Home Posts tagged Holyoke Community College
Daily News


HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College has appointed Leslie Klein Pilder as the first director of its new free program, Itsy Bitsy Child Watch. Pilder started working at HCC in March.   

“With Leslie Pilder in place as the director of HCC’s Itsy Bitsy Child Watch, we are ready and eager to welcome the children of our students,” said Sheila Gould, coordinator of HCC’s Early Childhood Education program. “The policies and procedures Leslie has designed ensure that our students will know their children will be safe, loved, and have a great time while on campus. I couldn’t be happier with all the work Leslie has done to launch the program.” 

Pilder served for nine years as executive director of the Nonotuck Community School in Northampton. She has worked as director of Buds and Blossoms, a Mandarin-immersion childcare center in Boston, and as director of The Educational Alliance Preschool in Manhattan. She has also worked at New York University’s Teaching for Success program — a research project designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning in New York City’s Head Start centers. 

Pilder holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, a master’s degree in early childhood and Montessori education from Xavier University. As a lecturer at SUNY’s Empire College, Pilder taught undergraduate and graduate students studying early childhood education and created a seminar series on adolescent rites of passage — the topic of her second master’s degree from New York University. 

HCC held a ribbon-cutting event for the Itsy Bitsy Child Watch Center on May 4. The center will officially open with the start of summer classes on May 24. 

Daily News

 

HOLYOKE — Kara Torres has tried to make the most of her first year at Holyoke Community College. Besides studying accounting, she has a work-study job in the Student Engagement office and an internship with the college’s Student Ambassador Mentorship Program. 

As the mother of 8-year-old twins, though, things have not always gone smoothly.   

“When their school is closed for teacher service days or their school vacations don’t line up with ours, it becomes difficult, because it’s either me or my wife who has to stay home,” said the 29-year-old Holyoke resident. “This semester, I had to stay home for a week during their spring break so my wife could go to work. I had to miss some classes.” 

She hopes that the opening of HCC’s free child watch center will help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety of being both a parent and a college student. 

“With my busy schedule, I can’t wait for them to be able to come in and be involved with this program,” she said on May 4, during the grand-opening celebration for the college’s Itsy Bitsy Child Watch Center. “If anything happens now, I’ll be able to bring my kids with me to school. That makes me very excited.” 

Torres was not the only one excited that day. The Itsy Bitsy Child Watch Center was packed with HCC faculty, staff, students, as well as state and local officials getting their first look at the new facility on the first floor of the HCC Marieb Building. The celebration was held in advance of the center’s official opening on May 24. 

“I always say this, but every time I come to HCC something good is happening,” said state Sen. John Velis of Westfield, who helped cut the grand opening ribbon. “You talk about food insecurity, housing, childcare — all important issues. Every time I come here you’re addressing one of them, so kudos to everybody in this room.” 

Velis was key to securing a $100,000 allocation in the 2022 state budget to get the child watch program started. 

“So many students have to make a choice between an education and child care,” he said. “That shouldn’t be a choice they have to make.” 

HCC student parents will be able to start dropping their children off for child watch on May 24, the first day of summer classes. HCC is just the second community college in the state — and the only one in Western Massachusetts — to offer a child watch service for its students. 

In 2017, HCC embarked on a strategic planning process that included a significant focus on basic needs that many HCC students struggle with: food insecurity, housing insecurity, transportation, and childcare. 

“We’re excited to be able to make good on our promise to focus on the childcare needs for our students,” said HCC President Christina Royal. “And that’s what today is about, delivering on that promise to help our student-parents be successful while they continue to change their lives through the power of education.”  

The Itsy Bitsy Child Watch takes its name from the classic nursery rhyme, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, a name also borrowed for the Itsy Bitsy Zoomcast, a recorded series focused on early education co-hosted by HCC faculty and staff, and the HCC Early Childhood Education department’s Itsy Bitsy Learning Lab. 

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College will mark its 75th anniversary on Thursday with events that celebrate its past, present, and future as the Commonwealth’s oldest community college.  

Festivities begin as early as 9 a.m. with special programming from the college radio station, continue throughout the day with student presentations, program tours, exhibitions, open houses, demonstrations, alumni panels, food, music, and dancing, and culminate with a community reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute on Race Street. 

All events are free and open to the public.  

HCC was founded in September 1946 as Holyoke Graduate School, later changing its name to Holyoke Junior College, and finally Holyoke Community College.   

“Our 75th anniversary enables us to celebrate our remarkable past, and provides us an opportunity to define our bright future,” said President Christina Royal. “HCC was built and rebuilt by innovative and resilient individuals, who we are proud to honor as part of our history. That history has laid the foundation for who we are today, and it inspires us to advance excellence, increase equity, and foster innovation for years to come. Our celebration is for our community — past and present — and for the future of HCC.” 

Events will take place all around campus and online from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., before concluding at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute  for the community reception, where guests will enjoy food prepared by HCC Culinary Arts students and chefs from MGM Springfield, beverages from White Lion Brewing and Arcpoint Brewing; live music performed by HCC music students and faculty; demonstrations of HCC’s workforce training programs; and brief remarks from current students and HCC alumni.  

Community members are encouraged to RSVP for the reception at hcc.edu/75th-event although walk-ins are also welcome.  

Daily News

HOLYOKE  Interested in jumpstarting a career in the hospitality industry? Holyoke Community College is running a free, seven-week hotel training program starting April 26.  

The hands-on, in-person classes for hotel front-desk workers and hotel room attendants will take place in HCC’s hotel training lab on the second floor of the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute on Race Street in downtown Holyoke.

The program runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 5:30-8:30 p.m., April 26 through June 9. 

The course will provide students with up-to-date knowledge of the hotel industry, hands-on experience for front desk and/or room attendant roles, workplace skills, resume building, interviewing, job search assistance, and connections to local employers. 

HCC’s hotel lab was equipped using $35,000 from a 2019 Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant, which funds purchases for educational initiatives linked to workforce needs.

HCC ran its first round of free hotel industry training in February and March.

The lab is set up like a hotel reception area with a front desk and adjoining guest room and equipped with the most modern technology and software. 

“The hotel lab gives students the ability to learn in a model hotel room and reception lobby, gain knowledge about key card access systems, and understand point-of-sale technology,” said Jeff Hayden, HCC vice president of Business and Community Services. “This is the kind of experiential training employers are asking for.”

No high school diploma or GED/HiSET test is required for admission.

Offered as part of HCC’s Business & Workforce Development division, the hotel training course is free to qualifying applicants. 

For more information, contact Laura Smith, HCC job placement assistant and career development counselor, at [email protected] / (413) 552-2833, or fill out the inquiry form at hcc.edu/job-ready.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will lift its mask mandate on Friday, May 20, after the end of the spring 2022 semester. After that, students, faculty, staff, and visitors will no longer be required to wear masks inside campus buildings.

Summer-session classes at HCC begin on May 24. Registration for both summer and fall classes opens on Monday, April 4.

In a message to the HCC community, President Christina Royal cited the low number of new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts as well as current mask guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Public Health as reasons for making the shift to a mask-optional environment.

