AU Press Releases

East Greenbush resident to receive alumni award during Reunion Weekend

Christa Nyman Christakis of East Greenbush, a member of the Alfred University class of 2001, is the recipient of the AU 2009 Abigail Allen Award for Service to Women. The award is given to a graduate to recognize a distinctive career achievement, or community service, that has improved the quality of women’s lives.

The award will be presented during Alfred University’s annual Reunion Weekend, June 12-14.

Christakis, an environmental studies major, was an active Alfred undergraduate — she was a residence hall assistant, earned mention in “Who’s Who in American Students,” served as president of the Women’s Issues Coalition, and received the Outstanding Senior Award.

In 2003, she earned a master of arts degree in public affairs and policy from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, where she studied women and public policy. As a graduate student, Christakis was selected as a Women and Public Policy Fellow by the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Rockefeller College Young Alumni Award.

As an alumna, Christakis’ involvement continues with a spotlight on women’s issues. Christakis is a member of the Alfred University Women’s Leadership Center’s Advisory Board and was the first speaker for the Women of Influence series of lectures, which began in 2005. Christakis also serves as her class correspondent to the Alfred Magazine.

Formerly, as a director of Government Affairs with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and currently, in her position as director of Quality and Research Initiatives at the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), Christakis focuses her efforts as an advocate for women’s health issues. She is responsible for developing HANYS’ position on new or proposed quality-related accreditation, regulatory, and legislative initiatives.

In additional to her service to her alma mater, Christakis serves as a board member for the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood organization, and as a vice chairperson of Community Cradle, which provides health programs and services to women and families in the Capital Region.

She was nominated for the Abigail Allen Award by Amy Jacobson, director of gift planning at Alfred University and former director of the Women’s Leadership Center, and Kerry Kautzman, AU associate professor of Spanish, on behalf of the Women’s Studies Program at the University.

Christakis is the wife of Dr. Michael Christakis, a ’99 graduate of Alfred University and current president of the AU Alumni Association.

Founded in 1836, Alfred University became the first coeducational institution in New York State and the second in the nation. About 2,000 full-time undergraduate and 400 graduate students work and live in 52 buildings on a scenic 232-acre hillside campus adjoining the village of Alfred.

The nonsectarian University is comprised of the privately endowed AACSB-accredited (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as the NYS College of Ceramics (Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering and the School of Art and Design). AU’s art school is ranked number one in the nation for ceramic art, and second in the nation for glass art.

The University awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.