Alumni Awards

Congratulations to the 2019 Alumni Award Recipients!

2019 Distinguished Alumni Award

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  • Dr. Monya A. Ruffin-Nash '92

    Dr. Monya A. Ruffin-Nash ’92 is a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Alexandria, Virginia in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources in the Division for Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL). In this role, she oversees a multi-million-dollar project portfolio of innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and development initiatives at all levels--- K-12, postsecondary, graduate, professional and the general public. Dr. Ruffin-Nash also serves as the implementation team program co-lead for NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) where she leads a cross-agency team in strategic planning, program administration, budget management, and grant management for over sixty pilot projects, conferences, alliances and a coordination hub. Prior to becoming the co-lead for the NSF INCLUDES implementation team, Dr. Ruffin-Nash served as the program co-lead for the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Program, a program that invests in innovative research and development work conducted outside of a school setting.

    For over twenty years, Dr. Ruffin-Nash has devoted her career to STEM education. She has led collaborative education initiatives with colleges and universities, government agencies, state education agencies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Texas Instruments, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, community-based organizations, K-12 school districts, youth, children, families, and communities. She and her teams have conducted research and developed widely distributed education products and resources, published in peer reviewed journals, and provided professional development training to teachers and key stakeholders on pertinent education and research topics. She also had the honor to serve as the inaugural chair of the Atlanta Science Festival Expo & Taskforce in 2014. Held at the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, over 30,000 people, 400 volunteers, and 250 exhibitors and performers celebrated STEM at the expo in its first two years. The Atlanta Science Festival is still held annually in Piedmont Park.

    She credits much of her love for science, scholarship and service to her time at Marist. While at Marist, Dr. Ruffin-Nash excelled in her classes, especially in mathematics and the sciences. She also served as a member of the Junior Classical League for Latin Students, enriched her communication skills as a Marist Thespian participating in service plays in the local area and in underserved communities, and was a Marist War Eagle junior and varsity football and basketball cheerleader.

    Dr. Ruffin-Nash has a B.S. in biology and a Master of Education in secondary science education in biology from the University of Georgia and a PhD in teaching and learning with emphases in science education and education technology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

    Dr. Ruffin-Nash lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Dr. Milton Nash, an administrator and mathematics professor.
  • About the Distinguished Alumni Award

    To honor and publicly recognize an individual alumni for achievements that demonstrate the qualities of the Marist Mission present in his/her life. Such an individual should incorporate the values and principles upon which Marist School was founded into all aspects of his/her life including, but not limited to, business and civic affairs. Such recognition thereby brings to the attention of Marist School and the general public those individuals whose success reflects favorably upon the school; and brings to the attention of the student body those persons whose achievements might serve as inspiration for future generations.


    The recipient may be a man or woman who is a graduate of Marist School and possesses the following qualifications: (a) Leadership/Recognition in his/her chosen profession and (b) Recognition in the community for leadership in civic and/or religious affairs.
  • Previous Award Recipients

    2018: Christopher M. Carr '90
    2017: Paul Muldawer '50 
    2016: Mary Humann Judson '84
    2015: William G. Roche '76
    2014: Bret Baier '88
    2013: Richard Stanton "Dick" White, Jr. '52 
    2012: Rev. James Lawrence Harrison, III '46
    2011: Ernie Johnson, Jr. '74
    2010: Gordon J. Azar, M.D. '52
    2009: John B. Attanasio '72
    2008: Frank J. McCloskey '68
    2007: R.J. “Jim” Griffin, Jr. ’62 
    2006: H. Hamilton Smith ’53 
    2005: M.P. “Pat” Greene, Jr. ’48 
    2004: Edward J. Fechtel, Jr. ’53 
    2003: James A. Kelly ’54 
    2002: Dr. Joseph A. Snitzer ’49 
    2001: Charles W. Harrison ’48 
    2000: Paul V. Applegarth ’64 
    1999: Richard H. Leike ’60 
    1998: Dr. William C. Waters ’46 
    1997: W. Terence Walsh ’61 
    1996: Hon. Philip F. Etheridge ’60 
    1995: Herbert J. Dickson ’43 
    1994: William W. Murphy ’39 
    1993: Francis J. Manley ’48 
    1992: John H. Kelly ’57 
    1991: Richard J. Reynolds ’52 
    1990: James S. Carroll ’61 
    1989: Julian B. Mohr ’48 
    1988: Frank S. McGaughey, Jr. ’41
    1987 : Charles A. Fitzgerald ’41 
    1986: Robert Strickland ’44 
    1985: R. Carl “Hap” Chandler ’35 
    1984: Lindsey Hopkins, Jr. ’23 
    1983: William J. McAlpin ’23 
    1982: Michael G. Walsh ’60 
    1981: A.V. Gude ’39 
    1980: Donald Oberdorfer ’18 
    1979: Alex Smith ’41 
    1978: Emory Cocke ’15 
    1977: George Craft ’27

