BU Alumni Council
The Boston University Alumni Council (BUAC) conveys alumni interests and concerns to the University. The BUAC is made up of about 30 members who have proven themselves leaders in their careers, communities, and their alma mater.
Each of the University’s 17 schools and colleges are represented on the council. Members hail from all over the country, as well as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Brazil.
We are currently accepting nominations for the BU Alumni Council. You may submit your nomination here.
Anthony Harrison (COM'81), President
Anthony Harrison is passionate about the power of words. He loves a well-turned phrase and the impact of a powerful story. That’s what brought him to public relations over 20 years ago. A graduate of Boston University’s College of Communications, Anthony’s career is built on telling powerful and compelling stories about everything from telephones (Verizon) to lattes (Starbucks) to Mickey Mouse (Disney); from the paper of record (The NY Times) and the world’s best-known software, (Microsoft) and most recently, the largest social network on the planet (Facebook). He prides himself on finding and telling stories that engage people and change their opinions. Stories that build or renew a reputation. He is currently senior director of corporate communications for Anaplan, based in San Francisco.
Anthony doesn’t take himself too seriously. He thrives on making those around him better than they were when he met them. And in turn, let them make him better. He works hard and laughs harder. He’s ridden his bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles, handled balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and when you meet him, you’ll never forget him.
J. R. Hipple (COM’88), Immediate Past President
Mr. Hipple received his Master of Science in public relations from the College of Communication in 1988 and prior to that earned a Bachelor of Science from Miami University of Ohio.
Mr. Hipple is Managing Partner of S. I. R., a Richmond, Virginia-based management consulting and market research firm, where he also heads up the firm’s leadership communications and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice areas. He is an advisor to corporations, government, and nonprofits across the nation, and he is a frequent speaker on DE&I and future trends impacting business.
Throughout his career, Mr. Hipple has been active in leadership roles with business and community organizations, including: chairman of the Atlanta-based Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility, president of the Richmond Sports Commission, and board member of the Community Foundation of Central Virginia. He also is a guest lecturer and adjunct instructor at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He has remained engaged with his alma mater, serving on the Boston University Alumni Council, the Alumni Association’s advisory body.
Marcos Bellizia (Questrom’00)
Marcos Bellizia holds dual Brazilian/Italian citizenship; obtained his MBA from Questrom School and IMP (International Management Program) in Japan from BU. Marcos’ successful career comes from FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) global companies such as AB-InBev, Nestlé, ConAgra Foods and Bel Fromagerie among others.
Currently, he is engaged in business development and consulting for both domestic and international businesses that are looking to establishing operations in Brazil and Latin America.
He has been deeply involved with Brazil’s BU Alumni Network, acting as a local ambassador in S?o Paulo. In addition, he is a cofounder of the US Alumni Association-Brazil in S?o Paulo which is linked to the US Consulate.
A former Lieutenant for the Brazilian Army and a goalkeeper for the Water Polo National team. He takes great pride of having had the opportunity to represent the country in both military and sports careers.
Marcos is married and the father of two children.
Lincoln Chan (CAS’94)
Chan is the director of Asiaview, a property investment company in Hong Kong. He earned his BA in international relations from CAS in 1994, and he also holds a MA from the University of Virginia. He is the vice president of the Boston University Alumni Association of Hong Kong. Since 2006, he is a member of the Boston University Asian Alumni Committee; he has been heavily involved in alumni activities all over Asia. He was the organizer of the University’s first Asian Alumni Business Forum and the second Asian Alumni Festival in Hong Kong. He has written several articles for the BU Asian Alumni newsletter. He is also the vice president of the Hong Kong International School Alumni Board. In his spare time, he enjoys participating in environmental protection activities. The Wall Street Journal featured Chan in 2010 for his involvement with anti–air pollution activities in Hong Kong. Chan is married to Mika Yamaguchi. They have two children.
James Chen (SPH’09)
Chen serves as the Finance Manager in the Medical Oncology Department of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has 15+ years experience in healthcare management and financial services combined, through progressively professional advancement with substantively increased responsibilities. He oversees departmental operational budget, approximately $60 million annually, and millions in discretionary funds. And Chen is responsible for negotiating and executing several dozens of interorganizational professional, clinical services and business agreements with internal and external stakeholders. He also leads analytical support and developing solutions for effective and efficient allocation among and between different funding resources, as well as identifying indirect patient care expenses for cost reductions to meet institutional and departmental strategic targets.
Serving on the BU School of Public Health Alumni Leadership Council & Education Advisory Board, having served 2 one-year terms as BUSPH Alumni Board President (2010–2012).
Chen is an adviser to UK-based Barry & Martin Trust (America) since 2010 on HIV/Aids in China, and was a participant of 2013 “The Partnership Inc.” Fellowship Program and 2010 “Lead Boston” Class (now affiliated with YWCA), sponsored by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2010, Chen was the recipient of the Annual Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Ethics Award.
Chen Lives in Sudbury with his wife, Angela Shen, and their children, Joana and Jacob, and their two-year-old lab, Oreo.
Peter Cocolis (ENG’64)
Retired/ Former senior director of business and government affairs, Boeing; lieutenant colonel, US Air Force; negotiator, Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.
Peter Cocolis is a retired aerospace executive with the Boeing Company in Business Development and Government Relations. He served at the business unit and corporate levels with responsibilities in civil space, commercial space and military programs, such as the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station (ISS), missile defense and aerospace research and development programs. At Rockwell’s Aerospace and Defense unit (acquired by Boeing in 1996), he served as manager of military programs and director of business development for the company’s North American Aircraft and Rocketdyne Divisions.
