Low Plaza

Alumni Federation Recognizes Medalists for Distinguished Service to the University

By Colin Morris

This year's Columbia graduates join a rich legacy of alumni who are actively engaged in their diverse communities while maintaining a strong bond to Alma Mater. In honor of this spirit, eleven distinguished alumni received awards for their diligent work from the Columbia University Alumni Federation. Most were given out at the 105th Commencement Day Luncheon on May 21st in Low Library. Speaking at the event will be ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman, CC '86 and SIPA '94, recipient of the 2003 Medal for Excellence.

The following is a profile of the 11 alumni medalists for 2003:

Among his professional accomplishments, Bradley W. Bloch, Engineering '83, and CC '84, has shown steadfast dedication to his alma mater in serving as president of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science's Alumni Association. As president, Bloch has revamped communications, information management and strategies, budgetary practices, and strengthened relations with alumni, faculty and students. Bloch is also president of Athlon Communications, a Manhattan-based consulting firm focusing in strategic communications. Prior to founding Athlon Communications in 1993, Bloch was a freelance journalist whose work appeared in several national publications.

Judith Crist, Journalism '45, began her 22-year career at the New York Herald Tribune a week before her Journalism School graduation, serving successively as a reporter and editor for the arts and film. After working for the Tribune, she served as a critic for a variety of weeklies, monthlies and television outlets, among them the Today Show, New York Magazine and TV Guide. In 1958, she was invited to join the adjunct faculty at the Journalism School and was given the title of adjunct professor in 1964. In 1961, she received a Journalism School alumni award and in 1963 was named to the School's 50th Anniversary Honors List. She has long been active in the School's alumni association as president from 1967-70, as well as a member of the executive committee. In 1998, the School's faculty and alumni presented her with a certificate of appreciation for "forty years of distinguished service."

Ralph Goldstein, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences '76, has served on the Alumni Board of the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences for over 10 years. Through a new alumni database and his construction of a modern desktop-published alumni newsletter, Goldstein helped locate missing alumni. Through appeals for fundraising in support of the Alumni Association, he was instrumental in raising funds for the Association's treasury. Goldstein also created a Web site for alumni with an e-mail page and newsletter archive, which has been incorporated into the Mailman School of Public Health's site. The two alumni associations have since merged. Goldstein is also an associate director of computer applications at Barr Laboratories.

Constance A. Krueger, BC '53, has been a Barnard trustee for the past eight years, serving as vice-chairperson and Executive Committee member. She also chairs the Building, Grounds, and Environmental Committee, helping to steer Barnard's new master plan and physical transformation. Krueger has been a major fundraiser for the college, serving on the national committee that recently concluded the Barnard Campaign. A member of the Task Force on Long-Range Capital for the Board, she has encouraged many classmates and alumnae to make significant contributions.

Gary Rachelefsky, CC '63, has been a member of the Los Angeles Alumni Representative Committee for 25 years, and its chairperson for the last 12. He is currently organizing his 40th reunion in his capacity as class agent, and has aided the Alumni Federation with fund raising and recruitment efforts. He has worked closely with Roger Lehecka and the Office of Alumni Programs in its effort to involve alumni in Columbia activities, especially interviewing, recruiting, and annual giving. Rachelefsky is presently clinical professor and associate director of the Allergy-Immunology Training Program at the Medical School at the UCLA, while maintaining a private practice. Some of his honors include the National Asthma Award for Public Education/Service (NHLBI) and twice being recognized for his teaching of house staff and medical students from the Department of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Sylvia Rosenberg, Social Work '58, has been an active alumna as well as an assistant professor of social work at the School and as a fieldwork supervisor at the Kingsbridge Center of the Department of Social Services. She was also chief psychiatric social worker of Presbyterian Hospital and assistant professor of clinical social sciences at the College of Physicians & Surgeons. In addition, as a private practice owner, she provides psychoanalytic psychotherapy for individuals and couples. A Board Certified Diplomate Emeritus, Rosenberg retired from clinical social work in 1994. For more than three decades, she has been a member of the ongoing committees of the Alumni Association. During the School's Centennial Celebration in 1998 she was an active participant on the Alumni Planning Advisory Committee. As co-chair of the Alumni Student Relations Committee, she developed the Alumni Mentoring Program, which provides services to new graduates. Rosenberg is a member of the Annual Fund's Mary Richmond Society for special donors, an active participant on the Alumni Association Development Committee, and, until recently, a member of the School's Advisory Council.

Co-founder of the French Alumni Club 30 years ago, Jean-Yves Rostoker, Business '71, became a board member of the Columbia Business Club France in the late 1980s and has been president for the past 10 years. Rostoker has since nurtured and developed the club's activities making it one of the most dynamic in Europe. An active participant in the European Business Schools meetings, he has worked to strengthen relationships with other Business School alumni clubs in Europe. He maintains close contact with the US Embassy in France as well as other Ivy League Alumni Clubs and the French business arena at large, enabling active communication and exchange within the Franco-American community. Rostoker founded his own consulting firm in Paris, which focuses on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, international expansion and corporate restructuring.

In 1996, Laraine S. Rothenberg, Law '71, spearheaded the formation of the Alumnae of the Columbia Law School and served as its chair until April 2002. The organization's mission is to support and enhance the professional development of the women of Columbia Law School. Rothenberg was on the organizational committee of the 75th Anniversary of Women at Columbia Law School. She was head of the fundraising committee that raised approximately $ 1.5 million to permanently endow a professorship to recognize the first and only woman dean at the Law School -- Barbara A. Black. Rothenberg is chair of employee benefits and plans, Executive Compensation and Exempt Organizations Department as well as a tax partner, resident in Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen's New York office.

Lucille A. Roussin, GS'69, and GSAS '85, an archaeologist and attorney, has been active in alumni affairs for more than 20 years. While an undergraduate at the School of General Studies, she served on the Committee to grant the Bachelor of Arts degree to GS students as well as the Dean's Search Committee. Roussin served on the Board Alumni Association of GS, and served as president from 1984-86, raising funds for the GS Alumni Association Scholarship. She was honored as one of the ten outstanding women graduates of GS in 1998. Roussin earned her J.D. from the Benjamin M. Cardozo School of Law in 1996 and is best known for her work in the restitution of Holocaust-era looted art.

Over the last ten years, Paul M. Thompson, GSAS '74, '77, has taken an active role in the renewal of the Graduate School of Arts and Science Alumni Association. He served as treasurer, as a member of the Finance Committee, and as the representative to the Federation of Alumni Associations. He has been an officer of the Federation for the last six years, serving as secretary, treasurer, and vice president, and is serving as the alumni representative to the University Senate's Education Committee. At the Federation's annual meeting, he was elected president of the Federation for two years beginning July1. Now retired, Thompson pursued a varied career using his training as a health economist, much of which was spent raising capital funds for hospitals and other healthcare providers through the use of municipal bonds.

In the past ten years, Clyde Y. C. Wu, P&S '56, has been active in promoting medical research exchanges between prominent Chinese medical institutions and Columbia. Through he and his wife Helen's effort, Columbia has reestablished collaboration with Peking Union Medical College, one of the most prestigious Chinese medical institutions, Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine and Shanghai Second Medical University. Wu and his family have endowed three medical fellowships at Columbia. A University trustee, Wu is the chairman of the Health Sciences Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board.

Published: May 21, 2003
Last modified: May 30, 2003


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