Bristol Awards 2024

Recognizing Outstanding Bristol Graduates
Thursday, April 11, 2024
Bristol Community College
777 Elsbree Street, Fall River | Commonwealth College Center (G)

Thank you for attending Bristol Awards 2024!

View the event recording below:

About the Honorees

2024 PARAGON AWARD | Representative Alan Silvia ‘74

Representative Alan SilviaThe Paragon Award is the most distinguished award given to a graduate of Bristol Community College. This year’s Paragon Award will be given to Representative Alan Silvia.

Representative Alan Silvia's entire life has been about public service.

After graduating from B.M.C. Durfee High School, Representative Silvia enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served during the Vietnam conflict. He would graduate from Bristol in 1974, and then from Northeastern University with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. He received a Master of Science degree from Salve Regina University.

A lifelong resident of Fall River, Representative Silvia went on to become a police officer in the city of Fall River. He served as a detective in the Major Crime division, where he served for more than twenty years. He was involved in the investigation of all major crimes, including rape, robbery, embezzlement and homicide. Additionally, he served several years in the Sexual Abuse Unit, investigating crimes of violence against children. He developed and implemented a sexual abuse prevention curriculum within the Fall River School District (called the SPEAK Program), and he provided community education in areas of child abuse prevention, rape, elder abuse and substance abuse.

Representative Silvia's commitment to Bristol Community College runs very deep. An advocate for student veterans, Bristol established the Representative Alan Silvia Veterans Scholarship, which supports students who are active in or retired from military duty.

Since 2013, Representative Alan Silvia has served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives representing the 7th Bristol District, which encompasses the South End of Fall River. He fights for the safety and welfare of the people of Fall River and of the Commonwealth every day, and stands as a pillar of this community.


Paula Bradley '90

Paula Bradley

When the restaurant that Paula Bradley and her husband had owned closed, she started looking for a new direction. In her fifties at the time, her passion for advocating for seniors led to a job as an outreach director at the Portsmouth Senior Center. She began taking night classes and her son-in-law encouraged her to go back to school full-time at Bristol Community College. 

Despite the challenges of coming back to school in her fifties, Paula found a welcoming atmosphere and dedicated faculty. She says her experience at Bristol was wonderful because of the close community and the top-notch education she received. After graduating in 1990, she pursued a degree in social work from Rhode Island College. 

She went back to working at the Portsmouth Senior Center, where she connected with Rep. Patrick Kennedy during his several visits. After he was elected in 1994, Rep. Kennedy hired Paula as a Field Representative to reach out to seniors in Rhode Island. Upon Rep. Kennedy’s retirement in 2010, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse hired Paula as Senior Field Representative doing similar work. Paula has spent the last 30 years helping seniors across Rhode Island navigate government programs like Medicare, Social Security, Veterans issues, immigration and more, letting seniors know how the congressional offices can help. 

Paula was recognized for 25 years of federal service by Sen. Whitehouse in 2020. Now, at age 88, Paula is still working to help seniors in Rhode Island. 

Paula’s connection to Bristol reaches generations of her family. Her son, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren attended Bristol. In fact, it was her son-in-law who first encouraged her to attend. 

Paula’s story, and her legacy of service to the community, starting a new career later in life, serves as a testament to the power of a Bristol education for people from all walks of life. 


Robyn Worthington '01

Robyn Worthington

Robyn Worthington, M.A., is the Department Chair of History, Government and Economics. She has taught courses in U.S. History, including American Women’s History and American Indian History.  

In addition to her work in the classroom, Robyn has served as a member of the College Governance Council, the College-Wide Curriculum Committee, the Holocaust and Genocide Center Advisory Board, as an Equity Fellow for the LASH Center for Teaching and Learning and as faculty fellow for the Office of Civic Engagement.  

Robyn holds an associate degree in liberal arts from Bristol Community College, a bachelor's degree in history from Wellesley College and a master's degree in history from the University of Connecticut. 

She distinguished herself as a student at Bristol, earning the Mace and Shield Award, presented each year to a graduate who has rendered the highest quality service to the college and who has demonstrated outstanding leadership.  

Her academic excellence continued at Wellesley College, where she was the recipient of the Ralph H. Bollard Prize for Distinction in American History. 

She has translated academic excellence to outstanding teaching at Bristol. She received the Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in 2022. This award recognizes faculty who not only exemplify excellence in an academic setting but who also work outside the classroom to help their students achieve success.  