Cocolis served in the US Air Force, retiring in 1984. He held a variety of flying, system acquisition, command and Pentagon positions within Headquarters US Air Force and the Office of the Secretary of Defense working with other military services, executive agencies and the Congress. He was appointed Military Advisor to the Secretary of Defense Representative with the US Delegation on Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) in Geneva Switzerland.
In retirement, Cocolis moved to Chatham, Mass., on Cape Cod, where he was elected to Board Selectman. He also volunteers as the chair of the planning board and past chair of the energy committee, as well as supporting homeless prevention organizations. He is the Chatham board director to the Cape Light Compact, member of its Executive Committee and prior treasurer. Cape Light Compact is an intergovernmental organization consisting of the 21 towns and one county on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The compact’s mission is to serve its 200,000 customers through the delivery of proven energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy, competitive electricity supply, and green power options.
Cocolis is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and past Chairman of its National Capitol Section in Washington, D.C. As past chairman, he led a board consisting of 20 senior level volunteers elected from industry and government. During that time, the NCS won national awards for special events and membership
He holds a BS in Engineering Management from Boston University, an MBA from Auburn University. and is a Kennedy School graduate of the National and International Security Management Executive program at Harvard University. He is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College and the Air Force Institute of Technology Education with Industry Program.
Peter Cocolis received the College of Engineering Service to Alma Mater award and a BU Alumni Volunteer of the Year award in 2013. The Cape Cod and Islands Network won an Alumni Networks award under his leadership.
He is married to Lorraine Marut Cocolis (Sargent’63). They have two sons, Peter Jr. (DMD) and William (CGS’91, CAS’93) and four grandchildren, with Aly Cocolis attending Boston University’s Sargent College.
Meggie Cramer (COM'11, Questrom'22)
Meggie Cramer is a Foundation Director & Director of Philanthropy living and working in Green Bay, WI for one of the city’s premier medical systems. She transitioned to fundraising full-time almost eight years ago after starting her post-BU career in film and television with roles at HBO, the Tribeca Film Festival, and Showtime, amongst other production companies and sets. After stints in Boston, Sydney AUS, Los Angeles, and New York, Meggie returned to her native Chicago and dove into nonprofit work, putting her skills from COM to work developing relationships with donors to close high-impact gifts to organizations ranging from higher education, social justice media, and now healthcare. She recently relocated to Northeastern Wisconsin to lead a legacy hospital system into its next chapter philanthropically and has been tasked with building the flagship Foundation in a system of fifteen hospitals. Additionally, she is currently pursuing her MBA at BU’s Questrom School of Business and delights at the prospect of being a Double Terrier. When she’s not out pounding the pavement for philanthropy or trying to remember statistics, Meggie is an avid equestrian and a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor – so you can probably find her at the barn if she’s not at her desk.
Patricia de la Sota (CAS’79)
Patricia was born in Argentina, moved to the United States at a young age, and grew up in Worcester, Mass. Following a family tradition – both Patricia’s sister and brother graduated from Boston University – Patricia is an alumna of BU’s CAS Class of ’79 and was a Scarlet Key recipient as well as an elected member of the CAS student government and the BU Student Union Government. Not only did Patricia get a great education at BU, but wonderful friendships started there continue and have only gotten stronger over the years.
Her parents instilled in Patricia a deep respect for the freedoms enjoyed in the United States, which led to Patricia’s 30-plus year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, where the work she performed protected the United States, its people, and its values. Now retired, she treasures her experiences at the CIA and the people with whom she worked.
Patricia is now a learning facilitation consultant working with several US government agencies and the event coordinator for the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, a private entity recommending and promoting changes to US policy and law to strengthen national biodefense.
Patricia loves diversity – people, ideas, food – and she loves to travel. She is a firm proponent of Mark Twain’s quote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness … .” She has traveled to all seven continents, some many times over.
She is also a volunteer scuba diver at the local aquarium, a lover of all kinds of animals and a responsible steward of our earth. Patricia and her husband, Jerry, live in coastal North Carolina with their rescue Lab, Riley.
Petros Fatouros (LAW'04)
-Managing Partner at Phi Lambda Law Firm (Greece) & Phi Lambda Multi-Family Office (Greece)
-Founder & Chairman of SKEPSIS Economic Forum (Greece)
-VP of BoD at Periplous shipping company (Greece)
-Member of the Board at the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (UK) Family Business Committee.
Petros is a lawyer. He was born and raised in Athens, Greece to lawyer parents and grandparents.
He graduated from Hellenic-American Athens College and studied Law in Greece and the UK and Banking & Financial Law in the USA. He also studied Accounting at the Athens University of Economics & Business to collaborate efficiently with bankers, financial and investment advisors on behalf of his clients.
Petros enjoys exploring the Aegean Sea, listening to classical music and playing tennis. He is married and has one child.
Albert Gonzalez (Questrom’76)
Al grew up in Manhattan and after attending Power Memorial Academy in NYC, attended Boston University as a recipient of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship. He graduated from the College of Business Administration (Questrom School of Business) and was an active participant as a walk-on athlete to the 1971-72 Terrier Ice Hockey program and also walked-on and earned a varsity letter in football his senior year.
Al started his career in sales with Johnson and Johnson and continued with 3M, AT&T and GE. While at 3M he was transferred to Austin, Texas, in 1985, to handle Mexico and began to set roots in Texas. He earned his MBA from University of Phoenix in 1999.
