The Modern Library:
Learning Reimagined for the Modern Student In this issue…
Hometown Hero Felix Arroyo ’08G Business Leader Heather Staples Lavoie ’96MBA Penmen Standout Neil Stafford ’95
Southern New Hampshire University
PROFILES Volume 8 | Winter 2016
President: Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc Vice President: Donald J. Brezinski Managing Editor: Audrey Bourque Contributing Writers: Pamme Boutselis ’15 Rebecca Mahoney ’11MFA Daniel Martel, Class of 2018 Erin McGonagle ’15G Max Nagel Logan Ouellette ’14 Graphic Designer: Karen Mayeu, Grey Cat Design Print Production Manager: Jenn Crossett Join the conversation on social media with #SNHUimpact. /SNHUalumni @SNHUalumni @SNHUalumni bit.ly/SNHUcommunity Impact: Profiles is published by: Office of Institutional Advancement at Southern New Hampshire University 2500 North River Road Manchester, NH 03106
firstname.lastname@example.org | 603-645-9799 | alumni.snhu.edu
Letter from the President At Southern New Hampshire University, we believe education is about more than a degree. Our students come to us with curiosity and passion and grit, and we provide them with opportunities to develop the skills they need to pursue their dreams. In these pages, SNHU students and alumni share their stories,
Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons – renamed this
exploring what made their SNHU experiences so much more
fall for Trustee Ed Wolak ’74 in honor of his generosity and
than a piece of paper at the end of a series of studies. You’ll
leadership – gives SNHU students across the globe access
meet an online student in the Bahamas who organized more
to the tools that can set them apart as students, employees,
than 500 volunteers to plant mangroves on Earth Day, in
and community members.
support of our first-ever Global Days of Service last spring. We’ve profiled Heather Lorenz ’98G, Dean of Students for
With nearly 85,000 students and 77,000 alumni, SNHU
the University College, who helped to open the William S.
continues to reimagine the future of higher education, and
and Joan Green Center for Student Success on campus, a
meet the needs of today’s student. I know that together, we
hub for many of the student support services that make the
SNHU student experience extraordinary. And Jay Carey ’16, a graduate of the College for America Program, has overcome daunting obstacles in his own life to get to a place where he is supporting the academic goals of his employees. Our cover story on the modern library features our new Dean of the Library, Bill Mayer, who works to challenge old-fashioned notions about what a library should be. With resources such as the Innovation Lab and Makerspace,
Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc
the Center for Teaching and Learning, and IT support, the
President, Southern New Hampshire University
Once a Penmen, Always a Penmen Neil Stafford ’95 was a standout on the Men’s Soccer team in the 1990s. Now the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at the University of Cincinnati, Stafford is a proud alumnus of SNHU who lives by the rules he learned as a Penmen: support one another, build your community, and make your mark on the world. Why did you choose Southern New Hampshire University?
pinnacle of being an athlete at SNHU. The person I looked
There was (and continues to be) a rich tradition in soccer
up to the most was Karl Edmonds ’93 ’04G, who graduated
that made the school really attractive for people with a
just before I arrived. I ended up working for Karl at Seacoast
passion for the sport. Another big factor was how the faculty
United and was fortunate to win the club’s first ever National
supported students with learning disabilities. The Learning
Championship under his tutelage.
Center went above and beyond, helping me become a better, more motivated student-athlete. I am the person and
My athletic experience provided me with so many life
professional I am today based upon my interactions with
lessons. Unfortunately, some of them didn’t truly sink in
the students, faculty, staff, and athletes of SNHU.
until well after I left school. It took me a bit longer than most to grow up and understand what was important in life.
Who was the most influential person during your time at SNHU?
The mentality I have as a coach today comes from what I
Certainly Head Coach John Rootes and Assistant Coach Steve
lacked as a player and a young coach in college. I failed a lot
Lucas had played a significant part in my development.
because I lacked confidence due to a very average work-rate.
I will be forever grateful to John for giving me my first start
I know now that your work-rate has to be greater than your
talent to have a significant impact on where you are in life.
