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Center for Academic Resources Director Recognized For Contributions

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
April 16, 2008


Len Lamberti has been helping to forward the interests of first-generation and low-income students since he came to UNH in 1975. Earlier this month, his efforts were acknowledged when he received the Marion Belgrave-Howard Award from the New England Educational Opportunity Association.

In 1976, Belgrave-Howard was the first president of the group, then known as the New England Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel. Since 1999, her namesake award has been given to individuals who have made “enduring contributions” toward the expansion of equal educational opportunity.

Lamberti is the director of the Center for Academic Resources, whose mission is to aid undergraduates in maximizing their educational experience while at UNH. In addition to tutoring and teaching such skills as note-taking, time management, and test-taking, the center’s Student Support Services assists low-income and first generations students who may need extra help.

Student Support Services is funded primarily through a federal TRIO program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Born out of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, TRIO programs target students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including first-generation college students and those with disabilities.

Through Student Support Services, students are encouraged to consider options that are likely foreign to them: studying abroad, doing undergraduate research or taking an internship.

“Some of these students have families who don’t understand why they would do an internship and work for free, or why they would study abroad, or spend their time doing research. The expectation is to graduate and get a job,” Lamberti says. “Student Support Services gets them to think outside the box and gives them a leg up.”

And so do the day-to-day skills the students are taught, which include everything from how to budget their time to goal setting to taking notes in a large lecture class.

Thirty-three percent of the students at UNH are first-generation, Lamberti says, with eight percent of those also being low income. Many still have to return on weekends to help out at home.

“There are many challenges,” Lamberti says. “We try to figure out, once they’re settled in here, how they can leverage what they’ve brought with them.”

Helping students realize their potential is one of the most exciting parts of the work done at the Center for Academic Resources, Lamberti says, adding, “Seeing students soar, excel and achieve is definitely one of the most joyful experiences.”

Lamberti’s work with these programs and students during the last 33 years is what earned him special recognition. He has been affiliated with several educational and professional organizations, including the New England Educational Opportunity Association and the Educational Opportunity Association, and is a frequent presenter at various conferences and training institutes.

A consultant for educational and nonprofit organizations, Lamberti also works with New Hampshire's congressional delegation to ensure continued support for Student Support Services.

He describes receiving the Belgrave-Howard as “humbling and inspiring at the same time.”

“Clearly anything anybody does is a reflection of the people around them,” Lamberti says. “I’ve had a lot of support; a lot of mentors. It takes a community to move forward in one’s career. I’m very grateful.”


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