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CHICOPEE — The Institute for Theology and Pastoral Studies (ITPS) at College of Our Lady of the Elms will present the Sister Mary Dooley Lecture on Dec. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. 

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the free event will be held virtually for the general public. Students, faculty, and staff at Elms College are invited to attend in-person. 

The event will feature a keynote speech by Bradley Harmon, executive director of Mission Integration at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, part of the Trinity Health of New England healthcare system. 

Harmon’s speech is titled The Hallowed Halls of Our Hospitals: Finding Grace and Community During the Pandemic. This presentation will discuss the challenges to the human spirit that were faced by front-line healthcare workers during the pandemic and then explore various responses that offer signs of grace and hope.

“I look forward to hearing Mr. Harmon’s lecture, which aims to address the many spiritual, emotional, and psychological challenges posed to healthcare workers and their patients during the ongoing pandemic,” said Michael McGravey, Ph.D, assistant professor of Religious Studies at Elms College and director of the ITPS.  

The Institute for Theology and Pastoral Studies furthers the mission of Elms College by providing programs, like the Sister Mary Dooley Lecture, that serve the Elms community, the Diocese of Springfield, and the Western Massachusetts region. 

Harmon has been the executive director of Mission Integration at Mercy Medical Center for four years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Missouri State University, and holds a masters of divinity in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. 

To attend the event via Zoom, please register at: https://www.elms.edu/events/sister-mary-dooley-lecture/

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The Elms College board of trustees appointed three regional leaders — Diane Brunelle, Dennis Duquette, and Mark O’Connell — to serve on the board.

“I am delighted to welcome Diane, Dennis, and Mark to the Elms community as they begin their terms on the Elms College board of trustees,” said Harry Dumay, president of the college. “Each brings unique perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds that will complement the talent on our board. Their guidance and support will be important as we advance the mission and vision of Elms, and I look forward to working with each of them.”

Brunelle, a 1984 alumna, is president of the Elms College Alumni Assoc. and has been a member of the association since 2012. She is a retired nurse executive who has more than 30 years of experience serving in leadership positions at acute healthcare facilities in both Massachusetts and Vermont, including Shriners Hospital for Children, Baystate Health, Holyoke Medical Center, and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. She has served on numerous boards throughout her career and was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Elms in 2013. Brunelle was a member of the college’s first RN-to-BSN class. She also received her master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Massachusetts and is a graduate of the Wharton Nursing Leaders Program through the Wharton School and Leonard David School of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Duquette is head of Community Responsibility for MassMutual in Springfield and president and CEO of the MassMutual Foundation. He and his team are responsible for setting corporate community-relations strategy development and driving community investments, philanthropy, and community-impact program management for the firm nationally. Duquette has worked in financial services for 40 years; he began his career at MassMutual just out of college and then worked for Fidelity Investments in Boston for 27 years. He returned to MassMutual in his current role in 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, graduating cum laude with a double major in communications and English. He earned a master’s degree in administrative studies, also from Boston College, and later earned a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Jump$tart Coalition in Washington, D.C. as well as the community and government relations committee for the Springfield Museums.

O’Connell is a principal in Wolf & Company’s assurance group and is the firm’s president and CEO, responsible for leading Wolf’s overall strategic direction. He has more than 40 years of experience providing audit and financial reporting services to both privately held and publicly traded financial institutions, as well as holding companies (including community banks and mortgage banking institutions) across New England. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University and is a former board member and board president with the Children’s Study Home in Springfield.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture (CERC) at Elms College will hold its inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Culture on Wednesday, Nov. 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. Due to COVID-19 protocols, this event will be held virtually via Zoom.

The event will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Thea James, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine, where she is also president of the Boston Medical and Dental staff, vice president of mission, and associate chief medical officer.

“On behalf of the St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture, I am very pleased and honored that Dr. James will deliver the keynote speech at the inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Culture,” said Peter DePergola II, executive director of CERC, Shaughness Family Chair for the Study of the Humanities, and associate professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Elms.

According to DePergola, James will address the racial, ethnic, and/or cultural inequalities illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic as they pertain to scarce resource allocation and equitable healthcare delivery.

The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture was launched in October 2020 to increase engagement and discourse on the most pressing and complex questions related to ethics, religion, and culture in today’s society, and to lead the regional community in thoughtful, engaging dialogue.

“Elms College has a history of uniting individuals together in the common pursuit of addressing fundamental ethical, religious, and cultural issues. This lecture aligns well with Elms’ focus on academic discourse that dates back to the college’s founding in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield,” DePergola said.

James’ passion is in public health, both domestically and globally. She is director of the Boston Medical Center site of the Massachusetts Violence Intervention Advocacy Program and a supervising medical officer on the Boston Disaster Medical Assistance Team under the Department of Health and Human Services, which has responded to several disasters in the U.S. and across the globe.

James has been part of the emergency response to 9/11 in New York City, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, the earthquake in Iran in 2003, and the earthquake in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti in 2010.

To register, click here. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants prior to the lecture.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College improved its ranking on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 list of Best Regional Universities (North). The college moved to number 85 out of 171 other northern regional colleges and universities, up from number 93 in 2021.

“I am delighted that Elms College is now ranked on three lists from U.S. News & World Report: Best Regional Universities (North), Undergraduate Nursing Programs, and Top Performers on Social Mobility (North),” Elms College President Harry Dumay said. “This strong showing is a testament to our dedicated faculty and the top-notch education we provide to our students.”

U.S. News & World Report created a new list for 2022, Undergraduate Nursing Programs, and the Elms College School of Nursing ranked in the top 41% of nursing schools across the country, ranking number 288 out of 694 schools. Elms was the second-ranked nursing school from Western Mass. on the list, and overall, it was the 10th-ranked nursing school from Massachusetts.

Elms College continued its strong presence on the list of 2022 Top Performers on Social Mobility (North), ranking number 11 of 86 northern regional colleges and universities. This category ranks schools for enrolling and graduating large proportions of students who have received federal Pell Grants.

U.S. News ranks Elms College as a university because of changes to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s basic classification system and the number of graduate programs Elms offers. The Carnegie categories are the accepted standard in U.S. higher education.

The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings are designed to help students and their families find colleges that offer the best academic value for their money. The list provides at-a-glance breakdowns of each institution and ranks them based on indicators of excellence such as value and first-year student-retention rate.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the retirement of Kathleen Scoble, dean of the college’s School of Nursing, effective Sept. 10. The college has been conducting a national search for Scoble’s successor since she notified the college of her retirement this past January.

In accepting Scoble’s retirement, Harry Dumay, president of Elms College, said, “on behalf of the entire Elms community — students, faculty, alumni, and staff — I am grateful for everything Kathleen has accomplished in her 18 years at the college and for leading the Elms School of Nursing through nearly two decades of tremendous growth.”

When Scoble joined Elms College in 2003, the Division of Nursing consisted of one baccalaureate program with 100 students. In the 2020-21 academic year, there were nearly 500 nursing students enrolled in the 12 programs that now comprise the School of Nursing.

“Another example of Kathleen’s legacy is the fact that the School of Nursing is now consistently ranked among the top 10 nursing schools in the state,” Dumay said. “Having a top-ranked program is something everyone at Elms can be proud of, and we can thank Kathleen for making this happen.”

According to Walter Breau, vice president of Academic Affairs, Scoble had the strategic vision to establish several forward-looking programs, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Master of Science in Nursing programs, as well as the Accelerated Second Degree program.

