In accordance with its mission, Merrimack College seeks to provide its students with the greatest opportunities possible for the development of their intellectual, social, cultural, and spiritual lives. To this end, the college complements its academic programs with an array of academic and co-curricular resources, services, and opportunities. These include those that are housed within the Academic Success Center. Others, more concerned with the broader dimensions of student life and development, are described in the section of the catalog devoted to Student Life. And still others, devoted to the development of both internal and external community, are included in the section on Community Support: Internal and External.
The Academic Success Center
McQuade Library, 3rd Floor
The Academic Success Center provides a wide range of opportunities to students wishing to enhance their academic performance. Students taking advantage of these opportunities will develop a stronger foundation in academic skills, understanding of college policy, and self-advocacy that they will need for effective learning through their college years and after graduation. The Academic Success Center conducts proactive assessments of student needs, and works to be responsive to students at every level of academic achievement. The Center also offers workshops, programs, individual and group meetings to all students on a variety of topics including time management, preparing for tests, study skills, and conducting research.
The Academic Success Center is staffed by dedicated professionals who coach counsel and advise students, especially those that are new to the college, those who find themselves in between majors or searching for other opportunities and those who find themselves in academic difficulty.
Dean of Student Success and Academic Support, Peter Ellard, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Student Success: Office of the Dean, Laura Priest, M.Ed.
Office Manager and Assistant to the Dean, Annette Visconti
Graduate Fellow, Sarah Cowdell
Associate Dean of Student Success: Director Academic Support & Advising, Diane Shaw, M.S.
Academic Success Coach, Shawna Morse, M.A.
Academic Success Coach, Kristy Forrest, M.A.
Administrative Assistant, TBA
Graduate Fellow, Academic Support and Advising, Catherine Johnson
Assistant Dean of Student Success: Director of the Tutoring and Math Center, Patricia Strazdins, M.S.,
Assistant Director of Student Success: Tutoring and Math Center, TBA
Administrative Assistant, TBA
Director, Compass Program, Jennifer Evans, M.Ed.
Academic Director, Compass Program, Michael, Mascolo, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Compass Program, Nora Cochrane, M.A.
Lecturer, Compass Program, Debra Lukens, Ph.D.
Academic Success Coach, Compass Program, Jennifer Stach, M.A.
Lab Assistant, Compass Program, Bob Concesion, M.A.
Graduate Fellow, Compass Program, Sierra Bias
Director, Promise Program, Sara Quagliaroli, M.Ed.
Academic Success Coach and Learning Specialists, Promise Program, Kate Loughlin, M.Ed.
Academic Success Coach and Learning Specialists, Promise Program, Traci McCubbin, M.A.
Graduate Fellow, Promise Program, Lula Amanuel
Graduate Fellow, Promise Program, Sarah, Anderton
Director of Accessibility Services and Compliance Officer, Jodi Rachins, M.A.
Assistant Director of Accessibility Services, TBA
Accessibility Services Specialist, Mo John
Graduate Fellow, Accessibility Services, Mary Ellen Vigeant
Director of the Writing Center, Robert Koch, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Student Success: Writing Center, Rachel Silsbee, M.Ed.
Assistant Director of Student Success, First Year Experience, Kathy Vaillancourt
Graduate Fellow, FYE, Casey Murray
Academic Success Coaches help all students. It can be particularly helpful for students who need additional support to build the skills needed for success in college. Consultations often involve discussions about time-management, test taking skills, tutoring, note-taking, and making referrals to appropriate services/offices on campus. Appointment and walk-in services are available. Students who are undecided as to a major or who are considering changing their major will receive direction and referrals to faculty advisors so they can locate their academic home.
Students Seeking Academic Accommodations
The Office of Accessibility Services serves as an advocate for students; works closely with the College community to increase campus awareness of disability related access issues; and develops collaborative relationships on campus and in the community to promote an environment conducive to the completion of higher education degree requirements. The Office is to provide access to higher education for students with diagnosed disabilities as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).
Students interested in receiving accommodations must:
Identify themselves as a student in need of accommodations
Submit documentation of their need for accommodations
Schedule an appointment with the Office staff
Office professionals will review potential accommodations and develop an Accommodation Plan with the student. This is an interactive process between the student and the Office. We encourage students to contact the Office as early as possible in order to allow sufficient time to implement accommodations.
