Explaining the Harvard Medal

Harvard Medal pic
Harvard Medal
Image: alumni.harvard.edu

Bringing over 30 years of experience to his role as the managing director and CEO of Desicon Engineering, Akanimo Udofia is responsible for overseeing the continued growth of the company. A graduate of Harvard Business School’s Senior Executive Program, Akanimo Udofia also maintains membership with the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).

One of the most prestigious honors awarded by the HAA is the Harvard Medal, which is given to candidates in recognition of the services they have provided to the institution. Past recipients have contributed to areas as diverse as teaching, management, and fundraising, in addition to many more.

Potential candidates for the medal include alumni, former members of the university’s staff, members of both Radcliffe Trustees and the Harvard Corporation, and members of a number of other associations that have close ties with the university. However, those who serve actively on the board or currently work on the faculty are generally not considered for nomination. The medal will also not be granted to people on the occasion of their retirements or to those who are deceased.

Nominations are made by previous recipients of the medal, which is awarded annually. Unsuccessful nominees will also be in the running for the next three years.


Pronouncing Italian Words and Food Correctly

Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine


Desicon Engineering Ltd., a construction and procurement firm in the petroleum industry, is headed by CEO and managing director Akanimo Udofia. Aside from managing a company with more than 4,000 employees, Akanimo Udofia enjoys Italian cuisine.

Dennis Mallow, an American professor with Italian ancestry, emphasized the need to acknowledge the correct pronunciation of Italian words, especially Italian food.

One common example of a mispronounced Italian food is marinara. Rather than pronouncing it with a hard R – “Mah-ree-nah-rah” – Italian Americans pronounce it with a rolled R. English-speaking tongues usually end up pronouncing it with a D, as with “Mahd-in-nahd.” The lack of the vowel at the end is due to the Anglicizing of the traditional Italian accent.

Another example is “mozzarella.” In America, people pronounce it as “Mo-zah-rel-luh,” but Italians pronounce it as “Mot-za-re-lah.” Lastly, “cannoli,” another popular Italian food, is usually pronounced as “Cuh-now-lee” – the correct pronunciation. Whereas American Italians pronounce it as “Guh-nowl,” leading to an interesting conversation with a vendor once they go to Italy to order it.