Pasquerella Announces Administrative Changes

Shannon Gurek will serve as treasurer and vice president for finance and administration beginning August 1.

President Lynn Pasquerella has announced that several changes in senior administration positions are anticipated in upcoming months, beginning with the departure of Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Ben Hammond and the hiring of both his replacement and a new executive director of Complementary Program Development (CPD)/Mount Holyoke Extension.

Hammond, who will leave Mount Holyoke in late June, has accepted the position of vice president for finance and administration at Wellesley College. Shannon Gurek (pictured), currently the associate treasurer at Amherst College, will become MHC’s new vice president and treasurer as of August 1.  Jodi A. Devine, the associate director of Executive Education and Adult Programs at Brown University, has been selected to head CPD/Mount Holyoke Extension.

In addition, the College will undertake two new searches: one to replace Executive Director of Communications and Marketing Patricia VandenBerg, who will retire at the end of October, the other to replace Steve Koppi, the former director of the Career Development Center.

Gurek has been associated with Amherst College since being hired as assistant comptroller in 1996. In addition to being the associate treasurer and director of the budget for the last decade, she served as the college’s interim treasurer this past year; she was also the college’s comptroller for two years prior to assuming her current position. A CPA, Gurek holds an undergraduate degree in business administration, summa cum laude, from Nichols College, and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. She grew up in Athol, Massachusetts, and currently resides in South Hadley with her husband and three daughters.

"I am thrilled that Shannon is joining our leadership team. She brings an exciting vision, strong financial and managerial skills, and knowledge of the South Hadley community and of the College through her work with the Five Colleges," said Pasquerella.

“I am not surprised that President Pasquerella sought Shannon out for this critical position,” added Amherst President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin. “Shannon has built a deep and broad financial skillset and brought a collaborative and service-oriented approach to her work, (and she) did terrific work as Amherst’s interim treasurer.”

“While I'm sad to be leaving Amherst College after so many years, I'm very excited to join the Mount Holyoke community,” said Gurek. “This is a great opportunity for me to use my financial skills in new ways at an institution that I have always admired.”

Devine, who has been at Brown since 2007, will assume the leadership of CPD on July 1. In addition to serving in her current position since 2010, she has also held curriculum development and advancement positions at Brown. Devine earned her undergraduate degree in business from Skidmore College, a master’s degree in English from DePaul University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware.  

“Jodi brings us creativity and vision, anchored firmly in the liberal arts tradition,” said Pasquerella, who also extended her “boundless thanks” to economics professor Jim Hartley for his work this past year as interim executive director of CPD. 

In speaking of Hammond, who came to Mount Holyoke in August 2011, Pasquerella said, “Our friends at Wellesley College have seen in Ben Hammond the many strengths we have so appreciated over the past two years… We wish him all the best and are so very grateful for the amazing work he has accomplished in a short time.”

"Mount Holyoke is a wonderful institution, and it has been a pleasure working with Lynn, her senior staff, the trustees and the entire MHC community to advance the College’s mission and strengthen its finances during these challenging times,” said Hammond. “While much hard work remains ahead, I am proud of what we have already accomplished by working together. Thank you to everyone who welcomed me into this very special community. I will greatly miss working with you and wish you and Mount Holyoke all the best."

VandenBerg has served as the executive director of communications and marketing since 1999, in addition to holding a lecturer’s position in the Department of Theatre Arts. During her tenure, she coordinated numerous high visibility College events, including Pasquerella’s 2010 inauguration and the College’s 175th anniversary celebration. Most recently, she has led the College’s branding initiative and corresponding web redesign, both scheduled to launch in the next several months.

“Patricia’s contributions to the College’s presentations and visibility are significant, and we will miss her greatly. We are very glad that she will see us through the current branding initiative and web redesign,” said Pasquerella.

“In the 14 years I’ve been at Mount Holyoke, I’ve come to love the College, its mission, and its transformative power,” said VandenBerg. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to help steward this great institution and will be cheering from the sidelines as it embarks on its next 175 years. I will miss the many talented and wonderful people with whom I’ve worked.”

The search for the director of the Career Development Center comes in the wake of Koppi’s departure this past winter; he is now the executive director of Career Services at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Pasquerella has established a search committee that will be chaired by Professor Becky Packard; members are Diane Anci, Cerri Banks, Carly Kite, Lenore Reilly, Geoff Sumi, Eleanor Townsley, and MaryAnne Young. A search committee to fill VandenBerg’s position has not yet been formed.