Rivier Today | Spring 2018

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Vision 2020, Higher and Better Committed to innovation, Rivier announces plan for new Science Center

Katerine Lampes Biology major Class of 2016

Spring 2018

In this Issue


09 THE POWER OF GATHERING Newly renovated, the Dion Center reflects the University’s commitment to community engagement.

11 VISION 2020, HIGHER AND BETTER Plans for a new Science Center and Athletics Pavilion accelerate our forward momentum.





Commencement 2018 highlights innovation, technology, and service.


The magazine of Rivier University

Barry Pietrantonio ’17G shares his story of addiction, recovery, and redemption.

President Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM

Vice President for University Advancement Karen Cooper ’03G

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

Senior Writer Michelle Marrone • 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

Departments 01 Hearts & Minds 03 Newsworthy 23 Making a Difference 25 Social Circles 27 Alumni Spotlight 28 C lass 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


HEARTS & MINDS SERVING THE WORLD Message from the President Dear Friends of Rivier, A wonderful quote from Madeleine L’Engle reminds us that “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, and more loving.” Our 83rd Commencement launched a new generation of Rivier students, who are moving forward with exciting contributions to the workforce. Each graduate adds his or her own inspirational story to that of our University. I am inspired by: • One of our Project Achieve nursing students visiting her family in Peru, working at a clinic, and volunteering at a homeless shelter for the elderly. This is the heart of a Rivier nurse. • A law enforcement officer who earned his doctoral degree and is exploring his deep hope that through action research he can help build a more just community. • Our Student Financial Services staff member, present at the Baccalaureate Mass and Undergraduate Hooding ceremony, who quite humbly told me she was invited to attend by a student's family. I knew that she had supported that student and the family on their journey to make Rivier affordable and accessible. • Our countless students who catch the eye of their faculty mentors, their smiles sending the message, “If it were not for you, I wouldn’t be here today.” These stories and more reflect the Rivier experience of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world. I ask you to join with me and consider how Rivier has shaped your own story. At the same time, I want you to know how important each of you are to the everexpanding mission of the University. Your contributions and your commitment to telling the Rivier story, your story, inspire us to reach ever higher and better. Sincerely,

Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM President 1

Brooke Riley ’15 supports community Brooke Riley ’15 was named Miss New Hampshire USA Ambassador 2018, an award for service and contributions to charity organizations within each ambassador’s state. Riley lives in Nashua and is an elementary school teacher working with autistic children and their families. As a pageant winner and now USA Ambassador, she champions causes that support her communities. Autism Eats, which provides autismfriendly family dining and social events, is her Miss New Hampshire platform. “I wanted to bring knowledge and awareness to Autism Spectrum Disorder, since it is really increasing in the United States,” says Brooke. She also volunteers her time with the NH Special Olympics and Finding Hope with Fashion, a benefit fashion show that generates funds for a different charity each year.

First-year students reach out with Day of Service Through Rivier’s sixth annual First-Year Student Day of Service, students contributed hundreds of community service hours to Greater Nashua non-profit organizations in April. More than 250 Rivier first-year students, peer mentors, and staff members participated

in the event to support local agencies serving the needs of at-risk populations. Students volunteered their time and talents at Anne-Marie House, Boys and Girls Club of Nashua, Girls Inc. of Greater Nashua, Harbor Homes, the Hunt Community, PLUS

Company, Nashua Parks and Recreation, Nashua Police Athletics League, Salvation Army, Nashua Senior Center, and the YMCA. Also in April, more than 30 student volunteers represented the University at the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter 5K/10K Road

profit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming lifelong bonds and lifechanging outcomes.” Damien has a rare disease that affects his kidneys.

Raiders men’s basketball players welcome seven-year-old to team Damien Rodrigues, a Nashua native, is the newest and youngest addition to the Rivier men’s basketball team.

Coach Lance Bisson and our student-athletes welcomed Damien through their association with Team IMPACT, “a national non-

Rivier Athletics officially drafted him to the team during a press conference in January. As a full-fledged team member, Damien can attend practices, games, team dinners, and other events. The support encourages him as he undergoes treatment for his condition.

Race, one of the non-profit’s biggest fundraisers, and the Biology Club held its 14th annual Earth Day Charitable Road Race/Walk. Proceeds benefited Beaver Brook Association in Hollis and the enhancement of wildlife habitats.

“Having Damien join our team has been an awesome experience,” says Joshua L’Heureux ’20. “Damien’s presence alone can brighten up any room. He has taught us that no matter how much of a struggle something may be, to never give up and to push on. He is an inspiration because he does not let his illness define him. It is truly an honor and a privilege to call Damien Rodrigues our teammate and friend.” Damien is the third child Team IMPACT has paired with a Raider athletic team.



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NEWSWORTHY News from campus and the world beyond


and will include an enriched Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) curriculum, preceptor and faculty training, ongoing education, academic practice partnerships, and a community advisory board.


Rivier awarded competitive $2.04 million federal nursing grant

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded Rivier a four-year $2,037,011 nursing education grant. Grant outcomes include enhanced education, increased access to community healthcare services, and improvements in patient outcomes. “The majority of nursing practice no longer takes place solely in the hospital setting,” says Dr. Paula Williams, Rivier University’s Dean of Nursing and Healthcare Professions. “Today, community health nurses are taking care of the acute and chronically ill patients within the home setting. Rivier’s enhanced education program will prepare nurses for success in this new paradigm.” The new education program has been dubbed Project REEP— Registered Nurse Enhanced Education for Primary Care—

“The grant will fund innovative training that directly impacts students’ workforce preparation and their ability to provide high quality care in a wide range of treatment settings,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President of Rivier. “Rivier-educated community health nurses will focus on regional medical needs, especially those resulting from the mounting opioid crisis and the rapidly growing elderly population.”


