Board of Directors
Meet the 2017 Emmanuel College Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Jeff Joseph '07, President
Major: Developmental Psychology
Advanced Degrees: Master of Science, Organizational Leadership - Wheelock College
Current Company: Massasoit Community College
Last Company: City Year, Inc.
Personal Interests: Exotic foods, traveling, sports (especially basketball) and mentorship opportunities
Additional Volunteer Work: Edward Brooke Charter School Alumni Affairs Committee, Member; Catalyst IV Change Breakfast IV Brothers Series – Boston, Member/Advocate
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: The opportunity to foster cross-generational relationships between both current and rising alumni has greatly informed my decision to serve. Additionally, I joined to further promote and support the engagement of my fellow alumni of color.
Gretel Schneider '77, Vice President
Major: B.S. Psychology
Last Company: President/Owner GAL Advisory, Inc; Representing The New Yorker in New England to potential advertisers for print/web/mobile
Retired: Retired (8/2015)
Personal Interests: Caring for my 97-year-old Dad who is living in his home in Hillsdale, NJ; playing golf (9 holes is perfect); reading multiple books at a time; eating/drinking/dieting; walking/exercising; mentoring; wine enthusiast; travel (this year South America!)
Additional Volunteer Work: I have been working at a women’s prison for the past 8 years. First, as a spiritual advocate and for the past three years preparing women for re-entry to society. Our group of five facilitators created and implemented a “Moving Forward” program that has a 95% completion rate. I am also on the prison’s Advisory Board for Aftercare.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: I want to give back to the school in a way that I think can make a difference. This year as VP, I hope to create continuity and build initiatives that can improve and grow alumni engagement with Emmanuel.
Lenore Merullo DelVecchio '84, Treasurer
Current Company: President, Summit Press Inc.
Personal Interests: I love to vacation with my family on a sunny beach. I also love shoe shopping and Zumba!
Additional Volunteer Work: You’ll find me every Monday night volunteering at Bingo at St. Anthony’s Church in Revere. I also volunteer as a parent ambassador at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. I help out with dozens of fundraising events for Project Px in Melrose throughout the year.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: This is my fourth term serving on the board; I have had the pleasure and privilege of serving as Director–at–Large for three terms and enjoy my new role as the AAB Treasurer. I am grateful for the education I received at Emmanuel and I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing team of hardworking and dedicated individuals. I look forward to staying very actively involved in various alumni events and will continue to enjoy connecting with the super talented and service oriented alumni community.
Erin Tracy DiGuardia '08, Secretary
Current Company: Director of Advancement and Alumnae Relations at Mount Alvernia High School (Newton, MA)
Last Company: Development Coordinator at Lasell College
Personal Interests: Spending time with friends and family; beach days
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: Work to further alumni engagement across the generations and support alumni involvement at the college.
Kelly DeSisto Brochu '12, Director-at-Large
Major: English Communications with minors in Psychology and Theology
Advanced Degrees: Master of Education, Higher Ed Student Affairs - Salem State University
Current Company: Regis College Assistant Director of Residence Life
Personal Interests: Music, running, being a puppy mom, exploring Boston
Additional Volunteer Work: Miscellaneous opportunities through higher education, NASPA social media coordinator
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: The mission, the student affairs opportunities and staff, and finding the incredible and life-long connections such as my husband.
Judi Getch Brodman '64, Director-at-Large
Major: Mathematics, minor in Physics
Advanced Degrees: Computer Engineering - Boston University, School of Engineering
Last Company: TSS/LOGOS International (CEO and owner); SW process consultant
Retired: Now a writer, artist and photographer; the webmaster for the Front Street Art Gallery in Scituate Harbor as well as Publicity Chair.
Personal Interests: Certainly family comes first, then writing—I’m about to publish my second children’s book which will be on Amazon this November; professional watercolor at the Front Street Art Gallery in Scituate Harbor. I garden, walk miles, and coach a watercolor group in FL during the winter and attend a writers’ group.
Additional Volunteer Work: I have volunteered as a Math teacher for grades 4 and 5, helping them cultivate spatial math concepts. I also spent much of my time being my mother’s and my father-in-law’s advocate.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: It was Emmanuel where I really received my start, where I built my confidence, knowledge, friendships and spirituality. Emmanuel taught me to open my mind and heart. My education provided me with a career that I never dreamed of—I worked on space projects, missile and radar tracking systems, airline radar and reservation systems. I travelled the world and worked in exotic places like the South Pacific (Marshall Islands) and Spain, and loved every single minute of it! As I look back, Emmanuel was right behind my mother and my father in making me who I am today. I felt that I had to give back—that I wanted to give back.
