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Marie Rudd Thomas, at 103 years old, is Bridgewater State’s oldest living graduate. She was honored with a cane that is kept on display in the Jones Alumni House, a tradition started by the Class of 1962, based on the Boston Post canes presented to the oldest residents in New England communities.

Jean Vankin celebrated her 90th birthday in July 2020.

Hazel Varella, G’56, has retired following a 65-year teaching career, including for 41 years in Easton where the Oliver Ames High School social studies office is named in her honor. Ms. Varella also taught for 32 years in higher education at Stonehill College, Bridgewater State University and part-time as senior lecturer at Curry College.

James E. Hubbard Jr. was nominated for the Fourth Fairhaven High School Athletic Hall of Fame in June 2020.

Marjorie Turner Hollman published a new book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, a guide for discovering less- challenging walking trails.

Mary E. Yakimowski, PhD, is the director of educational studies at Samford University in Alabama and was elected to a leadership position in the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Special Interest Group on Classroom Assessment. AERA is an organization of approximately 25,000 educational researchers.

Timothy Hassett-Salley, G’83, G’86, is the vice president of business development for MTI America.

Michael Young retired from Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, located in Haverhill, after a 32-year career serving as a physical education teacher, social studies teacher and football coach.

Michelle O’Connor, president and chief executive officer of MEDITECH, for the second year in a row was recognized as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Healthcare Software in The Healthcare Technology Report. Awardees were chosen based on nominations from peers and colleagues, as well as for their technical expertise and business acumen.

Suzanne L. Dwyer, president of the Massachusetts Capital Resource Company, joined the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Board of Economic Advisors, a 12-member board that has provided economic direction to the association since 1991. The board oversees publication of the monthly Massachusetts Business Confidence Index.

Kimberly Thomas is the new chief executive officer of Old Colony Habitat for Humanity, based in Attleboro.

John B. Garcia retired in January as chief of the Marion Police Department after more than three decades of service.

Michele Fazio served as a keynote speaker for the 2020 winter commencement at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Jennifer Aguiar, CRP, CRCM, CAMS, CIPP/US, is the chief compliance officer for DraftKings Inc.
Patricia Fisher is the deputy chief of police for the Newbury Police Department.

Leigh-Ann Larson of Bridgewater is the chief executive officer of Elevate Counseling Services. Founder of the practice, Ms. Larson served as its director since it launched in 2015. She previously served for five years as a licensed mental health counselor in private practice, and worked in the community mental health field, also for five years.

Dr. Stephen Nadel completed his Doctor of Education degree in special education at Boston University in January 2020. He also has earned three master’s degrees: a Master of Social Work degree from BU’s School of Social Work in 2008, a Master of Education degree from Bridgewater State in 2005 and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 1985. In addition, he has achieved LICSW licensure. Dr. Nadel serves as the clinical team leader for DCS Mental Health in Natick. Inspired by his son, who is autistic, he specializes in working with clients with autism spectrum disorder.

Frederick C. MacDonald, G’09, who earned a Master in Public Administration degree, is the battalion chief in the East Providence, Rhode Island, Fire Department.

Joshua Berthiaume is the associate director of the Telehealth Division at Elevate Counseling Services.

Travis Condon is the public affairs manager of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

Victoria J. Cameron was named the 2020 Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year, an initiative of the Patriots Hall of Fame and presented by Raytheon Technologies. She was honored by Lieutenant Governor

Karyn Polito at a virtual event and is serving for one year on Governor Charlie Baker’s STEM Council.

Jason Clark, G’14, taught for one year at Bridgewater Middle School after graduating and has since been teaching at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich. He recently published his first book, United We Fall, a cautionary tale set in a futuristic dystopian society in the year 2084, post American Civil War 2.

Stephen K. Wahome launched the startup company, KWG Softworks, a remote technology service agency that specializes in designing and developing custom software, web and mobile applications.

Alexande E. Gomes was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker as the newest member of the Cape Cod Community College Board of Trustees.

Ruben Ortiz, ’14, G’16, joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service as a social science researcher.

George Kelleher-Bianchi, G’15, G’17, is the director of student services for Seekonk Public Schools.

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Bridgewater Magazine keeps alumni, faculty, students and their families, staff, and friends of BSU informed about the university community and its impact on the region. This magazine is written, designed and edited by the Office of Creative Services and Publications with the needs of its varied audiences at heart and in mind.

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