Meet Our Students & Alumni

Alexis Day, Alumni of Radiological Sciences, headshot photo

Alexis Day, M.S. '17 & '19

I obtained my B.S. in Radiological Sciences at UMass Lowell (UML) in 2017. I continued my education at UMass Lowell and obtained my M.S. in Radiological Sciences in 2019. While obtaining my B.S. I had the opportunity to work in the Radiation Safety Office at UMass Lowell. This opportunity allowed me to progress my technical experience and help me secure my first position at UMass Medical Institution where I worked while receiving my M.S.

The superior education and experience I received while a student in the Radiological Sciences Program has provided me with opportunities that have ultimately led me to my dream job as a health physicist at Boston Children’s Hospital working in the Radioactive Materials Safety Program managing the safe use of radioactive materials for research, diagnostic imaging and cancer treatment.

Cassia Fontes, Alumni of RadSci Program, headshot while wearing graduation cap

Cassia Fontes, M.S. '22 & '23

In 2018, I started my Radiological Sciences career at UMass Lowell and graduated with my B.S in 2022 and M.S in 2023. I was lucky enough to have obtained a work study internship with the Radiation Safety Office in 2018 where I gained operational and technical experience all throughout the 5 years.

I was able to travel around the country to attend state of the art trainings and meetings, all of which have increased my understanding in radiation safety and allowed me to network among the field. The work that I was doing for the Radiation Safety Office at UMass Lowell allowed me to intern at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, where I observed surgeries, and Idaho National Laboratories, where I worked inside a WW-II steel gun barrel!

However, my successes don’t stop there! UMass Lowell’s radiological sciences department nearly funded my entire undergraduate career with the number of scholarships offered specifically to the students in the department. The amount of aid offered, allowed me to focus on my studies and work without having to worry about student debt in the end. I truly believe that I would not be as successful as I am today if I had not attended UMass Lowell’s Radiological Sciences program and utilized all the resources that were given to me.

Lorna Omenya, alumni of the radiological sciences, headshot picture forward facing

Lorna Omenya M.S., CMLSO '16 & '18

I studied Radiological Sciences at UMass Lowell where I obtained my B.S (2016) and M.S. (2018) in Radiological Sciences and Protection. The undergraduate and graduate coursework gave me a solid foundation of radiation protection principles as well as practical skills in being an effective Health Physicist. The UMass Lowell Radiation Safety Office presented me with first hand opportunities to not only practice being an operational Health Physicist in a research focused academic institution but also how to interact with different disciplines utilizing radiation.  
The alumni network allowed me to secure my first HP job as a consultant in the greater Boston area as well as my current role for the Duke University Health System as the X-ray and Laser Safety Program Manager. I am also a course instructor for the Duke Medical Physics Graduate program utilizing the knowledge and skills learnt from my time as a student at UMass Lowell to instruct the next generation of Medical Health Physicists and Medical Physicists. A large portion of my success stems from the dedication and instruction offered by the UMass Lowell Radiological Sciences program faculty, UMass Lowell Radiation Safety Office and the Alumni that strive to help current and former graduates.

Simone Peironnet, Alumni, getting help donning radiation protection gear, respirator, suit, gloves, and coveralls while making two peace signs while another person in similar gear looks on.

Simone Peironnet M.S. '22 & '23

Working in the UML Radiation Safety Department, along with being enrolled in the Radiological Health Physics master’s program, has given me the opportunity to have meaningful hands-on experience with radiation and its interaction with our daily lives. My research and experience here has included everything from creation of a bioassay program as a student project, assisting in international trainings for the IAEA, and helping to maintain a safe work environment for cutting-edge departmental research.

UMass Lowell currently produces 10% of all health physicists internationally, giving an easily recognized name to our diplomas to help us in the future job market. The scope of research done at this university is aided by a particle accelerator and nuclear reactor, both of which help fund the program and maintain the first class quality that comes with being an ABET accredited institution. Some of this radiation research includes electronics testing for national labs, NASA researchers, and other clients.

