Eight alumni win the department’s highest 2021 honors, the Alumni on the Rise Award and the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award.
ALUMNI ON THE RISE AWARD
This award, which was launched in 2013, recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past five to ten years and have demonstrated exceptional achievement within the sport industry while giving back through time and resources to the McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg:
David Haynes, BS 2012
David Haynes joined the Los Angeles Angels in 2021 as Director, Player Procurement, working closely with Major League operations, player development, and the professional, amateur, and international scouting departments to support the decision-making process for all player acquisitions and transactions. He was hired by the Angels after working for the Toronto Blue Jays the past eight seasons, including most recently as Manager, Baseball Operations and Professional Scouting. Before being hired by the Blue Jays, he held internships with the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and MLB Commissioner’s Office. Haynes earned his sport management degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2012. He and his fiancée Jessica will be relocating in Irvine, California, later this year.
Laurel Hosmer, MS 2013
Laurel Hosmer recently accepted a position at Saint Joseph’s University as the Director of Athletics Development. She will lead the Hawk Athletics fundraising efforts, focusing on major gifts and driving the overall resource generation strategy.
Before arriving at Hawk Hill, Hosmer worked at the University of Delaware as an Assistant Athletic Director for Development, where she was part of the $750M Delaware First campaign and integral in raising $35M in two years to build the Whitney Athletic Center. Hosmer has also had stops as the Assistant Athletic Director of Development and Revenue Generation at Eastern Washington University and as a Development Assistant with The Georgia Bulldog Club at the University of Georgia. Hosmer earned a BA in sociology while playing soccer at the State University of New York Institute of Technology in 2009 and got her start in her college athletic administration career as a graduate assistant and intern in the UMass Athletic Department while pursuing her sport management degree.
Melcolm Ruffin, BS 2013
As a native of Maywood, Illinois, Melcolm Ruffin grew up loving the game of basketball. He channeled this passion into career aspirations off the court, which brought him to UMass to study sport management.
Following UMass, Ruffin started his career at the National Basketball Association's league headquarters in New York City. There he primarily focused on growing the business of the NBA G League, the official minor league of the NBA. Ruffin’s broad role included extensive work in marketing, sponsorships, content creation, and event management.
After five years at the NBA, Ruffin elected to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard Business School (HBS). Upon graduation, Ruffin joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in a newly formed role as Head of Athlete Content Strategy, based in New York City. With CAA Sports, Ruffin focuses on telling clients’ stories across new media and emerging platforms.
Ruffin is motivated by giving back and community-building through the Sports & Entertainment Equity Network (SEEN), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit he founded in 2015. SEEN strives to close the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) gap prevalent in the business of sports and entertainment. SEEN serves a community of 1,500+ Black & Brown professionals and allies of DEI. Learn more about SEEN at www.seentogether.org.
Ruffin was recognized as a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30: Sports 2021 cohort.
Scott Savran, BS 2013
Scott Savran joined Scout Sports & Entertainment in October 2016 after working as a public accountant for BDO USA, LLP, and currently leads all analytics and cross-channel valuation for Scout’s property consulting and analytics group, Scout 360. Savran’s team has generated $350M+ in revenue through custom measurement, fan research, and partnership consulting across 20+ clients including the Carolina Panthers, Delaware North, ESPN, Major League Baseball, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and the Oak View Group. Savran’s efforts and leadership resulted in his recognition as a Cynopsis Media Rising Star in 2020.
Savran is originally from Framingham and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a dual degree in accounting and sport management. While on campus, he was a club water polo player, sport broadcaster on WMUA, key contributor to a variety of campus events, and helped establish the McCormack Sport Leaders Forum. Savran currently lives in New York City, where he is a member of the Business of Sports School Young Professional Advisory Committee and as an adventurer, is always chasing new, extraordinary experiences.
