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Members of the 2019 Women's Soccer Team

Transforming the Game Day Experience

Robinson Pavilion opening ushers in new era for student-athletes.






Key Vision 2020 goals fulfilled with the dedication of Linda Robinson Pavilion and naming of Joanne Merrill Field.

The newest Raiders’ facility fosters a culture of sportsmanship, camaraderie, and success.


The magazine of Rivier University





Alumni Reunion Weekend 2019 celebrates cherished friendships and lifelong bonds.

Jeff Scionti ’91/’99G prioritizes employee talent development and engages the community.

President Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM Vice President for University Advancement Karen Cooper ’03G

Director of Marketing and Communications Sky Croswell ’98 • Senior Graphic Designer Andrea Leary

Senior Writer Michelle Marrone • Content Coordinator Samantha Stamas • Photographers Jodie Andruskevich, Paul Streeter

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

Fall 2019 In this Issue

The steel makes it real

The Rivier community celebrated completion of the Science and Innovation Center’s structural frame with a “Topping Off” ceremony. (See page 4.)

Departments 01 Hearts & Minds 03 Newsworthy 19 Making a Difference 21 Social Circles 25 Alumni Spotlight 26  Class Notes 32 University Events

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 • Student Financial Services (603) 897-8510



Message from the President Dear Friends of Rivier, There is a distinct difference in the air. The campus has turned back the clocks, the trees are now shedding their autumn colors, mid-terms are over, and the first accumulations of snow are forecasted. Surely we stand at the foyer of winter. This issue of Rivier Today reminds us not only of the interconnectedness of the seasons but also the connectedness of generations of Rivier students, faculty, and indeed the Nashua community. September’s celebration of the game-day experience and Raider Athletics was brought to life through the contributions of two iconic individuals. Linda Robinson, alumna, board member, and philanthropist shared the spotlight with Joanne Merrill, Athletic Director at Rivier for a remarkable 40 years. Through Linda Robinson Pavilion and Joanne Merrill Field, the University honors the values of teamwork, dedication, sportsmanship, character, and loyalty that have built the Rivier Athletics program. Standing as a bookend to Commencement, Alumni Reunion Weekend brings the community together in celebration of lifelong relationships. This fall, our Golden alumni set a record for class attendance and brought a unique brand of fun and friendship to the campus. Highlighting a dedication to mission, this issue profiles two alumni who are transforming their worlds—Jeff Scionti, Chief Executive Officer of Parkland Medical Center, and Hayley Parenti, recently posted to West Africa as a member of the Peace Corps. Whether near or far, the Rivier community is making connections through the classroom, on campus, in the community, and in their professions. May these days on the threshold of winter offer every blessing to you and your families. Please know that each of you remains a cherished member of the Rivier community. Sincerely,

Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM


Rivier shares the feast this Thanksgiving Continuing the tradition of generosity in providing needy families with nourishment, Rivier hosted its annual Thanksgiving “Sharing the Feast” donation drive in November. The University partnered with area non-profits to distribute food donations to hundreds of families in need. Keeping with tradition, an interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Service followed the presentation of food baskets to give thanks and bless the food, volunteers, recipients, and community. “Sharing the Feast is a great opportunity for the entire Rivier community to work together toward one goal: to help our neighbors in need. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, together we make a significant contribution during the holiday season,” says Anna Molettieri, Director of Campus Ministry. Partnering agencies included AnneMarie House, Corpus Christi Food Pantry, Greater Nashua Mental Health Center at Community Council, Healthy at Home, Keystone Hall, Nashua Oncology and Hematology, Nashua Soup Kitchen, New Hampshire Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, HIV/AIDS Task Force, Title One, New Fellowship Baptist Church Community Outreach Resource & Education Center Nashua, and Xavier House.

Children from the Nashua PAL Program, Rivier men’s soccer team players, and friends celebrate the inaugural game on the city's new Futsal Court.

Riv community supports Nashua youth project Several members of the Rivier Men’s Soccer Team volunteer their time at the Nashua Police Athletic League (PAL). Cam Holdsworth ’20 has been volunteering at PAL since his sophomore year. Cam, along with Ramon Bonfante ’20, Zach Pontarelli ’20, and Mike Frederico ’21 serve as mentors and role models to the children at PAL’s after-school program. "The kids get really excited when we're there … We help them with homework, personal things, or just play,” says Cam. When the opportunity arose to support their mentees with a sports-related project—creation of a futsal court—Cam and his teammates were quick to provide assistance. “From being figures in their lives over the years, help with the Futsal Court Project just spiraled out.” The project was initiated in response to a new urban revitalization program, titled ‘The Tree Streets Neighborhood Project’, which offered $25,000 in funds for a community-based proposal. The program focuses on enhancing the densely populated neighborhoods between St. Joseph

Hospital and Main Street. Residents of Nashua’s tree streets were invited to submit project ideas, which were then publicized and voted on in the city’s ‘YOUR Voice, YOUR Choice!’ initiative. Eight-year-old Hector of Nashua proposed a futsal court be built in the open lot across from the Nashua PAL building on Ash Street. Futsal is a sport similar to soccer, but faster paced and played on a much smaller, paved court. The Futsal Court Project made it to the voting list and support poured in. Rivier volunteers helped spread the word and solicited votes. “Rivier’s sports teams, interns, service learners, and their friends helped get a lot of votes,” says Jaela Solis, PAL Program Coordinator. Rivier Men’s Soccer Coach Hayden Barbosa, Cam Holdsworth, and Raider soccer alumnus Sam Holdsworth ’19 are coaches for the Nashua International Soccer Club, a non-profit youth soccer club that fosters sportsmanship and character mentorship. They came onboard as well, rallying Club members to support the voting effort and offering