Maggie Brutnell '89, Director-at-Large
Major: Business Management / Political Science
Advanced Degrees: MBA, Concentration in Health Care - Western New England University
Current Company: NFP (National Financial Partners)
Personal Interests: gardening, reading, historical sightseeing, health and wellness initiatives
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: To give back to the place that has given me so much. As a student, Emmanuel offered the opportunity to expand my mind in areas that I never considered before, enhanced the spiritual and social aspects of my life and became a central part of the adult that I am today. As a Board member, I hope to help fellow alumni reconnect with their classmates and the Emmanuel community as a whole.
Jane Candito Corr '70, Director-at-Large
Advanced Degrees: MED in Educational Administration - Boston State College
Retired: Boston Public Schools
Personal Interests: Spending time with family and friends, Zumba, traveling, enjoying Duxbury Beach.
Additional Volunteer Work: Board Member of Hope Floats Healing and Wellness Center in Kingston. Volunteering with Kiwanis Club of Kingston/Duxbury, Kingston Elementary School, Richard J Murphy School, Dorchester.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: My impetus to coming back to Emmanuel to serve on the Board is my way of giving back to the college, and also to help increase involvement and engagement of all our alumni with the greater college community. Today’s Emmanuel is very different than the one I knew and yet, we are all bonded by the same traditions and excellence in education that Emmanuel has been known for almost one hundred years.
Bernadine Desanges '12, Director-at-Large
Major: Sociology/ Information Technology
Advanced Degrees: Master of Science in College Student Development and Counseling - Northeastern University
Current Company: Northeastern University’s John D. O’Bryant African American Institute
Personal Interests: I enjoy writing and performing spoken word poetry, embarking on new adventures, mentoring students, hiking the Blue Hills, watching comedic films, reading culturally educational books, spending time with family and friends exploring my hometown or going abroad and exploring other cultures.
Additional Volunteer Work: I mentor a student as part of Northeastern’s Torch Scholars Program and a student as part of the Alray Scholars Program, in addition to supporting movements that lead to social and cultural awareness within our nation.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: As an alumna of Emmanuel College, my desire to serve on the Emmanuel College Alumni Board is to give back to all; with a focus on the cultural groups within our alumni community. I attended Emmanuel College under the mantra “this is your place,” understanding such a statement figuratively and literally. In support of the institution’s mission as an active student leader, I was determined to make Emmanuel College a home to myself and all those I interacted with personally and indirectly. It is my goal to continue doing so while on the board and beyond. I am passionate and committed to making Emmanuel College the best place it can be for current students, while bridging the gaps of connectedness and communication between different generations and racial groups within the Emmanuel College alumni community.
Kerri Dixon '00, Director-at-Large
Major: Political Science
Advanced Degree:MBA - Simmons College, School of Management
Current Company: Commonwealth Financial Network
Personal Interests: Yoga, surfing, traveling to new destinations, reading
Additional Volunteer Work: Budget Buddies: I volunteer as a coach to teach low-income women basic financial skills.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: I want to give back to the school that has given so much to me.
Mary Watson Gavin '73, Director-at-Large
Major: Political Science
Advanced Degrees: M.Ed. - Boston State College; Conant Fellowship, CAS - Harvard, Graduate School of Education
Retired: Cambridge Public Schools
Personal Interests: I enjoy fencing and gardening.
Additional Volunteer Work: I am active in church and civic affairs in my community. I am a lector at Mass and am a Town Meeting Member.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: I enjoyed and benefitted from my Emmanuel education and would like to help usher in her next century.
Mary Ann Gillen '79, Director-at-Large
Major: Political Science
Current Company: Designer at the Kohler Signature Store; Owner and Designer at Interior Elements; SVP MFS Financial Services
Personal Interests: Swimming, biking, hiking, family; being the best mom, sister, Auntie M and Madrina possible; all things political; travel.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: Emmanuel helped me find my voice and the confidence to use it; the ability to reinvent myself and the courage to do it. As we approach the centennial, I want to contribute to the continued expansion, connection and engagement of the EC Alumni community.
Meghan Murphy '06, Director-at-Large
Advanced Degrees: Master of Social Work - Boston College
Current Company: Chelsea Public School – School Counselor Boys and Girls Club of Boston
Personal Interests: Recently started running half marathons and coach a running group for girls 8 to 12 to run 5k’s. Spending time with family and friends and getting to Rhode Island whenever possible.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: While I was at Emmanuel I was very active within the student body. I credit Emmanuel with the way it shaped my career and current interests, as well as the friendships I value dearly. I saw the board as a way to give back to a community that gave me a lot of wonderful opportunities.
Laura K. Smith O'Connor '88, Director-at-Large
Major: Psychology/ Rehabilitation Counseling, with Minor in Business Management
Advanced Degrees: M.P.A. Master of Public Administration - Bridgewater State University; Licensed Social Worker, Certified Emergency Behavioral Health Responder through F.E.M.A., Community Access Monitor
Current Company: Commonwealth of MA Department of Developmental Disabilities - Office of Quality Management
Personal Interests: During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband Shawn, our young adult children, Kayla and Kyle, our other family members, and friends. I love to travel and to enjoy learning about new places and things. I am also very passionate about advocating for others; especially in the areas of educational and health care rights and handicapped accessibility.
