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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and Holyoke Community College (HCC) announced a partnership with Upright Education to offer training for skills in technology, including software development and design.

College officials said they were excited to partner with Upright, a workforce-training company, to create more technical jobs, including in the growing information technology (IT) sector, and skilled-labor opportunities for the Western Mass. workforce. The colleges and Upright are offering online educational opportunities for adult learners looking for a new career in technology. No experience is necessary to enroll.

STCC is an institution dedicated to closing gaps in opportunity and achievement for students who traditionally face disproportionate challenges in the professional sphere. HCC pursues a similar mission by fostering a connected college experience designed to educate students holistically in an open and inclusive atmosphere. Both are also designated Hispanic Serving Institutions dedicated to promoting diversity in public education in Massachusetts.

Upright President and CEO Benjamin Boas and the presidents of both colleges participated in a formal announcement on Sept. 13.

“STCC is excited to partner with Upright Education to offer short-term certificate programs that will help anyone in Western Massachusetts who would like to change their career or develop technical skills to find jobs in high-demand fields, which includes high-tech,” STCC President John Cook said. “This new partnership aligns strongly with STCC’s technical mission and helps meet the demand for skilled workers in the region.”

HCC President Christina Royal added that “HCC is happy to join in the announcement of our joint partnership with Upright to provide 21st-century skills for today’s job seeker. The development of skills in IT will make our students more ready for the jobs in the future. Together, Upright, HCC, and STCC will help make job seekers of Western Mass. job-ready.”

Along with Greenfield Community College, Upright now partners with three different colleges in the region. These partnerships represent Upright’s investment in the growing tech sector in the state, particularly surrounding Springfield, which Boston Business Journal ranked the number-one city in the country for tech job growth in 2021.

Massachusetts has received support and resources for its tech sector from major companies in the tech industry, including an annual donation of $500,000 of cloud-computing resources from Microsoft. Upright’s presence also continues to grow in the Northeast more broadly, where its partnerships include multiple schools in New York and Vermont, and nationally, where it has signed 11 total education partnerships to date.

“Adults working hourly jobs want salaried careers where they can work remotely, enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, and reside in a neighborhood that doesn’t break the bank. Western Massachusetts represents a landscape that is ripe for providing these career opportunities in the growing tech economy,” said Benny Boas, CEO and founder of Upright Education. “Upright’s partnership with Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College provides direct-to-career pathways for in-demand technology jobs through accessible programs, which don’t require industry experience or a college degree.”

Upright’s full-time and part-time boot camps and individual courses currently maintain a job-placement rate of 92% and offer a 30% increase in salary for students coming from prior careers.

Expanding services in the Springfield region supports Upright’s mission of stimulating economic growth in areas where large populations of working adults stand to benefit from innovative educational opportunities and skilled training in burgeoning professional fields like software development, designing visual elements on a website, and improving user experience and user interface with the website.

Anyone interested in learning more about these programs may attend an informational session hosted by the enrollment team via Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 22 at noon. Click here to register.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD American International College (AIC) has signed an articulation agreement with Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), formally establishing a close academic relationship between the two-year college and the four-year institution. 

This accord between American International College and Springfield Technical Community College aligns academic programs that enhance the seamless transition of STCC graduates and qualified candidates from STCC, and promote a smooth, successful transfer to AIC. 

This articulation agreement offers time and cost savings for students by recognizing the coursework pursued at the community college and demonstrates the ongoing commitment of both AIC and STCC to the community and its students, by ensuring that educational pathways are created for all those who wish to consider a degree in higher education. 

At AIC, the program is referred to as Direct Connect. Direct Connect transfer students automatically receive a $4,000 scholarship in addition to their earned merit scholarship, before any need-based aid is awarded. This means Direct Connect students can earn up to $18,000 in financial gift aid, not loans, before being evaluated for additional need-based aid. And, unlike some other transfer articulation agreements, the Direct Connect program at AIC allows students to study and major in their area of interest while attending their community college. 

“We are honored to have entered into a partnership with Springfield Technical Community College,” said American International College President Hubert Benitez. The execution of articulation agreements with our community colleges, exemplifies AIC’s vision of expanding the services we provide to our students and to the communities we serve. In this time where the value of education is being questioned, we are ensuring that students not lose time or credits in the transition.”  

“We appreciate the continued collaboration between STCC and AIC, and welcome, in particular, the program-specific nature of this partnership,” said STCC President John Cook. “As neighbors just over a mile from one another, it is wonderful to continue our shared commitment to college access and affordability.”    

More information about American International College’s Direct Connect program and other undergraduate, and graduate degree programs can be found online at www.aic.edu. 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Technical Community College will be offering a variety of summer programs for people ages 11-16 to provide learning opportunities in STEM fields. 

The following programs will be offered this July and August: 

  • Theater, July 11-15 (ages 11-14): This class is designed to help build self-awareness, cultivate self-confidence, and help students explore their inner creativity. Students will learn teamwork through theatre games, acting exercises, and improvisation;
  • It’s Your Turn to Take the Mic, July 18-22 (ages 11-14): A workshop in public speaking that seeks to empower girls to develop the poise and communication skills needed to engage in effective public speaking;
  • Basketball and Physics, July 18-22 (ages 11-14): This class will teach the skills needed to be a better player on the court by giving small group instruction on fundamentals and skill development. This session will also include 3.5 hours of instructions relative to the physics of basketball and exercise;
  • JUS10H University, July 25-29 (ages 13-16): Students will learn the basic fundamentals of sewing, modeling and styling, as well as how to build a career in the fashion industry;
  • “Who done it?” Extreme Science Kid (Forensic Science), August 1-5 (ages 11-14): Children will actively engage in data collection, observation, analysis, and problem-solving while performing an interactive group-style investigation.
  • Say It Loud!! Extreme Science Kid (Great Debaters), August 8-12 (ages 13-16): Children will learn critical thinking skills, respectful dialog, research techniques, and fact-checking tips through debating topics of interest.

All programs cost $189 to enroll and run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Parents are responsible for providing lunch. Participants must be vaccinated for COVID-19 and are required to provide documentation of vaccination. 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Hispanic American Institute, in partnership with Springfield Technical Community College, will offer two free courses to support Latino and minority entrepreneurs in Springfield by providing education and tools which will help them achieve economic prosperity. 

The two courses are “English for Entrepreneurs,” starting today and “Basic Computer Skills Classes,” starting April 26.  STCC’s Workforce Development Center will offer the two courses for HAI. Learn more about the classes at stcc.edu/wdc. 

Courses are open to Springfield residents or any entrepreneur who has a business in Springfield or wants to start a business in Springfield. Courses are taught in English, but translation in Spanish will be available as needed. 

The Boston office of the Hispanic American Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting social, educational, and economic development in Hispanic communities in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America, will provide funding for the courses. 

As part of this Springfield project, the Hispanic American Institute will provide bilingual and culturally competent business technical assistance to minority-owned businesses. The goal is to increase revenues, create and retain jobs, and help start new businesses. The Hispanic American Institute has recently opened a local office at 1350 Main St., Suite 1508, in Springfield. 

“We were inspired to create a holistic approach to supporting immigrants, particularly Latino entrepreneurs, in Springfield by providing educational courses and one-on-one business coaching,” said John Perez, consulting project manager for the Hispanic American Institute.  