“This transition aligns with similar decisions being made at all Massachusetts community colleges this spring,” she said, while acknowledging that people may have different levels of comfort with the decision. “For many of you, this news may come as a relief. For others, you may still not feel safe without your mask. Both are understandable. I ask that, as a community, we practice our values of kindness, inclusion, and trust. I ask that we make those who continue to mask feel comfortable, respected, and welcome as part of our community. The health and safety of our community remains of utmost importance.”

Royal said the college will continue to remain flexible regarding its mask policy if future conditions should warrant revision.

“We will continue to follow the guidance of the medical community as it relates to the pandemic, remaining attentive to the unique needs of communities we serve,” she noted. “I appreciate having the opportunity to engage in conversation with many of you on this topic during recent town halls and in other forums. Like every decision, there are a variety of perspectives. I share this news now in order for our community to have maximum time for transition.”

On March 17, HCC announced that it would return to in-person graduation for the first time since 2019. HCC’s 75th-anniversary commencement will be held on Saturday, June 4 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — For the first time, Holyoke Community College (HCC) will run its free, 10-week line-cook certification training course during daytime hours at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute.

The course, taught by HCC culinary arts instructor and professional chef Tracy Carter, begins Monday, March 28, but prospective students can sign up and start anytime until Monday, April 4.

The line-cook training course runs four days a week, Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until June 2 at HCC’s culinary-arts facility on Race Street in downtown Holyoke.

The program is designed for those already in the restaurant industry who want to upgrade their skills as well as unemployed or underemployed individuals interested in starting a new career in the restaurant industry. This is the first time HCC has offered its free line-cook training program during daytime hours.

“There was a demand for it,” said Maureen McGuinness, assistant project coordinator. “Some people can’t take classes at night because they work at night in restaurants, and that’s what we’re responding to. It’s kind of exciting. In the future, we will be alternating day and nighttime programs. It’s also a perfect option for anyone who loves cooking and wants to improve their kitchen skills.”

The program is being taught both online and in person at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. Participants will learn all the essential competencies they need to become successful line cooks: knife skills; how to prepare stocks, soups, sauces, desserts, poultry, fish, and meat; culinary math and measurements; moist/dry heat cooking methods; as well as workplace soft skills, such as building a résumé and searching for jobs.

Offered as part of HCC’s Business & Workforce Development division, the line-cook course is free to qualifying applicants. For more information or to register, call (413) 552-2500 or e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will present a three-hour, in-person workshop on Wednesday, April 27, focusing on life after retirement.

“Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The workshop will be facilitated by former career counselor Barbara Foster.

“Retirement is a major life transition, not unlike a major career change” Foster said. “People often fail to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in retirement. The average 65-year-old will remain active for 20 years or more after leaving a full-time job. The workshop will assist both pre-retirees and recently retired people to consider how they will spend the 2,000 hours a year they formerly spent at work. This could be volunteering, starting a new business, developing hobbies, seeking part-time work, or new learning experiences.”

The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. The cost is $39.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all workshop participants, and masks must be worn in all HCC campus buildings.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Cannabis Education Center (CEC) at Holyoke Community College (HCC) will be running three cannabis-industry training programs beginning next month.

The CEC’s 12-hour, introductory Cannabis Core course will be held April 2-3 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day over Zoom.

The Cannabis Core program provides an overview of the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and is geared for people looking for general knowledge as they consider a cannabis career. During four three-hour sessions, students will interact with cannabis experts and guest speakers in reviews of the plant, various cannabis products, the endocannabinoid system, laws and prohibition, growing and plant care, labeling, packaging, testing, employment considerations, and more.

The Cannabis Core program is a foundational course and a prerequisite for career track courses.

Cannabis Extraction Technician training also begins April 2 and runs through April 23. The course meets weekly on Wednesdays over Zoom from 10 to 11 a.m., supplemented by self-paced online instruction. In this course, students will learn the basic fundamentals needed to work in a cannabis extraction laboratory: how to extract useful molecular components from cannabis and hemp using various techniques, including both solvent and solventless methods. Topics covered include good lab practices, health and safety metrics, extraction techniques, winterization, and dewaxing.

Cannabis Culinary Assistant training begins April 19. Classes will meet in person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St., Holyoke.

Cannabis culinary assistants are responsible for cooking, baking, and infusing cannabis- or hemp-based products with extracts. The program is a 20-hour introductory course that provides an overview of cooking and baking techniques used to create edibles. The course reviews tools, equipment, food safety, standard recipes, and dosing, and provides discussions on infused oils, sauces, chocolates, ice cream, and more. Cannabis is not used in this program. Participants will be introduced to industry professionals, prepare for employment opportunities, and have the opportunity to earn SERV Safe certification.

The cost of the Cannabis Core training is $599. Industry-specific course training is $799. Scholarships may be available to those who qualify. To register, visit hcc.edu/cannabis-core.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — When is a food truck not a food truck? When it’s a mobile culinary-arts laboratory.

Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been awarded a $147,000 Skills Capital Grant to purchase a truck for its culinary-arts program that will be used as a mobile kitchen for community outreach and education.

“It’s not our intention to sell food out of the truck as a means to generate revenue,” said HCC Professor Warren Leigh, co-chair of the culinary-arts program. “We’re not going to set up on the corner and sell tacos and hot dogs. We are absolutely going to cook in it, but the main purpose is to engage the community. At the same time, our students will gain experience in food-truck operations.”

The funds, from Gov. Charlie Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, are part of a new, $3.3 million package of grants to 20 educational organizations in Massachusetts for updating equipment and expanding student enrollment in career education programs.

According to the award letter, HCC will use the $147,000 to purchase and outfit a mobile food lab that will support both credit and non-credit culinary-arts programs and also incorporate other areas of study, including nutrition, health, business, and entrepreneurship. HCC’s grant application notes that residents of Holyoke face a high level of food insecurity and that downtown Holyoke has been identified as a ‘food desert.’

“HCC will deploy the truck to bring food to neighborhoods of downtown Holyoke,” HCC wrote in its application. In addition, the college plans to connect this project to its downtown Freight Farms initiative with a focus on basic nutrition, local produce, and healthy eating.

Leigh envisions using the mobile food lab to engage community partners such as the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club and area food pantries. Students will meet with representatives from area organizations to create menus based on ingredients of their choice or what might be seasonally available.

“We’ll be there with our kitchen on wheels and help them understand that they can take this product XYZ and make it into something interesting, cooked in a fashion they would like,” he explained.

Once the truck arrives — sometime later this year — food-truck operations will be worked into the current culinary-arts curriculum in both credit and non-credit courses such as event planning and line-cook training. Students will have to learn to cook in a much smaller space than they are used to in the kitchens at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute; they’ll also have to learn food-truck logistics, such as how to dispose of dirty ‘grey’ water, replenish the kitchen with fresh water, and maintain a stable power source.

“You have to have a production plan, just like you do in a restaurant, but now it’s even more important because you’re going into a vehicle and driving away from your home base,” Leigh said. “It’s like catering off site. You have to bring everything you need.”

According to statistics, the growth of food trucks outpaced restaurant growth 5.5% to 4.3% in 2021, spurred in part by the pandemic. According to the research journal IBIS World, the industry was already experiencing rapid growth in the five years before.

