Second Generation Franklin Graduate Domenic Screnci ’78 Offers Lessons from the Past and Supports the Future.
When Domenic Screnci ’78 returned to campus in late September to be inducted as an honorary alumni member of the Franklin Honor Society, it was something of a homecoming for the second generation Franklin graduate and Boston University administrator, as well as an opportunity for the East Boston native to share a few of the lessons learned over the course of his career.
Screnci, who earned a certificate in industrial photography from Franklin, said that the experience helped him find his first professional job as a medical photographer at Children’s Hospital in Boston. He later moved on to Boston University, where he earned a master’s degree in educational media and technology, and a doctorate in curriculum and teaching. “It all became possible,” Screnci recalled, “because of my academic experience at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology.”
From his days at Franklin almost 45 years ago, Screnci has spent much of his career at the intersection of education and technology. He serves as co-director of BU’s online Master of Science in Health Communications program, as Senior Advisor for Academic and Emerging Technologies in the university’s Digital Learning and Innovation team. He is the author of the book Course Design for Public Health: A Competency Based Approach, and he is also a member of the faculty at the University of Massachusetts/Boston in the Instructional Design program. More recently, Domenic, in his role as chair of the professional education and training committee of InfoComm, a national professional organization of audio video professionals, helped BFIT launch its new AV Technology concentration.
But while Screnci’s story is driven by his own curiosity, his embrace of new technologies and new ways of learning, it is also one that is deeply grounded in the values he learned from his father, Domenic Sr., an East Boston plumber who graduated from Franklin with a certificate in plumbing science in 1950--values that remain rooted in BFIT even today.
“I grew up in my dad’s plumbing business. I started working with him when I was nine years old,” Screnci told the gathered members of the Franklin Honor Society. “My dad taught my brother and me so many lessons about what it means to be a professional, in the trades and elsewhere, that the points he stressed became part of who we still are.”
What followed could be described as Screnci’s rules-- the values that defined both Domenics’ professional lives:
“First, have professional pride. If you choose to do a job, be certain to do it well. Whether your work is visible or behind a wall, under the hood of an automobile, or inside a computer, never take shortcuts.”
“Second, show respect. Respecting your boss, your coworkers, and your clients is critical. Treat their property like it is your own. Being honest, trustworthy, reliable, and punctual is how you show respect to the people around you and to those who are depending upon you.”
“Third, accept responsibility. Be accountable for your work and your actions. This ensures that you do the best job you can while providing the best service possible, and guarantees the best possible outcomes.”
“Fourth, maintain an effort to keep learning – Today we talk about lifelong-learners. I know that information and technology in each of your respective fields of study will change over the span of your career. It did for me. So, if you want to ride the wave to success, you must make a commitment to yourself to keep learning.”
“Fifth and finally, share your knowledge – My dad gave back to his profession by guiding, advising, and training generations of plumbers as apprentices and journeymen over the span of his career. He took time to invest in the people that worked with him. He knew the smarter they’d become at doing their job, the better the product delivered...It would always pay returns for him and will do so for you. It certainly has for me.”
Today, Screnci finds himself returning to Franklin not only to help craft programs and inspire students, but also to lend financial support to the school’s educational mission of educating urban youth. This year, Screnci and his siblings have donated $5,000 to aid five students entering the audio video concentration in the computer technology program.
“It was my experience at BFIT that changed the trajectory of my life,” Screnci said. His support of the college in all dimensions is helping to ensure that the transformative change he experienced will be accessible for a new generation of students and for years to come.