“Over the 18 years that I have known Kathleen, she has made every decision with her nursing students top of mind by developing new, innovative nursing programs both here and abroad,” Breau said.

In March 2019, Scoble, Dumay, and Breau began a unique partnership with the Episcopalian University of Haiti to offer a continuing-education certificate program that prepares the future Haitian nursing workforce to deliver competent, patient-centered care within their communities.

In recognition of her stewardship of the School of Nursing, Scoble has been named dean emerita of the School of Nursing, becoming the first Elms College dean to receive this distinguished title.

The college has also created the Kathleen B. Scoble Leadership in Nursing Award, which will be presented each year to the nursing student who best exemplifies the ideals of servant leadership, as demonstrated by Scoble, through academic excellence and the individual’s impact on the School of Nursing, Elms College, and the greater community.

On Sept. 13, Teresa Kuta Reske will become interim dean of the School of Nursing and remain in that role until a new dean is hired. Reske is currently the associate dean of Graduate and Doctoral Studies for the School of Nursing and director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Scoble has more than 30 years of experience in academic, administrative, and consultant roles. Prior to Elms, she held faculty appointments at Teachers College, Columbia University, and UMass Boston, as well as several administrative positions in acute-care organizations ranging from manager to chief nurse executive.

She has held leadership positions at several Massachusetts nursing associations and, in 2014, became the first nurse to serve on Baystate Health’s board of trustees. Internationally, She has consulted for the INHL and Partners Healthcare International (formerly Partners Harvard Medical International) since 1999. She also has had programmatic experience in multiple countries, including Colombia, Mexico, India, China, Dubai, and Turkey.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced it will offer students a full on-campus living and learning experience for the fall 2021 semester.

“The college successfully had students living and taking classes safely on campus at the height of the pandemic, and due to our ElmsSafe health protocols, we completed the 2020-21 academic year that way,” Elms College President Harry Dumay said. “With the vaccine readily available and state COVID restrictions easing, I feel confident that we can provide students with an on-campus experience that includes residence halls at pre-pandemic capacities, on-campus classes, competitive sports, and more.”

Plans are now underway to also ensure that the dining hall is fully operational and students will be allowed to gather on campus for various activities and clubs.

“Our top priority has always been the health and safety of the entire Elms community — students, faculty, and staff — and it is because of their diligence and hard work over the past year that we are able to make this important decision,” Dumay added.

The college is requiring all students who are planning to attend classes in person and those who will reside in residence halls to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination prior to the start of the fall semester. Students whose coursework is entirely online and are not required to be on campus are exempt from this requirement.

The decision was made based on guidance provided by the Massachusetts Higher Education Testing Group, as well as discussions with faculty and staff across the Elms College campus. The Massachusetts Higher Education Testing Group has found that vaccination levels above 80% are essential — and levels above 90% will be most effective — in controlling infections on residential campuses.

Since the college will be fully open in the fall semester, Elms is also requiring that all staff and faculty get a COVID-19 vaccination before returning to campus.

“We made the decision to require everyone on campus to be fully inoculated in order to facilitate a vibrant and supportive learning environment that is as close to normal as possible,” Dumay said. “That is what makes the educational experience at Elms so special.”

To help facilitate vaccinations, the college scheduled a vaccination clinic on June 15 as part of its COVID vaccination partnership with Big Y supermarkets.

Elms is awaiting confirmation by the Great Northeast Athletic Conference and the NCAA regarding the announcement of the fall sports schedule.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College will host its fourth annual Executive Leadership Breakfast on Friday, June 11 at 7:30 a.m. The program will begin at 8 a.m.

Attendance in person is by invitation only, and attendees will adhere to ElmsSafe protocols. To see the livestream of the event, visit form.jotform.com/211195021547146.

The keynote speaker at the breakfast will be Baystate Health President and CEO Dr. Mark Keroack, whose talk is titled “The New Normal: What Will It Be and When Will It Be Here?”

“The entire nation is experiencing this transition to the new normal as more and more of the COVID restrictions are released. Given his leadership at the state level in the effort to fight the pandemic, Dr. Mark Keroack is perfectly placed to help Western Massachusetts leaders discern what we can expect post-pandemic,” said Harry Dumay, president of Elms College.

Under Keroack’s leadership, Baystate Health has expanded the reach and variety of its clinical services, incorporating two new community hospitals. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Medical School and received his master’s degree in public health from Boston University. Keroack serves on several local boards focused on improving quality of life in his native Springfield and across Western Mass., as well as on several state and national boards.

The Executive Leadership Breakfast is an annual event featuring talks by the region’s leaders on topics of relevance to area businesses and the economy of Western Mass. Sponsors of the June 11 event include Westfield Bank, Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, O’Connell Oil Associates, Baystate Health, Big Y, Marois Construction, Health New England, Freedom Credit Union, the O’Connell Companies, Aramark, Collins Electric Co., Fuss & O’Neill, Discount Office Furniture, Polish National Credit Union, and Teddy Bear Pools & Spas.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced plans to hold an in-person celebration for its 90th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the ceremony itself will be limited to graduates only and is not open to the public. Each graduate will be allowed to have one car containing up to four guests located in specific parking areas separate from where the commencement will be held. To keep foot traffic to a minimum, no other guests will be allowed on campus. Social-distancing guidelines will be enforced, and everyone must wear a mask.

The procession will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Keating Quadrangle, and the program will begin at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be livestreamed on the college’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/elmscollege, for those watching from their cars or from home.

“We are delighted to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of the class of 2021 and hold the 90th commencement ceremony in person on our campus grounds,” said Harry Dumay, president of Elms College.

This year’s commencement speaker is Haitian-American novelist and short story writer Edwidge Danticat, who will deliver her address remotely from her home in Miami. She has been praised for her spare, emotionally evocative prose and for highlighting the stories of the Haitian diaspora. Her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, which deals with questions of racial, linguistic, and gender identity in interconnected ways, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

The 90th commencement ceremonies will also include the awarding of an honorary degree to Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi, a 2013 graduate of the Elms College MBA program.

Additional events are being planned during the week of May 10 to celebrate the class of 2021. These events will follow appropriate safety guidelines and are not open to the public. For more details on Elms College’s commencement activities, visit commencement.elms.edu.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the appointment of two staff members: Charlene Holmes, director of Diversity and Engagement; and Jennifer Leon, director of Residence Life.

Charlene Holmes

Holmes has a decade of experience in student engagement, student support, and programmatic development to ensure college access and success for under-represented groups. She has spent most of her career working with nonprofit organizations serving low-income, first-generation student athletes achieving post-secondary success, such as the East Harlem Tutorial Program, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and Door-A Center for Alternatives.

Most recently, she was president and CEO of Imana Borena in New York, where she oversaw the organization’s executive leadership programs, including diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health science from Mercy College and a master’s degree of professional studies in sports management from St. John’s University.

Jennifer Leon

Leon has six years of experience in higher education, serving in a variety of roles within student affairs, residential life, student activities, orientation, and parent programs. Most recently, she was assistant director of student life at SUNY Adirondack and was responsible for student-engagement opportunities, orientation, and leadership programming.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY Oneonta and a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference announced that the Blazers’ GNAC core membership will begin this fall with the upcoming 2021-22 academic year.

Last October, both the institution and the league office issued a joint announcement indicating Elms would join the GNAC with the 2022-23 academic year; however, that timeline has since been adjusted.

Elms had been a member of the New England College Conference since 2007, claiming 19 league championships while leading the way in All-Academic selections.