In my post-grad job, I had been handling parts for one of these clients for over two years, which not only helped in the interview portion but also added credibility to my ability to hit the ground running in the work force. This degree has allowed me to have a better understanding of the world around me from natural radiation like that in bananas and granite, to man-made disasters that could have been prevented in places like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. I look forward to the exciting career ahead of me knowing that I have been properly prepared for it by the strong radiation support system of both the university and its alumni.

Kimyli  Recca, Alumni of RadSci Program, headshot picture

Kimyli Recca, M.S. '14

I am currently the Radiology Health Physicist Director at UK HealthCare. I obtained my Masters in Radiological Sciences and Protection in 2014 from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and I am an active member of the Health Physics Society (HPS) and an associate member of the American Academy of Health Physics as well as a board member for the Medical Health Physics Section of the HPS. I have 10 years of experience working in broad scope medical and academic radiation safety programs and have just recently joined the Radiology team at UK HealthCare within the past 2 years.

In my role at UK HealthCare, I am focused on operational clinical medical health physics within the Radiology service line including, but not limited to, redesigning the nuclear medicine radioactive waste program, support of radiation therapies, clinical health physics audits, DOT Shippers training, calibration of meters, support of clinical research protocols, and acting as a guest lecturer for the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program. Before my time at UK HealthCare, I spent the last 7 years at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where I was actively involved with the development and management of several programs.

Chris Sain, Alumni of the radiological sciences program, headshot wearing a red flannel shirt

Christopher Sain M.S. '18 & '19

I discovered the Radiological Sciences program pretty late in my time at UMass Lowell. I didn’t make the switch into Health Physics until what would have been my senior year before earning my B.S. in 2018 and my M.S. in 2019. Changing majors entering my fourth year as an undergraduate was not an easy decision at the time, but looking back now, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

While I was working toward my degrees, I had the opportunity of working under Steve Snay in UML’s Radiation Safety Office where I gained my first real experience in the field. That job allowed me to take the learning material from class and apply it in a variety of operational areas, and helped to introduce me to several topics before they were presented in class. Through my academic advisor, I was able to secure a second internship in the Health Physics Office at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where I worked under yet another UML Rad Sci alumni. Finally, after completing my master’s degree, I landed my first professional job as an Assistant Officer in the Radiation Protection Program at MIT, where eight of my twelve fellow Officers are also UML Rad Sci graduates, who share with me the privilege of working at a world-class research institution that provides an endless supply of unique challenges. I have no doubts that, without the UMass Lowell Rad Sci program, I would not have been afforded the same opportunities and education that got me to where I am today.

Aliyah Welker,Alumni of RadSci Program, headshot picture while smiling.

Aliyah Welker, B.S. '22

Immediately after graduating in May of 2022, I had a full time job lined up as a Health Physicist and it is because of the people and opportunities the Radiation safety program offered at UMass Lowell. My senior year, I started interning at the Radiation Safety Office on campus where I learned so much real-world experience. Not only did I learn about ionizing radiation, but non-ionizing as well. Both of which I use everyday at my job.

Currently, I am the Health Physicist at the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center at the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett, RI. With the support of the Radiation Safety office and radiological science faculty, I was fully capable and qualified to start my career. Much of what I learned while interning for the Radiation Safety Department, I will use for the rest of my career.

Ridhita, UML student, headshot picture in purple shirt

Ridhita Borhan

Currently pursuing my M.S. in Radiological Sciences & Protection at UMass Lowell. Completed my B.S. in Nuclear Science & Engineering (2021) from the Military Institute of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. My interest in pursuing a Health Physics degree was backed up by my undergraduate degree coursework and the incentive to contribute to my country's nuclear sector. Being curious about what's happening behind the scene of nuclear power landed my feet on using radioisotopes for human benefit. 
I am glad to have chosen UML for getting the required knowledge in this field. Not only am I getting to learn all the fun stuff about detectors, dosimetry, radioisotopes, radiochemistry, etc on an everyday basis, but I am also being able to grow up in a very inspiring environment surrounded by experts and wonderful mentors. During the summer of my first year here, I interned at the Radiation Safety office, where I got detailed hands-on knowledge about radiation safety in the workplace. I have been working as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Radiochemistry lab since last summer, where I get to execute my experience during the internship while working on my project. All these interesting experiences have been molding me to learn better with time, just what I was looking for when I decided to get this degree. 

