February 15, 2023

On Friday, April 14, the New York University Alumni Association (NYUAA) will recognize five outstanding alumni from across the University for their exceptional personal and professional achievements and transformative contributions to society. NYU alumni from across the globe are invited to attend an awards ceremony at Gotham Hall in NYC and celebrate this year’s honorees:

Register now and read on to learn more about these impressive honorees, whose successes and commitments within their communities and around the world exemplify the NYU spirit.

Alvin Kass (STEINHARDT ’76)

Eugene J. Keogh Award for Distinguished Public Service

Alvin Kass

Chief Chaplain Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass was appointed to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in 1966, making him the most tenured chaplain in the NYPD. For 57 years, Chief Chaplain Kass’ counsel and spiritual guidance have been invaluable to officers of all ranks and to the communities they serve. A renowned educator, respected lecturer, published author, trusted media personality, and prominent community leader, Chief Chaplain Kass has dedicated his life to public service.

Christy Turlington Burns (GAL ’99)

Distinguished Alumni Award

Christy Turlington Burns

Christy Turlington Burns is the founder and president of Every Mother Counts (EMC), an organization that has invested more than $27 million in programs focused on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. Turlington Burns began her work in maternal health after experiencing a childbirth related complication—an experience that would later inspire her to direct and produce the documentary film No Woman, No Cry. Before founding EMC, Turlington Burns received international acclaim as a model; she is a best-selling author and has earned numerous accolades for her transformative work as a health and wellness advocate. 

Eduardo D. Rodriguez (DEN ’92) 

Distinguished Alumni Award

Eduardo D. Rodriguez

Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, serves as the Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and as Chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone, specializing in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Since joining the team, he has done life-changing work, performing three face transplants and the world’s first face and double hand transplant. The son of Cuban immigrants, Dr. Rodriguez was born and raised in Miami and has received numerous degrees in higher education that helped shape his distinguished career. 

Quemuel Arroyo (CAS ’12, WAG ’20)

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Quemuel Arroyo

Quemuel “Q” Arroyo is the first Chief Accessibility Officer and Senior Advisor to the Chairman & CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Arroyo joined the MTA from Charge, a, micro-mobility docking station startup, where he served as interim President and Global Head of Community. Prior to Charge, he served as the first Chief Accessibility Specialist at the New York City Department of Transportation. Arroyo lives in Harlem and serves on the boards of several venerable organizations. He is an avid scuba diver and loves to sail on NYC’s waterways. 

Jennifer Curry (WAG ’07, STEINHARDT ’14)

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Jennifer Curry

Jennifer Curry, EdD, founded Change Impact in 2017 to help social impact organizations achieve results and advance equity. Since then, Change Impact has trained nearly 30,000 professionals, raised more than $190 million in grants for nonprofits and schools, and designed program and equity strategies for more than 90 partners. Curry was named a Next 1,000 up-and-coming entrepreneur by Forbes magazine and is a regular featured author and speaker on equity in youth work.