“We know lack of English language proficiency is a barrier to economic prosperity,” he added. “Further, lack of computer skills further inhibits access to knowledge and opportunities to start and manage a business successfully. Through this collaboration and the courses being offered, we hope to address all these issues and open opportunities for the participants.” 

STCC, which has a technical focus in all of its programs, is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. That means at least 25% of the full-time equivalent students are Hispanic and the college is eligible for grants to benefit all students.   

About the courses: 

English for Entrepreneurs: This course, taught virtually via Zoom, is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs and adults. Participants will learn English in the context of managing a business. Vocabulary will cover marketing, management, accounting and legal terms frequently used in casual conversations. As part of this class, participants will be asked to create a business pitch.  

Prior to starting the course, STCC will assess each participant to place them at the correct level. The course runs for 10 weeks. Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. April 25 through June 29. 

Basic Computer Skills Classes: This in-person course is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs and adults. Participants will develop basic computer skills for office work, as well as for the effective management of a business. Students will participate in activities to learn: Google Documents, Google Sheets basics (spreadsheets), efficient use of the internet, Google Slides basics, efficient use of electronic communications (e-mail), and file management and storage in Google Drive.  

There will be two cohorts. The first cohort will start April 26 and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at STCC. The course will run 5 weeks (last class May 26). The second cohort will start on May 31 and end on June 30. 

For more information, contact the Workforce Development Center at STCC. Visit the office at Building 27, second floor. Call (413) 755-4225 or email [email protected]. 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) received two grants worth $55,000 from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

A $30,000 Flexible Funding Grant awarded to the STCC Foundation will be used to boost the student-empowerment fund, which was created as a resource for students facing a variety of barriers standing in the way of their ability to complete their education.

Students in need of support for short-term housing, transportation, childcare, academic program resources, and nutritious meals can apply for the help they need through the empowerment fund, freeing them to focus on their studies and complete their programs.

A separate $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation will be used to fund the STCC’s COVID-19 vaccine video. STCC has created a video to promote vaccinations. All community colleges in the Commonwealth are requiring students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated by the start of the spring semester in January.

This vaccine requirement is aimed at ensuring the safest learning and working environment possible for all members of the STCC community.

The STCC Foundation, a nonprofit organization, helps STCC meet its goals and commitment to provide superior educational opportunities to the community.

“We are very grateful for the Community Foundation’s support,” said Shai Butler, STCC’s interim vice president of Advancement and External Affairs. “They are helping us to advance our mission to support students as they transform their lives. These have been challenging times for our students. Some of them have gotten sick and have had to take time off to recover. Some have lost jobs or have had to cut back their hours to take care of their families. The funding from the Community Foundation will help them stay in college and pursue their goals.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has been awarded two grants worth more than $7 million from the U.S. Department of Education to boost student success among Latinx and low-income students in STEM fields, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal announced on Wednesday during a visit to STCC.

“I am thrilled to celebrate the success of Springfield Technical Community College’s grant applications to the U.S. Department of Education,” Neal said. “These two awards totaling more than $7 million over a five-year period will help support the science, technology, engineering, and math programs at the college and welcome more students into the ever-growing field. This area of study is important across the country but is especially vital here in Massachusetts where we have some of the highest concentration of research and development in the world. Graduates of STCC will be ready to meet the challenge.”

The first grant, titled “Project Acceleration: Re-engineering Pathways to Student Success in STEM,” will run for five years for a total of $3 million. It will allow STCC to create a STEM studies program and develop support services to increase access to STEM careers.

The grant is designed to increase enrollment and improve the graduation rates of Latinx and low-income students in STEM majors and help them continue with their studies instead of withdrawing from school. In addition, the grant will allow STCC to help reduce the time it takes male students of color, particularly Latinx, to complete studies. The grant falls under the federal Title V program, which was created to improve higher education of Hispanic students.

The second grant announced by Neal is titled “STEM Access and Retention Strategies.” The five-year grant, totaling $4,352,559, will allow STCC to create and enhance support services for Latinx and low-income students. Services and programs supported by the grant include creation of STEM-focused first-year experience courses; utilization of proactive STEM advisors, which would involves bringing services to students rather than waiting for them to ask; and implementation of additional mental-health services.

In recent years, STCC created a STEM Center that offers opportunities for tutoring and group study for all students. The college also provides mentoring and coaching. The new federal grant also will allow STCC to enhance professional development for faculty.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding from the U.S. Department of Education and extremely grateful for support from Congressman Neal,” Cook said. “I want to thank our local delegation for visiting STCC and for their support through the years. These grants will directly address challenges we face at the college. One of our top priorities is to close achievement gaps among students who have faced barriers, which includes many of our Latinx and low-income students. These grants will help support our students and give them a better chance at staying in college and earning their degree.”

STCC, the only technical community college in Massachusetts, is federally designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, with 30% of the students identifying as Hispanic. The city of Springfield suffers high unemployment and poverty. Fifty-six percent of STCC students receive federal Pell grants, which are awarded to students who display exceptional financial need. Hispanic and low-income students enter college with greater developmental math needs and lower retention and graduation rates, on average, than non-Hispanic and higher-income students. Only 11.4% of Hispanic and 14% of low-income students major in STEM.

As part of the grant focusing on access and retention strategies, STCC will partner with UMass Amherst and Central Connecticut State University to expand transfer opportunities for students.

“These grants will directly impact the Springfield community around STCC by providing better access to support services for our students so they can succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Lara Sharp, dean of the School of STEM.

After the announcement, Neal toured the state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms in the Smith & Wesson STCC Advanced Manufacturing Building in Springfield Technology Park. The facility includes computer numerical control machines and other tools and machines used in precision manufacturing.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Carberry Conversations, presented by Springfield Technical Community College’s Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery, continues on Friday, Oct. 1 from 11 to 11:45 a.m. with a virtual conversation between associate professor and gallery coordinator Sondra Peron and adjunct professor and visual artist Jorge Costa.

This conversation between a photographer-philosopher and an artist-activist is likely to cover a wide range of topics including design inspired by nature, the connection between climate change and food politics, and race and architecture. The event is part of Hispanic/Latinx History Month at STCC. To attend the virtual event, register at stcc.io/costa.

Costa is a visual artist and an adjunct professor at Manchester Community College, Springfield College, and STCC. His work explores a variety of media, forms, and content, including research on biomimetic design, microbiology, bio-architecture, climate change, and the Anthropocene.

Costa has collaborated with other artists and shown his work in a variety of spaces, including the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Waterfront Artist Coalition; Brattleboro (Vt.) Museum & Art Center; A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton; Fowler Arts Collective, Brooklyn, N.Y., Sanford Meisner Theater, Chelsea, N.Y., Artists Space, Tribeca, N.Y., Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe, Japan; Kathryn Schultz Gallery, Cambridge; and Hemphill Fine Arts Gallery, Washington, D.C. Learn more at www.jorgecosta.space.

Carberry Conversations is a series of virtual talks throughout the academic year between Peron and several past exhibiting artists whose work has been on view at the Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery since 2013, as well as STCC’s own art faculty. Conceived in response to the ongoing pandemic, these conversations function as a space to connect working artists and photographers to STCC and the Greater Springfield community covering a wide variety of topics, including origin stories, impact of current events on the artistic process, and the function of art and photography during times of crisis. The exhibition is supported in part by the School of Liberal and Professional Studies and the Fine Arts program.

