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The degree to which one has positively impacted the lives of others—in short, service. For me, this means providing ac- cess to greater opportunity and upholding and expanding human rights. It stems from trying to be a good human


being and rais- ing my son to be one too. It requires main- taining high standards with regard to the quality and

integrity of my work and making everyday choices that align with my values, beliefs, and priorities.

Has your definition changed over time? As a student, my idea of success was rooted in my own aca- demic performance. I guess you could say that I’ve now turned that notion into something that is outward-looking rather than inward-looking.

How do you influence your students’ ideas of success? When our students start kindergarten we plant the seeds of academic achievement, college graduation, and options in life, and we work to cultivate them every day, with high ex- pectations and rigorous standards of accountability and with language and rituals that foster a college-going culture.

How important is being successful?

Success in my work is integral to my success in life; it’s a major part of how I define myself. The other key for me is being a successful wife and mother. It might be easier to ig- nore my definition of success in work and pursue some- thing more lucrative or less demanding, but my integrity— what I say matters to me and what I choose to prioritize— would be lost.

JARED TENDLER ’01 Management-psychology major MS in counseling psychology, Northeastern University Licensed mental-health counselor; mental coach to professional poker players and golfers New York City

How do you define success? It’s a level of fulfillment in the things that can’t be quantified, and a level of achievement that fulfills me in the things that can be quantified. It’s the combination of quality and quantity.

Has your definition changed over time? Definitely. I remember winning golf tournaments and feel- ing nothing, because I was always comparing it to what else I wanted. I realized that this old version of success was noth-

ing more than chasing my tail. I learned that recognizing and feeling proud of what I accomplished didn’t mean I was going to stop working to be better. That made me capable of wanting to achieve more, but not in a desperate way that fo- cuses only on results.

What did success mean when you first graduated? Figuring out how to become a professional golfer. I knew that I did not have the mental wherewithal to get there, and I saw counseling psychology as a stepping stone for me to solve the issues that were holding me back. I figured that I could solve my problems and go play professional golf, and also have a counseling career, because I knew that I wasn’t alone.

How do you help pro poker players? To be more successful they have to improve every single day, even if only slightly. My job is to identify the hidden road- blocks in their mental game and overall approach to im- provement, and to customize strategies to eliminate them.

Any advice for today’s students?

If your definition of success is too narrow you’ll feel unful- filled, and if it’s too wide you’ll feel overwhelmed. As you grow as a person and in your career, allow your definition of success to evolve to match where you are at different times.

NELLE NUGENT ’60 Theater major Owner, Foxboro production company; adjunct assistant professor of film, video, and broadcasting, New York University New York City

How do you define success? When people ask me what I do, I say, “I make people’s dreams come true.” Taking something that you read on a page and getting it onto the screen or stage is a success in itself. That an audience pays to come see it is beyond one’s wildest dreams. I love standing at the back of the theater and hearing the audi- ence react, and thinking. “Oh, they love it too. How exciting!”

Has your defini- tion changed over time? Well, my first suc- cess was landing a job at all in New York after I got out of Skidmore. My


second was becoming a stage manager when females weren’t stage managers. And I certainly never thought of becoming a producer, but once I became a producer it felt like destiny.g


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