“It was the right time to make the move,” said Elms College Director of Athletics Michael Theulen. “We are looking forward to having all of our varsity sport programs in the same league, and to competing with other institutions so closely aligned with Elms’s mission, core values, and dedication to putting equal importance on both academic integrity and athletic opportunity.”

The Blazers’ swimming and diving programs have been associate members of GNAC since 2006, last competing at the 2020 GNAC championships just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Now all 17 sport programs will compete in the same conference, including baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, as well as men’s and women’s volleyball.

“The GNAC is a natural fit for Elms College, as seven other private Catholic colleges are currently among its member institutions,” said Elms College President Harry Dumay. “Also, our student athletes have competed with GNAC institutions in various sports both in  and out of conference, and already feel at home with its level of competitiveness, sportspersonship, and camaraderie.”

GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh, the conference office, and current members are working diligently to make scheduling adjustments to accommodate the Blazers’ programs, as Elms will now begin its GNAC journey this fall with men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s golf, and women’s volleyball.

“We are most pleased at the opportunity to offer a first-class student-athlete experience for Elms’ programs beginning this fall,” Walsh said.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College will hold its second Rev. Hugh Crean Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, April 20 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. This lecture is presented by the St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture at Elms College, and, due to COVID-19 protocols, this event will be held virtually via Zoom.

The featured speaker will be David O’Brien, professor emeritus and Loyola professor of Roman Catholic Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, where he has been a faculty member since 1969. His talk is titled “Reflections on the Year of St. Joseph,” and he will address the significance of St. Joseph as patron of the church during the Year of St. Joseph.

This distinguished lecture series was established in 2019 to honor the late Rev. Hugh Crean, who was a professor of Religious Studies at Elms College from 1973 to 1979. He was a respected pastor and theologian who dedicated his life to pastoral care, spiritual leadership, and education at Elms and with the Diocese of Springfield.

Each year, a national leader in theology, ethics, or philosophy is invited to lecture on a topic that highlights the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Last year’s lecture was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An historian of American Catholicism, O’Brien specializes in Catholic social and political thought and religion and politics. He is the author of several books, including The Renewal of American Catholicism, Public Catholicism: The American Church and Public Life, and From the Heart of the American Church: Catholic Higher Education and American Culture. He also was co-editor of Catholic Social Thought: The Documentary Heritage.

The free event is open to the public. Visit www.elms.edu/crean to register. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants prior to the lecture.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The Office of Continuing Education at Elms College will host a week-long virtual Instant Accept Week event with students from seven area community colleges on April 6-10.

Elms College currently offers bachelor’s-degree completion programs at the following regional community colleges: Berkshire Community College (social work), Greenfield Community College (social work), Holyoke Community College (accounting, healthcare management, management and marketing, psychology), Mount Wachusett Community College (psychology), Quinsigamond Community College (RN to BSN), Springfield Technical Community College (computer information technology and security, computer science, social work), and Asnuntuck Community College (social work). Online programs include computer science, computer information technology and security, healthcare management, RN to BSN, and speech-language pathology assistant.

Students interested in being instantly accepted into one of these bachelor’s-degree completion programs are encouraged to register by clicking here.

From April 6 to April 9, individual virtual sessions will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. via Zoom. On April 10, individual virtual Zoom sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Elms College representatives will discuss program details, review official transcripts, and offer instant acceptance to qualified applicants.

For more information regarding the bachelor’s-degree completion programs at Elms, click here.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture (CERC) at Elms College will hold its inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics on Wednesday, March 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. Due to COVID-19 protocols, this event will be held virtually via Zoom.

The highlight of the event will be the keynote speech by the Rev. James Keenan, vice provost for Global Engagement, Canisius professor of theology, and director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College.

The title of Keenan’s lecture is “Finding God in the Twin Pandemics: Theological Reflections on the Role of the University in the Age of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.”

“The inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics will examine the role that colleges and universities play in healing the various infections — viral and social alike — affecting the health and dignity of the communities they serve,” said Peter DePergola II, executive director of the CERC and Shaughness Family chair for the Study of the Humanities at Elms.

The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture was launched in October 2020 to increase engagement and discourse on the most pressing and complex questions related to ethics, religion, and culture in today’s society, and to lead the regional community in thoughtful, engaging dialogue.

“Since its founding in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, Elms College has served as a scholastic clearinghouse that unites individuals together in the common pursuit of addressing fundamental ethical, religious, and cultural issues related to identity, responsibility, and meaning,” DePergola said.

A Jesuit priest since 1982, Keenan received a licentiate and a doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has edited or written 25 books and published more than 400 essays, articles, and reviews. Currently, he is writing another book, A Brief History of Catholic Ethics.

This free event is open to the public. Visit www.elms.edu/events/cerc-lecture to register. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants prior to the lecture.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Christina Royal

Christina Royal

Yves Salomon-Fernández

Yves Salomon-Fernández

Harry Dumay

Harry Dumay

Three local college presidents are among only 13 nationwide to be recognized last week for leadership in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion by the Assoc. of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the education-technology company Cengage.

Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal, Greenfield Community College President Yves Salomon-Fernández, and Elms College President Harry Dumay were among that select group of 13 to receive the AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship, which recognizes college and university presidents whose outstanding leadership to advance liberal education has resulted in reduced equity gaps, improved inclusion and belonging for minority students, and reformed hiring practices to promote greater diversity.

“Growing up as a first-generation, low-income, multi-racial college student, I understand some of the challenges today’s students face and the importance of having an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive,” said Royal, who was also honored last week by BusinessWest as one of the 2020 Women of Impact. “These are very important issues to me personally and professionally, as well as to our college community, and I’m honored to receive this recognition on behalf of HCC.”

The recipients were announced on Jan. 22 at the AAC&U Presidents’ Trust Symposium, part of the organization’s virtual annual meeting. The symposium brings together higher-education leaders from all institutional types to explore the most pressing issues facing colleges and universities and to share strategies for success.

“I am honored by this recognition, and I am most proud of the work that my colleagues and I are engaged in at Greenfield Community College with and for our local communities,” Salomon-Fernández said. “We know that a more just and equitable world is most conducive to citizenship and democracy.”

The other recipients of the 2021 AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship are Sandra Boham, president of Salish Kootenai College in Montana; Roslyn Clark Artis, president of Benedict College in South Carolina; Karrie Dixon, president of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina; Alicia Harvey-Smith, president of Pittsburgh Technical College in Pennsylvania; Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in Louisiana; Valerie Roberson, president of Roxbury Community College in Massachusetts; Ron Rochon, president of University of Southern Indiana; Ivy Taylor, president of Rust College in Mississippi; Dwaun Warmack, president of Claflin University in South Carolina; and David Yarlott Jr., president of Little Big Horn College in Montana.

“We are so excited to be able to support these amazing higher-ed leaders who are making a real difference by reducing inequities and increasing access to education. At Cengage, we believe learning transforms lives, and the work of these leaders is so critical in giving students the opportunity to better their lives and in creating an educated, informed, and just society.”

Four Massachusetts presidents made the cut, two more than any other state.

“AAC&U is proud to recognize and support these exceptional leaders in their efforts to advance equity and quality as hallmarks of a liberal education across a diverse range of campuses and student populations,” AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella said.

The AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship recognizes higher-education leaders who support and advance quality, equity, and student success in undergraduate education. This includes improving degree completion or transfer for students from underrepresented groups; closing equity gaps in student success; improving diversity in hiring practices and creating more equitable hiring policies; and increasing the sense of belonging, well-being, and inclusion among students from historically underserved populations (including racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, and LGBTQIA students).

