Still blooming

Violet Kundzicz Santamaria fits the definition of perseverance to a T.

When many of her high school friends in Brockton took jobs working in the city’s shoe factories in the 1930s, Ms. Santamaria sought a better career than one involving the monotony of manufacturing. “I didn’t want to go into the factory to work,” recalled Ms. Santamaria, 102, the oldest living Bridgewater State graduate. “Oh, I dreaded the factories, and Brockton was full of factories.”

Winning big

Sitting in an overstuffed chair inside the Red Auerbach conference room at Boston Celtics headquarters, Tyler Marcotte, ’15, smiled. He had a message for his fellow Bears.

“I want students at BSU to know it is possible,” Mr. Marcotte said. “I want students to look at me and say, if he’s able to do it, so can I.”

Dressing for success

Emily Baldwin didn’t realize when Bridgewater State Theater Professor Henry Shaffer called her backstage one day during her sophomore year that her life was about to take an exciting turn.

“I was in the costume shop because something needed an alteration,” the Northampton native recalled. “I told him, ‘I can do that myself.’”

And so she did.

Forging connections

The industrial workshop off Riverside Drive in Somerset is busier than ever these days. On an overcast and breezy morning in mid-September, the 5,700-square-foot space was filled with a number of versatile artisans with no less than a dozen projects in progress.

This is where BSU Art Professor Rob Lorenson can be found when he’s not in the classroom, home with his family, or somewhere across the country installing one of his large and in-demand sculptures. It is here he designs and creates new work.

Facing the facts

Valerie Anselme, ’18, grew weary of people telling her she “didn’t look Haitian.” So, she decided to demonstrate the great diversity found in the faces of her fellow countrymen and women.

And she did it with her trusty Nikon.

The result is a collection of photographs titled Faces of Haiti. The series was displayed in Hunt Hall during the spring semester.

“Haiti became a great melting pot of different cultures,” said the Boston native, who graduated from BSU in May with a dual degree in graphic design and photography. Her work demonstrates this fact.

Spreading sunshine

To get Michael Katz to discuss the most rewarding parts of his job as executive director of Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine, just ask him to share some stories.

All in

Roy Noepel is one of those people who can be counted on when help is needed. From volunteering with a conservation site, aiding a food pantry and a theater group, to regularly traveling to Boston to donate platelets, the Norwood resident is always ready to lend a hand.

“Everyone has challenges, and if I can make someone’s life less challenging, why not help out?” Mr. Noepel said.

Chicago hope

Children who undergo harsh cancer treatments often experience side effects that may not manifest for years, including long-term fertility problems.

Dr. Monica M. Laronda, ’04, is researching ways to help address these issues.

The Freetown native is director of basic and translational research for the Fertility and Hormone Preservation and Restoration program at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Teachable moments

It was another busy May afternoon at East Boston’s Donald McKay School. Hawa Ture, ’17, spent time playing the card game Uno with students at the K-8 school. It seems Ms. Ture’s efforts earned her better than a passing grade.

“Today, one of my students said ‘Ms. Ture, I wish you were a teacher,’” she said, during a break in the game.

A ‘dream job’

Joshua Hamilton is the new provost, vice president and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of New England, with campuses in Portland and Biddeford, Maine.

Dr. Hamilton’s resume reveals a long list of accomplishments spanning 40 years in the field of higher education, and he said it all started at Bridgewater State.


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