The gallery reopens later this month a new, in-person exhibition in B28 with collages by Keith Hollingworth, “40 Black Writers.”

All Carberry Conversations are free and open to the public via Zoom.

Daily News

BOSTON — In an audit released Aug. 18, the office of state Auditor Suzanne Bump found Springfield Technical Community College’s spending of federal assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been consistent with federal guidelines.

During the audit, which examined March 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020, STCC received $4,586,795 in CARES Act funding and spent $1,157,621. The majority of STCC’s spending (97%) was allocated to students for emergency financial aid to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, and the remaining funds covered institutional costs.

“There is no doubt that the CARES Act has provided a much-needed lifeline to support higher-education institutions, like Springfield Technical Community College. I commend STCC’s appropriate use of these federal funds,” Bump said of the audit. “As we move forward, my office will continue this work to ensure federal COVID-19 relief money is used as intended and effectively by state government entities.”

The CARES Act was enacted by Congress on March 27, 2020, and provided $30.75 billion for a national Education Stabilization Fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Massachusetts Department of Education received $50.8 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds from the CARES Act, which it then distributed to elementary-, secondary-, and higher-education recipients. This week’s audit is the second in a series of upcoming reports that will review state spending of COVID-19 federal funding.

In addition, unrelated to the examination of CARES Act spending, the audit notes that STCC had not established a campus-wide program to ensure that employees receive cybersecurity training. In its response, STCC stated that it is working toward providing mandatory IT training for all staff.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The STEM Starter Academy at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will feature a talk by an expert on opioid-use disorder today, July 21, from 11 a.m. to noon, the first in a series of events for students in the Summer Bridge program. The events, held over Zoom, are free and open to the public as well as students.

Today’s STEM Starter Academy presents Dr. Elizabeth Evans, a professor at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst. She specializes in opioids and other substances of abuse, women’s health, life course, social determinants, health-services utilization, and outcomes. She researches how healthcare systems and public policies can better promote health and wellness among vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly for individuals at risk for opioid and other substance-use disorders.

On Wednesday, July 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the STEM Starter Academy will present a STEM Careers Symposium. The Zoom event will feature professors, scientists, and industry experts sharing their inspiring stories about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Anyone joining the event will learn about STEM career choices, challenges, demands, and opportunities.

Scheduled to speak are Robert O’Connor of the state office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Shannon Roberts, a professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst; Dr. John O’Reilly from the Division of General Pediatrics at Baystate Health; and Graziella DiRenzo, an ecologist at UMass Amherst.

To request a Zoom link to watch the series, e-mail Reena Randhir, director of the STEM Starter Academy at STCC, at [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) named an interim vice president of Advancement and External Affairs, a leadership position that oversees institution-sustaining efforts, engagement writ large, and strategic communication.

Shai Butler

Shai Butler, who starts June 7, will work closely with STCC President John Cook to support the college’s mission. In this role, Butler will carry a portfolio that includes fundraising, governmental relations, strategic marketing, branding, and communication. The role also ensures deep connections with the STCC Foundation, and Butler carries the dual title of executive director of the STCC Foundation.

“We’re thrilled that Dr. Butler is joining us at STCC,” Cook said. “She brings tremendous intellect, along with a wealth of experience in higher education, to this role. Particularly impressive is her understanding of fundraising and community outreach, as well as her leadership of equity initiatives, which are so prominent in our mission at STCC.”

Butler most recently served as vice president for Student Development at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.

Jennifer Brown, president of the STCC Foundation board of directors, said the board is looking forward to working with Butler. “The foundation board is pleased to welcome Dr. Shai Butler to Springfield Technical Community College. She will be a strong asset to enhance and support the mission of the STCC Foundation.”

Butler is no stranger to Western Mass.; her husband, Odo Butler, worked at American International College from 2018 to 2020, and they have enjoyed camping trips to Becket.

“I’m excited about joining STCC and looking forward to meeting faculty, students, staff, as well as the many partners in the community, government, education, and industry,” Butler said. “STCC is a gem for Greater Springfield, and I look forward to supporting its goals and mission in my role at the college.”

Known by her students as “Dr. Shai,” Butler led the creation of the division of Student Development at the College of Saint Rose, where she had worked in various leadership roles since 2007. For many years, she served as the chief diversity officer. She began her career in higher education at the University at Albany – State University of New York, where she worked for over a decade, and where she previously earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in educational administration and policy studies. In 2014, she earned a doctoral degree in law and policy at Northeastern University in Boston.

A speaker, writer, and influencer on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as well as women’s leadership, mentorship, sponsorship, and professional development, Butler is an executive contributor for higheredjobs.com. In addition, her research on educational access for low-income students opened the door for her to join 60 educators at a 2014 White House conference on increasing the number of youth and traditional college-aged students of color majoring in STEM fields.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will celebrate the class of 2021 with a drive-through parade today, June 3, at 4 p.m.

All graduates and their guests must ride in a car. STCC will provide transportation for students who do not have access to a vehicle. Faculty and staff from STCC will line Mary Killeen Bennett Way, which is the main road on campus, to cheer on graduates.

“We are delighted to host a drive-through parade to honor our graduates,” STCC President John Cook said. “As students, they have faced tough obstacles over the past year. The faculty, staff, and I are proud of them. They deserve to be celebrated.”

Andrea Tarpey, coordinator of Student Activities at STCC, proposed the idea for a parade. “We know how important it is to celebrate graduation, and a parade is a wonderful and safe way to honor the achievement,” she said. “I think our graduates will love the experience, and we can’t wait to cheer them on.”

Graduates can wear their cap and gown and decorate their car. Only one car per graduate is permitted to participate in the parade. The parade will start at the Federal Street entrance to the campus.

Separately, STCC is planning a virtual commencement on Friday, June 18 at 6 p.m. Graduates and their friends and family can watch the streaming event on the STCC YouTube channel.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Technical Community College Foundation on June 3 will kick off “STCC GIVES,” a fundraising effort that seeks support for student programs and scholarships.

STCC GIVES presents an opportunity to help build scholarships to ensure that students have the support they need to succeed. All gifts made in June will be matched one to one.

“We are grateful for the support we have received over the years from our donors,” said Kelly Galanis, director of Operations & Donor Relations. “Whether you’ve donated in the past or you’re thinking of being a first-time donor, STCC GIVES is a perfect opportunity to help transform the lives of our students.”

STCC was named fourth-best community college in the nation by Academic Influence and has been named a top college by readers of multiple area publications.

Galanis said donors had many options to support students: making a gift online by visiting stccgives.com, texting ‘STCCGives’ to 50155, calling the STCC Foundation at (413) 755-4529, or mailing a donation to STCC Office of Advancement, One Armory Square, Springfield, MA 01105.

The STCC Foundation has set a goal of raising $10,000 for students to apply toward general support and programming. The Collins Companies will match the first $10,000 in gifts.

One student, Miranda Lebel, described how contributions helped her succeed. “STCC was tremendously helpful in my journey towards becoming a nurse. I found the community to be supportive, kind, and a champion of my success. I was honored to receive scholarships from the STCC Foundation, which made my education not just a dream, but a reality. The STCC community is filled with superheroes.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has opened registration for its STEM Starter Academy’s free Summer Bridge program, which runs July 5 through Aug. 12. To keep students, staff, and faculty safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer program will be held virtually.

Incoming students pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) majors and who are accepted into the program can earn free college credits and a $500 stipend upon successful participation and completion.

