Welcome to The 2020
Networked for Life Celebration
When we cannot all join together in person, our human connections matter more than ever. That’s why your participation in today’s Networked for Life program is so immensely important.
As an essential partner in building Northeastern’s future, you play a vital role in shaping our vision of experiential learning and discovery. Your engagement energizes and informs our efforts to expand our global university system, forge pioneering partnerships, and equip new generations to be the leaders and creators of a healthier, safer, and more sustainable tomorrow.
Today, you join some of our community’s most accomplished members in advancing our global mission and strengthening the human connections that power everything we do. Thank you for your invaluable work, your input, and your leadership. And welcome to Northeastern’s third annual Networked for Life celebrations!
– President Joseph E. Aoun
Meet and Congratulate the 2020 Award Recipients
Read Dr. Barnett's Citation
The Late Dr. Lou Barnett, B’44, Hon.’77
Northeastern University Pioneer Award
Read Barbara's Citation
Barbara Alleyne, LA’70
Northeastern University Distinguished Service Award
Read Joseph's Citation
Joseph Fleming, Jr., PAH’70, MS’71
Northeastern University Distinguished Service Award
Read Katherine's Citation
Katherine Pendergast, MEd’73
Northeastern University Distinguished Service Award
Read Binja's Citation
Binja Basimike, BHS’12, MPH’14
Northeastern University Emerging Leaders Award
Read Chuanwei's Citation
Chuanwei Zhuo, ME’09, PhD’14
Northeastern University Emerging Leader Award
About our Annual Awards
The Northeastern University Pioneer Award
The Northeastern University Pioneer Award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the greater community and who are pioneers in their own right. The award recognizes university citizens who make a deep and lasting impact through their support of Northeastern, the depth and breadth of their engagement across the university, and for spearheading work in their personal and professional lives that create opportunities that otherwise may not have been attainable for those who follow.
Carole Shapazian, S’66, PNT’08
James L. Waters H’93
H. Patricia Hanna, UC’74, H’98
The Northeastern University Distinguished Service Award
The Northeastern University Service Award recognizes individuals who have performed notable service to the university and its community. The award is given on the basis of distinguished service, meritorious achievement, and meaningful contributions in promoting the mission of Northeastern University.
Eugene Reppucci, E’60, MEd’65, H’95 & Corinne Reppucci, LA’64, MEd’71
Gary Dunton, DMSB’78, PNT’15 & Lea Anne Dunton, PNT’15
Janet Shoemaker Swanson, BHS’74
Lawrence A. O’Rourke, DMSB’65
Susan B. Welch, PNT’16
Joseph M. Lillis, AS’93
The Northeastern University Emerging Leaders Award
The Northeastern University Emerging Leaders Award is presented to recent graduates who have demonstrated early, sustained commitment in furthering the university’s mission. The award recognizes next-generation leaders who exhibit the potential for continued service in advancing our students and faculty, expanding our global network, and deepening our impact worldwide.
Mohammad Al Wazzan Esq., SSH’16, L’16
Associate Director for SVP Projects and Leadership Relations Officer
Binja Basimike, BHS’12, MPH’14
Healthcare business systems consultant, Synthesis Health Systems
A healthcare IT consultant for over seven years, Binja Basimike’s specialty is in healthcare system implementations, from their initial conception to the training and onboarding of end users. Her passion is to create healthcare systems that not only meet the technical team requirements but that are also business- and client-centric. Prior to her current role, Basimike worked at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Cancer Survivorship department to improve the well-being of female cancer survivors.
Basimike is also a published oncology co-author of Excellent Care for Cancer Survivors: A Guide to Fully Meet Their Needs in Medical Offices and in the Community. She is a part of Northeastern’s Women Who Empower ambassador program, where she serves as a mentor and advocate. She is also a member of the Bouvé College of Health Science’s MPH Young Alumni Board.
