Mary E. McGann '69
After receiving her degree from Salve Regina, McGann went on to Indiana University Bloomington to earn her master’s degree and Ph.D. in English. She was instrumental in starting a developmental English program for college students at the University of Cincinnati and taught in a similar program at The Ohio State University.
In 1981, McGann and her husband had the opportunity to administer Indiana University’s academic exchange program at Warsaw University in Poland. She has also shared American literature, culture and the English language with students in Hungary, Greece and China.
McGann joined the faculty of Rhode Island College in 1984 and worked with local teachers to establish the Rhode Island Writing Project, a nationally networked professional development website. She accepted a faculty position at University of Indianapolis in 1990 and traveled throughout central Indiana as a speaker and developer for Project Seam, a Lilly Endowment-funded initiative that promotes best practices for teaching reading and writing across academic disciplines in 22 Indianapolis schools.
McGann was an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and the Indiana Teachers of Writing until her retirement. She has served on the board of directors of the Indiana Teachers of Writing and the Bloomington Playwright Project. McGann also served as secretary-treasurer of the Monroe County chapter of Children and Adults with ADD and as a conference organizer for the Bloomington Chapter of Teachers Applying Whole Language.
In 2012, McGann returned to Poland to teach American literature through a Senior Fulbright Lectureship.
Distinguished Graduate Alumnus
Carol Naughton Rumowicz M'95
Rumowicz has been at the helm of Cathleen Naughton Associates, a mid-size home health care company, since 1998. Having assumed leadership from her mother, Cathleen Earley Naughton ’57, she was there when the doors opened in 1978 and was, in fact, the first employee. Rumowicz earned her bachelor’s degree from Bryant College and continued her education at Salve Regina, where she received a master’s degree in health services administration in 1995.
CNA serves elderly individuals throughout R.I. with skilled nursing, home rehabilitation and social work, and Rumowicz is the standard bearer for CNA’s commitment to treat each client with dignity and respect. In 2010, she introduced a non-medical “concierge” program to address the growing needs of people who wish to stay in their homes but need assistance with a variety of services, including personal care, shopping, meal preparation, transportation and companionship.
Rumowicz is also involved with Crossroads R.I., the Domestic Violence Center in South County, House of Hope in Cranston, Welcome House in Peacedale, North Kingstown Food Pantry, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs – South County and her alma mater. A recognized community leader in the state, she graduated from Leadership R.I. in 2010.
Rumowicz credits her Salve Regina degree with helping her to connect with other R.I. professionals in her industry and also with helping her to form new friendships while serving on alumni volunteer committees. She feels that she has benefited from Salve Regina’s reputation for quality, a characteristic she has found in her fellow graduates.
Salve Regina Mission Award
Ronald W. Atkins M '83, PhD '96
Atkins’ 26 years of active military service included leadership positions both at sea and ashore, including three Vietnam combat tours. He retired with the rank of commander following a director post at the Naval War College in Newport. While continuing to serve in the Navy, Atkins earned his B.A. in political science from Roger Williams University, then his master’s degree in international relations from Salve Regina through a partnership with the Naval War College.
Upon retirement from the military in 1985, Atkins was hired as director of residential life at Salve Regina. As an advisee to hundreds of students over the years, he was well known for his open-door policy and willingness to support his students. Atkins joined the business faculty in 1990 and pursued his Ph.D. in humanities as one of the first seven candidates in the new program. He also initiated an international student exchange program with Reitaku University of Japan.
Since his retirement in 2010, Atkins balances his time between community service and teaching as an adjunct professor at Salve Regina. He supports Save the Bay and is a longtime member of the Portsmouth United Methodist Church, where he is best known for his efforts with the youth. Atkins has also provided support to the Methodist Community Garden in Middletown, helping to construct greenhouses and maintain the gardens.
Outstanding Young Alumnus
E. Edward Ross '03
Ross may have earned his B.S. in economics from Salve Regina, but his work ethic and business sense were while working for a local sports card shop in high school. After college, he began his career as a sales director for ZixCorp’s eHealth business unit. Selected by GoLocalProv as “One of the 25 Coolest People in Providence in 2013,” Ross has been building health care start-ups for more than 10 years and is now in his own entrepreneurial venture.
