Connecting Through the World of Wine

Second Annual Wines Around the World event gives alumni valuable networking opportunity

More than 100 alumni, students and guests came together to network on December 5 in the Conference Center in University Hall and took a journey through wines from around the world. Against a backdrop of a stunning panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline, the evening was kicked off by Jenna Peraino, Assistant Director in the Office of Alumni Relations, who welcomed alumni and described the many ways to stay connected and engaged. Gerry Piserchia,  Director of Education for Fedway Associates Inc., a wine and spirit wholesaler in New Jersey, gave an overview of the wines and regions.

Upon arrival, attendees picked up their glasses and visited wine stations, while Piserchia worked the room and answered questions about the wines. Each station featured four wines from popular wine regions including the United States, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Europe. Guests networked and mingled with other alumni, guests and members of the current senior class.

In addition to sampling wines, guests paired the selections with seasonal dishes and antipasto. As the evening wound down, Montclair State University prizes were raffled off to two lucky winners. Representing the Recent Alumni Network committee, Chris Fitzpatrick ’04 acknowledged an alumna who celebrated her birthday at the event, and also spoke to fellow recent graduates about upcoming programs and events.

Alumni enjoyed the casual atmosphere, as it gave them the chance to catch up with old friends, meet new acquaintances, and strengthen their alumni connections. Whether looking to build their professional network, enjoy an evening out with former classmates or learn something new, events such as the wine tasting provide alumni with the opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater. Whether they graduated last year, 50 years ago, or somewhere in between, their connection to the University lasts a lifetime.

Part of a bi-annual series of wine tastings, the evening was sponsored by the Recent Alumni Network, which addresses the special interests of recent alumni by sponsoring opportunities for networking, community service, social gatherings, cultural outings, and reunions.

For Alumni Recruitment Team and Recent Alumni Network member Jasmine Howard '07, this was her first wine tasting event, and she took the opportunity to volunteer. “While assisting with event registration, I saw so many familiar faces including a former professor and high school teacher. What a small world!” says Howard. “The Recent Alumni Network provides a great opportunity to stay connected with the university, network with fellow graduates, plan and participate in fun events and help recruit the next generation of Red Hawks. The new slogan is so true - Montclair State's all here!”

Representing the Recent Alumni Network committee were Fitzpatrick, Howard, Ameet Barot '05 and Jon Preciado '10, '12 MBA.

Preciado, an active RAN committee member, sees the value in these events. “Wines around the world has been one of the signature events of the Recent Alumni Network. It provides attendees the opportunity to not only learn about wine, but network with other graduates. This particular event draws a large crowd of more established alumni and provides recent grads an opportunity to connect with them as well,” he says.

“It's important for recent graduates to build relationships with a diverse group of professionals, and Wines around the World facilitates just that. Over the past several years, RAN has been instrumental in providing recent graduates with resources, and opportunities to strengthen their own network and enhance their journey in life after Montclair State.”

To view photos from the event, visit the photo gallery. If you are interested in participating with the Recent Alumni Network, visit our website or contact Jenna Peraino at 973-655-7872 or

The event was made possible through generous support from Liberty Mutual Insurance.