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Assumption Assumption College Magazine • Volume 13, Number 3 • Fall 2015


A statue of Emmanuel d’Alzon, A.A., welcomes guests to the College’s library, named in his honor.

Assumptionists: Driving thE mission PLUS

CTE sparks faculty innovation

Football and field hockey capture NE-10 titles

Students serve the Worcester community

From thE prEsiDEnt

Beyond career preparation, finding God’s calling to vocation


iving in the aftermath of the French Revolution, Venerable Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon, the founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption, embraced the idea that education was the means by which the society of his day be transformed. The vision developed by Fr. d’Alzon was rooted in his understanding that education should be concerned with the formation of one’s whole being and rests on “the truth one acquires through learning.” Fr. d’Alzon also repeatedly spoke of forming “people of character” recognizing that this was an urgent need in his day. To do so, he believed that the formation of one’s intellect must be enlightened by faith. He desired to educate young people who would become leaders in society through their acquisition of knowledge, convictions and good judgment, allowing them to act according to Christian principles. For Fr. d’Alzon the aim of education was to transform students and the society in which they live. He received his inspiration from the writings of St. Augustine, who saw education as the building of character which would in turn impact the way individuals live their lives and ultimately impact the society in which they live.

the vision developed by Fr. d’Alzon, was rooted in his understanding that education should be concerned with the formation of one’s whole being and rests on “the truth one acquires through learning.” In order to accomplish this, Fr. d’Alzon hoped to establish a university. In 1904, this hope and dream was fulfilled with the founding of Assumption College. For 111 years, Assumption College has lived out the vision of Fr. d’Alzon. For many today, higher education has become simply a means to an end, the avenue by which one attains a set of skills that will lead to a particular job and a desired socio-economic level. Higher education has become too interested in “training” students and less interested in the engagement of ideas and the cultivation of moral and spiritual values that will truly form and transform the essence of the human heart. The vision of Fr. d’Alzon embodied by Assumption College stands in contrast to the “training students for jobs”, value-free approach that pervades the landscape of higher education. The purpose of a liberal arts education is not to train people to perform chores, but to help them to lead better lives. Fr. d’Alzon’s own words give us pause as we reflect on contemporary higher education, “education is not only a way to acquire certain skills necessary for someone preparing for a career; we need to give teaching a higher goal, moral formation based on firm principles, helped by

those great truths that rest on religious truth.” Assumption College teaches students to stretch, to grow, to ask questions. We want them to engage, to explore and to discover what is beyond a specific task. We challenge students to strive for greater personal excellence in all aspects of life, reflecting the words of Fr. d’Alzon who described Christian education as “striving to shape one’s whole being.” As Fr. d’Alzon made clear, we must tap the full potential of students’ minds and hearts while encouraging them to lead a life beyond the self by contributing their time and talent in service to the community, particularly on behalf of those who have no one else to be their advocates. The liberal arts play an important role in contributing toward that end of which Fr. d’Alzon spoke. Yes, we want to prepare students to pursue the career of their choice, but more importantly we want them to be formed in a set of values that will transform them into the person God intends them to become. We strive to instill in them a desire for greater personal excellence in all aspects of their life – intellectual, spiritual, moral, emotional, and physical. Our goal is to help them discover their vocation in life, and once they have discovered that vocation, to prepare them to live it out. This is not simply career preparation, but rather coming to an appreciation that each student’s unique vocation is a calling from God. The goal is to enable them to contribute toward the building up of the Kingdom of God, which is at the heart of all Assumptionist ministries, including education. Fr. d’Alzon once wrote, “What is the goal of the education we wish to offer? To give you a strong character, an intelligence open to infinite beauty, and a heart capable of loving everything that is great and noble and capable of overcoming everything that is selfish and of accepting sacrifices for great and holy causes … In fact, what we want is for you to become images of God himself, men and women of God.” Assumption College continues to offer an education inspired by this lofty goal.

Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. President

16 Contents Fall 2015 We encourage your feedback.

Assumption College Magazine • Volume 13, Number 3

Please address your letters, class notes and story ideas to: Assumption College Magazine 500 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA 01609-1296 e-mail:



Assumption College Magazine Assumption College ISSN 1089-3903 Fall 2015 Editor Troy Watkins Executive Director of Communications Michael K. Guilfoyle Contributing Writers Fr. Dennis Gallagher, A.A. ’69 Stephen Kostrzewa Frank Mazzaglia Laura Ricciardone ’16

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president Cesareo’s Fall Convocation address Five inducted to Athletics hall of Fame inside the Center for teaching Excellence Assumptionists continue to drive the College’s mission 42nd annual Fbi golf tournament raises more than $90,000 student performances highlight president’s Council Dinner


Art Direction/Design Centuria Inc., Boston, MA Printing The Lane Press, Burlington, VT Assumption College Magazine is published three times a year (spring, summer, fall) by the office of Communications, Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1296. Tel.: 508-767-7175. Printed in the U.S.A., Assumption College Magazine is distributed free of charge to alumni, friends, faculty, staff, administration and parents of undergraduate students. Visit us online at:


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Editor’s page Campus news hounds watch Alumni news Class notes in memoriam



The three-figure bronze sculpture of Emmanuel d’Alzon, A.A., has welcomed guests to the d’Alzon Library since 2010. CovEr photo by DAn vAillAnCourt


Assumption College Magazine

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EDitor’s pAgE

ow have you been influenced? That’s a question many of us ponder as we reflect upon how we became who we are. Why do I feel the way I do? How did I get to where I am now in my personal life or my career? Who or what impacted my way of thinking? How did that help shape who I have become? In this issue, we feature two particularly influential entities at Assumption. Our profile of the Center for Teaching Excellence, led by Associate Professor of English Jim Lang, Ph.D., looks at how the Center has established itself as a resource for faculty, both on campus and far beyond, to share best practices and improve and expand their teaching and mentoring skills. And in our cover story, the work of the Assumptionists is examined through the eyes of some students and staff, as we share how their lives have been influenced by those carrying on the mission of the College’s founder. Looking back at my college experience, I fondly recall the motivational words of two of my professors. During my freshman year, after reading some of my material an English professor simply encouraged


letters to the editor My family enjoyed so much the article in the recent Assumption Magazine about the 10-year anniversary of the dedication of the Testa Science Center. The article and photos will be a nice reminder of a very special event in our life. I am glad you used the quotes from my remarks. We always use those words of Dick’s to explain why we continue to support Assumption. Thank you, –Janet Testa HD’07 In response to comments in both President Cesareo’s message and the editor’s statement in the summer 2015 issue of Assumption Magazine, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce also recognizes not only how imperative internship experiences are to college graduates competing in today’s job market, but also how beneficial college interns can be to a business or nonprofit in meeting their workforce needs. Additionally these internships educate students about the world class businesses and opportunities that exist in the Worcester area. In June 2014, the Chamber’s Higher Education-Business Partnership launched, a free resource for employers and students for regional internship opportunities. Since its launch, more than 2,000 students have used the site, with 40-60 internships posted at any given time. As the largest chamber in Massachusetts, we are actively working with employers to create and improve their internship opportunities and connect our local college students with real world experience to expand upon what they are learning in the classroom. Thank you for your support and for actively encouraging your students to pursue internship opportunities. –Karen Pelletier, Director of Higher Education-Business Partnerships, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce


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photo: DAn vAillAnCourt

Profound influence me to “keep writing.” I’m so glad that he saw my skill and potential. Later on, the director of the college’s Honors Program mentored me and continually encouraged me to “go for the gold,” as I researched, wrote and publicly presented a thesis paper. This experience paved the way for my graduate work, where I relied heavily upon what I learned from my undergraduate experience to produce and present another thesis paper and earn a master’s degree. At Assumption College, members of the order of the Augustinians of the Assumption have advised students since 1904 as they develop to become the leaders of tomorrow. If you would like to share a story about an Assumptionist, a professor or your Assumption mentor(s), please email me at I look forward to hearing from you.

Campus news

180 students spruce up Vernon Hill area during annual Worcester Day of Service One hundred eighty student leaders participated in the annual Worcester Day of Service on August 26. Representatives from Campus Activities Board, Residential Life, the Student Government Association and several other Assumption organizations assisted with weeding and neighborhood trash clean-up in and around Vernon Hill Park and the nearby Worcester Senior Center along Providence Street. Guided by the College’s principles of student engagement in the Assumptionist tradition: community, contemplation, longing for God, vocation and mission to serve, the effort aims to instill a lifelong commitment to community service, according to Dean of Student Life Conway Campbell. “We want to develop the students’ mission to serve so they will continue to live that mission after they graduate,” said Campbell. After receiving area assignments and instruction, the student volunteers were thanked by City of Worcester Project Manager Che Anderson, representing City Manager Ed Augustus, Jr. “Your effort gets the community members excited and invested,” said Anderson. “It shows them that if other people are willing to come here and take care of this area then maybe they will do the same thing and clean up a little more or be more aware of what is going on in their neighborhood.” Donning “Assumption Loves Worcester” T-shirts, the students spread out between Vernon Hill Park (which includes two baseball fields, a softball field, a playground and the Dennis F. Shine, Jr. Memorial Swimming Pool) and the grounds of Worcester Senior Center.

For some it was a continuation of a tradition. Several of the students had participated in last year’s event, when a group of student leaders cleaned out an overgrown area of a housing development for the Worcester Housing Authority. “This event shows that Assumption truly cares about Worcester,” said Katie Knox ’17 of Sturbridge. “We’re demonstrating that we’re not just living in our own ‘bubble.’ It shows that we want to help, which is why we visit different areas of Worcester to do what we can to assist the community.” After learning about the demographics of Worcester’s Vernon Hill area the previous night, Derek Pettinelli ’17 of Southbridge, was proud to help a community similar to his own. “I’m a big fan of the city,” said Pettinelli. “I went to Holy Name High School and it’s nice to come here and help out at a place that people use regularly and one that reminds me of home.” Christine Mulvey of Merrimack, NH, was excited to work with other student leaders on such a worthwhile project. “I like the idea of all the student leaders getting together to make an impact,” she said. “I realize what Assumption has given to me and I like the idea of giving back to the community.” Ian Burns ’18 of North Andover and Amelia Maloney ’16, a native of Norton, felt it was important to take pride in Worcester. “We’re proud of Worcester,” said Maloney. “This is our home for four years and we’re happy to help clean it up.” Burns added, “It’s important to take care of the city that we live in.” For many, the day’s work was only one aspect of their commitment to service. Jeff Letourneau ’17, a participant in the College’s Reach Out Center and a Big Brother to a Flagg Street School student, remarked “I hope that we’re one of several colleges to assist in the community and that we create a domino effect to help Worcester.” Volunteer and Rochester, MA, native Kirsten Dessert ’16 also seeks to help others all year round. “I’m a human services major so I enjoy helping people,” she explained. “I just love doing it. I went to New Orleans for Spring Break last year, where we painted a house for a family, which was very fulfilling. During the summer, I also volunteered in the New Bedford school system, working with children who have had traumatic experiences, such as abuse or violence. These experiences are so rewarding.” Through working together the students were able to accomplish a great deal, they also held to the idea that ‘every little bit helps.’ Jackie Chirco ’17 of Hopkinton shared, “With something as simple as pulling the weeds from a walkway at the Senior Center, we’re helping to make this area more beautiful and enjoyable for visitors.” Michael DiPanni ’18 of New Canaan, CT, added, “I think this is about seeing young people helping out the community, having a good attitude and being willing to help others.” “This is making an impact on the community,” Taunton’s Chris Leonetti ’18 concluded. “It shows what we are able to accomplish if we all work together.”