“We are so excited to be able to support these amazing higher-ed leaders who are making a real difference by reducing inequities and increasing access to education,” said Fernando Bleichmar, executive vice president and general manager for U.S. Higher Education at Cengage. “At Cengage, we believe learning transforms lives, and the work of these leaders is so critical in giving students the opportunity to better their lives and in creating an educated, informed, and just society.”

In recognition of their accomplishments, the AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship recipients will each receive a one-year, complimentary AAC&U campus membership and a one-year complimentary membership in the AAC&U Presidents’ Trust, a diverse network of CEOs who are committed to advancing the vision, values, and practices that connect liberal education with the needs of an increasingly diverse student body, a global workforce, and thriving communities. The trust provides members with access to dedicated resources and events as well as exclusive opportunities to promote their thought leadership.

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CHICOPEE — As it concludes its on-campus plan for the fall semester, Elms College has announced that the spring 2021 semester will continue to follow the hybrid ElmsFlex model.

Due to the campus community’s successful efforts under the ElmsSafe health and safety protocols, the college was able to complete the in-person portion of the fall semester as planned, with students on campus until the Thanksgiving break. The remainder of the fall semester will be taught remotely.

“I continue to be inspired by and grateful for the way our students, faculty, and staff have come together to protect each other both inside and outside of the classroom since we reopened our campus in August,” said Harry Dumay, president of Elms College. “All the measures included in our ElmsSafe plan — wearing masks, social distancing, practicing enhanced hygiene, testing, contact tracing, quarantining and isolating as needed — have allowed us to foster a vibrant and nurturing learning environment for students that will extend into the spring 2021 semester.”

Spring classes, which will start on Jan. 26 and end on May 7, will continue to be taught in the hybrid ElmsFlex model, which gives students the option of attending sessions in the classroom, synchronously online, or a combination of both. Under this model, students can move between the options based on their personal preferences and individual circumstances in order to continue their coursework.

Residence halls will be open with single-room assignments, and students will receive designated days in January to return to, or move into, their on-campus rooms.

COVID-19 testing will be required for all students, faculty, and staff prior to being allowed back on campus in January. Also, throughout the semester, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors coming to campus will be required to complete a daily online health survey.

Elms College continues to closely monitor and follow guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Gov. Charlie Baker’s mandates.

Out of an abundance of caution, classes will be held on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 15, and there will be no spring break. Additionally, all domestic and international travel involving study abroad, missions, or service trips has been cancelled. The college is awaiting determinations by the New England Collegiate Conference and the NCAA as to whether competitive sports will be held in the spring.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The Elms College Graduate Admission Office will hold virtual open houses on the following dates: Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. — information on graduate programs in education (MED/MAT); and Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 from 6 to 7 p.m. — information session about all Elms College graduate programs.

These sessions will allow prospective students to meet with program directors, alumni, and graduate admission counselors. Elms College has 30 graduate, post-graduate, and certificate programs offered in a variety of models, including hybrid, online, and on campus.

Register for a session at www.elms.edu/graduate-studies/visit. If you cannot attend the open house and are interested in information or applying, e-mail [email protected], call (413) 265-2456, or visit www.elms.edu/grad.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — On Wednesday, Nov. 4, Elms College will hold its annual fall Career & Internship Fair as a virtual event from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Due to the pandemic, Elms College’s Career Services Department is partnering with Career Fair Plus to host the virtual career fair, which will create a user-friendly experience for students and employers.

“Our fall 2020 virtual Career & Internship Fair will connect area employers with talented students from all majors who are seeking employment and internship opportunities,” said Justin Monell, director of Career Services at Elms.

According to Monell, registered employers will have the ability to virtually screen candidates, receive electronic résumés, and schedule interviews with students. Likewise, registered students can review the employment and internship offerings from area companies and schedule screening interviews.

So far, 30 companies have signed up to participate in the virtual career fair, including Baystate Health, Hartford Healthcare, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, Springfield Museums, and Springfield Public Schools, just to name a few.

“This virtual career fair has generated a lot of interest around campus, and I have received several requests from students for help updating their résumés and cover letters,” Monell said.

Area companies interested in registering for the virtual Career & Internship Fair can contact Monell at [email protected] or (413) 265-2272.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the appointment of Peter DePergola II, associate professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, as executive director of the newly created St. John Paul II Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture (CERC).

“I look forward to working with Dr. DePergola, an internationally recognized bioethicist, as he leads the St. John Paul II Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture,” said Elms College President Harry Dumay. “In his career, Peter has been at the forefront of bioethics in the region, having developed ethical guidelines for treating COVID-19 patients at both Baystate Health and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at large.”

DePergola is also associate professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the director of the Bioethics and Medical Humanities program at Elms.

CERC was launched on Oct. 13 to increase engagement and discourse on the most pressing and complex questions related to ethics, religion, and culture in today’s society, and to lead the regional community in thoughtful, engaging dialogue. A $1 million naming gift from an anonymous donor and two six-figure contributions from Carolyn Jacobs, and B. John (Jack) and Colette Dill and family helped the college establish the center.

In addition to his appointment as CERC executive director, DePergola has been named the Shaughness Family Chair for the Study of the Humanities, which is the college’s only endowed chair. The Shaughness Family Chair was funded in 1994 by the late L. Stella Shaughness, and the endowment income is to be used to promote academic excellence by supporting teaching, publishing, and/or research in the humanities.

“I am delighted to be leading the CERC and look forward to creating innovative programming that will explore how fundamental ethical, religious, and cultural issues challenge and shape our traditions and norms,” DePergola said. “I am also honored to be appointed as the Shaughness Family Chair for the Study of the Humanities, a role in which I will work tirelessly to bring the indispensable perspective of the humanities to bear on how medicine should recognize, diagnose, treat, support, and protect those who are most vulnerable in society.”

At Baystate Health, DePergola serves as chief ethics officer, senior director of Clinical Ethics, chief of the Ethics Consultation Service, and chair of the ethics advisory committee. He also holds secondary academic and research appointments at UMass Medical School, Sacred Heart University, the American Academy of Neurology, and TEDMED.

A professional member of several international academic societies and associations, DePergola earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies at Elms College, his MTS in ethics at Boston College, and his Ph.D. in healthcare ethics at Duquesne University. He completed his residency in neuroethics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, his fellowship in neuropsychiatric ethics at Tufts University School of Medicine, and his advanced training in neurothanatological ethics at Harvard Medical School.

A video of the official launch ceremony for the St. John Paul II Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture will be available starting Friday, Oct. 30 on the college’s YouTube channel and social-media accounts.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the creation of the St. John Paul II Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture (CERC), thanks to the generous support of three foundational donors. A seven-figure naming gift from an anonymous donor and two six-figure contributions, from Carolyn Jacobs and B. John and Collette Dill and family, will help the college launch the center.

The CERC will examine the most pressing and complex questions related to ethics, religion, and culture in today’s society and lead the regional community in thoughtful, engaging discourse.

“We are very excited and profoundly grateful to the anonymous donor, as well as to Dr. Carolyn Jacobs and the Dill family, for their foundational support of the St. John Paul II Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture,” said Elms College President Harry Dumay. “As a Catholic college, Elms has served as a place where thoughtful discourse on topics of faith, ethics, and culture has always been welcome. As an institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, social justice has served as an important lens through which we examine these topics. The CERC connects us more deeply to our liberal-arts core and is a key objective in our Elms Plus strategic plan.”