And I must give a special mention to Lori DeConinck, who helped me through some difficult moments in college, both
As an alumnus, how do you continue to be involved in the SNHU community?
in the classroom and personally. She cared about the person
I had the privilege of speaking to current SNHU students
first and then addressed the student second. I coach today
when they came to Cincinnati for an Alternative Break
based upon the way Lori treated her students.
experience. I have made donations to scholarships in the past, and now that SNHU is a national brand, it’s important
What did it mean to you to be a Penmen student-athlete?
to give back to the school that helped me get to where
I loved every minute of representing the Penmen. The
I am today.
relationships between the players and alumni were the
Neil Stafford ’95 Title: Head Women’s Soccer Coach, University of Cincinnati Major: Bachelor of Science, Psychology
Jay Carey â€™16 Title: Area Supervisor and General Manager, Caspers Company SNHU Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Communication
Supporting Success in College for America “I made a commitment to myself. I really wanted to try to do something, not only for myself, but to really show the importance of higher education to my children.” Jay Carey has worked for McDonald’s® since he was in 8th
with the CfA community. Carey became a source of support
grade. Hard work and experience allowed him to advance
and inspiration for the other Caspers employees who
at his job. Now 43 years old and the father of two, he is
enrolled in the same program.
celebrating 29 years with Caspers Company as manager and operator of 27 McDonald’s restaurants in Tampa,
“College for America opened my eyes to teamwork and
Florida. “McDonald’s values education, but it’s not a
camaraderie. I really built a lot of skills that helped me both
requirement,” he said. “You can continue to progress
personally and professionally as a result of the program,
without degrees in our organization.” He did just that.
which is why I’m so incredibly passionate about it.”
Carey made it to the executive level of the organization all without a college degree.
Carey completed his degree in time to attend the 2016 SNHU commencement in Manchester, NH. It all came
A higher education never fit into Carey’s life. He was slated
together for Jay when the ceremony began. “To be in the
to attend college right after high school, but his mother was
arena and in the company of all of those other students
diagnosed with cancer and he had to put his education on
made me feel so much more successful, happy, and proud
hold. He enrolled in online courses in 1993, but struggled to
to walk across the stage as a SNHU graduate.”
find the time to fit his coursework into his busy schedule. Carey then started a family, and put off his education once
Since graduating, Carey has continued as a Community
more. When his children grew up, they encouraged him to
Coordinator for CfA, giving virtual open houses to new
take care of himself and to go back to school. “I made a
students. He also continues to be a source of support for
commitment to myself,” he said. “I really wanted to try to
his employees currently enrolled in the program. “I’ve
do something, not only for myself, but to really show the
talked to several people who have since graduated, or are
importance of higher education to my children.”
getting ready to graduate. I’ve told them that if they made the trip to Manchester, I would go and sit in the audience to
Carey enrolled at College for America at Southern New
Hampshire University and immediately became involved
By Logan Ouellette ’14
Leading in Business with an MBA In the early 90’s, Heather Staples Lavoie ’96MBA was immersed in the healthcare industry. With an undergraduate degree in education, she knew there was more to learn if she was to move forward in her career, so she began looking into graduate programs. “I was interested in advancing in business and was seeking
In fact, there hasn’t been a single MBA course that she
an aggressive program that would enable me to maintain
hasn’t put to use. Without her MBA credentials, Lavoie said
my position and secure a degree in two years or less,” said
she would not have been afforded the opportunities she has
Lavoie. Southern New Hampshire University fit the bill –
had – nor would she have been prepared to do the work of
and then some.
business planning and execution were it not for the skills she developed and practiced during the graduate program.
“Once I was enrolled, frankly, I was blown away by my professors, not only for their credentials, but also their
Healthcare was not the major focus in the 90’s that it is
passion and accessibility,” she said. The professors inspired
in today’s economy. Given that Lavoie had already been
and engaged her in ways Lavoie hadn’t anticipated. “The
working in this field for seven years during her MBA
material truly came alive, and I was hooked on business
program, she said, “I actually benefited from an evaluation
from that point forward.”
of other industries – their strategies, economic forces, technology implementations and competitive threats. The
From early roles as a project director through her present
multidisciplinary nature of the program actually made me
position as chief strategy officer, her MBA education has
more well-rounded and allowed me to bring new thinking
to healthcare, applying more modern techniques and points of view to an industry that has been woefully slow to adapt.”
