Arts and Science Week Award Winners
2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards
The Arts and Science Distinguished Alumni Awards, established in 1984, allow the college to recognize some of its many alumni whose professional contributions have enhanced their respective disciplines and the quality of life for humankind, and in doing so have reflected well on the College of Arts and Science.
Martin E. Sanders
BA ’75 microbiology
Sanders spent his childhood years in Lebanon, Mo. He graduated as valedictorian of Lebanon Public High School and as a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship. Sanders earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a general honors certificate from MU, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his MD degree from the University of Chicago and trained as an intern and resident in internal medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University Medical Center, in St. Louis. He completed fellowships in clinical and basic immunology research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and he completed fellowship training in clinical rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. He is board certified in internal medicine and holds dual sub-specialty board certifications in allergy and clinical immunology and in rheumatology. Following a successful career as an executive of several biopharmaceutical companies, Sanders currently serves as executive chairman and CEO of Io Therapeutics, a privately held company developing novel treatments for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and various cancers. He also is co-founder and executive chairman of Viator Technologies, a cancer diagnostics company developing and commercializing products based on technologies originating at MU.
Early in his career, Sanders made major contributions to basic cell biology and immunology as co-discoverer of the first two described direct intercellular interactions mediated by specific pairs of cell membrane molecules. These discoveries were a major advance in understanding how cells of all types communicate and interact. Sanders made a second major contribution to basic immunology as discoverer of the first described phenotypic markers and functional characteristics of human memory and naïve T-lymphocyte subsets. The distinctions he described are widely used in basic and clinical immunology research in cancer, infectious diseases, vaccines development, and autoimmunity. His seminal work led to the development of several novel treatments for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
Worra has been hailed by Opera News as one of the finest singing actresses today. She has sung over 75 different operatic roles, including 20 world, American, and regional premieres. She was internationally acclaimed for her performances of Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur (Grammy-nominated CD for Best Opera Recording) and as the title role for The Greater Good; Passion of Boule de Suif (Opera News and The New York Times pick for one of the top classical CDs of the year). Her third full opera recording, Glory Denied, was just released by Albany Records and is on the Washington Post’s pick for the Best of 2013. She will be recording her fourth live opera CD, Lizzie Borden, this summer at the Tanglewood Festival at the end of July.
Worra has worked with over 30 opera companies, including The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boston Lyric Opera, Dallas Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and six seasons at both Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. Worra performed on two national tours with San Francisco’s Merola/Western Opera Theatre, singing Violetta in LaTraviata and Rosalinda in DieFledermaus. She gave a debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) and performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist in Britten’s Spring Symphony, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Overseas she has performed as Anne True Love in The Rake’s Progress at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily, and as Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur at The Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (winner of The 2009 Best Opera of Ireland Award).
Worra is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation/Richard F. Gold Career Grant and has a doctor of music degree in vocal performance from Indiana University.
Purple Chalk Teaching Awards
First awarded in 1974, the Purple Chalk Awards allow the Arts and Science Student Council to acknowledge the teaching excellence of select faculty members.
Rachel Harper, Director of The Writing Center
Associate Teaching Professor Nicole Monnier
Assistant Professor Michael Munn
Associate Professor David Schenker
Blue Chalk Advising Awards
Since 1986 the Student Council has honored one or more faculty or professional advisers with the Blue Chalk Awards, designed to pay tribute to the importance of advising in the college.
Associate Teaching Professor Demetrio Anzaldo
Romance Languages and Literatures
Assistant Teaching Professor Douglas Hurt
Green Chalk Teaching Awards
Established in 1987, the Green Chalk Awards allow the Student Council to honor one or more teaching assistants whose work in the classroom has directly benefitted undergraduate education.