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Winter 2010

Equal Opportunity Success

With a firm belief in the importance of education, and unshakable confidence in their alma mater, Steven '73 and Christine '73 (Smith) Manfredi have given a generous boost to women’s leadership initiatives at Bentley.

The couple's $2 million commitment to the university supports women's leadership development programs that engage undergraduates and corporate leaders alike.

Three Collect Honors at Harvest Gala

The three newest members of the Bentley University Distinguished Alumni Academy have much in common: keen expertise in their chosen fields, a core belief in ethical leadership, deep commitment to their local community – and an alma mater proud of their accomplishments. Distinguished Alumni Academy members (from left) Kevin Armata ’78, Joaquín Bacardi III ’89 and I. Norman Massry ’78.

High-Powered Connection: Nick Stavropoulos ’79

Nick Stavropoulos ’79 knows about energy. Over his 30-year career in the natural gas and electricity-distribution industry, he has powered through – and often overseen – seismic changes in the sector’s technology, scale and mission.As a Bentley trustee, Stavropoulos is among those working to give the MBA program a new charge.“We’re doing well at the undergraduate level, and we’re doing a fabulous job attracting teaching talent,” says the Massachusetts native, who joined the board in 2009. “The MBA program exists in a very competitive environment.

Trust Issues: Bonnie Kirchner MST ’01

Bernie Madoff may hold the record as world’s worst financial-adviser-turned-crook, but Brad Bleidt is a close second. In 2004, Bleidt confessed to stealing millions of dollars from his investment clients over two decades. No one was more surprised by the swindle than his wife, Bonnie Kirchner. Now divorced from Bleidt, the certified financial planner and former TV business reporter has published Who Can You Trust with Your Money?

Matters of Preference

Dipayan Biswas wants to know what you like. More to the point, he wants to know why you like it. The associate professor of marketing has studied people’s responses in sampling “experiential” products -- beverages, music, fragrances, and the like – which appeal directly to the senses.His research into the factors that influence consumer preferences has turned up a surprise: A product’s impression on the taste buds or ear drums matters less than you would expect.

It’s All in the User Experience

If you’re having problems with a piece of high-tech gear, the cliché is to enlist a child to help fix that troublesome computer or DVR. Funny thing, it’s true – to an extent. But it’s not experience with gadgetry that makes youngsters such worthy assistants. It’s their lack of preconceived ideas about how technology should operate.Cynthia Kamishlian, a research associate at Bentley’s Design and Usability Center, is out to understand how the younger set behave around technology.

Adventures in Research

Hauling 60-plus pounds of geological gear up mountains. Purifying ancient marine shells for cutting-edge analysis. Rendering educational concepts into mathematical expressions. These professional-level adventures were the stuff of summer for three Bentley juniors.Mike Ravisi, Greg Bucci and Eric Ndung’u signed on to help three Bentley faculty members conduct original research. The undertaking wins high praise from Dean of Arts and Sciences Dan Everett.“Cross-cultural studies show one constant: People learn better by acting on knowledge than by passively receiving it,” he says.

In Morocco, Building Dreams

Dominique Miles ’11 arrived on campus packing ambitions to be a pioneer of change. “I was always told that I could be anything I wanted to be,” she recalls of growing up in Atlanta, Ga. “Nothing was impossible.”

That message of empowerment is one that Miles aims to deliver to women elsewhere in the world. She already has a well-stamped passport, thanks to global programs at Bentley.

Her journey started with a short-term study abroad program in the North African country of Morocco.

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