Alumni Association Nominees

Thank you for taking the time to vote for the newest members of the Southern Connecticut State University Alumni Association Board of Directors. Voting must be completed by midnight on Friday, May 29th at 11:59 p.m. to ensure they will be counted. Please carefully review all information and make your selections for up to ten (10) board members.

Cast Your Vote

Trevor Ford, ’05

Trevor is honored to be nominated for the SCSU Alumni Association Board. While at Southern, he played on the football team, served as publicity chair for Programs Council, served as President of Black Student Union, founded an organization called Men About Business, and joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. He is currently a Judicial Marshal with the state of Connecticut and owner of Ignite Enterprise LLC. As a husband, father of 2 daughters and business owner, it would be a great pleasure to honor his place of matriculation with his service.

Madison Correia ’19

Madison serves as the Head Coach of the SCSU Dance Team. In the community, she is a Special Education Teacher from 5-8th graders in New Haven at Clinton Avenue School. Madison is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Special Education concentrating in Learning Disabilities, and plans on extending her education to a future doctorate. Madison is a part of the Kappa Delta Pi honor society and the NASET organization.

Collin Walsh ’08

Collin Walsh’s tenure with the U.S. Department of State began with an appointment to the Foreign Service as a Diplomatic Security Special Agent. He now serves as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, where his work spans the fields of national security, intelligence, and counterterrorism. Prior to joining the Department, Collin served as a Police Officer in Milford, Connecticut and taught law courses as an attorney-instructor to police officer recruits. As an undergraduate, Collin served as a White House intern, earned N.C.A.A. All-American honors in track-and-field, and graduated magna cum laude. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where he studied abroad and completed several internships, all in India, and was awarded the U.S. Department of State’s “Critical Language Scholarship” to study Bangla in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Shermaine Edmonds ’04, MBA ’07

Shermaine A. Cooke-Edmonds, B.S. ‘04, MBA ’07, immigrated to Hamden, CT USA, in 1998 from the Nature Isle of the Caribbean – Dominica (not Dominican Republic).  She is the Owner of S.A.C. Events Planning Services for over 15 years, Realtor and teacher.  Shermaine enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University as an adult learner and began employment at SCSU in 2001, and currently serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. 

Affectionately known across SCSU as “Mama Sherms” for her role as the Caribbean Students Association advisor - the strict but understandable advisor is also Mom away from home and life coach all in one. 

Daniel Hajducky ’11

Dan is a reporter/researcher at ESPN in the Digital Storytelling Group and contributes to ESPN FC, espnW and International. The DSG was formed in late 2019 when ESPN The Magazine ceased printing; while Hajducky was with the magazine, they won the 2018 Folio Award for Magazine of the Year as well and the 2017 ASME Ellie Award for Genera Excellence, News, Sports and Entertainment.  Prior to ESPN, Hajducky worked at WWE and Moffly Media in editorial capacities and contributed to a number of newspapers and websites.  He was at SCSU from 2009-2011, receiving a BA in Professional Writing and Media Studies. He attended Fordham University from 2009-2011. He played on the men’s soccer teams at both schools and was SCSU’s men’s soccer SAAC representative in 2010.

Kelly Hope ’03

Dr. Kelly Hope is a true owl at heart! While at Southern, she served the community as a member of the Black Student Union, joined the historical Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., was a tremendous student leader as a Resident Advisor, and eventually became an administrator on campus in the capacity of a Residence Hall Director. She then went on to obtain her doctorate degree and was an administrator at Housatonic Community College before accepting a role as an ELA High School teacher in New Haven.

Travis Meyer ’04

Travis came to SCSU to play football, but after a year as a backup quarterback, he focused his efforts on creative writing. He was the 2002 winner of the Eve Cummings Prize for Fiction and his work was published in Folio, SCSU’s art and literary magazine. After graduating in 2004, Travis has spent his entire career as an educator in urban districts and magnet schools — most recently accepting a position as an Assistant Principal at Hartford Public High School.  He is also known across New England as a highly respected quarterback trainer. Along with running camps and presenting at coaching clinics, Travis has done freelance work for ESPN. His tutelage over the years has led to several of his players going on to perform at the college and pro level. Travis takes the greatest pride in the family he has built with his wife, Christina. They currently live in Rocky Hill where the majority of their time is spent raising their two energetic young boys.

Renee Barnett-Terry ’76

Renee excited about the opportunity to continue her service as an Alumni Association Board Member by working to build a strong Alumni Association which supports University efforts, the SCSU Office of Alumni Relations and current Owls on campus. As a proud Owl, she wishes to see the development of SCSU alumni networks across the country to further connect alumni locally, regionally and nationally.  As a former Resident Advisor in Wilkinson Hall and undergraduate student leader alongside my fellow students, we created many bonds and relationships with faculty, staff, and other students which we will never forget. With over 30 years of experience in higher education leadership, Renee wishes to contribute her expertise, experience and energy in making our SCSU alumni family grow even stronger, reconnect with one another and making us all more proud to be Owls!

Dennis Rivenburgh ’79

Dennis has spent the bulk of his career in the sports medicine industry in various roles, from athletic training, to Program Director, to professor at various prestigious institutions, such as John Hopkins, and most recently as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, the state in which he currently resides.

Secrett Hampton ’03

Secrett is a loving, attentive parent of a 12-year old, and she currently works for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. She is also scheduled to complete her MBA this upcoming Autumn. Secrett would love to be a representative for her class and others, as she exemplifies a part of the SCSU student body that has gone on to be contributing members of their respective communities.  She will be a positive, dedicated member to the board and is enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve.

Albert Ruggiero ’70, MA ’94

Albert is a secondary education major who worked the bulk of his career as an educator in the Bridgeport School System as a high school history and psychology teacher, as well as an adjunct professor of history at the University of UConn (Storrs Campus).  Prior to settling into education, Albert worked as a General Manager for major food chains in the Hartford area.  His love for music is on display when he plays for the Milford and Stratford Concert bands, and the renowned Milford Senior Center band, “The Notables”.  Albert is most proud of the ladies in his life – his daughter and two lovely granddaughters.

Shannon (Nolan) Goetze ’96, MS ’97

Shannon is an elementary school teacher in West Haven CT.  Prior to becoming a teacher, she was the Director of Advancement with the Girl Scouts of Housatonic, providing her with valuable experience in non-profit sector, and management.  Originally from Suffield CT, she currently lives in West Haven with her husband Greg and two sons, age 17 and 13.

Karl “Stephen” Wilson ’02

Former Black Student Union President, Stephen is currently an 8th Grade History Teacher at Achievement First Hartford Summit. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Southern where he majored in Social Work, and is currently finishing up his Masters of Social Work degree at University of Saint Joseph. Serving his community well, Stephen was a recipient of the 100 Men of Color award in 2015, honoring positive minority males in the New England area who are bringing hope to their communities through service, and is actively engaged in his community through volunteer work with underprivileged young men of color. Stephen also is a certified Youth Life Coach and seeks to support the needs of youth and young adults by breaking down barriers and providing them with tools to be successful. His values are grounded in faith, service, education and community. 

Sarah Gardocki ’17

Sarah is the Director of Operations of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven. A graduate of the history program at SCSU, she hopes to encourage recent graduates to examine how the skills they learned in their majors can translate into real world career markets. Sarah credits SCSU with giving her the opportunities to be a leader, an independent thinker, and a strong voice for social justice. During her time at SCSU she was actively involved in many student organizations and re-established Phi Alpha Theta, the honor society for history majors and minors. Serving as its first President after it was reestablished, she created a faculty speaker series. As a recent graduate, Sarah believes she can bring a fresh perspective to the Alumni Associate Board of Directors and relay some of the concerns and messages of other young alumni.

