Alumni Leadership Committee
Meet the Committee
The mission of the Goodwin University Alumni Leadership Committee is to create a lifelong bond between Goodwin University and its alumni by engaging a diverse group of graduates through programs and services that address their needs and keep them connected. The Alumni Leadership Committee supports the mission and values of Goodwin University and promotes the role of alumni in strengthening and sustaining the life of The University.
Lee Housley graduated from Goodwin University in 2013 with an A.S. in Business Administration and again in 2015 with a B.S. in Management and Leadership, summa cum laude and as the class valedictorian. Since graduating from Goodwin University, Lee has continued her education, pursuing a M.S. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Hartford.
Lee is currently the Talent Development Manager at Paradigm Precision, a global aerospace manufacturing company based in Manchester, Connecticut.
Lee serves on the Goodwin Foundation Board of Directors and also gives back to the Business & Manufacturing School by serving on the Advisory Board for the Management & Leadership program.
She has been a valued member of the Alumni Leadership Committee since 2013 and began serving as president in 2016.
Lee resides in Berlin with her husband, Alan, and enjoys traveling, shopping, and hiking with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Sam.
Marcia Bennett-Duffus graduated from Goodwin University in 2016 with an AS in Health Science and again in 2017 with an AS in Science and a Collegiate Certificate in Histology. Marcia works as a Licensed Practical Nurse for the Hartford Board of Education, Roots Center, and Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services and is pursuing a master's degree in Public Health.
During her time at Goodwin University, Marcia became a member of Goodwin University Crew. Wanting to stay connected to Goodwin, she became a member of the Alumni Leadership Committee in 2016. She continues to be a part of campus activities by volunteering and encourages others to get involved.
Marcia currently lives in Hartford with her husband, Davan, and two of her four children. She enjoys volunteering, shopping, and being with family and friends.
Mark N Graziano graduated from Goodwin in 2015 with a Bachelor's Degree in Management and Leadership. Mark currently works with Johnson Controls Fire Protection as a Systems Integrity Representative helping their clients protect lives and property.
After graduation Mark showed an eagerness to remain connected to Goodwin and to be a part of building a strong and connected Alumni community. It was this desire that led to his invitation to become a member of the Leadership Committee in 2016.
Mark currently lives in Winsted. He enjoys attending music events, participating in charitable 5k's, hiking the trails of the Northwest Corner with his beautiful dog Porter, and sharing experiences with his family and friends.
Katherine Guilmette, one of the newest members to the Alumni Leadership Committee, is known to everyone as Kate or Katie. Katie began her career at Goodwin University in 2013, first in pre-nursing, then quickly moving to Human Services. Katie received her AS in Human Services in June 2015 and BS in Human Services with a minor in Psychology in 2017, with a 3.85 GPA. Katie previously had an associate degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Hartford through the School of Hartford College for Women and an associate degree in Disability Specialist from Manchester Community College in 2007. She has also received her master's degree in Gerontology from Concordia University Chicago in December of 2019.
Katie received "The Spirit of Service" award in 2017 for her participation as vice president of the Human Services Club, vice president of the Tau Upsilon Alpha Honors Society, and a volunteer around campus.
Katie decided to go back to school while she was working part-time at Shoprite of East Hartford, where she is still currently employed. "Senior Day Tuesday" made her realize she wanted to work with older adults needing to navigate the systems of care. Katie has two adult sons, George and Dylan, and is married to Rick who has four adult children. She lives in Manchester and will be completing her master's degree in Gerontology from Concordia University Chicago in August of 2019.
Robin Jennings-Bowen graduated from Goodwin University in 2015 with a Dual B.S. in Business Administration and Management and Leadership, Magna Cum Laude. Since graduating from Goodwin University, Robin continued her education at Southern Connecticut State University and earned a M.S. in Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude.
Robin is currently self-employed as an owner and property manager of several multi-family properties in Hartford and a professional dog and exotic parrot breeder.
Robin serves on the Goodwin University Alumni Leadership board. She is also a member of the Prince Hall Chapter, Order of Eastern Star State of Connecticut, Inc., since 2009, an organization that does charity work in the community. She is also an active member of The Parrot Club, a non-profit organization that focuses on enhancing the knowledge and enjoyment of exotic birds for their members, encouraging preservation and conservation of all avian species, and introducing the general public to the joys and responsibilities of keeping and caring for companion parrots.