“The value is immeasurable,” said Lavoie. “Understanding the fundamentals of the market, being trained in
As to what being an SNHU graduate means to her, Lavoie
quantitative analysis, securing a comprehensive under-
said, “I am proud of my SNHU MBA program – and ironically,
standing of strategic planning and management, learning
both my CEO and his CEO are graduates as well. Given our
roles and the successes we have had across our respective
law – this background has aided me in every role I have
careers, I would say that it is a very wise investment.”
held, and allowed me to take on the work of building and leading businesses.”
by Pamme Boutselis ’15
Heather Staples Lavoie â€™96MBA Title: Chief Strategy Officer, Geneia Holdings LLC SNHU Degree: Master of Business Administration
Arroyo (third from left) with SNHU President Paul LeBlanc at the mini-pitch opening at the Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury, MA.
Felix Arroyo â€™08G Title: Chief of Health and Human Services, City of Boston SNHU Degree: Master of Science, Community Economic Development
Hometown Hero: Leading with Community Engagement “It felt great to see the school I went to supporting a part of the city where I live. SNHU’s support is making me do my job better.” Felix G. Arroyo ’08G is a dedicated public servant with roots
“As for Dr. Camayd-Friexas, he always expected more from
that run deep in his hometown of Boston, Mass. Now, as
me and that is something I continue to think about now. I
Chief of Health and Human Services for the City of Boston,
shouldn’t be hard on myself, but good enough is not good
Arroyo understands the obstacles his community faces,
enough - you can do more, you just have to push for it.”
yet he remains undeterred and passionate about its future. Building off his undergraduate work at UMass Boston,
Arroyo has been able to employ the lessons learned at SNHU
Arroyo continued his education through a hybrid master’s
in his current role through a number of initiatives, focused
program in community economic development at Southern
around service delivery. Arroyo believes that the best ways
New Hampshire University, before being twice elected to
to spark development and change are through positive
Boston’s City Council and running as a mayoral candidate
community engagement, working with constituents on a
personal level, and creating an understanding of the existing fundamental issues. These initiatives include working
Prior to attending SNHU and moving into the public
towards eliminating poverty and racial inequality within
sector, Arroyo worked for a union, but wanted to expand
Boston while also engaging veteran populations through
his education to better suit his ambitions in community
service programs such as Operation Thank a Vet. Recently,
development. He was urged by his late mentor, social
Arroyo took part in SNHU’s nationwide joint venture with
activist and SNHU professor Dr. Yoel Camayd-Friexas to
Major League Soccer and Adidas in the opening of a mini-
explore the University’s master’s program in community
pitch soccer field at the Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury, Mass.
economic development. Arroyo was attracted by not only what it entailed, but by its accessibility and flexibility.
“It felt great to see the school I went to supporting a part of the city where I live,” said Arroyo of the Roxbury mini-
“I felt that the professors were very in tune with who we
pitch. “SNHU’s support is making me do my job better. They
were as students. We were mostly adults, living adult lives,
created a safe space where young kids can congregate and
and it didn’t feel condescending in any way.” Arroyo said.
not worry about much, and that’s what is really valuable.”
by Max Nagel
Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons The Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons empowers SNHU students to learn and grow in our modern, complex, and interconnected world. Built in 2014 and renamed this fall to honor the generosity and leadership of SNHU alumnus and Trustee Ed Wolak ’74, the building sees more than 250,000 visitors annually and supports the academic and research needs of nearly 85,000 current students. Dean Bill Mayer says that the Wolak Library Learning
driven acquisition, a cost-savings system that allows us to
Commons embodies SNHU’s dedication to student success.
provide access to far more information than we could ever
As the University evolves and grows, the library is evolving
dream of, but only pay for what is actually used.”
with it, finding new ways to provide academic services to students wherever and whenever they may need them.