Upon embarking in the financial service industry, Al worked at New York Life, AIG, TD Ameritrade before joining Waddell & Reed, Inc. 7 years ago. Al was awarded the 2006 Chairman’s Award by the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber for his efforts in membership retention.
Al has been married for the past 37 years to Jackie Habib Gonzalez (MS’77) and they’ve raised their three children in Texas. The family likes to return to Cape Cod for summer family reunions and enjoy the cool summer nights away from the Texas heat. He remains a diehard Yankee fan but has become a Cowboy fan with the departure of Tony Romo.
Jenny Gruber (ENG’99)
Lead, Inventory and Stowage Officer Group Operations Division, NASA Johnson Space Center
Jenny Gruber was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She graduated from Boston University (ENG’99) with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, and in 2002, earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
Jenny joined NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston as a cooperative education student in the fall of 1996, and as a full-time employee in the fall of 2002. She spent nine years in the Flight Design and Dynamics Division of the Flight Operations Directorate. She was a Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO) in Space Shuttle Mission Control, and she served as a liaison between Mission Control and United States Strategic Command and as a liaison between Mission Control and scientists with Langley Research Center’s Hypersonic Thermodynamic Infrared Measurements Project. In May of 2012, Jenny moved to the Flight Planning Branch of the Operations Division to become the Lead of the Mission Planning Software Group. In June 2014, she joined the Vehicle Integration and Daily Operations Branch as Lead of the Inventory and Stowage Officers (ISO) in ISS Mission Control. ISOs are responsible for stowage and disposal on ISS, as well as cargo transfer operations for spacecraft visiting the ISS.
Jenny is married to Ron Sostaric, who works in the Engineering Directorate at Johnson Space Center, on Entry, Descent, and Landing for Advanced Projects. They have a son, Markus, who was born in Ethiopia, so their family is Ethiopian-American, and they celebrate that heritage.
In her spare time, Jenny enjoys long-distance running, serving as an Elder and Sunday school teacher at Clear Lake Presbyterian, travel, camping and other outdoor activities, reading, mentoring young people, and learning about Ethiopian history, language, and culture.
Sabrina Horn (COM’85)
Sabrina Horn is a tech-industry communications expert and executive advisor with 30+ years experience. Her career includes Horn Group, the iconic US tech communications agency which she founded in Silicon Valley at age 29 and ran as President and CEO for 24 years. She sold Horn Group to Finn Partners in 2015, where she now serves as Senior Advisor, Managing Partner, Global Technology Practice.
Sabrina’s expertise includes category creation, digital brand transformation, crisis counsel, go-to-market strategies, vertical expansion, executive media-readiness, and IPO/M&A navigation. Her tech expertise spans the B2B markets including enterprise/cloud software, data science, cybersecurity, HR, venture capital, adtech, CRM, supply chain, and consumer ecommerce.
Sabrina is a frequent speaker at technology and marketing industry conferences and has authored several research papers including “Public Relations for Emerging Growth Technology Companies” and “Advertising in the People’s Republic of China.” She is currently on five for-profit advisory boards: AirPR, Akoonu, Dogly.com, Illuminate Ventures, and The Jordan Edmiston Group. Community work includes Boston University Almuni Advisory Council, and 6 years as President, Board of Trustees, Christ our Saviour Lutheran, New York.
Horn has a BA in American Studies from William Smith College, Geneva, N.Y. in 1983 and an MS in Public Relations from Boston University in 1984. She has two daughters, Grace, 20, and Christina, 16, and two very large Golden Doodles.
Laura Housman (SPH'94, CAS'88, Questrom'00)
Laura T. Housman, MPH, MBA is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Tufts University School of Medicine, an Executive in Residence at the Boston University School of Public Health, and Founder of Access Solutions Consulting (ASC), a healthcare advisory firm offering global, holistic consulting in support of patients, healthcare providers, device and diagnostic manufacturers, payors and pharmaceutical organizations. ASC provides strategies and solutions for all areas of healthcare commercialization, reimbursement and access support, with particular expertise and extensive network in companion/complementary Dx; precision medicine; patient communications; and pharmaceutical and biotech drug development and safety access initiatives.
Ms. Housman received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the College of Arts and Sciences and a Minor in Business Administration from the School of Management from Boston University. She received her Master of Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health and her Master of Business Administration with honors from Boston University’s Questrom Graduate School of Management.
Ms. Housman’s experience ranges across payer, provider, drug development, biotech, pharma, and healthcare software and digital offerings.
Prior to founding ASC, Ms. Housman was with Molecular Health, having joined in October 2013 as Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer. In that role, Ms. Housman was responsible for the commercialization of Molecular Health’s suite of treatment decision support tools for enhanced oncology clinical care, successfully launching its first product, TreatmentMAP. In April 2015, Ms. Housman was given responsibility, as Global Head, Therapeutics Business and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, for developing the strategic and commercialization plans for Molecular Health’s pharmaceutical business, beginning with commercializing intellectual property associated with a novel erythropoietin receptor discovered by Molecular Health’s computational software platform, Dataome.
