Getting Engaged by Giving Back

At Goodwin, our volunteers, both student and alumni, willingly give their time and energy to create a bigger and brighter community.

The Crew, an elite group of passionate student volunteers, builds connections among students, the campus, and the community. Launched in October 2013, the Crew cultivates a sense of ownership and pride and empowers students to take a leadership role by creating lasting change.

Crew members conduct campus tours, speak to community groups and prospective students, and assist at ribbon cuttings, high school visits, orientations, graduation activities, ceremonies, and Goodwin College Foundation events. They help to recruit other students, promote campus activities, and provide support as needed by College administration.

“The Crew creates a sense of community at the College. Students no longer just come to class and go home. They invest their time, energy, passion, and love in the organization, which creates a shift in the identity and culture from a commuter school to a more traditional college,” noted Nicole Miller, Student Engagement Coordinator.

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The Crew is supervised by Vanessa Pergolizzi, Student Engagement Associate, and Marrie Ayub, Program Assistant for Student Services. Together they hope to create and grow a solid group of individuals who make positive changes within the College and beyond.

“Crew members are more than just volunteers, they are student ambassadors,” Vanessa Pergolizzi commented, “They are armed with information on the College and trained to be influential leaders.”

Not only does the College benefit from the dedication of the Crew, but the individual members also benefit from becoming personally involved.

“I told myself I wouldn’t say no to any opportunities that came my way. When I was asked to volunteer, I accepted the challenge. Volunteering makes me feel like I have a voice,” Lester Castro, Business student and Crew member said.

Volunteering has given students the opportunity to network, develop leadership skills, create lasting friendships, and grow as individuals.

“Volunteering has increased my confidence and improved my public speaking skills and time management skills. The Crew feels like a family, just like Goodwin feels like a family,” explained Kaleigh Miller, Health Science student and Crew member.

While the Crew is a way for current students to get engaged, Goodwin also hopes maintain lasting relationships with them once they graduate — which is how the Alumni Leadership Committee was created.

The Alumni Leadership Committee is comprised of devoted and generous Goodwin alumni volunteers who wish to give back to their alma mater. The Committee supports the mission and values of Goodwin and promotes the role of alumni in strengthening and sustaining the life of the College.

Alumni volunteers help to make strategic decisions in alumni relations and volunteer their efforts at events. They connect with current students, share their stories, and inspire others. The Committee members provide a wonderful example of what students can aspire to become.

“Volunteering provides me with the opportunity to give back. Goodwin has given me so much more than I could possibly give back,” Merilee DeJohn, Alumni Leadership Committee member and Early Childhood Education graduate, said, “but I will continue to try.” DeJohn serves on the Board of Trustees as the alumni chair and a voice for alumni who truly care about the school and its students.

Goodwin greatly appreciates the time and effort that student and alumni volunteers put into creating a more engaging, dynamic community on top of juggling full-time jobs and family commitments. They are coming together to create lasting change and to gain a much more rewarding, enriching educational experience.

For more information, or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Vanessa Pergolizzi, Student Engagement Associate, at or 860-913-2160. For more information about the Crew, please visit

Members of the Crew

Desmond Batts, Environmental Science
Kerry Ann Campbell, Human Services
Lester Castro, Business Administration
Krislyn Donadio, Occupational Therapy
Denise Dufour-McAvoy, Nursing
Lorenzo Hemingway, General Studies
Kaleigh Miller, Health Science
Brianna Pavalone, Health Science
Travis Samuels, Human Services
Janelis Santana, Health Science
Asa Strambler, Manufacturing

Members of the Alumni Leadership Committee

Paula Abreu ’12, Child Study
Cherna Baten ’14, Organizational Studies
Odalisca Bautista ’12, Child Study
Dena Booker ’13, Child Study
Tiffany Chisholm ’11, Child Study
Cassandra Decoteau ’13, Child Study
Merilee DeJohn ‘07, Early Childhood Education
Lee Housley ’13, Business Administration
Lisa Mondani ’12, Nursing
Jennifer Shaw ’13, Health Science

By: Hannah Stacy


Posted on August 27, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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