2020 Alumni of the Year
The following graduates have distinguished themselves in service to Saint Michael’s College. For their selfless acts of volunteerism in support of their alma mater they have been named 2020 Alumni of the Year by the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.
John Zurlo '60
With over 60 years of experience keeping Purple Knights connected to each other and to Saint Michael’s, John Zurlo ’60 is a fabulous choice for this year’s Alumnus of the Year Award. While studying business administration during his student days, John played baseball, wrote for the student newspaper, served as a class officer and worked on the yearbook.
Other alumni have described John as the glue that holds the Class of 1960 together. Through his email distribution list, he frequently updates classmates on what’s happening with each other and with news from the College. He has served on numerous reunion committees, encouraging classmates to return to campus to celebrate, and asking them to support Saint Michael’s by contributing to their class gift.
In non-reunion years John has served as a class agent, asking classmates to support the College, and has been a long-time member of the Career Advisory Network, providing career guidance for students and fellow alumni. His greatest volunteer accomplishment is yet to come, though, as he has agreed to represent all Golden Knights on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors beginning July 1. As a future member of the board, he has volunteered to send postcards welcoming members of the Class of 2024 to the SMC family, including a new student from his local high school in the North Country of New York.
John taught and chaired the Business Education department at Northeastern Clinton Central High School for over three decades, and this past November won his seventh term as the elected Clinton County (NY) Clerk. He has been named Citizen of the Year several times.
John and his wife, Mary, life in Champlain, NY and they have two sons and four grandchildren.
Dr. Richard Gamelli '70
An internationally renowned physician who spent his career innovating treatment for burn patients at Loyola University Chicago, Dr. Richard Gamelli ’70 is an outstanding choice for this year’s Alumnus of the Year Award. A chemistry major mentored by the late Professor Michael Gianni, Dr. Gamelli graduated from Saint Michael’s and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vermont in 1974. He spent nearly 25 years at Loyola researching burn treatments, educating the next generation of doctors, and providing unparalleled care to his patients as Chairman of the Department of Surgery and founding Director of the Burn Center.
For his illustrious career, Dr. Gamelli was inducted into the Saint Michael’s College Academic Hall of Fame as a charter member in 2002. He served as a member of the Visions Campaign Committee in the late 90s and along with his wife, Mary, created the Richard L. Gamelli and Mary C. Gamelli Scholarship in 2001, the year their daughter Andrea graduated. As a member of the College’s Career Advisory Network he repeatedly made himself available to counsel Saint Michael’s students interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Dr. and Mary Gamelli have generously supported the Health Science Initiative as the College fundraises to match Trustees’ $1 million challenge in honor of his 50th Reunion this year. This initiative funds new majors in Health Science (BS) and Public Health (BA).
When asked about her father’s time at Saint Michael’s, daughter Andrea was happy to share. “Our mother told us that Dad was always a proud member of the Class of 1970. The four years he spent at Saint Michael’s have lasted a lifetime in his character. I truly believe he exemplifies what Saint Michael’s is known for – creating good people who are confident, successful, worldly, compassionate and grounded.”
The Gamelli family has a strong legacy at Saint Michael’s: Daughter Andrea Gamelli Couture ’01, son-in-law Denis Couture ’02, brother Daniel Gamelli ’81, sister-in-law Allison Kell Burke ’94 and late father-in-law Roderick Kell ’50 are all proud Purple Knights. Dr. and Mrs. Gamelli now live in New London, New Hampshire.
Kevin Slane '65
For his continued dedication and service to our alma mater, Kevin is a perfect choice for 2020 Alumnus of the Year. A long-time volunteer for Saint Michael’s, Kevin has been the lead organizer for a monthly alumni luncheon known as the Connecticut Valley Lunch Bunch made up of Golden Knights from Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Kevin updates fellow Golden Knights with news from the College. He has also served on numerous reunion committees including this year for his 55th.
Kevin is concluding a lively four-year term on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors as the lone representative of our Golden Knights (alumni who have celebrated a 50th reunion). As a member of the Alumni Board, Kevin was instrumental in the success of the Career Symposium, securing numerous alumni for the Entrepreneur industry panel each year of his term. He helped to welcome members of the Class of 2020 to the Alumni Association this spring with phone calls to seniors. Kevin has also supported the College financially every year for 39 years. A business major while at Saint Michael’s, he is a retired sales and marketing executive for a medical device company.