free soccer clinics in anticipation of a favorable outcome. When the votes were tallied, the Futsal Court Project had won by a healthy margin and construction began almost immediately. On September 28, the community and partners celebrated the Futsal Court opening, and the court receives daily use now. “To watch it evolve and see the kids playing is amazing,” shares Jaela. “It’s not just the kids who live on these few streets. In the evening, cars of families pull up. The moms are sitting in the cars, the dads are getting out, the uncles and dads are hugging everybody … more cars pull up … there’s handshaking and fist-pumping … and then there’s 30 guys on the court just playing. Most are PAL alumni and their family members; some are new people who have come into the community that the kids have invited.” With Nashua PAL staff, Rivier mentors, and the Futsal Court as daily inspiration, PAL kids are already fielding ideas for next year’s Tree Streets Neighborhood Project.



NEWSWORTHY News from campus and the world beyond

New Rivier website launched July 29 marked a major milestone with the launch of the University’s new website. The recruitmentfocused website highlights alumni and student stories to create a compelling and memorable vision of the Rivier experience. “Our alumni and students’ stories are the stories of Rivier University,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President. “More so than data and charts, their stories provide an authentic view of the students that attend Rivier, the experiences that prepare them for success after 3

graduation, and the rewarding careers they now enjoy.” The website is designed to provide the optimal user experience with engaging videos, photography, and content. Intentional pathways to academic programs, and clear and effective calls-to-action guide visitors to take the next step in their college search by requesting additional information, visiting the University, and submitting an application. Website content reflects recent developments and advances of Rivier’s Vision 2020 strategic plan.

The steel makes it real Rivier students, community members, and partners crowded the corner of South Main and Clement streets on September 5 to celebrate placement of the final steel beam on the Science and Innovation Center structure. An international traditional builders’ rite, this “Topping Off” ceremony invites those invested in a building project to sign their names on the final beam, which, adorned with a small tree and flag, is then raised and secured to the top of the steel framework. Scheduled for opening next fall, the 35,000-square-foot center will offer state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment, learning spaces, and technology to foster active learning and expanded student and faculty research.

While the large steel frame gives dimension to the physical structure of this campus landmark, it does not convey its potential. “Greater than its size is the promise of discovery and

innovation that is sure to take place within its soon-to-be-added walls,” says President Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM.




Golf fundraiser nets major support Rivier’s 2019 Golf Classic raised $52,000 for Raider Athletics and health and fitness resources. These funds have a direct impact on the student experience, including opportunities for team travel to U.S. and international competitions. All Metals Industries and People’s United Bank returned this year as the tournament’s generous Premier Sponsors. Lead sponsors included Johnson Controls, R.J. Finlay and Company, Axis Business Solutions, Burke Advertising, Charles Schwab, and Hutter Construction. Support from 25 additional sponsors and tournament players tipped the total over the $50K mark. “We are extremely grateful to our Premier Sponsors All Metals Industries and People’s United Bank for leading the way through their generous and impactful support,” says Vice President for University Advancement Karen Cooper ’03G. “The participation of all of our sponsors and players enhances the Rivier experience for our athletes and provides a tangible example of the power of giving.” 5

The University recognized Terry Robinson for his outstanding support and commitment to Rivier studentathletes, sponsorship of the popular air cannon closest-to-the-pin contest, and donation of numerous raffle items. A new Grand Prize Raffle Package this year toted a tailgating theme. The “Total Tailgate Package”—pop-up

tent, portable gas grill, camp chairs, a folding table, cooler, New England Patriots-themed cornhole set, wireless speakers, and more—was sponsored by Axis Business Solutions. Hutter Construction’s team took the tournament. The winning foursome (pictured above) included Lars Traffie, Mike Martel, Dan Joyal, and David Lage.

Qualifying criteria includes having served as a club or organization officer, sports team captain, peer mentor, resident assistant, orientation leader, SGA officer, or in another leadership role.

Rivier earns new Colleges of Distinction award As an institution whose primary goals are based on student success, Rivier University has been honored as one of the renowned Colleges of Distinction for the ninth consecutive year. Earning national recognition for the integrity of its individualized and engaging education, Rivier has also received program-specific recognition in Business, Nursing, and Education. “Rivier University walks the walk,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “Colleges of Distinction knows that a truly valuable education can’t be measured by rank or reputation. Students learn and thrive best when they embrace hands-on learning in a vibrant, welcoming community. That’s why it’s so encouraging to find Rivier University take such an innovative approach with its curriculum: its HighImpact Educational Practices ensure

that the undergraduate experience is worthwhile and unique.” For the 2019-2020 academic year, Rivier also received the Colleges of Distinction Career Development Award acknowledging the depth and breadth of its student career development experiences. This award is reserved for institutions that provide students with unparalleled support throughout every stage of career exploration, development, and application. Rivier is the only New Hampshire college or university to receive this distinction.

New scholarship endowment honors student leaders Supporting the University’s Vision 2020 goal of expanding access to a Rivier education, the Student Government Association (SGA) created and funded the SGA Leadership Scholarship. The endowed scholarship recognizes that Rivier students possess outstanding leadership qualities that prepare them for personal and professional success.

