Since 2001, Walden has recognized the achievements of our graduates through the Outstanding Alumni Award. This honor is given each year to one alum who exemplifies Walden’s mission to effect positive social change through contributions to his or her profession, discipline, or community.

Meet Our Award Winners

2018: Dr. Avon Marie Hart-Johnson
Making a difference in the lives of those affected by incarceration
2017: Dr. Lovely A. Thornton
Dr. Lovely A. Thornton Serving youth around the world for 40 years
2016: Dr. John Henry Felix
A legacy of public service 8 decades in the making

2015: Crystal Johnson
Answering the call to battle Ebola
2014: Dr. Walter McCollum Effecting positive change in South Africa, Haiti, and Costa Rica 2013: Dr. Jonas Nguh
A commitment to volunteering
2012: Dr. Tia Campbell
Creating continuing education for nurses
2011: Dr. Gary Bickford
Comprehensive healthcare for the underinsured
2010: Ivy Garcia Zwicker
Advocate for autism treatment
2009: Dr. Prince Augustine Ordu
Helps make clean water available in Nigeria
2008: Dr. Souror Baetjer
Began continuing education allied health program
2007: Dr. Leo Parvis
Teaches cultural diversity and managing diversity
2006: Dr. David Boyd
U.S. Department of Homeland Security technology innovator
2005: Dr. Sharon Freeman
Advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce

2003: Dr. Michael Wanko

2002: Dr. Craig Swenson

2001: Dr. Joy Erlichman Miller

Nominate a Graduate

Thank you for your interest in the Outstanding Alumni Award. The nominations cycle for the 2019 award runs from January 1, 2019 through April 30, 2019. The winner will be announced in conjunction with our commencement ceremony at National Harbor, Maryland in July.

Faculty, alumni, and students can nominate an alum who they believe best exemplifies Walden’s mission for the Outstanding Alumni Award. All nominations for the award must include:

  • The online nomination form (to open January 1, 2019)
  • A 500-word essay describing how the nominee has used his or her degree to make exceptional contributions to a profession, discipline, or community since graduation
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume, not to exceed 5 pages
  • Supporting videos, photos, or online images compiled in one Word document, not to exceed 1 page

To be eligible to win the Outstanding Alumni Award, nominees must:

  • Have earned a degree from Walden University.
  • Be available to attend the awards ceremony at the summer commencement weekend.
  • Be nominated by someone other than himself or herself.
  • Be a first-time recipient.

The link to the nomination form will be posted after January 1. If you have questions about the Outstanding Alumni Award, please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at

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