News 2013: Alumni Awards Celebrate Leadership & Excellence

News 2013: Alumni Awards Celebrate Leadership & Excellence
Alumni Awards Celebrate Leadership & Excellence

UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association, UMass Law Alumni Association Hold Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony

The UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association and UMass Law Alumni Association honored eight distinguished alumni who have achieved professional success and made major contributions to their community. 

"It is a special occasion when we gather to celebrate the leadership and excellence of distinguished alumni whose accomplishments reflect their own talents and the excellence of UMass Dartmouth," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. "We are so fortunate to have alumni who believe in our mission and whose paths to success began at UMass Dartmouth." 

Matthew Gallant '04 
UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association Young Alumni Award 
Award presented by Steven Martins '07 
A native of New Bedford, Matt graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 2004 with a degree in civil engineering.  An outstanding academic record and four cooperative education terms with CDM Smith led to a fulltime position upon graduation.  Since graduation, Matt has been a frequent guest speaker to civil engineering students as part of the engineering ethic course.  He has also been a strong advocate for the co-op program speaking at information programs and attending recruitment and career fairs. Most recently, Matt became a member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Industrial Advisory Board. In 2010, after suddenly losing his best friend and colleague, Matt was the central figure and driving force behind the creation of the Sean D. Duarte scholarship.  The scholarship's objective is to support and encourage students who share Sean's values to make a similar commitment to help people, through their profession as civil engineers and as members of the greater community. 

Donald Discepolo, JD '98 
UMass Law Alumni Association Ambassador Award 
Award presented by Leon Blais, JD '01 
Don grew up New Jersey and graduated from Bergenfield High School in 1988.  He then attended Moravian College, in Bethlehem, PA, for two years, playing Varsity Football both years.  After a two year stint at community college, he ultimately ended up at University of Maryland College Park and graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 1994. Don enrolled in 1994 at the Southern New England School of Law and graduated in December 1997.  At Southern New England, he was Professor Dwight Duncan's research assistant and worked for an admiralty firm in Gloucester, MA. Due to the unaccredited nature of Southern New England, he was unable to secure employed and started his own firm on admission to the bar in 1998. Since that time, he has grown his firm from a sole proprietorship, to a national litigation firm.  He has litigated cases in Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas and New York. 

Eileen Caron '69, MBA '85 
UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association University Service Award 
Award presented by Jennifer Granger '05 
Eileen has had close ties to the UMass Dartmouth since she started as a transfer student at Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institution in 1967.  Two years later, she was part of the last SMTI graduating class when she earned her degree in mathematics.  After graduation she left the area to work for IBM only to return ten years later to work in the relatively new department of administrative computing as a system analyst. Over her 33 year career at UMass Dartmouth, Eileen's responsibilities changed as the university grew and become part of the UMass system.  She was part of the team that worked on the merger to the UMass system and the team that developed the campus protocols for Y2K.  Eileen was instrumental in the data conversion of the student and financial systems to PeopleSoft, receiving several recognitions from the President's Office. Additionally she found time to complete an MBA in 1985, serve on the campus committee for women, volunteer at the athletic hall of fame banquet, and participate in the campus chorus and multiple theatre productions.   

Daniel McColgan, JD '97 
UMass Law Alumni Association Alumni Achievement Award 
Award presented by Tisha Giles-Radek, JD '99 
In 1993 Dan McColgan earned his Bachelor of Science degree from North Adams State College and was inducted into the Delta Mu Delta National Honor's Society. In 1994, Dan was scheduled to go to Fairbanks Alaska to earn his MBA, but decided instead to study at Southern New England School of Law. While attending SNESL, Dan interned at the Bristol County District Attorney's Office and learned a lot from lawyers like Justice Elsbeth Cypher and Kevin Connelly. Dan graduated from SNESL in 1997 and was sworn in as a Lawyer in July of 1998.  For the next three years Dan was employed as an Assistant District Attorney at the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.  After three years of prosecuting cases for the Commonwealth, Dan's career led him into private practice. Dan joined the Bristol County Bar Advocates list in 2001 so that he could help in the fight to get indigent defendants a fair shake in the legal system.   

