2018 Alumni Awards -- Wrap up

On Thursday, March 29 from 6-8:30 pm, nine of this year's 10 honorees gathered at Sunny M. Breed Memorial Hall to celebrate with a crowd of 139 comprised of family, friends, alumni, and Tufts administration. The evening began as TUAA president David B. Meyers, A96 introduced President Monaco who offered opening remarks. David then called the first three award recipients, before Awards committee co-chair Maria Madison, J82, AG88, A19P, A21P, called the next three. Fellow Awards co-chair Nancy Pinn, J88 announced the next three recipients, and Career Services committee co-chair Alex Outwater, A94 presented the inaugural Career Services award to round out the evening.

All honorees had a few moments for acceptance speeches and audience Q&A. Provost and Senior Vice President David Harris offered closing remarks before the honorees gathered for a group photo. 

Claudio X. Gonzalez, F91, F92 was unable to attend but will receive his award at an upcoming Tufts event.

Since 1941, the Tufts University Alumni Association (TUAA) has honored accomplished individuals for service to their profession, communities, and to Tufts.

We're pleased to announce this year's award recipients.

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Sharad Sagar headshot

Sharad Sagar, A16

Sharad Sagar is a globally renowned entrepreneur who works in the field of education and public service. Sharad’s startup, Dexterity Global, aims to democratize access to education. It is described as “an ecosystem of educational platforms serving middle school and high school students in South Asia.”

In college, Sharad ran Dexterity Global from his dorm room. He was the first freshman to win the Tufts $100,000 Entrepreneurship Challenge. He was inducted in the Rockefeller List of 100 Next Century Innovators and Forbes 30 under 30 lists as an undergraduate and was one of three graduating seniors in the United States to receive the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award for his work serving communities in South Asia.

Young Alumni Service Award

Kaleigh Fitzpatrick Hogan headshot

Kaleigh Fitzpatrick Hogan, JD, A08, AG11

A double Jumbo, Kaleigh began her professional career in the Tufts Office of Alumni Relations, working closely with the Tufts Alumni Council. She left Tufts to Pursue a Law Degree at Suffolk University and, even as a first-year law student, she maintained connections to the many alumni, faculty, and staff with whom she had built relationships during her decade on campus.

In 2014, she was elected to the Tufts Alumni Council and has served as vice chair of the Alumni Resources Committee for two years. She has also volunteered with the Tufts Alumni Ambassador program, her reunion committee, and the Tufts Track and Field Leadership Circle.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Maria B. Barrett headshot

Brigadier General Maria B. Barrett, J88

Brigadier General Maria Barrett is the Deputy Director of Operations, J3, at the US Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland. Her 30-year military career commenced upon her graduation from Tufts and her commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Tufts Army ROTC program.

General Barrett’s expertise in communications has placed her at the center of operations in the Middle East. She served in the Persian Gulf War as a First Lieutenant and platoon leader, in Kuwait as a colonel in support of Operation Iraqi Resolve, and in the War in Afghanistan. 

Upon her 2015 promotion to Brigadier General, she joined the Cyber Command where she is responsible for Department of Defense information networks, military cyberspace operations, and U.S. freedom of action in cyberspace.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Patrick Healy headshot

Patrick Healy, A93

Patrick Healy is an accomplished journalist with nearly 20 years of experience at major publications. From 2000-2004, he worked for the Boston Globe, as a war reporter in Iraq and Afghanistan and covering higher education in Boston and New England, for which he was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.

He has been an editor and correspondent at The New York Times since 2005 and is currently a Politics editor. As a political correspondent, he covered the 2016 presidential election. He interviewed and wrote extensively about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, among other major figures in the race. In 2008, he was the lead reporter covering Mrs. Clinton and her campaign, and in 2004, he covered John Kerry for the Boston Globe.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Margaret George Kaufman Picture

Margaret George (Kaufman), J64

Margaret George (Kaufman) specializes in fictional biographies of historical figures, balancing factual accuracy with excitement and drama. She has published seven novels and her eighth will debut this October. Her books have been translated into twenty-one languages, and have all earned bestseller status. The ABC 1999 Emmy-nominated mini-series, “Cleopatra,” was based on her novel, The Memoirs of Cleopatra.