“The creation of the CERC reflects the college’s goals of training the next generation of ethical leaders, sharing the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition, encouraging interfaith dialogue, and promoting our commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Peter DePergola II, associate professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Elms College and a member of the CERC advisory board.

From an academic perspective, programming for the CERC will focus on the infusion of ethical leadership across the curriculum, the integration of ethics within the healthcare and business fields of study, and the provision of innovative experiential learning opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

“One of the long-term goals of the CERC is to facilitate the creation of master’s and doctoral programs in bioethics and medical humanities, which would make Elms College the only institution in the U.S. to offer a doctoral program in this multi-disciplinary field,” said Walter Breau, vice president of Academic Affairs.

Another goal of the CERC is to develop and produce a quarterly, peer-reviewed research journal that will highlight the interdisciplinary work of the CERC and include scholarly commentary on topics related to ethics, religion and spirituality, health, and culture.

An official launch of the St. John Paul II Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture will take place in late October and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held virtually.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The board of trustees at Elms College has appointed three prominent figures — Kristin Ferriter Hagan, Carolyn Jacobs, and Paul Marchese — to serve on the board.

Hagan graduated from Elms College in 1996, earning her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in psychology. Most recently, she served as director of Development for St. Mary’s Parish School in Westfield. In that position, she was responsible for all major-gift fundraising, grant writing, event planning, and community outreach.

Jacobs is a social-work professor, spiritual director, and was Elms College’s 2017 commencement speaker. She is a dean emerita of the Smith College School of Social Work, where she taught for 35 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State University, her master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University, and her doctorate from the Heller School of Brandeis University, and also received training as a spiritual director from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Mind & Life Institute in Charlottesville, Va. Jacobs previously served on the Elms board of trustees from 2009 to 2018.

Marchese is executive vice president of Business Development and Relationship Management at St. Germain Investment Management and has more than 35 years of experience in private banking, investment management, and financial planning. Prior to his tenure at St. Germain, he was vice president of Business Development for private banking at FleetBoston Financial Corp. He currently serves as vice chair of the board of trustees for both Mercy Medical Center and Mason Wright Foundation. He is a board member of Stanley Park of Westfield, Glenmeadow, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. He also serves on the finance committees of Trinity Health Of New England and Pathlight. Marchese holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University and an MBA in marketing from the Boston College Carroll School of Management.

“The new members bring a wide range of perspectives to the board and have experience in higher education, institutional advancement, and financial services,” said Harry Dumay, president of Elms College. “I am pleased to welcome Kristin, Carolyn, and Paul, and I look forward to working with each of them as we advance the mission and vision of the college.”

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the promotion of Teresa Kuta Reske to the position of associate dean of Graduate and Doctoral Studies for the School of Nursing.

“There is no doubt that Teresa, who is well-known throughout the college for her enthusiasm and commitment to students, will brilliantly lead nursing graduate and doctoral studies for continued growth and program improvement,” said Kathleen Scoble, dean of the School of Nursing.

Reske was on the leadership team that developed the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program and has served as director since its inception in the fall of 2014. She will continue to lead the program in this new role.

Among her accomplishments, Reske co-authored a chapter in DNP Education, Practice, and Policy: Redesigning Advanced Practice Roles for the 21st Century (2012) and is a journal reviewer for the Journal of Professional Nursing. In addition, she has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on DNP practice-related topics, patient-experience-related topics, nurse telephone triage, and nursing informatics.

Reske holds a BS in nursing from Saint Anselm College, a MPA from the University of New Haven, an MSN in health systems from Vanderbilt University, and a DNP degree in executive nurse leadership from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College improved its ranking by 30 spots on U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility” in the northern U.S. region.

The list ranks schools for enrolling and graduating large proportions of students who have received federal Pell Grants. Elms College improved its ranking dramatically, moving to seventh among 89 regional universities in the region, up from 37th in 2020.

“This tremendous jump in the social-mobility rankings is an exceptional affirmation of our efforts to make a Catholic liberal-arts education accessible to students from all backgrounds,” Elms College President Harry Dumay said. “It further demonstrates Elms’ commitment to support our students from their first-year seminar all the way to commencement.”

On U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 list of “Best Regional Universities,” Elms College retains its ranking in the top 55% among 176 other colleges and universities in the northern U.S. region.

U.S. News ranks Elms College as a university because of changes to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s basic classification system and the number of graduate programs Elms offers. The Carnegie categories are the accepted standard in U.S. higher education.

The U.S. News “Best Colleges” rankings are designed to help students and their families find colleges that offer the best academic value for their money. The list provides at-a-glance breakdowns of each institution and ranks them based on such indicators of excellence including value and first-year student retention rate. The full rankings are viewable at www.usnews.com/colleges.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the hiring of Justin Monell as director of Career Services. Monell will help ensure that current Elms students are career-ready by providing them resources to help determine their career path, find internships in their field of study, prepare for graduate school, or look for employment. He will also be a resource for alumni seeking assistance with job searches, networking, or planning for a career change.

Throughout his career, Monell has worked in various roles within student affairs, career services, and student success. Most recently, he was assistant director of Career Development at Clark University in Worcester. He has also worked in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of South Florida and the Center for Advising & Student Success at Florida International University.

Monell holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from the University of Connecticut and a master of education degree in student affairs administration from Springfield College.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the appointment of Tyra Good as the college’s first faculty director of the Center for Equity in Urban Education (CEUE).

“I am pleased that Dr. Good, a nationally recognized educator, has joined Elms College to become our first full-time faculty director of the Center for Equity in Urban Education,” said Elms College President Harry Dumay. “In her work experience, she has addressed the persistent issue of learning gaps among students from various socioeconomic, race, and ethnic groups in the Pittsburgh area, and I look forward to working with her to decrease the achievement gap here in Western Massachusetts.”

Good has more than 10 years of experience teaching education, and, most recently, she was assistant professor of Practice in Education at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. In this new position, she is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the college’s efforts to address this issue.

The CEUE was launched in September 2019 to increase the number and diversity of qualified teachers in the Chicopee, Holyoke, and Springfield school systems. In these school systems, the racial and ethnic composition of teachers is not representative of the students. This area also experiences an annual 800-teacher gap across K-12 schools, especially in specific roles such as special education, English-language learners, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Through a partnership with philanthropists, school districts, and charter-school networks, and with a reimagined curriculum, Elms College and Good aim to increase the pipeline of teachers, including teachers of color, who are culturally prepared to inspire the students whom they teach.

“I am elated to be leading the CEUE with students, staff, faculty, school leaders, foundations, and community members, who are also committed to creating educational equity and justice,” Good said. “Through culturally responsive course work and experiential learning experiences, a graduate of the Center for Equity in Urban Education will have expertise in both content and cultural knowledge to teach and lead in an urban setting, as well as within rural and suburban settings.”

Good is the founder and chief academic consultant for GOOD Knowledge Connections and the founder of the Black Educators Network (BEN) of Greater Pittsburgh. The BEN is a strategic team of K-12, higher-education, and community educators working across school-district and community lines to help ensure the academic and personal success of African-American youth from underserved communities.

For her dedication and commitment to diversifying the teaching pipeline and preparing pre-service teachers to work in urban settings, Good has received myriad award recognitions. Most recently, she was awarded a 2019 National Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship through Big Picture Learning and Internationals Network for Public Schools.

Good received her bachelor’s degree in business management from Howard University, a master’s degree in teaching from Chatham University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and evaluation from Duquesne University.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced it has been awarded a $240,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation (DEF) in support of its Experiential Learning Mastering Success (ELMS) – Real World Ready! learning initiative. The grant will be dispersed over the next three years.