Reasonable accommodations must be directly linked to functional limitations determined by a comprehensive review of documentation. Reasonable accommodations which provide equal access to education must not interfere with the academic/technical standards or essential course requirements.
Some examples of potential accommodations include:
Testing Accommodations, such as additional time and distraction-reduced environment
Alternative format text
Information about Assistive technology
Medical parking exceptions
In addition, specific events such as workshops and guest speakers are offered to cultivate pride and community among Merrimack’s learners with disabilities. The Director of the Office leads a Compliance Team in addressing access issues on campus. Students who are interested in receiving accommodations or who have questions about documentation guidelines are encouraged to contact.
The Compass Program
The Compass Program provides a select group of first year students with the support they need to achieve a successful academic transition from high school into college. By working directly with students and collaborating with all relevant members of the college community, Compass provides a holistically designed approach to student success.
The Promise Program
The Promise Program represents one of many initiatives by Merrimack College to create smaller communities within our greater, welcoming community. Students were selected through the admission process based on a variety of factors. The mission of Promise is to provide students with guidance and tools that support opportunities to identify and achieve academic and personal goals through freshman year and beyond.
The Tutoring and Math Center
The Tutoring and Math Center is a unique and valuable resource for Merrimack College students of all majors, providing a central location where students can collaborate with tutors and with one another to become better learners. While most of the tutoring that takes place in the Center relates to Mathematics, the Center staff trains tutors across the college and will connect students with tutors in other subjects. Tutoring in other subjects takes place throughout the college and the list of tutoring offered each semester can be found on the Center’s webpage.
The immediate goal of the Math tutors is to assist students in enhancing their knowledge and understanding of topics covered in their mathematics and mathematics-related courses and to promote self-confidence in mathematics; the long-term goal is to extend this self-confidence to self-sufficiency in applying a scholarly mathematical approach in all problem-solving situations.
The Center is a dynamic environment where students can drop in at no cost and with no prior appointment. The Center is staffed by Professional Tutors trained Peer Tutors. The Center is a great place to study and learn on one’s own or with other students, to share common interests.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center is a vibrant learning community where writers at all levels can work with peer tutors from across the disciplines, graduate tutors, professional tutors, and writing faculty. Help with developing ideas, drafting, organizing, editing, and proofreading is available in the center on a drop-in basis. The center is helpful to undergraduate and graduate students with a range of different learning styles and from a number of different language backgrounds.
The Writing Center also houses the Writing Fellows Program, which places peer tutors in classrooms throughout the college. Fellows are familiar with the disciplinary writing conventions of the course, and often with the particular standards of the instructor. Fellows consult with faculty as they develop writing assignments, meet with students as they draft and revise assignments, and serve as liaisons between students and faculty in clarifying requirements and standards.
Upon faculty recommendation, students with strong writing and interpersonal skills can apply for a position in the Writing Center.
First Year Experience
Student success, during a student’s first year and beyond, is dependent on a variety of experiences, both academic and social. The First Year Experience program supports students during their critical first semester of matriculation, and helps them explore the college community. With small classes and hands-on-activities, FYE encourages self-exploration, active engagement and understanding of the world.
In addition to the weekly classes, students:
Attend campus activities ranging from group outings and athletic events to service opportunities and on-campus lectures.
Participate in the StrengthsFinder Assessment Program.
Meet with their FYE instructor and career counselor.
Participate in a student-led club.
Completion of the FYE course is on a pass-fail basis, and is required for students to progress to their sophomore year. Incoming students who enter with fewer than 28 credits are required to successfully complete FYE.
Dean of Students
Allison Gill, Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs /Dean of Students
The Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs /Dean of Students is an advocate for students in all areas of campus life, focusing on the development and maintenance of a vibrant campus community dedicated to the overall well-being of students. The Dean’s office is a place to ask questions, find help if you need it, and be challenged to become engaged in your own academic and personal development. The following departments report to the Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students:
The Office of Community Standards
Preston Croteau, M.P.A., Assistant Dean of Students for Wellness / Director of Community Standards
Before all else the students, faculty, staff and administration of Merrimack College form an Augustinian community that supports and challenges its members in the pursuit of Truth. We declare and celebrate our common purpose, and commit ourselves:
to serious study, generous service and courageous leadership
to academic integrity and personal growth
to civilized discourse in the exchange of ideas
to friendship, diversity, and mutual respect
to primacy of conscience and the spiritual life
to responsibility for the common good, and
to pride in our schools and ourselves.