Students can also chat with support teams 24/7 to ensure
“You might have the idea that a library is old-fashioned –
they have access to the right material at the right time.
not this one,” says Mayer.
Mayer says that one of his staff members recently worked with a student in Korea for 45 minutes to help render a
The striking building at the heart of the Manchester campus
document correctly and get them what they needed to
houses a variety of resources: the Shapiro Library – the
finish a project. “That’s part of my role here, as well:
University’s library collections, both in print and online,
making sure my staff works in an environment of success,
and the University Archives – the IT help desk, learning
with the tools and resources they need to reach students.”
and faculty centers, silent and group study areas, instructional support, the Zachos Commons Café, the
In addition to serving current students, the library is also
digital and 3D media production suite, and the Learning
open to all SNHU alumni, who enjoy access to selected
databases and resources to continue their research through lifelong learning. “We recognize that learning
| 10 |
But according to Mayer, patrons of the library are not only
continues even after you get your degree, whether or
visiting in person, and the print collection is not the only
not you’re working on your next degree. SNHU alumni
resource at their fingertips. “We have an incredible array
have the opportunity for lifetime engagement, and we’ll
of electronic resources – more than one million items
be there to connect with them no matter what their
online – accessible through something called patron-
needs,” explains Mayer.
By Audrey Bourque
Mayer says the modern library must also ensure its
view photos from the institution’s first home on Hanover
collection is relevant. “Frankly, we live in a time where
Street in Manchester; they can read undergraduate
information is ubiquitous. So what makes a library useful?
research projects; or they can browse through past
Anything students need for their studies, whenever and
yearbooks. It’s all contained in the University Archives and
wherever they need it, we can get for them. And that’s an
displayed throughout the building, reminders of the SNHU
amazing power, to provide that service.”
community’s past and present.
The Wolak Library Learning Commons also stores some
Mayer says it was a conscious decision to share that pride.
of the most precious moments of the institution. By
“The SNHU community is boundless, and we want to
showcasing the work of alumni authors, artists, and
foster that community. The library is an enabler of success
photographers and archiving the University’s experience,
for our students, alumni, and faculty.”
the building becomes a model of living history. Visitors can
| 11 |
Bill Mayer Dean of the Wolak Library Learning Commons
This fall, Southern New Hampshire University welcomed Bill Mayer as Dean of the Wolak Library Learning Commons.
By Dan Martel, Class of 2018
Mayer previously worked as the University Librarian at American University in Washington DC. Prior to relocating earlier this year to New England, Mayer was Executive for Research Services at the National Archives – a position where he says “it was a privilege to care for the records of our republic.” Eager to return to higher education, the opportunity at SNHU stood out to him. Mayer has found that the job exceeds his expectations daily: “It’s an incredible environment in which to serve students, and it’s rewarding to see how excited students and faculty are about their work.” Mayer says he feels lucky to be part of the SNHU community. “I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had in the past that have led me here, and I’m grateful for what the future holds for me and the students of SNHU.”
| 12 |
Alumnus and Trustee Edward Wolak ’74 presented a generous gift to the University this fall to ensure SNHU can continue working to make college more accessible and affordable to all students.
Edward S. Wolak ’74
As a first-generation college student, Wolak paid his way through college by baking for Dunkin’ Donuts. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur and owns more than 95 Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in Maine, New Hampshire, and upstate New York, and is the president and CEO of the Wolak Group. With more than 40 years as a successful developer and operator of Dunkin’ Donuts, Wolak is known for challenging his managers and rewarding them when they succeed. Wolak’s commitment to his alma mater is reflected not only in this gift, but also in his partnership with College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, through which his employees can earn an associate or bachelor’s degree online, building relevant and promotable skills in an employersponsored program. Wolak knows firsthand that a quality education is what moves someone forward, and says his company has made it their mission “to demonstrate to every new recruit that no position in our company is out of reach.”
