How Suffolk University is responding
to the coronavirus outbreak
Story by Magazine Staff
Photograph by Michael J. Clark
Dave Merry wants all Suffolk students and graduates to have the tools and confidence to control their own lifelong career trajectories.
“People can go through careers passively,” says Merry, an innovator in career education who recently joined the University to lead its reimagined and expanded career development efforts. “I want students to know that they have the support, resources, and skills that they need to make the next steps in their career paths and to be in control of that journey.”
That is true for Suffolk alumni as well. Building a career today is a lifelong process that requires adaptability and flexibility as well as continuous reinvestment in skills. Alumni, Merry says, may need training in a certain technology or opportunities to improve public speaking, leadership techniques, or other skills. Suffolk’s Center for Career Education and Professional Development will increasingly focus on offering opportunities for certificates, credentials, badges, and skills development.
“When our current students are alumni, we want them to come back,” Merry says. “We want them to come upskill with us as well.”
Merry joined Suffolk in July as associate provost and executive director of the Center for Career Education and Professional Development. He brings experience on the cutting edge of the college-to-career arena and a vision that aligns with the career and experiential learning goals set out in the Suffolk 2025 strategic plan, including an objective to become a national leader in career education.
The University’s emphasis on integrating career education throughout the student experience is what drew Merry to Suffolk. He sees Suffolk as becoming an institution that others will look to for best practices in building career readiness into every aspect of a university education, from the classroom to leadership involvement, service, internships, and more.
Merry’s past experience includes serving as founding director of cooperative education for Northeastern’s College of Science and a co-op education faculty member. At Suffolk, Merry sees a faculty and staff with remarkable enthusiasm for making every experience meaningful and a University community that is unified in promoting student success.