When U.S. Naval Captain, Kathleen Donahue Bruyere, graduated from Chestnut Hill College in 1966, the world she was ready to embark on was much different than the world she would leave upon her death in September 2020. That is largely because of Bruyere and her like-minded contemporaries, who committed themselves to breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings for women everywhere.
At Chestnut Hill College, our alumni are the heartbeat of our institution. That is why every year, it is the great pleasure of the College to celebrate and honor a very special group of alumni, our Golden Griffins. This year, the celebration was quite the special one. Not only were new Golden Griffins, those in the Classes of 1970 and 1971, honored, but all former Golden Griffins were also celebrated and invited to campus for the annual brunch.
Two recipients of Chestnut Hill College’s innovative H.O.P.E. Scholarship Program have used their H.O.P.E. scholarships to complete their education and earn their Bachelor of Science degrees at the College’s virtual 94th Commencement ceremonies.
Nearly 80 years ago, Kathleen “Kay” McNulty ’42, a recent emigrant from Ireland, graduated from Chestnut Hill College as one of only three women to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Today, her legacy continues in a new form at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, where a new supercomputer has been named in her honor.
A first-generation college graduate, Rashida Weathers ’95 never imagined being a board member for her alma mater or serving on the planning committee for the College’s annual gala. Yet, she attributes her continued commitment to Chestnut Hill College to one of its founding principles.
Amanda Cappelletti '10, Vice Chair of the East Norriton Board of Supervisors and Chestnut Hill College graduate, entered and won the race for the 17th State Senatorial District in Pennsylvania in 2020. Equipped with the experience and goals for confronting today’s most relevant issues, from public health to gun violence, Cappelletti shared her aspirations for her time in office as well as how her experience at CHC stirred a desire for public service in her life and career.
William Johnson ’16 was recently named Director of Intercultural Student Engagement at the University of Southern Maine. In his new role, Johnson is dedicated to supporting students and encouraging them to find their own voice throughout their undergraduate journey. This commitment has been a common thread in Johnson’s career in higher education, and that dedication to helping students comes from lessons learned during his own undergraduate experience.
It’s been nearly ten years since Devin Devoue ’11 graduated from Chestnut Hill College, but he’s still an active member of the Griffin community as if he never left. As a member of the CHC Alumni Association, Devin volunteers with the Admissions Office and the Office of Institutional Advancement to welcome and meet prospective and incoming students; he serves as an advisor to the cast of the annual student musical; and this year, he is leading the planning committee for the Annual Scholarship Gala, the College’s largest fundraising event.
For Michelle Simmons ’08 SCPS, ’10 SGS, Chestnut Hill College is more than just a space for academic enrichment; it’s where she developed her strong sense of confidence and where she learned to lead without distinction and with love. Simmons is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Why Not Prosper, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit with a mission of empowering previously incarcerated women to become self-sufficient.
As a Chestnut Hill College student, Christa Lynch ’03 made extra money working at Bruno’s, the well-known eatery and hang-out right across the street from the College. A career in the restaurant business was not in her plans as an undergraduate sociology major. Her 3-year stint at Bruno’s was her first real experience working in kitchens and restaurants, but it wouldn’t be her last.
Faith and service define the life of Deena Sellers ’01. The Mt. Airy native teaches multiple subjects at Xavier High School in Manhattan and serves as the chair of its Community Life and Inclusion Council. She routinely plans and participates in service immersion trips in which she, students, and other members of the school travel far and wide to help the less fortunate. A devoted Catholic, she belongs to the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Brooklyn; she is also a member of the Board and Selection Committee for the Pierre Toussaint Scholarship Program of the Archdiocese of New York. Perpetually in motion, she also partakes in community-based projects for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. as well as the Office of Black Ministry, assisting the New York City-based organization in achieving its mission of promoting the aspirations of black Catholics.
Christine Jackson ’20, ’24 SGS, who graduated from Chestnut Hill College with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in human services, will be one of the first students in Chestnut Hill College’s new Master of Science in Cybersecurity online program.
Ayesha Farzana Hamid ’01, B.A., B.S., lived life balancing the expectations of her immigrant parents with those of the world around her, a struggle she details in her new book, “The Borderland Between Worlds: A Memoir.”
This year Lucy Miller Murray ’61 published “Faces: A Novel,” a story equal parts love and tragedy.
Life on the front lines has never been more trying for those working in the healthcare profession. They truly are heroes, and we're so proud to spotlight our very own John McLaughlin, M.D., '08, an ophthalmologist at Horizon Eye Care and Shore Medical Center in New Jersey who shared his experience and reflected on what it's been like working and living during the pandemic.
Life on the front lines has never been more trying for those working in the healthcare profession. They truly are heroes, and we're so proud to spotlight our very own Tom Mazza '11, an ER registered nurse at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, located outside of Philadelphia, who shared his experience and reflected on what it's been like working and living during this pandemic.
Renee Davis '16, a Philadelphia police officer and Army reservist, reflected on what it's been like working and living during the pandemic.
Life on the front lines has never been more trying for those working in the healthcare profession. They truly are heroes, and we're so proud to spotlight our very own Jeramy Solema '14, a mobility technician at Hospital For Special Surgery in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, who shared his experience and reflected on what it's been like working and living during this pandemic.
Life on the frontlines has never been more trying for those working in the healthcare profession. They truly are heroes and we're so proud to spotlight our very own Devan Martinez '18, a patient care technician at Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Binghamton, New York, who shared his experience and reflection on what it's been like working and living during this pandemic.
Life on the frontlines has never been more trying for those working in the healthcare profession. They truly are heroes and we're so proud to spotlight our very own Chris Dachowski '19, an emergency room technician at Grand View Hospital, who shared his experience and reflection on what it's been like working and living during this pandemic.
