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Biochemistry Grad Wins Ratte Award

June 14, 2004

  • Leah Honigman ’04
    Leah Honigman ’04

She’s been described as a “jewel of a student” and “an unquestioned academic leader.” Indeed, Leah Honigman ’04 made such a positive impression on the faculty at Lewis & Clark that they selected her for the Rena J. Ratte Award in May. The award is the College’s highest academic honor and the recipient is revealed with fanfare during Honors Convocation.

Honigman graduated summa cum laude in biochemistry, with departmental honors, having maintained a 3.93 GPA. But her activities at Lewis & Clark went far beyond the classroom. She captained the varsity volleyball team, tutored other students, volunteered at Portland’s Hopewell House hospice, and spent a semester in Ecuador as part of the College’s overseas study program. She hopes to go abroad again before entering medical school in fall 2005 at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in her hometown of Denver.

She credits Janis Lochner, Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Professor of Science, with having the most influence on her studies. “Janis profoundly impacted my life by helping me develop a sense of myself as a scientist and by honing my interest in an academic career,” she says. Honigman’s ultimate goal is to become a physician.

Leah’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor from Auschwitz, traveled from his home in Ohio to see his granddaughter receive her degree from the College. “I’m very proud of her,” he beamed at a reception following convocation.

Rena Ratte was a Lewis & Clark philosophy instructor and professor during the 1960s. Colleagues, students, and friends established the award in her memory following her unexpected death in 1970.

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