The deadline to apply is June 11. Applicants must be Massachusetts residents from Massachusetts high-school graduating classes in 2019, 2020 or 2021; be majoring in a STEM field and registered for fall 2021 classes; have a GPA of 2.7 or above; and submit a STEM Starter Academy application with transcript.

“This is a terrific opportunity for incoming fall 2021 students registered in a STEM major to get a jump start to their first semester on campus,” said Reena Randhir, director of the STEM Starter Academy at STCC. “Students in the Bridge program will have a chance to complete their first math and first-year experience class tuition-free and enjoy other benefits that will enrich their STCC experience.”

Other benefits include free supplies, tutoring, peer mentoring, and advising, which will continue until students graduate or transfer.

For additional information and to apply, visit stcc.edu/bridge. Contact Randhir at [email protected] or (413) 755-4576 with questions.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) ongoing Heart of a Man series continues Thursday, May 6 at 2 p.m. with a virtual live event focusing on mental health and wellness. Students and the general public can attend the free event by registering at stcc.edu/heartofaman.

“Mental health and wellness is a critical issue throughout our country and on college campuses in particular,” said Cynthia Breunig, violence-prevention coordinator at STCC.

The session will explore the challenges that prevent men from seeking support, addressing trauma, and taking steps to prioritize their own well-being. A panel discussion will focus on the impact of race, class, and gender on men’s overall wellness.

“The series was created to engage men in very important conversations that impact communities of color as well as provide a space to connect students who are men with leaders in our community,” said Vonetta Lightfoot, Multicultural Affairs operation manager. “Shortly after the death of George Floyd, I felt it was necessary to get men in a room to discuss and debrief these societal issues that affect their daily existence and create a vehicle for healing and change.”

Videos of previous Heart of a Man talks can be found on STCC’s YouTube channel, youtube.edu/springfieldtechcc.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will celebrate the class of 2021 with a drive-through parade on Thursday, June 3 at 4 p.m.

Because campus access is restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic, graduates must register in advance to join the parade. Visit stcc.edu/commencement to find a link to register.

All graduates and their guests must ride in a car. STCC will provide transportation for students who do not have access to a vehicle. Faculty and staff from STCC will line Mary Killeen Bennett Way, which is the main road on campus, to cheer on graduates.

“We are delighted to host a drive-through parade to honor our graduates,” STCC President John Cook said. “As students, they have faced tough obstacles over the past year. The faculty, staff, and I are proud of them. They deserve to be celebrated.”

Andrea Tarpey, coordinator of Student Activities at STCC, proposed the idea for a parade. “We know how important it is to celebrate graduation, and a parade is a wonderful and safe way to honor the achievement,” she said. “I think our graduates will love the experience, and we can’t wait to cheer them on.”

Graduates can wear their cap and gown and decorate their car. Only one car per graduate is permitted to participate in the parade. The parade will start at the Federal Street entrance to campus. If it rains, the parade will be rescheduled to Friday, June 4.

Separately, STCC is planning a virtual commencement on Friday, June 18 at 6 p.m. Graduates and their friends and family can watch the streaming event on the STCC YouTube channel, youtube.com/springfieldtechcc.

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Gary Mullett

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Professor Gary Mullett was named a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the highest grade for the professional organization for electrical and electronic engineers.

IEEE senior membership is an honor bestowed only to those who have made significant contributions to the profession. The grade reflects professional maturity.

Senior members have been engineers, scientists, educators, technical executives, or originators in IEEE-designated fields for 10 years and have demonstrated five years of significant performance.

Mullett is a professor of Electrical, Energy, Optics, and Mechanical Technology at STCC. He has been with the college since the 1970s.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College and the STCC Foundation will kick off a free learning series for the Western Mass. community that combines education and wellness in a fun and engaging format.

Called “Spring Into Wellness,” the season begins with a three-part virtual series conducted on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. The sessions include:

• May 4: “Health Cooking at Home” with Nadim Kashouh, owner of Nadim’s Mediterranean in Springfield;

• May 18: “Financial Wellness Checkup” with Anthony Rondinelli, associate professor of Business Administration at STCC; and

• June 1: “Total and Holistic Wellness Practices” with Sheila Magalhaes, owner of Heartsong Yoga Center in East Longmeadow.

“This opportunity begins as a virtual celebration that brings education and wellness together for all to learn in an enjoyable, fun and engaging format, while raising awareness and funding for student programming and support through the STCC Foundation,” said Jennifer Brown, president of the STCC Foundation.

Dr. Kevin Hinchey, a STCC Foundation board member, added that “STCC is a gem for our community, providing rich and diverse education and training that benefits our richly diverse community. Now, in this difficult time, they have once again stepped up to help stimulate wellness with the Spring into Wellness series. This is one more example of how STCC is a great partner in supporting the health of our community.”

The STCC Foundation is offering community sponsorship opportunities for the series. Sponsors will enjoy benefits such as acknowledgement on YouTube video during the event; advertisement on all STCC social-media channels leading up to the event; name and logo featured on the STCC event website; listing in the upcoming STCC president’s report; verbal acknowledgement by the STCC Foundation board during the event; recognition in the event public-relations campaign, including direct mail, e-mail, and publication advertising; and complimentary STCC Cares personalized gifts commemorating the series.

Gold sponsors for this event include Baystate Health, the Collins Companies, and Smith & Wesson. Sponsorships are still available at the bronze, silver, and gold levels. E-mail Kelly Galanis at [email protected] for more information about sponsorship.

To register to attend the event, visit www.stcc.edu/wellness.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Gateway to College at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will hold a live virtual information session on Wednesday, April 21 at 3 p.m.

Anyone interested in Gateway, an alternative to traditional high school, should consider attending the virtual info session. The Gateway to College website also includes a link to a prerecorded info session. To register, visit stcc.edu/gateway and click on ‘attend an information session.’

The Gateway to College program at STCC helps students who have experienced challenges in high school such as bullying, medical issues, or the negative consequences of high-school social expectations.

Through the Gateway to College scholarship, students have the opportunity to complete their high-school graduation requirements in a college-based program while simultaneously earning college credits. Students earn their high-school diploma and college credits at the same time. Some also continue on to finish certificate programs and associate degrees and transfer to four-year colleges.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) honored two faculty members as this year’s 2021 Endowed Chairs, awards named for two of the college’s founders. In a video sent to the STCC campus community, President John Cook congratulated this year’s recipients, Professors Ann-Marie Simao and Joshua Carreiro.

Carreiro received the Anthony M. Scibelli Endowed Chair, and Simao received the Joseph J. Deliso Sr. Endowed Chair. They received a monetary award — $3,000 each — and wooden chairs with plaques inscribed with their names. They can apply $1,500 to professional development and $1,500 to their academic department.

Cook said the awards are a way to “recognize significant accomplishment and excellence in teaching. As we know as a community college, this is fundamental to us and to our work, and I’m thrilled to once again help congratulate our recipients.”

In announcing the Deliso recipient, Barbara Washburn, interim dean of the School of STEM, said Simao, a mathematics professor, is known for her early adoption of open education resources (OER), which allows students to access textbooks and other resources for free. She uses OER for all of her math courses.

