My father-in-law said if I was ever going to marry his daughter, I’d better go to college. Things worked out! Because of the people I met at Northeastern, I had a great career, and I and my late wife, Nancy—also an alum—were married for 37 years.
I studied English and Journalism and got my degree from the College of Liberal Arts, now the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, in 1968. Nancy got her master’s in education from the Graduate School of Education in 1977.
My work study job with Charles Havice, then dean of chapel and chairman of the department of philosophy, was important in my life. Charles gave me a chance to use my writing skills, and though I was just a novice, I did research for his book, Campus Values: Some Considerations for Collegians. His belief in me and in the people he connected me to—like former Northeastern presidents Carl Ell and Asa Knowles—were empowering. I have worked with every university president except the first.
After getting my master’s in higher education administration at the Graduate School of Education in 1975, I worked with two of the former deans of Northeastern’s University College, John Jordan and the late Kenneth Ballou. John was very influential in my career, and I worked with him for 20 years. Ken took me under his wing, and later I became associate dean. It was exciting to introduce our programs to students around the state—and ultimately, the world.
Today I teach organizational behavior, leadership, and human relations courses at the College of Professional Studies. There have been lots of changes, but it’s great. About fifty percent of our courses are now online. It’s the way of the future.
Who Empowered You?
Professor Adomdza has empowered me to take full advantage of global experiential learning and has helped shape me into the person I am today: a budding entrepreneur prepared through coursework, research, and co-op for whatever opportunities come my way.
Behind every Northeastern graduate is a story of empowerment — often, a story about a formative personal or mentoring relationship. Please add your testimonial to the growing collection and share a favorite memory or anecdote about your empower source.
When I arrived at Northeastern I had very vague ideas about what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to go into medicine but I had no idea where to go or who to go to about getting that kind of mentoring.
At age 37, I was a stay-at-home mother of three young children and in the midst of a divorce. I knew I needed an education or I wouldn’t be able to secure a job doing much of anything. I am where I am today because of Northeastern and my family, and I’m forever grateful.
Balancing work and school, and being on co-op, has taught me how to live life as an adult. Northeastern’s career-oriented atmosphere changed me. It’s made me more mature.
I had been a senior vice president of human resources with a successful corporate career. The day my job was eliminated, in 2007, I looked at my husband and said, “I’m going to start my own business and go back to school!”
I can still picture her: a petite college grad, not much older than I was—my co-op advisor’s assistant. When I told her I wanted a co-op with a Big Eight accounting firm, she just laughed. “With your grades?”
I was a Torch Scholar in this incredible program’s second year. My mentor at Northeastern—James Stellar, then dean of the former College of Arts and Sciences—introduced me to research and took me under his wing.
As a junior at the business school, I managed to slip into an oversubscribed class on real estate finance taught by Steve Kursh. There weren’t enough chairs, so only the seniors were invited to enroll that semester. Somehow, I stayed.
It isn’t often that you encounter a manager who is both brilliant and extraordinarily caring, but that’s exactly what I got in Brenna McCarthy. I did a co-op at John Hancock Funds, where I assisted Brenna in marketing operations.
I was discharged from the Army in ’73, when the economy was faltering badly. I had no career direction. Joe Golemme convinced me to enroll at the Graduate School of Professional Accounting, which he both founded and directed.
I have wanted to attend Northeastern ever since I watched my dad graduate in Matthews Arena, when I was ten. It was my dream to follow in his footsteps.
LI'59, UC'62, H'89
After I received my engineering degree, I went on to University College and took a course in business law with Professor Victor Cohen. He was one of the toughest professors I ever had, but I must tell you, he would really put the law into you.
As a “double Husky,” I’ve had some great teacher-mentors whose knowledge and solid advice have propelled my career successes. Professor James Ramos is one, though we’ve only ever met online.