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HOLYOKE – College students of Hispanic heritage from Holyoke will benefit from new scholarships established at both Westfield State University and Holyoke Community College, thanks to $100,000 gifts to each institution from Victor and Mariellen Quillard of West Springfield.

Victor Quillard, a retired president of Hampden Bank, and his wife, Mariellen, are both Holyoke natives and their gifts aim to support Hispanic residents from Holyoke who are pursuing their college degrees. The $100,000 donations were given to the Westfield State Foundation and the Holyoke Community College Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising corporations of each institution.

The gifts will establish two new endowed scholarships in the Quillards’ name.

“Our community is fortunate to benefit from the Quillards’ life-changing support,” said Amanda Sbriscia, HCC vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Founation. “Vic and Mariellen have been dear friends of HCC through the years, and this scholarship is evidence of their belief in the potential of today’s and future generations of students. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, HCC is particularly grateful for the Quillards’ leadership in helping us graduate more students from underserved populations and in creating a path for students to continue their education beyond HCC.”

The Victor E. and Mariellen Quillard Scholarship at HCC gives preference to Holyoke residents of Hispanic heritage who have completed a minimum of 12 credits and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75. The Victor and Mariellen Quillard Scholarship at WSU gives preference to Holyoke residents of Hispanic heritage who transfer from HCC to Westfield State and have a minimum GPA of 2.75.

“We greatly appreciate the Quillards’ generosity and their commitment to Holyoke and the Hispanic and Latino communities,” said Erica Broman, vice president for Institutional Advancement at Westfield State University and executive director of the Westfield State Foundation. “The Quillard Scholarship will have a transformative impact for these transfer students from HCC who attend Westfield State for many years to come.”

Said Westfield State University president Ramon S. Torrecilha, “these significant monies will support the university’s goals to offer an accessible and affordable education while supporting its commitment to a diverse and welcoming community.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College is currently registering young people for its ‘College for Kids’ program.

The summer program exposes participants between the ages of 11 and 17 to learning opportunities available in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Some of the available programs focus on arts and sports.

The “Summer of STEM” will give young people the chance to learn about architecture, lasers, fidget spinners, and more.

Here are the College for Kids at STCC programs on tap through August:

  • Rock-It Science, July 22-26,(ages 11-14, $279): This program features innovative, hands-on science. Activities include using a giant catapult to predict and project objects’ path through the air, designing and building rockets, seeing and hearing “sound waves” while playing musical instruments, building and racing solar cars, and observing rainbows in the sky to explore the nature of light. Activities are coordinated with the Springfield Science Museum.
  • Forensics, July 29-Aug. 2,(ages 11-14, $279): Forensic science is the study of crime scenes and criminal identities. This course will provide students with hands-on experience in forensic science and investigative skills. 
  • The Play’s the Thing, July 29-Aug. 2(ages 11-14, $279): A week of theater immersion that includes theater games, improvisation, and an adaptive short play performed at the end of the week for family and friends. This week of theater builds social skills, confidence, and self-esteem. 
  • Basketball, July 29-Aug. 2(ages 11-14, $169)
  • Keyboarding, July 29-Aug. 2(ages 11-14, $199): Students build necessary keyboarding skills through the use of interactive games and a keyboarding software program. The lessons are fun and help to build a strong typing foundation. 

For more information and to sign up online, visit stcc.edu/explore/summer-programs. For questions, contact Lidya Rivera-Early, director of Community Engagement, at (413) 755-4787 or email [email protected].

 

Daily News

BOSTON — Massachusetts municipal utilities are leading the way in integrating carbon-free technologies into their power portfolios, contributing significantly to achievement of the Commonwealth’s energy goals, according to speakers at a State House event sponsored by the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), the joint action agency for Massachusetts municipal utilities.

Approximately 14% of electric consumers in the state are served by municipal light plants (MLPs), a valuable part of the electric utility industry that deliver low-cost, reliable electric service to consumers. MLPs are non-profit and owned by the people they serve. Locally appointed or elected boards of commissioners maintain decision-making authority for each light department.

MMWEC Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. DeCurzio outlined the clean energy projects included in the MLP portfolios, dating back to the 1984 construction of a 40-kilowatt wind project built by the Princeton municipal utility.

“Municipal utilities have been at the forefront of the carbon-free energy movement for some time,” DeCurzio said. “MLPs have recognized trends and implemented emerging technologies in an efficient, economic manner in the best interest of their customers.”

In just a few weeks, a new municipal utility wind project will commence commercial operation. Phase Two of the Berkshire Wind Power Project in Hancock, MA will add 4.6 megawatts (MW) to the existing 15-MW wind farm. The project, the second largest wind farm in Massachusetts, is owned by a cooperative consisting of 16 municipal utilities and MMWEC.