 

Meredith (DePaola) Minnocci ’99

Meredith graduated from SCSU with a B.S. in Political Science, and from the University of New Haven with an M.S. in Labor Relations in 2004, working for the State of CT as an Agency Labor Relations Specialist.  She’s a proud graduate who enjoyed her years at Southern.  She became involved in all aspects of student life such as, Student Government, President of the Minority Business Association, Pre-Law Society, Zeta Delta Epsilon, and choir. Meredith would be honored to have the opportunity to serve the students and alumni as a Board Member.

Valencia (McLeain) Goodridge MBA ’91

Valencia is a native of Bridgeport, CT who relocated to the Greater New Haven area over 25 years ago. she is committed to advocacy for gender equity in >areas of healthcare, education and economic empowerment. She is the president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. (NCBW), New Haven Metropolitan Chapter in addition to serving on several non-profit boards throughout the Greater New Haven Area.  Valencia is also an adjunct professor at Gateway Community College and a Real Estate professional at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Some awards/accolades include a 2018 NAACP 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut, 2019 Community Service Award from the Elm City Club of NANBPWC, 2017 Connecticut 100 Women of Color award, among several others. Valencia is a member of the Bethel AME Church of New Haven.

Haley Sofiane MBA ’16

Haley received her MBA from SCSU in 2016 and completed her undergraduate studies at Fairfield University (Magna Cum Laude). She is the Senior vice President of Performance Optimization at CareCentrix. managing the claims, billing and cash operations for their national provider network. Prior to CareCentrix, Haley was with Anthem BCBS for 14 years, last serving as the VP of Provider Experience nationally. Before joining Anthem, Haley was a consultant with Accenture.  In addition to her MBA, Haley completed a certificate program in Health Management at Yale University. Haley is trained as a Six Sigma Black Belt and a Project Management Professional. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Mu Delta national honors societies. Haley serves on the Board of the Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club, in addition to several other boards and committees in her community.  Haley lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children and enjoys watching her children play competitive sports, reading and traveling.

Teresa Sirico 70, MS '73

Teresa Sirico is a past President of the SCSU Alumni Association (2014-2016) and is running for re-election to the board. She served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2005-2009, 2010-2016, 2017-2020, including one year as Vice President and several years as board Secretary. She makes it a point to attend as many events, committee meetings, and activities as possible. Teresa’s degrees are in political science. She is a local Realtor, Educator, author in the area of real estate, and an expert witness in real estate legal matters. She has been a Past President, Realtor of the Year, and Educator of the Year for the Greater New Haven Association of Realtors. She is also a member of the State Board of Directors. Teresa has demonstrated her commitment to Southern with a scholarship in gerontology in honor of her parents Louis and Joan Sirico, as well as helping establishing and supporting the AAA Fund, which was created to help students in need. Teresa has also established a fund at the New Haven Community Fund to assist the elderly.

Andrew “Mo” Marullo ’10, MS ’14

Andrew Marullo graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and received a Master's degree from SCSU in 2014, and is currently the Coordinator for Campus Recreation and Fitness at the University.  He has also served on the Board of Directors for the New Haven Rugby Club for the past 8 years, and remains actively involved by engaging with Rugby alumni regularly, and coordinating an annual Rugby Golf tournament to garner financial support for the program.

Bryan Sapione ’19

Bryan is a strong leader and marketing professional, having demonstrated a history of working in higher education, non-profit and profit sectors. His experiences have shaped his skillset in strategic campaigning, trend analysis, social media marketing, email marketing and volunteer management. He has most recently served as a board member at the Valley YMCA and has led Annual Giving campaign initiatives. In 2019, Bryan completed a B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing - and minored in Art History.  While at Southern, he was a Resident Advisor, Peer Mentor, Elanor Jenson Scholarship recipient and co-founded the 1st Undergraduate Chapter of Conscious Capitalism in the country. In his free time, he is a baseball coach that enjoys giving back to the community through volunteerism.

Dawn Blizzard MS ’12

Dawn will always hold SCSU close as her experience was very positive. Her signature was amongst those that contributed to the creation of the Master’s Program in Women’s Studies. She would like to give back and contribute to a positive experience for students in the future.

