Community Bank N.A. announced that Keith Nesbitt has been promoted to vice president, commercial banker. In his new role, Nesbitt will manage new business with present and prospective customers, as well as maintain current customer relationships. He will also be responsible for providing direct service to commercial customers pertaining to deposit, loan, and other products and services. “We are very pleased to recognize Keith for all of his incredible efforts and contributions to Community Bank N.A.,” said Geoffrey Hesslink, regional president. “He has always gone the extra mile to meet the needs of our customers and possesses a wide knowledge of loan management. I am excited to see what he will do for our customers at this next level.” Nesbitt joined the Community Bank N.A. team through its acquisition of Merchants Bank earlier this year. He joined Merchants in 2016 as the regional commercial credit officer for NUVO, a division of Merchants Bank. Nesbitt has 12 years of experience in commercial lending, portfolio management, and credit administration in regional and community banking institutions. Nesbitt earned his bachelor’s degree in advertising from University of Georgia, his master’s degree in education from Georgia State University, and his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. Outside of the office, he is a member of the Western Massachusetts Football Officials Assoc.
The board of directors of the Five College Consortium has appointed Sarah Pfatteicher to be its new executive director, succeeding Neal Abraham, who will be retiring after nine years at the helm of the higher-ed collaboration. Pfatteicher is currently associate dean for Academic Affairs and a research professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The board was impressed with the breadth and depth of experience that Sarah will bring to the position,” said Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College and of the Five College board of directors. “The level of leadership she’s shown at the University of Wisconsin in both academic and administrative endeavors is remarkable, and will serve the consortium well.” Pfatteicher attended Northfield-Mount Hermon School and graduated from Smith College before earning her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has held a variety of positions at the university and currently oversees more than 70 academic programs, services for 5,000 students, and a budget of $2.3 million. She has extensive experience in both academic and administrative efforts, having created new academic programs, led a major curriculum revision, coordinated strategic planning efforts, and helped develop a blueprint for diversifying the institution, all while teaching engineering courses. “I’m excited to return to the Pioneer Valley and honored to have the opportunity to work with these unique and storied institutions,” Pfatteicher said. “I’m particularly drawn to the unusual breadth of the Five College portfolio and its inclusion of both academic and administrative programs. I believe my own diverse higher-ed background will make me a good fit.” Chosen in a national search that considered some 200 candidates, Pfatteicher will begin working at Five Colleges on April 23.
Holyoke Community College recently welcomed Olugbemiga Adekunle as its new dean of Science, Engineering and Mathematics. Adekunle had previously worked at Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia as a Computer Science professor and more recently as associate dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and English. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in instructional design and technology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Before arriving at HCC in September, Adukenle spent the summer as a research fellow at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland for the third time to gain experience in systems engineering. “All of his experiences will serve him well in this position and support his work on behalf of the division,” said Monica Perez, vice president of Academic Affairs. Adekunle, whose parents moved to the U.S. from Nigeria before he was born, grew up in Nashville, Tenn. and later in Baltimore. At six-foot-five, he is an avid basketball player who also enjoys rapping, comedy, improv, and Star Wars. “I see people as well-rounded,” he said. “I want people to see me that way too.” He said he is excited to have a new challenge and the chance to put his administrative experience into action at HCC. “The focus of my work is making sure that students are successful. I also aim to ensure that faculty are supported and get appropriate training to help them advance their careers.”
Donna Elmendorf, Dr. Claudia Gold, and Kate Jewson of the Austin Riggs Center have been recognized for their work in the Human Development Strategic Initiative, receiving the prestigious Anna Freud Educational Achievement Award from the American Psychoanalytic Assoc. (APsaA) schools committee. This annual award is presented to a person, school, or educational institution that furthers psychoanalytically informed work with educators, schools, and students in grades pre-K to 12. The prize and the accompanying honorarium will be presented during APsaA’s national meeting in February 2018. Founded in 1911, the American Psychoanalytic Assoc. is the oldest national psychoanalytic organization in the U.S. In 2016, the Austen Riggs Center launched its Human Development Strategic Initiative, the goal of which is to bring a deep, psychoanalytic understanding of human development to address social problems in Berkshire County. In order to do so, the initiative is working in close partnership with existing community organizations, including the Chapter One initiative of Berkshire United Way, a broad community coalition of practitioners who interface with young children and families. The program’s first project, the Discovering Your Baby Project, has as its centerpiece deepening the understanding and practice of infant mental health in Berkshire County through the use of the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system. The NBO, a clinical adaptation of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) developed by pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton, is explicitly designed not as an assessment, but as a relationship-building tool. The NBO is a family-focused intervention that can include mothers, fathers, siblings, and extended family. Thus far, a range of practitioners have been trained, including all maternity nurses at a local hospital (130 to 150 babies delivered each year), who have integrated the NBO into routine care. According to Elmendorf, director of the Austen Riggs Center Therapeutic Community Program, Activities Program, and Human Development Initiative, “we recognize that the capacity for regulation of attention, behavior, and emotion that is essential for success in school is laid down in the moment-to-moment interactions between infants and their caregivers. All those working together in Berkshire County share a primary task of promoting healthy parent-infant relationships starting at birth.” Gold, an infant mental health specialist, added, “families from the full range of socioeconomic backgrounds in our community may have struggled with generations of mental illness, substance abuse, or other adverse childhood experiences. As a small rural community, we are able to offer a population-based, rather than risk-based, intervention, normalizing and destigmatizing the challenges of the transition to parenthood.”