Maureen Sylvia '80
Maureen Sylvia cares deeply about providing opportunities. As the Director of Resource Development for the United Way of Greater New Bedford, it is Sylvia’s charge to ask individuals and corporations to invest their philanthropic dollars for providing for those in need. “It’s challenging but very satisfying,” she says, “to see a program come to fruition or an individual reach his or her goals due to others’ investments.”
Sylvia has been involved in this type of institutional work since 1985 when she worked for UMass Dartmouth’s alumni relations office, helping to raise friends and funds to help other attain higher education. She graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 1980 with a BA in multi-disciplinary studies before obtaining her MBA from Bryant University in 1995. In 2003, Sylvia became a Certified Fund Raising Executive.
The education she received as an undergraduate prepared Sylvia for her career, but she says extracurricular activities also played a vital role. “I had a great experience as undergrad,” Sylvia explains. “I received a solid foundation in the classroom, but I also built my confidence and skills through work study and extracurricular programs,” says Sylvia, who was on the student senate and held a position in public relations.
In addition to her job, Sylvia is on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association. She chooses to stay connected in this way in an effort to give back to the campus community and encourage others to get involved so that students may continue to have great experiences like she had. “I think [all] UMD alumni should feel very proud of the growth of the university and the quality of education that can be had,” she says. “And I encourage everyone [who attends] to participate in extracurricular activities.”
Written by Jenalina Santiago '08, MA '13 (June 2012)