Alumni Association Awards

Alumni Association Awards

2016 Alumni Association Award Honorees

Congratulations to Peter Higgins '67, Dan Kuffner '68, and Neil Bhatiya '06 for their outstanding achievements!


Peter T. Higgins '67

Peter T. Higgins '67
Dr. Linus Richard Foy '50 Outstanding Alumnus Award

A former member of the Marist crew team, Peter Higgins graduated from Marist  in 1967 with a degree in mathematics. Peter went on to complete a Master of Science degree in mathematics with the computer science option from Stevens Institute of Technology. He began a career with the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that spanned 25 years. His positions offered him substantial experience in cutting-edge technologies, from being a mathematician and computer programmer to establishing the chief information officer position while reporting to the deputy director of the CIA. As a group chief of the CIA’s Office of Research and Development, he planned and managed research and development in optics, digital image science, information security, the first semi-automated facial recognition system, and multiple remote, digital spectroscopy projects.

In March of 1992, Peter responded to a request from the director of the FBI to establish and manage the congressionally mandated Program Office for the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and to manage other, smaller programs such as an upgrade to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system. Initially he served on loan from the CIA and then in 1993 became a deputy assistant director of the FBI. The IAFIS system changed the way fingerprints were submitted, searched, and stored across the country and eventually the world.

Peter founded Higgins & Associates, International in 1995 after retiring from the FBI with the primary focus on providing services to government, private industry, and academic institutions through a network of experts in biometric applications, project management, system testing, procurement support, privacy/legal issues, information security, and law enforcement requirements. They supported 15 U.S. States and the Canadian and UK governments as well as managing the installation of systems in Iraq and Afghanistan for the Department of Defense. He is also providing support to the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) Foundation in a pro bono capacity.   

Peter has lectured and taught short courses in a variety of subject areas and has contributed to and written multiple publications. He has received more than 25 awards and honors, including the 2014 O.J. Hawkins Award for Innovative Leadership and Outstanding Contributions in Criminal Justice Information Systems, Policy, and Statistics. He has also been recognized by the Department of Justice and the CIA, receiving the prestigious Intelligence Medal of Merit in 1994 from the CIA.
It is very fitting that Peter is being recognized today with the Dr. Linus Richard Foy ’50 Outstanding Alumnus Award, as Dr. Foy was his faculty advisor. In fact, Peter was Dr. Foy’s FIRST advisee! Peter remembers him as a great mentor and throughout a distinguished career serving our country, nationally and internationally, he has clearly followed the ideals and spirit of achievement set forth by Dr. Foy which is celebrated by this award.


Dan Kuffner '68

Daniel P. Kuffner '68
Dr. Dennis J. Murray Distinguished Service Award

Dan Kuffner has been an active public servant and educator throughout his accomplished career. While a student at Marist, he was a leader in student government, serving as a class officer and a student representative in the Admissions Office. Dan, along with his identical twin brother Bill, graduated from Marist in 1968. With a bachelor’s degree in history, he began teaching at Regina Coeli School in Hyde Park, New York. In 1971, he joined the faculty at the Violet Avenue Elementary School in Hyde Park where he remained for 34 years. In 1975, Dan obtained a Master of Science degree from SUNY New Paltz.

Following the Marist tradition and ideals of service to others, Dan has been a member of many organizations that have helped to make his community stronger. He was vice president and then president of the Hyde Park Teachers Association for periods of time over four decades. He served as a delegate for both the American Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers, as well as the New York State Teachers Retirement System. Dan coached Hyde Park Little League and CYO basketball for 13 years and also served as a coach at Our Lady of Lourdes High School and Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School.

Dan’s impressive record of public service includes his election to the Dutchess County Legislature in January of 2008 where he remained until 2011, serving as assistant minority leader from 2010 to 2011. He also served on the Hyde Park Route 9 Development Committee for three years. In March of 2013, Dan was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Board of Trustees at Dutchess Community College and previously served as a member of the Board of Directors Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse.

Dan is among Marist’s most loyal athletic fans, and we are especially grateful for his leadership on the Red Fox Club’s Board of Directors. For nearly 10 years, he played an integral role in bringing more alumni representation to the booster club. Dan and his wife, Deborah, who is a 1989 Bachelor’s graduate and 1995 Master’s graduate, have been married for 46 years and have four children and six grandchildren. Dan Kuffner has truly served not only his community but also Marist College, and we are honored to present Dan with this award.


Neil Bhatiya '06

Neil S. Bhatiya '06
Marist College Young Alumnus Award

While studying history at Marist, Neil completed an internship with the Hudson River Valley Institute and the Roosevelt Institute at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York. During his senior year, Neil studied abroad in England at the University of Cambridge where he completed an internship at the Churchill Archives Centre. This allowed him the opportunity to conduct research for the director’s lecture tours and for exhibits with the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, and the George C. Marshall International Center in Leesburg, Virginia.

