CNS Advisory Board
The CNS Advisory Board is an independent body of volunteers that promotes the educational and research activities of the College. Board members advocate for CNS priorities with internal and external stakeholders, including campus administration, the Chancellor's office, the Board of Trustees, the Governor's office, the Legislature, the business community, and the public. The Board provides leadership and expert council in three key areas: fund-raising, advocacy, and advice.
CNS Advisory Board Members
Elizabeth Brackett , '80 BS
Senior Internal Dosimetrist, MJW Corporation
Elizabeth Brackett (’80, BS Physics) is a Senior Health Physicist with the MJW Corporation, a consulting firm specializing in radiation protection. She is currently serving as the Principal Internal Dosimetrist for the contractor team on the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA) dose reconstruction project, providing technical direction and oversight of all internal dosimetry issues. She is also an instructor for the MJW Occupational Internal Dosimetry course.
Liz has an M.S. in Radiological Sciences and Protection from UMass Lowell and is a Certified Health Physicist. She is a Fellow of the Health Physics Society and has chaired several professional society committees. She has served in a number of leadership positions, including director and secretary of the Health Physics Society, and will begin serving as president-elect of the Society in July 2022. She has also served as director and secretary of the American Academy of Health Physics. She has been a member of multiple working groups for the development of American National Standards and is currently serving on a National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements committee. She and her husband live in Vernon, Connecticut.
Kofi A. Cash, '00 BS, '01 MS
Vice President of Operations, Fairview Park Hospital
Kofi A. Cash, FACHE, is the Vice President of Operations at Fairview Park Hospital. In this role, Cash plans, executes, and finalizes projects according to the facility’s strategic plan. This includes acquiring resources, overseeing management service contracts, and collaboration of team members to successfully coordinate assigned projects. As a member of the executive management team, Cash participates in institutional planning, policy development, and management decisions.
Cash has senior executive oversight for food and nutrition services, environmental services, outpatient and acute therapy services, and cardiac rehab and pulmonary services. He is board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Spanning 18 years, Cash has a proven record of being an effective executive and change agent in several competitive markets across the country. His work experience has included tenures with health systems and regional payors such as: Henry Ford Health, Trinity Health, Sutter Health, LifePoint Health, HealthNow, and HCA.
Raised in New England, payors earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a master’s of science in Health Policy and Clinical Practice from Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH. Cash also earned a certificate in Executive Healthcare Leadership from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He was accepted into the executive doctoral program (D.Sc) in Healthcare Leadership at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in fall 2020.
Varkki P. Chacko, '82 PhD
Managing Principal, Credit Capital Investments
Varkki Chacko is the managing principal of Credit Capital Investments, an investment management firm that focuses on opportunities across the capital structure. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India, and his doctorate in polymer science and engineering from UMass Amherst. While working in the chemical industry, Chacko received an MBA in finance from New York University and subsequently concentrated his career in investment banking and investment management. His work at Salomon Brothers and Goldman Sachs primarily focused on leveraged finance markets. He and his wife, Madhura, who earned a master's degree in computer science at UMass Amherst, reside in Short Hills, NJ.
Peggy A. Crowley-Nowick, '86 BS
Founder and President, Zipher Medical Affairs
Peggy A. Crowley-Nowick '86 BS is a respected expert in the pharmaceutical industry, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in medical affairs and clinical research. In 2008, Crowley-Nowick founded Zipher Medical Affairs, LLC., a leading provider of medical affairs strategic consulting and MSL services. Since its inception, Crowley-Nowick has served as President. She has successfully led late-stage biotech and pharmaceutical companies through multiple product launches across several therapeutic areas, such as oncology, cardiovascular, and diabetes. Crowley-Nowick’s patient-centric view and drive for improved patient care and outcomes have propelled her to shape the organization based on not only scientific integrity, but also continual collaboration with emerging medical stakeholders.
Earlier in her career, Crowley-Nowick held appointments as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School (1997–2002) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1993–1997), establishing her scientific credibility in the research and medical communities. Following her career in academia, Crowley-Nowick joined industry and gained valuable field experience providing scientific support for physicians as a medical science liaison (MSL) and a liaison manager for Berlex Laboratories, a U.S. branch of the German pharmaceutical giant Schering AG (now Bayer Schering Pharma AG). She subsequently joined Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals through the acquisition of Berlex Laboratories, where she was Medical Director and later appointed head of Global Oncology Publications and Communications at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. She was responsible for strategic communications planning, execution, and global rollout for Nexavar® during the renal cell and hepatocellular carcinoma launches.
