University of Vermont

Alumni Association Honors Outstanding Graduates, Faculty

The University of Vermont Alumni Association honored outstanding graduates at its annual Reunion & Homecoming weekend celebration on Saturday, October 15, 2011. UVM Interim President A. John Bramley presented award citations to the following honorees:

Alumni Achievement Awards

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Achievement Award
to John M. Dineen, Class of 1986, Schenectady, New York

John M. Dineen, University of Vermont Class of 1986, has built a career with one of the world’s largest corporations that is a testament to the capacity of individual effort in focusing organizations of global scale on creative responses to social change that affect us on the human scale.

During his 25 years with the General Electric Company, beginning as a telecommunications engineer in Rockville, Maryland, he rose through a variety of leadership positions to his current role as Chief Executive Officer and President of GE Healthcare Ltd. and GE Medical Systems, Inc. As Chief Executive Officer and President of GE Transportation from 2005 to 2008, he doubled the size of the business and was recognized as a talented global leader who consistently delivered double-digit growth by globalizing GE’s transportation business and diversifying its high-tech portfolio. As a committed proponent of GE’s “ecomagination” strategy, aligned with global awareness of the need for energy efficiency, he led the development of locomotives that produce more power while consuming less fuel and exported the new green technology throughout the world.

It was a model he carried into his role in GE Healthcare as one of the architects of the “healthymagination” strategy, spearheading an international move toward a new healthcare model that costs less while covering more people and enhancing quality.

Dineen has said pursuing sound business objectives and addressing the important social challenges of our time are not incompatible goals. In tandem they have driven the kind of large-scale innovation that has become a hallmark of his leadership at GE.

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Achievement Award
to Diane B. Greene, Class of 1976, Stanford, CA

Diane B. Greene, UVM Class of 1976, is the co-founder of VMware, a Silicon Valley software company that expanded the already vast frontier of computer technology and introduced a new concept into the mainstream of information technology, virtualization, which today is recognized as a cornerstone of “cloud computing.”

A mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Vermont, she went on to earn master’s degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology before founding VMware with her husband, Stanford University Professor Mendel Rosenblum, in 1998. She served as its President and Chief Executive Officer for eleven years, from 1998 to 2008, before founding Vxtreme, a streaming video company where she was Chief Executive Officer until its purchase by Microsoft in 1997 to form the basis of the Windows Media Player.

Greene’s more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry also includes technical leadership positions at Silicon Graphics, Tandem and Sybase, and board appointments at Intuit Inc. and two privately held technology companies, in addition to the advisory boards of The MIT Corp. and the Stanford School of Engineering.

Her entrepreneurial leadership in the computer industry was recognized this year by IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology, which in naming her the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Computer Entrepreneur Award, put her in the company of such technological and cultural icons as William Hewlett and David Packard, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Michael Dell, Gordon Moore, Steve Wozniak, and Steven Jobs.

Today, as an investor and mentor, she continues to play an active role in building the high technology sector as one of the great success stories of American business by encouraging other technology entrepreneurs to follow her example.

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Achievement Award
to Bruce Rockowitz, Class of 1980, Hong Kong

Bruce Philip Rockowitz, Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Li & Fung Limited, based in Hong Kong, is a key decision maker for the world’s leading global supply chain manager, an enterprise that links producers and consumers throughout the world at the intersection of supply and demand that makes the global economy work.

A member of the University of Vermont Class of 1980 and a world-class tennis player, he left the world of professional sports that brought him to Asia and founded Colby International Ltd., to export Asian-manufactured clothing to the Canadian market. Under his leadership, Colby International grew exponentially and merged in 2000 with Li & Fung, the largest consumer goods company in the world.

Today, as the most senior executive outside the family that founded the firm in China more than a century ago, Rockowitz maintains a network of relationships with more than 15,000 suppliers and 700 top brands worldwide, including such household names as Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Cannon, Lacoste, L’Oreal, Nike, and Tommy Hilfiger, among many others.

In addition, he is the owner and Chairman of Pure Group, a lifestyle and restaurant chain headquartered in Hong Kong with more than 20 facilities worldwide.

Rockowitz has said his experience has taught him that sustainability is the key to longevity in business, and that lifestyle should forever be intertwined with career success. It is a personal philosophy that has served him well, as evidenced by his ranking first in the consumer category among Asia’s Best CEOs by Institutional Investor and in 2010 and 2011 by Barron’s as one of the world’s 30 Best CEOs.