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CAmpus nEws Assumption’s rome campus, villino Dufault, is at full capacity this semester.

The following is an abbreviated version of President Francesco Cesareo’s remarks to faculty and staff at the Fall Convocation.

Holding strong to who we are “We begin a new academic year from a position of strength, one that will allow for the continued growth and advancement of Assumption College. Again, The Princeton Review has recognized Assumption as one of the “Best 380 Colleges” in the nation. U.S. News & World Report recognized Assumption as one of the “Best Regional Universities.” We are known as a robust institution of faith and learning, and we are celebrated for it. The size and accomplishments of our first-year class mirrors the strong figures of the Class of 2018, our financial balance sheet remains strong; and, in this second year of implementation of the strategic plan, the College community is developing innovative plans to favorably position Assumption in this highly competitive marketplace. New academic programs have been offered for students and excitement is building on campus as we move forward with plans to construct a new, state-of-the-art learning center. But it is not enough to merely focus our gaze inward; our mission and responsibility to the world demands as such. Questions of values and character, as well as the increasing threats to religious freedom and the intolerance toward individuals and institutions that defend deeply held religious convictions that do not accept current social trends swirl in the national discourse and affect all of our lives, reinforcing the importance of a Catholic and Assumptionist education in today’s world. Amidst these challenges, Assumption College holds strong to its beliefs, to its tradition, to its values—and we reaffirm our commitment to the vision of Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon. We will continue to embrace a world view that marries both faith and reason, an ethos defined by


Assumption College Magazine

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truth, logic, compassion and love. We will continue to enlighten and inspire the young men and women who will become the future leaders of the world and in doing so, lead us all to a better place. We will continue to “Light the way.” In the past year, Assumption’s faculty produced 122 publications including 66 journal articles, 13 books, 19 book reviews, 22 essays and book chapters and two online articles. These are impressive numbers for a school of our size—but it is no surprise to those of us who know how diligent and dedicated our faculty truly are. They continue to excel in guiding students on their academic journey as they seek to identify their gifts and talents, and discover their passion, both here in Worcester and 4,000 miles away at our Rome campus. In spring 2013, when the College opened its Rome campus, we welcomed seven students to the inaugural class. Now Villino Dufault is at full capacity this semester with students taking advantage of this unique program—a program that offers a singular, life-changing experience. Back in Worcester, a number of new academic offerings have been, or are being, developed in the areas of behavior analysis, Autism research, actuarial science and school counseling. Not only will these programs provide students with strong employment opportunities, but they also enable our students to use their gifts to make a difference in the lives of others. Last year, Assumption reported the highest number of first-year applications on record with 4,768; the final number of freshmen is 570. Equally important, the first-year class has the highest grade point average on record with 3.47 and the second highest SAT scores at 1,119.

ALANA students comprise 19 percent of the first-year class; our third straight year in which the figure has reached this percentage. We also welcomed 40 transfer students and 18 international students, eight more than last year. Our students have excelled on the field, as well as the classroom. Last year Assumption placed third in the Northeast-10 Conference President’s Cup competition for the best overall winning percentage, the highest ranking in the College’s history. The women’s soccer team competed in their first-ever NE-10 regular season championship and the women’s swimming and diving team won its second consecutive Conference title. I am also pleased to share that 60 percent of Assumption’s studentathletes earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher; an 18 percent increase over the last three years. In fact, 17 of 23 teams earned a cumulative GPA higher than 3.0. We are also proud of the 14 student-athletes named to the NE-10 Academic All-Conference Team and the five students who earned the NE-10 Sport Excellence Award. The College’s financial position continues to be strong. For the 39th consecutive year Assumption reported an excess in revenue over expenditures. At the end of the fiscal year, the College reported in excess of $106 million in investments, more than $19 million in cash reserves and low debt compared to revenue. This strong financial position was certainly influenced by increased, and valued, support from alumni and friends of the College. Throughout the last academic year and summer, much was accomplished on our Strategic Plan: Assumption 2020: Light the Way, Building on Foundations of Excellence. Only one year into the six-year implementation phase, Assumption College is well on its way to establishing sustainable structures and processes for a model community of innovation in higher education. Yet we must continue to innovate to maintain a competitive advantage in the higher education marketplace through creating outstanding value that is supported by student success, gainful employment, affordability and most importantly, transformation of the whole person. Over the last few years, the College has seen an increase in the racial diversity of the entering classes, along with an increase in the number of international students. This has had a positive effect on the College, enriching the community. As the College continues to reflect the demographic realities of the country, it is important, particularly in light of national events in recent months, of sustaining a campus environment that respects and welcomes racial and cultural diversity. Catholic colleges and universities also have been called upon to respond to the sociocultural changes of the nation in light of the mandate from Pope St. John Paul II. In his apostolic constitution on Catholic colleges and universities, Ex corde ecclesiae, he called for a new evangelization - new in its fervor, its method, its expression, and in its fullest exposure of the social doctrine and teaching of the universal church, rooted in the sacredness and the dignity of the human person. This prescribes that every Catholic college and university assist in the protection and advancement of human dignity and of a cultural heritage through research, teaching, and service to the community. At an institution like Assumption, our religious character facilitates, in a unique way, the development of community in the context of various cultures. A successful heterogeneous community is defined as

the community assists with first-year move-in-day: an Assumption tradition.

the women’s swimming and diving team won its second consecutive northeast-10 title.

Assumption College holds strong to its beliefs, to its tradition, to its values—and we reaffirm our commitment to the vision of the venerable Emmanuel d’Alzon. we will continue to embrace a world view that marries both faith and reason. one in which diverse groups are present on campus and fully participate, and in which the ethnic, racial and religious identity of each individual is respected. As a consequence, such a community provides the means through which each member has an opportunity to contribute to the vitality of the whole, and this contribution is valued. As Father d’Alzon stated in 1845 regarding the education of youth, “We are working at this united effort; will it succeed? We need not worry about the future. Carry on in a spirit of faith, of hard work, of holiness and prayer. Be patient and prudent, and then, with God’s help, we will grow and flourish.” Indeed, Assumption College, its students, faculty and staff are flourishing. Let us recommit to educating and inspiring—to aiding our students in acquiring the knowledge they will need to go out into the world as leaders prepared to offer viable solutions to society’s most pressing problems. May God bless our work this academic year.”

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Eleven new faculty members welcomed

photo: ErikA siDor

Kelly McKenna Visiting assistant professor of accounting A CPA and experienced tax associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, McKenna interned with the firm for two summers prior to her 2013 appointment. She earned a BS in business administration from Stonehill College and a MS in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.

new faculty and staff: robin Frkal ’93, Elizabeth walsh, leamarie gordon, ph.D.; bryan Coleman ’08, Adam volungis, ph.D.; g’03, post office assistant patrick tobojka, paul bailey, it network Administrator tom brindamour, michael lewis g’00, benjamin knurr and karen lionello-Denolf, ph.D. (missing: leonard Deneault and kelly mckenna)

Paul Bailey Visiting assistant professor of marketing Bailey comes to Assumption with experience as an adjunct professor at both Nichols and Becker colleges. He holds a BS in business administration and an MBA from Suffolk University. Bailey has also served as district sales manager of BenefitMall Corporation since 2007. Bryan Coleman ’08 Visiting assistant professor of accounting A sole practitioner at Bryan J. Coleman, CPA, in Oxford and a manager of Ingle & Associates, LLC, in Wellesley, Coleman brings a wealth of accounting experience to his position. A 2008 Assumption alumnus, Coleman earned an MBA from Nichols College and previously served Graham Shepherd, PC, and Alexander Aronson, Finning & Co., PC, as a senior accountant. Leonard Denault Visiting assistant professor of management A veteran educator and administrator, Denault has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Rivier and Bentley universities and at Southern Vermont College. He founded and operated The Northeast Center for Excellence, a consulting firm that specializes in reducing operational complexity, improving organizational processes and project management, for 10 years


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out of Nashua, NH. Denault has a BS and MBA from Rivier and a MS in total quality from Anna Maria College.

Robin Ayers Frkal ’93 Visiting assistant professor of management Frkal joins the faculty at Assumption after serving as an adjunct at Wentworth Institute of Technolog y, Bay Path College and Northeastern and Fitchburg State universities. She has 15 years of experience at Unum, including the last seven as an assistant vice president, where she managed risk for over 1,500 claims and supervised 25 employees. Frkal earned a BA from Assumption as well as an MS from Clark University and expects to complete a Ph.D. in human and organizational development from Fielding Graduate University this year. Michael Lewis G’00 Assistant professor of management A part-time visiting assistant professor of marketing at Assumption since 2007, Lewis has taught in the undergraduate, CCE and graduate programs. He earned a BS from the former Central New England College and an MBA from Assumption. Lewis has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of training and development, change and talent management, business process redesign and information technology.

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Leamarie Gordon, Ph.D. Assistant professor of psychology Dr. Gordon holds a BA and MA from UMassDartmouth and expects to complete a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Tufts University this year. She has gained research experience in the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at UMassDartmouth and has published several peerreviewed publications and made numerous poster presentations in her field. She has previously taught at UMass-Dartmouth, Tufts University and Wheaton College. Benjamin Knurr, Ph.D. Assistant professor of chemistry Dr. Knurr earned a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2014, where he served as a graduate research, teaching and course assistant for five years. A graduate of Macalester College, he has been published and presented several times in his field. Karen Lionello-Denolf, Ph.D. Visiting assistant professor of psychology A teaching veteran with experience from Elms College, UMass-Lowell, and Purdue and Illinois Wesleyan universities, Dr. LionelloDenolf has served as principal or co-investigator of several research projects, most recently focusing on neurodevelopmental disabilities and children with Autism. Widely published in her field, she holds a BA from Illinois Wesleyan, and a MS and a Ph.D. in experiential psychology from Purdue. Adam Volungis, Ph.D. G’03 Assistant professor of psychology A licensed mental health counselor, Dr. Volungis has 10 years of experience in the field

in a variety of settings. He previously taught as an instructor and guest lecturer at Indiana University-Bloomington and as an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Dr. Volungis was a research assistant as a graduate student at Assumption, where he earned a MA in counseling psychology. He also

earned a BA from Saint Anselm and a Ph.D. from Indiana University-Bloomington

Elizabeth Walsh Visiting instructor of education and field placement coordinator A graduate of Stonehill College with a BA in

elementary education and a MA in the same discipline from Worcester State, Walsh has taught in elementary schools in Webster and Rutland and at Houghton Elementary School, where she also serves as a Title One teacher. In addition, she privately tutors elementary and middle school reading, math and writing.

photo: ErikA siDor

(l–r): vinnie sullivan-Jacques, Joseph Alfano, nalin ranasinghe and b.J. Dobski

Four receive Presidential Awards for Excellence By Laura Ricciardone ’16 Four members of the Assumption community received Presidential Awards for Excellence during September’s fall convocation for demonstrating outstanding contributions to teaching, scholarship, service and the College’s Catholic mission. Since 2009, the Presidential Awards for Excellence have honored outstanding members of the faculty, staff and administration. Recipients are nominated by any member of the Assumption community, and ultimately selected by a committee, along with President Cesareo. Vincent Sullivan-Jacques, director of volunteer outreach and community engagement and assistant director of Campus Ministry, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in contribution to the Mission. In his time at the College Sullivan-Jacques has successfully grown Assumption’s SEND program, which organizes student volunteer opportunities at sites across the nation. He also co-chairs the campus sustainability committee, personally helping to recycle thousands of pounds of food and other goods during the end of the year move-out. “I would like to thank President Cesareo, the Assumptionist communities, the selection committee and the Campus Ministry staff for the honor of receiving this award,” said Sullivan-Jacques. “This recognition gives me a chance to also thank every colleague that I work in partnership with and to acknowledge the power of partnerships in fostering our mission.” Joseph Alfano, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service for his generous work

aiding the success of his students and the Assumption community. Dr. Alfano was praised for his voluntary leadership of the College’s 3:2 Engineering program as well as his dedication to various clubs on campus. Alfano helped to form the Math and Computer Science Club and has donated his time to aiding the Chess Club, the LLC Interest Circles and the Putnam Math Competition. Nalin Ranasinghe, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, received the Paul Ziegler Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Renowned in his field, Dr. Ranasinghe has channeled his passion for philosophy into various books, articles, presentations and lectures. “Dr. Ranasinghe has a seemingly insatiable appetite for knowledge and the written word and Assumption College is extremely fortunate to have him on our faculty so that he can share this knowledge with our students,” said President Cesareo. “Through his high level of scholarly productivity he keeps Assumption College on the map in the world of philosophical studies.” Bernard J. Dobski Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of political science, received the Michael O’Shea Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. The chair of the Department of Political Science, Dr. Dobski has published and presented widely in his field. “One common theme shared by many ‘Dobski students’ is that he holds them to high standards, drives them to perform better in the classroom and helps them build the confidence needed to be a leader; qualities that apply to any discipline, not just political science,” President Cesareo noted during the presentation of the award. “This praise from his students stands as the truest testament to his dedication.”

