Alumni Alumni: Golden celebration for UMass Dartmouth alumni, guests at 50th Alumni Awards

Alumni Alumni: Golden celebration for UMass Dartmouth alumni, guests at 50th Alumni Awards
Golden celebration for UMass Dartmouth alumni, guests at 50th Alumni Awards

UMass Dartmouth proudly welcomed alumni, faculty, and more to honor their impactful contributions to society.

Award recipients
(left to right) Lauren E. Underwood, P.E. '13; Marcia Carvalho '20, MBA '21; Dr. Jacqueline E. Einstein, MBA '91; Janice Reynolds '82; and Andrea Amaral Rodrigues '04, MBA '05 pose with their awards.

On April 26, UMass Dartmouth invited guests to celebrate distinguished alumni who tirelessly work to better the world with their outstanding community service and career accomplishments. To mark the grand 50th anniversary, the Marketplace transformed into a lively dance hall adorned with blue and gold accents, a dazzling display of UMassD pride.

Award recipients were nominated based on their unyielding commitment to serving local communities and dedication to elevating the standards of excellence in their respective industries. Their steadfast leadership in their careers and enrichment of civic organizations brings us closer to a cohesive society and strengthens the UMassD alumni community.

“You’re all here this evening because you give back to UMass Dartmouth and the surrounding communities,” proclaimed Brian Kelly ’88, the president of the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association. “Our goal is to make the UMassD alumni community the best it can possibly be, and we’re well on our way of accomplishing that because of our award recipients and their achievements.”

Following Kelly’s warm remarks to guests, members of the Student Alumni Association bestowed awards to recipients, a symbolic encounter that upholds the traditional relationship between the student body and alumni population.

Alumni Volunteer Service Award recipient Andrea Amaral Rodrigues ’04, MBA ’05 discovered her true calling was to serve in local communities. As BankFive’s first vice president of marketing programs and community relations, Rodrigues combines her financial expertise with her passion for charitable giving to make an impact on the SouthCoast region.

“I’m so grateful to be here tonight and to be part of this alumni community. Volunteering is a privilege, and we often don’t think of it that way,” said Rodrigues in her acceptance speech. Within her first year at BankFive, Rodrigues served as a loaned executive for the United Way of Greater New Bedford, offering her industry services to non-profit organizations in hopes of making a difference. Currently, Rodrigues is a proud member of their Women United initiative, which promotes growth and change in childhood development and literacy. “I hope to be a role model to others, especially my daughter.”

Chancellor Fuller gives speech at 50th Alumni Awards
Chancellor Mark Fuller addresses guests with a heartfelt speech at the 50th Alumni Awards.

Marcia Carvalho ’20, MBA ’21 received the Rising Star Award, which celebrates the accomplishments of a UMassD grad who is engaged in exceptional career or volunteer activities. Carvalho is a rising star for her superb student leadership at UMass Dartmouth and early career start with Dell Technologies as senior accounting analyst.

“UMass Dartmouth has a special place in my heart,” Carvalho declared, a Charlton College of Business 4+1 program graduate. Born and raised in Cape Verde, Carvalho arrived in the United States at 16 years old and spent two years in high school before attending UMass Dartmouth. She is the first in her family to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree from a higher education institution. “Without my College Now family, I wouldn’t be half as successful as I am today. Your resources, love, friendship, and more helped me thrive at this university.”

Another Rising Star Award recipient, Lauren E. Underwood, P.E. ’13, blossomed into a successful civil engineer at Environmental Partners. In her ten years there, she has held several titles, including her current title of project manager. She specializes in municipal drinking water, but also serves on wastewater, stormwater, and site/civil projects.

“I love UMass Dartmouth with all my heart. As a former tour guide, I can still tell you that the campanile is 208 feet tall!” Underwood joked with a packed room. She is still actively involved with UMass Dartmouth by serving on the Civil Engineering Advisory Board and providing guidance to the department. She hopes to showcase UMass Dartmouth’s ABET-accredited civil engineering programs that opened doors for her to begin her career. “I love to see how well the university is doing today and how it continues to grow. It truly is a beautiful thing.”

Dr. Jacqueline E. Einstein, MBA ’91 accepted the Faculty/Staff Recognition Award for leaving her financial career behind to pursue her true passion: teaching. As a Charlton College of Business professor, student success and career planning are the forefront of her mission as an educator. 

“It’s a real honor to receive this award and have my dedication to the university community and our students acknowledged,” Einstein expressed her gratitude. She is a Collegiate DECA Advisor and prepares students for the real world by shaping them into professionally responsible and experienced leaders. She provides support through personal mentorship and gives students the resources to professionally network in the community. “The enormous pride I feel in watching my students succeed contributes to my strong sense of accomplishment.”

Janice Reynolds ’82 earned the Lifetime Achievement Award for establishing an accredited profession as an accountant that followed her across state lines. From Massachusetts to Virginia, prosperity was rooted in everything Reynolds did throughout her long financial career.

“I have to thank this university for being on the SouthCoast. It allows so many people to get a high-quality education, including myself,” Reynolds stated, maintaining a special connection to southeastern Massachusetts. Early in her career, Reynolds worked as a staff accountant for Rhodes, Rice and Co, PC in and became a partner after two years of service. Reynolds also opened Li’l Shoppe of Cards Gift Store in Virginia, a gift business that sold home décor, women’s accessories, and more. She served as the shop’s owner until it closed in 2016. “I wouldn’t be on the path I am today if it weren’t for UMass Dartmouth.”

Sipping on bubbly cocktails, alumni and friends couldn’t resist ending the night on a high note. After busting a move to live music by Felix Brown Band, they gazed at a timeless campus and reminisced about their glory days as UMassD students, a finished chapter of their lives that shaped who they are as individuals today.

For guests in attendance, the 50th annual Alumni Awards was certainly a night to remember. View photos of the event on Facebook.