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March 12 , 2004

2004 Mary Lyon Award Winners

Photo: Paul Schnaittacher

Mei Hong '92 (left) and Gianna Pedace Allentuck '93

The Mary Lyon Award is given to "a young alumna who has been out of the College fifteen years or less, who demonstrates promise or sustained achievement in her life, profession, or community consistent with the humane values which Mary Lyon exemplified in her life and inspired in others." The citations for the 2004 Mary Lyon Award winners follow.

Gianna Pedace Allentuck '93
We honor you with the Mary Lyon Award for your outstanding volunteerism, particularly your efforts to make a difference in the lives of those stricken by life-threatening illnesses.

When you were diagnosed with cancer, you set a high standard for remaining active and involved. Through all your challenges, your selfless, energetic, helpful nature never wavered. You are a survivor who continues giving back. Your book, Welcome to My Heart, is a wonderful tribute to those who supported you throughout your struggles, and its sales benefit both The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health and Mount Holyoke College.

Going one step further, you and your husband created the not-for-profit Sharing Hearts Organization, Inc., that promotes “self-therapeutic writing for victims and/or families and friends of people battling a chronic or fatal disease.” Your commitment to service and excellence were recognized by the Women’s Information Network with a nomination for the Young Women of Achievement Award in 2002.

You continue to work in the field of health care as operations manager for the consulting firm, Incenter Strategies, Inc. In that capacity, you collaborate on numerous reports in fields such as oncology, cardiology, dermatology, diabetes, and Internet health. Your work has built your expertise in the Food and Drug Administration regulatory process, and assisted start-up biotechnology companies with their business plans. Colleagues praise your tireless efforts, reliability, and cheerful disposition.

We also recognize your excellent service to the College through your dedication to the Mount Holyoke Club in Washington, DC. As secretary and now as president, you consistently go beyond expectations and remain committed to the humane values exemplified by Mary Lyon.

For your generosity of spirit and the inspiration you offer to others, the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College is proud to present you with the Mary Lyon Award.

Mei Hong '92
We honor you with the Mary Lyon Award for your exceptional achievements and contributions in the field of chemistry, especially in the use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the structure and function of biological molecules.

At Mount Holyoke, you majored in chemistry and graduated summa cum laude. You then began graduate work in chemistry at University of California at Berkeley, earning your Ph.D. in 1996. After holding a postdoctoral position at MIT and serving as a research assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, you are now an associate professor of chemistry at Iowa State University, having been awarded tenure after only four years.

Though your career is young, you already have won numerous awards. Among them is the National Science Foundation’s POWRE award, designed to encourage women in the fields of research and education. You also were honored with the NSF’s CAREER award, which recognizes young faculty who are likely to become the academic leaders of the twenty-first century. Most recently, the American Chemical Society awarded you the Pure Chemistry Award, its highest award for young chemists. You have also been invited to speak at prestigious conferences and have been published in important journals.

You have served as the adviser for the Society for Undergraduate Chemistry Majors at Iowa State, and as a role model for women scientists. According to your department chair, you are “destined to be a world leader in the development and application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for structure-function investigations in biological systems.” And your sister alumnae have every confidence that you will further distinguish yourself and blaze new trails in the great tradition of Mount Holyoke women.

The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College is honored to present to you the Mary Lyon Award.


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