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Assumption’s strengths again lauded in national rankings

Nationally ranked again U.S. News & World Report ranks Assumption a Top Regional University Assumption has again been named to the “Best Regional Universities” list in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Colleges guide. Assumption was ranked among the approximately 200 regional universities in the North that offer bachelor and master’s degrees. “Assumption’s inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Guide is a testament to the strength and value of an Assumption College liberal arts education,” said President Cesareo. “Our dedicated faculty and unique programs provide Assumption students with hands-on experience both inside and outside of the classroom. Our traditional paths of study, academic partnerships, and our campus in Rome, Italy, provide a number of

intriguing opportunities for students to embark on a fulfilling and successful scholastic journey. These, coupled with our service and internship initiatives, invite students to explore their world, preparing them to contribute to society in a meaningful way upon graduation.” The U.S. News & World Report rankings for regional colleges and universities are based on several key measures of quality: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

One of The Princeton Review’s “Best 380 Colleges” Strong academic programs and faculty commitment to student success praised For the second consecutive year, Assumption has been named one of the “Best 380

Neil Castronovo retires after 30 years of service Neil Castronovo, Ph.D., dean of Student Development and Counseling, will retire at the end of the semester, concluding 30 years of service to the College. A stellar ambassador for Assumption’s mission, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in contribution to the Mission in 2010. Vice President for Student Affairs


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Catherine WoodBrooks, Ph.D., praised Dr. Castronovo for his commitment, leadership and accomplishments. “He leads by example with deep faith and a humble heart,” said WoodBrooks. “Perhaps Neil’s greatest gift, and there are many, is his ability to develop solid relationships with the various constituencies at the College and the Worcester community. Neil’s positive and joyful attitude brings out the very best in people. “Neil has an outstanding reputation as a psychologist and is often sought after for advice and guidance by members of the

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Colleges,” by the nationally recognized education services company, The Princeton Review. Assumption is featured in the 2016 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual college guide, which was released in August. The recognition by The Princeton Review is based upon surveys conducted of students attending the College. Last year, Assumption was featured in The Princeton Review’s Best 379 Colleges list. In this year’s profile of Assumption, The Princeton Review quotes students who described the College as an institution that “focuses on ‘educating aware and prospective young adults to become active and productive members of society while maintaining human core values’ through ‘service, meaningful discussions, and liberal arts classes.’ Assumption is definitely all about education. Overall, Assumption ‘helps foster well-rounded, creative, intelligent and caring young adults to be successful and morally sound in their future endeavors.’” The Princeton Review’s rankings are based on surveys of 136,000 students (average 358 per campus) at the 380 colleges in the book in 2014–15 and/or the previous two school years. Survey topics range from assessments of professors as teachers to opinions about their school’s library, career services department and campus food.

campus community and alumni … His philosophy of outreach to students, without a doubt, has helped hundreds of students throughout the years … Neil has provided extraordinary leadership to his department and has woven a philosophy of studentcenteredness in all of their responsibilities. “Neil’s influence on the campus community has been profound. He designed and/or participated in many initiatives; such as the Mentors in Violence Prevention program for male student-athletes, sustained dialogues on race relations, on-going suicide prevention programs, bystander training, and many more.” Dr. Castronovo will transition to full-time daycare provider for his new grandson, William Neil Driscoll.

A worthy investment

Trustee named to VIP Woman of the Year Circle photo: DAn vAillAnCourt


the mission In conjunction with this issue’s feature article on the Assumptionists, Fr. Gallagher discusses the goals of an Assumption education. Inspired by St. Augustine and by Fr. d’Alzon, an Assumption education aims at awakening a love of learning. The goal of educating the whole person is achieved by enlarging the minds and hearts of our students in two ways: by exposing them to a broad range of disciplines in the classroom and by affording ample opportunities for reflection and personal growth beyond the classroom. Such an education is a hopeful and joyful enterprise which seeks to impart an appetite for the properly human activities of understanding and loving. It takes its stand against the flattening of aspiration which marks much of the contemporary, secular landscape, and opens students to that mystery which is greater and far lovelier than the world of our own making and doing. In addition to helping students to think and read analytically, to write and to speak well, to collect and evaluate data, an Assumption education fosters an appreciation of beauty, particularly through the arts. It also provides fertile ground for friendship and for the overcoming of an often corrosive individualism. The cultivation of the moral and intellectual virtues, so much at the heart

of Catholic liberal education, is intended to lead to that exodus from self-characteristic of the thoughtful citizen and the lifelong learner. An Assumption education is an education to communion and to a genuine openness to – and a contemporary dialogue with – the finest expressions of the human arts and sciences. A further point about the distinctive character of an Assumption education must be made. Liberal education is sometimes associated with exclusive concern for the liberal arts as distinct from professional and applied studies. The fact is, professional and applied studies have always had an essential place in Catholic colleges and universities, due in part to the historical reality of Catholics in this country. For this reason, Assumption College understands its mission to include a larger estimate of the purpose of liberal education, one that embraces the contemporary relationship between liberal and professional studies for the education of its students. Liberal education better equips the student for professional life, and liberally educated professionals are better employees and citizens. The goal of helping our students attain wisdom is at one with the goal of helping them lead lives characterized by “critical intelligence, thoughtful citizenship, and compassionate service,” as described in the College’s mission statement.

Assumption Trustee Jasmina Boulanger was inducted this fall into the VIP Woman of the Year Circle by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). President of Cotton Point Advisors, LLC, of Irvine, CA, Boulanger was recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in finance and law. Boulanger has represented corporate clients in matters ranging from corporate and federal securities law to complex tax and insurance litigation. A financial planning and wealth management firm, Cotton Point Advisors provides insights and advice tailored to meet their clients’ needs. “I’m pleased to welcome Jasmina into this exceptional group of professional women,” said NAPW President Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.” With more than 700,000 members and over 200 operating local chapters, NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women. Boulanger has secured her reputation as a capable, honest and caring businesswoman with more than 30 years of experience in law and extensive experience in analyzing equity compensation plans, insurance policies, and in mergers and acquisitions. She holds a MS and MA in economics and a JD from the University of Wisconsin, a certificate in financial planning from UCLA and a California Independent Insurance Agent License.

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hounDs wAtCh

Fall Greyhounds teams blazing new trails Football captures first Northeast-10 regular-season title For the first time in its history, the Greyhounds football team won the regular-season Northeast-10 title, finishing with a program-record 9-1 overall record and an 8-1 NE-10 mark with eight consecutive wins. At press time, third-year Head Coach Bob Chesney had his team ranked No. 21 in the national poll with the NE-10 Championship game set for Nov. 14 at home.

Field hockey earns tie for Conference Championship; peaks at No. 7 nationally The field hockey team finished tied with Adelphi for the Northeast-10 regular-season championship with a 10-2 conference record. The Greyhounds recorded a program-record 11-game winning streak and rose as high as No. 7 in the national rankings. Head Coach Annie Lahey inher-

tri-captain kiley Colucci ’16

ited a winless team and has guided it to steady improvement in her five seasons. The Hounds lost to Stonehill, 2-1, on the last play of the game in the NE-10 final to finish 14-6, the most wins in a season since 1999.


The Pirates of Penzance April 22–24, 2016

Worcester, MA Assumption’s Department of Art, music and theatre will present the tony Award-winning musical Pirates of Penzance, the College’s 8th annual spring production, on April 22 & 23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 24 at 2 p.m.  tickets go on sale in January and are $27 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for Assumption students and children. produced and directed by guest theatre Director  Richard Monroe ’85.


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this year’s hall of Fame recipients (l-r): John Driscoll ’67, rita Castagna hA’91, president Cesareo,  lauren matysiak ’08, Justin Cecil ’96 and Chris Colabello ’05

Five inducted to Athletics Hall of Fame Four former standout student-athletes and one administrator were inducted into the Assumption Athletics Hall of Fame Class during a dinner on November 6. Rita Castagna HA’91 served as the director of athletics from 1988-2003 as well as head coach for several Greyhounds teams. Her longest tenure was a 14-year stretch as the women’s basketball head coach, where she led the team to 133 victories and advanced to the Northeast-10 Tournament six times. In addition, she was the College’s first coach of the field hockey and softball teams and served as the volleyball coach for four seasons. Her softball team posted a 62-43 record as she held that position for eight seasons. In 1991, she received the Honorary Alumnus Award from the Alumni Association in recognition of her outstanding devotion and generosity to the College. Justin Cecil ’96 finished his stellar Greyhounds career as the lacrosse program’s all-time leading points and goal scorer. With 152 career points, he is tied for the top spot on the scoring list and still ranks second in career goals (91) and third in assists (61). Cecil also posted a single-season school record of 73 points in 1995 that included 26 assists, which is the second-highest single-season total in program history and his single-game scoring record of 13 points, which he accomplished twice, still stands today. Chris Colabello ’05 became the first Assumption alumnus to appear in a Major League Baseball (MLB) game in 2013 when he played for the Minnesota Twins. The 2013 International League (AAA) Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, Colabello played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. He batted .321 with 15 home runs

and 54 RBI in 101 regular season games, then started 10 games in the playoffs and posted a .282 average as Toronto advanced to the American League Championship Series. He earned American League Player of the Week accolades in April 2014, when he also set the Minnesota team record for most RBI in April, breaking a record held by MLB Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. At Assumption, Colabello was a three-time Northeast-10 All-Conference honoree and a two-time All-Region selection as he finished his career with a .352 batting average, 202 career hits, 95 runs, 111 RBI and 24 home runs. John Driscoll ’67 was a member of the Greyhounds men’s basketball teams that posted a 70-19 overall record, advanced to four straight NCAA Regionals and won one regional title. The college roommate of former Assumption Director of Athletics and Hall of Famer Ted Paulauskas ’67, Driscoll netted 645 career points. After graduation, he served as president and owner of EMS, Inc., in Wallingford, CT, running the electrical products company for more than 45 years. Lauren Matysiak ’08 started as goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team for four years. A 2006 National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team All-American, she helped lead her team to backto-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament where the Hounds advanced to the regional final. Matysiak is the Assumption career record holder in shutouts (31), goals against average (0.93) and wins (39). A three-time Northeast-10 Goalkeeper of the Year and a two-time recipient of the Andrew Laska ‘Athlete of the Year’ Award, Matysiak holds several Assumption single-season records with 23 starts, 15 wins, 12 shutouts and a 0.70 goals against average.

Follow the Greyhounds on Twitter, Facebook and youTube or visit

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Fall 2015


photo: CourtEsy oF thE univErsity oF northErn iowA

in september, Dr. lang was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Conference in Ethics in higher Education, held at the university of northern iowa. he also participated in a faculty panel, where they discussed how they had applied lang’s book, Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty, to their classrooms.


RESOURCEFUL Inside the Center for Teaching Excellence with acclaimed founding director, Professor Jim Lang By Stephen Kostrzewa

“There’s no formula for great teaching,” stated Professor Jim Lang, Ph.D., the founding director of Assumption’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). “Teaching is both an art and a science. It’s a science in the sense that we sort of know how learning works through a lot of research on mind and brain, but how that gets translated into an actual room of people is more of an art, and that can take a lot of different forms. It’s more about being aware of the students who are in the room and trying to ensure that whatever you’re doing reaches and helps as many of those students as possible to learn.”


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photo: DAn vAillAnCourt


Assumption College Magazine

Fall 2015


Lang, who is also an English professor at the College, speaks from experience—a whole lot of experience. Renowned in his field, he has delivered public lectures and faculty workshops at more than 50 colleges or universities in the United States and abroad. The author of five books on teaching and more than a hundred reviews or essays, he also writes a monthly column for The Chronicle of Higher Education, (as well as contributing regularly to America and Notre Dame Magazine) and edits a series of books on teaching and learning in higher education. The Center for Teaching Excellence is the culmination of this work. Launched in 2013 with a mandate “to foster and contribute to conversations about teaching and learning at Assumption College” the Center sponsors programs and events related to teaching; offers consultation and collaboration with individuals, offices and departments; gathers and disseminates resources on teaching and promotes the scholarship of teaching and learning on campus and in the broader higher education community. The focus is not on “fixing” a professor’s teaching, but on celebrating and sharing what so many professors, both

THE FOCUS OF THE CENTER FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE IS ON CELEBRATING AND SHARING WHAT SO MANY PROFESSORS, BOTH ON CAMPUS AND OFF, ALREADY DO SO WELL. on campus and off, already do so well. Now, in its third year of operation the Center’s goals are farreaching—anything is fair game. “We deal with all aspects of teaching and learning: methodology, the science of teaching, communicating with students, working with students,” Lang said. “Anything that relates to students, to learning and teaching on campus I think the Center can play a part in informing those conversations.” “It’s hard to separate the Center from Jim Lang,” Mathematics Professor Brooke Andersen, Ph.D., mused. “Anyone on campus would get something out of him coming to their class. His classroom observations are a huge resource. He’ll tell you things you wouldn’t think of and always gives you two or three things you can do in your classes now and two or three things you can work on long-term.” “He can make suggestions and point you toward resources that really make a difference,” she concluded. Mike Land, Ph.D., an associate professor of English at the college, echoed her thoughts: “We have an extraordinary resource in that we have this internationally known specialist in education who’s been invited to speak and lead workshops all over the world. The Center is a wonderful way to take advantage of his gifts and to use that.” His work with the Center seems to invigorate Lang with an energy


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he is eager to pass on. “I would hope that faculty always come away from the Center with a new idea and a little bit of inspiration,” he said. “Teaching can be a difficult, challenging, exhausting job but I hope when we come together we all walk away a little bit more inspired to try something new and to go back with a new/renewed sense of energy and interest in helping our students learn.” The Center works toward these goals in a wide variety of ways. One of its primary assets is a large body of literature on teaching and learning, constantly updated and available to all Assumption faculty. The topics range from The Art of Changing the Brain to Lang’s own Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty. For Lang, this scholarship is at the core of what the Center stands for. “I view my role as a synthesizer and as a translator,” he said. “I take the ideas and theories from the literature and translate them for a faculty audience, or I synthesize ideas from the learning sciences and put them in language and ideas that are broadly applicable to higher education.” But as useful as the literature is, it is sometimes no substitute Assumption faculty sharing ideas at a recent CtE meeting on campus, led by Jim lang.

prof. Dona kercher

for in-person conversation and discussion—and it is in this aspect that the Center truly thrives. Throughout the semester the CTE offers a myriad of opportunities for faculty to gather and discuss their shared enterprise. New faculty orientation sessions kickoff the year by focusing on topics like motivating and engaging students in the classroom. Informal ‘Food for Thought’ events provide an opportunity for faculty members to learn about and mull common challenges as well as new or innovative teaching approaches, over lunch. Faculty Learning Community meetings bring CTE participants together to discuss a common reading related to the field (fall 2015’s chosen reading is Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment and climate change). “The Center’s job is to foster a collegial environment where we can gather and talk about our shared mission,” Lang explained. “Our events are designed to provide a safe place for teachers to talk about what problems or challenges they’re facing, what successes they’ve had and what we can all learn from each other.” Recently Prof. Andersen led her own Food for Thought session on “Minute Papers,” a learning strategy in which, at the end of every class, students are asked to write a short note about what they thought were the most important ideas touched upon in the preceding class—

and include a question they had about the material they covered. These little notes, Andersen found, helped the students clarify and retain what they had learned—and what they still needed to work on. Over the course of an hour Prof. Andersen, aided by a Powerpoint presentation, shared her findings before a small crowd in the campus’ Lauring Community Room. The other professors in attendance, representing a variety of teaching disciplines, shared similar things they had done and posed questions and suggestions ranging from procedural approaches, to thoughts on how best to quantify her results to musings on how the technique might help students appreciate the subject area more deeply. “It was something that I did in class that was a small change, but I thought had a huge benefit,” Andersen said. “I found it to be of value in my own class and so I was interested in sharing it with other teachers and getting ideas from other people about how to improve it.” “The Center enables us to exchange ideas in a sophisticated way,” noted Land, who will lead a Food for Thought event about community service learning in February. “People have very different styles. The problem

for teachers, probably at every level but especially at college level, is that we don’t get to see each other teach that much. We need the opportunities that something like the Center creates for us all to be in the same room. “We all walk out of there with ideas. When you go to one of these meetings you’ll hear about something someone else did and you’ll immediately use it in your own courses.” Lang is especially excited about this year’s “Core Courses Academy” program, a project that in many ways perfectly embodies what the Center is and what it hopes to accomplish. A 2015–16 pilot program, the Academy is designed to help faculty invent or enhance a core or introductory course for the 2016–17 academic year. Meeting once a month, the group learns about and discusses new research from the learning sciences, innovations in college teaching, advances in educational technologies and alternative course design and assessment models. “It’s a great opportunity to invent some new courses that are really well-informed by the latest research on teaching and learning in higher education,” Lang enthused, “and also to examine new ways to make sure we’re offering the best educational experience possible.” That spirit and enthusiasm was very much on display during September’s Academy session. Inspired by the work of educator and author Ken Bain, the team met after hours and worked to establish the

photos: DAn vAillAnCourt

professors Cathy stutz and Jim lang

“20-year goals” for their courses—what they hoped their students will still remember 20 years after they complete the course. “This is a thought experiment to get us to really dream big,” Lang acknowledged. “We want to create courses that will be remembered for a lifetime, which will profoundly impact these students and change the way they think, act and feel.” Led by Lang, the academy members were given five minutes to jot down their thoughts and objectives. Furious typing ensued. At the fiveminute mark, several of the professors were still hard at work. “Do you need more time?” Lang asked to assorted chuckles around the table. It was a question many of those assembled had no doubt asked their students on quiz days. After a brief extension, they were prepared to begin. The goals varied widely from course to course and discipline to discipline. What all of the answers shared, however, was passion. The assembled group is committed to building courses that not only impart knowledge but also, just maybe, could change lives. One professor discussed helping her students become better citizens—and then passed out photocopies of an article on the subject she thought might

professors maryanne leone, smriti rao and nalin ranasinghe

be helpful. Another hoped that his course will inspire his pupils to think for themselves in the face of loud, conflicting media narratives. “I want to show them something they didn’t think of as math and make them think about the subject in a new way,” a math professor proposed. This type of deep thinking about student experience is important, and one of the things that can make a good course into a great one. “The biggest change overall in higher education has been a shift from teaching centered approaches to learning centered approaches,” noted Lang. “Rather than focusing upon what the teacher is doing at the front of the room, the focus has now shifted to what is happening with the learner out in the seats. It’s on discovering what interests your students, what motivates them and  what you can  bring to the classroom that will help them understand the course material as deeply as possible.” The key to this process is experimentation and innovation. “I want Assumption faculty to become known in the world of higher education as innovators, as folks who can try new things in their teaching and when they have  successes, and even when they have failures to be able write about those and share them with our colleagues around the world,” Lang said. “I think Assumption faculty have a lot to contribute to that conversation.” Through his work at the Center, they’ve already made a good start.

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Fall 2015


Driving the

Assumptionists active on campus include bro. richard gagnon, Fr. mulumba kambale matsongani, A.A., g’15, Fr. Donat lamothe ’57, Fr. barry bercier ’65, Fr. roger Corriveau ’69, Fr. ronald sibugan, Fr. Dennis gallagher ’69 and Fr. Jerome lively.


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photo: DAn vAillAnCourt

Assumptionists maintain profound BY T ROY WATKINS AND F RANK M AZZAGLIA influence on students’ lives

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Since its founding in 1904, the Augustinians of the Assumption have helped to guide Assumption College, from its early formation to its growth and prosperity, in its endeavors both inside and outside the classroom. Through changing times they remain a constant presence and continue to play a vital part in carrying out its mission. As members of an institution that carries their name, they also serve as its heart. Eight Assumptionists play a vital role in the lives of undergraduates today, while 11 serve on Assumption’s 28-member Board of Trustees. Venerable Father Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption order in 1850, was an educator whose most cherished project was the establishment of a Catholic university. He sought to create an institution committed to the pursuit of truth and academic excellence through a dialogue between faith and reason. Most importantly he envisioned an education that would develop the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—and wanted students to grow in the knowledge of the human condition. Today, Father d’Alzon’s vision for an institution is embodied by the College’s faculty and staff, and realized in the development of the College’s students and the accomplishments, and values, of its alumni. And, as always the Assumptionists have a special place in lighting the way.

Guiding Light To all those who taught in his schools, Fr. d’Alzon proposed the motto: “Until Christ be formed in you,” a charge his Assumptionists have fully embraced. In one way or another, every Assumptionist is actively involved in the sacramental and everyday life of the College. That involvement is central to many students and differentiates Assumption from other colleges, even Catholic colleges. Samantha Baldwin ’17 liked the Assumption campus from the first moment she arrived from Colorado for orientation. She felt empowered by the College’s mission and its goal to create graduates of character. Baldwin, now a junior looking forward to a career as a physical therapist, credits the Assumptionists for building a campus-wide foundation that invites the College community to seek the truth and to find the very best in their inner selves.