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Achievement Award
to Martin St. Louis, Class of 1997, Tampa, Florida

Martin St. Louis, UVM Class of 1997, followed a path in the world of sports taking him from Midget hockey in his native Laval, Quebec, to the stature of a giant at the pinnacle of his profession in the National Hockey League.

A three-time first team collegiate All-American and a three-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as national men's college hockey player of the year, he concluded his career with the UVM Catamounts as the all-time leader in points and assists, receiving the 1997 recipient of the J. Edward Donnelly Award as UVM's top male senior athlete, and was inducted into the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 along with classmates and fellow NHL standouts Eric Perrin ’97 and Tim Thomas ‘97. With Thomas and Perrin, he led Vermont to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament and the first-ever appearance by the Catamounts in the NCAA Frozen Four.

Since graduating from UVM, St. Louis has earned recognition as one of the best players in the world — a perennial NHL All-Star, the league MVP, a World Champion, and an Olympian. Signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2000, he became a NHL All-Star for the first time in 2002-2003, following a year later with one of the top seasons in NHL history as he led Tampa Bay to the 2004 Stanley Cup. He was the NHL’s top scorer that year and earned the Hart Trophy and the Pearson Award as the league's Most Valuable Player. In the fall of 2004 he led Canada to the World Cup of Hockey title and in 2006, skated for his native country in the Torino Winter Olympics.

In one of the most bruising arenas in professional sports, his success has not come at the expense of an instinct for fair play or respect for the ideal of athletic competition, as he was selected in both 2010 and 2011 to receive the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the NHL player who best exemplifies sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Achievement Award
to Tim Thomas, Class of 1997, Middleton, Massachusetts

Tim Thomas, UVM Class of 1997, is a two-time All-American hockey goaltender with the UVM Catamounts whose award winning performance with the National Hockey League Boston Bruins has made him an iconic hero of American sport.

A 2007 inductee into the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame, Thomas was the inaugural winner of the Ken Dryden Award as the ECAC Goaltender of the Year in 1995-1996, when he helped lead Vermont to its first-ever trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. Along with classmates and fellow Hall of Fame inductees Martin St. Louis '97 and Eric Perrin '97, he led the Catamounts to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament, an early indication of the success he would know as a professional athlete.

Over a standout four years in the crease for UVM, Thomas set ECAC single-season and career records for saves, and holds the Vermont career records for victories, shutouts, save percentage, and lowest goals against average.

His story as a professional athlete has been one of the triumph of persistence, hard work, and raw talent as he made his National Hockey League debut with the Boston Bruins in 2002 and struggled to prove himself before settling in as Boston's starting goalie in 2005. He quickly became a favorite of the players and fans alike with outstanding play that helped return the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2007-2008.

In 2009 Thomas won the first of his two Vezina Cups as the best goaltender in the NHL. But it was his thrilling performance in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs that captured the public imagination and forever secured his place in professional sports history as he won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player and also earned his second Vezina Trophy. At age 37, he became the oldest player and only the second American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in NHL history, bringing the Stanley Cup back to Boston for the first time since 1972.

Distinguished Service Award

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award
to Leon Heyward ’81, Bronx, New York

Leon Heyward, UVM Class of 1981, for years has been among the first responders when the University of Vermont Alumni Association has put out the call for volunteer leadership of its priorities and initiatives. A selfless and tireless advocate for the University and its alumni, as Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Alumni Association Board of Directors he has challenged the board to make diversity programming and engagement a priority in all that it undertakes and helped to forge strong bonds between the Alumni Association and the ALANA community on campus. He has been a key volunteer working in collaboration with the Admissions Office in helping to recruit ALANA students from the New York metropolitan area as part of UVM’s partnership with the Christopher Columbus High School, an effort that has had significant impact in giving UVM’s campus community a more diverse profile and has earned the University recognition for its progress in advancing that commitment. As a valued advisor and supporter of UVM’s Transportation Research Center since its inception in 2005, Heyward has lent his insights as a transportation professional in one of the world’s most complex urban transportation hubs to Vermont’s efforts to deliver innovative and interdisciplinary research, education and outreach on sustainable transportation system solutions. And as a committed participant in the UVM Career Network, he has selflessly mentored untold numbers of students and young alumni in finding their way along the career continuum.

