By Jocelyn Visnov, Editor-in-Chief
Manhattan College has welcomed Colette Geary, Ph.D., ‘82 and Kevin Cavanagh ‘96 back to campus. After serving in various positions in higher education, the two familiar faces have returned to their alma mater as interim Vice President of Mission and Strategic Initiatives and Vice President of Enrollment Management, respectively.
After receiving her bachelor’s of science degree in psychology from MC in 1982, Geary went on to receive a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Stony Brook University and an additional master’s of arts in theology from the University of Notre Dame.
Geary first returned to campus to fill an opening in the counseling center where she served as Director of Counseling and Health Services and received her first administrative role as Dean of Students in 2005. She then left the MC community in 2010 to continue her career as an administrator in higher education at The College of New Rochelle and later The College of St. Scholastica. Prior to her current position, she was VP of Enrollment Management at MC.
Having studied theology, Geary is passionate about her new role focusing on preserving Lasallian Catholic values throughout various aspects of academics and student life at MC.
“My job would be to facilitate programs, educational opportunities, discussions and conversations, but also practical plans about how we can incorporate this vision of Lasallian education into the everyday life of the college in a very sustainable way going forward,” Geary said.
As an MC alumna herself, Geary has a personal connection to the institution and preserving its traditions.
“If we want to be faithful to the founding purpose of this college, then all of the big decisions that we make in the college have to be connected to that arching purpose,” Geary said.
Interim President Brother Daniel Gardner, FSC, expressed his excitement for Geary’s future in the office of mission.
“Colette’s degree and research in theology from the University of Notre Dame, completion of the Lasallian Leadership Institute and current role as a representative on the DENA Mission and Ministry Council make her a perfect candidate to lead the core piece of our Lasallian and Catholic charism, during Br. Jack Curran’s sabbatical,” Gardner said in an article written by David Koeppel.
Another familiar face that has recently returned to campus is Kevin Cavanagh ‘96 who has been appointed VP of Enrollment Management.
Shortly after finishing his undergraduate degree in history, Cavanagh returned to work towards a master’s in business administration from the O’Malley School of Business, while also working as a financial aid and admissions counselor.
After finishing his studies, Cavanagh continued to work in the financial aid and admissions department, eventually working his way up to a director position.
After gaining further administrative experience at colleges such as Iona University, The College of New Rochelle and Bloomfield College, Cavanagh has returned to the Jasper community. He explained that in his new role he hopes to showcase the plethora of opportunities MC has to offer.
“Our responsibility in enrollment management is to open the doors of Manhattan College to prospective students and their parents so that they appreciate what we have to offer, both academically and from a student centered perspective, in an otherwise fairly competitive marketplace,” Cavanagh said.
A Jasper through and through, Cavanagh noted that while he enjoyed gaining valuable experience working at other schools, he does enjoy being back at his alma mater.
“It’s just wonderful to be back at a place that’s so meaningful to me,” Cavanagh said. “I hope to carry the torch forward and shine a bright light on Manhattan College and guide it through its next years of its history in as positive and as fruitful a way as I can I can manage based on my experience. I’m very eager to be back, and be a part of this community again.”