Each year, the Yale Alumni Association Leadership Awards recognize the accomplishments of volunteers whose efforts reflect the YAA’s mission and core values, honoring them both for their service to Yale and for their innovative leadership – both with the YAA and in the graduate and professional school ranks. Leadership Award candidates and honorees are nominated and selected by alumni relations staff members.

This year, the honorees were recognized during an awards ceremony at the Omni hotel in New Haven on Thursday, November 10. The recipients of the YAA Leadership Awards were honored alongside the winners of the YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards and the Alumni Schools Committee Awards.

Related: YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards celebrate incredible accomplishments of Yale alumni organizations

The 2022 YAA Leadership Awards for Volunteer Service and Innovative Leadership recipients are:

Maria Burton

Maria BurtonA leader in the Yale Alumni Community, Maria Burton's love for Yale shines through in her abundant service. Class Secretary since 2010, a founding Board member of YaleWomenLA, and an early member of Yale in Hollywood, Maria is a natural connector with a commitment to intentional inclusion. This is evident in her volunteer work and in her film career, as she consistently reaches out to classmates and fellow alums to encourage participation. This has helped build her class into one of the most active and involved classes with at least one class-wide gathering each year since 2013, culminating in multiple “PReunions” around the country in 2019. With the pandemic cancellation of their 2020 reunion in New Haven, Maria collaborated with classmates to organize a successful virtual reunion, continuing with an ongoing series of monthly zoom events until they were back to in-person get-togethers in 2021. Part of the original YaleWomen group in LA in 2010 which led to the formation of the National YaleWomen organization, Maria has remained involved as a Board member in the active YaleWomenLA chapter. Former Yale Alumni Association staff member Stacey O'Donnell nominated Maria for this award.

Manka Khanna ’18 MBA

Manka Khanna ’18 MBAManka Khanna ’18 MBA has served as a member of the School of Management Alumni Advisory Board since April of 2019, and during her tenure, Manka chaired the Global Chapters Committee. Guiding this group through the beginning of the pandemic up through June of 2022, her effort has made a lasting impact on the SOM Alumni Community. Manka helped alumni chapters shift from in-person events to virtual ones. She devised an outreach plan to keep chapters connected to SOM in the most challenging of environments, all while spearheading efforts to engage “unchaptered” alumni and create three new SOM chapters. Her work with the Alumni Relations Office reduced the percentage of “unchaptered” alumni from 10% to 4%. In addition, Manka’s role on the Advisory Board has allowed her to advance the mission of SOM through correspondence with fellow alumni. Through emails, phone conversations and meetings, ideas were exchanged to bolster a sense of community among the alumni. The Global Chapters Committee communicated with chapter leaders to collaborate around the world and ensured volunteers that SOM had remained united through difficult times. Ideas were exchanged including best practices and communication tactics and support was given as volunteers across different geographic locations, class years, and program types voiced their concerns and celebrated their achievements. This continuous open dialogue has helped to set SOM alumni up for success as the shift is made into in-person and hybrid meetings and events. Manka was nominated by Kathleen Yantosca, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Regions, at the School of Management.

David L. Roscoe III ’65

David L. Roscoe III ’65David Roscoe III ’65 was one of three class of 1965 55th Reunion Co-Chairs when the pandemic brought the cancellation of reunions in 2020. Rather than try to recreate a reunion experience on Zoom, he led an effort, along with Dennis Mack and Bob Hammond, to invent a new way of getting the class together. Beginning with a virtual "Class Dinner" in October, David presented monthly speakers such as James Hatch '23, an undergraduate and former Navy Seal; David Swensen a 1980 PhD alumnus of the Graduate School and the late Chief Investment officer at Yale; classmate and journalist Bob Woodward ’65; and classmate David Schwartz ’65 who spoke on COVID Vaccinations; and many more. These Zoom meetings continue today and have consistently attracted over 100 classmates and spouses in one of the most successful pandemic-era programs produced by classes in the 1960s and 1970s. David also served his class as a Reunion Chair in 2015 and has served on the Reunion Gift Committee several times. Among the small core of volunteers in the class of 1965, he is quick to step up to the plate and always ready to suggest solutions to a problem. He strives to foster a healthy exchange of interests and ideas and does so with gentle humor, a good sense of how to handle potentially difficult topics, and humility. Yale Alumni Association staff member Jennifer Julier nominated David for this award. Accepting this award on his behalf is David’s classmate Dennis Mack.

 

Tony Lynn ’14 MBA

Tony Lynn ’14 MBAWhen it comes to innovative admissions leadership by alumni at the Yale School of Management, Tony Lynn ’14 MBA is at the top of the list. Over the past 3 years Tony has served on the Yale School of Management’s Alumni Advisory Board, first as it’s Admissions Chair and now as the Vice Chair of the Advisory Board. While on the Board, Tony has fervently pursued his passion for recruiting the next crop of diverse leaders to Yale. During the pandemic, Tony became an invaluable resource to SOM staff, speaking on several virtual admissions panels, expanding marketing reach for the alumni referrals programming, and personally engaging with countless prospective students. He also created the Advisory Board’s DEI focus, partnering with SOM staff to deliver specialized programming for diverse applicants. Tony and his leadership team also collaborated with the Admissions team to deliver an impactful assessment of peer schools, recommending future areas of investment to reach parity with the competition. In his role as Advisory Board Vice Chair, and also with an ex officio appointment to the SOM Board of Advisors, he is now focusing on developing innovative ways to engage SOM alums to support broader strategic efforts that advance SOM’s mission to educate leaders for business and society. Amy Voth, Senior Director of Admissions at the School of Management, nominated Tony for this award.

 

James Shulman ’87, ’93 PhD

James Shulman ’87, ’93 PhDJames Shulman ’87, ’93 PhD was a Graduate School Alumni Association Board member for four years concluding in June 2022, the final two of which he served admirably as Chair. Among his many accomplishments, James gently realigned the group’s focus with the dean’s priorities for the school, yielding increased alumni communication, opportunities for alumni to engage more deeply with the school, and a focus on supporting students. James is a strong communicator who worked tirelessly in bringing the Graduate School alumni community together — an especially valuable feat during the pandemic’s remote work experience. One significant change he made to the board was establishing regular monthly meetings in addition to organizing working committees with specific tasks which has brought more accountability and effectiveness to the board. In another example, James worked closely with a small team of the board members, faculty, and administrators on re-envisioning humanities graduate education at Yale, and has made significant contributions through his current position as vice president at the American Council of Learned Societies. James’ energy and dedication to the GSAA has sparked an expansion of alumni engagement with the school and other alumni through gifts of time, talent, and treasure. His inclusive, collaborative, and efficient style embodies the core values and mission of YAA. James was nominated by the following individuals: Jasmina Besirevic Regan, Associate Dean for Graduate Education at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Matthew Tanico, Assistant Dean for Graduate Academic Support and Outreach, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Cindy Beach, Senior Director of Development and External Relations, School of Engineering & Applied Science; Caitlin Beardsley, Deputy Director, Graduate and Professional Schools Annual Giving Development; and Mark Donovan, Associate Director, Graduate and Professional Schools Annual Giving.

 

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