2017 in Review: Alumni Success Stories

Alumni Hall on the campus of Saint Anselm College

2017 proved to be another memorable year for our Saint Anselm Alumni. In the past year, many have been recognized for their skills, talents and contributions to their respective fields. They’ve received awards and promotions, and were featured in the news for their success.

Take a look at some of the most memorable moments of 2017:

Alumni Association Recognizes 10 Recent Alumni

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In the second year of its 10 Under 10 program, the Saint Anselm College Alumni Association continues to celebrate and showcase the successes of young alumni who are already having a profound impact on their communities while positively influencing the future. This year, the recognition program highlighted recent graduates who are involved in impressive and meaningful work across a wide range of disciplines and vocations, including education, counseling, and service in the United States military.

2017 recipients:

  • Christopher Ahearn '08
  • Melissa DeLury '10
  • Courtney Gray Tanner '11
  • Aileen Hickey '13
  • Alexandra (Puglisi) Horton '11
  • Stephanie Kearsley Dahlberg '14
  • Michael McGee '14
  • Kathryn O’Loughlin '10
  • Kevin Powers '08
  • Cpt. Evan Weaver '10

Alumni Return to Hilltop for Reunion 2017

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Reunion 2017More than 600 alumni, family, and friends of Saint Anselm College converged on the Hilltop to celebrate and reconnect during the college's annual Reunion Weekend 2017. The classes of '67, '72, '77, '82, '87, '92, '97, 2002, 2007 and 2012 returned to campus on June 9-11 for three event-filled days of receptions, talks, tours, dinners, Mass, and a road race.

During Reunion Weekend college president Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo unveiled the new institutional Strategic Plan, Faith in the Future. The plan, which continues the work of the previous "Vision 2015," was crafted over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years, engaging members across the learning community and external stakeholders in an examination of the key college objectives for the next three to five years. In it, Saint Anselm College's distinctive approach and abiding commitment to educating the whole person for a full life of consequence and for transforming the world around him or her are emphasized. The document is guided by the fundamental premise that "The world needs more Anselmians." Read the full plan »

Patrice Russell '93, assistant vice president of alumni relations & advancement programming, says, "Something extraordinary happens when you bring alumni back to their forever home here on the Hilltop. Seeing alumni reconnect and reminisce with their classmates, and meet alumni from classes dating back to 1946, is special. It creates a unique sense of pride and community you can only experience during Reunion Weekend." Anselmians came from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii and represented alumni from as far back as the class of 1946.

Homecoming 2017 Brings Anselmians Home to the Hilltop

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Homecoming Weekend 2017

On October 13 – 15, Anselmians from near and far returned to the Hilltop, some for the first time since graduation, for Homecoming Weekend 2017.

To kick off Homecoming this year, Alumni Relations introduced Spirit Day, a new social media campaign in which students and alumni to wear ‘school pride’ items and post pictures online. Patrice Russell ’93, assistant vice president for alumni relations, said the inaugural Spirit Day on October 13 was successful and "hopefully will become a tradition that brings the whole Saint Anselm community together in a fun way."

From cheering on the Hawks in Grappone Stadium to celebrating the ordination of alumnus Fr. Stephen Lawson, O.S.B. ’08, alumni enjoyed the traditional fall weekend.

40 under Forty Inducts Two (more) Alumni

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Two alumni of Saint Anselm College are 2017 honorees in the Union Leader's annual "40 Under Forty," which recognizes forty New Hampshire citizens under 40 years of age for their professional and volunteer accomplishments.

Kathleen (Fitzgerald) Davidson, Esq. ’03 and Ann (Lewis) Fournier ’99 Ph.D., MS, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC and Assistant Professor of the nursing department at Saint Anselm, were honored in Concord, N.H. Davidson and Fournier’s achievements bring the number of Saint Anselm College alumni named to the “40 Under Forty” to ten in the past three years.

Saint Anselm Abbey Welcomes Alumni to Community

Father Stephen Brian Lawson, O.S.B. Ordained to the Priesthood

Fr. Stephen Lawson, O.S.B.Father Stephen (Brian) Lawson, O.S.B., a member of the Saint Anselm monastic community, was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, on Saturday, October 14 in the Saint Anselm Abbey Church.

The culmination of many years of monastic formation and four years of seminary training, Fr. Stephen’s ordination signifies his place in the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Originally from Holyoke, Massachusetts, Father Stephen graduated from Saint Anselm College in 2008 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Politics. Read the full story »

Brother Aloysius Sarasin Enters Novitiate

On Monday July 10, Mr. Ryan Sarasin was received into the novitiate and was clothed in the monastic habit. Abbot Mark gave him his religious name, Brother Aloysius. Brother Aloysius' patron is Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, patron saint of youth and students. Read the full story »

Simple Vows Professed by Brother Francis of Saint Anselm Abbey

Bro. Franics McCarty, O.S.B.Brother Francis Ryan McCarty, O.S.B., has professed temporary vows as a monk of Saint Anselm Abbey. On January 14, 2017, Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B. presented Brother Francis with the full monastic habit and a copy of the Rule of Saint Benedict.