Prior to joining Molecular Health, Ms. Housman led the Market Access, Pricing and HE&OR group within Novartis’ Pharmaceutical Corporation’s Molecular Diagnostics unit. Previously, Ms. Housman was Executive Director of Marketing for Charles River Laboratories, focused on the commercialization of its worldwide Preclinical, First in Human and Biopharmaceutical Services. Prior to Charles River, Ms. Housman led marketing and commercialization strategies in support of managed care outreach as Director of Marketing for Genzyme Genetics, a business unit of Genzyme Corporation. In addition to her work within industry, Ms. Housman spent a decade leading health services evaluation, contracting, and provider profiling initiatives as a Director within BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts.
Christine Hunter (MED'80, CAS'80)
RADM (ret.) Christine Hunter brings over 35 years of federal health program experience to her current board and advisory roles supporting healthcare quality, insurance, women’s leadership, and education. She serves as an independent board director for WPS Health Solutions and Navy Mutual Aid Association, delivering health and life insurance solutions for military, veterans, and seniors. Dr. Hunter cochairs the NCQA Committee on Performance Measurement, working to improve health outcomes for all Americans and chairs the Boston University Women’s Leadership Council.
From 2011 until August 2018, Dr. Hunter served as Chief Medical Officer at the US Office of Personnel Management. Her portfolio included medical direction for the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program and oversight of healthcare quality for 8.2 million employees, retirees, and families. She pioneered the FEHB Plan Performance Assessment to link population health outcomes to health plan profit and promoted the development of popular new health, dental, and vision insurance offerings.
On active duty, Dr. Hunter began her career as one of the first women to serve on Navy ships before completing her residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology-Oncology. Her clinical practice afforded opportunities to advance care coordination, including the establishment of the Navy’s first multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic. Serving as Commanding Officer of Naval Hospital Bremerton, Dr. Hunter focused on enhancing primary care delivery; while her tour as Pacific Fleet Surgeon included an initiative to redesign resuscitative surgery at sea. Assuming command at Navy Medicine West/Naval Medical Center San Diego, RADM Hunter launched a nationally acclaimed center for wounded warrior care and energized her team to achieve the highest ranking among military hospitals for combined quality, population health, and business performance. At the pinnacle of her military career, RADM Hunter served as Deputy Director of TRICARE Management Activity, coordinating care for 9.6 million beneficiaries and managing a $22B portfolio.
Dr. Hunter is a fellow and laureate of the American College of Physicians. Her work has been recognized with a Presidential Rank Award, OPM Director’s Award, National Association of Government Communicators Award, Athena Chairman’s Award for Community Leadership, Defense Superior Service Medal, and numerous other military awards. Dr. Hunter is a Distinguished Alumna of Boston University, where she earned both her BA and MD. At BU, she is a member of the University Advisory Board as well as Dean’s Advisory Boards for the Schools of Medicine and Public Health.
Gerald Iseda (Questrom'89)
Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs Consultant
Gerald Iseda is a Global Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs Consultant, most recently working for eight years as Director of Supervisory Affairs for GE Capital. He previously served as Senior Technical Advisor on Banking Supervision for the International Monetary Fund, working as the resident advisor to the Bank of Thailand. He worked in numerous capacities in banking supervision for the Federal Reserve System for over 17 years. He also served as an instructor and course developer for several of the Federal Reserve’s training courses domestically and abroad, and has represented the IMF as a speaker and instructor throughout Asia.
Gerald holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics/Systems Science from the University of California at Los Angeles and received his Master of Business Administration from Questrom School of Business in 1989.
Mr. Iseda was a member of the Questrom School of Business Alumni Board for many years, and served as its President for four years. He received Questrom’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007.
Thomas Jones (Questrom'78)
Thomas W. Jones is founder and senior partner of venture capital investment firm TWJ Capital LLC since 2005. Mr. Jones previously was chief executive officer of Global Investment Management at Citigroup 1997–2005; vice chairman, president, and chief operating officer at TIAA-CREF 1993–1997, and executive vice president and chief financial officer 1989–1993; and senior vice president and treasurer and other positions at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company 1982–1989. Mr. Jones began his career in public accounting and management consulting at Arthur Young & Company (predecessor firm to Ernst & Young) in 1974. Mr. Jones is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and has received the Board Governance Fellow designation from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
Mr. Jones has served as a member of the corporate boards of directors of Altria Group, Assured Guaranty Ltd., Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp), Traveler’s Group, Fox Entertainment Group, Pepsi Bottling Group, Thomas & Betts Corp, Eastern Enterprises, TIAA-CREF, and Federal Reserve Bank of New York (former vice chairman). Mr. Jones has served on the nonprofit boards of trustees of Cornell University, Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Boston), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Ballet Company, PBS WNET Channel Thirteen (New York), and Brookings Institution.
Mr. Jones is trustee emeritus of Cornell University and a recipient of the Frank H.T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award, and has been elected Presidential Councillor by the Cornell University Board of Trustees. Mr. Jones received Bachelor of Arts (1969) and Master of Science (1972) degrees from Cornell University, and a Master of Business Administration (1978) from Boston University. Mr. Jones is the author of From Willard Straight to Wall Street, published by Cornell University Press in 2019.
Daniel Kirshenbaum (CAS'07, MED'11)
Dan received his BA in Computer Science from Boston University College of Arts & Sciences, and then went on to Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) to receive his MD. While at BUSM, he was very active in student life, serving as the president of the student government.
After medical school he did his residency in Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center, the hospital of Boston University. He then remained for an additional year to serve as Chief Resident for Internal Medicine. After fellowship, he worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical center as an attending in Internal Medicine, before deciding to return to subspecialty training in cardiology. He is currently a fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Boston Medical Center and will complete his training in 2020.