“Experiential Learning, through the ELMS – Real World Ready! learning initiative, will provide all of our students with the framework to be career-ready, community-minded graduates,” said Joyce Hampton, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, Strategic & Global Initiatives. The overall goal of the ELMS – Real World Ready! learning initiative is to provide at least one high-impact experiential learning opportunity to every student during their college career.

Experiential learning is one of the five pillars of the college’s 2020-23 strategic plan. Students can participate in internships, research, study-abroad trips, and service learning opportunities.

“In making the award, the trustees of the Davis Educational Foundation recognized the merits of the proposed project, in particular the commitment from institutional leadership, the strong link to the strategic plan, and the clearly articulated assessment framework,” said Edward MacKay, chair of the DEF board of trustees. The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Stanton’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc.

The first-year disbursement of the grant will support hiring a director of Experiential Learning, providing professional development for faculty and staff, and broadening of the college’s third annual Innovation Challenge (IC). The IC is a three-day event in which students work in teams and explore the intersection of social relationships, business economics, public education, and social justice. Over the past two years, Elms students have developed creative ideas to alleviate homelessness and address bullying. The upcoming Innovation Challenge in the fall 2020 semester will expand participation from 60 students to the entire first-year class.

“I’m looking forward to working with our experiential learning committee and helping our faculty and staff embed experiential learning into our curriculum and co-curricular activities, so that every student can benefit from this opportunity,” said Beryl Hoffman, co-chair of the Natural Science, Mathematics and Technology Division, associate professor of Computer Science, and project director for the grant.

The ELMS – Real World Ready! learning initiative and the DEF grant build on the philanthropic scholarship funding currently available to students through the donor-funded Keating Schneider Experiential Learning Fund and the Elms Advantage Internship program.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The Elms College board of trustees appointed Richard Meelia, principal of Meelia Ventures, LLC, as a new member of the board.

“I am delighted that Richard Meelia has accepted our invitation to serve on our board,” said Elms College President Harry Dumay. “I look forward to working with him and seeing how his business experience will contribute to our strategic thinking.”

From July 2007 until his retirement in July 2011, Meelia served as chairman, president, and CEO of Covidien, an $11 billion global healthcare-products company, following its separation from Tyco International in June 2007. Prior to that separation, Meelia served in a variety of senior leadership roles, including CEO and president of Tyco Healthcare.

“I look forward to serving on the Elms College board of trustees and working with board Chair Cynthia Lyons and the entire board,” Meelia said.

In addition to his business experience, Meelia has a passion for student experiential learning. He funded the Meelia Center for Student Engagement and Volunteerism at Saint Anselm College and has provided support to establish the Srs. Kathleen Keating and Maxyne Schneider Experiential Learning Fund at Elms College.

Meelia is the chairman of the board of Haemonetics, a global provider of blood and plasma supplies and services located in Braintree. He is also a member of the board of directors of several organizations, including St. Francis House in Boston, the largest day shelter in Massachusetts; Por Cristo, a Brighton nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of poor children and their families in Ecuador; and Conformis, a knee-replacement manufacturer in Billerica. He has served on the board of trustees of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College distributed funds to 425 students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act, the college announced.

“We are pleased that we could ease the financial burden put on many of our students as they adapted to learning remotely during the pandemic,” said Financial Aid Director Richard O’Connor, adding that qualifying expenses included moving off campus and investing in technology to do classwork from home. “These funds have also helped offset childcare costs and preventive measures in addition to the treatment of COVID-19.”

Expenses such as food, housing, course materials, healthcare, childcare, technology, and transportation were considered as well. Overall, the college received 496 applications from students for emergency funding. The average amount awarded to the 425 students was $1,478.

Money spent on trips that the college had to cancel were also included in the funding requests that were granted. “We had several students who were affected by canceled mission trips, and I am grateful that these students were able to get reimbursed,” O’Connor said.

On March 27, Congress passed the CARES Act, which included specific guidelines for colleges and universities to distribute the funding. For example, half of each institution’s total grant allotment was earmarked for students in need of emergency aid, with the other half going to the institution to defray costs and expenses resulting from COVID-19.

Following passage of the CARES Act, Elms College received nearly $1.3 million. Half of the college’s allotment, just over $649,000, was reserved for eligible students in need of emergency aid, and the other half was issued to the college to defray costs and expenses as a result of COVID-19.

To date, the college has awarded more than $628,000 to students. The remainder of the allotment to students, approximately $21,000, will fund students’ future emergency needs.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced that it intends to reopen campus for the fall 2020 semester following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elms College President Harry Dumay has appointed a task force of campus leaders in academics, residential life, public safety, and other areas to assess the possible return of services, such as on-campus housing and dining. The task force will determine when the services can reopen while at the same time ensuring the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. An official reopening date will be determined with the task force’s recommendations.

“We will only allow our students to return to campus by observing the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and recommendations of state and national public-health experts,” Dumay said. “It is also likely that there will be a number of changes to the way we have operated in the past in terms of social interactions and other protocols.”

He noted that all summer-session courses will remain online. For additional information regarding Elms College’s monitoring, planning, and response to COVID-19, visit www.elms.edu/coronavirus.

COVID-19 Daily News

CHICOPEE — To assist its local community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Elms College is offering temporary housing to first responders from Chicopee.

Elms College will provide 20 rooms in its smallest campus residence, Devine Hall, to be solely used by the city of Chicopee for its police, fire, and EMS personnel during COVID-19 response operations through July 31, President Harry Dumay said.

“Our first responders are on the front lines of exposure to the virus. They need a safe place to go to at the end of their long shifts, away from their homes, as a precaution against transmitting the virus to their families and loved ones,” he noted, adding that the campus normally buzzes with springtime activities, including fundraisers, blood drives, collections for the needy, and other service projects. “I am happy to report that Elms College will still be able to serve its community by offering peace of mind and secluded space for the brave men and women who are Chicopee’s first responders during the pandemic.”

All campus residents were required to move out of the residence halls by April 1 as the college closed all housing through the end of the academic year in May. The college has moved its curricula completely online, and college staff and faculty are all working remotely. With the exception of essential personnel such as those in Public Safety, the campus has been virtually empty for weeks.

“Our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, have served the ‘dear neighbor’ for more than a century, which in large part has meant caring for the sick, including during the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918,” Dumay said. “We are happy to be able to do our small part in this extraordinary time by providing assistance to these local heroes who put their own lives on the line to help so many.”

Once Chicopee’s first responders are no longer in need of this sanctuary, the building will be completely sanitized and cleaned by a professional company well ahead of time to reopen the campus, he added.

Devine Hall is accessible from Lot A of the college’s main entrance, giving first responders quick and easy access to their housing with no interaction with the rest of the campus.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College has named accomplished higher-education executive Antoinette Candia-Bailey the college’s first vice president of Student Affairs and chief Diversity officer. Reporting directly to the president, Candia-Bailey, who will join Elms College on April 1, will be responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the college’s Student Affairs and Diversity and Inclusion offices.

Candia-Bailey is joining Elms from the University of Wisconsin Madison (UWM), where she currently serves as senior project coordinator to the deputy vice chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion. Prior to that, she was associate dean of students and Student Life at UWM. 

Abiding by the college’s social-distancing policy during the COVID-19 pandemic, she will be working remotely at the start of her tenure.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Candia-Bailey to Elms College,” said Elms College President Harry Dumay. “The fact that she is joining the college in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic highlights the strategic importance of this position to the college. She brings a wealth of experience in both student-affairs administration and diversity and inclusion, and has served in multiple roles within each discipline. I look forward to having her join my cabinet and collaborating with her on the strategic direction of the college.”

