Alumni News

Zito’s ( Ed.D. 2011) school district named 7th “Top Workplace” in Hartford region

Mark Zito, (Ed.D. 2011), superintendent of the East Hartford Public Schools, announced that his school district is being recognized as one of the Top Workplaces 2011 in the greater Hartford region by The Hartford Courant and FOXCT. The district was ranked #7 in the large business division. Zito said that 793 employers in the greater Hartford region were invited to participate in the program, and 45 were designated Top Workplaces. The rankings were based on feedback from employee surveys.

Lateef receives Achievement Award

Yusef A. Lateef, Ed.D. 1975, received a Distinguished Achievement Award at UMass Amherst Graduate Commencement 2011. Lateef, a multi-instrumentalist, educator, composer and author has a career that has “defied categories.” Lateef says that his music “comes from one’s physical, mental and spiritual self” and combines theoretical knowledge and a direct expression of life experience. He is a master of the alto and tenor saxophone, flute, oboe and bassoon as well as the bamboo flute, rehad, shehnai, shofar, arghul, sarewa and koto.

Grad student Vacchi runs for returning veterans

David Vacchi, COE graduate student, veteran and former manager of the Army ROTC program at UMass Amherst, will be among the runners in the Run to Home Base fundraiser held in Boston on May 22. Proceeds from the event go to program to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Read the story.

Charles Desmond receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Charles Desmond ( '92 Ed.D.) was presented the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award at the Massachusetts State House in April. This is the most prestigious award conferred by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association upon its alumni, faculty, staff and friends. These awards are presented to those individuals who have translated their UMass Amherst experience into distinguished achievement in their field of endeavor, and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on or bring honor to the university.

Heriberto Flores (M.Ed. 1991) believes in Springfield

Springfield’s Heriberto “Herbie” Flores, son of Puerto Rican farm workers, is passionate about the city - and he just might be “the right man at the right time” to spearhead the next wave of downtown revival.

Earlier this month, the nonprofit agency Flores leads - the New England Farm Workers Council - purchased the historic former Paramount Theater for $1.725 million with plans to develop the former Main Street movie palace into a multi-cultural center that celebrates the city’s diversity.

Bemak wins humanitarian award from American Counseling Association

Dr. Fred Bemak, (Ed.D. 1975), professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, has been honored by the American Counseling Association as winner of the Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Award for a Humanitarian and Caring Person. The Wrenn Award honors an ACA member who gives to others without fanfare or expectation of reward other than the personal satisfaction of seeing other people made happier.

School of Education’s Center for International Education Receives $9.9 Million Grant for Higher Education Work in Afghanistan

The College of Education’s Center for International Education (CIE) has been awarded a one-year, $9.9-million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to continue its work to improve access to higher education in Afghanistan.

Michael Fiorentino Jr., Ed.D. 1978, named Lock Haven University president

Dr. Michael Fiorentino Jr., executive vice president and provost of Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, was selected by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to serve as the next president of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

Fiorentino will assume his new duties on July 1, succeeding Dr. Barbara B. Dixon, who served as interim president of LHU.

Mishy Lesser helps make Rwandan documentary

A new documentary film about the current situation in Rwanda recentle held its World Premiere in Boston. The film is called Coexist and CIE graduate Dr. Mishy Lesser (Ed.D.1996) is the film's learning director. Coexist tells the story of how survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide relate to those who persecuted them and killed their families. It gives voice to victims, perpetrators, and bystanders, and shows how the unleashing of fear and scapegoating can endanger a society.


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