New Members, Chair Named to STCC Board of Trustees
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Technical Community College board of trustees recently welcomed two new members and a new chair, Mary Catherine “Marikate” Murren.
The new members are Jynai McDonald, who was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker in June, and Yanira Aviles, who was elected by the student body in April.
Baker named Murren as chair of the board over the summer. She replaces Christopher Johnson, whose term recently expired. He had served as a trustee since 2006.
Murren has served as a trustee for more than two years. She is vice president of Human Resources for MGM Springfield and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in sports management.
“I am honored to accept the responsibility as chair of Springfield Technical Community College’s board of trustees,” Murren said. “It will be a privilege to serve with my fellow trustees to continue the good work of the community college under President John Cook, the faculty and staff, and especially the students. Springfield Technical Community College is a valued partner in the city of Springfield for surrounding employers, and I am looking forward to being a part of their future success. As a new business in the area, the college was instrumental in our efforts to create thousands of jobs at MGM Springfield. It will be a pleasure to work with my fellow trustees to move the mission of the community college forward.”
McDonald is the family child care coordinator for Service Employee International Union Local 509. In her role, she provides leadership training, professional development, and negotiation for more than 3,500 childcare providers throughout the Commonwealth.
Previously, she served as Western Mass. regional manager for Training Resources of America Inc. She also has worked at Hampden County Career Center and Northeast Center for Youth & Families, Tri-County School. McDonald was honored as a rising star in the regional business community when she was named to BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty in 2019. She earned a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing and social media management from Bay Path University.
“It is an honor to be appointed by Governor Baker and serve the Greater Springfield community by being a part of the governing body to the only technical community college in the Commonwealth,” McDonald said. “With my background in education and workforce development, offering accessible and high-quality public education will always be a top priority for me.”
Added Cook, “with the appointment of trustee Murren as chair, STCC will enjoy continuity during our upcoming institution accreditation, and her knowledge of regional workforce needs is particularly valuable.”
Aviles, the student trustee, said she wants to use her position to help other students who have faced barriers. In her mid-30s, Aviles took courses at STCC to prepare for the HiSET, or high school equivalency test. After passing her HiSET exam in 2016, she enrolled in the liberal arts/general studies degree program at STCC.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as student trustee at STCC,” Aviles said. “I’m the first one in my family to attend college, and there was a time I never thought that would happen. I understand what it’s like to come from a low-income background. I can relate to my classmates, and will do everything I can to help them transform their lives.”