Montrel Morrison ’18

Montrel has served in the greater New Haven community since the age of 10 years old, working in faith-based, non-profit and government organizations. He is also an award-winning Mentor in New Haven County, and the Founder/CEO of Daniel’s Company Youth Leadership Mentoring Organization. While an undergraduate student, he was active in several organizations which include the NAACP, a founding member of BROSE (Brotherhood, Scholarship and Excellence), and a member of the Multicultural Leadership and Heritage Ball Councils. As a candidate for the Alumni Board of Directors I plan on utilizing my skillsets to advance, advise and advocate for our fellow Alumni and all students currently still enroll at Southern. One of my top priorities as an Alumni Board of Director is to continue to be a voice for the student –body at SCSU and help create a mentoring- alliance between Alumni and students who are in their undergrad studies.

Jodi Hill-Lilly ’88, MS '94

Jodi graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work, and is proud of the foundational learning obtained from both of her degrees from Southern and she particularly appreciated the experience of writing a thesis.  That experience advanced her perspectives, skills and critical thinking in a significant way.  She has a rich amount of experience in the field of social work (32 years), largely in child protective services and currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner of Administration at the Department of Children and Families.  Along the way, she gained significant national experience as a consultant, trainer and coach, recently receiving the “Distinguished Career Achievement Award” from the National Staff Development and Training Association, and was nominated for a “100 Woman of Color” award in CT. 

 

David Knapp ’75, MS ’81

David Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Connecticut with over twenty years of experience.  He is a past member of the Board of Aldermen for the City of Ansonia for ten years, and served on the several committees in that capacity: School Building, Economic Development, Finance/Budget, Inland/Wetlands, Conservation, Housing Authority, Public Works, Land Use, Salary, Charter Revision and Ordnance.  David was past board member of the Ansonia Housing Authority, as well as chairman of Training, Education and Manpower (TEAM) in Derby, CT.

Francesco “Frank” Biancamano ’99

Frank is a serial entrepreneur, innovator, sales professional and sports enthusiast with an eye for inventions. He received his honors degree in sports medicine and exercise physiology all while finding time to star in football and track & field for the Owls. Frank took his talents to the pro ranks, playing 6 years in the NFL, NFL Europe, XFL and AFL before hanging up his cleats.  As a self-taught "Tech Junkie”, he founded several successful business outlets including the inventor of the Ghostick Case, a fully licensed product, and one "Company Exit". He is also the CEO of Biancamano Ventures and holds a position at Emery•Jensen Distribution as a Sales Executive in New York.

Molly Ferguson ’06

Molly transferred in her sophomore year as a theatre major. She started her professional career as a traffic reporter, which came to fruition from an internship at KC101 in the summer of 2003. She then had a decade-long career at a local consulting firm in higher education, holding several positions from temporary associate to a corporate event planner. Currently she’s a meeting and events planner for the Connecticut Education Association, managing many training sessions, Representative Assemblies, and conferences for 40,000 public school teachers in Connecticut. Throughout her career she has especially leaned on one of my theatre professors for wisdom and guidance even though she has had a career outside of the field.  She’s even returned to SCSU to begin my MBA. Since graduating, Molly has attended many of the lecture series events, participated in Alumni Professionals Day, and of course has continued to see the many productions SCSU still hosts.

Sandy (Hittleman) Myerson ’69

Sandy is a current board member who is interested in continuing on the board. She resides in Kirkland, Washington, and graduated with her degree in Physical Education, Science & Math from Southern, and received her Master’s degree from the University of Michigan with degree in Physiology of Exercise & Biostatistics. While at Southern, Sandy put the school on the map her freshman year due to her performance at the women’s swimming nationals, and two years later the women’s swim team was formed. Sandy taught for several years in Connecticut and California, including supervising student teachers at Southern. While in California she learned computers, and shortly after opened a computer business, where she taught, trained and computerized medical, dental, legal, and financial industries, as well as working with the Daytona Int’l Speedway. Sandy is now semi-retired, and in her free time volunteers at a local hospital teaching various aspects of Excel to social workers, psychologists, nurses, etc. and do statistical analysis of the clinical trials in the Cancer Center for the physicians, and has written a guide to help everyone, “Elder Care Assistance: A Practical Guide Covering Health, Financial and Legal Considerations”. As a result, she has appeared on the radio and TV around the country to speak. Sandy also has 50 knitting patterns that she have designed for adults & children available online that are sold around the world.

Esther Bobowick ’75

Esther is the Director of Professional Development Services at Cooperative Educational Services in Trumbull, CT. She believes strongly in access to higher education for all.  Certified in special education, school administration and human resources, she develops professional learning plans and collaborative adult learning programs. She supports school educators with strategies for innovative teaching, school change, building social capital and recruiting educators of color for Connecticut’s schools. She is a contributing author in the book Information Technology for Schools: Creating Practical Knowledge to Improve Student Performance. Serving on the SCSU Board would be a true honor and an opportunity to give back to her Alma mater.

Briana O’Neill MS ’13

Briana is a graduate of the M.S. program in Communication Disorders  at SCSU 13’ and a 3rd generation graduate of SCSU.  She currently serves as Co-Chair of the SCSU Boston Alumni Network with fellow Alum, Rob Simpson 83’. Briana adds value to the SCSU Boston Alumni by collaboratively, working  to enhance, diversify and celebrate The SCSU “Alumni Spirit” to the Greater Boston area through the organization of events to welcome alumni back to SCSU by highlighting the many activities SCSU Alumni offers including, Homecoming and its football game! 

As a candidate to the SCSU Alumni Board, Briana will strive to educate and advocate Alumni members to be active in volunteer service and donation to their Alma Mater, SCSU. Briana’s strengths are  further enhanced through her participation  in the American Speech Language & Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Leadership Cohort. Briana was one of 30 participants, selected across the nation, to study leadership topics focused on strategic thinking, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and the very timely, topic and relevant to today’s environment- virtual meetings with organizational leadership strategy. 

As a Board Member, Briana will use her many skill sets in leadership and organization to grow the SCSU Alumni Network exemplifying charitable and volunteer efforts.

Briana is the Co-Founder of Supercalifragilistic Speech Language Therapy, Inc., a Board Member of the Junior League of Boston, a Member of the League of Women Voters of Boston and holds a graduate certificate in Educational Leadership from UMass Boston ‘16, as well as, a Newlywed in 2018!

Susan Zarnowski ’11

Sue serves as the case manager for the Dean of Students at SCSU. Prior to her start at SCSU, she served as an Associate Director of Student Activities at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, and Director of Education and Learning at Alpha Gamma Delta Headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. Susan is currently pursuing her doctorate through an online program with the University of Southern California ('21) with her focus on the retention and persistence of first-generation low-income college students at public institutions. She is a long-time volunteer of Girls on the Run and Special Olympics, holding board roles for marketing, development, and/or finance for both organizations in Indiana, and continues to serve as a local, regional, and national presenter for over 10 fraternities and sororities in North America.

Nick Saraceni ’06

Nick is a 2006 graduate of the Southern Connecticut State University School of Business. He has leveraged his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree into a successful career at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company as a Senior Program Manager. Professionally, Nick is responsible for the cost, schedule, and technical execution of a United States Air Force based helicopter program. A 2018 Vertical Flight Society award winner, Nick is proud to help lead the advancement of next generation United States military aviation. In addition to his work at Sikorsky, Nick is also a licensed Connecticut (CT) Real Estate Broker who owns and operates a small, local real estate firm focused on CT based real estate investment. An avid sports fan, prior to his professional pursuits, Nick played football professionally in the Arena Football League. Passionate about leadership, he enjoys coaching and mentoring and volunteers time with the Knights of Columbus, Sons of the American Revolution, and local youth sports. His personal interests include cooking, reading and travel. Nick resides in Cheshire, with his wife Christa (SCSU ‘03, ‘05 & ‘06) and children Juliana and Michael.


 

Voting must be completed by midnight on Friday, May 29th at 11:59 p.m. to ensure they will be counted. Please carefully review all information and make your selections for up to ten (10) board members.

Cast Your Vote