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HAA Honors Alumni Clubs and SIGs

March-April 2019

The honors, awarded at the Harvard Alumni Association’s winter meeting in February, celebrate alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their clubs, and Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) that have significantly improved or developed new programs to contribute to the growth and sustainability of their local alumni communities.

As president of the 6,000-member Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance (H4A), Jeannie Park ’83 continues the work that she began as an undergraduate: organizing and inspiring the University’s multiple Asian populations. In 2010, she co-chaired the inaugural Harvard Asian Alumni Summit, which drew more than 400 alumni spanning six decades and all of Harvard’s schools. Since then, Park has also been instrumental in hosting two more H4A summits. More recently, she has shown characteristic leadership and diplomacy in listening to alumni of all backgrounds regarding the current admissions lawsuit, and collaborating with multiple alumni groups to support diversity at Harvard.

In just two years as president of the Harvard Club of Miami, Jeff Bartel ’88, a business leader and philanthropist, has overseen exceptional club growth. He has dedicated time, energy, and financial support to the endeavor, working with members to triple the size of the membership, increase financial stability, and more effectively gather and communicate with South Florida alumni. During 2018, the club hosted 10 events, including lectures, a Harvard-Yale Game party, and a community-service panel discussion on college and career advice, which took place at a local high school.

Although the 10 board members of the Harvard University Club of Brazil represent six schools and seven programs, they are united in their mission of engaging and strengthening the Brazilian alumni community. Within the last 18 months, the board has reinstated regular meetings, organized the membership process, and hosted events that attracted hundreds of participants. The club also partnered with the Brazil office of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies to conduct a Harvard-Brazil Impact Survey to better serve local alumni.

During the last two decades, Harvardwood has grown from a trio of arts-focused alumni into a thriving SIG of more than 10,000 members in chapters across the country, as well as in England and Canada. The organization has organized myriad events, workshops, and social and networking gatherings for students, alumni, and other Harvard affiliates exploring, or already working in, the arts, media, and entertainment sectors. Harvardwood runs mentorship and summer internship programs, along with its Harvardwood 101 project, which sponsors undergraduates in Los Angeles during Wintersession.

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