“She designed her math courses to be very hands-on and interactive,” Washburn said. “Her passion for teaching, her innovative ways for learning math, and her commitment to serve the college make her a great asset to the Math Department and STCC. “

Simao, who has taught full-time at STCC since 2012, said she was honored and humbled to receive the award. “One of the things I love about teaching is watching the ‘aha’ moment when the students finally get it. With math, we find that a lot of students who walk into the classroom are completely fearful of math. Part of my job is to explain math in a way that students can understand it and make them love it, and make them want to delve deeper into learning about math and how fun it can be.”

Simao earned a master’s degree in education from Fitchburg State University and in math from Central Connecticut State University. She received a bachelor’s degree from Providence College.

Richard Greco, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, announced the Scibelli Endowed Chair recipient, Carreiro, who has been teaching at STCC since 2012 and serves as chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Greco said Carreiro has shown strong leadership in online education, and has helped faculty transition to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Josh has been a leader in the development of curriculum here at STCC, beginning with creating the Urban Studies program, which is a unique program that allows students to delve into problem solving in regard to real-life problems within our cities. Josh is a leader in the classroom, always employing the newest technologies.”

Carreiro said he was surprised and excited to receive the award. “It’s a great honor, and I definitely feel it represents not just my own hard work at the school but all of the great work that everybody is doing on campus, and especially within my own department. When I think about teaching and what drives me as an educator, I really do think about the larger community — how students can not only transform their own lives, but how they can strengthen their communities.”

Carreiro earned his PhD in sociology from UMass Amherst. He started his college pathway at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, where he earned an associate degree. He then transferred to University of Connecticut in Storrs, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and philosophy.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) online business degree program was ranked as the second-most-popular in the New England region, according to Business Degree Central, an online resource for students.

The website ranked STCC’s program second out of 11 colleges in New England. The business program was also ranked second-most-popular in Massachusetts.

“Springfield Technical Community College is extremely proud to be ranked number two among the most popular online associate-degree programs in business administration within both Massachusetts and New England,” said Anthony Rondinelli, a business professor and graduate of the STCC program. “STCC offers a variety of online business degree programs and courses in the areas of accounting, finance, management, marketing, economics, and entrepreneurship, making higher education both easily accessible and very affordable for today’s busy student.”

STCC designed the online business program for students who want to earn a two-year associate degree before starting their own business or before transferring to a four-year college or university to continue on to a bachelor’s degree. Students in the program can take advantage of internship opportunities to earn money while they study and explore career options.

“We’re honored and delighted to be listed as having one of the most popular business programs in the area,” said Richard Greco, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. “I’m proud of our talented faculty, who show their commitment every day to supporting the success of the students. Our business program has been fully online since 2017. A lot of our business students work and have families, so they enjoy the flexibility of pursuing their degree online.”

Some of the students work in business and see the STCC degree as an affordable way to expand their potential growth within their company or industry.

Helder Serrazina, who went through the online program and transferred to the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, said it was the perfect program for him.

“There’s a lot of versatility and flexibility, so you can plan what you want to do and how many classes you want to take,” said Serrazina, who graduated in 2020 with an associate degree. “For me, it worked beautifully.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) was ranked as the fourth-best community college in the nation and second-best in Massachusetts, according to Academic Influence, a college ranking system.

Academic Influence consists of academics and data scientists who use artificial-intelligence technology to analyze publicly available data and measure the impact of work produced by the world’s top academic influencers. On March 4, the website released its first-ever ranking of the 50 best community colleges in America. STCC is one of six Massachusetts community colleges listed in the top 20.

“We’re honored and delighted to be ranked as one of the best community colleges in Massachusetts and the nation,” STCC President John Cook said. “I applaud our talented faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment to STCC and going the extra mile to help our students succeed. Many of our faculty bring real-world technical experience into the labs and classrooms. Their expertise, combined with their caring approach to working with students, makes STCC truly shine as a wonderful and unique institution.”

STCC, the Commonwealth’s only technical community college, offers comprehensive workforce and technical education in fields that include manufacturing; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); healthcare; business; human services; and the liberal arts. The college is federally designated as a Hispanic-serving institution, with more than 30% of students identifying at Latinx.

Academic Influence considered 839 community colleges in the U.S. that were fully accredited, enrolled at least 1,000 students, and provided primarily two-year associate-degree programs along with certificate credentials in most cases.

“Our approach highlights community colleges that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size,” according to a description on the Academic Influence website. “If you are serious about finding the best community colleges for an associate’s degree or professional certification, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.”

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SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) professor of Optics and Photonics Technology has joined 16 recipients from institutions worldwide in receiving awards and medals from the Optical Society (OSA).

The 2021 OSA prizes include the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal, which went to Nicholas Massa. According to a news release from the OSA, Massa was recognized “for outstanding leadership in photonics technician education, including the development and dissemination of innovative educational materials.”

Massa has taught at STCC since 1986, and has led the Optics and Photonics program since 1990.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be recognized by the OSA and be part of an esteemed group of colleagues dedicated to advancing the field of optics and photonics,” Massa said. “I’m proud to have helped prepare and inspire students to pursue careers in a rewarding and exciting field.”

Added STCC President John Cook, “we cannot thank Professor Massa enough for his significant stewardship of this program over many decades. To be recognized with this award is not only a testament to his investment in the field of optics and photonics, it is also a credit to the STCC mission, which has a distinctive technical and workforce focus.”

Geraldine de Berly, vice president of Academic Affairs at STCC, said Massa has dedicated his career to developing the Optics and Photonics program, the only one of its kind in the region. Students can pursue a two-year associate degree or one year certificate. The program prepares aspiring engineering technicians with knowledge and skills in lasers, optics, and electronics needed to design, test, and maintain complex optics and photonics systems.

“Dr. Massa inspires students and shares with them his passion for the program,” de Berly said. “He is to be congratulated on his work over the years, which has had a lasting impact on so many students. The award is well-deserved.”

The Optics and Photonics Technology program at STCC serves as a pathway into positions at high-tech companies throughout the region, including Coherent/Nufern, which makes optical fibers for telecommunications and high power fiber lasers used in industry and defense technology.

“For many years our Coherent locations in Connecticut have relied on Springfield Tech’s Optics and Photonics degree program to fill our job openings with well-trained and well-qualified employees,” said Meg Feinberg, Coherent representative. “STCC graduates not only have hands-on optical fiber handling and laser building skills, they understand the science behind these always-evolving technologies, which can lead to jobs with increasing responsibility and career opportunity.”

Massa joins an elite group of award and medal winners that include educators from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Lund University in Sweden, among other institutions throughout the U.S. and the world. Read the full list of recipients and their institutions at osa.org.

Massa’s award, the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal, was established in 1993 and is presented for outstanding contributions to education in optical science and engineering. Consideration is given to outstanding teaching, original work, or both in optics education that enhances the understanding of optics.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will restore five programs that were discontinued last year in response to projected budget shortfalls brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The STCC board of trustees voted Monday to support biomedical engineering technology, biotechnology, civil engineering technology, dental assisting, and landscape design and management.

STCC President John Cook said the college will work to reinstate programs after open, transparent, and public conversations with college stakeholders about needs and resources.

“The vote by trustees was important and offers helpful direction for the college moving forward,” Cook said. “We know our unique programs make STCC special, and we will always strive to meet industry and workforce needs. Our faculty and staff remain passionate about the college’s mission. The depth of discussion and consideration in 2020 ensures we are a stronger institution in 2021.”

