Four employees receiving degrees during Commencement
Pictured: Kevin McDonald, assistant director of the Center for Student Development, who received an M.A. in holistic counseling in 2016
Four full-time employees will receive degrees during Thursday’s graduate Commencement ceremony, bringing a whole new meaning to the term work-study. The employees are receiving master’s degrees in fields ranging from administration of justice and homeland security to international relations.
In addition to the employees listed below, senior systems specialist/analyst Gerald Brothers will receive his MBA.
Nicholas Albanese, assistant director of admissions
Albanese will receive his master’s degree in international relations, which he has been pursuing since completing his undergraduate degree in psychology at Salve Regina in 2012.
“International relations provided a viewpoint through which I could use my knowledge of the individual and group to understand events on the international stage, thinking about how institutions interplay with world leaders, or the nation with the state,” he said.
Albanese said his graduate studies were a way to hone past interests, immerse himself in a new subject and reinforce the inherent joy of learning. He hopes to use his newly acquired knowledge to better inform the way he approaches work. “That is, putting the needs of the students I work with first, while always thinking of ways to innovate the ways in which our office functions to serve those who use its services,” he said.
He thanked the University for providing the employee tuition benefit, his professors for accommodating his work schedule, and his family and friends “for serving as a sounding board for ideas and having patience as I worked to balance time for learning and time with those I love.”
Alison Bognuda, annual giving officer, operations
After two years of coursework, Bognuda will receive her master’s degree in administration of justice and homeland security, along with a graduate certificate in cybersecurity and intelligence. Despite her original intent to apply for law school, Bognuda said David Smith encouraged her to take a few courses in the program.
“One class in and I was convinced that this program was a worthwhile investment,” she said. “The faculty in the cyber program are brilliant and fascinating. They all bring real world experiences to the classroom and are extremely supportive and encouraging.”
Bognuda hopes to eventually apply her skills in cybersecurity and intelligence analysis to the homeland security field and possibly pursue additional academic studies.
“I would like to thank Dave Smith for his constant attentiveness and unconditional support during this process,” she said. “Also, I cannot express enough the honor of sitting in classrooms with the most brilliant and inspiring professors, especially Jenny McArdle, Marjorie Hunt and Hank Brightman. Without their encouragement, I would not have achieved any of the accomplishments I have today.”
Danielle Daigneault, accounting generalist
Daigneault will receive her MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management, which she has been pursuing since completing her undergraduate degree at Salve Regina in 2015.
“I appreciated the experiential learning and networking opportunities that many of my professors facilitated, particularly when my Managing Business Operations course was able to visit a local factory in order to witness lean management principles in action,” she said of her coursework.
Daigneault plans to use her degree as a stepping stone towards achieving her Certified Public Accountant designation. “I would also welcome the opportunity to teach undergraduate accounting or business courses at the University that has been my home away from home for the past six years,” she said.
She credited the support of her family, especially her parents, grandparents and long-term boyfriend, along with business faculty Jennifer Bonoff, Jamie Carlone, Dr. Myra Edelstein, Bonnie Kennedy, Paul McKillop and Dr. Arlene Nicholas. “Finally, I would like to thank Michael Grandchamp and my current supervisors and coworkers Jaime Kittredge, Stephen Stracensky and Jennifer Cone for inspiring my love of accounting by welcoming me into the office my freshman year and encouraging me to pursue every opportunity that Salve has to offer,” she said.