“What’s really cool about food trucks is that it allows you to enter the industry much more inexpensively,” Leigh said. “If you’re opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant from scratch, the vent hood alone can cost $20,000 to $50,000, so it’s a much lower bar getting started. It’s a great way to put in a minimal investment and test out your concept without a lot of risk.”

He cites the example of HCC culinary arts alumna Nicole Ortiz, who wrote a letter in support of the grant and started her own culinary career with her Crave food truck business. Ortiz now also runs Crave restaurant on High Street in Holyoke.

“Nicole started with that small trailer that she bought with a grant from EforAll,” Leigh said, referring to Holyoke SPARK’s Entrepreneurship for All initiative. “She got going, and now she’s in a brick-and-mortar site.”

He said the HCC mobile food lab will have an awning like a food truck and a window pass for food and will also be equipped with cameras in the cooking area and a flat-screen TV on the outside so people can watch what’s going on inside.

“Other organizations, their idea of engaging with the community is pop-up tents and Bunsen burners,” Leigh said. “We’re going to show up, and it’s going to look like a professional operation. It will be a professional operation.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) President Christina Royal will be the featured speaker at the Feb. 23 session of HCC’s Spring 2022 Women’s Leadership Series.

Royal will lead a discussion focused on “Growth Mindset” at the February session of the spring series, which meets over Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month.

During each session, participants will join prominent leaders for discussions on relevant topics and ideas to help their professional development. They will also have the opportunity to form a supportive network to help navigate their own careers. The sessions are interactive and geared for professional women who want to connect. Other upcoming sessions include:

• March 30: “Finding Your Mentors,” with Willie Maddox, executive vice president and chief risk officer at ACBB;

• April 27: “My Ankle is Made of Steel,” with Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle; and

• May 25: “Self Love,” with Shawntsi Baret, leadership coach and owner of SBSWF Consulting.

The cost of each session is $25. Cost, however, will not be a barrier to participation. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/womens-leadership.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Holyoke Community College (HCC) Foundation will begin accepting scholarship applications on Wednesday, Feb. 9 for the 2022-23 academic year. More than $300,000 in awards are available for incoming, continuing, and transferring HCC students through more than 150 different scholarships. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 23.

Students must be currently enrolled at HCC or have been accepted for the upcoming academic year to be eligible for scholarships, which are awarded through the HCC Foundation, HCC’s nonprofit fundraising corporation.

“We pride ourselves on meeting students where they’re at in order to help get them to where they want to be,” said Patrick Carpenter, HCC’s director of Institutional Advancement. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re in a position again this year to give out more than $300,000 in scholarships. This life-changing support will enable our students to remain focused on their studies as they progress toward their certificates and degrees.”

Applicants only need to fill out a single online form to be automatically matched with the scholarships they are most qualified to receive. There are scholarships for new students, current students, and students transferring to other institutions; scholarships based on financial need; scholarships for students in specific majors; scholarships for residents of certain communities; and scholarships that recognize academic achievement. For the 2021-22 academic year, the HCC Foundation awarded more than 200 students.

To view scholarship opportunities and begin the application process, visit www.hcc.edu/scholarships.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will soon introduce a free, drop-in child-watch program for parents who need safe and affordable supervision for their children while they tend to their college studies.

When the Itsy Bitsy Child Watch opens in March, HCC will be just the second community college in the state — and the only one in Western Mass. — to offer a child-watch service for its students.

“As part of our strategic plan, we’ve been focused a lot on basic needs,” HCC President Christina Royal said, “and one of those basic needs is childcare.”

The Itsy Bitsy Child Watch will offer free, short-term care to children 6 weeks to 12 years old, provided their parents sign up in advance and remain inside on the Homestead Avenue campus. Parents will be given a restaurant-style pager to alert them to return if necessary.

“It’s not our goal to be in the daycare business,” Royal said. “Our goal is to be able to serve our students by providing short-term child watch they can access while they attend class or a tutoring session or other educational supports. That is our focus, and it’s been a long road to get here.”

The pilot phase is being funded through a $100,000 allocation in the 2022 Massachusetts budget secured by state Sen. John Velis.

“For parents looking to begin or support their education, finding reliable childcare is always a barrier,” Velis said. “This new program will help make a real difference in the lives of so many families, and I am proud I was able to advocate for HCC to receive these funds.”

HCC is in the process of hiring an interim director to get the child-watch program up and running. Many of the details still need to be worked out, such as days and hours of operation.

“We’re going to determine hours based on student needs,” said Sheila Gould, director of HCC’s Early Childhood Education program. “Our hope is that, in the future, our academic departments will align their courses to run when the child watch is open.”

Gould, also an HCC professor, was part of the team that put together the child-watch proposal. While the idea for an on-campus child-watch program had been kicking around for a few years, it gained more momentum during the pandemic, when many area childcare centers shut down, some never to reopen.

“As a mom myself and a mom who is still going to school, childcare is a barrier,” Gould said. “The more I got involved working here and advising, the more stories I heard from students who couldn’t take a class or had to drop a class or had too many absences because of childcare issues.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The spring 2022 semester is officially underway at Holyoke Community College (HCC), but prospective students still have two more opportunities to start classes in February and March.

Spring session II classes at HCC begin Monday, Feb. 14 and run for 12 weeks. Spring start III classes begin Monday, March 28 and run for seven weeks. All spring semester courses conclude by Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

Students who enroll for spring session II or III have the opportunity to take a variety of different classes in a wide array of academic areas and can earn as many as four credits per course for a lab science, such as biology or forensic science.

These accelerated spring courses are being offered in person and online in anthropology, biology, business, communication, conflict resolution and mediation, culinary arts, Earth science, English, English as a Second Language, human services, marketing, math, medical assisting, and psychology.

For the spring semester, students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend classes on campus. Students must submit proof of their vaccination status before being allowed to register for on-campus classes. Students who plan to register only for online or remote classes do not have to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Masks are required inside all campus buildings regardless of vaccination status.

The HCC Admissions and Advising offices are located on the first floor of the HCC Campus Center and are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4:30 p.m. on Fridays).

For more information, contact HCC Admissions at (413) 552-2321 or [email protected], or visit hcc.edu.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Interested in beginning a career in the hospitality industry? Holyoke Community College (HCC) is running a free, six-week hotel training program starting Tuesday, Feb. 1.

The hands-on, in-person classes for hotel front-desk workers and hotel-room attendants will take place in HCC’s hotel-training lab on the second floor of the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute on Race Street in downtown Holyoke.

The program runs on Tuesday and Thursdays, Feb. 1 through March 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m. The course will provide students with up-to-date knowledge of the hotel industry, hands-on experience for front-desk and/or room-attendant roles, workplace skills, résumé building, interviewing, job-search assistance, and connections to local employers.

HCC’s hotel lab was equipped using $35,000 from a 2019 Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant, which funds purchases for educational initiatives linked to workforce needs. The lab is a classroom set up like a hotel reception area with front desk and adjoining guest room and equipped with industry-level technology and software.

“Hospitality is a significant industry in our region,” said Jeff Hayden, HCC’s vice president of Business and Community Services. “The hotel lab gives students the ability to learn in a model hotel room and reception lobby, gain knowledge about key-card access systems, and understand point-of-sale technology. This is the kind of experiential training employers have been asking for.”

No high-school diploma or GED/HiSET test is required for admission. Offered as part of HCC’s Business & Workforce Development division, the hotel training course is free to qualifying applicants.

