Three Salve Regina alumni receive achievement awards
Pictured from left: Carmela Geer ’89, Helen McGowan-Gardner ’62 and Brian Pryor ’92.
Three Salve Regina alumni received achievement awards during the University’s recent Reunion Weekend celebration: Carmela Geer ’89, Helen McGowan-Gardner ’62 and Brian Pryor ’92.
Geer currently serves as executive director of Newport’s Edward King Senior Center, which offers a variety of social, educational and cultural activities for between 16,000 and 18,000 seniors annually. She previously served as the director of community outreach for Middletown Public Schools, where she was responsible for spearheading two fundraisers for families in need. For her work in this role, she received the 2010 Middletown Education Collaborative Teacher of the Year.
Geer has served on a number of boards, including the Middletown Substance Abuse Task Force, the Middletown Parent Teacher Association and the Newport Baroque Orchestra. She is the island-wide volunteer coordinator for the Aquidneck Island Emergency Volunteer Alliance, is a member of the Middletown Juvenile Hearing Board, and is a parent volunteer for Middletown Public Schools.
She embraces her leadership role with the Newport Partnership for Families, which connects Aquidneck Island residents with services, events, programs, and community engagement opportunities that they may not have otherwise had access to if left to navigate the system on their own.
McGowan-Gardner was a pioneer in the early research on AIDS and the development of critical care for AIDS patients at the local, regional and national levels. As a certified infection control practitioner and director of infection control, McGowan-Gardner was the first nursing professional to make a home visit to an AIDS patient in southeastern Massachusetts. This was at a time when AIDS was a frightening new disease.
She has presented and published research findings pertaining to nursing care for those afflicted with the illness and also conducted research with nursing faculty at the University of Massachusetts, presenting their findings at the New England Organization for Nursing. In addition, she served as president, past president, secretary and member of the board of directors of the Association Professionals of Infection Control, New England.
McGowan-Gardner has distinguished herself through significant contributions to the Salve Regina community, serving as an active member on the Nursing Alumni Council for several years, participating in fundraising phonathons and other donor solicitation efforts, and volunteering as a class representative for the Class of 1962. She continues to serve on reunion planning committees.
Pryor is the founder and chief executive officer of the medical device manufacturer LiteCure, which is at the forefront of therapeutic laser design and technology in both the medical and veterinary markets. LiteCure Medical launched its line of LightForce Deep Tissue Therapy Lasers in 2011, and in 2014 the Companion Animal Health brand was launched along with an expanded line of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine products.
Pryor serves on numerous boards, is a fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, has published more than 30 scientific papers and holds numerous U.S. and international patents. He is an active international speaker on laser applications as well as on business and marketing strategies.
His latest startup, mTrigger, is an innovative mobile health company focusing on rehabilitation. Pryor’s companies actively work with teaching institutions, clinicians and scientists around the world. He has also coached Little League baseball for many years and is very involved with mentoring college students at the University of Delaware.