SGA President Hope Cataldo ’20 says “The members of the Executive Board felt that those students who go above and beyond to better themselves and the campus community through leadership should be recognized for their time, commitment, and service. This scholarship honors them and shows gratitude for their continuous support of this wonderful community of learners and achievers.” Dr. Paula Randazza, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, cites the volume of research highlighting the critical impact student engagement has on the overall undergraduate experience. “Knowing this, SGA leaders want to support and encourage students who engage in campus life while managing the multiple responsibilities of academics, work, family, sports, clubs, and social obligations. This scholarship recognizes the dedicated students who contribute to the campus community through these important leadership roles,” says Dr. Randazza. In addition, the SGA recently created a student emergency fund to support students who encounter unavoidable emergency expenses from accidents, illness, housing/food insecurity, and other emergent needs. “Unexpected challenges can easily derail academic focus and this emergency fund will aid a student in a time of crisis by covering a variety of critical expenses and supporting the student as they continue their educational journey,” says Dr. Randazza. RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2019


Vision 2020, Higher and Better


The dedication of Linda Robinson Pavilion and naming of Joanne Merrill Field recognized two outstanding University and community leaders for their strong spirit, support, and generosity to Rivier. “Each in their own way has consistently answered the call to advance our mission and create a powerful student experience,” said Sister Paula.


More than 200 community members and city officials gathered for the dedication and naming of Linda Robinson Pavilion and Joanne Merrill Field on September 21. The culmination of a yearlong construction project, the Athletics Pavilion has transformed the game-day experience for student-athletes and fans with stadium seating, team rooms and conference space for pre- and postgame gatherings, a training room, locker rooms, and a press box with an enhanced sound system. “This Pavilion is more than just a new facility; it represents a dedication to the University and athletics,

inspiring generations of Rivier students to reach ‘Higher and Better’,” said President Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM. Upon the 50th anniversary of her graduation, devoted alumna and trustee Linda Lemery Robinson ’69/ ’79G/’94H extended her commitment to Rivier and the Greater Nashua community with a legacy gift for the Athletics Pavilion. The naming of Joanne Merrill Field recognizes Merrill’s 40-year career and ongoing service as Director of Athletics. She has created an athletic environment of integrity, service, and leadership for both coaches and

student-athletes and led the Raider Athletics program to more than 25 conference championships. The official opening of Linda Robinson Pavilion and enhancements to Raider Diamond fulfill a major goal of the University’s Vision 2020 strategic plan. It also acknowledges the impact of athletics in education— the development of complementary skills in leadership, teamwork, prioritization and time management, and service to others. These facilities serve not only as a home of Raider Athletics, but also as a resource for local youth and community groups.

Enhancements to Raider Diamond include stadium seating, fully equipped dugouts, a press box, and field lighting.




Vision 2020, Higher and Better

IN OUR HOUSE The newest Raiders facility fosters a culture of sportsmanship, camaraderie, and success. With the completion of Linda Robinson Pavilion and Raider Diamond this fall, the University’s lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, and softball teams now have a place to call their own. While the facilities are impressive with stadium seating, training room, and press boxes, one aspect is particularly meaningful to athletes. “Our alumni tell us one of the things they miss the most about their athletics experience is the locker room—the relationships developed, the easy intimacy and camaraderie that comes when you share a team room throughout the ups and downs of a season,” says Joanne Merrill, Director of Athletics. Central to the Pavilion construction was the addition of three home team locker rooms and one visiting team room. Adorned with “Home of the Raiders” across the top of built-in lockers, each home team room projects Raider pride and spirit. And of course, the visiting team room clearly tells opponents “you’re in our house,” says Men’s Lacrosse Coach James DeLanoy. The team room can become an athlete’s second home. It’s a place to prepare for game days, a place to rest after a tiring practice, a place where coaches and teammates discuss their experiences and exchange words of praise or encouragement, a place to talk about classes and assignments and weekend plans, a place to hang your cleats and helmet at the end of a challenging game and simply unwind. The shared experiences of teammates lead to success on and off the field, and the friendships remain long after the playing days are over. “Always remember … in the end it’s not the field you play on, it’s who is on the field with you,” says Merrill. “In the end, the relationships you make and the company you keep will always be what matters.”





Alumni gathered from near and far to celebrate Reunion Weekend 2019. Once again, Alumni Reunion Weekend celebrated lifelong friendships and created new memories. In addition to enjoying time with classmates and recognizing their personal and professional achievements, alumni had the opportunity to view their alma mater through a new lens. Taking in the significant enhancements to the campus landscape and enjoying the official celebration of Linda Robinson Pavilion and Joanne Merrill Field made for a most memorable weekend.



Sister Madeleine of Jesus Award: The University’s highest honor

Honoring a lifelong dedication to education Jeanne Fortin, Class of 1959 On the 60th anniversary of her graduation, the University honored Jeanne Fortin with the Sister Madeleine of Jesus Award. The presentation was made during Alumni Reunion Weekend and accepted on Jeanne’s behalf by her granddaughter, Kara Heintz, and her daughter, Celine Fortin ’89/’98G (pictured above).

Save the Date Alumni Reunion Weekend 2020! September 19-20, 2020 Next fall, Alumni Reunion Weekend will celebrate milestone anniversaries for Reunion Classes of 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015.


Education was a window to the world, a gift, for Jeanne. She shared this gift first by teaching music in New Hampshire public schools and later by supporting the education of others. Jeanne established the Dr. Wilfrid L. Fortin Memorial Scholarship in tribute to the life and career of her husband, an anesthesiologist at St. Joseph Hospital for more than 25 years. The scholarship represents not only her love of family, but also her commitment to the University and to making education affordable and accessible to youth throughout Greater Nashua and beyond. In recognition of her devotion to higher education for all, to the University, and to the community, the Alumni Association proudly bestowed Jeanne Fortin with the 2019 Sister Madeleine of Jesus Award.

