With 40 majors available to students in the May School of Arts & Sciences, it is no surprise that the seniors who secured jobs and graduate school placements before commencement are headed off to a wide variety of fields. Yet despite that variety, there is a common thread among them: They immersed themselves in the academic and professional development opportunities available at the College and found one or more Stonehill mentors to help guide them along the way.

Two Stonehill Teams Help Health Science Major Earn Post in Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

As a quarterback on Stonehill’s NCAA Division I football team, Matthew Arvanitis knows the importance of field awareness.

As a health science major, he knew the same skill would serve him well as he prepared to move his career downfield. So, he built a team to help him spot opportunities and develop a strong playbook.

“I built connections with many of my professors over my time at Stonehill,” said Arvanitis, who this fall will begin pursuing his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina. “They were always available to help academically and serve as a mentor and a friend. Professor Katharine Harris, my academic advisor, kept me on track with all things academic and, more importantly, served as a sounding board for my future plans, giving me much-needed advice.”

His clinical internship at Bay State Physical Therapy also helped shape his plans, providing hands-on experience and serving as a launchpad for a part-time job with the company, which allowed him to deepen his learning. And his role as a football team representative of Stonehill’s Hope Happens Here (HHH) chapter deepened his compassion. HHH is a national organization that advocates for the support of student-athletes’ mental health.

“As a member of the chapter’s executive board, I handled a lot of the day-to-day communication with club members,” said Arvanitis, who is from Holliston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Holliston High School. “I learned a lot about athlete mental health, which I can hopefully carry into my career as a physical therapist one day.”

Jessika Crockett-Murphy, who will attend Villanova University to pursue her master’s degree in ministry and theology and a certificate in higher education leadership.

Political Science, Religious Studies Major Embraces Future as Servant Leader

It is no secret that students who takes advantage of the opportunities offered through Campus Ministry consistently reap benefits that extend beyond faith formation.

Jessika Crockett-Murphy, who will graduate with a double major in religious studies and political science, says her Campus Ministry experiences have enhanced every aspect of her life.

“The H.O.P.E. service immersion program, L.I.G.H.T. community engagement program and Moreau Student Ministry community helped me grow my faith and my social circle and developed me professionally to be ready for a life and career of service and ministry,” said Crockett-Murphy, who has accepted an invitation from Villanova University to pursue her master’s degree in ministry and theology and a certificate in higher education leadership.

Leadership has been a central tenet in her time at Stonehill. She has served as the executive vice president of the Student Government Association, gone on several H.O.P.E. service immersion trips as both a participant and a leader, and been a member of the Anchors Leadership Society, the Moreau Honors Program and the First-Generation Scholars Program. 

Recently, she was presented with The President’s Cup, awarded to a senior whose Stonehill career demonstrates their steadfast commitment to intellectual excellence and service to others. 

In her application for a Newman Civic Fellowship, which she was awarded in 2023, Crockett-Murphy wrote about feeling “an innate pull to service.”
“My involvement in government clubs and leadership roles has always been a way for me to help create a better future for everyone,” said Crockett-Murphy, who is a Marshfield High School graduate. “I was raised on the ideas of servant leadership and using my positions to serve others.”

Computer science major Lorelie Murphy will pursue her master’s degree in security studies, with a concentration in cybersecurity, at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Mentors, Leadership Roles Help Computer Science Major Secure Job, Start Grad School

Computer science major Lorelie Murphy was already beginning to compile a series of leadership experiences when a conversation with a faculty mentor gave her clarity as to what career would best suit her skill set and interests.

“Professor Janet Brown-Sederberg regularly gave me advice for the professional world,” said Murphy, who in her time at Stonehill has served as a resident assistant, an orientation leader, a rugby team captain and the president of Stonehill’s Women in STEM Club. “At some point, she introduced me to cybersecurity, and from there I was hooked.”

Subsequently, one of her Stonehill internships was at security services company IDEMIA North America, which led to the offer of a full-time position as an information security engineer, beginning after graduation. This career launch will happen in tandem with her life as a graduate student. She has accepted an invitation to pursue her master’s degree in security studies, with a concentration in cybersecurity, at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

She is particularly grateful to computer science professor Shai Simonson for his mentorship and the confidence and skills she gained through the Women in STEM Club.

“Professor Simonson made sure I was learning the material and was not just memorizing it. In Women in STEM, I was able to make those who feel alone in their respective fields feel seen and know that they are not alone, as well as give them the support they need,” said Murphy, a resident of Dracut, Massachusetts, who attended Central Catholic High School. “These experiences will help me in the workplace environment, no matter where I go.”