In June, the college announced the discontinuation of seven programs as part of a broad set of cost-saving measures. Trustees established a committee to examine these programs, including costs, enrollment, facilities and equipment needs, and to consider questions of sustainability. Beyond the five programs, at a future time, trustees will continue the examination of two programs: automotive technology and cosmetology. STCC will work to relaunch the five programs in fall 2021, and the gross annual operating cost of these programs is approximately $500,000.

Significant discussion across the college, including impact bargaining with one union, has been part of a diligent process of consideration. “I want to thank the trustees for their support and thoughtful approach to reinstating these programs,” Cook said.

At the end of May, with Massachusetts emerging from a stay-at-home order, prospects for the fiscal year were bleak. Already contending with significant enrollment declines and hundreds of millions in deferred maintenance, STCC moved forward amid the uncertainty with an early-retirement incentive, freezes on hiring, personnel reductions, operational savings, capital deferments, and discontinuation of a set of smaller academic programs. While state support for STCC was ultimately level-funded, the college experienced a 16% enrollment decline in the fall semester, and is projected to absorb a 20% decline in the spring semester, which together represent millions in operating losses.

“We know the college still has many significant challenges ahead, and financial resources are particularly important for trustees,” said Marikate Murren, chair of the STCC board of trustees. “Long term, trustees will continue to be involved in seeking input about what STCC can sustain and how the board can support decision making with constituents.”

STCC is the only technical community college in Massachusetts with unique health and STEM programs serving significant populations of African-American, Latinx, and first-generation college students.

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SPRINGFIELD — When Denise “Daisy” Flaim started as an adjunct professor at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) in 2004, she couldn’t wait for the day a full-time position would open at the college.

“I fell madly in love with the school,” Flaim said. “I wanted to teach full-time at STCC so badly.”

Her opportunity to teach full-time finally arrived in 2008. Hired as an English professor, Flaim focused on connecting with students to help transform their lives. She demonstrated a dedication and commitment to her craft that did not go unnoticed; earlier this month, STCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Geraldine de Berly announced Flaim was the recipient of the Faculty of the Year Award for 2019-20.

De Berly said the award recognizes Flaim’s teaching techniques to accommodate a variety of learning styles; her efforts to build an inclusive classroom; her work with students outside of the classroom; support letters from colleagues, students, and supervisors; as well as her service contributions to STCC.

“Congratulations to Daisy Flaim,” de Berly said. “Her dedication and commitment to supporting students demonstrate she is well-deserving of this award.”

Richard Greco, dean of Liberal and Professional Studies, described Flaim as an excellent teacher who has a unique way of inspiring students. He recalled observing Flaim leading a class in which she introduced a poem that describes the journey of refugees.

“Students felt comfortable and began sharing their experiences,” Greco said. “One particular student spoke of her journey, and I could not help but notice that over half of the class was tearing up, and everyone in the class was on the edge of their seats.”

Flaim has taught several writing and literature classes at STCC in addition to serving as chair of the Liberal Arts/General Studies Program for one year. She applies her past work experience, which included professional writing jobs.

Flaim has drawn inspiration from her students over the years. She recalls meeting a student who struggled when he started at STCC. But with hard work and persistence, he ended up receiving an A. She also makes a point to get to know her students outside the classroom.

“I offer all of my students a conference for every paper we do. I meet with them if they’re distressed,” she said. “I spend most of my work day meeting with them individually. That’s probably the core of what I believe in as an instructor. I learned when I was starting out that students who know a professor outside of the classroom do better not just in that professor’s classroom, but in all of their classes.

“I made a promise to myself,” she added, “that I would try to be that professor who knew people outside of the classroom.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) partnered this fall with Post University in Waterbury, Conn. to offer seamless transfer pathways in six programs.

Students in the following STCC associate-degree programs have an opportunity to transfer to Post University and pursue a bachelor’s degree: applied psychology, business transfer, communication and digital media, criminal justice transfer, early childhood education transfer, and human services/social work.

Post University offers classes online but also has a 58-acre main campus that includes six student residence halls, an admissions building, a library, a fitness center, and a multi-purpose sports facility. The main campus classes for spring 2021 will be online in response to risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. STCC is also planning online classes this spring with a mix of low-density, in-person labs for health and manufacturing programs.

STCC and Post University signed the agreements in September. STCC offers dozens of pathways for transferring to a four-year college or university. Students who take advantage of the transfer pathways can see significant financial savings, said Matt Gravel, dean of Academic Initiatives at STCC.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Post University and give our students a great opportunity to save money while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. You can save thousands of dollars by starting at STCC and transferring through one of our many pathways,” he noted. “We encourage students who are planning on going on to a four-year college or university after STCC to speak with their academic advisors early about the transfer pathways. They will need to plan early in order to take courses or programs that parallel requirements at the college they plan to attend.”

In addition to agreements with Post University and other institutions, STCC participates in MassTransfer, a program that guarantees participating students admission to the Massachusetts public university of their choice, provided they graduate from an approved major at STCC with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; Commonwealth Commitment, a component of the MassTransfer program that provides additional financial incentives to students who complete their associate and bachelor programs within a certain timeframe; and Gen Ed Foundation, a 34-credit block of courses that, once completed at STCC, will satisfy the general-education requirements at any public college or university in Massachusetts.

To learn more about the transfer agreements at STCC, including ones with Post University, visit stcc.edu/resources/academic-support/transfer/agreements.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will offer a four-week online winter session in December, an affordable opportunity for college students whether they’re enrolled at STCC or another school.

The session runs Wednesday, Dec. 23 through Tuesday, Jan. 19. Registration for current students opens Nov. 18. Registration for new students begins Nov. 23.

STCC offers the most affordable online classes in Springfield. Most winter classes are designed for easy transfer to both public and private campuses, saving students hundreds of dollars per course. Some winter classes also save students money with free textbooks.

“Winter-session classes are the perfect opportunity for college students to earn college credit at a reduced cost during the traditional winter-break period,” STCC Dean of Academic Initiatives Matthew Gravel said. “The majority of classes available during winter session can be used as electives at both community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. Our winter classes are taught by faculty who are experts in their fields, and who have years of experience in delivering online instruction.”

The short duration of these classes will result in an intensive, fast-paced learning experience. Motivation, steady participation, and persistence will be key to students’ success in these classes, Gravel added.

To help ensure their success during the winter session, STCC allows students to register for no more than nine credits in winter. Courses include art, biology, college research, computer applications, English, first-year experience, history, management, mathematics, medical assisting, medical lab tech, music, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.

Blackboard orientation sessions to prepare students for online classes will be offered prior to the start of the winter semester.

Registration for winter session ends Dec. 23 and is available online at www.stcc.edu/winter or by calling the Registrar’s Office at (413) 755-4321.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will host a wellness and fitness retreat and an event featuring women leaders on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 18 and 19, at 12:15 p.m. The free virtual online Zoom events are open to the community as well as STCC students, faculty, and staff.

Lidya Rivera-Early, director of Community Engagement at STCC, said the wellness and fitness retreat on Nov. 18 will be an opportunity to learn tips for improving mental and physical health.

“It can be difficult to keep your spirits up during the ‘new normal’ we are living through, when many people are working from home and not seeing friends,” she said. “Anxiety levels tend to increase. We want to help people find ways to feel better physically and mentally. The retreat will offer an opportunity to engage in mind and body workouts and engage in a conversation about self-care.”