Basimike runs Africancocktail.com, a website that celebrates innovation and supports women’s empowerment through blogging and hosting local and national events. She recently relocated from Boston, MA, and currently resides in Kinshasa, DRC. She received both her bachelor’s in health sciences and her master’s in public health from Northeastern University.
Katherine (Kater) N. Pendergast, MEd’73
Vice President Emeritus, Human Resources Management, Northeastern University
Kater Pendergast is a Human Resources (HR) Executive with an extensive background in advising University leaders on strategic direction, innovative HR programs, executive compensation, and HR operations. Most recently, she served as Vice President, Human Resources Management, at Northeastern University for over 20 years, where she delivered high quality, competitive, and cost-effective HR programs to attract and retain top talent. Overseeing a staff of 40, her team delivered streamlined services to leaders, managers, faculty, and staff in the areas of talent acquisition, benefits and compensation, employee relations, learning and development and HR information systems and operations. Pendergast also provided oversight for the university’s children’s center, served as an advisor to the President on executive compensation, and worked closely with the Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Pendergast has been involved with a number of professional associations including serving as Vice Chair of the Board of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education. She has taught graduate and undergraduate HR management courses at Northeastern University and has served for a number of years as Corporator of Eastern Bank. Pendergast holds a BA from Trinity College, Washington, DC, and an MEd from Northeastern University.
Barbara C. Alleyne, LA’70
Former Managing Director in Global Fixed Income, Citigroup (retired)
Barbara Alleyne graduated from Northeastern University in 1970 with a degree in economics. She spent several years working with the elderly in the Office for the Aging in New York City and later as a program analyst in the New York State Office for the Aging. In 1977, Alleyne won a scholarship from the Coalition of Concerned Black Executives to attend Columbia University in New York City, where she earned an MBA in finance in 1979. Upon graduation, she joined Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street firm, until 1989, when she went to Chase Manhattan Bank and sold their first corporate bond. Next, she returned to Salomon Brothers, which later became part of Citigroup in 1998. Alleyne served as the first African American female managing director in global fixed income at Citigroup.
She joined the Northeastern University Corporation in 2001 and became a member of the Board of Trustees in 2007. Alleyne was a member of several Board committees, including the Academic Affairs and Student Experience Committee. Among her many commitments to Northeastern are her efforts to establish the Black Alumni Scholarship Fund, support of the Torch Scholars Program, and bequest to create a full professorship. She is a full-time resident of Martha’s Vineyard, where she launched the Northeastern University Black Alumni Weekend, growing it from a small, single yearly event to a weekend of engagement that alumni travel from across the country to attend. She also serves as a member of the philanthropic organization the Cottagers, and was formerly vice chair of the Board of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.
Dr. Louis H. Barnett, B’44, H’77
Founder and President, Louis H. Barnett Investments
Born on November 22, 1918, in Malden, Massachusetts, to first-generation American parents, Louis Barnett earned degrees in chemical engineering and industrial management before starting his business, Loma, in 1948 with an order for plastic fishing lures. By 1965, Loma had grown by leaps and bounds, and Barnett had many firsts to his credit, including the plastic garbage can, the plastic roll-top bread box, plastic the paper towel dispenser, and the plastic clothes hamper. He sold the company in 1966. Barnett is also a philanthropist, author, gourmet cook, connoisseur of fine wines, and cigar afficionado. He has served on the boards of banks, companies, hospitals, arts organizations, and universities in the U.S. and Israel.
Through philanthropy, the Barnett institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis at Northeastern University was founded and named for him in 1973. Today, with more than 50 scientists and an $8 million endowment, the institute is internationally recognized as one of the premier centers for cutting-edge research and advanced training in analytical chemistry for biomedical applications. The Barnett Institute’s active program of spin-outs and licensing technology provides for many real-life applications of research advances, which have led to more than 1,000 published papers and 75 patents. Its more than 400 graduates are leaders in prestigious academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry. Barnett serves as chair of the advisory board for the institute, and has held volunteer leadership roles at Northeastern as both Corporator and Overseer.
