UMass Amherst Department of Sport Management Announces Alumni-on-the-Rise Award

AMHERST, Mass. - Four University of Massachusetts Amherst sport management graduates from the class of 2001 have been selected to receive the Alumni-on-the-Rise award on Saturday, April 28 during the department’s award ceremony at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

The newly conceived award is designed to honor the achievement of select alumni who graduated five to 10 years ago, and have already made a mark on the industry.

Graduates Geoff Iacuessa, Pamela Ganley, Christie Grady and Steve Novak are the recipients.

"This is a very deserving first group of awardees," says Steve McKelvey, associate professor, "It takes a tremendous amount of hard work, commitment and dedication for young people in the sport industry to gain long-term success and ultimately move into positions of leadership and they are demonstrating how it’s done."

The 2012 season will be Iacuessa’s second season as the Portland [Maine] Sea Dogs’ executive vice president and general manager, and his 12th season with the organization. He began his career with the team as an intern in 2001 and was hired prior to the 2002 season. In 2011 he was named to the Portland Press Herald’s "40 under 40" list, recognizing 40 local business leaders under the age of 40.

Ganley joined the Boston Red Sox as an intern in June of 2000 while she was still a student at UMass Amherst. Prior to joining the media relations department in 2006, Ganley served as the alumni coordinator, helping to coordinate a variety of events and celebrations. She was named director of media relations for the Boston Red Sox in November of 2008.

Grady is in her eighth season with the Seattle Seahawks and fourth with Seattle Sounders FC, a professional soccer club. She serves as a director of business development securing corporate partners for both organizations. While receiving her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Notre Dame, Grady was highlighted on CNN’s Play of the Day for her efforts as the women’s basketball student manager.

Novak is in his 10th season at Boston College and currently serves as assistant athletic director for development. Novak’s duties include supervising all aspects of fundraising associated with Boston College Athletics. This duty also involves overseeing BC’s athletic annual fund - the Flynn Fund, and its members.

The Mark H. McCormack Sport Management Program is one of the premiere programs in the country. Graduates go on to successful careers working for sports teams and leagues, college athletic programs, national and international amateur-sport organizations, and firms specializing in sport marketing, sport sponsorship, athlete representation, and facility and event management.