HAROLD J. VANDERZWAAG DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARD
Since 1993, the McCormack Department of Sport Management has awarded the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award in honor of Dr. VanderZwaag’s unwavering dedication and commitment to the department. Honorees are alumni who display professional excellence, outstanding achievement in the sports industry, and dedication to McCormack:
Joe Fitzgerald, BS 1990
Joe Fitzgerald is Vice President of Events at the National Hockey League with primary responsibility for leading event operations for the NHL, including the Winter Classic, Stadium Series, All-Star Game, the Draft, and the Stanley Cup Finals. He also works on international events and helped pave the way for the first-ever NHL game played in China in 2018. Last season, after the NHL season was postponed due to Covid-19, Fitzgerald led the NHL’s operational efforts in Toronto, one of two hub cities for the play-offs, when the NHL season resumed.
Prior to joining the NHL in 2010, he worked at Major League Baseball for 20 years in a few different capacities including public relations for the American League Office, Major League Baseball Properties Licensing Department, where Fitzgerald was instrumental in creating and developing the league’s uniform guideline policies. As Senior Manager of Special Events, he had the responsibility for the operational planning, logistics, and transportation for the All-Star Game and World Series and was the lead event planner for the Winter Meetings and General Managers Meetings held annually each year.
Fitzgerald interned with the Boston Red Sox in 1990 and was on the UMass Men’s Gymnastics Team from 1985 to 1989.
Nancy Gonsalves, MS 1992
While playing as a goaltender for the Boston College field hockey and lacrosse teams for four years, Nancy Gonsalves pursued a BS degree in finance. Gonsalves continued her education at UMass, completing her master’s in sport management in 1992. At UMass, she worked as a graduate assistant to the athletic department business office and continued to hone skills in logistics and budgeting.
Gonsalves joined the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee in 1991 as a requirement to complete her UMass degree, which transitioned into a full-time staff position as a coordinator in the International Games Preparation division. She later served as Manager of Games Operations, Game Director, and Director of the Paralympic Games for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In her current position with the Events & Logistics division, Gonsalves’s main areas of responsibilities are leading Team USA’s Games air travel strategy and execution, overseeing airport operations, and managing the event ticket allocation and distribution for the USOPC and National Governing Bodies. She serves on several internal working groups, sharing her institutional knowledge gained from over 25 years with the USOPC.
Gonsalves and her husband, 1998 U.S. Olympic alpine ski coach William (Bill) Baum, are the parents of Katrin and reside in Colorado Springs.
Steve Herbst, BS 1998
Over a long career in broadcasting, programming, and production, Steve Herbst most recently served as a Senior Vice President at NASCAR, establishing 10-year media partnerships with NBC, Fox, and IMG Media while overseeing the production group in Charlotte, N.C.
As an Executive Vice President at CBS Sports, Herbst managed all aspects of the 24-hour CBS College Sports Network.
As the Senior Vice President and General Manager at the NBA, Herbst was responsible for launching NBA TV along with running the broadcasting division.
Currently, Herbst consults with multiple media companies and is involved in a technology start-up that is raising its first round of funding.
Pam Levine, BS 1994, MS 2001
Pamela Levine has spent 20+ years in consumer brands specifically in the sports, health, and wellness market. With an early foundation in sports marketing, Levine started her career as a sales manager and account representative for athletic brands such as Saucony and Quiksilver. She moved into senior management roles responsible for running various consumer brands ranging from $20M to $500M. Over her career, she has consistently been a member of senior management teams responsible for revenue generation, strategy development and long-range business planning and execution. She also focuses heavily on human capital development and executive mentorship. This mentorship has extended to the Sport Management program where she has a personal passion to help students prepare for the business world ahead.
Levine is a proud UMass Amherst alumna both with a master’s degree in sport management and an undergraduate degree in math and Japanese. She is also a student athlete alumna, having played tennis at UMass from 1990-1994.
Originally from New Jersey, with many years in Amherst and Boston in between, Levine is now based in Los Angeles, serving as Senior Vice President at Marquee Brands.