Celebrating our Golden Graduates Setting a Reunion Weekend attendance record, close to 50 members of the Class of 1969 reunited on campus to celebrate their milestone 50th Reunion. Each alumna was inducted into the Golden Society and received their ceremonial pin from Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM. Pictured Above Front Row (L to R): Teresa Wright Tremblay, Jeannine Leblanc Maloney, Dianne Michonski Durkin, Marjorie Miller Hayes, Patricia Levins Moreland, Ellen Monahan Trojan, Linda Lemery Robinson, Ida Grossi Shea, Louise Filteau Estrella, Josephine Capodilupo Infanger, Maria Guiffrida Kretas, Mary Riopelle, Sister Charlene Favreau CSJ Middle Row (L to R): Therese Boulanger Shanahan, Elda Dawber, Charlotte Lavigne Noonan, Donna MacKiewicz Camarota, Anita St. Pierre Brown, Louise Berube Bergeron, Charlene Frederick, Constance St. Pierre, Jennifer Mackey Connolly, Doris Cote, Elaine MacKinnon Schubert, Maria Fernanda Taboada, Charlotte Perusse Taylor, Louise Tardif Back Row (L to R): Joanne Dobras Dolan, Janet Smith Dalis, Denise Boule Moline, Donna Bastien Riley, Kathleen Courteau Conlon, Jacqueline Labrie Ellis Buchan, Paulette Morissette Roy, Suzanne Girard DiGiovanni, Joanne Cote Paquette, Mary Ann Cichocki Sender, Priscilla Daigle Kecsckemethy, Joanne Cassidy Spirito, Anne Fitzsimmons McDonough, Karen Ridge Boucher, Helen Mosby Mulcahy

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Pictured Left (L to R): Pauline Jambard, Mary Elizabeth Turbyne, and Judith Roussel Willis of the Class of 1959 posed for a class photo while celebrating their milestone 60th Reunion.

Also in attendance, but not pictured here: Holly Leland Vogel, Jackie Dupuis Catello, Donna Rizza Richey, Catherine Lane, Michelle Pasciuto Romilly.



Representing Rivier with pride and distinction The University presented four Alumni Achievement Awards to area graduates during Alumni Reunion Weekend. The awards highlighted their outstanding leadership and contributions to their professions, the community, and their alma mater.

Outstanding Business Leader Award

Outstanding Educator Award

Outstanding Nursing Professional Award

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Raymond Noel ’00G enjoyed a distinguished, 25-year career in banking before becoming a Certified Private Wealth Advisor and establishing an independent financial planning firm. In 2017, he was awarded the Ethics Approved Seal by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants. In 2018 and 2019, Forbes named him a Best-InState Wealth Advisor for NH, and Barron’s has recognized him three times as one of America’s Top 1,000 Financial Advisors. He serves on the University’s President’s Circle Council.

John Fabrizio ’98G has worked as a public school administrator for the past 19 years, rising to his current position as Assistant Superintendent of the Merrimack School District. Dedicated to his students and educators, he served on the NH State Professional Standards Board for six years and completed his final year as Chair. He has been involved in the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform Project for the past three years, working to improve the pre-service training and certification process for New Hampshire educators.

Joan Catherine Widmer ’05 serves as the Nurse Executive Director of the New Hampshire Nurses Association. After a successful career in corporate accounting and finance, Widmer pursued a second career in nursing. Most recently, she practiced at Catholic Medical Center in the Emergency Department, where she conducted a practice improvement project for performing an influenza screen. She has been published and spoken nationally and internationally on a range of nursing topics.

Ashley Hall ’18 earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Rivier and immediately entered the master’s degree program in Health and Wellness Management at Merrimack College. She pursued a fellowship in Cultural Competency and Health Literacy and serves as an adjunct instructor. She is Program Manager of the Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership, where she oversees efforts in support of tobacco use prevention, education, and control in 50 cities and towns in northeastern Massachusetts.

Submit a nomination for the 2020 Alumni Achievement Awards at www.rivier.edu/alumniawards 15

Putting People First BY MICHELLE MARRONE

Meet Jeff Jeff Scionti ’91/’99G has served Parkland Medical Center in Derry, New Hampshire for 33 years, starting his career in the lab as a medical technician and rising to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Driven to improve the lives of others, his focus is trained on investments in the Medical Center’s services and quality of care, workforce development, and public health awareness. The stakes are high for Parkland, given the complexities of the U.S. healthcare system and competitive marketplace for services and talent. Yet Jeff maintains a relaxed posture and an easy smile—the marks of a man who loves his job and does it well.



Jeff is a two-time alumnus, having earned both his undergraduate and MBA degrees at Rivier. He shares the strong impact his education had on his personal and professional growth. “Rivier has absolutely played a role in my life and career as it laid a solid foundation of who I am. The people that I have met and the educators in the programs were so supportive in and out of the classroom.” Having served in the military before pursuing his bachelor’s degree, Jeff was a few years older than his classmates. “It was very interesting being a non-traditional student attending courses with a majority of traditional students,” he says. “I was able to use my life lessons and emerging leadership to support some of my fellow undergraduate students. That was probably the first time I really began to identify my own leadership skills.”

Critical investments A member of the national HCA Healthcare system, Parkland Medical Center operates an 86-bed hospital and provides ancillary services at several other locations. Urgent care, cardiology, urology, oncology, hematology, radiology, rehabilitation 17

and other specialties are provided at facilities in Derry and Salem, New Hampshire. Much of Jeff’s time is spent engaging with patients, employees, and medical staff. “This is the foundation for high quality patient care and positive patient experiences,” says Jeff. As a leader in New Hampshire’s healthcare sector, he is also invested in several community initiatives. “Collaboration with local healthcare leaders and providers plays an important role in the success of the organization. Your competitor one day is your collaborator the following day.”