“The presence of the Assumptionists on campus reaffirms Assumption’s identity as a Catholic institution,” said Baldwin. “They are present in the classroom and dorms which makes them more relatable to students. I often find that the homilies at Mass are very relatable and it’s obvious that the congregation cares about us and want us to succeed.” Kaitlin Henry ’16, came to Assumption from a different perspective. A Baptist, she was relieved to find that her classmates, professors and the Assumptionists embraced her faith when she arrived on the Catholic campus. She was fully accepted by the group, who simply wanted to envelop her in as much love as they could. “The Assumptionists influenced me in two ways,” she said. “First, I never felt as though I were pressured into believing a certain thing. The atmosphere formed by their charitable nature allowed me to relax and actually think about my faith in a safe environment. Second, the

photo: gil tAlbot

“A hundred football players kneeling on one knee before a game is as pious a group as you will ever see.” – Fr. Dennis gallagher, A.A. ’69


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to all those who taught in his schools, Fr. d’Alzon proposed the motto: “until Christ be formed in you,” a charge his Assumptionists have fully embraced. in one way or another, every Assumptionist is actively involved in the sacramental and everyday life of the College.

photo: DAn vAillAnCourt

photo: tAmmy wooDArD

visiting Assistant professor of theology Fr. roger Corriveau, A.A. ’69

Fr. ron sibugan, A.A., meets with peer ministers, including ben irwin ’19

Assumptionists lived in a manner that constantly oriented themselves, and subsequently those around them, toward the Eucharist. It was by their example and way of life that I first realized the reality and power of the Eucharist.” Last spring, Henry converted to Catholicism. “The Assumptionists didn’t convert me,” she said. “However, the people whose lives they touched had a powerful impact. She’s especially thankful for the insight provided by Vice President for Mission Fr. Dennis Gallagher, A.A. ’69 and Fr. Barry Bercier, A.A. ’65. “Fr. Dennis profoundly impacted my formation in the church,” she said. “He showed tremendous patience and enthusiasm through my conversion process. Fr. Barry assisted in my formation as a Catholic thinker, and I learned by his example that it is okay to explore the ‘why’ behind what I believe.”

Active influence Father d’Alzon wanted his order to be “men of our times” and to be attentive to the needs of the people around them. Rather than sequestering themselves from the world, they endeavored to immerse themselves in it. Following Fr. d’Alzon’s dictum to be “the person who God wants you to be,” each Assumptionist makes a determination as to how his specific gifts can best be put to the service of God and to humanity. At Assumption College, Assumptionists can be found on the College’s Board of Trustees, on the faculty, in Campus Ministry— and even at football games. The Assumptionists’ involvement with the College takes on many different forms. “Sponsorship is closely connected to the soul of an institution,” said Fr. Dennis. “In this respect, sponsorship is more than the sum of its parts, more than the combined effect of a rather modest

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Following Fr. d’Alzon’s dictum to be “the person who god wants you to be,” each Assumptionist makes a determination as to how his specific gifts can best be put to the service of god and to humanity. At Assumption College, Assumptionists can be found on the College’s board of trustees, on the faculty, in campus ministry—and even at football games.


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number of Assumptionists working in various capacities at the College. The corporate witness of the Assumptionists at Assumption College is to keep alive and to renew the animating vision of Fr. D’Alzon for a kind of education that enlarges the minds and the hearts of those who give themselves to it. In the face of disorienting changes and widespread uncertainties in the culture, in the academy, and in the landscape of Catholic higher education, sponsorship calls us to a common discernment that engages the deepest wisdom of our Catholic and Assumptionist tradition with the needs of today’s students.” Michael Hoye ’16 is encouraged that so many students participate in the many spiritual programs provided by the Assumptionists. Hoye serves in Campus Ministry as a leader of Ignitus, a weekly program featuring contemporary music, meditation and discussions about living one’s faith. “Basically, it’s all about seeking ways to be a true Christian,” he explained. “The Assumption environment promotes the beauty of a deeper faith and relationship with God. It then encourages students to seek out goodness and truth and to imitate the life of Christ.” This ongoing process of discovery helps make an Assumption College education both distinctive and transformative. “The thoughtful and engaging homilies of Fr. Dennis and [former Trustee] Fr. Richard Lamoureux, A.A. ’64 have brought insight to what I was learning in class,” said Hoye who is discerning a vocation to the priesthood. “Without some of the key points they provided, I would not have seen the integration of faith and intellectual pursuits.” Campus Minister Fr. Ron Sibugan, A.A. advises students serving as peer ministers, one of whom is assigned to each of the residence halls and/or to lead specific activities throughout the year. Guided by ongoing training, the peer ministers play an important role in providing students with easy access to someone they can talk with and go to for advice. “Father Ron is very supportive and remembers each student he meets and cares for each student he comes to know,” said Baldwin. Peer Minister Corinne Murphy ’17 praises the Assumptionists for being such an active part of everyday life at Assumption. “The Assumptionists have taken great care in laying the sacramental foundation of the College. Everything flows from that because everything they do is so Christ-centered.” She is particularly fond of a monthly event called Agape Latte, which features various guest professors and staff members who talk about life and its meanings or personal challenges and how they relied upon their faith to handle them. By providing “real world” examples, their stories resonate with students making their own choices and finding their own paths. Agape Latte, like Assumption and the Assumptionists, welcomes students of all faiths to examine some of life’s deepest questions. Fr. Ron has made himself a part of campus life in other ways as well. As one of Assumption’s team chaplains, for instance, he offers pastoral and spiritual support to staff, coaches, players and fans by providing wisdom, encouragement and a sympathetic ear. “(The Chaplains) interact with students in a unique environment,” said Campus Ministry Director Paul Covino, “and develop relationships with the students. This can lead to good conversations about the ‘things that matter’ in life.” “In addition to leading pregame prayers, the team chaplains are active in many athletics events and team gatherings,” Director of Athletics Nick Smith explains. “I think their involvement helps our

Continuing the Tradition While the days of an Assumption College taught entirely by Assumptionists have passed, today several religious still continue this fine tradition. Fr. Barry and Fr. Roger Corriveau, A.A. ’69 both serve as visiting assistant professors of theology. Bro Richard Gagnon, A.A. is a transfer counselor in Admissions and Fr. Mulumba Kambale Matsongani, A.A., G’15 is an assistant in the Finance Office. Fr. Jerome Lively, A.A., superior of the Assumptionist community at Emmanuel House on campus, serves as a lecturer in theology and Fr. Donat Lamothe, A.A. ’57 is a part-time professor of music and the College’s archivist. An Assumption graduate and long-time faculty member, Fr. Donat knows firsthand how influential the wisdom of the Assumptionists can be. “Many of the Assumptionist from days past developed educational relationships with students that they remember very strongly,” he noted. “Fr. Ernest Fortin, A.A. ’46 and Fr. Denys Gonthier, A.A. ’44 [the namesakes for the College’s Fortin and Gonthier Foundations of Western Civilization Program, endowed by Donald ’64 and Michele D’Amour HD’10] had a profound impact on the many students that they taught and counseled. They were brilliant men. I have a great deal of admiration for Fr. Denys for the help that he gave me in discerning my vocation.” This lasting impact is still common. “In the Introduction to The Bible course I took with Fr. Barry, he had each student commit to memory Genesis 12:1-4, which is the call of Abraham, which really resonated with me,” Murphy recalled. “It made me think about what I am called to do in the both moment and the future. It brought a lot of things into perspective for me.”

photo: DAn vAillAnCourt

student-athletes understand what it means to be pursuing an education at a Catholic college, the history and tradition of the institution and the beliefs and the values accompanied by those teachings.” Hoye, a member of the Greyhounds cross country team, agrees, “As proud supporters of the Catholic intellectual tradition, the Assumptionists have helped me learn that a life well lived is one that seeks to love every person as we ought to love Christ himself,” he said. The Assumptionist spirit is especially present in the Campus Ministry-sponsored SEND service trips, which help move faith into action. These expeditions take students far beyond the campus borders to the mission field of Ecuador and to inner-city sites in the United States where students can live out their faith by assisting those who are in poverty or have been marginalized by society. Colleen Putzel ’14 recently completed a year of service in Ecuador after travel there on a SEND trip as an undergraduate. “Assumption was a great starting point for me,” she said. “It made me interested in social justice, service and forming a relationship with God.” The relationship continues beyond graduation for alumni and, for many, the Assumptionists remain a substantial part of it. Each year, about a dozen weddings of alumni are held in the College’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit, and they often select an Assumptionist to celebrate their unity. Fr. Dennis explained, “The wedding liturgy is the culmination of nine months of preparation, which involves several meetings with the couple to discuss various aspects of sacramental marriage. I appreciate the chance to either reconnect with alumni or to get to know them for the first time. To be part of this very special moment in their lives is a real privilege.”

michael hoye ’16 and kaitlyn henry ’16 with Fr. barry bercier, A.A. ’65

“I particularly recall one of the Assumptionists who said, ‘The great war between good and evil is not fought and won by armies but only with one person at a time,’” remembers Emily West CE ’05, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Fallon Health in Worcester. “I wrote that down and I have never forgotten it. The idea of the dignity of each person made a lasting impression on me.” “I found myself applying what I learned in my evening courses at work the next day,” she notes. “I was particularly impressed by the fact that faith and reason where never pushed on you, yet there are great ethical principles. They were things that stuck with you when you needed them most.” For many, the Assumptionists themselves embody that ideal. “When you see someone who has responded to this call to be set apart, to give up the things we hold in such high esteem by taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, it makes you stop and think,” Murphy believes. “Having the Assumptionists in the classroom, around campus, in the confessional, in the chapel makes a difference.” Therein lies the true value of the Assumptionists’ presence as they seek to inspire and instill in students a desire to live their best lives: lives of meaning and faith and reason. Their credo “ … Until Christ be formed in you” describes a process in constant motion, one defined equally by moments of brilliant enlightenment and moments of companionship and support. Through their constant devotion to this process, expressed in so many ways and touching so many, they ensure that Assumption continues to change lives and form graduates known for critical intelligence, thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service, just as they have since 1904.

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Fall 2015


Alumni news From the Alumni Association President Bob Knittle ’85


all is a time to reflect. Have we accomplished during the year all that we set out to do? Is there still time to make the changes in your routines that allow you to continue to accomplish your goals? Students are currently sitting in class, getting ready for finals and wondering the same thing I’m sure. I remember the first time I went to Taylor Dining Hall for a latenight breakfast event during finals. While it is much more elaborate now, I was amazed even then at how our community came together. Many of us, applying those last-minute study techniques that would allow us to secure the goals we hoped to accomplish, and come


together to share a bond of hope and determination. Thus, when I think about our alumni diversity, we need to encourage more of our alumni to come together, and also to connect to the various components of the College. As a graduate, how are you connecting? Could you offer an internship within your business? Do you know a potential student who might thrive in the glow of an Assumption education? Were the Augustinians of the Assumption impactful on your development and, if so, would you reach out to continue that tradition? Was there a faculty member or department that supported you and now you have the means to offer support? As alumni coming together, let us continue to share the bond of hope and determination – and enjoy the upcoming holidays! From our alumni community to your homes, we wish you a fruitful end of year, and a celebration of the holidays that brings warm memories into your hearts and a re-energized spirit for the new year.

Watch for Alumni e-Newsletters and visit the Alumni Events web page at for updates and to register for events online.

DECEMBER 2, Boston young alumni reception DECEMBER 6, Breakfast with Santa WEEK OF JANUARY 18, Receptions in

San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco

JUNE 3-5, 2016

FEBRUARY 10, Naples, FL Reception

Back by popular demand…our 3rd annual Food Truck Festival, Alumni Awards Ceremony, and NEW this year….a wine tasting at Nashoba Valley Winery and fireworks on campus - for ALL classes.


Stay Connected

Please provide us with your most current e-mail address as events, locations, times and dates can frequently change. Watch your e-mail or check our website ( for complete program information and confirmation. If traveling, you are welcome to join fellow alumni at any regional event!

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Join the Assumption College Alumni Relations group on LinkedIn; “like” us on Facebook; and offer internship opportunities or search for jobs at


Call 508-767-7223 or e-mail

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E-mail Include group photos with names and graduation years of alumni pictured.