Dan has remained an active part of the BU community since graduation, serving on the BUSM Executive Alumni Council as a director. As a physician at Boston Medical Center he has the opportunity to work frequently with medical students at BUSM. He devotes much of his time to teaching medical students, residents, and fellows. He was drawn to Boston Medical Center by the unique and diverse patient population, many of whom are underserved and vulnerable.
Dan is married Laura Kirshenbaum (LAW’11), who practices law at Rose, Chinitz & Rose in Downtown Boston. They reside in Brookline, Massachusetts. They have two daughters, Laila and Abbi, whom they anticipate will be future Terriers.
Robert Knox, Jr. (CGS'08, Sargent'10, SPH'12)
Bob is a Product Manager at American Well, overseeing the health systems and customer success teams. Prior to joining American Well, Bob was the Product Manager at Digital Cognition Technologies, Inc., where he managed development and deployment of new products that use artificial intelligence to detect Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of cognitive impairment. Prior to DCT, Bob was with Opera Solutions where he developed and deployed machine-learning platforms focused on revenue capture and operational improvements in hospital systems across the country. Bob also has experience as a health policy analyst at the New England Journal of Medicine and has worked closely with nonprofit organizations like the American Diabetes Association in the US and abroad. Bob serves on the Leadership Council for the Boston University School of Public Health. Bob earned his BS in Health Science and MPH in Health Management and Policy from Boston University.
Alyssa Lodewick (STH’13, SSW’13)
An authorized minister in the United Church of Christ, the Reverend Alyssa Lodewick earned Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work (clinical concentration) degrees from Boston University in 2013. She feels privileged to have spent four years at BU and enjoys working on behalf of the school and her fellow alums.
Alyssa spent the early years of her professional life working for a variety of nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. In 2015, Alyssa was ordained into ministry as the associate director of The BTS Center, the nonprofit mission successor to Bangor Theological Seminary. While there, she developed the organization’s grantmaking programs and edited and produced the organization’s award-winning publication, “Bearings: Navigating Life-as-Ministry.” Alyssa’s next authorized ministry site was the Maine Philanthropy Center (MPC), where she served as program and communications director from 2017 until 2020. She valued having opportunities to explore the spiritual, psychological, structural, and grassroots dimensions of power, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Alyssa currently serves as president of the Maine Council of Churches. She also sits on the board of the Maine Conference, UCC and is a member of its Anti-Racism Resource Team. In February 2020, she was called to serve as the designated term pastor of Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland, Maine.
Nikita McCalister (STH'05)
Rev. Nikita Giselle McCalister was born to the Rev. Robert, Sr. and Rev. Deborah Shumake. Rev. McCalister received her license to preach the Gospel in 2001 and was ordained in 2005, under the leadership of Rev. James C. Perkins, Pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church (Detroit, Mich.).
She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management from Central Michigan University (1993), a Master of Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy (1999), and a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology (2005).
She currently serves as the Associate Executive for Administration for the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island (ABCORI) and is the Senior Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Previously she was the Assistant Pastor of Ministry Development at Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, and the co–youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Randolph, Massachusetts. While at Boston University School of Theology, she worked as administrative support for the Sustaining Urban Pastoral Excellence Program in Boston, Massachusetts., a two million dollar Lilly Endowment Fund project. Formally, Rev. McCalister was employed in management at Electronic Data Systems (EDS).
She was a member of the ecumenical planning team for the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York, which hosted a Parallel Event entitled: “Sacred and Safe: Building Capacity of Faith Communities to Address Gender-Based Violence.” Also at the invitation of the Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Charles Thembani Ntwaagae, she helped plan the Side Event: “Real Talk/Real Action: Engaging Men and Boys in Prevention and Intervention Strategies that Address Gender-Based Violence.”
She has been a NCAA Women’s Division I basketball player and track and field athlete, guest preacher, workshop leader, liturgical dancer, and singer at various conferences and churches throughout the nation, such as 2015 guest preacher at Peace Cathedral Community Baptist Church, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia; 2014 Commencement Speaker for the University of Rhode Island; 2013 Keynote Speaker for the Young Professionals Forum at the University of Botswana, Botswana, Africa; United Methodist General Conference in Pittsburgh, Penn., Brown University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. 2013 Panelist in Providence, R.I.; Brown University’s Sankofa Preaching Series: Sistahs in the Spirit, in Providence, R.I.; Boston University School of Theology Martin Luther King, Jr. Service in Boston, Mass.; 2007 Freedom institute Religious Leaders Breakfast in Detroit, Mich.; 2007 98th National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Annual Convention Council of Presidents Luncheon in Detroit, Mich. Her publications include: 2012 Women’s Day Lectionary article in The African American Lectionary () & the 2012 spring issue of The Academy of Homiletics Journal. She was a runner-up in the 2017 Yale Center for Faith and Culture’s Theology of Joy and the Good Life sermon series competition for her four-week sermon series entitled: This Joy that I Have. Rev. McCalister was recipient of the 2017–2018 Duke Divinity Foundations Leadership Education Innovators Grant.