For more information, contact Laura Smith, HCC’s job-placement assistant and Career Development counselor, at [email protected] or (413) 552-2833.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Evelyn Rivera-Riffenburg as the college’s executive director of Human Resources.

Rivera-Riffenburg has worked in human resources for more than 25 years. She started her career as a personnel assistant and most recently worked as director of human resources for Chicopee Public Schools. Her previous employment featured positions in human resources for the town of Amherst, Medtronic (formerly Covidien), Hot Mama’s Foods, C&S Wholesale Grocers, and Coca-Cola. She is also an adjunct professor at Bay Path University and Western New England University.

“Evelyn brings an impressive array of skills and experience to HCC and to our executive team,” President Christina Royal said. “She has worked throughout her career in recruiting, employee relations, labor relations, training and development, and as a trusted advisor to hourly and management employees. She is particularly experienced in innovating and improving processes and procedures with digital technology to enhance and improve hiring experiences for potential candidates.”

Rivera-Riffenburg began her undergraduate education at HCC before transferring to Baker College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. She holds master’s degrees in communications and information management from Bay Path University and in organizational leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a Society for Human Resources Management certified senior professional, an HCRI senior professional in human resources, and a certified K-12 Title IX coordinator.

“I am super excited to be back here at HCC, where I started my college education,” she said. “I can’t wait to meet everyone.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — As part of its mission to support the region’s hospitality industry, Holyoke Community College (HCC) is running a free, eight-week line-cook training certification course at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute starting Monday, Jan. 31.

The program is designed for those already in the restaurant industry who want to upgrade their skills as well as unemployed or underemployed individuals interested in starting a new career in a high-demand field.

The course, taught by HCC Culinary Arts Professor and professional chef Warren Leigh, runs through March 31, Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., at HCC’s culinary-arts facility on Race Street in downtown Holyoke.

The program is taught in two parts — one online and the rest in person at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. Participants will learn all the essential competencies they need to become successful line cooks: knife skills; how to prepare stocks, soups, sauces, desserts, poultry, fish, and meat; culinary math and measurements; moist/dry heat cooking methods; as well as workplace soft skills, such as building a résumé and searching for jobs.

Offered as part of HCC’s Business & Workforce Development division, the line-cook course is free to qualifying applicants. For more information, call (413) 552-2500 or e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will begin its spring 2022 Women’s Leadership Series on Wednesday, Jan. 26 with Dawn DiStefano, president and CEO of Square One in Springfield, who will give a presentation titled “What’s the Worst That Can Happen?”

All sessions run from noon to 1 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month over Zoom. During each session, participants will join prominent women leaders for discussions on relevant topics and ideas to help their leadership development. They will also have the opportunity to form a supportive network to help navigate their own careers.

“The sessions are interactive and perfect for professional women who want to connect,” said Michele Cabral, HCC’s executive director of Business, Corporate and Professional Development.

On Feb. 23, Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College, will present “Growth Mindset.” That will be followed on March 30 by “Finding Your Mentors” with Willie Maddox, executive vice president and chief risk officer at ACBB. On April 27, Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle will present “My Ankle is Made of Steel,” and on May 25, the series will wrap up with “Self Love,” with Shawntsi Baret, leadership coach and owner of SBSWF Consulting.

The cost of each session is $25. The full, five-session series can be purchased for $100. Cost, however, will not be a barrier to participation. If pricing is an issue, e-mail Cabral at [email protected].

Space is limited, and advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/womens-leadership.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) Professor of Anthropology Vanessa Martínez is the recipient of the 2022 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award from Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education.

The award, presented in partnership with Brown University’s Swearer Center, recognizes senior faculty who practice exemplary, engaged scholarship through teaching and research. Recipients are selected on the basis of their collaboration with communities, institutional impact, and high-quality academic work.

“Holyoke Community College is incredibly fortunate to have Vanessa Martínez among its faculty,” said Lisa Mahon, professor of English and service-learning coordinator at HCC, in a letter nominating Martínez for the award. “Her outstanding commitment to community-based learning, teaching, and advocacy has positively impacted our students, staff, and faculty, as well as the Greater Holyoke community.”

Martínez was recognized for teaching and scholarship that inspires students to take on leadership roles in their communities.

Through academic work that focuses on storytelling, culturally responsive instruction, and cultural humility, Martínez invites diverse groups of students to learn about community-based organizations, advocate and fundraise for community needs based on engaged research, and think critically about the role they play in their communities.

One example is the Women of Color Health Equity Collective, a Springfield-based nonprofit organization she co-founded that seeks to provide communities of color better access to maternal health, therapeutic services, and support. Through the collective, students learn about the social determinants of health and the role social inequality plays in health outcomes while researching community needs and developing advocacy plans to help create change.

“This is a wonderful and distinguished honor, and well-deserved,” HCC President Christina Royal said. “Professor Martínez continues to be actively engaged in our community, and our region is better for it. It benefits our students, who get to witness some exercising civic engagement beyond the classroom.”

Martínez is also coordinator of HCC’s Honors Program and leads a new community leadership certificate program at the college to give students formal training to continue work at community organizations and take on leadership roles.

“Taking action in the world can and should start in your community,” Martínez said in a commencement speech she delivered to graduates in 2021. “The actions can be big or small; they can be self-reflective or engaging of large groups. Remember, there are community agencies to assist, neighborhood mini-libraries to build, book clubs to host, protests to plan, government policies to change, peer-support groups to run, and so much more.”

Born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, Martínez holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University, a master’s degree from Georgia State University, and a PhD from UMass Amherst. In 2011, she received the Latino Teaching Excellence Award from then Gov. Deval Patrick, and in 2015 she was selected as a leadership fellow by the American Anthropological Assoc.

In 2020, Martínez received the Elaine Marieb Award for Teaching Excellence, HCC’s highest faculty honor. She has been teaching at HCC since 2006.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Cannabis Education Center (CEC) at Holyoke Community College announced its schedule of industry training programs for the spring 2022 semester.

The CEC will offer four 12-hour, introductory Cannabis Core educational training courses, with the first set to run Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day over Zoom.

The Cannabis Core program provides an overview of the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and is geared for people looking for general knowledge as they consider a cannabis career. During four three-hour sessions, students will interact with cannabis experts and guest speakers in reviews of the plant, various cannabis products, the endocannabinoid system, laws and prohibition, growing and plant care, labeling, packaging, testing, employment considerations, and more.

The Cannabis Core program is a foundational course and a prerequisite for the following career track courses: patient services associate (classes start Feb. 5), cultivation assistant (Feb. 26), extraction technician (April 2), and culinary assistant (April 19). Additional Cannabis Core programs will run Feb. 19-20, March 19-20, and April 5-6.

The cost of the Cannabis Core training is $599, but scholarships are available to those who qualify. To register, visit hcc.edu/cannabis-core.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Students enrolled full-time in chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics, physics, or other STEM fields at Holyoke Community College (HCC) have until Friday, Jan. 7 to apply for a National Science Foundation scholarship of up to $10,000 per year.

Through HCC, the National Science Foundation Scholarship offers, on average, $6,500 per year to qualified full-time students and prorated amounts for part-time students.

New and current HCC students are encouraged to apply. The application deadline for the spring 2022 semester is the end of the day on Jan. 7.

