The Lasell University community came together to salute the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on Taylor Field in May, with separate ceremonies for master's degree recipients, Class of 2020 undergraduate degree recipients, and Class of 2021 undergraduate degree recipients. The ceremonies marked the first Commencement exercises to take place under the auspices of Lasell University.
The weekend-long celebration featured remarks from graduate program speakers Nancy Nickerson Snow, a Master of Science in Management graduate from the Class of 2020, and Bruce Ira Green, a 2021 graduate of the Master of Education in Elementary Education program. Undergraduate student speakers Rosa Del Carmen Gomez (Class of 2020, Bachelor of Arts in Communication) and Isabella Julia Raffone (Class of 2021, Bachelor of Science in Sport Management) honored their fellow students' hard work and commitment to one another.
Keynote speaker Dr. James E. Muller, a longtime friend and neighbor of Lasell University, addressed graduates at all three ceremonies. Dr. Muller co-founded International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University. Also receiving an honorary degree was Vice President for Enrollment Management Kate O'Connor, who retired this year after 34 years of service to the University.
Reflecting on the weekend's activities, Alexander welcome the opportunity to celebrate the graduates' accomplishments, both academically and in traversing the difficulties of the pandemic:
“Despite many challenges, Lasell students, faculty, and staff rose to the occasion and continued to teach, work, and learn in-person and remotely," he said. "Ending the academic year by marking the accomplishments of our graduates was, for many of us, the highlight of the year."
Photos from 2021 Lasell University Commencement ceremonies c/o Professional Event Images
The University’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations is now the division of University Advancement. As we continue to partner both internally and externally with constituents to move the University forward, the new name provides an opportunity for us to better express our mission and vision for the future of Lasell.
Within the division is the newly created Office of Parent Engagement, led by Associate Director Alexa Donegan ’16. Donegan spearheads efforts to connect and communicate more effectively with parents and families on topics ranging from financial aid to health services, student accomplishments, and more. She has grown the Lasell Parents Council and launched a new web presence specifically for parents and families.
In fall 2020, Lasell University Provost Eric Turner and Board of Trustees Chair Keon Holmes were named to the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber’s list of the 50 most influential business people of color. Lasell Village President Anne Doyle was honored for the second year in a row by the Boston Globe and named to Globe Magazine’s 2020 list of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses. In addition to recognition of Doyle’s work, the Globe Magazine also acknowledged Lasell Village’s percentage of women in upper management, and highlighted the Village as one of five organizations that successfully pivoted their business model during COVID-19.
Lasell Village Board Chair Margery Hutter Silver received 2020 Member Honors from LeadingAge Massachusetts for going “above and beyond on a daily basis” and demonstrating “outstanding dedication and service, sacrifice, heroism, and resilience” in her role. Silver was one of five honorees among hundreds of member organizations.
In July 2020, Chrystal Porter joined the University as Vice President of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS). As of June 2021, she is the Vice President of Enrollment Management, overseeing GPS and current departments under the enrollment management division.
The division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) introduced a new master’s degree program in 2021 — a Master of Science in Applied Sport Science Analytics. Internationally, sport science data is collected to analyze and interpret to improve human performance. In the United States, Lasell University is one of the first schools to offer such a program.
Sport scientists focus heavily on applied research and data driven decision-making to improve human performance, says Dean of the School of Health Sciences Cris Haverty. Exercise science can include nutrition, sport psychology, strength and conditioning, and sport science, which is just one component of the industry. In addition, she notes, many university programs focus on sport management analytics, which deal with the fan experience and player statistics as opposed to data used to improve player performance and injury prevention.
“On the global stage, sports teams have been using human performance data to help with player recovery rates, injury prevention, and optimal strength and conditioning on individuals,” says Haverty.
Lasell Professor of Exercise Science Ron Laham spent two weeks with the Boston Red Sox to learn more about the collection and use of sports performance data on professional athletes. Among other things, he learned that with few colleges and universities degrees offering this type of training in the United States, many national organizations have to hire outside the country for experts to capture and apply human performance data.
The purpose of the new Lasell program, says Haverty, is to fill that need by developing students with two areas of expertise: Data science, analytics, mining and visualization; and their applications and use for sport performance in strength and conditioning, physiology, injury prevention, and more.
“A good sport scientist is able to say to an athletic trainer: ‘Here is the data I collected, here is the analysis, and here are the recommendations based on that for your player to do their best in their next game,’” she says. “It isn’t just one or the other, but rather a combination of mathematics, data science, statistics, anatomy, physiology, and an understanding of human physiology and performance.”
The Master of Science in Applied Sport Science Analytics is offered 100% online. Are you an alum of our exercise science program looking to delve into a new field? Or, are you already working in sport science analytics and eager to share your knowledge? Click here to connect with Dean Haverty about enrolling or joining us as a guest speaker.
RUNWAY, the Lasell University School of Fashion’s annual spring showcase, featured the work of more than 100 student designers, event managers, and models in a virtual format.
The undergraduate show included work in 11 categories: non-textile design, day dresses, career wear, athleisure, swimwear, sustainable design, sweater knits, tailoring, menswear, evening, and avant-garde. During the live session of the virtual show, guests were encouraged to vote for their favorite look in each category.
Fashion Design and Production seniors Dylan Alves, Nina Brady, Vannessa DeMore, Emily Despelteau, Ismahan Hersi, Khalid Lai-Walters, Margaret McGovern, Jami Pelosi, Hannah Richards, Camille Sanchez, Rachel Shufflebarger, and Rose Sparrow debuted their collections in a standalone virtual show. At the helm of the weekend’s events were Fashion Communication and Promotion senior Madison Griffin and Fashion and Retail Merchandising senior Morgan Trumbull, co-directors of the RUNWAY production. Griffin and Trumbull oversaw a staff of more than 50 graphic designers, videographers, photographers, promotion managers, commentators and models.
Congratulations to the students and faculty involved in RUNWAY 2021!
In January, the University partnered with GBH, Lasell Village, and the Museum of Science for a webinar, “Following the Facts,” which addressed efforts to engage diverse constituencies with clear scientific information in the midst of the pandemic. Panelists included NPR reporter and host of GBH’s “In It Together,” Arun Rath; Museum of Science President Tim Ritchie; Lasell Village President Anne Doyle; and was moderated by Lasell University President Michael B. Alexander.
At the start of 2021, Lasell joined the Boston Consortium for Higher Education, making it the 20th institution among members including Boston University, Northeastern University, Olin College, and Suffolk University. As a member of the consortium, Lasell will benefit from cost-saving partnerships and professional development opportunities through the organization’s communities of practice and Vogt Fellowship program.
A three-year, $289,175 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation will support Career Readiness Through Connected Learning, an initiative that brings together professionally focused academic work with exploration and discovery in the arts and sciences. The annual fall Connected Learning Symposium was rebranded to the Career Readiness Symposium to celebrate and showcase the career and life planning potential of Connected Learning. The virtual Symposium showcased:
“The Fall Career Readiness Symposium showcased student work and experiences, especially ways in which students have applied Connected Learning to develop their careers through internships,” said Provost Eric Turner. “The event highlighted competencies in leadership and global/intercultural fluency with an emphasis on ways our students lead and serve by example.”