It is the responsibility of the College to maintain an environment that is consistent with its mission and respectful of the rights of all individuals within the College community. In addition to this obligation, the College affirms that all members of this community are freely united by this agreement in the pursuit of scholarship and intellectual growth. By reason of this contract, both the College and the students accept responsibility toward each other within this community. Consequently, it is necessary to establish procedures to ensure the preservation of this community and its goals, and to respond promptly and accurately to actions that are contrary to these values and ideals.
The Merrimack College Community Standards are directed to this end as they seek to impart the values and ideals of this community as well as habits of conduct. When student conduct adversely impacts the College community, the educational program or the community standards of the College, the case will be processed within the student conduct system and sanctions commensurate with the offense will be applied.
Behavior that is in violation of local, state or federal law will also be responded to in accordance with this system. In these cases, the College reserves the right to take action independent of that which may occur in a court of law and does not provide protection from prosecution by law enforcement agencies.
Hamel Health and Counseling Center
Katell Guellec, LICSW, Director, Hamel Health & Counseling
Linda Adoniou, LMHC, Mental Health Clinician
Carol Baumgarten, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Denise Dwyer, MS, APRN, BC, , Assistant Director of Health Services
Kathy Hansen, CMA, Medical Administrative Assistant
Tracy Harris, MD, Medical Director/Physician
Erin Hetzel, LICSW, Mental Health Clinician
James Howland, LICSW, Ed. D, Mental Health Clinician
Rachel Spencer, PA-C, Physician Assistant
Kathleen Tavares, MA, Practice Manager
The Hamel Health and Counseling Center provides comprehensive medical and mental health services in a welcoming and inclusive setting. Hamel is staffed by licensed professionals, and all services are confidential. Services are free and available to all enrolled undergraduate and graduate students by making an appointment. We also provide consultation to Merrimack students, parents, faculty, and staff who may have concerns about the well-being of a student or who have health-related questions. During the academic year, Hamel staff engage in outreach and training to educate the campus on significant health issues that impact college students. Additionally, Hamel Health and Counseling accepts and manages health forms and immunization records for all students as required by state law. We offer information and consultation regarding the submission and completion of these required forms by calling 978-837-5441 or by visiting our website.
Counseling Services: The counseling staff consists of licensed social workers and mental health counselors who have years of experience working with college students. Counseling services are confidential and include crisis intervention, short-term counseling, consultation, assessment, and referral. Common reasons that college students seek services include stress, depression, anxiety, eating and/or body image concerns, relationship problems, sexual assault and intimate partner violence, and substance abuse. Students access counseling services by calling x5441 or dropping in to the office to make an appointment. In a mental health crisis, students should walk in at any time. After-hours crisis phone counseling is also available to students by speaking with a Residential Life professional staff member or by calling Police Services at x5911 and asking to speak with the counselor on call.
Health Services: The health services staff consists of two nurse practitioners, a physician assistant, and a physician. Students receive care for a wide variety of concerns, such as colds and flu symptoms, infections, rashes, concussions, stomach issues, minor strains and sprains, asthma, or more serious health concerns. Students may make an appointment by calling x5441 or stopping by the office. All students must complete health forms in order to utilize health services. Health forms are available to all entering students through our online portal, which can be found on our website. For medical treatment when the office is closed, students may use off-campus services, including AFC Urgent Care, Merrimack Medical and Walk-In Center, and Pentucket Medical Express Care. In the event of an emergency, students should contact Merrimack Police Services at x 5911 who can assist by calling for an ambulance. The emergency rooms at Lawrence General Hospital and Holy Family Hospital provide 24-hour medical care.
The Office of Residence Life
David Golden, MPA, Director of Residence Life
Jon Bragg, MS, Associate Director of Residence Life
Elizabet Kew, MA, Assistant Director of Residence Life
Carol LeMay, Office Manager
Joan Kwiatek, MA, Area Coordinator
Taylor Troxell, MS, Area Coordinator
Alanna Gaffny, M.Ed., Area Coordinator
Rebecca Neary, M.Ed., Area Coordinator
Consistent with the College’s mission to “enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives,” the Office of Residence Life endeavors to create an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity, personal relationship building, and accountability within the residential areas across campus. Our mission and vision are informed by that endeavor.
Our mission is to provide housing in which engaging, supportive, and safe communities develop.
Our vision is to:
- Foster a learning environment that promotes student growth beyond the classroom.
- Create a home away from home within our residential communities.
- Facilitate the formation of lifelong relationships and memories.
- Form welcoming and open residential areas.
- Promote an inclusive environment that recognizes, embraces, and celebrates diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and identities.
- Nurture a culture of mutual respect and peer accountability.
- Utilize a student-centered approach in order to provide excellent service.
The Office of Wellness Education
Erin Kaminski, M.Ed., Wellness Educator
The Office of Wellness Education is located in Sakowich 370, staffed by the Wellness Educator and two Graduate Fellows Monday through Friday 8:30am-4:30pm or by appointment. You may email the Wellness Educator or email@example.com for more information.
The Office of Wellness Education promotes behaviors that create a healthier environment for the Merrimack College community. We provide many opportunities to discover how you can optimize your health and well-being during your years at Merrimack and beyond. There are many events throughout the year for students to learn about nutrition, fitness, stress management, mental health awareness, positive body image, alcohol & other drugs, campus safety, and much more. Mack at Night, a late night event series, provides social entertainment events Thursday through Saturday night. All events are free and light refreshments are typically provided. In the past, we have hosted trips to Laser Tag, Wamesit Lanes, Sky Zone, plus on-campus game night, movie screenings, karaoke, and painting classes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Interested in becoming involved? Students can apply to be a Wellness Peer Educator to educate fellow Merrimack students on a range of wellness topics. The Peer Educators receive many hours of training in order to be educators, leaders, role models, and resources, to the Merrimack community. Applications are typically open during the beginning of the spring semester. Email email@example.com for more information.
Another student organization is Active Minds which aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues on campuses nationwide. Their weekly meetings are open to all students- those with a mental illness, those without, and anywhere in between- at any time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Office of First Year Experience and New Student Orientation
Allison Gill, M.Ed., Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Kathy Vaillancourt, M.Ed., Assistant Director of First Year Experience and Orientation
The First Year Experience:
Student success, during freshman year and beyond, depends on experiences in the first year. At Merrimack College, the First Year Experience (FYE) supports freshmen students during their critical first semester, and to help them explore the college community. With small classes and hands-on activities, FYE encourages self-exploration, active engagement and understanding of the world.
Through FYE, students meet once a week for one semester to explore and discuss a range of topics, including:
Academic resources available on campus, and how to best use them
Social justice and exploring opportunities for community service Cultural diversity and what it means to live in a global society
Strategies for academic success, including time management, major exploration, and advising
In addition to the weekly course, students will attend campus activities which may range from a group outing to a sports game, a service opportunity, an on-campus lecture, or participation in a student-led club. Each freshman will also meet individually with their FYE Instructor and Career Advisor and have the opportunity to participate in programs such as the FYE Intramural Program and Book Club. Completion of FYE is on a pass/fail basis, it fulfills the Academic Convocation requirement in the Liberal Studies Core Curriculum for General Education, and is required for students to progress to their sophomore year. All students matriculating at the College in Fall 2016 and later who enter with fewer than 28 credits are required to successfully complete the FYE Class.
New Student Orientation:
The New Student Orientation program begins with two overnight sessions in June, of which students should attend one. This program is designed for all new incoming first-time freshmen and transfer students entering with less than 15 credits. June Orientation is designed to prepare students for success in all aspects of Merrimack College life with a focus on their academic, social, and co-curricular development. An academic advising session is included in which new students will meet with a faculty member within their chosen major and be given registration material and their class schedule. Family orientation is also offered on day one of each orientation session and is highly recommended.
The second component of orientation is held prior to the start of classes in the fall. We require that all new students participate in the Fall Orientation program (first years and transfers.) The schedule begins with Move-In Day and includes programs on academic and campus life with evening social events.
Mid-Year transfer students are also offered a day long Orientation in January prior to the start of classes. This program is for transfer students and their families and includes: advising, registration, a campus resource session and campus tours.
The Office of Student Involvement
Rose Dolan, M.Ed., Director of Student Involvement
Alyssa Cyr, M.Ed., Assistant Director of Student Involvement
Mari Watson, M.Ed., Coordinator of Programming and Student Affinity Groups
Michael Kennedy MS., Coordinator of Programming and Leadership Development
Jennifer Morrissey, Office Coordinator
The Office of Student Involvement’s mission is to engage students in purposeful, out-of- classroom experiences that enlighten students through social, cultural, spiritual, transitional, and interpersonal development, and to empower them to live the mission of Merrimack College by promoting leadership, community building, awareness, scholarship, and service in their daily lives.