H Governor Sununu N and Congresswoman Kuster speak at Rivier

The University hosted Governor Chris Sununu and Congresswoman Annie Kuster at separate events in January 2018. Governor Chris Sununu spoke at a President’s Circle Leadership Forum on “New Hampshire Today and Tomorrow,” addressing the progress made in 2017 and challenges the state faces moving forward. The Governor addressed several key issues including education, workforce development, behavioral health, substance misuse, healthcare, economic development, and more. Also in January, Congresswoman Annie Kuster led a panel discussion that focused on the opioid epidemic and initiatives to combat the crisis. Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, and Greater Nashua education and healthcare

professionals contributed to the discussion. The Congresswoman applauded The Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development at Rivier as the type of innovative program that should be promoted across New Hampshire and the country.


University expands Board of Trustees

Rivier recently welcomed two new members to the Board of Trustees, enhancing the Board's expertise in architecture, engineering, and manufacturing. John Stebbins specializes in construction, architecture, and engineering. He is a Project Manager for XSS Hotels, a hotel development company. The company has opened several Marriott, Hilton, and Hampton Inn properties in New England, New York, and New Jersey. John holds a B.A. in Theology from Georgetown University and a Master of Architecture degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Gerardine Ferlins has 40 years of manufacturing and leadership experience. She is the founder of Cirtronics Corporation and currently serves as President/CEO. Cirtronics is a contract manufacturing business that builds complex technical products for high-tech clients. Gerardine has also served on the Boards of NH Catholic Charities, Business Industry Association of NH, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, and Vested for Growth. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from the College of St. Rose.





Rivier welcomes new Vice President

With more than 20 years of experience in finance, accounting, and higher education business administration, Dr. John Parker has joined Rivier as Vice President for Finance and Administration, serving as the University’s chief financial officer and a key member of the President’s Cabinet. He provides executive leadership of the finance and operations departments with oversight of student financial services, human resources, facilities, and auxiliary services.


Dr. Parker has held leadership roles at Brown Mackie College, Argosy University, and Arizona State University, and the Delta Capital


Group. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Argosy University, an M.S. in Accounting from Arizona State University, an MBA from University of Phoenix, and a B.S. in Business Administration and Management from University of Southern California.


Regional experts gather at Rivier to address the opioid crisis

Emergency personnel across the country respond to thousands of overdose calls each year, significantly impacting local and state resources and driving the demand for behavioral health professionals. Working to address the opioid epidemic, more than 200 regional experts and healthcare professionals gathered at Rivier University for the daylong workshop “Prevention, Treatment & Recovery: Rethinking our Response to the Opioid Crisis.” Featured sessions and panel discussions addressed the physical effects of drugs on the brain, Nashua Public Health Division’s efforts to educate the community on issues surrounding substance use disorder, drug overdose data and trends, and

legal ramifications for the state and individuals as a result of drug misuse. People in long-term recovery shared personal accounts of their drug misuse and the interventions that led to their sobriety. The event was sponsored by The Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development at Rivier. The Center serves as an educational hub on behavioral health issues for the healthcare community and actively works to expand the workforce pipeline through Rivier’s extensive academic programming in counseling and school psychology, nursing, public health, and healthcare administration.


Dr. Marilyn Daley honored with Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award

Associate Professor Dr. Marilyn Daley was named Nurse Practitioner of the Year by the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association in May. The award recognizes her significant contributions to the role of the nurse practitioner in the state and the nation. Dr. Daley was nominated for the honor by Donna Proulx, Program Director of Graduate and Doctoral Nursing at Rivier. “Many of her

contributions have made a significant difference in the quality of life in patients diagnosed with heart failure,” says Proulx. “This improvement in a patient’s quality of life was also associated with a tandem cost savings to the healthcare system, by utilizing resources more swiftly and efficiently. Her most recent efforts of volunteering time to organize and supervise a trip to Costa Rica and Belize for nursing students, as well as the development of a community mobile health van, help bring healthcare services to medically underserved communities.”


Nursing students go global

Nursing faculty and students traveled to Costa Rica for alternative spring break, investing their time and talent in a clinical and cultural immersion trip. Dr. Marilyn Daley and adjunct instructor Jennifer Thompson led a 16-student team to remote areas of the island where they conducted home visits and treated acute care patients in field clinics they established in La Carpio, San Jose, and Caro Quintero, Alajuela. Scarce medical supplies and equipment presented several challenges; however, the team provided care for more than 50 patients during their stay. RIVIER TODAY / SPRING 2018





Men’s volleyball team wins GNAC Championship

After three rebuilding years, Rivier men’s volleyball team is back in the winner’s circle, reclaiming the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship in April. The title is the eighth overall for the Raiders since the GNAC began sponsoring the trophy in 2008. Rivier completed the season with an unblemished 16-0 record against the GNAC competition. Their record is tied for the ninth highest in program history for single-season wins. “I look back on the journey our upperclassmen have taken,” said Coach Craig Kolek, just after they took the championship. “That first year they were here, we were seven-time defending champions. The expectation [in 2015] was that we would win. And we didn’t … everyone realized that they had to put in their time to get the program back to a place like this. I think that—the journey to get back here—is the most satisfying aspect of tonight’s result.” 7


Rivier introduces three new programs

Rivier will offer three new, in-demand degree programs. A B.A. in Psychology with a track in Substance Use Disorders (SUD) will launch in fall 2018. The program will provide the educational component necessary for Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) licensure. In addition to academic preparation, licensure generally requires passing an exam, completing a case study, and documenting 4,000 hours of post-baccalaureate, SUD counseling. In fall 2019, the University will introduce bachelor’s degrees in

Cybersecurity Management and Sport Management. The B.S. in Cybersecurity Management program will prepare undergraduates with specialized education in business, computer science, cybersecurity, and homeland and international security. The B.S. in Sport Management degree will focus on sport management and administration, marketing, accounting, finance, and communications.