In addition, Rev. McCalister currently serves as Rep. David Cicilline’s Women’s Advisory Council, Board Member of Rhode Island Kids’ Count, Member of Chaplains Association of the University of Rhode Island (URI), Treasurer of Minister’s Alliance of Rhode Island. She has served as the Chairperson of the American Baptist Churches of United States of America (ABC-USA) Transformed by the Spirit Journey Team Task Force, the Advisory Board Member American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM), the Board of Directors for the Robert S. Shumake Foundation, the Metropolitan Detroit Association of American Baptist Churches, the Benjamin E. Mays Male Academy, and treasurer of ABC-MI Ministers Council. Her other organizational ties include: past President of the Black Seminarians, Boston University School of Theology, Roothbert Fellow, Boston University Woman’s Graduate Club, Boston University School of Theology Seminary Singers, and the National Black MBA Association Incorporated, Central Michigan University Women’s Basketball, and Magni-Beigan Scholar Athlete.
Rev. Nikita McCalister is married to Rev. Jabulani McCalister. They are the proud parents of two children, Jaden and Azriel McCalister.
Lesley Ryan Miller (CGS’94, Wheelock’96)
Lesley Ryan Miller joins the Boston University Alumni Council with over 20 years of education experience both in the classroom as a teacher and as a school-level and district office administrator for the City of Boston and the Public Schools of Brookline. She is currently the Principal of the John Pierce School, a 3-building public school in Brookline. In this role she works with a talented team of teachers and administrators to ensure educational equity, optimal academic achievement and a safe campus for the almost 900 students the school serves.
Prior to taking on the Principal position at Pierce, Mrs. Miller was Brookline’s Senior Director of Teaching and Learning where she oversaw K-8 curriculum implementation in math, literacy, social studies, science and world languages. Before joining the Public Schools of Brookline, Lesley served as the Director of Teacher Development and Advancement for the Boston Public Schools where she managed new teacher induction, teacher leadership and professional development opportunities for Boston Public School Educators. This followed a decade of teaching as a kindergarten and first grade teacher– also in Boston.
Lesley received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Boston University (SED/Wheelock 1996; CGS 1994). Lesley also holds a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2001).
Lesley is a member of Boston University’s Black Alumni Leadership Council. She is also a Trustee at The Park School, an independent school in Brookline, as well as a member of Jack & Jill of America. Lesley, her husband Harold, and their daughter Laila live in Dorchester.
Tangy Morgan (MET'16)
Tangy C. Morgan is an insurance industry expert and senior advisor with over 35+ years of experience in the US and global markets. Prior to her insurance career, Tangy spent 6+ years as an Oil and Gas Production Analyst with Conoco, Inc. Her career in the financial services sector includes working for such companies as Chubb & Son, TIG, Guy Carpenter, AIG, and Lloyd’s of London. She now serves as a Senior Advisor to the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Committee and Strategia Worldwide, Ltd.
Tangy’s expertise includes catastrophe liability underwriting, corporate governance, solvency and capital modelling, board governance, financial services regulation, organizational resiliency, technology and diversity and inclusion.
Tangy is a frequent speaker at financial services conferences in the UK and internationally speaking on issues of board governance, the impact of technology on traditional business models and sustainability, algorithmic bias as well as diversity and inclusion. She is a mentor to several financial technology (fintech) start-ups. Tangy is currently a board member of: InsurerCore Ltd, Ethnic Minority Foundation, Alumni Advisory Board at the College of Business at Tennessee State University. She is also a member of the St. James’s Roundtable at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and several other academic and civic organizations in the US and UK.
In 2018, Tangy was listed as a Distinguished Alumni of both Tennessee State University and Boston University, Wintrade Woman on Boards Award, Finalist in the Financial Services at the Black British Awards and in 2019 featured in the Debevoise & Plimpton Women’s Review.
Morgan has a BA in Business Management from Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1981, and an MS in Business Continuity, Security, and Risk Management from Boston University in 2016. She has lived in London since 2002 and holds dual citizenship in the UK and US.
Kevin Packford (Sargent'97)
Kevin is Head of Business Development at Engadine Partners LLP, a London based Hedge Fund Manager, investing capital on behalf of US Endowments, State and Corporate Pension Plans, and Family Offices. Prior to joining Engadine, Kevin was Head of Business Development for Ledbury Capital Partners LLP and began his Alternative Investment career at Habrok Capital Management LLP, where he was Head of Sales and Investor Relations. Kevin’s time before entering Financial Services was spent competing in motorsport competitions across North America and Europe.
Kevin has a BSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Boston University, Massachusetts, and holds the Investment Management Certificate from the CFA Society of the UK.
Musa Pam (Questrom’01)
Musa Pam founded Plateau Asset Management (PAM) based in Boston, Massachusetts. PAM is a micro private equity firm, and a privately held, entrepreneurial investment firm with the sole mission of seeking to identify, acquire, operate, and grow one or more well-built family-owned or founder-managed private enterprises. His immediate focus is on acquiring a lower middle market firm in New England, with the eventual hope of developing a socially conscious platform strategy of private equity investments that prioritize investments in, and empowerment of entrepreneurs and founders in underserved and underrepresented communities in and around New England.
Prior to founding PAM, Musa worked for NORESCO (now known as AMERESCO) as an Energy Engineer, then for Sodexo over an almost 19-year career span as an award-winning Facilities Manager, Director of Engineering, and District Manager as the executive responsible for the company’s healthcare facility solutions accounts providing facilities management services to healthcare clients in New England and New York City’s five boroughs.
A native of Plateau State, Nigeria, Musa earned two Bachelors of Science – first in Marine Engineering, and then in Facilities & Plant Engineering from Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) on Cape Cod, in which time he was elected Secretary and then President of the Student Government Association representing the student body in matters of welfare, wellness, and education. Musa played varsity soccer at MMA and served as Captain of the soccer team.