Students chosen for the NSF scholarship become members of HCC’s STEM Scholars 2.0 Program, also known as SCoRE (STEM Cohorts for Research & Engagement).

STEM Scholars are expected to maintain enrollment in a STEM program, be in good academic standing, complete an associate degree at HCC, and/or transfer to an accredited STEM degree program at a four-year institution. The scholarships are renewable every year students continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

Beside the financial awards, STEM Scholars become part of a learning community that fosters a sense of belonging and academic success and includes mentoring, research, and honors experiences; community service; and internships.

Eligibility guidelines for the National Science Foundation Scholarship in STEM can be viewed at hcc.edu/stem-scholarship.

STEM disciplines include biological sciences, physical sciences, math, computer and information services, geosciences, and engineering. HCC Math Professor Ileana Vasu is the coordinator of the STEM Scholars program.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will hold a Registration Express event for the spring 2022 semester on Saturday, Jan. 15, when prospective students can apply for admission, take the college placement test, meet with an academic adviser, register for classes, and set up financial aid —all in one day.

HCC’s Registration Express event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the main campus at 303 Homestead Ave.

The spring 2022 semester begins Monday, Jan. 24. HCC also has Flex Start dates on Feb. 14 (Spring Start II) and March 28 (Spring Start III). Full-term spring classes run for 14 weeks, Spring Start II classes run for 12 weeks, and Spring Start III classes run for seven weeks.

“We know our students lead busy and complicated lives, especially on weekdays,” said Mark Hudgik, director of Admissions. “By expanding our service offerings to include a Saturday, we hope to create an opportunity for students who want to register for spring classes but maybe haven’t had the time to do so.”

Those who can’t make it in person on Jan. 15 can access Registration Express via Zoom or visit campus another day. The HCC Admissions and Advising offices on the first floor of the Campus Center are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4:30 p.m. on Fridays).

For 2022, students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend classes on campus. Students must submit proof of their vaccination status before being allowed to register for on-campus classes. Students who plan to register only for online or remote classes do not have to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Masks are required inside all campus buildings regardless of vaccination status.

For more information and instructions about accessing Registration Express on Jan. 15 via Zoom, contact HCC Admissions at (413) 552-2321 or [email protected] or visit hcc.edu.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Just when they might need it most, students at Holyoke Community College (HCC) are getting a holiday gift from the college totaling $3.77 million. The money is part of CARES Act pandemic-relief funds provided by the federal government.

More than 3,500 eligible HCC students have each received, or will soon receive, block grants of $600 to $2,500, depending on their enrollment status and expected family contribution as determined by their financial-aid eligibility. The average grant is about $1,000.

The cash grants are unrestricted, meaning students can use them however they want, and the money does not need to be repaid. Accepting the money also will not reduce a student’s financial-aid award.

“I received my CARES Act money transfer late last week,” said HCC student Jennifer Lagoy, who is majoring in foundations of health. “It was a great surprise, very much appreciated with the holidays upon us and needing to buy some last-minute gifts and pay my home heating bill.”

This is the fourth semester in a row that HCC has provided pandemic-relief funds directly to students. The federal CARES (Conavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act provides funding to students to offset the expenses they might have incurred when colleges switched from face-to-face to remote learning. That could mean having to buy a computer, buying or upgrading internet access, or paying increased utility costs from being home, among other expenses.

“HCC has received a total of about $10.6 million from federal and state allocations designated directly for student relief during the pandemic,” said Narayan Sampath, HCC’s vice president of Administration and Finance. “With the holidays around the corner, we wanted to provide some more relief to students who continue to face numerous challenges because of the pandemic.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Registration is open for Wintersession classes at Holyoke Community College (HCC), offering new and returning students — as well as students from other colleges home on holiday break — the opportunity to earn a semester’s worth of credits for one class in just 10 days.

HCC’s two-week Wintersession term begins Monday, Jan. 3, and runs until Friday, Jan. 14. The registration deadline for Wintersession classes is Dec. 31.

Students can earn up to four credits by taking Wintersession classes in a wide variety of academic areas: anthropology, communication, criminal justice, economics, engineering, environmental science, geography, law, management, marketing, mathematics, radiology, social science, and sociology. Courses are being offered both on campus and online.

“Wintersession at HCC is a great way for students to pick up a bunch of academic credits in a short amount of time, to complete a prerequisite for another course or just lighten their spring course load,” said Mark Hudgik, HCC’s director of Admissions.

Starting Jan. 3, students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend classes on campus. Students must submit proof of their vaccination status before being allowed to register for on-campus classes. Students who plan to register only for online or remote classes do not have to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Registration is also open at HCC for spring 2022 classes. Full-semester classes begin Monday, Jan. 24, with additional Flex Start dates on Feb. 14 (Spring Start II) and March 28 (Spring Start III).

Full-term spring classes run for 14 weeks. Spring Start II classes run for 12 weeks, and Spring Start III classes run for seven weeks.

To enroll for a Wintersession class, visit hcc.edu/wintersession. To enroll for spring 2022, visit hcc.edu/admissions.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — HCC Foundation Inc., the nonprofit fundraising arm of Holyoke Community College, has added four new members to its board of directors, including three alumni.

Wendy Fox (’16)  is director of Curriculum Development for Onramp Invest, a crypto-asset management company. A graduate of HCC and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Fox worked with the UMass Foundation board and UMass alumni board as an administrative fellow for corporate engagement at the university.

Maura Greaney (’93) is director of Philanthropy, Development Communications, and Special Events for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Greaney has an extensive background in nonprofit fundraising, grant writing, event planning, and development. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree from UMass Boston.

Erin Godfrey is director of Odyssey House, a program of Viability, a Holyoke nonprofit that supports individuals with disabilities and other societal advantages. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College whose husband, Chris Godfrey, attended HCC through the support of the college’s veterans programs, and both were involved with the HCC Military Club while he was a student.

Camille Theriaque (’12) is a licensed clinical social worker with MiraVista Behavioral Health Center in Holyoke. As a student at HCC searching for a second career, Theriaque, a retired Holyoke firefighter, received a 29 Who Shine award from the state Department of Higher Education as well as a prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree at Smith College.

“HCC gave me back my life with a purpose, lifelong friends, and renewed my love of learning,” Theriaque said in her board application. “I truly loved my time there and want to give back to the college that gave me so much more than an education.”

The foundation board approved the appointment of the new directors to three-year terms at its annual meeting on Dec. 7.

“We are delighted to have Wendy, Maura, Erin, and Camille join the board,” said Amanda Sbriscia, HCC’s vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation. “They have a passion for our mission and bring a rich and diverse wealth of professional experience as well as intrinsic understanding of our students.”

The HCC Foundation has total net assets of $21.4 million and an endowment of $15 million, the largest of all 15 community colleges in Massachusetts, thanks in large part to more than 170 endowed scholarships established by alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Douglas Scanlon to the college’s Institutional Advancement team as its first development and external communications coordinator.

Scanlon comes to HCC after serving for seven years as communications specialist in the Development office at Springfield College. Before that, he worked as assistant director of Institutional Marketing for Elms College in Chicopee.

At HCC, he will be responsible for creating print, digital, and event-related messaging to support donor engagement, community engagement, and fundraising. He started on Nov. 29.

