Class Officer Profiles: 2020-2025

President: Michele DeRosa O’Connell
I was honored with the Alumnae Association Loyalty Award at our 30th Reunion for dedication to the College and our Class. I have advocated for women’s education as an Admissions volunteer, participated in the College’s fundraising efforts as a Class Agent for over 30 years, and served as Class Scribe and Secretary for 15 years. I am excited to continue service as Class President! My psychology and sociology degree led to a career in education. I received my MA in counseling from Tufts University in 1988, and have worked for over 25 years as a school psychologist and guidance counselor, currently for a school system outside Boston where my primary responsibility is special education assessments. I took my then future husband to visit MHC not long after graduation, and we have returned often during our 30yr marriage, sometimes with our daughters (now 26 and almost 24), for leaf peeping, class reunions, and strolls around the lakes.  We have watched the campus change and grow while staying committed to its traditions and meeting the needs of current students. Each time I walk on campus, I remember my first visit with my dad in 1980 and the sense of belonging that washed over me. While I wish we could have been together on campus for our 35th Reunion, I look forward to a time when we can safely reunite and dance to our favorite 80’s hits.  I still feel connected to the College but more importantly, to our awesome network of Uncommon Women.

Vice-President: Mary Partyka 
Bio coming soon!

Vice-President: Melinda Smith 
For 30+ years, I’ve lived in Portland, OR with my spouse Mark, raising two daughters who are now adults and mostly out of the nest. MHC’s Abbey Chapel sparked my career; 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of my ordination as a minister. After earning my M.Div. at Harvard Divinity School, I worked a range of assignments; my current position is health-care chaplain serving our local hospital’s women and children’s units.  Off-duty, I enjoy reading romance novels, knitting, strolls with Mark, assignments for an (endless!) doctoral program and contemplating the ocean on Oregon’s coast. Connecting with classmates is a continual source of joy and inspiration.  I was honored to serve our class as President 2015-2020 and now as co-VP for 2020-2025.

Treasurer:  Jean Zeiler
Since graduating I have moved around a bit – Paris, Atlanta, D.C., Pittsburgh – and finally landed in Massachusetts in 1996, and Dedham in 2000 where we have a great community and awesome group of friends.  I stay involved in the sometimes disturbing local politics.  I went to law school, and practice in the labor and employment arenas. After 17 good years as a union attorney, I worked for the state as General Counsel in a labor agency, and 2.5 years ago embarked on starting my own firm based out of my house.  So far, so good in handling employment and wage cases on the employee side.  My grandest joy is family, hubby and three kids, one graduated from college and twins graduating this year. I will do my best to live up to the trust placed in me as treasurer of our class.

Secretary:  Stacy Fugger Fatale  
Stacy worked in development research for higher education for 14 years, followed by 15 years as a career adviser for workforce development agencies. She obtained a MA in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. Stacy has volunteered with the American Association of University Women, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, WATCH CDC, and the Waltham Democratic City Committee. In 2020, she transitioned to work as a substitute teacher in the public schools. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with her husband, Michael, and their two cats. She is happy to join the Class of 1985 Board and to connect with classmates. She loves MHC for giving her the opportunity to learn and grow in beautiful Western Mass. The College delivered the ideal liberal arts experience. 

Co-Scribe:  Renée Lewis
After MHC I worked in the fishing and landscape industries, taught English and Spanish here and there, and landed on my current job as a self-employed massage therapist in Seattle in 1993.  From about 2000 through 2019 I dealt with varying degrees of fatigue and “fuzzy” brain; 2020 has been a year of feeling great, and finally having the energy to do some volunteer work, take some art classes, connect with people, dream.  Like others of you, my involvement with the college to date has been staying in touch with some of my classmates, making small donations when requested, going to a reunion or two, and reading the class notes.  I am quite excited to be co-scribe and look forward to connecting with more of you!

Co-Scribe:  Rebekah Torges Cotton
Bekah is a freelance copy editor living in Cleveland Heights, OH with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog, Iggy. When she’s not working or hanging out with family, she’s reading, knitting, making soap, or trying to teach herself Greek. She also volunteers with a Cleveland organization that provides language tutoring to women refugees. Bekah is excited to be co-scribe and looks forward to connecting with classmates.

Communications: Brooke Russell-Zaccone
Brooke made terrific use of her MHC degree in English in industries spanning fashion, home health care, personal cheffing, hospitality, food & wine, marketing, consulting, development, software and government.  The common thread in these disparate businesses?  Clarity of communication is the most fundamental tool, whatever the job. 
A surprising affinity for software and online applications was an added bonus, despite a senior Computer Science class so dreadful, the word “Shattuck” gave her chills.  Fortunately, she recovered and continues to work in writing, organization, programming and operations.  She is thrilled to continue keeping the Class updated, entertained and connected.  Currently, she and her husband live in Staten Island, NY.

Communications: Diana Biederman
My career has been deadline-driven with the goal of making clients and colleagues shine. Fluid communications plus a knack for tact, discretion, diplomacy and kindness at every level is paramount.  I’ve worked with everyone from celebrities and captains of industry to union waitstaff, behind-the-scenes seamstresses and porters for clients in my 30-year portfolio.  I believe in making life seamless for those I work with/for, elevating their everyday experiences by working behind the scenes and letting them shine. A reputation for knowing how to contact almost anyone and getting things done. I live in Naples, FL with hubby and two furry kids.

Reunion Chair: Betsy Thomas Austin
Bio coming soon!

Head Class Agent: Anne-Marie McGonnigal
Bio coming soon!

Head Class Agent: Beth Goggins Sears
Bio coming soon!

Nominating Committe:  Paulette Thompson, Kavita Ramdas