The inaugural iSchool Alumni Awards & Recognition ceremony was held on September 16 during Syracuse University's Orange Central homecoming weekend.
The Awards & Recognition Program serves to highlight members of the iSchool community and showcase their contributions and talents. This year’s event recognized four iSchool alumni, each selected for their involvement in their community or career field, and their close ties with the iSchool. Nominations are now open for the 2017 awards.
Dean's Award - Bence Oliver '95
This award is the highest honor bestowed by the iSchool, and recognizes an alumnus who has achieved broad attention for extraordinary creativity and advancement of knowledge or technology through application of their iSchool education.
Oliver worked at eBay as Director of International Strategic Sourcing and previously as founder of the company’s Sustainability and Renewable Energy Program, where he coordinated all aspects for multiple renewable energy investments, formalizing the building blocks behind eBay’s commitment towards energy conservation, and chairing eBay’s executive Sustainability Steering Committee. He served as the iSchool’s convocation speaker in 2013.
Bridge to Success Alumni Award - Andrew Farah G'11
The Bridge to Success Award recognizes early career achievement with the potential for continued success.
Farah is the CEO of Density, Inc., a company that has developed a small sensor that measures how busy a location is in real time. Density is an offshoot of his prior venture, Rounded, a digital agency and software development firm that was based in Syracuse. Andrew found his entrepreneurial spirit at the iSchool, taking courses in the School’s Information Technology, Design, and Startups curriculum, and spending time in the Syracuse Student Sandbox developing and launching his venture. Density announced the availability of their sensor product, and closed a $4 million round of Series A venture funding this summer.
Impact of the Year Award - Sue Kowalski G'03
The Impact of the Year Award celebrates an alumnus who makes significant contributions to the iSchool community that include leadership, vision and mentorship.
Throughout her career as a librarian, Kowalski has stayed in close contact with the iSchool, generously giving of her time to participate in information sessions for prospective students, visit classes, supervise interns, and serve as a role model for future librarians. At her school library, she has received recognition from many sources, including a National School Library Program of the Year award from the American Association of School Librarians in 2011, a Teacher Librarian Leadership Award from the Teacher Librarian Journal in 2012, and the I Love My Librarian Award from the New York Library Association in 2012.
Outstanding Alumni Service Award - Neil Winston '14
This award recognizes the service of a volunteer who has had a major impact on the University, its schools, colleges, departments, or faculty, or to the iSchool Alumni Office.
Winston has been active and generous with his time with the regional alumni clubs in Cleveland and Boston, and is a strong supporter and advocate of the iSchool’s experiential learning Road Trip programs. He frequently returns to the iSchool’s career events to recruit students for his company, Cognizant Technology Solutions, where he currently serves as an associate. While a student, he was awarded Outstanding Freshman by iSchool faculty and staff, was a member of the Syracuse University Emerging Student Leaders program, participated in the General Electric Leadership @ Work Conference, the Ernst & Young LAUNCH Program, and received the Undergraduate Service Award at graduation.