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Forecasters Series

Future of Higher Education Panel

A distinguished panel of alumni discussed how COVID-19 has impacted three critical areas of higher education: student wellness, athletic recruiting, and college admissions. In addition, Mark Peluso ’84, Middlebury College physician, Holley Tyng ’97, Colby College hockey coach, and Ariel Leitao ’08, MIT admissions officer,  highlighted how the current crisis may create a very different educational experience than the existing status quo.

Student Health

Dr. Mark Peluso '84
College & Head Team Physician, Middlebury College

Dr. Mark Peluso is the director of Parton Health Service and has served as both the college and head team physician at Middlebury College since 2000. He serves on the College’s COVID-19 crisis and emergency management teams and he advised the President and Board of Trustees in the decision to send all students home in March—one of the first schools in the country to do so. Middlebury successfully brought back 2,400 students from all over the country in late August and September, and thus far has a 0.03% COVID-19 positive test rate. He also played a leading role in developing Vermont’s College Restart Plan.

Dr. Peluso is board certified in both family medicine and sports medicine and is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Dr. Peluso received his B.A. from Bowdoin College and his M.D. from the Boston University School of Medicine. He trained at the University of California San Francisco - Salinas Family Practice Residency Program in Salinas, CA, and later completed a Sports Medicine Fellowship through Stanford University - San Jose Medical Center. Dr. Peluso is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and has served on the Americans in Motion Advisory Committee since 2006. He is a founding member and inaugural chairman of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Medical Aspects in Sport Committee, and was the primary care physician for the 2015 US Lacrosse U19 Women's National Team.

Dr. Peluso is also an active member in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American College Health Association, and the Female Athlete Triad Coalition.

Athletic Recruiting
Holley Tyng '97
Women's Hockey Head Coach, Colby College

Holley Tyng is starting her fifth season as the head coach of the Colby Women’s Hockey program. In 2019-20, Tyng guided the Mules to their best season in program history with a second-place finish in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), and in doing so was named NESCAC Coach of the Year. This past season the Mules also earned their first-ever spot in the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) top-10 national rankings. In her four years at Colby, Tyng has had five players earn NESCAC Player of the Week honors, two players earn All-NESCAC accolades, 42 named to the NESCAC All-Academic Team, and two players represent their countries in their respective World Championships at both the U18 and Senior National level. Prior to coaching at Colby, Tyng spent 11 years as the associate head coach at Dartmouth College where she served as the team’s recruiting coordinator. At Dartmouth, she had the privilege of coaching and recruiting five players who went on to win both silver and gold medals at the Olympics and captured two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hockey Championships and one Ivy League Title.

A 2001 graduate of Providence College, Tyng spent her first year after graduation working as a mutual fund accountant at State Street Bank, but quickly realized her passion was in education and athletics. As a four-year boarder at Tabor, Tyng had the privilege of being coached and taught by some of the most influential people in her life. When afforded the chance, she jumped at the opportunity to return “home” to Marion and assume the role of teacher, coach, dorm parent, and advisor. A three-year member of the faculty, Tyng taught algebra and geometry and coached soccer, lacrosse, softball, and hockey. To this day, Tabor, the Marion community, and the many teachers, students, and friends she crossed paths with remain some of the most special people in her life. Tyng feels strongly that she wouldn’t be where she is today without the connections made during her time at Tabor. GO SEAWOVES!

College Admissions
Ariel Leitao '08
Interim Director of Selection, MIT

Ariel Leitao has been working in higher education for eight years, serving in roles across graduate and undergraduate admissions. In her current role, Leitao serves as Interim Director of Selection at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she recently led the implementation of a new CRM system. Leitao holds a Bachelor of Science in international business and marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Education in higher education administration from Northeastern University, and she is currently a doctoral student at Northeastern University. Her research focus is on social media and its impact on the admissions process for Generation Z students. In her spare time, Leitao serves on the board of directors of the South Shore Women’s Hockey League, and she gets out on the ice whenever she can.


Alumni Events

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