Nichols College Spring/Summer Magazine

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MAGAZINE Volume 14, Issue 2 | Spring/Summer 2020


From the President

At Nichols College, a quiet campus hums along* Trees are budding out and flowers are blooming at our college, but no students are here to take in the show. Our bronze mascot Thunder the Bison stands tall at his lonely post in the center of campus as a tear seems to well up in his eye. A quiet spring has overrun a normally bustling educational enterprise. This is the reality on college campuses as we adapt to new ways of doing things since this pandemic stalled the country a few short weeks ago. When spring break began on March 13 — yes, Friday the 13th — we announced that “in an abundance of caution” classes would resume online for two weeks; it soon became apparent that we would not be able to resume normal operations this spring. Caution had turned into concern, and abundance had come to mean the number of irreplaceable days on campus that our students, especially our seniors, would miss. Our college classes now meet live online via the teleconferencing application Zoom. Students enter their virtual classrooms with the same classmates they sat beside in class. Students remark that they look forward to this one constant in their lives. Student support services have adapted to our new normal as well. Career services schedule virtual office hours. The tutoring center provides online sessions. Counseling has moved to teletherapy, and advisors have ramped up email and Zoom sessions. We have held Zoom Town Hall meetings with our students to answer their questions and understand how they’re adjusting to their new circumstances. Student Affairs hosts daily Zoom drop-in sessions and has scheduled virtual Kahoot contests and other competitive games and activities.

Staying in touch with prospective students has taken on a new meaning. They attend Zoom sessions to learn about majors and concentrations from faculty and current students. Coaches and athletes connect live with future teammates. We conduct virtual open houses for students and families. We have just launched Zoom classes for high school students interested in earning college credits while they may have more time on their hands. I’ve been especially thinking the past two weeks about our seniors, who will spend their last term at Nichols remotely. We are planning a virtual celebration on May 2, our original commencement day. This virus has stolen our traditions this year, but one thing we will replicate is the champagne toast to the graduating class. I promised our seniors that we would schedule an in-person event with all the pomp and circumstance once we are allowed to hold large gatherings again. I just can’t predict when that might be, but I eagerly look forward to it! What does the future hold? I believe there is a need – perhaps now more than ever – for the residential college experience. While we work hard to mimic in-person events and build community through Microsoft Teams, Zoom sessions, phone calls, and social media posts, it is still a substitute for the experience of coming of age surrounded by peers, professors and professional staff who are dedicated to your success. While it is difficult at this time for us, along with other colleges, to predict what we will face in the fall semester, we are detailing various scenarios. Results from the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis provide a starting point for estimating enrollment and retention, but there really is no playbook for today’s crisis. Bison are tough. The Herd is strong. We will all look back on this as one of the most profound events in our lifetime. But we will emerge from it stronger with much more appreciation of all the things large and small for which we are thankful.

Our campus may be quiet, but our off-campus connections are booming.

Susan West Engelkemeyer, PhD President

* This column is excerpted from “As I See It,” published in the Telegram and Gazette, April 16, 2020.



Vo l u m e 1 4 , I s s u e 2 Spring/Summer 2020




The COVID-19 campus: Finding community amid chaos


Training for counterterrorism at the local level


Brent Broszeit, Pete DiVito, Jim Douglas, Rae Glispin, Jillian Riches, Ron Schachter, Molly Thienel DESIGN Steve Belleville



Student-athletes improve strength with Coach Bob


From the Archives


4 Bison Helping Bison Nichols College students gain connections and confidence by tapping into the presence and power of the alumni network. Alumni like it, too!

Nichols College PO Box 5000 123 Center Road



Dudley, MA 01571-5000 508-213-1560 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., M–F

Christine Scarafoni ’06, MBA/MSOL ’16


Brooke Maher ’17


Nichols College MAGAZINE is published twice a year by Nichols College, Dudley, MA.



Marcus Moran ’66


Frans Keesing ’63


Art Tozzi ’63


Howie Chong ’64



10 Boxer biographer Assistant Professor Andrew Smith shares history and life lessons in “No Way but to Fight,” the first biography of heavyweight champion and grill pitchman George Foreman.


24 Volunteer leader and

A CDC-friendly magazine Editor’s note: Our hopes to use the cover of the spring/summer 2020 Nichols College Magazine to showcase one or more of the many alumni who make direct and personal connections with today’s students were thwarted by the physical constraints imposed by COVID-19. This was also the reason we made the difficult decision of publishing only online, to limit contact exposure for our faithful readers. We hope you enjoy the issue and we look forward to being safely back in your homes soon.

scholarship champion Few volunteers can rally support like Trustee Tammy Cardillo Wolf ’94, who has used her boundless energy to raise awareness and thousands of dollars for scholarships.

Nichols College Magazine



The COVID-19 campus: Finding community amid chaos

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the very nature of the Nichols College campus as a close-knit and supportive community. See how the college leveraged the power of technology and creativity to keep students engaged, educated and energized. Converting to a class-Zoom

Displaced but not deserted

Raising a glass to an amazing class

While students were on spring break in

Students feeling

On May 2, more than 750 viewers tuned

mid-March, Nichols faculty had a week

detached from

in to congratulate

to transform intimate and engaging

campus had copious

the Class of 2020.

classroom settings to remote learning

opportunities to

The live YouTube

environments using Zoom technology.

interact with

event, which was

Luckily, the graduate and evening adult

their Nichols

intended to

programs had already trailblazed this

family. A daily newsletter produced

recognize their

approach through its HyFlex offerings,

by the Office of Student Involvement


so the campus was able to nimbly adapt

promoted Zoom hangouts; book,

until a traditional

to this new format, as were our students

movie, and TV recommendations from


who had the opportunity to personally

faculty and staff; motivational memes;


connect with faculty and friends in

fun recipes; and a workout regimen;

ceremony can

synchronous classes.

as well as ideas to encourage friends

Taylor Ward

be scheduled, featured

to connect on their own.

motivational messages of

A virtual bingo game

hope, strength, and resiliency.

drew more than 100 participants. Resources,

Class speaker Taylor Ward

such as tutoring

reminded her classmates of

and mental health

all they have gained through

counseling, also

Nichols: “An education,

continued seamlessly

endless networks, role

to assure students

models, opportunities, and

that being isolated did not mean being alone.

countless memories, but most importantly, we got a family‌. That is something COVID-19 will never and can never take away from us.�


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When college operations moved predominantly online, our quiet campus expanded its borders as a community resource, from

Herd forward

donating food to the homeless

The Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) continued to promote the career readiness of our newest graduates as well as access to available jobs and internships. Career counseling moved online and the pandemic heightened opportunities to connect to an already robust set of resources on the CPDC website, including resume tutorials, search tips, and links to job postings. Some students faced uncertainty and disappointment over postponed or cancelled internships, but our Bison are resilient. Take Nick Anderson ’21. When his dream of interning with New York City-based entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk was dashed by COVID-19, Anderson joined the fight against it by working with

and a store of personal protective equipment to the Dudley Fire Department, to lending the WNRC radio station studio to a Shepherd Hill High School history teacher so that he could supplement his online learning with a bi-weekly broadcast.

Boston-based nonprofit The Ventilator Project to provide more affordable ventilators for medical facilities around the world.

It’s no surprise why Nichols hosts an open house for accepted students in the spring when the campus is lush and in bloom. What was a surprise was the cookie sent to each of our accepted students prior to this year’s live virtual event to celebrate their sweet success.

Senior studentathletes may have missed the

How do you coordinate the safe

opportunity to

return of hundreds of students

close out their

to collect their belongings from

college careers with a last season, but

residence halls? With the precision

the athletic community didn’t miss one

of a military operation, thanks

to highlight their individual achievements

to the Office of Residence Life,

through a Class of 2020 social media

who managed the process over

campaign. Bison Pride!

a 10-day period employing the strictest of health and safety precautions.

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Bison Helping Bison A selection from the scores of alumni who give the Herd a head start

Bison Helping Bison has become more than the name of the Nichol College LinkedIn group page where students and alumni share information, expertise, and opportunities. Beyond the page, it has come to represent the sum of the almost daily direct contributions Nichols graduates make to the professional development of current students through an array of programs at the college.

