Newsletter – January 2019

Upcoming dates

  • [RCAA] Nominations Due – March 1
  • [Team] Mohawk Meltdown (combined effort with Niskayuna HS, replacement for ADKs) – March 2
  • [RCAA] Voting – March 3-March 16
  • [RCAA] Annual Meeting – March 24
  • [Team] States – May 4

In this newsletter

  • Elections & Annual Meeting
  • New Team Leadership
  • Head of the Charles 2018 Recap
  • Team’s Fall 2018 Results
  • RCAA Financial Report
  • Looking to Become a 501(c)(3)
  • Coaching Positions Available
  • Stickers & Pint Glasses
  • Social Media

Dear Alumni,

Happy New Year! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday and have been getting your meters in on the erg! Read on for information on the upcoming RCAA elections and annual meeting, an introduction to the new RPI Crew Officer Team, a recap of the Fall 2018 season, and an update on RCAA financials.

— RCAA Board of Directors

Continue reading “Newsletter – January 2019”

“R” with oar stickers for sale!

Rensselaer Crew "R" with oar sticker
Rensselaer Crew “R” with Oar Sticker

We now have stickers for sale! They are nice durable stickers of the “R” with the oar through it (same graphic as the back of the novice shirts) screen printed on white vinyl and cut out to the shape of the graphic!

They’re perfect for putting on your laptop, coffee mug, bike, etc.! Check it out in action below!

Sticker on battery pack

Head on over to its product page to buy one (or many)!

HOCR 2018 Athlete Profile: Paul Lewandowski

Next up is Paul, who is back for his second year to represent RCAA at the Charles! Welcome back, Paul!

Name: Paul Lewandowski 
Graduation Year: 1989
Major: Architecture
Hometown: Lewiston, Maine
Current City: Portland, Maine
Career Field/Occupation:   Principal at Scott Simons Architects 
Still Rowing?: Yes!  Portland Community Rowing Association in Portland’s Casco Bay
Fun Fact/Additional Comment: This is my second HOCR regatta with RCAA!  Looking forward to representing Rensselaer again!


HOCR 2018 Athlete Profile: Jay Valenta

Our next alumni athlete introduction is Jay! This year is his first time in the RCAA alumni boat and we’re very excited to have him represent us!

Name: Jay Valenta
Graduation Year: 1994
Major: Architecture
Hometown: West Milford, NJ
Current City: Weston, MA
Career Field/Occupation: Real Estate Investment
Still Rowing?: Not consistently, unaffiliated.
Fun Fact/Additional Comment: Avid mountain biker, skier.

HOCR 2018 Athlete Profile: Vanessa Ferrari

We’d like to introduce you all to our alumni who will be rowing in the RCAA boat at the 2018 Head of the Charles Regatta! We’ll start off with our coxswain, Vanessa! She was our coxswain last year for our alumni boat and had so much fun that she’s back!

Name: Vanessa (Charvet) Ferrari 
Graduation Year: 1996
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Current City: Shrewsbury, MA
Career Field/Occupation: Director of Program and Project Management Technology at TIAA
Still Rowing? (if so, where?): Quinsigamond Rowing Club (QRC) out of Donahue Rowing Center 
Fun Fact: I also run a MINI Cooper event called “MINIs On Top” where 300+ MINIs gather and ascend the Mount Washington Auto Road. It’s a weekend long event with live music, games, prizes, rallies and lots of car fun.

We are very excited to have her as our coxswain again!

Head of the Fish 2018 Signups!

Signups for the Head of the Fish 2018 alumni boat are open now! We will be entering a race scheduled for ~10 am on Saturday, Oct 27. Please fill out the form below to sign up!

This is open to both men and women and is a free event! The team will be covering the entry free for our boat. We are looking for 8 rowers and a coxswain!

    We will only use this information if we need to contact you on the day of the race.

    Newsletter – October 2018

    Upcoming dates

    • October 20-21: HOCR & Social
    • October 27: Head of the Fish Alumni Row
    • Early 2019: RCAA board elections

    In this newsletter

    • Team’s Fall 2018 Schedule
    • Head of the Charles Regatta 2018
    • Head of the Charles Social
    • New Team Coach – Scott Meade ’92
    • Team Looking to Hire Two Additional Coaches
    • Viking Rigger Crowdfunding
    • Head of the Fish Alumni Boat
    • Social Media
    • Looking to become a 501(c)(3)

    Dear Alumni, 

    We (both RCAA and the team) are in the midst of our busiest season! Read below for some updates and for the sign up link for Head of the Fish!

