Distinguished Alumna Andrea D. Lyon, LC’73, Dean of Law School in Indiana, Is an Expert in Death-Penalty Defense

Andrea Lyon, 2006Valparaiso University in Indiana tapped Rutgers alumna Andrea D. Lyon to lead its law school as dean starting in June 2014, underscoring the growing importance of hands-on training in legal education.

Lyon, a capital defense attorney and academic clinician, is a 1973 graduate of Rutgers University’s Livingston College and a 2006 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award given by the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA). Read more about Lyon in a November 20, 2013, profile from The Indiana Lawyer.

Here’s how the LAA saluted Lyon in 2006: “In his widely publicized speech in 2003 pardoning several innocent death row prisoners and commuting all death sentences to life imprisonment, then-Governor James Ryan of Illinois singled out for praise DePaul University Law Professor Andrea Lyon, who has spent her career trying capital cases. According to Ryan, Lyon and her students at the Death Penalty Legal Clinic saved the life of inmate Madison Hobley. Lyon is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director, Center for Justice in Capital Cases at DePaul University College of Law. She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of death penalty defense and is a frequent speaker on the topic at legal education conferences around the United States.” 

In 2016, Lyon spoke with The New York Times about Valparaiso University’s challenges in a changing market for law school education.

Watch a short (1:17) video saluting Lyon in 2006 (above), or open the video in a new window.

Pictured: Andrea Lyon at the 2006 Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Frank Carvill, LC’75, National Guard Sergeant, Killed in Iraq in 2004; Honored Posthumously as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus

Frank CarvillSgt. Francis T. (Frank) Carvill (LC’75) of Carlstadt, NJ, 51, a member of the New Jersey National Guard serving in Iraq, was killed June 4, 2004, when his convoy was ambushed by a roadside explosive device in the Shiite district of Sadr City in Baghdad. He was one of five soldiers killed in that attack, during which three other New Jerseyans were wounded. 

In 2004 the Livingston Alumni Association of Rutgers University posthumously honored Carvill as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus.

Sgt. Carvill and the other soldier, Spc. Christopher Duffy, 26, were the first New Jersey National Guard servicemen to die in the Iraq war. The two men, from the 112th Field Artillery unit based in Lawrenceville, Mercer County, were part of Task Force Baghdad, made up primarily of elements of the Texas-based 1st Cavalry Division, said division spokesman Lt. Col. James Hutton. Two other New Jersey National Guardsmen were killed in a similar ambush the following day.

According to his sister, Peggy Ligouri, Carvill had survived both terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. On September 11, 2001, he was working in the North Tower as a paralegal for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He was helping a co-worker with a disability get into a van to go to a court appearance in Brooklyn when he saw the first plane hit the building.

Carvill was the second Livingston College alumnus killed in Iraq. Seth Dvorin (LC’02) was killed March 3, 2004.

  • Star-Ledger coverage
    • Friend, Patriot, Good Man to All
    • Fallen Heroes
  • New York Times coverage
  • Associated Press coverage (via Newsday and Home News Tribune)

Distinguished Alumnus and Loyal Son Greg Brown, LC’82, Is a Leader on Rutgers’ Board of Governors

Gregory Brown and Michael BeachemGregory Q. Brown, LC’82, named as a Distinguished Alumnus of both Livingston College and Rutgers University, is a member of Rutgers’ Board of Governors as of 2021, and previously served as Chairman of the Board of Governors.

In 2011, the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) of Rutgers University named Brown as a Distinguished Alumnus. He had been inducted into Rutgers’ Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2010.

Additionally, in 2016 Brown was honored by the Rutgers Alumni Association as a Loyal Son of Rutgers.

Brown is chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola Solutions, Inc. Brown joined Motorola in 2003 and was elected to the company’s board of directors in 2007. He became president and CEO of Motorola in January 2008. 

He has been a loyal supporter of Rutgers University in many ways. In addition to his service on the Board of Governors, his contributions to the university include:

  • Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, which ended with the appointment of Robert L. Barchi as Rutgers’ 20th president, effective September 1, 2012.
  • Serving as keynote speaker at the University’s 2012 Commencement, at which he was named the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
  • Hosting the 2013 Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala.
  • Donating $2.5 million toward construction of the Brown Football Recruiting Lounge and Welcome Center at SHI Stadium (formerly Rutgers Stadium) in Piscataway.
  • Serving as a former member of Rutgers’ Board of Trustees and Board of Overseers.
  • He and his wife, Anna, in 2020 committed $1 million in support of Rutgers’ Scarlet Promise Grants.

At Livingston College, Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1982. Brown is an active member of the civic and business communities. He is a member of the Business Council, Business Roundtable, Technology CEO Council, Commercial Club of Chicago and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital board. He is also on the executive committee of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) and is a member of the CEO Forum.