Innovating healthcare solutions Under Jeff’s leadership, Parkland Medical Center responded to the state’s shortage of behavioral health treatment resources by adding an inpatient psychiatric facility. “Of the many projects and innovations we have implemented at Parkland, I am most proud of the addition of our Behavioral Health Services and the building of our current 18-bed inpatient voluntary psychiatric unit,” says Jeff. “At a time when beds were being closed in New Hampshire and inpatient behavioral health programs

were being shuttered, Parkland made a significant capital investment to meet the growing needs of our community and state.” According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD., “individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis have long delays in obtaining appropriate services. These delays result in serious consequences, including long waits at home, in emergency departments, or in jails for necessary services to become available.” The need for behavioral health services in New Hampshire has escalated in recent years with the sharp rise in substance use disorders and the reduction in inpatient care beds. Accompanying the shortage of behavioral health treatment resources is the limited supply of highly skilled and specialized healthcare professionals. “Healthcare is a highly competitive marketplace and applicants have many opportunities,” shares Jeff. This challenge was met with an innovative internal residency program for recent nurse graduates and a similar program for registered nurses to specialize in emergency room and critical care services. The added training and education bolster support of new RNs, improve patient care and outcomes, and has resulted in a higher employee retention rate.

Recognizing and promoting talent As Parkland’s chief leader, Jeff values individuals, which he recognizes are an organization’s greatest assets. He reflects on his own background and realizes that the combination of his clinical background, business degrees, and a recognition early on of his leadership potential within the organization fostered his career

IS JUST MEDICINE— "MEDICINE OUR PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. " advancement. “Great employees and leaders don’t just happen, but evolve and emerge through a system of support and opportunities,” says Jeff. “I am the product of a system that promotes success from within, and I make sure to pay that forward.” As a result, Parkland Medical Center prioritizes employee talent development and maintains a formalized mentorship program. “There is so much that goes into the recruitment process,” Jeff explains. “Once we have found an individual that fits the organization’s culture and has the capacity for development and growth, it is our responsibility to retain that individual by offering a path for a career and not just a position.” “I often share, ‘Medicine is just medicine—our people make the difference.’ It’s our employees, physicians, and volunteers that make the difference in our patients' outcomes,” Jeff says.

Engaging the community A force in the public health community as well, Jeff has taken on the chairperson role for the American Heart Association 2020 New Hampshire Heart Walk. “The Heart Walk supports research and provision of life-saving information—how to eat better, how to recognize the warning signs of heart attack, and how to talk to a doctor about critical health choices,” he says. “Our 2020 goal is to raise awareness, raise funds, and to educate the community on heart disease and stroke.” Never one to shy away from a challenge or an opportunity to help others, Jeff often speaks publically about Parkland Medical Center and healthcare issues to local chamber, rotary, and legislative groups, as well as long-term care and assisted living community members. He serves on the Salemhaven Nursing

and Rehabilitation Board of Directors and is a former Board president. Jeff is also a member of the Foundation for Healthy Communities Board and serves on the Granite YMCA Finance Committee.

New challenges Jeff and his team have expanded Parkland’s services more recently to include outpatient mental health treatment programs and new bariatric, gynecologic oncology, and colorectal surgery programs. “I have been provided great opportunities at Parkland Medical Center and within HCA Healthcare,” says Jeff. “I have taken on every challenge offered to me and each challenge has been a new learning experience.” Dedicated to meeting and providing the highest quality of care, he continues to advance his and Parkland’s role in addressing community healthcare needs.

Consider an IRA charitable rollover— a tax saving-way to make a difference If you are 70 1/2 years or older, you can take advantage of a simple way to benefit Rivier this year and receive tax benefits in return. You can give directly from your IRA without having to pay income taxes. Your gift will be put directly to use, allowing you to see the impact your support has on our students today!






iving her childhood dream, Hayley now serves as a Peace Corps volunteer. She works in the remote Adamawa region of Cameroon, West Africa, focusing on maternal and child health. 19


Sworn into the Peace Corps shortly after graduation, Hayley Parenti ’18 works to improve regional health, safety, and welfare through community outreach and education. BY MICHELLE MARRONE From New Hampshire to West Africa … how did your service evolve? Hayley: When I was 12 years old, I started getting into Amnesty International and human rights, and then discovered the Peace Corps. I kept that in my mind all the way through my schooling and when senior year at Riv finally arrived, I could apply. I was accepted and have been incountry since September 2018. Following three months as a trainee, I was sworn in as a volunteer for two years of service. My current post is in Cameroon, West Africa. What are your mission and goals? Hayley: I serve in the health sector, which means that my project under the Peace Corps is maternal and child health. My main goals are working on malnutrition, HIV/AIDS testing and education, and encouraging women to come to the health center, especially to give birth. Another focus is malaria. I’ve given presentations and counseled women individually on the disease, why breastfeeding is important, and why they should sleep under insecticide treated bed-nets. My village’s ‘high school’ no longer has an English teacher, so I will most likely start teaching English classes there. A new goal will be to get an Education Volunteer placed in my village. What are the most significant challenges in the community you’re serving? Hayley: There are a lot of challenges in my community, but one of the biggest is lack of education. This is especially prevalent for women, as they are even less likely to receive education than the men. Another

