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UMass Lowell Honors Alumni for Achievements

Seven Graduates Feted at Gala to Raise Scholarship Funds

alumni award winners


Contacts:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or     
                Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell recently honored alumni who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to their fields and their communities at the 2013 University Alumni Awards ceremony. 

The honors paid tribute to one graduate from each of the university’s six schools and colleges and recognized a recent graduate. The event, attended by UMass Lowell leaders, alumni, students, faculty and staff, and members of the community, served as a fundraiser for student scholarships. The event was held Thursday, April 18 at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center.

“In addition to their personal and professional accomplishments, these distinguished alumni have formed partnerships with UMass Lowell and have continued to participate in the life of the university. They ensure our success by lending their expertise, time and support to academic programs, student scholarships and events,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We are honored to be able to recognize them in this way.” 

Recipients are nominated for the awards by community members, faculty, staff and fellow graduates. Since 1998, more than 100 UMass Lowell alumni and friends have been recognized. 

“The success of our alumni is a testament to the education UMass Lowell provides and the bond formed with the university from their time here on campus,” said Heather Makrez, UMass Lowell’s director of alumni relations and a UMass Lowell graduate. “The University Alumni Awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognize the lifelong impact UMass Lowell makes on the thousands who have graduated from the university and its predecessor institutions.”

This year’s awardees include:
  • Bruce Arakelian ’82, anesthesia provider, Carolinas Helathcare System. Now with the nation’s second largest health-care system, Arakelian has served as director of anesthesia services and as a clinical and didactic faculty member at the Carolinas College of Health Sciences and the University of North Carolina. He specializes in open heart, vascular and thoracic anesthesia and is a team member of the Carolinas Foot and Ankle Surgical Institute, the official surgical care center for the NFL and NBA. He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and Manhattan. Arakelian serves on the advisory board for UMass Lowell’s School of Health and Environment. He received his nursing degree from UMass Lowell. (School of Health and Environment honoree)
  • Jeffrey Cosiol ’67, retired principal director of projects at architectural, design and engineering company KlingStubbins. KlingStubbins is perhaps best known for its involvement in the redevelopment of Center City, Pa. A supporter of many UMass Lowell programs and initiatives, Cosiol established the Jeffrey Cosiol International Merit Scholarship, which supports freshmen entering UMass Lowell’s Francis College of Engineering, including outstanding international students. Cosiol lives in Margate, N.J., Miami, Fla. and San Jose, Costa Rica. He received his electrical engineering degree from UMass Lowell. (Francis College of Engineering honoree) 
  • Mark Forziati ’78, retired senior vice president and partner, Tudor Investments Corp. Forziati served two terms on the New York Stock Exchange Institutional Traders Advisory Committee. Actively involved in fundraising for cancer research, he has received the American Cancer Community Service Award, the Massachusetts General Hospital 100 Cancer Center Award and was the 2010 spokesperson for the North Shore Medical Center Cancer Walk. Forziati has generously supported the Manning School of Business, the Athletics Golf Tournament and the Lowell Fund, among other UMass Lowell programs and initiatives. His service includes membership on UMass Lowell’s Commencement Eve Host Committee and the Chancellor’s External Advisory Board. He has also been a speaker for the Manning Speaker Series and the Student Finance Club. He lives in Marblehead. Forziati received his degree in business administration from UMass Lowell. (Manning School of Business honoree)
  • George Membrino ’52, owner and founder of GEM Consulting. Membrino retired in 1993 as associate dean of continuing medical education at UMass Medical School, Worcester. An educator at heart, Membrino began his career as a music teacher in the Great Barrington and Longmeadow public schools before moving on to Westfield State University, where he rose quickly from instructor to assistant professor. In 1966, he was appointed superintendent of schools in Chicopee, a post he held for six years before joining a partnership to form an ambulatory medical care clinic for Chicopee, which had no hospital, and later joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He serves as an advisory board member of UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He lives in Lee. Membrino received a bachelor’s degree in music education from UMass Lowell. (College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences honoree) 
  • Danielle Bergeron McFadden ’07, president and CEO of the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce. McFadden, honored as an outstanding UMass Lowell recent graduate, plans events for chamber members and hosts the organization’s weekly radio program and its monthly television show. A faculty member at Middlesex Community College, she is also an advisory board member of UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. As a community leader, she serves on many area boards and committees, including Young Professionals of Greater Lowell, the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, The Lowell Plan and the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council. McFadden lives in Lowell. She received her master’s degree in community social psychology from UMass Lowell. (Recent Graduate honoree)
  • Kimberly Sawyer ’89, deputy laboratories director and executive vice president of mission support, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M. Sandia Corp., a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp, manages and operates the Sandia National Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sawyer is responsible for Sandia’s business, finance, infrastructure and facilities operations; information-technology and human resources services; legal and corporate governance; environmental safety and health; and audit and ethics issues. She is a board member of Albuquerque Economic Development Inc., and the Economic Forum of Albuquerque, and a vice chairwoman of the United Way of Central New Mexico. A member of Women in Defense and the Society of Women Engineers, she lives in Albuquerque. She received her master’s degree in mathematics and computing from UMass Lowell. (College of Sciences honoree) 
  • George Tsapatsaris ’77, retired superintendent, Lowell Public Schools. Tsapatsaris dedicated more than 40 years to the city’s students and teachers, enhancing the quality of education for all students. One of the longest-tenured school superintendents in the city’s history, his legacy includes a comprehensive $300 million building program. Before becoming superintendent in 1991, he served as Lowell Public Schools’ project director and was an assistant principal and teacher at the Bartlett School. He also served as an educational consultant to former UMass Lowell Chancellor William Hogan. A recipient of the UMass Lowell Graduate School of Education’s Distinguished Service Award, he has served on the school’s advisory board since 2003 and supports the Virginia Biggy and Graduate School of Education Advisory Board scholarship funds.  Tsapatsaris lives in Lowell. He received a master’s degree in education from UMass Lowell. (Graduate School of Education honoree)
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.