Transferring to Stonehill Created a Pathway Toward Success for Communication Major

As a transfer student, communication major Perry Shelbred knew that he not only wanted to keep himself on track academically but also hoped for a smooth transition culturally and socially.

The process had barely begun when he realized that fitting in at Stonehill would be virtually effortless.

“I felt heard, valued and was able to work through the transfer process seamlessly,” said Shelbred, who has already accepted a position with global project management company Cumming Group as a project manager/consultant.

Of particular importance to him during that transition and throughout his time at Stonehill has been the support he received from the Athletics Department, which guided him through the NCAA eligibility rules to allow him to join Stonehill’s Division I football team as a kicker.

“When I made the decision to transfer to Stonehill, it was a decision based on friendship, opportunity and trust,” said Shelbred, who lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and graduated from John Jay High School in Cross River, New York. This stemmed from “the mentorship that I received from various members of the Stonehill College community, from the academic and Athletics Department advisors to the football coaches and staff members.”

He also expects that his many leadership opportunities at Stonehill — from being a member of the Anchors Leadership Society to mentoring teammates on the football field — will serve him well in his professional life.

“In being a leader, I’ve learned to listen, empathize and communicate with teammates and people from all different kinds of backgrounds,” he said. “I’ve learned that it has everything to do with creating connections, listening and making others feel heard and a part of an experience or common goal.”

Joyce Rodriguez-Coimbre, who double-majored in criminology and psychology.

Criminology/Psychology Double Major Defines Success by Her Ability To Help Others

Professors in Stonehill’s criminology program provide a solid foundation for myriad careers, but Joyce Rodriguez-Coimbre found that she got something even more valuable from them: confidence and focus.

“My advisor, (criminology chair) Kathleen Currul-Dykeman, was a significant part of my professional and academic journey,” said Rodriguez-Coimbre, who double-majored in criminology and psychology. “She would meet with me consistently to talk about my goals and really helped me home in on my passion to help victims of crime. With her help and guidance, I was able to build the confidence to apply for an internship and figure out a postgraduation plan.”

That internship, part of Rodriguez-Coimbre’s practicum course Victims in the Courtroom, was with SAFEPLAN Court Advocacy Services in Brockton, which offers services to survivors of violence. Her work at SAFEPLAN earned her an invitation to join the staff as a victim witness advocate after graduation. Her extracurricular activities should also serve her well as she advances through her career.

She has had multiple leadership positions, including being the president of RUCKUS Step and Hip-Hop Dance Club, as well as the head resident assistant for the Holy Cross Center residence hall.

“Through these and many other roles, I have learned how to organize a team and create an environment where people want to work,” said Rodriguez-Coimbre, who comes from Bellingham, Massachusetts, and graduated from Bellingham High School. “I have learned how to recognize mistakes and find ways to grow from them. I have learned what it means to be a role model and how to live the way you want those who look up to you to live. These aspects of being a leader have really pushed me to be the best human I can be, and I plan to take these qualities even post-Stonehill.”

Zachary Fisher has accepted in an invitation from British Petroleum to join its Data Engineering Graduate Program in Chicago.

Tutoring, Interning and Strong Data Science Program Help Secure Choice Appointment

While data science major Zachary Fisher was accumulating the academic and professional skills needed to thrive in the burgeoning field of data analytics, he was also committed to the Stonehill mantra “As we rise, we lift.”

Working as a learning assistant in the Data Science program and as a tutor in the College’s Tutoring Center, he provided support for students grappling with courses that ranged from pre-calculus to French.

On the other side, he deepened his own learning through an internship at Staples, working with the company’s data engineering and data science teams.

“A huge thanks again to Professor Shai Simonson for helping me find this great opportunity,” said Fisher, a resident of Waterbury, Vermont, and a graduate of Rice Memorial High School. “One of the biggest helps for figuring out my future came from getting to know my professors better. Beyond just being knowledgeable about the career paths that I could go down, they also had widespread connections from which they could pull experiences and insights to share with me.”

The leadership roles he filled on campus, the experience in his internship and his success in the data science program have resulted in an invitation from British Petroleum to join its Data Engineering Graduate Program in Chicago.

“I have learned how to communicate better with others and gained greater insight into the process of software development, how different people work and interact and how to organize complex tasks.”


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