Rivera-Early invited Latoya Bosworth, a life coach and writer, and Karla Medina, a master trainer, fitness entrepreneur, and business owner, to speak and present at the retreat.

The next day, on Nov. 19, STCC will host the second part in the “We the Women” series, which highlights women leaders in the community.

“The three women participating all have a connection to STCC,” Rivera-Early said. “They all work at STCC in different capacities and come from different backgrounds, but they bring the same passion for creating opportunities for our students.”

The event will feature a talk by Kiyota Garcia, interim assistant dean of Student Initiatives at STCC, and Darcey Kemp, assistant vice president of Student Affairs at STCC. The third speaker, Lakisha Coppedge, works as student liaison in the Early Childhood Education Department at STCC.

To register for the wellness and fitness retreat, visit stcc.io/wellness. To register for the “We the Women” event, visit stcc.io/wethewomen2020.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will host a virtual event that explores gender stereotypes and healthy relationships on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. Titled “The Heart of a Father,” the Zoom event is free and open to the public. Register and find more information at stcc.io/heart.

Thursday’s event is the second in a three-part series created this fall to engage men in important conversations that impact communities of color as well as provide a space to connect male students with leaders in the community, said Vonetta Lightfoot, Multicultural Affairs operation manager at STCC.

Lightfoot and Cynthia Breunig, Violence Prevention coordinator at STCC, created the series. Thursday’s event will feature a moderated discussion with each panelist followed by a dialogue with the audience.

Some of the panelists in the series include M. Quentin Williams, author, educator, international speaker, former FBI agent, former federal prosecutor, and former NFL and NBA executive; and Kevin Powell, author, activist, writer, and entrepreneur.

The final event in the series, “Black and Blue: A Dialogue on Police Violence and Men of Color,” is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will hold a virtual open house on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 4 to 4:45 p.m., allowing anyone interested in becoming a student to meet with representatives from the college’s degree and certificate programs and departments.

To register for the Zoom virtual event, visit stcc.edu/apply/open-house.

The online event, which is free and open to the public, is an opportunity for prospective students to learn more about what the college has to offer, including the most affordable associate-degree and certificate programs in Springfield, transfer opportunities, academic advising, financial aid, online learning, and disability services.

Dean of Admissions Louisa Davis-Freeman said people can drop in for a short time or stay online for the full hour.

“We were pleased with how our first virtual open house went this fall at STCC,” she said. “It’s easy to register in advance and then log in to Zoom and join us. It’s a convenient way to get information. If you can’t make it to the Open House, but are still interested in applying for classes, visit stcc.edu/apply or give us a call at (413) 755-3333. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you apply.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Why does COVID-19 have a particularly devastating impact on black communities? How does your neighborhood impact your health? How does racism impact health outcomes?

These are some of the questions a Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) professor will raise during a live webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. Titled “Health, Wealth, and Race,” the event will feature a presentation by Dr. Raja Staggers, assistant professor in Social & Behavioral Sciences at STCC.

Members of the STCC community, as well as the general public, are invited to attend this free Zoom webinar. Visit stcc.io/staggers to register.

Staggers will explore race-based disparities in health outcomes with a focus on the disproportionate burden of COVID-19. In addition, she will consider the impact of a community’s environment and systemic racism on health, and will offer recommendations to address health inequities.

Staggers is a public-health sociologist and social researcher in the areas of health inequities and race and racism. She received a doctorate in medical sociology and social inequality from Howard University and a master of public health degree in community health education from New York University. She has facilitated national conversations on discrimination and the impact on health and has led trainings on anti-racism, cultural competency, and health equity.

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) won four medals at this year’s District 1 National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) Medallion Awards.

The Medallion Awards recognize excellence in design and communication at community colleges within the district, which covers the Northeast, parts of Eastern Canada, and the United Kingdom. STCC won three bronze medallions and one silver. The Communications and Marketing team was recognized for excellence in creating the following promotional products on behalf of the college: a brochure with facts about STCC and information about how to apply for financial aid (silver medallion); a spring 2020 semester newsletter (bronze); a fundraising pennant (bronze); and the “STCC Around” radio segment that airs on WTCC 90.7 FM on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. (bronze).

The work was judged by marketing and communications professionals who are members of NCMPR at community colleges. Winners are awarded gold, silver, or bronze medallions.

“I’m super proud of the recognition my team is earning for STCC,” said Keith Paul, director of Communications and Marketing at STCC. “We love telling the stories of students transforming their lives. We’re humbled that our marketing peers at community colleges think we’re doing a good job of it.”

The Communications and Marketing staff at STCC includes Paul, Media Relations Coordinator Jim Danko, and Design and Production Services Coordinator Kerry Ferrero.

Denise Hurst, vice president of Advancement and External Affairs at STCC, congratulated the team.

“I am so excited to see the STCC Communications and Marketing team receive these accolades for their strategic and diligent work,” Hurst said. “Not only are they each talented in their own right, they collaborate with their colleagues across campus and within the community to collectively achieve the mission to share near and far that STCC is the most accessible and affordable higher-education institution in the area.”

NCMPR, made up of seven districts, represents marketing and public-relations professionals at community and technical colleges. NCMPR President Juan Gutierrez applauded the award winners, noting that they demonstrate the very best in design and communication work at two-year colleges within the region.

“To each of you, congratulations on this recognition that is so well-deserved,” Gutierrez said.

NCMPR District 1 received 221 entries from 27 community colleges. The awards ceremony was broadcast live on Oct. 29 on Facebook. Normally, award winners are celebrated at a District 1 conference, but NCMPR canceled the event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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SPRINGFIELD — A national independent nursing information and education website listed Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) nursing program as one of the best in Massachusetts.

Nursing Process ranked STCC’s program eighth in the state for 2020. The ranking was established after thoroughly evaluating 60 nursing programs across the state, according to a Nursing Process Communication Officer Shehnaz Reddy.

“We applaud the efforts of Springfield Technical Community College toward nurturing the academic and career goals of nursing students,” Reddy said. “Congratulations to the students, faculty, and administrators of the college!”

Nursing Process is an online resource for aspiring students and their families to access information about nursing education and careers. Currently, the site reaches out to more than 100,000 students every month, from all over the country.

Other resource websites have ranked STCC’s nursing programs among the best in recent years. This past spring, Nursing Schools Almanac ranked STCC as one of the top associate-degree nursing programs in Massachusetts. In 2018, Nursing Schools Almanac ranked STCC’s program among the top 75 in New England.

Lisa Fugiel, director of Nursing at STCC, said it was an honor to be recognized again for excellence. “I’m proud of our talented faculty and staff who have gone the extra distance to make sure our students get the best educational experience possible. Our program has served as a launching pad for many successful careers in healthcare.”

The nursing program prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the U.S. must pass this examination before they may commence practice.

The program, which starts each fall, is offered only on a full-time basis. STCC offers extensive experiential, hands-on learning at the SIMS Medical Center on campus, which allows students to practice on robotic patient simulators. Students also train at clinical sites that include hospitals and healthcare centers in the Springfield and Pioneer Valley region.

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SPRINGFIELD — The state awarded Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) two grants totaling nearly $662,000 for COVID-19 relief, STCC President John Cook announced.

The money will be used to help keep the campus safe during the pandemic, compensate faculty for their work developing online courses, and boost student aid, Cook said at a news conference at STCC. He spoke from Building 20, where check-in stations are set up to screen students, staff, and faculty who arrive on the campus.