Ross’ path from ZixCorp led him to Atlantic Health Partners, which became the largest physician organization of its kind during his tenure. As vice president of business development for the startup company ShapeUp, he negotiated relationships with insurance companies that grew the company’s service market to more than 100 large companies in 93 countries.
Most recently, Ross served as vice president of business development for One Medical Group, which is one of the top health care start-ups in the U.S. and has raised more than $70 million from top tier venture firms including Benchmark Capital, Oak Venture Capital and Maverick Capital.
Ross also created TennisHub, an online booking and management service for tennis clubs. As president and CEO, he is responsible for overall business operations and product. Over the last year, TennisHub completed Betaspring, one of the top start-up accelerator programs in the country, won the technology award for the 2013 R.I. Business Plan Competition and was named a Most Likely to Succeed company by the Boston Globe.
Michael B. Cox, Jr. ’93
Nominated by Michael T. Farley ’93
Cox grew up playing rugby and ice hockey and continued his participation in both sports at Salve Regina. Now a father of three, Cox volunteers as a coach for the Friars Youth Hockey League and was formerly a coach with the Rhode Island Girls Hockey tournament and the Greater Providence Youth Hockey Association.
A volunteer coach for the Roger Williams University rugby program for six years, Cox brought his experience to Salve Regina in 2007 and restarted the club at his alma mater. Two years and thousands of volunteer hours later, he celebrated a best-ever fourth place finish nationally.
Now the head rugby coach for Providence College, Cox led the team to the national championships this season. He also helped the college develop an intramural ice hockey program. Cox’s personal rugby credits include playing for the Newport Men’s League and the Providence Men’s Club, and he continues to referee for U.S.A. Rugby at the high school level.
Karen Rajkumar Cooper ’88, ’91(M)
Nominated by Bonnie Troupe ’88
Cooper served as Salve Regina’s director of alumni activities in the 1990s before continuing her career in advancement at Bridgewater State College. In 1999, she became the director of the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island, and in 2010 she joined ChildFund International as their first regional director for major and planned gifts in the New England region.
Now the director of principal gifts at Plan International USA, Cooper embraces its mission to end the cycle of poverty for children. Her efforts helped launch the global “Because I am a Girl” initiative in the United States and supported the creation of the first International Day of the Girl celebrated by the United Nations in 2012.
Locally, Cooper has consulted for Special Olympics Rhode Island and donates her time and expertise to the R.I. Multiple Sclerosis Society, a cause close to her family’s heart. Her professional associations include the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, where she serves as president and a member of the national board of directors.
Geraldine McLaughlin Osborne ’73
Nominated by Ochre Lodge alumni from the Class of 1973
For 39 years, Osborne has served as a special education teacher in Brockton, Mass. She is the senior leader in the city resource room at Ashfield Middle School, which serves a large population of newly arrived immigrant families. A Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MCAS-ALT trainer, Osborne has been a mentor for new special education teachers in the district.
Osborne is a member of Prom Angels, which provides a prom experience to disabled men and women in southeastern Massachusetts. As chair of the altruistic committee for Alpha Delta Kappa’s Mu chapter, she has steered initiatives such as clothing drives for women’s shelters, school supplies for homeless children, greeting cards for the elderly and warm socks for local emergency rooms.
An active member of the Cardinal Spellman High School alumni community, Osborne was awarded the St. Joseph Medallion for her fundraising efforts. A member of the Easton Democratic Town Committee, she has served on the scholarship committee and has donated many hours to local political campaigns.
Mary Ann Lafferty Della Valle ’63
Nominated by Maureen Dillon Hasson ’63
Della Valle held research assistant positions at Harvard Medical School and the Massachu-setts Institute of Technology before earning her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia. In 1974, she accepted a teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and continued her post-doctoral studies in the Department of Genetics.
From 1988-2003, Della Valle was the director of the Laboratory for Biological Research in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and held nu¬merous faculty positions. She received the Lindback Award, the provost’s award for distinguished teaching and the Greek society’s distinguished professor award. Upon her retirement in 2010, the School of Nursing established a scholarship for nursing students in the pre-freshmen residential program that Della Valle helped to establish.
Della Valle is most proud of her work on behalf of college-bound students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Her devotion to her students went beyond the classroom, such as providing rides to Ikea for dorm room furnishings and treating them to home-cooked Italian meals by her husband Vincent.