and member of the Leadership Assembly and Annual Giving Committee. As class fund chair and class agent, she has been successful in encouraging classmates to donate to the Barnard Annual Fund. During Mann’s 35-year career in education and administration in the NYC Board of Education, she developed, directed, and implemented model staff development programs and facilities for grades K-12 and helped usher in the innovative use of integrated technology as an educational tool with the support of an IBM-funded grant. In addition to her many fundraising efforts, Mann and a fellow classmate led the campaign for the designation of the Millicent Carey McIntosh Terrace and the “Mrs. Mac” student cafeteria in the Diana Center to celebrate and memorialize the legacy of the much beloved former dean and president of Barnard.

Headshot of Jane McGroarty

Jane McGroarty ’65

Award for Service to Barnard

While maintaining a busy architectural practice, Jane McGroarty has played an active role in the Barnard community for many years, serving as the fund chair, class agent, and chair of the Annual Giving Committee. As a member of the Class of 1965 Reunion Committee, she frequently attends Reunions and Barnard events. McGroarty started her career as an employment counselor in a poverty program in the South Bronx before receiving her master’s degree in architecture from the UCLA School of Architecture and Planning in Los Angeles. Upon returning to New York City, she opened her own office in Brooklyn Heights, specializing in architecture and historic preservation. In addition to teaching at the New York Institute of Technology and New Jersey Institute of Technology, she served as president of both the Brooklyn Heights Association and the Architects/Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility. She is currently the treasurer of the Brooklyn chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Headshot of Alicia Hall Moran

Alicia Moran ’95

Distinguished Alumna Award

As an accomplished mezzo-soprano, Alicia Hall Moran weaves together diverse influences, from classical to jazz, into her performances and compositions. She made her Broadway debut in 2012 in the Tony-winning revival of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and starred as Bess in its American tour. Moran has released two critically acclaimed albums, Heavy Blue and Here Today, and frequently tours as a soloist with Bryce Dessner’s Triptych. Moran is currently a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist fellow, a Ford Foundation/Art for Change fellow, and a creative associate at the Juilliard School. She was recently appointed artist faculty at New England Conservatory. She has authored productions including Black Wall Street, Breaking Ice, and The Motown Project. Her past commissions include Carnegie Hall, MoMA, Art Public/Art Basel Miami, and Histories Remixed/Art Institute Chicago. Moran and her husband, Jason Moran, have jointly created works for Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Venice Biennale, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.

Headshot of Jennifer Perusini

Jennifer Perusini ’10

Young Alumna Award

Jennifer Perusini is a neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and co-founder and CEO of Neurovation Labs, Inc., which is a startup that is revolutionizing the way psychiatric disorders are diagnosed and treated. With recent funding from the U.S. Air Force, she and her team are currently developing a patent-pending objective diagnostic test as well as a companion targeted treatment for PTSD. After earning her undergraduate degree in neuroscience and behavior at Barnard, Perusini went on to complete her Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. She has been a lecturer and teaching associate in the psychology departments at UCLA and Barnard. She recently co-founded the PTSD Recovery Foundation of America and is a member of the board of directors of Women in Learning, which is dedicated to the support and advancement of women in science.

Headshot of Bonnie Sirower

Bonnie Fox Sirower ’70

Award for Service to Barnard

Bonnie Fox Sirower has been committed to promoting Barnard since her 10th Reunion, as demonstrated by her long-term service as a class correspondent for 15 years, a class president for five years, and a class agent for 25 years. She has been a regular participant in Barnard Annual Fund Phonathons and frequently attends the Leadership Assembly. After earning a master’s in special education administration from Teachers College, she taught for several years. Sirower later moved into the field of fundraising and has raised more than $35 million for various causes and groups, including Barnard. In 1994, the New Jersey chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives honored her as the Outstanding Fundraising Executive in New Jersey. She served as the first woman president of her Rotary International club as well as the district governor for Bergen/ Passaic and Hudson counties. She’s the recipient of two Rotary fellowships and was named one of 12 White House Rotary Champions of Change in 2013.

Headshot of Margarida Pyles West

Margarida Pyles West ’50

Woman of Achievement Award

In her work as a sociologist, professor, author, and political activist, Margarida Pyles West has been a tireless leader in the struggles for civil and welfare rights in America. She was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and came to the U.S. to attend Barnard. She moved to New Jersey and organized the Presbyterian Church’s involvement in the civil rights movement, earning her an award for her work in “brotherhood.” Dr. West was integral in organizing Friends of Welfare Rights in Newark. While working at Rutgers University, she received her Ph.D. in political sociology and went on to establish the university’s Continuing Education for Women initiative. With the funding she received from a national award, she created the Consortium for Educational Equity. She joined the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies in New York as director of policy advocacy and research, where she worked with both Mayor David Dinkins and Governor Mario Cuomo. She is the author of The National Welfare Rights Movement and co-editor of Women and Social Protest. Her video memoir is included in the Veteran Feminists of America’s Pioneer Histories archive.

To read the awardees’ full bios and view their acceptance speeches, visit

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