Presented to Barbara C. Alleyne, LA’70
Simply put, you are an unstoppable force, bringing wisdom and inspiration, uniting community to achieve a common goal. With your tenacity and acumen, you have changed the course of the university, elevating Black student and alumni involvement and contributions to the university. Your laser focus on the student experience has driven your effective leadership on our governance boards. Your philanthropy regarding the Torch Scholars Program, the Black Alumni Scholarship and Loan Fund, and an endowed professorship dedicated to diversity are unparalleled at Northeastern. And your deep understanding of the spectre of student debt is resulting in real change, as you realign resources to help the next generation.
A successful career on Wall Street positioned you as someone of candor and clarity who has helped raise the bar on academic excellence and student success. Barbara, you are an unwavering advocate for students at Northeastern and beyond, and an irreplaceable member of the university community. We are grateful for your impact and your legacy of positive change.
Presented to Dr. Louis H. Barnett, B’44, H’77
We at Northeastern pay tribute to the late Dr. Lou Barnett, a roaring success of a man who truly understood the power of transformative giving. His involvement not only led to the creation of the Barnett Institute for Chemical and Biological Analysis, but it permanently changed Northeastern’s trajectory, launching us into the sphere of universities with serious, sustained research endeavors. For Lou had the foresight and sharp intuition to grasp how a research institute could spark a movement, and expand into a robust campus-wide enterprise. Ultimately, his efforts established our first center of excellence and created the model for others to follow.
For 47 years now, the Barnett Institute has yielded the very finest scientific discovery, thanks in part to Lou’s philanthropy. Internationally renowned, the Barnett Institute is his legacy, enabling countless companies, international partnerships, patents, and papers. Most importantly, more than 375 doctoral and post-doctoral students and staff have gone on to make their own transformations in academia, industry, and government—all of this due to his vision, inspiration, and guidance.
Presented to Joseph Fleming, Jr., PAH’70, MS’71
Boundless ideas, unstoppable energy, and a bottomless passion for what you do: these are fitting descriptors of you, Joe Fleming. A lifelong promoter of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, you earned two degrees and one cherished wife, Nancy, while at the university. And as a successful healthcare entrepreneur, strove to share your hard-earned knowledge with up-and-comers. You built an amazing vehicle for other creators to craft the perfect pitch and launch their companies: the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs at Northeastern. And your vision went viral, attracting other Northeastern success stories in droves, while educating those new to the field on how to navigate the world of innovation in business.
Then you then reached higher, conceiving of a Health Sciences Entrepreneurs mentoring program, an overnight success that matched experts with bright, young minds needing advice, inspiration, and guidance. Now, HSE is hailed as the gold standard of mentoring at Northeastern, and we are fortunate to benefit from your vision and leadership.
Presented to Katherine (Kater) N. Pendergast, MEd’73
Kater Pendergast, you have inspired countless colleagues with your energetic can-do approach to any and all challenges that came your way. As the university changed and evolved, you fearlessly saw what was on the horizon, built invaluable relationships in all disciplines, and positioned Northeastern to be ready for the next journey.
You never settled for the status quo. Confident in what you and your team could deliver, you did not hesitate to implement industry best practices or to seek expertise to present a better plan, all the while keeping the best interests and wellbeing of the university’s faculty and staff at the forefront. Trusted by presidents and guided by a higher principle of being of service to others, you continue to be one of Northeastern’s most recognized and lauded ambassadors. In your loyalty, generosity, advocacy, and support, you embody a lifetime of true distinguished service at Northeastern. As you yourself would say, “It’s all good!”