Robert Puckett '13 & '14

After graduating with an associates degree in Nuclear Engineering Technology in 2009 from Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Connecticut, the decision to transfer to UMass Lowell into the Radiological Sciences program was an easy decision for me. Of the potential colleges to transfer my education credits to, UMass Lowell accepted 60 of my 80 accrued credits. While at UMass Lowell studying Radiological Sciences, I met Steven Snay the Radiation Safety Officer who offered me a work study position in the Radiation Safety Department. I worked with Steve and other students in the Radiation Safety Office throughout my undergraduate and graduate career. I completed my B.S. in December of 2013 and my M.S. in December of 2014. It would not have been possible to complete my degree without professors Clayton French and Mark Tries. Both Professor French and Professor Tries truly demonstrated to me how professor can care about their students education as well as providing their student with keys to success.

After my time at UMass Lowell I have worked; as an Associate Radiation Safety Officer at Boston Children's Hospital, a Health Physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, and currently with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the Lead Health Physicist for the Decommissioning of the Army's SM-1 nuclear reactor. Throughout my career and all the places I have worked, I have had fellow UMass Lowell graduates as colleagues and I have learned the significance of being a UMass Lowell Rad Sci Alumni. I still keep in touch with my fellow alumni and those who have mentored me throughout the years.


Capt. Joshua Benda, USAF, M.S. '23

Upon graduating from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Biological Engineering (2017), I commissioned into the United States Air Force (USAF) to work as a Bioenvironmental Engineer. In short, this position encompasses the responsibilities of an Industrial Hygienist, an Emergency Responder, and a Radiation Safety Officer. During my first assignment at Langley Air Force Base Virginia (LAFB), I served as the Installation Radiation Safety Officer and was responsible for the installation’s compliance with all applicable ionizing and non-ionizing radiation standards. This included overseeing exposure records, accomplishing required radiation surveys, managing the dosimetry program, and facilitating disposal and acquisition of radiation sources.  
The USAF Bioenvironmental career field offers a select few opportunities to vector into an advanced radiation career track as a Health Physicist. In 2021 I was selected to be one of those members and was given the assignment to complete a M.S. program and I selected UMASS Lowell. This degree, accompanied with the high-quality education I received from UML, has accelerated my career progression and provided opportunities that my peers do not have. In June 2023 I will start my next assignment working at the Pentagon as part of a team that manages the USAF Master Materials License (MML) where I will be working with some of the most powerful and technologically advanced radiation assets in the world.  
Ellie Coven, Student, headshot photo

Ellie Coven

I am currently an undergraduate student at UMass Lowell, working towards my B.S. in Engineering Physics. I've always been interested in how and why things work, so the fact that UML offers this degree pathway is an incredible stepping stone for my future. As a student of the university, I have been fortunate enough to be able to have the opportunity to work alongside staff and peers with experience in the various fields I'd like to explore.

During my freshman year, I began working at the campus's research reactor in the Radiation Safety Lab. It's been an excellent learning experience, providing on-the-job training to a depth that I wouldn't get from a classroom. Additionally, I've been able to put my education to use with the school's Formula SAE team, working on vehicle dynamics and suspension systems for a car we bring to competition. I'm grateful for the many opportunities open to me as a student, contributing to my success now and as I continue into the workforce.