Before beginning her career as a full-time novelist, she earned an M.A. in ecology at Stanford University, and worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland as a science writer.

Margaret and her husband (a fellow Jumbo) have a pet tortoise who is almost 70 years old. The tortoise is featured in Margaret’s only children’s book, Lucille Lost.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Hugh M. Mainzer headshot

Hugh M. Mainzer, M.S., D.V.M., DACVPM, V90

CAPT/Dr. Hugh Mainzer is a Senior Preventive Medicine Officer and Supervisory Epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. He currently works in CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response as a member of the Division of State and Local Readiness. Previously, Dr. Mainzer served as the Chief Veterinary Officer of the United States Public Health Service and continues to provide guidance and advice to the Office of the Surgeon General and the US Department of Health and Human Services on matters involving Human-Animal-Environmental Interaction. His background in human paramedic and HAZMAT work, as well as his involvement with the delivery of sustainable community health services, has gained him progressive leadership experiences during major public health emergencies dating back to 1992.  CAPT Mainzer is a strong advocate for initiatives and programs designed to integrate clinical and scientific proficiencies with the practices of all public health professionals, human and animal care providers, and emergency managers.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Michelle Stent Picture

Michelle D. Stent, MPA, JD, J77

Michelle D. Stent is a federal, state, and municipal government affairs representative specializing in government relations, policy advocacy, legislative drafting, grants, communications, and nonprofit management. She is Co-Chair of Health and Human Services, Greater New York Chapter of the Links, Inc. and a founder of the Elder Community Partnership for the greater Harlem community. Michelle is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion, health policy, and public affairs. She has worked with many nonprofit organizations including the New York Academy of Medicine and the United Negro College Fund.

Michelle’s government service included several years as counsel to the US House of Representatives Government Operations and Education and Labor Committees. She is a contributing writer to publications including The Amsterdam News, Harlem Community News, The Beacon, State of Black America.

NewYork CaribNews | Michelle D. Stent, Esq. Honored with Distinguished Achievement Award from the Tufts University Alumni Association

Distinguished Service Award

Francesca Lujan headshot

Francesca Grace Lujan, J93

Francesca Grace Freeman-Lujan has spent 25 years as an educational leader in the New York City Public School Systems, advocating for the education, empowerment and development of her students, contemporaries, and youth. Mrs. Lujan holds a Post-Graduate Degree in Educational Leadership from Long Island University, an M.S. in Bilingual Education from Mercy College School of Education, and a B.A. in English Literature and Film from Tufts. In addition, she holds certifications in various categories of Educational Leadership and Literacy. She is currently an Assistant Principal in Harlem.

In 2016, she founded the Tufts University’s Bruce-Griffey Leadership and Diversity Fund, which provides stipends for undergraduates to pursue internships in Leadership and Diversity.

Active Citizenship and Public Service Award

Claudio X. Gonzalez headshot

Claudio X. Gonzalez, F91, F92

González Guajardo is a Mexican businessman and activist who has founded various organizations that work to combat corruption, improve the quality of education, and increase access to technology. He earned his B.A. in Law at Escuela Libre de Derecho, in Mexico and an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy and Ph.D. in Law and International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He is the Co-founder and President of Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad, a citizen initiative committed to the consolidation of the rule of law through fighting corruption and impunity in Mexico, as well as Mexicanos Primeros, an organization that advocates to improve public education in Mexico. Additionally, he is the President and advisor of Bécalos; the largest program of non-governmental scholarships in Mexico with more than 260,000 beneficiaries. He specializes in promoting citizen participation in philanthropy and improving the quality of public education.

Career Services Award

Bess Dopkeen A04

Bess Dopkeen A04

Bess Dopkeen is a senior analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation. She currently leads the Defense Innovation Board’s congressionally mandated software acquisition streamlining study. She was previously the program manager for the Cost Assessment Data Enterprise, the Department’s unified initiative to strategically collect, organize, improve, and use cost data across the cost community.

Bess was a Center for a New American Security Next Generation fellow, and has been a Truman National Security Project Fellow since 2009. She came to DC as a Tufts University Dutko Fellow, after receiving a B.A. in political science. She also holds an M.S. from the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy, where she was a distinguished graduate.