Our Team

Connie Johnson, PhD
Interim Director
(508) 856-4064

Connie has been involved with fundraising and sales for close to 30 years. In her current position, she is responsible for raising private funds to support biomedical research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Previously, Connie spent 15+ years as national marketing manager for Bruker Biospin, selling capital equipment to scientists and executives in the life science industry. Connie holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University, was a postdoc at Yale University, and uses her science training and experience to enhance collaborations with funders and internal constituents. Over the years, Connie has volunteered at organizations in her local community and served as a member on various boards.

Erin Phipps, EdM, MS
Officer and Grant Writer
(508) 856-5008

Erin brings twelve years of nonprofit and higher education fundraising experience to UMass Medical School. With UMass, she focuses on curating private funding opportunities for researchers and programmatic staff members, and consults on grant applications for these opportunities. In addition to the medical research opportunities, her focus includes community programs that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Central Massachusetts. She is also manages the process of securing corporate sponsorships for the annual UMass Med Winter Ball. Prior to joining the CFR team, Erin served as the Associate Director of the Holy Cross Fund at the College of the Holy Cross where she was responsible for alumni solicitations, volunteer management, and reunion fundraising. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Sociology, Erin also has an MS in Nonprofit Management from Worcester State University and an EdM in Higher Education Administration from Boston University.

Charlene Nemeth, MBA
Foundation Relations Associate
(508) 856-5863

Charlene has spent her entire career in academic administration and fundraising, the last 21 years here at UMass Medical School. She has held a variety of positions at UMMS including board relations, alumni and parent relations, special projects and most recently foundation relations. Her previous experience as an administrator at the School of the Worcester Art Museum and director of admissions and financial aid at Nichols College has provided her with knowledge of both the academic environment and the community. She has been active with many non-profits in Worcester, serving as president of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts, AIDS Project Worcester, the Planned Giving Council of Central Massachusetts and The Worcester Economic Club, and as a volunteer at the United Way and the Worcester Art Museum. Charlene holds and Bachelor of Arts in French from Anna Maria College and an MBA from Nichols College.