Alumni Awards Recipients

Alumni Achievement and Exceptional Volunteer Awards 

Deanna Nisbet

Deanna Encalada Nisbet '60

2020 Alumni Achievement Award

Deanna Encalada Nisbet ’60 recently retired from her role as president of Belize High School and president and principal of Belize Elementary School. She also taught at the former St. Catherine Academy in Belize, a Sisters of Mercy High School, and at St. John College, a Jesuit High School, where she served for a time as acting academic dean. Nisbet was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from St. John's College Alumni Association and with the Catherine McAuley Alumnae Association Award for being a trailblazer in education and a Woman of Mercy. The Belize City Council also honored Nisbet by naming a street after her in recognition of her service as a top educator who has impacted the lives of three generations of Belizeans in her 50-year career in the field of education. The government of Belize named her Justice of the Peace for Community Service, and honored her with the Belizean Patriots Award for her outstanding and meritorious services to the country and to its people. She served on the board of director for many educational, health, civic and community organizations and in the political arena, topped the polls in the 1986 Belize Municipal Council elections and served for three years.

Janice Raymond

Janice G. Raymond '65

2020 Alumni Achievement Award

Janice G. Raymond ’65, professor emerita of women’s studies and medical ethics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is also a former Sister of Mercy. Raymond was an adjunct professor at Boston University School of Public Health, visiting research scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visiting professor at Linkoping University (Sweden) and lecturer at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (Indonesia). She has traveled to the Syrian border to interview refugees and a two-part article on her travels, “Pity the Nations: Women Refugees in Lebanon,” was published in Truthdig. The 2007 recipient of the International Woman Award from the Zero Tolerance Trust in Scotland, Raymond is a longtime scholar and activist advocating to end violence against women, sexual exploitation and the medical abuse of women. She was co-executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and served on its board of directors. She is the award-winning author of six books, including “Not a Choice, Not a Job: Exposing the Myths About Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade” (2013.) In 2021, she received the Josephine Butler Abolitionist Award from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for her work to abolish sex trafficking and prostitution.

Margot Durkin

Margot DiCairano Durkin '70

2020 Alumni Achievement Award

Margot DiCairano Durkin ’70 retired as head of school at Browne Academy in Virginia in 2014, culminating a more than 40-year career in education that included teaching, institutional advancement and administration. Her strategic vision for Browne, a K-8 independent school, developed both digital excellence and financial resources. For this she was recognized with the Greystone Award and honored with the dedication of the Grasshopper Cottage, a preschool and maker space, in her name. Her career took her from an elementary classroom in Montgomery County, Maryland, to administration at the Bullis School, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and her high school alma mater, the Academy of the Holy Cross, from which she received the Distinguished Alumnae Award and later served as a trustee. Other trusteeships included the Woods Academy and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, with service as board chair for both. She was a frequent speaker at regional and national educational conferences. As chair of the 1990 Washington Goodwill Ball, she raised funds to benefit the disabled community. In retirement she continues to mentor both teacher and administrative candidates. She earned a master’s degree in administration from Trinity Washington University and a certificate in independent school leadership from the Principal’s Center at Harvard University. Married for 50 years to James V. Durkin, she has two adult children, Timothy and Meredith. She enjoys beach life, reading, bridge and her schnauzer, Roxie Hart.

Martha Dolan-Cosgrove '71

2021 Exceptional Volunteer Award

Martha Dolan-Cosgrove ’71 has been a middle school educator, a marketing/advertising executive and an entrepreneur. Her business, the Children’s Chef, produced and delivered daily meals to underserved children in preschools, after-school programs and summer camps. The company, which she sold in 2016, fed more than 2,300 children daily at multiple locations throughout greater Boston. She also volunteered with some of her clients’ programs - first as a play space activity leader at Horizons for Homeless Children, then at the resource learning center at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children. These days, when not visiting her grandchildren in Texas, she and her husband Brian are enjoying retirement on Cape Cod. She reports that Salve Regina holds a special place in her heart and that lessons learned both in and out of the classroom, still resonate. Dolan-Cosgrove deeply treasures the lifetime friendships she enjoys with a number of her classmates, and has helped to organize class get-togethers and reunions over the past 50 years. Her involvement with the 50th Reunion committee has further strengthened her ties with both classmates and the University. “I am proud to be a part of Salve’s past, and I look forward with hope and optimism toward Salve’s future.”