big challenge involves food. Malnutrition is a big issue. There really aren’t any vegetables and few fruits in the village. The most common, easiest, and cheapest food made here is fufu. Often times, it’s a staple in every meal; people think that it’s part of a good meal nutrition-wise. In reality, there’s really no nutritional value, but because it’s filling and can feed big families, it’s the most common thing made. What are your biggest challenges— personal and professional? Hayley: Language is a challenge. The main languages in Cameroon are mostly French and some English, but there are more than 250 different dialects spoken. In my region, Fulfulde is the main language. I don’t speak that much of it, so I can’t do anything work-wise by myself. This also makes it difficult to make friends, since the majority of women only speak Fulfulde. Going along with language, there are feelings of isolation and loneliness, since I can’t communicate with others as much as I would like to. The culture here is very different, and that’s one of my biggest challenges. I live in a very conservative, Muslim village. There’s polygamy, child marriage, young girls giving birth, and women not being able to even leave their homes without their husband’s permission; these women can’t even go to the health center to give birth without their husband’s permission. It’s different and very difficult. What impact has your service had on the community and on you?

seen during our time here. Change takes a lot of time, and while two years seems like a lot, it’s often not enough time for us to see those changes, but the volunteers who come after us will. Peace Corps has had a big impact on me. While this has always been my dream, it is so far out of my comfort zone it’s a shock to many (including me), that I’m able to do it. I’ve learned I’m capable of a lot more than I thought I was, and I’m a lot more resilient. What are your plans after the Peace Corps? Hayley: Right now, I’m leaning towards law school. I’m interested in international and comparative law or law and social change so that I can do something with human rights. I’ve also thought about going back to school for a double major in global health and international affairs. Any advice for others considering the Peace Corps? Hayley: Something I heard a lot before coming here was, “Oh, I wanted to do that when I was younger,” and “I wish I knew about that when I was your age.” There’s no age limit to the Peace Corps. To anyone who might have wanted to do it when they were younger, you still can!


Hayley: The impact volunteers have on the community they serve isn’t always RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2019




Find alumni and friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and join the conversation!

Yvonne Sun I love representing women in STEM. Rivier's education helped me get to where I am today! #WomenInSTEM #Education

@mariapz1974 Thank you Rivier University for getting your students ready to vote #NHPolitics

I love spending quality time with my sister (and yes, we're wearng matching Rivier Alumni shirts). #RivierUniversity #RivierAlumni

@burketweets jmsartori26

@loudallesandro Mark Bodanza & I had a book signing at Rivier University. Sister Paula welcomed us back to the school where I earned my master's degree. Wonderful event. Great memories.


Excited to spend my next 4 yrs at Riv!

Fun day at the Rivier University 22nd Annual Golf Classic. #Riv #FunClients #RivRaiders #ClientsWhoCare


Paul Clark Excited to have been the moderator at this morning's panel about cybersecurity presented by three experts in the business. They had specifics to share related to individuals and companies and made a hot topic accessible to all in attendance. #PresidentsCircle

Stay Connected

Facebook www.facebook.com/RivierUniversity www.facebook.com/RivierUniversityAlumni

Instagram I remember the first time I put on a set of scrubs. I felt so proud, accomplished, and genuinely happy. When I first became a nurse I never thought I would see the day where it wasn’t work, or difficult. Nursing is a hard job, but I would not change my career choice for anything in this world [...]

rivieruniversity rivieralumni

Twitter @RivUniversity @RivierAlumni


LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/school/rivier

Adventure Bound

See yourself in the next issue! #rivieruniversity #rivieralumni Happy to have the Rivier University women's soccer team doing some serious #teambuilding on our ropes course! Good luck this year ladies! #rivwsoccer

Happy to officially announce my commitment to Rivier University as a nursing major to pursue pediatric nursing and play division 3 volleyball #GoRaiders #RivNation

#rivraiders #rivnation #rivworks




ATHLETIC ALUMNI GAMES The Athletics Department hosted a series of alumni games this fall on the newly dedicated Joanne Merrill Field and Raider Diamond. Sponsored by the Alumni Association, the events provided an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with teammates and coaches. On August 25, field hockey alumni returned to campus to take on current players, who were excited to see recent graduates back on the field.


Later that day, women’s and men’s soccer alumni joined student-athletes, coached by Brooke Arment and Hayden Barbosa, respectively, for some friendly competition on the field. On September 28, the 1st annual softball alumni game was held on Raider Diamond. Sr. Paula Marie Buley, IHM, joined Coach Michael Holloran in throwing out the first pitch. More than thirty softball alumni and their families enjoyed a beautiful day on campus. The Men's Lacrosse Team held its annual alumni game on October 19. Coach James DeLanoy welcomed back more than twenty-five alumni who played hard and showed their competitive spirit is still strong.

SAVE THE DATE for Volleyball Alumni Games

on January 31 and February 1. Contact Coach Craig Kolek at ckolek@rivier.edu for details.







Alumni Spotlight

Ashley Snell Larochelle ’08 Director of Vision Activation | MegaFood

INTUITIVE. HUNGRY. LINCHPIN. Ashley Snell Larochelle, Class of 2008, describes herself in those three words. She drives strategic corporate communication, culture, and engagement at MegaFood through a variety of projects aimed at aligning and supporting business objectives, priorities, and vision. MegaFood is a national vitamin and supplement company located in Manchester, NH. She helped coordinate a three-year effort for MegaFood to become a Certified B-Corporation, a milestone the company achieved in 2018. This allowed her company to join a global movement of people using business as a force for good by meeting the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Ashley continues to play a major role in the company’s growing portfolio of social impact programs devoted to improving food security and access to better nutrition. Accomplishments: Board Member for NH Businesses for Social Responsibility; Co-Chair of Measure What Matters Committee, New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility; Vice Chairman of the Board, Londonderry YMCA. Education: B.A. International Studies




Rose-Marie Robichaud ’67/’71G and Diane Marie LeBlanc Finn ’68 were roommates at Rivier and have been friends ever since. Now in their 70s, they have both embarked on new careers writing and publishing children’s books. Rose-Marie taught French for many years and continues to tutor students. She had written her first book long ago, but only recently collaborated with an artist and publisher to bring Dee’s Pig to life. Her second book, Dee’s Extraordinary Rooster, is expected by year’s end. Diane taught elementary school in Plymouth, MA, for more than 30 years and operated Colonial Lantern Tours with her husband, providing historic tours by candlelight. Her first children’s book is titled The Secrets of Plymouth Rock. Inspired by the book’s success, a complementary music CD and activity book are also in development.

