Spring 2023 University of New Haven Alumni Magazine

Page 1

Then & Now The University of New Haven’s Transformation Under President Steven H. Kaplan PAGE 16 ALUMNI MAGAZINE • SPECIAL ISSUE • SPRING 2023 FEATURES Balancing Act • 22 FEATURES Reflections on Leadership • 30 PERSPECTIVE Anemone and Steven Kaplan Hall • 48 IN THIS ISSUE Proud to Be a Charger • 03

Diwali Celebration

The University’s annual largescale Diwali celebration was held in collaboration with the Indian Student Council, Office of Graduate and International Student Life, and the Student Committee of Programming Events. Diwali, or Dipawali, takes place every autumn between October and November and is India’s most widely celebrated holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. This Festival of Lights celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment.




Editor in Chief

Elizabeth Rodgers

Vice President for Enrollment & Student Success

Gregory E. Eichhorn

Vice President for University Advancement

Brian Otis

Senior Executive Director of Marketing and Communications

Sue Pranulis

President of the Alumni Board of Directors

Dawn Alderman ’99, ’03 M.S.

Marketing & Communications

Renee Chmiel, Dave Cranshaw, Tyler Hanson, Matthew McCullough, Michael McKiernan, Carolyn Meyer, John Mordecai, Kaitlyn Naples, Laura Norris, Carol Regan, Chris Teodosio


Bria Mangione, Taylor Design


Doug Whiting


Geoff Bolte (Clarus Multimedia), Neva Bostic, Defining Studios & Defining Properties, Victoria Gonzalez, Don Hamerman, Len Rubenstein, University of New Haven Athletics

The University of New Haven Alumni Magazine is published twice a year by the Office of Marketing & Communications. Its mission is to connect alumni and other members of the University community to the University and to one another.

Reach us at: The University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516 or at magazine@newhaven.edu.

The University of New Haven is committed to equal access to educational and employment opportunities for all applicants, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, personal appearance, marital status, civil union status, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, or physical or intellectual disability.

©2023 University of New Haven. All Rights Reserved. For permissions, please contact erodgers@newhaven.edu

Features Departments PREVIEW 01 • Diwali Celebration NEWS 04 • University News 06 • The College of Arts and Sciences 07 The Pompea College of Business 08 • The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences 09 • The Tagliatela College of Engineering 10 The School of Health Sciences 11 • Study Abroad in Tuscany 12 Faculty Spotlight 12 • Publications 13 • In the Media 14 • Success Starts Here 14 Charger Success Stories ALUMNI NEWS 38 • From the Alumni Association 40 Homecoming 2022 42 • Back to Campus 43 • Talking To: Ann Cox ’83 SPORTS DESK 44 • Highlights 46 Charger Roundup PERSPECTIVE 48 • Anemone and Steven Kaplan Hall Then & Now: The University of New Haven’s Transformation Under President Steven H. Kaplan A Celebratory Time Line 16 22 30 Reflections on Leadership The Kaplan Years Balancing Act The Interplay of Work and Family 2 SPECIAL ISSUE SPRING 2023 IN THIS ISSUE

a Charger Proud to Be

I have had the great fortune of presiding over and participating in countless commencement ceremonies throughout my time in academia. The pageantry, the celebration, and the graduates’ passion to make a difference have made each ceremony memorable and inspiring.

It has been a long time, though, since I have been in the same position as our graduates, sitting with their classmates in their regalia, reflecting on their educational journeys, the connections they made, and the skills they developed, marking the end of one chapter and looking forward with equal parts excitement, anticipation, and, truth be told, some trepidation as to what comes next.

At the end of the fiscal year in June, I will officially conclude my responsibilities as chancellor, following nearly 20 years as president, and transition into the role of president emeritus. This truly is a bittersweet time in my life because I am extremely excited for the opportunity to spend more time with my family — especially my grandchildren, whom I cherish.

I will, though, greatly miss my day-to-day work, the countless interactions I had with our students and their proud parents, our successful alumni, our many benefactors, and especially being part of a mission that is bigger than each of us: preparing graduates to thrive in their careers and futures.

That is why I don’t view this milestone in my professional life as retirement, per se. I see it as a commencement of sorts.

Without question, the University’s Spring 2023 Commencement will be extra special because I will have the humbling responsibility of delivering the keynote address to our Class of 2023 and their proud families and friends. It will be an experience that my family and I won’t soon forget.

As part of my inaugural address in 2004, I reflected on the University of New Haven as I envisioned it. I saw then what I see now: a university with endless possibilities and limitless potential to make an impact on the world. Thanks to the dedication of so many, I also see a university where innovation and creativity are at the forefront, students are continually

challenged by the faculty and one another, and, most importantly, where students challenge themselves to always accomplish more. I see a university where the possibilities continue to be endless.

Ultimately, it was the people who made the past two decades so fulfilling and exhilarating. For that, I say thank you. Working with so many of you and serving our students has been the pleasure of a lifetime. Our work, though, will never truly be finished.

The University will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will always be proud to be a Charger.

With best wishes,

“Thanks to the dedication of so many, I also see a university where innovation and creativity are at the forefront, students are continually challenged by the faculty and one another, and, most importantly, where students challenge themselves to always accomplish more. I see a university where the possibilities continue to be endless.”

University News

Grant Supports Dental Hygiene Education and Increases Community Access to Care

Princeton Review Commends Students’ Interdisciplinary Opportunities and Faculty Excellence

For the seventh consecutive year, the University was featured in The Princeton Review’s annual guidebook of the top colleges and universities across the country and was lauded for its diverse student body and variety of opportunities for student engagement. The University was also included in the “Best Northeastern” zone in the guidebook, considered by the organization to be academically outstanding and well worth consideration in a prospective student’s college search.

University Named a Top 10 Military Friendly School

Military Friendly, which measures an institution’s effort, commitment, and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for members of the military community, has ranked the University a top 10 Military Friendly school in the category of private schools offering doctorates, with particularly high marks in the categories of financial aid and assistance; culture and commitment; and graduation and career. The ranking has earned the University a “gold” designation. The University has previously earned a “silver” designation, which placed it among the top 20 percent of colleges and universities on Military Friendly’s list.

$1 Million Grant Supports De-Escalation Training

The University received a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice to support a de-escalation training program that will be offered to police departments across the Northeast through the University’s Center for Advanced Policing. In December, the Center was selected to become one of only six regional National De-Escalation Training Centers across the country. As part of the new grant-funded program, officers will be trained in tactics shown to reduce the use of force and help build better relations between the police and the communities they serve.

A $70,000 grant from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) will benefit both dental hygiene students and underserved populations in the local community. The University will use the funding to purchase state-of-the-art dental equipment, which will enhance the abilities of students, faculty, and staff to provide critical, high-quality dental care to those most in need. CHEFA has committed more than $1 million to support Connecticut’s healthcare workforce and to increase access to STEM learning as part of larger efforts to bolster recruitment, retention, and diversification initiatives throughout the state.

Computer Science

Professor Receives

Prestigious Fulbright Specialist Award

Mehdi Mekni, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of the University of New Haven’s undergraduate program in computer science, received a competitive Fulbright Specialist Program Award that will enable him to collaborate with educators at Mzuzu University in Malawi, a country of nearly 20 million people in southeastern Africa, helping the institution to enhance and expand its curricula in cybersecurity and networks. Ultimately, the goal is to create an institute for communications and technology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including an affiliation at the international level with the University of New Haven.

Used with permission. ©2022 TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information about reprints from The Princeton Review visit PARS International Corp. at www.TPR-licensing.com.

University Welcomes Transfer Student from Ukraine

Kateryna Fedirko from Odesa, Ukraine, is the first of several transfer students projected to join the campus community as part of a collaboration between the University and EducationUSA (Kyiv, Ukraine), supporting students whose studies have been disrupted by the Russian invasion. The University will provide direct assistance for tuition, general fees, and housing. In addition, Follett Corporation will contribute textbooks and related materials, and Sodexo USA will donate student meal plans. The University has also created a fundraising initiative to ease the financial burden of travel and personal expenses.

A Space for Veteran and Military-Affiliated Students

The University community celebrated the grand opening of the Veteran Success Center, a newly renovated space in Sheffield Hall that includes a veterans’ lounge and a welcoming place for veteran and military students to gather. As part of the celebration, the VA work-study student mural project was revealed. Students dedicated more than 220 hours to the project, which represents the transition that military and veteran community members experience. Community members were invited to make their own marks on the mural as part of the celebration.

New Director for M.S. Esports Business Program

Jonathan Stringfield, Ph.D., was named director of the University’s M.S. in Esports Business program, the first and only such online program in the field.

Sandline Global to Become the First Private Sector Customer for Cellebrite Guardian

Cellebrite, a global leader in digital intelligence (DI) solutions for public and private sectors, announced an agreement with Sandline Global to enhance its in-house investigative and evidence management operations with Cellebrite Guardian. Sandline entered into a multi-year investment to deploy Cellebrite Guardian, making them the first private-sector enterprise to enhance Sandline’s DI capabilities, building on its current deployment of Cellebrite Collect & Review solutions. The collab oration between Cellebrite and Sandline will also help train the next generation of forensic practitioners and give students firsthand experience in using relevant solutions at the University. As part of the agreement, Sandline will provide the University with funding for academic licenses for Cellebrite’s cutting-edge DI solutions, which will be used to support its online Master’s in Digital Forensic Investigation program for the next five years.

Students Recognized as Hatfield Scholars

Dr. Stringfield is the vice president for global business research and marketing at Activision Blizzard and previously held leadership positions at Twitter, Facebook, and the Nielsen Company. He joined the University in 2022, developing a class curriculum that combines classical marketing, marketing science, and sports marketing.

Dr. Stringfield has spent nearly 20 years as a research and marketing executive specializing in technology. He is a widely published and sought-after speaker on topics, including ad-tech, marketing science, and consumer psychology.

Sophie Eskenas ’24, Gabriela Garcia-Perez ’24, Anna Schleck ’23, Kiana

Professor’s Award-Winning Documentary Makes Streaming Debut

In “War on the Diamond,” Professor Andy Billman — an award-winning producer and adjunct faculty member in the University’s Communication, Film, and Media Studies Department — tells the story of Ray Chapman, shortstop for the then Cleveland Indians who died from an injury suffered in a Major League Baseball game against the New York Yankees in 1920, launching a century-long rivalry. The documentary is based on “The Pitch That Killed” by author Mike Sowell, who is interviewed alongside representatives from both baseball teams, historians, and journalists. Premiering in late September 2021, the film was featured on opening night at the Boston Film Festival and went on to earn the award for best documentary. “War on the Diamond” is now available for online streaming on platforms, as well as on cable and satellite TV.

Model United Nations Students Excel in D.C. and Japan

As part of the University’s award-winning Model United Nations program, students attended National Model United Nations conferences in Washington, D.C., and Kobe, Japan. The student delegates excelled at the respective conferences, where they also had the opportunity to explore and network with students from around the world.

Mathematics Major Earns Bucknall Award

Hang Su ’23, a mathematics major with a minor in physics, is the 2022 recipient of the University’s Bucknall Family Undergraduate Research or Experiential Learning Award. The Bucknall Family Undergraduate Research or Experiential Learning Award provides a $10,000 prize to the recipient, encouraging students to take on the challenge of in-depth research on a topic of significance.

Chemistry Professor Earns Prestigious Grant to Support Polymer Research

Hao Sun, Ph.D. , is the first University of New Haven professor to receive the highly competitive Undergraduate New Investigator Grant from the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund. He looks forward to the hands-on opportunities the award will create for him to work with his students as they explore solutions to the problem of plastic pollution.

Watershed Cleanup Event Unites University and Local Communities, Environmental Science, and Art

An interdisciplinary community event, “What’s in Your Watershed?” raised questions about the impact of environmental devastation and the important role art can have in exploring this impact at the individual and community levels. Hosted by the University’s Citizen Opportunities for Accessing Science Training on the Sound program, the New Haven Climate Movement, and Save the Sound, the event brought more than five dozen members of the University community, local high school students, and community members to the Long Wharf waterfront.



Analytics Chair Named to New Professorship

As the inaugural holder of the Flanagan Professorship for Business Analytics, Gazi Murat Duman, Ph.D., is excited about the opportunities this endowed position will create for students, from facultymentored research to increased diversity and access. Dr. Duman is coordinator of the graduate program in business analytics and serves as chair of the Economics and Business Analytics Departments. The new professorship supports an educator in a field that has seen tremendous growth and an increasing need for talent over the past several years. It is named for Lawrence Flanagan ’80, ’13 Hon., a member of the University’s Board of Governors, and his wife, Stephanie.

New Sport Management Course Offers Graduate Students Real-World Experience

In Fall 2022, the Sport Management Department offered Sport Sponsorship Strategy and Sales, a new course that enabled students to gain hands-on industry experience. Offered as a mini-term course, it enabled students to collaborate on a project for a real client, United Entertainment Group. During the seven-week course, students developed campaigns for their client that promoted sponsorship between a real corporation and professional sports teams.

Students Excel in Immersive Sales Simulation Program

As part of their Negotiations and Sales class, students took part in the 2022 RNMKRS College Competition, a 14-week program for more than 3,000 college students from across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, to improve their ability to communicate persuasively through engaging and interactive practice, including unique role-playing with a bot. Several University of New Haven students placed in the top five percent, earning the “rising star” recognition.

Management Professor Earn Bucknall Award

Bruno Barreto de Góes, Ph.D., an assistant professor of management, received the 2022 William L. Bucknall Excellence in Teaching Award. As part of the ceremony, he dedicated the award to his great aunt, a devoted educator who passed away in June 2022 at the age of 96. The award provides an honorarium of $15,000 and an additional $10,000 to support the recipient’s new teaching initiatives. Earlier this year, Dr. Barreto de Góes also earned the University’s Excellence in Teaching by Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Award.

Several University of New Haven students placed in the top five percent, earning the “rising star” recognition.

Sport Management Professor Earns

“Most Meaningful Award I Could Ever Receive”

Ceyda Mumcu, Ph.D., received the Sport Marketing Association’s Lough Award, which was created in honor of Dr. Nancy Lough, Dr. Mumcu’s mentor and an advocate for underrepresented groups in sport marketing. Dr. Mumcu was recognized for her commitment to research and teaching focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in sport marketing.

Gazi Murat Duman, Ph.D. Lawrence Flanagan ’80, ’13 Hon.
“I look forward to continuing my efforts in making our program one of the best in the nation and increasing its reputation globally. We continue to serve a highly diverse population of students, and I cannot wait to see the impact of our graduates on our local and national economy.”
Gazi Murat Duman, Ph.D.

Tow Youth Justice Advocates Gain Firsthand Understanding of Norwegian Justice System

Danielle Cooper, Ph.D., CPP, associate professor of criminal justice and director of research for the Tow Youth Justice Institute (TYJI), and Brittany LaMarr, project manager for the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee for TYJI, visited correctional facilities in Norway to learn more about the justice system in a country with a low crime rate and a unique approach to youth justice. They expect the trip will inform their work as advocates and educators.

Criminal Justice Students Excel at Regional Conference

The University’s American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) chapter, Psi Omega, attended the ACJA Region IV Conference. Held at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, the conference brought criminal justice students and professors together to network, learn, and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a variety of competitions. The K9-themed event also enabled students to interact with several K9s and their handlers. Numerous University of New Haven students took home awards, and their professors and club advisers, Daniel Maxwell, MPA , and Maria Torre, M.S., also received various top honors.

National Security Professor Reflects on Election Observation Mission in Kazakhstan

Olena Lennon, Ph.D., a practitioner in residence of national security, traveled to observe a presidential election in Kazakhstan as part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)/ ODIHR election observation mission. This was the largest OSCE mission in which Dr. Lennon has participated to date as one of approximately 300 short-term observers from 35 (out of 57) OSCE participating states.

Students Produce Podcast Featuring an Undercover Agent

A new interdisciplinary honors course allows criminal justice, forensic science, and communications students to collaborate on Crime Waves, a popular true-crime podcast with 12,000 to 15,000 listeners, by pitching ideas, researching, producing, and even hosting episodes. As part of the course, students learn from University faculty experts and show guests alike. In Fall 2022, students produced an episode with Robert Mazur, the undercover agent who helped to take down Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel.

Recognizing the Guardians of Sports

The University’s Sports Integrity Center — which features the first graduate certificate program in sports integrity in the United States — honored Richard McLaren with its inaugural Noble Purpose Award. This award recognizes individuals who are battling corruption in sports and encourages the public and the next generation of criminal

investigators to strive for change. McLaren is a sports investigator and professor of law at Western University in Ontario, Canada, whose work revealed the extent of state-sanctioned doping among top Russian athletes and investigated widespread abuse of female athletes in Africa.

“People might say you have to treat people a certain way if they’ve committed certain types of offenses, and Norway is saying, ‘that’s not how we feel about it. That’s not how we feel about our people.’”
Danielle Cooper, Ph.D., CPP
Photo courtesy of Western University. Richard McLaren

Connecticut Institute of Technology Hosts Regional Penetration Testing Competition

As part of the Global Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition, students take part in real-world testing engagement, much like that conducted by security departments and companies, gaining hands-on experience and the ability to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. Recently, the University’s Connecticut Institute of Technology hosted the New England Regional for the fourth time, welcoming students from area schools such as West Point and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Recognized as a National Leader in His Field

Tagliatela College of Engineering Recognizes Outstanding Alumni and Exemplary Partners

The Tagliatela College of Engineering recognized two alumni who have excelled in their fields while serving as mentors to tomorrow’s engineers.

University Prepares “Tech Talent” to Excel in In-Demand Careers

Tech Talent Accelerator, a workforce development initiative that aims to help Connecticut reach its economic potential and close the skills gap among in-demand technology fields, fosters partnerships between businesses and higher education in areas such as software development and cybersecurity. In summer 2022, Governor Lamont announced the creation of seven new technology education programs at Connecticut’s public and private colleges and universities — including one at the University of New Haven. The University’s $30,000 Connecticut Higher Education Tech Talent Accelerator grant, awarded by the New England Board of Higher Education, will support the project, “Embedding Unity Credentials to Catapult Connecticut Workforce in Game Design and Development.” Specifically, it will prepare students to earn a certification from Unity, a video game software development company based in California.

Jordy Eduardo Padilla-Solis ’15, a member of the University’s Alumni Civil Engineering Advisory Professional Board, received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which honors the achievements of alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years or are under 35 years of age. Ann Cox ’83 , a project manager for Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, received the Distinguished Lifetime Alumni Award, which recognizes the career achievements of outstanding alumni. In addition, the Tagliatela family, longtime supporters of the College that bears their name, received the Exemplary Partner Award, which honors the contributions of individuals or corporate partners who have demonstrated exemplary service toward the advancement of the College.

Kagya Amoako, Ph.D. — an associate professor and coordinator of the University’s graduate program in biomedical engineering and principal investigator for the Biomaterials and Medical Device Innovation Lab — was inducted into Marquis Who’s Who in recognition of his cutting-edge research and critical contributions to the field. Individuals profiled in Marquis Who’s Who, a publication established more than 120 years ago, are selected based on factors such as prominence in their field and noteworthy accomplishments.

Connecticut Attorney General Discusses Cybercrime With Students and Faculty

In Fall 2022, Attorney General William Tong visited campus to learn about how the University is training students to combat cybercrime and gain insight into the important work taking place. As part of his visit, Tong addressed a group of cybersecurity and criminal justice students, discussing statewide initiatives for addressing cybercrime and his own role in enforcing laws to stop, forestall, and remedy data breaches. Following the discussion, Tong met with students and faculty in the Samuel S. Bergami Jr. Cybersecurity Center while attending a demonstration in a cyber computing class.

Character sketches Fredlyne Antoine ’24 created as part of a game design class. arrow-circle-left Ann Cox ’83
Jordy Eduardo Padilla-Solis ’15

Public Health Professor Among Connecticut Magazine’s Recognized Changemakers

Connecticut Magazine has included Karl Minges, Ph.D., MPH, in its 2023 “40 Under 40” list of leaders who are inspiring others and making important contributions to their fields. Dr. Minges is chair of the University’s Department of Population Health and Leadership and director of the Master of Public Health program. The first recipient of the National Institutes of Health grant in University history, he is a widely published and sought-after public health expert who has written more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, been cited nearly 2,500 times per Google Scholar, and been interviewed by more than 100 media outlets, locally and nationally. Dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable populations, Dr. Minges is a past recipient of the University’s Faculty Recognition Award for his outstanding service, research, and teaching.

MHA Professor and Student Publish Critical Research Exploring Childhood Asthma

Dr. Niharika Pathak ’23 MHA and Pavani Rangachari, Ph.D., CPH — professor and director of the University’s Master of Healthcare Administration program — collaborated with an academic medical center to study childhood asthma. Their research was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a leading peerreviewed academic journal. Overall, their findings helped to identify short- and long-term strategies for improving supported self-management and reducing unscheduled health care use for childhood asthma at the patient, provider, and organizational levels.

University’s WeEmbody Lab Prepares Next Generation of Public Health Leaders and Advocates

Now in its fourth year, the WeEmbody Lab — a working group of public health professionals and students based in the School of Health Sciences — provides undergraduate and graduate students in all programs of study exciting opportunities to conduct impactful research, network, and develop as public health advocates for topics about mental health, body image, and LGBTQ+ health. Students have presented their research at national conferences, such as the American Public Health Association’s Annual Convention, and published their findings in leading peer-reviewed journals. In addition, fellows have had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., where they met with lawmakers and learned about the importance of health advocacy. Several fellows have also earned prestigious scholarships from the Society for Public Health Education.

Health Sciences Students Create New Mentorship Program

In fall 2022, Prateek Mansingh ’23 MHA and Peri Alexander ’23 both members of the School of Health Sciences’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access, and Belonging Committee, launched the Students Integrated Mentorship Program to support new students to the School of Health Sciences. It is the first program of its kind at the University. Mansingh and Alexander say they are looking forward to the opportunities it will create for their classmates to network and connect while enhancing their sense of support and belonging.

Chargers Engage in Mental Health

Discussion With U.S. Surgeon General

Dr. Vivek Murthy, surgeon general of the United States, moderated a panel discussion in New Haven about youth mental health and the importance of connection. Fifty University of New Haven undergraduate and graduate students of diverse majors attended the discussion, including Mary Lippa ’23 a psychology major and the president of HappyUNewHaven, a registered student organization — who served as a panelist and met Dr. Murthy.

Mary Lippa ’23 with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Italian Pizzeria Owner Teaches Students the Art of Pizza Making

Students taking Cultural Understanding of Food and Cuisine visited Pizland, where owner Gerardo Tortora gave them a hands-on private lesson about how to make the perfect Neapolitan pizza. Pizland, a restaurant included in the University’s meal plan for students studying in Tuscany, is one of the many local restaurants that regularly hosts students, and it has welcomed Chargers since the University opened its Prato campus in 2012. The restaurant’s menu is simple — pizza — but Tortora has been known to make other dishes, especially for students. Hands-on activities such as the pizza lesson are a key part of the course. Other activities have included cooking classes at the University and olive oil tastings.

Students Design an Italian Café as Part of Hands-On Course

As part of a class assignment, interior design students designed a café that will combine what they’ve learned in the classroom with their experiences exploring a new country and culture. Design Studio Italy is an immersive, hands-on course focusing on design and community post-COVID-19. In addition to their class meetings in the community, students used a local tenant space down the street from the campus as a hypothetical site. Students also received guidance from members of the Prato community, including local architects and Benedetta Bonechi, owner of a nearby café where the students would often meet.

Interior Design Students See What They’ve Discussed in Class Come to Life

Students taking a design innovation class went on a walking tour of Prato, Italy, with their professor, discussing the design features of buildings throughout the city, the city wall, and Castello dell'Imperatore (i.e., Emperor’s Castle), a castle just a short walk from the Tuscany campus. Wine windows, an architectural building detail unique to the Tuscan region, connected the past to the present and brought class discussions to life. Wine windows are small windows in buildings in which merchants sold wine out of their homes, enabling “contactless transactions” between merchants and their customers during the bubonic plague. Wine windows experienced a renaissance, of sorts, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Exciting Opportunities for Immersive Language Learning

Students taking Italian 102 regularly take advantage of the many opportunities available to learn the language afforded by the campus’s location, including monthly class meetings at local restaurants in which students practice their Italian with each other, their professor, and their servers. Students say it’s a perfect — and unique — way to learn the language.

Students Explore Art History at Historic Basilica in Florence

As part of an art history course taught by Kevin Murphy, Ph.D., dean of the University’s Prato Campus, students had the opportunity to travel to Florence and take an in-depth guided tour of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, a historic Dominican church in the heart of the city. On this tour, students explored firsthand what they’ve been discussing in the classroom, including the changing role of science and the scientific approach. As part of the tour, Dr. Murphy told the class how students studying abroad, including many who — like them — came from the United States, helped with the cleanup following a flood in the city in 1966.


