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LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced that Shannon McCarty will join the university as vice president for Academic Affairs, effective July 12. Her appointment comes after a comprehensive nationwide search led by the firm Academic Search and supported by a 12-member faculty and staff cross-functional search committee.

McCarty comes to Bay Path from National University in La Jolla, Calif., where she serves as vice president, Teaching and Learning, and associate vice president for the Center of Innovation. Prior to that, she held several positions of increasing responsibility over 10 years at Rio Salado College in Tempe, Ariz., from residential faculty, Biology, to faculty chair, Physical Science Department, to her last appointment as dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs.

“Dr. McCarty is a transformative leader who brings an innovative mindset to her work and is passionate about student success and outcomes,” said Sandra Doran, president of Bay Path University. “Her breadth of experience across curriculum development, program implementation, grant administration, student-experience optimization, and data-driven predictive-analytics decision making, together with her collaborative leadership style, makes her the ideal person to join Bay Path at this exciting, pivotal juncture as we launch our new strategic plan and move forward in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

As vice president for Academic Affairs, McCarty will be responsible for creating a shared vision that fosters innovation in an environment of collegiality and cooperation; developing a sustainable business and educational model that strengthens the fiscal health of the institution, building on existing assets in response to changes in the macro-environment; championing diversity equity and inclusion at the policy and curricular level to create a welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff; and ensuring alignment of curricular content and modalities with student and workforce needs.

McCarty earned her Ph.D. in professional studies from Capella University, her master of education degree in educational leadership from Arizona State University, and her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Arizona.

“I am inspired by Bay Path’s innovative and forward-thinking approach to supporting its diverse student population across all divisions with a focus on workforce readiness,” McCarty said. “I look forward to the opportunity to bring strategic initiatives forward; to continue creating exceptional student experiences while advancing Bay Path’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts; collaborating with faculty and staff; and building partnerships with the community while ensuring financial sustainability as the higher-education model continues to shift and expand.”

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced that Crystal Neuhauser has been named vice president of Institutional Advancement, effective June 21.

Neuhauser comes to Bay Path after serving as the associate vice president of Advancement at Franklin Pierce University, where she increased overall giving by 41% in 2020. Prior to Franklin Pierce, she directed advancement and development initiatives at Yale University, Quinnipiac University, and Mitchell College, and also worked within the nonprofit community sector. Her career experience spans fundraising, donor relations, alumni engagement, grants, and corporate contributions. She also served on a strategic planning subcommittee at Franklin Pierce.

Neuhauser is currently working toward a doctorate of education in educational leadership at New England College. She earned her master’s degree in organizational leadership from Quinnipiac College and her bachelor’s degree in business management from Albertus Magnus College.

“The vice president of Institutional Advancement is a key role at Bay Path and will be critical as we execute our strategic plan, ‘Building One Bay Path,’ said Sandra Doran, university president. “Crystal’s proven success and leadership in advancement will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our goals and our mission in support of students and academic programs. I am looking forward to working together with Crystal.”

At Bay Path, Neuhauser will serve as a member of the executive staff. In this role, she will provide strategic leadership for fundraising, including responsibility for annual giving; corporate, major and planned gifts; endowment; capital campaigns; alumni and constituent-relations efforts; stewardship; and advancement services. As a nonprofit higher-education institution, Bay Path depends on the generosity of donors to fund scholarships and important initiatives that make a difference in students’ lives.

“I’m simply thrilled and look forward to joining Bay Path University at an inflection point for the institution and higher education at large. Leading in higher education during this unprecedented time calls for a strategy towards transformative change,” Neuhauser said. “President Doran and the board are charting ambitious strategic goals that will make a visible impact on our students and faculty. In partnership with a really terrific team, it will be a privilege to work with Bay Path University’s community of alumni, parents, donors, corporate and community partners, and friends.”

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced plans to welcome students back to a fully operational, in-person campus for the fall 2021 semester. This decision is based on the increase and availability of COVID-19 vaccines, the continued decline in COVID cases, and the steps put in place at Bay Path over the past year to keep the campus safe. The university will continue to follow guidelines, take precautions, and prepare with all necessary contingencies for reopening as guided by the CDC and state requirements.

“Over the past year, as we managed the many implications of the pandemic, our number-one guiding principle has been the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and this will continue to be our priority,” said Sandra Doran, president of Bay Path University. “In looking ahead, we are very optimistic about the fall. As students and parents are making decisions about college enrollment and housing, it’s important we share our plan for in-person learning and our commitment to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for our returning, new, and prospective students on campus.”

The university’s initial fall plans include the opening of all residential halls, increasing the number of classes held in-person, a fully operational dining common, on-campus student clubs and activities, as well as a fall athletic season.

“There is no greater joy than connecting and meeting with our students,” Doran said. “We are ready, eager, and excited to have more students join us on campus this fall for their educational journey.”

Bay Path University accepts students on a rolling admission. For information regarding enrollment for the fall semester, visit the university’s website, or contact the Office of Admissions at (413) 565-1331 or [email protected]. In addition to the on-campus, in-person option, Bay Path will continue to offer online learning and hybrid models to meet students’ needs.

Women in Businesss

Progress Report

By Janine Fondon

On March 8 (International Women’s Day), the 2021 On the Move Forum to Advance Women, presented by Bay Path University, Springfield Museums, and a host of local organizations, virtually hosted some 200 women of all backgrounds from Western Mass. and beyond. Through conversations and speakers, women voiced their hopes and elevated their concerns to support the future success of women in leadership at all levels.

Speakers noted there is much work to be done to change the trajectory of women in companies and organizations, given that women still operate in a world where they are paid less than men. Also, women have limited leadership opportunities in the C-suite and have experienced workplace challenges in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Also, black women and Latinas still make less than anyone in the workforce, and their opportunities for promotions are certainly limited. Where do we go from here?

The forum theme, “Women in Leadership: This Is What Change Looks Like — Past, Present, and Future,” offered attendees an inter-generational, cross-cultural, gender-inclusive, and history-infused conversation focused on advancing women, led by moderator Nikai Fondon.

The event presented voices and content that showed what change could look like — young, diverse, professional women on the move to create a new world; experienced leaders of all backgrounds who share their expertise; and college-aged women exploring new skills. Now in its fifth year, the event has engaged more than 1,000 women in community conversations and presentations on women’s history, empowerment, and advancement.

“The numbers also show us that change needs to happen to build more inclusive workplaces at all levels and in all industries. We must keep watch that our colleges and universities understand the magnitude of not only recruitment and retention, but belonging and mentoring.”

This year’s event aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.” According to Catalyst, “in 2020, women of color represented only 18% of entry-level positions, and few advanced to leadership positions. While white women held almost one-third (32.8%) of total management positions in the U.S. in 2020, Asian women (2.2%), black women (4.1%), and Hispanic women (4.5%) held a much smaller share.”

During the forum, the speakers and participants during the conversations voiced the sentiments expressed in these statistics. Most women still face obstacles in moving up the ladder at work. These statistics remind us that young women professionals who are rising to new opportunities in industry may have to pick up the path of experienced women today who still fight these trends after more than 20 years.