Before becoming CEO of Motorola, he headed four different businesses at the company, including the government and public safety, networks, enterprise and automotive businesses. Brown also led the $3.9 billion acquisition of Symbol Technologies, the second-largest transaction in Motorola’s history and an important strategic move to strengthen Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility business. 

Prior to joining Motorola, he was chairman and CEO of Micromuse Inc., a publicly traded network management software company. Before that, he was president of Ameritech Custom Business Services and Ameritech New Media Inc. Prior to joining Ameritech in 1987, Brown held a variety of sales and marketing positions with AT&T.

Photo and video: Livingston Alumni Association President Michael Beachem (at right in photo) presents the Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Award to Gregory Q. Brown on Dec. 14, 2011, at Winants Hall, on Rutgers’ College Avenue campus in New Brunswick. (Or open the video in a new window.)

Distinguished Alumnus and Physician Jessie J. Hanna, LC’07, Provides Support in the Battle Against Cancer, in Memory of His Brother

Jessie J. HannaPhysician and pediatric cancer researcher Jessie J. Hanna, LC’07, was honored as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus in 2013.

In 2007 Hanna founded the Sean Hanna Foundation in honor of his brother. Sean died on April 28, 2007, at age 20, after fighting cancer for most of his life. The nonprofit foundation provides assistance to families and organizations battling cancer and is a lifeline of support for various institutions, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

In 2014 Hanna earned a doctor of medicine degree from Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is a physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City as of December 2017.

Research for pediatric cancer is drastically underfunded, making it a “second-class disease,” Hanna wrote in a co-authored 2011 commentary in The Einstein Journal of Biology and Medicine. In addition to his other medical research interests, Hanna is working with the Rwandan ambassador to the United Nations to create a hospital in Rwanda focusing on pediatric cancer.

Hanna has also been active with Jessie’s Wish, The Blood Center of New Jersey, Sigma Phi Epsilon and church groups. Among Hanna’s many awards, he has received scholarships from the dean’s office of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and from the National Arab American Medical Association.

As an undergraduate student, he received Rutgers’ Spirit of Service Award in 2006, and in 2010 was honored with the Rutgers Excellence in Alumni Leadership Edward J. Bloustein Award, recognizing community service outside the university.

In 2007, he represented New Jersey as the recipient of the Jefferson Award, the highest national honor for public service, according to a 2014 profile from Rutgers Today.

Video (2 minutes): Hanna discusses his career and his brother’s legacy. Open the video in a new window.

Distinguished Alumna Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha, LC’03, Works to Improve the Health of Women, Babies and Disadvantaged Communities

Ndidiamaka (Ndidi) N. Amutah-Onukagha, LC’03, was honored in 2013 as a Distinguished Alumna of Livingston College at Rutgers University.

Dr. Amutah-Onukagha has been an assistant professor at Tufts University’s School of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, since July 2017. In this capacity her research focuses on adverse birth outcomes for women of color, HIV/AIDS and women of color in an urban context, and community-based participatory research.

She had previously served as an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Services, Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, at Montclair State University, and was a fellow of the Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars from 2013-2015.

Dr. Amutah-Onukagha completed her dissertation focused on infant mortality in Washington, DC, and it specifically examined neighborhood level disadvantage, social determinants of health, and race/ethnicity as predictors of infant mortality.

Her research interests include health disparities, reproductive health, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS in ethnic minority populations.

Dr. Amutah-Onukagha has worked as a researcher in community-based research settings in a variety of areas including maternal and child health, health disparities, and HIV/AIDS.

She has published and presented in the area of HIV/AIDS and infant mortality in urban communities.

She also has served as president of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues and a director of The Women’s Collective, a nonprofit social service agency for women of color who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in Washington, DC.

Video (2 minutes, 3 seconds): Amutah-Onukagha discusses her career and the cultural opportunities she experienced at Livingston College. Open the video in a new window.

Photos: (top) Courtesy of Amutah-Onukagha; (bottom) From the 2003 Livingston College yearbook, Diversity: Roots of Knowledge, Volume XIII.

Distinguished Alumnus Nicholas Ferroni, LC’03, Mentors by Shining a Light on History


Nicholas FerroniEducator and historian Nicholas Ferroni, LC’03, was honored as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus in 2013.

Ferroni has received national attention for his unique and innovative methodology in successfully mentoring and reaching contemporary and urban students, and has been featured in various academic and scholarly journals.

Ferroni, a former actor turned teacher, writer and host, was recently named one of the 100 most influential people in America for his commitment to education reform as well as developing a “Teach the Truth” campaign to incorporate more minority figures and groups into the high school social studies curriculum.