Faculty Spotlight


A sampling of recent work from our talented faculty across all five schools and colleges

Jeffrey S. Debies-Carl, Ph.D. College of Arts and Sciences

Kamal Upadhyaya, Ph.D. Pompea College of Business

Stephanie Bonnes, Ph.D. Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences

Mehdi Mekni, Ph.D. Tagliatela College of Engineering


If You Should Go at Midnight: Legends and Legend Tripping in America

Published By: University Press of Mississippi (2023)

Journal Article: Business Cycles and Tourism Imports in the South Pacific

Appeared In: Tourism Economics (2022)

*Other authors: Vatsa, P., Mixon, Jr., F. G.

Journal Article:

Femininity Anchors: Heterosexual Relationships and Pregnancy as Sites of Harassment for U.S. Servicewomen

Appeared In:

American Sociological Review (2022)

Book Chapter: Rise of the Metaverse’s Immersive Virtual Reality Malware and the Man-in-the-Room Attack & Defenses

Published By: Computers & Security (2023)

*Other authors: Vondrek, M., Baggili, I., Casey, P.

Jessica Holzer, Ph.D. School of Health Sciences

Journal Article:

Maternal Centric Measurement and Data

Gaps in Addressing

Maternal Morbidities: A Scoping Review

Appeared In:

Maternal and Child Health Journal (2023)

*Other authors: Fiedler, G., Londhe, S.



In the Media

Where We Live · University of New Haven Professor Randall Horton on his new memoir “Dead Weight”

Randall Horton, professor of English, discusses his latest book, “Dead Weight,” and the events that occurred throughout his life, in the Best of 2022 series on NPR.

A roundup of broadcast, digital, and print media spotlighting University of New Haven faculty experts

News 12 · The new normal: What does the future of work look like for 2023?

Brian Marks, senior lecturer of economics and business analytics, executive director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program, and an instructor in Health Administration and Policy, discusses the current job market and layoffs in multiple industries.

BBC World News · War in Ukraine

Robert Sanders, a senior lecturer of national security, discusses how the former head of counterintelligence for the FBI has been charged with allegedly working for a sanctioned Russian oligarch.

Time · Cities keep enforcing curfews for teens, despite evidence they don’t stop crime

Condé Nast Traveler · These cruise lines are ending vaccine requirements

Jan Jones, lecturer and coordinator for hospitality and tourism management, examines the impact of the pandemic on cruising and how lifting some of the restrictions may get this industry back on track.

Matthew Schmidt, associate professor of international affairs, national security, and political science, discusses Russian President Vladimir Putin’s referendum on territorial integrity and the mobilization of 300,000 civilians to join the military.

Business Insider · “Quiet quitting” is a bad idea, experts say. Here are six things you can do instead to get the same results if you’re looking for better work-life balance — or to lighten your workload.

USA Today · Apple iPhone may have to switch to USB-C in Europe. What does that mean for your smartphone in the US?

Forbes · Grassroots political ad in Michigan gets a lot of views and laughs via social media

Susan Campbell, distinguished lecturer of communications, film, and media studies, comments on satirical political campaign messages on social media, explaining that it may not be effective at changing a voter’s opinion.

U.S. News & World Report · What are the causes and symptoms of jaundice?

Michael Urban, senior lecturer and program director for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy, says that jaundice, when left untreated in infants, can cause serious health issues, such as brain damage, hearing loss, and vision issues.

Mo Cayer, distinguished lecturer and coordinator of the M.S. in Human Resources program, discusses the meaning of “quiet quitting” and the options employees and employers may have to negotiate better working conditions.

Vahid Behzadan, assistant professor of cybersecurity and computer and electrical engineering, discusses the EU implementing a law requiring all cellular and small electronic devices to use the USB-C domain, eliminating lightning chargers for Apple devices by 2024.

yahoo! Finance · Adidas has “really broken trust with their customers” amid Kanye West saga

Angeli Gianchandani, a practitioner in residence for marketing and the MBA program, talks about how companies should always have a crisis management plan in place to expediently protect their brand from damage.

David Myers, professor and chair of criminal justice, discusses the impact of curfews on juveniles as a crime prevention measure.
CNN · Former FBI official pleads not guilty to helping Russian oligarch

Charger Success Stories

Our distinctive schools and colleges lay the foundation for future scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, forensic psychologists, doctors, engineers, programmers, attorneys, and scholars — the soon-to-be global citizens who will, before long, take their places in the world.

Alum Discusses Distinguished Engineering Career as Part of Popular Podcast

During a recent episode of “Made in America” with Ari Santiago, Michael Ambrose ’84, ’19 Hon., discussed his nearly four decades at Sikorsky and reflected on his time as an engineering student and standout member of the University’s track and field team.

Lacrosse Unlimited Founder and Marketing Coordinator Share Charger Connection

After earning her degree, Marina Skelly ’22 began her career at Lacrosse Unlimited, a leading lacrosse retailer. Her boss, the founder and CEO, is also a University of New Haven alum and a former member of the Chargers lacrosse team.

New Business Analytics Grad Launches Career at Medtronic

After completing an internship with Medtronic, Farzana Mohammed Zackariah ’23 M.S. was offered a full-time position at the medical device company, working toward her goal of becoming a successful analyst.

Read on to see how our newest graduates and older alumni alike have turned their passions, drives, and University of New Haven experiences into rewarding lives and fulfilling careers.

For the full story, visit the Charger Blog at newhaven.edu/news/blog.

M.S. Investigations

Alum: “With This Education, I’ve Given Myself a Variety of Choices”

For U.S. Air Force veteran Nicole Bradley ’22 M.S., becoming a Charger was something she had dreamed of since graduating from high school. Her coursework has further inspired her to work to protect children and to begin pursuing the first of two investigations certificates.

EMBA Graduate: “I Feel Honored to Be Part of Such Important Work”

Elizabeth Ruiz ’22 EMBA says that pursuing her Executive MBA at the University of New Haven is one of the best decisions she has ever made. She continues to apply what she learned in the classroom to her work in the Yale University Office of Sponsored Projects.


M.S. Digital Forensic Investigation Grad: “My Main Passion Is to Help People, and I Am Able to Do That”

For Anna Albraccio ’21, ’22 M.S. , her work as a forensic analyst is exciting and rewarding. From the hands-on coursework to the professors who believed in her, she says her time as a Charger prepared her well for her work investigating civil and criminal cases.

Guest Speaker Leads to Internship/Job for Music Industry Graduate

For Bradyn Van Sant ’22 , an engaging and inspiring guest lecture in one of her classes presented a unique networking opportunity, leading to an internship, and later, a job.

University Graduates Excel in Forensic Science Careers at Bode Technology

Several alumni of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs in forensic science and graduate program in forensic technology are now applying what they learned in the classroom to their work at Bode Technology, a company that specializes in DNA testing.

Recent Grad: “My Finance Degree From the University Continues to Pay Dividends”

As a Charger, Nyhsere Woodson ’21 excelled in the classroom and on the gridiron. After graduation, he began his career in finance at FactSet, a leading financial data company. He recently started a new position as an analyst at Carlyle, a global investment firm, enabling him to continue to apply what he learned in the classroom.

Alum Turns Passion for Hockey Into Meaningful Career off the Ice

For Ben Robert ’81, ’83 MBA , it is his goal to create opportunities for the next generation of athletes to enjoy hockey and to excel, both on and off the ice. He is grateful for his four years as a member of the University’s hockey team, and he hopes to continue supporting today’s young hockey players — as well as current Chargers.


Then & Now

The University of New Haven’s Transformation Under President Steven H. Kaplan


The University of New Haven in 2023 would be unrecognizable to a student, staff, or faculty member from 2004, the year Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D., became president.

Prominent new physical structures dominate the campus. Dozens of new undergraduate and graduate programs populate our catalogues. Thousands more students are availing themselves of a University of New Haven education, attending after graduation top tier graduate programs or landing important jobs and bringing a compassion for their communities to their expertise in subject matter across multiple disciplines. The University has seen its standing among rating organizations, from U.S. News & World Report to the Princeton Review, quickly ascend significantly.

When we evaluate the University of New Haven today, we know it is a financially strong institution, adaptive to market needs and offering some of the best professional programs in the region.

Dr. Kaplan’s foresight in developing an international approach for growing graduate enrollment is having a significant payoff today as graduate programs are seeing record enrollment and helping to offset post-pandemic challenges in the undergraduate market. This is just one of many initiatives Dr. Kaplan has put in place to secure the University’s financial stability. His fundraising efforts built strong financial support for students in need and financed new academic programs and facilities. Under Dr. Kaplan’s steady hand, the University not only survived but thrived in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008 to 2009 and then of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Progress on A Bold Path Forward, the University’s five-year strategic plan, is real and gives Charger Nation confidence for the years ahead.

By almost any measure, this is a healthy, robust institution with a bright future thanks to Dr. Kaplan.


This celebratory time line reveals the University of New Haven’s incredible growth trajectory across Dr. Steven H. Kaplan’s 19-year presidential tenure and chancellorship.

Open to read more long-arrow-right





618,679 sq. ft. of new University space has been built.


Approximately 375,000 sq. ft. of our campus has been renovated.


Over 40 new academic programs have been launched since 2005.


Since Fall 2004, 88% of full-time faculty were hired under President Kaplan’s administration.

40+ The University has moved up more than 40 spaces in the U.S. News & World Report annual survey since 2017.

65%+ Enrollment has grown more than 65% to over 8,800 undergraduate and graduate students.

4x First-year applications have quadrupled.

2x Full-time undergraduate enrollment has doubled.

Interest and enrollment in graduate education is spiking, particularly among international students.


Average incoming firstyear student GPA has increased from 3.02 to 3.47.


1,559 students have studied abroad at the Tuscany Campus in Prato, Italy, since 2012.



Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D., becomes the University of New Haven’s sixth president and ushers in a period of remarkable growth and development



The University accepts an offer to join the Northeast-10 (NE-10) Conference as a full-time member for all sports, effective in fall 2008. Additionally, the University announces that football has been reinstated as a varsity sport and will begin competing as a member of the NE-10 in 2009.

For the first time, the University is rated a “top-tier university” by U.S. News & World Report in its annual “Best Colleges” rankings.


The former Hubbell Electronics worldwide headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, becomes the Bergami and Pompea Graduate Center, home to the University’s College of Business. The facility honors Samuel S. Bergami Jr. ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon., Lois Bergami, Charles E. Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon., and Tamera Pompea.


The College of Business earns accreditation from AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — joining a select group of schools worldwide recognized for providing the highest-quality business programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees in business.

2015 The University accepts an invitation to join the New American Colleges and Universities, a national consortium of select independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal arts education, professional studies, and civic engagement.


The $15.5-million, 56,600-squarefoot David A. Beckerman Recreation Center, named in honor of David Beckerman ’66 A.S. is officially dedicated.

2010 The Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science is dedicated. Named in honor of forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee ’10 Hon., the facility features a crime-scene simulation center, a high-tech forensic room, a crisis management center, classrooms, and a forensic learning center.

2010 Jeffery’s Fusion, the University’s student-run, fine-dining restaurant, located in Harugari Hall, is dedicated in honor of Jeffery P. Hazell ’83, ’10 Hon.


The University dedicates its student-run Hazell Nut Café in honor of Jeffery P. Hazell ’83, ’10 Hon.

2013 North Hall opens, adding 4,800 square feet to the University’s blueprint.

2013 The University dedicates John and Leona Gehring Hall, home to the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, in honor of John R. Gehring ’52 A.S., ’13 Hon., and Leona M. Gehring.

2014 For the first time, the University is recognized by the Princeton Review in its annual ranking of colleges and universities.


On April 12, the University dedicates the Tagliatela College of Engineering in honor of a gift from the Louis F. and Mary A. Tagliatela Foundation.

Then & Now

2011 The University dedicates the Bartels Student Activity Center in honor of Philip H. Bartels ’11 Hon. and Susan Bartels. The 4,000-squarefoot facility houses the Career Development Center and offices for student organizations.


The $43-million Soundview Hall, the University’s largest and first “green” residence hall, opens. It is later renamed Celentano Hall in honor of West Haven businessman Joseph E. “Chick” Celentano Sr.

2009 Playing in front of a sold-out crowd, the Chargers football team returns for its first game after a fiveyear hiatus, defeating Stonehill College, 23–18. Prior to the game, the University dedicates Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium in honor of Ralph F. DellaCamera ’75.


“I consider the opening of our campus in Prato, Italy, and our partnership with the Engineering and Science University Magnet School to be two of my most important personal achievements. These initiatives were in many ways my children, so to speak, and I am quite proud of these accomplishments.”


