Meet Our Students & Alumni
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, 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 M.S., CMLSO '16 & '18
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, 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.
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, 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.
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
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.