John Tuohey ’78G co-wrote …But Few Were Chosen, a novel published by Vandamere Press in 2018. It follows the early lives of the authors as they deal with harsh, alcoholic circumstances and their eventual escape to a Franciscan seminary. It was there that they discovered a life without chaos and started on a path that saved them. In 2018, John completed his goal of biking in all 50 states, ending on Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska.


1970s Suzanne Roy ’70 published The Enclave in July 2019, a novel she began writing 40 years ago and returned to after retiring from a 30-year career as an independent compliance consultant. She taught English at the University of Maine in the 1970s and later wrote the children’s television series “La Bonne Adventure.” She also wrote several one-act plays, including Tradition, which was showcased in New York City in 1996, and Caretakers, which was named Best Play of the Year at the 2005 Ararat One-Act Play Festival.

Christine Gallagher ’85, Linda Kalman Ney ’84, Elaine Gordon Swanson ’85/’92G, Sheila VanWoert Elario ’84, Sherry Vile Pembroke ’85, and Carolyn Bourgea Radin ’84 enjoy catching up each summer. This past summer they celebrated nearly 40 years of friendship at Carolyn's South Carolina vacation home.





2000s Gary Dempsey ’02G was appointed principal of John Stark Regional High School in Weare, NH. He served as principal of Pelham High School for three years, and has also worked in administration in Manchester and Bedford schools. Before going into administration, Gary spent 13 years in the classroom assisting students with various educational challenges.

2010s Suzanne Schedin ’96G recently received the NH STEM Excellence in Teaching Award. This award recognized her work to create a STEM lab in her elementary school in Milford, NH. Suzanne wrote and won several grants to provide funding for video equipment, a LEGO wall, engineering supplies, and tools. She also created a robotics program for students in the school, which now has eight robotics teams.

Patrick Obertin ’12G completed his 5th year of teaching exceptional children at Unionville Elementary School near Monroe, NC. He resides in Mount Holly, NC with his wife Linda.

Sandy Pouliot ’97 was appointed Assistant Principal of the Berlin Elementary School in Berlin, NH, serving K-5 students. Previously, she taught STEM in the classroom for more than twenty-one years.

Lela Gremm ’99 joined Whole Foods Market in November 2018 as a Senior Manager of HR Operations and Compliance at their global headquarters in Austin, TX. In this role, she and her team are responsible for creating an effective HR shared services strategy for the organization.

Cassaundra Frizzell Haynes ’14 celebrated with fellow Rivier alums at her wedding this past May. She shares, “Beth, Katie, and I all met in 2010 during our freshman year. We started hanging out in the Regina Library during the day because we all commuted to campus. At the end of our freshman year, we had started our own “Commuter Crew” who get together monthly now!” First Row (L to R): Jennifer Tilley ’13, Kaitlyn Duggan ’14/’17G, Cassaundra Frizzell Haynes ’14, Kelsey Gallant ’13/’16G, Elizabeth Casey ’11. Back Row (L to R): Brittany Frizzell ’11, Jordan Castle (fiancé to Victoria Bellemore), Victoria Bellemore ’15, Elizabeth Bellemore ’14, Matt Ingersoll ’14.



Alumni share expertise through Business Speaker Series The Division of Business Speaker Series welcomed back several alumni this fall to share their professional experiences and career advice with current business students. The first speaker in the series, Ed Soucie ’16, completed a recruiting internship during his junior year at Rivier. Building on that experience, he has become a talent acquisition professional, currently working at Presidio, a national IT solutions provider. Ed encouraged students to build their networks while still in college and to make the most of every connection. When looking for a first job, he offered, “One of the first steps I took after I graduated was really figuring out where I wanted to work, and what type of company I wanted to work for. Do not get too hung up on your title in the beginning. Land a job at a company where you believe in the leadership, and they believe in you. Trust me, grind for the first year and show your worth, and the rest will take care of itself.” Lia Bobek ’16, Andy Chace ’06, Ashley Snell Larochelle ’08, and Bill Werner ’06, all former Raider athletes, returned to campus for a panel discussion, as the second presentation in the series. Lia is an Account Project Manager at American Tower Corporation. Andy holds CFP® and CEPA® certifications and is a partner in The Grieb & Chace Group, a private wealth advisory practice.

Ashley is the Director of Vision Activation for MegaFood, and Bill is a member of the Portsmouth Police Department Patrol Division, as well as an operator on the Seacoast Emergency Response Team. The panel echoed Ed Soucie’s advice and provided additional insights and guidance. They encouraged students to create experiences to learn more about themselves while they are still at Rivier, and specifically recommended searching out a values exercise online to gain clarity on their core values. All agreed that a better understanding of self would help students to identify and pursue the most satisfying jobs and careers. Offering advice for students to achieve success in their first professional position, the alumni recommended developing public speaking skills, becoming comfortable asking questions, building their professional networks, and developing a thick skin for greater resiliency when constructive criticism is offered. “Enjoy your time here and make the most of it,” said Bill. “So when you leave here you know who you are as a person, because that’s important when you get out in the world.”