Three $1 million gifts launch the public phase of The Charger Challenge, the University's first-ever comprehensive capital campaign (Philip H. Bartels ’11 Hon., and Susan Bartels; Charles E. Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon., and Tamera Pompea; William Bucknall ’63 A.S., ’65, ’08 Hon., and his two daughters, Kristin Loranger and Elise Bucknall). The campaign raised $49 million during its quiet phase.

2014 Westside Hall, the University’s newest residence hall, opens.

2016 The University dedicates the Lois Evalyn Bergami Broadcast Media Center, home of WNHU 88.7 FM, the University’s 1,700-watt radio station, in honor of Lois Bergami.

2014 For the first time, the University is named a “College of Distinction” by Colleges of Distinction, a national online higher education guide that assesses colleges for their engaged students, great teaching, and vibrant campus communities.

2014 The Corporation for National and Community Service names the University to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition that colleges and universities can receive for community service, service learning, and civic

2016 The University dedicates the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion in honor of Kevin

2014 Bucknall Theater is dedicated in honor of William L. Bucknall Jr. ’63, ’65, ’08 Hon. engagement. Myatt ’16 Hon. and Gail Myatt. 2012 Bergami Hall, which offers suite-style living for first-year students and sophomores, is dedicated in honor of Samuel S. Bergami Jr. ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon., and Lois Bergami. The building opened in 2003 and was previously known as New Hall. 2012 One Care Lane adds 38,000 square feet to the University’s blueprint. Today, this space is home to the School of Health Sciences preclinical training and experiences. The University opens its first international satellite campus, the Tuscany Campus, in Prato, Italy.
Dr. Steven H. Kaplan

2019 The School of Health Sciences signs a letter of intent to become one of the first schools in the country to pursue higher education certification from Planetree International, a nonprofit that works with health care organizations around the world to promote patient-centered care.

2020 Dr. Kaplan is named to the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which had been tasked with providing recommendations to Governor Ned Lamont amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. The only current university president named to the task force, Dr. Kaplan is appointed to the Education Committee that is cochaired by former Yale president Richard Levin.


A ribbon cutting ceremony is held for the opening of the brand-new 122,000 square-foot Engineering and Science University Magnet School building, located adjacent to the University of New Haven’s main campus in West Haven. This public college, preparatory, middle, and high school serves grades 6–12.

2017 The University’s Career Development Center is ranked number 17 in the Princeton Review’s list of the “Best Career Services.”

2017 The University welcomes the largest incoming class in its history, which includes 1,730 new students hailing from 33 states and 21 countries.

2017 The University’s police department becomes the first at a private college or university in the state to earn Tier accreditation from the State of Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council.

The University establishes its School of Health Sciences.

2017 Fox61 establishes its New Haven news bureau on the University campus.

2018 The University breaks ground for the $35-million, 45,000-square-foot Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, the centerpiece of The Charger Challenge Campaign.

2018 The Atwood, a private, mixed-use facility adjacent to the University’s main campus, opens as part of the University Commons development in the Allingtown section of West Haven.


Under Dr. Kaplan’s leadership, the University not only survives but thrives in the aftermath of the global coronavirus pandemic, welcoming its largest and most diverse incoming first-year class in University history in fall 2021.


The University becomes the second school in New England to be designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO). The certification recognizes the University’s bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity and networks and computer science. Currently, 21 schools in the United States feature CAE-CO programs supported by the NSA.

2020 Park View, the second building in the University Commons development that is reshaping the Allingtown section of West Haven, opens directly across the street from The Atwood.

2020 The University celebrates the grand opening of the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, its newest academic building in more than 40 years.

2020 Charles E. Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon., his wife Tamera and the Pompea family make the largest contribution in the University’s history to support student scholarships and programming in the College of Business. In recognition of this generosity, the University names the Pompea College of Business in their honor.

2021 A Bold Path Forward, the University’s five-year strategic plan, formally launches.

2021 The University breaks ground on the 31,000-square-foot Peterson Performance Center, named in recognition of David Peterson Jr. ’88, ’17 Hon., a member of the University’s Board of Governors and a former defensive end for the Chargers football team.

2020 In fall 2020, the University launches a comprehensive academic curriculum in esports management that is the first of its kind to be part of a business curriculum accredited by AACSB International, an accreditation that places the University’s College of Business among the top five percent of business schools worldwide.

2020 The University’s interior design program becomes the first program of its kind in Connecticut to be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

2020 The Connecticut Institute of Technology, comprising the University's undergraduate and graduate programs in cybersecurity and networks, computer science, data science, and electrical and computer engineering, as well as several research groups, formally launches.

2018 The University’s Master of Healthcare Administration earns accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

2020 The University of New Haven turns 100 and hosts a virtual ball in honor of this historic milestone.

2020 At the conclusion of 2020, the University celebrates the culmination of the Charger Challenge, raising more than $167 million, far exceeding its goal of $100 million in honor of the University’s centennial year.


A $3 million contribution from Jeffery P. Hazell is the lead gift for the renovation of Charger Gymnasium, which will be named the Jeffery P. Hazell Athletic Center.

2022 Military Friendly, which measures an institution’s effort, commitment, and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for members of the military community, ranks the University in the Top 10 Military Friendly Schools in the category of private schools offering doctorates, earning the University a “Gold” designation.


Through its Center for Advanced Policing, the University receives a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice to support a de-escalation training program that will be offered to police departments across the Northeast. The University is one of only six regional de-escalation training centers across the country that provides law enforcement training that is approved by the Department of Justice.

2021 The University receives a three-year, $1.5-million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of a degree-granting collaboration with the Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall at Yale for incarcerated students in Connecticut.




eorge Synodi, the University’s chief financial officer since

2002, recalls a vintage story about two golfing icons when he was asked to consider Steve Kaplan’s tenure as the University of New Haven’s president and chancellor.

The story from IMG founder and chairman Mark McCormack’s 1984 book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School illustrates for Synodi what defined Kaplan’s success.

In the book, McCormack recounts a friendly match between two of the game’s icons. There was no prize money at stake, and the only winner would be a designated charity. Yet, as Synodi tells it, “This was not a tour event, and there wasn’t a purse for the winner. But fiercely competitive people are fiercely competitive 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As the two world-class golfers

approached the 18th and final hole of their ‘friendly’ tournament, Gary Player approached McCormack with an exasperated look on his face and complained to him that ‘Jack hasn’t missed a goddamn shot all day, and I have played like s#&t.’ After teeing off first on the 18th hole, Jack Nicklaus then approached McCormack as Player hit his tee shot, complaining that ‘damn Gary Player has played incredibly well, and I can’t get my shots near the green.’ McCormack looked at the scoreboard. The two were tied after 17 holes of ‘meaningless’ golf. The two were so fiercely competitive that neither believed they were playing well, and yet each thought the other was playing exceptionally well.”

“That,” says Synodi, “captures the essence of Steve: fiercely competitive and never believing he has done enough to win.”

Chancellor Steven H. Kaplan considers the interplay of work and family across his 19+ years as the University of New Haven’s most transformational leader.
long-arrow-right 23

The Job Is Never Finished

Even as Kaplan nears a long-anticipated transition from full-time leadership at the University of New Haven and a professional lifetime career in higher education, he hasn’t stopped thinking about how to position the University for success or how higher education can meet the enormous challenges ahead.

Board of Governors Chair Charles Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon., says, “Even today, as Steve readies himself for the next stage of his life, he is still presenting new ideas for discussions on how we can insulate ourselves from a very competitive market and a demographic cliff that is facing the U.S. over the next three or four years.”

In response to a question about which of the goals outlined in his 2004 inaugural address remain unfulfilled, Kaplan says, “I’ll walk our campus occasionally and look around and say, ‘Wow, I’m amazed at what we’ve done.’ And then I’ll suddenly start thinking about all that still needs to get done.” So what still needs to be done?

“Universities,” Kaplan says, “are engines of change and reform, and yet they are fairly stagnant organizations. This goes back to the very first university, which was founded in Bologna in 1088. Not a lot has changed since then. The faculty entrenchment in their disciplines hasn’t changed much. The interaction between the disciplines hasn’t increased very much. The only things that have changed are the external cosmetics. We now have fancier labs and fancier facilities. The culture remains one that is very resistant to change. And I think, going forward, that’s going to be an enormous threat to most universities in this country, with the exception of the elite and well-endowed schools.”

He says that not-for-profit education could be “devastated by the for-profit world” and that it’s no guarantee that “companies like Google and OpenAI won’t eventually beat us at our own game and become better at what we do, and at a lower cost.”

He continues, “I think the greatest threat to higher education right now, and the one the University needs to respond to in the coming decade, is artificial intelligence (AI). Everything I’ve read tells me that we’re certainly not ready for AI as a society. Faculty will likely scoff at the idea that they might be replaced by robots until they’ve been replaced by robots. And by then the educational model they refused to change will be a thing of the past.”

Kaplan says to thrive and succeed, the University will need to take advantage of the “incredible opportunities” AI presents to higher education. If institutions like the University of New Haven “continue to cry wolf and resist change, we better be ready for a rude awakening. Part of my decision to retire was my realization that I have grown tired of this battle.”


“Even today, as Steve readies himself for the next stage of his life, he is still presenting new ideas for discussions on how we can insulate ourselves from a very competitive market and a demographic cliff that is facing the U.S. over the next three or four years.”
Charles Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon.
Dr. Kaplan delivers remarks as part of a special event in 2018 recognizing those in the community who helped fund his vision for the University. Today, at the conclusion of his presidential tenure and chancellorship, he reflects on all that has been accomplished and what still needs to be done for the University of New Haven to continue to thrive and succeed.

A Complicated Leader

It would be easy to conclude that Steve Kaplan is compulsive, relentless, driven, and unbending and that his consistent insistence on staying ahead of the competition can be exhausting.

Those observations are not without merit, but his profile is more intricate and complicated.

More than one former staffer would attest to better health after leaving Kaplan’s inner circle, and it’s not unusual to hear complaints of frequent late-night or early-morning emails and even the dreaded voicemail. Critics will point to his perceived doom and gloom predictions about the University’s financial future and to his impatience with faculty governance.

Those who know him well acknowledge the challenges but extoll the results, especially his devotion to students.

Board Chair Pompea says, “Over the years we as a board have heard that Steve is difficult and pushes too hard, but because of his dedicated and driven personality he has made all of us reach for the stars and positioned the University of New Haven to continue its success and become the University of choice at a reasonable cost.”

Sacred Heart University President John Petillo reflects, “Steve and I have always enjoyed and respected one another, especially because we have similar views about how to engage a university community, as well as what are the critical components to success. I am probably most proud of his ability to engage and respect students. He has been a success at that and considered it a priority.”

Long-time friend, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning playwright, television writer and producer, and filmmaker Adriana Trigiani calls the University of New Haven a “school of ambitious, brilliant, hardworking students, many first-generation college students from families that had to sacrifice to send their son or daughter to the University. They are the checkered tablecloth families that gather at the kitchen table to eat, laugh, settle differences, and grow. Steve understood who the University of New Haven student was and what he or she could become with a rock-solid education.”

Still others offer vignettes of simple gestures of kindness with gratitude and wonder.

Alice Fischer, professor of computer science in the Tagliatela College of Engineering since 1982 and a significant benefactor to the University, remembers discovering that a newly planted tree on campus had

psychedelic and poisonous properties. “Not knowing what to do with that information,” she recalls, “I sent Steve Kaplan an email at about 8 in the evening, saying only that ‘I know you will take care of this.’ The next morning, when I arrived on campus, the tree was gone. I gained a profound respect for him as a man of action and good sense.”

Associate History Professor Brad Woodworth’s wife very suddenly died of cancer in 2013. “When I would see President Kaplan,” he says, “he would always ask after my and my children’s well-being. This meant so much to me. The knowledge that the University, and he at its head, were there behind me has meant more than I can express. I will remember this with gratitude for the rest of my life.”

A Big Agenda

The University’s advances under Kaplan’s leadership are extraordinary (see Page 16) and have fulfilled the dreams that he expressed at his 2004 inauguration when he boldly envisioned a university that excelled at both teaching and research; where students discover who they really are and collaborate with faculty; where a global perspective and diversity matter; where technology

Dr. Kaplan feeds off the energy and enthusiasm of students — and vice versa — during his first year as president.
Dr. Kaplan recognizes student scholarship recipients and donors at the Endowed Scholarship Luncheon.

and the arts reside comfortably; where students are prepared for the future, not just for careers; where the University is an economic engine for the region; and where a University of New Haven education is “focused far more on its students’ development as compassionate, creative, and cultured human beings, well prepared to live in a technologically sophisticated, ethnically diverse, and economically interdependent world.”