Kevin and his wife, Maureen, live in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Carol (Von Oehsen) Piccaro '80
A business major and member of the swimming and diving team as an undergraduate, Carol (a.k.a. “Tina” to her friends) has given incredible amounts of her time, talent and treasure for the betterment of Saint Michael’s, and is a wonderful choice to be an Alumna of the Year.
As a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, Carol became a key organizer and philanthropic supporter of the Board’s annual Career Symposium that brings nearly 50 alumni from across the country to campus to offer career advice to current students. In the middle of her Alumni Board term, Carol was recruited to the Board of Trustees where she served a six-year term. She also co-hosted “Zafest,” a well-attended celebration of the campus icon’s 35+ year career as a coach, athletic trainer and administrator who was a mentor to her during her student-athlete days.
Carol has nominated Future Knights for Admissions recruitment efforts and hosted SMC fundraising events at her home. As a generous supporter of Saint Michael’s, Carol and her husband Chris ’80, a retired dentist, are members of the Mont St. Michel Society.
In all of her many volunteer roles at the College, Carol has shown dedication, love, and support for her alma mater time and time again. Carol is the President and CEO of U.S. Chemicals, LLC. She and Chris have a son and a daughter and live in Darien, Connecticut.
Pam Batalis '85
Pam has distinguished herself as a standout alumna over the past 35 years, having given incredible amounts of her time and energy to enhance the Saint Michael’s experience for students and fellow alumni. Just 12 years after graduating, she served three terms on the Board of Trustees as well as simultaneously serving on the Visions Campaign Committee. As one of the greatest women’s basketball players to don the Purple and Gold, Pam was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.
Pam returned to campus to deliver the keynote address to senior student-athletes at the 2018 Block ‘M’ Awards Banquet, where she encouraged them to find their core strengths and utilize them for future career and personal success.
Pam has hosted several alumni events in New York City, including Presidential fundraising and career-related events, and has also chaired or served on several of her reunion committees. She has been a panelist for regional career events for students and has also counseled students interested in sports marketing.
Pam has had a successful 25-year career in sports marketing at some of the top companies in the industry. She is currently serving as vice president of sponsorships and brand engagement for Wells Fargo in New York City, and was named to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors earlier this year. For her many contributions to enhance and advance her alma mater, Pam is an obvious choice to be a 2020 Alumna of the Year.
Jason Curry '95
Jason continues to serve his SMC community as he does his NYC basketball community – with grace and humility, enthusiasm and faith. For these and many other reasons, Jason is an inspiring recipient of the 2020 Alumnus of the Year Award.
Jason served a four-year term on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors where he assisted with volunteer efforts in support of enrollment initiatives and the execution of the annual Career Symposium, the board’s signature annual event. He co-hosted the College’s first multicultural alumni event in New York City, bringing together alumni of color interested in networking and mentoring current students of color. He was inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 for his standout basketball career, which includes a top-10 ranking in assists, steals, free throw percentage and 3-point percentage.
After working in the media industry, Jason found his calling by starting Big Apple Basketball, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving New York City youth. Through Big Apple Basketball, Jason leverages the sport to develop academic and personal strengths among his athletes, and help them pursue their educational aspirations. For his monumental efforts in support of countless BAB players, Jason was named the 2019 Junior NBA Coach of the Year last year. This spring, he was scheduled to be the Athletic Department’s Block ‘M’ keynote speaker, which was canceled due to COVID-19. Instead, Jason posted a video to the Purple Knight Athletics Facebook page offering advice to graduating seniors. Jason resides in Queens, New York.
Young Alumnus of the Year
Trevor Brown, Esq. '15
Coming as no surprise to those who know him, Trevor Brown was the natural choice to be the 2020 Young Alumnus of the Year. As an undergraduate, Trevor was involved in multiple campus organizations including MOVE and Student Government. He worked year-round in the President’s Office, where he became close friends with former President Jack Neuhauser.
Since graduating from UNH Law School, Trevor has put the Southern NH Alumni Club on the map. He has hosted multiple Purple and Gold Day socials in Concord and Manchester, and served as a panelist for both the Boston Career Seminar and for the Career Education Office’s “Young Alumni Law Panel” in 2019. Trevor is also serving as co-chair for his 5th reunion committee this year, and has already distinguished himself as a standout volunteer, always willing to help when called upon.
Trevor is an associate attorney for Sulloway and Hollis Law Firm and lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.