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Anchor Awards Celebrate Alumni Success

Posted 10/23/2013
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Category: Campus Announcements
Front row (l-r): Daniel Purushotham, Morris Jackson, and Salvatore Lopes. Back row (l-r): Robert Petcove, Pedro Bermudez, and President Walter Harrison.

Front row (l-r): Daniel Purushotham, Morris Jackson, and Salvatore Lopes. Back row (l-r): Robert Petcove, Pedro Bermudez, and President Walter Harrison.

Five alumni who have distinguished themselves with outstanding professional achievements were honored with Anchor Awards on Oct. 19 as part of this year’s Hawktober Weekend festivities.

The Anchor Award is the most prestigious award presented by the University of Hartford Alumni Association. The awards were established to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves by achieving the highest level of professional accomplishments, and who possess absolute standards of integrity and character, to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the University of Hartford.

After the presentation of this year’s Anchor Awards, the recipients participated in a panel discussion in which they discussed their career paths and gave advice based on their experiences.

Following are descriptions of the 2013 Anchor Award winners.

Pedro Bermudez '07

Pedro Bermudez is an award-winning director, filmmaker, and cofounder of Revisionist, a film and music video production company whose work runs the gamut from documentaries to short films to commercials.

Raised in Hartford, Bermudez began making films at an early age using his family’s Hi-8 camcorder. As an undergraduate at the University of Hartford, he created Unifocus LLC, a production company that worked on both English- and Spanish-language content.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Hartford in 2007, Bermudez spent three years working at ESPN, where he produced original content for various digital media channels. He continued his education at one the world’s top film schools, the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. There, Bermudez earned a Master of Fine Arts in film directing in 2012, and was the recipient of the Petrie Award for Excellence and the Board of Trustees Scholarship. His thesis film, Antifaz, a period piece set in Buenos Aires during the military junta, won the Special Jury Prize at the USA Film Festival in Dallas.

Bermudez founded Revisionist while living in California with two fellow film school students. The trio got its start shooting a public service spot in Nepal for BuildOn, a charitable organization in Stamford that builds schools around the world for the impoverished. Bermudez directed the spot and also traveled to Haiti to develop a feature film after the devastating 2010 earthquake in that country.

Revisionist, which has expanded to the East Coast, recently crafted content for a diverse group of clients, including Bedrocket, United Illuminating, and ESPNU. Its commercial for United Illuminating won gold recognition in the 2013 Advertising Club of Connecticut awards competition.

Morris Jackson '72, M'73

Morris Jackson has impacted the higher education landscape worldwide for more than a quarter century as a counselor, university professor, administrator, and fundraising and community relations professional.

Jackson served as a consultant to the Ambassador of the Iraqi Embassy during spans of 2012 and 2013. He was employed for 18 years in the development field at American University in Washington, D.C., the last six years as director of development. He also served as the director of major gifts. Prior to that, Jackson was director of return-to-school programs at American’s Office of Continuing Studies.

Serving as a university educational advisor for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., from 1984 to 1992, Jackson developed cultural and educational programs with universities, secondary schools, and elementary schools across the United States. He advised Saudi Arabian scholarship students, and provided guidance on immigration regulations and procedures.

Jackson received his Bachelor of Science in guidance and counseling and his master’s in education from the University of Hartford in 1972 and 1973, respectively. He later earned his doctorate in education from George Washington University. Since then, Jackson has published and presented extensively on counseling, diversity, and multicultural education.

This year, Jackson was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame of the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford, where he had been a member from 1955-70. Jackson is currently vice president for business development for Senoda Inc., a privately owned promotional, marketing, and mailing-service company located in Washington, D.C.