Crowley-Nowick received a PhD in 1991 from University of Alabama at Birmingham in the field of immunology with a focus on mucosal immunology and an MBA in 2000 from Simmons School of Management.
Marcy P Driscoll, '76 MS, '78 PhD
Dean Emerita of the College of Education at Florida State University
Marcy P. Driscoll ’76 MS, ’78 PhD is Dean Emerita of the College of Education at Florida State University, where she served as Dean from 2005 through June 2018. From 2002 until her retirement in December 2018, she was also the Leslie J. Briggs Professor of Educational Research. Driscoll was co-principal investigator on projects that established at FSU the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (FCR-STEM) and FSU-Teach, a program for preparing science and math teachers with deep content knowledge combined with deep pedagogical knowledge. Her research included a focus on learning and instruction in technology-rich learning environments.
Driscoll received an A.B. Magna Cum Laude in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College and an MS and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She lives in Tallahassee, FL, where she and her husband are enthusiasts of flying radio control planes.
James B. Francis, '86 BS
Head, Cannabis Securities Research, CRB Monitor
James B. Francis '86 BS has been active in financial services and financial technology for more than 30 years. He has held senior portfolio management positions and research at several asset management firms, including Deutsche Bank, Northern Trust, and State Street Global Advisors. Francis has also been involved in the fintech space, overseeing strategic accounts for Axioma and currently as the Head of Cannabis Securities Research for CRB Monitor, a leading provider of regulatory and compliance data in the legal cannabis industry. He resides in Westport, Connecticut.
Isaac Han, '15 BS
Staff Scientist, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School
Isaac Han '15 BS is a Staff Scientist working at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School. Han has a range of experience in biomedical research, with a focus on viral vectors and gene therapy. During his time at the Wyss he has been involved in a commercialization project for novel gene therapy technologies, co-authored several patents related to viral vector engineering, and most recently worked throughout the pandemic developing a COVID-19 neutralization assay. Prior to jumping into biotech Han spent two years in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, where he served as an infantry sniper and received an official commendation from the commanding general of the USMC 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force for distinguished service during Key Resolve 2015 before an honorable discharge at the rank of Sergeant.
Han has also been busy outside of the lab. As one of the first graduates of the iCons Program at UMass Amherst, he co-founded the iCons Alumni Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit, with a group of friends in 2015. As founding president, he was involved with building the iCons community beyond UMass. He helped coordinate on-campus events connecting alumni with students, as well as off-campus STEM outreach and community development events. Most recently he has co-founded another non-profit called Scientists Against Misinformation, a Boston-based science communication effort centered around combating Covid-19 misinformation.
Anita Karcz, '71 BS
Senior Vice President, ZurickDavis
Anita Karcz '71 BS is an entrepreneur and physician. She is currently Senior Vice President at ZurickDavis, a health care executive search firm. She spent several years as a practicing emergency physician and was active in hospital and professional society leadership roles. She has performed research and product development in the areas of clinical outcomes and decision support. She was Vice President of Clinical Product Development at InterQual Inc., a company that developed utilization criteria for hospitals and managed care. Dr. Karcz has been on the founding team of three medical device companies and has served as a management team member or business advisor at several other early biotechnology, medical device, and health care IT companies. She was Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of the Institute for Health Metrics, an organization providing data services to hospitals.
She served as a member of the AHRQ advisory panel on severity adjustment research. She was also an invited participant for the President’s Council for Science and Technology Advisory meeting in 2013. She has served as chair and board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, an organization helping entrepreneurs build successful companies.
Dr. Karcz has an MD from the UMass Medical School and an MBA from Northeastern University.
Jeffrey L. Kopacz, '95 BS
Senior Patent Counsel, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Jeffrey L. Kopacz '95 BS is senior patent counsel at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, specializing in life sciences patent prosecution, IP strategy, IP due diligence, and patent opinions. Prior to overseeing Alnylam's biological and clinical candidate patent portfolio, Kopacz served as an attorney for Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, representing clients from industry and academia in the biotechnology and chemical sciences. He holds additional degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Suffolk University Law School. He lives in Arlington, MA.
Steven G. Richter, '77 BS
President and Scientific Director, MicroTest Laboratories, Inc.
