CONWAY, Ark. (August 30, 2013) – Three
outstanding Hendrix alumni will be awarded the Hendrix Odyssey Medal at
Founders Day 2013 on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 11:10 a.m. in Staples Auditorium.
The Odyssey Medal is awarded by the Hendrix
College Board of Trustees to alumni whose personal and professional
achievements exemplify the values of engaged liberal arts and sciences
The 2013-14 honorees include:
- Liz Langston ’84 – Odyssey Medal for
- Charles H. “Chuck”
– Odyssey Medal for Professional and Leadership Development
- Derek Lowe ’83 – Odyssey Medal for Research
Liz Langston, a film writer and producer, is co-founder and executive director
of the 48 Hour Film Project, the world’s oldest and largest timed filmmaking
competition. Each year more than 58,000 people from 120 cities around the
world compete to see who can make the best film in only 48 hours. In the 48
Hour Film Projectʼs 12
years, more than 21,000 films have been made by 330,000 people.
Before she reached the point where her creative
endeavors allowed her to quit her “day job” she was a researcher at the Urban
Institute and Pacific Institute for Research and Analysis in Washington,
D.C. Langston earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from
Hendrix and a master’s degree in applied psychology from the University of
Arkansas at Little Rock in 1988. She now lives in Albuquerque, New
H. “Chuck” Chalfant ’81
Chuck Chalfant is president and CEO of Space
Photonics, Inc. (SPI), an Arkansas-based optical communications company.
A native of Booneville, Ark., Chalfant
earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Hendrix College and a master’s
degree in laser physics from the University of Arkansas, before moving to
California to work for Lockheed Space Systems. He later joined the R&D
division of Optivision, a small high-tech company founded at Stanford, and in
1996 moved his family back to Arkansas, while continuing to work for the
In 1997, he and several Optivision
colleagues formed Optical Networks Inc. The company experience rapid growth and
when the decision was made to take it public, Chuck started Space Photonics,
Inc., an optical communications company. More than a decade later, Space
Photonics remains a successful privately held company, and Chalfant is now leading
the company’s pursuit of commercial laser communications solutions for the
wireless information and rural broadband infrastructure.
In his career, Chuck has led more
than 20 optical product development efforts in his career, and authored more
than twenty publications. SPI is now one of the world’s leading innovators
in optical communications technologies. SPI’s patented LaserFire®
laser communications systems were recently licensed and are now in production
by world-renowned innovator and manufacturer SCHOTT for military and government
Derek Lowe ’83
Derek Lowe is a research fellow at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and writes the “In
the Pipeline” weblog.
A native of Harrisburg, Ark., Derek earned a Ph.D. in organic
chemistry at Duke University in 1988. He then landed a prestigious Humboldt
Fellowship to study in Darmstadt, Germany, for a year. After returning to the
U.S. in 1989, he worked at Schering-Plough in New Jersey doing research on
schizophrenia and Alzheimer's.
In 1997, Lowe began a decade of work for Bayer Pharmaceuticals in
Connecticut, working on diabetes, metabolic disorders, and cancer. After Bayer
closed its North American research operations, he moved to the Boston/Cambridge
area to work for Vertex Pharmaceuticals. At Vertex, his work has focused on
antibacterials, antivirals, and multiple sclerosis. He is currently part of a
group investigating "undruggable" targets of all kinds.
In 2002, Derek started a blog site about drug discovery,
chemistry, and other scientific news that is now the oldest
continuously-running science blog on the internet, garnering about 20,000 page
views a day. He also writes a monthly column for Chemistry World, a magazine published by the Royal Society of
Chemistry in Great Britain, and a monthly column for Contract Pharma, a U.S. trade publication.
Lowe presents frequently at national and international
conferences, and has an extensive list of scientific publications and more than
25 patents to his credit.
The medal recipients and their guests will be
honored later that evening at a reception at the Clinton Library in Little
Nominations for the 2014 Odyssey Medals are due Dec. 31, 2013 and
may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and a nomination form, visit www.hendrix.edu/odysseymedal.
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national
leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth
consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming”
liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and
World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton
Review as one of the country’s best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think
about Colleges, Forbes
magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of
the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United
Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.