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
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