The Vanderbilt University Alumni Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2017 alumni award recipients—Stephen Jones, BA’74, MD’78; Joe Martin, BA’64; Doug Parker, MBA’86; and Zakiya Smith Ellis, BS’06. They will be honored Oct. 5 at a special ceremony during Reunion/Homecoming weekend.
“I am proud to recognize each of these honorees. Their professional accomplishments and service to their communities and the university represent the best of our alumni community,” said Jane Ann Gass, BS’74, awards committee chair for the Alumni Association Board.
A retired major general with the U.S. Army, Dr. Stephen Jones will receive the Alumni Volunteer Award. He has dedicated his time and counsel to mentor Vanderbilt ROTC undergraduates and School of Medicine graduates entering military residency programs. He also served on the Vanderbilt Medical Association Alumni Board.
Joe Martin will receive the Alumni Public Service Award. He was a leader for public education in Georgia for 25 years and, while serving the Peace Corps from 2012 to 2015, secured a $6 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide financing for farmers in Macedonia.
Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive officer of American Airlines Group, will receive the Professional Achievement Award for his accomplishments in the airline industry, where he has been credited with record revenue growth and operational performance.
The Young Professional Achievement Award will be presented to Zakiya Smith Ellis, a former senior White House adviser for education. She was twice named to Forbes “30 under 30” list and now serves as strategy director for the Lumina Foundation, where she develops new models for student financial support in higher education.