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award
to Louise Weiner ’61, Bonita Springs, Florida

Louise Weiner, UVM Class of 1961, has served the University in a myriad of ways over the half century since her graduation from UVM. From her work on the Alumni Association Board to her role as 1961 class president, she has always had UVM’s best interests at heart —serving on and chairing many Class Reunion committees, participating in countless UVM alumni events and along with her husband, Sheldon, graciously hosting a number of receptions for UVM alumni in and around their home in Estero, Florida. As chair of the UVM Bicentennial Celebration Awards Committee in 1991, Weiner helped the University to mark one of the most significant events in its history by bestowing appropriate honors on some of its own. In addition to service to the University, her contributions to the local Burlington and Vermont communities are legion. She has served as president of the Vermont Retail Association, charter member and vice president of the Vermont Business Roundtable, and director of the Vermont State and Lake Champlain Chambers of Commerce, and was recognized as the Small Business person of the year for the State of Vermont.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumni Award
to James Bishop ’04, Boston, Massachusetts

James Bishop, UVM Class of 2004, an avid UVM supporter since his days on the lacrosse field at UVM, has participated in twenty-eight alumni events in the greater Boston area as a volunteer on the Young Alumni Events Committee. The co-chair of that group since 2007, he enthusiastically spearheads the University’s outreach efforts to connect young alumni in Boston back to UVM and gives a voice to young alumni in his role as member of the UVM Boston Regional Board. With experience in commercial real estate at First Choice Realty in Boston, he has also helped to engage Boston area young alums in the career network building that has further strengthened the ties among alumni and between the University and its alumni.

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumni Award
to Katherine Kasarjian Murphy ’06, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Katherine Murphy, UVM Class of 2006, has made a volunteer commitment to UVM that dates to her student years, when as a member of the ROTC program, the Panhellenic Council, Student Government, and Senior Class Council, she juggled multiple duties while pursuing a challenging academic regimen. As president of the Senior Class Council in 2006, she took on a role as leader for her class that has kept her ties to UVM strong, even extending to successful service as class secretary since 2006 from the far reaches of Iraq to her home in Texas. Celebrating a fifth UVM Reunion this year, she is the chairperson for her class reunion committee.

2011 University of Vermont Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumni Award
to Michelle Veronneau ’04, Williston, Vermont

Michelle Veronneau, UVM Class of 2004, was a member of multiple student groups including Volunteers in Action and Senior Class Council. She was not only an active campus citizen as a student, but also an academic exemplar. The only woman to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering from UVM in 2004, she went on to earn a master of business administration in 2009 while simultaneously employed at IBM. As an alum, she has been a tireless supporter of the UVM Fund, serving as a member and eventual vice-chair of the Young Alumni Committee, the University’s peer-to-peer, volunteer fundraising group, and also served on the Alumni Association Board’s awards committee for two years. Ever the advocate for her alma mater, she was also a participant in her Fifth Reunion Committee.

George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Stephanie Kaza
Burlington, Vermont

Professor Stephanie Kaza is in her third decade as a faculty member at the University of Vermont. A nationally noted scholar of Buddhism and ecology and currently Director of the Environmental Program, she has deepened and refined understanding of the lines of connection between environmental problem solving and other realms of human activity, including economics, the ecological sciences, and electoral politics. As the founder and first faculty co-chair of the University’s Environmental Council, she has been a central figure in advocating for campus sustainability initiatives to reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote environmental values — efforts that have contributed significantly to UVM’s national reputation for environmental leadership. But it is her special gift for teaching — in the classroom and beyond — that inspires and remains with her students, shapes them as thinking and responsible participants in the world around them, and led to her selection as winner of the 2011 George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award.

About the Alumni Awards

The Alumni Distinguished Service Award has been awarded since 1958 to volunteer alumni leaders whose service to the University of Vermont and the Alumni Association has enhanced the reputation and furthered the mission of the University.

The Alumni Achievement Award has been awarded to alumni since 1985 for outstanding achievement that has been recognized at the local, state, and/or national level.

The Young Alumni Award has been awarded since 1979 to alumni who graduated within the past ten years for volunteer service to the University of Vermont and to the Alumni Association, and for commitment to furthering the mission of the University.

The George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award was established by the UVM Alumni Association in 1974 to honor excellence in teaching. It is given annually to a faculty member nominated by alumni, students, faculty, and staff for significant contributions to the broadening of students' academic experience and the enrichment of campus life. The award is named in honor of the late Dean Emeritus George V. Kidder '22, who served the University of Vermont for more than seventy years.