Musa earned his MBA from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and served on the Questrom School’s Graduate Student Council.
In his spare time, Musa enjoys working out, playing golf, mentoring, and volunteering his time for various causes and entrepreneurial ventures around Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was elected to the Boston University Alumni Council in July 2017, representing BU’s 326,000 alumni. He is a booster for Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s soccer team and athletics program, and serves as a board member on the advisory councils for engineering and business degree programs at the college. A stroke survivor himself, Musa volunteers as a Peer Visitor with fellow stroke survivors receiving in-patient acute rehabilitation at Boston’s famed #4-ranked Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where the motto is “Find Your Strength,” and where Musa was a former patient.
Musa is particularly proud and honored to have been crowned the 2017 Sanders Division National Champion at the North American One-Armed Golf Association (NAOAGA) Championship Tournament conducted in Gaylord, Michigan, this past July. Musa was also elected to serve on the NAOAGA Board and volunteers his time helping to advance the causes and interests of one-armed golfers who are limited by injury, illness, or genetics to playing that way. Because of his win, Musa was selected to be part of a team that will represent North America at the 2018 Fightmaster Cup Tournament in the UK, an international Ryder Cup–style tournament contested every two years between European and North American one-armed golfers.
Musa has also been a member of the Harvard Club of Boston since 2016 because of one of his BU Alumni benefits. A budding entrepreneur at heart, he recently cofounded the Harvard Club of Boston Entrepreneurs Roundtable and helps lead and coordinate the group’s mission, vision, and activities which aspire to serve and advance Harvard Club members’ interests in entrepreneurial ventures and the innovation economy.
Musa tweets at the handle @SurvivedStroke, and is on Instagram as @Moosepee.
Bonnie Pierce (CAS'92, Pardee'94)
Biography to come.
Kim Raver (CGS’87, CFA’91)
Morris Robinson (CFA'01)
Morris Robinson is considered one the most sought-after basses performing today. With regular appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, (MET) he made his debut in the 2002 production of Fidelio. Other featured MET appearances include Sarastro in Die Zauberfl?te (both in the original production and in the children’s English version), Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the King in Aida, roles in Nabucco, Tannh?user, and the new productions of Les Troyens and Salome. He has also appeared at the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Teatro alla Scala, Volksoper Wien, Opera Australia, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His many roles include the title role in Porgy and Bess, Sarastro in Die Zauberfl?te, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ramfis in Aida, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, Timur in Turandot, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, and Fasolt in Das Rheingold.
Also a prolific concert singer, Mr. Robinson’s engagements have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Met Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, S?o Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, BBC Proms, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, Verbier, and Aspen Music Festivals. As one of the most sought after Bass soloist, Mr. Robinson has appeared numerous times at Carnegie Hall. Some notable engagements include Stravinsky’s Renard, Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Honeggar’s Jon of Arc and a featured soloist in Tippet’s A Child Of Our Time, which was a part of Jessy Norman’s Honor Festival.
A consummate recitalist, he has been presented by Spivey Hall in Atlanta, the Savannah Music Festival, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Mr. Robinson’s solo album, Going Home, was released on the Decca label. His videography credits include Joe in the DVD of the San Francisco Opera production of Show Boat, the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Salome and the Aix-en-Provence Festival’s production of Mozart’s Zaide.
In 2020, Mr. Robinson returns to the Metropolitan Opera and Dallas Opera as Sarastro in Die Zauberfl?te, Atlanta Opera for Porgy and Bess, and returns to the Cincinnati Opera for Aida. This season will also bring a role debut as King Phillip II in Don Carlo alongside his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, UK, in performances of the Mahler Symphony No. 8 with its music director, Mirga Gra?inyt?-Tyla, as well as with the Atlanta Symphony.
A native of Atlanta, GA, Mr. Robinson is a graduate of The Citadel, received his musical training from the Boston University Opera Institute and is an alumnus of the young artist training programs at the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Wolf Trap. In addition to his busy performance schedule, in 2015 he was appointed Artist in Residence with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and currently serves as Artistic Advisor to the Cincinnati Opera, Artist in Residence at Harvard University and sits on Atlanta Opera’s Artistic Advisory Council.
Mitch Sabbagh (SDM'87)
Dr. Mitchell V. Sabbagh is the founder and director of Aesthetic Dentistry of New York (ADNY). His practice moved to Rockefeller Center in January 2017.
Dr. Sabbagh, a native New Yorker, grew up in Brooklyn and earned his DMD doctoral degree in 1987 from Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine, as it’s youngest graduate ever at the age of 24. He received his bachelors degree in biology from New York University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1983.
Dr. Sabbagh presently serves on the Alumni Board of Boston University and is cochairman of it’s New York Alumni Continuing Education Study Club. Dr. Sabbagh was President of the Midtown Dental Society and served on the Board of the New York County Dental Society.
Early in his professional career, Dr. Sabbagh represented New York City to the New York State Dental Society’s Council for the New Dentist followed by serving as a delegate to the American Dental Association.
Dr. Sabbagh is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of General Dentistry at BU, serving in a voluntary capacity. His dedication to continuing education and excellence is signified by his membership to the Academy of General Dentistry as well as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. His service to the community includes chairing the Physicians and Dentists group of United Jewish Appeal. Dr. Sabbagh enjoys all things New York, from his devotion to the New York Mets to fulfilling a lifelong dream of completing the New York City Marathon.
Denise Schier (ENG'81)
Retired Vice President and General Manager AMETEK Inc.
Denise Schier retired in 2016 following a 35-year career in global engineering and business management with General Electric and AMETEK Inc. within the aerospace, power, industrial, and consumer industries. Her areas of expertise include profit and loss management, international business relations, strategic and operational planning, acquisition due diligence and integration, operational excellence, and leadership development.
Denise earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering from BU in 1981 and also holds an MBA from Northeastern University. She values the education, experience, and friendships that she developed while at BU and has enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to give back to the University, its students, and her fellow alums.
Denise has served on the BU Alumni Council since 2016 and has been the Chair of the BUAC Development Committee since 2017. She is a member of the Claflin Society, the Annual Fund Leadership Giving Society, and the Loyalty Society. Denise has supported the College of Engineering’s Star Student Program, Engineering Product Innovation Center, Society of Women Engineers, bionic pancreas development, and pedagogical innovation within the Mechanical Engineering department. In 2017, she was awarded one of ENG’s Distinguished Alumni Awards and currently she is a member of Mechanical Engineering’s Visiting Committee.
Denise additionally volunteers her time supporting the Northeast Ohio Chapters of the Society of Women Engineers and Kiwanis International. She and her husband Karl live in the greater Cleveland area.
Matthew Trevithick (CGS’06, CAS'08)
Founder, CEO, Blank Slate Technologies, LLC
Matt is the Founder and CEO of Blank Slate Technologies, a learning services company that provides customized memory tools for companies, organizations, and schools. He launched the company in 2017 with a group of computer engineers and memory nerds.
From 2013 to early 2018, Matt was the Managing Partner of SREO Consulting, which he cofounded in 2013. SREO is a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and research firm that analyzes aid effectiveness and impact for the world’s leading humanitarian and development organizations, including multiple United Nations agencies, the World Food Programme, and more than two dozen NGOs involved in the regional refugee humanitarian response to ensure aid is getting to those who need it most. SREO is headquartered in Istanbul, with regional branch offices and staff, and has uncovered corruption, stolen aid, and provided recommendations to where aid work can have the highest impact. Men’s Journal profiled the organization in 2015.
From 2010 to 2014, he worked as the Director of Communications at the American University of Afghanistan. Previously, he worked at the American University of Iraq. He is currently on the Board of the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan.
In 2016, he was invited to join the Dartmouth Conference, the longest continuous bilateral discussion between leading citizens of the Soviet Union, now Russia, and the United States, established to create a sustained dialogue on the changing nature of the relationship between the two countries for the purposes of preventing nuclear war and then strengthening the relationship between the two powers.
In the summer of 2016, he launched the Spaced Repetition Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit center dedicated to advancing the adoption of spaced repetition as a supplementary learning tool.
One of the first Americans invited into Iran after the 2015 nuclear deal to study, he successfully completed an intensive Farsi-immersion program at Tehran University, which he first walked through while visiting Tehran as a tourist in 2010. He was also briefly imprisoned as he was leaving the country as part of an abrupt crackdown on ‘Western influence’ / ????.
His first book is the autobiography of Afghanistan’s first Minister of Higher Education after the fall of the Taliban, with a foreword written by US Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
He is also the cohost of Sources and Methods, a biweekly podcast that interviews leading writers and researchers and discusses their research strategies and tools.
Before going overseas, he worked as a writer and researcher at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C., for Rock The Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Muslim World by Robin Wright, which won an Overseas Press Club award for Best Non-Fiction Title in 2012, as well as at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, Time Magazine, Men’s Journal, NPR, CNN / Anderson Cooper’s AC360, PBS NewsHour, Foreign Policy Magazine, the Daily Beast, the Wall St. Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, in addition to research publications. He speaks Farsi and can get by in Russian and Arabic, and has lived and traveled across the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mali. He has a silver medal from the 2008 Head of the Charles Regatta, and was a part of the team that helped the Iraqi National Rowing Team win one Iraq’s first medals in the Asian Games.
Among his many failures, Matt’s inability to adequately support the Afghan National Rowing team will always feature prominently. Despite the refugee athletes winning medals on the world stage for Afghanistan in 2002 and again in 2003 paired with four years of concerted assistance while he was in Kabul, the effort failed to catch flame, and will always remain a sore spot despite the invaluable lessons learned in building organizations.
Matt graduated from Boston University in 2008 with a degree in International Relations. In 2014, he received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, the highest honor given to an alumni younger than fifty, for his work overseas. He is also a member of the Boston University College of General Studies Dean’s Advisory Council.
Reena Vokoun (MET'06)
Reena Vokoun, Founder and CEO of Passion Fit, is an author, TEDx speaker, media spokesperson, certified wellness expert, personal and professional development coach and consultant, content creator and marketer.
She graduated with a BBA in Marketing and Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in Advertising and Communications from Boston University. She spent years in marketing, sales and business development for Google, Yahoo, Reebok, CNET, GE and Grokker.
Today, she serves companies, nonprofits, universities, schools and the media through Passion Fit products, services and content on fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and work life balance.
Reena is featured as a TV health contributor on Fox KTVU news and NBC California Live, speaks to companies such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon, is a newspaper health columnist and writes for Thrive Global, Shape, Working Mother and her own blog. She’s also publishing her first non-fiction book, which will be coming out in 2021.
She’s on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Alumni Council for Boston University and is a Women in Management Facilitator for Stanford University. She was also nominated to be a candidate for Woman of the Year Silicon Valley, where she fundraised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Reena is a wife, mom and first-generation-born Indian-American and lives in California with her family.