Every year, Montclair State University honors its graduates by holding convocations, pre-commencement ceremonies celebrating students' achievements prior to the actual conferring of degrees at Commencement. At most convocations, an outstanding alumni from that particular college is awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award. These alumni are able to encourage and inspire the newest graduates to achieve their goals with skills they developed here at Montclair State University. Listed below are the Montclair State graduates who received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013.
Robert J. Iacullo ’76
Robert J. Iacullo ’76, president of United Water Inc., received the Distinguished Alumni Award at the School of Business Convocation.
Robert Iacullo, president of United Water Inc., oversees operations and management of the company’s water and wastewater businesses nationwide. He is responsible for its regulated and contract services business lines. In addition, he serves as president of United Water New Jersey, the company’s largest water business.
Iacullo also oversees Utility Service Group, the nation’s leading water tank maintenance service company, which is a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT NORTH AMERICA. Iacullo joined United Water in 1980 as a rate analyst and has held positions of increasing responsibility with the company including chief operating officer, president of the New York/New Jersey Metro Region and vice president of regulatory business.
Iacullo is a commissioner of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority, a member of the board of directors of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, Choose New Jersey, the National Association of Water Companies and the Bergen County United Way and is a trustee of the Bergen County Economic Development. He graduated from Montclair State in 1976 with a BS in business administration and was a member of Phi Lambda Pi.
Marta Fernandez ’02
Department of Broadcasting alumna Marta Fernandez ’02, senior vice president of original programming at Starz, was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award at the College of the Arts Convocation.
In her position as senior vice president of original programming for the premium cable network Starz, Marta Fernandez runs drama development and current production. Her most recentprojects include: Da Vinci’s Demons with The Dark Knight and Man of Steel co-writer, DavidGoyer, and Incursion, an epic sci-fi drama with Spartacus screenwriter, Steven S. DeKnight.
Previously, she worked in television development for Starz, where she oversaw the network’s first ratings hit, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, as well as Golden Globe-winner, Boss, with Kelsey Grammar, and cult favorite, Party Down. Prior to joining Starz, she worked as a coordinator on the NBC series, Fear Factor, and on USA’s Monk and Criminal Minds.
As an undergraduate broadcasting major at Montclair State, Fernandez and her fellow students produced the short feature, “Book of Thanks,” which was part of an hour-long NJN special program, America Together: New Jersey Voices...Heroes, that won a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award.
Fernandez received the 2002 Gracie Allen Award for American Women in Radio & Television for her documentary, Women Pioneers in Broadcasting.
Valerie Maholmes ’80, ’84 MA
Valerie Maholmes ’80, ’84 MA, the acting chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award at the Graduate School Convocation.
Valerie Maholmes serves as the acting chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), where she manages the Child and Family Processes/Child Maltreatment and Violence Research Program in the Child Development and Behavior Branch. She also serves on numerous federal interagency groups dealing with child maltreatment, abuse and neglect.
She previously taught at the Yale School of Medicine in the Child Study Center’s School Development Program where for nearly 13 years she provided educational, clinical and technical support to schools in low-income neighborhoods and communities around the country. In 1999 she was named the Irving B. Harris Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry.
In 2003, Maholmes was awarded the prestigious Executive Branch Science Policy Fellowship sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Maholmes received a BA in English and an MA in counseling from Montclair State and after graduation, returned to the University to work as an Educational Development Specialist.
Evan Maletsky ’53, ’54 MA
Professor Emeritus Evan Maletsky ’53, ’54 MA, who taught mathematics at Montclair State until his retirement in 2006, received the Distinguished Alumni Award at the College of Science and Mathematics Convocation.
Mathematics Professor Evan Maletsky received a BA and MA in mathematics from Montclair State in 1953 and 1954 and earned a doctorate from New York University. After serving in the Army and teaching high school geometry and physics, he returned to Montclair State. After 50 years in the classroom, he retired as professor and senior faculty member in 2006 and was granted emeritus status.
Maletsky taught a variety of mathematics courses at all levels, relishing the subject and its relationship to history, beauty, creativity and imagination, and believing that mathematics must stimulate the senses as well as stretch the mind. His international collaboration with German mathematicians led to publications on fractals and a unique Montclair State course offering.
Maletsky, the first Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Fellow, directed and taught in numerous institutes and programs at Montclair State and beyond and wrote or co-wrote more than 30 textbooks and articles. His honors include the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Award for Distinguished Service in Mathematics Education and the Distinguished University Teacher of Mathematics Award.
Joyce M. Smith, Esq. ’94
Joyce M. Smith, Esq. ’94, chief legal officer of Prudential Trust Company, was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
As chief legal officer of Prudential Trust Company since 2005, Joyce Smith is in charge of all legal matters for the trust company, including its collective investment trusts. Following graduation from Harvard Law School and prior to joining Prudential, she was an associate attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York City, where she handled everything from security offerings and leveraged bank financing to mergers and acquisitions, including the AOL-Time Warner merger, the Dex-Media financing and Lucent’s spin-offs, Avaya and Agere Systems.
Smith received a BA, summa cum laude, in political science with a minor in pre-law studies from Montclair State in 1994 and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1998. While at Montclair State, she was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and awarded a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship. Additional campus activities included leadership roles in The Conservation Club, the Montclair State Paper Recycling Program and Greenpeace. She also received the University’s Woman of the Year award. At Harvard University, she was a senior technical editor of the Environmental Law Review and a pre-law tutor at one of Harvard’s undergraduate houses.