Campus News and Press Releases

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      School of Dance Welcomes Four Renowned Dancers to “Choreographers’ Concert” Production


      In the spirit of “So, You Think You Can Dance,” “America’s Got Talent,” and other popular reality shows, the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance at Dean College presents Choreographers’ Concert for Dance Momentum weekend beginning on Friday, February 21, 2014, featuring Dean College dance students and renowned guest choreographer judges.  Additionally, Dean College will host Master Classes open to the public on February 22, 2014.

      “Dancers and dance lovers in the community should mark Feb. 21st and 22nd in their calendars as an important and inspiring weekend of dance,” said Julianne Pedersen O’Brien, Dean of the School of Dance. Dancers will get the chance to take classes in Contemporary, Afro-Modern, Hip Hop, and Modern Repertory from renowned performer/choreographers, as well as participate in a talk back session with the artists.”

      The Choreographers’ Concert on Friday, February 21st will take place at 8:00 p.m. in the Guidrey Center, featuring Dean College dance students and renowned guest choreographer judges. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/seniors/children.  The College will host master classes on February 22, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  The fee is $70, which includes lunch and your choice of attending one to all four classes. 

      The two-day dance event features David Parker teaching a modern technique class with elements of choreographic investigation, Nyama McCarthy Brown teaching Afro-Modern, Marc Kimelman teaching Hip Hop, and Martin Lofsnes teaching traditional modern technique.

      David Parker is the artistic director of The Bang Group, commissioned by The American Dance Festival, The Yard, and Dance Theater Workshop.

      Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown holds a PhD in Dance Education and Cultural Studies from Temple University.  She is a visiting professor at Bowdoin College.  Additionally, she has performed with Ballethnic Dance Company. 

      Marc Kimelman has worked with the New York City Ballet, Katy Perry, Phish, Neil Young, and Chaka Kahn.  His Broadway credits include: Jesus Christ Superstar, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Broadway Bares, and Play It Cool. 

      Martin Lofsnes is a principle dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, a dancer with Maurice Bejart and Matthew Bourne, and faculty with the Ailey School and Martha Graham School.  Additionally, he is the artistic director of 360º Dance Company. 

      Pedersen O’Brien added, “it is an affordable and exciting day of dancing and learning about dance, and it is an honor to bring these guest to the regional community! It is a dance weekend not to be missed.”

      To purchase tickets to the Choreographer’s Concert visit the calendar of events page at  To register for a Master Class, visit or contact Tracy Lane at (508) 541-1606 or via email at

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      Dean Kicks Off “Celebrate the Past – Secure the Future” Campaign


      In 2015, Dean College will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding and President Paula M. Rooney will celebrate twenty years as President. Both of these milestones provide the opportune time to celebrate the significant achievements of this noble institution and the still growing legacy of its current President.

      The Sesquicentennial is the ideal backdrop for an important initiative that will secure a dynamic and promising future for Dean. To that end, the Dean College Board of Trustees established Dean 150: Celebrate the Past – Secure the Future a comprehensive campaign beginning its public phase on June 1, 2014.

      President Rooney thanks all donors for their commitment to the College and the campaign: “Dean has evolved into a leader and a model for retaining a focus on the associate’s degree while adding carefully designed baccalaureate programs. We approach the Sesquicentennial from a position of strength. Our distinct mission and focus on the academic and personal success of each student creates a remarkable learning community of caring and challenge.”

      The goal of the campaign is to raise $7.5 million by May 31, 2016. Click here to donate.
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      Dean Thanks Retiring Faculty and Staff for 87 Years of Service


      Three influential members of the Dean College community have recently retired or are transitioning to another position. These individuals leave behind 87 combined years of experience, service, and loyalty to the College.

      Thomas (Tommy) Pruvot started working at Dean in 1974 as a custodian. During his 40 dedicated years, Tommy forged strong friendships and earned the love and respect of all those with whom he worked. In honor of Tommy’s legacy, a pathway near Dean Hall was named after Tommy, Tommy’s Way.

      Jean Wenzel began teaching dance courses here at Dean in 1982. Dean Emerita, Joanie Palladino, said that when she was told she should interview Jean for a teaching position, she did not know what to expect. Jean was someone who had been a Show Girl and had performed with the legendary Jimmy Durante. In the early days of the dance program, Jean took the lead in making tap an integral part of the dance curriculum. She has done this with distinction, by teaching countless Dean students the art of tap. In 2006, she received the first part-time faculty teaching excellence award. Jean exemplifies the ideal of living each day to the fullest. She has given her all to Dean College over the past 30 years.

      Jed Griswold started teaching at Dean as an Adjunct Faculty member. For 17 years, Jed dedicated his time to teaching Psychology and Philosophy to many generations of students. He is retiring as a Professor, leaving behind a rich legacy. 

      The dedication that these faculty and staff members have shown to Dean College exemplifies the Dean Difference and the care that each individual member of the Dean community shows to bettering the community as a whole. Congratulations on your retirements and best of luck in future endeavors!


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      Dean College Children's Center Earns National Accreditation


      The Dean College Children’s Center has earned re-accreditation from the National Association of the Education of Young Children – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.

      "We're proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Faith Nickolas, Faculty of Early Childhood Education and Director of the Children’s Center. “NAEYC Accreditation demonstrates we have strived for the highest-quality program which provides an engaging classroom, enhanced relationships with families and a rich early learning experience”.

      To earn re-accreditation, Dean College Children’s Center went through an extensive self-study process, measuring against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. In the 25 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. Approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs are currently accredited by NAEYC. The NAEYC Accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development.

      “It's a lengthy and rigorous process to achieve NAEYC Accreditation, and Dean College Children’s Center should be commended for seeking high standards,” said Rhian Evans Allvin, Executive Director of NAEYC. “Caring for children is not ‘rocket science’ – it’s brain science. Studies prove that the brain connections made in the first few years of life set a child’s path for success in school and in life. That’s why quality educators are so crucial. For parents and caregivers of young children who are searching for a high-quality early learning experience, Dean College Children’s Center’s NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that it offers a high-quality education in a nurturing and stimulating environment.”

      Click here to learn more about the Dean College Children's Center.​

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      Former Dean College Football Players Sign During NFL Draft


       DJ Morrell

      Former Dean College offensive lineman D.J. Morrell (pictured in white #70) signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions after this past Saturday’s NFL draft. D.J. received his Associate Degree from Dean College in 2011. After spending two seasons at Dean and being named First Team All-Northeast, the  6'6" native of Norwalk, CT started all 25 games he played at Old Dominion University. Click here to read the release.


      Former Dean College defensive end, Albert Presley (#8 pictured in red) has been signed for the Jacksonville Jaguars mini-camp. Albert speaks highly of his time spent at Dean, stating, "I have accomplished many different things as a player, but if I had to pick one thing I would have to say being named all-conference and winning a national bowl game while attending Dean College. I know it’s not a SEC championship or a Rose bowl, but we made history. We were the first team to go all the way and actually come home with the hardware, so I felt blessed and honored to be a part in that.” Click here to read Albert’s interview.

      Click here to learn more about Dean College Football.

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      Dean College Holds 148th Commencement Saturday, May 10, 2014


      Dean College held its 148th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Dean College campus in Franklin, MA. A total of 285 individuals received their degrees, with a large number of family and friends in attendance.

      The keynote address was provided by Dean College President, Dr. Paula M. Rooney, who told students not to concentrate on the finish line because “it is the journey that matters.” Dr. Rooney encouraged students to “use a solid foundation of knowledge, sense of curiosity and opportunity to achieve your very best.”

      Additional remarks were provided by Joseph C. Maher, Jr., Esq., Co-Vice Chairman of the Dean College Board of Trustees, along with two graduating students, Caleb Dolman from Manchester, NH and Hanna Anderson from Bridgewater, MA. 

      Caleb Dolman earned his Associate Degree in Sport/Fitness Studies with a concentration in Physical Education. Caleb began his speech by quoting Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Caleb told students that “change is not easy – it is tedious but necessary…if it were easy there would be no accomplishments.”

      Hanna Anderson received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Studies with a concentration in Psychology.  Hanna quoted Maya Angelou, who said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She told students “As you walk across the stage today, remember to thank the people that have helped you along the way.” She encouraged students to realize that the possibilities in life are endless. “Each of you is now sitting here because you did not settle. You did this.”

      For more information on Dean College, visit our website

      To see pictures and videos from Commencement, visit

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