Bard College Awards 2024
The 2024 Bard College Awards will be held on Friday, May 24, as part of Commencement and Reunion Weekend.
The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche was elected in November 2011 by the clergy and lay delegates of the congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of New York at a special election convention held at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. He was consecrated a bishop in March 2012 and installed at the Cathedral as the 16th Bishop of New York in February 2013. From 2001 until his election as bishop coadjutor, Dietsche served as canon for pastoral care in the Diocese of New York—a position in which he was responsible for the pastoral care of the clergy and their families. Before that, he spent 11 years as the rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Prior to his ordination, Bishop Dietsche was a freelance graphic designer and cartoonist.
Sandy Zane ’80, an artist who has exhibited in New York, Texas, and New Mexico, has been owner of both Zane Bennett Contemporary Art and its sister gallery Form and Concept in Santa Fe for nearly 20 years. Zane has also worked in the nonprofit sector and has served on the foundation boards of New Mexico State University, Santa Fe Community College, and the New Mexico Museum Foundation.
A private pilot, Zane previously operated an airport community, replacing taxiways and runways and updating fueling systems. She also spent 15 years in the brokerage industry where she worked for commodities and securities companies with expertise in risk and compliance, and she worked as a headhunter in the computer industry, where she specialized in the recruitment of candidates for artificial intelligence and robotics projects. Her career has been a varied one, culminating in her current work in the arts world.
John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science
Dr. Daniel O’Neill is an orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine doctor, sports psychologist, and author. As a physician, he has worked with diverse patients including the US alpine ski and ski jumping teams. After recognizing the importance of mental preparedness and rehabilitation in the world of sports medicine, O’Neill furthered his education to become a sports psychologist to better help his patients heal—both in mind and body.
O’Neill is devoted to raising awareness about the onset of obesity, illness, and depression in children, exemplified by his latest book, Survival of the FIT: How Physical Education Ensures Academic Achievement and a Healthy Life.
Andrew Zwicker ’86 is a physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and member of the New Jersey Senate, representing the 16th Legislative District. He is currently head of strategic partnerships and public engagement at PPPL and has taught bioethics and plasma physics courses.
Andrew graduated from Bard with a degree in physics and received his MS and PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University. After performing fusion-energy research at facilities around the US and the world, Andrew transitioned to science education and led PPPL’s science education department for 18 years. During that time, he mentored dozens of undergraduate students and created innovative programs for students often underrepresented in the physical sciences. In the New Jersey Senate, his legislative work includes assessing the role of research and development as an economic driver, global warming, and voting rights.
John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service
Erin J. Law is an executive director at Morgan Stanley and has global responsibility for the firm’s pro bono program, through which Morgan Stanley employees provide thousands of hours of free legal services annually. In her role as pro bono lead counsel, she collaborates with internal stakeholders, law firms, and legal-service organizations. Erin also is a litigation attorney and handles complex litigation and regulatory matters. After graduating from Bard, where she studied psychology and was one of the founders of BRAVE, Erin taught special education in rural Louisiana through Teach For America. At Tulane Law School, Erin began providing pro bono services to survivors of domestic violence. She has been recognized by her peers for her unwavering commitment to pro bono work and received the American Bar Association’s highest honor to pro bono practitioners in private practice, the Pro Bono Publico Award.
Paul J. Thompson ’93 is executive director of the New York City Public Schools Office of Arts and Special Projects. Thompson previously spent 17 years as the founding principal of the Urban Assembly School of Music and Art, a screen-free Title I public arts high school in Brooklyn.
Before his work in education, Thompson had a career as a musician and composer, and he continues to write and perform music. He has worked across genres ranging from hip-hop to classical to jazz, and he has collaborated with artists including Grammy-winner Meshell Ndegeocello, pop sensation the Black Eyed Peas, and the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein.
Thompson has been a member of Bard College’s Board of Governors since 2007, serving as chair of the diversity committee from 2007–09. Thompson’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Bardian, Spin, Jazz Life, and Time Out New York.
Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters
Adam Conover ’04 is a comedian, writer, and television host. He created the informational comedy series Adam Ruins Everything, which ran for five years on truTV. In 2020, he began developing a docuseries for Netflix about the United States government called The G Word in partnership with Barack Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, released in 2022. He tours the country as a stand-up comedian and lives in Los Angeles, where he serves on the board of the Writers Guild of America West.
Since its founding on New York’s Lower East Side in 2007, the eponymous art gallery of James Fuentes ’98 has featured contemporary artists who challenge the conventions of their field. The gallery is known for its focus on humanity, history, and society with a nonexclusionary approach, positioning itself as a leader in the field. In the spring of 2023, Fuentes also opened an outpost in the Melrose Hill neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Mary McCarthy Award
Karen Russell, a Pulitzer finalist and MacArthur and Guggenheim fellow, has received the National Magazine Award for Fiction, Shirley Jackson Award, Lattes Grinzane prize, and Bard Fiction Prize for her first story collection. She is the author of five books of fiction, most recently Orange World and Other Stories and Sleep Donation. Her work has been published in Conjunctions, New Yorker, New York Times, Harper’s, Zoetrope, and New York Review of Books. With composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone and choreographer and director Troy Schumacher, she collaborated on BalletCollective’s genre-straddling work, The Night Falls, and she is developing a new opera with Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek that will premiere in 2025. Her new novel, The Antidote, is forthcoming from Knopf.
László Z. Bitó Award for Humanitarian Service
Adam Khalil ’11, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is an artist whose practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of image making through humor, relation, and transgression. Khalil is a core contributor to New Red Order and a cofounder of COUSIN Collective. Khalil’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Tate Modern, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Walker Art Center, Lincoln Center, Palais de Tokyo, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Creative Time, Toronto Biennial 2019, Whitney Biennial 2019, Sharjah Biennial 15, and Counterpublic Triennial 2023, among other institutions. Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including a 2021 Creative Capital Award, 2021 Herb Alpert Award, Sundance Art of Nonfiction grant, Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, Cinereach grant, and Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Zack Khalil ’14, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a filmmaker and artist whose work centers Indigenous narratives through the use of innovative nonfiction forms. Khalil is a core contributor to New Red Order (NRO), a public secret society that addresses settler societies’ concurrent desires for Indigeneity and violent discrimination against Indigenous groups. The NRO asks potential non-Indigenous accomplices to participate in the coexamination and expansion of Indigenous agency. Khalil’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Walker Art Center, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Creative Time, Toronto Biennial 2019, Whitney Biennial 2019, Sharjah Biennial 15, and Counterpublic Triennial 2023. Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including a Sundance Art of Nonfiction grant, Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, and Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Golden McCarthy ’05 grew up in the small, mountain town of Nederland, Colorado. She earned her BA in political studies with a minor in Latin American and Iberian studies at Bard College and her JD from City University of New York School of Law. McCarthy joined the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a legal service provider representing immigrants in removal proceedings in Arizona, and became its deputy director in 2019. She received the 2017 Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award from the State Bar of Arizona, and in 2023, she joined the Office of Refugee Resettlement as a policy advisor. Since joining the federal agency, she has worked on policies impacting the care and custody of unaccompanied children.