The numbers also show us that change needs to happen to build more inclusive workplaces at all levels and in all industries. We must keep watch that our colleges and universities understand the magnitude of not only recruitment and retention, but belonging and mentoring.

Also, as black women, Latinas, and women of color climb the ladder of success, they find that every step along the way may not come with the support they need or expect. A study conducted by Lean In and SurveyMonkey finds that, although more than 80% of white employees view themselves as allies to women of color at work, just 45% of black women and 55% of Latinas say they have strong allies in the workplace. There is more work to be done to build relationships that drive trust and transformation in the workplace, and more conversations need to confirm informal and formal sources of support.

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

To help make a change in the workplace, educational institutions, companies, and organizations continue to underscore the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. While these efforts allow for some change, we need strategic approaches to systemic racism and inequities that address issues for companies and individuals. Many young professionals, consumers, and communities are at the forefront of social justice, so shifts in social responsibility, outreach, and accountability could drive change on many levels.

Bay Path President Sandra Doran noted in her speech that she has been committed to the advancement of women and the power of education. “I embrace these beliefs because I come from a family of educators and strong women. I have witnessed first-hand the power of higher education for women. My grandmother attended Barnard, a women’s college, and my mother returned to school to earn her degree at a women’s college as an adult learner. With such personal role models, I felt called to be the president of Bay Path.”

However, noting the effects of COVID-19, she noted that, “by now, we all know the burden of the pandemic fell harder on women than on men. Women make up the majority of front-line workers in deeply affected industries like retail, food service, hospitality, and healthcare, and also picked up a disproportionate share of the additional loads of schoolwork, housework, and elderly care. Black women have faced the highest rate of unemployment among women at 8.9%, followed by Latinx women at 8.5%. This pandemic has uncovered the fragility of our systems, from healthcare to daycare to education, and it is our calling, women — and men of substance — to create change. And the pipeline of women in leadership positions has shrunk.”

“As we move past International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, there must be even more commitment to revisiting practices in workplaces, classrooms, boardrooms, meeting places, and Zoom rooms to deliver equity, belonging, and dismantling ‘isms.’”

Doran also referenced an IBM study that “noted how women on corporate boards and in C-suites around the world have made no progress since 2019, when IBM did its first study on the subject.”

Another report, the 2020 Women in the Workplace study, conducted in partnership with Lean In and McKinsey, tracked the progress of women in corporate America. The data set reflects contributions from 317 companies that participated in the study and more than 40,000 people. According to the report, “the boundaries between work and home have blurred, and women, in particular, have been negatively impacted.”

In the study, women of color were noted as particularly impacted by COVID. “Women — especially women of color — are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis, stalling their careers and jeopardizing their financial security. Meanwhile, black women already faced more barriers to advancement than most other employees. This is an emergency for corporate America. Companies risk losing women in leadership — and future women leaders — and unwinding years of painstaking progress toward gender diversity.”

 

Adverse Impact on Black Women and Latinas

While many black women and Latinas have made strides and found success in corporations and organizations, far too many remain underutilized, left behind, not included, and overlooked for opportunities. The numbers document their trajectory in a world where, in most cases, they are paid less than everyone else. Also, according to a report by CNBC, “employment for black women is 9.7% lower than it was in February 2020. Employment for white men, white women, and black men is down 5%, 5.4%, and 5.9%, respectively.”

A report by Lean In also confirms the experiences of black women in the workplace, noting that black women are significantly underrepresented in leadership roles, much less likely to be promoted to manager (and their representation dwindles from there), more likely to see their successes discounted, and less likely to get the support and access they need to advance. In addition, black women face more day-to-day discrimination at work. They want to lead — and they are motivated to improve their workplaces — but often find themselves unfairly penalized for being ambitious.

These findings should cause us all to pause and revisit our workplace policies, practices, and procedures. While not every black woman may have these experiences, other personal scenarios that they face result in negative trends. Most of all, these findings should prompt us to think about how everyone is treated in the workplace and how we treat each other. Most of all, we should consider how we can understand what others feel and find ways to communicate. If we were all treating each other as ourselves, we would not have these trends.

 

LGBTQIA+ Equality

While many communities and individuals experience an uncertain landscape in the workplace, we must continue to stay vigilant about trends that impact inclusion. For LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, queer, intersex, agender, asexual, and other queer-identifying) communities, the journey to equality continues to “ebb and flow,” as Kathleen Martin of Springfield College and her wife, Andrea Hickson Martin of Bay Path University, noted:

“There is no doubt that there have been tremendous strides over the past decade for LGBTQIA+ equality. In 2012, the Obama administration supported marriage equality. In 2015, in the Supreme Court of the United States case Obergefell v. Hodges, marriage equality was made federal law, paving the way for our marriage in 2017. In 2019, Congress approved a comprehensive LGBTQIA+ civil-rights bill, providing non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQIA+ community in employment, housing, public spaces, education, jury service, credit, and federal funding. During the Trump administration, however, LGBTQIA+ rights were rolled back through a ban on transgender military service, the appointment of anti-LGBTQIA+ judges at various levels of the judicial system, the rolling back of the Obama-era Civil Rights Act protecting transgender and non-binary workers from employment discrimination, and the rescinding of Title IX rules requiring schools, including colleges and universities, to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence.

“As with everything in life, there is a constant ebb and flow,” Martin and Hickson continued. “On the first day of the Biden-Harris administration, President Biden signed an executive order preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, reinstating the LGBTQIA+ protections the Trump administration removed. More recently, the administration has directed the Department of Education to ‘review all of its existing regulations, orders, guidance, and policies to ensure consistency with the Biden-Harris administration’s policy that students be guaranteed education free from sexual violence.’ This includes an evaluation of the Title IX burden of proof issued under the previous administration.”

As stated, the ebb and flow of policy continue to take us away from setting a more consistent, inclusive world and workplace where all people can succeed.

As we move past International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, there must be even more commitment to revisiting practices in workplaces, classrooms, boardrooms, meeting places, and Zoom rooms to deliver equity, belonging, and dismantling ‘isms.’ Also, we must begin to employ new ways for engaging, recognizing, and retaining black women, Latinas, and women of color who are still hidden in plain view.

 

Janine Fondon is a writer, speaker, assistant professor, and chair of Undergraduate Communications at Bay Path University. She is a frequent contributor to publications and media outlets on the topics of social justice, women’s history, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She recently curated and produced an exhibit and series of public events at Springfield Museums, called “Voices of Resilience: The Intersection of Women on the Move.” She was named a 2020 Difference Maker by BusinessWest, a 2020 Pynchon Award winner, and one of the top African-American female professors in 2018 by the African American Female Professors Assoc.

Class of 2021

This Journalist, Educator, and Mentor Inspires Others with Her Unstoppable Energy

Leah Martin Photography

Karen Fisk, director of Marketing and Communication for the Springfield Museums, calls Janine Fondon a “connector.”

And that’s just one of many words that can be used to describe the founder of UnityFirst.com, a national distributor of diversity-related e-news to corporations and diverse communities. Indeed, she is also an educator — she’s currently chair of the Undergraduate Communications Department at Bay Path University and has been an adjunct professor at many area colleges and universities — as well as a journalist, public speaker, colleague, and mentor.

But ‘connector’ probably works best, and it most effectively sums up what she does in the Western Mass. community — and beyond.