Neil graduated from Marist in 2006 summa cum laude with a degree in history. In 2009, he obtained a Master of Arts degree in history from The George Washington University. His master’s thesis was entitled “Blue Collars for a Red-Free Western Europe: American Labor Union Propaganda for the Marshall Plan, 1947–1949.” Neil’s first professional position was as a Research Fellow for the Streit Council where he studied the expansion of NATO.

Neil is currently the Climate and Diplomacy Fellow at the Center for Climate and Security, a non-partisan security and foreign policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C. He studies the challenge that climate change poses to U.S. diplomatic and development priorities, with a special focus on impacts in South Asia. Previously, he was a Fellow at the Century Foundation, a non-partisan think tank. His analysis on energy and climate change topics has appeared in Foreign Policy, World Politics Review, The Week, and Grist.

Aside from work, Neil volunteers as an informal advisor to Foreign Policy Interrupted, a nonprofit focused on amplifying female voices in foreign policy discussions. Neil has also been a longtime member of the Marist Young Alumni Advisory Team which supports the Alumni Office in its efforts to engage young alumni. Neil and his wife, Marist alumna Adrienne Zych from the Class of 2005, currently reside in New Jersey.

Marist is proud of the accomplishments that Neil has achieved in the 10 short years since he has graduated, and we can only imagine what his future holds.


2015 Recipients:

 

Brother John W. Klein, FMS '70 (right)
Dr. Linus Richard Foy '50 Outstanding Alumnus Award

Augustine "Gus" Nolan '52 (left)
Dr. Dennis J. Murray Distinguished Service Award

Stephen M. Townsend '10 (center)
Marist College Young Alumnus Award

2014 Recipients:

 

Timothy G. Brier '69
Dr. Linus Richard Foy '50 Outstanding Alumnus Award

Mary Monsaert Joyce '74 (left)
Marist College Distinguished Service Award

Amanda Augustine Kane '04 (right)
Marist College Young Alumna Award

2013 Award Recipients:


Bro. Richard J. Rancourt, FMS ’53
Dr. Linus Richard Foy ’50 Outstanding Alumnus Award
(accepted on behalf of Bro. Rancourt by past recipient Bro. Sean Sammon, FMS '70, on far right)

Maria T. Gordon Shydlo ’87
Marist College Distinguished Service Award

Ryan J. Bingham ’05 (second from right)
Marist College Young Alumnus Award

2012 Inaugural Award Recipients:


Bro. Sean D. Sammon, FMS '70 (far right)
Dr. Linus Richard Foy Outstanding Alumnus Award
(Dr. Foy is second from left in the photo)

Brendan T. Burke '68 (far left)
Marist College Distinguished Service Award

Edward Summers '04/'06M (second from right)
Marist College Young Alumnus Award

Award Descriptions

Dr. Linus Richard Foy '50 Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award

This award is the highest honor bestowed by the Marist College Alumni Association and is named in honor of Dr. Linus Richard Foy, a 1950 graduate and president of Marist from 1958 to 1979.  The award recognizes distinguished service by an alumnus or alumna to a profession, to the college, to the nation, or to humanity. The criterion for this award is a continuous record of distinguished service in a chosen field or endeavor that is related to the objectives and purposes of Marist. The candidate must have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from Marist.
 
Recommendations may come from the Marist community. Final nominations will be made by the Alumni Awards Committee and approved by the president of Marist College. The Linus Richard Foy Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award consists of a citation and medal which are presented to the recipient by Marist College’s president, assisted by the president of the Alumni Association. A maximum of one award may be presented each year.  

Marist College Distinguished Service Award

The Marist College Distinguished Service Award will be presented to an alumnus or alumna who has diligently and faithfully served the Marist Alumni Association for an extended period of time. Service can be in the form of a regional chapter position (officer or committee member) or any involvement that advances the mission of Marist through dedicated volunteer efforts (e.g., Marist Fund volunteer, Admissions volunteer, Advancement event host, etc.) The candidate must have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from Marist.
 
Recipients can be nominated by any active member of the Marist College Community. Final nominations will be made by the Alumni Awards Committee and approved by the vice president for college advancement. Alumni Executive Board members are not eligible. A maximum of two awards may be presented each year.  

Marist College Young Alumnus/Alumna Award

The Marist Young Alumnus/Alumna Award will be presented to an alumnus or alumna who has reached a significant level of achievement in his/her profession and who is a model of the quality and caliber of today’s Marist student. One Young Alumnus/Alumna Medal will be given annually. The candidate must have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from Marist within the past 10 years and achieved a significant level of distinction within his/her chosen field. 
 
Recipients can be nominated by any active member of the Marist College Community. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Final nominations will be made by the Alumni Awards Committee and approved by the vice president for college advancement. Current members of the Alumni Executive Board are not eligible for nomination. A maximum of two awards may be presented each year.  

The Alumni Awards Committee shall be comprised of:

 1. President of the Marist Alumni Association
 2. Two Alumni Executive Board Members (one male and one female), to be assigned by Board president
 3. One Trustee
 4. Executive Director of Alumni Relations
 5. Student Body President
 6. One Member of the Greystone Board (Past President of Alumni Association)


SUBMIT ONLINE NOMINATION FORM