Honoring Decades of Leadership and Service In Memoriam

RIVIER REMEMBERS Bob Weisman, Trustee Emeritus


ivier and the Greater Nashua community mourn the loss of Trustee Emeritus H. Robert Weisman with his passing on March 15 at the age of 97. A Nashua native, Bob was deeply invested in the community and leaves a legacy of leadership and service. “Bob was an extraordinary man of common sense and uncommon wisdom,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President. “He believed fiercely in our mission and our students, and gave generously of himself to the University. We were privileged with his leadership on the Board of Trustees and will miss his stalwart support and gentle spirit.” Bob was born and raised in Nashua. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II and returned to the city after his discharge in 1945. He attended and graduated from the University of New Hampshire and married Beatrice Pombrio. The Weismans shared two children and 59 years of marriage. He is remembered as a successful businessman, founding a life insurance company in 1949, which

has grown over the past 70 years to include investment and financial planning services. Partners in the firm Weisman, Tessier, Lambert & Halloran describe Bob as a mentor, teacher, and humanitarian. Serving on the Board of Trustees at Rivier University for more than four decades and on St. Joseph Hospital’s Board for over 20 years, his generosity extended beyond these institutions to many local non-profit organizations. Rivier recognized Bob’s contributions with an honorary doctorate in 1994, and he was named 2013 Citizen of the Year by the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce. He received many professional awards as a result of his firm’s success. An advocate for the University’s growth and development, Bob was instrumental in Rivier’s transition from college to university status. He was the inspiration for the main gateway with the Gateway Projects and

contributed generously to making this vision become a reality. Bob established the Bea & H. Robert (Bob) Weisman Scholarship, affirming his longstanding devotion to Rivier. This scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time student majoring in mathematics, computer science, a physical science, or education with the intent of teaching any of those disciplines at the middle or high school level. Bob’s counsel and kindness touched many lives. The University gratefully acknowledges his place in Rivier’s history and fondly celebrates his memory.




The Dion Center has long been a gathering place for Rivier students and the community, alumni, local partners, business leaders, and dignitaries. It serves as a welcoming space for the exchange of ideas, a shared meal, hosting guests, and celebrating faith, friendships, and service to others. The Center’s revitalization completed in the fall of 2017 created a welcoming entrance from Clement Street and inviting spaces that foster collaboration. “As we 9

strive to create a powerful first impression, we will proudly welcome prospective students and their families, alumni, and invited guests to this renovated space which reflects our commitment to community engagement,� says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President. In addition to serving as the campus hub for activities, events, and speakers for Student Life, Admissions, and University Advancement and Alumni Relations, the facility provides a conference venue for corporate partners and

non-profit agencies such as BAE Systems, Enterprise Bank, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Greater Nashua Mental Health Council, and more.

“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.” –Alice Waters, chef, activist and author RIVIER TODAY / SPRING 2018



An architectural rendering of the University’s planned Science Center by Derck & Edson Associates.


Vision 2020, Higher and Better

Our University’s Latin motto “Altiora et Meliora” translates to “higher and better” and is what we strive for every day. Rivier’s Vision 2020 strategy map set a course for an innovative future as the University strives to reach higher and better while providing a distinctive educational experience that uniquely prepares students for career success. Through a commitment to expanding innovation in the sciences, the University evaluated existing science facilities and has envisioned a new facility that will provide state-of-the-art experiences for biology, biotechnology, nursing, and public health majors, while enhancing the general education of all Rivier students. “To continue to reach higher and better, we must educate our students in a learning environment that prepares them

for the 21st-century workforce,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President. “Through this innovative education, they will be uniquely equipped with the knowledge and skills to excel in the workplace.” The Science Center will serve as a beacon for the city of Nashua and beyond, providing a community resource for the pursuit of scientific discovery. Inclusive of microbiology, biotechnology, anatomy and physiology, genetics, organic and inorganic chemistry, physics, and environmental science, the 30,000-square-foot facility will be situated at the crossroads of South Main and Clement Streets, the most visible and heavily traveled area of the campus.



Vision 2020, Higher and Better

At the heart of Vision 2020 is a Science Center truly worthy of the teaching and learning that takes place within its walls.

The new Center will encompass: •L earning spaces that foster innovation and discovery •L aboratories and equipment designed to solve real-world problems • T echnology that brings the world of science into the classroom •C ollaborative spaces for faculty and student research The Science Center will position the University to expand resources for biology and biotechnology majors. “This will mean additional research and discovery, as well as development of the workforce serving our Greater Nashua region and beyond,” says Sister Paula. The University is in the quiet-phase of a fundraising effort to support the construction of the Science Center and anticipates a groundbreaking in 2019. The completion of the new facility is anticipated for the fall of 2020.


Vision 2020, Higher and Better

New Hampshire employment projections indicate a 15.1% growth rate in the nursing profession with more than 2,000 additional jobs available through 2024.