Carolyn Booth

Carolyn Reder Booth '71

2021 Exceptional Volunteer Award

Carolyn Reder Booth ’71 came to Salve Regina via Waterbury Catholic High in Connecticut. She earned a degree in sociology and political science while developing a concentration in activism through student government. Post-graduation she lived and worked in Boston, moved to New Mexico to teach and then returned to Newport. Marriage, four daughters, grandchildren and a career in education ensued. Family life, athletics, public schools, civic engagement and AHOY kept her well occupied for 45 years. Post-retirement, she became a member of the Cliff Walk Commission. She embraced her Irish heritage as a member and officer of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians in Newport and was honored in 2013 as Lady Hibernian of the Year. She also worked to develop and coordinate three scholarship funds for local Aquidneck Island students. She and her husband John now reside comfortably off-grid in the New Hampshire mountains. The closing chapter is an adventure of tending chickens, gardens, sap lines and trails in the woods, reflecting upon life from the driver’s seat of a pickup.

Sarah Burkwit

Sarah M. Burkwit '95

2020 Alumni Achievement Award

Sarah M. Burkwit ’95 is an assistant general counsel with the FBI where she is a subject matter expert in asset forfeiture money laundering. She was also a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts and Hawaii. At the FBI, she returns funds to victims of crimes and worked the September 11 investigation as a member of the Evidence Response Team. She is a member of the Class of 1995’s 25th Reunion Committee, which successfully rallied classmates, family members and friends to establish Salve Regina’s first endowed scholarship fund of its kind, honoring deceased members of the class. She is a proud military spouse with two daughters and is an avid volunteer with many organizations.

Alison and Randy Earley

Randy J. Earley '94 and Alison Witham Earley '95

2021 Exceptional Volunteer Award

Randy J. Earley ’94 and Alison Witham Earley ’95 met at Salve Regina and have been married for 21 years. They live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their two teen-age children. They are very proud to be Salve graduates and love to get involved and give back whenever possible. They each volunteered for their respective 25th class reunion planning committees to help raise awareness and donations. They credit Salve Regina with inspiring their strong commitment to volunteerism and giving back to their community, and support local charities such as Beds for Kids, Union County Community Shelter, Salvation Army and Common Heart Food Bank. Additionally, they support local school, church and youth sports organizations through donations, coaching, board membership and other volunteer activities.

Jason N. Cofrancesco '96

2021 Exceptional Volunteer Award

Jason N. Cofrancesco ’96 has enjoyed devoting his efforts in full support of the University since his graduation. His desire to give back is driven by the memories from his time as a student as well as the positive impact Salve has had on his life. He has held open houses at his home in Sparta, New Jersey, for prospective students and their families, many of whom decided to attend Salve Regina. He often reaches out to local and regional students who have chosen to attend the University and assists them in networking with alumni, administration and staff. He also promotes Salve Regina at his alma mater, Pope John XXIII Regional High School, often meeting with students and bringing them to campus for tours and interaction with athletic programs. A former Seahawks football player, he looks forward to hosting the team when they are on the road in the fall.

Ed Wu

Edward C. Wu '06

2021 Alumni Achievement Award

Edward C. Wu ’06 received his bachelor’s degree in information systems science, with a minor in business administration. He currently lives in San Mateo, California, and is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Side, Inc., located in San Francisco. He and his partner established the real estate brokerage firm in 2015. Previously, he co-founded and served as chief technology officer at Vidyard, a video platform for marketing and sales hosting. He is a 2011 graduate of the Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator. A Connecticut native, he was a member of Sigma Phi Sigma at Salve Regina.