Reaching unimagined heights after Dean College

Featured Alumni

Below is a sampling of alumni success stories, told in their own words. Click on the drop down menu to learn why these students chose Dean College and what they have been up to since graduating. 

Editorial Assistant at Red Wheel/Weiser

Mica Rich '21

I came to Dean with one goal for my life in mind, to be a writer and book editor, and everyone I met at Dean had a piece in helping me get there. I loved all of my English and writing classes and had great relationships with those professors, who were excited to help me succeed and always had wonderful insight to give. I benefited immensely from the career- and internship-oriented classes in my junior and senior years. But I think the most significant thing that helped me get to where I am was having the ability to create opportunities for myself. In my time at Dean, I was encouraged to write new work and got to practice things like writing the perfect query letter and crafting perfect poetry submissions. I was able to create and maintain great relationships with professors who helped me edit projects in their spare time, and I co-founded and ran the literary magazine, Wrote Unquote, which was a major part of how I got the job I have today.

Today, I have successfully published a handful of poems and short stories in various magazines including Wingless Dreamer's Dark Poetry Collection, The Avocet, and NHPR's National Poetry Month website, I run a freelance book editing business, work full-time as an editorial assistant at a successful publishing house, and my first collection of poetry is due to be published through Barnes and Noble Press later this year.

I am so grateful for the time I had at Dean and for everyone who helped me along the way.

Freelance Play-by-Play Broadcaster

Brendan Howe '20

When I first began the college application process, I wasn’t even considering Dean as an option. It was my parents that pushed me to “just do a tour.” I obliged and I was sold. I was looking for three things on that tour: a sense of unity and comfort with my surroundings, confidence that I’d be able to thrive in their academic environment, and a growing sports broadcasting program. That tour hit the nail on the head and then some.

I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree in four years, switching from a Communications major to Sports Broadcasting halfway through my undergrad. I was on the air within two weeks of being on campus my freshman year, getting reps hosting and producing sports talk shows in addition to calling a variety of sports on WGAO.

With the help of staff and faculty, I was able to secure and complete not one, not two, but three internships within the sports broadcasting field, setting myself up to build a solid career.

I spent three consecutive summers calling baseball in some of the finest collegiate leagues the country has to offer: the NECBL, Cape Cod League, and Texas Collegiate League. The nicest part about it all? You’re on your own to apply the skills and lessons you’ve taken from the classroom into the real world to make a name for yourself.

I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone and everything they did for me while I was at Dean. It’s one of those places you always feel connected to, even if you’re not there, and I know they’ll always welcome me, and all alum, back with open arms.

My career goal is to make it into a broadcast booth in Major League Baseball, and I’m confident I have the right foundation to be able to build myself up to my ultimate goal.

Unit Supply Specialist, U.S. Army Reserves

Being from Puerto Rico and having never traveled, I learned about Dean through my interest in playing softball. I felt comfortable with the small campus, and I knew it was the best option for me to become more independent. At first, I got homesick, but then I met incredible friends, teammates and staff that helped me through this transition. Fun fact: I saw snow for the first time at Dean, and it was beautiful.

Not only did I compete in softball, where I received the Coaches Award, but also in volleyball, where I earned several awards, including USCAA Academic All-American and team MVP.

During my time at Dean, I interned with the US Army Reserves as a Unit Supply Specialist in the 826th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

Working in the military while studying at Dean provided me with additional responsibilities and opportunities to better myself. My desire to achieve my goals has helped me excel in time management, organizational skills and work-life balance. This experience has significantly helped me make connections with people in several different fields that I am interested in. I also learned to work in an environment filled with pressure, and I am mentally stronger because of this experience.

My career goal is to become a sergeant in the military and to have a career rooted in social work. I want to make a difference by helping those who have rooted fears and traumas, and establishing positivity in their minds and lives.

Master’s Degree Candidate, Messiah University

Fatima Naidjate

I graduated from Dean College with a bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. While at Dean, I was actively involved on campus, including participating in the student academic advising program and working as a peer writing tutor. One of my proudest moments at Dean was giving the student speech at the 2019 Commencement Ceremony – it was such a great way to conclude my four years.   

Currently, I am enrolled in a master's degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Messiah University. Soon I will begin my clinical experience, where I hope to focus on multi-cultural counseling. I credit Dean College for giving me the confidence to pursue my dream of being a therapist. My professors have been incredible mentors throughout my graduate school experience. I love and appreciate how many of my professors make an effort to help out even after I graduated from Dean.