Additional Volunteer Work: I truly enjoy volunteering and giving back to others. I serve as a Surrogate Special Education Parent (SSEP) for kids in foster care who have special educational needs. As a Certified Parent Consultant through the Federation for Children with Special Needs, I help local families to understand and advocate for their children’s educational and medical rights. Navigating these systems is often very overwhelming to the people that need these services the most. As a founding member of the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Alumni Board for Bridgewater State University, I help to promote and network the students and services of this invaluable program. For many years, I have served as a consulting or appointed member of various Committees and Boards for the Town of Middleborough, including the Commission on Disability, Affordable Housing, Strategic Planning, and the Medical Reserve Corps. As needed, I also survey potential new or proposed renovation sites for handicapped and AAB accessibility. My most fun volunteer activity is helping to teach oil painting at a local nursing home to several senior artists, most of whom never painted before but have discovered their inner artists!
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: Thanks to my fellow alumni re-electing me, I am honored to be serving my second term as a Member-at-Large on the Alumni Board. I want to give back to Emmanuel because the school has provided me with so many opportunities, and helped to define the person I have become. I believe that my Emmanuel education and experiences have helped me to understand the importance of helping and giving back and others. These principles have guided much of my professional and personal life since graduating from Emmanuel. I also think that serving as a Board member allows me to serve as a representative voice and a liaison between other alumnus and the school.
Maryalice O'Hearn-Yafrate '65, Director-at-Large
Advanced Degrees: Master in Education in Reading - Boston College; Master in Marriage and Family Therapy - Emmanuel College/Boston Family Institute/ Mass General Hospital
Current Company: Retired Personal Interests: World travel, choral singing, lifelong learning through OLLI Program at UMASS, golf, physical fitness, family celebrations, charitable/social activities through Neighborhood Club of Quincy, book clubs, MFA membership, Friends of South Shore Hospital fundraisers.
Additional Volunteer Work: Choir and choral singer at St Ann’s Church Quincy, member of Quincy Choral Society, community organizer for speakers and entertainers both at UMASS/OLLI and Neighborhood Club of Quincy, special prayer shawl ministry for South Shore Hospital through chaplain office
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: A former board member requested I join as I can best represent the members of the alumnae that graduated in the 1960s and forward. I have cherished memories of my time at Emmanuel and maintain many friendships to the present. My experience and education gave me a personal opportunity to work and travel around the world as well as both in the Publishing world and as an adjunct at Boston College for a decade.
Maureen Ann O'Malley '99, Director-at-Large
Major: Political Science, Education
Advanced Degrees: J.D. - Marquette University Law School
Current Company: Law Office of Maureen Ann O’Malley, P.C.
Personal Interests: Reading, knitting, cooking, spending time with family and friends
Additional Volunteer Work: Technology for Autism Now, Advisory Board; Families and Friends of Children with Genetic Disorders, Executive Board; NICU Volunteer, Kangaroo Care
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: I received tremendous benefit from my education at Emmanuel College and, 15 years after I began, I had a family member start his education at Emmanuel. I was so proud to be here for his many events and honors, and I realized that my Emmanuel education continued to influence my life many years after graduation. I saw the information about the Alumni Board elections and realized that this would be a way for me to come back to the school and give back in a meaningful way. I am eager to create events that will bring alumni back to The Fenway, and perhaps help people find a way to spread the College goodwill through volunteer and community opportunities.
Nancy Sponpinato '96 '12G, Director-at-Large
Major: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science in Management
Advanced Degrees: Masters of Organizational Leadership - Emmanuel College; Doctor of Education - Northeastern University (2018)
Additional Volunteer Work: Friends of the Revere Public Library; Gallery Instructor Associate, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: The positive experience that I had at Emmanuel during my undergraduate time prompted me to pursue my Master’s Degree there. Now back again in the Fenway pursuing my doctoral degree at Northeastern, it was time to give back to a school that has given me so much.
Seth Urbanoski '09, Director-at-Large
Major: Business Management, Minor Economics
Advanced Degrees: Juris Doctor - Suffolk University Law School
Current Company: Law Office of Frank V. Grimaldi, P.C.
Personal Interests:Skiing, running, and politics. I also play in a Boston bocce league.
Impetus to come back to Emmanuel and serve on the Board: I believe I owe a great deal of my success to Emmanuel College. In many ways I became the person I am today during my four years on campus. Emmanuel provided me with a solid academic background before entering grad school, and helped me develop as a leader through clubs and programs. I wanted to come back to Emmanuel, and serve on the AAB, to pay it forward and make sure as many students as possible have the same positive experience I did.