The position of vice president of Student Affairs and chief Diversity officer is a new one for the college. Candia-Bailey will be responsible for providing leadership, management, and supervision to the director of Diversity and Inclusion, the dean of students, the director of Campus Ministry, and the director of Athletics. She will advise the president and other members of the executive leadership team on all student-affairs and diversity matters.

Candia-Bailey has more than 20 years of progressive experience in student affairs and diversity and inclusion at higher-education institutions, including North Carolina State University, Towson University in Maryland, and North Carolina A&T State University. She holds a doctoral degree in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University, a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and disability studies from Michigan State University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Lincoln University in Missouri.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to join the Elms College Cabinet, led by President Harry E. Dumay,” Candia-Bailey said. “I look forward to playing a role in promoting and advocating the success of all of our students. I am excited to contribute to the strategic goals, mission, and vision by being a student-centered advocate.”

COVID-19 Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College has rescheduled its third annual Executive Leadership Breakfast to Tuesday, Sept. 22 due to state-mandated caution regarding large crowds and coronavirus.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is still slated to be the keynote speaker for the event, which was originally scheduled for April 9. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, the college will announce more details as necessary.

This annual event features talks by the region’s leaders on topics of relevance that impact all sectors of business and the economy in Western Mass. Speakers at past events have included Dennis Duquette, head of Community Responsibility at MassMutual and president of the MassMutual Foundation, and Regina Noonan Hitchery, retired vice president of Human Resources at Alcoa.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced the appointment of three directors to its staff: Michael Crawford, director of Diversity and Inclusion; Andrea Holden, director of Alumni Relations; and Pablo Madera, director of Public Safety.

As director of Diversity and Inclusion, Crawford is committed to the holistic development of students within and beyond the classroom via empowerment, education, support, and advocacy. He has experience in diversity programming and academic support in higher education at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, the University of Connecticut, nonprofit organizations, and as an independent consultant. Most recently, he was a research associate in a culture and mental-health-disparities lab at the University of Connecticut. He also has extensive experience with various social-justice and college-preparation initiatives for vulnerable populations, first-generation and low-income students, and diverse populations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Haverford College and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Connecticut. He also earned a certificate in college instruction and a master’s degree in adult learning from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.

As director of Alumni Relations, Holden develops initiatives that increase alumni engagement and also advance the goals of the college. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, serving in a variety of roles within student affairs, including campus programs, campus-center management, new-student programs, leadership, and residential life. Most recently, she was a student-engagement specialist for the dean of students at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick, R.I., and the director of Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership at Wheaton College in Norton. She holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Worcester State College and a master’s degree in marketing from Webster University.

As director of Public Safety, Madera manages the safety measures for the entire campus, as well as the administration of safety policies and protocols. He is a 37-year veteran of the Ludlow Police Department, where he progressed from patrolman to sergeant to lieutenant and, for the past seven years, served as the department’s chief of Police. He served as an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Western New England University (WNEU) for 23 years and also spent time consulting on multicultural-awareness issues and policing. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University and his master’s degree in criminal justice administration from WNEU. In addition, he graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

Daily News HCN News & Notes

CHICOPEE — The School of Nursing at Elms College ranks in the top 10 of “Best Nursing Schools in Massachusetts,” according to a recent ranking by registerednursing.org.

“We are very pleased and gratified to be recognized by registerednursing.org as a top nursing program in the state,” said Kathleen Scoble, dean of the School of Nursing. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our nursing faculty and staff to provide a high-quality nursing curriculum for our students. As a result, Elms College nursing students have performed extraordinarily well on the NCLEX-RN [National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses] exam over the past three years, with an average pass rate of 98%.”

To determine this year’s rankings, registerednursing.org researched the 40 nursing programs across the state and analyzed their students’ performance on the NCLEX-RN exam over the past five years. In 2019, Elms College nurses achieved a 97% pass rate on the exam, while the national pass rate was 91%.

This is the third top-10 ranking for Elms College’s School of Nursing over the past year. It has been ranked in the top 10 of nursing schools in Massachusetts according to both nurse.org and  niche.com.

People on the Move

Jill Monson-Bishop

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently welcomed Jill Monson-Bishop into the role of Community Development manager. She comes to the ACS with expertise in networking, relationship building, marketing, project management, and more. Prior to joining the American Cancer Society, Monson-Bishop was one of the opening-day team members at MGM Springfield, with responsibilities including internal communications and employee events. She also owns Inspired Marketing, now a consultative marketing agency, but at one time a full-service marketing and event-planning company serving clients such as Smith & Wesson, Adam Quenneville Roofing, and Northwestern Mutual. Previously, she was a radio personality in Western Mass. on stations such as WMAS, Rock 102, WHYN, and more. Community engagement has always been a priority for Monson-Bishop, who, over the years, has been involved with organizations such the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Square One, YWCA, the Springfield Regional Chamber, the Drama Studio, and more. She is a graduate of Bay Path University with a MBA in entrepreneurial thinking and innovative practices, and she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies at Westfield State University.


Jeffrey Neumann

Valley Solar, LLC announced the appointment of Jeffrey Neumann as lead master electrician. Neumann started with Valley Solar in April 2019 and will oversee all electrical operations. Prior to working at Valley Solar, Neumann was the electrical foreman at Hampshire College from 2010 to 2019. There, he supervised a crew of four journeyman electricians and oversaw all aspects of the the college’s Electrical Department, including supervision of crews, planning, budgeting, installations, and maintenance of campus electrical systems. He also oversaw several solar projects while at Hampshire and has performed solar installations involving single-phase residential wiring as well as more complex three-phase commercial projects.



Linda Morgan, an attorney with extensive experience in higher education, has been named vice president and general counsel at Springfield College, effective Aug. 26, President Mary-Beth Cooper announced. Morgan will provide legal counsel and guidance to the leadership of the college and will serve as secretary to its board of trustees. She will be a member of the president’s senior leadership team. Joining Springfield College with 13 years of service as a practicing attorney and more than six years in positions of senior-level organizational management and financial administration, Morgan is well-practiced in providing leadership to institutional compliance with laws and regulations pertinent to higher education, including the Higher Education Opportunity Act, Title IX, FERPA, HIPAA, and the Jeanne Clery Act. She provides experience in broad aspects of law and related matters, including contracts, agreements, litigation, legal investigations, dispute resolution, mediation, business formation, compliance, and management. She is admitted to the bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of New York, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Morgan most recently worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, providing expertise in areas of employment-law adjudication and related statutory interpretation. Her previous experience also includes service as associate dean for Gender Equity at Bard College, grant administrator within the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, and an attorney in private practice. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland University College and a juris doctor from Western New England University School of Law. She has teaching experience as an adjunct professor at Holyoke Community College and Greenfield Community College.


Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been selected for membership in the Nautilus Group, a service of New York Life. The Nautilus Group is a planning resource comprised of financial professionals experienced in taxes, law, life insurance, accounting, and charitable giving. Deliso’s access to this exclusive resource enables her clients and their other financial advisors to benefit from the group’s collective experience and solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation, and distribution of wealth to individuals, families, and business owners throughout the country. Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that position clients for a solid financial future. Her 30-year experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash management, risk management, investment, and retirement planning. She has developed an expertise in assisting business owners with protecting and securing their future. She is also fully committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment. She has been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. Members of the Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Deliso currently serves on and is past chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She has also served on the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.