2019 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

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  • Greg Benoit '02

    Greg Benoit, ’02, is the CEO of QGenda, a healthcare software company with over 300 employees specializing in automated workforce management, currently serving over 200,000 clinicians in more than 4,000 hospitals. In 2000, at the request of a family friend, Greg found interest in helping manage the schedules for a local Atlanta physician practice. Upon graduating from Miami University in 2006 with a B.S. in computer science, Greg started QGenda as it is known today to provide scheduling software to healthcare practices at scale across the country. Since that time, Greg has leveraged his unmatched 15 years of healthcare software experience to establish QGenda as the industry’s leading vendor of automated physician scheduling software with offices in Atlanta, GA and Baltimore, MD. As CEO of QGenda, Greg also won a Glassdoor Employees Choice Award honoring the Top 50 CEOs of 2018 in the United States.

    As an active participant and investor in Atlanta’s entrepreneurial community, Greg founded TechRise Ventures in 2016 to give back to early stage software companies. He is a regular presenter at local software and innovation networking events, and often helps mentor early stage software startups. In 2018 Ernst & Young honored Greg’s efforts with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. QGenda has also been named to the Georgia Fast 40 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 two years in a row. In 2019, QGenda was named among the AJC Best Places to Work.

    Greg has shown his commitment to the Atlanta and Baltimore communities by starting QGenda Cares, a program designed to provide employees with an opportunity to make a difference in their own community. QGenda employees nominate a local non-profit to support and complete an impactful service project. Examples include: organizing events for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, building a local park (Loridan’s Park), and participating in an internship program through Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.

    While at Marist, Greg was involved in theatre performances, the basketball team, Habitat for Humanity, and the Blue & Gold newspaper, but mostly focused on maintaining a strong academic record. At Miami University, Greg was an active member in the legislative and judicial branches of student government by serving as student body vice president and overseeing student body judicial affairs for suspend-able and expellable cases.

    Most of all, Greg enjoys family time with his wife Leah Benoit and daughters McKinzie (4) and Gabi (3) at their home in Buckhead.
  • About the Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    To recognize a young alumni whose achievements in career and/or service to the community have demonstrated excellence. Service or support of Marist School is also a consideration.


    The recipient must be an alumni of Marist School who graduated no more than 20 years ago, and who demonstrates excellence in career and/or service to the community.
  • Previous Award Recipients

    2018: Dr. Barbara Overend McElhanon '98
    2017: Titania Gibson Jordan '99
    2016: John Lanier '04
    2015: Wynne P. Kelly '96
    2014: Leigh Torrence, Jr. '00
    2013: Matt Harpring '94
    2012: Michael D. Moroski '97
    2011: Adam M. Murphy '93
    2010: Michael J. Cascone '92
    2009: K. Benjamin "Ben" Lawder '00
    2008: W. Alec Millen '88

2019 Reverend James L. Hartnett, S.M. Service Award

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  • Natalie Smith Childs '86