Biology, biotechnology, and environmental science are among this region’s top growing job sectors.



Vision 2020, Higher and Better

Reach High

In addition to enhancements to key academic facilities and resources, Vision 2020 takes into account the education of the whole student with a critical focus on athletics, leadership, and personal development. Every day Rivier athletes strive to reach higher and better and to excel both on and off the playing fields and courts. Athletics are a key piece of a bigger picture, serving to enhance academic achievement and the overall student experience. Participating in intercollegiate athletics provides students with the significant experiences of competition, commitment, achievement, and goal attainment. With the launch of a new Bachelor of Science in Sport Management for the fall of 2019, Rivier students will have enhanced opportunities for hands-on experience supporting internships and leading to employment.


Vision 2020, Higher and Better ATHLETICS PAVILION The construction of an Athletics Pavilion will turn the University’s athletics field into a stadium, having a transformational impact on the game-day experience for Raider athletes and fans. The Pavilion will provide stadium seating, team rooms and conference space for pre- and post-game gatherings, a training room, locker rooms, and a press box with an enhanced sound system. SOFTBALL FIELD A renovation of the existing softball field will complete the outdoor facilities, adding stadium seating, a press box, team dugouts, and field lighting for nighttime play. Construction of the Athletics Pavilion and softball field, are anticipated to begin in the fall.

RECOGNIZING VISION, LEADERSHIP, AND PHILANTHROPY The Leadership Giving Society is a community of generous alumni, parents, and friends who have a passion for Rivier and play a leadership role in supporting the University with their annual gifts. These donors have chosen to make Rivier a philanthropic priority, and their gifts serve as an investment in our students and a world-class education. They are supporting scholarships, athletics, student resources, activities, and innovations through gifts of $1,000 or more.

Together, these donors are leading the way and transforming hearts and minds to serve the world. For more information about making a leadership gift, contact: the Office of University Advancement and Alumni Relations at (603) 897-8665. RIVIER TODAY / SPRING 2018


Commencement 2018 highlights innovation, technology, and service

Rivier University celebrated its 83rd Commencement on May 12, awarding 689 doctoral, post-master’s, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees to graduates. The celebration took a forward focus, highlighting the importance of innovation, technology, and service to the 21st-century workforce and to making a difference in the world. Rivier University honored two exceptional New Hampshire business and social entrepreneurs, Jeremy and Elizabeth Hitchcock, with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. Best known for their contributions to 17

entrepreneurialism and technological innovation, the Hitchcocks’ business development efforts play a key role in advancing the state’s economy. Deeply committed to community and workforce development, they support the growth of startup companies and invest in causes devoted to education, technology, public service, and the arts and culture. Mr. Hitchcock’s Commencement address focused on STEM innovations as tools to make a difference in graduates’ lives and in the lives of others. “Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a basic skill of the 21st century,”

said Jeremy Hitchcock. “But STEM is a how — a tool which creates a new art of the possible … We can use these tools to feed the world, to heal the world, to teach the world.” He encouraged graduates to set goals with specific intention for themselves and for their future contributions to the world. Undergraduate class speaker Haley Goodspeed reflected on graduates’ preparation for civic engagement, and Scott Congdon, representing students in graduate programs, urged classmates to find fulfillment in service to others. “I challenge you to make a significant difference in the life of another; in doing so, you will make a most significant

difference in your own.” A Rivier tradition, Rev. Regina Shearer closed the ceremony with a song specially written for the Class of 2018. Her adaptation of the song H.O.L.Y. by Florida Georgia Line brought cheers from Rivier University graduates and guests throughout the stadium. To view the full story, photos, and Rev. Shearer’s performance, visit www.rivier.edu/commencement2018.





Young, old, wise, naive ... addiction seeps like water, shaping and shifting through regions, communities, neighborhoods, families. It knows no boundaries. Reaching epidemic proportions in the U.S., the statistics are staggering; however, they don’t convey the human experience or its boundless capacity for change.

MEET BARRY Beginning his battle at an early age, Barry shares his story of addiction, recovery, and redemption.

BARRY PIETRANTONIO ’17G CMHC Co-owner and Chief Executive Officer of Crossroads Recovery Center in Salem, New Hampshire.

My addiction to alcohol started as a child. I was the youngest of ten. By seven or eight years old, I felt different. In my family, it was common to have a little brandy when we were sick. I can still remember the taste. Brandy was expensive, and I had to steal it from my dad, so when I got into my teens, I started drinking beer from

my neighborhood friends. As I aged, my addiction progressed. I wanted to drop out of high school but my mother refused to sign the papers … after five years, I managed to graduate with a diploma. By my twenties, I knew I had some type of problem, but I never took it seriously.



After high school, I got into the construction field. I thought it was great; it was common in this industry to drink and drug. At the time, I could stay up until 4 a.m. and go to work at 6 or 7 a.m. I later found out that I was having experiences with mania. I could go for two or three days straight during a manic episode. I found them to be enjoyable. It was almost like doing drugs but not having to pay for them. In my late twenties, I tried to get serious. I stopped using for three years to get my bachelor’s degree in accounting. As soon as I graduated and got my first job, however, my addiction exploded.

life,’ I thought. ‘This is great.’

In 1997, I experienced a severe depression, so I went to counseling. Even though they kept telling me the substances were causing the depression, I didn’t believe them. They prescribed me Wellbutrin, Paxil, and Buspirone, but I kept drinking and drugging. ‘The medications aren’t working, ’ I said. ‘I must not be depressed.’

