Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Back To Top

SLM students hear from alumni in the field

Published on February 24, 2021

SLM students hear from alumni in the field

Alumnus Andrew Girard '17, stadium operations manager for the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin Donuts Park, visited with students on Feb. 11.

Alumni Melody Kramarz '17 and Rachel Berkowsky '18 visited with students on Feb. 9 regarding their graduate programs at UConn.

Alumnus Justin Brown visited SLM 340 from Baton Rouge, LA.

Alumni Brian Clark and Anthony Rosati visited SLM 330 Jan. 28, 2021 from Raleigh, NC, and Amherst MA.

Alumna Michele D'Agata 18 visited on Feb. 16 spoke about her graduate experiences and research at the University of Delaware.

Charles Chatterton, associate professor of kinesiology and physical education at Eastern Connecticut State University, is hosting a series of virtual alumni visits for his classes during the spring 2021 semester. The alumni are succeeding in a range of careers within the kinesiology and sport and leisure management fields, and have been speaking to students about entering careers they enjoy and how to get there.

Chatterton’s students have heard from alumni who are graduate students, medical researchers and athletic administrators. “When our alumni share their professional experiences and expertise with our students, I feel it resonates in a more personal way than if I shared their experiences with the students,” said Chatterton, who has continued the tradition of bringing alumni back to campus, even during COVID-19.  

In previous years, Chatterton said alumni would come back to campus, and classes would also visit different locations in the field, such as Rentschler Field, the University of Connecticut, or the XL Center in Hartford.  A virtual setting allows for connections with those who would not otherwise be available, including Dr. Justin Brown, an Eastern alumnus currently working as the director of the Cancer Metabolism Program at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

“Without question, the comprehensive liberal arts focus at Eastern was the key asset to my career evolution,” said Dr. Brown. “Eastern faculty are some of the best educators in the country. Without any reservation, I can say that the Eastern graduates are prepared to be the best in their field.”

Among the alumni speakers were several graduate students, including Melody Kramarz ’17, who has continued her studies at the University of Connecticut and hopes to receive her master's degree this spring. “Coming from Eastern I had every tool I needed to make a smooth transition.”

Michele D’Agata, a doctoral student at the University of Delaware, also commented on the skills she gained at Eastern and their impact on her transition to graduate school. “The faculty members within the Sport and Leisure Management major were pivotal in my decision to pursue a graduate degree,” said D’Agata. “I would not have gotten here without their support. My experiences at Eastern gave me the knowledge and confidence to aim higher.”

Chatterton also finds benefit for him to stay in touch with alumni, saying, “I learn from them as well; I get a pulse of what is happening in the field from professionals that are doing it firsthand in real time.” In addition to visiting classes, some alumni have agreed to participate in student-led interviews for a project assigned by Chatterton.

“I think it is meaningful and important for our current students to see our graduates being successful in the field and to recognize that it is possible for them as well,” he said.  Chatterton emphasizes to students that he hopes they will eventually be the alumni he calls on, saying, “it all starts with having wonderful alumni and we are blessed to have that.”

Written by Molly Boucher