North Country Ambassadors

During the search process, job candidates may have a wide range of questions about what it is like to work on our campus and live in our community (the "North Country"). These personal or non-job-related questions can be important to job candidates, but are not appropriate for discussion with search committee or department members.

We have recruited a number of faculty and staff members to be North Country Ambassadors to meet with job candidates to discuss what it is like to live in the North Country, using their own personal, community experiences to help answer questions that job candidates may have.

Candidates will be given the opportunity to meet with or speak to a North Country Ambassador. The Director of Employee Recruitment, Training & Affirmative Action will work directly with the candidate to arrange the meeting and will not share any information about the request with the department or search committee, except to ask them to set aside a particular time slot for a meeting with an Ambassador, if possible. An Ambassador meeting with a job candidate must come from outside of the department is hiring; the Ambassador will provide no feedback or information to members of the department or search committee, in order to maintain the legitimacy of the search and hiring process; the Ambassador will not provide feedback to the candidate or answer questions about the department for which the person is interviewing.

We hope that this initiative can begin to bridge an information gap and make searches more effective, while still maintaining the professionalism of searches.

Franco Bari

Franco Bari '98 M'10
Head Women's Soccer Coach
Assistant Director of Athletics

I have been employed at St. Lawrence University for seven years. I am also a proud alumnus and pursued my Master's degree in educational leadership here at St. Lawrence University. I am actively involved in the St. Lawrence community while serving on many committees and have appreciated the collaborative atmosphere.

My Canadian wife is also employed in athletics and the two of us live in Canton with our Great Pyrenees. We enjoy hiking in the Adirondacks and taking day/weekend trips to nearby Lake Placid, Burlington (VT) and Ottawa (ON). Although I was born in Minneapolis, I spent the majority of my life in Rochester, N.Y. Having lived in larger cities (Phoenix, Greensboro, Rochester) prior to my employment here at St. Lawrence, I have grown to appreciate the small town atmosphere and community.

Anne Clements

Anne Clements
Assistant Director, Alumni Giving and Laurentian Engagement

Anne joined the Office of Annual Giving and Laurentian Engagement in October 2012. She is responsible for the overall management and execution of the University’s Calling All Saints phone-a-thon program, the undergraduate giving and philanthropic education program and serves as the staff advisor to the Student-Alumni Association. In addition to these responsibilities, Anne is responsible for the hiring, training and managing of student workers during Reunion weekend and also plays a role in the coordination of the student component of the Laurentians in Residence program.

Originally from Cincinnati, Anne earned her Bachelor of the Arts degree in French and Women’s Studies from Denison University in Granville, OH. At Denison, she is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, was a managing member of the Student Calling Program and is still a dedicated volunteer for the University’s Annual Fund.

Since October 2012, Anne has lived in Canton and enjoyed its small town charm!

Rance Davis

Rance Davis '80 M'82
Associate Dean of Student Life

My journey at St. Lawrence began in the summer of 1976 as a Higher Educational Opportunity student. Both my undergraduate and graduate education I received at St. Lawrence. I left St. Lawrence after my graduate education in 1982. I was drawn back to St. Lawrence and the North Country in 1991 because my prior educational and personal experiences at St. Lawrence held a special place in my head and in my heart. I have held a number of positions at St. Lawrence from counselor in Counseling Services, Director of Multicultural Affairs and my current position as Associate Dean of Student Life. I have taught in First-Year Program and classes on Race and Culture. I also advise a number of cultural clubs and student organization. From my vantage point St. Lawrence has been a very special place for me and my family.

Mark Mende

Mark Mende
Director of Digital Communications
University Communications

Mark joined the staff at St. Lawrence in 1999 as the University’s first website manager. He is responsible for general oversight of the University’s external Web presence, and leads projects related to the University’s website as well as other electronic communications. In addition, he maintains the content for numerous pages on the University site and helps coordinate social media.

Mark has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and higher education communications, marketing and electronic communications. He previously served as coordinator of electronic communications, media relations director and sports information director at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Prior to that, he was a sports reporter at several newspapers throughout New York. Mark is the co-founder and was first president of Higher Education Web Professionals, now known as HighEdWeb.

Mark has been living in the North Country for over 20 years. He and his wife, Susan, who is a newspaper reporter, have two sons – Eric, 21, and Matt, 18. Mark has been active in the Canton community, coaching little league baseball, hockey and soccer, as well as serving as a member of the Canton PeeWee board and the Village of Canton planning board. For the past 12 years, he has coached baseball at local schools, including the last nine years as the modified coach at Canton Central. Mark also maintains the content for the Canton Town, Village and Chamber of Commerce website.

Dennis Morreale

Dennis Morreale '07
Associate Director for Young Alumni Giving
Annual Giving & Laurentian Engagement

Dennis joined the Alumni & Parents Programs staff as assistant director of alumni & parent programs in 2007, and was recently promoted to associate director of annual giving. Dennis earned his B.A. degree from St. Lawrence with a double major in History and Government. He oversees myriad young alumni committees encompassing graduates of the last 15 years. He is also responsible for administering programs, crafting appeals and planning events that promote volunteerism and annual giving. Originally from Corinth, NY, Dennis came to the University as an Augsbury/North Country Scholar, and during his undergraduate years he spent a semester in France, was awarded a University Fellowship, and was a proud resident of the Green House Theme Cottage. Still passionate about the liberal arts, Dennis spends most of his time out of the office painting landscapes or writing music.

John O'Connor

John Robert O'Connor
Director of Student Activities and Sullivan Student Center

John Robert O’Connor was born and raised in South China, Maine and earned his undergraduate degree in health psychology from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (MCPHS University) in 2008 in Boston. John began his career in Student Activities at a young age as a work study for the Office of Student Activities at MCPHS University in the Fall of 2004 as a first year in college. Once he got involved he was hooked and became involved as an Admissions ambassador/tour guide, executive board member of the Campus Activities Board, and Orientation Leader and a Resident Advisor at MCPHS University, Student Government Class Rep and officer. During his senior year of College John did an internship in Student Leadership Programs at Wentworth Institute of Technology.

While working full-time in student affairs, John earned his graduate degree in college student development and counseling from Northeastern University in 2012 and a second graduate degree in applied positive psychology from University of Pennsylvania in 2014. John is actively engaged in developing future leaders through his work on college campuses and believes that involvement outside of the classroom is an essential part of leadership and personal development in college. After stints working at Teachers College Columbia University, Emmanuel College, Northeastern University, Simmons College, MCPHS University, Thomas College, and Wells College he started here at St. Lawrence University in August 2015 as Director of Student Activities & Leadership and Director of the Sullivan Student Center.

John Robert has been involved in the Gender and Sexuality Equity Tripartite (faculty/staff/student) Committee and the Ally Group and serves as advisor to the Association for Campus Entertainment and the Thelomathesian (student government.). He has loved his time at St. Lawrence and is looking forward to many more years on campus. He currently spends his free time training for a marathon and enjoying great running trails around the St. Lawrence campus, learning new recipes, playing the cello, entertaining his cat Clover and exploring the North Country of New York.

Shaun Whitehead

Rev. Dr. Shaun Whitehead
Associate Chaplain

The Rev. Dr. Shaun Whitehead is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She received the Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Clark Atlanta University, the Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago) and recently, the Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary. Shaun’s D.Min thesis was “Making Room in the Gospel: Preaching in a Religiously and Culturally Pluralistic Context”. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (New York Conference, Black River-St. Lawrence Association). Shaun is the Associate University Chaplain, at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. As Associate Chaplain, Shaun ministers to students, faculty, staff and the broader community. Shaun is the pastor of the weekly Gospel Service, an inclusive and welcoming spiritual community. She also directs the Community Gospel Choir. Shaun founded “Got Spirit?” the annual Gospel Music Workshop & Concert held annually at St. Lawrence. The workshop under Shaun’s leadership celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013. The greatest gift of the annual Gospel Workshop is the diversity of its participants who make up a splendid array of cultures, religious/spiritual traditions, races, ethnic origins, etc. Through this workshop and other music initiatives, Shaun has brought many people together across racial/ethnic/cultural/religious difference. She teaches and leads workshops on the history and singing of Spirituals, music of the Civil Rights Movement and Gospel music.

At St. Lawrence, Shaun is also the Progressive Christian Advisor on the Multi-faith Advisors Council. She serves ex-officio on the university’s Spiritual & Religious Life Committee. Shaun is advisor to the student organization, H.O.P.E. (Helping Out People Everywhere) and to the St. Lawrence chapter of Amnesty International. She is also an African American Studies Advisory Board member and an instructor in the First Year Program.

Before full time ministry, Shaun worked in Chicago’s radio industry for 14 years. As a preacher, writer and singer, Shaun focuses her work on breaking down barriers and building relationships that are inclusive, reconciling and affirming.

Shaun’s mother, Mrs. Margo Whitehead is deceased. Her father, Deacon Willie B. Whitehead still resides on the Southside of Chicago.