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Distinguished UMass Lowell Alumni Honored

Each College Represented for Outstanding Achievements

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University Alumni Award recipients gather with the chancellor, executive vice chancellor, deans and provost during the awards ceremony. Back row, from left: George Tsapatsaris ’77, Mark Forziati ’78, George Membrino ’52, Kimberly Sawyer ’89, Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney ’75, ’92, Chancellor Marty Meehan ’78, Danielle (Bergeron) McFadden ’07, Bruce Arakelian ’82 and Jeffrey Cosiol ’67. Front row, from left: Acting Dean of the College of Sciences Mark Hines, Dean of Business Kathryn Carter; Dean of the School of Health and Environment Shortie McKinney; Dean of Education Anita Greenwood; Provost Ahmed Abdelal; Dean of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Luis Falcón; and Interim Dean of the College of Engineering Jack Wilson.

By Nichole Carter and Madeline Koufogazos

UMass Lowell honored alumni who have provided outstanding service to the University, their profession and the community at the 2013 University Alumni Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 18 at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. 

The honors paid tribute to a prominent alumna/alumnus in each school or college, along with one recent graduate. The event – attended by alumni, students, faculty, staff, university leaders and members of the community – served as a fundraiser for student scholarships. 

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

Alumni are nominated by community members, faculty and staff and fellow alumni. Since 1998, over 100 alumni and friends have been recognized.  

“The success of our alumni is a testament to the education that UMass Lowell provides and the bond formed with the University from their time here on campus. 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,” says Heather Makrez ’06, ‘08, director of Alumni Relations, and a fellow alumna.

This year’s awardees include:

Bruce Arakelian '82
School of Health and Environment

Arakelian is an anesthesia provider with Carolinas Healthcare System, the nation’s second largest health-care system. He has served as director of anesthesia services and as clinical and didactic faculty member at the Carolinas College of Health Sciences and the University of North Carolina. Arakelian 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, NBA and MBA. In addition to receiving his nursing degree from the University in 1982, Arakelian earned advanced degrees in health administration from Columbia University and the University of North Carolina with a concentration in anesthesia. He remains active at the University, serving on the advisory board for the School of Health and Environment. In 2008, Arakelian created the Bruce Z. Arakelian Endowment Fund, providing scholarship support for students pursuing degrees in nursing at UMass Lowell.

Jeffrey Cosiol ’67
Francis College of Engineering

Cosiol is a retired principal director of projects at KlingStubbins, an architectural, interior design and engineering firm located in Philadelphia. The firm is well known for its involvement in the re-creation of Center City, Philadelphia. Cosiol recently received an honorary fellowship from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and is actively involved with the American Technion Society. He is the former president of the Philadelphia chapter and is a current board chairman, serving his third year on the board of directors. He has generously supported the Jeffrey Cosiol International Merit Scholarship, among other University programs and initiatives. He established the scholarship program to support freshmen entering the Francis College of Engineering with preference given to outstanding international students. Cosiol received his degree in electrical engineering from Lowell Technological Institute in 1967.
Mark Forziati ’78
Robert J. Manning School of Business

Forziati is a retired senior vice president and partner of Tudor Investments Corp. He served two terms on the New York Stock Exchange Institutional Traders Advisory Committee. He is actively involved in fundraising for cancer research. He has received the American Cancer Community Service Award, 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 to the University includes membership on the 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. Forziati received his degree in business administration from the University of Lowell in 1978. He resides in Marblehead.

George Membrino '52
College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 

Membrino retired in 1993 as associate dean of continuing medical education at the UMass Medical School in Worcester, following a career that included a long list of teaching and administrative positions ranging from music education to the field of health. A 1952 graduate of Lowell State Teachers College, where he majored in music education, Membrino taught music in the Great Barrington and Longmeadow public schools before accepting a teaching position at Westfield State College, 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 the city of Chicopee, which had no hospital. After Blue Cross acquired the clinic, Medical West, in 1977, Membrino joined the Massachusetts Medical School and, over the next 16 years, served as an instructor, assistant professor and associate dean. During the course of his 41-year career, Membrino earned a master’s degree in education from Springfield College and a doctorate at the University of Connecticut. Membrino served as a member of the board of the University of Lowell and, for the last four years, has been a member of the advisory board of the UMass Lowell College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Kimberly Sawyer ’89
College of Sciences

Sawyer is the deputy laboratories director and executive vice president for mission support at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. Sandia is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia also has a presence in California, Nevada, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii. Sawyer is responsible for Sandia’s business operations, finance, information technology services, infrastructure operations, human resources, legal, corporate governance, communications, ES&H, security, facilities, audit and ethics. She earned her master’s degree in mathematics and computing from UMass Lowell in 1989. She serves as a board member for Albuquerque Economic Development Inc. and the Economic Forum of Albuquerque. She is also vice chair for United Way of Central New Mexico, where she served as the 2012 campaign chair, raising over $28 million. In addition, Sawyer is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Defense. She participates in a variety of volunteer programs, including Habitat for Humanity. In August 2012, Sawyer was nominated for the “Women Worth Watching” award and appeared in the September/October issue of Diversity Journal. In November 2012, she was nominated for the Albuquerque Business First “Women of Influence” award. 

George Tsapatsaris ’77
Graduate School of Education

Tsapatsaris is a former superintendent of Lowell Public Schools, where he spent more than 40 years dedicating himself to the city’s students and teachers, enhancing the quality of education and ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students. One of the longest tenured superintendents in the city’s history, his legacy includes a $300 million buildings program that was the most comprehensive in the history of the city and the Commonwealth. He hopes to be remembered for the learning and living that occurred inside the schools. A Lowell native, Tsapatsaris earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Lowell. Prior to his election as school superintendent in 1991, he was project director for the Lowell Public Schools and was a teacher and assistant principal at the Bartlett School. His service to the University was recognized in 1988 when he received the Graduate School of Education Distinguished Service Award. He has served on the advisory board of the Graduate School of Education since 2003, was a member of the 1976 search committee for a University dean and served as an educational consultant for Chancellor William T. Hogan’s office. Tsapatsaris supports the graduate school’s Virginia Biggy Scholarship and the Advisory Board Scholarship with generous donations. He also serves in various capacities for Lowell General Hospital, the Holy Trinity Eastern Orthodox Church and the City of Lowell. Tsapatsaris was happily married for 45 years to his wife, Dorothea, who passed away in 2010. He is the proud father of two children and two grandchildren.

Danielle (Bergeron) McFadden ’07
Recent Alumna Award

McFadden is president/CEO of the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, where she plans events for Chamber members and hosts the Chamber’s weekly radio program and its monthly television show. In addition to her duties at the Chamber, she also teaches at Middlesex Community College in its newly formed Social Media Certificate Program. McFadden is a member of the advisory board of UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and serves on many boards and committees throughout Greater Lowell including Young Professionals of Greater Lowell, Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lowell, Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board, Lowell Plan, Lowell Telecommunications, Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council and Middlesex Community College’s Corporate and Community Education and Training Advisory Board. A native of Lowell, McFadden graduated from Lowell High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in community social psychology from UMass Lowell.