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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Hampden County Bar Assoc. is now accepting applications for the John F. Moriarty Scholarship and the Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship.

The John F. Moriarty Scholarship is available to any Hampden County resident who has been admitted to or is attending a certified law school for the 2018-19 academic year. Applicants must have been residents of Hampden County for at least five years. The application deadline is May 25.

The Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship is available to any veteran with an honorable discharge or a current member of the U.S. military who has been admitted to or is attending a certified law school in New England for the 2018-19 year. The application deadline is May 15, 2018.

Both scholarships are based on merit and financial need. Both applications and additional information are available by contacting the Caitlin Glenn at the Hampden County Bar Assoc. at (413) 732-4660 or [email protected], or by visiting www.hcbar.org/news/scholarships.

Daily News

FLORENCE — Tom Schiff, the founder and executive director of Phallacies Inc., will receive an Innovative Initiative Award in March for his work with the nonprofit, which helps men create healthy masculinities through dialogue and theatrical performance.

Schiff will receive the honor in person from the Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community of the National Assoc. of Student Personnel Administrators at the organization’s 100th annual conference in Philadelphia on March 3-7. The honor comes as Schiff is poised to begin to expand the organization in the region to reach and impact a broader audience of men of all ages.

Phallacies Inc. provides leadership development, health education, and violence prevention for men via dialogue and innovative educational theater. It was born four years ago through Schiff’s work as a health educator at UMass, where he also founded the Men and Masculinities Center.

Through Phallacies, people who identify as male between the ages of roughly 19 and 35 engage in a dialogue about masculinity and the intersections with other identities, health, violence, and relationships, and then create performance pieces as educational and thought catalysts to encourage changing the cultural scripts about masculinities. Performances take place at colleges, human-service organizations and forums, conferences, and local high schools and middle schools.

Men who are involved include teachers, staff from youth and human-service agencies, and medical students. “They’re interested in getting support for themselves about how to be healthier as a man — physically, emotionally, and psychologically — and to find support for that. They are trying to rethink what it means to be a man in the world,” Schiff said. “People also get involved because they’re interested in violence prevention. Men need to speak up and speak out about these issues to help support more men and boys in creating healthy masculinities.”

Schiff holds a doctoral degree in organization development from UMass, a master’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, and a bachelor’s degree in history with certification in secondary social studies from the State University of New York at Cortland.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) has been named to the list of “Better for Veterans” organizations across the country, earning the 2018 Military Friendly School designation by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs.

Now in its 16th year, the Military Friendly Schools list provides a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families using data sources from federal agencies, veteran students, and proprietary survey information from participating organizations in order to help them select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation. More than 1,300 schools participated in the 2017-18 survey, with 849 earning the designation.

“American International College is proud to assist those men and women who serve our country,” said AIC President Vince Maniaci. “The college recognizes the value of the many educational and leadership experiences that occur in the Armed Forces, and the excellent foundation that military experience provides. In turn, we give veteran students transfer credits for service in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, helping service members and veterans get a head start on earning their degrees.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — John Dowd Jr., Dennis Fitzpatrick, Diane LaCosse, and James Wall were recently named to the board of the Sisters of Providence Ministry Corp. (SPMC).

SPMC functions as the holding company for Providence Place Inc., Mary’s Meadow at Providence Place Inc., and Providence Ministries for the Needy Inc., all in Holyoke; and Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center in Westfield. The Sisters of Providence executive council serves as the corporation’s members on the SPMC board and as corporation officers; they include Sr. Kathleen Popko, president; Sr. Mary Caritas Geary, vice president; and Sr. Senga Fulton, secretary/treasurer.

Dowd is president and CEO of the Dowd Insurance Agencies, and has served on numerous boards, including the Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS) and foundation board, NUVO Bank & Trust, and CityStage and Symphony Hall.

Fitzpatrick is president of the O’Connell Companies and former board chair of Brightside for Families and Children, SPHS, and Catholic Health East, of which SPHS was a founding member.

LaCosse is senior vice president of United Bank’s commercial banking division in West Springfield and a member of the Providence Place/Mary’s Meadow board and finance committee. She is a volunteer for the WestMass Eldercare Money Manager Program, an associate of the Sisters of Providence, and formerly served on the Brightside for Families and Children Board.