My son told me I was a lousy parent; I was no good, and I was a drunk. My wife kicked me out of the house. My entire family started to push away. So right before things started looking really bleak, I said, ‘I’ve got to go to the hospital.’ Rather than going to detox, I went to a psychiatric facility. I thought I was going crazy.

In 1998, things started to get a little more intense. I had a herniated disc in my back from doing carpentry, and in 2002 I had a motorcycle accident which led to a herniated disc in my neck. I played the ‘oh, the pain, the pain!’ card. I started using Percocet and Vicodin. In 2005, when I finally had neck and back surgery, it was a free pass for opiates. All I had to do was declare I was having pain from the surgery; doctors were prescribing, and prescribing, and prescribing. ‘This is the


Six or seven months after surgery, the doctor started to restrict the opiates and my addiction to other drugs exploded. I turned to crack cocaine and hard liquor. In 2007, I got a DUI in Florida. The case was dismissed due to lack of evidence. I swore I would never do it again ... Over a twenty-month period, I got three DUIs. I had no conscience around what I was doing. In 2009, I finally admitted that I needed help. I came to a crossroads. ‘My life is either going to end miserably,’ I thought, ‘or I’m going to get help.’

I was admitted to Hampstead Hospital, and, for the first time, I was honest. Within two days, I was diagnosed as bipolar. By the third day, my whole life had changed. For the first time, I could see with clarity. I stayed in the hospital for five or six days; from there, I went to Quitting Time, a 28-day outpatient program. I was still working and trying to get everything straightened out. I talked to my lawyer, and I talked to my sponsor; they assured me that if I kept doing the right thing—going to AA

and staying sober—things would get better. Sure enough, when I went in front of the judge for my DUIs, I had a year and a half of sobriety. The judge said, ‘We’re not in the position to put recovering people in jail.’ I took the outcome of all my trials as a sign of God and said, ‘I am sticking to this program.’ One year turned into two, and I decided to go back to school and get my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. Originally, I wanted to get into mental health because of my bipolar diagnosis. As I grew into my master’s program at Rivier, I started to realize that I would be very capable of helping the dually diagnosed population.

These are excerpts from Barry’s autobiography, edited for clarity and brevity. To read the full text, visit www.crossroadsrecoverycenter.com.

“Education and rehabilitation are key to battling substance use disorder. If we stop the demand, the supply won’t matter. By providing more opportunities for treatment and addressing contributory factors early in people’s lives, we can make a difference.” – Barry Pietrantonio


arry graduated from Rivier in May 2017. With his counseling, intensive outpatient counseling, aftercare, and graduate degree, counselor training, and seven years will expand services to include sober living in 2018. Barry’s sobriety, he began working at an established recovery accounting and business background plays an important center. Counseling people in the first few weeks and months role in running the center, as well; client numbers are of their sobriety drew on all his resources. In this setting, climbing and the milestones set for the center are being met. his trials proved to be a source Based on his own experience of strength; years of substance and data supporting the early misuse and his bipolar disorder onset of substance misuse, provided an incomparable Barry’s personal goal is to level of insight and empathy, work with local youth and which complement his their families. In addition to education. Though Barry counseling services, Barry was able to point to several speaks on addiction and successes, he saw many of the recovery to a wide range of recovery center clients relapse audiences and is especially shortly after release from their invested in reaching out to programs. This drove him to elementary, middle, and do more. high school students and Barry enlisted longtime their parents. He’s devoted friend and Rivier alumnus to raising awareness and Thomas Donovan ’13G to facilitating supports for open a new recovery center. children at higher risk for Tom was also in long-term mental illness and substance recovery and had graduated use disorder diagnoses. from Rivier’s Mental Health “Education and rehabilitation Thomas Donavan ’13G and Barry Pietrantonio ’17G Counseling program. He had are key to battling substance served as a Massachusetts use disorder. If we stop police officer for more than 20 years before changing the demand, the supply won’t matter,” says Barry. “By careers in 2013. He brought a different skill set to the team. providing more opportunities for treatment and addressing “Tom was the one who encouraged me to get my degree contributory factors early in people’s lives, we can make a and make the move into behavioral health counseling,” difference.” says Barry. Barry admits, “It’s been a long road.” In the past eight They made the conscious decision to locate the center in years, he’s become sober, restored relationships with his Salem, New Hampshire, where Barry had grown up and family and friends—he and his wife celebrated their 28th Tom had raised his family. They set goals for their center to wedding anniversary this year—and started a new career provide a higher level of care through a series of continuous, and business in service to others. When he came to his coordinated supports and agreed to serve clients regardless crossroads, he was blessed to receive the treatment and of their individual means or insurance status. support he needed to build a new life.“In my sobriety, I’ve By the end of 2017, they had rented and renovated a learned so much about myself and what I can accomplish. space for Crossroads Recovery Center and began taking on I’m not proud of the things I did, but I share my story to clients. Today, Crossroads provides individual and group give others hope and motivation for their recovery.”

RIVIER’S RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS Getting help doesn’t prove easy for many suffering with substance use disorder. A critical shortage of trained medical and mental health professionals often delays treatment, leaving patients waiting and vulnerable to relapse. The Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development at Rivier University actively supports the education of behavioral health professionals and works toward solutions to the opioid crisis. Rivier’s academic programs in counseling and school psychology, nursing, public health, and healthcare administration serve as a crucial workforce resource for the treatment of substance use disorder and mental health.

The Center


Behavioral Health Professions A N D




Rivier University






na is a freelance writer, editor, and communications consultant. She strives to honor her family's story and Cuban-American culture through her writing, which has aired on NPR and been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and other publications. Ana serves on Rivier’s Board of Trustees and is Chair of the Advancement Committee.

