Maryland, MD – On Friday, February 3, Molly Fredette, the director of the study at Loyola University Maryland, passed unexpectedly. As a talented educator, a contagious mentor, and an advocate for providing great student assistance, 46-year-old Fredette will be remembered.
Since she arrived at Loyola in August 2008, Fredette has been in charge of the Study, which provides graduate and undergraduate students with peer and professional tutoring, academic skills coaching, and academic support services. Fredette supported multilingual pupils because she herself is bilingual in English and Spanish. She also acted as a mentor for first-year students in Loyola’s Messina living and learning program.
“Molly was a person who epitomized grace, demonstrated a profound dedication to students, and lit a room up with her smile,” said Mary Beth Mudric, Ph.D., assistant dean of undergraduate studies. “One of her greatest strengths was that she would always take the time to make sure that she connected her students to the right resources in the Study. In the midst of her very busy position, she always made the time to make sure her students and her colleagues had everything they needed, while never making people feel rushed or pressured. Molly was a gift to all who have known her—a shining light, a beautiful example, and an amazing role model.”
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As a recent college graduate residing in Lima, Peru, Fredette taught English and North American culture to business leaders at Langrow, a Peruvian language institute. It was during this time that she fell in love with teaching.
“Molly will be remembered as a mentor and friend to many at Loyola,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She was passionate about student learning, took pride in the exceptional team of talented colleagues and students she led at the Study, provided academic support to multilanguage learners, and brought such joy to her role. She was also a much-loved Messina mentor. We will certainly miss her and her many contributions to our community.”
Fredette graduated with a minor in communications from the University of New Mexico in 1998 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus on international relations. She spent some time in Peru before coming back to the US in 2001. In 2004, she earned a Master of Education from Plymouth State University with a focus on applied linguistics and adult learners.
Using those abilities in her job at Loyola, Fredette was continuously looking for ways to enhance the services provided to students, even those for whom English was a second language. “Molly cared so much for her students,” said Leslie Chiles, program director for student success initiatives. “She was always looking for the best way to support them, asking how can we do this in a better way.”
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Since she like it so much, Fredette joined Chiles in a Fitbit walking club. She would stroll around the Reservoir with Chiles during her lunch break, which was only a short distance from the Evergreen campus. Chiles and Fredette would walk together, yet apart, as they talked on the phone while walking close to their homes while they were working remotely during the pandemic.
“She was just a wonderful colleague. She was so supportive of everyone, always wanting to pitch in,” Chiles said. “She was one of the most competent, organized people. If a student said they were working with Molly, you knew they would be fine.”
Before coming to Loyola in 2008, Fredette taught English as second language classes for New Hampshire Technical Institute and Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, serving as a professional tutor for Colby-Sawyer.
“There is no greater joy for me than to watch one of my academically at-risk students receive his degree after months of hard work, or to see a non-native English speaker’s face light up when she receives an A on a paper,” she wrote in her cover letter when applying for the role at Loyola. “These are some of the reasons I chose education as a career path and why I enjoy going to work every day.”
Fredette also loved sharing photos of her dogs, Finn and Maya, with her friends and colleagues. She is survived by her family, including her husband, Chris Esposito. The 12:10 p.m. Mass on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Loyola’s Alumni Memorial Chapel will be offered for Fredette and her family. Additional arrangements will be posted here when they are available.
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