Steven G. Richter '77 BS is president and scientific director of MicroTest Laboratories, Inc., which he founded in 1984. Previously, he worked for the Food and Drug Administration. Steven is a recognized expert on FDA regulations on sterilization and toxicology and on United States Pharmacopeia medical device testing. He has a doctorate from Columbia Pacific University. He lives in Agawam, Massachusetts.
Charles H. Sherwood, '72 MS, '77 PhD
Founder, Sherwood Ventures
Charles H. Sherwood '72 MS, '77 PhD is the Founder of Sherwood Ventures, a consulting and investment-oriented LLC. Prior to the formation of that entity, Sherwood was President, Chief Executive Officer, and Board member at Anika Therapeutics, Inc., and was with the company for over 19 years in various executive positions. Previously, he served as the senior director of medical device research and development for IOLAB, a Johnson and Johnson company, and was a part-time faculty member in the department of chemistry at California State Polytechnic University. Sherwood received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and a Certificate in Management from Claremont Graduate School. He lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
Michael Tarselli, '03 BA
Chief Scientific Officer for TetraScience
Michael Tarselli ('03, BA Chemistry) is the Chief Scientific Officer for TetraScience, the Boston-based Scientific Data Cloud Company serving customers across the Biopharma value chain. Previously, he was the Scientific Director for SLAS, a 16,000-member global society dedicated to lab automation, data science, and interdisciplinary research. Tarselli has worked at multiple pharma companies — Novartis, Millennium, ARIAD, Biomedisyn, PharmAgra — in bench science, information systems, and managerial roles. His volunteer service includes two terms as a UMass Amherst Alumni Association Director, a Cambridge Science Festival Captain, a Wikipedia Fellow, a Pistoia Alliance Board Member, and a judge at the MA State Science & Engineering Fair.
Tarselli received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed a postdoc at Scripps Research, and completed his Executive MBA from the Quantic School of Business & Technology. He currently lives in Framingham with his wife, daughter, and dog.
CNS Advisory Board Affiliate Members
Noel Anderson, '74, '77 MS, '80 PhD
Managing Partner, Mosaic Food Advisors LLC
Noel Anderson is managing partner of Mosaic Food Advisors LLC which helps start-up companies in the food and beverage arena succeed in the market place. Previously, he spent 19 years in Research & Development at PepsiCo and 18 years at General Foods/Kraft.
Anderson received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Food Science and Nutrition from UMass Amherst and has stayed actively engaged with the Food Science Department. He served on its Industrial Advisory Board for more than 20 years, with 16 years as Chairperson. During this time there, the department raised over $11 million and its Graduate Program achieved the No. 1 ranking in the U.S. He received the UMass Amherst Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award in 2011.
Amderson is also very active in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), becoming an IFT Fellow in 2010 and serving as a trustee and then chair of the Board of Trustees for Feeding Tomorrow, IFT’s foundation. Recently, he became the 2019-2020 president-elect of IFT.
Anderson has three grown daughters and three grandchildren, and he divides his time between Stamford, Connecticut, and Westerly, Rhode Island.
William Bannick, '70 BS
Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager, Cadence Capital Management, Boston, Mass.
William Bannick '70 BS is the chief investment officer and portfolio manager at Cadence Capital Management in Boston. Prior to joining that company in 1992, he was executive vice-president with George D. Bjorman & Associates. Earlier in his career, he managed portfolios for Trinity Investment Management. After completing his MBA at Boston University, Bannick worked in the oil and gas industry, and he is well versed in the field of energy. He lives in Scituate, MA.
Frederick Dodge, '69 AS
Founder and Owner, Country Garden Creations
Frederick Dodge '69 AS is a business owner and arborist who founded the tree and landscape company Country Garden Creations in Stow, Massachusetts. Prior to establishing his business, he worked for the Concord (Massachusetts) Department of Natural Resources and the town of Wellesley's Park and Tree Division. He lives in Stow, Massachusetts.
Stephen Gillies, '75 BS
Founder, President, and CEO, Provenance Biopharmaceuticals Corp.
Stephen Gillies '75 BS is founder, president, and CEO of Provenance Biopharmaceuticals Corp., based in Carlisle, Massachusetts. Previously, he served as founding president of Fuji ImmunoPharmaceuticals, which later became EMD Lexigen Research Center and is now owned by Merck KGaA and known as EMD Serono. Gillies is an expert on recombinant antibodies and immunotherapy, and he has invented core platform technologies. During the course of his scientific career, Gillies has led multiple therapeutic candidates into clinical development for the treatment of cancer and HIV/AIDS. He earned his MS and PhD in microbiology from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He lives in Carlisle, MA.