    — RCAA Board of Directors

    Continue reading “Newsletter – October 2018”

    Newsletter – August 2018

    Upcoming dates

    • September 1: HOCR lottery results
    • September: Breakfast at the Boathouse – late September, exact date and time TBD
    • October 20-21: HOCR & social
    • October 27: Head of the Fish Alumni Row
    • Early 2019: RCAA board elections

    In this newsletter

    • RPI Rower Michael Landuyt Selected to US National Team for World Championships
    • Head of the Charles Regatta 2018 Boat Entry
    • Head of the Charles Social
    • Treasurer’s Report 
    • Looking to Become a 501(c)(3)
    • Viking Rigger Crowdfunding
    • Head of the Fish Alumni Boat 

    Dear Alumni,

    As usual, the fall is a busy time for both the RPI Crew Team and RCAA! Please read on for some information on upcoming fall events.

    — RCAA Board of Directors Continue reading “Newsletter – August 2018”

    Newsletter – July 2018

    Upcoming dates

    • July 20 (or earlier): Viking rigger crowdfunding end
    • August 25: HOCR deposits due
    • September 1: HOCR lottery results
    • October 20-21: HOCR & social

    In this newsletter

    • First Call to Race at Head of the Charles Regatta!
    • Head of the Charles Social
    • Looking to Become a 501(c)(3)
    • Viking Rigger Crowdfunding
    • New Website

    Dear Alumni,

    We hope you’re all having a wonderful summer so far and staying cool despite the recent heat wave that we’ve been experiencing! There are a few updates that we’d like to share with you all, so please read on.

    — RCAA Board of Directors

    First Call to Race at Head of the Charles Regatta!

    Mark your calendars for this year’s Head of the Charles, because the Rensselaer Crew Alumni Association is entering the lottery to race in this signature regatta! We are looking for men and women interested in representing RCAA on the Charles River for the 54th annual HOCR.

    Last year our men’s 4+ (comprised of Bart Cromwell ‘13, Vanessa (Charvet) Ferarri ‘96, Paul Lewandowski ‘89, Wyatt Nordstrom ‘98, and Steve Reilly ‘93) had a blast, and we are looking to continue the fun this year. We will enter the lottery based on the number of interested alumni – put down your deposit to reserve your seat! It will be first come, first served for rowers and coxswains, so act quickly if you want to race. If we’re not lucky enough to get picked in the lottery, you’ll receive a full refund on your deposit.

    Register at!

    What: 54th Annual Head of the Charles Regatta
    When: Oct. 20-21, 2018
    Where: Cambridge, MA
    Total Cost: $200 per seat (covers equipment, equipment transport, fees, and a T-shirt)
    Deposit: $50 due by Aug. 25, 2018 (first come, first served)
    Lottery Decision: First week of September
    Final Payment: Balance due by Sep. 15, 2018

    If you have any questions, please contact Alli at or reply to this email.

    Head of the Charles Social

    After the race, don’t forget to join us for our third annual Head of the Charles Happy hour and dinner! The past two years this event has been held at The Asgard Irish Pub in Cambridge (a ten minute walk from the starting line of the race, and a five minute walk from Central on the Red Line!). We’ve had a ton of fun, and some great turn out over the past two years! Though the current location is TBD, it will be held walking distance from the race. This is a family friendly event, and all are welcome, RPI alumni or not! This is a great opportunity to meet the RCAA rowers and support them after all their hard work! It is also a great chance to meet and talk to some of the current RPI Crew Team members and talk with them about the team, RPI, and share stories of how it was when you were there! We hope to see you all there!

    If you have any questions, please contact Matt at or reply to this email.

    Looking to Become a 501(c)(3)

    One of our goals as the RCAA Board of Directors is to establish RCAA as our own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Doing this will allow us to be in complete control of our financials, provide us with more fundraising opportunities (such as signing up for Amazon Smile), be tax-exempt for any purchases we make, and allow us to provide you with tax-deductible receipts for any contributions you make through us (you can currently receive a tax-deductible receipt on any contributions made through the alumni house website) among other benefits.

    However, none of us have experience or are otherwise familiar with the process of becoming a 501(c)(3) organization. Do any of you have experience or expertise on this? Or do you have friends or family that can help us out? If so, please reach out to Alex at or simply reply to this email.

    Viking Rigger Crowdfunding

    Our fundraising efforts to buy the team replacement riggers for the Varsity Women’s 8+ is underway! We’re currently just under 50% funded with contributions from 15 of you. If you’ve already chipped in, thank you! If you haven’t yet, please consider throwing in a few bucks to help out the team! You can do so here:

    As mentioned previously, we are aiming to place the order with Vespoli in mid-July to ensure that the team receives them before their first race this fall. Therefore, the crowdfunding campaign will run through July 20th or until full funding, whichever comes first.

    We (RCAA) will be purchasing these riggers for the team directly, so none of the funds will be passing through RPI. While this means that your donations will not be tax deductible, it allows for a quicker turnaround time between funding and then items being delivered to the team!

    Thank you for your help!

    New Website

    If you’ve taken a look at our Viking crowdfunding page already, you probably noticed that we now have our own website! Our new home on the internet is! We plan to add more features to it on an on-going basis, so come visit the website occasionally!

    We will still use Facebook as a way to communicate with you all, but the website will now be our primary place for all things RCAA. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, too! You can find us at @rpicrewalumni.