Assumption College Magazine

Fall 2015

photos: tAmmy wooDArD

42nd annual FBi Golf Tournament raises more than $90,000 Nearly $90,000 was raised at the 42nd annual Father Bissonnette Invitational (FBI) Golf Tournament, which benefits the College’s Athletics Department and general scholarship fund. Held September 21 at Worcester Country Club, more than 110 golfers participated, including alumni, friends, trustees and sponsors. Since its inception in 1974, the Tournament has raised more than $1.6 million. After enjoying a barbecued luncheon, the participants played a round of 18, followed by a reception on the outdoor patio and dinner. Live and silent auctions and a raffle featured vacation getaways to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Fox Harb’r Resort in Nova Scotia, a 1980 MGB Roadster, as well as golf and sports packages, among other prizes. Two-time Massachusetts Amateur Golfer of the Decade Frank Vana, Jr. ’86 assisted golfers with their swing at the driving range prior to tee time. President Francesco Cesareo and Director of Athletics Nick Smith also addressed and thanked participants for their support. Special thanks went to Planning Committee Chair Diane Erickson Brazelton ’77, vice chairs Greg Post ’89, Jan Fuller P’92, Lionel Lamoureux ’68 and the committee, as well as guest auctioneer Len Brescia.

Former greyhound lacrosse standout mary guinee ’14 (top photo) and basketball student-athlete Jack sullivan ’17 thanked tournament supporters.

2015 Tournament sponsors and supporters Presenting sponsor Sodexo, Inc. & Affiliates

Gold sponsors

CHAMP/MacNeill Engineering Coca-Cola Refreshments Lamoureux Ford

silver sponsors

Diane Erickson Brazelton ’77 Dunkin’ Donuts – Matt Doyle ’98 Fallon Health Gray Group – Bob Gray ’65

Dinner sponsor

Normand ’57 and Gloria Marois

Cocktail Reception

The Grenon family – David Grenon HD’86

special thanks:

Acushnet Golf – Andy Jones P’18 Adaptive Communications Alphagraphics – John Ryan ’81 Dr. Maricelis Arochan and Dr. Andres Bermundez P’15 Atlas Distributing Laure Aubuchon Aztec Fred Bayon ’65 Kathryn Buckley ’14 Centuria, Inc.

Deerfield Associates Executive Search – Doug Cooney Michele D’Amour HD’10 Bryan Dockett ’91 Enterprise Extreme Networks Fletcher Tilton, P.C. Focus Technology Foley Motor Sports – RJ Foley ’83 and Frank Vana, Jr. ’86 Gateway Motors Holden Mechanical Contractors Mincy and Bob Kenney ’65 Bob Longden AP’67 Harris, Nancy and Mark MacNeill ’14

Tom Manning ’69 Christian McCarthy Steve O’Brien ’69 Pepper’s Fine Catering Quaker Special Risk – Karin Branscombe Candy Race ’78 Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. Michael Sleeper Timothy Stanton Michael Sullivan ’83 Trump National Golf Club – Brian Lynch ’82 UBS Whalley Technology

Assumption College Magazine

Fall 2015


Alumni nEws

The Assumption Fund raises record $1.43 million Assumption’s 2014-15 fiscal year saw a record-high total of $1,436,333 raised for The Assumption Fund, an 18 percent increase over last year. The Assumption Fund’s success can be attributed to the dedicated work of numerous volunteers, supported by the Institutional Advancement staff. The College expresses its appreciation to Mike Tsotsis ’71, former chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees, and Steve O’Brien ’69, chair of The Assumption Fund. More than 100 Class Agents contacted their classmates to encourage support of the Fund. Also pivotal were the many alumni,

parents, friends and students who participated in phonathons and served on planning committees. The College relies on The Assumption Fund to enhance students’ educational experience. Contributions help improve and extend vital student services, maintain and create academic and cocurricular programs and, most importantly, fund scholarships and financial aid packages. The 2015–16 Assumption Fund welcomes your continued support, at any level.

Honor Roll of Donors moves online Assumption College is, and always has been, focused on making the best use of the valuable donations from our loyal alumni, parents, trustees and other constituents. Beginning this fall, the College’s Honor Roll of Donors, which recognizes those who have given generously to Assumption in the previous fiscal year, will be available to the Assumption community through the College’s website at Moving the Honor Roll online aligns the College with a majority of our peer institutions and hundreds of others across the country. Assumption has been steadily reducing the size,


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scope and distribution of the Honor Roll publication, typically published in the fall issue of Assumption Magazine, over the past five years. The move to online will reduce the staff hours devoted to the publication, in addition to cutting production, printing and postage expenses, allowing those funds to be redirected so the Magazine can continue to provide high quality news, features, updates and photographs to our valued constituents. A sincere thank you to all who faithfully support Assumption’s distinctive Catholic liberal arts education and experience. Through your commitment, Assumpton continues to Light the way.

Assumption authors Mending Broken Relationships, Building Strong Ones: Eight Ways to Love as Jesus Loves Us By John J. Boucher G’76 and Therese M. Boucher G’83 We all struggle with relationships that are broken in some way. In Mending Broken Relationships (Word Among Us Press, 2015) the authors show us eight ways to love like Jesus through intercessory prayer, respect, forgiveness, gratitude, affirmation, forbearance, honesty, and a healing presence. These are gifts that are given to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Like seeds that are placed in the earth, these virtues and gifts can grow with prayer, mutual support, and practice and become the paths to strong and fulfilling relationships. Each chapter focuses on a different path to love. Many real-life stories, including those from the saints, help readers to connect these virtues and gifts to their own lives. John works in evangelization, ministry training a faith formation. Therese is a religious education consultant. In total, they have authored nearly 20 books.

Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide By Alan E. and Arleen R. Bessette ’73 and Michael Beug Part of the Corrie Herring Books series, Ascomycete Fungi (University of Texas Press, 2014) is the first book dedicated to describing and illustrating the North American Ascomycetes to be published in over 60 years. Approximately 75 percent of all fungi that have been described to date belong to the phylum Ascomycota. They are usually referred to as Ascomycetes and are

commonly found and collected by mushroom enthusiasts. Ascomycetes exhibit a remarkable range of biodiversity, are beautiful and visually complex, and some, including morels and truffles, are highly prized for their edibility. Many play significant roles in plant ecology because of the mycorrhizal associations that they form. A psychologist, mycologist (one who studies fungi) and botanical photographer, Arleen has collaborated with husband Alan and others to coauthor and publish several comprehensive guidebooks to mushrooms and wildflowers throughout North America.

Washington & Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America By Stephen Knott Ph.D. ’79, HD’13 and Tony Williams In Washington & Hamilton (Sourcebooks, 2015) the authors chronicle the unlikely collaboration of the indispensable general devoted to classic virtues and an ambitious officer and lawyer eager for fame of the noblest kind. Together, the duo laid the groundwork for the institutions that govern the United States to this day and protected each other from bitter attacks from Jefferson and Madison, who considered their policies a betrayal of the republican ideals they had fought for. This captivating history reveals the stunning impact of the unlikely duo that set the U.S. on the path to becoming a superpower. Dr. Knott is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and the author of several books, including Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth.

Recently published? Contact the editor at

The Senator from New England: The Rise of JFK By Sean J. Savage, Ph.D. ’85 John F. Kennedy’s path to the presidency began during his eight years as a United States Senator. In The Senator from New England (SUNY Press, 2015), the author contends that Kennedy initially pursued a centrist, bipartisan course in his rhetoric and policy behavior regarding the regional policy interests of New England. Following his defeat for the Democratic vice presidential nomination in 1956, JFK’s rhetoric and policy behavior became more partisan and liberal. He used his speaking engagements to interact with Democratic politicians throughout New England in an effort to secure the region’s delegate votes at the 1960 Democratic National Convention. Based on numerous sources, this book provides an unrivaled glimpse into Kennedy’s senate career and early presidential campaign strategy. Dr. Savage is a professor of political science at Saint Mary’s College (IN) and the author of JFK, LBJ, and the Democratic Party.

The Opera on King Street By Martin J. Balboni ’68, G’71 Self-published in 2015, The Opera on King Street is an autobiographical rendering of growing up in the Italian community of North Agawam, MA. Balboni sought to capture the social and cultural ethos of the community as well as the process of integration into American culture. Following a positive response to the book, the author is re-editing with plans to republish it in 2016. Marty is a retired teacher from the Chicopee Public Schools.

Assumption College Magazine

Fall 2015


Alumni nEws

student musicians highlight President’s Council Dinner The musical talents of several students highlighted the 2015 President’s Council Dinner, held in October at Worcester’s historic Mechanics Hall. More than 200 alumni, friends, faculty and staff attended the event, where new members were welcomed and attendees enjoyed dinner and the entertainment of several Assumption student singers and musicians, including the flute and jazz ensembles, violinist Fabian Rivera ’16, VOCE and this year’s AC Idol winner, Emily Barker ’18.

kaelin Jenkins-brown ’16 and giancarlo maglitta ’19 lead voCE in hark, i hear the harps Eternal

Chris Cuzzupe ’17 and Jackie weiler ’17 sing the prayer.

2015 “AC idol” winner Emily barker ’18 performs “your song”

T HE P RESIDENT ’S COUNCI L helps today’s students grow

Since its founding in 1982, members of the College’s President’s Council have cumulatively donated more than $50 million, impacting the lives of thousands of students. More than 500 alumni, parents and friends are currently members of the President’s Council, who demonstrate their commitment by making an annual gift of $1,000 or more. President’s Council gifts can be made as one-time gifts or through monthly credit card payments and matching gifts from employers count toward President’s Council membership. In addition, associate membership is available to members of the Classes of 2007 to 2015. With a President’s Council level gift, you will demonstrate your commitment to helping today’s students grow academically, personally and spiritually.

For more information about President’s Council membership please contact The Assumption Fund office at 508-767-7373


Assumption College Magazine

Fall 2015

Class notes

The deadline for the spring issue is January 30.

stained-glass windows dedication highlight of Assumption Prep Reunion two stained-glass windows were dedicated on campus August 22, during the annual Assumption prep reunion. nine of the 12 windows that were once part of the College and Assumption preparatory school’s greendale campus chapel have been installed on campus. Alumni of several prep classes have generously donated the funds to restore the windows, created by artist raphael lardeur and restored by stained glass resources, inc., owned by Fred shea ’73. the two newly installed windows are The Resurrection, donated by the prep classes of 1957 and ’58, and Crowning with Thorns, a gift of the prep Class of ’63. Funds have been raised to install the remaining three windows on campus, one in the Chapel and two in a new proposed academic center. more than 90 former students, teachers and administrators gathered to celebrate the prep school reunion. Following the stained-glass window dedication and mass, guests enjoyed cocktails and a dinner in hagan Campus Center, where guest speaker Leo Larverdure AP’65 made a presentation about Assumption prep’s history and its separation from the College following the worcester tornado in 1953. to view the presentation, visit

Enjoying the reunion were Fr. roger Corriveau, A.A. Ap’62 with Edgar l’Ecuyer Ap’56 and his wife, Anne.

melanie Demarais hA’92 and paul turgeon Ap’63 with marcel Ap’63 and marielle peloquin at the reunion.

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Jack Barnosky was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016, an honor earned by only four percent of attorneys in the United States. A partner with Farrell Fritz in New York, Jack was chosen for his field of Trust & Estates and Litigation.

Bill Mulligan was featured in the Phi Kappa Phi History Honor Society volunteer spotlight for his involvement with the organization’s chapter at Murray State University. Bill is a professor of history at Murray State. Louis Paquette writes that he lost his wife of 35 years in 2013, retired in 2014 and has moved to Seattle, WA, to be near his daughter and grandchildren. He stays active through hiking, biking and yoga.