“As a team player, she connects people in various institutions who could work together for positive change,” Fisk, who worked with Fondon to help bring the exhibit Voices of Resilience (more on that later) to the Museums, wrote in her nomination of Fondon as a Difference Maker. “As the Leader of UnityFirst, she connects the public with black-led, owned, and operated businesses and institutions. As a teacher, she connects young people to ideas that empower them … she helps nurture the seeds that grow into remarkable projects that make a difference.”

Through all this work connecting people, Fondon, who relishes this role, told BusinessWest that she strives to make the region a better place through the sharing of knowledge, ideas, goals, and dreams for the future.

“As a team player, she connects people in various institutions who could work together for positive change. As the Leader of UnityFirst, she connects the public with black-led, owned, and operated businesses and institutions. As a teacher, she connects young people to ideas that empower them … she helps nurture the seeds that grow into remarkable projects that make a difference.”

During her time at Colgate University, a liberal-arts college in Upstate New York, Fondon recalled that she was encouraged to “raise your voice, be part of the world, and make a difference.” She did so there — she became part of a gospel choir, for example — and has done so throughout her life.

Part of her MO, if you will, is to inspire others by telling the stories of those who came before, those who blazed a trail, and those who, well, made of difference in the community and the world. This is especially true when it comes to women, and women of color. Many of these stories haven’t been told, or told as much as they need to be, she said, adding that telling them was the broad goal behind Voices of Resilience, which is still on display at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts at the Quadrangle.

It features more than 70 stories of women — activists and businesswomen, mostly — ranging from Gwen Ifill, the longtime host of Washington Week (and Springfield native) who passed away a few years ago, to Lejuana Hood, who founded Springfield’s Pan African Museum, to Miriam Kirkaldy, Fondon’s grandmother, who came to Ellis Island in 1917 and forged a new life for herself.

“I decided to pull together some stories — some rooted in Springfield, others rooted around Springfield — and these are stories that needed to be told because we can learn from them,” Fondon explained, using her grandmother as an example.

“She came via Ellis Island from Jamaica, and she came the year before the 1918 pandemic,” she explained. “You think about the fortitude she displayed and her experience; I grew up with her experience, and I said, ‘we can learn from that experience.”

The exhibit also formed the backdrop for the fourth annual On the Move event in 2020. Organized by Fondon, this gathering, which will be staged virtually this year due to the pandemic, encourages conversation and networking among women, and it has become a well-attended tradition.

It’s also another example of how Fondon has devoted her time, energy, and imagination to finding new and different ways to bring people together, share ideas, and work individually and collectively to move the needle when it comes to diversity, inclusion, women breaking down barriers, and so much more.

In short, it’s just another case of how she connects and serves this region as a true Difference Maker.

 

Loud and Clear

If you look closely, as in very closely, you might be able to pick out Fondon in one of the pictures of real students from New York’s fabled High School of Music & Art at the end of the 1980 movie Fame.

She was in the choir, and the shot of that group was among many of the last class of that school before it merged with the School of Performing Arts and moved to Lincoln Center.

“I wouldn’t even call it a cameo,” said Fondon, who noted that she had some talent, but not enough to join the likes of famous alums such as Billy Dee Williams, Christopher Guest, Susan Strasberg, Hal Linden, or Steven Bochco and make it as a performer or producer.

But she left the school with an even deeper appreciation for the arts than what she already had, and it has remained with her throughout her life. And you might say she’s achieved a different kind of fame after first graduating from Colgate University, where she majored in sociology and anthropology and studied in London, Paris, and Barbados, among other places.

The exhibit Voices of Resilience

The exhibit Voices of Resilience is just one of many ways Janine Fondon has helped educate others and inspire them to find their own voices.

After leaving Colgate, she pursued work in the media, working first at CBS as a news intern and handling research for 60 Minutes, among other shows, then ABC in the Public Relations department, where she was encouraged to continue her education, and did so, earning her master’s degree at New York University.

Fondon worked in New York for some time before moving to an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. and eventually relocating to Massachusetts, where she has worked in a number of fields. She worked at Digital Equipment Corp., for example, and later at Bank of Boston, in its Corporate Communications department.

After starting a family, she desired more flexibility in her schedule and started freelance writing and then teaching on an adjunct level, with the former becoming the basis for UnityFirst.com, an information portal that shares topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion with more than 4,000 members of the national press, including top mainstream business publications, television, radio, and internet sources.

Recent pieces on the site include headlines like these:

• “Barbara Bush Foundation Celebrates Black History Month with the Release of New Anti-racist and Anti-bias Teaching Resources”;

• “Barefoot Celebrates and Supports Black Female Business Owners with the Return of #WeStandforHer Campaign”; and

• “Canada’s Black Loyalists Honored on Royal Canadian Mint’s New Silver Coin Celebrating Black History.”

“We go to thousands of people in a variety of formats, from our direct e-mails, the website, and collaborations that we have with others across the country,” she explained. “We’re just here engaging and sharing information.

“And we have one of the most loyal readership bases I can imagine — people have been with us for 20 years and continue to read with interest,” she went on. “People are engaged in our news, and it continues to grow every day. And I’m really proud that we have a really young base that’s coming in and engaging. That, to me, is the hallmark — sharing information, having people engage, learning, and using that information.”

This past year was certainly an important one for UnityFirst, she said, given all the racial turmoil in the country and new dialogue about equity and inclusion.

“I started to do some writing and speaking beyond our own circle,” she told BusinessWest. “And that engaged a lot of people as well. And I want to do more of that because engaging with others and beginning new dialogues … that brings about change.”

While she continues to byline new stories each week and teach at Baypath, she continues to look for new and different ways to use her voice, inspire others to use theirs, and further inspire an entire region by recalling some voices of the past.

“And we have one of the most loyal readership bases I can imagine — people have been with us for 20 years and continue to read with interest. People are engaged in our news, and it continues to grow every day.”

Such is the case with On the Move, which will again be staged on March 8, this time virtually. Fondon doesn’t like the word ‘conference’ to describe it, though, preferring ‘forum’ instead.

“We have a conversation, and sometimes there are breakouts that we do,” she said, adding that the setting has changed through the years — it has been staged at Bay Path, CityStage, and the Springfield Museums, for example — but the mission remains the same: to engage, educate, and inspire. “This year, we’re going to look at where we are and where we’re going.”

Looking ahead, and anticipating what might come next in a career that has taken her to different parts of the country and a host of different career opportunities, Fondon said she intends to keep doing what’s she always done — and maybe find even more ways to do it.

“There’s so much work yet be done,” she explained. “As long as we can keep sharing information that helps us make better decisions and get to a better place, there is room for all that I have to do.”

 

Hear and Now

Returning to that nomination of Fondon, Fisk wrote that “she listens, she encourages, she shares ideas, she shares remarkable, unstoppable energy. Most important, she cares, deeply cares, and she hopes, and then she takes action.”

And, above all, she connects. Indeed, all her life, Fondon has been doing what she was encouraged to do while in high school and college — find her voice. And not only find it, but use it.

She’s used it to educate and empower people. And with this knowledge and power, others can hopefully do what she has long been doing acting as a Difference Maker in the community and, in truth, everywhere one’s voice can be heard.

