Seniors: What’s Next?

Colleen Quinlan ’15

Staff Writer

May 17th, 2015 is the day seniors will be closing their final chapter at Merrimack College and starting a new chapter. It was only four years ago seniors came into Merrimack, not knowing what to expect and now the school has become their second home.

Sarah Connelly who will be graduating with a B.S. degree in Human Development and minor in Elementary Education recalls what her freshman year experience was like. “At first I was nervous about moving away from home but during my time here I have made countless memories. I would not change anything and would not trade all the fun moments and laughs for the world,” Connelly says.

After graduation Connelly will receive her M.Ed. in Community Engagement right here at Merrimack College. “I was invited into the fellowship program where we go to sites and gain experience that we can apply to the classroom. After graduation I want to work at a Non-profit organization that advocates for adults with special needs and in the future establish my own Non-profit organization”, Connelly says.

Alfred Aricidi will be graduating with a B.S. degree in Business Administration and a minor in Pre-Law. “I chose my major because I was interested in being an entrepreneur or in an administrative position after graduation”, Aricidi says. This fall Aricidi will be moving to Miami, FL. where he will be attending University of Miami and continue his studies in their law school program. “I am excited to graduate but will miss the friends I have made and the community as a whole”, Aricidi says.

Alyssa Boudreau will be graduating with a B.S. degree in Psychology and a minor in Business Management. “I chose my major because my family was going through a difficult and painful time to the point where we finally went to a family therapist. The results have given me my family back and we are stronger together. I want to be able to change lives like that”, Boudreau says.

Boudreau will be attending graduate school at Johnson and Wales University located in Rhode Island. Alyssa is one of 20 students in the Counseling Psychology program that will be being in June 2015 and last for 18 months. Boudreau favorite moment at Merrimack is going out for Zeta Tau Alpha. “I would not be who I am today with this organization, I’ve found a group of girls who are the most loving and selfless people” Boudreau says.

Kevin Hood who was part of the Orientation Class of 2016 will be graduating in three years instead of four years. “My family recently relocated down in Georgia, after graduation I will be back down there with them where I will be starting my summer internship at Frazier & Deeter in Atlanta, Georgia and in the fall go to graduate school At Kennesaw University”, Hood says.

More than 500 undergraduates and more than 150 graduates will be walking across stage on commencement and with graduation approaching quickly it is a bittersweet feeling for seniors. Remember one thing seniors, Merrimack College will be your home away from home. Congratulations and Good Luck!

  • May 17th, 2015 at 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
  • Lawler Rink
  • Undergraduate Commencement Exercise
  • Reception; Sakowich Campus Center

Time To Vote!

Kristi Slocum ‘15

Staff Writer

On April 16th, students and faculty gathered in the MPR to hear the candidates for the SGA election speak before voting time. Mackenzie Goebel, Lauren Folino, Anthony Preston, and Brenna McDonald on behalf of Kate Mermelstein and Shane Pacheco, all took the stage to share with students what they promise to improve as president. Each candidate gave excellent speeches and proved in their own way why they would be great as president, making it harder for students to make their final decisions on who to vote for!

Anthony was up first, and inspired students with how we can work together to seize opportunities that he promises to happen if he is president. During his speech, Anthony stated, “I aspire to create greater appreciation for this campus for the students and by the students…we can work together to improve the quality of our Merrimack experience, and rise beyond the limits we thought weren’t possible, we can make these visions a reality if we have the right conditions.” Anthony knows he will make positive changes on this campus by being president, because he “has a vision of opportunity, and a vision of a fresh start.” Anthony hopes to create more opportunities for students on campus, and improve the quality of food at our dining halls.

Next up, Brenna McDonald took the stage on behalf of Shane Pacheco who is currently abroad. Shane was very focused on changing the campus for the better, in ways such as broadening the choices for coffee on campus and expanding food variety. Shane believes that his “leadership qualities and past experiences at Merrimack will help to realize our full potential with our support. I have seen our school grow since 2012, and I will continue to push our community forward as SGA president this upcoming school year.” Shane is willing to give students more options for a variety of things such as food, coffee, activities, and so much more to make the students happy. Shane hopes to “meet large needs like a university, create more of a variation of options for students across campus, and encourage students to get the most out of their degrees.”

Lauren Folino took a different approach, and decided to share with the audience her journey from first joining SGA to now running for president. As a freshman at Merrimack, Lauren was struggling to meet new people and wanted to branch out. Lauren first decided to get involved in SGA to not only make friends, but also make an impact on campus. Since joining SGA, Lauren states that it has been one of the best decisions she has made here at Merrimack. As the years went on, Lauren continued to raise her voice and make positive impacts in SGA, such as becoming a Member At Large. With this honorable title, Lauren has been able to make big changes on campus already, and is very experienced with dedicating her time to improve the campus. She is confident that through her experience in the past that she will make students “as happy as they can be.”

While Kate Mermelstein is in London studying abroad, Brenna McDonald took the stage once again to share Kate’s promises as president. Although Kate saw being abroad during this time as a disadvantage, she has learned a lot in London that she will transfer over to Merrimack and make her a better candidate for president. She promises to work hard to make students happy by fixing common complaints such as Dunkin Donuts messing up coffee orders, and Sparky’s unsatisfying meals. She is willing to make the changes that students want, and hear your ideas to make them into a reality. Her focuses as president will be to “make the housing process less stressful, improve the dining options, help with any academic problems, and create a happy campus throughout the whole year, and not just on certain occasions like spring weekend.”

Last but not least, Mackenzie Goebel started her speech with an interactive question on how the audience would describe Merrimack. Mackenzie then stated that she would sum up Merrimack in two words, “dedication, and pride.” Mackenzie promises to focus all of her energy on students and their needs, and communicate with them on a personal level. She hopes to motivate students to speak with her and to not be scared to ask questions about changes they want to see. She promises to be a voice for students, and a leader that is loyal to them. As president, Mackenzie strives to “improve student life, create more stations at Sparky’s including healthier options, increase elective options in course catalog, and improve the parking pass situation.”

Students have until the 23rd to submit their ballots, so be sure to vote! The competition is very close this year, as you can see all candidates have great reasons on why they would make great presidents for Merrimack.

Senior Farewells

Brendan Doherty: When I was a young child kept away in my parents’ attic hidden away from the world, all I had during that stressful time was my pad and quill. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a college newspaper writer, and so began my journey through grade school to reach my ultimate goal. Now, after achieving my goal I look to retire as a semi-professional newspaper editor and spend the rest of my years as a goat herder, tending to my flock and collecting goat cheese and milk. I would like to thank everyone for reading the paper and contributing if you have in the past. I encourage everyone to follow your dreams because you too could make it out of your parent’s attic and into the job of your dreams. Lastly, accomplish your life goals while you’re in college so you have nothing left afterwards.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald: The laughs, moments and memories I have gained from being part of The Beacon is something I am truly going to miss, but will never forget. Like other seniors, the time at Merrimack has come and gone too quickly, but not all get to say that they were part of such an amazing group of people. As a junior, I became a staff writer, and was unclear of where this experience would take me. Over a year later, I have The Beacon to thank for so many things. Whether it be helping to pursue a career in journalism or being part of a group of editors and staff that put out an unbelievable paper, I am forever grateful for my time spent here.

I thank The Beacon for colliding our worlds and bringing the editors together. I have made great friends here, and will forever be a member of our GroupMe chat. This year’s success wouldn’t have been possible without them, but also to our advisor, Gretchen Grosky; the mastermind behind it all. I wish the best of luck to the remaining editors, Brooke, Mateo and Jackie. I know with the guidance of Gretchen, this paper will continue to grow. Goodbye Beacon. Any one of you can take me home.

Karamarie Joyce: I do not even know where to begin, or how to express my gratitude in this letter. I first became a staff writer for The Beacon my sophomore year, not knowing at the time how much it would change my life. After being a staff writer for a year I became a columnist, creating and writing the reoccurring feature “Merrimack’s Most Interesting Person”. At the end of my sophomore the Editor-in-Chief at the time Pat Lawlor, asked me to take his spot after he graduated. Shocked at his presentation I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle being Editor-in-Chief, but I took on the responsibility and hoped for the best.

