The McMicken College of Arts and Sciences is proud to announce Dr. Elizabeth Murray, ’88, ’93 and Col. Timothy Adam, ’86 as this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award for their outstanding professional contributions to the fields of forensic anthropology and space defense systems.
Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a graduate of programs in anthropology and human biology, is professor of biology at Mount St. Joseph University and a distinguished forensic anthropologist, having received international recognition and professional honors for teaching and consulting work on behalf of organizations including the National Institute of Justice and the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Disaster Committee. Dr. Murray is one of only approximately 75 forensic anthropologists currently certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA), for which she serves on the Board of Directors.
During her time at UC, Dr. Murray worked toward a doctorate in Interdisciplinary studies, a program that allowed her to take courses in geology, biology, anthropology, and forensics. “The flexibility of the program gave me the wings to do what I wanted to do,” Murray said. “It was so critical to me to choose my courses; it was an opportunity of a lifetime and I took it.” She attributes much of her success at UC to professor emeritus Dr. Anthony Perzigian who encouraged her to delve into forensics for grad school. “I was very privileged to work with him,” Murray said.
Dr. Murray’s body of work involves analyzing skeletal and decomposing remains to aid law enforcement, coroners and medical examiners to identify unknown persons, as well as to interpret their traumatic injuries and to estimate the time of death. Her extensive range of work includes being called to the scene of plane crashes, and leading a team of military personnel and villagers in Laos to search for the remains of a U.S. soldier who was shot down during the Vietnam War. She has also served as a forensic anthropology consultant for coroner’s offices throughout southwest Ohio and Kentucky.
Col. Timothy Adam (USAF ret.), a first-generation graduate of UC with degrees in computer science and mathematics, is a native of Cincinnati’s west side and a graduate of Elder High School. He also holds masters degrees from National Defense University, Air Command and Staff College, and Webster University. He currently serves as a Program Management Advisor for Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C, where he lives with his wife Jo Ann and their six children.
“It’s very humbling and gratifying to receive this award, especially from a university that I’m so passionate about,” Adam said. “I haven’t ever lost the passion I feel toward Cincinnati. Being on campus was my home away from home.” When he first started at UC, there was no Computer Science major, though when UC developed the program half way through his studies, Adam was one of the first students to join the program. “That degree really formed a foundation for me and has helped me immensely as I pursued similar work in the Air Force,” Adam said. “It allowed me to do some of the cutting edge operations I’ve done over the course of my career.”
In 2010 Col. Adam completed 24 years of outstanding service with the Air Force, retiring from the Pentagon's office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff as an executive military delegate to the Secretary of State. The two squadrons he led as director of operations and commander were both named the best in the Air Force under his leadership. As a missile warning officer, he excelled under the pressure of real-world post Desert Storm with a perfect record of missile detection and warning. His incredible accuracy directly contributed to the protection of thousands of American and coalition lives in the Middle East.
When he visits Cincinnati, Col. Adam returns to campus to mentor UC’s ROTC students. “I consider myself extremely lucky. When I get the opportunity to talk to younger cadets, I try to provide my experience to them,” Adam said. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the Air Force, including the Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award and the Defense Superior Service Medal. Currently, Adam works for Booz Allen Hamilton to guide government agencies on the implementation and operation of new intelligence systems as a senior advisor.
Dr. Murray and Col. Adam will be recognized at the McMicken College Distinguished Alumni Luncheon on Friday, October 23 from 12:30-2:00pm at the Kingsgate Marriott. All alumni of the college are invited to attend. For details and to register, please click here.
The luncheon will kick off Homecoming Weekend celebrations for the college, which will continue on Saturday, October 24 with the 2nd Annual McMicken College Homecoming Brunch. For details and a list of all events for Homecoming Weekend, please visit http://www.uc.edu/homecoming/events.
Established in 1989, the McMicken College Distinguished Alumni Award is presented each year to graduates of the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences who are outstanding in their chosen fields of endeavor or have made significant contributions that benefit the community, state, nation, college or university. Previous winners have included pioneers in transplant surgery and epigenetics, trailblazing women in corporate research and development, a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist, entrepreneurs, and alumni whose love of the university inspired them to join UC as members of the faculty and staff.