Alumni Achievement Awards Highlight the Power of Community


From left: Sofia Abreu '11, Monica Amadio '20, Dr. Haitham Dib '16, Claire B. Kuhar '81, Ike Ejikeme '17, M.A. '19, President Joe Bertolino, Micky Doto '15, Madison Costello '24, Christopher Lipari Pazienza '21, M.A. '22, Quanette Vasser-McNeal '14, Jared Lombardi '23 and Scott Francis '98

Galloway, N.J. — Stockton University honored 10 of its outstanding graduates during the annual Alumni Achievement Awards on May 16. Nearly 200 guests celebrated the diverse accomplishments and contributions of the honorees to the university, their communities and professions.  

“We are proud to shine a spotlight on Stockton alumni making an impact throughout the region,” said Dan Nugent, Stockton’s vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Stockton University Foundation. “These extraordinary Ospreys highlight the very best of Stockton and what we hope for all our students as they leave campus and head off to embark on their next chapters.” 

Ike Ejikeme

Ike Ejikeme '17, M.A. '19 was one of the recipients of the Alumni Volunteer Award. Ejikeme works for the Department of Homeland Security. 

More than 65 nominations were submitted for this year’s awards, which recognize the ways Stockton alumni make a difference both on campus and beyond. The Stockton Alumni Council on Engagement (ACE) reviews the nominations and selects recipients.  

“Bottom line is this is a special place. We’ve produced some remarkable individuals who have made their mark on their communities and the university," said Scott Francis '98, ACE member and emcee for the event. “Our purpose tonight is to celebrate our volunteers and leaders and recognize them for their passion and dedication.” 

The honorees shared their unique stories as they accepted their awards, and each acknowledged the crucial support they received from their families, friends and alma mater along the way. Despite their different paths, one common thread prevailed among the recipients — the acknowledgment that their success was not achieved alone, but through the nurturing support of their communities and Stockton's educational foundation. 

"As a 20-year-old transfer student unsure of what my future held, Stockton provided me with the skills necessary to put myself in the position to succeed at levels I could never have imagined. I'm so grateful for the Stockton community for giving me the opportunity to excel," said Ike Ejikeme ’17, one of the recipients of the Volunteer Alumni Award. 

Mental health advocate and community activist Jared Lombardi ’23, recipient of the Harvey Kesselman Alumni Impact Award, courageously shared his journey battling mental illness, navigating sobriety, overcoming traumatic brain injuries and surviving thoughts of suicide. 

Jared Lombardi

Mental health advocate Jared Lombardi '23 was presented with the Harvey Kesselman Alumni Impact Award.

“Despite all the darkness in my life, I found light. And I never gave up hope after finding that light. And I hope you will do the same and understand that we have two hands. One to help ourselves and one to help another. So, open up that conversation and check in with others, ask how they are doing. Because it can save a life. I know it saved mine,” Lombardi said. 

Stockton President Joe Bertolino emphasized the vital role alumni play in preserving and promoting the legacy and traditions of the university.  

“Ensuring that our values and achievements are upheld and celebrated. This word legacy is critical. I would like all our alumni to know that the real legacy you leave behind is our students. What our students learn from you, the relationships our students develop with you,” he said. 

The event underscored Stockton’s dedication to fostering a culture of excellence, engagement and lifelong connections among its alumni network. 

The 2024 Alumni Achievement Award honorees: 

Madison Costello ’24 – Future Leaders Award (Cherry Hill, New Jersey) 
Panhellenic President, RA, Sigma Delta Tau New Member Educator and Greek Council Public Relations Chair 

Sofia Abreu ’11– Campus Partner Award (Pennsauken, New Jersey) 
Stockton University, Director, Career Education and Development

Micky Doto ’15 – GOLD Alumni Award (Boulder City, Nevada) 
Senior Advisor & Innovation Officer, Dept. of Homeland Security (TSA), Disabled Veteran Advocate 

Quanette Vasser-McNeal ’14, BS, CSW, CALA – GOLD Alumni Award (Cape May Court House, New Jersey) 
Director of Social Services, Fountain Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation & President of the Cape May County NAACP 

Ike Ejikeme ’17, M.A. ’19 - Alumni Volunteer Award (Silver Spring, Maryland) 
Department of Homeland Security, Federal Government Civil Servant, Scholar-Practitioner, Intelligence & Security Professional, Washington, DC 

Christopher Lipari Pazienza ’21, M.A. ’22 - Alumni Volunteer Award (Garwood, New Jersey) 
Kean University Residence Hall Director 

Monica Amadio ’20 - Harvey Kesselman Alumni Impact Award (Galloway, New Jersey) 
Professor/Teaching Specialist of Entrepreneurship and Technology & Innovation, Stockton University, School of Business 

Jared Lombardi ’23, MSW, DRCC - Harvey Kesselman Alumni Impact Award (Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey) 
Mental Health Advocate and Community Activist 

Dr. Haitham Dib ’16, MD, MBA, CPE, FACC, FHFSA - Professional Achievement Award (Linwood, New Jersey) 
Cardiologist and Heart Failure Specialist 

Claire B. Kuhar ’81, CPA - Presidential Service Award (Egg Harbor City, New Jersey) 
Barberio & McLelland Financial Services, Associate 

For more information about the Stockton University Foundation and opportunities to get involved and stay connected, please visit