Meet this year's Alumni Council and learn more about the people who volunteer with Lesley to represent our over 80,000 graduates.
PresidentKaren Gerrior-Mariani, ’98 SOM, began her term on July 1, 2011. Karen is the first graduate school president to be elected to the position. Karen has been a member of the council since 2003 and chaired the Nominations and Elections committee from 2008-2011. Karen began her work with Lesley’s Alumni Council 10 years ago as a committee member for the School of Management and has held various positions in the council since then including Secretary and Vice President.
Karen currently serves as the Assistant Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Brandeis University for more than eight years. Prior to her working in higher education at Brandeis, Karen worked in the television and sports marketing industry.
“Lesley University is a hidden gem!” Karen says. Karen’s passion for the mission of Lesley University shows in her dedication to the Alumni Association. She is setting new goals for the Alumni Council and its eight committees under the new Association By-Laws.
1st Vice PresidentDr. Ayanna Cooper, ’98 GSOE, began her term as officer on July 1, 2011. Ayanna also teaches as an adjunct professor for Lesley University. She has been a member of the council since 2008 and has chaired the Chapters Committee.
Ayanna is the former Director of English Language Learner Programs K-12 for the Southbridge Public School District in Southbridge, MA. She has more than 13 years of experience being a classroom teacher and a teacher educator in Georgia and Massachusetts. She is a dedicated Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) committee member, is a full-time Independent Educational Consultant who specializes in English language teaching and learning, and provides professional development and technical assistance to state departments of education. “I am very excited and honored to be part of the educational initiatives to improve the learning experiences of English learners in my home state of Massachusetts,” Ayanna states.
Ayanna is dedicated to Lesley and its mission because giving back to Lesley is so rewarding. She encourages alumni, those who graduated recently and years ago, to remain involved and connected with the Lesley Community. Ayanna believes that “the Alumni Council allows for us to contribute our time and diverse talents to a common goal – how exciting!”
2nd Vice PresidentCarol Rajala O’Regan, LC ’78, began her term as an officer on July 1, 2011. Carol first served on the Alumni Council as a committee member in 2008 serving on the Community Service Committee and became a voting member in 2009.
Carol currently works at Draper Laboratory as the Human Resources Operations Assistant. She began her professional career as a teacher and returned to school at Suffolk University to complete her Master’s degree in Human Resources Management. Even though Carol made a career change, her Lesley education prepared her for those changes. “It’s exciting and gratifying to know that the skills I learned at Lesley truly are universal and transferable.”
When asked why she gives back to Lesley, Carol stated, “because it’s fun and it’s important to actively help Lesley grow and make a positive impact on people’s lives around the world.” Carol gives back in many other ways as well serving on the search committee for the Assistant Superintendent for Stoughton Public Schools, serving on her local PTA board, and on the committee for Parents of Performing Students in Stoughton.
TreasurerJana Mulkern, SOM ‘99, began her term as an officer on July 1, 2011. Jana has been a member of the council since 2005.
Jana works at Boston University as an Educational Technologist working with medical campus faculty to implement instructional technologies. Previously, she worked in training and organizational development roles first running corporate learning departments and later running her own independent consulting business, Brady Learning Solutions. Jana’s Lesley education immediately opened doors for her in the training and development industry, helping her secure a leadership position soon after graduation. “Without my Lesley degree,” Jana says, “I’m not sure I would have had the same opportunities to break into my field.”
Lesley University’s mission is very important to Jana. She credits Lesley’s School of Management Training and Development program, the networking opportunities and the personal connections she made while at Lesley for her continued success in her career. “Lesley’s commitment to experiential learning and its mission to make positive changes in its community and the world beyond make it easy to stay involved.”
Jana is an active volunteer and fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Central New England Chapter’s MS Bike Events. Her team, the “Chain Gang,” has raised over $250,000 for MS research and support since 2000.
SecretaryShantel Hansen, ’06 GSASS, began her term on July 1, 2011. Shantel graduated from Lesley’s Intercultural Relations and Education Interdisciplinary Studies programs. She has been a member of the council since 2010 and worked at Lesley’s Cambridge campus while completing her degree.
Currently, Shantel is a marketing and social media consultant based out of Fort Collins, CO. She works with companies that already have a social media presence but need to ramp up their online interactions, brand awareness and sales. Shantel also works with companies who do not currently have a social media presence and want to get started but don’t know where to begin.
Being part of the Alumni Council for Shantel is a way for her to give back to the community that supported her throughout her Lesley education. According to Shantel, “Lesley will always be a core part of who I am.”
Alumni TrusteeMichelle Nadeau O’Brien, ’82 LC, began her term on July 1, 2010. Michelle graduated from Lesley College with a B.S. in Education. Michelle previously served on the Alumni Council and was President of the Alumni Association from 1998 to 2002. she is currently serving as one of two Alumni Trustees who serve on both the Board of Trustees and Alumni Council.
Michelle earned a law degree from Suffolk University in 1990. “Although I did not pursue a teaching career, which is why I selected Lesley for my undergraduate school,” says Michelle, “I use the skills and training I obtained at Lesley in my legal career.” Michelle is grateful for the education and her experiences she gained at Lesley.
Since graduating from Lesley, Michelle has served in leadership roles on many boards at Lesley University and elsewhere. She co-chaired the Lesley University Centennial Planning Committee and serves on the Boston Bar Association Council, MassDEP Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee, and Society for Women Environmental Professionals, among others. She was also the vice-chair of the Saugus Planning Board.
Renee Aisenberg, LC ’81Massachusetts Stephanie Michele Anderson, E '06California
Nicole Bearse, LC ’00Kentucky Janelle Brady, LC '72Massachusetts
Liz Callahan, T '02Massachusetts
Gloria Castro, LCAL ’05Massachusetts
Lynette Correa, LC ’03Massachusetts
Larissa Drayer, LC ’96Massachusetts
Regine Dejean, LC '85New York
Denise Driscoll, AIB MFA ’07Massachusetts
Julie Farnam, G '05Virginia
Michael Finnegan, AIB MFA ’08Massachusetts
MaryAnn Johnson, SOE PhD ’08North Carolina
Jacqueline Leach, LC '67, Alumni TrusteeMassachusetts
Lenore Lieberman, LC ’60New Jersey
Craig Martin, SOE ’07Massachusetts
Thomas Morgan, LC ’09Massachusetts
Shawn Paulling, E '07Massachusetts
Dustin Todd Rennells, AIB '07Massachusetts
Kimberly Turner, SOE ’07Florida
Thomas Vaughn, SOE ’85Massachusetts
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