THE MAGAZINE OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE
THE ULTIMATE PRIZE ALUM AND FORMER MCLA COACH DEREK LALONDE WINS SECOND STANLEY CUP
POWER OF THREE MCLA WELCOMES THREE NEW VICE PRESIDENTS
LEARNING BY DOING STUDENTS FUEL A PASSION FOR JOURNALISM WITH REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE
Trailblazer Pride Dr. Jeannette Smith, Vice President of Student Affairs, poses with her family during Homecoming Weekend festivities in October 2021.
Managing Editor Kate Gigliotti
James F. Birge, Ph.D.
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF CONSTITUENT ENGAGEMENT
Christopher MacDonald-Dennis, Ed.D.
Bernadette Alden DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER
Gina Puc ’07
Writer Shannon Cahill ’18
VICE PRESIDENT FOR STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
Barbara T. Chaput EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES/PAYROLL OFFICE
Joseph DaSilva VICE PRESIDENT OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE
Lead Writer & Editor Francesca Olsen
Jeanette Smith, Ph.D. VICE PRESIDENT OF STUDENT AFFAIRS
Robert P. Ziomek ’89 VICE PRESIDENT FOR INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT
ALUMNI COMMUNICATIONS & ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR
Design Julie Hammill WWW.HAMMILLDESIGN.COM
Richard Glejzer, Ph.D.
The MCLA Magazine is published annually in print and online for alumni and friends of the College.
VICE PRESIDENT OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
Address changes: email@example.com
To view the digital version of this magazine, please visit alumni.mcla.edu/magazine
Trailhead FALL 2021
5 Ten Minutes with Gabriella Fernandez ’10 6 Power of Three MCLA welcomes new vice presidents 5
11 Learning By Doing
Students fuel a passion with real-world experience
12 The Ultimate Prize
Alum and former MCLA coach wins second Stanley Cup
17 Samantha White ’18 Opens a New Venture Near Campus 12
19 Interview with the Author
Rob Campbell ’90
Dave Ortendahl ’05 Gives Back
2021 Alumni Award Honorees
Alumni Spotlight: Gary Lavariere ’16
18 MCLA Bookshelf 20
SOUND OFF! We asked alumni:
Who was your most influential professor, and why?
LISA DONOVAN CHANGED MY LIFE!
Her guidance, passion, and energy inspired me all the time and she helped me find my way in life. I credit so much of my success to her! —Deanna Boucher ’15
PROF. SAMANTHA PETTEY
The response from alumni was overwhelming. Here are just a handful of the many comments received.
ALWAYS HAD FAITH IN ME, PUSHED ME TO PURSUE CHALLENGES, AND REACH FOR THE STARS!” —Kaitlin Wright ’18
READ THEM ALL AT
NOT ONLY IS HE PATIENT AND UNDERSTANDING, HE GENUINELY IS INTERESTED IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE STUDENT AND I LOVED HIS CLASSES.”
“JENIFER AUGUR. SHE TRANSFORMED THE TRAJECTORY OF MY CAREER PATH BY ENCOURAGING ME TO APPLY TO THE BEACON.”
—Michaela Brait ’19
—Kaite Rosa ’10
MARK MILLER. I NEVER LIKED TO READ UNTIL I TOOK A CHILDREN’S LITERATURE CLASS WITH DR. SUSAN HILLMAN. SHE KNEW HER LITERATURE, KEPT IT INTERESTING, EVEN WHEN IT WASN’T, AND FED A PASSION I NEVER KNEW I HAD.” —Beth Bator ’90
“PROFESSOR BEN WOOD. HE PUSHED ME TO SPEAK DURING CLASS DISCUSSIONS AND MADE ME LOVE RESEARCH PAPERS.” —Edna Pires ’18
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“DIANE LOUISE BALDUZY TREATED HER STUDENTS LIKE FAMILY. IF YOU NEEDED HELP SHE WAS ALWAYS THERE. SHE IS STILL THERE FOR ME TODAY.” —Kailey Sookey ’13
DR. JOHN HESS AND DR. JERRY SMOSKY. GRATEFUL TO THESE PROFESSORS WHO LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR MY 40-YEAR CAREER IN SCIENCE.” —Mary Robinson ’81
BEN KAHN! GREAT TEACHER, DEDICATED, INTELLIGENT, CARED FOR HIS STUDENTS!! THANK YOU [PROFESSOR] KHAN!” —Ferayi Kerakaya ’84
“BONNIE BISHOFF, THEATRE PROFESSOR — WHO INSPIRED HUNDRED OF US TO VENTURE INTO A WORLD OF IMAGINATION, CREATION AND EXPLORATION THROUGH THEATER.” —Rick Park ’86
DR. PAUL LESAGE ALWAYS CHALLENGED US TO PUSH OURSELVES FURTHER — AND HE’S JUST ABOUT THE NICEST GUY AROUND.”