Wall retired in 2012 as global managing director of talent and chief diversity officer for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., U.S. He currently serves on two boards of trustees: as vice chair of American Management Assoc. International, NYC, and chair-elect of Providence Ministries for the Needy Inc. in Holyoke.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College School of Social Work (SSW) will hold an open house for prospective students on Thursday, March 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Brennan Center, 45 Island Pond Road, Springfield, and at Saint Vincent Hospital, 123 Summer St., Worcester.

The SSW offers multiple programs for students, including a full-time, two-year, weekday master of social work program in Springfield, and a part-time, three-year, weekend master of social work program in Springfield and Worcester. There are also options for graduates of Council on Social Work Education-accredited bachelor of social work programs to choose either a four-semester weekend or three-semester weekday advanced standing program. The combined master of social work/juris doctorate is a four-year, full-time program in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law. Students may also work toward a post-master’s certificate in trauma-informed practice with children and adolescents.

“The number of active social workers has been growing steadily. Between 2004-05 and 2014-15, the number of practicing social workers grew by 15.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that social-work jobs will grow by 11.5% between 2014 and 2024,” said Springfield College SSW Dean Francine Vecchiolla. “Our master of social work program offers a single, advanced, generalist concentration, which is ideal preparation for direct practice, group work, community development and organization, and administration in a wide variety of settings, including child and family agencies, schools, hospitals, veterans’ services, senior centers, prisons, mental-health clinics, military-support programs, public social agencies, hospice care, and corporations. The school is student-centered, community-focused, and committed to diversity and cultural competence and to promoting continuous learning.”

At the open house, prospective graduate students will hear from a panel of faculty members, current students, field education faculty, and admissions staff. Refreshments will be served. Advance registration for the open house is available by calling the admissions coordinator at (413) 748-3060, or prospective students may RSVP online.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Attention all business owners: if you plan to retire, or think you might someday want to change gears in your life, you will eventually be faced with the task of selling or transferring ownership of your business.

With this in mind, Philip Steckler and Eric Lineback of Country Business Inc. (CBI) will present a workshop titled “Maximize the Value of Your Business: Properly Pricing and Positioning Your Business For Sale” on Friday, March 16 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Holyoke Public Library.

CBI, a business-brokerage and merger-and-acquisition firm, has managed the sales of more than 1,200 businesses since 1976, with sale prices ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to $30 million, including local businesses Quabbin Industries, New England Wetland Plants, Danco Modern, Bart’s Ice Cream, and Graphic Printing.

Steckler and Lineback will introduce business owners to topics such as maximizing the value of a business, properly pricing and positioning a business for sale, attracting qualified buyers, minimizing taxes, and maintaining confidentiality. Additional topics covered will include analyzing a business’ strengths and weaknesses, understanding the marketplace, valuing a business and properly setting the purchase price and terms, and more.

This will be an interactive workshop, and questions and discussion will be welcome. To register, contact Ira Bryck at the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley at [email protected] or (413) 835-0810.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Academy Charter Public School received a grant to offer high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. More than 10,500 schools across the country offer PLTW programs to millions of students.

According to Tim Sneed, executive director of Baystate Academy, “these funds will allow us to expand our biomedical sciences programs as we prepare students to enter the field of healthcare.”

Baystate Academy is just one of 73 schools across the Commonwealth to receive the grant, which is supported by the Baker-Polito administration, the One8 Foundation, and Mass STEM Hub.

“It is essential that we engage our students throughout their K-12 school years with hands-on lessons in science, engineering, computer science, technology, and math,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

Baystate Academy will use grant funds to strengthen its PLTW program with biomedical science. Funds from the grant will also support teacher professional development and the purchase of materials and equipment that will be used in the hands-on, activity-, project-, and problem-based courses.

“We are proud to partner with Baystate Academy to empower students to develop the in-demand knowledge and transportable skills to thrive in our evolving world,” said Vince Bertram, PLTW president and CEO.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Brittany Weiss, associate director of International Admissions at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, has joined the all-volunteer board of directors for the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI).

“We are very pleased to have Brittany as part of the ILI family,” said Eric Wirth, ILI board president. “Her extensive academic and professional background around the world and here at home will go far in supporting our work, including high-quality language instruction and teacher training, free English classes for immigrants and refugees, and volunteer opportunities throughout the Pioneer Valley.”

