The purpose of this award is to recognize alumni who have achieved significant levels of accomplishment in the early to middle stages of their careers. It is designed to publicly acknowledge these “rising stars” who have exhibited exceptional talent and promise.
Achievement in Humanities
Katherine Sharp Landdeck (’02) earned a PhD in history and worked at the Center for the Study of War and Society while enrolled in graduate studies. She is an associate professor of history at Texas Women’s University with a research focus in public history. She has been recognized globally for her expertise on the Women Air Force Service Pilots of World War II, including work with the media and in documentary films.
Katherine was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work as Contributing Producer and Historian on the film “Silver Wings, Flying Dreams: The Complete Story of the Women Air Force Service Pilots.” Other documentary film work includes as historian on the PBS station KERA’s Emmy-winning film “High Hopes” and the Gracie Award-winning film “We Served Too.”
Achievement in Performing Art
Conrad Ricamora (’12) received his MFA in theatre and in the five years since, has distinguished himself as an artistic talent, playing major roles on and off Broadway and on television. Conrad’s most visible and current work is as the featured character, Oliver Hampton, on ABC’s hugely successful legal series, How To Get Away With Murder, starring Academy Award winner Viola Davis. He has also just completed reprising his breakout role as Ninoy Aquino in a new production of the musical Here Lies Love, by David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim, for which he received a Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical. Conrad is also a generous and eloquent supporter of UT and the Department of Theatre.
Humanities Achievement Award
George Demacopoulos (’92) completed a bachelor’s degree in history at UT and a master’s degree in theological studies (with highest honors), at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1995. He went on to complete a master’s degree and a doctorate in religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the founding director of Fordham University’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center which is now a major research institute devoted to the history and culture of Orthodox Christianity.
Social Sciences Achievement Award
Cortney Piper (’03) earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. A member of the UT swim team, she was named to the Academic All-SEC team and the Lady Vol Honor Roll. She has been recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 in Knoxville, and is a member of the Political Science Advisory Board. Since 2008, she has served as president and founder of the Knoxville-based firm, Piper Communications, which specializes in clean energy communications consulting in the private and public sectors.
Humanities Achievement Award
Chad Goldman (’93), who received a bachelor’s degree with a major in Spanish, is chief creative officer for OmniForce LLC, headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in four countries. The company and its subsidiaries, RaceForce LLC and CauseForce LLC, provide strategic marketing, sponsorship acquisition and production support, publicity, planning, logistics, training, and charitable components for athletic events.
Visual and Performing Arts
Kristin Lewis (’02), who received a master’s degree in music, is an internationally known operatic soprano. She formed the Kristin Lewis Foundation which provides scholarship funding for a promising vocal student to study for a week in Vienna, Austria.