Ferroni was also named one of Men’s Fitness magazine’s “25 Fittest Men in the World,” “The Man of Appeal” by Rutgers magazine, and “The Sexiest Teacher Alive” by People magazine. As of 2021 Ferroni is a history teacher at Union High School in Union, New Jersey.

He has written for HuffPost about education, diversity, and his pride in New Jersey, among other issues. 

Ferroni has said that since he can’t do history, he teaches it.

His activism inside the classroom, in the media, and online, though, promises to change the history of those he teaches.

His continuing lessons to his students include:

  • Advocating for the LGBT community;
  • Conducting a social experiment to teach about the underrepresentation of women in Congress;
  • Organizing a crowdfunding campaign to help a student and his family recover from a housing crisis.

“Most teachers, including myself, see our students as our ‘kids,’ ” Ferroni told People in 2018. “They are not just students to us, and we care as much about their success in life as their success in class.”

Follow Nicholas Ferroni on Twitter.

Videos: (Center) Ferroni discusses his career and passions. (Bottom) Ferroni’s acceptance video. Or open the videos in a new window.

Distinguished Alumnus Robert Bertrand, LC’01, Broadcast Engineer, Reimagined Radio at Rutgers

Robert BertrandRobert P. Bertrand, honored in 2015 as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus, is the Chief Technology Officer at WAMU-FM 88.5, the National Public Radio station in Washington, D.C.

Before joining WAMU, Bertrand served for more than five years as the Market Chief Engineer for CBS Radio New York. He oversaw the technical operations of four FM and three AM radio stations, in addition to the CBS Sports Radio Network until January 2016.

At CBS Radio, Bertrand led a team of 20 broadcast engineering and IT pros supporting the more than 500 people who comprise these operations, including 35 studios and 40 news production workstations. Prior to taking the chief role in December 2010, Bertrand served as a broadcast engineer for WCBS 880 for five years.

Bertrand began his commercial radio career at Greater Media’s WCTC and WMGQ in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he discovered his passion for broadcast engineering.

Robert Bertrand, 2001 Livingston College yearbook

A 2001 graduate of Livingston College, Bertrand spent his college career to build a new radio station at Rutgers University, a joint venture with Piscataway High School. That station, 90.3 FM The Core, first broadcast in 2000.

Today it is the largest student organization at Rutgers and continues to develop new talent among the high school and college students it serves. For almost a decade after graduating, Bertrand continued to advise The Core and served as its chief engineer.

For Bertrand, Livingston College was a place for “forgotten misfits … a place for people who didn’t think that everything else in the world was OK.” And he felt right at home there, he tells us in the embedded video (2 minutes, 20 seconds). (Open the video in a new window.)

Photos: (top) Courtesy of Bertrand; (bottom) From the 2001 Livingston College yearbook, Diversity: Making Connections, Volume XI .

Distinguished Alumna Deborah Stokes, LC’74: Livingston College Fostered Art and Social Justice

Deborah StokesDeborah L. Stokes, honored in 2015 as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumna, has served as the Curator for Education, Head of K-12 and Teacher Programs with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art since 2008.

At the Smithsonian, Stokes oversees the development of educational programs, activities, and materials for diverse school audiences and teacher development. Stokes writes with an eye to multidisciplinary, cross-unit collaborative programming and has created family gallery guides integrating the arts with natural history, astronomy and environmental science in a series of exhibitions.

Before arriving at the Smithsonian, Stokes was appointed Visiting Professor in the Art History Department at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) teaching The Visual Art of Africa and Issues in Contemporary African Art. Stokes received her M.A. in Museum Studies at Columbia College Chicago, and worked as a Research Associate in the Anthropology Collections at the Field Museum in Chicago with a focus on African beadwork. She has published extensively in African arts.

Stokes’ work on the African continent has taken her to Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa and she continues to foster ideas of cross cultural collaboration with contemporary artists, curators, and educators both nationally and internationally.

In 2012, Stokes received the Pioneer Award from the Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) in recognition of an individual for demonstrating initiative and leadership in the development and implementation of distance learning in the federal government.

In August 2013 her Distance Learning program was awarded the coveted Pinnacle Award from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC). Stokes is currently serving a three-year term on the Advisory Board of Art Education, Journal of the National Art Education Association.

During her college tenure, Stokes found mentors in the Art and Art History programs at Livingston College who introduced her to the museum world in New York City. “Livingston College gave a foundation to the idea of social justice,” Stokes tells us in the embedded video. (You may also open the video in a new window.)

Also, check out an article documenting the “First Livingston Women’s [Art] Show” in 1972, at which Stokes exhibited paintings and a silk screen print.

Distinguished Alumnus Kenneth Cop, LC’95, Leads Diverse Rutgers Police Force

Kenneth CopKenneth B. Cop, honored in 2015 as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus, serves as the Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Rutgers University Police.