“I look back on my presidency with pride and humility,” he says, noting that nearly every major goal articulated in that address has been largely achieved. “That perhaps comes from the fact that I saw these projects through for as long as it took. I think the average shelf life for most presidents is five or six years nationally; it’s certainly no more than that. And during the pandemic, it’s become even less than that. It took a long time to accomplish what we’ve done at the University, and it took hiring a lot of talented administrators, faculty, and staff to make all of it happen. And of course, it took time to build and cultivate a wonderful board that has supported my goals and vision for the University.”

He is universally applauded for the direction he provided the University during the depths of the pandemic. Mario Gaboury, dean of Lee College who also taught and served as interim provost during a 30-year career, says, “In those tough times he never lost sight of the important balance of keeping the University vital and functioning, and the imperative that each student, faculty, or staff member was an individual whose life, livelihood, and future needed to be respected and protected to the maximum

extent possible, given the unprecedented challenges we faced.”

Former student government president Sofia Martinez ’22 relates that Kaplan agreed to participate in a virtual open forum for all students and organizations at the height of the pandemic. “And he listened,” she says. “He sat there and listened and slowly acknowledged the different parts at play with the problems that we were having. Out of this, we got our mental health recharge days during the pandemic, which helped our student body succeed during that year.”

Family Matters

Kaplan acknowledges that he’s impatient and demanding but adds, “especially with myself.” He’s tempered those personality traits with an understanding of his roots and a complete devotion to family.

He frequently invokes his shoe-store-owning father (the salesman instinct) and actress–comedienne mother (sense of theater and humor) when talking about the traits that have brought him success, but he took a deeper dive into what shaped

him in a recent email exchange. This email exchange included a fond recollection of his maternal grandfather, who worked his way across Russia, Eastern Europe, Germany, and Norway and was the first in his family to come to the U.S. as a 13 year old with little money. He would earn enough to send to his mother and siblings and ultimately lived a hardworking but fulfilling life. Spending time fishing with his grandfather in northern Wisconsin and enjoying the company of his parents’ families, Kaplan says, is “where I learned that family comes first.”

“Many successful people put more emphasis on their careers early in life than on living their lives, and, sadly, this often becomes a lifetime habit,” Kaplan says. “Contrary to this approach, I have always found myself slowing my career down and toning down my ambitions so that I could in fact have more time with our kids while they were still at home. And I have always made sure my work interfered as little as possible with my quality time with Anemone [his wife of 45 years]. For me, living a full life included but was never overshadowed by my passion for my work.”

He thinks back on the early phase of his career and the formative years of his four children, remembering less about working hard to advance his career

Left: Dr. Kaplan delivers his first set of presidential remarks to the Board of Governors and highlights excerpts from his inaugural address. Today, Kaplan proudly and humbly notes that nearly every major goal articulated in that address has been largely achieved.
Right: Dr. Kaplan put great effort into building and cultivating a board of governors that supported his goals and vision for the University. Pictured here are co-chairs for the Charger Challenge Campaign, William L. Bucknall Jr. and Phillip H. Bartels, and current Board of Governors chair, Charles E. Pompea.

Family Matters

1. Dr. Kaplan, Anemone, and their four children with family, including Dr. Kaplan’s mother Jeanne and his stepfather of over 40 years, Irv Gloven. Irv, a longtime friend of Oskar Schindler and an executive producer of the movie Schindler’s List, established the Schindler Professorship in honor of Dr. Kaplan’s presidential inauguration in 2004.

2. (From Left to Right) Dr. Kaplan’s son-in-law Joni and daughter Silia with grandson Noah; daughter Noemi; daughter Janina; and son Aljoscha.

3. Dr. Kaplan and Anemone with their daughter Noemi at her graduation from the University of New Haven in 2008, where she received a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology.

4. Anemone holding the Kaplans’ first grandchild, Noah, outside the hospital where he was born.

5. Dr. Kaplan at the beach with his grandson Noah.

6. Dr. Kaplan and Anemone with their third grandchild, Nami.

7. Anemone and Dr. Kaplan with their granddaughter Nami on a recent visit to their home in the south of France.

8. The Kaplans’ two additional grandchildren, both from their daughter Noemi, Ourius and Adalyn.


and more about the joy of playing with his children and spending time with his beloved wife. As a faculty member trying to earn tenure and promotions, writing books and scholarly essays, he would work after the children’s bedtime until long past midnight and then make sure he was up to send them off to school.

Family, he adds, has always been there to “remind me that, as James Joyce says somewhere in Ulysses, ‘Life is the great teacher.’ I have learned from them what is important in life, and those lessons have informed my work. I believe and hope that the time I have spent with my family has made me a more compassionate, thoughtful, and dedicated leader.”

Work Informs Life

Work, and its balance with family, also informed his response to near-tragedies in his adult life, rather than the reverse. Kaplan says that lessons learned during leadership positions at multiple universities “have allowed me to deal with the multiple challenges that I have faced during the course of my life and, in particular, with my bout with cancer and with the incredible scare I had when Anemone had her accident [a fall from their deck at home that severely injured her back]. The various challenges I have faced and the different crises I’ve had to manage have all taught me that you can’t get upset about what you can’t change, and you cannot let these things distract you or demoralize you. On the contrary, you have to look at those things and say, ‘Okay, well, what can I change?’ and then put even more of yourself into those things.”

When he arrived at the University of New Haven, he was confronted with multiple financial challenges. Repairing a crumbling campus, installing smart classrooms, and constructing a recreation center were top priorities and would require the assumption of debt. Borrowing funds would require a significant operating surplus, which had never been accomplished; indeed, making payroll was sometimes a challenge prior to Kaplan’s arrival. When he was informed by Synodi and another administrator that $2 million in unbudgeted financial aid had been allocated ($15 million in today’s terms), they wondered why he wasn’t more upset, telling him, “This could throw a wrench into everything you’ve planned for your presidency.” His response? “If I thought it would help, I’d be upset. I think we have to figure out how we’re going to fix this. And we did.”

He developed and maintained a philosophy whereby “You can’t get too worked up. You can’t get too dramatic about things you can’t change. Focus on what you can do about them and focus on those things you can change, and tackle those with all the more energy and drive.”

He continued, “I know that was my attitude during my cancer. I was in intense and painful

“You can’t get too dramatic about things you can’t change. Focus on what you can do about them and focus on those things you can change, and tackle those with all the more energy and drive.”

radiation for seven weeks, five days a week. On every one of those days, when I could barely get out of bed from the pain, I still went for a daily walk, as I had done prior to my illness. There was only one day where I was so weak I couldn’t do that. I learned this kind of persistence at work: motion and momentum matter a good deal at work and in life.

“While I didn’t feel quite so optimistic when dealing with Anemone’s hospitalization and the fear that she could be paralyzed, again I focused on those things I could impact. I believe you should focus on what you can impact and change and not get worked up over things you can’t. Anemone was able to recover 95% from a horrible back injury, and I think this is in large part due to all the things the two of us did.”

Left: Dr. Kaplan presents a cashier’s check for $500,000 to Vice President and CFO George Synodi, given by an anonymous donor to jumpstart Kaplan’s presidency. The grant was structured as a matching gift to support the first 20-classroom phase of the 2004 “smart classroom” project. Right: Perhaps no University initiative better represents the themes of motion and momentum in Dr. Kaplan’s leadership tenure than the completion of the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation — the University’s first new academic building in more than 40 years. Here, Kaplan celebrates the Bergami family for their incredible generosity.

A Partner in All Things

When he speaks of Anemone (Schweizer-Kaplan), who most would testify has been an active and important partner in Steve’s presidency, he does not hold back.

“No one has been more important to me in the time I’ve been president than Anemone. No one. I once read that long-serving CEOs of any organization are very often individuals who have been married or with a partner for a long time. The author of the study said that one of the main reasons that’s important is, when you are in a role like this, where at times you can’t confide in anyone at work or in the community, at those times when you need someone to confide in the most, that’s when your spouse or partner is there. A long-lasting relationship is something that serves as a foundation for trusting someone who can give you candid and sometimes difficult advice that others won’t give you but that you need to hear and act upon. Anemone has been an incredibly important sounding board for me, and she doesn’t just listen; she responds. She speaks candidly with me, sometimes vehemently, and always with great insight.”

An artist with a family background in architecture, Schweizer-Kaplan has influenced the interior and exterior design of numerous building projects on campus. “Anemone has an incredible sense of aesthetics,” he says. “So when we couldn’t afford to spend the money on interior designers, she helped with many of our major renovation projects as a volunteer and had a visible impact on campus.”

Perhaps most notably, Schweizer-Kaplan has been a key partner in Steve Kaplan’s prodigious fundraising successes. He recounts with delight dozens of small dinner parties Anemone hosted at their home to express gratitude to transformational donors and to literally set the table for new gifts to

the University. And the dozens of excursions and structured interactions with and presentations by faculty and students for board spouses and partners she personally arranged during every board meeting over the past 19 years are legendary among our donors and members of the board.

At Peace

Nearing 70, Kaplan has come to terms with his transition. His physical traits are remarkably similar to photographs of when he arrived at the University — the hair tangled and unworried, though thinner and grayer; the attire still natty and precise; the smile warm, toothy, and inviting; the eyes mischievous and lively. He has the energy of a much younger man, and his intellectual curiosity hasn’t waned a bit.

He says, “If you love what you’re doing and you respect and value the people you’re working on behalf of — the students and the faculty and staff — it’s easy to keep going and to endure for a long time. It’s been easy to be president for 19 years because, despite some of the frustrations, it has always been exhilarating and highly gratifying work.”

He’s sanguine about putting the stresses, strains, satisfactions, and joys of a university presidency behind him. He remarks philosophically but not sadly, “Just as I chose to have more time with my family over advancing my career when our children were younger, now I am really ready to fully retire from work and again put family first. At this point in my life, time is becoming shorter and more precious. I therefore want my time to be focused on my four and hopefully more grandchildren.”

One final prediction, also made at the time of his inauguration 19 years ago, came true as well. “The University of New Haven is the capstone of my professional career,” he said at the time. “I’m here for the long haul.”

Dr. Kaplan stands at the foot of Maxcy Hall nearly two decades ago at the start of what would ultimately become one of the University’s most transformational presidencies. Dr. Kaplan and his wife, Anemone Schweizer-Kaplan, enjoy the beach near their Branford home in 2004.
In 2023, Dr. Kaplan and his wife are celebrating 45 years of marriage and an exciting next chapter in their life together.

The University of New Haven Alumni Magazine reached out to a number of luminaries in Dr. Steven H. Kaplan’s orbit — members of the Board of Governors, a US congresswoman, accomplished faculty, a student leader, campus administration, a presidential colleague, and friends of the Kaplan family — to get their thoughts on the Kaplan years at the University. The result was an outpouring of warmth, insightful observations, and unique perspectives. Here is just a sampling of their reflections on Kaplan’s 19-year tenure as president and chancellor.

Philip H. Bartels ’11 Hon. Samuel S. Bergami Jr. ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon. William L. Bucknall Jr. ’63, ’65, ’08 Hon. Rosa DeLauro ’96 Hon. Robert Dilenschneider ’12 Hon. Eileen E. Eder ’18 Hon. Dolores J. Ennico ’82 MBA, ’17 Hon. Alice E. Fischer, Ph.D. ’22 Hon. Mario T. Gaboury, J.D., Ph.D. James F. Gero ’76 MBA, ’15 Hon. Caroline Koziatek ’92 MBA Ranjana Maitra ’92 MBA Sofia Martinez ’22 Mary J. Miller ’82, MBA ’06 John J. Petillo, Ph.D. Charles Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon. George S. Synodi Adriana Trigiani ’06 Hon. Bradley D. Woodworth, Ph.D.
Shelley A. Stewart Jr. ’90 EMBA, ’16 Hon.


“Steve’s vision, tenacity, and leadership have enabled the University to grow to new heights, both in its physical presence and its internationally recognized reputation as a center of academic excellence.”


“Steve is a transformational leader, evidenced by the dramatic campus physical evolution, the expansion of the number and diversity of programs, and his incredible ability to adapt to new campus challenges.

From our very first meeting, I knew he was a brilliant thought leader. Having attended the University as a graduate commuting student many years before Steve’s tenure, and growing up in the surrounding neighborhood, it is hard to fathom how dramatic this transformation has been.”


“Steve is a visionary. He has grown the University with it its excellent reputation at home and abroad as he created a foreign study initiative. He has spearheaded glorious projects on campus; hired a first-class faculty; and grown the diverse, international, and national student body, one that is truly inclusive. The University is a model university for American higher education because of Steve’s efforts. His enthusiasm is infectious. Steve Kaplan is brilliant.”