Omer Cormier, outgoing director of GFA Federal Credit Union, was honored by and appointed director emeritus of GFA in July, after 49 years of service. During his tenure GFA grew from one to nine locations and expanded its total asset growth from $6.4 million to more than $420 million. Omer is a retired chief probation officer of the Gardner District Court, a current correspondent for the Gardner News and a former correspondent for the Fitchburg Sentinel and Worcester Telegram.

’62 Tim Cooney, former mayor of Worcester, was among eight distinguished individuals honored in September at the annual Boys and Girls Club of Worcester’s Sports and Celebrity Banquet. Tim is employed by the Central Mass. Safety Council in West Boylston.



Joe Bialy has joined the U.S. Department of Defense as a program manager of the Career Exploration Program at the United States Military Entrance Processing Station in Boston. He had previously retired after 36 years as an educator/ coach; 27 years in the military; and a successful career as an evening administrator at Quinsigamond Community College.



Brian Cunnane retired from the Connecticut State Department of Education in July, after 44 years working in the field of special education. During that time he served as the state of Connecticut’s director of special education as well as a director of pupil services for the LincolnSudbury (MA) schools. Brian is retiring to the Pacific northwest to be close to his family.

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Fall 2015


ClAss notEs pamela lucchesi, ph.D. ’83 Chair of basic sciences, the Commonwealth medical College With 30 years of research in cardiovascular disease, funded by the National Institutes of Health, and 25 years as an educator of medical students, Pamela Lucchesi, Ph.D. ’83 has a highly impressive resume and record of results. In August, she was appointed chair of basic sciences and professor of physiology at The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC), one of the nation’s newest fully-accredited medical colleges, with campuses in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport and Sayre, PA. At TCMC, she plays a critical role in curriculum development and mentoring faculty, as well as developing opportunities for translational research programs to improve patient care. An expert in coronary artery disease and heart failure, and a fellow of the American Heart Association, Dr. Lucchesi served for the past seven years as center director and professor of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University. Before that, she was a professor of pharmacology at Louisiana State University. “I chose to come to TCMC because of the mission, particularly innovative curriculum and focus on community medicine,” said Dr. Lucchesi. “I am passionate about community outreach and underrepresented minority education and training.” The author of 90 scholarly publications and five book chapters, Dr. Lucchesi has chaired several study peer review panels at the NIH and is an associate editor of Physiology. She earned a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the UMass Medical School in Worcester.



Ed Connor, a senior financial advisor with Wealth Advisory Services, LLC/Voya Financial, was recently named to the Board of Trustees at Clinton Hospital/UMass Memorial Hospitals, Inc. Ed also serves as president/treasurer of the Audio Journal, Inc., Board of Directors in Worcester.

Peggy Sheehan Flood is a doctoral candidate in mathematics education at Montclair State University, with a dissertation topic of “Adult Learners, Learning Disabilities and Mathematics.” A part-time lecturer at Norwalk Community College, Peggy enjoys jogging in her spare time and has completed eight marathons. She and husband Jim have five children and reside in Stamford, CT.




Jim Abril, Clarke Alderman and Dave Benoit enjoyed a mini reunion in Belmar, NJ, in August, where they gathered with Keith Krauss ’75, Rich Marsicarelli ’77 and Chris Froelich ’77.

’77 Arthur Losapio has been named president and chief executive officer of Worcester’s Cedar Street Family Clinic, which provides individual, family, couples, and home-based counseling, among other services.


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strategic partnerships in the Middle East. Richard Burke was appointed interim CEO of Fallon Health, Massachusetts’ only health plan that is both an insurer and provider of care. Employed by Fallon since 1998, Richard currently serves as the organization’s president of senior care services and government programs.

’82 Paul Carpentier, M.D., HD’14 received the Mother Teresa Pro-Life Award at the annual Mass for Life, celebrated by Bishop McManus in March at St. Paul Cathedral in Worcester. The founder of In His Image Family Medicine in Gardner, Dr. Carpentier was recognized for having “shown heroic witness to the intrinsic value of each human life,” by consistently practicing medicine in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church for more than 25 years. Jim Fitzpatrick was named president of the National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA), a not-for-profit trade association serving the global investment management industry, in September. An independent trustee for the Hays Series Trust and a previous NICSA board member, Jim retired from Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 2011, where he was a managing director.

’83 David Prentiss delivered a lecture titled “Plato’s Search for the One Thing Needful” at the Marion (MA) Music Hall in August. Dave has taught political philosophy as an adjunct professor at UMassDartmouth for 15 years and also serves as president and CEO of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. Sponsored by the Sippican Historical Society, the lecture explored the relevance of ancient thinkers in the modern world.

Sandra Tillett retired in June after 35 years teaching deaf students for the New Bedford Public Schools. She spent three weeks in Norway this summer and plans to travel more and enjoy golfing.



Michael Rochelle presented a webinar, titled “5 Reasons You’re Not Meeting the Needs of the Modern Learner,” in July. Mike is the chief strategy officer for Brandon Hall Group.

Major General Robert Catalanotti (U.S. Army, Ret.) HD’15 was appointed director of Middle East initiatives at SOS International in September, where he is responsible for building

Fall 2015

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’85 Roger Martin joined Lincoln Financial Group as its group protection business senior vice president of finance. Martin will oversee the financial and risk management areas of the business in Omaha, NE. Mary Wood Robins has joined Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies as a part-time lecturer of corporate and organizational communication. She is an adjunct professor in business communication at Nichols College and a consultant for learning and development and social media communication.

’87 Mark Henderson has co-founded The Worcester Sun, a new media company, which published its inaugural issue on August 9. Mark previously served as online editor of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Jim Trainor has been promoted to assistant director of the Cyber Division for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, DC.

’88 The sixth annual Amy Romano Memorial Field Hockey Scrimmage was held in Enfield, CT, in August. A former teacher in the Enfield school system and varsity field hockey coach at Enrico Fermi High School, Amy passed away in 2007. Marie Pyznar created the annual field hockey scrimmage in the name of her daughter’s influential coach. Erica Pyznar ’11 was the first recipient of the Amy Romano Memorial Scholarship at the high school, and later graduated from Assumption. Proceeds from the scrimmage help fund the Scholarship. Amy was inducted to the Enfield Athletics, the Assumption Athletics and the Connecticut Softball halls of fame.

’89 Paul Badeau is the marketing director of the Lewiston-Auburn (ME) Economic Growth Council. Melissa Dufficy Paulsen has collaborated with two colleagues to design and implement the Microventuring Certificate Program at the Gigot

Center for Entrepreneurship in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, where Melissa serves as assistant director. The program incorporates microenterprise development and microfinance theory along with the practical skills and tools in a domestic and developing country technical assistance setting.




Michael O’Keefe was named Merrimack Valley Conference Baseball Coach of the Year and concluded his 20th season at the helm of Chelmsford High School, which he led to a 17-8 record. Mike also teaches history at CHS.

’93 John Carroll was inducted to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in August. The former Greyhounds standout scored 1,551 points and holds most of the College’s three-point records. He has coached the Northfield Mount Hermon boys’ basketball team, consistently ranked among the top 10 teams in the United States, since 2007. Bryant Farland, is corporate senior vice president of Skanska USA Inc., the development firm recently selected to collaborate on a $3.6 billion project to replace an aging terminal building at La Guardia Airport in New York City.


’92 Thomas Simisky, S.J. is president of Fairfield College Preparatory School, a Jesuit prep school located on the Fairfield (CT) University campus.

Josh Hexter was featured in the Lax Magazine article “Her Space: Men Coaching in a Women’s World” for his success in coaching women’s lacrosse. The head coach at Elon College, he was named Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the team to an 8-9 finish and a 4-1 Conference record in its first season as a

brandon killion ’00 programming vp for The Property Brothers He started his career as an attorney, but the suit and tie look didn’t take. Brandon Killion’s daily routine squelched his need for creativity, so in 2004 he rolled the dice, packed a car and headed west. After over 10 years in the television production industry, Killion is now executive vice president of programming and development at Cineflix Productions, which produces shows such as American Pickers and The Property Brothers. “My Assumption education helped me develop a strong foundation in language, which has helped me understand how to present often complicated narratives in a clear and engaging way,” said Killion. “It also grounded me with a set of core values to guide my decision making through a moral perspective.” After a few years of entry level work, Killion’s big break came care of Thom Beers’ Original Productions (known for programs like Deadliest Catch, Storage Wars, etc.). “I was given an opportunity, worked my way up the production ranks and earned the top job producing hit shows such as Ice Road Truckers and American Hoggers for networks like History, A&E and NatGeo.” Following original, he became VP of Production at Gurney Productions (known for Duck Dynasty) before joining Cineflix. “My job entails finding and developing new projects, pitching them to networks and then overseeing the production. There’s a lot of room for variety, whether it’s developing a concept or looking for new talent, it’s different every day,” said Killion. Brandon, wife Jill and sons Reilly (3) and Rhys (born in May) reside in the Los Angeles area, where Brandon is a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild. See a related profile of Brandon’s brother, Justin ’05, on p. 30.

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ClAss notEs varsity sport in 2014. He previously coached at Bridgewater State and Duke. Jennifer Hillmann Vincent joined the special education department at Cider Mill School in Wilton, CT.

’98 Justin killion ’05 owner, Cool guys & nerds Taking advantage of a domestic exchange program as a junior at Assumption, Justin Killion ’05 lived in Hollywood for a semester while interning at Paramount. “This was invaluable as it allowed me to work directly for producers of both film & television. It opened my eyes to the fact that it's called the Film & Television Business for a reason... that being, it’s actually a business, and you can make a living doing something you genuinely love.” He started as a mail deliverer at Endeavor, an agency now known as WME, before becoming an agent’s assistant. Killion bonded with fellow entry-level employees, working long hours for low pay. Today, he owns a company he created, Cool Guys & Nerds. “I’m an executive producer on a deal for scripted and non-scripted television as well as OTT (Over the Top) digital content with ITV Studios,” he said. In this role, he creates, casts, develops, sells, and produces content. This year he’s sold projects to A&E, AMC, Discovery, History Channel, National Geographic Channel and the Science Channel. Killion spent time as a literary manager, representing writers and directors for film and television, then served as senior vice president/ head of development for Original Productions, where he helped create and oversaw several series, such as Storage Wars for A&E, and Bering Sea Gold for Discovery. He points out that success takes time and hard work. “Never let your ego stand in the way of your work,” he said. “Power through and use those small wins to springboard to the next opportunity.” Justin also notes that he has been fortunate to work with several Assumption alumni in his industry, in addition to his brother Brandon ’00, which he truly enjoys. Among them are Storage Wars producer Rob Lavin ’05, comedy writer Andrew Themeles ’05, producer Ryan Forber ’04 and Key Code Media Senior Executive Scott Williams ’00.


Assumption College Magazine

Richard Brederson, Esq., has been selected to the Rising Stars category of Super Lawyers. This is a distinction achieved by only 2.5 percent of the Bar. His practice focuses on plantiff injury litigation. Jason Costa is director of athletics at Shrewsbury High School. Derek Mohamed’s multi-million dollar advisory practice, Mohamed-Merola Wealth Management, has joined Merrill Lynch’s Wellesley office from UBS.




Matt Baker was appointed interim athletics director at Holliston High School in August. He previously served as associate athletics director at Mass. Bay Community College for two years. Matt and wife Amy have four children and reside in Holliston. Kyle Egress was appointed president of the Rotary Club of West Hartford, CT, in July. BIRTH: Katie Doherty Friend and husband Aric welcomed Margot Madelyn on 11/7/14. She joins Henry (4) and Annie (3).