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“We get plenty of alumni to do interviews. So many say that they appreciated PDS when they were students here and got (mock) interviewed themselves. They enjoy being on the other side of that activity.” — Liz Horgan

Alumni involvement nowadays ranges from serving as mentors to accounting majors; to helping juniors in the Professional Development Seminar (PDS) prepare for job interviews; to advising and role modeling for the school’s female students through the Institute for Women’s Leadership; and more. As today’s undergraduates connect with yesterday’s, both contingents agree that they have benefited. “Getting to know alumni is really beneficial,” says Amanda Alioto ’20, who got to know two through a panel presentation on sport management and a practice job interview in her PDS class. “They really help you out. They want to see students succeed in the best way possible.” “I think it’s really a good way to give back to the school,” says Jessica Burke Vassall ’03, who works at athletic wear company New Balance and has appeared on several career panels for the Sport Management Department. “I like being a mentor to people starting

out and giving them advice and tips. I find fulfillment in that.”

Over the past several years, the mock interview program has grown to include scores of volunteer interviewers from the business and professional world, from finance and accounting to sport management and criminal justice.

For years, the college’s career office and a number of academic majors have presented alumni panels, at which participants discuss their respective fields “I like being and offer their student audiences information a mentor to on choosing careers people starting and hunting for jobs. out and giving More recently, that assistance has them advice expanded to more and tips. active, diversified, and — in some I find fulfillment cases — bonding in that.” activities, starting with the PDS program.

“We get plenty of alumni to do interviews,” notes Liz Horgan, who directs PDS as well as the college’s Career and Professioal Development Center. She counts a dozen Nichols graduates as interviewing regulars. “So many say that they appreciated PDS when they were students here and got (mock) — Jessica Burke Vassall ’03 interviewed themselves,” PDS has long occupied she observes. “They ena unique role in the Nichols curriculum, joy being on the other side of including its equally unique program of that activity.” “mock” job interviews that all Nichols juniors go through in front of their In Alioto’s case, her mock interview classmates. This course requirement with Michael Ricci ’15, assistant athletic enables them to practice interviewing director for ticket sales and services skills for the job world that lies ahead at Boston College, led to a marketing (and internships along the way). internship with the school’s football team. “We kind of hit it off,” Alioto recalls, “and he introduced me.” Accounting students, meanwhile, have become the beneficiaries of a threeyear-old mentoring program with professionals in the field, about half of whom come from the ranks of Nichols alumni. The volunteers participate in a two-hour organizational meeting of all mentors in the fall, followed by a day in the spring term with the student to whom they are assigned, often followed by continuing contact.

Jessica Burke Vassall ’03, with fellow alumni Steve Gallo ’89, Brad Miller ’91, and Mark Johnson ’89, at a sport management alumni panel.

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“Some mentors have spent an afternoon with their students. One took a student to the Economic Business Club. Another asked her student to contact her once a week, and eventually brought her on as an intern.” — Bryant Richards

Each relationship is different,” explains Bryant Richards, associate professor of accounting and finance. “Some mentors have spent an afternoon with their students. One took a student to the Economic Business Club. Another asked her student to contact her once a week, and eventually brought her on as an intern.” Richards notes that the mentors have made an impact. “Students get a lot out of it. It’s someone who cares about them and wants to help,” he points out. When it comes to Bison helping younger Bison, Kim (Serino) Krumsiek ’03 and husband Matthew ’05 have emerged as a power couple. Matthew, a former accounting major, serves as a mentor to current majors and has worked with the Nichols administration to get funding for expanding the program to other majors, sport management and human resource management among them. Kim, meanwhile, has shared her expertise with the college’s human

resource management classes and smaller groups of HR majors. Lately she has begun teaching a junior PDS class. “Matthew and I really enjoy being able to provide insight and guidance to students on what it is like after graduation,” she says. “Ever since my HR classes as a student, I had a yearning to give back. I just want to stay connected, and I enjoy being on campus. Matthew says that their involvement represents a growing trend among their fellow graduates. “I don’t think there was as much involvement on the alumni side when I was a student as there is now,” he admits. From its inception, the Nichols Institute for Women’s Leadership has invited successful female graduates to campus, where they provide advice and serve as role models for the college’s undergraduate women. “We’ve had alumnae serve as speakers in our Conversation Project and in more informal conversations over dinners, where students can learn about their careers, the nuances of the industry, and how they got to where they are,” says IWL Director Rachel Ferreira,

Kim (Serino) Krumsiek ’03 and husband Matthew ’05 of Krumsiek & Associates host Nichols Students at their offices.


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who adds that a number of alumnae serve on the group’s advisory panel. On other fronts, one-to-one interactions between alumni and undergraduates far and wide have become more frequent. Jack MacPhail ’65, a leadership consultant in Portland, Ore., and a former member of the Nichols College Board of Trustees, says he’s happy to give back. Jack MacPhail ’65 “In the 1960s, Nichols was a great place and an incubator of raw talent. It created a special affinity for the school,” MacPhail recalls. “I’ve grown comfortable responding when someOscar Chavez ’20 one asks for it.”

The latest person to ask was Nichols sport management major, and Portland native Oscar Chavez ’20, who was pointed MacPhail’s way by the school’s Alumni Relations Office. During the winter break, the two met back home. “We had some lunch,” McPhail reports. “We went back and forth about what Oscar wanted to do in life and in his future.” MacPhail also referred Chavez to other contacts. “I was really impressed with this young man, and there were several people who could help him gradually figure out what to do next,” he says.

Institute for Women’s Leadership

To Chavez, what MacPhail had to offer went beyond the practical. “He told me something that made me feel awesome — that I was on the right track,” Chavez says. “His praise reassured me. It’s that self-confidence piece that has helped me tremendously.” The two have stayed in touch since. “It’s more comfortable talking to someone who has been here at Nichols,” Chavez adds. “There’s a special connectivity, a shared experience that’s bonded us.” If there were a triple crown for helping current students, it might belong to Heidi DeGrazia ’95. Besides serving as the chief financial officer for N2 Biomedical in Bedford, Mass., and on the board of directors for the Main Street Bank in Marlborough, the former accounting major (and current accounting mentor) has become a regular PDS interviewer and an avid contributor to IWL events.

“The students [at the IWL] are usually a group of high performers, who are open and willing to learn,” DeGrazia emphasizes. “They sponge it up.” “There’s definitely a value in being able to reach the students who are at Nichols now,” she continues. “It’s very rewarding if what I’m doing resonates with even one student.” And a coming generation of Nichols alumni stands ready to give back as well, including Amanda Alioto, who graduated this spring. “I’m hoping to come back and speak on my experience,” she promises.

“The students [at the IWL] are usually a group of high performers, who are open and willing to learn. They sponge it up.” — Heidi DeGrazia ’95

“I’d love to be involved in recruiting for the school on the West Coast and also help other college students figure out where they want to go,” offers fellow senior Oscar Chavez. “We’ve built a family at Nichols.”

“We’ve had alumnae serve as speakers in our Conversation Project and in more informal conversations over dinners, where students can learn about their careers, the nuances of the industry, and how they got to where they are.” — Rachel Ferreira

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Training for counterterrorism at the local level Three years ago, Nichols launched its Master of Science in Counterterrorism (MSC) as the only graduate program in the country to focus on violent extremism at home and abroad. The degree has provided a gateway to emerging careers as analysts and agents in agencies including the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA. Graduates could also join the growing ranks of outside consultants to the private sector as well as to state law enforcement and emergency response offices. The enrollment in the MSC program has since doubled, and what has come into sharper focus, say its administrators, is the growing need for full-time local and state personnel with a solid grounding in counterterrorism. “It is increasingly evident that the threat of foreign and domestic terrorism, radicalization, and violent extremism has rapidly adapted into our local communities and the fight belongs to local and state first responders,” says Thomas Stewart, associate dean for graduate programs at Nichols, who received a Master’s in Security

Studies from the United States Army War College and graduated from the Department of Defense Counterinsurgency Academy. “The more innovative police chiefs are recognizing that individuals in their communities can turn into extremists and become radicalized, and their departments need to be proactive and well-rounded in these areas,” adds MSC director Allison McDowell-Smith, PhD. Along those lines, McDowell-Smith continues, MSC courses from Homegrown Violent Extremism and International Violent Extremism to Cybersecurity reinforce the reality that terrorism can be local. The International Extremism class, she notes, focuses on

how police forces in other countries handle terrorist events. “Students become familiar with the radicalization process and how someone in the United States can be affected.” That knowledge and experience is critical, Stewart insists, not just for federal agencies, but for police and other local departments. And it gives a new meaning to patrolling and community policing. “Police and first responders know their communities best and can recognize when someone is becoming radicalized if they understand the process of radicalization,” Stewart observes. “The future of policing, down to the individual officer writing traffic tickets, must include a broader scope about the officer’s role in the larger effort. If you’re a local or state police officer and make a traffic stop, you need to see who’s in the driver’s seat by the way they’re acting and responding to your questions.” While local departments often take their cue from federal or statewide alerts and leads, Stewart says that they increasingly need to follow suspected activities, plots, and people on the ground and online — tracking social media contacts and previous Web searches.


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Allison McDowell-Smith, PhD, MSC director

Those new responsibilities are not lost on Dudley Police Chief Steve Wojnar, who has held that job for 17 years and expands the list. “What are some of the things you should look for if you have a special event? Here’s what to be on the lookout for,” he adds, pointing out that nowadays police officers even need to be alert to having themselves and their routines filmed by prospective wrongdoers. Wojnar sees a continuing education in counterterrorism as a natural extension of police work in a post 9/11 world. “I look at it from the perspective of as you advance in the profession, you need to learn more skills and abilities,” he says. With that evolving job description in view, police officers from several central Massachusetts towns including Dudley recently have enrolled part time in the MSC program. Wojnar points to

Thomas Stewart, associate dean for graduate programs

the value of having a counterterrorism expert on Dudley’s and other police forces. “You might be a detective or a captain and you could be the terrorism resource, to whom we can say, ‘We’re looking at this incident and you’ve been keeping up with the latest trends,” Wojnar explains. One of the most challenging frontiers that MSC has turned to are the cyberattacks that can cripple the vital services of local communities, often with ransom payments in mind. “Cyber threats are the newest,” McDowell-Smith confirms. “We’re seeing more communities and agencies working on simulations and wanting to be more prepared and proactive.” Last October MSC hosted a Cyber Summit on the Nichols campus, where leaders from over 100 municipalities in Massachusetts met with experts in the field. The goal of the summit was to help municipal leaders understand the “cyber-reach” of nation states, terrorist groups, and criminal gangs. “We had chiefs of police, fire chiefs, town managers, and IT departments of different towns,” McDowell-Smith recalls, including a number of

Chief Steve Wojnar, Dudley Police

“It is increasingly evident that the threat of foreign and domestic terrorism, radicalization, and violent extremism has rapidly adapted into our local communities and the fight belongs to local and state first responders.” — Tom Stewart

municipalities that had experienced cyber disruption. Those who attended, she concludes, came away with strategies for preventing, responding to, and recovering from such attacks, and a new sense of urgency that terrorism can take place close to home and that “cyber resiliency” is not the province of a single department or office.

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Boxer biographer In his new book, “No Way but to Fight: George Foreman and the Business of Boxing,” Andrew Smith, PhD, assistant professor of sport management and history, explores the life and success of this enduring athlete-celebrity through the lens of American history. What inspired you to write this book? A bad sandwich. I believed that boxing was a terrific lens through which to view American history, but I was having

that trajectory, George Foreman became

it was a labor of love, and I am proud

the obvious answer.

to have written the first biography of Foreman, though I know others will take

Are you a fan of boxing? Have you always been?

up the task and write different versions of his life story in the future.

trouble finding the right subject to

I have always been a casual boxing fan

prove it. At lunch with an aspiring sport

but never anything more than that.

historian — who has since become a very

I grew up during a high point in the

accomplished one — he encouraged me

sport’s history — the Mike Tyson era of

From soup to nuts — the first graduate

to think backwards about the histories

the mid-to-late 1980s — and lived close

seminar papers to PhD dissertation and

I wanted to explore and then pick the

to Lennox Lewis, who became Canada’s

then a published book — was almost

right subject. I am fascinated by the

first heavyweight boxing Olympic gold

exactly a 10-year process. By the time I

massive changes that occurred between

medalist and a world champion. So, it is

interviewed Foreman, which was crucial

World War II and the end of the 20th

not a coincidence that the only time in

research for the book, I had already

century, and when we thought about

my life I bought a pay-per-view feed for

spent six or seven years researching him,

boxers whose lives and careers spanned

a prize fight was when Tyson and Lewis

published an academic article about him

fought in 2001. It was not a great match

and completed a PhD dissertation on

(although better than many expected)

his life. But the stories he told me over a

but it was worth the price for the

couple of months of weekly phone calls

sentimental value.

necessitated weeks of new research

How long did you research the subject?

in the Library of Congress to verify or

Why do you think there haven’t been any biographies of George Foreman? My guess is, the reasons why I wanted to research and write about Foreman are the same reasons that have dissuaded others from writing about him: his life spans a long and complicated period in American history, including a half-century of public life since the

Dr. Smith discovers a warm-up robe donated by Foreman among the treasures at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.


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clarify all of that new information before I could add it into the book manuscript. And then after the manuscript was completed, it took another year to work through the publishing process. So, suffice it to say, this was much more of a marathon than a sprint.

What lessons does George Foreman’s life hold for us?

1968 Olympics, and he is not just

I think Foreman’s life is a great reminder

alive but still very active. To write a

of the symbiosis between personal

biography of a living person with a long

accountability and adaptability with

public history means that the author

community and government support.

needs to not only comb through

His successes as a boxer, preacher,

mountains of material from the past but

pitchman, and businessman have a

also keep up with the present. For me,

lot to do with his own determination,

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effort, and willingness to learn or grow.

to look at if you want to understand

But his opportunities to apply those

how the country changed from the

characteristics and realize success

Great Migration to the Great Society,

were also largely based on programs like

through the Cold War and the Culture

the Job Corps or the U.S. Olympic

Wars. And he changed — personally and

Committee. A great illustration of

publicly — along with the times, which

this connection is how Foreman, as a

has a lot to do with his success outside

20-something heavyweight champion,

of the ring. Few athletes have leveraged

insisted on doing his own taxes; but, he

their celebrity so well, for so long, and

also set a personal goal not just to earn

that is because Foreman’s popularity

millions but to pay over $1 million in

was not just based on his athletic

taxes (which didn’t take him nearly as

abilities but also on his personality,

long as he thought it would!) because

charisma, and how he told and

he recognized that support from

re-told his own story in ways that really

others before him opened up the

connected with millions of Americans

pathways to success that he traveled

across many different social groups.

in multiple careers.

How does your research and this book inform your teaching at Nichols College? A great perk about teaching at Nichols is that I get to design courses in multiple disciplines, sometimes even creating new ones based on my interests or the interests I see in new waves of students. Many of my courses are sport-centric, and for Nichols students that means we talk a lot about the business of sports as well as the social, cultural, and political connections between the organizers, players, and consumers of sport. But the process of researching and writing this book also let me integrate some

Your book has gotten great reviews, including from the Wall Street Journal. How does that make you feel?

have sent compliments and asked me to mail autographed bookplate stickers,

It’s been very flattering and also

which I’m always happy to do. And it’s

humbling to read some very positive

particularly encouraging to think that

reviews trickling out now that the book

every time someone opens the book,

has been on the shelf for a few months.

reads a review, or stumbles onto my

But even more touching has been the

website, they also get a chance to learn

phone calls and emails from readers

about Nichols College and see some of

who just wanted to let me know they

the big things coming out of our little college on

enjoyed the book. Boxing fans

the Hill.

from the U.S. and abroad, as well as fans or friends of Foreman in Texas and around the nation,

skill-based teaching in Nichols courses — things like conducting and recording interviews, using biography to explain complicated themes, and even designing your own website (something I had to learn after the book was finished!) have now become important components of different courses that I teach.

Would you consider George Foreman to be a true American icon? Why? I think Foreman is an iconic athlete-celebrity whose life and various careers closely trace the contours of American history in the second half of the 20th century. He’s a great person

Learn more at or by contacting the author at

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Student-athletes improve strength with Coach Bob by Pete DiVito, Sports Information Director

In the spring of 2015, Nichols College completed the bulk of a $6.9 million renovation to Chalmers Field House with a goal of providing a modern fitness center to the campus community, including a new weight training facility for student-athletes. The Pak Den Weight Room — created through gifts from the Pakradooni family, Jeff ’69, Aram MBA ’91 and Peter ’96 — served the Bison well for the better part of two decades, helping bring home championships in football, men’s soccer, tennis, and ice hockey, to name a few. With the new varsity weight room, which features several squat racks as well as a complete rack of free weights and an indoor turf training mat, Nichols brought on a full-time strength and conditioning coordinator for what is now its 22 varsity programs. Today, that role is the purview of Bob Donahue.

Photos: Erin Stanton

“I get excited when I see improvements in student-athletes and teams as a whole,” said Donahue, who took over the reins in 2018. “I see their confidence change. Not much has changed in terms of wins and losses since I arrived here almost two years ago. The teams that won championships before I got here are still winning championships. That

Coach Bob Donahue


Nichols College Magazine

said, I feel that those programs as a whole have improved a little bit, which I am proud of. I’ve been told that people enjoy coming to lift and don’t dread it. I try and make it as enjoyable as possible. I also like to keep it efficient to respect their busy schedules.” Donahue came to Nichols from the Division I College of the Holy Cross before spending time at Merrimack College, which recently made the transition from the Northeast-10 — one of the top Division II conferences in the country — to DI. His experience prepared him well for Nichols. “At Holy Cross, I coached other people’s programs. At Merrimack, I was able to make my own program, but I had to get it approved by the strength and conditioning coach,” Donahue explained. “Now, I take what I learned from those programs and pair those ideas with things I’ve read. This past year, I’ve read more books than I have in my entire life. I like reading about and trying new things.” Prior to Donahue’s arrival, the Bison won a school-record for Commonwealth

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Coast Conference (CCC) Championships during the 2017-18 campaign — men’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, and men’s and women’s tennis. Three of those programs — hockey and both tennis programs — won an NCAA Tournament game/match, so it’s not as if Donahue arrived on campus with a bare cupboard. Rather, he cites the jump from graduate assistant, working with three teams, to full-time staff member, working with then 21, as his biggest learning curve. “There was a lot of trial and error,” he said of that period. “I took what I learned over the years from my internships and my graduate assistantship and wanted to develop the best program possible for each team. Once I got through the first semester and got the feel of things, I wanted to improve attendance in the weight room. I now have all 22 varsity teams coming in.” While this is Donahue’s first experience working at the Division III level, he said the student-athlete commitment is no different than their DI counterparts. “Lift is mandatory at the Division I level, but not at Division III. There are some

Members of the men’s and women’s tennis teams celebrate the 6th consecutive men’s championship.

Photo: Pete DiVito

explaining my whys, I felt like everyone was starting to buy in.”

Coach Tim Mayo athletes at the Division I level who don’t feel that there is much room for improvement, or they leave you feeling you haven’t made much of a difference because they’re so athletic to begin with. They are already at an elite level,” he explained. “At Division III, that isn’t always the case, so you are able to make more of an impact. I’m fortunate at Nichols in that there has been a great level of commitment.”

Photo: Brian Foley

Baseball head coach Tim Mayo is just one of many Nichols coaches who work with Donahue year-round. Said Mayo, “Bob plays a vital role in our program’s vision of being the top team in the CCC. His knowledge and ability to relate with our student-athletes has made his strength program extremely successful, making us better on the diamond. Our guys have bought into the importance of being the strongest team on the field each day and part of that stems from

Captain McKenna Gernander

Bob’s ‘buy-in’ to what we are trying to do as a program. His ability to get the guys excited about challenging themselves in the weight room is not only helping us physically, but mentally as well. We are extremely lucky to have someone with his knowledge and energy on our side, pushing our athletes to get to that next level.” Junior McKenna Gernander, who stars on both the women’s ice hockey and lacrosse teams, added, “Coach Bob has brought energy to the weight room that has motivated my teammates to become the strongest we’ve ever been. It’s tough to get out of bed at 5:15 a.m. and go lift, but Coach Bob’s energy makes it hard for you to give anything but your all and have fun while doing it. It’s one thing to tell us what to do, but Coach Bob shows us how to properly execute movements. He explains how different lifts will make us better than our opponents on the ice.” To Gernander’s point, one of Donahue’s most important goals as the strength and conditioning coach is to help student-athletes understand why they are doing a particular exercise. “If I can’t tell them that, they’re not going to buy in,” he said. “For some teams, it took a little bit of time. I had to prove myself. From the get-go, I was very fortunate to receive respect from the student-athletes. After a few months of

Donahue considers himself a movementbased coach who wants to make sure that the student-athletes are moving correctly. “The only way to improve performance is to keep the athletes on the field, so my goal as the strength coach is to minimize the risk of injury,” he explained. “I want to make sure the student-athletes are moving correctly. Once they are moving correctly, then we can start loading them up and getting them stronger because we’ve reduced the risk of injury. I want to improve their all-around athleticism. Teaching athletes how to load their body correctly and proper body weight movements will help them move more efficiently and effectively.” While many of us are sound asleep, Donahue’s day often begins with a 3 a.m. wakeup call. “I have to be the thermostat instead of the thermometer,” he explained. “I have to set the tone for the room. If I come in and am quiet and just hanging out, that’s how the student-athletes will act — especially when football comes in at 5:30 a.m. I have to be loud and obnoxious to wake these guys up and get them going. I thoroughly enjoy doing what I am doing. I wake up and am excited to go to work. I’m very fortunate because not many people can say that. That’s why I’m such a hyper, spastic-kind of guy.” A former rugby student-athlete himself at Coastal Carolina University, Donahue says he now devotes a great deal of time instilling in his student-athletes how important it is to enjoy this time in their lives. “I try to explain to our teams that the way you feel before a game is a feeling that you’ll never experience again in your life. This feeling will never come back, so cherish it. You’ve all been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You are extremely lucky to play competitively at the college level with your friends. There is nothing better than that. That’s what gets me excited. I live vicariously through that.”

l Nichols College Magazine


From the Archives a

Make way for the Mayor of the Hill Contributed by Jim Douglas

One of the most coveted leadership positions on campus between 1963 and 1993 was Mayor of the Hill. Prior to 1963, there were apparently Mayors, dating back to Tom Sweet ’39, but, according to a March 1962 article in The Bison, credit for the creation by the Justinian Council of the Mayor and his Council should go to its first holder of the title, Robert Donovan ’63. Members of his Council were Robert Craig ’64, Kenneth Dierks ’63, and Christian Werner ’62. The Mayor was elected by the students and appointed a six-member Council shortly thereafter. The purpose of the Mayor’s Council was to “unite the Student Body for one common cause — that being the support of all campus activities; the emphasis falling on Nichols sports.” Throughout that first year, they sponsored a variety of activities, including a snow sculpture contest, and senior, forestry, and sports awards. In 1967, the Mayor’s Council instigated the purchase of a Bison costume to be worn by a student at

The first Mayor’s Council in 1962 kicked off a 30-year tradition at Nichols.


Nichols College Magazine

each of the home games and helped create the first (all male, of course) official cheerleading squad on campus. Being chosen Mayor was a great honor, and it was a great opportunity for the Mayors and Council members to develop their leadership skills. Jack Hills ’69, Mayor of the Hill in 1968 and 1969, recalls, “Dick Patterson, the head of the Justinians, and I made a presentation to President Gordon Cross and the Board of Trustees to let us open a campus social club [later known as the Bison’s Den]. The Board thought they were just going to hear us out and say, ‘thank you but no.’ They were as surprised as we were that they approved it. But, of course, without funding. So we raised the money from the students, faculty, and even the Dudley-Webster community. Our first fundraising experience.” By 1973, the role of the Mayor’s Council had expanded from running campus social functions to promoting civic affairs. Henry Wainer ’72, Mayor of the Hill in 1971, points out that “while students on other campuses were rioting [over the Vietnam War], we were helping the outside community with cleanups and a very successful Christmas dinner.” (In 1976, for example, their Christmas Drive provided over 130 needy families in the area with Christmas dinners.) Former Mayors recall their service with pride, attest to how the experience gave them the opportunity to give back to the college community and beyond, and credit it with giving them important skills for their future careers. Alan Bilzerian ’67 remembers being rather shy when arriving on campus but as Mayor gained great self-confidence and skill

l Spring/Summer 2020

in public speaking, particularly after Nichols President Col. James Conrad requested that he address the entire student body every Wednesday morning. That self-confidence, he says, enabled him to walk into a bank upon graduation and obtain the funding needed to launch a new very successful family clothing and accessories business, now the high-end creatively curated Alan Bilzerian shops in Boston and Newton. Wainer’s work with top level bands, such as Sha Na Na and John Sebastian as Mayor, gave him valuable experience with negotiation and contracts that would help him in his future career in the areas of sales, teamwork, entertaining, promotion, and public speaking for Sid Wainer & Son, a premier specialty food distributor. Records show that Kim Coale had the honor of being the first female Mayor in 1973, and beginning in 1980, students elected both a senior and junior Mayor of the Hill, including Diane (Maga) Page and Suzanne Hayward, who reached out to help provide the names of some missing Mayors on our list from the ’80s and ’90s. By 1994, the Justinian Council had been replaced by a Student Government Association and the Mayor’s Council was replaced with a Student Activities Board. But few of the many campus leadership positions that followed embodied the community spirit of Nichols quite like the Mayor.

Special thanks to Alan Bilzerian ’67, Jack Hills ’69, and Henry Wainer ’72 for their contributions to this article.



> 50th Reunion


always a picture with the greasers in the correct position.

Class Champion: Class Champion:

Mark Alexander

Jim Mulcunry

The group selected the Key West Express ferry from Ft. Meyers to

Key West to kick off the week-

Mark Alexander and his wife Sue Class of 1970, the reunion committee has elected to postpone our 50th celebration to June 2021 during the new reunion weekend. Homecoming schedule for Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 26, will reflect all necessary changes to activities. Stay tuned for information on reunion and class scholarship. Visit https://alumni.

Nichols items, but the highlight

recent visit in Naples, FL.

was custom-designed t-shirts with the Nichols College logo on the front, and the Greaser Weekend photo splashed across the back. The reactions these shirts triggered throughout the From left, standing, David Hoffert

weekend were amazing.

and wife Cindy; Tim Craig and

1973 Class Champion: Jay Reese (508) 359-7862

wife Danelle; John Hachmann

Curiosity started on the boat,

and wife Gerry in front.

with a group nearby asking about the picture. Some asked where

An excerpt from an essay about

Nichols College was located, to

the reunion written by Tim Craig:

which Tim usually said, ‘South of Worcester, near Connecticut, not

“About 50 years ago, three guys

far from Lake Chargoggagog-

became friends while living in


John Hachmann writes: “Well, we

O’Neil Dorm on the Nichols

gungamaugg,’ which produced

College campus. The weekends

puzzled faces and laughter.

made it and accomplished our goal! After meeting in 1969-1970,

and parties were well attended year after year, but at “Greaser

The group is already talking

Weekend” in February of 1973, a

about the next reunion. Could it

picture was taken that commem-

possibly be San Antonio posing

orates the friendship of John and

in front of The Alamo? Can you

high school girlfriends.

Gerry Hachmann, Dave and Cindy

picture it? Maybe…”

Nichols has made the Wall of

Craig. So, now a new ‘Kodak mo-

Fran Keefe writes: “I received my

ment’ is recorded each time they

2020 Nichols College calendar

have a reunion.

recently. I barely recognized the

the party continues, only now it’s Nichols friends and their wives traveled to Greece September 2019: George Tucker (Linda), Burton Corkum (Kate), Tom O’Brien (Goldee), Tim Danahy ’71 (Nancy Ragland, friend). While there, they enjoyed an evening terrace dinner in Athens, overlooking the Acropolis, drinking Nichols Cabernet Reserve 2014, Napa.

everyone with gift bags filled with

with Frank Lovell ’71 during a

Jim Mulcunry was spotted in Florida with a group of alumni.

end. On the boat, John surprised

report they had fun catching up

Key West, Florida. Amazingly, the group is still adventurous, friends, healthy, AND still married to their

Fame, and we placed the decal center stage on a beam, never to be removed from Hog’s Breath Saloon in Key West.”

Hoffert, and Tim and Danelle

place...Wow! What a beautiful Over the years, we were joined by

campus. The new buildings and

other classmates when possible,

upgrades are impressive, to say

mainly Pete Monico or Jay Reese

the least. Nichols appears to be

and their late dear friend John

poised for many more years to

‘Hittie’ Prenguber — but the

come. Wish I was 18 again.”

three greaser couples always attended. Each event featured a proper pose in front of the Liberty Bell, the Savannah skyline, or just at one of their homes, but

Please send your Class Notes news directly to your class champion. If you do not have a class champion, news may be forwarded to Digital images are preferred, but please do not crop them! The higher the resolution the better — 300 dpi (dots per inch) is best. Digital images may be sent directly to the Alumni Relations Office Prints may be sent to: Nichols College, Alumni Relations Office, P.O. Box 5000, Dudley, MA 01571.

l Nichols College Magazine



David Alvord was appointed fire chief of the Town of Plainfield, MA, this past September. He is a 43-year volunteer firefighter who has served the past 15 years as deputy chief. He has also been a certified EMT

1985 > 35th Reunion Class Champion: John Donahue 609-257-8717

for the past 38 years. Plainfield is a small hill town in Hampshire County bordering both Berkshire and Franklin counties. Alvord lives in town with wife Linda and continues to work at the Daily Hampshire

John Donahue has submitted a Q&A format for four classmates, Kevin Richetelli, Yvonne Cochran, Pam (Jones) Landrigan, and Ken Wood.

What was the attraction to Nichols? Kevin: Quaint New England college with good proximity to the surrounding states and all they have to offer.

Gazette in Northampton.

1978 Ron Ducharme was named vice president of business development for Covectra. He will lead the marketing, sales and overall new business development worldwide for the company’s serialized barcode high-security label solution as well as the growing number of product offerings in brand protection and serialization. Previously, he worked for nearly 40 years at FLEXcon Co., most recently as market development manager for durable and digital products.

Yvonne: Nichols College is a school of comparative size to my high school. It was close enough to my home that I could drive to school. The diversity of housing options was very appealing to me. Pam: I was attracted to Nichols for the smaller size and community feel. A major factor was also that my dad graduated from Nichols in 1950, and I liked the idea of continuing his legacy. Ken: Nichols for me was attractive as an 18 year old, as at that time in my life I really did not have firm objectives or directional plans for my future. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the business world, and Nichols had a very good program and reputation. For me, the smaller school and class size were important factors as well as being geographically convenient.

What is your fondest memory of Nichols? Kevin: The bonds of friendships forged and comradery among athletes. Go Bison! Yvonne: There is simply not one memory, but all the memories from our Justinian house are treasured. Pam: I have many fond memories of my time on the Hill. Too many to count!

1979 John Barton (left) hosted the men’s hockey team and fan dinner this fall in Buffalo; Andy Rich ’73 was also in attendance.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman or prospective student? Kevin: Cherish your time in college and make the most of it academically to afford you opportunities in the future. Yvonne: Take the time to talk to your classmates and professors. Pam: Open yourself up to new clubs, sports, and people. Don’t make it a repeat of high school, have no fear and expand yourself in mind, body and spirit. You are making lifetime memories, embrace everything, good and challenging alike.


Nichols College Magazine

l Spring/Summer 2020

Ken: I would tell them to emphasize balance and focus. There are many distractions for young people, especially in the times we live today. Develop a plan to take advantage of the opportunity ahead of you and enjoy the overall college experience but find a balance between the academic requirements and social scenes afforded in college. In concert with that, despite being a young adult and often times not knowing exactly what endeavors await you, do your best to maintain focus on your priorities. Four years will go by very quickly but can be a very important and influential period in your journey.

What impact did your experience at Nichols prepare you for where you are today? Yvonne: One of the great advantages to attending smaller schools is that you quickly get to know everyone on campus. Which means you find yourself getting to know, and getting along with, others from a variety of cultures and life experiences — for four years. Pam: Nichols definitely prepared me for the workforce. I began my post-college career in mortgage banking, then continued in finance for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Ultimately I had a passion to teach so I went to graduate school and made a total career change to a middle school history and reading teacher. I learned from Nichols that structure in a classroom was essential to success, and it was a hallmark of my classroom philosophy. Ken: If I had to pick one major factor where Nichols has played a role on where I am today, it would be overall preparation. By the time I was ready to graduate, I not only had a job but felt prepared to move onto the next phase of my life and had a good idea on which direction I intended to follow.

Was there a class or professor that had a profound impact on you or your career? Yvonne: I am sure that Dr. Tipper and Professor Holden have received many positive reviews here. Add mine to the list. Pam: I think one of the most memorable classes I took was public speaking. I remember feeling challenged to write thoughtful and articulate pieces to present, but I think I learned the most by listening to my peers. I can remember today, word for word, a compelling speech on freedom given by a classmate. It was impactful!



Kristin Mayotte was appointed

Some members of the Class

Class Champion: Keith Hofbeck

of ’88 (and ’87) met for a mini

education, and community

reunion: Dave and Lisa Gallagher, Laura Bray ’87, Jay Bray, Robin

Hall of Famer Chris Galligan

and Tim O’Loughlin, Phil Cronin,

MBA ’96 and his son Michael (11)

and Mark Winship.

donned matching Bison shirts — a surprise Christmas gift from Chris’ wife Kristen — during a recent vacation. While they were walking through the crowd at Disney Springs, someone yelled

vice president of advancement, engagement at YOU Inc., where she has worked for 26 years, most recently as vice president of strategy and program

2005 > 15th Reunion Class Champion: Melissa Jackson Majlinda Haxhiaj MBA was promoted to vice president/small


business development officer at


and implementing growth

Class Champion:

organizations. She has been

Danielle Troiano Sprague

Go Bison! “It was a total thrill!”

says Kristen.


> 25th Reunion

2000 > 20th Reunion Class Champion: Andrea Sacco

Clinton Savings Bank, developing strategies within and between with the bank for 21 years and previously served as foreign affairs and letter of credits department officer at the National Commercial Bank of Albania.

2006 Class Champion: Erica Boulay

Steven Taylor MBA ’02, has

been promoted to dosimetry technician at Electric Boat in

Brennan Campbell joined

Groton, CT.

UniBank of Whitinsville as vice president of commercial banking,

2001 1990 > 30th Reunion 1991 Class Champion: Donna Small 336-692-5157 This spring, Alex Kirk, golf professional and coach at Dartmouth College, zoomed into a sport management class on coaching taught by Assistant Professor Charlie Robert. He is also a member of the Bison Club Committee.

1993 Michelle Brown was named

responsible for developing,

Class Champion: David Twiss 978-979-7658

maintaining, and growing the commercial loan portfolio of real estate investors,


small businesses,

initiative in Meredith, NH. She has

Class Champion:

Previously, he was

been the marketing manager and

vice president and

the executive assistant for Mill

executive director of the Greater Meredith Program, a Main Street

and nonprofits.

Jillian (Hayes) Smerage

commercial relationship manager at Fidelity Bank in Worcester.

Falls at the Lake and is currently executive assistant for Meredith

Kathy Ewen writes: “I have now

Bay Corporation. Brown will

been working at Chapel Haven

manage the daily operations of

in New Haven as job coach for

the GMP and will be responsible

15 years, and love every part

for coordinating the implemen-

of my Job. Over Memorial Day

tation of the GMP’s policies and

2019, I rode in the Bethany, CT,


day parade on my mom’s horse Ariel, representing Blackhorse for

Matthew Kerzner, a director in

Heroes, a therapy program for

the EisnerAmper Center for

veterans at our barn. Both Ariel

Family Business Excellence,

and I had a great time!”

has earned a PhD in business psychology from the Chicago School of Professional

Hillarie Scott and Bison friends

Psychology. His dissertation

from ’05, ’06, and ’07 were

was on Succession Planning in

spotted at Foxwoods Casino.

Family-Owned Businesses:


Owners’ Practices and Perception.

l Nichols College Magazine



Success on the road less travelled Christine Scarafoni ’06, MBA/MSOL ’16 Juggling the demands of a full-time

motivation and the determination

job as a human resources director

to grow,” Scarafoni remarks. “I really

and two young children while she was

enjoy seeing employees I’ve hired

getting her undergraduate degree,

move up through the company and

Christine Scarafoni’s college experience

find satisfaction in their careers.”

was anything but traditional. “[It] was not always the easiest road, but it was

Through her own motivation and

worth it in the end,” she says. Using

determination, Scarafoni obtained

every means available through

a Leadership Certificate from the

Nichols — courses at satellite locations,

International Banking School at

cultural credits through WGBH, and

UPenn’s Wharton School and

online and hybrid classes — Scarafoni

returned to Nichols to earn a

earned a Bachelor of Science in

dual MBA and MSOL (Master of

Business Administration with a

Science in Organizational Leadership)

specialization in general business

degree in 2016. “All of the companies

from Nichols in 2006.

I’ve worked for were big proponents of higher education and employee

learn for their career development. I can then tailor my teaching towards those needs.” She also lends her time and talent on the college’s Board of Advisors and with the Career and Professional Development Center, conducting mock interviews and participating

“The first college class I took was an

professional development, which

organizational behavior class, which

worked in my favor,” she states.

on HR panels.

Maintaining the life-work-graduate

When she is not working or teaching,

I loved because it tied so directly into my career in HR,” she notes.

school balance, however, took another

Scarafoni has plenty to keep her busy. Living in Sutton, Mass., and married to

Scarafoni began that career in

juggling act. “I am an early riser and

banking but soon switched when a

would read textbook passages and

position opened in the bank’s payroll

articles in the morning before head-

department. From there, she quickly

ing to work, and I would complete

rose through the ranks. Swearing by

homework assignments on my lunch

personality tests, such as Myers Briggs

breaks,” she recalls. “I actually closed

and Caliper Profile, she found a calling

on our house the day after taking the

in HR. “I score as an extreme extrovert

final exam in my capstone course!”

By navigating her own pathway

work. HR was a perfect match for me,

Scarafoni is currently the chief human

three Nichols degrees, Scarafoni has

as I found not only did it offer me

resources officer at KLR, an accounting

more career advancement possibilities,

and business advisory firm, and

but it allowed my mind to work in dif-

serves as an adjunct faculty member

ferent ways every day, which

at Suffolk University and Nichols.

challenged me,” she says.

“I enjoy teaching because it allows

who likes flexibility and variety in my

me to bring my experiences into the


what students need and want to

The career also offers many gratifying

classroom in order to help students,”

moments, particularly when she finds

she says. “Nichols has allowed me

the right hiring fit for employees.

to design two classes, which is

“When I am in hiring mode, I look for

important to me because it allows

employees who have passion and

me to get creative and think about

Nichols College Magazine

l Spring/Summer 2020

Todd, head teaching pro at the Bass Rocks Golf Club in Gloucester, she has three grandchildren and enjoys cooking, reading, and listening to true crime podcasts.

toward obtaining not just one but shown that advancing skills through higher education is within anyone’s reach. To those considering it, she advises, “Nichols courses are seven weeks long. I am a firm believer that anybody can do anything they set their mind to for seven weeks, if they manage their time right.”

– Brent Broszeit MBA ’02


Brittany McNally married Tom

Class Champion:

in Beverly, MA. Pictured are,

Boucher on September 14, 2019,

Meaghan Larkin

bottom row, from left, Loretta

Cassidy-Rosa, Katelyn Vella, Brittany Boucher, Alicia (DeLuca)

Jimmy Elder

Sawyer ’11, Brittany (Steadman)

and his

Pfeifer, Erica Siciliano; middle row,

wife Laura welcomed their daughter Charlie Joann on July 14, 2019. Greg Bellavance and wife Sarah welcomed Kennedi Rae on February 3, 2019, in the third quarter of the Super Bowl!

Elizabeth Sullivan ’12, Lauren Members of the Class of 2007

(Burke) Hutchinson, Megan

gathered in Boston for dinner at

Sherman; back row, Ed Baia ’12.

Lolita on June 8, 2019. Pictured

In February 2020, Michael McConville received Fallon Health’s annual Community Impact Award. McConville, a MassHealth relationship executive, was cited for his participation in many Fallon initiatives, including the Canal Diggers 5K, help with Worcester Public School students, the organization’s first-ever charity

are Andrea Lane, Jackie McNulty,

softball game, and, as a veteran

Jimmy Elder, Tim Clark, Rob

of the Air Force and Air National

McDonagh, Kari (Harvey)

Guard, the annual Veterans Day

Lindsay, Meaghan Larkin, Gary Dalton, Matt Francis.

employee luncheon. In addition

Meaghan Larkin and her fiancé

organizations, including the

to Fallon, he volunteers for other Dudley-Charlton School District,


Ancient Order of Hibernians,


Tradewinds Clubhouse, and the

welcomed their son

Anthony Bacarella published a

Liam Larkin

children’s book called “She Can,”

Sheehan on August 1, 2019.

which has been described as “…a

2008 Class Champion: Nicole Curley Gary Dalton and


his wife Meagan

2010 > 10th Reunion

welcomed their

Class Champion:

first child Olivia

Katelyn Vella

Gray on October

1, 2019.

fun book to

Special Olympics. He was recently recognized by the American Red Cross for his 192nd donation of blood.

read to a baby and to teach a toddler to read,” with a message of “Your little girl can do anything and be anything!”

2011 Class Champion: Alexandria Hallam

Nichols alumni traveled to Nantucket to participate in the Run for Robin 5K ( on November 3, 2019, in memory of the mother of Kari (Harvey) Lindsay. Pictured are Zack Lindsay, Kari Lindsay, John Kostas and his wife Kim, Tim Clark, Joanne (O’Sullivan) MacKay, Jackie McNulty, Jimmy Elder with baby Bison!

Kaitlyn Foley was married to Christopher Freepartner on September 19, 2019, with many Bison in attendance; from left, are Kylee Guthrie, Cristina (Capaldi) Di Giacomo, Kaitlyn Freepartner, Brittney Pickering, Carly Snediker and Jonathan Snediker ’09.

l Nichols College Magazine




2015 > 5th Reunion

Class Champion: Ryan Flavin

Class Champions:

Andrew Haas & Mike Ricci

Melissa Kuehl was promoted to vice president of marketing at Rollstone Bank & Trust, where she

Lindi Bedore reports that on

began her career

September 14, 2019, she was

as a part-time

married to her best friend of

teller in 1988. She

nine years.

serves on the North Central Massachusetts

Grace Murphy and Steve Delahanty were married in May 2019.

Chamber of Commerce


Scholarship Committee and is a member of the current class of

Class Champions:

the Chamber’s Community

Leadership Institute.

Nicole LaBrack & Gina Petruzzi

Taylor Ross has been appointed to the Nichols College Board of Advisors. He

A holiday gathering, featuring, 2017 classmates, from left, front row,

is an associate

Ali Hanlon, Eileen Buzzard; middle row, Gina Petruzzi, Nicole LaBrack,

director, capital management,

Guy Deplacido recently became

Kelly Downey; back row, Katherine Cotton, Lindsay Baker, Hayley

at Sun Life

engaged and bought a house this

Donahue, Cally Audet, Julia Zawacki.

Financial, leading

past year.

the local capital and liquidity management for the U.S. business group, which includes 16 legal entities and a combined balance sheet of $27 billion.

20 Nichols College Magazine

l Spring/Summer 2020

Walking tall Brooke Maher ’17 If you’ve been to a road race or walk

and budget and works to keep the

in Boston to raise awareness and

event on track.

funds for your favorite non-profit organization, it is likely that Brooke

Maher has learned many things on

Maher ’17 and her team at Conventures

the job, but one of her biggest lessons

Inc. had something to do with it. Maher

is learning how to perform under

is an account executive on the Sports

pressure. “You can only prepare so

Team at Conventures, located in

much for an event,” she says. “There

downtown Boston’s Seaport District.

is always something unexpected that

She is involved in the planning and

will happen before or during an event

execution of 20 to 24 events per year

that you must react to quickly. You

and serves as the event director for

have to be able to think in detail the

nine major events: Light the Night

best way to solve a problem while still

(Nashua, NH, Boston, North Shore, and

considering how this will affect the

Providence), Jimmy Fund 5K, Boston

bigger picture.”

a strong team has deep roots in athletics,” Maher explains. She says a big event is like game day; you have to perform under pressure, work as a team, and multitask — abilities she mastered on the Nichols soccer field. “Brooke was a great leader,” offers her former coach, Damir Pesa. “She led by

Children’s Hospital Corporate Cup, Special Olympics of Massachusetts Jolly

As a sport management major and

Jump 5K, Boston Marine Corps

women’s soccer captain while at

Honor Run and First Night Boston.

Nichols College, Maher is exceptionally qualified for a spot on the Sports Team

It is Maher’s job to work collaboratively

where, funny enough, each member is

with her clients. Conventures and the

a former college athlete, as highlighted

Sports Team can provide start-to-finish

in a recent blog post from Conventures.

event planning services or day-of-event

“While playing a college sport is not

support. Maher sets up bi-weekly calls

a prerequisite for joining the Sports

to come up with an event game plan

Team, it’s no surprise to us that such

example on our team and was the type of player who could always think a couple steps ahead.” Today, Maher finds meaning in the example set by others. “Being able to successfully execute an event for our clients, get participants connected to the non-profit organization and wanting to come back year after year is extremely rewarding,” she says. “Not only am I hitting my goals professionally, but I know that the money raised is going to a great cause.” Maher is inspired by her work with Boston non-profits, such as Boston Children’s Hospital, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Project Bread, and Franciscan Children’s Hospital, and the families and patients these organizations benefit. “I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to do work I genuinely enjoy while knowing it is having a lasting impact on the lives of others.” – Jillian Riches MBA/MSOL ’18

l Nichols College Magazine



Home Improvement Innovator: Marcus Moran ’66 M. Marcus Moran Jr. ’66, former president and CEO of W.E. Aubuchon Inc., the business his grandfather founded in 1908, died December 1, 2019. During his tenure, Aubuchon, the oldest family-owned and -managed chain of hardware stores in the U.S., expanded to more than 125 stores in New England and New York. Moran was a highly celebrated civic and industry leader and an advocate for many charitable organizations, including Nichols College, where he served as past trustee and was awarded an honorary doctorate of business administration in 2018. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Tonia; three children; and six grandchildren.

E Morton Pearson ’43, of Holden, MA, December 5, 2019.

k M. Marcus Moran Jr. ’66 DBA (Hon.) ’18, of Westminster, MA,

E Theodore H. Walworth ’47, of Greenwich, CT, January 16, 2020.

E Robert W. Needham ’48, of Springfield, OR, December 20, 2019.

E Ronald G. Repsher ’66, of Randolph, NJ, January 8, 2020.

E John T. Stefanik ’48, of Webster, MA, November 14, 2019.

Richard B. Howe ’67, of Oakham, MA, February 8, 2020.

John W. Budd ’50, of Hackettstown, NJ, December 14, 2019.

E Kenneth J. Singer ’67, of Prescott, AZ, February 18, 2020.

George F. McGilvery ’52, of Oxford, ME, April 8, 2020.

Michael P. Coleman ’68, of Westport, CT, February 17, 2020.

E Frederick Pratt ’52, of South Sutton, NH, December, 30, 2019.

E Arthur “Art” P. Cunningham Jr. ’68, of Hoover, AL, October 20, 2019.

December 1, 2019.

E Robert B. Sargent ’52, of Lunenburg, MA, February 13, 2020. E Arthur A. Ristau ’53, of Barre, VT, January 22, 2020. E Wilmer W. “Buzz” Hoopes III ’54, of Montrose, PA, Feb. 24, 2020. John R. Houghton ’54, of Cape Elizabeth, ME, December 3, 2019. E Donald L. Thayer ’54, of Edgewater, FL, August 12, 2019. E Donald Gugelman ’55, of Richmond, VA, February 4, 2020. Edward H. Matthiack ’55, of Toms River, NJ, October 12, 2019. E William J. Davidson ’56, of Largo, FL, March 30, 2020.

Dutch Dignitary: Frans Keesing ’63 Frans Keesing ’63, of Ed Baarn, The Netherlands, a

E Robert C. Roots Sr. ’56, of Pittsfield, MA, November 5, 2019.

frequent attendee at

Wayne C. Earley ’57, of Beverly, MA, May 27, 2019.

Nichols College homecoming and reigning champ among

Dale K. Armitage ’59, of Rochester, NY, March 2, 2020.

alumni who travel the farthest, died March 21, 2020.

E Stephen L. Smith ’60, of Moody, ME, September 17, 2019.

A native of The Netherlands, Keesing was raised in

E William Bedle ’61, of Arcade, NY, March 1, 2020.

Washington, D.C., and served in the U.S. Army in the

E Howard Winslow “Win” Sears Jr. ’61, of Marietta, GA, Nov. 13, 2019.

Vietnam War. He returned to his homeland in the 1970s as

E Frans J. Keesing ’63, of Ed Baarn, The Netherlands, March 21, 2020.

head of the Foreign Exchange Investigations Department

E Arthur B. Tozzi ’63, of Wilson, NC, January 26, 2020.

at the Rabo Bank, retiring in 2005. His legendary love of

E Howard K.O. Chong Jr. ’64, of Honolulu, HI, September 22, 2019. E Richard P. Luikey ’64, of Millbury, MA, January 30, 2020. E William C. Richwagen ’64, of Rutland, VT, December 11, 2019. Robert A. Brunelle ’65, of Plymouth, MA, December 29, 2019. Daniel M. Hastings ’65, of Shrewsbury, MA, February 10, 2020. John A. Troland ’65, of New London, CT, Tuesday, January 14, 2020. E Roger H. Elkins ’66, of Framingham, MA, October 10, 2019.

22 Nichols College Magazine

l Spring/Summer 2020

travel culminated in 68 cruises to ports around the world. Survivors include two brothers.

E Bernard F. Foley ’68, of Worcester, MA, August 31, 2019.


Bernard R. Durning Jr. ’69, of Northborough, MA, April 29, 2020.

John M. Chlapowski, former football defensive coordinator,

Dennis Guittarr ’69, of Plymouth, MA, March 11, 2020.

Donald J. Miceli ’70, of Waterbury, CT, December 10, 2019.

E Manuel Pimentel, former instructor and coach (baseball

Craig A. Peterson ’70, of Sayreville, NJ, December 3, 2019.

Paul M. Carpenter ’72, of Easthampton, MA, October 23, 2019.

Arline (Latour) Rice, former secretary, of Dudley, MA, January 21, 2020.

of Dudley, MA, August 18, 2019.

and basketball), of Coventry, RI, October 24, 2019.

Robert H. Wilson ’75, of Worcester, MA, August 14, 2019. Robert N. Tremblay ’76, of Webster, MA, February 3, 2020.

E Denotes service in the United States military

George F. Kelly ’78, of Walpole, MA, March 4, 2020.

k Nichols College volunteer

Gregory E. Mason ’79, of Manchester, NH, December 6, 2019. John F. McDermott ’80, of San Jose, CA, December 30, 2019. David E. Gregoire ’82, of Oxford, MA, February 26, 2020. Victoria G. Mason ’86, of Webster, MA, February 15, 2020.

Iterant Scribe: Art Tozzi ’63

E Thomas J. Kaczynski ’93, of Dudley, MA, October, 9, 2019. E Paul E. Tavilla MBA ’01, of Suwanee, GA, December 20, 2019. Ronald W. Conway, Jr. ’08, of Dudley, MA, December 28, 2019.

Arthur B. “Toz” Tozzi ’63, the class

Adam J. Buchinski ’09, of Worcester, MA, March 27, 2020.

champion who embarked on a three-week motorcycle road trip in 2017 to visit classmates from Virginia to New Hampshire, died January 26, 2020. This personal touch was a hallmark of Toz’s columns in Nichols College Magazine, which featured homespun humor, a frequent plea to pray for a struggling classmate, and a friendly plug for the Class of ’63 Endowed Scholarship. Toz served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 21 years and was an accomplished fighter pilot — flying the F-4 Phantom in over 400 missions in Vietnam. Following retirement, he worked with a major defense contractor. He leaves two daughters; five grandchildren; and two siblings.

Dedicated Leader: Howie Chong ’64 Howard K.O. Chong, Jr. ’64, trustee emeritus, died September 22, 2019. A native of Hawaii, Chong founded Healani Land Co., a real estate holding, management and investment firm, in Honolulu in 1990. He joined the Nichols College Board of Trustees in 1990 and has served as trustee emeritus since 2002. Chong was an ardent and generous supporter of the college, contributing to a range of causes, including men’s and women’s athletics, Vendetti Field, the Fischer Institute and capital campaigns and was one of two donors to kick off the challenge for the Class of ’64 Endowed Scholarship. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard and was active in state politics. Survivors include his wife, Andrea; and a daughter.

l Nichols College Magazine


Tammy Cardillo Wolf ’94: Volunteer leader and scholarship champion Tammy Wolf’s first gift to Nichols

In 2015, Wolf created the Tammy

College was in the summer of 1995, in

Cardillo Wolf Endowed Scholarship

the amount of $19.94, in honor of her

to support a female student who

graduating class. Her generosity did

is actively involved in the Institute

not stop there; she continues to give

for Women’s Leadership. She also

and hasn’t missed a year since then.

spearheaded a scholarship effort

After paying off her student loans, she

for Nichols students who reside in

decided to take it to the next level and

Florida, her home state.

became a member of the President’s Society for donors who give $1,000 or

Last year, when the Class of 1994

more annually.

marked their 25th reunion, Wolf and her classmate Eric Smyrl took the reins

During those years, Wolf also became

on a special celebration on the Hill,

more involved at Nichols, holding

rallying some 50 classmates to not only

several volunteer roles, serving as the

join the festivities but to help launch an endowed class scholarship. During the

“Nichols College holds a special place in my heart. The education I received gave me the foundation I needed to get me off to a great start in my career and I have been successful year after year. I feel strongly about giving back to the place that gave me the skills I needed to achieve my goals.”

event, as Wolf announced the $25,000 fundraising goal, a fellow trustee jumped in with a matching opportunity. This was followed by a raffle and, before long, the passing of the hat for scholarship donations, reminiscent of their college days when money was collected for beer. Thanks to the hard work of Wolf and Smyrl, and the generosity of the Class of ’94, they have recently hit their scholarship goal, creating the Class of ’94 Endowed Scholarship and leaving a legacy that will have a lasting impact on generations of Nichols students to come. “There was a time while I was attending Nichols College that I would have really benefited from an endowed scholarship

special place in my heart. The education I received gave me the foundation I needed to get me off to a great start in my career and I have been successful year after year. I feel strongly about giving back to the place that gave me the skills I needed to achieve my goals.” At Nichols College, Wolf found a second home, a practical education, and life-long friendships. For her, supporting Nichols is an easy choice. “I feel blessed to have the financial ability to make a difference for a Nichols student,” she says.

to help me with my financial needs,” says Wolf of her motivation to help

President’s Society chair, co-hosting

today’s students. “By sponsoring

alumni receptions, becoming a member

scholarships, I know that I am making a

of the Board of Advisors, and currently

direct impact on a student during their

chairing the Advancement Committee

time on the Hill.”

as a member of the college’s Board of Trustees. She is often described

Wolf has decided to continue the impact

as an energetic, passionate, and

of her scholarship through planned

selfless volunteer whose enthusiasm

giving. When asked about her decision

is contagious.

to include Nichols in her estate plans,

24 Nichols College Magazine

she reflects, “Nichols College holds a

l Spring/Summer 2020

, For more information on the Colonel Conrad Society, and making a planned gift to Nichols College please visit or email for a free estate planning guide and workbook.


The Class of 1970 turns 50!

Moments in Time Your alma mater and classmates want to keep in touch with you! Sign up for the alumni email newsletter Nichols & Sense by sending your email address to: | l Nichols College Magazine @NicholsAlumni ` Nichols.College



l Nichols College Magazine


P.O. Box 5000 Dudley, MA 01571-5000

The Bison Care Fund The fund increases scholarship aid to Nichols College students hardest hit by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please help them to keep their education on track. Go to Thank you!

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