Alumni Relations announces 2024 achievement awards

Mary Lyon HallFour will be honored at Reunion for their accomplishments, service

The Alumni Board of Directors will recognize four alums for contributions to their community, distinguished career accomplishments and volunteer service to Wheaton on Saturday, May 18, 2024 during Reunion.

Rachel Pierre-Champagne ’01 and Nathania “Tanya” Aritao ’12 will receive Alumni Achievement Awards; Marcia Coleman Williams ’72 will receive the Sharon M. Howard ’87, P’09 Outstanding Wheaton Service Award; and Susan Little Doyle ’77 will be honored with the Heather J. Corbett ’86 Fostering Wheaton Community Award.

The Alumni Achievement Award pays tribute to alums who have made a significant contribution to society. The Sharon M. Howard ’87, P’09 Outstanding Wheaton Service Award is presented to alums who have made a significant and sustained contribution or service to Wheaton. The Heather J. Corbett ’86 Fostering Wheaton Community Award goes to alums whose ‘unsung’ contributions have brought the Wheaton community together and fostered deeper Wheaton-focused connections.

Alumni Achievement Award recipients

Rachel Pierre-Champagne ’01
Rachel Pierre-Champagne ’01

Pierre-Champagne double majored in international relations and French studies at Wheaton and has a master’s degree in international educational development from Columbia University. She is the director of the Human Capacity Development Program at Fondasyon Kolè Zepol (Fonkoze), Haiti’s leading microfinance institution, which provides a suite of financial and non-financial services to empower Haitians—with an emphasis on women—to lift their families out of poverty.

Pierre-Champagne is the founder and CEO of Innovators for Change. The organization works to start, grow and sustain businesses and organizations in Haiti, focusing on community empowerment, social inclusion, education and workforce development.

She has also served as the board chair of Special Olympics Haiti since 2014, Katherine “Katie” Wieland ’05 pointed out in nominating her for the Alumni Achievement Award. “Through her leadership Rachel raised hundreds of thousands in grants and in-kind donations to help secure a delegation of Haitian athletes and chaperones to travel, represent and attend the World Games since 2015. Thanks to her contribution, Haiti’s delegation has attended competitions in Los Angeles, California, Abu Dhabi, UAE and Berlin, Germany.”

Nathania “Tanya” Aritao ’12
Nathania “Tanya” Aritao ’12

Aritao, who is an artist and social entrepreneur, majored in fine and studio arts at Wheaton and earned an MBA from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Currently, she is the senior acceleration manager at The Earthshot Prize, which was launched by Prince William to search for and scale the most innovative solutions to the world’s greatest environmental challenges.

Since graduating from Wheaton, Aritao has committed her work to purpose-driven social enterprises, such as The Paper Project Inc., which provides sustainable livelihood for women survivors of human trafficking, forced prostitution, and abuse. She also is the founder of TAYO International, which supports migrant workers through online learning programs and a community for worker wellbeing.

“With more than 11 years of experience, she has shown exceptional leadership in launching and facilitating interventions to address global crises,” wrote nominator Claryce Medard ’14. “She has dedicated herself to assisting individuals in vulnerable positions, including children at risk and survivors of trafficking, helping them rebuild their lives.”

Sharon M. Howard ’87, P’09 Outstanding Wheaton Service Award recipient

Marcia Coleman Williams ’72
Marcia Coleman Williams ’72

Williams majored in mathematics at Wheaton and received a master’s degree in education from the University of Washington. She taught college-level mathematics, database theory, computer programming and systems analysis and design for 35 years at Bellevue College before retiring.

A member of the Founders Society, her service at Wheaton includes: two terms on the Alumni Board of Directors; serving as the Class of 1972 Wheaton Fund chair since her 40th Reunion; and being a Seattle admission volunteer, a leader for the Seattle Regional Alumni group and the Washington state contact for the Nancy Ann Holman ’56 Endowed Scholarship.

Priscilla Brown Carey ’74 nominated her for the award. “Marcia has contributed sustained service to Wheaton through the Alumni Association and through her class activities. She has worked to keep the Pacific Northwest engaged in Wheaton activities,” Carey wrote. “When she serves in a college position she frequently makes the coast-to-coast trip to be present at meetings. She brings enthusiasm, commitment and a love of Wheaton to everything she does.”

Heather J. Corbett ’86 Fostering Wheaton Community Award recipient

Susan Little Doyle ’77
Susan Little Doyle ’77

Doyle, who is retired, majored in sociology at Wheaton and earned a master’s degree in social work from Boston College School of Social Work. From 2011 to 2013 and from 2015 to 2022, she worked as a clinical interventionist in the Fitchburg Public Schools in Massachusetts. There, she was responsible for therapeutic work with students who face emotional and behavioral challenges.

She served as the executive director of Alumni Relations at Wheaton from 2013 to 2015, stepping into a position that required her to plan three major events within months of her starting date—Homecoming Weekend, the Alumni Leadership Conference and Reunion Weekend. Doyle also has served in many volunteer roles in support of the college, including as the director-at-large on the Alumni Board of Directors.

“Sue has been the glue that has kept the class of 1977 together. Her 20-plus years as a class officer, her service to Wheaton as an employee and her recommitment as a class officer cannot be surpassed,” Marci Miller ’77 wrote in nominating her.