“Steve has led the University through a period of tremendous growth. He elevated the idea that the University could and should be much more and used his entrepreneurial talents to make it happen. He is an out-of-the-box thinker.”


“When Steve came on board, the University was struggling both financially and in enrollment. He presented the board with some large ideas about making the campus greener and expanding our classrooms, maintaining and upgrading our existing facilities, building new buildings, and increasing enrollment. Honestly, we thought he was a bit of a dreamer, and we hoped he could accomplish part of his vision. I look back and see that not only did he accomplish his goals, but he far exceeded them.”


“During my early tenure [on the Board of Governors] the University was on its financial knees. It was uncertain whether it was going to survive. What eventually gave rise to the renaissance of U New Haven was Steve and Anemone Kaplan joining the University, a revitalized Board of Governors willing to spend resources, and a band of executives and leaders throughout the institution dedicated to its rebirth.”



“Steve’s core path has without question been in the long-term best interests of the University, enhancing the institution’s ever-continuing focus on providing excellence to students in their college education.”


“Steve Kaplan has made the University an important school. He has given his time, insight, intellect, and imagination as few in his position have done in their careers.”


“In all likelihood the University might not be here had Steve not become president. At the very least we would be a very different place (and not better) than we have become. We had barely grown out of our commuter school roots, and Steve led a meteoric rise of this institution to a solid, credible, comprehensive university. The life of the University and the component professional lives of the faculty have been inordinately improved during his tenure. The enhancement of the ‘student experience’ both in and out of the classroom is virtually immeasurable.”


“Steve is unlike any other president in higher education I’ve ever encountered. He is extremely bright and a natural-born businessperson, with natural instincts to make intelligent decisions. You rarely see a university president with those attributes. He elevated the University far greater than anyone could ever have predicted.”


“I think I have always had the view of Steve Kaplan as a summary of his time at the University. He was innovative and forward-thinking. I had the unique opportunity not only to witness his perseverance during a global pandemic but also to be a part of the initiative for the strategic planning committee. To be able to trust your faculty and staff to lead and guide the future: that was trust.”

“He made the University into the vibrant and confident University that it is today. I taught my first course here not long after he became president, and the differences between then and now are truly vast. There is so much more energy; more color (of all kinds); beautiful, contemporary classrooms; gorgeous new buildings; and a vibrant faculty.”

How would you characterize Dr. Kaplan’s tenure as president and chancellor of the University?


“Steve’s greatest strength is his talent for seeking top employees and faculty and convincing them to come to the University Second is his ability to look to and reach for the future. As a board member, we’ve had exposure to some of the top forecasters for industry, jobs, and education to be better prepared for the changes to come, whether it’s in the category of health, digital information, technology, or science, to name a few. Finally, Steve never forgets the budget.”


“I was on the search committee that selected Steve and liked him instantly. When I was board chair, he and I enjoyed a unique chemistry, and I had great fun working with him during those six years. I came to know him socially as well. I couldn’t believe I had a friend with a Ph.D. in the classics! I will miss him terribly as president, as a friend, and as an alumnus.”


“Steve’s style is tough and decisive. His memory is truly remarkable, and his ability to ‘connect the dots’ is unparalleled. A student of Marx (Groucho not Karl), he has a wit that has often been that calming salve that has helped break the tension during some very difficult times. Always taking his leadership role extremely seriously, Steve is a humanist who has a deep understanding of people.”



“Steve can talk to any group of people and get his message across effectively. He also has an uncanny ability to read people and situations precisely and develop action plans that satisfy all stakeholders. And, when it comes to fundraising, Steve is the best. He has repeatedly turned one-time donors into powerhouse supporters.”



“Steve is a very interesting fellow. Our conversations are always enlightening. He’s very persuasive, doesn’t suffer fools, and isn’t afraid to disagree with you, but keeps an open mind. You can have an intelligent conversation with him.”


“He is relentless. We all hear folks talk about ‘24-7, 365,’ but Steve embodies it, and he expected that from his direct reports. We were going to outwork our competition. When they were sleeping, we would be working to catch them. He established a leadership culture that was addictive, and we all started to believe we could in fact do it.”


“Steve has led the University with a charm and sense of humor that really has worked well in the face of many challenges.”


“Steve is a man who cares about everything he does. He is intense but not in a difficult or annoying way. He is extremely creative and always looks for the option or opportunity that others do not see. He is oriented toward results. He will make sure nothing is wasted, time or anything else.”



“ We built new buildings, dramatically increased enrollment, and increased our endowment and scholarship funding Steve is the driver of this success and has built a very successful team of officers and deans, which has led to dedicated and loyal faculty and staff.”


“Steve was able to think differently. For example, he did not always buy into the consultative process that can lead to stalemates. This allowed him to move forward with the imaginative ideas he and his team developed.”


“Anemone is number one in terms of Steve’s achievements. You can’t do what he’s done without a spouse who supports you all the way, and she’s been a big part of his, and the University’s, success.”

“Steve is a leader who gets the job done and gives ample credit all around for the result. His ability to individuate began in the classroom. He loves students and wants to help them thrive. The template has been created, and future University leaders will benefit.”


“Steve was always considering how the University could transform itself. His relentless energy was the fuel for the changes required, from bricks and mortar to recruiting faculty and selecting the executive leadership team. He looks to the future but also drives the operational details.”


“Steve Kaplan is a leader. He has always focused on the needs of the institution while keeping the needs of the students in the forefront. He often met with student groups about issues the students raised and never shied away from discussing the hard topics with the students, the faculty, or the staff.”

What would you identify as the most important qualities that have allowed Dr. Kaplan to lead the advancement of the University over the past two decades?
“Steve has a very definitive, strong personality who has vision and is not afraid to make hard decisions. I may not always have agreed with him, but I recognized his talents and abilities.”
“Steve is a charismatic, driven, strategic, and business- and outcomefocused leader who sees the big picture. He has made revolutionary changes in the University, and it has grown in leaps and bounds in every area.”


“Steve consistently expects and demands excellence in all things. The quality of education that the students receive, in all of the colleges, has improved dramatically since he stepped on campus. He has also revitalized weak programs and the core curriculum to better address the current needs of the students. Finally, mentoring and other additional programs have been implemented to help the struggling student achieve success.”


“Steve Kaplan was a breath of fresh air

The most significant improvement was his insistence on introducing the latest technologies into the classroom, which was a godsend to the faculty and a game changer.”


“What transpired during Steve’s tenure can be measured in many different ways. A student body that has more than doubled and new academic programs taught and serviced by a more diverse faculty and staff are just a few of these metrics. The commitment and passion of the Board of Governors is yet another measure of progress. The physical campus and the neighborhood surrounding the campus have been enhanced, as have town-gown relationships with West Haven, Orange, and New Haven. New residence halls, a student recreation center, new academic and athletic facilities, and a green campus are all physical representations of the progress made over the past 19 years.”


“The campus has become such a beautiful place. What had before Steve largely been a place for commuter students is now an enjoyable place to live, with beautiful new dorms and a rich student life.”


“Critical to the rebirth was the recruitment, remuneration, and retention of dedicated faculty led by Steve. Seven Faculty Excellence in Teaching Awards testify to the University’s being transformed. Those faculty have been instrumental in guiding younger scholars to achieve their potential. The quality of scholarship generated by our undergrads is stunningly impressive These scholars continue to express their appreciation for and inspiration from the faculty.”


“He has built a fortress in the University of New Haven, built upon the work of his predecessors. Steve is all about the conversation around the table, listening so folks feel heard and understood. He and Anemone were a powerhouse couple that brought all of their gifts to the University. They will be missed.”


“Because of his innovative and visionary leadership, he has exponentially increased the value of a University of New Haven degree. His fundraising abilities have changed the University forever. The turnaround in enrollment has been an amazing game changer. Steve came in and transformed the entire University and has set the stage for a bright future.”


“Steve Kaplan’s focus on academic excellence has filtered down to the faculty level. His support of academic professional development and providing of in-house programs to all faculty are just two examples of his commitment to providing an exceptional academic experience for all of our students through supporting academic excellence in our faculty.”

What, broadly speaking, have been the most significant impacts of Dr. Kaplan’s tenure?


“The credit for our success in international recruitment, especially in India, goes to Steve. Without his unflinching support, we could not have achieved what we have. Steve has been very reassuring, and he understands different international markets and cultural nuances very well. He has tremendous empathy for all students from all over the world. His energy and motivation are truly infectious.”



“The University’s Allingtown neighborhood in West Haven. Steve (with his ever-present good neighbor focus) has taken the lead in the University’s key role in qualitative upgrades to Allingtown (with the extra benefit of an expanded and good town-gown working relationship with West Haven City Hall). In 2010 we incorporated the nonprofit Allingtown Neighborhood Development Coalition Inc. and received IRS tax exemption for the Coalition. From the beginning, Steve has been its president and board chair, and successive West Haven mayors, City Council members, and the Allingtown fire chief have been important board members. One example of the Coalition’s work is the smartlooking U New Haven-blue store-front awnings on a number of Allingtown stores, which have been funded exclusively by the University. The Allingtown Coalition has been an undeniable success and is proof of the wisdom of Steve’s ‘broken windows’ philosophy — when you fix a broken window in a downtown neighborhood, it sends a clear and strong message to the community for others to similarly ‘pitch in’ and upgrade their neighborhood.”


“He fostered a strong relationship between the students and the President’s Office; raised significant capital to improve the dormitories and student activity spaces; and facilitated the creation of the U New Haven Charger Band, which has been instrumental in fostering a sense of community within the student body. He has, first and foremost, been all about the students.”


“He has attracted some of the best and brightest to teach, and he has convinced serious people to support the school financially and in many other ways beyond financial support.”


“During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of New Haven approached Yale University about utilizing space on campus to house first responders to protect them from the virus. When Yale said no, Steve Kaplan immediately said yes.”



“The University of New Haven is an economic driver throughout Greater New Haven. From criminal justice, business, and engineering to healthcare and public health, the University has helped countless students of every age and background pursue their passions and follow their dreams. Those students have then gone on to find personal and professional success in our communities.

U New Haven has emerged as a world leader in education, particularly in the areas of biomedicine and forensic research, and Steve helped provide that critical link between research and commercial interests.”


“Steve has built a solid strategic plan for the University. Through many personal associations that he has grown and fostered, he has updated his outlook on what this institution needs to provide for the New Haven and larger communities. He has been the thought leader behind many private and public partnerships that have served the New Haven community well.”

“As a faculty member I have seen the academic preparation of students greatly improve. This makes the classroom experience that much richer.”
“He is bold but with intelligence. He had the ability to select key people to do the job at the University. When he knew someone he’d hired was going to make it, he’d support him 100%. He put the right people in place to help him achieve success. He’s a good people person and understood the value one could bring to the organization very quickly.”
What are specific examples of how the University changed or improved under Dr. Kaplan’s leadership?


“Under Steve’s leadership, the University of New Haven has grown to new heights with the addition of state-of-the-art buildings and new campuses in both Orange, Connecticut, and Tuscany, Italy. But most important has been how he has guided the University through its expansion of academic opportunities. From increasing and developing programs in forensic science, public health, engineering, and marine sciences to offering micro-credentialing and online programming to building educational partnerships like the collaboration the University has developed with New Haven’s Engineering and Science University Magnet School, Steve’s leadership has helped create a unique and successful learning environment that will no doubt serve as a model for others. Through his vision and dedication, Steve has set a new standard of excellence to which institutions of higher education should strive.”


“I request those alumni to stop in to arrange for a tour through advancement because I am sure you will see we are not the U New Haven of old, and certainly this is a University of which


“I am an alum from U New Haven (1989–1991). Though the quality of education was great, when I came back around 2010 and saw the transformation, it was an eye-opener. Today the University of New Haven is a name to reckon with.”




“Steve has truly changed the University in all facets. He took this University out of troubling times and reinvented it as a well-rounded University, both from an academic and a residential standpoint. When I attended the University in the ’90s, it was like a parking lot with a few buildings. It is now a vibrant and attractive place to work and study. There is a sense of pride in being a Charger.”


“Steve has been remarkable in his breadth of knowledge and comprehension, and he understands how to win. He has the ability to balance many variables at once, from enrollment to demographic changes in the marketplace and from finance to faculty tenure issues. He is a comprehensive, broadbased thinker. He is tireless, always thinking, tenacious, and has a sense of urgency.”

“Steve is a leader who has thought about the future — how to keep the University relevant and current and moving forward. The education landscape continues to change, and Steve makes sure that the University is not just keeping up but also at the forefront of that change. Steve is always looking to new markets. He combines a business person’s outlook with his academic strengths.”