In 2023, Professor Worthington was selected by the Bristol Community College Student Senate to deliver the Last Lecture at Commencement. This award honors one exemplary faculty member who has affected students’ education and their lives in significant ways. 

Professor Worthington has gone above and beyond to serve her students, the college and the entire community. 


Esha Boyd '22

Esha Boyd

Esha Boyd ’22 distinguished herself as a leader and community advocate during her time at Bristol. Her mission is to ensure that children and families have a quality of life that promotes thriving, not just surviving. 

As a student at Bristol, she served as a volunteer with the PACE Childcare Works Program and interned at United Way of Greater New Bedford. Some of her work there included case-management and community outreach, connecting residents with local resources such as food assistance and education. She also assisted with the community free diaper program. Esha has also worked with fellow students, community members and local community organizations to develop sustainable programs that improve the quality of life for all residents of the South Coast region. 

Esha is a current student at Bridgewater State University, maintaining a 3.8 grade point average, and will be graduating in May with high honors. She currently works at Saint Vincents as a residential counselor for children ages 4 to 12 years old. She is also an intern at High Point Treatment Services in Brockton, providing case management for individuals with substance use disorders. She has been accepted into the advanced standing Master's of Social Work program at Simmons University, with an anticipated graduation in Spring 2025.  

Esha made her way to Bristol after experiencing many challenges. She faced incarceration as a teenager and later became a successful business owner. She came to Bristol hoping to build a career that would not only serve her life’s mission, but would inspire her daughters to also pursue college.  

Esha was an outstanding student at Bristol, becoming a member of the Phi Kappa Theta Society. She has continued to serve the college in numerous ways, appearing with her daughters in Bristol television commercials and on billboards. 

Esha graduated from Bristol with an associate degree and was honored with the prestigious Newman Civic Fellowship, recognizing her demonstrated commitment to focusing on the best solutions for many of the challenges facing communities locally, nationally and internationally.


Von Marie Moniz '08

Von Marie Moniz

Von Marie Moniz is the Founder of Latinas in the South Coast, a networking group for Latina professionals and small business owners, and a Founding Member, President and CEO of The South Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the region's inaugural Hispanic Chamber.  

Concurrently, she holds the role of Program Experience Manager at Entrepreneurship for All, also known as ‘EforAll', a nonprofit organization dedicated to guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through business classes and mentorship, fostering business initiation, growth and transformation. 

Recognized for her contributions within the Hispanic Community and empowering women, Von Marie was nominated by State Rep. Tony Cabral, and honored with the prestigious 2023 Latino Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus. 

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a book or catching up on her favorite shows. 


Scott Lopes '06

Scott Lopes

Scott P. Lopes is the Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer for BayCoast Bank. He has 24 years of experience in the banking industry, beginning his career at the age of 16 as a part-time teller for First Federal Savings Bank of America. He later joined Human Resources at Webster Bank, where he ran training programs in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Lopes joined BayCoast Bank in 2012 as Assistant Vice President, Training and Development Officer, a role he held until 2020, when he was promoted to the position of Vice President, Human Resources & Training and Development Officer. He received his associate degree in banking from Bristol Community College, his bachelor’s in Business Administration from Post University and went on to achieve his master’s in Human Resources from Cambridge College. He is also a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies at Babson College and Leadership SouthCoast.   
Lopes, who calls Swansea, Mass., home with his wife and two sons, is active in the community. 

He serves as a board member for Leadership SouthCoast and has also spent many years volunteering for the Smiles Mentoring Program and Fall River Adult Literacy Program.  

He also coaches his sons in multiple sports including baseball, football and soccer, and enjoys volunteering with his youngest son’s performing arts programs.

Music is also close to Lopes’ heart. He is in his eighth year as Conductor and Musical Director for the Our Lady of Light Band, which originated in Fall River in 1969. In 2022, under Lopes’ direction, the Our Lady of Light Band became the first Portuguese band to perform at Symphony Hall in Boston. 

In 2016, Lopes received the Outstanding Service Award by Bristol Community College and in 2018 he was the recipient of the Leadership SouthCoast Distinguished Alumni Award for his work in the community. In 2017, Lopes was awarded the Portuguese Heritage Award by Massachusetts State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues for his success leading the Our Lady of Light Band in becoming the first Portuguese band to perform inside the world-renowned John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. 

When not at work or conducting, Lopes enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends. 


Steven Martins