All posts by Ashley O'Keefe

Caribbean Club Expands and Enlightens


The Caribbean Club has gained tremendous popularity among Nichols College students since it launched last year. This multicultural group is fun and welcoming, and it strives to educate everyone on campus about other ethnicities and backgrounds.

Club President Fallonne Fanfan `18, a finance and accounting double major from Sudbury, Mass., is excited about its expansion and direction. She explained how the club is reaching out toward new cultures and has become more of an ALANA society (African, Latino, American, Native American, and Asian ethnicities). In other words, all walks of life are welcome to join and share their stories about their backgrounds. At a small school like Nichols, it’s important to celebrate our heritages and educate one another on what makes us who we are. Fallonne wants people to understand how our backgrounds influence our character; why people talk, dance, act, and cook the way they do.

Earlier in the semester, the Caribbean Club held a lawn festival that included food and music from many cultures. We can expect more events like this—and even bigger things from the club down the line. Fallonne discussed the possibility of organizing mission trips to struggling countries such as Haiti and Peru. Not only would it be appealing to students whose heritage hails from ALANA ethnicities, but it would also be an exciting volunteer experience for all students. In keeping with the Nichols business mindset, there would be chances to network with businesses based out of such countries.

The Caribbean Club now boasts approximately 60 members—many of whom registered at the College’s recent Student Activities and Club Fair—and continues to increase in diversity. Understanding various heritages is just one more way the Nichols community can expand the horizons of our students.

The Students Are Heard


Here on the Hill, staff and faculty are constantly looking for students’ feedback to shape the campus to the wants and needs of students as much as possible.

Just a couple of weeks ago, administration from departments such as Admissions and Residence Life visited each residence hall and chatted with many students, letting students’ voices be heard about anything they wanted to talk about. Concerns varied from wanting certain events back on campus to wanting the campus shuttle to be available more often. Staff members took our suggestions into serious consideration–and some of them are already in the process of being implemented.

When I was in the middle of my college search, I went on many campus tours to get a feel for what each school was all about. No college compared to the feeling I experienced when I stepped on the Nichols College campus. Within minutes of first visiting Nichols, I got that homey, comfortable feel that everyone looks for when moving away from his or her parents for the first time. What’s even better about Nichols is that feeling has never gone away because of actions of the staff and faculty. In my opinion, you won’t find this kind of attention or comfort elsewhere.

One of Nichols’ priorities is to let students’ voices be heard. After administration made their rounds to the residence halls to collect as much feedback as possible, they scheduled yet another meeting to ask the students how they would like to see that feedback taken into action and changed. It’s clear that Nichols really wants to benefit the students now and in the future, which is something I will always admire about Nichols College.

Nichols truly does care.

Nichols Women Tour New York Businesses


Nichols students seized the opportunity Oct. 1 to travel to New York City as a part of the College’s “How Women Lead” course. During the trip, the 12 female students toured companies to meet with female executives and participated in cultural activities.

The two chaperones on the trip were Jean Beaupre, assistant professor and faculty director for the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Nichols; and Human Resource Management Professor Libba Moore. The two co-teach “How Women Lead.”

“We wanted to expose students to good examples of female professionals and the challenges they face in the workplace,” explained Beaupre.

The women of Nichols were able to meet with six executives at Cammack Health in Manhattan and ask questions about career paths, gender issues, and work-life balance. Cammack Health is a small company with about 40-50 employees that stresses equality among men and women professionals.

Mary Daly, a junior accounting major and business communication minor at Nichols, said she received valuable advice from the executives at Cammack.

“(One executive) told us not to reject an opportunity if we feel that we’re not capable, because there are resources to help us through it,” she said.

Mary also learned that it’s important to find a job that feels right and that it’s okay to say no sometimes because there will always be other opportunities.

Savannah Goodrich, a senior general business major, realized what type of work environment she’s attracted to during the tours.

“I think it is really important to me to work at a small company someday. I would rather be known as a person, by name, rather than a badge ID number.”

The second corporate tour was at MetLife, a massive company with over 10,000 employees. Students met with three female executives in a large conference room overlooking the Big Apple to discuss the “Lean In” movement. Lean In is a book written by Facebook CFO Sheryl Sandberg that aims to teach women in the workplace empowerment skills, and it has grown into a nation-wide movement. MetLife has promoted Lean In Circles since the concept was introduced a few years ago and is making progress toward gender equality in the company. Overall, MetLife finds importance in letting all of their employees grow within the workplace; there are chances to advance and change positions so employees aren’t restricted to one department.

The students were able to talk about their own Lean In Circle that has started on the Nichols campus. The Lean In Circle is designed to be a safe place for women where they can share their experiences and learn to assertively promote themselves.

Besides business tours, students were able to see other parts of the city such as the 9/11 Memorial and enjoy a meal in Little Italy. They also made a trip to Broadway to catch the theatrical production Kinky Boots. The professors felt it was important to expose students to all different aspects of the city.


Mary explained how the trip brought the class together.

“We were able to grow as individuals and as classmates throughout the trip, and it makes the ‘How Women Lead’ class much more fun, because we all bonded in New York.”

Each student was required to research the companies prior to the New York visit and write a reflection about the experience afterward. The trip was also offered last year, but funding determines the agenda on a year-to-year basis.