• Alumni Award Honorees Celebrated at Alumni Weekend


The Suffolk University Alumni Association continued the tradition of honoring four graduates with the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Awards at a special presentation during Alumni Weekend on Saturday, June 14 at the Prudential Skywalk.

The 2008 recipients from the College of Arts and Sciences were Doreen I. Vigue, BSJ ’87 honored with the Alumni Achievement Award, and Dennis H. Walczewski, BS ’70 who received the Alumni Service Award. The Sawyer Business School recognized Phyllis Godwin, EMBA ’81 with the Achievement Award and Dr. Arjun Rao, MBA ’03 with the Service Award.


Alumni Achievement Award, College of Arts and Sciences

Doreen I. Vigue, BSJ ’87
Vice President/Communications, New England Cable News

Doreen Vigue is highly regarded as a public relations professional, whose career was launched as a work-study student with Professor Lou Connolly, BSJ ’57, MED ’74 and a Suffolk University cooperative education program with The Boston Globe. During her junior and senior years, Doreen wrote page one stories for the Globe. With determination and drive, Doreen’s career evolved during her work at the Globe as a Reporter and then Assistant Editor, covering statewide education, Boston Police, the suburbs and home design trends. Early this year, she was promoted to from Director to Vice President/Communications at New England Cable News, where she manages all public relations and communications activities, including media relations, public service projects, and other strategic partnerships and events. Doreen is a graduate of Journalism at Suffolk University, where she also has served as Adjunct Faculty.


Alumni Service Award, College of Arts and Sciences

Dennis H. Walczewski, BS ’70
CEO, MBL International Corporation

Dennis Walczewski has collaborated with various departments on Campus through his tireless volunteering. He continues to support his alma mater with spirit and passion, whether his company, MBL International is participating in a Career Services Job Fair, or he is volunteering at an Alumni Association co-sponsored student networking program, or supporting his former Chemistry faculty in the classroom or by serving as advisory on a newly formed committee to the Chemistry and Business program. Dennis’ commitment to give back to Suffolk University is the result of his appreciation for the educational background he received to reach his career goals as well as his desire to interact with students to inspire and encourage them.


Alumni Achievement Award, Sawyer Business School

Phyllis Godwin, EMBA ’81
CEO, Granite City Electric

Phyllis Godwin, EMBA’81 is one of those individuals who shares her success with Suffolk University and that success is significant.

Inheriting your father’s electrical supply shop is not exactly every daughter’s dream, but for Phyllis Godwin it became the romance of a lifetime.

After graduating from Brown University and attending a one-year business program at Radcliffe College Phyllis began her career as a research assistant.

It was at age 43 after raising her two daughters that Phyllis began thinking about an MBA.  At this time she was the majority owner of Granite City and she felt earning an MBA would give her the confidence to take the reign of her father’s company.  She entered the Executive MBA program at Suffolk University in 1978 and graduating from the program in 1981.

Phyllis has grown Granite City from one store in downtown Quincy to 21 locations across New England, and increased annual sales from $2 million to more than $100 million. She has made Granite City Electric a New England icon.  In 2004 she negotiated a sponsorship deal with the Boston Red Sox.  Granite City now provides lighting and for Fenway and the company logo is on the Green Monster.  A similar arrangement has been was struck with the New England Patriots.

Phyllis in her own right has become an icon. As first female member of many boards and organizations, she has not made just one crack in the glass ceiling but several.


Alumni Service Award, Sawyer Business School

Dr. Arjun C. Rao, MBA ’03
Senior Consultant, Center for Quality and Safety, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Rao shines in his support of Suffolk University – in particular, in its mission to not just educate, but to place students on career paths that are as rewarding as they are remunerative.

Dr. Rao earned his medical degree in his home country of India. As Senior Consultant, Center for Quality and Safety Massachusetts General Hospital he and his team work tirelessly to mitigate the incidences of medical error. Given the rigors of his professional efforts, that he finds time to support Suffolk University is a gift for which we’re grateful.

In support of Career Services’ effort to place Suffolk University’s students, Dr. Rao has participated for years in international student programs run by the Center for International Education. He is also a participant their annual career panel and the office frequently refers individual students to him for his advise and guidance. He’s always willing to spend time with students, he forwards job listing encouraging students to work at MGH and in short, Dr. Rao is forever willing to make time for Suffolk University students and to help them with their career planning.


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