 

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced the Hero Scholarship, available to qualified prospective students who apply during February for summer or fall 2021 enrollment. The Hero Scholarship allows prospective students to earn up to 50% off at the undergraduate level and 10% off at the graduate level, depending on the program and study path.

“Our students are heroes, and we know there are many more heroes in the community looking to take the next step toward earning a college degree,” Bay Path University President Sandra Doran said. “From the high-school student hero adapting to a new way of learning to the mom hero supporting her child’s virtual-learning needs to our frontline and healthcare heroes, everyone has done their part, and now we want to provide an opportunity to secure an affordable education when needed most.”

To be eligible for a Hero Scholarship, in addition to applying in February with a summer or fall 2021 start, the individual must be a new applicant, and must remain enrolled at Bay Path in a continuous course of study to maintain the award. The award is spread out over the full period of study at the university and cannot be combined with other Bay Path scholarships. Certain programs are not eligible. For more information about eligibility criteria and to apply, visit go.crm.baypath.edu/heroes.

In addition, qualified, Pell-eligible students with a cumulative high-school GPA of 2.5 or higher who will be first-year, first-time, traditional students for fall 2021 are eligible for free tuition.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Javier Padilla, a human-resources and talent manager with almost 20 years of human-resources experience and more than 10 years in management and leadership roles, has been named assistant vice president and director of Human Resources at Bay Path University. Padilla, who most recently served as the chief Human Resources/Talent officer for Norwalk (Conn.) Public Schools, assumed his duties in December.

Padilla brings many strengths to the position, including experience in change management, workforce planning, customer service, employee benefits and compensation, employee relations, contract negotiations, talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, and HR analytics and technology, among others. In his career, he has worked in the fields of education, healthcare, industry, and insurance.

“There are multiple reasons for accepting the opportunity to serve Bay Path,” Padilla said. “As a first-generation college graduate, I know Bay Path is committed to providing educational access and opportunities to students. Its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion were a key component of the interview process, and this priority is consistent with my personal values. And certainly, Bay Path’s continued vision of innovation and transformation will create an indispensable value proposition to students and employees. It’s great to be a part of this organization.”

In his new role, Padilla will lead the Human Resources division in fostering collaborations and partnerships with departments and areas across the university in support of Bay Path’s mission and strategic plan. He will also implement HR policies, practices, and technologies; enhance customer service; support employee engagement; and build a diverse workforce.

“Javier Padilla brings an impressive background in human resources, and he also has substantial experience working with diversity initiatives and has a keen understanding of our commitment to inclusive excellence,” Bay Path University President Sandra Doran said. “His operational and strategic leadership experiences will be valuable in envisioning and implementing innovative human-resources services and systems that not only meet our strategic institutional goals, but, most importantly, enhance the lives of members of the Bay Path community.”

Padilla holds a juris doctorate from Western New England School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from the University of Connecticut. A member of the Society for Human Resource Management, he is also a certified professional co-active coach, accredited by the International Coach Federation, and a certified strategic workforce planner, accredited by the Human Capital Institute.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announce it was selected as a winner of the Virtual Innovation Awards: Excellence in Delivering Virtual Student Services hosted by NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Bay Path is among 10 schools recognized across the nation for exemplary virtual student support services, and one of only three schools to receive the top award of $50,000.

The award highlights the effectiveness of the work being done to support both Bay Path’s traditional undergraduates and adult students enrolled in its online undergraduate degree program, the American Women’s College. These best practices will serve as case studies to inform the field at large.

“Student-support services are essential to students’ progress in college,” said Maura Devlin, associate vice president and dean of Undergraduate Studies at Bay Path. “These supports include advising, orientation, emergency aid to help with textbook costs and other essentials, clubs and activities, academic and learning supports, and health and well-being programs.”

As Bay Path’s online program for adult women, the American Women’s College has been continually developing and enhancing its virtual support services since 2013. At the onset of the pandemic, university staff were able to put these supports into overdrive to ensure campus-based undergraduate students could easily access services despite the abrupt move to remote.

Some of the virtual services that have allowed Bay Path University to be responsive to its diverse student body, whether in person or online, include a virtual career-services hub; UWill, a telecounseling service; and Tutor.com, which provides access to online tutoring services 24/7. Similarly, programming related to orientation, peer-to-peer engagement, community building, and multi-cultural affairs was provided by a support team that was able to quickly pivot to virtual platforms and social-media tools.

“We are so honored to be the recipient of this award. Our focus is fully on the students we serve and how we can continue to meet them where they are, in even the most trying of times, to help them to achieve their educational goals,” said Anne Chapdelaine, Bay Path’s dean of students and director of persistence. “This award will allow us to continue to pilot new, responsive tools and expand our resource availability, to make sure that we can flex and bend with the complex lives of our students.”

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University’s annual holiday party and employee-recognition event has been a long-standing tradition for faculty and staff. The pandemic prevented the normal gathering, but technology came to the rescue and provided a platform to connect remotely.

Highlights of the event include naming a charity to be the recipient of Bay Path’s generosity, as well as employee recognition for years of service at the university.

For 2020, the designated charity is Christina’s House, a Springfield-based nonprofit and Christ-centered ministry that provides transitional housing to meet the needs of mothers and their children who are homeless or near-homeless. More important, Christina’s House provides emotional, spiritual, physical, and education support as families transition from homelessness to permanent, stable living environments.

“Christina’s House is honored to have been chosen by Bay Path University as their charity of choice to give back to this holiday season,” said Shannon Mumblo, executive director of Christina’s House. “Our missions are so much aligned, empowering others to be leaders and realize their dreams through education. It is only through the support and generosity of our community that our mission continues to thrive during these unprecedented times. We are grateful to each and every person who has made a donation this holiday season; you are helping to change lives for generations to come. God bless you, and thank you.”

To donate to Christina’s House, visit www.christinashouse.org or mail a gift to Christina’s House, 38 Madison Ave., Springfield, MA 01105.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University will host its 25th Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) in person at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Friday, April 1, 2022. The decision comes nine months after the March 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual conference brings more than 2,000 attendees to downtown Springfield for a day of speakers and workshop sessions devoted to professional development and personal goals. After weighing several options for hosting the annual conference, the university decided to forgo a 2021 event and wait until the event could take place in person.

“Initially, we hoped to bring everyone together for a March 2021 conference, but there’s still too much uncertainty attached to when this pandemic will subside,” said Caron Hobin, vice president of Strategic Alliances, Bay Path’s division of professional development, which has produced the conference since its inception. “We also contemplated making the conference virtual, but ultimately, we felt that the intimacy, spontaneity, and energy that distinguishes the WLC would be lost.”

“We realize, from our own experiences attending Zoom meetings and digital forums, that screen fatigue is real,” Hobin added. “In order to truly create a day that would meet the high standards that we and our attendees have come to expect, we feel that waiting it out to create a great in-person experience is the right way to go.”

With an extended timeline, social media and digital forums will serve as virtual hubs to generate conversations and share thoughts and information that will carry over to the WLC.

“We know these are hard times,” Hobin said. “The bright side is that we can really take advantage of this extra time to build community, encourage connection, and make the 2022 event an exceptional in-person experience.”

