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UMGC Alumni AssociationIntroducing the 2018 Alumni Award Winners

At UMGC Alumni Homecoming 2018: Together We Are UMGC, the UMGC Alumni Association is proud to acknowledge some of our most exceptional graduates. This year, we are honoring six outstanding alumni for their service to their alma mater and fellow alumni community.

Now in its 28th year, the association's annual alumni reception and awards celebration recognizes alumni who enrich the UMGC community through their intellectual, social, cultural, and service contributions. The four award categories include:

  • Alumni Achiever Award pays tribute to UMGC alumni and community members who have made a significant contribution to supporting the university's mission.
  • Edward A. Parnell Outstanding Alumnus Award recognizes a UMGC alumnus who has shown exemplary volunteer service over the course of the current year.
  • Alumni Executive Business Leader Award honors those who have served in a leadership role in their community and promote involvement in the university.
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest alumni award granted at UMGC. It was created in 1976 to recognize an alumnus who has realized outstanding personal and professional achievement while demonstrating exemplary service.

This year’s award recipients will be honored at the Alumni Homecoming 2018 Maryland event on October 25. Take a moment to learn how these alumni are making a difference, in their industries and communities, alike.

2018 Achiever Award Recipients

Harriette E. Chiavacci ‘86
Ms. Chiavacci is an experienced entrepreneur who currently owns Elizabeth’s Cards and Gifts. She has a demonstrated history of working in the arts and crafts industry, and she is skilled in photography, contemporary art, painting, fine art and art. Ms. Chiavacci is receiving the Achiever Award due to her unwavering commitment as a volunteer to support her fellow graduates. In addition to volunteering on several Alumni Association committees, Ms. Chiavacci has volunteered at more than 20 alumni activities over the last four years, giving graciously of her expertise and time. 

Dr. Thomas C. Bailey ‘86
Dr. Bailey is the vice dean for Science Programs at UMGC. Dedicated to student success both in the classroom and out. Dr. Bailey co-founded the Psychology Scholars Endowed Scholarship Fund and established the Dr. Thomas Bailey Endowed Nursing Scholarship to help provide financial support to UMGC’s students. Dr. Bailey is receiving the Achiever Award because of his participation in numerous alumni and student activities and his selfless commitment to supporting the university’s mission.

Eric Sullivan ’00, ‘01
Mr. Sullivan is the senior vice president of innovation and data strategies at Inovalon. In this role, he supports the innovation of new product and technology solutions and provides executive leadership over all data integration, management and governance programs.  Mr. Sullivan is receiving the Achiever Award because of his active participation as an industry expert panelist and a career mentor at UMGC. He is being recognized for his work with UMGC’s Employer Services team with which he helps recruit UMGC talent for Inovalon. Mr. Sullivan also was a key participant in the UMGC Candid Career video project, providing invaluable industry and career knowledge to students and fellow alumni. 

2018 Edward A. Parnell Outstanding Alumnus Service Award Recipient

Captain Deshauna B. Barber ’15
Captain Barber is receiving the Edward A. Parnell Award because of her exemplary support of the university and the UMGC Alumni Association. Her efforts have made a positive impact and helped to strengthen the university’s commitment to excellence, enabling students and alumni to better their communities. Working as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Captain Barber is passionate about serving the men and women in the U.S. military. As Miss USA 2016, Captain Barber focused her efforts on PTSD treatment for soldiers returning from deployments and suicide prevention in the Armed Forces. Captain Barber’s dedication to serving, community volunteerism and leadership are in inspiration to her fellow graduates and alma mater. 

2018 Executive Business Leader Award Recipient

Gary Hayslip ‘03
Mr. Hayslip is the vice president and chief information security officer (CISO) for Webroot, the largest privately held internet security company in the country. Previously he served as deputy director and chief information security officer for the City of San Diego where he advised the city’s executive leadership, which includes mayoral, city council and more than 40 city departments and agencies, on protecting city’s government information resources. He was awarded the 2018 Executive Business Leader Award because of his extensive contributions to the San Diego cyber security community, for his participation as an industry expert panelist and his active role as a career mentor volunteer. Mr. Hayslip promotes involvement in the university activities and leads by example in demonstrating the value and application of a UMGC degree.  

2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Michael Echols ’06, ‘03
Mr. Echols is a senior cybersecurity executive and critical infrastructure protection strategist working with senior corporate leaders and government officials to make the nation more resilient. He is leading a revolution to stand up and support Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAO). As such, Mr. Echols leads a global effort to harmonize cyber threat information sharing. Previously, Mr. Echols managed resiliency programs for the Department of Homeland Security while assisting in the advancement of information sharing. As the point person for the rollout of President Obama's EO 13691, he developed a national ISAO program.

Mr. Echols is receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award because his work has taken great strides to protect our nation. As a result of his vast support of ISAOs and his dedication to harmonize cyber threat information sharing, he has inspired numerous UMGC alumni and students. Through his selfless public service, he has worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of optimizing national cybersecurity strategy, contributing to a positive change in the field.

Additionally, his leadership as a career mentor, guest lecturer to UMGC students in several cybersecurity capstone courses, participation in a digital storytelling video to share industry insights with students, and participation in the Cybersecurity Roadtrip Nation initiative have had a positive impact on many lives. He consistently demonstrates how to lead by example through giving back to UMGC and passionately encourages others to support and connect with their alma mater.

“We’re extremely proud of this year’s award recipients,” says UMGC Alumni Relations and Career Services Associate Vice President Nikki Sandoval. “They each serve as an inspiration to UMGC’s greater student and alumni community as they strive to make a difference in their own communities and industries.”

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