Thomas H. Jozefiak, '81 BS
Founder, Glycologix LLC
Thomas H. Jozefiak '81 BS is an organic chemist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He is a founder of GlycologixLLC,an emerging glycobiology company developing novel biopolymers for the repair and rejuvenation of soft tissue, and Glyscend Inc., a VC-funded company developing non-absorbed polymer therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic diseases. He has a passion fo the creative utilization of polymers as active therapeutic agents or medical devices to solve difficult problems in human medicine.
Jozefiak graduated from UMass-Amherst with a BS degree in chemistry in 1981 and continued advanced studies in polymer chemistry at the University and Minnesota and Caltech. He has had a distinguished industrial career (>25years) directing research in biomaterials, polymer science, and medicinal chemistry. He has led research in resorbable biomaterials-based medical devices such as surgical adhesion barriers, surgical hemostats, sealants, and injectable biomaterials for aesthetic dermatology. He has also guided research teams seeking novel therapeutic solutions for hyperphosphatemia, obesity, Gaucher’s disease, and diabetes. Prior to founding Glyscend and Glycologix, Jozefiak’s industry leadership roles included: VP Biomaterials Science & Engineering, Genzyme Corp.; Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Genzyme Corp.; and VP Discovery, Living Proof Incorporated. In his early career, he held industrial research positions at GelTex Pharmaceuticals, Eastman Kodak, and GEPlastics. He is an inventor or author on numerous patents and publications in diverse areas, including resorbable biomaterials, therapeutic polymers, medicinal chemistry, polymer chemistry, and photographic imaging chemistry. He lives in Belmont, Massachusetts, with his wife, Lee Kronick (also a UMass Amherst Alum), and has two grown children.
James F. Kane III, '00 BS
Orthodontist, and Director, Massachusetts Association of Orthodontists
James F. Kane III '00 BS received his DMD from Tufts School of Dental Medicine and completed a postdoctoral program in orthodontics. He is the director of the Massachusetts Association of Orthodontists and works at two multi-specialty dental practices in Massachusetts, one in Natick and the other in Walpole. Kane is an orthodontist for the Massachusetts Hospital School for special needs children in Canton as well. He lives in Holliston, MA.
James P. Petri, '77 AS
Banking, commercial, industrial, and real estate professional
James P. Petri '77 AS is retired from his career in commercial, industrial, and real estate banking. During his career he served as vice president of commercial real estate at Cambridge Savings Bank and Enterprise Bank and Trust Company in Lowell, MA. At KeyBank of New York, he was senior vice president and oversaw the reorganization of the bank's New York district. Petri serves on the advisory board of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust in Maine as well as the CNS Campaign Council. He earned his BS at Cornell. He lives in Bolton, MA.
Mary Sano, '74 BS
Professor, Psychiatry, and Director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mary Sano '74 BS is professor of psychiatry and the director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She also directs research and development at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital. Long an expert in clinical investigations, Sano has developed key methodologies for assessing therapies for Alzheimer's disease and tools that analyze the economic impact of subtle cognitive changes in elderly subjects. She is the principal investigator on many studies, and her clinical trials for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and the cognitive impairment of aging have had a direct impact on patient assessment and treatment. She earned her PhD from City University of New York. In 2012, the UMass Amherst Alumni Association selected Sano to serve as the Eleanor Bateman Scholar in Residence, during which she delivered the public Bateman Lecture and led seminars and workshops for students. She lives in New York City.
Ameeta Soni, '82 MS
President, Altek Consulting
Ameeta Soni ’82 MS drives dramatic growth for technology and digital health companies in her consulting practice by developing and executing winning strategies, often serving as an interim or fractional chief marketing officer. She has had diverse roles in tech companies, including as Founder, CEO, CMO, investor, board director, consultant, and advisor, and has helped raise >$90M in venture capital.
Soni serves on the Chancellor’s Council for UMass Amherst and the Patron’s Committee at the Museum of Fine Arts. She is an investment committee member at the Maroon Venture Partners Fund, and a board observer/advisor for its portfolio companies HomeBinder, Ompractice, and TOP The Organic Project. She was previously a board director at PlumChoice, Inc.; MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge (Chair); Technology Capital Network; and Massachusetts Association for the Blind, and an Overseer at the Museum of Science.
Soni earned her MBA from the University of Chicago and BS from St. Stephen's College, India. She lives in Reading, Massachusetts.