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sierraAfter my first year working as an Admissions Counselor, I was ready for my next phase in professional development.  The MRMC provided the resources for me to attend the NEACAC and NYSACAC Super Conference.  The objective of the conference was to provide skill sets to admissions counselors and guidance counselors in order to assist students and parents through the college application and selection process.  Additionally, this provided as an incredible networking opportunity for counselors throughout New England and New York.  Having the opportunity to take away valuable tools to enhance my role as a liaison between Eastern and high schools throughout Connecticut and Puerto Rico, has proven to be a worth wild investment.  I feel more comfortable in my place of employment and ready to express ideas or concerns I have.  I’ve also grown confident speaking to students and their families on why they should chose Eastern.  Most importantly I have continued to improve the networks and relationships I have with my assigned guidance counselors to continue a trust between their high schools and Eastern.  I’m thankful that the MRMC was able and so willing to gift me this experience as I continue to grow professionally, especially within a small population of Latina Admissions Counselors in higher education.

Sierra Colon
Admission Counselor



I received funding from Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (MRMC) to attend the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) in New Orleans, LA in 2015. This being my first national conference I was nervous and additional did not want to go at all. Beside the nervousness, as a new professional at the time, I was unsure how the funding would work in order to pay for experience to be a part of the conference. I met with my MRMC mentor Dennis Canterbury to discuss this opportunity and talk about my future in general. My meetings with Professor Canterbury were very encouraging and rejuvenating for me as a new professional in the field as we often discuss furthering my education and experience. Our conversation also lead to me gaining insight and information and insight on all the work Professor Canterbury was doing in his area. After I gain a variety knowledge and information from the NASPA conference, I connected with Professor Canterbury to discuss my experience which lead too many more engaging conversation to this present day.  I am thankful for the MRMC to connecting me to Professor Canterbury as he not only serves as a great mentor, a great colleague, but a great friend as well.  

Joshua Sumrell
Assistant Director of Student Activities/Student Center



edwardThanks to the Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (MRMC), I was able to attend the 2018 NEACAC and NYSACAC Super Conference in Poughkeepsie, NY.   The conference allowed me to learn from experienced professionals from the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC) and New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC).  I would also like to thank my mentor Dr. Petoskey for helping me through the process of obtaining the funds needed to attend the conference.  I gained a great deal of insight in my profession as an Admissions Counselor as well as in the overall field of Higher Education. Thank you to the MRMC for providing a pathway for individuals such as myself with opportunities to grow professionally.    

Edward Adu-Gyamfi,
Admission Counselor


lamarUpon my arrival in 2012, I learned of all of the different accolades and awards Eastern has achieved. One of  those achievements was being awarded one of the “Best Colleges to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education as well as being one of the “Best Places to Work in Connecticut”. While Eastern takes pride in all of its staff, I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the efforts made to ensuring a diverse workforce by making sure staff of color felt supported; had the resources to succeed; and were given adequate professional development to excel in their positions. Within weeks of my arrival, I was contacted by Barbara Williams (who was the Chair of the Minority Recruitment & Mentoring Committee (MRMC) at the time) who met with me to explain MRMC and to share all of the support that would be afforded to me until I received continuing appointment status. She indicated that Eastern was very much a “family” atmosphere and that diversity amongst the staff was a priority. She asked about my career aspirations and recommended several people who might be good mentors for me. I eventually chose Ken Bedini (who was the VP for Student Affairs at the time) as my mentor since he had a similar career progression as me and I aspire to by a VP one day. Ken and I met regularly, he provided me with reading/resource material, and he supported my professional development. Because of the connection we had through MRMC and his knowledge of my career goals, I was afforded the opportunity to chair certain divisional committees (i.e. the Retention Think Tank), he put me in touch with the faculty Director of the FYI course so that I could become an adjunct instructor, and he pointed me in the right direction to be a part of key decisions of current “hot topics” within higher education (i.e. Title IX incident reporting and case adjudication; Equity & Diversity bias incident response; and Disability Services/ADA compliance). On the professional development front, my MRMC mentor (Ken) encouraged me to be a part of the NASPA Mid-Level Managers Institute; he encouraged my attendance at the Association of Student Conduct Administrators (ACSA) conference to become a certified Title IX hearing officer, he supported my attendance at ACPA (American College Personnel Association) where I was selected to present a workshop, and he supported my attendance at the NASPA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas where I became involved in the African American Knowledge Community. MRMC provided funding for all of these professional development adventures and my resume and skill-set have been enhanced because of it. Finally, with the encouragement of Ken, MRMC, and other trusted mentors at Eastern, I have finally embarked on earning my Doctoral Degree in Higher Ed Administration. Having reached my seven years of service at Eastern, I have achieved continuing appointment and no longer qualify for the MRMC funding benefits. However, the connections I have made and experiences I have gained have all been made possible by MRMC and I will forever be indebted.

LaMar E. Coleman,
Director of Housing & Residential Life