The Office of Student Involvement coordinates the efforts of over fifty student organizations to ensure diverse and exciting involvement opportunities. These student-governed organizations include creative and performing arts organizations, co-curricular organizations, fraternities and sororities, service organizations, student publications, and special interest organizations. In addition, this office enables students to produce and sponsor late night and weekend programming and supports recreational activities and trips of all kinds. The office also oversee all of our student affinity groups including commuters, transfers, veterans, and graduate students. In all of its efforts, the Office of Student Involvement focuses on developing student leadership and encouraging students to get involved and accept responsibility for the design and presentation of their own activities and programs.
As the voice of students and the governing body for all student organizations, the Student Government Association seeks to ensure that students’ needs and concerns are addressed by faculty, administration and the College community. SGA conducts its business through a system of standing committees and the Executive Board. Through this structure, as well as through its open forums, the goal of SGA is to encourage students to have a positive influence upon their community and improve the overall student experience at Merrimack College.
The Office of Global Education
Liesl R. Smith, Ph.D., Director of Global Education
Erika Cook, M.Ed. Assistant Director of Global Education
The Office of Global Education, located in the Red House 23 Rock Ridge Road, connects Merrimack college students in all academic disciplines to educational opportunities around the globe. Global Education: Global education programs enhance and enrich Merrimack students’ academic experience in critical ways. Merrimack College offers semester and short-term global opportunities that develop cross-cultural flexibility and equip students to live and work as effective global citizens. Semester program options are designed to serve specific majors. For example: Environmental Studies in Costa Rica; Political Science in the United Arab Emirates; Health Science in South Africa; International Business in China; History in the Czech Republic; Literature and Language in Germany. Short-term courses, taught and led by Merrimack College faculty, differ from year to year. Typical courses include: RTS2450 Pellegrinaggio in Italia and SOC 3650 Crossing Borders: The Sociology of Immigration. Internships are available in many semester options. Students are encouraged to begin planning for semester abroad at least one year prior to application. Additional information and the current list of approved global education programs can be found at: www.merrimack.edu/geo
The Office of International Student Support
Theresa Pettersson, Associate Vice President for International Student Services Carol Leibovitz, Assistant Director
Maura Shaffer, Academic Advisor for International Students
The Office of International Student Support (ISS), located in Sakowich, Room 310, provides support to international students who study at Merrimack College. In keeping with the Merrimack College mission and inspired by Augustinian values, the International Student Support team takes a multilayered approach to enriching the campus community by fostering positive growth and empowerment of international students.
International Student Services: Every year students from all over the world study at Merrimack College. The Office of International Student Support coordinates a customized orientation for international students and supports international students with visa and immigration services,
The Office of Fitness and Recreation
Matthew Gordon, M.P.A., Director of Campus Fitness and Recreation
The Office of Campus Fitness and Recreation serves students with the opportunity to better themselves, physically, emotionally, and mentally. We offer a wide variety of activities to help everyone find something that interests them. Campus Fitness and Recreation offer five different components: fitness, intramurals, recreation, group exercise and personal training.
The newly renovated fitness center offers all new equipment in the over 9000 square feet of space. We have two fitness studios, which serve as our scheduled group exercise space, and as an additional informal space to workout. We have an elevated three lane track, which surrounds two courts on a multipurpose flooring. Students take advantage of the space by checking out basketballs, soccer balls, badminton equipment, and volleyballs. During the academic year, our facility is open 24 hours a day 5 days a week.
The Intramural program offers 14 different sports for students, staff and faculty over four seasons throughout the academic year. Intramural sports serve as a chance to engage in friendly competition among the Merrimack community. If students are interested in a sport we do not currently offer, we will create a tournament and aim to generate enough interest for a league. Some of our most popular intramural sports are basketball, volleyball, hockey, and broomball.
Currently, the department offers 8-10 recreation trips per year, one of which is the annual ski trip. We have previously taken students to Red Sox games, Celtics games, white water rafting trips, and hikes in the area to name a few.
The group exercise program features a combination of cardio, strength, dance, and mind/body classes. Currently, we offer Zumba, two levels of yoga, strength and conditioning, Body Pump, spin, and high intensity interval training class totaling 23 classes throughout the week. All classes are led by certified student instructors.
Student employment is offered across all of the programs. All of our intructors are certified, and can answer any questions.