Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break

It is spring (I suppose somewhere in the country it feels like spring) break for students. Some have left for tropical destinations to soak up the sun, others are out west skiing in the powdery conditions opposite of skiing in the east, many are participating in a week of service across the country and some have simply decided to get some R & R at home! No matter where they are the campus feels very empty without them.

My day-to-day activities do not typically involve lots of student interaction, with the exception of my work-study students. I work with the Founder’s Society and Student Association but that is usually after hours and yet I still feel their absence on campus. And no it is not because I now have a parking spot near my building. I think it is just a feeling, almost like a sigh or recognition that we have survived another winter and warmer days are coming. I also believe it is recognition that once the students are back we work at lightening speed until the end of the year. So we take this break to get ready for what is to come. For students this means projects, papers, presentations, the spring concert, P-Day of course and for seniors the end of a college career! This is a lot to pack into 8 weeks.

In the alumni office it is equally as busy, we are getting ready to welcome 500 new alumni into our ranks with the graduating class, we continue to engage current alumni planning events throughout the country, all while planning an all new reunion program! Reunion 2011 is all new, we think of it as P-Day revisited. There will be tents on the 300’s field, music, food and fun. This is a break from our traditional format of formal sit down dinners and dancing. P-Day is a tradition that spans the life of the college that all alumni are able to connect with. With this new program we hope to see new faces at reunion, friendships re-kindled and new memories made!

So, despite the mounds of snow still piled up outside this week really does mark the beginning of spring and with it the culmination of yet another year at Saint Michael’s.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Last semester, I spent much of my time reading, researching and writing about networking, for my thesis. I’m not talking about computer networking which is what I would sometimes get in my results after a Google search. I am talking about networking between people, the shaking hands, kissing babies kind. I was interested in examining the impact of online social networking on Saint Michael’s College’s graduate job and employment networking opportunities. What I learned was that while many alumni participate in online social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, they are still interested in networking opportunities with fellow alumni face-to-face. This would make sense since most online social networking users do not “friend” or “link” with someone they have never met. Online social networks are a great way to maintain relationships that have already been established. I know in my role in the alumni office I rely heavily to maintain contacts with alumni, whether classmates of mine or new acquaintances I have met since working in the office.

How have you maintained or re-connected with someone you once knew? Share your stories!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Helping People

Every year, for as long I am aware there has been a Career Planning and Networking Seminar in Boston. Other cities are more sporadic but they do happen (if you live in NYC and have space available please contact me).

This year's career planning and networking seminar reminded me what I enjoy most about my job, it is helping people! At this event I was able to connect current juniors and seniors with alumni who live and work in the Boston area for networking and career advice. I remember so clearly how daunting the career search process was, to have an alumni base willing and eager to help makes the idea of graduating and leaving the real world a little more tolerable. As the event wore on and moved into a social setting I witnessed the students networking with the alumni, asking questions and getting more advice. After the event I ran into one of the students who in the beginning seemed a little nervous and overwhelmed. She came up to me thanking me for providing her with such and opportunity and she felt much better about the idea of graduating.

It is moments like this, where I can hopefully ease the minds of students and even alumni that make me value my job and happy to be part of this community.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Saying Goodbye

2010, was a not an easy year for the young alumni classes at St. Michael’s. Four members from the classes of 2006, 2007 and 2008 passed away unexpectedly; Raina Jensen ’06, Haven Quinn ’07, Jacquelyn Sutton ’07 and Michael Desmond ’08. For many members of their classes this has left a void that I am sure will continue as time moves on. In true St. Mike’s fashion their lives were celebrated and honored. Earlier in December, friends gathered in Boston to share memories of their friends; others gathered on campus at a mass said in their memory. Facebook, has been flooded with photos and tributes as well. It is times like these when we come together as a family that makes being a member of the St. Mike’s community so valuable, even after we have left Winooski Park.

In the Office of Institutional Advancement we said farewell to two members of our team who collectively after 57 years at St. Michael’s have retired; Aline deLaricheliere P’94 ’99 (21 years) and Rit DiVenere ’67 P’92 ’94 ’99 (36 years). Both of these individuals were instrumental members of our team. At a party to honor them, many current members of the campus community gathered as well as former members. Again, we came together as a family to wish them well as they begin new chapters in their lives.

With Christmas only a few short days away, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas as you gather with family and friends, hopefully some from St. Mike’s and a very Happy New Year!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Welcome to the SMC alumni blog! The purpose of this blog is to provide the SMC community with a glimpse into the alumni office. You will read about what we do in the Pomerleau Alumni Center, the different ways we interact with alumni, share photos and stories from the road and invite alumni to share their experiences as alumni of Saint Michael’s College. I hope you enjoy reading the posts and viewing the photos. Check back often and please share with us your stories.

My name is Allison Sherman. I graduated from St. Mike’s in 2005. I have been the Assistant Director for Alumni and Parent Relations since October 2006. In my role I work with alumni volunteers in various alumni clubs throughout the country. We plan events that provide an opportunity for alumni to connect, network and maintain a relationship with the college. Reunion is the biggest event we plan each year, we spend all year working on this event making sure everything is just right for alumni to come back to campus to reconnect with friends, faculty and staff. To help make this event special and unique to each class year we work with reunion volunteers and committees in the planning process. You will notice the photo of me on the side, overwhelmed with balloons . . . this was taken during reunion a few years ago, a typical reunion moment for the staff, moving balloons making sure campus is festive and fun! Student engagement is another one of my responsibilities. I work with student groups on campus like Founder’s Society to educate the current students on what it means to be an alum and also how alumni are there to support them as they prepare for the future. Not last, but one final major responsibility of mine is managing alumni social media. I try to reach out to alumni using Facebook and LinkedIn. These tools are great ways to stay connected with alumni and engage them in life on campus today.

A final thought, for about a year I have been researching the impact of online social networking on the Saint Michael’s alumni association for my master’s thesis. I was interested in this subject mostly due to the popularity of sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and their ability to allow users to connect with so many people. I thought alumni would prefer to connect with fellow alumni virtually. However I was mistaken . . . it seems that while alumni use online social networking to stay in touch and communicate with one anther, they are still interested in face-to-face networking opportunities. This could not have been more evident at the New York City networking social last week. There were approximately 40 alumni in attendance ranging in class years 1987 – 2010. This group was so excited to connect with fellow St. Mike’s alumni. I often think it has something to do with sharing the bond of the extremely cold Vermont winters that makes these connections deep, no one else really understands. Regardless of what it is that builds these connections they are deep, meaningful and valuable. I have not yet met an alum of Saint Michael’s who wasn’t willing to help a fellow grad. It is my mission to help facilitate these connections and build these relationships. The more alumni connect and network the better off we will all be!

Until next time, keep on networking!