Alumni Association to Honor Achievers, Friends

March 17, 2014

The inventor of Flash software and the chemist who published the first nucleotide sequence of the AIDS virus are among those to be honored by the Harvey Mudd College Alumni Association Board of Governors (AABoG) Saturday, May 3. Eight alumni and two staff members have earned some of the College’s most prestigious awards.

Outstanding Alumni

The Board of Governors selected seven alumni—Henry Brady ’69,  Joseph Costello ’74, Jonathan Gay ’89, Ken Livak ’74, Tyrel McQueen ’04, Russell Merris ’64 and George Zimmerman ’69—to receive the Harvey Mudd College 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award. Recipients are selected for their significant contributions to developments in the science and technology fields.

Henry E. Brady ’69 (1)

Henry Brady is dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at UC Berkeley. After graduating from Harvey Mudd with degrees in mathematics and physics, he went on to get a Ph.D. in economics and political science from MIT in 1980. Among his books are Letting the People Decide: Dynamics of a Canadian Election (1992), which won the Harold Innis Award for the best social science book published in Canada, and Rethinking Social Inquiry (2004), which won the Sartori Award for best book on qualitative methods. His most recent book is The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy (2012). He is past president of the American Political Science Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Political Methodology Society. He received the Career Achievement Award of the Political Methodology Society in 2012.

Joseph B. Costello ’74 (2)

Joseph Costello graduated from Harvey Mudd with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, then earned master’s degrees in physics from both Yale and UC Berkeley. Costello founded Electronic Speech Systems and then joined Solomon Design Automation, where he became president and grew the company and its subsidiaries from $10 million to more than $1 billion. He was CEO of think3, a product lifecycle management software and consulting company, and then moved on to become CEO of Orb Networks. Costello was a Harvey Mudd Trustee from 2003 to 2005 and was the College’s 2001 commencement speaker.

Jonathan L. Gay ’89 (3)

Jonathan Gay has a long history of contributing to the computer science and information technology fields. In high school and college, he designed and programmed several prominent computer games (Airborne!, Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle). After graduating from Harvey Mudd with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, he went on to found FutureWave Software, paving the way to eventually create the original Adobe Flash program. He is a cofounder of Greenbox Technology, a clean tech startup that helps consumers understand their energy consumption and conservation possibilities. Gay’s technical contributions have resulted in a range of patents that today enable information sharing across networks and computer platforms.

Kenneth J. Livak ’74 (4)

After graduating from Harvey Mudd with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Kenneth Livak earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University. He was a key contributor on the first commercial system to perform real-time polymerase chain reaction and was among the first to publish the complete nucleotide sequence of the AIDS virus, HTLV-III. Livak has pioneered research that has played a critical role in fighting and treating diseases. As a senior scientific fellow at Fluidigm Corporation, he pioneered novel assays on microfluidic platforms, and he is alliance manager at the Broad Institute, where he researches single-cell genomics. Livak holds 30 issued U.S. patents and has served on Harvey Mudd’s Clinic Advisory Committee and the Corporate Advisory Council of the Keck Graduate Institute.

Tyrel M. McQueen ’04 (5)

Tyrel McQueen is an assistant professor in chemistry and physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvey Mudd and a Ph.D. in chemistry and materials from Princeton University. A recipient of two prestigious fellowships recognizing young faculty members in science and engineering, McQueen did his postdoctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At Johns Hopkins, his laboratory is focused on the design, discovery and synthesis of materials with exotic electronic states that have applications ranging from energy to fundamental science. Particular emphasis is placed on experimentally determining how simple, local interactions give rise to a plethora of emergent phenomena. McQueen and his team elucidate how emergent phenomena, such as superconductivity, arise from local interactions of charge, orbital and spin degrees of freedom. These are, for the first time, allowing the rational design of new materials with improved properties—true materials by design.

Russell L. Merris ’64 (6)

Russell Merris is a professor at California State University, East Bay, where he promotes the beauty of mathematics. A well-rounded educator with degrees in engineering (Harvey Mudd) and mathematics (Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara), he instituted the Challenge—a key test used throughout the CSU system to assess 11th graders’ math readiness. For his contributions in the classroom and beyond, the university twice named him an outstanding professor and, in 2005, he received the Mathematical Association of America’s Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. He has been a Fulbright lecturer and visiting professor and has authored or co-authored more than 110 research papers and written four textbooks.

George B. Zimmerman ’69 (7)

Technology pioneer George Zimmerman graduated with a degree in physics from Harvey Mudd and a master’s degree in astronomy from UC Berkeley. During his career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he developed methods to analyze and model high-energy processes and atomic particle interactions. His research led to the development of the LASNEX inertial confinement fusion computer program, used to design laser fusion targets and to analyze experiments. He is a recipient of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for contributions to national security, the American Nuclear Society’s Edward Teller Award and the Defense Programs Award. Zimmerman is active in the community, serving on the board of Fountainhead Montessori School and as the sound engineer for Belasco Theatre Company.

The AABoG selected Fred Pickel ’74, Liz Baughman and Marisa Fierro to receive special Recognition Awards:

Lifetime Recognition

Fred Pickel ’74 (8)

A former member of the Harvey Mudd Board of Trustees and of the AABoG, Fred Pickel personifies outstanding and sustained dedication to the College. He funded scholarships in honor of his parents—the Hugh and Dorothy Pickel Endowed Scholarship and the Hugh and Dorothy Pickel Annual Scholarship—and has contributed to major campus projects, including the new Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning. Pickel has more than 30 years’ experience in the gas and electric utility industries, as well as with government, in the United States and abroad. He was confirmed as the first ratepayer advocate and executive director of the Office of Public Accountability for the City of Los Angeles in February 2012. He has negotiated and managed some of the first independent power contracts, designed programs for incentive regulation and testified as an expert on contract defaults in international arbitrations. He co-authored the first academic paper on electricity dynamic pricing and its implications for electricity deregulation.

Honorary Alumna

Liz Baughman (9)

For the last 36 years, Elizabeth “Liz” Baughman, senior director of advancement services at Harvey Mudd, has shared her wisdom, commitment and inspirational attitude. She has enthusiastically served and supported Alumni Relations and College Advancement through her contributions in prospect research, donor relations and stewardship, charitable donation processing and special events. Additionally, she has helped to coordinate meetings, to identify HMC community members for service and recognition and to support AABoG committees in developing informational, recruitment and promotional materials. Honorary Alumni are recognized as longstanding friends of the College, having contributed significantly to the betterment of its students and alumni.

Order of the Wart

Marisa Fierro (10)

Marisa Fierro received the Order of the Wart in appreciation for the contributions to the alumni community during her 10-year tenure in Advancement at Harvey Mudd. She helped develop and sustain relationships between the College and its alumni, as well as directed the College’s annual giving program.