“Steve’s leadership may never be fully understood or appreciated by many. Most leaders may have surveyed the playing field and opted to take a position elsewhere with an easier path forward. Steve arrived, and his mantra was ‘We will catch them,’ and they will eventually ask ‘Who are those guys?’ My first thought was, ‘Who is this guy, and does he understand what is in front of us?’ After 19 years, I still haven’t quite figured out the answer to that first question, but he certainly understood better than all of us what was in front of us and what needed to be done.”

you can be proud to be an alumnus or alumna .”
“He built a university that so many of us wanted to go to!
Seeing the before photos of U New Haven, you would think it was a university from decades ago — but it was a university before President Kaplan.”
“By example, he showed that a struggling university can not only survive but also thrive with the right attention. The University of New Haven has become an institution to be reckoned with. More and more universities are finding themselves in this kind of situation, and the U New Haven story may be helpful for them.”
What comes to mind first when you think about the legacy Dr. Kaplan will leave at the University?

Contributor Biographies

Philip H. Bartels ’11 Hon.

Philip H. Bartels is an attorney with Shipman & Goodwin LLP, one of Connecticut’s largest law firms. He is of counsel to the firm. He has been a member of the University of New Haven Board of Governors for more than 20 years and is a past chair of the Board. He and his family are significant benefactors of the University.

Samuel S. Bergami Jr. ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon.

Samuel S. Bergami Jr. is CEO and co-owner of Alinabal Holdings Corp., the parent company of Alinabal Inc. He serves on the University of New Haven Board of Governors (chair 2006–2012) and was honored with the University’s President’s Award in 2012. The Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation is named for Mr. Bergami and his wife, Lois.

William L. Bucknall Jr. ’63, ’65, ’08 Hon.

William L. Bucknall Jr. is a retired, former senior vice president at United Technologies Corp. He served on the Board of Governors of the University of New Haven from 1992 to 2000 (chair 1998–2000) and again since 2006 (chair 2018–2020). Mr. Bucknall and his family have established endowments at the University for scholarships, an annual Excellence in Teaching Award, and an annual Undergraduate Research Award.

Rosa DeLauro ’96 Hon.

The Hon. Rosa DeLauro has represented Connecticut’s Third Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives since 1990. She serves as the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee and sits on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. She is also the Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees U.S. investments in education, health, and employment.

Robert Dilenschneider ’12 Hon.

Robert ‘Bob’ L. Dilenschneider is the owner, founder, chairman, and CEO of the Dilenschneider Group, a corporate strategic counseling and public relations firm. His friendship with Dr. Kaplan goes back many years.

Eileen E. Eder ’18 Hon.

Eileen Eder is an award-winning artist who specializes in still-life and landscape painting. She exhibits her work in Connecticut and New York galleries, as well as national juried shows. She has been a member of the University of New Haven Board of Governors since 2014.

Dolores J. Ennico ’82 MBA, ’17 Hon. Dolores Ennico is the retired corporate vice president of human resources at Olin Corporation. She is a member of the University of New Haven Board of Governors.

Alice E. Fischer, Ph.D. ’22 Hon. Alice Fischer is a professor of computer science in the Tagliatela College of Engineering. She has been teaching at the University since 1982, and she and her husband are significant benefactors of the University of New Haven.

James F. Gero ’76 MBA, ’15 Hon. Jim and his late wife Cathy support the James F. Gero and Catherine A. Gero Endowed Scholarship Fund and have planned a significant bequest to the University to fund an endowed scholarship for business or engineering students.

Mario T. Gaboury, J.D., Ph.D.

Mario Gaboury is dean of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science and special assistant to the president of Global Alliances. He has been at the University of New Haven for three decades and served as interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs from 2019 to 2021.

Caroline Koziatek ’92 MBA

Caroline Koziatek is an accomplished human resources leader with three decades of HR experience. She served as vice president for human resources, Title IX coordinator, and diversity officer at the University of New Haven from 2007 until her retirement in 2022. She is currently a human resources consultant for Twin Lakes Consulting.

Ranjana Maitra ’92 MBA

Ranjana Maitra is an accomplished international executive with decades of experience working in the health-care and life sciences industries. Dr. Kaplan appointed her to oversee the University’s undergraduate and graduate recruitment efforts in India and Southeast Asia as Country Head — International. She is based in Mumbai.

Sofia Martinez ’22

Sofia Martinez was president of the Undergraduate Student Government Association at the University of New Haven from 2020 to 2022. She received her undergraduate degree in communications and public relations in 2022, with minors in English and marketing. She is now enrolled in the Master of Arts in the Engaged and Public Humanities program at Georgetown University.

Mary J. Miller ’82, MBA ’06

Mary Miller, MBA, C.P.A., is a distinguished lecturer in accounting in the Pompea College of Business. She also is the coordinator of the accounting and taxation programs and director of the UG Business Experience in the Pompea College.

John J. Petillo, Ph.D.

John J. Petillo was named president of Sacred Heart University in March 2011. Before that, he had served as interim president since October 2010 and dean of the University’s Jack Welch College of Business & Technology since March 2009. Under his leadership, Sacred Heart has experienced unprecedented academic and physical growth.

Charles Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon. Charles E. Pompea, chair of the University of New Haven Board of Governors, is a retired former chair, president, and CEO of Primary Steel Inc. and a previous owner of the Springfield Falcons hockey team. The University’s Pompea College of Business is named in honor of the largest gift in University history by Mr. Pompea and his family.

Shelley A. Stewart Jr. ’90 EMBA, ’16 Hon. Shelley A. Stewart Jr. is managing partner and founder of Bottom Line Advisory LLC, a professional consulting firm that provides advisory services for corporate supply chain and procurement. His previous work experience includes roles at DuPont, Tyco, Invensys, Raytheon Corp., and United Technologies.

George S. Synodi

George Synodi was named vice president for finance and treasurer at the University of New Haven in October 2002 and has served as the University’s chief financial officer for the entirety of Dr. Kaplan’s leadership.

Adriana Trigiani ’06 Hon. Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of 18 books in fiction and nonfiction and an award-winning playwright, television writer/ producer, and filmmaker. She is a close, longtime friend of Steve and Anemone Kaplan.

Bradley D. Woodworth, Ph.D. Brad Woodworth is an associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences. He began teaching at the University shortly after Dr. Kaplan arrived as president.


From the Alumni Association

An Amazing Vision

Dear University of New Haven Alumni and Families,

Another year with new opportunities is ahead of us. Recognizing Chancellor Kaplan and the transformation the University has undergone under his presidential leadership honors the value of change and the amazing prospects that have come with that strategy, including the chance to learn from the past and embrace new ideas as we empower the next generation.

As the University has gone through change, so too have the Alumni Board of Directors and Office of Alumni Relations. In looking for the best way to align with the evolution of the University, we have restructured our board to support three key areas — networking, advocacy, and philanthropy. To further support this realignment, the board has reviewed and made changes to our governing documents. I thank those from the Alumni Board of Directors who have supported this effort.

An additional board objective is succession and sustainability, and we have been working on how best to allow continuous, uninterrupted service as members transition on and off the board. This year, we will roll out a succession plan that will allow members the time to make a significant impact on the areas they are passionate about and effectively hand over their work as change occurs.

This will be my last letter to you as your Alumni Board of Directors president. It has been my honor to be a part of this transformation and show my support to our ever-evolving University. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of our history and for our shared memories. The University of New Haven is a different experience for each of us. I am forever grateful to the University and our alumni for the opportunity to become who I am today.

Thank you, Chancellor Kaplan, for delivering such an amazing vision.


President Dawn Alderman ’99, ’03 M.S.

Vice President

Reece Gleadle ’14

Secretary Meghan Kelly ’10, ’13 M.S.

Treasurer Eric St. Amand ’15

. Djuana Beamon ’08 MBA

. Scott Brazis ’83

. Pasquale Cassella ’94 M.S.

. Joseph Cieplak ’72

. Chrissy Falcha ’09 M.A.

Frank Harper ’79, ’85 M.S., ’85 MBA


Miki Katz ’98 MBA/MPA

. Darryl Mack ’91

. Christopher McWilliams ’93

. George Melanson ’83

. Lindsay Melanson ’13

. Leah Myers ’18

Nicole Pacapelli ’14, ’16 MBA

Ronald Pierce II ’16

Ben Robert ’81, ’83 MBA

. Michael Spaziani ’99

. Richard Steeves ’77, ’80 MBA

. Michelle Stephens ’17

. Colin Weber ’17






University of New Haven Alumni Association

“Recognizing Chancellor Kaplan and the transformation the University has undergone under his presidential leadership honors the value of change and the amazing prospects that have come with that strategy, including the chance to learn from the past and embrace new ideas as we empower the next generation.”

Today, we honored Jeffery Hazell ’83 for his incredible investment in Charger Athletics. A former student-athlete, Jeff’s $3 million gift will support the renovation of the University’s gymnasium, which was dedicated the Jeffery P. Hazell Athletics Center. Jeff, thank you for all you do for our student-athletes and for Charger Nation! #UNewHavenAlumni #ChargerNation

The Charger Connection

You liked it, you loved it, and you wanted some more of it! Read on to learn about some of the most sharable moments from the 2022–2023 academic year posted to the Alumni Association’s Instagram page.

Excited to celebrate our students’ many achievements tonight at the @unewhaven #WinterGradGala!

How many professors, alumni, and Charger fans can you spot?

Thank you to everyone who came out to yesterday's game as we cheered on the Chargers, recognized professors from the School of Health Sciences and College of Arts and Sciences, and helped support the @pinkcloverfoundation.

#UNewHavenAlumni #ChargeOn

Follow @unewhavenalumni to connect with your fellow 64,000+ Charger alumni family members and stay up-to-date on what’s happening on campus and in Charger Nation.

On Saturday, January 21, a $5,273 donation was presented to the @unewhavenwbb team in memory of Niketa Harris. Niketa was a U New Haven basketball power forward known for her dominant play in the paint during her years as a Charger. Niketa passed away at the age of 41. This donation is to remember the legacy and the impact that Niketa had on her Charger family.

Please join us in congratulating those professors who were honored this afternoon at the Recognition Ceremony for Named Chairs and Professorships!  (Jacob F. Buckman Endowed Chair and Professorship; Dr. Henry C. Lee Chair in Forensic Science; John R. Gehring Endowed Professorship; Lawrence and Stephanie Flanagan Professorship in Business Analytics; Smerd Family Professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Stewart Professorship in Criminal Justice and Community Policing)

A match made on campus. We’re celebrating Charger love connections that started here!

Pictured left: Elizabeth (Terranova) Lagrotteria ’90 and Joseph Lagrotteria ’77, ’80 MBA. Want to share your U New Haven love story?

DM us or head over to @unewhavenalumni’s story to submit a class note and tell us how you met.




A diverse group of alumni returned to the University of New Haven to reconnect with one another and with the University as part of Homecoming 2022.

Fans cheered on the Chargers football team, who triumphed over rival Franklin Pierce with a final

score of 50-6, with performances by the University’s marching band and dance team.

Homecoming was also an opportunity for visitors to tour the University’s growing campus and learn more about the important work taking place and the many


exciting opportunities available to current students. WNHU, the University’s award-winning radio station; the David A. Beckerman Recreation Center; and the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion hosted open houses.


Back to Campus

Jeffrey Hamilton ’07 MBA, general manager of Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino, hosted students from the Pompea College of Business Hospitality and Tourism Management program for a business pitch competition.

Ben Robert ’81, ’83 MBA, a passionate advocate for youth hockey and member of the Alumni Board of Directors, spoke to Dr. Ceyda Mumcu’s sports management class. Robert said, “Having my coach in the audience and some of my teammates was meaningful. At the end of the day, it’s the people who really matter.”

Frank Martire ’77 MBA has partnered with the Pompea College of Business and faculty member David Sacco to create a student-driven investment fund. Martire meets regularly with students via Zoom to hear their progress and offer his advice.

Eric St. Amand ’15, treasurer of the Alumni Board of Directors, spoke with students about his passion for supporting his alma mater. Amand explained how philanthropy from alumni, parents, and friends impacts the Charger experience.

Members of Charger Nation celebrated and reconnected with alumni for Black and Latino Alumni Weekend 2023, highlighted by the Sankofa Ball and the Black Student Union 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Office of Alumni Relations

Dean’s Excellence Funds

Each of the University’s five academic schools and colleges now has a Dean’s Excellence Fund to provide additional financial support to students as they strive for success. Your gift will make a

Regional Alumni Networks

direct impact on initiatives such as student mentorship; experiential learning opportunities; diversity, equity, and inclusion programming; and much more.