MADE ME QUESTION EVERYTHING AND PUSHED ME TO BE BETTER.” —Buffy Lord ’98
—Emily Beaudry ’05
“PROFESSOR ANTHONY DALY. I will
“DOUG JENKINS...WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT HIM.”
never forget the incredible presentations and thought-provoking questions his classes held. I tried to take every one of his courses because they reminded me how much I love history and how a grasp of what came before allows us insight into where we are now.”
—Ryan McVeigh ’05
—Lynn McEnaney ’14
MCLA IS A BIG PART OF THE HISTORY I HAVE TO CELEBRATE.” MAKE A MONTHLY SUSTAINING GIFT TO THE CAMPUS AREA THAT SPEAKS TO YOU BY VISITING give2.mcla.edu
DAVE ORTENDAHL ’05 GIVES BACK David Ortendahl ’05 met his wife, Melissa Ortendahl ’05, at MCLA. His best man at the wedding? Brian Nocerino ’05. Through his career, Ortendahl has offered advice or networking connections to countless MCLA alumni. In 2008, he coordinated the planning for the College’s annual Public Policy lecture series. For years, he’s played Fantasy Football with a Class of 2005 group. He’s even served on the MCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors. “MCLA is a big part of the history I have to celebrate,” he said. Now the Executive Director of Corporate Relations at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Ortendahl attended MCLA after growing up in Fredonia, N.Y. He majored in business and fine/performing arts, studying a curriculum that would become the College’s arts management major. He learned on the job as a marketing intern with MASS MoCA, earned the Dean’s Medallion award, and spent two years learning the ins and outs of governance as a student trustee. It all gave him a love for
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higher ed. He went on to earn an MBA from Suffolk University, and has just enrolled to earn his doctorate of education in higher ed leadership from Regis College (he’s slated to complete the program in 2024). “The experience I had as a student leader ranged from being an RA, to being involved with student activities, to working in admissions and being a tour guide, to being student trustee…I learned a lot, and it’s part of the reason I stayed in higher ed,” he said. “Those student opportunities led to me getting my MBA. I loved the mission of working with students, helping students, seeing others grow. It’s part of who I am—I want to be able to see students grow, have successful careers, and be satisfied with where they’re going in their life.” Those experiences, and those connections, are also why he’s passionate about giving to MCLA. He started donating monthly a few years ago (he
also gives monthly to his church, an important part of life for him). “I wanted to make an active commitment,” he said. “I wanted to build it and budget it so it became an active part of what our family was doing. I want to give every month to help support student scholarships, and make that a part of what we do.” Along with volunteering his time—from board work to answering alumni messages on LinkedIn—he said giving is a way to make sure other students get the same opportunities he did. “It’s about impacting them in a positive way,” he said. “I received such a benefit from the MCLA community network by people taking time to share their stories and resources with me. It’s the least I can do to try and give that back, and pay it forward.”
10 MINUTES WITH GABRIELLA FERNANDEZ ’10 We caught up with New York City-area alumna Gabriella Fernandez on her life post-graduation. What did you study at MCLA? Sociology/
business, women’s studies, social work
What are you doing now? I’m the NYC Department
of Housing Preservation and Development/ Community Coordinator and I live in Queens, NY.
What clubs, sports, or organizations were you involved in? I played for the women’s soccer team
and I was a part of Dance Company and Theatre Club. Can you share with us a fond college memory?
My fondest college memory was the friendships I made, which I’ll cherish forever.
What skills did you learn at MCLA which you still use today? One major life skill I learned from MCLA
was how to break out of my comfort zone, from taking the knowledge acquired from my classes and implementing them in my current career path, to believing I could play soccer at a collegiate level, as well as having the courage to perform on stage with Dance Company.
What was your favorite thing about living in North Adams? My favorite thing about North Adams
was the location, because we were in the Berkshires! I had the ability to hike Mount Greylock with friends whenever we wanted. I even learned to snowboard at Jiminy Peak thanks to my roommates.
POWER OF Three new vice presidents joined the campus community over the summer: Joseph DaSilva, Vice President of Administration and Finance; Richard Glejzer, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs; and Jeannette Smith, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs. Now that the semester is underway, they’re working on everything from infrastructure to student wellness to helping students at move-in day. Trailhead caught up with them to learn more about their priorities, personalities, and first impressions of MCLA.
What led you to a career in higher ed administration?
JD: I started right out of college. I as a substitute teacher and assistant vice president at the juniorsenior high school for a while, and an accountant position came up at Holyoke Community College, where I graduated with an accounting degree. I got the position, and here we are 29 years later. You never expect your whole life to be in the same industry, but shortly after I started, I really found my passion. It’s every year—the joy of students coming in as freshmen, then seeing them walking down the aisle and getting their diploma. You feel a sense of accomplishment. RG: I was an English department chair for a while, which allowed me to straddle the worlds of faculty and administration. My first administrative job was writing center director, which allowed me to
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work with students and colleagues in a different way. Part of it was finding myself more interested in the larger picture of the institution. How can I help students and faculty? How can I bring folks together to talk about issues that are important to the institution? How can I mobilize faculty? JS: I was a resident advisor in college, and also worked in the library. I lived in Philadelphia after college, working in pharmaceutical marketing/ sales, and hated it. I made a list of all the things I loved in a job, and it was what I had when I was an RA. I missed helping people. A conversation I had with a former colleague led me to a hire as a fulltime residence director, and that’s the first time I learned I could do this work as a career.