More information on speakers and schedules is forthcoming and will be posted at baypathconference.com.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced it will again welcome prospective students and their families to visit the Longmeadow campus in person. Tours will be available at designated times Monday through Saturday, and reservations must be made in advance. Detailed safety protocols will be in place to ensure the health and safety of all participants.

“We’re thrilled to welcome prospective students and their families back to campus to experience first-hand what makes Bay Path so special,” said Sarah Wisnouskas, director of Recruitment Events for Bay Path University. “We’ve spent months building and testing our COVID protocols to ensure that we can offer these tours safely. There’s nothing like walking a campus to feel the culture and climate of a college or university, and we’re confident that we can offer these tours in a way that prioritizes what is always our number-one goal — keeping students safe and cared for.”

When allowing visitors on campus, Bay Path will follow the guidelines set forth by the state of Massachusetts; as such, not all buildings will be available to tour.

To schedule an in-person campus visit, or for more information on visitation requirements, log onto baypath.edu/visit. For those prospective students or families who wish to tour campus virtually, individual guided virtual campus tours are still being held Monday through Friday. Check out baypath.edu/visit for more information or to schedule a virtual appointment.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — On Oct. 17, the Bay Path University community celebrated what may be the most resilient graduates in recent history: the class of 2020. Although the celebration was viewed on screens instead of in person, and graduates were sent texts and Facebook comments of congratulations instead of hugs and high fives, it was an event to remember.

The ceremony — Bay Path’s 123rd — was held live on campus with a production team from Zasco Productions safely bringing the event to graduates, friends, and families all over the globe. A small group of Bay Path administrators, trustees, and faculty members donned their celebratory commencement regalia to bring the event to life, delivering encouraging messages of hope and resilience to the 1,010 graduating students.

Six graduating seniors from the class of 2020 kicked off the ceremony with a moving virtual rendition of the national anthem, followed by a special invocation of the Nipmuck Prayer delivered by Gentle Running Deer and Aprell Mumford (class of 2021), both members of the Mohawk tribe from the Iroquois Confederacy. Local dignitaries and faculty members gave virtual well wishes, reminding the graduates of what they had to overcome to make it to this moment.

“I want you to take a moment to celebrate this moment because it represents the absolute joy that comes from completing a journey that once seemed overwhelming. I want you to celebrate achieving something that is life-changing,” Bay Path President Sandra Doran said.

During the ceremony, two students received awards for their hard work and exemplary character. Traditional undergraduate student Lilly West received the Eagle Award for her positive attitude and community leadership on campus and in athletics, while maintaining a 3.5 or higher GPA. Karen Vecchitto, a non-traditional student at the American Women’s College, received the Pathfinder Award in honor of obtaining academic excellence of a GPA of 3.5 or higher while balancing her family life, career, and community-service responsibilities.

After a benediction from Fr. Christopher Waitekus of St. Mary’s Church in Longmeadow, the event ended with special remarks from the guests of honor — the graduates themselves. More than 50 graduates submitted videos thanking their families, friends, professors, and the Bay Path community for helping to make their success a reality. As one Bay Path graduate shared, “special thanks to my friends, family, and BPU faculty. Congratulations 2020, we finally did it! It’s time to conquer this world — be great, not average!”

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced the launch of a monthly webinar series bringing the concept of ‘leading-edge thinking’ to a deep examination of the future of higher education.

The series will open Thursday, Oct. 29 with a presentation titled “The Human Side of Innovation: Finding Joy and Meaning in Everyday Life and Work.” Presented by Elaine Dundon, bestselling author and founder of the Global Meaning Institute, it will explore the search for meaning in the context of widespread change and discuss how innovation can bring us forward as we embark upon a new normal for post-pandemic life.

The webinar series was developed by Bay Path’s Center for Higher Education Leadership and Innovative Practices (CHELIP) to further the discourse and confront the challenges surrounding the upheaval of traditional higher education.

“The higher-education sector is being transformed at a rapid and dramatic pace, creating demand for fresh, creative perspectives that can address the needs and aspirations of modern-day students and the institutions that serve them,” said Melissa Morriss-Olson, founding director of CHELIP and Bay Path’s doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Studies. “Through forums such as this new ‘leading-edge thinking in higher ed’ webinar series, CHELIP will cultivate and explore these new perspectives and serve as a guide for innovation and transformation in higher ed, actions so greatly needed by leaders today and in the future.”

Morriss-Olson imagines the series will best serve higher-education professionals looking for new approaches and models to help confront the sector’s pressing issues and challenges, but she also believes anyone who cares about the future of higher education, including college and university board members, parents, alumni, and donors, would be intrigued by its content.

“There is much to be learned from how the business world has used innovative thinking and entrepreneurial strategies to forge new paths,” she noted. “Given the unique organizational structures and missions at most colleges and universities, the challenge lies in learning and borrowing from other industries and making that learning fit the higher-ed culture. We’ve designed this webinar to not only inspire what might be possible, but also to provide a roadmap for how to actually get it done.”

The series is open to all. Each webinar is an hour long, with future presentations looking at topics such as student-retention challenges, racial injustice, and transforming the learning process. Click here for the full schedule and descriptions.

Business Talk Podcast

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 32: Oct. 5, 2020

George Interviews Sandra Doran, President of Bay Path University

In this episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Sandra Doran, president of Bay Path University. In a wide-ranging interview, the two discuss everything from COVID and its impact on campus life, to the many challenges already facing higher education before the pandemic, to the many ways in which COVID may ultimately change the higher education ‘experience.’

Also Available On

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — After a long push for emerging professionals to be proficient in technical skills upon graduation, employers are now advocating for a slight twist: employees still need soft skills, too. The American Women’s College at Bay Path University, known for its ability to offer degree programs specific to workforce needs, recently announced a degree that combines a liberal-arts education with the technical skills in high demand.

The digital information design and society major offers students a curriculum that combines traditional liberal-arts skills in critical thinking, ethics, analysis, communication, and research with technical skills in coding, programming, data science, text mining, web development, modeling, and mapping.

“We really wanted to think about what the future of work looks like and how we can train our students to meet those needs that employers are asking for,” said Emily Thompson, academic director of Liberal Studies and Communications at the American Women’s College. “Employers need people with tech and STEM skills, but they also need people who can write well, think critically, and possess emotional empathy in the workplace.”

While a degree in liberal studies has always been an interdisciplinary program, the addition of quantitative and computational thinking skills allows students to apply their knowledge base across career fields. The program, in which students will earn a bachelor of arts degree in liberal studies, also allows students to tailor their curriculum to best suit the direction they want to head in post-graduation.

“We’ve left elective space open to allow students a broad spectrum in where this degree can take them,” Thompson said. “While one student may be interested in public policy and can choose electives that focus on that field, another may be interested in instructional design or new media design, and can choose electives that support those fields.”

Upon graduation, students will be equipped to enter fields like academic and health administration, digital communications, media production, learning design, and public-relations strategy.

For more information on the digital information design and society concentration, visit www.baypath.edu/digitalinformationdesign.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University has put together a unique course for recent high-school graduates looking to explore ways they can impact movements for social justice. The course, “Exploring Pathways to Social Justice,” will combine lectures, discussions, videos, readings, and virtual, experiential learning through the context of history, legal studies, and communications. In addition, the students will participate in presentations by professionals who have channeled their visions for a more just world into careers advocating for social justice and leading their communities.