Presented to Binja Basimike, BHS’12, MPH’14
On your journey to earning two Northeastern degrees, you navigated each phase with diplomacy, aptitude, and an unmatched congeniality. Whether thoughtfully learning from your advisors, professors, and peers or guiding others, you have a true talent for forging meaningful relationships. Known for your mantra to “take a chance on yourself,” you fully follow your dreams, creating a role perfectly tailored to harness your passions.
You seized opportunity and crafted a career, bringing your exceptional interpersonal skills to the male dominated-healthcare IT industry, and inspiring your peers to follow suit along the way. You published valuable oncology research using your public health background to enrich the lives of cancer patients. And your savvy in the leadership and empowerment space is highlighted by your roles as a Women Who Empower Ambassador; former Chair of the Young Alumni Advisory Board; beloved guest lecturer; and creator and manager of africancocktail.com. You have inspired many, opened new doors for each community you engage with, and changed your world, and Northeastern’s global network, for the better.
Presented to Dr. Chuanwei Zhuo, MS’09, PhD’14
As someone who has said, “It is never too early to give back,” you provided a remarkable example for others to follow and have earned our everlasting gratitude doing so. A consistent donor and a true Northeastern promoter; a researcher and an innovator; and a conduit and a relationship-builder, you have given back to your alma mater in countless ways. Whether leading your startup, MesoGlue, with your fellow Northeastern researchers, inspiring young entrepreneurs in the Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center, or fostering meaningful partnerships within our network, you have bolstered the university’s community in the United States, China, and around the globe.
Through your philanthropic contributions and your outstanding discoveries, you mirror the university’s focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, embodying what it means to be a Northeastern alumnus. Lifelong learner, teacher, creator, and cultivator, your many roles, paired with your kindness and dexterity, have come together perfectly to demonstrate the significance of giving back.
Joseph Fleming, Jr., PAH’70, MS’71
Former Chair, Health Sciences Entrepreneurs
Chair, Infusion Ventures, Inc.
Joseph Fleming has dedicated his career to excellence in the fields of pharmacy and healthcare services. He is the founder of the Health Science Entrepreneurs at Northeastern, a Bouvé College of Health Sciences program comprising alumni and friends who have founded health science companies and who desire to give back to the university as venture mentors.
Fleming is the chair of Infusion Ventures, Inc. a vascular access and infusion nursing company servicing the New England states. Before that, in September of 2003, Fleming co-founded Specialty Pharma, Inc. and led a management buy-out of Professional Home Care Services, Inc., with Eureka Growth Capital. The company was successfully sold in 2006 to Kohlberg and Company. Fleming was also co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Community Rehab Centers, one of the largest networks of rehabilitation centers in the Northeast, which he successfully sold in 2001.
His volunteer activities include serving as past board member and volunteer for Hospice West, Inc., and as past president and former fundraising chair of the Nashoba Regional Scholarship Foundation. Fleming and his wife, Nancy, also a pharmacy graduate, live in Stow, Mass. He holds a BS in Pharmacy and an MS in Pharmacology from Northeastern University.
Dr. Chuanwei Zhuo, MS’09, PhD’14
An engineer turned entrepreneur, Dr. Chuanwei Zhuo is currently leading MesoGlue, founded by Northeastern researchers, to commercialize their room temperature bonding solutions. Bringing in more than 10 years of materials development and scale-up experience, including a four-year product and project leader role in Cabot Corporation, he helped expand MesoGlue’s collaboration with more than 200 industrial partners globally. Some of these companies, including SpeedWatt—a consumer electronics venture focused on generators, batteries, and more that was recently launched by Dr. Zhuo—have already signed up to adopt MesoGlue’s inventions.
While a doctoral student, Zhuo received a grant from the Akira Yamamura Fellowship fund. And since his graduation, he has actively engaged with Northeastern, from working closely with Professor Yiannis Levendis on commercializing the patented plastic waste treatment solutions, to generously supporting student entrepreneurship through the Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education. He is passionate about industrial revolution through product, process, and business innovation and has served as a conduit for developing partnerships between other entrepreneurs and the university.