THREE Richard Glejzer, Ph.D.
Jeannette Smith, Ph.D.
I APPRECIATED THE INTENTIONALITY BEHIND BRINGING THREE NEW VICE PRESIDENTS TO CAMPUS AND CREATING A NEW TEAM THAT SUPPORTS STUDENTS, STAFF AND FACULTY.” Joseph DaSilva, VP of Administration and Finance
What appealed to you about MCLA? What have your first impressions been so far?
JD: I started to do some research before applying. Looking at the mission and vision and what the College had to offer for students, Google Earth shots of the campus, the lay of the land—that all appealed to me. It really stood out and seemed like the next right move in my career, going from a two-year community college to a four-year school. I think I made the right choice! I’m impressed by the faculty and staff I have met, their commitment to higher education and to the students here. RG: I’m really excited to be here! MCLA, from the very beginning of my search, was the job. I’ve spent my whole career in private institutions, but all my own education has been in public institutions. I loved that MCLA was public, and that it was a liberal arts institution. Marlboro was unapologetically liberal arts, and so is MCLA. When you put it in the name, that means something. MCLA is also strongly dedicated to inclusion at every level. As I’ve gone through the process, all those things were demonstrated over and over again. JS: I appreciated the intentionality behind bringing three new vice presidents to campus and creating a new team that supports students, staff and faculty. It was appealing to me that people who are here are very much student centered and want to work together to solve problems. That has been consistent from the moment I did research and applied, to multiple interviews, to my onboarding, and now as students are coming back. It really feels like folks are genuine and candid about being student-centered, about wanting to work together and move the college’s future forward while still maintaining our history, traditions and values. I love 8
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that I can talk to someone and they will say, have you tried this trail? Have you gotten corn from this farm? And I have a fantastic staff. They allow me grace to make mistakes, allow me to ask endless questions, and work really well together. It makes it fun—folks come to work and they’re happy to be here. What are your main priorities for this year?
JD: My main priority is the campus facilities. I’m trying to keep advocating for funding and improving MCLA’s facilities and infrastructure. The other priority is to get a good grasp on the current budget that was passed for FY22, and overturning every rock. I will be looking and asking questions about what we’re doing today. Does it make sense? Could we do it differently? I’ll also be looking for different revenue sources, whether it be through grants or even private donors. RG: In the first few months, it’s getting to learn what we do, what we do really well, and what we might want to rethink. One of the things that’s always important to me is the way in which we give students opportunities to learn by doing. I think about community engagement—international study is a big thing for me, especially making it affordable. Spending a semester abroad may seem like a reach but there are things you can do to partner with other institutions abroad to be able to have students have these experiences. We need to bring some more focus to that. I’d also put career services in that category—these are opportunities to work in the field, whatever that field may be. How do we make sure all our students have that kind of experiential learning? How can we think about experiential learning in very intentional ways? JS: As a leadership team we have a goal of making sure our students have a really great in-person experience, and that it’s a safe one as well. How do we support student mental health in this time? Outside of that, I’m looking forward to learning about the community and needs of our students. They tell us a lot about what their expectations are and what they want and need. A goal of ours is to improve that communication and access for students. Our students are already civically engaged and activist minded. They come to us with a ton of experience when it comes to voicing their concerns, needs, and solutions, so we have to be prepared to meet them.
What are some of the main challenges and opportunities in higher education right now?
JD: The biggest one, for every college nationwide, is a decline in enrollment. Over the years, state support has not kept up with funding for higher education. On top of that, and I can only speak for Massachusetts, is the aging infrastructure of campuses. It’s problematic across all educational institutions. RG: We’re all about embracing change. We’ve had to embrace so much change through the pandemic. As leaders, we have to be open to the possibilities that are out there. We talk a lot about, “what does it mean to be changemakers and embrace those roles?” Higher education is at a point right now where they need folks to be thinking about change. How do you engage students? How do you engage the faculty? How do you engage the public? These all become really big questions.
Vice President of Administration and Finance Joseph DaSilva has worked in public higher education for over 28 years of which the last 21 years were at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) in Springfield, MA. During his tenure as Vice President of Administration/CFO, Joe provided executive-level vision, leadership, planning, direction, and managed/oversaw all aspects of fiscal operations, facilities management, Campus Police, Information Technology, Student Financial Services, and Human Resources/Employee Benefits and Operations Center. DaSilva holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from Western New England University, Springfield, MA and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA. Joe represented STCC in numerous community-based activities, on various organization boards and in many community-based efforts.
RICHARD GLEJZER, PH.D.,
Vice President of Academic Affairs
JS: Like every generation, there are cultural shifts. We’re paying attention to the shifts within our staffing models. How are we supporting staff to be at their very best? How we are supporting students’ mental health, and supporting them holistically is something that will continue to evolve. For liberal arts specifically, it’s continuing to show the value of a liberal arts education and how that’s a benefit for every career path or goal students have.