The three-credit course runs from Sept. 21 to Dec. 21 and is open to recent high-school graduates and college students, whether enrolled at Bay Path University; its online program, the American Women’s College; or any other institution, as well as students who are taking a gap semester while they evaluate their college options. Registration runs until Sept. 16.

The class is a collaboration between several faculty members and will explore social-justice movements, trace the historical roots of the civil-rights struggle, investigate how race factors into the contemporary criminal justice system, and consider strategies for change. Students will be challenged to apply their passion for social justice while learning to express themselves and developing practical skills for academic and professional settings. Through the course material and ongoing opportunities for conversation, they will connect with other students and become part of an inspired, motivated network.

“We created this class for students who may be using this time away from their schools to contemplate how and where to channel their voice and their passion for social justice, as they begin to think about their long-term goals, personally and professionally,” said Gwen Jordan, director of Bay Path’s Justice and Legal Studies department. She will be teaching sections on the criminal justice system, including a focus on the movement devoted to exonerating the wrongly convicted and reforming the system.

“The course really speaks to what we’re striving to do at Bay Path,” Jordan said. “As educators, we look to give our students a larger, deeper picture of the world we’re living in, while also helping them set concrete goals and acquire practical skills to achieve them.”

Additional course information and a registration link are available here.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University has unveiled the premiere episodes of its new podcast, IngenioUs. Devoted to exploring relevant, provocative topics in higher education through the lens of innovation, IngenioUs is the brainchild of its host, Melissa Morriss-Olson, provost emerita of Bay Path University, distinguished professor of Higher Ed Leadership, and creator and director of the college’s new Center for Higher Education Leadership and Innovative Practices. She is also the author of the accompanying IngenioUs blog.

“Even before the coronavirus challenged institutions to rethink traditional learning paradigms, higher education was in a freefall, forcing colleges and universities to experiment with new models and ways of operating,” Morriss-Olson said. “Throughout my nearly 40-year career in higher ed, I’ve studied how leaders adapt to challenging environments, what conditions and factors make the most difference for those who are able to weather the storms and emerge more resilient and relevant than ever. With IngenioUs, I have an opportunity to speak with some of the most innovative and provocative thought leaders about the remarkable ways they’re changing their institutions and the higher-ed landscape. The hope is that our discussions will inspire deeper thought, ongoing conversation, and creative solutions to some of the biggest challenges and changes facing colleges and universities.”

Guests have included retired Bay Path President Carol Leary, reflecting on 25 years of innovative leadership; national thought leader Amer Ahmed, interim executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and visiting faculty at Dickinson College, discussing how to move beyond words to create lasting social-equity change; and Lenore Rodicio, executive vice president and provost at the nation’s largest community college, Miami Dade College, on how to reimagine higher education for the benefit of all students.

New episodes are released weekly. Subscribe to the podcast and blog here.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — As women continue to experience the devastating impact of unemployment due to COVID-19, representing close to 60% of all lost jobs this spring, the food-service, hospitality, retail, and travel industries have been some of the hardest hit.

Further delivering on its mission of empowering women, at a time when many are forced to reimagine their lives, Bay Path University is offering a free three-credit online undergraduate college course in August. The course, “Fundamentals of Digital Literacy,” will help women expand their digital technology skill set and be better prepared for the workforce of the future. The course is offered through The American Women’s College, Bay Path University’s fully online division designed to fit busy women’s lives.

“We hope this free course inspires women to look to a better future through education at a time when they are experiencing such uncertainty,” said Carol Leary before her recent retirement as Bay Path president. “This is our way to offer women an opportunity to discover the benefits of online learning. We have deep experience serving women in a proven college format resulting in a graduation rate that is 20% higher than other adult-serving online programs.”

“Fundamentals of Digital Literacy” is a six-week, three-credit course in which students will examine best practices for utilizing social-media and digital-communication tools in the workplace. In addition, they will learn practical skills for a digital world and gain an increasing awareness of the risks of digital communication essential in all fields. By mastering the fundamentals of computing technology and demonstrating digital literacy, women who complete the course will have developed the computer skills needed to thrive in a 21st-century workforce that is continually changing.

Leaders in the Women in Travel and Hospitality and Women in Retail Leadership Circle organizations are sharing this free course opportunity with impacted employees impacted. The course offering is not exclusive to these groups, however, and any woman in sectors affected by COVID-19 are welcome to enroll.

“At a time when the retail industry has been dramatically impacted, it is refreshing to see Bay Path University, an institution dedicated to advancing the lives of women, provide an opportunity for women in our industry to gain a valuable skillset and college credits,” said Melissa Campanelli and Jen DiPasquale, co-founders of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.

Unlike other online degree programs, students enrolled in classes through the American Women’s College at Bay Path University are able to get immediate feedback on individual academic performance. They also get the support they need to excel in the program, such as coaching, counseling, virtual learning communities, and social networking. The courses are designed to help provide the flexibility women need to engage in their studies, while still balancing their daily lives, jobs, and families.

As a result of the innovative approach to learning offered through the American Women’s College, women successfully earn degrees at higher rates than national averages, the institution notes. The model has been widely recognized by industry experts, the federal government, and granting agencies since its inception in 2013. Most recently, the American Women’s College was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Strada Education Network to use its unique model to close the digital-literacy gap for women.

Enrollment in this six-week, three-credit course is subject to availability. This offer is intended for women who are first-time attendees of Bay Path University. Active Bay Path University students and those enrolled within the past year are not eligible for this offer.

Any student enrolled in this course who wishes to officially enroll into a certificate or degree program at the American Women’s College or Bay Path University must submit the appropriate application for admission and be accepted according to standard admissions guidelines.

To register for the course, visit bpu.tfaforms.net/41. The registration deadline is July 20, and enrollees will have course access on July 27. For more information, visit www.baypath.edu/baypathworks.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — At its recent annual meeting, held virtually, the board of trustees of Bay Path University, on behalf of the entire Bay Path community, surprised retiring President Carol Leary with a celebration in her honor.

“Carol Leary led a remarkable transformation of Bay Path during her 25-year tenure. The board was honored to pay tribute to her and express gratitude for the countless ways she and her husband Noel have impacted Bay Path and the Western Massachusetts community,” said Jonathan Besse, board chair.

The longest-serving president in Bay Path’s history, the board granted Leary the title of president emerita, which will begin July 1, her first day of retirement. Emeritus status is a special honor given to an individual who has provided distinguished service to an institution or organization. During her tenure, Leary guided the university through a remarkable transformation, resulting in an unprecedented number of institutional improvements and initiatives such as strengthening academic offerings, enhancing the student experience, investing in capital projects, and establishing ties with the greater community and cultivating new partnerships.

In addition to electing Leary president emerita, the trustees voted to rename the main administration building, Deepwood Hall, to Leary Hall.

Carol and Noel Leary were also acknowledged for their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the tremendous impact they have had on all students. As first-generation college students themselves, they have inspired hundreds of women to attain a degree.