Tinashe Gutu, Alumni of the Radiological Sciences, Headshot photograph in the forward facing position

Tinashe Gutu M.S. '18 & '20

I obtained my B.S and M.S. in Radiological Sciences and Protection at UMass Lowell in 2018 and 2020 respectively. The undergraduate and graduate coursework gave me a solid foundation of radiation protection principles as well as practical skills in being an effective Health Physicist. As an intern for the UMass Lowell Radiation Safety Office I had firsthand opportunities to not only practice being an operational Health Physicist in a research focused academic institution but also how to interact with different disciplines utilizing radiation and radioactive materials.
The UML alumni network enabled me to secure an HP internship in industry at a radiopharmaceutical production company which exposed me to accelerators and radiotheranostics. Currently I work for the Duke University Health System as an HP supporting federally and privately funded medical research programs as well as a radioisotope production cyclotron leveraging experiences from the UMass Lowell accelerator and reactor programs. I apply experiences gathered through my graduate program at UMass Lowell when mentoring Duke Medical Physics Graduates in their graduate dosimetry thesis projects utilizing irradiators and novel detectors. A large portion of my success stems from the dedication and instruction offered by the UMass Lowell Radiological Sciences program faculty, UMass Lowell Radiation Safety Office and the Alumni that strive to help current and former graduates.

Lakshmi Sivasubramanian M.S. CHP '10

I obtained my M.S. in Radiological Science in 2010 from UML. When I was about to graduate, through my professor Clayton French, I received an internship opportunity at UMass Medical, which turn into my full time job for last 11+ years. I work as the Associate Radiation safety officer in a broad scope license managing both hospital and research radiation safety programs. 
The knowledge I gained from UML Radiological science program helped me to get my certification in Health Physics.  I am thankful for the support of the professors, the radiological sciences dept., the university, and the opportunities offered to me.
Meridith Macknight, UML Health Physics alumni, headshot photo wearing red shirt, with a computer in the background

Meridith MacKnight, Ph.D., DABR '08 & '16

I graduated from UMass Dartmouth with a B.S. (2000) in physics and mathematics.  After obtaining a M.S. (2005) in physics from UMass Dartmouth, I still was unsure of a career path and enrolled in the Radiological Science program at UMass Lowell.  Prior to completing the M.S. at Lowell, I was hired as the Associate Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI).  The foundation I received at Lowell allowed me to gain employment in my professional field of interest and opened the doors for research opportunities at world-class hospitals.  
I was employed at DFCI for 7 years.  During that time, I worked on several research projects with Medical Physicists employed at Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  After completing the M.S. (2008), I enrolled in the Biomedical and Bioengineering Ph.D.  program at UMass Lowell (graduated 2016).  
In 2013, I joined the Elliot Health System in New Hampshire as the Diagnostic Medical Physicist and RSO.  I completed certification from the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Medical Physics in 2019.  In my current role, I am responsible for acceptance testing and evaluation of all imaging equipment at the Elliot.  I establish and maintain a comprehensive quality assurance program that monitors, evaluates and optimizes imaging processes.  As RSO, I also manage all aspects of the radiation safety program including both xray devices and licensed Radioactive Materials.  

Jenna Vercollone, UML radSci student, headshot picture wearing fatigues with military flag in the background

Captain Jenna Vercollone, U.S. Army, M.S. ‘23

Upon graduating from the United States Military Academy (USMA) in 2014 with a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering, I commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I served as an engineer officer for seven years before transferring to the Army’s Nuclear Counterproliferation Functional Area, known as FA52. As an engineer officer, I held several different leadership and staff positions. I was stationed in Kentucky and Texas and did tours of duty in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Poland. In 2018, I completed an M.S. in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, while attending an engineer leadership course in Missouri. 
Around the same time that I transferred to FA52, I was also accepted to teach in the Physics and Nuclear Engineering Department at USMA. Before I could begin my assignment teaching physics and nuclear engineering to cadets, I had to complete a master’s degree. I chose the Radiological Sciences and Protection program at UML because the program has a great reputation and offered courses that I knew would be helpful in my future Army assignments. 
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Army and the assignments I have completed within the engineer branch; however, I have not yet had many opportunities to use my knowledge in physics and nuclear engineering for the Army. I am very excited to graduate from UML in the coming weeks and get back out to the Army to put my education from UML to use teaching cadets at UMSA and later working within the FA52 community.