(L to R): Lia Bobek ’16, Bill Werner ’06, Ashley Snell Larochelle ’08, Andy Chace ’06 RIVIER TODAY / FALL 2019




Advancing addiction recovery research Dr. Donna Proulx ’03/’07G, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of Graduate Nursing Programs, presented the results of her doctoral research to the Rivier community as part of the Faculty Speaker Series sponsored by the Alumni Association.

Ariana Kneeland Morse ’14/’19G and her husband Daniel welcomed their son Carter Joseph on April 6, 2019.


Her qualitative research project, titled “The Lived Experience of Postpartum Women Attending Outpatient SubstanceAbuse Treatment for Opioid or Heroin Addiction,” examined the concept of a “gateway drug” in the context of substance abuse, and explored the lived experiences of 10 postpartum women enrolled in outpatient substance abuse treatment programs for opioid or heroin addiction in New Hampshire. Dr. Proulx’s research identified five themes common in the research subjects’ experiences: the presence of a stigma among healthcare providers; a fear of being reported to family services; children are their primary motivators to remain engaged in treatment; concern for the welfare of their infant; and several barriers to treatment. Barriers include a lack of treatment services, the cost of services, lack of awareness of available treatment programs, and long wait times for treatment engagement.

Cassaundra Frizzell ’14 and Michael Haynes – May 4, 2019

Her research findings support the provision of initial and ongoing opioid use disorder (OUD) education for direct healthcare providers, interdisciplinary training while in the academic setting for healthcare professionals, additional research on the long-term outcomes of women who engaged in medication-assisted treatment, and a need to advocate for evidence-based health policy changes.


Erin Sweeney ’14 and Nicholas Walch ’14 – June 1, 2019


In Memoriam Jennifer Hubbard Brooks ’95G June 9, 2019

Susan M. Plamondon Buxton ’04G/’14G October 10, 2019

Jeffrey R. Levesque ’99 July 4, 2019

Carole V. Degasis McCann ’56 October 18, 2019

Arthur E. Van Tassell Jr. ’76 July 7, 2019 Linda M. Martin Mercer ‘76 July 22, 2019 John Robert Bamberry ‘89G September 2, 2019 Jeannine Duquette Richard ‘62 September 16, 2019 John J. Everett ‘86G September 18, 2019 Susan Henney Voss ‘76G September 26, 2019

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.

I traveled to Costa Rica to build hydroponic systems in underprivileged communities. Because of our work, families can grow fresh vegetables and improve their overall health. This trip opened my eyes to how lucky I am to have access to good nutrition and clean water. – My name is Josh Castine, and this is my Riv. When you support the Rivier University Fund, you make each student’s experience unique and help students like Josh write their success stories.

Support the Rivier University Fund rivier.edu/giveonline




Real people. Real stories.

Real success.

Are you our next Success Story?

Honoring Excellence in Education Tamara Marcaurelle ‘17G (pictured above left) was honored with a Nashua Education Foundation (NEFie) Award this fall. NEFie Awards recognize outstanding educators in the Nashua School District. Tamara, an educator at the Elm Street Middle School, was recognized as the Special Education Teacher of the Year. The Nashua Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance education opportunities for Nashua public school students. The Foundation offers grants to educators to support innovative educational initiatives. According to Nashua Education Foundation Board President Beth Kreick (pictured above right), the non-profit has provided more than $100,000 to 75 enrichment projects in the past decade. Championing the efforts of Education alumni in the Nashua community, Rivier University is a proud supporter of the Foundation.


We want to hear from you! Tell us what you are doing for work or service, and you could be featured with fellow Rivier graduates who are sharing their success stories. Join other incredible alumni who proudly represent Rivier across the country and around the world. Submit your story at rivier.edu/alumniupdate today!



Alumni and community members are invited to participate in the following events.

Join faculty, staff, and students on these educational trips.

Through Dec. 5......Norman Rockwell: From Lens to Brush to Press Exhibit Art Gallery at Rivier University

Dec. 5......Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Madeleine Hall, 6 p.m.

Jan. 21 – Feb. 27...... Joel Christian Gill: Cartoon Chronicles Exhibit Art Gallery at Rivier University

Jan. 26......”Suit-Up” Career Apparel Event JCPenney, Pheasant Lane Mall Nashua

Jan. 31 – Feb. 1......Volleyball Alumni Games Muldoon Fitness Center, 5 p.m.

Feb. 15 – 25......Tanzania: Global Health, Acute Care, and Cultural Immersion

Feb. 28 – Mar. 6......England: Criminal Justice in London

Feb. 29 – Mar. 7......Panama: The Divide Between the Rich and the Poor

Sept. 17 – 25......Peru: Exploring Global Health Issues: From Cusco to Machu Picchu For more information on trips, email globalengagement@rivier.edu

Mar. 9 – Apr. 23......Sheli Petersen: Drawing as Seeing Exhibit Art Gallery at Rivier University

Apr. 18......Rivier Community Day of Service Greater Nashua Area For a full calendar of events, visit www.rivier.edu






420 South Main Street, Nashua, N.H. 03060-5086

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 Julie, Chris, Peter, 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 2018-2019 Honor Roll of Donors online at


Profile for Rivier University

Rivier Today / Fall 2019  

The magazine of Rivier University, Nashua, NH

Rivier Today / Fall 2019  

The magazine of Rivier University, Nashua, NH