Dr. Richard Glejzer was most recently the Interim Dean of Graduate Studies at Muhlenberg College, and previously served as Provost and Dean of Faculty at Marlboro College for 10 years. Prior to joining Marlboro, Glejzer served as professor and chair of English at North Central College, and as chair of the college’s academic programs and policy committee. Among his other institutional duties, Glejzer served on the college’s steering committee and the Dean’s Academic Advisory Committee. He was a faculty liaison to the Board of Trustees. Earlier in his career at North Central, Glejzer revised the composition program as the Director of Writing.
What are some of your other hobbies?
Glejzer received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in English from the University of New Hampshire and his Ph.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia.
JD: I have two daughters. One is at UMASS as a junior and one is a senior in high school, so they take up a lot of my time. I love vacationing when possible, bike riding, watching sporting events. RG: My oldest son is starting his senior year at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, and my younger son is starting his first year at Macalester. So we’re going through that change. I’ve been a yoga teacher for much of my last 20 years. I have a daily practice that keeps me centered and grounded. That’s a constant for me. JS: I love hiking, camping, water sports, and the arts! We love to take our take our kids—an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old—to shows and performances.
JEANNETTE SMITH, PH. D.,
Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Jeannette Smith is a scholar-practitioner with 16 years of work experience in higher education having worked most recently as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and engagement at Evergreen State College. Smith was employed prior at Truckee Meadows Community College, University of Nevada, Reno, and Elmhurst College. Her practice areas of experience include student unions, residence life and dining, academic advising, financial aid, shared governance, and student employment. Her scholarship areas of interests include policy, equity, financial aid, and student development. Smith earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism/ Marketing, and her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration/Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno.
CORE MCLA’S CORE CURRICULUM IS GETTING A REFRESH THIS FALL, WITH AN INTENTIONAL FOCUS ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION.
Eli Janis, Dean of Academic Affairs, who served on the taskforce and said the committee will start adapting and reviewing courses after receiving community input.
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“We want students to graduate as global citizens who can think about issues of equity and inclusion in whatever field they work in,” said MCLA Chief Diversity Officer Christopher MacDonald-Dennis, who worked on the Core Redesign Task Force leading the effort. “That’s a skill we really want them to utilize.” The curriculum follows the principles of Integrative Learning, which prepares students to make connections across their academic work and lived experiences. By integrating DEI into the curriculum, these concepts become a natural part of learning about everything from the distribution of internet access to how different cultures communicate. “It’s about connecting what they’re learning in the classroom to other things they’re learning outside of the classroom during their participation in extracurricular activities and in their communities,” said Associate Professor of Psychology Ruby Vega, who helped lead the core refresh. “We had been thinking about this from the very beginning. A one-off course isn’t successful for including DEI in the curriculum. To implement something effective, we didn’t want our core to be a checklist of requirements students just went through. We wanted it to be cohesive and substantial. Threading the requirement through the tiers asks students to do more work in that area than a single course would do.” A core curriculum is tied to learning outcomes for students—goals for skills and understanding that touch upon each year of the college experience. These can run the gamut from health and wellness—explaining how behaviors and choices intersect with societal factors—to analyzing
significant social issues using multiple theories, perspectives, and methods. This culminates in a capstone course, which reinforces critical thinking, reflection, and effective communication. Students have been pushing for MCLA to adopt more DEI-focused opportunities, too. Associate Professor of Social Work Kerri Nicoll, who served on the task force and also helped organize the College’s Day of Dialogue, said she’s spoken with many students requesting a course around diversity, or some kind of academic requirement. “They want us to be educating and learning from each other about DEI and related issues,” she said. “While some students were pushing for a specific course, the students I’ve had conversations with since then are excited this new core curriculum is the angle we’re taking. A lot of them have had experiences where people go to a workshop or take a class on DEI, and nothing changes about the way they’re thinking.” Now that the new curriculum is live, a Core Steering Committee is continuing to analyze it and make sure students meet the learning outcomes. “There are opportunities for revision and growth that weren’t present in the former core, and more opportunities for consistent student voice,” said Vega. Dean of Academic Affairs Ely Janis, who served on the task force, said the committee will start adapting and reviewing courses and making adjustments as needed, depending on data and community input. “We’re not going to wait 15 years to look at it,” he said. “It really was a campus-wide initiative, and it’s going to be an ongoing conversation.”
LEARNING BY DOING STUDENTS FUEL A PASSION FOR JOURNALISM WITH REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE
Mei Craig ’22 and Isabel Costa ’21 spent the summer reporting on the Berkshires with the Greylock Glass, covering everything from local businesses to performing arts to agriculture. Greylock Glass is an alternative news outlet to serve unmet journalism needs in the region covering the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Mid-Eastern New York, and Southwestern Vermont.
Mei Craig ’22 (top) and Isabel Costa ’21 (bottom) spent the summer reporting on the Berkshires with the Greylock Glass.