Salvatore Lopes '71

Salvatore Lopes is an internationally renowned photographer and platinum printer whose work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. More than 150 of his images are part of museum collections at the likes of The Art Institute of Chicago, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Lopes’s photographs also have appeared in many popular magazines, ranging from Newsweek and National Geographic to French PHOTO, Black & White, and Shutterbug. Larger bodies of his work appear in books such as The Wall: Images and Offerings from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Living with AIDS: A Photographic Journal.

Lopes received his Bachelor of Arts from the Barney School of Business in 1971, and felt then as he does now that his University of Hartford experience prepared him well to do whatever he wanted in life. His first venture upon graduation was to make a difference in the community, serving as a teacher at Hartford’s Burns Elementary School. There, Lopes devised a photographic program to engage underserved inner-city children and promote reading and writing skills.

Later, he worked as a photographer at the Richard Benson’s Studio in Newport, R.I., where he produced exhibitions and edition portfolios for photographers Paul Strand, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, and many others.

Specializing in the highly archival 19th-century technique of platinum printing, Lopes developed his own style of hand-coated prints in black and white, and notable art photographers and museums worldwide have sought after the exquisite results.

Robert Petcove A'89, '91

Robert Petcove is an energetic and engaging business professional who currently serves as area vice president of Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.

In 2005, Petcove founded Advanced Benefit Advisors, Inc. (ABA), an employee benefits consulting firm based in New Jersey and Florida. Serving as CEO and president, Petcove focused on personal attention, creative ideas, and proactive service, quadrupling the size of the company over the next seven years. ABA also maintained steady yearly revenue growth, with earnings surpassing $4.2 million last year. This growth paved the way for the acquisition of ABA by Gallagher Benefit Services this past April.

Growing a company was nothing new to Petcove. Upon graduation, he worked side by side with his father for a decade at Benefit Resources, Inc., watching the company grow from eight to 65 employees.

Petcove received his Associate of Arts degree from Hillyer College in 1989 and his Bachelor of Science in business administration from the Barney School of Business in 1991. He has returned to campus as a guest lecturer to share his career journey with current students, and has recently been named to the Hillyer College Board of Visitors.

Petcove is committed to philanthropy and has been a board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation since 2002. He is a former president of the New Jersey chapter of the Jewish National Fund. He also is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Society for Human Resources Professionals and the PenJerDel Employee Benefits and Compensation Association.

Daniel Purushotham M'74

Daniel Purushotham is the former vice president of corporate compensation and performance management at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., where he oversaw strategic planning and implementation of executive and broad-based compensation programs.

In 2012, Purushotham helped launch the Colonial Total Rewards Association (CTRA), which is a not-for-profit local network member of WorldatWork, a premier international total rewards organization. CTRA is an educational and professional development organization serving total rewards professionals in Central Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. He is currently CTRA's co-president.

Purushotham has served in many leadership positions, including president of the Human Resource Association of Central Connecticut and president of WorldatWork’s Eastern Region. He has served on the WorldatWork board of directors, chaired The Conference Board’s Executive Compensation Management Council, and spoken internationally on human resources-related topics.

Currently, Purushotham serves on the boards of the American Red Cross, Blood Services, Connecticut Region; the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business; and recently finished his term with the University of Hartford Alumni Association.

Taking his wealth of knowledge and experience into the academic world, Purushotham currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member in the schools of business at the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University, and in the school of graduate and professional studies at the University of Saint Joseph. He coauthored Building Pay Structures, a WorldatWork best seller.

In addition to receiving his MBA from the University of Hartford in 1974, Purushotham holds master’s degrees from Madras Christian College in India (psychology) and Springfield College (industrial psychology), and a PhD in Adult and Vocational Education from the University of Connecticut.

Front row (l-r): Daniel Purushotham, Morris Jackson, and Salvatore Lopes. Back row (l-r): Robert Petcove, Pedro Bermudez, and President Walter Harrison.

Front row (l-r): Daniel Purushotham, Morris Jackson, and Salvatore Lopes. Back row (l-r): Robert Petcove, Pedro Bermudez, and President Walter Harrison.