| 13 |
Steffon Evans, Class of 2017 Title: Education Assistant and Coordinator of the Navigators Program, Bahamas National Trust SNHU Program: Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts
| 14 |
Community Service and an SNHU Education “You never totally grasp the importance of enriching someone’s life until you are in the moment, doing it.” For a long time, Steffon Evans thought he would have
by SNHU’s first annual Global Days of Service initiative, he
to choose between his education and his passion for
spearheaded a massive volunteer project to plant mangroves
in a degraded area of a wetland in a Bahamian national park called Bonefish Pond. The event, which took place on Earth
As an outreach coordinator at the national park service in
Day, included 500 volunteers made up of local residents
the Bahamas, Evans gets to focus on what he loves best:
and students from local schools. Together, they planted
giving back to his community, teaching people about the
mangroves and learned about the importance of these trees
environment, and organizing volunteer projects. It’s a role
to the Bahamas. “It was an awesome day,” Evans said.
he loves, and he didn’t want to give it up in order to attend college classes.
At first, Evans was worried about leading such a major volunteer effort from a distance, but says he quickly found
Thanks to Southern New Hampshire University, he doesn’t
SNHU to be an enthusiastic and supportive partner. “They
make me feel like I’m part of the family. I’m not even there, but I still feel connected and really appreciated,” he says. “It
Evans is working toward his associate degree in liberal
was the perfect thing to do.”
arts through SNHU’s College of Online and Continuing Education. Though he has a lot on his plate, Evans says the
Evans, who also leads a youth group dedicated to community
flexibility of the program and the support from outstanding
service projects, is already thinking ahead to SNHU’s
advisors means he can make it all work. “Even after a long
next Global Days of Service in April 2017, where alumni,
day, I can still go over my course content and reach out if I
students, faculty, and staff will come together to strengthen
need help. The flexibility literally transforms what I can do
their communities. “I would totally encourage everybody
with my education,” he says.
to get involved with their community,” Evans says. “You never totally grasp the importance of enriching someone’s
Already, Evans has found ways to combine his educational
life until you are in the moment, doing it.”
goals with his mission of helping others. Last spring, inspired
By Rebecca Mahoney ’11MFA
| 15 |
Solving Problems, Facilitating Change In 1998, Sandrine Kibuey ’06G was working in New Hampshire, worrying about her family’s safety back in the Congo, and wondering if she’d ever achieve her dream of helping vulnerable people. Then she found Southern New Hampshire University.
United States. “Someone has to try to relieve the crisis and attend to the immediate needs and problems that people
First, she went through a bridge program at New Hampshire
have, and that’s what we try to do here.”
College (soon to become Southern New Hampshire University) that helped non-native speakers improve
In a typical day, she might help struggling members of
their grasp of the English language and American culture.
her community find immediate housing, get aid to pay for
The supportive, diverse environment helped Kibuey
heat and fuel, fill out forms for food assistance—or even
develop her skills and her confidence—an experience so
get bus passes so they can go to and from work or school.
positive she later decided to return to SNHU for graduate
“Our hope is really to change lives for the better…to be
school. She earned her master’s degree in international
compassionate and have an impact,” she says.
community economic development primarily through online and hybrid courses.
Every day, she says, she uses the skills and insights she learned at SNHU, especially her coursework in statistics
And that led her to her dream job, the role she has now:
and her one-year internship in project management. “It’s
helping people in crisis. As the Associate Director of
really a place where you can strive and improve and become
Chittenden Community Action at the Champlain Valley
a practitioner who is ready to go out into the field and do
Office of Economic Opportunity in Vermont, she helps
the work,” she says.
immigrants, former inmates, the homeless, refugees, and other vulnerable people make ends meet.
