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2014 SoHE Alumni Award Winners

The 2014 University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology Alumni Awards

The School of Human Ecology Alumni Awards honor the tremendous achievements of SoHE students post-graduation.

From early-career entrepreneurs to renowned scholars, the recipients of the annual School of Human Ecology Distinguished Alumni Award, Early-Career Award and newly created OneSoHE21 Award exemplify the indelible mark SoHE alums make across diverse fields and communities. Together their achievements cross boundaries and solve problems when others give up.  Their accomplishments range from creating a Wisconsin-based company with a social conscience to advocating on behalf of children of incarcerated mothers.

The Early Career Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award acknowledge different stages of career development. This year the School introduced the OneSoHE21 award to recognize alumni that exemplify successful interdisciplinary application of their School of Human Ecology studies. Read more about the individual honorees below.

Congratulations to this year’s unique and distinguished award recipients.


Matt D’Amour, OneSoHE21 Award
Matt, a graduate of Consumer Science, is the co-founder of Yumbutter, a successful retailer of nut butters. Matt and his business partner Adrian Reif continually seek better and more holistic ways for Yumbutter to improve the lives of people around the globe, including using mindful ingredients, minimizing carbon footprints, and driving the company’s the ‘Buy One: Feed One’ initiative. In partnership with nonprofits around the world, Yumbutter’s goal is to feed over 2.5 million children in need by 2017. When asked to reflect on his student experience, Matt noted, “SoHE laid an amazing foundation for me to be an entrepreneur.”

Jordan Hinkley, Early Career Award 
Jordan is a 2004 SoHE graduate who majored in Interior Design. She started her post-college career at Tommy Bahama in New York. After just 18 months she was promoted to home designer and management of the entire design process, from the generation of initial design inspiration to approval of final product. Jordan then worked with Pottery Barn in San Francisco before moving into her current role as a designer in the product development department at Target where she is responsible for Threshold and RE brand furniture, mirrors, clocks, and children’s wall art.

Rebecca Shlafer, Distinguished Alumni Award
Rebecca graduated from SoHE’s Human Development and Family Studies program in 2004 and is now an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, University of Minnesota. In this role, Rebecca provides critical insights on an undervalued and understudied population—incarcerated women and their children. She advocates for child and families through her work as a guardian ad litem and received the New Investigator Award from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in 2012.

Timothy Fish, Early Career Award
In 2010, Tim received a bachelors in community and nonprofit leadership from the Civil Society and Community Studies Department. As a student, he stood out as an engaged, enthused leader. His career path includes serving as coordinator for the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Title VII Indian Education Grant & Program in addition to ongoing involvement with a SoHE’s Family Voices project, which focuses on improving academic performance for African American youth in South Madison.  When asked by Dean Shim to comment on his favorite class, he said, “my best class was in program planning…I use [it] everywhere I go.” Tim holds a master’s in social work from UW–Madison.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!