He oversees the administration and operation of all public safety services for Rutgers University, with approximately 500 employees under his command. Cop graduated from Livingston College (’95) with a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice, a minor in Sociology and a Criminology Certificate.

At Centenary College (’02), he earned a Master of Arts in Leadership and Public Administration. Additionally, he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class #254, the West Point Command and Leadership School, and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Program.

Cop was hired as a Rutgers University Security Officer in 1995. He completed his basic police certification at the Ocean County Police Academy and started his law enforcement career as a Rutgers University Police Officer in 1997. He has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibilities during his career with Rutgers.

Livingston College’s motto of “Strength Through Diversity” is still alive in public safety at Rutgers, Cop tells us in the embedded video. (You may also open the video in a new window.)

In 2020 Rutgers Today interviewed Chief Cop. From the interview: “I just wanted to help others and keep people safe. … The sentiment was instinctual for me, something that I had always cared about. My decision to remain at Rutgers after I graduated is because I always viewed the university as home. So, keeping my home safe was a natural career progression.”

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Seth Jeremy DvorinBiographies for the recipients of the awards listed and linked below have been updated when possible. Otherwise, they represent the information available as of the dates of induction. Send updates or corrections.

  • Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Award: Established in September 2000 to recognize Livingston College alumni who have distinguished themselves by contributions they have made in their chosen fields of endeavor, by the leadership they have exhibited, and by the general benefits to the larger society resulting from their activities.
  • Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award: Established in November 2004 in memory of Army Lt. Seth Jeremy Dvorin (LC’02, Administration of Justice; pictured at right), who was killed in Iraq on February 3, 2004. The Seth Dvorin Award was presented to Livingston College young alumni who have distinguished themselves by contributions they have made in their chosen fields of endeavor, by the leadership they have exhibited, and by the general benefits to the larger society resulting from their activities. The three recipients of this award are noted below. This award is now retired.

2000 Inductees

Riki Jacobs Clifton R. Lacy John S. Lipori Alfred E. Ramey, Jr.
Director of AIDS Support Organization;
Health Educator (died in 2009)
Medical Leader;
New Jersey State Health Commissioner
Banking Executive University Counsel;
New Jersey Assistant Attorney General

2002 Inductees

Thomas F. Daley Susan Kille David A. Laskow Steven D. Plofker
District Attorney; Judge; Adjunct Professor of Law (died in 2015) Newspaper Journalist Surgeon; Associate Professor of Surgery Real Estate Developer; Attorney

2004 Inductees

Frank T. Carvill Gina Collins Cummings Edward E. Johnson, Jr.
New Jersey National Guardsman
Killed in Iraq (Posthumous; died in 2004)
Environmental, Health,
and Social Justice Activist
Wall Street Executive
Michael C. Laracy Karen Rogers Harry V. Swayne III
Advocate for Children and Families Seth Dvorin Distinguished
Young Alumni Award

Television Meteorologist/Journalist
Football Executive and Player

2006 Inductees

Avery Brooks Colleen Fraser Mark Helias
Actor; Director; Singer; Professor, Mason Gross School of the Arts Advocate for People with Disabilities;
Hero of United Airlines Flight 93
(Posthumous; died in 2001)
Jazz Musician and Composer
Liza Kirschenbaum Andrea D. Lyon Gregg Spiridellis
Advocate for Children in the Courts Law School Dean;
Expert in Death-Penalty Defense
Seth Dvorin Distinguished
Young Alumni Award

Entrepreneur in Online Entertainment

2009 Inductees 

Kevin Apuzzio Marla Diamond Francoise Jacobsohn Martha Nell Smith
Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award
 Heroic Firefighter and
Emergency Medical Technician
(Posthumous; died in 2006)
Radio Journalist  Advocate for Women and Workers Professor of English;
Emily Dickinson Scholar

2011 Inductees

Gregory Q. Brown Eddie Jordan
Rutgers Board of Governors Chair;
Business Leader
 Rutgers Men’s Basketball Head Coach (2013-2016)
and Player (1973-1977)

2013 Inductees

Ndidi Amutah Nicholas Ferroni Jessie J. Hanna
Assistant Professor
Researcher on Health and Nutrition
Educator and Historian Physician
Researcher on Pediatric Cancer

2015 Inductees

Robert Bertrand Kenneth Cop Deborah Stokes
Radio Engineer Rutgers University Executive Director of Police Services / Chief of Police Museum Curator and Arts Educator

2018 Inductees

Staci Berger Jeanie Bryson Dr. Everette Penn
Housing and Community Development Advocate Jazz/Pop/Latin Vocalist Race/Youth/Justice Scholar
Carlyle E. Shelton Jr. Robert W. Snyder Deborah Stokes
Deputy Inspector General,
U.S. Marine Corps
Professor, American Studies and Journalism College Advisor and Social Justice Advocate