Visit give.newhaven.edu to make your gift today and support student success.

Interested in helping the Alumni Association grow our alumni network? Contact Andy Beardsley, associate director of alumni networks and affinity programs, at abeardsley@newhaven.edu to learn how you can help us engage with Charger Nation through regional events and networking opportunities.

Don’t Be a Stranger!

Make sure you receive invitations and information about our events and other alumni updates. Visit newhaven.edu/ alumni/updateinformation to update your information with the Office of Alumni Relations or to submit Class Notes for use on the website, on social media, or in the monthly alumni e-newsletter.

Brittany Stanchak Senior Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Events bstanchak@newhaven.edu Jennifer Pjatak Executive Director for Alumni Relations and Special Events jpjatak@newhaven.edu Andrew Beardsley Associate Director of Alumni Networks and Affinity Programs abeardsley@newhaven.edu


Talking To

Ann Cox ’83: Out of This World

When Ann Cox ’83 was a junior in high school, her physics teacher told her about a summer education program for high-school students that piqued her interest. It served as an introduction to engineering, and Cox would go on to work in several areas within the field throughout her distinguished career.

A project manager for Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Cox has degrees in civil and structural engineering, as well as a license in mechanical engineering. Passionate about hands-on testing and experimentation, she has focused on aerospace for most of her career, working across the country and internationally on spacecraft that have gone to the moon, Mars, and, even, a comet.

As an undergraduate student at the University of New Haven, Cox chose to study civil engineering. She liked the structural aspect of it and enjoyed building things — which she did as part of her senior project that focused on bridges. Cox says the project was a terrific opportunity — one that many students at the time did not have — and she is grateful for the hands-on opportunities and real-world faculty expertise.

After beginning her career at Louis Berger International in Manhattan, she got a call from Rockwell International, a major manufacturing conglomerate that was involved in the aircraft and space industries. Interested in her structural and stress-analysis expertise, they wanted her to work on space shuttle engines. She accepted their offer and moved to California.

Cox describes her position as “fun and exciting,” though it was also demanding. She and her colleagues worked mandatory 60-hour, six-day workweeks. Within three years, she was promoted to lead engineer, her new colleagues graduates of institutions such as MIT and Stanford.

It was the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger in January 1986 that changed the trajectory of Cox’s and her colleagues’ work. No longer building new engines, they were now focused on failure investigation and analysis. Eager to continue working in the aerospace industry, Cox wanted to be at the forefront of building and testing. She’d found her passion.

Cox took the opportunity to earn her master’s degree in structural engineering from UCLA and moved back into the aerospace industry, where she focused on unmanned missions.

While working for Aerojet Rocketdyne, she continued to focus on the space shuttle. Though she hadn’t yet reached her 30th birthday, she’d already had some particularly exciting opportunities to work on the space shuttle directly. When something was found at the testing facility that could impact the launch, her colleagues turned to her expertise.

Though launches were exciting, Cox was ready to try something new. She began working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech. That, she says, is where she got to do some “very interesting” work on unmanned missions.

Cox began working on a small Mars-bound rover as a member of the entry, descent, and landing team. The rover, which was “about the size of a breadbox,” was to land and drive on the Red Planet — something that had never been done before — and travel for the testing process brought her to Utah and Cleveland.

Later on, Cox accepted a position as a chief engineer on an international project with the European Space Agency. She began working on one of two comet landers that would go into space on the Rosetta space probe.

Eventually, Cox, a native of Connecticut, returned to the East Coast. She began working as a thermal engineer at Orbital Sciences in Virginia, where her projects included developing thermal blankets and tiles for the shuttle.

After proposing her ideas to NASA, she earned the opportunity to work on a mission called Dawn, a space probe that was the first to orbit two bodies (Vesta and Ceres, protoplanets in the asteroid belt). The spacecraft, which used ion engines, resembled something from science fiction — such as the “twin ion engine” or “TIE” fighters in Star Wars — but this spacecraft was real, and it broke several records. The team received the National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s highest group honor, for their work.

Now at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Cox has worked on a spacecraft that will go to Jupiter’s moon Europa, as well as the Lunar Vertex as part of a mission back to the moon.

As a leader in her field, Cox also navigated the challenges of being a woman in an industry that has long been male-dominated. She says she was typically the only female in her classes as an undergraduate and graduate student. While she says the field remains mostly male, being one of the only women helped her learn to figure things out for herself. Her performance, results, and ideas also spoke for themselves.

Dedicated to sharing her passion for engineering and aerospace with the scientists of the future, Cox particularly enjoys speaking with elementaryand middle-school students. She wants them to know that engineering can be fun and exciting. Whether she is helping them to build rockets and launch them on the playground or discussing her day-to-day work, she says sharing her passion with them is rewarding and meaningful.

By Renee Chmiel
Ann Cox ’83 (far right) worked on the Mars Pathfinder lander and rover.

A Historic Season

The 2022–2023 Chargers Men’s Basketball Team won the East Region title and punched their ticket to the Elite Eight Division II Men’s Basketball Championship in Evansville, Indiana, with a victory over the Bentley Falcons in March. This is the first team in program history to reach the Elite Eight. The magical season ultimately came to an end a couple of wins shy of a national championship but with some history and plenty of memories that will last a lifetime for the University of New Haven Men’s Basketball Team. The University of New Haven finished the season with a 23-11 record. The 23 wins are the most in head coach Ted Hotaling’s 13 seasons at the University of New Haven and the most since the 1987–1988 squad went 26-5.


Charger Roundup

Dedicating the Hazell Athletics Center

University of New Haven leaders, alumni, and athletic supporters gathered for a ceremony on Saturday, October 8, to dedicate the Charger Athletics Center in honor of Jeffery P. Hazell ’83, ’10 Hon., in recognition of his $3 million donation that is serving as the lead gift for the renovation of Charger Gymnasium, the signature space in what will be named the Hazell Athletic Center.

Hazell; Chancellor Steven H. Kaplan; Interim President Sheahon Zenger, Ph.D.; Board of Governors Chair Charles Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon.; and student-athletes spoke as part of the ceremony.

The University announced earlier this year that Hazell, a linebacker on the Chargers football team in the early 1980s, made this generous commitment to support the renovation of Charger Gymnasium, which is home to the University’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams and hosts largescale University and community programs.

The donation will support renovated locker rooms for all varsity sports, increased seating capacity and new viewing areas in the arena, additional team meeting space and coaches’ offices, and an upgraded lobby honoring past Charger greats and championship teams.

In front of a packed house at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven, the University of New Haven Department of Athletics inducted its 36th class to the Athletics Hall of Fame. Inductees included Tom Bell (football head coach, 1976–82); Niketa Harris (women’s basketball, 1998–02); Evan Okon (baseball, 2006–09); Brian Smith (men’s basketball, 1987–91); and Ada Udaya (women’s track & field, 2010–15). Harris was inducted posthumously following her passing in 2021.

With this most recent class, the Athletics Hall of Fame is now composed of 191 individuals and one team (1987 Women’s Basketball National Championship Team). The Athletics Hall of Fame Committee accepts nominations year-round (NewHavenChargers.com/ HallofFame). The next Hall of Fame Class will be inducted in the spring of 2024.

“I get great satisfaction being able to give back to my alma mater so that current students can have the same opportunities I had. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the University of New Haven. As a Charger, I believe ‘championship DNA’ is in my blood. I am proud to be able to help the University continue to help students become successful.”
(From Left) Tom Bell, Ada Udaya, Brian Smith, Niketa Harris’s parents, and Evan Okon.

Chargers Appoint New Men’s Soccer Coach

Jon Mays, interim athletic director, named Thomas Mattera the 16th head coach in the history of the Chargers men’s soccer program. Mattera comes to West Haven following a twoyear stint as the head coach at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

In his two seasons on the shores of the Hudson River, Mattera saw unprecedented success, leading Mount Saint Vincent to its firstever Skyline Conference Championship in 2021, returning to the field for the first time following the COVID-19 shutdown. In addition to the conference championship, the Dolphins concluded Mattera’s first season at the helm with the most wins in program history (14), earned the program’s first berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and secured the first-ever win over a top-10 program, defeating No. 7 New York University, all leading to Mattera being named the Skyline Conference Coach of the Year.

Last season, Mattera led the Dolphins to a second-straight winning season, with a 7-6-3 overall record, advancing to the conference championship for the second consecutive year. Overall, in his two seasons at Mount Saint Vincent, the Dolphins racked up a record of 21-8-5 while he led eight players to All-Skyline Conference accolades and coached the Skyline Rookie of the Year in both of his seasons leading the program.

Title IX Turns 50

With June 23, 2022, marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX, it has been a year of celebrating the early trailblazers who first began to work toward gender equity in sports, laying the foundation for future generations of female student-athletes. A look at any of the rosters of the University of New Haven sports teams will find players who had parents who took part in intercollegiate athletics and passed their love of sports to their children, including mothers who paved the way for their daughters. One mother-daughter pair, in particular, stands out. Women’s volleyball freshman, Evelyn Kay Girard, is following directly in her mother’s footsteps. Girard’s mother, Christy (Molyet) Girard, played volleyball at U New Haven from 1990 to 1992.

The 2023 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence

The University of New Haven has been named as a finalist for the prestigious NCAA Division II Award of Excellence. It was selected by the Division II StudentAthlete Advisory Committee for the third time in the institution’s history. The award recognizes initiatives that colleges and universities have taken in the past year that encourage community engagement through student-athlete leadership. The 22 finalists selected for the 2023 honor were specifically cited for their creativity in advancing relationships within their communities. As a finalist, the University will receive $500 to be used toward future community engagement initiatives.

The University was honored for its Make-A-Wish initiative, Anthony’s Wish Reveal, which was made possible through a virtual fundraising campaign across department and team social media platforms. The University has been a top-five Make-A-Wish donation-generating department in the country for the past two years. The reveal, granting Anthony’s wish for a pool, took place at a U New Haven football game during the 2022 season. The event included an unforgettable day for Anthony as an honorary member of the team and a special message of support during the halftime presentation from former New York Giant and two-time Super Bowl Champion, Chris Snee.


Peak Performance

The 31,000-square-foot Peterson Performance Center officially opened its doors for student-athletes and the Charger Athletics community in Spring 2023. Pictured here, a 7,000-square-foot performance center — including 20 Olympic weightlifting racks and a 60-yard turf field — is a key highlight in the new building. Other highlights include a 1,500-square-foot sports medicine center; a 2,500-square-foot football locker room (allowing for renovations to the lower level of Charger Gymnasium, providing updated locker rooms for all other varsity sports); and a designated multipurpose team meeting room for team study halls, official team meetings and film study, Charger Athletics staff meetings, and recruiting visits and special events. Staff estimates that the weight room, sports medicine center, and team meeting space combined will be programmed for use seven days per week for an average of 10 to 12 hours per day, making it one of the most heavily trafficked facilities on campus. All 500+ student-athletes across 20 varsity sports will benefit from the new facility, transforming how Charger student-athletes train, recover, and perform.

(Left) Evelyn Kay Girard proudly wears No. 6 for the Blue and Gold. (Right) Top right, Christy (Molyet) Girard with her Charger teammates. Christy played at U New Haven from 1990 to 1992.
View full season recaps, read the latest in Charger Athletics news, visit the Fan Zone, shop the Sideline Store, make a gift of any size to support the #ChargeOn Campaign, and more at newhavenchargers.com

Anemone and Steven Kaplan Hall

Student Centered PERSPECTIVE


The renovation of Anemone and Steven Kaplan Hall aims to create a welcoming environment for prospective students that reflects the dynamic, engaging, and pragmatic paths of discovery across the University’s programs and disciplines that uniquely position students for success.


The University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions welcomes 3,000 guests to our open houses and more than 2,400 visitors to our information sessions each recruitment year. Unfortunately, due to space limitations within Anemone and Steven Kaplan Hall, these events occur at other campus locations. A centralized and dedicated space would keep the

University competitive with our peer institutions and allow us to attract and retain ambitious and passionate students.

This renovation project includes:

Redesigned reception area (2,300 square feet)

Expanded group information space (2,600 square feet)

New patio space adjacent to our Charger statue (500 square feet)

To support this exciting project with a gift of any size, visit give.newhaven.edu

To learn more about specific naming opportunities, contact Brian Otis, vice president for university advancement, at botis@newhaven.edu

Visit newhaven.edu/homecoming or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@newhaven.edu for more details. We can’t wait to see you there! Save the Date! Homecoming Weekend 2023 · #TheBlueout · October 13–15 Alumni Magazine 300 Boston Post Road West Haven, CT 06516

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.