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Horace Mann Medal

The Horace Mann Medal is given annually to a Brown Graduate School alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions in his or her field, inside or outside of academia. Any graduate of a Brown advanced-degree program is eligible.  The medal is awarded at Commencement exercises in May. 

A nomination should, at a minimum, include a strong supporting rationale for the nomination, expressed in a letter of nomination. Up to two additional supporting letters may also accompany the nomination. All nominations should be made through Brown UFunds (select the Graduate School Academic Honors button). The deadline is November 18, 2019.

The final selection process takes place in late fall, in conjunction with the University's selection of honorary-degree recipients. (Nominations received after the deadline will be considered in the next round of review.) Selection news is announced in May.

Note: Nominators/departments will be expected to assist the Graduate School in hosting the Medalist; guidelines will be provided if selected.

This award was created in 2003 and replaced the Distinguished Graduate School Alumni Award.  

2018-2019 Horace Mann Medal winner:

Sharona Gordon ’90, '94 Ph.D.

As the recipient of the 2019 Horace Mann Medal, Sharona Gordon ’90, '94 Ph.D. embodies the qualities symbolized by this award: academic achievement, leadership and a dedication to students, colleagues, community and profession. The Medal is awarded at Commencement to a Brown University Graduate School alum who has made significant contributions in their field. 

As noted by Anita Zimmerman, Professor and Vice Chair of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology at Brown, “Dr. Gordon is a truly unique and brilliant scientist who has established a reputation as one of the top ion channel biophysicists in the world. Her approach to science is always very creative and yet quantitative and rigorous. She also has a talent for identifying important questions that are both feasible and fundable.”

Gordon will share her knowledge in her Commencement forum titled, “If I’m Not Safe, No Body Is: Science, Power, and Activism in the Age of #MeToo”. It is open to the public and takes place on Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m. in Salomon 001, on the College Green.

Gordon is an accomplished educator with over 20 years of teaching and research experience. She is currently a Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, where she was promoted from both assistant and associate professorships. She has also served as an Assistant Professor of Physiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. As a postdoc, she worked as a Senior Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UW on structure and function of cyclic nucleotide gated ion channels involved in sensory transduction.

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Previous Medal Recipients