“As the first person to hold this new position, Doug will play a key role in our efforts to enhance the college’s resources and further strengthen relationships with our community,” said Amanda Sbriscia, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “He brings a wealth of experience in development writing that will help us tell HCC’s compelling and inspiring story to our donors and alumni. We’re thrilled to have him on our team.”

Scanlon holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from St. Bonaventure University in New York.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Students enrolled full-time in chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics, physics, or other STEM fields at Holyoke Community College (HCC) may qualify for a National Science Foundation scholarship of up to $10,000 a year toward tuition and fees.

Through HCC, the National Science Foundation Scholarship offers, on average, $6,500 per year to qualified full-time students and prorated amounts for part-time students. New and current HCC students are encouraged to apply. The application deadline for the spring 2022 semester is Jan. 7, 2022.

Students chosen for the NSF scholarship become members of HCC’s STEM Scholars 2.0 program, also known as SCoRE (STEM Cohorts for Research & Engagement).

STEM Scholars are expected to maintain enrollment in a STEM program, be in good academic standing, complete an associate degree at HCC, and/or transfer to an accredited STEM degree program at a four-year institution. The scholarships are renewable every year students continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

Beside the financial awards, STEM Scholars become part of a learning community that fosters a sense of belonging and academic success, and includes mentoring, research, honors experiences, community services, and internships.

Eligibility guidelines for the National Science Foundation Scholarship in STEM can be viewed at hcc.edu/stem-scholarship.

STEM disciplines include biological sciences, physical sciences, math, computer and information services, geosciences, and engineering.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Culinary Arts program at Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been ranked among the best in the U.S., according to Best Choice Schools, an online college resource guide.

HCC placed 50th among the Best Culinary Schools in America for 2021, a list that also includes such esteemed institutions as the Culinary Institute of America, which has branches in New York, California, and Texas.

HCC’s culinary program ranked third in New England after Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I., and Southern Maine Community College in Portland.

“We looked at culinary schools across the United States to develop a list of what we believe to be the best culinary schools or programs in the nation,” says the introduction to the Best Culinary Schools in America list. “From our initial list, we looked for schools that offer hands-on experience, internship/externship opportunities, student-operated restaurants, modern facilities, and a solid reputation in the industry.”

In particular, HCC was cited for the quality of its one-year certificate and two-year associate-degree programs in culinary arts, as well as its 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which opened in downtown Holyoke in 2018. The program summary notes that the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute is equipped with four modern kitchens, a bakery, a hotel lab, and a student-run dining room.

Since it opened, the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute on Race Street has become a favorite host site for college, community, and regional events.

According to Chef Warren Leigh, HCC professor and coordinator of the Culinary Arts program, the facility draws students who might have previously gone elsewhere for their culinary training.

“What’s not to love?” Leigh said. “Being ranked among such elite schools confirms what we’ve believed about ourselves for a long time. Since we opened this facility three years ago, the level of excitement about our program from students, faculty, and the community is beyond what we imagined, and that’s reflected in the continuing support and investment we receive from the college administration and the state. We’re always trying to improve our curriculum to better serve our students and the industry.”

Best Choice Schools also notes that HCC is the only public college or university in Massachusetts with a culinary-arts program accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for chefs and head cooks at restaurants and other establishments will grow 6% through 2029, faster than many other industries in the country,” says the Best Choice Schools website. “With the popularity of cooking shows and competitions, more and more people are discovering the field of culinary arts and what it takes to be successful in the industry.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been named a finalist for a national Bellwether Award in recognition of Jump Start, the college’s job-training and placement program for people who receive public assistance.

HCC was one of 10 U.S. colleges selected as a finalist by the Bellwether College Consortium in its Workforce Development category, which identifies strategic alliances that promote community and economic development. Bellwether finalists represent leading community colleges whose programs and practices are considered outstanding and innovative.

The Bellwether Awards are widely regarded as one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognitions for community colleges.

HCC was the only community college in Massachusetts selected as a 2022 Bellwether finalist. This is the second year in a row HCC has been named a Bellwether finalist. HCC’s “Together HCC” fundraising and social-media campaign was selected as a finalist for 2021.

“It’s very impressive that HCC has received this kind of recognition two years in a row,” President Christina Royal said. “We’re honored to be in such elite company.”

For more than 20 years, HCC’s Jump Start program has been creating sustainable career pathways for individuals who were previously unemployed or had limited education and work experience.

“Jump Start’s success is based on the program’s ability to connect individuals on public assistance with real-world workforce-training resources,” said Jeffrey Hayden, HCC’s vice president of Business and Community Services. “We believe that everyone has unique skills and talents that can help them get a job, and, with the help of Jump Start, they do.”

Jump Start offers workforce training for jobs as culinary workers, nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians, customer-service representatives, preschool workers, production technicians, and bus and truck drivers.

“The Bellwether College Consortium prides itself on identifying and celebrating replicable, scalable, and results-based programs and models and disseminating these highly lauded examples of institutional success to peer institutions,” said Rose Martinez, director of the San Antonio-based consortium.

Finalists for Bellwether Awards are invited to join the consortium and take part in workshops, events, and other activities. Award finalists will undergo a rigorous second and final round of review before the winners are announced in January at the 2022 Community College Futures Assembly in San Antonio, Texas.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been named one of the top women-led businesses in Massachusetts for 2021 by the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit that supports female business leaders.

The Institute’s 21st annual rankings of the “Top 100 Women-led Businesses in Massachusetts” were announced on Nov. 5 during a Zoom celebration attended by HCC President Christina Royal.

Royal and HCC were ranked at number 50. The full list was published Nov. 6 in a special “Women and Power” edition of the Boston Globe Magazine.

“It is an honor to represent Holyoke Community College on such a distinguished list,” Royal said. “The Commonwealth Institute is shining a light on organizations making a difference in their sector and on women from whom our students can find inspiration. That’s a powerful and positive message for all of Massachusetts.”

Royal has been the president of HCC since January 2017. She is the fourth president in HCC’s 75-year history and the first woman to hold that position.

“They run healthcare companies, universities and colleges, financial institutions, nonprofits, construction firms, and more — they’re the women power players of the Bay State,” says the introduction to the Top 100 rankings. “Responsible for thousands of employees and billions in revenue, the women featured here drive the Massachusetts economy. Taken together, the 100 companies on the list represent a total revenue and operating budget of $66.6 billion.”

Also on the list at number 55 is HCC alumna and Westfield native Linda Markham, president and chief administrative officer of Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines, based in Hyannis.

To compile the list, the Commonwealth Institute examined revenue or operating budgets for each organization as well as other variables, including number of full-time employees in the state, workplace and management diversity, and innovative projects.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — Holyoke Community College (HCC) and Westfield State University (WSU) have joined forces this year to honor veterans at a celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at WSU.

The 2021 pre-Veterans Day celebration will begin with “U.S. Veterans on the Frontline,” a roundtable discussion from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., followed in the evening by a resource fair and speed-networking event from 6 to 8 p.m. Both portions will be held at Scanlon Hall on the WSU campus, 577 Western Ave., Westfield.

Among the panelists in the roundtable will be Robert Vigneault, HCC’s veterans certifying official and a U.S. Air Force veteran, along with HCC student veterans Megan Bergeron and Dillon Nash.