SEE STORIES BY COSTA AND CRAIG thegreylockglass.com
Both students were able to choose story assignments that interested them, and were responsible for finding their own story leads. Craig found herself writing features on small businesses in the Berkshires, including a new herbal/tea shop, Wild Soul River, that recently opened in Williamstown, and even got to chronicle a flying lesson she took with Berkshire Aviation Enterprises in Great Barrington. Costa covered local businesses as they recovered from pandemic closures and reviewed theatre productions from Barrington Stage Co. and Berkshire Theatre Group. They also worked together on a major piece about challenges faced by local farmers, visiting family farms and conducting interviews across the county. “Usually one other member of the family farm has to work another part time job to make ends meet,” Craig said. “Some of the farmers that I interviewed had always had a passion for farming and agriculture, while other farmers wanted to continue the family business. We also did extensive research on succession plans, farm revenues and how COVID-19 had impacted business.” “All the family farms I talked to had very different stories, and they welcomed me into their farm, and their lives, with open arms,” said Costa.
“Most farmers in New England work multiple jobs, and their hours can get long and intense which takes them away from their first main love, which is farming.” “A big takeaway I learned while writing this story was that when COVID-19 broke out, more people started to realize the importance of locally grown food,” said Craig, “which meant that business increased for these farmers and that they weren’t financially struggling during the pandemic.” Though their internships were done remotely, Craig and Costa were able to get a deep dive into local journalism. “I am interested in media in general—I think what this internship taught me was what exactly I want to do in terms of media production,” said Costa, an English and communications major with a concentration in print journalism. “I have a growing interest in podcasting. I want to expand on my interest in that in the future as well as work for print publications.” “I definitely would like to continue exploring the journalism world and hopefully move about the news industry,” said Craig, an English and communications major with concentrations in journalism and literature. “I’ve been fortunate enough to write for both print and online newspapers, as well as anchor and report on live television. My hope for the future is to keep advancing my reporting skills and grow as a writer and explore different types of journalism to see which journalistic field I feel most comfortable with.” “I’m very proud of them both,” said Greylock Glass Editor Jason Velazquez. “Despite the fact that we have never met in person, I feel like I’ll be losing some of The Greylock Glass family to what I know will be very bright futures.”
THE ULTIMATE PRIZE
ALUM AND FORMER MCLA COACH WINS SECOND STANLEY CUP BY TODD PAQUETTE ’98
Former MCLA Hockey Assistant Coach Derek Lalonde M.Ed. ’98, now a two-time winner of the Stanley Cup, one of the sport’s most beloved awards, summarizes what drives him with one word: Purpose. “Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve gone with a purpose no matter the level,” said Lalonde, who earned his master of education degree at MCLA after earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education at Cortland State University. “It’s worked out great, and It’s been a hell of a ride.” This spring, Lalonde, as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning, helped the team knock off the Montreal Canadiens four games to one, securing the club’s second straight Stanley Cup title. Eight other franchises have secured back-to-back titles. The feat was most recently accomplished by the Pittsburgh Penguins (201516, 2016-17). The former Cortland State goalie, voted his team’s most valuable player in his final season, is a key cog in Head Coach Jon Cooper’s dynamic system. The road to success and relative fame during his career has been steady yet dotted with difficult decisions for his career and family. Deciding whether or not he should or would accept the Lightning’s initial offer turned into a personal wrestling match.
When Tampa lost to the Washington Capitals in the playoffs in 2018, Cooper called Lalonde the next morning with an offer to fill one of the club’s vacant assistant coaching slots. This was just after Lalonde had spearheaded a pair of successful seasons as head coach of Minnesota’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Iowa Wild.
interested. He interviewed and he landed the job.
Working as a head coach at this level was fulfilling a dream of his, so he was focused on making a sound decision.
Tampa’s other new assistant coach, Jeff Halpern, whose hiring coincided with Lalonde’s, was a fine complement to the group, Lalonde said. Cooper and his staff found things fell into place nicely in the group’s first regular season. Tampa ran away with the league’s best record. That run was short-lived, though, as the Lightning was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“At first I turned it down, after thinking it over for a few days,” Lalonde said. “I really wanted to (continue to) be a head coach.”
“Pretty disappointing,” Lalonde said. “Fast forward three years after getting there, and we’ve won two Cups. At the time, though, it was tough.”
About a week after his decision to stay, Minnesota fired then-General Manager Chuck Fletcher, who had hired Lalonde to lead Iowa. This prompted Lalonde to reconsider the Tampa job when Cooper called for a second time.
“(Cooper) is a structure the play and culturefocused coach, no question,” Lalonde said. “We had some success and we built off it.”
