Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni Award

We are very proud to announce the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Taylor Kaminsky!

Honors Distinguished Alumni Award Talk
Friday, October 1st @ 6:00
Click the Zoom link below to join:


2021 - Taylor Kaminsky works for the National Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE) of the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In this role, Kaminsky is part of a national effort to support programs that provide nutritional incentives to help families access more nutritious produce. She is committed to areas of food equity that create community-driven programs and increase access in longstanding food deserts. As a college student receiving a B.A. in Spanish Linguistics with minors in Business and Latin American Studies in 2016, Taylor was always fascinated by food, language, culture and the ways in which they intersect. Through her experiences studying at Temple and working in low-income, low-access neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, she learned about urban agriculture and became involved with local community organizations, including community supported agriculture (CSA’s) and farmers markets. Outside of work, Taylor enjoys yoga, cooking and exploring local farmers markets in Houston, TX. 

About the Temple Honors Distinguished Alumni Award:

The Temple Honors Distinguished Alumni Award is for an alumna or alumnus of the Temple University Honors Program who has continued to embody the key pillars in the mission statement of the program - to be intellectually curious, socially courageous, and to uphold the values of integrity and leadership. The achievements of Temple University Honors Alumni are as diverse as the pathways that led them there, so recipients of this award may be working in any field, enrolled in an educational program, serving in a volunteer organization, or any combination of the three.

All are welcome to nominate, including self nominations, for the Temple Honors Distinguished Alumni Award. Candidates will be contacted to inform them that they have been nominated and will have the opportunity to submit materials to support their nomination, such as CV, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.  

2020-2021 Nomination Form


  • Must have graduated from Temple University

  • Must have been a member of the Honors Program for at least 2 years

  • Must be out of the program for at least 2 years before considered for award

  • Candidate must be able to attend the banquet (no posthumous awards will be given)

  • Show examples of  intellectual curiosity and social courage within their daily life

  • Has gone above and beyond to show strong leadership and integrity in their field

Selection Process:

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given by the Temple University Honors Alumni Council to a deserving member of the alumni community. Any member of the alumni community, as well as Honors faculty and staff, may nominate an individual for this award. The Honors Alumni council reviews all materials submitted and selects the candidate that is most deserving of the award for that year. If the Council can not come to an agreement, an outside committee of Honors stakeholders will decide the winner.  All nomination information is kept confidential.

Nomination Packet:

The Distinguished Alumni Award Nominee has the opportunity to put together a packet of information for the selection committee. The packet should include:

  • A current Resume or Curriculum Vita

  • Personal Philosophy- Should make clear why the nominee is a good candidate for the Honors Distinguished Alumni Award, considering the following questions:

    • In what ways has the candidate continued to uphold the Temple Honors mission statement?

    • In what ways has the candidate continued to uphold the values of Temple University?

  • Any extra supporting materials up to 20 pages (letters of recommendation, selected publications, examples of work, etc.)

Past Temple Honors Distinguished Alumni Award Winners:

2020 - Maddie Luebbert has worked for the School District of Philadelphia for three years. An English teacher at Kensington Health Sciences Academy, a neighborhood high school, Luebbert also organizes outside of the classroom with the Caucus of Working Educators. They are an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in Philadelphia's schools, and they have led Queering the Classroom professional development sessions over a dozen times for School District teachers and administrators as well as students at Penn's Graduate School of Education. The most important part of the work, though, is learning with young people in Kensington to build understanding of the world in which we live, and imagine one that is just and affirming. Luebbert was named one of Billy Penn's "Who's Next in Education?" in 2019. When they aren't teaching, or thinking about teaching, Luebbert is likely at home in Kensington with their partner Liz (another Temple Honors grad), reading on the couch with their dog, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (Brownie for short). 

2019 - Robert Berry has spent the past five years with the Department of Homeland Security, working with refugees and asylum seekers. In his current position he creates trainings to help adjudications officers understand their role; his experience in the field, in Jordan and Turkey, shaped his understanding of how to be “an agent for inclusion of the world’s most vulnerable people.” Berry graduated from Temple University in 2008 with degrees in religion and Asian studies, minors in political science and Japanese and a certificate in Arabic. He was a Fulbright Scholar, studying in Jordan and Oman, and then earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University. And now he commutes to campus from D.C. once a week to teach "Forced Migration," an upper level political science course in...Temple Honors! Read the Temple News article on Berry here.

2018 - Dr. Mena Mark Hanna currently serves as the Founding Dean and a Professor of Musicology and Composition at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, Germany. Seeing a need to “decolonize” classical music, Hanna is helping to implement a curriculum of the humanities within the school’s music degree programs. Hanna received his Bachelor of Music in Music Composition and graduated Summa Cum Laude. While at Temple, Hanna was awarded the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which funded his graduate education at Oxford University. Hanna earned a PhD in Music Composition & Critical Writing for his thesis, “Towards a Structural Theory of Coptic Chant.” For more information on Dr. Hanna, see the full press release.