Now here I am three years later overjoyed at the success I have had as Editor-in-Chief, and unbelievably thankful for the staff writers and editors I have been blessed to share this experience with. Not only have we turned the paper into something the Merrimack Community reads, but also something they look forward to reading each week. We have developed a fantastic relationship with the student body and faculty at the college, and in return they have helped us an immense amount of times by getting us the information we need to publish stories.

So many memories have been made inside of the office, but some of my favorites were made outside of the office. I had the privilege of traveling to California two years in a row with the editors to attend the Associated Collegiate Press National College Journalism Convention, this convention taught us all so much about leadership and journalism ethics. It also brought us closer together as a group and we made so incredible memories along the way. Some of my favorites were our night exploring Hollywood and roaming around Santa Monica Pier.

I have nothing but confidence that Brooke will continue to improve the paper, and do not believe I could have picked a better person to replace me as Editor-in-Chief. Brooke is a hardworking, driven, and independent young woman and I am excited to watch her achieve all of her journalistic goals.

A special thanks goes to both Gretchen Grosky and Jim Chiavelli who have been not only the advisors for the paper during my time here, but also my personal mentors. Both Gretchen and Jim are extremely established in the journalism world and I look up to them in more ways than one, they have been my supporters, my teachers, and my friends and I will forever cherish the relationships I have developed with the two of them.

In closing, being a part of The Beacon is what pushed me to work harder, and challenge myself to do more. I will take the life lessons of teamwork, leadership, and commitment with me wherever my journey takes me next.

T Conley: My junior year I didn’t even know what “The Beacon” was, and at the time I probably didn’t want to. Little did I know, it was going to be one of the most memorable parts of my Merrimack life. I do owe a special thanks to senior Editor-in-Chief, Karamarie Joyce, for personally dragging me into the Beacon office that day and basically forcing me to join as sports editor. I came into the Beacon just for a résumé builder, but I left with a better knowledge of journalism and relationships I never thought I would have. I want to shout out to all of the seniors graduating with me; Kara, Elizabeth, Jess, Brendan, and Lance. I know the sky is the limit for all of you and I cant wait to see you guys at the top. As for the underclassman; Brooke, Jackie and my boy Mateo, I’m sure you guys will keep up the good work. I also want to make an even bigger shout out to our advisor, role model, or mom for a better term, Gretchen Grosky. You truly don’t know the impact you have had on all of us and you probably never will. From, all us seniors, we thank you for everything and love ya!

Lance Hill: Coming from a rough city, I definitely know what it is like to be content with failure. I used to sit in my room back in Lawrence and think about which way my life would go, and if I would ever make it to be someone, or even something worth talking about. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by great people who gave me the opportunity to attend Merrimack College, where many doors of opportunity were opened for me. I have made lasting friendships, made mistakes along the way and learned from my own and others.  I have also met some great people, from both the United States, and the world, here at Merrimack. However, there is one group in particular that I had the opportunity to learn and grow. They were the editors of The Beacon. I have never been surrounded by such a charismatic, energetic, and dedicated group of people here at Merrimack. They gave me the chance to become their Media Editor and Photographer, and I couldn’t have been happier. I put my soul into taking the best pictures I could. The work they put in to make The Beacon the best it can be is awe-inspiring.  Our advisor, Gretchen Grosky, is probably the greatest person on earth. She has done so many amazing things that I can’t even wrap my head around. I mean, she won a Pulitzer Prize for goodness sake! Our trip to California will always be in my memory. I got to know more about each and every one of them there, and it made it even better to be in Hollywood for the first time.

I can definitely go on forever about how great this staff group is,  and what they have done for me in the past year. We don’t have that much space in our layout, so I will leave them with this: In some way, shape, or form, all of you have made a difference in my life and made my experience here at Merrimack untouchable. To, Kara, Brooke, Jess, Jackie, Brendan, Mateo, Tom, Elizabeth, and Gretchen, I bid you all adieu and wish you all the greatest of blessings thereafter. And to everyone else who shall read this and take our places as seniors; move on and be remarkable. No goal is too high for you to achieve. Take my word for it, I am a living example.

Jess Raver:  In the spring of my freshman year, I joined a class called Newspaper and New Media. Being a painfully shy individual when it comes to meeting new people, when my professor offered a chance to stay in the newsroom and contribute to the layout design, I jumped. Despite the long hours sitting in front of a computer, I found I really enjoyed the newsroom atmosphere and putting the paper together. Eventually the class ended, but my interest in the Beacon stuck around.

Despite being a senior, I don’t know too many people around campus. I am not a member of student government nor do I play a sport. I have a small group of friends I love and trust, but I don’t generally step out of that comfort zone. It’s for these reasons that The Beacon has become so important to me. Working on this paper has allowed me to feel as though I can contribute to something on this campus. It has given me a place that I can feel valued. Being in the office on those long Wednesday nights has enabled me to become a part of Merrimack in a way that never could have happened otherwise. From struggling to finalize the paper, to bonding in California, being a part of this newspaper has been a life changing part of my Merrimack experience.

In my time here, I’ve worked with some pretty amazing people. From Jim Chiavelli to Gretchen Grosky and all the editors I’ve had the fortune of working alongside, I’d like to say thank you. To my fellow seniors Brendan, Karamarie, T, Lance, and Elizabeth, it’s been an incredible ride. I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know you all and I wish you nothing but luck moving into the next phase of your lives. I have nothing but confidence in every one of you. As for Brooke, Jackie, and Matt, I know the paper is in good hands with you. The paper has grown exponentially in the time we’ve all been together and I have no doubt it will only continue. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of something truly special.

The Hawks Invade Merrimack

Dan Peznola & TJ Provencal

Staff Writers

North Andover- It was a warm spring day, New England’s long, cold winter left students yearning for spring’s arrival. Today was finally the day. Skreeeeech! The Hawks are here, bearing meats and beers. The only thing thicker than the humid spring air was the promise of events to follow. Sizzle! goes the grill.. Whoosh! goes the frisbees piercing the day’s warm breeze. Bros and babes fill the quad with chits and chatters. Young men and women shivering with anticipation of the nights events. It’s 2:35PM, we’re in the stronghold that is The Beacon office; pearched quaintly over a blur of gold and blue: the Merrimack faithful. This day has taken us from the pile of bones known as Hudson, Massachusetts, to the bright shining light of North Andover. A day full of Leinenkugels, meats, and new friendships has left us yearning for more. Simply put, we’re thirsty. We want it, nayyyy we need it. We are Hawks, more over Warriors. There is a new sheriff in town and the name is Dan Peznola.

Year in Review

Mathew Galavo ’17

Sports Editor

Year in Review: Merrimack Athletics

As the year comes to a close so does the sports calendar. Students athletes are hanging up their

equipment for the long summer ahead while others prepare for the rigors of a hard offseason of

training. Merrimack has seen many of it’s athletic teams excel this year with many of it’s teams

making the playoff and even an appearance in the NCAA tournament. The athletic calendar started

off with a bang after each fall sport proved just how good they can be. Each sport from soccer to

field hockey were injected with youth up and down their roster. The youth has greatly helped each

team achieve their main goal, winning.

Men’s Soccer:

The men’s soccer team had it’s most historic year to date. The team went 15­5­2 during the season

and were towards the top of the NE­10 conference. The road wasn’t a friendly place for the

Warriors as they struggled midway through the year before finishing with six wins on the road

improving their road record to 6­-3-­1. The Warriors entered the NE­10 playoffs and went all the

way to the conference semifinals before losing to Southern Connecticut. The team was picked to

enter the NCAA tournament and won their first two games before losing to rival LIU­Post in the

Sweet 16 2-­0. The team took a huge step this season going all the way to the NCAA tournament

for the first time in school history. The experience gained will go a long way into the future of this.

Women’s Soccer:

The women’s soccer team had a bit of a roller coaster season. The team brought in 13 freshmen

and were one of the youngest teams in recent program history. The first half of the season was kind

to the Warriors with the team winning five out of their first including wins against rival LeMoyne

(2-­1), and Bloomfield (7-­0). The second half of the season was a different story. The month of

October only saw the Warriors capture two wins in their final ten games. The season ended with

Merrimack posting a 7­-9­-2 record and saw them miss the NE­10 playoffs. One bright spot on the

season for the Warriors was the play of junior Jenna Savi. Savi recorded six goals, 8 assists, that

was good for 20 points on the year. Savi lead her team in each of the major offensive catagories.

With a youthful team like this one the future looks bright for the women’s soccer team.

Field Hockey:

The field hockey team at Merrimack has been one of the most successful teams in the last handful

of years with three final four appearances in the last four seasons. This year was different. As

many of the programs on campus the field hockey team saw five incoming freshmen to their roster.

The season started off well with the team winning five games in the month of September. October

was a little rocky with the Warriors tallying three wins in seven games. The field hockey team

finished with a 9­-8 record while just missing the playoffs. The freshmen core on this squad that

really helped this team tremendously. Taylor Simpson (freshmen) lead the team in scoring with 34

points (15 goals, 4 assists). Rylee Hammond also helped spark the offense with 18 points (6 goals,

6 assists). The future of this team looks bright with the mix of veteran leadership and youthful.

Cross Country:

The cross country team was injected with a great amount of youth this season. Both the men and

women’s team saw many new faces this fall. On the men’s side, Luis Cruz, Evan Vadernais were

some of the top runners for the men along with Phil Harris and James Wegman. For the women,

Kristin Schmidt, Claire Aalerud, Kylie Reardon, and Randa Griffin were some of the top runners

for the women’s side. The team finished 6th in the NE­10 and 7th in the region.


The women’s volleyball team was once again back in the NE­10 conference playoffs. This was the

second straight season the Warriors saw themselves in the postseason. The season started off

strongly with Merrimack winning eight out of their first ten matches. The month of October wasn’t

as friendly with the Warriors going 5-­5 during that month. The team went a perfect 4­-0 to finish

off the regular season slate. Unlike the year before, the Warriors weren’t able to get back to the

conference final as they were defeated by Bentley three sets to two. Senior Stephanie Sheehan lead

the team in kills per set with 4.21, and kills with 396. Junior Madison Burke in digs per set with

4.62 and digs with 434. With many underclassmen still remaining on the roster, the women’s

volleyball team will look to continue it’s recent success in the coming years.

Men’s Hockey:

After a struggle filled 2013 campaign, the Merrimack men’s hockey team turned it up a notch in

2014. With 10 new freshmen added to their lineup, it was youth that helped the Warriors excel this

season. The year started off well with the Warriors getting 10 wins in the first 15 games. The

ladder half of the regular season schedule went in a different direction when the team was only

able to pick up four wins in the final two months of the regular season, and finished with a record

of 16­-18­-2. The team entered the playoffs with Northeastern as their first round opponent. After

two games the team found themselves in the Hockey East Quarterfinals against one of the nations

top teams in Boston University. The series didn’t go the way the team had wished as they were

swept 2-­0. The year was highlighted by freshman Brett Seney who lead the team in points with 26

and was tied for second in goals with 11. Senior goalie Rasmus Tirronen had a stellar campaign

with a record of 12­-14-­3 and recorded the record for single­ season save percentage with (.929).

The team will look to continue improving in the next few years.

Men’s Basketball:

The men’s basketball team took a step in the right direction in ‘14­’15. They made the playoffs for

the first time in the last three seasons. After the midway point of the season, the team found

themselves with a record of 6­-6. Once the month of January the Warriors went on a tear and

finished the season with a record of 16-­12. After three years of waiting the team was ready to get

back into playoff action. The Warriors took on New Haven in the opening round, and too the game

with a final score of 79­-63. The second round of the NE­10 didn’t come with a winning result as

the team lost by a score of 97-­65 to Southern New Hampshire. The team will look to build on this

season and become a much stronger group in the coming years.

Women’s Basketball:

The women’s basketball team had an up and down year but were able to get into to the NE­10

conference playoffs for the third straight year. The team went 4-­3 in the month of November and

then a perfect 5­-0 in December. The Warriors struggled in the last two months of the season

winning only six games in the last two months. The NE­10 conference playoffs weren’t as planned

as the team lost by a mere three points. The ‘14-­’15 campaign was a year of ups and downs and the

team will look to return to the playoffs next fall.


This spring the Merrimack baseball team is looking to get back to the NE­10 finals this season

after doing so just a year ago. The team currently stands with a record of 14­-14 and an 8-­9 record

in NE­10 play. After 28 games the team currently is batting .271 and has driven in 151 runs. The

pitching staff has been lead by senior Joe Carnevale. Carnevale has four wins which is tied for first

on the team. He has also broken the strikeout record and is chasing the wins record. The team has

six games remaining in the regular season and are chasing a spot in the conference playoff.


The Merrimack softball squad is currently in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NE­10 conference.

Their record currently stands at 16­-23 and 9­-12 in the NE­10 conference play. After 39 games the

team currently has a batting average of .250 and have driven in 149 runs. Haley Currie has lead the

team in wins with 6 and has had 51 strikeouts to date. With four games to go the team is looking to

make a run at the conference playoffs.

Women’s Lacrosse: 

The women’s lacrosse team has struggled this season, only capturing three wins in 16 games.

Conference play hasn’t been friendly to the Warriors as well with the team securing one win in

NE­10 play. One bright spot in the season for the Warriors has been red­shirt freshman Hunter

McCarthy who has lead the team in scoring with 36 points (28 goals, 8 assists). With a young team

the future is what the team is looking towards.

Men’s Lacrosse: 

The men’s lacrosse team has been nothing short of great this season. Through 1 games this season

Merrimack holds a record of 11­-1. Their lone loss came to rival LeMoyne just a few weeks ago.

Offensively, the team has scored 165 goals with an average of 13.75 goals per game. Max Allen

has been one of the top offensive players with 43 points (39 goals, 4 assists). The team has one

game remaining on the schedule before the conference playoffs begin.

Spring Weekend Festivities

Kristen Lindner ‘15

Staff Writer

With spring weekend now behind us, the excitement doesn’t stop here at Merrimack College. The Lee Brice concert is just around the corner! Spring weekend has always been a time for the college to come together as the start of the nice weather begins. Despite the sparse rainsqualls Saturday, the sun continued to shine! Great weather, popular music, and good friends are just a few things people appreciate about spring weekend. One of the most memorable spring weekend activities is the annual softball game where teams create their own team names and an outstanding number of students participate in the event.

“I love being outside all day with my friends and playing games. My favorite is kan jam and corn hole.” – Mark Robbins

“Every spring weekend I really enjoy getting together with my friends and meeting new ones. The weather has always been pretty nice on these weekends and that makes it even better. After a long winter, it’s great to get outside.” – Meagan McEachern

“My favorite thing about spring weekend is the softball tournament on Sunday. It’s always a fun time and we play a competitive game.” – Aidan Kelly

Senior Formal: April 25th

Spring Concert: April 30th

Senior Week: May 11th-15th

10 Things you didn’t know about President Hopey

Karamarie Joyce ‘15


President Christopher Hopey made it his mission to improve our school since he arrived on campus five years ago. Since arriving he has made several changes and additions to the campus such as, the new athletic building, ice hockey rink, the 47 Lounge, Dunkin’ Donuts on campus, new village of residence houses, and has another new village of residence houses being built right now. Hopey has no plans to stop now and has several plans for the future of Merrimack.

Being the busy man he is, several students graduate without really knowing who our president is and where he came from. Below is some background information on our president followed by a Q and A.

Christopher E. Hopey, Merrimack College’s eighth president, grew up in the Merrimack Valley. He attended Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, N.H. and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Northeastern University. He continued his studies achieving his Ph.D at the University of Pennsylvania. He later worked at UPenn as vice dean of the Graduate School of Education. Hopey returned to Northeastern as vice president and dean of the College of Professional Studies before assuming the presidency of Merrimack College in July 2010.

Question and Answers

Q1: Where did you meet your wife?

A: Northeastern University. She was my RA.

Q2: Where was your first date?

A: The Black Rose Pub, Faneuil Hall, Boston.

Q3: What’s your preferred drink of choice?

A: Diet Pepsi or Bud Light.

Q4: Have you ever been arrested; if so why?

A: No, my mother would have disowned me.

Q5: What’s your favorite sports team?

A: Boston Bruins.

Q6: What’s your favorite food?

A: Chicken Parmesan and rigatoni.

Q7: What color was your hair originally?

A: Gray!

Q8: What’s your favorite Merrimack sports team?

A: I love all our teams equally.

Q9: What’s your biggest fear?

A: A Merrimack student not succeeding.

Q10: What’s your biggest accomplishment?

A: Two: My marriage of 26 years and my son!


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