ANA HEBRA FLASTER Ana Hebra Flaster was five in 1967, when her family fled post-revolutionary Cuba and found refuge in Nashua, New Hampshire. As a first-generation college graduate, she gives witness to the transformative power of education. BY MICHELLE MARRONE

How were you first introduced to the Rivier community, and what prompted you to become involved? Ana: My longtime Nashua friend, Joe LaPlante, told me about the incredible work that was going on at Rivier. My sister earned her master’s in Education here, and my mother did coursework to advance her business career. We also had a family friend from Cuba who taught at the University for a while. I’d been looking for a way to give back to Nashua, and joining Rivier's Board of Trustees seemed like the perfect choice. When you consider education as an agent for change, how do you view its role in society and the role it plays in individuals’ lives? Ana: We came here as refugees in 1967. I was five. Education was the way my generation was able to make a big leap in socio-economic status compared with where my parents began. Besides the practical impact of a good college education on a person’s job opportunities, there’s the massive enrichment to any life that comes from broadening the mind, expanding horizons, and nurturing a love of learning—all of which are fundamental to a liberal arts education.

You’ve shared that you’re a firstgeneration college graduate. Has that contributed to your decision to support higher education? Ana: Yes … the road to and through college for students like me poses special challenges, so I’m especially interested in supporting that group of students. I think the University is doing a great job of reaching out to that cohort and extending support where and when it’s needed. Your Rivier University Fund donations are designated to scholarships. Why is this important to you? Ana: My working class family could never have afforded to send me to college without generous offers of scholarships, financial aid, and work-study programs. On top of that I took out loans, worked every vacation, and my father took on an extra shift at his factory job. All these years later, it is a tremendous honor for us to help a family like ours give this life-changing opportunity to their daughter or son. As Chair of the Advancement Committee, how can you inspire others to become involved through philanthropy? Ana: This topic is such a personal matter and each individual should decide what works best for him or her; and even that decision will change over time. My own

history of giving reflects that. I remember being floored when my alma mater sent the first donation request after I graduated. Here I was on a starting salary, paying off massive debt, and having sunk our family’s treasure into the school, and yet here they were requesting more. Being a first-generation college grad, I didn’t know about the tradition of donating to one’s alma mater. I didn’t give at first, then I gave tiny amounts, and over the years those amounts grew. Once I began giving, I gave every year. It felt like the right thing to do, given how much they had done for me. Over time I learned the crucial role that giving plays in building excellence at a liberal arts institution. Given your perspective, how do you view Rivier and its future? Ana: With Rivier, I see a small and transformational institution on the move, doing amazing work in so many areas, nurturing a hardworking, diverse student body, and working strategically to make every dollar it receives as impactful and useful as possible. All of this is happening and benefiting a city and region that is dear to my family and me. With this in mind, we recently shifted the majority of our budget for giving to the University. We decided it’s Riv’s time now, and we’re excited to be a part of the forward momentum of this institution.




Dina Patterson Billingsley

We had a great time with #RivierUniversity at the #RadissonNashuaNH last night at the Winter Ball.

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

Rivier University Alumni



For showing the Power of US! Your generous support of

our Day of Giving will help our students reach their full potential!

Thank you to all of those who gave on Day of Giving on May 2! Through your generosity, we raised $52,000 for the Rivier University Fund and student scholarships in just one day! Support came from the entire Rivier community–our Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends. If you missed the opportunity to give, you can make a gift today at www.rivier.edu/dayofgiving. Thank you so much!

We are so proud of Dax for making his decision to attend Rivier University in the fall. He will be part of the Global Scholars Program and the Baseball team! It’s your time to start transforming the world!—feeling proud with Dax Billingsley at Rivier University.



#gmfm_1018 tourists #viers #stjohn #biologytrip #tortoise #tortoises #usvi #virginislandsenvironment #rivieruniversity

Fantastic turnout today! Ty @RivUniversity-your nursing students provide a tremendous benefit to the community! @JudyAnnPorter



Today I became a member of the International Honor Society in Psychology (Psi Chi) for my academic excellence! Feeling v proud and accomplished that my hard work is being recognized! #PsiChi #futuretherapist

Great support from our Men’s Basketball Family. Congratulations Kaylee Kacavas #1000pointclub #family @kayleekacavas @RivUniversity @RivierRaiders @RivierMensHoops


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

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Back at it ... I have to stay consistent along with motivated and most important to NOT SKIP LEG DAY!! Never skip leg day! ...

See yourself in the next issue! Game Day! Regis at 11am and whiteout game vs. Wentworth at 3pm! #rivnation #d3mvb #avca #thegnac

#rivieruniversity #rivieralumni #rivraiders #rivnation

Love the SOCKS!! Jump Higher Hit Harder!



Dale Wolfe Heckler RIVIER TODAY / SPRING 2018


Alumni Spotlight

Suzanne Delaney ’16G Owner of LOFTechnology


Suzanne Delaney, Class of 2016, is the owner and Director of Programs at LOFTechnology, a STEM education program based in Nashua, NH. Her business provides children with after-school, weekend, summer, and vacation-week programs to learn engineering and accelerate STEM learning. Suzanne believes there is more potential in students who enjoy STEM subjects than is currently being developed in schools. Her goal is to educate and foster ingenuity and curiosity through structured and unstructured STEM programs allowing students to realize their full potential. Accomplishments: 2018 Union Leader 40 Under 40 Honoree; 2017 Stay Work Play Rising Stars Awards (Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist); U.S. Navy Veteran, Information Warfare (Cryptology) Officer; Rivier University President’s Circle Council. Education: B.S. Computer Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; M.S. Information Technology, Southern New Hampshire University; MBA Management, Rivier University.