“This event will provide an opportunity to learn what it means to be in the military, to be a veteran, and how veterans make a difference on the frontlines,” Vigneault said. “It’s a great way to connect with and learn from other veterans and learn about all the resources available for vets.”

To register for the roundtable discussion, RSVP to westfield.ma.edu/veterans/discussion. To register for the veterans resource fair and speed-networking event, RSVP to westfield.ma.edu/veterans/networking.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will host a cannabis career fair on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development, where individuals interested in working in the cannabis industry will have the opportunity to talk about job openings in person with representatives from area cannabis companies.

The fair, titled “Cultivating an Industry,” will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room on the third floor of the Kittredge Center on the main HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave. It is sponsored by the Cannabis Education Center — a partnership between HCC and Elevate Northeast — and MCR Labs, a marijuana testing facility in Framingham.

The fair is free and open to anyone looking for a job in the burgeoning cannabis industry, which had surpassed $1 billion in sales in Massachusetts by October 2020, after its first four years.

“There are a lot of jobs that go along with a billion dollars in industry activity,” said Jeff Hayden, HCC’s vice president for Business and Community Services.

So far, 10 cannabis employers have signed up for the fair, with more expected: Boston Bud Factory, Canna Provisions, Holyoke Cannabis, and My Analytics Lab, all from Holyoke; NETA, Resinate, and Truelieve, all from Northampton; Mass Alternative Care and Theory Wellness, both from Chicopee; and Insa, based in Easthampton.

Attendees will be granted access to a new virtual job board specific to the cannabis industry. Note that masks are required in all HCC buildings regardless of vaccination status. To maintain social distancing, only 50 people will be allowed in the conference room at a time, so pre-registration is strongly encouraged. To register for the fair, visit hcc.edu/canna-fair.

The CEC will also run introductory Cannabis Core training programs Nov. 9-17 (Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m.) and Nov. 28 to Dec. 20 (Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m.), as well as a Cannabis Cultivation Assistant training course Nov. 13 to Dec. 4. To register for those programs, visit hcc.edu/cannabis-core.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — It’s not too late to sign up for fall classes at Holyoke Community College. The final round of HCC’s Fall Flex Start series – Fall Session III – begins Wednesday, Oct. 27, and runs for seven weeks.

Students who enroll for Fall Session III have the opportunity to take a variety of different classes in a wide array of academic areas — on campus, online, or blended.

These accelerated courses are being offered in business, computer applications, communication, culinary arts, education, English, forensic science, health, human services, management, math, sociology, and veterinary and animal science.

HCC introduced its flexible fall start dates in 2020 to accommodate students as they adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flexible semester start dates are now built into each academic schedule.

HCC welcomed students back to campus for full fall-semester classes on Sept. 7. Fall Session II classes started Sept. 27.

This semester, HCC is offering classes in multiple formats: on campus, fully online (asynchronous), blended remote (real-time and asynchronous components), and blended face to face (on campus, plus remote).

“We’ve found that students really appreciate having increased flexibility in their schedules,” said Mark Hudgik, director of Admissions and Onboarding. “Sometimes they are not always ready to begin classes at the traditional times of the year, so we’re trying to provide them with as many options as possible.”

A full list of classes for Fall Session III can be viewed at hcc.edu/flex-fall. HCC also offers weekly online information sessions for prospective students. Visit hcc.edu/visit-campus for dates and times or to sign up.

For more information or to apply, visit hcc.edu/apply, call (413) 552-2321, e-mail [email protected], or visit hcc.edu and click on the ‘Chat Now’ box.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Nathan Leveille as its new staff associate of Grants Development and Management.

Leveille, an HCC graduate from the class of 2001, returns to the college with more than 15 years of experience in grants development and management through his positions at Springfield Technical Community College, where he had worked as grants manager and staff assistant in the Development Office since 2005. He started his position in the office of Resource Development at HCC on Oct. 18.

“Nate brings a wealth of knowledge of public grant management, including budget creation and administration and compliance regulations of our state and federal governments,” said Amy Dopp, HCC’s dean of Resource Development. “We are very happy to have him on our team.”

After graduating from HCC with his associate degree in liberal arts, Leveille went on to Westfield State University for his bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a concentration in public and corporate communications.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Due to popular demand, Holyoke Community College (HCC) has added a second date this fall for its three-hour workshop focusing on life after retirement.

“Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet on Wednesday, Nov. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus at 303 Homestead Ave.

“The Oct. 27 session filled quickly, and we continue to get calls from people who want to take it,” said Michele Cabral, HCC’s executive director of Professional Education & Corporate Learning. “Lots of people are looking for ideas on how to live a more meaningful life and how to create a fun next chapter.”

“A third session is scheduled for April 27, 2022,” she added, “but we know that some people will want to get started right away.”

Many pre-retirees focus solely on their 401(k) and pension when deciding when to retire but neglect to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in the next chapter of their lives. A person who retires at age 65 will be active for 20 years or more after leaving their full-time job. The workshop will explore ways retirees can fill those hours they have previously devoted to their careers.

“Retirement is a transition not unlike a career transition where people need to reflect on their interests, preferred skills, and values to determine a new direction in their lives,” said former career counselor Barbara Foster, who will facilitate the workshop. “Today’s retirees are finding new interests and hobbies, volunteering, establishing new businesses, and pursuing new learning in this third chapter of their lives.”

The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore.

To maintain safe social distancing, space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. The cost is $39. Masks are required in all HCC campus buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Attorney Karen Jackson, an elder-law and estate-planning attorney at Jackson Law, will teach a two-part class highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College (HCC).

The four-hour course, called “Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know,” will be presented in a pair of two-hour sessions, on Mondays, Oct. 18 and 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $99.

“The course will explain the basic building blocks of an estate plan,” Jackson said. “From that foundation, we will also consider the various specialized trust documents that support this planning. I will clarify the probate court process and what it means to probate a will. And I will explore current MassHealth issues in the event of a nursing-home stay.”

In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan — the will, power of attorney, healthcare proxy, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release, and advance directive. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. In the first session, she will also cover the different types of trusts — the revocable trust, irrevocable trust, and special-needs trust — and the reasons for creating each kind of trust.

During the second session, Jackson will explain the various tools and techniques to save the home and other assets from the nursing home bill: gifting, the Medicaid qualified annuity, pooled trusts, caregiver child exception, and Medicaid qualified trusts.

For participants who may be able to attend only one session, the full course fee is still required.

Holyoke Community College’s main campus in Holyoke is at 303 Homestead Ave. To register, call HCC at (413) 552-2500 or register online at www.hcc.edu/bce.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been awarded nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a new engineering pathways program to help boost the numbers of Latinx and women engineers working in the field.

The grant — $956,458 over four years — will allow HCC to design an accelerated, one-year engineering certificate program that will culminate in paid internships with high-tech research organizations such as the renowned Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

The money comes from the NSF’s program for Hispanic Serving Institutions and is intended to improve undergraduate education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. HCC has been a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, or HSI, since 2016. Colleges and universities are recognized as HSIs when their Hispanic/Latinx enrollment exceeds 25%.

HCC’s partners in the grant include Holyoke High School, Westfield High School, Western New England University, UMass Amherst, the Northampton-based Collaborative for Educational Services, a national association called the 50K Coalition, and the Society for Women Engineers.

The main goals of HCC’s new Western Massachusetts Engineering Pathways Program are to increase participation in engineering by members of groups historically underrepresented in the field, to revitalize HCC’s engineering programs to be more responsive to a diverse student body, and to ensure the program meets the needs of regional employers.

“The grant gives us the funding to create a new curriculum,” said Adrienne Smith, HCC’s dean of STEM and one of the grant managers.

Through the grant, HCC will hire an Engineering Pathways coordinator to recruit high-school students for the program. “The coordinator will also be an ongoing resource for the students,” Smith said. “We don’t want to just get students into the program; we want them to get through it and succeed.”

After students complete their coursework, they will be placed in paid internships.

“The internship is built into the curriculum,” Smith said. “We already have some things set up with Brookhaven Labs. They want our students. They’re going to pay for their housing and a healthy salary. We’re working to find other companies to do exactly the same thing.”

As a further incentive, each student in their final program course will receive a $1,000 stipend.

“At the end, after receiving their certificates, students can either go directly into the workforce, or they can continue on at HCC for another year to complete their associate degree in engineering,” Smith said.

The grant also calls for a review of HCC’s associate-degree program in engineering in consultation with HCC’s partners to increase employer engagement and improve transfer pathways to four-year institutions. In addition, the grant will facilitate the creation of a chapter of the Society of Women Engineers at HCC.

Also in conjunction with the grant, HCC has joined the 50K Coalition, a national consortium of professional engineering societies whose goal is graduate 50,000 women engineers and engineers of color by 2025.

“Our engineering graduates typically go on to Western New England and UMass Amherst and other institutions with highly regarded engineering programs, so we are helping to build that base,” Smith said.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Many pre-retirees focus solely on their 401(k) and pension when deciding when to retire, but neglect to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in the next chapter of their lives. A person who retires at age 65 will be active for 20 years or more after leaving their full-time job. How will they fill those 2,000-plus hours they have previously devoted to their career?

Holyoke Community College (HCC) is offering a three-hour workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 27 that will address this major life transition. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet in person from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The workshop will be facilitated by former career counselor Barbara Foster.

“Retirement is a transition not unlike a career transition where people need to reflect on their interests, preferred skills, and values to determine a new direction in their lives,” Foster said. “Today’s retirees are finding new interests and hobbies, volunteering, establishing new businesses, and pursuing new learning in this third chapter of their lives.”

The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore.

To maintain safe social distancing, space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. Note that masks are required in all HCC campus buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Daily News

BOSTON — The presidents of the 15 Massachusetts community colleges announced that students, faculty, and staff at the colleges must be fully vaccinated by January 2022.

“During the last 18 months, the Massachusetts community colleges have prioritized the health and safety of our communities while also recognizing that many of our students have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the presidents said in a statement shared with their campuses. “While a significant number of students, faculty, and staff are already vaccinated or are in the process of becoming vaccinated, the 15 colleges are seeking to increase the health and safety of the learning and working environment in light of the ongoing public health concerns and current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Massachusetts community colleges are committed to ensuring vaccination status is not a barrier to students and will continue offering a range of virtual learning opportunities and services.”

The announcement comes amid a rise in the number of new cases of COVID-19 across the Commonwealth, the increased access and availability of vaccines, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s full and pending approval of available vaccines, and CDC guidance that the COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be extremely safe and highly effective at preventing infection, severe disease, hospitalization, and death. The requirement is aimed at ensuring the safest learning and working environment possible for the more than 135,000 students served by the community colleges each year.

“The 15 community colleges across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided that this requirement was necessary given the changing conditions of COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” Holyoke Community College (HCC) President Christina Royal said in a message to the HCC community. “While there is no ironclad defense against coronavirus, extensive public-health research has shown that vaccination greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death.”

All Massachusetts community colleges will continue to make vaccine clinics available on their campuses for students, faculty, and staff.

HCC will continue to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations for the foreseeable future on its Homestead Avenue campus every Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The college also offers COVID-19 testing six days a week on campus through the Holyoke Board of Health. Both vaccinations clinics and testing are available in parking lot N outside the Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation.

Further, the colleges are committed to ensuring vaccination status is not a barrier to students and will continue offering a range of virtual learning opportunities and services, the statement said.

Students who seek to register for courses that do not include any in-person component, and who do not plan to come on campus for any reason for the spring 2022 semester, will not be required to provide documentation of vaccination. All employees will be required to be vaccinated.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Vanessa Smith, senior vice president and chief legal officer for Baystate Health, has been appointed to the Holyoke Community College (HCC) board of trustees by Gov. Charlie Baker. The term will run until March 1, 2025.

“I am passionate about education and its ability to empower, inspire, break down barriers, and create pathways to opportunity,” Smith said. “I am honored to begin my service as trustee during Holyoke Community College’s celebration of its 75th anniversary, and I look forward to helping shape its bright future.”

Smith has worked for Baystate Health since 2016 as associate general counsel, vice president, chief general counsel, and now senior vice president and chief legal officer. Prior to that, she was a partner in the law firm Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP in Springfield. She has also worked as an assistant attorney general in the New York Attorney General’s Office in Syracuse and as a court attorney for the New York State Court of Appeals. She holds a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in French from Wells College.

“We are excited to welcome Vanessa Smith to the HCC board of trustees,” HCC President Christina Royal said. “Her background and experience at one of the region’s largest employers will benefit HCC as we continue to adapt to serve the needs of our students and community in the years to come.”

Smith attended her first HCC board meeting on Aug. 24 over Zoom, where she was introduced by board chair Robert Gilbert.

“The HCC board of trustees is very pleased to welcome Attorney Smith to the college as its newest trustee,” Gilbert said. “Trustee Smith, a Holyoke resident, compliments the already diverse skill sets of our board. We look forward to her participation as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the college.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will resume its Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series on Wednesday, Aug. 25 with business coach and strategist Lynn Turner leading the first of a three-part class on “Vision Boards.”

What is a vision board? “A tangible representation of your dreams,” Turner said.

The second and third parts of Turner’s class will be held on Sept. 1 and Sept. 8. Those and the rest of the fall 2021 HCC Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series sessions will take place on Wednesdays over Zoom from noon to 1:15 p.m.

During each session, participants will join prominent women leaders for discussions on relevant topics and ideas to help their leadership development. They will also have the opportunity to form a supportive network to help navigate their own careers.

Additional dates and topics for the HCC Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series this fall are:

• Sept. 29: “Do Something Every Day that Scares You” with Pattie Hallberg, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts;

• Oct. 27: “Just Go for It,” with Helen Gomez Andrews, co-founder and CEO of the High End; and

• Nov. 24: “Journey to and from Exit Zero,” with Sharale Mathis, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at HCC.

The cost of each session is $25, with the exception of the three-part Vision Board class with Turner, which costs $99. The cost for the full, six-session series is $120.

Cost, however, will not be a barrier to participation. If pricing is an issue, contact Michele Cabral, HCC’s executive director of Business, Corporate and Professional Development, at [email protected].

Space is limited, and advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/womens-leadership.

buy ivermectin for humans buy ivermectin online buy generic cialis buy cialis