Jul 14, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Resources and Services

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, TBA

Graduate Fellow, FYE, Casey Murray

All Students

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:

  1. Identify themselves as a student in need of accommodations

  2. Request services

  3. Submit documentation of their need for accommodations   

  4. 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

  • Note-taking support

  • Information about Assistive technology

  • Housing Accommodations

  • Dietary Accommodations

  • 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, M.Ed., 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
Caitlin Abrahamson, M.S., Assistant Director 

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 (except for online-only students). 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 x5911 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, Interim Director of Residence Life

Jon Bragg, MS, Associate Director of Residence Life
Elizabeth Kew, MA, Assistant Director of Residence Life
Emily Long, M.Ed., 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 wellnesseducation@merrimack.edu 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 wellnesseducation@merrimack.edu 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 peereducators@merrimack.edu 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 activeminds@merrimack.edu for more information.



The CARE Team at Merrimack College is dedicated to the health and success of each student academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The purpose of the team is to identify and develop a plan for those students that may be experiencing more than ordinary transitional issues and may need a member of the campus community to check in or offer assistance in some way. Through this outreach, it is our goal to make students aware of the resources that are available to them and help them to be successful.

The CARE Team meets weekly in an effort to review all cases that are referred to them. After reviewing each student individually, the team determines appropriate outreach based on student needs and resources that can be provided to them. The CARE Team utilizes a vast network of faculty and staff from across campus and identifies the key people who are best served to help the student solve their problem and succeed at the college. Once a connection between a student and staff has been made and resources have been offered, the team will follow up to ensure the student is in the best possible place to continue with their education.

Students who are typically referred to the CARE Team have recently shown some kind of distress or significant change in regular behavior, either in or outside the classroom. This can be due to the stresses of the academic calendar, a change in financial status, the death of a loved one, a challenging living situation, a recent illness or injury, or any other number of challenging issues that face college students today. In reality, if there is any student concern that warrants some kind of intervention, the CARE Team can be notified and will review the student’s case. 


New Student Orientation

Allison Pukala M.Ed., Assistant Dean of Students for Student Engagement

The New Student Orientation program begins with overnight sessions in June and July, 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. Summer 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 school and be given registration materials as well as their class schedule. Family orientation is also offered on day one of each orientation session and is highly recommended for families to assist them in their student transition to Merrimack College. Family Orientation covers offices and resources, and opportunities to meet with upper-class students, faculty and staff face to face.

The second component of orientation is held prior to the start of classes in the fall. We require all new students to participate in the Fall Orientation program (first year and transfers.) The fall program begins with Move-In Day and includes programs on academic and campus life with evening social events each night of the four day program.

Mid-Year transfer students are also offered a multi-day Orientation in January prior to the start of classes. This program is for new and transfer students as well as their families and includes: advising, registration, campus resources and campus tours.


The Office of Student Involvement

Rose McCarthy, M.Ed., Director of Student Involvement
Alyssa Cyr, M.Ed., Assistant Director of Student Involvement
Andreas Armenis, M.Ed., Coordinator of Student Engagement and 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 seventy 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 oversees 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 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 instructors are certified, and can answer any questions.