Michael Rendon ’91 is one of four candidates for the Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, general division in Cuyahoga County in Ohio. Each judge in the General Division of the Cuyahoga Country Court of Common Pleas has general jurisdiction to hear civil cases where the claim exceeds $15,000 as well as criminal cases. He would like to implement bail reform and provide judges with assessment tools to make informed bail decisions.

Agnes Grace, Beth Dickinson, and Liz Turbyne (above), longtime friends from the Class of 1959, enjoyed a visit with each other in Punta Gorda, FL this past February. With sadness, we share the passing of Agnes Grace on June 1. Agnes' dear friends from the Class of 1959 and the entire Rivier community mourn her loss.


Therese Breton Berard ’66 (above) celebrated 50 years of marriage on July 8 of this year at the Pelham Inn in Pelham. She has two married children, Lisa Berard Carpenter and Darrin Berard, and eight grandchildren— Molly, Benjamin, Jason, Aidan, Alanna, Erin, Ilysa, and Olivia.

1970s Theresa Kyle ’79 won her bid for reelection to the Seabrook NH Board of Selectmen. She was the incumbent and was challenged by three other candidates. She ran because she loves the Seabrook community and wanted to continue to work on the issues related to infrastructure and those that benefit the citizens like a senior center, veterans’ programs, and the town economy.


Suzanne Brunelle ’86 (above) was named a Shareholder of Devine Millimet, one of the most active business and litigation law firms in northern New England. Suzanne focuses her practice on commercial real estate and land development matters in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Stephanie Jones ’87 was recently recognized as a top performer locally at Verani Realty and nationally at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. She earned the number eight spot for her sales performances in 2017 among Verani’s more than 500 real estate agents across New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Her efforts also earned her the Chairman’s Circle Gold Award, which recognizes the top two percent of the national Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network.

1990s Mark Vital ’90G founded the nonprofit organization Sweats for Vets in 2011 as a way to give Boston sports team sweatshirts as holiday gifts to 60 homeless military veterans at a shelter in Worcester, MA. In 2017, they exceeded their goal of 1,100 sweatshirts and distributed 1,137 gifts to veterans at 54 locations throughout New England, including homeless shelters and transitional housing programs.

Asha Dhume ’94G was appointed President of the Pratham USA, Houston Chapter. She has been involved with Pratham Houston for the past seven years, serving as Vice President for the past two years, and has played an integral part in the Chapter’s growth. Dawn Ferrari ’95 was hired as Vice President of the Human Resources and Talent Management Office at Stoneham Bank in Stoneham, MA. She was previously with Northern Bank where she served as Vice President of Human Resources.

Diane Allen ’96 (above) became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare leaders. Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development. Candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education hours, demonstrating professional/ community involvement, and passing a comprehensive examination. She is the Assistant Director of Nursing at New Hampshire Hospital in Concord. RIVIER TODAY / SPRING 2018


ClassNotes Cindy Rosenwald ’97G announced her candidacy for the Nashua state Senate seat that will be left open by the retirement of Senator Bette Lasky. Cindy is in her seventh term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and is a former instructor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Rivier University, and New Hampshire College. She believes we need to support policies that attract and retain young families, make college more affordable, and ensure that everyone can afford high quality healthcare.


Steve Brown ’17 was highlighted in a Business NH Magazine article titled “Employing those who protect us” for his participation in BAE System’s Warrior Integration Program (WIP). Brown was a gunner and K9 Handler with the 75th Ranger Regiment between 2009 and 2014. After an honorable discharge, Brown advanced quickly through WIP, beginning in facilities and later as a supply chain planner. He is now a project manager in Technology Solutions at BAE.

2000s Jim Lewis ’01G was named Assistant Superintendent of Schools in the Mascenic School District. He was previously a principal in the Winchester School District. Jim feels his Rivier education was both “complete and applicable.” He credits Dr. Charles Mitsakos, former Chair of the Education department, with significant contributions to his education. Keith Bowen ’04G earned the A-plus Administrator Award at the New England League of Middle Schools annual conference in Rhode Island. The award is given to administrators who promote and advocate for middlelevel education, build community support, and understand how young adolescents learn. Bowen is the principal at Hudson Memorial Middle School in Hudson, NH. Richard Boardman ’07G was appointed principal at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Nashua. He previously served as Executive Director at Gate City Charter School for the Arts in Merrimack. Prior to his tenure at Gate City Charter School, he served as assistant principal and then principal at North Hampton Elementary School.

Submit your ClassNotes online at rivier.edu/alumniupdate.


Kara Doberstein ’14G became the new owner of Meredith Bay Laser and Skin Care Center. She purchased the business from the woman who mentored her while she was working to become a nurse practitioner. Through the treatments that she offers, she feels she has the opportunity to make a difference in people’s self-esteem and confidence.

Joshua Muench ’16 and Megan Field (above) announced their engagement; the wedding is set for October 2018. Joshua serves as a 35F All-Source Intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Army with a rank of Specialist. This photo was taken at his graduation from Basic Training. He will graduate from Advanced Individual Training in July.

Brian O’Hearn ’17G has joined the staff at Cheshire Medical Center Walk-in Care in Keene, NH. He previously worked as a staff nurse in the emergency department at Lowell General Hospital in Massachusetts.

