Distinguished Honors Alumni

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Since 1997 the Distinguished Honors Alumni Award has annually recognized an outstanding Honors College alumna or alumnus for his or her professional success, contributions to his or her community, contributions to Kent State University, and contributions to the Honors College.


Joseph Duffy

Duffy earned a bachelor of science in chemistry from Kent State University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1990. He graduated magna cum laude and earned graduation with general honors for his undergraduate honors thesis titled "Nitrations and Transfer Nitrations of 2-HALO AND 2, 6-Dihalopyridines." After graduation, Joe pursued graduate study at Harvard University where he earned his doctorate in 1996. Since that time, Dr. Duffy has been at Merck Research Laboratories in Kenilworth, NJ. Merck Research Laboratories is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Joe has served as a research scientist (1996-2007), director of medicinial chemistry (2007-2010), senior director of medicinal chemistry (2010-2012), and, currently, executive director of medicinal chemistry. As executive director of medicinal chemistry, Dr. Duffy is responsible for supervising several preclinical drug discovery teams, providing scientific leadership, and managing interdisciplinary resources. Dr. Duffy has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and is a co-inventor on more than 20 issued or pending United States patents.

Diana Al-Hadid

An internationally known sculptor, Diana Al-Hadid earned a B.A. in Art History and a B.F.A in Art from Kent State University in 2003. She graduated summa cum laude and earned graduation with honors for her thesis “Digital D@d@.” After earning an MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University, she established a studio in Brooklyn, New York. She has served in numerous artist residencies and has had exhibits in such galleries and museums as the Perry Rubinsetin Gallery in New York City, the Michael Janssen Gallery in Berlin, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Contemporary Art Center in Greece, and Populi in Philadelphia. Al-Hadid has been featured in numerous PBS videos including the “Artists in Context” series and two “Art:21” videos. Known primarily for her large-scale sculptures and installations, Al-Hadid is an innovative contemporary artist who draws on various sources of inspiration often using unconventional materials in her work.

Adarsh Krishen

Krishen graduated from Kent State University in 1982 with a degree in chemistry. He went on to earn his M.D. from the Northeast Ohio Medical University (formerly Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine).

Kip A Petroff

Carter Strang, recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Honors Alumni Award.Carter E Strang

Barbara Bardes








Mark Sutter

2009 Recipient

Jeffrey Hammond

2008 Recipient





Sheryl A Tucker

2007 Recipient

Hugh B Stewart

2006 Recipient

Nora C Jacobs

2005 Recipient

Mary Peschel-Herlehy

2004 Recipient

Michael C Kelley

2003 Recipient

Thomas A Stauffer

2002 Recipient

William H Hildebrand

2001 Recipient

Jacquelyn Weygandt White

2000 Recipient

Catherine McMillan Teti

1999 Recipient

Geraldine Wojno Kieffer

1998 Recipient

Edgar L McCormick

1997 Recipient