Through his temporary profession of vows, Brother Francis begins his three-year "Juniorate" phase where he embraces the vows of the Order of St. Benedict: obedience, stability, and conversatio morum (fidelity to monastic life) as cited in chapter 58 of the Rule of St. Benedict. Upon completing three years and careful prayer and deliberation, he may petition the monastic community to profess solemn vows and become a permanent member of the monastic community.

Brother Francis, also known as Ryan McCarty from North Smithfield, Rhode Island, graduated from Saint Anselm College in 2010 with a degree in History and a certificate in Catholic Studies. Read the full story »

Dining Services Prepares For Thanksgiving Pie, Cheesecake Sale

Fresh baked apple pies await boxes

Although many students will bring laundry and a few textbooks home for the Thanksgiving break, Anselmians have a unique opportunity to bring something more: a freshly-baked pie and a five-pound homemade cheesecake. Since 2002, the college's Dining Services staff have prepared some 900 cheesecakes, 1,400 pies, and hundreds of tea breads and dinner rolls. The annual sale will run from Monday, November 20 to Wednesday, November 22 at Davison Dining Hall. Purchases can be made in the Davison Hall servery 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, and 7 a.m. – 10 a.m., Wednesday. You'll find the menu of available items (available first-come, first-served), along with prices below.

Bake shop staff work around-the-clock in the days leading up to the sale, with a carefully choreographed process of baking, garnishing and boxing items for sale, all while continuing to prepare the college's daily assortment of fresh breads, pastries, and desserts. "The time and care that goes into this project results in quality and perfection that cannot be found in too many other places," says Rosemary Stackpole, Director of Dining Services.

Head baker Nancy Whiteneck coordinates the days-long effort, ensuring the whole production stays on schedule, while pastry chef Kristie Archer oversees the "dressing" of the cheesecakes. Other staff assist in boxing, wrapping and constant re-stocking of items for sale in the servery area of Davison Hall.

Here are some historical milestones behind this tasteful event:

  • In 2002: The first pie sale was held in Davison Hall. Pies were the only item sold.
  • In 2004: One of the bakers suggested adding homemade cheesecakes to the sale. His vanilla bean cheesecake recipe is still used today.
  • In 2009: “Turkey bread” (dinner rolls baked in the shape of a turkey) was added to sale.
  • In 2012: Dining services introduced the sweet tea breads (banana bread, pumpkin bread).

Be sure to check out these delicious items, perfect for a Thanksgiving with family and friends alike!

Items and Prices:

Pies – $14.95

  • Apple Pie
  • Blueberry Pie
  • Fruits of the Forest Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie

Cheesecakes – $42.50 (Each five-pound, 10" cheesecake serves 16-20 people)

  • Blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Chocolate Chocolate Truffle
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla Bean
  • White Chocolate

Tea Breads – $10.95

  • Banana Chocolate Chip
  • Banana Walnut
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Pecan Streusel

Gobble, Gobble Rolls – $10.95

  • 18 Homemade dinner rolls baked in the shape of a turkey

"Snapshot," The 2017 Family Weekend Show

Family Weekend Show 2016 cast

What better way for families to witness the best parts of being an Anselmian than to see it performed on stage by some of our very own! During Family Weekend, the Anselmian Abbey Players will perform “Snapshot,” a musical produced entirely by students. The production follows various friend groups through “snapshots” of some of the unique, fun and quirky moments of student life on the Hilltop. 45 students are participating in this year's show, which features no specific lead characters, as everyone's role is considered equally significant.

Snapshot - the 2017 Family Weekend ShowAudience members will be treated to highlights of Saint Anselm College life as the cast participates in events ranging from the annual gingerbread house contest to senior formal, all while showcasing Anselmian-alterations of catchy songs we all know and love such as “Shutup and Dance” (Walk the Moon)  “Never Had A Friend Like Me” (Disney’s Aladdin) and “It’s Raining Men” (The Weather Girls).

Family Weekend Show

When: Friday, October 20 (8 p.m.) and Saturday, October 21 (2 p.m.)
Where: Dana Center
Tickets: $8 (available at the door)

View the full Family Weekend Schedule »

"This is such a fun show," says producer Garrett Meyer '18. "All of the students have put so much effort into the production, so we encourage anyone coming up for Family Weekend to take a look! These talented students have made producing this year's Family Weekend Show a great honor."

Creative Team:

  • Director, Writer, Co-Music Director: Kate Dugas '18
  • Producer: Garrett Meyer '18
  • Co-Music Director: Maria Sato '19
  • Co-Choreographers: Mackenzie Kewley '19 and Jenni Berglund '19

From Animal Behavior to Poetry in Hip-Hop: Unique 2017 Fall Courses

Students study and take notes

With the semester now well underway, we set out to learn more about some of the more unique courses being offered. In addition to the core curriculum and required courses within a major, many electives offer students an opportunity to explore topics of personal interest. From hip hop to astronomy, there's something for everyone to be found in the classroom this fall.