By the end of 2019, MMWEC member utilities will have 67.8 MW of wind generation, 48 MW of solar and 26.2 MW of energy storage – nearly 15% of the 2020 target of 200 MW of storage in place in Massachusetts. Three of MMWEC’s members utilized a total of $1.64 million in grants through the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) initiative, a coordinated effort between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the state Department of Energy Resources, to fund their energy storage projects. A fourth municipal utility took advantage of declining energy storage costs to install an energy storage system without the help of state grants or federal tax incentives, a first amongst municipal utilities in Massachusetts.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — On July 14, Stanley Park welcomes ‘Off The Record’ as part of its Sunday Night Concert Series.

The group, well known throughout the region, plays hits from the ’60s and ’70s featuring classic rock & roll.

This performance begins at 6 p.m. at the Beveridge Pavilion and it is free of charge. Chairs will be provided and a food service will be available.

For further information on the Westfield Bank Sunday Night Concert Series please go to www.stanleypark.org or call the park office at (413) 568-9312.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELDThe Springfield Regional Chamber is seeking nominations for its annual Super 60 awards program, presented by Health New England.

Marking its 30th year, the awards program recognizes the success of the fastest-growing and privately-owned businesses in the region that continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Each year, the program identifies the top-performing companies in revenue growth and total revenue.

Last year, total-revenue winners combined for more than $750 million in revenues, with 25% of these winners exceeding revenues of $40 million. All winners in the revenue-growth category had growth in excess of 13% while one-quarter of the top 30 companies experienced growth in excess of 75%. 

To be considered, companies must be independently and privately owned, be based in Hampden or Hampshire county or be a member of the Springfield Regional Chamber, produce revenues of at least $1 million in the past fiscal year, and be in business for at least three full years. Companies are selected based on their percentage of revenue growth over a full three-year period or total revenues for the latest fiscal year. 

Companies may be nominated by financial institutions, attorneys, accountants or be self-nominated and must submit a nomination form and provide net operating revenue figures for the last three full fiscal years, signed and verified by an independent auditor. All financial information must be reported under generally accepted accounting principles and will be held and considered confidential and not released without prior approval.

Nomination forms are available by contacting Grace Szydziak at [email protected] or (413) 755-1310.  Nominations must be submitted no later than August 2.

The Super 60 awards will be presented at the annual luncheon and recognition program on Oct. 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef in Agawam.

Daily News

AMHERST — Nefertiti Walker, a faculty member in the Isenberg School of Management who also serves as its associate dean for an inclusive organization, has been named interim associate chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Amherst by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy.

Walker will begin her new role effective July 1. She succeeds Enobong “Anna” Branch, who recently became the vice chancellor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. A national search to select a permanent appointment will commence soon.

Walker has served in her current position at Isenberg since January, after holding the position of director of diversity and inclusion at Isenberg from 2017 to 2018. She joined the UMass Amherst community in 2011. 

“I am very much looking forward to working with Chancellor Subbaswamy and serving UMass Amherst in this role,” Walker said. “The collective work that we have done in Isenberg in the areas of diversity and inclusion at the student, staff, faculty, alumni and community levels has prepared me for this role. I have admired the work of Associate Chancellor and Professor Anna Branch and her incredibly productive team. As such, I enthusiastically look forward to joining them, as we continue the always evolving mission of building a diverse culture of equity and inclusion, rooted in dignity and respect.”

Said Subbaswamy, “I am pleased that Nefertiti Walker has agreed to accept this important role. As we move forward as a community, her leadership experience will be invaluable as we continue the vital work of building an inclusive and diverse campus where all our community members can thrive.”

Serving as a member of Isenberg’s senior leadership, Walker focused on developing a culture of inclusion through a new diversity and inclusion curriculum, a school-wide inclusion committee, student organizations focused on diversity, and the development of an Inclusive Leadership Summit, all of which were done “in collaboration with students, faculty, and staff,” said Walker.

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently distributed more than $20,000 in scholarships to high school seniors who graduated this year from Monson, Ware, and Wilbraham/Hampden High Schools and a home-schooled student.

“As a community bank, we are committed to helping local families save, prepare, and pay for higher education,” said Steve Lowell, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. All of the students were invited to the bank’s corporate headquarters for a celebration, where Lowell spoke to them about their exciting future and congratulated each one on their hard work and accomplishments.

The scholarships were presented to students — selected by their school and the bank — who have demonstrated academic success and have an interest in pursuing a higher education. They are:

Minnechaug: Edward Wurszt, Hunter Acconcio, and Timothy Connors;

Monson High School: Derek Joyce, Liam Metcalfe, Taylor Mitchell, and Hannah Somers;

Ware High School: Shelby Tweedie, Kayla Smith, and Travis Orszulak

Home Schooled: David Krutov

 

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LONGMEADOWOn June 17, JGS Lifecare, a leading healthcare system serving seniors and their families, recently hosted its 39th Annual Frankel-Kinsler Classic Day of Tournaments at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow, raising more than $97,000 for the care of the community’s elders.   

