Alumni offer professional advice to students during Commonwealth University's Career Intensive Boot Camp


Commonwealth University (CU) recently hosted a Career Intensive Boot Camp from Feb. 9-11 at The Greenly Center in Downtown Bloomsburg. The event brought together students and alumni leaders for a transformative experience aimed at jumpstarting students’ careers and fostering personal growth. 

The sessions, virtual and in-person, provided a heavy focus on equipping students with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the ever-evolving professional landscape and included more than 68 alumni from CU-Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield. 

Bloomsburg alumni included:

  • Eric Ackerman, 1992/2009M
  • Jarrad Barnhart, 2013
  • Megan Beccari, 2018
  • Ed Brouse, 1991
  • Mike Bucher, 1997
  • Angela Charnosky, 2001
  • Kristen Cheek, 2005
  • Ed Coar, 1978
  • Nellie Connolly, 1991
  • Cori Cotner, 1993/2001M
  • Nicole Donlick-Brodt, 2018
  • Kyle Flannery, 2018
  • Fred Gafney, 1996
  • Jill Gattuso, 1996
  • Laurie George, 2001/2022MSW
  • Geramel Gonzalez, 2015
  • Bob Grosheck, 1991
  • Pam Halstead, 1984
  • Greg Hedler, 2002
  • Keyion Holmes, 2017
  • Michael Honecker, 2009
  • Jesse Johnson, 2020
  • Michael Johnson, 2012
  • Adam Karabudak, 2019
  • Nicole Keiser, 2017
  • Jeff King, 1993
  • Audrey King, KU 1996
  • Cole Kresch – 2016
  • Dr. Peter Licona, 1997
  • Ryan McCourt, 2010
  • Maria McGinty-Ferris, Esq., 2001
  • Melissa Melillo, 2007
  • Ann Mooney, 2012
  • Mary Murphy-Kahn, 1999
  • Lily Nardozzi, 2019
  • Stacy Pane, 1999
  • Kevin Rogers, 2003
  • Nicole  Sabo, 2015
  • Kristie Schaffer, 1993/2001M
  • Michelle Shearer, 1996
  • Kendal Smith, 2015
  • Rachael Snodgrass, 2019
  • Neil Sullivan, PhD., 2011/2013M
  • Betsy Swivel, 1984
  • Lane Tanney, 2020
  • Keri Tenio, 2008
  • Hakeem Thomas, 2017
  • Melissa Wolf, 2001
  • Ashley Yeager, 2007


Lock Haven alumni included:

  • Marsha Kaiser, 1976
  • Greg MacGowan, 1989
  • Kristin Parson, 1990
  • Debbie Donlick, 1990
  • Colleen Fitzpatrick, 1995
  • Deb Chiapelli, 1995
  • Don Calcagni, 1998
  • Jennifer Keaton, 1998
  • Georgina Bennett, 2019
  • Sydney Miller, 2020


Mansfield alumni included:

  • Brendan Cregan, 1989
  • Mark Ewing, 2009
  • Patricia  Haneman, 1981
  • Ashley Ingram, 2010
  • Debbie Jennings, 2017
  • Ann Kreidler, 1980
  • Bryan Lane, 1987
  • Jerome Wood, 1977
  • Nativa Wood


The boot camp commenced with a vibrant kickoff on Friday evening. Participants engaged in team-building activities and personal branding exercises, setting the tone for an immersive weekend ahead. 

Saturday morning included a series of engaging sessions and panel discussions. Alumni panels debunked the myths surrounding traditional career paths; delved into diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in the workplace; and explored strategies for maintaining work-life balance in hybrid and virtual environments. A keynote panel featuring distinguished speakers set the stage for insightful conversations on career strategies.

Participants then embarked on rotating quick chats, covering essential topics such as resume and cover letter review, job search techniques and mastering the art of interviews. The day concluded with open networking opportunities and guided reflections to prepare for the upcoming sessions.

The momentum carried into Sunday as participants engaged in a dynamic lineup of activities. Alumni panels inspired attendees to carve their own paths, while rotating sessions provided practical insights into virtual and in-person interviews, as well as considerations for gap year experiences and graduate or professional school pursuits.

A networking lunch provided a platform for meaningful connections with professionals, complemented by rotating quick chats focusing on student loan repayment, financial literacy and salary negotiation. 

“I wish I knew then what I know now, but that’s impossible,” said 1998 Lock Haven graduate Don Calcagni to students in attendance. “Don’t be in such a rush to get mortgages and pay taxes. Build a great foundation, learn all you can and experience the world.”

The boot camp culminated in certificate delivery to students and closing remarks from alumni and university leaders, leaving students empowered and ready to embark on their professional journeys.

With its diverse array of sessions and interactive activities, the Career Intensive Boot Camp offered a holistic approach to career development, equipping attendees with the tools and confidence needed to thrive in today's competitive job market.