“Luckily the phone kept ringing along the way,” Lalonde said, noting he relished his time in Des Moines with the Wild organization, where he ran up a solid 69-58-17-8 record. Still riddled with mixed emotions due to his loyalty to his team and his job, Lalonde ultimately decided Tampa seemed like a good fit. He thought his coaching style would meld well with Cooper’s. This time he told Cooper he was definitely
The team knew it was a regular-season juggernaut, and perhaps one season of playoff adversity played a role in building up to two years of eventual dominance. Former MCLA defenseman Chris Angers played under Lalonde and Head Coach Jim Duran during Lalonde’s tenure with the Mohawks (now the Trailblazers). He said Lalonde “was without question a structure guy, someone who impacted the culture of the team. He made a big difference as far as driving home accountability, and teamwork was
EVERYWHERE I’VE GONE, I’VE GONE WITH A PURPOSE NO MATTER THE LEVEL.” @CoachLalonde
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
MY TIES TO MCLA ARE GREAT. COACHING THERE, MEETING THE PLAYERS, AND GETTING MY SECONDARY EDUCATION, IT SET ME UP REAL NICELY. Derek LaLonde M.Ed ’98
always first. He brought that as a coach and he (must still be doing that). He’s on (the Lightning) bench, so he’s gained that level of respect.” Lalonde’s experiences as a college coach and player carried over in many ways to where he is now. As a former goalie, Lalonde worked well with the team’s defensive core and goaltenders; now he is largely responsible for the Lightning’s penalty kill and other special teams duties (such as situations where the goalie is pulled for an extra attacker). He also specializes in drills in neutral zone play. His style remains up close and personal. Lightning coaching staff rotates meetings, conducting one-on-one video sessions with players, addressing each player’s strengths and weaknesses. “It was great getting started…Jeff Halpern and I came in together and it went really well,” Lalonde said. Lalonde had some terrific weapons on defense, including Norris Trophy runner-up Victor Hedman (as NHL top defenseman) and two other left side defensemen in Mikhail Sergachev and Ryan McDonagh.
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Anchoring the right side in front of superb goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, a Vezina Trophy finalist as top goaltender and Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, was a group of solid blueliners led by Jan Rutta and Erik Cernak. Tampa also featured a star-studded group up at forward with the likes of team captain Steven Stamkos, 2018 Hart Trophy (league MVP) Nikita Kucherov, and centerman Brayden Point leading the way. “I knew we had a special group,” Lalonde said. Along the way, Lalonde married Melissa, former head soccer coach at Hamilton College. The family relocated to Florida when Lalonde took the job with the Lightning, where their children, Alex, 15, Luke, 13 and Abby, 11, are all involved in sports. The boys both excel at hockey while Abby is an accomplished gymnast and soccer player. He said the move could have been difficult, but he was pleased with how things seemed to fit in as the family adjusted. “I love Tampa, but with the children at seventh, fifth and third grade, it was a concern and we talked about it. It turned out, well; Tampa was a home
run,” Lalonde said. “I loved MCLA too. I keep in touch with Coach Duran and a few of the guys.” Brian McGonagle ’97, writer for Barstool Sports and co-producer of hockey podcast Spittin’ Chiclets as well as a former editor of the MCLA Beacon, remains a close friend of Lalonde’s. “He was definitely a culture guy here. You could see that he had that effect,” McGonagle said. “Derek is a down-to-earth guy and he definitely had that positive personality.” Trips to Boston still have their little surprises, as on a trip to Boston, security pulled Lalonde out of the locker room for an unknown reason. Brookline brothers and police officers Pat and Kevin Sullivan, former MCLA skaters, were waiting outside to surprise Lalonde to go for a few beers. “My ties to MCLA are great,” Lalonde, 47, said. “Coaching there, meeting the players, and getting my secondary education, it set me up real nicely. I have good memories from there. I was really green at MCLA, but those experiences and the ones later on really prepared me for where I am today.”
ALUMNI AWARDS 2021 HONOREES
KIMBERLY ROBERTSMORANDI ’91, M.ED. ’00
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD In recognition of an alumnus/na who has demonstrated a history of professional or community achievement and leadership.
SERVICE TO THE COLLEGE AWARD In recognition of an alumnus/na, faculty or staff member, or friend of the College who has demonstrated a record of service and support to the Alumni Association and/or the institution.
The 2020 & 2021 Alumni Association Awardees will be honored in June 2022 at the Distinguished Alumni Luncheon.
The MCLA Alumni Association honors distinguished alumni and friends who have made outstanding contributions in public or community service or in service to the College. Congratulations to each of our distinguished honorees!
OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD
GEORGE JACOBS ’83
MALLORY D’ANIELLO ’10 In recognition of a K-16 educator and alumnus/na who has shown dedication to the service and development of students and the profession as well as a commitment to innovative classroom practices, programming, extracurricular activities, and/or community work.