She still stays in touch with her mentor from that program and says she found the diversity of her classmates and her
| 16 |
“I’m doing exactly what I believe I excel at, which is finding
professors particularly inspiring. “I am more than glad to
solutions to problems and facilitating solutions when
have gone through the program,” she says. “It definitely
change needs to come,” Kibuey says, who sought asylum
gave me the attitude, tools, and methods that I need to be
from the Congo in 2001, a few years after she arrived in the
good at what I do.”
by Rebecca Mahoney ’11MFA
Sandrine Kibuey â€™06G Title: : Associate Director, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity SNHU Degree: Master of Science, Community Economic Development
| 17 |
Heather Lorenz â€™98G Title: Dean of Students, Southern New Hampshire University SNHU Degree: Master of Science, Business Education
| 18 |
Empowering Students through Campus Involvement “We’re leading students to understand that involvement helps them become global citizens, which will help them in their next step. This is meaningful work.” Dean of Students Heather Lorenz ’98G has been at Southern
campus. Lorenz has been an integral part in the development
New Hampshire University for nearly 20 years. After leaving
and expansion of the programs housed in the Green Center,
for a year to work in corporate training, it didn’t take long
and she says that having a building dedicated to student
for her to realize that SNHU was home.
success allows her staff to better serve the resident and commuter student populations. “For us, it’s important to
Lorenz came to then-New Hampshire College as a graduate
understand that everybody’s journey and story is different.
I’m always trying to get our staff to do the right thing to
her master’s in business education with a training and
support our students. I’m constantly working with staff to
development certificate. Professor Burt Kaliski opened her
ensure campus is an inclusive, educational, and fun place.”
eyes to an entirely new profession – higher education. “Professor Kaliski helped me realize the path I ultimately
Involvement at SNHU allows students to learn valuable life
wanted to take was making a difference for younger people.
skills that employers seek, including communication skills,
He solidified for me that NHC was where I wanted to be.”
event planning, budgeting, conflict management, and how to run meetings. There’s an educational component and an
Lorenz has worked in many roles at SNHU, including
accountability piece, resulting in the campus community
speaking with inclusive language and embracing diversity.
development, and community standards (discipline). Now
The Student Involvement staff celebrates students when
Dean of Students, she can look back through all of those
they succeed and picks them up when they struggle.
lenses and know that her purpose was, and continues to be, serving students.
“The work we do is intentional. It has a purpose and is educational. We’re leading students to understand that
This year marks 50 years of student involvement at SNHU,
involvement helps them become global citizens, which will
and the opening of the William S. Green Center for Student
help them in their next step. This is meaningful work.”
Success this fall created a hub for student services on
by Erin McGonagle ’15G
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Alumni Engagement Report SNHUcommunity Events
(July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016)
97 11 2,000 events in
Growth in Global Alumni Population
with more than
Join the Conversation – Growth on Social Media
(November 1, 2015 – November 1, 2016)
Copyright © Free Vector Maps.com
members in the SNHU Community group
| 20 |
2,109 /SNHUalumni Total Fans
@SNHUalumni Total Followers
35 virtual job shadows shared on @WorkingPenmen
New Account! Follow Us
Volunteer Hours (July 1, 2015 â€“ June 30, 2016) Career Coaching & Mentoring
Hours of Service
Hours of Service
Hours of Service
VOLUNTEER HOURS =
Sharing Your Story
alumni featured in publications
Hours of Service
Donations and Grants Received (July 1, 2015 â€“ June 30, 2016)
Donations and Grants Received
employees, parents, & Friends
organizations & corporations
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NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID MANCHESTER, NH PERMIT NO. 6025
Office of Institutional Advancement
2500 North River Road Manchester, NH 03106-1045 Address Service Requested
Why I Give Back The Class of 1966 celebrated their 50th Reunion at Homecoming this past October. Dan Sullivan ’66 (standing, in blue shirt), president of his class and co-chair of the reunion planning committee, reflected on what it meant to be one of the first graduates of the institution with a four-year degree and why he came back to campus to reunite with classmates, friends, and faculty members. “It’s hard to put into words what it feels like as a graduate from 1966 to see what the university is today. It’s so well known, and it opens doors for so many people. The biggest thing to me is pride—pride of what we accomplished back in ’66, and in each class since. And to see how it’s grown. It’s impressive to see what you all have done, considering where we started.” - Dan Sullivan ’66
Watch the full conversation at alumni.snhu.edu/classof1966.