Last September, Kimberly Murphy ’12 SCPS was promoted to the position of assistant dean of academic affairs at Montgomery County Community College.
Geri Lynn Utter ’11, ’16, M.S., Psy.D., is the author of a forthcoming book about the opioid crisis, an epidemic whose effects she has witnessed both personally and professionally.
Rhea Fernandes, M.S., Psy.D., ’00, ’12, the senior vice president and chief operating officer of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, was recently admitted as a member to the Forum of Executive Women.
In September, alumna Jennifer Friel Papalitskas ’15 undertook a book project with her kindergarten students at Holy Innocents Catholic School in Philadelphia that helped create a connection between the children and the community.
In June, Kate Delany ’01 was named number three on InsiderNJ's list of the 100 most influential millennials in New Jersey politics.
Patricia Hynes ’65 is working with an organization that uses books to empower young people in West Africa.
An alumna of Chestnut Hill College recently received the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program grant.
Two alumni recently opened a fitness studio in Center City, affording health-conscious Philadelphians a fresh and innovative approach to exercise.
Two alumni, a mother and a son, created a program that employs a therapeutically designed role playing game to assist children with social differences.
Alumnus Christopher M. Ryan '13 is the latest recipient of the prestigious Pennsylvania VFW Eagle Award.
Next year, Raquel Lopez ’19 will pursue her Doctor of Medicine degree at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine.
Alumna Malika Rahman ’14 SCPS is running for Philadelphia sheriff. If she wins, she would make history as the first woman to occupy the position.
Anna Abbot ’18 is currently studying for her master’s degree at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy.
Alumna Kathleen “Kay” McNulty ’42 worked on the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, known as the ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer.
Helen Kenny Motzenbecker '50 played a pivotal role in transforming New Jersey’s affordable housing laws.
Judy Stavisky, M.Ed., SGS '91, co-authored a nonfiction book that recounts the lives of immigrant and refugee students.
As Susan Montgomery '80 prepares for the Christmas season in her suburban Philadelphia home, she’s also making sure children more than 7,000 miles away are not forgotten.
CHC is hosting a collection drive for the Baby Bureau, a non-profit organization which was started by an SCPS alum.
The Office of Alumni Relations will sponsor two exciting events in February. Mark your calendars!
The year drew to a close with a successful Holiday Cheer event on December 1 when dozens of CHC alumni and friends started the holiday season while mingling and reminiscing on campus.
Name: Cody Jett ’11
Major: Criminal Justice and Elementary Education
Thoughtful, focused and determined, Jennifer McCollum Kugler ’97 took her time and followed her own path on the road to marriage, degree, children and career — more or less in that order.
When Georges Beyiha graduated from CHC in 2015 with a degree in International Business, Cultures and Languages, he did not yet know he was about to become an entrepreneur with a business that creates sustainable bicycles from bamboo.
Members of the Class of 1966 enjoyed their first Golden Griffins Brunch on April 23.
Tomás Greer ’16 found his way to the world of video documentaries quite by accident. With 45 college credits earned through his high school in New York City, Greer needed a core course, and video production was available. So he signed up.
Giving the Gift of Music — and More
Many of us say we want to “give back” to make our community a better place and to help others in various ways. Heather Dennis '07 SCPS has found a way to reach that goal.
Seth Jacobson ’07 has been selected for the William Penn Fellowship, a two-year fellowship in Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office beginning in August 2017.
When Garfield Jackson ’04 SCPS, chose to return to school in his late 50s, he did so because of his two sons. Four years later, Garfield’s experience led his wife of 47 years, Doris Jackson ’08 SCPS, to choose the School of Continuing & Professional Studies as well.
Annual Alumni Fall Conference Returns
After taking a break in 2015, the Annual Alumni Fall Conference has returned and will be held Saturday, September 17.
Commitment to Women’s Issues Began at CHC
Abigail Palko, Ph.D., ’96
Abigail Palko, Ph.D., ’96 recently was named Director of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at the University of Virginia.
Carole Christ ’06 SCPS was not ready for college after graduating from high school, so she worked in accounting for many years until realizing that not having a degree was holding her back professionally.
Often when one returns to their alma mater, they do so with a sense of pride and a desire to help other students experience the same level of education they did. This was how Kathleen Rex Anderson, Ed.D.
As part of her senior seminar project, Fran Wasserman ’11 SCPS turned her passion for service and desire for helping underserved moms and their babies into The Baby Bureau, a non-profit with a heartwarming goal.
This year's recipients were Kathleen Shea Pie '87, '92 SGS, of the Eleanore Dolan Egan '28 Award and Ritamarie Moscola, M.D.., M.P.H. '78, of the Distinguished Achievement Award.
Attention alumni! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take part in a new and innovative way of giving known as the CHC Challenge.
Growing up, Chris Allen ’13, an only child, had wanted just one thing: a brother. Now, after having professed his first vows as a member of the religious order of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (OSFS), not only does Allen have one brother, he has hundreds across the United States and around the world.
Nicholas Williams ’13 understood the importance of having an internship as a chemistry major. Now, as a student at the University of Chicago, Williams is thankful for his internship opportunities, as they are helping him succeed in the sciences.
Chestnut Hill College celebrated its 2nd annual ‘Night at the Phillies’ event on August 29, as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres 4-3.
Kyle DeRiemer '09, combined his experience from the CHC communications department and an internship with the Philadelphia Soul into a career with the Arena Football League and currently, with the athletic department at the University of Arkansas
Former Griffins of all ages were invited to join the Chestnut Hill College Alumni Association in painting ‘Alma Mater,’ an original created and taught by Danielle Rossi ’97, at the College’s first Alumni Day Out at Painting with a Twist (PWAT) in Skippack, Pa.