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College of Mount Saint Vincent Honors Distinguished Alumnae/i with Ad Laudem Dei Awards


Riverdale, N.Y. – The College of Mount Saint Vincent is proud to honor distinguished alumnae Nancy Harding ’69 and Sophia Yan Liu ’69, for their outstanding professional accomplishments, outstanding moral character and contributions to the community with the 2011 Ad Laudem Dei Awards.

A resident of San Diego, Calif., Nancy Harding holds a B.S. in chemistry from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and a Ph.D.  in biochemistry from Purdue University.  Since 1981, Dr. Harding has served on the staff of CP Kelco US, Inc., a leader in the production of polysaccharides by microbial fermentation, extraction from land and sea plants, and modification of cellulose-based raw materials. Currently a research fellow, Dr. Harding has held positions with both scientific and administrative importance throughout her career. She is an inventor of genetically purified gellan gum, a food additive that has helped improved the quality of consumer milk and dairy products, and has also helped create four other patented agents.

For the past decade, Sophia Yan Liu, Ph.D. has served as manager for regulatory affairs at ALZA Corporation, a pharmaceutical research and development firm owned by Johnson and Johnson. A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Liu has previously held scientific and leadership positions at Zeneca Inc. and Stauffer Chemical Company. After earning a B.S. in chemistry from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Dr. Liu received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and engaged in scholarly activities exploring the design, synthesis, and study of new molecules with interesting properties. This interest has persisted and evolved throughout her career. Her efforts and research have contributed to the development of new pesticides and consumer products. Dr. Liu’s work has yielded multiple United States patents, including one for an agent that results in safer plastics. She resides in Fremont, Calif. and is the mother of two grown children, Michael and Michelle.

Ad Laudem Dei is an award in recognition of alumnae/i of distinguished achievement. The award is given to individuals whose business or professional lives are of national significance and illustrate that service is not only an activity, but also an approach to the responsibilities of the work.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is a co-educational, independent institution rooted in the spirit and mission of the Sisters of Charity and committed to the liberal arts. The College’s undergraduate and master’s level degree programs prepare its uncommonly diverse students for lives of professional achievement and service. Visit for more information.