“This popular annual community fundraising event has been renamed to reflect that it is more than simply a golf tournament, with participants competing in tennis, bridge, canasta and mahjong outnumbering our golfers,” said Susan Halpern, vice president of development and communication, at JGS Lifecare. “Our intent is to create a fun day of tournament play across multiple activities, to attract a wide range of people interested in a day of camaraderie and competition to help raise funds to support our mission of caring.  The event is also our way of continuing to honoring the memory of Michael J. Frankel, former chairman of the JGS Lifecare Board of Directors, and the families of Raymond and Herman Kinsler, longtime leaders and supporters, for their exemplary commitment to those served by JGS Lifecare.

“Great effort is put into creating a celebratory atmosphere, including a lively cocktail reception featuring the live music of The Blood Brothers Band, a band that Michael Frankel helped form and was their drummer,” she went on. “After the awards dinner the band plays outdoors into the evening, providing attendees with a full day of fun and entertainment.”

The tournament was made possible through the generous presenting sponsorship of the following companies and/or supporters: Harry Grodsky and Co., Inc.; ProCare LTC Pharmacy; Steve and Georgianne Roberts; SEI Investments Company; TD Bank; Berkshire Bank; Century Investment;  Epstein Financial Services; Albert & Judith Goldberg Family Foundation; Kaste Industrial Machine Sales, Inc.; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; and NEFCO.

Daily News

AMHERST — In a letter to the Hampshire College community, Interim President Ken Rosenthal said the school is committed to admitting a full class for 2020, only a few months after the troubled institution decided to admit only a partial class this fall.

“At its meeting last month, the Board of Trustees voted to ‘resolve to admit a class for fall 2020 and proceed with the steps necessary to do so successfully,’” Rosenthal wrote. “People have asked, why is the board confident they can enroll a new class next fall 2020 when they voted four months ago not to accept a full class for fall 2019 and spring 2020? What changed? The answer is, the remarkable, historic outpouring of support this spring from Hampshire alums, friends, and people who believe in our college. We are deeply grateful for the unprecedented energy and giving to secure an independent Hampshire.”

Rosenthal said the college and its board are working on a number of fronts simultaneously. These include:

  • Reinforcing its governance and leadership;
  • Defining and improving its value proposition;
  • Restructuring its business model so it is sustainable, and continuing to operate efficiently and reduce costs where possible;
  • Renewing its academic program;
  • “Leading a successful fundraising campaign, one more ambitious than any before, including building our endowment;”
  • Investing in improving the student experience on campus and upgrading campus facilities to benefit recruitment and retention
  • Continuing to participate fully in the Five College Consortium for the benefit of our students and employees

The school is also making strides toward hiring a new president. “Our Presidential Search Committee reports we have attracted excellent, highly qualified candidates,” Rosenthal wrote to the Hampshire community. “The committee has narrowed the field, with the goal of naming a new president this summer.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College Board of Trustees recently announced the outcome of its 2019-20 board election results during its annual meeting on the campus.

James H. Ross, III, principal officer of The Hollenbach Group, LLC, enters his second year of a three-year term as chair for the board. Ross has been on the board has been on the board since 2012. 

Also, Michele A. Megas-Ditomassi, a retired educator who earned her bachelor’s degree and certificate of advanced graduate study from Springfield College, returns for her second year of a three-year term serving as vice chair.

The following individuals have been re-elected to serve a three-year term on the board:

  • Denise Alleyne, a retired vice president for Student Services at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.;
  • Kurt Aschermann, a marketing and resource development professional who operates a nonprofit consulting practice called KA6 Consulting;
  • Douglass Coupe, retired vice president of State Street Global Investor Services of Boston;
  • Charisse Duroure, spa director of G-Spa at Foxwoods Resort and G. Group Consulting of Mashantucket, Conn.;
  • Peter Pappas, currently a senior vice president of Morgan Stanley in Springfield; and
  • Suzanne Benson Robotti, founder and president of Medshadow Foundation, an independent nonprofit website that gathers useful information on medicine side effects;

New to the Board of Trustees (Class of 2022) are:

  • Pia Flanagan, chief of staff for the president and CEO of MassMutual. A member of the MassMutual’s executive leadership team, Flanagan works with the CEO on top priorities, and is a key consultant to the company’s board of directors.
  • Mark Elgart, the founding president and chief executive officer for Advance Education (AdvancED), a leader in achieving educational quality and driving education improvement through research, innovation, policy and advocacy, technology, and accreditation serving over 32,000 institutions and 20 million students worldwide.
  • Alexandra Goslin, a native of South Windsor, Conn., was elected as the Student Trustee. Goslin is a Math and Secondary Education major, and will be entering her senior year in the fall; and

Kristian Rhim, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., who was elected as the student trustee-elect. Rhim is a Communications/Sports Journalism major, and will be entering his junior year in the fall.