This year’s recipient of the Sr. Margaret James McGrath Distinguished Alumni Award is Ellen Faszewski ’91, chair and associate professor of math and science at Wheelock College. The award, named after Professor Emeritus Margaret James McGrath ’44, SSJ, honors alumni who distinguish themselves through loyalty to the college as well as their professional, personal, and spiritual pursuits.
Ellen graduated from Elms College with a degree in biology and went on to receive her master’s degree from Mount Holyoke College, and later her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. As a student-athlete, she was a four-year member and two-year captain of the women’s lacrosse team from 1988 to 1991. She is still the program’s all-time leading scorer with 121 goals, 22 assists, and a total of 143 points. During her four-year career, the women’s lacrosse team had the most successful four-year record in program history, with an overall record of 28-22.
As a student, she is remembered for her discipline, charisma, and drive for perfection.
“Ellen was committed to being great,” said Cheryl Condon, head softball coach, who nominated Ellen for the award. “She was very studious in the classroom and a fierce competitor on the field.”
Ellen’s professional accomplishments at Wheelock College are outstanding. Ellen has secured grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, helped develop the Environmental Science Program with the Colleges of the Fenway (COF), and is currently a Leadership Fellow and member of the SENCER New England Center for Innovation Leadership Council.
Ellen has also been recognized for her care for the environment. As a recent director of the COF Center for Sustainability and the Environment, and current member of the steering committee, she co-organizes annual events including the Muddy River Symposium and Muddy River cleanup. Additionally, Ellen was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award (2007) by the Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee of the Muddy River Restoration Project, as well as the COF Emerging Collaborator Award (2006).
Ellen will be presented with the Sr. Margaret James McGrath Distinguished Alumni Award during the dedication ceremony on October 18.