Named in memory and honor of Dr. Marjorie E. Kettell, Class of 1947, this award is presented annually to bestow institutional recognition on one Harriet E. Richards Cooperative House alumna who has distinguished herself in her personal or professional life, in her intellectual pursuits, or in her dedication to service of community, country or society.
Noreen Grice, Class of 1985, is the inaugural recipient of the Marjorie E. Kettell Distinguished Alumna Award. Noreen is a pioneer in making planetarium environments welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities. She has over 30 years of experience creating accessible astronomy materials for people with visual disabilities, presenting accessible astronomy programming, and teaching in museum and higher education environments. Her first accessible astronomy book, Touch the Stars, was published in 1990. The book has been revised into four editions and turned into a series of Braille/tactile books for NASA. Today, Noreen continues her partnership with NASA on other projects including testing 3-D printed models with blind students and designing tactile graphics for two NASA traveling exhibits. She also works as the Planetarium Manager at The Children’s Museum in West Hartford, CT and develops accessible astronomy materials and programming through her organization, You Can Do Astronomy, in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind.