RivToday / Fall 2023

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Leveling Up Student-athletes celebrate the installation of a new gym floor at the Muldoon Fitness Center.

President Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM Vice President for University Advancement Karen Cooper ’03G • Director of Alumni Engagement Katie Aalerud Director of Marketing and Communications Griffin Spencer • Senior Writer Michelle Marrone • Graphic Designer Katie Wilkinson Content Coordinator Erin Stanton • Photographers Jodie Andruskevich, Ed Collier, Nick Grace, Kyle Prudhomme

Rivier Today is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications, Rivier University, 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH 03060

Fall 2023 In this Issue

Features 8

ANNOUNCING GO BOLDLY 2024-2030 The University’s strategic plan will lead the way to our centennial anniversary through continued growth in service, enrollment, and resources.





Rivier’s Nursing students offer healing and hope to community members throughout Greater Nashua and beyond.

Rivier welcomed alumni back to campus for a festive weekend of heartwarming reunions, fun events, and alumni awards.

Departments 01

Hearts & Minds




Making a Difference


Social Circles


Raiders Highlights


Alumni Spotlight


Class Notes

Address Changes Update contact and employer information online at www.rivier.edu/alumniupdate. Contact University Advancement and Alumni Relations • Phone (603) 897-8665 • Email alumni@rivier.edu Mail University Advancement and Alumni Relations, 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH 03060 Staying in Touch Main Switchboard (603) 888-1311 • Admissions (603) 897-8507 • Financial Aid (603) 897-8488


HEARTS & MINDS SERVING THE WORLD Message from the President Dear Friends of Rivier, This issue of Rivier Today could be aptly subtitled “Raiders on the move” as our community continues to make advancements in the classroom, on the athletics court and fields, and through community service. This fall, Rivier received full accreditation of its Psy.D. in Counseling and School Psychology program and launched its new Division of Counseling and Psychology. Rivier facultystudent research initiatives attained full membership in New Hampshire INBRE. The Division of Nursing and Health Sciences continues its record of distinction with the award of a $4 million Health Resources and Service Administration grant to create Project SEND. Traveling abroad, a group of Rivier students celebrated Mass with Pope Francis at World Youth Day in Portugal. Our Raiders had one of the best fall sports seasons on record and celebrated the installation of a new, state-of-the-art playing surface in the Muldoon Fitness Center. The Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers honored our Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs by naming its annual award “The Dr. Paula Randazza Outstanding Service Award.” This distinction recognizes her many years of dedicated service to her profession and to Rivier. Reunion Weekend welcomed alumni for celebrations and athletics gatherings. It was a privilege to hear the stories of your Rivier experiences from more than seven decades! I wish you a wonderful Christmas and offer our blessings for the new year. May this season in which light pierces the darkness bring our world to a deeper meaning of peace. Sincerely, Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM President


World Youth Day 2023 – Finding Common Ground Rivier students and staff made a pilgrimage to Lisbon, Portugal, this summer for World Youth Day. Joining more than 354,000 pilgrims from around the world, Rivier community members celebrated their faith and the joy of finding common ground in a place and space dedicated to connection and spiritual growth. A pilgrimage is a journey, most often to a distant land and undertaken on foot, where a person goes in search of new and meaningful experiences of self, others, and their faith. This 10-day pilgrimage offered participants a global view of community and opportunities to engage in meaningful workshops, discussions, and prayer. The pilgrimage culminated in a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on August 6 as part of World Youth Day, which drew 1.5 million worshippers. Jonathan Rudy ’25 summarized the Pope’s message, “As Catholics, we need to welcome everyone and not reject anyone from our faith. No matter where we come from, what language we speak—we should go throughout the world in peace and love.” Students’ reflections on their experiences included a greater understanding of their individual capabilities, new perspectives on global citizenship, and a deepening of their faith.


News from campus and the world beyond


New Division of Counseling and Psychology advances behavioral sciences

In response to the critical need for behavioral health practitioners, Rivier has established a new Division of Counseling and Psychology and appointed Dr. Ralph Sperry as its Dean. Dr. Sperry will also serve as the Director of the Doctor of Psychology in Counseling and School Psychology program and oversee the University’s psychology, human services, clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, and school psychology degree programs. “National research indicates that more than 21% of Americans experience a mental health condition annually, yet there are only enough therapists to support 7% of the population,” shares Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President. “Millions suffering from mental illness are challenged with long wait times or left without treatment completely. The trend is increasing, and the need for new practitioners is great. Rivier University and Dr. Sperry will play a critical role in educating and building the behavioral health workforce.” Dr. Sperry is a licensed clinical psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, and one of only 51 psychologists who has achieved the American Board of Professional Psychology’s Board Certification in Organizational and Business Psychology. He has held CEO and other key leadership positions at prestigious behavioral health organizations.


Doctor of Psychology program achieves full APA accreditation

The Doctor of Psychology in Counseling and School Psychology (Psy.D.) program has received full accreditation status from the American Psychological Association (APA) through 2033, the highest distinction offered by the APA. This organization grants national accreditation for programs in health service psychology.

Most recently, he was the Executive Director of Elliot Hospital’s and Southern New Hampshire Hospital’s Behavioral Health Services, where he led efforts to establish a new 144-bed behavioral health hospital to reduce the extended wait times in their emergency departments. Among his many accomplishments, he has led initiatives that pioneered research in behavior analysis as the standard of treatment for autism and disseminated this research globally. He was appointed as an expert speaker and consultant to the U.S. State Department and has advised countries around the world in the development of training programs for clinicians and national systems of care.

The Psy.D. program prepares graduates to obtain licensure as professional psychologists. Rivier is one of only two institutions in New Hampshire to receive APA accreditation for doctoral training programs in psychology. “Applicants across the nation seek programs distinguished by APA accreditation,” says Sister Paula. “This national credential assures students that their education will meet the highest standards of their profession and will position them for achievement in their field.” Graduates of the Psy.D. program are uniquely qualified for a wide range of professional opportunities based on the combined counseling and school psychology curriculum. With full accreditation status, earning a doctorate from Rivier’s program offers even greater career mobility in a competitive marketplace. Applications are being accepted now for the Fall 2024 cohort. Learn more at rivier.edu/ psyd. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023



Athletics celebrates new court with ribbon-cutting ceremony

The Muldoon Fitness Center sports a brand-new gymnasium court for the first time in more than 25 years as the installation wrapped up in early October. The Raiders women’s volleyball team opened the floor for an official match on October 7 against Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. The team also hosted an ALS Awareness Day, raising funds for the fight against the rare neurological disease. The Raiders basketball and volleyball teams trained off-campus at other venues during construction—Bishop Guertin High School hosted four volleyball matches, Rivier’s indoor 3

summer camp offerings and fall practices for the Raiders in September. “We are thankful to our friends at Bishop Guertin,” said Director of Athletics Jonathan Harper. “They were able to graciously adjust the schedules for their own sports teams to accommodate our student-athletes. The women’s volleyball team won three of its four matches at BG, but I know that the team was excited to be back on campus as conference play began.” The newly installed playing surface features three-point basketball lines for both college and high school play, allowing the gymnasium to be used by

outside groups. Other improvements include additional branding that can be seen throughout the facility. Joining student-athletes for the ribbon-cutting from the four “court sports,” including men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, were Peter Paladino, the Director of Facilities at Bishop Guertin; Jonathan Harper; Joe Walsh, Commissioner of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference; and Steven Perrotta, Rivier’s Vice President for Administration and Finance.


NEWSWORTHY Rivier appoints new Vice President for Student Experience in higher education administration, student development, and building inclusive environments, he brings broad leadership and a commitment to student success and the co-curricular experience to the University.

Dr. Hank Parkinson has joined the Rivier community as the Vice President for Student Experience. With more than 20 years of experience


Dr. Parkinson’s leadership will be valued in the areas of student engagement, multicultural programming, residence life, student health and wellness, campus ministry, and public safety. As a member of the University’s senior administration team, he will contribute innovative leadership to support the highest levels of student engagement, retention, and graduation. “Rivier benefits from Dr. Parkinson’s strong leadership and broad

perspective,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM. “His depth and breadth of experience, as well as his dedication to student engagement, will serve to continuously advance our mission and elevate the Rivier experience for all students.” He has authored several professional articles, spoken at conferences throughout New England, and served on numerous advisory boards to advance leadership development and programs for students and higher education professionals. Currently, he serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Montachusett Opportunity Council and is Vice Chair of the Ashburnham Parks and Recreation Committee.

Rivier achieves record enrollment

Welcoming 2,822 students in September 2023, the University recorded the highest fall enrollment in its history. Continued growth in the undergraduate student population and strong upward trends in the international graduate population were the largest contributors to the total enrollment number. Expanded outreach has drawn students from 32 states and 21 countries including Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. In addition to graduate study, Raiders Athletics has extended its reach nationally and internationally, recruiting studentathletes from a more geographically diverse prospect pool.

“Rivier is attracting more students from all over the world,” says Paul Brower, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “It’s amazing to see the increased activity and diversity on

campus and the sense of community and connection that develop as a result of greater student enrollment and engagement." RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023



Faculty-student projects advance biomedical research at Rivier

The University achieved full Partner membership in the New Hampshire INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) Network this year. Supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the program supports outstanding faculty researchers and promising

undergraduate students at Partner institutions to lead and advance toplevel biomedical research. Science faculty members Dr. Tatiana Jones, Dr. Hye Young Shin, and Dr. Brian Patenaude were each awarded New Hampshire INBRE grants for

summer 2023 research projects. In addition to supporting biomedical research, these grants include a stipend for Rivier student-researchers to develop their laboratory skills in the Science and Innovation Center on campus. Researchers Dr. Jones, Dr. Patenaude, Alexandria Williams ’24, and Kayla Lyle ’24 engaged in an immunology research project titled Self-extracellular (ex)RNA Downregulates Proinflammatory Profile of Activated Macrophages. Dr. Shin, Dyasia Casado ’24, and Leah Nelson ’26 worked together on a project identifying key regulators of brain cancer stem cells titled Targeting Overexpressed Cytokines as Potential Therapeutics to Target the Glioma and Glioblastoma Patients. Dr. Patenaude, Dr. Jones, and Irelynn Mullen ’25 conducted bacterial infection prevention research on the Incorporation of Zinc-Porphyrin into Poly(ethylene terephthalate) and Poly(methyl methacrylate) Plastics for the Photodynamic Inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus. Research projects and findings were presented at the state-wide New Hampshire INBRE annual meeting. Alexandria Williams ’24 placed first in poster presentations, and Dr. Shin and Dr. Jones represented the University as selected speakers. Detailed information on these research projects can be found at www.rivier.edu/INBRE2023.



Rivier launches new MBA in Cybersecurity Leadership

Based on the growing demand for information security analysts and leaders in the cybersecurity field, the University is adding an MBA in Cybersecurity Leadership to its graduate degree offerings. In addition to the MBA, the University will offer a 4+1 program enabling students to receive their cybersecurity undergraduate and master’s degrees in just five years. “Cybercrimes and malware cost companies millions of dollars and oftentimes threaten their survival,” says Dr. Chari Henry-Wilson, Director of Graduate Business Programs. “Organizations increasing use of technology makes the defense of their data and computer systems crucial to ongoing operations. Rivier’s new MBA in Cybersecurity Leadership will


develop and support practitioners and leaders in the field to advance digital protections, cybersecurity strategies, and the use of emerging technologies.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analyst is one of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Occupations; jobs are expected to grow 32% from 2022 to 2032, significantly faster than the average for all occupations, which is projected to be 2.8%. Classes will be offered on campus with select online and weekend offerings. The MBA in Cybersecurity Leadership is designed to be completed in 12-24 months. Classes are led by industry experts who help students succeed academically and advance professionally.

This program launch follows recent investments in the University’s business facilities with the complete renovation of Sylvia Trottier Hall. The newly remodeled Division of Business and Security Studies features cybersecurity labs that mirror a professional security operations center, collaboration spaces, a technology hub, and office suites. More information on the MBA in Cybersecurity Leadership is available by visiting rivier.edu. Inquiries should be directed to the Office of Admissions at admissions@rivier.edu or (603) 8978507. Applications are being accepted for the May 2024 program start.

Project SEND to offer full-tuition scholarships to LPNs

Once again, the University will make a major investment in New Hampshire’s nursing workforce by awarding 45 full-tuition and 15 partial-tuition Project SEND scholarships to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) over the next four years. These scholarships have been made possible through a $4 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This highly selective grant is one of only nine Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention grants awarded by HRSA nationally in 2023. Project SEND will enable scholarship recipients to earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree, which is a prerequisite for licensure as a registered nurse. This program directly supports diversity in the nursing workforce and promotes

ongoing economic and community development. “Project SEND will change the lives of 60 LPNs and expand qualified nursing care in our region,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM. “The grant requirements and highly selective nature of the award speaks volumes as to the quality of a Rivier education and the integrity of our nursing leadership and faculty.”

Admission and scholarship applications are being accepted now for the January 2025 program start. Scholarship applicants must hold a current, unencumbered LPN license; be a U.S. citizen or resident; and be a member of an environmentally or economically disadvantaged population and/or underrepresented minority. View detailed information and application requirements at www.rivier.edu/ProjectSEND. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023



Honoring a 30-year legacy of service

Brother Paul Demers, S.C.

In recognition of the fourth anniversary of his passing, the Brother Paul Demers, S.C. Memorial Scholarship was awarded in October to senior nursing major Melissa San Miguel. The scholarship recognizes Brother Paul’s 30 years of faithful service to the Rivier community, his enduring friendships, and lifelong love of teaching and learning.


Golf Classic fundraiser drives student-athlete success

This year’s 26th annual Golf Classic Fundraiser raised more than $48,000 to support the Raiders Athletics program and on-campus health and fitness resources. Corporate sponsors, alumni, parents, and friends enjoyed 18 holes of golf at the exclusive Nashua Country Club while generously supporting the raffle, silent auction, and a variety of contest holes.

Construction, Timberline Construction, and Follett Higher Education Group; as well as more than 35 additional corporate and individual sponsors,” says Karen Cooper ’03G, Vice President for University Advancement. “Their commitment shows our studentathletes that they have the support of an outstanding community dedicated to their success.”

“We sincerely thank our Premier Sponsor M&T Bank; lead sponsors Burke Advertising, Hutter

The full list of sponsors is available online at www.rivier.edu/golfclassic.


Melissa shares Brother Paul's deep commitment to mission and service. She is dedicated to caring for others in need as a licensed nursing assistant at Merrimack Home Health and Hospice Care. Through her senior capstone, Melissa will continue cultivating her commitment to hospice care with a preceptorship at the hospice house. Throughout her time in the program, she has provided care to loved ones who needed extensive support due to cognitive impairments. Melissa's academic achievements garnered her membership in the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing. “Melissa is always willing to support others while exuding warmth and kindness, qualities that have served her well as a student and will continue to serve her as a nurse,” says Dr. Judi O'Hara, Director of Undergraduate Nursing Programs.


Rivier University launches next strategic planning process Firmly rooted in the University’s mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world, Go Boldly recognizes the integrative nature of the student experience and captures Rivier's opportunity for continued growth in service, enrollment, and resources. The following themes are included in the strategic plan: MISSION The University’s mission continues as a foundation for the strategic plan with respect for the dignity of the human person, dialogue on the key issues of our time, and the intellectual tradition that incorporates faith and reason, service and engagement, liberal education, and professional programs. ACADEMIC PROGRAMS Go Boldly anticipates the exceptional opportunities to expand Rivier’s core academic programs in the humanities, sciences, behavioral health, technology, and health professions. Responding to workforce needs in the region, Rivier will invest in expanding counseling and psychology programs in addiction studies, behavioral analysis, and autism. Rivier's partnerships with community agencies will also support enrollment for doctorally prepared counselors and school psychologists. Building upon the new Applied Exercise Science program, students will have the foundation to pursue careers in physical and occupational therapy and as physician assistants and athletic trainers. STUDENT EXPERIENCE Rivier will continue to see the University through the eyes of our students and invest in the residential experience, athletics, student leadership, career, life planning, and wellness. The opening of Rivier Village in January 2024 coupled with growing athletic enrollment will create a rich opportunity for student engagement and leadership. TECHNOLOGY Investment in technology continues with the comprehensive Project Connect ERP implementation, which will provide a platform for institutional administrative technology, accessibility, and data analysis. Technology is also shaping the classroom, as faculty and students consider the impact of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neuroscience on their own learning and the reshaping of professional roles. PHILANTHROPY To Go Boldly is to dream boldly, and the strategic plan challenges the entire Rivier community to a goal of doubling the endowment by 2033, the start of Rivier’s centennial decade. An endowment goal of $100 million will inspire donor investors to focus on a lasting legacy through estate planning, planned giving, and restricted gifts. SPACE AND PLACE The Rivier campus has proven to be an exceptional location for adaptation and expansion. The University anticipates the expansion of residential life through Rivier Village Phase II, the renovation of Benoit Hall to support behavioral health and education programs with an emphasis on teaching and learning, as well as renovation of the Muldoon Fitness Center locker rooms. Rivier continues to seek partnership opportunities in expanding recreational areas, especially in ice sports and baseball. NASHUA AS A COLLEGE TOWN Rivier is an economic engine for the City of Nashua and is uniquely positioned as the only University in the Greater Nashua region to engage the community at every level. The University will expand partnerships and engagement opportunities throughout the city to raise its profile and enhance connections that support its educational mission.




Healing, Hope and Humanity Rivier advances health services in the community BY MICHELLE MARRONE Some lessons can’t be learned in a classroom or simulation lab. Some experiences, offered in the most unlikely places … a soup kitchen, a recreation hall, even a prison, can have the greatest educational and professional impact. At the end of their undergraduate course of study, nursing students are enrolled in a Community Health class that provides them the opportunity to meet their future patients, interact with them on a one-to-one basis, and hone their people skills as well as their practical skills. These experiences help nursing students to develop abilities crucial to their professional success—communication, caring, empathy, and trust.

ON A MISSION The Community Health class embodies the University’s mission. “Rivier’s mission is transforming hearts and minds to serve the world, but if you dig a little deeper into the mission, it really talks about caring

for every human being with respect and dignity,” shares Dr. Judi O’Hara, Rivier's Director of Undergraduate Nursing Programs. “When we go out into the community, we are caring for every person within our community, all individuals with no judgment passed.” Students enrolled in the class have served the homeless, people with substance use disorders, the homebound, and the imprisoned through Rivier’s partnerships with area organizations. Partners include The Day Café, an organization supporting the homeless; Revive, a recovery organization; the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter; the Nashua and Lawrence, Massachusetts, Public Health Departments; Concord Men's Prison; Visiting Nurse Associations and hospice houses. “The Community Health class plays a very important role in the education of our nursing students,” says Dr. O’Hara. “We take learning beyond the classroom to help prevent disease and promote health and healthy behaviors. Our nursing program maintains a high profile throughout the community.” Serving a range of populations in several different settings, nursing students perform cholesterol and glucose screenings, blood pressure

checks, vaccine clinics, foot care programs, harm reduction visits, ambulatory care, symptom control and support. These experiences engage students with patients from various economic, cultural, social, and religious backgrounds and provide insight into the impact of these factors on their health and wellness.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS Alumna Kera Kelly, RN has returned to Rivier as a nursing instructor following her graduation in 2020. Inspired by her own Community Health class experiences, she now teaches the course and manages Rivier's footcare program at The Day Café in Nashua. The Café was named after Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023


its principle of hospitality to those marginalized by society. In addition to washing visitors’ feet, checking circulation, and treating wounds, student-nurses provide new, clean, dry socks as part of their care. The Day Café opens weekday mornings in St. Patrick Church’s parish hall on Main Street. It is a safe space where Nashua’s homeless population gathers for coffee, snacks, and socialization. "We open the door and welcome everybody. No judgment. Everybody is treated with dignity and respect,” says Deborah Andrews, The Day Café's co-founder and lead volunteer. “They come through the door, sit down, play cards, and talk to friends. If we see somebody struggling, if they're interested, we can point them in the right direction.” The ‘right direction’ refers to the 11 local organizations, including Rivier University, that offer services at the Café weekly, and another 21 partner organizations that deliver care on an

as-needed basis. This collaboration of community health resources has transformed the Café from a coffee stop to a hub of life-giving support for those in need. The experience for Rivier nursing students is profound. In assessing the lessons learned, Kera shares that they come to appreciate the “dignity of the human person; providing respect and compassionate healthcare ... because at the end of the day, everybody should be receiving the same healthcare. The goal is that they are immersed in this experience, in a different setting than they've ever been in before, and are providing dignified, compassionate care.”

OUTREACH FOR NATIONAL SUPPORT On behalf of her Community Health students and the University, Kera reached out to Bombas sock company, an organization whose mission is “to provide comfort for all.” She

Kera Kelly, RN ’20 (left) and Community Health class nurses display Bombas socks donated to Rivier’s footcare program at The Day Café.


explained the collaboration's mission in her donation request letter to Bombas, “For a person experiencing homelessness, their feet are often their primary mode of transportation. They are so important but often forgotten and neglected as survival is more important than the holes in their shoes and blisters on their feet.” Recognizing the need and value of the initiative, Bombas responded with a donation of 500 pairs of premium socks earlier this year. Going further, Kera recently reached out to New Balance footwear company requesting a donation of sneakers with winter approaching.

HEALING AND HOPE Community health resources are important to public health. Delivering care to individuals and populations that might otherwise receive none improves communities’ overall health and diminishes human suffering, physically and emotionally. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most community health workers reside in the areas they service and serve residents where they live, eat, play, work, and worship. The NIH recognizes community health workers as “frontline agents of change, helping to reduce health disparities in underserved communities.” The outreach conducted by Rivier's faculty and student-nurses supports greater access to health screenings and services, improved communication between community members and healthcare providers, and reduced need for emergency care. For the homeless and other marginalized populations, the recognition and compassion offered by Rivier’s student-nurses is as appreciated as the physical care provided. Their acknowledgement of each person as worthy and valued offers healing and hope in each community served.

Rivier University and The Day Café S T U D ENT I M PAC T


Isabella St. Laurent ’24 My experiences at The Day Café taught me nursing skills that you can't receive from the classroom alone. It was a lot of personal connection, and it taught me about empathy and getting to know people that you would have never otherwise connected with. One experience in particular was really impactful for me … We were getting ready to do foot care, and I was partnered with a person who was going to be a challenge. As I was caring for that person, I realized I knew him. I used to work with him. That was really eye-opening, and it was a very odd coincidence that I would end up taking care of that person. It gave me a lot of perspective on caring for people—treating everybody the same no matter where they're at—and how important empathy is in your care, and not judging people based on what you see.

John Blanchette at The Day Café The first time I met the Rivier nursing students, I was at the Soup Kitchen; they had a health screening there. I said, ‘I might as well go,’ and I got my cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, and A1C checked; it was good. I've had a good relationship with the nurses since then. I come here on Tuesdays, and I usually volunteer to have my feet taken care of but being a diabetic I have to have a little extra treatment on my feet. It's nice when the nurses come; it's not even that they're necessarily doing foot care. Sometimes they're out there playing cards with us, learning how to play spades, and just talking to people and finding out how they're doing. It's the message of care, you know, ‘we care about people.’

Rivier Nurses Recognized for Compassionate Care Three Rivier nursing alumnae have received 2023 Excellence in Nursing Awards for their contributions to their profession, patients, and mentees by New Hampshire Magazine.

Donna Roe DNP, APRN, BC, CEN, Gero-BC ’96/’03G/’06 CERT is an

Advanced Practice RN working at the Rockingham County Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Brentwood, New Hampshire. In her New Hampshire Magazine award profile, she notes, “‘ … you must never lose sight of the person you are caring for … There also isn’t just one trait that is important for our profession— caring for this population takes several and includes compassion, empathy, critical thinking, communication, flexibility, competence, and integrity.’”

Jennifer Torosian RN, MSN, NEABC is the Associate Chief Nursing

Officer at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. She began her Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Rivier in January 2023. She believes nurses “must be transparent and trustworthy to be successful. ‘I believe that being a nurse is a privilege and an honor. We are often with patients at the most vulnerable moments of their lives when their family and/or loved ones are not able to be with them.’”

Michele Melanson-Schmitt RN, DNS ’00 is the Director of Nursing

Services, Hospice-Palliative Care at the Rockingham County Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Practicing for 35 years, she shares, “‘The residents are my inspiration. I aspire to improve the quality of care they receive every day I enter the building. I strive to be better than I was the day before so that, in return, the residents receive the utmost individualized nursing care that they all deserve.’”

Source: See award recipients’ full profiles at nhmagazine.com/excellence-in-nursing-awards-2023. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023


& Celebrating Friendship


The University welcomed alumni home for a fun-filled Reunion Weekend celebration in September.


Alumni from the Classes of 1958 to 2023 returned home from far and wide to reunite with classmates, celebrate friendship, and relive special memories at their alma mater. The festivities began Friday evening with a social hour on campus. The Class of 1973 gathered for a special dinner in Madeleine Hall in honor of their milestone 50th Reunion. Alumni from a variety of class years continued the fun at the welcome back reception at Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant in downtown Nashua. On Saturday, the Raider mascot visited those doing yoga before greeting everyone at breakfast. Alumni later had an opportunity to return to the classroom, where they heard brief

lectures from Rivier faculty in biology, business, and nursing showcasing academic innovation. In the afternoon, alumni joined students and families at the Fall Fest Cookout held jointly with Family Day. They enjoyed a barbecue lunch, live music, carnival games, and the first Raiders cornhole tournament. Many alumni gathered for the sign-making and wine-tasting event, a favorite among many at Reunion Weekend. Each person selected their favorite design and got creative while enjoying the company of friends. Others joined student-led tours for a first-hand look at the University today. The celebration of the University’s 90th anniversary continued with a

display in Regina Library reflecting on Rivier’s history and heritage, as well as special celebrations of the canonization of Saint Marie Rivier including a toast in her honor and recognizing the legacy of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. In the evening, alumni gathered together for the Alumni Dinner before trying their luck at casino night playing blackjack, roulette, craps, and Texas Hold’em while enjoying the dessert reception, espresso bar, and Magic Mirror photo booth. The weekend concluded on Sunday with the annual Reunion Mass in Resurrection Chapel and a toast to a great weekend at the champagne breakfast. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023



& Celebrating Friendship Celebrating our Golden Graduates Members of the Class of 1973 were inducted into the Rivier University Golden Society at the Alumni Luncheon in honor of their 50-year graduation anniversary. Each attendee received their commemorative pins from Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM. The University was honored to recognize the continued dedication of these alumni 50 years after their graduation.

Pictured front row: Beverley (Chamberlain) Rattigan, Muriel (Roberge) Blais, Helene (Giftos) Hodgins, Louise (Poirier) Ouellette, Kathleen (Gallagher) Roosa Pictured back row: Arlette (Brideau) Stawasz, Joanne (Flore) Booraem, Katherine (Finn) Yorke, Patricia (Miles) Slozak, Joan Payeur, Ruth Ann Broderick-Cronin

2023 Sister Madeleine of Jesus Award Recipients The prestigious Sister Madeleine of Jesus Award was presented to Sister Helene Cote, pm, Class of 1973 and Rita Cloutier Calamari, Class of 1958. This award is bestowed on Rivier alumni who have distinguished themselves, in the spirit of the University’s mission, through outstanding service to their communities, their professions, and their alma mater. Sister Helene Cote, pm, ’73, has long walked in the footsteps of Saint Marie Rivier through her expansive view of faith and service. Committed to lifelong learning, Sister Helene studied spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University and earned a master’s degree in theological studies from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Serving as the Provincial Superior for the United States Province of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, she leads more than 200 Sisters living and serving in various New England dioceses. Her contributions to Rivier are exceptional. In her role as Chairperson of the Corporation, she has provided imaginative leadership in the spirit of Saint Marie and Sister Madeleine of Jesus, respect for all, and a bold vision of academic innovation. 15

Rita Cloutier Calamari ’58 exemplifies the University’s Latin motto, Altiora et Meliora – Higher and Better. She pursued a degree in higher education at a time when few women had the opportunity and continued her education by earning a law degree from the University of Maine. She served others with dedication through pro-bono work for members of her community, service on the town’s School Board, and teaching Catechism to teens at her church. She was also an active voice for women’s voting rights, advocating that everyone fully participate in our democracy.

Thank you for your Reunion Class gifts! Gifts to the Rivier University Fund in honor of your milestone reunion help make the Rivier experience as meaningful for today’s students as it was for you. Thank you to all those who made a Reunion Class gift! Make a gift today at:



Alumni Reunion Weekend 2024! September 27-29, 2024

Make plans to join us as we celebrate milestone anniversaries for the Reunion Classes of 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019.

Do you want to help rally your class to attend Reunion Weekend? Please consider becoming a class representative! To learn more, contact: Katie Aalerud Director of Alumni Engagement (603) 897-8521 kaalerud@rivier.edu





hilip LeBlanc is Deputy Fire Chief for the Londonderry Fire Department in New Hampshire. He began his fire and rescue services training in the United States Marine Corps and has risen steadily through the ranks since joining his hometown fire department in 2006. In addition to several citations, he was awarded the Firefighter of the Year Award in 2010 and 2014. Phil received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from Rivier in 2021. 17

PHILIP LEBLANC A desire to serve the public and contribute to the common good has taken Phil around the world and back to New Hampshire. BY MICHELLE MARRONE

How did you start your career in fire service? Phil: I wanted to do something where I interacted with the public in a positive manner and came upon firefighting. I had planned to go to the tech college in Laconia, New Hampshire, for an associate degree in fire science. Ultimately, I joined the military, and as a Marine, I was able to get more training and certifications to become a firefighter than if I’d gone to the tech college. How did your military service support your career? Phil: I received all my fire certifications in one year and became a reservist. I was deployed to Iraq three months later. When I returned in 2005, I completed my EMS certification and got on the Call Department in Londonderry. It was a parttime position; I joined the Fire Department full-time in 2006. In which roles have you served? Phil: Firefighter, Lieutenant, Battalion Chief, and currently Deputy Fire Chief. I’ve served as the Department’s Community Relations Coordinator and on Londonderry’s Senior Citizen Resource Committee. I’m also on the Board of the New Hampshire Fire Service Committee of Merit. How has the focus of your service changed over the years? Phil: My role is more administrative now. I manage the business aspects of the Department – payroll, payables,

facilities management, and recruitment for our three stations. My job is much more proactive than reactive. There is a major focus on planning for the future and enhancing efficiencies. I’m working to anticipate needs, secure the necessary resources, and best serve the public. How has your Rivier experience supported your success? Phil: I was an adult when I started my degree at Rivier. I knew the education would allow me to move up in the Fire Department and help me develop a tangible skillset if I got hurt or couldn't be a fireman anymore. My business degree has been a huge asset in my ability to understand the complexities of the administrative side of the Fire Department and to handle a lot of different moving parts in real time. Dr. Mark Meehan helped me to understand the importance of leadership—that people are your biggest assets and you need to support them to achieve their greatest success. How do you view your leadership role? Phil: I am fascinated by people, people's stories, what makes people tick, and their backgrounds … it's finding what they're good at, showing them that they're good at it, and then getting them to do it. From a business standpoint, if you get people to like their job and do it well, your business is going to succeed. And if your business succeeds, you're profitable. And if you're profitable, you've obtained the end goal, right? My ‘profit’ is the health and safety of the town of Londonderry.

What are your biggest challenges now? Phil: Public service is always a challenge. For the Department, our biggest challenge now is hiring; the pool of applicants is small. There is a trickle-down effect to having open positions. I need to fill the roster to ensure members get to go home and regenerate before returning to work, keep overtime at a minimum, and maintain the budget. Why is public service important to you? Phil: People matter. Everyone matters. When people thank me for my military service and what I do, I struggle. I look at it this way, everyone is good at something. Whether you're a nurse, a teacher, or a firefighter, everybody has the ability to do something and no one thing is more important than the other. Because without one, the others don't work; so, it takes all kinds of people who are good at all kinds of things to make the world go round. I couldn't do what I do if there weren't a million other people doing other things. What’s next for you? Phil: I’d like to get a master’s degree and become an adjunct professor when I retire from the Fire Department. I would enjoy teaching leadership. I enjoy learning and showing people what understanding leadership and being a good leader can do for them and for others.



SOCIAL CIRCLES Find alumni and friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and join the conversation! US Border Patrol Swanton Sector Meet Collin Digby. A senior at Rivier University majoring in Homeland & International Security, Collin is an intern with our Intelligence Unit's Command & Control on his path to pursuing a career as a federal agent. We wish him the best in his future endeavors!

Philadelphia Little Flyers Junior Hockey Good to see two of our guys sharing the ice together at Rivier University. Left: Brett Turner Right: Avery Arnold


Friends of the Manchester Mounted Police Thank you @rivcounselingandwellness for having us at your Suicide Prevention/Mental Health Awareness program! Eddy loved getting to meet everyone on campus! @rivieruniversity

Burke Advertising Proud sponsors and a great time once again at the 26th annual Rivier University Golf Classic Fundraiser at Nashua Country Club. #clientswhocare #funclients #burkeadvertising #burkegolf

@rivieradvising A gift was made through the Rivier University Fund in honor of our very own Brianne Torre through the "Thank a Mentor" campaign through the Office of Univ. Advancement & Alumni Relations! "I am so grateful for the student who honored me as well as my role here at the university building strong relationships with my students and helping alongside them as they follow their dreams."

Family Promise of Southern New Hampshire A big THANK YOU to a group of students from Rivier University for a day of service today! They organized several rooms of donations for our families. We are grateful for your service to the community!


Tom Lopez Nashua Ward 4 Alderman

#raiderpride! This evening, I had the opportunity to represent Rivier at my first-ever college fair at Holman Stadium during the @nashuasilvernights game! It was great connecting with prospective students and their families, and reconnecting with some familiar faces. Thank you Silver Knights for having us!

Congratulations to Rivier University's Dr. Paula Randazza for receiving a unique and well deserved honor! Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers has named its annual award in Raz's honor, now known as the “Dr. Paula Randazza Outstanding Service Award.”

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LinkedIn Tatiana Jones MD, PHD I am excited to share with everyone that Rivier University officially became a member of the NH-INBRE Family! The news was delivered during the opening speech at the NH-INBRE Annual Meeting.

rivmenssoccer Last night, our program hosted the Fairgrounds Middle School boys soccer team, coached by our assistant, Sam Holdsworth. Their visit included a tour of our facilities, the athletics pavillion, weight room, athletic training room & locker room.


See yourself in the next issue! #rivieruniversity #rivieralumni #rivraiders #rivnation #rivworks RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023


RAIDERS HIGHLIGHTS Kolek inducted into GNAC Hall of Fame Craig Kolek, Head Coach for men’s volleyball and Associate Athletics Director, was formally inducted into the Great Northeast Athletic Conference’s Hall of Fame in August. The first in NCAA history across all three divisions to reach 400 career victories coaching both a men’s and women’s team, Kolek is a six-time conference postseason champion at the helm of the women’s program and has also secured nine titles as the mentor of the men’s team. He has been voted GNAC Coach of the Year on 11 occasions across his 27 years with the Raiders.

Rivier student-athletes capture GNAC Academic All-Conference honors A record 87 student-athletes from Rivier were named to the GNAC’s 2022-23 Academic All-Conference Team this past June. In order to be eligible for academic all-conference recognition, students must maintain a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average and have completed their second academic year. Women’s soccer had 13 student-athletes named to the list followed by field hockey with 11. Women’s volleyball and women’s lacrosse each had 10 team members represented. The previous record for Rivier was 75 student-athletes to conclude the 2019-20 academic year.

Milton captures GNAC Coach of the Year honors Women’s soccer Head Coach Daniel Milton was voted by his peers in the conference as the GNAC Coach of the Year after a successful debut season with the program. Thanks to a record eight shutouts, the Raiders posted 10 victories in 2023, including eight in regular-season GNAC action to match the previous team record set in 1999. Milton is just the second in team history to earn the league’s top coaching accolade. Graduate student Jordan Butters, the team’s offensive leader, was a First Team All-Conference selection while classmate Jillian Arigo and junior Anna Gorman were Second and Third Team picks, respectively. Senior Shannon O’Toole earned a spot on the GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team. 21

Women’s lacrosse welcomes Team IMPACT signee The Raiders women’s lacrosse program is proud to introduce its newest team member, Lilith Hasu-Beland. She was partnered with the Raiders through Team IMPACT, an organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team sports. Lilith, who has cerebral palsy, participates in many of her team’s activities, including games, practices, and other events. Lilith was introduced to Raiders Nation at halftime of a women’s soccer game in September.

Athletics hosts fall alumni games Alumni from the Rivier baseball, men’s lacrosse, and women’s lacrosse teams came together this fall to participate in alumni games. Taking place during Alumni Reunion Weekend, September 30–October 1, the events drew alumni from New England and across the country. These games provide meaningful opportunities for alumni to connect with one another, coaches, and current students on the teams. Many programs host alumni games each year. The full list of upcoming events, including alumni games, is online at rivier.edu/alumnievents.

Rivier ice hockey programs join MASCAC The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Council of Presidents and Commissioner Angela Baumann announced recently that Rivier will be joining the league as an affiliate member in the sport of ice hockey. The Raiders primarily compete in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, but that league does not sponsor men’s or women’s ice hockey. Joining the MASCAC as an affiliate member gives Rivier student-athletes access to championship opportunities, both at the conference and national levels through the MASCAC’s automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III National Championship.

accepted provisionally. While a men’s ice hockey league presently exists in the MASCAC, the conference is positioned to launch women’s ice hockey as a championship sport in the future.

New Raiders branding at local facilities New graphics have been installed at several athletics facilities, including Conway Arena, the home of Rivier ice hockey, and historic Holman Stadium, the Raiders' ballpark.

The Raiders are set to battle conference members Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Plymouth State University, UMass Dartmouth, Salem State University, Westfield State University, Anna Maria College, and Worcester State University.

The Rivier men’s ice hockey team will compete in the MASCAC beginning with the 2024-25 academic year; the women’s ice hockey team was RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023


Alumni Spotlight

Chris Giordano ’07 Owner of Gold Standard

TRAINING CHAMPIONS FOR LIFE Chris Giordano, Class of 2007, is the owner of Gold Standard, a youth basketball training business that has grown from three clients to more than 1,000 in just three years. With three locations in Massachusetts (Wellesley, Chelmsford and Reading), he employs more than 20 coaches with the goal of making a difference in the lives of young athletes. “Creating an environment that helps young people fuel their passion motivates me. In addition, helping to guide the youth in breaking through and achieving more than they ever thought possible through hard work and commitment is important.” Giordano was a four-year member of the Rivier men’s basketball team, helping the Raiders to a Great Northeast Athletic Conference title as a senior. “Rivier played a huge part in my journey,” he says. “The people I met there allowed me to grow into someone I might not have been able to become elsewhere. Rivier taught me how to be a winner, how to want more out of life, how to achieve, and how to respond to failure. Rivier helped me mature into a mentor and a role model for the next generation, and that is something I take very seriously.” Education: B.A. English, Rivier University; M.Ed. Curriculum and Teaching, Fitchburg State University



ClassNotes 1970s Mary Framptom-Price ’77 is excited to announce that her first children's book, Blackberries Aren’t ‘that’ Scary, was published in September 2022. It is based on the true story of her ex-racehorse, Baz, and her three rescued Dartmoor ponies. The second book in the series, Hoofbeats in the Moonlight, was released in September 2023 and follows the adventures of Baz and his 'sisters.’ There is a growing cast of characters that join the galloping horses on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.


Susan O’Hare ’87/’94G, a teacher with Greater Lowell Technical School, enjoys sharing her love of Rivier with the high school students who are preparing to become early childhood educators. She brings them on a field trip to Rivier’s Division of Education each year, including a recent visit in October. Many of her former students have graduated from Rivier University with Education and Counseling degrees. Susan is happy to be living the mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world through her students.

1990s Patricia (McLaughlin) Benner ’93 has accepted a new position as Hearings Officer and Legislative Coordinator for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food in Concord, NH.

Kathleen (Gallagher) Roosa ’73 returned to Rivier to celebrate her 50th Reunion with classmates in September. As a class representative, she worked together with her classmates and the Advancement team to ensure the Class of 1973 was well represented to commemorate this milestone. This included sending letters and emails, as well as organizing the Class of 1973 Zoom reception in February to plan for their celebration. Kathy enjoyed coming back to campus to reminisce on her time at Rivier while making new memories with classmates and friends. She was delighted with the innovative developments at the University, which left her proud to be a graduate. Her other highlights from the weekend included the special dinner for the Class of 1973 on Friday evening and receiving her Golden Society pin from Sister Paula at lunch on Saturday. She encourages alumni to attend Reunion Weekend in 2024 and hopes to see many there next fall.

Colleen Newton Pause ’93 was promoted to Assistant Director of Admissions for Planning and Recruitment for Dartmouth College in 2022. She and her husband Dan also purchased a home and relocated to Summerville, South Carolina, where they reside with their beagle, Tilly.

2000s Meghan (Merritt) Schaffer ’09 has accepted a new position as the Ascent Program Coordinator at Plymouth State University.

2020s Devin Albino ’22 has accepted a new position as a fourthgrade public school teacher in Providence, RI. He shared he felt fully prepared to start his teaching career thanks to the education courses he took at Rivier. Devin is enjoying life with his new daughter. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023





Hope M. Cataldo ’20 and Andrew Panaggio – April 14, 2023

Christine (Cyr) Walp ’12 and her husband Michael welcomed their daughter Maren on October 9, 2022.

Hollyann DeCarteret ’13 and Sean Doyle – June 23, 2023

Sadie Bradshaw ‘16 and John Geary III – July 21, 2023 25

Joy (Ingram) Funk ’20 and her husband Alex welcomed their son Sawyer on August 8, 2023.


In Memoriam Mary Ellen (Harris) Gould ’95 March 31, 2023

Joan (Mendys) Hagstrom ’66 June 7, 2023

Patricia E. (Brouillard) Lavin ’64 September 24, 2023

Walter E. Davis ’89G April 19, 2023

Diane Lewis ’90 June 20, 2023

Pauline R. Jean ’79 September 24, 2023

Darcie L. (Duquette) Dumont ’98 April 22, 2023

Glennis A. Carlson ’71G June 29, 2023

Michael P. Downes Sr. ‘77G October 13, 2023

Jeanne M. (Bourdages) Borci ’45 April 22, 2023

Rita T. Cullen ’07 June 30, 2023

Anne-Marie (Suleski) Jette ‘80 October 21, 2023

Brenda J. (Straughan) Gabriel ’80 April 29, 2023

Edward L. Wade Jr. ’75G July 4, 2023

Virginia C. (Garfi) Famisan ’77 May 4, 2023

Sue E. Siebert ‘06 July 24, 2023

Francoise J. (Poliquin) Vallee ’63 May 9, 2023

Mary Allison Clarke ’70 August 13, 2023

Suzanne (Leblanc) Boudin ’70 May 13, 2023

Sister Rita Garneau, pm ’67 September 18, 2023

Margaret M. Faneuf ’90G May 19, 2023

Nancy J. (Grieb) Roth ’00G September 24, 2023

Submit your ClassNotes and sign up for our e-newsletter online at rivier.edu/alumniupdate The University reserves the right to edit for content, accuracy, and length, and cannot guarantee that all items received will appear in the magazine. Publication of an item does not constitute endorsement by Rivier University.

At Rivier, I found my passion for cybersecurity through the faculty who are genuinely enthusiastic about security and all its related concepts. My goal is to work in the private sector as a cybersecurity analyst to help improve the systems that we use to protect our data. – My name is Chris Lezon, and this is my Riv. A gift to the Rivier University Fund has a direct impact on our students’ experience. Your support helps students like Chris reach their goals and enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills to succeed.

Support the Rivier University Fund Scan the QR code or visit rivier.edu/giveonline. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023


Join the Rivier community of lifelong learners Offering in-person and remote courses for Spring 2024!

Christmas Greetings from Rivier University! Sending you warm wishes for a joyous holiday season and a blessed New Year! Be sure to visit Rivier’s Facebook pages to see video of the campus Christmas Tree Lighting. www.facebook.com/RivierUniversity www.facebook.com/RivierUniversityAlumni 27

The Rivier Institute for Senior Education (RISE) is a vibrant and collaborative learning environment for adults ages 55 and older offering courses in history, literature, writing, music, religion, art, and much more. Members thrive in an environment with no pressure and lots of encouragement.

Spring 2024 registration opens January 12 and closes on January 29. The spring semester will take place from February 5 through April 19. The membership fee is only $100 for unlimited classes.

Learn more at an Information Session:

January 12 | 1 – 3 p.m. Dion Center Become a Course Facilitator! Share your personal or professional expertise with RISE members.

Find information on spring classes, information sessions, and becoming a course facilitator at rivier.edu/rise.

Reach Stars for the

The Rivier University Alumni Association represents more than 25,000 alumni who are serving local communities, businesses, and organizations with dedication and pride. The University is honored to recognize their achievements in a variety of fields and industries.

Alumni Achievement Awards

The following awards are presented to outstanding alumni who have utilized their Rivier education to make a difference in their profession and have maintained a continued connection with their alma mater. OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD

This award recognizes a Rivier graduate working in the field of education who has demonstrated a commitment to teaching excellence and distinguished himself/herself by fostering an exceptional educational environment as a classroom teacher, counselor, administrator, or education advocate.


This award celebrates a Rivier graduate working as a nurse or as a healthcare professional who demonstrates a commitment to excellence and service to patients, as well as professional achievement in the healthcare profession.


Honoring a Rivier graduate who has distinguished himself/ herself as a business or community leader, this award is given to an individual who demonstrates a commitment to ethics in the workplace and to excellence demonstrated by achievement within his/her profession or industry.


This award recognizes a Rivier graduate within the last ten years who has distinguished himself/herself as a young professional within their profession or community.

Submit nominations online at www.rivier.edu/alumniawards by February 15, 2024. Recipients will be recognized in the spring issue of Rivier Today. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2023





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Thank you! A message of gratitude to our generous and loyal donors

Transformation … made possible by you! When you support Rivier University, you have a direct and lasting impact on students like Evan, Danielle, Chris, and their many classmates, teammates, and friends. You turn their possibilities—their hopes, dreams, and goals for the future—into reality. For that and so much more, we are grateful to you.

View our 2022-2023 Honor Roll of Donors online at


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