    Natalie Smith Childs ’86 was involved in many activities at Marist including Marist Singers, lead roles in the musical theater program, and Emmaus retreat leader. Natalie attended the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia graduating cum laude in 1990 with a bachelor of business administration in accounting. While at UGA, Natalie was awarded the President’s Award, named one of twelve Outstanding Seniors for the Pandora yearbook, and was a member of the Homecoming Court. She served as president of Golden Key National Honor Society, vice president of Kappa Alpha Theta, and was on the Student Alumni Council. Natalie received her C.P.A. and went on to work for Arthur Andersen & Company in Atlanta and Boston. She found a true passion for her nonprofit clients which included The United Way of Metro Atlanta and The American Cancer Society. This prompted a career shift into fundraising at Harvard University and then consulting at Coxe Curry & Associates where she became the senior manager of the Woodruff Arts Center Corporate Annual Campaign.

    In 1999, Natalie left the business world to focus on her family: daughter, Smith Childs ’15, and sons Whid Childs ’17, and Joe Childs ’21. During this time, Natalie has enjoyed supporting her children’s schools, her church, and many other worthwhile organizations. Some of her contributions include serving as the Annual Fund Chair and as a member of the Development Committee for Christ the King School. She currently serves on the University of Georgia Board of Visitors and the Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School Development Committee. At Cristo Rey, she organized and chaired the Annual Charity Golf Tournament in 2016 and 2017. Natalie is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Atlanta where she has been singing for 15 years with The Peach Pipes, a women’s choral group that performs each week at local retirement homes and hospitals. She also sings with the Cathedral of Christ the King’s Contemporary Ensemble.

    As a graduate from Marist, Natalie has been actively engaged in the Marist Alumni Association, serving as its president in 1996-97, 25th reunion chair for her class, Alumni Women’s Luncheon Committee member, and class representative for many years. Natalie is also on the Marist School Development Committee, was parent co-chair of The Way. The Hope. The Promise. The Campaign for Marist School., co-chair of Holiday Traditions, and co-chair of the Auction and Gala. All of these roles have not only helped to promote the school and its mission to form the whole person in the image of Christ, but have been a wonderful opportunity for her to form lasting relationships with other classmates, parents, faculty, and staff. Natalie is grateful to be a part of the Marist family and honored to receive the 2019 Reverend James L. Hartnett, S.M. Service Award.
  • About the Reverend James L. Hartnett, S.M. Service Award

    To bring public recognition to an individual alumni or friend who has distinguished him/herself by demonstrating exemplary service to Marist School. Through said service, the individual has revealed that the values and principles upon which Marist School was founded and the qualities of the Marist Mission are present in his/her life. Such recognition thereby brings to the attention of Marist School and the general public those individuals whose success reflects favorably upon the school; and brings to the attention of the student body those persons whose achievements might serve as inspiration for future generations.


    The recipient must be a man or woman who is a graduate or friend of Marist School. The recipient should have demonstrated exemplary service to Marist School.
  • Previous Award Recipients

    2018: Megan Citarella Stewart '95
    2017: Sarah Carr Evans '93 
    2016: Stephen M. Raeber
    2015: C. Knox Withers '96
    2014: Dee Lane Eades '79
    2013: Albert Michael Ashkouti '61 
    2012: Patrick Crawford '77
    2011: Brooks A. "Tony" Nicholson '58
    2010: Marianne Ravry McDevitt '89
    2009: William J. "Joe" Bruckner '62
    2008: Michael S, Reeves '67
    2007: William “Bill” M. Rich ’59
    2006: Timothy J. Cambias, Sr.
    2005: Celine Sherman Stribling ’78 
    2004: Asbury Snow
    2003: J. Robert Fitzgerald 
    2002: John J. Tarleton, Jr. ’51 
    2001: George V. Belkofer ’62 
    2000: Mark W. Hennessy ’72 
    1999: Clarence H. Smith ’68 
    1998: Thomas O’Haren 
    1997: Michael W. Trapp 
    1996: H. Timothy McKane ’65 
    1995: E. H. Mattingly, Sr. 
    1994: E. Vincent McMahon ’31 
    1993: R. Reid Trapani 
    1992: Bill Medbery ’71 
    1991: R. William Murray ’65 & Rev. Charles F. Brogley, S.M. 
    1990: William Jordan ’35

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers