SHU's Horizons Affiliate Establishes Evans Society to Honor Past Board Members

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University’s Horizons (HSHU) —a nonprofit, academic enrichment program for children from underserved families in Bridgeport—has established the Evans Society to honor past members of its board of directors. 

The society takes its name from Brad Evans, who was instrumental in establishing Horizons at SHU in 2011. He has been a board member since 2012 and became its co-chair in 2017. Barbara Omohundro, a founding board member, came up with the idea for the Evans Society, whose members will maintain a connection to HSHU through updates about the program’s progress and attendance at its future events. 

“My wife, Barbara, and I are very excited about the creation of the Evans Society as a way to recognize and honor the dedicated service of former board members of Horizons at SHU,” said Evans.

Jaime Perri, executive director of HSHU, said Evans dedicated “extraordinary amounts of time, resources and expertise to ensuring the organization’s launch, growth and sustainability.” 

Children participate in HSHU’s in-depth program from kindergarten through eighth grade, learning skills for academic success. Each year includes a six-week summer session, year round Saturday programs, one-on-one tutoring and a swimming program. As part of the award-winning, national Horizons organization, with over 60 chapters nationwide, HSHU has served hundreds of students since its inception. 

“The board of directors, both past and present, are integral to the program’s success,” said Perri. “Horizons at SHU is very fortunate to have a dedicated and involved board that truly cares about our mission. They help with everything from admissions and event planning to grants and fundraising. We have a board of professionals with varying talents and specialties, and they use these attributes for the betterment of the organization.”

There will be a cocktail reception honoring Evans and his wife Barbara. At the reception, all 20 Evans Society inaugural members will be inducted at HSHU’s annual golf outing at Sacred Heart’s Great River Golf Club on Monday, June 28. 

Members to be inducted into the Evans Society include:

  • Michael Alfano, Ph.D., dean of SHU’s Isabelle Farrington College of Education
  • James Carl, Ph.D., SHU education professor 
  • Patrick Carolan, M.D., SHU board of trustee member 
  • Robin L.  Cautin, Ph.D., SHU’s interim provost 
  • Sean M. Dowling, CFP®, EA, president, the Dowling Group
  • Victoria T. Ferrara, J.D., principal, the Ferrara Law Group
  • Thomas  Forget, Ph.D., coach, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
  • Leah Gambal, co-founder of Access Dyslexia
  • Yvonne Hickey, general manager, Xerox Public Sector Center of Excellence 
  • Jacqueline Kelleher, Ph.D., education professor
  • Hoby Kreitler, honorary HSHU board member, founder Green Farms Academy (GFA) Horizons
  • Joan Magnetti, RSCJ, former executive director of the Catholic Academy of Bridgeport
  • Ellen Massucci, M.A., SHU clinical assistant professor 
  • Rhea Paul, Ph.D., SHU professor and founding director, speech-language pathology department 
  • Thomas Pesce, former interim executive director of HSHU
  • John Petillo, Ph.D., SHU president
  • Angela Pitcher, M.B.A., SHU registrar 
  • Jacinth J. Rosa, M.B.A, senior client manager, American Express
  • Graciela ‘Grace’ Rodriguez, recipient Horizons HSHU Leadership Award 
  • Nan Ruben, GFA Horizons board member and past GFA liaison to the HSHU board 


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 386 Colleges–2021 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best Business Schools–2021 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre.