For Philip Moreira ’79 and Michelle Moreira ’17, Stevens Pride is a Family Tradition
When Michelle Moreira ’17 was touring colleges as a senior in high school, her father, Philip ’79 added his alma mater to the list – he wanted to show her where he went to school. Little did either of them guess that by the end of a single open house visit, Michelle would decide that Stevens was exactly the right college for her.
“I told my dad that I planned to drive to Indiana to study meteorology,” Philip Moreira ’79 recalls, thinking back to his senior year in high school. “He said ‘no, you’re going to Stevens in Hoboken to study engineering,’ and that was that.” Who would have guessed that this would start a family tradition?
“I knew about Stevens because of my dad, but I really wasn’t thinking about it as a first choice for me,” says Michelle Moreira ’17. “But by the end of my first visit, I was sold! There was such an obvious sense of community.”
“It all fell into place,” Michelle continues. “I had wanted to pursue a STEM-focused career, and the Business and Technology degree program seemed like a perfect fit. I wanted to be near New York City, and Hoboken is awesome.
Philip was already well aware of the investment value of attending Stevens, and he credits his Stevens education for providing him with the knowledge, work ethic, and opportunities to launch a very successful career with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. “Although I was particularly interested in project engineering, Air Products offered a rotational program that allowed new hires to try different things. Plus, one of my fraternity brothers was already working there and recommended the company.”
“What I learned at Stevens helped me throughout my career at Air Products,” Philip adds. “I understood our clients’ technical needs, and I understood how to choreograph a team to build proposals and execute projects.” During his 38-plus year career there, he held several management positions and completed two overseas assignments.
Now semi-retired, Philip continues his involvement with Air Products through his firm, Philmora Consulting, LLC. “We conceived a novel strategy to bring industrial gases into a new geography on the Gulf Coast. It is a huge and complex project in a very competitive market.” Philip is also working with Peer Executive Groups, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based company that organizes industry-specific discussion groups for business owners.
Just a few years into her first career role at the global consulting firm Protiviti, Michelle is on track to mirror her father’s success. “I’m part of the technology consulting solution team,” she says. “We help companies ensure that they are using the best possible enterprise resource planning software for their needs.”
“We look at what their pain points are – where they are experiencing bottlenecks,” she explains. “Then we propose solutions that will help them optimize their business processes. During the pandemic, we helped clients who needed to quickly automate more of their processes.” Interestingly, the move to remote work allowed Protiviti to expand its own reach and to take on more clients worldwide.
Michelle also points to Stevens’ role in helping her get her career off to a great start. “The ever-changing technologies in the corporate world are incorporated into a very dynamic curriculum,” she says. “They keep up with what employers need. I feel prepared to learn and enable the technologies being used.”
Both Philip and Michelle have many fond memories of their time at Stevens.
“I joined Phi Sigma Kappa and lived at the fraternity,” Philip says. “We worked long hours, but we were all in the same boat. Stevens was smaller and everyone took the same courses in their first two years. We helped each other.”
“Hoboken and the campus were very different back then,” he adds. “Where the Babbio Center is today used to be what we called the Navy Building. It dated from World War I and was intended as a temporary structure but was still there in the 1970s! Today, Stevens is more robust in all categories – curriculum, athletics, infrastructure – Dr. Farvardin has done a wonderful job.”
Late night forays into New York City remain a favorite activity for Stevens students, but Michelle was able to enjoy Hoboken’s rise as a hot spot as well. She also points out the university’s increased involvement in the local community. “Some of my favorite projects were doing case studies involving local businesses,” she notes.
Other highlights for Michelle include devoting her time as an Orientation Leader, helping new students transition to campus life, and participating in the Senior Design Expo. “Seniors from all of the majors are there, along with their families. You can see how far everyone’s come in their work,” she says.
Both father and daughter are devoted alumni. Michelle is president of the Young Alumni Council for the School of Business, which keeps her involved in welcoming new students and meeting new graduates. Philip, still in touch with his fraternity brothers, helped organize his 40th reunion. He recruits Stevens alumni near his home in Allentown, PA to volunteer for the local food bank, and he has been working to connect the Stevens Accessing Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES) program with inner-city schools in the Lehigh Valley.
When working with Stevens students and new graduates, Michelle advises them to build and use the university’s network. “It’s a lifelong resource that you can tap into,” she says. “So many professors as well as fellow alumni have industry experience. Make a point to stay in touch. They will support you.”
Philip’s advice? “Sweat the details,” he says. “Even if you are the manager and are focused on the big picture, you still need to understand the details to be truly successful. Know your subject and demonstrate competency. That will give you the credibility you need to lead and succeed.”