Alumni News

ND's peer counseling program turns into life-long passion for Lennon '95

ND's Peer Counseling program turns into life-long passion for Lennon '95

Craig Lennon ‘95 - Dean of Students (University of Bridgeport)
B.A. in Communication; Secondary Education (Stonehill College)
M.S. in Education Leadership (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

While at Notre Dame, Craig Lennon ‘95 discovered a passion for being a mentor. Today, Lennon is the Dean of Students at the University of Bridgeport, where he leads a division of student affairs including housing and residential life, counseling services, and the new Department for Multicultural Affairs.

“The one thing I knew when I was a student at ND, was that I wanted to help people,” Lennon reminisced. During his days as a Green Knight, he served as a Peer Counselor, was a member of the soccer team and chorus, and was elected as the class president. 

“What I really enjoy about working at UB and in the Student Affairs Office, is that everything I love to do and all of my previous experiences come together.”

Prior to his role at the University of Bridgeport, Lennon worked with high school dropouts at Grafton Job Corps and as a youth treatment specialist in a group home. 

While earning his graduate degree in Education Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he worked with Student Leadership Development and Diversity Initiatives. 

“I liked the possibility of working on a college campus, and I knew I wanted to work with students. By then, I really felt like there was no looking back for me,” laughed Lennon.

Lennon advises both his students and current ND students to work hard and focus in the classroom, but highlights that learning experiences extend far beyond school grounds. 

“Be open to opportunities for learning outside of the classroom and in the world,” he explained. “Many people miss these everyday opportunities, but they will help you grow as a person. You never know what you might learn just by talking to the person sitting next to you on the plane.”

Former Principal, Mr. Patrick Clifford '75, had a remarkable impact on Lennon. Clifford's guidance changed Lennon's attitude on education and helped set him down the right path. “Mr. Clifford saved my life. He helped instill a belief in me to get more involved.” he continued. "Every student I help, Mr. Clifford has helped too.”

Lennon remembers learning and living the Notre Dame Code, and recalls the way the faculty personified those values. “As a teacher, you never really know the true impact you have on your students. For folks like that, I really wish I could thank them.” 

Sweet Serendipity: summer job leads to successful career path for Mayer ‘07

Summer Serendipity: summer job leads to successful career path for Mayer ‘07

Andrew Mayer '07 - Associate Director for Leadership Development at UNH
B.S. Hospitality Event Management (Lasell University)
M.Ed. Higher Education Administration (University of Vermont) 

Serving as an orientation leader and coordinator was Andrew Mayer’s first taste of working in higher education. While studying hospitality event management at Lasell University, he began searching for a summer job that was a transition into something very similar to his previous experience as a camp counselor.

After his freshman year, Mayer applied to be an orientation leader for Lasell’s freshman orientation program. “I had a blast,” said Mayer. “The following year I applied to be an orientation coordinator, where I was involved in the hiring and training of the orientation leaders.” 

From there, he dove right into life at Lasell, becoming a member of the Campus Activities Board, Nicaragua and Ecuador Shoulder to Shoulder service trips, America Reads, and Residential Life team.

Mayer’s involvement during his undergraduate years foreshadowed his current role as the Associate Director for Leadership Development in the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership, and Orientation at the University of New Haven. 

At UNH, his primary responsibilities include curriculum development for leadership courses, student programming, and oversight of the orientation program and 160 student clubs. Mayer enjoys the diverse workload his job entails, but he explains he especially looks forward to the parts of his day spent advising and mentoring students. 

 “Success looks different for every student. Learning about their individual goals and aspirations, and being able to help them come up with different strategies, is extremely rewarding,” said Mayer. 

 When Mayer reflected on his time spent at Notre Dame, his experience with mentorship was one of his fondest memories. “I was truly fortunate to have so many dedicated teachers and mentors. The faculty cared about me as an individual and helped set me up for success both academically and personally.”

His advice to current ND students is simple: “Find a mentor. I don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t have educated supporters cheering me on throughout my journey.” 

While at ND, Mayer was an editor for both The Shield and The Mind’s Eye. Although a knee injury sidelined Mayer from the cross country team after his freshman season, Mayer shared he recently got back into running during graduate school. Nowadays, he regularly finishes half marathons and enjoys being back in running shoes.

 “During my first half marathon, all I could hear in my head was Coach Parkinson screaming in my ear ‘keep going….keep going,” he laughed.

Stankevitch '16 has a call to serve

Stankevitch '16 has a call to serve

by Josh LaBella, West Haven Voice Reporter (Published 9/4/19)

Marcin Stankevitch has worked under two West Haven mayors and will now be making the journey to Hartford to work in the office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. He said he has learned a lot from his time as an aspiring political operative.

Stankevitch has lived in West Haven since he was three-years-old. He said he attended St. Lawrence School from kindergarten to eighth grade and then went to Notre Dame High School.

“I graduated and then went to the University of New Haven,” said Stankevitch. “[I study] political science. I’m a senior now.”

He said he was in the model United Nations at the university for four semesters; playing the role of a delegate three times and a head delegate once. Stankevitch was also a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission.

“We’d plan events like WestFest or we’d host town hall meetings,” said Stankevitch. “Sometimes we’d do a food shuttle for UNH students around West Haven.”

When Stankevitch first got to UNH he had yet to declare his major but, after an American Government class with Professor Chris Haynes was motivated to become a political science major.

“I find politics very interesting,” he said. “But it’s not that I just like politics. We also do a lot of community things.”

In the fall of 2017, Stankevitch started an internship in the O’Brien administration. He said he was there mostly as overseeing operations with WestFest. But, after Nancy Rossi became mayor, was invited to continue working in City Hall’s third floor.

“It was kind of surprising to me because I had worked for the past administration,” said Stankevitch. “I felt like I had to prove myself a little bit. So, the first thing I really did in that office was a Town Hall meeting in January of 2018.”

The student described work in the Rossi administration as interesting and fun but also challenging. He said working in West Haven gave him a good perspective regarding local government.

Taking his experience studying local and international government, Stankevitch said he wanted to split the difference and find opportunities in national politics. He said it was for that reason he applied to an internship in Senator Blumenthal’s Hartford office.

“They are going to start me off doing a lot of casework,” said Stankevitch. “But I’d like to a little bit of everything because in the mayor’s office I did a little bit of everything.”

Stankevitch said he enjoys that type of work because he likes to help people solve problems while using government in a “way that’s good.” He said he’s learned a lot from his time in politics so far.

“There’re a couple of important things that I learned,” he said. “Like having a good network and being able to network is very important. Being willing to do menial tasks, even if you think you’re above them, is very important.”

The intern said he has developed a good work ethic and has grown as a person every step of the way. He said he envisions himself staying in Connecticut after he graduates in the spring.

Welcome Class of 2023 Legacy Students

Class of 2023 Legacy Students

Anthony Constantinople (son of Anthony Constantinople '89 and grandson of Andrew Constantinople '56)

Santino Chancio (son of Robert Chancio '94 and grandson of Joseph Chancio '68)

Daniel Cusack (son of Daniel Cusack '89)

Kevin McGroary (son of David Thomas McGroary '83)

Sean Hannan (son of Gregg Hannan '87 and grandson of Richard Hannan '59)

Tyler Koenig (son of Jason Koenig '89)

Austen Glass (son of John Glass '91)

John McCormick (son of John McCormick '91)

Christopher Schuler (son of John Schuler '85)

Kyle Grande (son of Justin Grande '91 and grandson of Philip Grande '61)

Edward Corcoran (son of Kevin Corcoran '83 and grandson of Edward Corcoran '51)

Brady Kubicko (grandson of Richard Carew '74 and great-grandson of John Carew '50)

Peter Alfano (son of Peter Alfano '92)

Ryan Hogan (son of Timothy Hogan '78)

Nicholas Bruno (son of Wayne Bruno '73)

Timothy Fiengo (grandson of John McCarthy '63)

Vincent Russo (grandson of Paul LaMonica '56)

CJ Romaniello '20 Completes Eagle Scout Project
Scout’s bog walks aid Shelton Land Trust article

CJ Romaniello '20 Completes Eagle Scout Project

Shelton Troop 19 Eagle Scout candidate Christopher “CJ” Romaniello of Derby earlier this month completed his Eagle Scout project building bog walks on the Blue Trail at Nicholdale Farm to benefit the Shelton Land Trust.

The sections of the trail where the bog walks were placed frequently flood during heavy rains. Romaniello said this project highlights scouting’s commitment to the local community.

Romaniello is a graduate of St. Joseph’s School in Shelton and is heading into his senior year at Notre Dame West Haven, where he is a varsity soccer player.

Pictured with Eagle Scout Scout candidate CJ Romaniello (second from left) are, left to right, Jared Lawrence, Joe Singh, Ryan Haack, Scoutmaster Andrew Bickford, Michael Dwyer, Monty Singh, Kushal Singh(dark brown shirt), CJ's brother Brian, and CJ's sister Emma.