Students study and take notesAnimal Behavior: [BI 225] [Biology Department]

This course attracts the attention of animal-lovers with a semester-long research project at the Stoneham Zoo in Massachusetts. During the laboratory portion of the course, students visit the Zoo six-to-seven times throughout the semester to collect data on zoo animals. Previous students in this course have reviewed a plethora of topics ranging from dominance hierarchy in a group of Nigerian dwarf goats to gender differences in the levels of aggression displayed by Caribbean flamingos.

Not only is this a lab science course, but it is writing intensive as well. In an effort to improve the scientific writing of her students, Professor Lori LaPlante holds Project Conferences with her students which consist of a one-on-one meeting several times throughout the course of the semester to discuss progress and written drafts in conjunction with peer reviewed literature. Students are still given feedback on their research papers and scientific writing progress even at the conclusion of the semester when it is typically less popular to resubmit improved drafts and retain responses.

Being that Animal Behavior is one of her favorite courses to teach, Professor LaPlante elaborates, "I’ve also heard students say their zoo studies really allowed them to get a hands-on research experience – an experience that included all the challenges, frustrations, and eventual satisfaction that is so typical of field research"

Poetics of Hip Hop: [EN 153] [English Department]

This course puts a whole new spin on integrating popular culture into the field of academic inquiry. Geared towards non-English majors, this writing-intensive course is driven by reading, listening, writing, in-class discussions and the use of web-based tools inside the classroom. Outside the classroom, students are assigned Spotify playlists and introduced to sources such as Genuis.com, “Rap Stats,” WhoSampled.com, and more. This course may be labeled as especially unique due to the fact that it "excites students to be able to bring some of their own knowledge, experience, and expertise to the classroom with them" Professor Michael New discusses. As the semester progresses, students will have the opportunity develop a writing piece focusing on a particular album within its historical context, referring to lyrics, beats, liner notes images, contemporary reviews, and more. As the advisor for Saint Anselm’s literary magazine The Quatrain, Professor New encourages students to submit their poetry writings from the course or even perform with Lucubrations. After completing Poetics of Hip Hop, Professor New gives an explanation on what he hopes his students will come out of the class having accomplished:

“I would like students to understand hip-hop in its cultural contexts–as a youth movement developed from the need for an expressive form that spoke to their experiences and environment. I hope students see, too, how hip-hop represents an extension of African American literary and oral traditions. And finally, in addition to the oral emphasis of the music, I hope students find out how much great contemporary (page-based) poetry is being published right now. I hope that they begin to hear their favorite artists in new ways, to learn about precursors and current practitioners that resonate with them, and that they find the music, the history, and culture meaningful and relevant to their lived experience.”

Astronomy: [PS 101] [Physics Department]

Have you ever looked up at the sky on a starry night and pondered how those beautiful stars and planets function in the universe? Astronomy is a great place to start to begin answering some of those fascinating questions. Students analyze a broad range of topics ranging from how planets move around the solar system to the structure of our galaxy.

The lab component of Astronomy gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with telescopes outside the classroom at Saint Anselm’s observatory. This semester, there is the new addition of the honors project in which a number of select students complete a semester long honors project linking an aspect astronomy to another discipline. For example one student is relating astronomy to gender studies while another is political science.

Recently, Saint Anselm held an event at the observatory in conjunction with the New Hampshire Astronomical Society in which students and faculty participated in sky tours with those from the society. The event was especially engaging and are hoping to have more astronomical public events in the near future to involve Saint Anselm and the surrounding community alike. In discussing the course, Professor Nicole Gugliucci of the Physics department comments, “I want students to gain a newfound perspective or way of thinking about science and how science is done. The methods of how we’ve learned things about the sky, what kinds of telescopes and measurements are used, how we know what we know in astronomy”

ED 250: Integrating Art and Creativity into the Classroom [Education Department]

As the course syllabus describes, this elementary education course provides students with support as they develop the technical vocabulary and skills needed to read and critique various pieces of art within four artistic domains: visual arts, poetry, music, and drama. Professor Kelly E. Demers, Ph.D. describes how Saint Anselm preservice teachers are given the opportunity to engage in the practice of creating personal pieces of art at the same time they develop the interpretative skills needed to critique various artistic products by learning how to “read” a piece of visual art as a “text”.  

A unique attribution is the culminating project at the conclusion of the semester as students are assigned to choose a topic of significant interest to them and express the topic through a form of artistic expression. In past years, students have represented several engaging projects including choreographed dance pieces and hand-painting a landscape specifically relating to Monet and the concept of impressionism.  

Being a course heavily focused on enriching the hands-on explorations of various artistic modalities, students discuss and create projects in relation to assigned readings. Professor Demers believes that the instructor's role in this course is to “facilitate thinking and artistic exploration” resulting in very few class sessions dedicated to lecture.

From creating in-class dramas to performing “spoken-word” pieces, students are provided  the necessary theoretical, artistic, and practical knowledge to successfully integrate the arts across the elementary school curriculum. Professor Demers states, “The hope is that once students learn to see themselves as creative individuals who are capable of artistic expression, they will be better able to support help the artistic and creative needs of their future K-6 pupil”