RICARDO ARROYO ’11 VANGUARD AWARD
In recognition of a graduate of 15 years who has shown significant growth in their chosen profession as well as a commitment to supporting and serving as a role model to current and future students.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO NOMINATE AN MCLA GRADUATE OR FRIEND OF THE COLLEGE FOR THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION’S 2022–2023 AWARDS? Please contact Kate Gigliotti, Sr. Director of Constituent Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOMINATE YOURSELF OR A PEER
TO BE FEATURED ON MCLA ALUMNI SOCIAL MEDIA IN AN ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT. bit.ly/MCLAspotlight
GARY LAVARIERE ’16 Gary Lavariere ’16, now an operations professional working in the newspaper industry, graduated from MCLA with a bachelor’s degree in business and a concentration in marketing. During his time at the College, Lavariere was a member of the Pi Upsilon Pi fraternity. His extracurricular activities alongside his academics helped teach him time management and how to prioritize a multitude of responsibilities. His classes that focused on business operations and marketing at MCLA were academic keystones that helped shaped him into the professional he is today. Currently, Lavariere is the Chief Revenue Officer at New England Newspapers, Inc. In this role, Lavariere manages the circulation,
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advertising, marketing, and finance & operations departments. He also leads digital and print revenue strategies for the company in conjunction with managing financial budgets. In this capacity, Lavariere uses the time management and prioritization skills he learned at MCLA on a daily basis. “Attending MCLA was an incredible experience,” Lavariere says, citing his senior internship with Celia Norcross and Michael Obasohan ’11 in the Department of Student Affairs at MCLA as one of his most formative memories. Having connected with the incredible scenery and vibrant community of the Berkshires, Lavariere has made his home in Adams, Mass., and continues to work in Pittsfield, Mass.
SAMANTHA WHITE ’18 OPENS A NEW VENTURE NEAR CAMPUS Samantha White ’19, an art major at MCLA, is using her curation skills and artistic eye on a new project: Terra, a curated secondhand shop on Ashland Street in North Adams.
having an unpleasant experience. We want to create something pleasant for people walking through the door, and people working for us as well.”
Terra opened in mid-July and offers clothing, home goods, vintage kitchenware, books, shoes, and other items that speak to her in some way. She’s working on presenting a wide range of clothing sizes. Open Thursday-Sunday, shoppers will find everything from vintage glass dishes shaped like different fruits to fur coats that recall a more opulent era.
White has always had an eye for vintage and secondhand pieces—“I’ve always been picking out things for other people, and curating that way,” she said. “Even if it’s not necessarily my taste, if I see something and think, ‘that’s a special piece,’ I’m going to grab it.” She’s been gathering stock from local estate sales and thrift shops, and is regularly on the hunt for more treasures.
Like many others, the pandemic gave White an opportunity to think deeply about how she wanted to live her life and what she wanted to do for work. She said she was also inspired to open the store after working at The Plant Connector on Eagle Street. She and that shop’s owner “shared a lot of similarities, going through other customer service jobs and
She’s also used her business skills to grow awareness of the shop—she runs Instagram ads featuring products for sale, held a grand opening event in July that packed the store, and is close with other downtown North Adams business owners, helping to create a feedback loop that helps draw people into the city center. “There are
a lot of initiatives happening to get people to walk further into the town,” she said. Exploring Berkshire history through these objects is a big part of what drives White—she said she often buys old letters and photographs if she sees them because they’re so fascinating. “There’s so much history here,” she said. “It’s about the story. There’s a lot of research involved, especially when it goes into pricing things. You fall down a rabbit hole searching for value and stumble on all these other things about an item.” Buying secondhand is also a solid environmental choice. “There’s a lot more awareness and accountability for your ethical and environmental impact, of all the parts of your lifestyle,” she said. “It’s one more way to be that much more sustainable.”
MICHEAL GLENZEL ’91
JONATHAN HOEL ’17
AKILI CARTER ’00
SAWYER BROWN ’08
“HEIR TO THE THRONE”
“SPACE TEAM GO!”
Liverpool University Press
El Poeta Guason, LLC
Next Stage Press
If you’re an author and would like to see your book listed in a future publication, or know of an alumni author with a recently published work, please contact email@example.com. DISCOVER MCLA AUTHORS AARON GOUVEIA ’01 & MJ GOUVEIA ’01
AARON GOUVEIA ’01
“MEN AND MISCARRIAGE”
“RAISING BOYS TO BE GOOD MEN”
Visit www.indiebound.org to order one of this issue’s featured books.
MARY LEE DONOVAN ’83
CATHERINE RYMSHA ’06
JANI MASELLI ’85,’15 (HON.)
“A HUNDRED THOUSAND WELCOMES”
“THE LEADERSHIP DECISION: DECIDE TO LEAD TODAY”
“O’CONNOR’S TEXAS CRIMINAL OFFENSES & DEFENSES 2021”
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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
ROB CAMPBELL ’90 BY SHANNON CAHILL ’18
Retired US Army Colonel Rob Campbell ’90 explores the challenges of transitioning from a life of military service to the after—whatever that may be—in his most recent book, “At Ease: Enjoying the Freedom You Fought For: A Soldier’s Story and Perspectives on the Journey to an Encore Life and Career.” Campbell described looking ahead to postservice life as a “void of unknown.” After spending a prominent fraction of his life being given precise instructions on where to live and what to do, all the options were now wide open before him. For many senior service members (having served 15+ years), this transition can be daunting. Campbell wrote “At Ease” to fill the gap in resources for soldiers transitioning to civilian life. He also wrote it for himself. After reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” a book focused on embracing creativity and inspiration as a lifestyle, Campbell began writing as a therapeutic practice. He found it helpful to embrace a creative outlet for personal growth rather than to get an award or become a bestseller. “It’s really about enjoying the freedom you fought for,” Campbell says. To a military service member, the concept of freedom rings differently. Service members are stripped of a lot of that freedom during their service and are beholden to the mission and the military. While this is a consensual choice that service members make when they join, that lack of freedom can make enjoying their life post-service difficult, Campbell said: “They don’t know how to enjoy the freedom they now have.” Even now, Campbell says he sometimes feels an obligation to the Army whenever he considers a big move or career change. It’s a habit that does not easily dissipate and can leave veterans feeling overwhelmed.