Also, in recognition of Noel Leary’s deep commitment to students, as well as his civic activism and volunteerism, the board awarded him an honorary degree. As Besse noted, “for this selfless community servant who, without fanfare, has dedicated his life to the betterment of others, we are proud to bestow Bay Path’s highest honor, the doctor of humane letters, honoris causa, upon Noel Leary.”

Sandra Doran, the sixth president of Bay Path, will assume office on July 1.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University is expanding its focus in the rapidly growing area of cybersecurity — and helping to bring more women into it — with the introduction of an undergraduate major in risk management. In addition, the university will offer scholarships to women looking to obtain degrees in cybersecurity. Made possible by Strada Education Network, these scholarships will help offset the cost of fall 2020 enrollment in cybersecurity programs.

The term ‘risk management’ applies to the forecasting and evaluation of risks alongside the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact. This new program concentration will include coursework in data privacy, project management, crisis management, and incident recovery.

“Bay Path’s risk management degree is designed for women who enjoy collaborating to proactively identify risks and guard against cyberthreats,” said Beverly Benson, program director for Information Technology and Security at the American Women’s College of Bay Path University. “This degree will enable women to combine valued skills and insights like problem solving, creativity, collaboration, communication and leadership, and essential technical knowledge to develop and implement risk-management strategies for an incredibly exciting and rewarding career.”

With nearly 80% of the organizations surveyed for the 2019 Marsh Microsoft Global Cyber Risk Perception Survey ranking cyber risks as a top-five concern, but only 11% feeling adequately prepared to assess and address those threats, the need for risk managers in the cybersecurity sphere is more important than ever. Within those responding organizations, the majority of board members and senior executives responsible for their organization’s cyber risk management reported that they had less than a day in the last year to spend focused on cyber risk issues.

“In time, with training and experience, high-paying jobs in cybersecurity are available, especially for women,” Benson said. “Bay Path is working to ensure women students get desirable internships in cybersecurity to close the experience gap and position them for better starting salaries.”

For more information on Bay Path’s undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity programs, including focuses in risk management, digital forensics and incident response, and information assurance, visit www.baypath.edu.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University is joining a growing movement that uses storytelling to strengthen the connection between the clinical and emotional facets of healthcare with the launch of a certificate in Narrative Medicine, offered through its master’s in Creative Nonfiction program.

Through reflections on the giving and receiving of treatment; interactions with practitioners, patients, and agencies; and the journey of illness and recovery, the medical community has embraced the sharing of stories as a way to bring a depth of humanity to what’s so often experienced as an impersonal transaction.

“This new offering draws on the most recent research into the connections between medicine, the humanities, and literature,” said Suzanne Strempek-Shea, faculty member in Bay Path’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction program and author of the cancer memoir Songs from a Lead-Lined Room. “Students will not only develop empathy but also build skills in creative writing, critical analysis of literature, workshop design, teaching and facilitating, and active listening that can be applied to patient/client settings, and beyond.”

Coursework will focus on coping with illness and trauma and explore how inequities in access to medical care and exposure to trauma influence the experiences and outcomes for people of color, women, poor people, and immigrants and undocumented residents, in addition to other marginalized groups.

An internship will give students the opportunity to apply creative and critical thinking, people skills, flexibility, and communications skills in a real-world setting, while contributing meaningfully to their communities.

Launching in January 2021, the certificate in Narrative Medicine will require no academic prerequisites, and will be available to a wide array of professionals within the healthcare field: physicians and physician assistants, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, psychologists, and trauma and addiction specialists, as well as to writers with a personal illness or trauma story. The certificate courses will also be available to MFA students as a specialized track within Bay Path’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction, currently the only MFA in the country with a Narrative Medicine certificate option.

“We find that a significant number of students in our MFA in Creative Nonfiction — many with backgrounds in social work, nursing, teaching, and other related fields — are interested in writing narratives based on medical, physical, and psychological trauma,” said MFA Director Leanna James Blackwell. “Whether it be healing from cancer, recovering from addictions, surviving abuse, healing from grief, or reckoning with the real-world costs of navigating the world as a woman, person of color, and/or member of the LGBTQ community, they have important stories to tell. In addition to helping these students tell their stories, the program prepares them to pursue post-graduate careers as teachers and writing workshop leaders, who are specifically qualified to help others wanting tell their own healing stories.”

On June 1, Bay Path will offer a glimpse into the power of medical storytelling at a free online discussion, webinar, and Q & A session with Strempek-Shea and Meredith O’Brien, MFA graduate and author of the new medical memoir Uncomfortably Numb, which details her multiple sclerosis diagnosis and her struggle to maintain her life as a journalist, teacher, and mother. For more information about the event, click here.

For more information on the certificate in Narrative Medicine, click here.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — As an onslaught of complex challenges, and the urgency to develop innovative solutions to meet them, promise to reshape higher education, Bay Path University announces the launch of a new master’s program in Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT) this fall.

The fully online program will tap into Bay Path’s long-standing position as a leader in the use of emerging technologies, creative curricula, and learning analytics to train professionals looking to shape the ongoing evolution of higher education by applying technology to the development of innovative, accessible, and impactful learning processes. 

Designed by a broadly representative team of Bay Path faculty and staff, the LDT program was launched to give students a students a deep foundation in the tools and theory of learning design, technology innovation, learning analytics, and higher-education leadership, a foundation on which they can create engaging and innovative learning experiences for all students. Students will also have the opportunity to enroll jointly in Bay Path’s doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Studies (HELOS) and carry out applied, real-world learning design projects.

“While there are hundreds of graduate programs currently preparing individuals for careers in the educational technology field, the Bay Path MS in LDT uniquely pulls together several essential threads that are especially important in today’s environment for reimagining higher education,” said Melissa Morriss-Olson, Bay Path’s outgoing provost and the architect of the HELOS degree.

While the launch comes at a time when the coronavirus has transformed campuses, Bay Path has used technology to pioneer unique teaching and learning formats and offer flexible, dynamic, and personalized educational experiences for 20 years. The university’s diverse student population includes its traditional on-campus undergraduates, online graduate students, and online adult learners obtaining bachelor’s degrees through the American Women’s College. 

“Given Bay Path’s long-standing, successful track record in educating higher education professionals … and in applying innovative learning solutions across the university,” Morriss-Olson said, “it is logical that we should position ourselves as a leader in educating digital learning professionals for this emerging, inter-disciplinary, and in-demand career field.”

To learn more about this program, click here.

COVID-19 Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University and the town of Longmeadow have joined forces to support local emergency responders during the COVID-19 crisis by designating Theinert Hall, on Bay Path’s campus, as a public-safety quarantine center.

The town and the university have forged an agreement allowing local emergency responders who need to self-quarantine the opportunity to do so in Theinert Hall, one of the university’s three residence halls.

John Dearborn, Longmeadow’s fire chief and Emergency Management director, is responsible for coordinating the town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and will oversee management of the center. The town and fire department will have full responsibility for the supervision and maintenance of the facility, and will care for, feed, and monitor the safety and well-being of any first responders who need to be placed in the center.

“This is an important aspect of controlling the spread of this virus in the public-safety community and in the community at large, and Bay Path’s Theinert Hall is uniquely suited for this purpose,” Dearborn said. “We are grateful to Bay Path for their assistance.”

Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency with regard to COVID-19 on March 10. At the same time, Bay Path University informed students who were on spring break to remain home as all classes were being moved to remote learning due to the COVID threat. All Bay Path students will complete their semester through distance learning.

“Our successful partnership with the town of Longmeadow and its emergency responders goes back many years, and we were happy to answer the call when Chief Dearborn reached out,” said Michael Giampietro, vice president for Finance and Administrative Services for Bay Path.

COVID-19 Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced the cancelation of its fourth annual President’s Gala scheduled for Saturday, April 18 at the Sheraton Springfield. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, donors, and friends — and with respect to recommendations from the government and public-health officials as relating to COVID-19 — this action follows CDC guidelines to limit gatherings that could unintentionally put the community at risk.

Bay Path would like to thank all of its sponsors, advertisers, attendees, auction donors, volunteers, students, and staff that have been working on this farewell to Carol and Noel Leary. It also thanks gala chairs Mary and David Bushnell, Laura and Rick Grondin, and Michelle and Peter Wirth, as well as the Sheraton Springfield and all the vendors who have been understanding and accommodating. Bay Path will continue to display sponsor logos on its website, advertisements, and in e-mail newsletters.

Bay Path will be printing the President’s Gala program books as a thank-you to sponsors and supporters; books will be distributed in April as well as made available online. Ad space available in the book and donations for ads are fully tax-deductible. Supporters may choose to advertise their business, send a message to Carol and Noel Leary, or congratulate students on their studies. All funds raised via program book ads support scholarships for deserving Bay Path students.

COVID-19 Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Due to concerns around coronavirus and following guidance from the CDC, WHO, and Massachusetts Department of Public Health regarding large gatherings, Bay Path University has made the decision to postpone this year’s Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC), scheduled for March 27 at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, to April 9, 2021.

Full refunds will be processed by Eventbrite within 30 business days.

The WLC is the region’s premier women’s leadership event for professional and personal networking. For 24 years, it has assembled a community of women and men for professional development, to honor each other’s experiences, and celebrate each other’s aspirations.

Although Bay Path cannot guarantee the exact speakers at next April’s conference, organizers are doing everything possible to mirror this year’s line-up. “We can promise an amazing conference in line with the delivery of the past 24 events,” the university noted in a statement.

“Although we are deeply disappointed to make this decision, the health, wellness, and safety of our over 2,000 attendees are our number-one priority,” it went on. “We were so looking forward to being with you on the 27th of March.  We hope you will be excited to join us for the rescheduled event.”

Participants who have questions concerning the Women’s Leadership Conference should e-mail [email protected].

Daily News HCN News & Notes

LONGMEADOW — The Bay Path University board of trustees announced today that Sandra Doran has been selected by unanimous vote to become the sixth president of Bay Path effective June 30. She will succeed Carol Leary, who retires in June following her 25-year presidency of Bay Path.

Doran’s appointment is the culmination of a comprehensive, 10-month, national search process to recruit, in board chair Jonathan Besse’s words, “the candidate whose experience, energy, and vision will build on the mission-driven and innovative legacy of Bay Path and propel our university into the future.”

“Sandy Doran is a charismatic leader who cares deeply about women’s education and is passionate about access to education and student success,” Besse said. “She has an impressive and broad background in a variety of complex organizations, all of which flourished greatly under her leadership.”

Doran is currently president of Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, N.C.   As president, she led an inclusive and aggressive strategic planning process that resulted in a transformation of the college as evidenced by unprecedented growth in enrollment and fundraising.

 “I am humbled by the trust the board has placed in me to continue the spirit of innovation here at Bay Path,” Doran said.  “The visionary nature of President Leary is inspiring and unprecedented in higher education, and I look forward to working with the Bay Path faculty and staff to build on her legacy. Serving our students, and providing them with a superior learning experience, gives us all great joy. I look forward to engaging with all members of our community, students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and our business and philanthropic partners.”

Doran holds a juris doctor degree from the Syracuse University College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Methodist University.

Before serving at Salem, she was CEO at Castle Point Learning Systems (CPLS), a company that develops innovative teaching and learning technologies incorporating artificial intelligence and adaptive learning algorithms to provide better student outcomes in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Prior to her position at CPLS, she was president of the American College of Education in Indianapolis, where she grew the organization into the fifth-largest graduate school of education in the country, serving more than 5,000 adult and non-traditional students.

Her professional experience also includes positions at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey as an entrepreneur-in-residence, as well as at the New England Board of Higher Education as national policy director. Early in her legal career, she transitioned into higher education, joining Lesley University in Cambridge in 2004 as chief of staff, vice president, and general counsel.

Doran currently serves as chair of the board for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation and on the board of the Online Learning Consortium. She was named the Triad Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO, and Power Player of 2019.

According to Patricia Pierce, immediate past chair of Bay Path University and co-chair, along with Besse, of the presidential search committee, Doran’s involvement with national organizations and her entrepreneurial leadership give her a first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by higher education. “Sandy is drawn to Bay Path for all the right reasons, and she is the right candidate to forge an exciting and leading-edge strategy for the university’s future.”

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University’s fourth annual President’s Gala will take place on Saturday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. While the event will continue its tradition of raising funds for student scholarships, it will also celebrate the legacy of Carol Leary, who will retire in June after 25 years as Bay Path president.

The gala will feature a tribute to Leary and her husband Noel, silent and live auctions, dinner, and dancing with live entertainment. The evening will also tell the story of the university’s mission — empowering undergraduate women and graduate women and men to flourish in a constantly changing world. Last year’s event netted more than $360,000 in support of student scholarships. 

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to raise funds again this year for student scholarships while celebrating the legacy of Dr. Carol Leary and Noel. The Learys have been instrumental to Bay Path and the Western Mass. community over the last 25 years,” said Allison Gearing-Kalill, Bay Path University’s vice president for Development and Planned Giving. “The gala provides an opportunity to bring together businesses, community partners, alumni, and friends of Bay Path who understand the obstacles our students face today.”

Mary and David Bushnell, Laura and Rick Grondin, and Michelle and Peter Wirth are the gala’s honorary chairs. The platinum sponsor is MassMutual. Gold sponsors include Advance Manufacturing Co. Inc., Hannoush Jewelers, Health New England, Melinda and K. Francis Lee, PeoplesBank, and Powerstation Events. Drew and Lauren Davis are the entertainment sponsors.

The President’s Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by a seated dinner at 7:30 p.m. The tribute will start at 8:30 p.m., and at 9 p.m., guests will be invited to dance the night away. To learn more about the gala, including sponsorships, purchasing tickets, and donating to or participating in the auction, visit www.baypath.edu/gala or contact Meg Morrill at (413) 565-1396 or [email protected].  

For those who are not able to attend, but would like to support Leary’s 25th and final year as president, Bay Path University announced the relaunch of the Carol A. Leary Endowed Scholarship Fund for First-Generation College Students. The fund, which was initially established in 2005 in honor of Leary’s 10th anniversary as Bay Path’s president, is just as relevant today as Bay Path continues to welcome first-generation students into the community. Since its induction, Bay Path has awarded this scholarship to more than 100 women attending college as first-generation students. To learn more about the fund, visit baypath.edu/leary.