Established in 1984, the Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes graduates of Arts, Science, and Engineering whose exceptional professional achievements, contributions to their chosen field, and service to their alma mater have brought honor to themselves and to the University of Rochester.
Forty-five years ago, John Levi graduated with honors at a ceremony that featured his father as the keynote speaker. The son of the University of Chicago president who later became a U.S. Attorney General, John had large shoes to fill, and fill them he did. After earning his law degree from Harvard, he devoted his career to labor and employment law and became one of our nation’s leading attorneys in that field. In 2010, one of his former employees, Barack Obama, handpicked him to serve on the board of Legal Services Corporation. As chairman of that board, John stands at the forefront of preserving the fundamental right of all Americans, regardless of means, to have equal access to justice. In addition to this work and his responsibilities as partner of Sidley Austin LLP, he still finds time to be directly involved in local schools—both private and public—in the Chicago area. Widely lauded for his civic leadership and professional accomplishments, he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. An inaugural member of our Chicago-Midwest Regional Cabinet, John has played a key role in expanding the University of Rochester’s presence in the area. For his outstanding career achievements and his generous service to his country, his community, and his alma mater, John Levi stands among our most distinguished graduates.
With 35 years of international business experience, Jack Carmola has been a standout leader in the aerospace industry. His technical knowledge as an engineer combined with his business acumen have helped him effectively meet enormous corporate challenges. Responsible for billions of dollars in sales, thousands of employees, and scores of facilities with customers all over the world, he helped increase the market value of the Goodrich Corporation by more than 1,000 percent in just 8 years and helped bring about the largest deal in the history of the aerospace industry. An indispensable advisor at the Hajim School, he serves on the Dean’s Advisory Committee and provides keen advice to our leaders. Thorough in his thinking and problem solving, he offers us wise counsel on how to make our school ever better. Through his membership in the George Eastman Circle, he generously supports the Hajim School’s annual funds. For his outstanding career achievements and his loyal service to his alma mater, Jack Carmola stands among the Hajim School’s most distinguished graduates.
As co-inventor of the blue noise mask, Theo Mitsa has had a remarkable impact on the University of Rochester, but her accomplishments go far beyond this singular, groundbreaking discovery. With 14 patents to her name, she has helped develop several products and processes that help health care workers and, ultimately, patients. Her work related to data science has placed her at the forefront of this burgeoning field of study, and her book Temporal Data Mining conveys the importance of harnessing vast amounts of information to benefit diverse areas, such as health care, finance, and even the environment. Her numerous awards reflect the confidence that so many respected organizations have placed in her. At the University of Rochester, her service on the Boston Regional Cabinet has helped us expand our network of alumni in the East, and her endowed scholarship fund will remain a lasting legacy for generations of future engineers. For her outstanding career achievements and her loyal service to her alma mater, Theo Mitsa stands among the Hajim School’s most distinguished graduates.