Dr. John Farrington '66, MS '68 
UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association Achievement Award 
Award presented by Athena Mota '04 
John Farrington completed both bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth before earning his doctorate at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. He spent the bulk of his distinguished career at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in a succession of positions from postdoctoral investigator to Senior Scientist (equivalent of full professor in WHOI's system) in the Chemistry Department. John returned to UMass Dartmouth on an interim basis twice.  First as Interim Dean and Professor for the School for Marine Science and Technology and later as Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. Among the honors he has received are the Samuel P. Stone Alumni Award for Science from the College of Arts and Sciences, UMass Dartmouth, The Bostwick H. Ketchum Award of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, The David Stone Award of the New England Aquarium, National Associate (life appointment) of the National Academies, Fellow of the AAAS, Doctor Honoris Causa the University of Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile, and the Chancellor's Medal from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 

Ann Marie Maguire 
UMass Law Alumni Association Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award 
Award presented by Ryan Benharris, JD '05 
Attorney Maguire was sworn in approximately 35 years ago. After working for the Suffolk District Attorney and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, she joined Lubin & Meyer when the firm handled all types of civil litigation. After handling catastrophic personal injury cases including construction and automobile accident cases for a few years, Attorney Maguire concentrated on Medical Malpractice. She was made a partner about three years after joining the firm and remained with the firm from 1981 through 1995. Since 1995 she joined Keches Law Group as Of Counsel where she created its Medical Malpractice Department. Anne Marie was appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the Governor's Judicial Nominating Committee. She also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern New England School of Law and as the President of the corporation. She was an active participant in the battle to create Massachusetts first public law school -- UMass Law. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Attorney Maguire received the New England Super Lawyers honor. Recently, she has been selected as a Top Women of Law 2013 honoree by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. 

Robert Halpin, JD '89 
UMass Law Alumni Association Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award 
Award presented by Valquiria C. Ribeiro, JD ' 05 
Bob Halpin has been the Court Administrator for the U.S. Immigration Court in Boston since February of 1999.  During his tenure he has been involved with many continuing education classes and trainings courses regarding various immigration subjects with schools and organizations in the area. Mr. Halpin received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 from Roger Williams University, Master of Business Administration in 1982 from Bryant University; and Juris Doctorate in 1989 from Southern New England School of Law.  Mr. Halpin is a Certified Court Manager.  From 1989 to 1999, he served as an attorney in the Law Offices of William J. Burke in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  During this time, from 1990 to 1998, Mr. Halpin served as a deputy court administrator for the Rhode Island Judiciary in Providence, Rhode Island.  Mr. Halpin formerly held the positions of: Chief, Operator Control, and Chief Hearing and Appeals Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles from 1976 to 1990.  Mr. Halpin is admitted to the state bars of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals. 

John Freeman '58 
UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association Distinguished Lifetime Service Award 
Award presented by Oliver Cipollini, Jr. '78 and Donald Wood '60, MA '70 
A native of Fall River, John Freeman attended the UMass Dartmouth's predecessor institution Bradford Durfee College of Technology.  As a student he played basketball, baseball, and soccer.  He was a team captain and president of his class.  He participated in the engineering society, math and physics club, phi psi, student council and varsity club.  John graduated in 1985 with a degree in mechanical engineering and went on to work at Stone & Webster Engineering as a Senior Principal Mechanical Engineer. John's true passion is as a volunteer for community organizations.  He is or has been involved with the Ninth Day Nursery in Fall River, UMass Dartmouth's SHARE Foundation, Durfee High School Alumni Association, Durfee High School Preservation Society, Durfee Bell Tower project, UMass Dartmouth Athletic Hall of Fame, the First Congregational Church of Fall River, and the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association. John was a dedicated member of the Alumni Association for many years.  Sitting on the association's scholarship committee John was instrumental in selecting deserving students and growing the association commitment to fund student scholarships.  As treasurer for many years, John worked tirelessly to reconcile the association's finances and prepare the organization for a successful future.  The alumni association is much better off because of John's dedication and hard work. 

The UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association Awards were created to give recognition to those alumni and members of the administration, faculty or staff who have been outstanding in their service to the university or in their career accomplishments.