Head Coach, Syracuse University Dance Team

Megan Toomey

After graduating from Dean College in 2019, I accepted the position of head coach for the Syracuse University Dance Team. My position as head coach includes choreographing, teaching, and helping students achieve their highest level of technique.

The faculty and staff at Dean really pushed me to be the best dancer and teacher I could possibly be. Dean College not only gave me a dance degree, but also prepared me for the real world. Dean helped with everything I needed to succeed, from countless amounts of opportunities to network with people in my field to making sure I was interview ready when I graduated.

During the time I spent at Dean, I learned a lot about myself and the things I was capable of. Being on the leadership team for the Dean College Student Ambassadors and being president of Loose Screws Tap Team pushed me to be the best leader I could be. Staying organized and being conscientious of my time and work were also skills that I was able to perfect while at Dean.

I would like to thank the Dean College community for helping me achieve my dreams. Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog!

Certified Personal Trainer, YMCA

Robert Toy Giles

After graduating from Dean, I accepted a position as a Certified Personal Trainer at the YMCA in Concord, New Hampshire. My job as a Personal Trainer involves helping individuals reach their goals in the safest and most beneficial way possible. The course that I had to take in order to get certified helped me really understand the human body better, which also helped with creating the best workout plans for incoming clients to get them towards their fitness goals. Not only do I help people 1-on-1, but I also offer group trainings for high schoolers in order to prepare them for their upcoming sports seasons. 

My time at Dean helped me realize what I am fully capable of. The friendly community at Dean allowed me to branch out of my comfort zone, specifically, becoming a Community Advisor. This experience taught me how to create plans, formalize ideas and become a leader. 

The most beneficial skills I developed at Dean was goal setting. It was up to myself and no one else to achieve whatever it was that I wanted to achieve. I made it a goal to study away at The Washington Center in Washington, D.C. I made it a goal to become a Community Advisor. I made it a goal to be involved with the Student Government Association, and the list goes on. Because of the amazing faculty and staff at Dean, I realized the importance of setting goals for myself.

Career Resource Specialist, Work Opportunities Unlimited

I always knew that I wanted to give back to my community in some way. Before my last semester at Dean I accepted a position at Work Opportunities Unlimited as a Career Resource Specialist to help individuals with disabilities find and retain employment based on their abilities.

I would not be where I am today without the support and guidance that I received at Dean. Dean College prepared me for life after graduation. I am now in the process of applying to graduate schools to continue my education in social work. Through Dean I discovered myself, my worth and my passion. I will never be able to thank Dean and the faculty and staff enough.

Product Manager, Carmax

Nabeel Barqawi

Since graduating from Dean College, I have worked full-time for two fortune 200 companies, earned my Master of Product Innovation (MPI) degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and supported the launch of Medicine Value Partners, Inc. (MVP), a MedTech start-up focused on revolutionizing the future of the medicines market through analytics.

After realizing that I have a passion for technology, I pivoted my career from brand management to product management. My day-to-day includes working with and empowering a team of designers, engineers, and cross-functional departments to ensure that we are building iconic digital experiences for our consumers.

Dean enabled me to turn my life around through their rich resources that helped me develop myself academically and professionally. I was supported and coached to tap into my potential and realize what I am capable of. Dean set me up for long-term success and I am forever grateful for everything that the faculty and staff have done to help me succeed and get to where I am today.

Forever a Bulldog!

Nabeel was the student speaker at Dean's 2018 Commencement Ceremony. Watch the video below to hear his inspirational speech.  

Physical Therapist, Concierge Physical Therapy

Hailey Kasper

After becoming interested in the field of dance medicine in high school, Dean allowed me to create my own track to be aligned with requirements to apply to a doctorate program in physical therapy. The mentorship I received from Amanda Donahue, Dean's performing arts athletic trainer, and the opportunity to attend the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science's conference my senior year allowed me to further my interest in dance medicine. After earning my doctorate, I am now working at a physical therapy clinic. 

Performer, D&G Entertainment at Carowinds
Assistant Director, Mooresville Community Children's Theatre

After graduating from Dean College, I moved to New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre. While in New York, my time was spent gaining experience, auditioning and making connections.

Would you believe I even met my vocal coach at The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival because of Dean?

I left New York City to return to my hometown and pursue a position at D&G Entertainment at Carowinds, an amusement park in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I performed in a show called Haunted Homecoming on the weekends. I also work with the Mooresville Community Children’s Theatre where I am the assistant director for Almost Maine and control the light board for their production of Footloose.

Dean College not only gave me my theatre degree, but wonderful mentors, friendships and a support system I cherish every day. I not only studied musical theatre, but also learned about the other aspects of theatre, including costuming, choreography, directing and technical theatre. These skills have helped me qualify and receive incredible job opportunities. I am thankful for the well- rounded education that I received at Dean.

Apprentice, Global K-12 Programs, The Juilliard School

I am so grateful to the professors and staff at Dean College for providing the encouragement and support that inspired me to pursue a career in theatre education.

Since graduation, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London, and recently graduated from NYU Steinhardt with a Master of Arts degree in Educational Theatre. I have been working in various jobs in the New York theatre community and was recently hired for a yearlong apprenticeship for Global K-12 Programs at The Juilliard School. Theatre has helped me overcome my own learning challenges, and I hope to one day help others by creating theatre programs that will benefit students of all ages and learning styles.

Physician Assistant Student at Northeastern University

Murilo Zanette

I had an amazing experience as an undergraduate student in Exercise Science program at Dean College. The variety of classes helped me obtain a broad understanding of human anatomy and physiology. The hands-on experience provided me with the opportunity to practice what I learned in class in real-time. The capstone project helped me understand the importance of evidence-based research and how it is conducted. Ultimately, all these components were crucial in preparing me for a career as a healthcare provider.

I am currently a second-year Physician Assistant student at Northeastern University. I am looking forward to beginning my clinical rotations and instilling the benefits of physical activity and nutrition into the patients I meet!

Assistant Athletic Director and Stadium Manager, Ridgefield High School

Dean College prepared me for the real world in many ways. My freshman year I took a public speaking course that helped prepare me for speaking in front of large groups and getting comfortable talking to complete strangers.

Throughout my time at Dean I participated in many leadership conferences and career building workshops that helped me shape my professional skills. I attended everything from career fairs to on campus fashion shows, just to be involved. By the time I was ready to graduate, I knew my resume and my interview skills, all polished by Dean College professionals, were ready to take on the real world.

After graduating I was offered my current position, assistant athletic director and stadium manager at Ridgefield High School (the high school I once attended). This may be outside the fields of my two degrees, but athletics has always been an interest of mine. Today I manage all operations, security and logistics for the 32 sports teams and approximately 900 student-athletes. I also oversee the maintenance and efficiency of the school sports complex and stadium.

I would like to thank the Dean community for all their help for where they got me to today. Never settle and never lose sight of your dreams Dean College. 

Corrections Officer, Middlesex Sheriff's Office

Nicole Sandell

I received my associate degree in the Criminal Justice program in 2015 and continued my studies to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

The coursework in the Criminal Justice program at Dean helped me understand the criminal justice system, including rehabilitation of offenders, preventing additional crimes by offenders and supporting victims.

The Psychology program at Dean helped me gain a deeper understanding of how the human mind works. Having this knowledge allows me to assist people when trying to find reasoning for human behaviors and actions in my current position as a Corrections Officer. This understanding critical when working in a jail environment, as it could help me prevent detrimental behavior. 

Gymnastics Coach
Master's Degree Candidate, Northeastern University

Dean was more than worth the financial expense. The educational and social experiences during my four years at Dean were priceless. Staff members helped to guide me through the financial aid process each and every step of the way, year after year. I am now a full-time gymnastics coach and will graduate in from Northeastern University in May 2020 with a master’s degree in Sports Leadership with a concentration in College Athletic Administration.

PHD Candidate, Florida State University
Assistant Director, FSU Reading and Writing Center

I graduated from Dean College with my bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Studies. Since graduating from Dean, I have gone on to pursue a master’s degree in English at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and most recently, a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at Florida State University (FSU). I currently serve as the Assistant Director of the Reading and Writing Center at FSU, and I serve as an instructor in the Writing, Editing, and Media program.

In the fall of 2011, I made the decision to transfer to Dean College after deciding that the first college that I attended was not the right fit for me. However, after being at Dean for two years, I decided that Dean was home and that this was where I wanted to finish my degree. One of the main reasons that I made this decision was because of the faculty at Dean. Having now been a student and an instructor at other institutions, I can attest to the fact that there is something different about the faculty at Dean. They care not only about their students while they are at Dean, but they also care about them after they graduate.

Coming into college, I did not think I was a strong writer, but to my surprise, I was placed into an honors English course. At Dean, I found my passion for writing and for teaching during an internship at the college’s writing center. A passion that has led me to pursue two additional graduate degrees and to pursue a career in a field that I did not even know existed before I went to college.

Global Partnerships & Premium Hospitality Coordinator, Brooklyn Nets

I will be forever grateful for Dean College. The professors and staff here helped shape me into the person I am today, both personally and professionally. Thank you, Dean College, for providing the encouragement and support that helped me obtain a bachelor’s degree in Business with a concentration in Sport Management and pursue a career in sports.

Since graduation, I’ve had the opportunity to work for both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association corporate offices – and now the front office of the Brooklyn Nets!

The greatest thing about Dean’s Sport Management program is its partnerships with professional teams and a plethora of opportunities for internships in sports. Being in the sports world for about three years now, I realize how important it is to try different internships and opportunities in order to maximize and find your strengths in such a demanding career.

I’m a proud graduate of Dean College, and I hope to inspire all future and current Sport Management students to stay the course, crush their goals and make the world a better place!

Associate, Individual Giving at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Since graduating from Dean College with a BA in Arts and Entertainment Management in 2017, I’ve had the great fortune of utilizing my degree through various positions in my career in the arts. During my time at Dean, I took advantage of the many opportunities that were offered such as spending three summers as an Orientation Leader, participating in the Student Activities and Leadership & Development office, and getting involved in all aspects of Front of House. All these experiences helped shape and grow skill sets that were and still are used in every position I’ve held since. 

Immediately after graduating, I accepted a year-long fellowship in Development at the regional theatre company American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. Being able to complete a fellowship directly after college and to instantly begin applying the qualifications and new knowledge from my education was extremely instrumental in shaping the next steps in my career. Directly after my fellowship, I moved back to the East Coast and settled in New York City, where I am still based, to work at Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre Company as the Development Assistant. In my free time while simultaneously working at Signature, I had the great pleasure of stepping into a leadership officer position of Managing Director at a new non-profit producing company, Refracted Theatre Company, where I oversaw and implemented the fundraising and partnership initiatives of a young and growing theatre organization -- I am now a member of Refracted’s Advisory Board. Which brings me to my current role in the Advancement, specifically Individual Giving, department at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where I assist in managing our major gift strategic initiatives for acquisitions, exhibitions, education, conversation, and general operations. 

Each role requires the ability to work in a fast-paced environment with quick and thoughtful thinking, along with communication and interpersonal skills -- all of which I developed through my various activities in college. I owe much of my growth, both personally and professionally, to my mentors and time at Dean College, and for that I’m ever grateful.

Performer, Walt Disney Company

Most of my time at Dean was spent on stage performing, which prepared me for my career with the Walt Disney Company. I perform on the Castle Forecourt Stage multiple times a day, in addition to a multitude of other amazing performance opportunities. I’ve been so fortunate to work for a company that allows me to perform for a paycheck and offers me plenty of room to grow as both a performer and leader. I’ve had a very magical experience for the past five years.

Dancer and Show Director

After graduating from Dean with a bachelor’s degree in Dance and a minor in Business I performed at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, participating in various parades and shows throughout the parks. My career led me to Norwegian Cruise Lines, where I traveled the world as a dancer, dance captain and aerialist for three years. This work allowed me to inspire performers to push past their comfort zones, showing them that they are stronger than they ever imagined.

Dean College was the place where I not only continued my training in dance, but also took classes that prepared me for life in the entertainment industry. While at Dean, I was able to train in multiple genres of dance that elevated my diversity in auditioning during school and post-graduation. I was fortunate enough to become an apprentice at Urbanity Dance Company in Boston during my junior and senior years, and also book my first professional job as a member of the dance squad for the New England Patriots Cheerleaders. Without the opportunities at Dean, I wouldn’t be the multifaceted performer that I am today.

Dean provided me with a safe place to learn, grow, and sometimes fail, in order to truly find myself as a performer and as a leader. I am a proud graduate of Dean College, and I hope to inspire future students in the program to keep pushing toward their goals.

Police Officer, The United States Department of Defense

I work for the United States Department of Defense as a police officer in Fort Meade, Maryland. My position is focused around counterterrorism and force protection. I assist in maintaining physical security on and around various secure locations that are of high importance to the United States of America.

At Dean, my position as a community advisor helped prepare me for my current line of work. As the person responsible for the safety and wellness of the students living in my building, I learned how to be a leader and a critical thinker. Whether I was enforcing rules and managing residents or getting students out of their residence halls to partake in school activities, being a CA showed me that initiative, diligence and careful thought can lead to success

Dean College also gave me the academic tools necessary to succeed. The courses within the Criminal Justice program laid the foundation for my knowledge of police work. While at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, I used the education that I received from Dean College daily, helping me to successfully complete my training and graduate from the program.

Dancer and Aerialist, Norwegian Cruise Lines

The dance program at Dean gave me the technique and performance training I needed to land my current job as a dancer/aerialist in the entertainment department for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Because of my degree in dance, I feel confident as a performer — whether it’s at an audition, rehearsals or performing at sea!

Freelance Dance Artist

Since graduating from Dean, I have received my MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois and have moved to New York City. I am now a full-time freelance dance artist, working and performing with several choreographers. I also create and perform my own work and teach in the City and at colleges around the country. Dean helped me develop the work ethic I have today, to keep pushing for new opportunities while maintaining a full-time performing career. I am forever grateful for the support I received from the School of Dance faculty and students, who still make up a large part of my community to this day.

Photographer, CNN - Jerusalem Bureau

Freddy Wheeler

Freddy graduated from Dean College in 2011 with an A.A. in Communications and from Emerson College with his B.A. in Visual Media Arts in 2013. He began working as a News Photographer for NH1 News in New Hampshire where he was eventually promoted to Chief Photographer.

He received an Emmy Award for producing the 2018 special Beyond the Border: The Opioid Pipeline, a documentary that takes viewers on the 1,700-mile journey through the opioid pipeline that runs from the Caribbean, through Puerto Rico, also known as America’s “back door” and up the East Coast into New England. 

It was during his time at NH1 News that he began working with Anchor and Chief Investigative Reporter, Celine McArthur. The two were the first to cover the crisis in New Hampshire before it gained national political attention.

Freddy is currently a photographer for CNN, stationed at their Jerusalem Bureau. 

HIV Program Coordinator, Center for Global Health Practice at Georgetown University

My time at Dean really prepared me for where I am today. While at Dean, I was a community advisor, student orientation leader, step team member, community service organization member, black student union member and more.

Being involved in different clubs and organizations so it really prepared me to step out and not be afraid to say no or make a change. I was also the student trainer for the football team. Being at Dean and working around so many different people and being involved in all of the activities that I was involved in exposed me to a lot of different staff who became my mentors who really pushed me.

After graduating in 2009, I transferred to George Mason University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in health promotion. I received a master’s degree in public health from the University of New England. My first job was working for a community based organization doing HIV testing. I currently work for Georgetown University in their Center for Global Health Practice and Impact where I implement HIV programs and needs assessment for countries across the world, mainly focused on Africa.

My advice to students is to spend time with the trainers in the athletic training rooms and also shadow mentors. Even if you’re at a sports game, watch what’s happening on the sidelines with the trainers. Dean has a very large network of people so use the resources around you. Find your mentor that will keep you grounded and keep you focused on the goals that you’re trying to achieve and really take charge.

For public health you have to be very open. This is a booming time for public health. Being adaptable and able to speak up on behalf of others is very important in this field. A lot of times we are the voice for the voiceless. Don’t be afraid to take new opportunities because the worst some can tell you is “no.” Have passion and enjoy what you do.


I will be forever grateful for the experience I got to have at Dean College. I now have many professional credits in theatre, TV and film. Dean instilled in me the importance of being well-rounded. Yes, I was focused on acting. However, learning about all aspects of the theatre craft and what it takes to put on a show, in my opinion, makes you a stronger actor. I was so blessed to have faculty that enjoyed guiding me to greatness, and without them, I wouldn’t be the performer I am today.

Senior Producer, Universal Creative

After graduating from Dean with a degree in the Arts, I began my career at Universal Studios, Orlando performing as the character Scooby Doo.  I decided to take that opportunity and see where it could go.  Through hard work, I have steadily climbed at my almost 20 years with this amazing organization and currently find myself as a Senior Producer.  

In this role, I am responsible for creative development and execution of large-scale attractions and master planning for Universal Studios theme parks. I was heavily involved in the strategy and implementation of Harry Potter World, even having the opportunity to present to consult with J.K. Rowling in the development and ultimate execution of this cutting-edge project.  

Today, I continue to focus on the creation of new Universal theme parks and attractions throughout the world.