Earlier this fall, Stonehill College implemented Canvas, a new learning management software, to enhance the ability of students and faculty to complete coursework. Senior Educational Technology Specialist Joshua Rapoza is one of the Stonehill staff members working to get this program off the ground. 

“Canvas is so user-friendly and intuitive,” he said. “I am excited to see how it will help improve the degree of learning both within and outside the classroom.”

As Rapoza conducts trainings and completes other important tasks in support of this initiative, here are 10 things to know about him. 

Rapoza shows a group of student employees how to navigate Canvas.

1. He is a tech guru. Rapoza has worked at Stonehill since 2010. In his current role, he is a member of the Educational Technology and User Support Services team. His primary responsibilities include supporting faculty and students in learning, troubleshooting and utilizing the College’s IT hardware and services. 

2. He is a good mentor. Rapoza likes that his job affords him the opportunity to collaborate with work study students employed by IT. “I get to see them grow up during a pivotal time in their life,” he said. “And when they come back to visit after graduating, it’s amazing to see how much they’ve accomplished.” 

3. He loves teaching teachers. Rapoza is not only passionate about educating students, but also about helping teachers figure out how they can implement technology into their curricula. “It makes me feel like I'm contributing to their impact in the classroom when I am able to help them utilize technology that will enhance their classroom’s learning,” he said.

4. He is compassionate. While some may get frustrated when teaching the people in their lives how to use new technology, Rapoza always tries to approach these lessons with a calm, patient and understanding attitude. “I remind people that I am navigating this technology just as much as they are, so there is nothing to be afraid of,” he said. 

5. He’s the man behind Group Ex. In addition to his role in IT, Rapoza has also served as coordinator of the College’s Group Ex program since 2021. The program has flourished under his leadership and currently offers weekly classes focused on yoga, HIIT, total body, barre, Zumba and more. 

Rapoza demonstrates tree pose in the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex.

6. He is a yogi. Rapoza was first introduced to yoga in gym class during his sophomore year of high school. He quickly grew to love it. Since then, he has become a certified teacher. He has led Group Ex yoga classes regularly since 2016. “People ask me how I am always in such a good mood and have so much energy. My answer is to drink plenty of water, get good sleep and do yoga,” he said.

7. He was a hit at the holiday party. Rapoza is outgoing and a natural performer, which is why he jumped at the chance to emcee the holiday party held for Stonehill employees in 2022. His favorite moment from this experience was when he selected Brendan Barry ’20, resident director of Boland Hall, as the winner of the Bruins tickets being raffled during the event. Seeing the look of pure joy on his colleague’s face warmed Rapoza’s heart. “Those are the kind of moments I live for,” he said. “I was able to help make that person’s Christmas, and it brought me so much joy.”

8. He has the Christmas spirit all year. Rapoza loves the Christmas season. If he could, he would listen to holiday music every day of the year, and he is usually in a cheerful mood. For these reasons, Rapoza closely identifies with Buddy, Will Ferrell’s character from Elf. “I am always smiling,” explained Rapoza. “I love smiling. Just like Buddy, smiling is my favorite.” 

9. He is a bow tie guy. If you see Rapoza walking around campus, chances are he will be wearing a bow tie. Whenever someone compliments his look, he always responds by saying, “Thanks, bow ties are cool,” which is the catchphrase of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who. “I love bow ties because it’s almost like you are putting the final touch on a wrapped gift,” he said.

10. He feels at home at the Hill. Throughout his time at Stonehill, Rapoza has come to hold our community near and dear to his heart. He views many of his supportive coworkers like family. “I feel like I am coming home every time I come to campus,” he said. 

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