Darcy Fortun

The Ad Club of Western Massachusetts recently recognized the Innovation Series with an award in the Video Series category. The Innovation Series is a documentary-style video series produced by Darcy Fortune, producer for Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi), for PeoplesBank. The series explored Valley Venture Mentors and some of its more unique entrepreneurial teams. The series was hosted by Matthew Bannister, first vice president of Marketing and Innovation for PeoplesBank. According to the bank’s website, the six-episode Innovation Series was designed and produced with the belief that PeoplesBank can not only be innovative, but help inspire innovation as well. The series garnered considerable media attention, with feature stories appearing in BusinessWest and several other area media outlets, as well as a sizable viewing audience. GCAi also distributed the Innovation Series through social-media channels, where it accumulated almost 400,000 total impressions, 100,000 engagement actions, and 90,000 video views at the time of the award. Fortune’s team included GCAi’s John Garvey as producer, Mary Shea as project manager, and James Garvey as digital dissemination manager. Matthew Derderian served as director of photography. Fortune is an experienced media professional and video producer, having served on assignment desks for both ABC and FOX News affiliates and developed videos and animations for GCAi clients including Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists, Cape Cod Cooperative Bank, MP CPAs, PeoplesBank, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and Winchester Savings Bank. She also just released two new pro bono videos for the Children’s Study Home and Wild Care of Cape Cod.


Yvonne De Faoite

Elms College announced it will host an Irish Fulbright language teaching assistant (FLTA) during the 2019-20 academic year. Yvonne De Faoite of Limerick, Ireland, will teach Irish (Gaelic) language and culture. The Irish FLTA position is co-sponsored by the Irish Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts. De Faoite earned her primary teaching degree from Froebel College of Education in 2008. In 2012, she spent a year in Australia, where she gained international teaching experience. She recently completed a master’s degree in Irish immersion education from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. Prior to that, she completed a diploma in educational leadership in University College Dublin. De Faoite’s educational interests include immersion and second-language acquisition. As a Fulbright Irish FLTA, she will teach the Irish language and culture to Elms College students and to community members through the Irish Cultural Center. She will also take classes at Elms.


Robert Burnell has been appointed executive chef of all dining venues at the Red Lion Inn. In his new role, Burnell oversees the day-to-day culinary operations of the main dining room, Widow Bingham’s Tavern, the Lion’s Den, and the seasonally open courtyard. In addition, Burnell will collaborate with Brian Alberg, vice president of Culinary Development, on all future food- and beverage-related development, including specialty menus for Red Lion guests and private parties. With nearly 20 years in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries, Burnell was previously executive chef at Gedney Farm in Marlborough. With a passion for clean cooking and eating, coupled with expertise in modern food trends, Burnell revamped menus to incorporate locally sourced items, along with gluten-free, vegetarian, and keto options for diners. He also strived to deliver exceptional client experiences for weddings, community events, and private dining. Additional hospitality experience includes five years as a property developer for Berkshire Hotels Group, during which he implemented construction projects for both hotels and restaurants.


Sean Sormanti

Michael Tucker, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced that Sean Sormanti has joined the bank as senior vice president – Human Resources. Most recently, Sormanti was director of Human Resources at Strategic Information Resources in Springfield. In his new role, he will be responsible for recruiting, planning, coordinating, and managing the activities of the bank’s Human Resources department. He will be based at 63 Federal St. in Greenfield. Sormanti has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine. He currently holds a professional in human resources certificate and is an active member of the Western Mass. chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.


Joseph Baker


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) announced that Joseph Baker has joined its team as vice president of Finance and Administration. He will oversee finances, investments, human resources, and operations for the $152 million foundation. Baker previously served in leadership roles at other community foundations for 13 years, most recently as vice president of Finance and chief financial officer at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Before that, he was director of Finance and Administration at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. He brings to BTCF a background in nonprofit finance and development, as the former head of a United Way and a nonprofit service organization. He also developed Danbury Children First, a parent-led community initiative. Baker earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in economics and Spanish from Colby College.


Bob Cummings has been re-elected to serve as president of the National Assoc. of Professional Benefits Administrators (NAPBA). A  NAPBA trustee since 2007, Cummings was first elected NAPBA president in 2015, and has been an instrumental force in the emergence of the consumer-directed healthcare industry over the past 20 years, orchestrating the growth of NAPBA as the primary compliance-standards and best-practice organization for third-party employee-benefits administrators serving the consumer-directed healthcare industry. As CEO and founder of American Benefits Group (ABG), a leading national employee-benefits administrator located in Northampton, Cummings has been a pioneer of the consumer-directed healthcare industry before the term even existed. ABG was one of the first administrators of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) in 1989 along with COBRA, billing-administration, and commuter-benefit accounts in the 1990s. When health savings accounts (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) were enabled under the Internal Revenue Code in 2002, ABG was one of the early leaders in administering consumer-directed healthcare plan designs. As pre-tax, account-based plans became a linchpin of most employer benefit-plan designs along with high-deductible health plans, NAPBA was founded to promote compliance and best-practice standards in the administration of pre-tax, account-based plans. All NAPBA member organizations are third-party administrators focused on the administration and service of employer-sponsored plans for consumer-directed pre-tax accounts such as FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, and commuter benefits, as well as COBRA administration services. Collectively NAPBA member organizations provide services to more than 30 million employee healthcare consumers nationwide.


Richard Venne, president and CEO of Viability, announced longtime staffer Richard Horton’s promotion to vice president of Administration and Finance. Horton joined Community Enterprises, one of the nonprofits that merged to become Viability, in July 2008 as director of Community Staffing. Before joining Viability as a staff member, he had executed consulting work to revive and re-engineer the Community Staffing operations. Over the next decade, his role expanded, first becoming director of Financial Planning and then associate vice president of Administration and Finance. He is known throughout the organization for serving as project manager for the implementation of Viability’s electronic health record and outcomes-management system. Two years ago, during the merger of Community Enterprises and Human Resources Unlimited into Viability, he led the effort to bring the infrastructure of the organizations together, focusing on technology and facilities. Entering its third year as Viability, the agency’s focus is on the creation, integration, standardization, and improvement of systems and processes. In his new role, Horton will play a central role in helping achieve that goal.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Two master’s students from Elms College contributed to the growing body of global research in autism-spectrum disorders by presenting posters at last month’s annual meeting for the Assoc. of Behavior Analysis International in San Diego.

Alyssa Clark and Miranda Fogg are in the master of science in applied behavior analysis program at Elms, and both have been working with children with autism on research projects with Laura Hanratty, director of applied behavior analysis and ASD graduate programs assistant professor.

The three collaborated on two posters to present at the conference. The first poster was titled “Evaluating Efficacy of Varied Reinforcers on Learning New Skills.” For this project, the students taught three children with autism 30 to 40 new academic skills, using different reward strategies.

“Using reinforcers is a hallmark in early intervention for autism, and the students were able to share how to make early intervention even more effective for kids who are struggling with academics,” Hanratty explained. “The children in this study were able to master many academic skills to help with communication.”

The second poster was titled “Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior Without Extinction.” In this project, the students worked with a young child with severe problem behavior, including aggression and destroying property.

“The research team completely decreased problem behavior, while teaching the young child communication skills and how to follow adult instruction,” Hanratty said. “By the time they were done, the child was completing up to 15 instructions with multiple steps and completing his academic skills.”

Earlier this year, Clark and Fogg presented the posters at the annual meeting of the Connecticut Assoc. for Behavior Analysis in Hartford.

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