Heather Lefebvre ’11 joined the Georgetown Massachusetts Police Department as a full-time officer, having previously served as a reserve officer. Prior to joining the Georgetown Police Department, she worked at the Merrimack Police Department. Johaida Jean-Francois ’13 was featured in a Forbes magazine article titled “What A Haitian Entrepreneur And Haitian-American Nurse Can Teach Us About Identity.” She is a firstgeneration, Haitian-American labor and delivery nurse at Boston Medical Center. She says being surrounded by such diverse women going through a common experience drives her strong gender identity. She is quoted as saying, “I am a woman first. And then a strong Haitian woman.”

Deepa Rani Gabadari ’14G (above) works at Remote Tiger as a software programmer in Greenbelt, Maryland. As an international student, she fondly remembers three things about Rivier—a professional education, great peers and great teachers. She felt that Rivier gave her many opportunities to prepare for life in the the real world through class projects and on-campus employment. She is thankful to Dey Barriga and Sister Martha Villenveuve, pm for their help while she was a student.



Jordan Hanson ’13 and Kendra Legere – September 3, 2017

Christopher Markuson ’15 and Violette Tanguay ’15 – January 6, 2018

Kelsey Armstrong ’13 and Patrick Whitman – September 30, 2017

Cameron Williams ’12 and Andrea Doyon – February 27, 2018





Passings Patricia Wixon ’95/’01G October 30, 2017 Antonia Davis ’54 November 10, 2017 Margaret Lavoie ’68 November 25, 2017

The Four Dancing Ladies Class of 1952 graduates Kate (Moriarty) Ackerman, Rita (LeBlanc) Bell, Connie (Leclaire) Fleurant and Jeannine (Rouillard) Jeffs have met nearly every year since shortly after their graduation. They dubbed themselves “The Four Dancing Ladies” years ago, based on the attractive pins purchased by Connie and given to the others with the expectation that they would be worn at future meetings. More often than not the pins were forgotten, but everyone liked the name even if the pins were seldom worn and no dancing ever took place at their reunions. Their first meeting was a luncheon held at Ken’s Steak House in Framingham, Massachusetts; thereafter, they met for four or five consecutive days in locales across the world. A large number of their gatherings took place at Rita’s Cape Cod vacation home in Truro.

Denise Cloutier ’68 November 29, 2017 Sarah Garber Lamare ’05 and her husband Zach welcomed their son Colby Jacob on June 30, 2017.

Gene Sharp ’96H January 28, 2018 Jane E. Wentzell ’75G February 13, 2018 Genice Wells ’61/’65G February 20, 2018 Leanna Walters DeCicco ’13 and her husband Andrew welcomed their son Bartholomew Antony on November 1, 2017.

Peter Fletcher ’00G February 27, 2018 Jane Creagh Ally ’76 March 1, 2018 H. Robert Weisman ’94H March 15, 2018 George Joseph ’66G April 21, 2018 Sr. Fernande Perreault ’79G May 16, 2018

When in-person get-togethers were not possible, the Four Dancing Ladies kept in touch via the telephone to ensure that the wonderful memories of those delightful reunions will never fade away.


Robert S. Paine ’64G December 6, 2017 Rosemonde E. Robinson ’46 December 7, 2017

Since they were all English majors and avid readers, conversation often centered on books read and enjoyed. Occasionally, Jeannine’s husband Joe read one of his recently written short stories, and Kate recited several of her poems. Criticism was always kindly given and gratefully received.

We recently learned of the passing of Kate (Moriarty) Ackerman on May 26, 2018. Kate will be missed by her dear friends from the Class of 1952 and the entire Rivier community.

Patricia Lajoie ’75 November 30, 2017

Dr. Kathleen (Moriarty) Ackerman ’52/’60G May 26, 2018 Jessica Conway Galiano ’09 and her husband Chad welcomed their son Dominic William on December 28, 2017.

Stephen C. Norris ’69G May 27, 2018 Agnes Grace ’59 June 1, 2018


Alumni, family, and friends are invited to participate in the following events. June 23..................... Rivier Sports Camps begin Rivier campus; open to youth ages 7-15 July 23 – 27................ Sustainability and STEM Summer Camp Open to students entering grades 9-12


Join faculty, staff, and students on these 2019 educational trips. January 3-9............... Rome, Italy: Global Leadership and Service Experience January 21-28.......... Panama: World Youth Day with Campus Ministry March 2-8................. Dominican Republic: The Divide Between the Rich and the Poor

August 26................. Field Hockey Alumni Game Raider Field

March 3-10............... Belize: Global Health Professions Cultural Immersion

September 24.......... 21st Annual Golf Classic Nashua Country Club

March 3-10............... Dominican Republic: Nursing Care Global Experience—Tropical Diseases and Natural Medicines

September 29.......... Baseball Alumni Game Holman Stadium, Nashua, NH September 29-30..... Alumni Reunion Weekend For a full calendar of events, visit www.rivier.edu

April 13-20................ Costa Rica: Biotechnology and Sustainability Service Learning For more information on trips, email globalengagement@rivier.edu

Rivier University Fund Transformation Begins With You

Give today: rivier.edu/giveonline






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

Welcome Home!

Alumni Reunion Weekend 2018

September 29-30, 2018 Campus Tours • Class Photos • Alumni and Parents Weekend BBQ Wine Glass Making and Wine Tasting • President’s Cocktail Reception Alumni and Donor Recognition Dinner • Reunion Mass • Champagne Brunch with the Sisters

Register Today


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