Raelyn Viti: Professor, friend, and mother


Professor Raelyn Viti has been an important member of the New England College community for 15 years. Her pedigree at NEC remains strong as her father is an alumnus. Raelyn is a Professor of Outdoor Education and the Advisor for Adventure Bound.

Before coming to Henniker, Viti was in the United States Army – 399 Combat Support. She is currently working on her second master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at NEC and will be walking in the upcoming commencement ceremony on May 6. 

Viti said that she ultimately chose to further her education during the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing her students, family, and friends struggling with the effects of quarantine. 

“I pursued this degree after watching my students on the screen with a lack of engagement, voicing their feelings of isolation and disconnection. Also, watching my husband come home exhausted, and really stressed. And my friends who were first responders and feeling the pressure of not being able to do anything but doing everything. Isolation really pushed to the surface that people need help. I just wanted to better help those around me,” Viti said. 

This past fall, she was faced with adversity when her husband, Brett, suddenly passed away. Despite having to care for her two daughters, McKenna and Neve, Viti persisted and was back in the classroom two weeks later.

“Life is going to be hard. We are going to go through life every day, and people around us will have things happen to them every day. Things we couldn’t even imagine. I wanted to be with my students because that is where I feel the most at home. Doing normal for me meant being with my students. Being open, transparent, and as vulnerable as one could be. Students are a part of my life, and that brings happiness to me,” Viti said. 

After her husband’s passing, friends, and family organized outdoor activities and created stickers that read ‘Shred for Brett.’ 

Viti and her children remain active, continuing the passion for outdoor adventure that she and her husband shared. The family is often busy with trips focused on mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and anything that includes fresh air.

Viti often finds peace in running, an activity she performs nearly every day.

This year a race will be held in her husband’s memory. The event is organized by The Henniker Brewing Company and The American Legion; The first annual Miles for Miles – Hugs for Brett – Veterans Race is scheduled for November 4, 2023. 

Viti said she remains in Henniker because of the amazing community she has built and the connections she continues to make at NEC.

“I feel like my time here has been more than just an instructor or faculty member, I feel that I am part of others’ lives, and they are certainly a part of mine.” 

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