On October 17, 2019, Anna Maria College proudly showcased the character and community impact of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Co-hosted by John Spillane, Chair of Anna Maria College’s Board of Trustees and Tim Murray, Anna Maria College Trustee, for the first annual Celebration of Service and Success was a night to remember. Held at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Worcester, 220 guests gathered for a festive evening that included a jazz duo, clarinet ensemble, and flute choir from Anna Maria’s students along with a presentation from eight members from the College’s students, faculty and staff entitled “I Am Anna Maria” including personal reflections about the character of the collective college community. I Am Anna Maria participants included:


  • Tyler Benjamin, 21 Nursing
  • Dr Judy Kenary, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Ray Konde, ’20 Business Administration
  • Pearl Lutta, ’20 Criminal Justice
  • Annie Melanson, ’20 Education
  • Dan Mulrooney, Head Football Coach
  • Rollande Quintal, Sister of Saint Anne, Dean of Mission Integration, and College Archivist
  • Mike Stevens, Director of Criminal Justice Program


The evening culminated in the presentation of three Presidential Service Awards to alumni in honor of their steadfast commitment to bettering the lives and wellbeing of others.


President Mary Lou Retelle, joined by John Spillane and Tim Murray, bestowed the prestigious awards to Chief Robert Mortell ‘93 (posthumously), Chizoma ‘99G and Isidore ‘97G Nosike, and Shannon (Tellex) Laine ’05.


Click here to see photos from the evening.


About the 2019 Award Recipients
Chief Robert Mortell ’93 (Awarded Posthumously)

Before joining the Paxton Police Department, Bob Mortell was well-known in his home town of Paxton. He has been described, by those who knew him well, as a family man who was enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate about his community and those who lived in it. He was also known for having a great sense of humor. A 1984 graduate of the Worcester Police Academy, it wasn’t long before he became a full-time police officer and in 1989, Mortell was sworn in as Chief of the Paxton Police Department. Chief Mortell loved old fashioned policing and took great pride in the Paxton PD, despite its small size.


Safety was always the Chief’s first priority and he went to great efforts to ensure that the residents of Paxton, a community that he loved, were always safe, especially during a period when breaking and entering of homes was on the rise across the region. His quest for knowledge and best practice led him to Anna Maria College, where he continued his studies in criminal justice and received his bachelor’s degree in 1993.


Along with his canine officer Ginger, a bloodhound, Chief Mortell always put his community first and believed that no job was too big or too small. On February 1, 1994, Chief Mortell was preparing to travel to Paxton’s first ever DARE class graduation when he received a call about a series of housebreaks. Joined by his fellow officers, Chief Mortell set out on foot to apprehend the three men responsible for robberies. The Chief, a 38-year-old husband to Pam and father of three, was killed in the line of duty that day. In addition to his family, Chief Mortell left behind an incredible legacy of community service, generosity of spirit, and an undisputed love for his fellow man.


Chizoma Nosike ’99G and Isidore Nosike ’97G

Chizoma Nosike is the Founder and President of Acclaim Home Health Care, Inc. At Acclaim, Ms. Nosike works closely with her staff to provide quality care to her clients. Her philosophy is that each client will be treated like family and not a number. In 2018, Acclaim won the Top 25 National Patient Satisfaction Distinction award by FAZZI and was voted Top 3 Best Home care agencies in central Massachusetts by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.  Ms. Nosike personally won the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2007. In 2017, she was voted a Finalist for Best Boss in Central Massachusetts by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, the Elder Affairs Board for the City of Worcester, and the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board.


Isidore Nosike is the owner and Executive Director at the Fieldstone School, LLC. The Fieldstone School is a Healthcare Training School that provides quality training to its students who are pursuing careers in healthcare. The Fieldstone School has a 96 percent graduation rate allowing them to have earned many accolades, including, the MLKJ-BEC Business Incubator Tenant of the Year award. The school continuously receives an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and has been given youth training grants by MassHire Central Career Center for the past eight years. Mr. Nosike was awarded a leadership award from the Nigerian-American Organization of Worcester. He is currently a member on the Board for the Off-Street Parking of the City of Worcester and Acclaim Home Health Care.


Shannon (Tellex) Laine ’05

Shannon Laine is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and currently works as a music therapist at Roman Music Therapy Services and the Manchester Community Music School where she specializes in early childhood services. She also serves as the Sprouting Melodies coordinator. Ms. Laine graduated Magna cum Laude from Anna Maria College with a Bachelor of Music with a focus in Music Therapy. Ms. Laine is a member of the Music and Arts Integration Committees for the New Hampshire State Arts Standards. Recently, she was invited to join the New Hampshire Universal Design for Learning. Ms. Laine is currently working with State Representatives to submit a bill proposing licensure for Music therapists practicing in the state of New Hampshire.


Ms. Laine currently serves as a Board member of Friends of the Hollis Social Library and the Nashua Chamber Orchestra, and has previously served on the Boards of the Autism Society of New Hampshire, and the New England Region of the American Music Therapy Association.