Alumni Build a Tradition of Success

Deborah Corasio, Alumni Relations

Piera Accumanno '92, Paul Huegel '83, and Steve Resnick '93 at the English Career Night.

There are many ways for alumni to engage in the University community – from attending events and recruiting new students to offering scholarships and volunteering their time and talents to serve as mentors, speak in a class, provide internships, and hire fellow Red Hawks. Through all these ways of giving back, alumni stay connected to their alma mater and continue to build the tradition of success for the next generation of Montclair State University graduates.

Many alumni volunteer with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on the Alumni Recruitment Team, which assists in recruiting the best and most talented students to Montclair State University. “Believe it or not, your experience as a student and graduate of Montclair State can inspire a potential student to join the next generation of Red Hawks!” stated Amy Meckeler, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions. Volunteers represent the University at college fairs, write personalized letters to accepted students, attend Open House events and share stories about how Montclair State helped prepare them for their careers.

Volunteer opportunities also exist at the Graduate School through the Graduate Alumni Outreach Program, which aims to provide prospective students with examples of alumni in action. Alumni share their post-graduate accomplishments and individual experiences to inspire applicants to attend Montclair State.

Alumni often come back to campus to share those experiences as well.  On April 10, 2013, three alumni of the English Department, part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, spoke to current and prospective English Department students. Steven Resnick, Esq. ’93, Shareholder at Budd Larner, who is also part of the Attorney Alumni Network and College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean's Advisory Council and creator of the Marilyn Tayler and David Benfield scholarship, was joined by Piera Accumanno ’92 and Paul Huegel ’83.

As a graduate of the department, Paul Huegel ’83, President of Somerset Medical Center Foundation, wanted to show students that an English degree can lead to a satisfying career, despite what they might have heard. "During my recent visit back to campus to address students and potential students majoring in English, it was interesting to note that most of the students were ‘first generation’ college students. As the first person in my family to graduate college, I think it’s important to give back to Montclair State through donations of time and talent, as well as financial support that provides many of today's students the opportunity to attend the University,” Huegel said.

“I always want to give back and pay it forward. Others can learn from our experiences,” added Piera Accumanno ’92, Vice President, Risk Compliance Political Activities at Deutsche Bank. “If you don’t share your experiences, your life won’t mean anything. For me, it’s a natural and innate notion to be a mentor and offer experiences that students can identify with. I am always interested in mentoring, because these students are our future.”

Alumni find unique ways to give back to Montclair State and its current student body. Jana Polsky ’80, Manager, Broadcast Promotion & Publicity, Marketing at Dial Global, a graduate of the Broadcasting Department in the College of the Arts, knows the importance of maintaining a connection to her alma mater.

“Business is all about relationships. One of the first lessons I learned at Montclair State was the importance of making connections--within and beyond our campus. I was fortunate enough to have outstanding professors and professional mentors who nurtured and supported me along the way, offering advice and encouragement,” she said. “Being a Montclair State alumna is a badge I wear proudly and my ties are strong and tight. I've maintained my relationship with the Broadcasting department over all these years because I believe in giving back, in connecting with the kids who are the future of our business. There's nothing more empowering than having that degree in hand and established allies ready to help you take on the world!”

Polsky’s use of the word “allies” resonates with alumni of all ages and degrees. No matter when you graduated – this year, 50 years ago or somewhere in between – you remain part of the Montclair State University alumni network, which is over 100,000 members strong and growing.  

Consider being an active member of the University’s alumni team by volunteering to serve on a committee, joining a regional group, becoming a reunion host, assisting in the Admissions student recruitment process, signing up to be a career mentor, participating on career panels and with job fairs or serving as a guest speaker, panelist or lecturer. Help build the tradition. Give back to your alma mater and help ensure the future success of today’s students.

For more information on how you can get involved, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or 973-655-4141 or montclairconnect@mail.montclair.edu.