When asked how he prepared for active duty and encore life (and, subsequently, to be able to write his book), Campbell said his answer was simple: MCLA. “My military career was actually born out of North Adams,” Campbell says, reminiscing his time in ROTC at the satellite program out of UMASS while he attended MCLA for his bachelor’s degree in business administration. “I loved learning about different disciplines, how things work,” he said, stating that his experience at MCLA expanded his worldview and helped him mature. Since receiving his undergraduate degree, Campbell has moved on to earn two master’s degrees, one in general administration and another in strategic studies. He looks forward to earning a doctorate in leadership one day.
WHETHER YOU’RE LEAVING CORPORATE AMERICA OR WATCHING YOUR CHILDREN HEAD OFF TO COLLEGE, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU.”
“At Ease” was most obviously written for service members transitioning from the military to civilian life. But Campbell says his philosophies can be applied to anyone entering an encore life. “Whether you’re leaving corporate America or watching your children head off to college, this book is for you.” Rob Campbell’s “At Ease: Enjoying the Freedom You Fought For – A Soldier’s Story and Perspectives on the Journey to an Encore Life and Career” and “It’s Personal, not Personnel: Leadership Lessons for the Battlefield and the Boardroom” published under Silver Tree Publishing can be found online and at bookstores near you.
READ FOR YOURSELF: bit.ly/MCLAatEase
CLASS NOTES William H. Budnik ’73 writes: “Life is short...Hope everyone is healthy, safe, and prosperous! God bless MCLA.” After 16 years working in the newspaper business, Lynn White ’04 accepted the position of director of marketing, public relations, and foundation at Noyes Health, a University of Rochester affiliate. Benjamin Lamb ’07 and Emily Schiavoni ’13 (MEd) of North Adams welcomed their second child, a baby girl, into this world in May 2021. Christopher L. Hantman ’14 bought a home in Williamstown in 2019, got married in October 2020 and this December 2021 will receive his M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from Baypath University! Agnella Gross ’16 was accepted into grad school for a MEd in Instructional Design! Brian Adelt ’21 and Crystal Wojcik ’21 bought their first house together in Clarksburg, MA!
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YOUR CLASSMATES WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOU! Did you retire? Move to a new city? Get married? Tell us about your recent travels, career developments, family updates, or anything else you want to share.
VIEW OR SUBMIT A CLASS NOTE bit.ly/mclaclassnotes or email your Class Note to firstname.lastname@example.org
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DO YOU REMEMBER?
Tell us what campus tradition is taking place in this photo from 1993 by emailing email@example.com and be entered to win your choice of NASC or MCLA gear!
Congratulations to the following faculty members on their retirements from the College:
Susan Edgerton, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies Dale B. Fink, Ph.D., Education Deborah Foss, Ph.D., Psychology Albert Donald Hyers, Ph.D., Environmental Studies Behzad Khajehzadeh, M.A., Business/Administration David M. Levine, Ph.D., Chemistry Mark Miller, Ph.D., English Communications Ann C. Scott, Ph.D., Education Adrienne H. Wootters, Ph.D., Academic Affairs/Physics Richard H. Yanow, M.B.A., Business Administration
JOIN US! We invite you to join us for these upcoming events: APRIL 2022
National Volunteer Month
Service activities taking place at MCLA and in your region!
#MCLAGives MAY 6, 2022
Alumni Art Show Opening JUNE 3-5, 2022
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Presentation by Body Language Expert Janine Driver ’92
ON THESE AND ADDITIONAL ALUMNI EVENTS, VISIT
Reunion Activities for Milestone Reunion Years
Alumni Awards Celebrating 2020 And 2021 Honorees And More! Details will follow in Early 2022.
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD ELECTIONS Call for Nominees: December 1, 2021 – January 15, 2022 Elections: February 1, 2022 – March 15, 2022 Results Announced: April 2022 LEARN MORE AT ALUMNI.MCLA.EDU/ALUMNI-ASSOCIATION
MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS
375 Church Street North Adams, MA 01247
SAVE THE DATE
JUNE 3–5, 2022
FOUNDERS WEEKEND PRESENTATION BY BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT JANINE DRIVER ’92 ALUMNI AWARDS CELEBRATING 2020 AND 2021 HONOREES REUNION ACTIVITIES FOR MILESTONE REUNION YEARS ...AND MORE!
Details will follow in Early 2022