’02 Joseph Andrews, was named to Worcester Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list for 2015. He is vice president/investments and a senior financial adviser with Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management in Worcester and serves on the board of Sherry’s House in Worcester, which assists families affected by childhood cancer. BIRTHS: Ryan Dunn and wife Jessica announced the birth of Weston William on 2/20/15. He joins Kiernan. Tara Twine Mason and husband Scott welcomed Giovanni Anthony on 7/8/15. He joins brothers Teigan and Vincenzo. Alissa Arnold Zarrella and husband Kevin ’01 announced the birth of Sydney Eleanor on 10/2/14.

Fall 2015

’03 Karen Higgins CE’03 was one of 33 teachers to receive a Mass Insight Education’s Partners in Excellence Teacher Award for her success teaching and facilitating 27 students to achieve qualifying scores on the 2013–14 AP English Language and Composition exam. She is an English teacher at Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley. Alison Mason Shilinsky was appointed senior vice president of human resources at Country Bank in October. Liz Vestal was appointed associate director of annual giving at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in September. BIRTHS: Jessica McElaney and husband Colin Steele announced the birth of their first child, Kathleen, on 7/29/15. Jessica is a diagnostic medical sonographer at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge. Sheila Halloran Skowyra and husband Aaron welcomed Ella Grace in April. She joins Julia (3).

’04 Amy Pouliot married Dan Rondelli in Maine on 6/13/15. Justin Roy has been selected to serve on the National Advisory Board of DECA, an international association of high school and college students and teachers of marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. Justin is vice president for enrollment and marketing at William Peace University in Raleigh, NC. BIRTH: Adrienne Gardner Snow and husband Luke welcomed Harper Grace on 6/6/15. She joins her 2-year-old brother. Adrienne was recently promoted to coordinator of early college high school programs, overseeing students from 25 different high schools, for the Ballston Spa (NY) Central School District.

’05 John Plough has been appointed director of fine and performing arts at Frederica Academy in Saint Simon’s Island, GA. He will teach middle and upper school courses in the arts. John previously served as theater director at Darlington School in Rome, GA.

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Kristen Sanderson Springer earned a Ph.D. in clinical and health psychology from the University of Florida in May. She is a post-doctoral fellow at Hartford Hospital/Institute of Living at the Anxiety Disorders Center. Jon Weaver was appointed chief operating officer of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives in June. He manages operations and leases the incubator for startup and early stage life sciences and biomedical companies. BIRTH: Mike Rodier and wife Meghan welcomed Elise Hope on 8/27/15. She joins Timothy. Mike is AC’s coordinator of campus recreation.

’07 Elizabeth Marcotte has been hired as the program administrator for English, grades 6-12 in Bedford. Elizabeth previously taught at ActonBoxborough Regional High School. Maria Miranda married Vincent Adinolfi on 7/31/15. Alumni in attendance were matron of honor Kristin Coughlin Norden, bridesmaids Lauren Aprile and Teresa Pecce as well as Kathleen Paolillo and Peter Reynolds. Loreta Sulejman CE’07 was promoted to branch manager of Webster Five Cents Savings Bank’s Chandler Street, Worcester location, where she previously served as assistant branch manager. BIRTH: Kristin Coughlin Norden and husband George announced the birth of their first child, Colbie Ann, on 8/6/15. The family resides in Branford, CT.

’08 Kristyn Chevalier Perron is a school adjustment counselor for Marlborough Public Schools and has moved to Worcester. Robert Sargent, a candidate for an at-large seat on the Worcester City Council, was profiled in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in August. Robert is a history teacher at Worcester East Middle School. The election was scheduled for November 3, just after this issue went to press. Lynn Zambetti and Bryan Parks were married on 8/29/15 in Holyoke. Lynn is a registered nurse at Lexington Pediatrics.

’09 Jennifer Paglio and Eric Thanas ’08 were marWEBLINK ried on 6/13/15 in Warwick, RI. Alumni wedding party members were bridesmaid Alyssa Gaglione and groomsmen Rory Harrity ’08, Mark Iorillo ’08, CJ Martin ’08, Kevin Peterssen ’08 and Michael Ursoleo ’08. Other alumni in attendance included Justin McCarthy G’09, Christopher Colletti ’10, Joseph Ursoleo ’76, Class of ’09 alumni Becky McCarthy Martin and Shannon McNeilly, Class of ’08 alumni Maura Cook, Mark & Kate Moore Cronin, Christopher Desmione, Katie Cappiello Heald, Kevin Manoogian, Devin Murphy, Kristina DeLuca Peterssen, Emily Santamaria and Tiffany Shakro. Steve Scannell was promoted to audit supervising senior at Stowe & Degon, LLC, bringing with him his experience working with SEC clients and those in the manufacturing, technology, service and non-profit industries.

’10 Jenna Hubacz received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree, cum laude, from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in May 2015. She is in residence for advanced training in general dentistry at the University of Oklahoma. Amanda Johnson married Alex Bistran on 6/26/15 in Atkinson, NH. She is employed with the Arlington School District. Julie Morrison earned a master’s degree in library and information science from Pratt Institute. She is a middle school librarian in Queens, NY. Kristin Quinn joined the Proctor School in Topsfield as a moderate special needs teacher in September. She earned a M.Ed. from Assumption in 2011 and has taught at the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School in Haverhill as a languagebased learning teacher of special education since 2012. Dan Sargent, CPA, has been promoted to auditing supervising senior at Stowe & Degon, LLC. Kara Soteropoulos and Bill VanSlyke ’08 were WEBLINK married on 7/11/15 in Georgetown. Alumni in attendance were groomsman Mark ’06 & matron of honor Amy Soteropoulos Vera ’06, Adam ’06 & Kaylene Walton Chausse ’06, Class of ’10 members Jen Bowler, Melissa Cinar, Emily D’Errico, Katie DiCioccio, Ryan Donaher, Lauren

Jigarjian, Mike Lepore, Cassandra Rice, Cori Schollard and Liz Siracusa, Tim Cullinan ’08 and Class of ’09 alumni Tom Borek, Jacque DuLong, Brooks Francis, Alex MacDonald and Joe Murphy. Kara is a special education teacher and Bill works for a medical device company. The couple resides in Peabody.




Christina Acunzo is a social studies teacher at Lyme-Old Lyme (CT) High School, where she also coaches volleyball. Christina earned a MAT in secondary education from Quinnipiac University. Jacqui Denault and Justin Coppa ’10 were WEBLINK married on 7/31/15 in Providence, RI. Alumni in attendance included Class of ’11 members Kelsey Abelein, Brittany Boyle, Mike Cincotta, Lindsay Donovan, Meg Gallagher, Alexi Maxfield, Katlyne McAneany, Dan Miletti, Courtney Neves, Nicole Pantazis and Nicole Rayos, Class of ’10 alumni Sean Cassidy, Mark Fitzpatrick, Matthew Fulone, Michael Lepore, Jay Macero, Bryan & Sarah Ranieri McAvoy, Mark Mulhern, Sarah Ambacher Paradee, Joey Rayos, Mike Suchocki, Mike Tryba and Nathan Wakefield, Mike Rayos ’12 and current student Jillian Estrella ’16.

’12 Melanie Hentz is an office and information hub coordinator for campus life at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and is pursuing a master’s degree in higher education administration at Northeastern University. Mark Mulligan received a MA in history at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in history at W&M. Amanda Whaley was promoted to product manager in the Torayfan Polypropylene Film Division at Toray Plastics (America), located in North Kingstown, RI, a subsidiary of Toray Industries, Inc. Amanda started at Toray as a cost analyst in 2012 and has served as a sales and marketing analyst since 2013.

’13 Carolina Correa has been hired as a major gift officer and Young Leaders Circle Manager at

Assumption College Magazine

Fall 2015


ClAss notEs United Way of Rhode Island. She will support the efforts of the organization’s Resource Development department, working with donors to increase donations and reach annual fund goals. Garrett Hickey earned an M.A. in teaching from Sacred Heart University in May. He teaches U.S. History at Black Rock School in Bridgeport, CT, and is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Albertus Magnus College. Connor MacNeil started his own digital marketing agency, Jump Suit Group, which advertises multi-channel sharing, hard-hitting content, and lead generation.



grADuAtE stuDiEs

Alysa Chiarolanza is a contract administration analyst within the commercial contracting team at Medtronic, a premier medical technology and services company. Alysa works from Medtronic’s Mansfield office.

Fr. Stephen Lundrigan G’94 was ordained a priest on 6/20/15 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Worcester. He is associate pastor of St. Cecelia Parish in Leominster. Andrew Deluski G’04 is a senior business lender/vice president at Bank RI in Providence, RI. Janet Pierce G’08 was named executive director

Tracy Baldelli is assistant director of annual giving at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Margaret Colman is a full-time special education para-professional at Center Elementary School in Chelmsford. She plans to graduate from Assumption in May with a MA in special education. WEBLINK Note: indicates that a wedding photo is available online at

of the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) in September. Since 2008, Janet has served as business manager of the CMRPC, the designated regional planning entity for Central Mass., which serves the city and the 39 surrounding communities. Jon-Michael Raymond G’08 was named private brand national account manager at Osborn. Andrew Scott G’14 was promoted to audit senior at Stowe & Degon, LLC. Congratulations to the successful first graduating class from the Early Career Track MBA program with a concentration in sport business & leadership. Featured in the spring 2015 issue: Alex Marshall ’14, G’15 is a ticket office coordinator with the New England Patriots; Taylor King ’15 is an office manager and social media strategist at the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism; Christiana Barela G’15 is a membership associate with the Atlanta Hawks; Danielle Driscoll ’14 is a program assistant with the Boston Red Sox Foundation; and Blake Nold ’14, G’15 is pursuing a degree in the sports law program at Marquette University Law School.

in mEmoriAm Rev. Robert J. Fortin, A.A. AP’50, ’55 Worcester, MA (1933–2015) e College mourned the passing of former trustee and Assumption Prep teacher Fr. Robert Fortin in August. Born and raised in Worcester, he graduated from Assumption Prep and the College. He professed his first vows in 1953, was ordained to the priesthood in 1958 and earned a MA in English literature from Catholic University of America. Fr. Robert taught English at Assumption Prep in the 1960s, served as superior of the Assumptionist community and was a member of the College’s Board of Trustees (1977–82). He later served the Assumptionists on assignments in Jerusalem, Moscow and Paris. Since 2005, Fr. Robert resided at the Assumptionist community on Old English Road. He leaves two brothers, Roger AP’53 and Fr. Richard AP’52, ’57.

Ralph M. “Sonny” Tirro, Jr. G’72 died August 5, 2015 Ruth Wandrei G’72 died August 19, 2015 Daniel J. Harrington III AP’66, ’74 died August 25, 2015 Judith Kesner O’Leary ’75 died August 23, 2015 John P. Demoga, Jr. G’79 died September 5, 2015

Joseph H. Belanger ’57 died September 11, 2015 Jeffrey M. Bellrose ’68 died July 16, 2015 James M. Duffy ’68 died September 10, 2015 Louis O. Lorenzen G’70 died September 24, 2015 Thomas E. McDonough, Jr. G’72 died July 6, 2015

Cynthia Conward, Esq. G’80 died July 3, 2015 Anthony D. Gambino G’81 died September 29, 2015 Lynne M. Nasiff G’90 died June 12, 2015 Pamela DeBoise CE’95 died January 19, 2015 Erin L. Bohanan ’07 died July 6, 2015

For regularly updated list of dearly departed Assumption alumni, faculty and staff, with links to online obituaries visit


Assumption College Magazine

Fall 2015



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Papal Pilgrimage Assumption led a group of 31 students and two Campus ministry staff on a trip with other local colleges to philadelphia in september for the world meeting of Families papal mass, where they bore witness to pope Francis on the last stop of his first u.s. apolistic journey.

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