Weiss has considerable experience abroad in Asia, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Prior to joining Stoneleigh-Burnham, she was Admissions associate at the American International School of Budapest in Hungary, where she worked with students and families from more than 60 nationalities. Earlier, she served as assistant director of Alumni Engagement at her alma mater, Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, and as a resident faculty member at Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Siena College and a master’s degree in educational administration and policy studies from the University at Albany.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — “Baystate Children’s Hospital saved our child’s life,” said Kate and Doug Poole in unison.

When Kate gave birth to their daughter, Olivia Jane Poole, on March 11, 2016, they expected a healthy little bundle of joy. Instead, Olivia was born with multiple birth defects, the result of a disorder called VACTERL association, which affects many body systems.

Born at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Olivia was immediately transferred to the area’s only neonatal intensive care unit, at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield. Over the course of a year, while in the NICU and after she was discharged, Olivia underwent some seven operations to correct the birth defects, which Kate said were “thankfully fixable.”

Olivia’s story is just one of many stories of courage and hope to be heard during the often-emotional annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon to benefit Baystate Children’s Hospital, to be broadcast live from Baystate Medical Center for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 6-7.

On-air personalities from 94.7 FM WMAS — led by the Kellogg Krew of Chris, Dina, and Lopez — will again conduct their regular radio formats throughout the day, interspersed with live and taped interviews featuring young patients and their families, as well as community donors, event sponsors, and staff from Baystate Children’s Hospital.

They will be asking listeners to pledge their support by calling in donations to phone banks at the hospital. Broadcast hours for the Radiothon will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. The phone number to call in during the event is (413) 794-1111.

Listeners will have an opportunity during the Radiothon to join the Miracle Maker Club, a recurring pledge of at least $20 per month on a credit card or by making a one-time donation. Thanks to Cartamundi, the official Miracle Maker sponsor, when listeners become a member of the club, a toy or game will be delivered in their name to a pediatric patient at Baystate Children’s Hospital.

Those wanting to become a Change Hero to raise funds for the Radiothon can create their own fund-raising web page by visiting www.helpmakemiracles.org/event/wmas. Change Heroes who turn in their funds by March 31 and raise $100 or more will have an opportunity to win a prize.

The presenting sponsor for this year’s Radiothon is Health New England, the Miracle Maker sponsor is Cartamundi, and the Change Hero program sponsor is Pioneer Valley Credit Union. Other sponsors include Compass One as red carpet sponsors, Freedom Credit Union as the giggle break sponsor, and Costco and Subway as hospitality sponsors.

As for how Olivia, just short of 2 years old, is managing today, her mom said she is healthy and thriving. “Olivia is a very happy child, always smiling, full of energy, and she loves to sing and dance.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Melha Shriners, a philanthropic organization based on fun, fellowship, and Masonic principles, announced the official election and installation of their potentate (president) and his Divan (executive board). At its annual meeting, the Melha Shriners presented the potentate’s fez to Glenn Surprenant, the 108th top-ranking Shriner in Western Mass. as the organization enters its 120th year.

A lifelong resident of Western Mass., Surprenant graduated from Classical High School and later pursued his passion for laboratory sciences. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from American International College in 1976, he became a registered medical technologist in Laboratory Sciences and is currently the director of Radiology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. 

In 1976, Surprenant married Diane Ruggeri, an assistant nurse manager, Labor & Delivery for Baystate Medical Center. After many years of observing other members of his family join the Masonic fraternity and then the Shrine, Surprenant was raised a Master Mason in the Indian Orchard Lodge in February 2006 and joined the Melha Shriners in March 2006. He has been an active member and past president of the Hadji Unit in 2014. During parades, he can be seen driving one of the brightly colored Jeepsters.

Surprenant’s journey toward becoming the head Shriner in Western Mass. began in 2014 when he was appointed to the Divan line. The fellowship he espouses is seen throughout the Shrine and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield, as his cousin, Al “Poppy” Surprenant, is a member of the clown unit; his brothers, Joseph and Gary Surprenant, are both board of governors members at the hospital; and his son, Andrew, is president of the Melha Oriental Band Unit.

The First Lady’s project, titled “Nursing Education: Making a Difference for the Kids,” will raise funds to provide items not normally allocated in a hospital budget; these educational items will assist the nurses in the transition to acute pediatric rehabilitation care. Said First Lady Diane, “I’d like to add more educational items that will help the staff to do even greater things than they are doing now. My hope is that my project will provide additional tools and the necessary training to expand the high-quality care the children receive here in Springfield.”