A CONVERSATION WITH ALLIE PUKALA ’06, ASSISTANT DEAN OF STUDENTS FOR STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
How did your experience as an undergraduate student at Merrimack College influence your decision to return here to work in student affairs?
During my time as a student at Merrimack, I jumped in and took advantage of many of the offerings on campus. It was through these experiences that my leadership style began to emerge and, though I didn’t know it at the time, I was shaping my future in student affairs and preparing to give back to the institution that allowed me the opportunity to find and define who I was and who I would some day become. Learning in the classroom with dedicated faculty and developing outside of the classroom with dedicated administrators in my student leader roles allowed for the connection between textbooks and daily living to emerge. By the time I graduated, I knew I wanted to give back to Merrimack for all it had given me—only I was not sure in what capacity I would give back until a few years later.
Did that experience also influence your decision to support the school philanthropically? How?
My experience as a student did lead me to give back to Merrimack in small ways. I wanted to remain a part of the institution and I knew that giving back was important, but I was doing it to do it and not because I truly believed it was making a difference or a part of something greater. Now, as an employee of the College and seeing the leaps and bounds the institution has grown and how supported our students are, I see daily the impact we have on our campus as alumni.
The physical campus has grown tremendously and offers the students so much in terms of academic and social spaces to utilize on a daily basis. Many of our sports teams are leading the pack in their division or even in the country. The faculty are dedicated, supportive and cutting edge allowing for our students to leave with advanced knowledge in varying fields. Our commitment to service and to our roots as an Augustinian college sets us apart from the rest.
I tell all of the alumni I come across to come to campus for Homecoming, Mack Gives Back Day, Reunion, or on a random Tuesday and see how incredible our alma mater truly is. These are exciting times for Merrimack College and everyone should want to be a part of this!
Why do you feel it is important as a faculty/staff member to support Merrimack College?
As faculty and staff of Merrimack College, we see first-hand the growth and development of our students and our campus. We have the knowledge on how giving back is shaping this institution on a daily basis. Our support shows our commitment, excitement for and faith in our institution.
What does Together for Good, the name of Merrimack’s Campaign, mean to you?
Together for Good means to me that: Merrimack College is not only a community that once you are a part of it you want to remain a part of it, but it is also a community that once you are a part of it you will always be a part of it.
Allie Pukala ’06 is a member of the Wenzel Society, the College’s most loyal donors, and a supporter of the Together for Good Campaign.