In addition, she is a member of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which is an organization that stimulates responsible ownership and animal welfare, nurtures environmental stewardship, and ensures the availability of pets. She is a member of the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA), whose purpose is to represent all aspects of aviculture and to educate the public about keeping and breeding birds in captivity.
Robin resides in Hartford with her husband of 23 years, Clarence. Robin is also the mother of six adult children, the step-mother of two adult children and the grandmother of seven grandchildren.
Carol earned her bachelor's degree in Human Services in 2017 from Goodwin University, where she was class valedictorian. She is currently months away from completing her master's degree in Gerontology from Concordia University in Chicago. Carol is awaiting her national certification as a Dementia Practitioner and is studying to be certified as a Brain Fitness Coach. She has trained for and worked as a hospital chaplain at Hartford Hospital. Carol is vice president of the New England Organization of Human Services (NEOHS) and has presented at several annual conferences on subjects related to the elderly.
In May 2016, Carol was recognized as one of 60 Over 60 persons within Connecticut who continue to contribute to the welfare of the state and its elders, providing general and grief counseling. She is refining her Dementia Caregiver Education Program, "Love The Color Days," which utilizes concepts of color psychology to call attention to and explain behaviors of those suffering from all forms of dementia.
Carol is also working on completing her book, "I AM Not Old Until I Say So," to coincide with her master's graduation in 2019.
Events Committee Co-Chair
Travis Samuels earned his associate degree in 2011 and his bachelor's degree in 2015, both in Human Services. He developed a passion in working with the next generation of teenagers and young adults. Travis was hired at Goodwin University in the Student Affairs department, assisting the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). He also works for the Cornerstone Youth Center in Rockville./p>
Travis continues to be involved with Goodwin in many ways, from a Summer Bridge Academy mentor to a member of the Goodwin Foundation scholarship selection committee. He is also the founder of the Goodwin University Dance Crew.
Carol Vernale obtained her associate degree in Nursing from Goodwin University in August 2005. She was a member of Goodwin's first nursing class, graduating summa cum laude and salutatorian of the class of 2005. She has also earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut in Consumer Economics & Marketing.
Carol currently is a nurse coach for CareCentrix, where she works with Medicare and commercial plan members by telephone, helping them to manage their health and understand their benefits plans. She has worked in this case management role for several other companies including Aetna Inc. and Community Health Network of Connecticut Inc.
She is certified in case management, earning the CCM (Certified Case Management) accreditation in 2015. She also worked as a home care nurse for five years and spent a year in an acute care hospital setting as a medical/surgical nurse.
Nursing is a second career for Carol. Previously, Carol worked as a computer systems analyst at Aetna for 20 years. While taking a career break to be a stay-at-home mom, she went back to school to earn her nursing degree. Carol now blends her prior business and computer knowledge with her nursing experience to be a successful nurse case manager.
Carol joined the Alumni Leadership Committee in the fall of 2016 and works on a variety of alumni activities. She would like to invite more alumni to get involved with the social and volunteer activities that are offered, and especially encourages nursing alumni from Goodwin's earlier years to come out and catch up.
Carol enjoys traveling, skiing, and cooking with her husband, Joe, son Luc (a student at CCSU), and Miniature Schnauzers, Spike and Pearl.
Randy has been teaching English in one form or another for more than 20 years. Over the course of his career, he has taught in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges, and this variety of experience has provided him with a rich perspective regarding the differences and similarities among the various stages of a person's educational journey, as well as the manner in which these stages all fit together into a coherent picture. Working with the diverse student body at Goodwin University has given him daily opportunities to translate this experience into practical strategies for addressing the needs of different kinds of learners, and, every day, his own understanding of what it means to be an educated person is challenged and deepened by the students' commitment, creativity, and passion.
Randy received his bachelor's, two master's degrees, and his doctorate all from the University of Connecticut. He has published two books, Technology and Postmodern Subjectivity in Don DeLillo's Novels and Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 90s, and edited two collections of essays: Looking for Lost: Critical Perspectives on the Enigmatic Series and Plants and Literature: Essays in Critical Plant Studies. He has published dozens of articles on literature, film, culture, and teaching, and has presented papers at scores of academic conferences. He is motivated by his conviction that writing is a powerful tool for understanding the times we live in, discovering our own potential, and changing the world. He aspires to communicate to his English students the same passion for writing that has played such an important role in his own life.