Joined by state Reps. Carlos Gonzalez, Angelo Puppolo Jr., and Bud Williams, Cook thanked the lawmakers for their support. “We are really thrilled that you can be here, that you can share in this award with us, and that you continue to champion for STCC and for public higher education.”

Heriberto “Herbie” Flores, president and CEO of Partners for Community, also joined the event to show support for STCC.

STCC received a Higher Education COVID-19 Response Grant from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) in the amount of $502,425 to support the college’s COVID-19 response efforts. Separately, the college received a $159,266 GEER grant to support emergency need-based assistance for students who have been affected by COVID-19.

Cook said the GEER grants totaling $661,691 would be used specifically for campus sanitizing, COVID-19 testing, student aid, faculty compensation for online course development, and personal protective equipment.

“This funding will allow us to address critical needs that we are facing during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cook said. “We are grateful to Gov. Charles Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for their support. The grants will help keep our campus safe and support our students as they pursue their goal of obtaining an education and transforming their lives. We also are pleased to use part of the grant to compensate our talented faculty who have done a tremendous job preparing their online classes.”

To reduce the risk of illness posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, STCC is offering online classes with a mix of low-density, on-campus labs for health and STEM programs this academic year. Faculty trained this past summer for online instruction and have been developing courses.

In a letter to Cook announcing the grant, Baker and Polito said, “we understand how challenging these past months have been as you and your staff and faculty have worked tirelessly to continue providing academic opportunities and additional supports for your students. Thank you for your commitment to student success, and for finding creative and thoughtful solutions to maintaining your course offerings and services without compromising the health and safety of your students, staff, faculty, and the surrounding community.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will continue to offer online classes in the spring semester with a combination of on-campus, low-density labs for its health and STEM programs.

In an e-mail to the campus community, STCC President John Cook said operations in the spring semester will mirror the plan made for the fall in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cook and his administration consulted with faculty in making the decision. Classes in the School of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies will be fully online.

“We look forward to one day being back on campus full-time, but we need to safeguard our students, faculty, and staff,” Cook said. “The pandemic has created an unpredictable environment that prompted extensive and thoughtful discussions. After much consideration, we felt a mix of online classes and low-density labs for our technical and health programs, using strict social-distancing protocols, would be the best approach for the spring.”

STCC faculty members are currently working with their deans in the Online Development Program to prepare classes for spring delivery, said Vice President of Academic Affairs Geraldine de Berly.

“I’m impressed with the transition from on-ground to online classes this fall,” she noted. “I applaud our faculty who showed tenacity as they went through training this past summer to develop their fall classes. They are continuing this fall in developing spring online courses, showing a true dedication and commitment to serving our students during a difficult period.”

As the only technical community college in Massachusetts, STCC offers programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that utilize labs and specialized equipment and offer rewarding in-person experiences between faculty and students, de Berly said.

“We have no intention to convert to an online-only institution,” she added. “STCC prides itself on providing a hands-on educational experience that ranges from CNC labs for manufacturing programs to our patient-simulation center used by students in health programs.”

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SPRINGFIELD — In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has scheduled virtual events open to students and the public.

On Thursday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m., Rosalia Rivera of the “AboutCONSENT” podcast will speak in a Zoom webinar titled “Telling Our Stories to Create Change.” Rivera is an internationally recognized consent educator who will offer insight into the connections between childhood sexual abuse and young-adult dating violence. Her talk also will address how students can play a role in supporting safe and healthy relationships in the ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 college experience.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m., Rivera will give a talk titled “Breaking Barriers, Breaking the Silence / Rompiendo Barreras, Rompiendo el Silencio, a Café Con Leche Conversation.” This event is part of STCC’s recognition of Latinx Heritage Month.

Rivera has turned past traumatic experiences into a powerful voice and platform for healing and social change. Based on her personal story, Rivera will discuss breaking the silence around childhood sexual abuse and interpersonal violence, and dig into the roots of gender stereotypes that impact healthy sexuality, family culture, and healthy relationships within the Latinx community.

Both events are co-sponsored by #STCCWeCan (formerly the Be Empowered Project), the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Hispanic Assoc. of Higher Education, and Title IX. E-mail [email protected] with questions. To register for the Zoom events or for more information, visit stcc.edu/resources/stccwecan.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Two websites have ranked Springfield Technical Community College’s medical assistant program first in Massachusetts for quality and value.

One site, medicalassistantadvice.com, listed STCC as having the best medical assistant program in Massachusetts, beating out other community-college and training programs in the state, while another site, medassistantedu.org, rated the program as the most affordable in the Commonwealth.

“One of the top medical assistant schools in Massachusetts, Springfield Technical Community College prepares you for a rewarding career in the allied healthcare field by combining practical learning with didactic classes,” medicalassistantadvice.com wrote about STCC.

The medical assistant program at STCC offers a ‘one-plus-one’ option, which means students in the program obtain a certificate after one year of successful coursework. They can either enter the workforce or continue another year in the program to pursue an associate degree.

In naming STCC among the most affordable medical assistant associate-degree programs of 2020-21, medassistantedu.org noted that the program costs more than $1,800 less than the state average for public medical assistant associate degrees and praised its comprehensive curriculum, which includes hands-on learning through laboratory and simulation experiences. “Becoming a medical assistant is one of the quickest routes to a career that offers a big return on a relatively small investment of time and money.”

Professional medical assistants perform administrative duties such as word processing, record keeping, billing, electronic medical records, and scheduling procedures. Clinical responsibilities include assisting the physician with patient care, performing electrocardiograms, assisting with physical examinations, performing phlebotomy, and obtaining and processing specimens. Graduates are qualified to accept positions in medical offices, clinics, health-maintenance organizations, insurance companies, hospitals, ambulatory-care centers, or any other area where their broad basic skills are needed.

Karolyn Ryan, program director and associate professor in the Medical Assisting department, said she was delighted to find out the program made two separate lists of top schools. “Our program offers value and quality for our students who are well-prepared to sit for the national certification exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. We’re proud of the work we do to train students and help fill the demand for skilled workers in the healthcare field.”

For more information about the medical assistant program and to apply, visit stcc.edu/explore/programs/mast.as or call STCC Admissions at (413) 755-3333.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will hold its annual fall open house on two dates: Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 15 from 1 to 3:30 p.m., in a virtual format.

High-school students, adult learners, and their family members can log into Zoom and meet virtually with representatives from the college’s degree and certificate programs and departments. For information about registering to attend the virtual event, visit stcc.edu/apply/open-house.

Open to the public, STCC’s open house is an opportunity for anyone thinking about becoming a student to learn more about what the college has to offer, including associate-degree and certificate programs, transfer opportunities, financial aid, athletics and student life, online learning, workforce-training options, high-school equivalency exam (HiSET), and classes for English language learners. Representatives from specific programs and departments will hold breakout sessions to speak with anyone who joins.

Dean of Admissions Louisa Davis-Freeman said the open house at STCC is an excellent opportunity to find out about programs and speak with instructors and professors. In past semesters, the event has been held on campus, but it will be offered virtually this time to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Responding to safety concerns, STCC offers online classes with a mix of low-density on-campus labs for health, science, and technical programs.

“I encourage all prospective students — whether you’re in high school or a returning adult — to log into Zoom and learn more about STCC,” Davis-Freeman said. “We’re affordable and accessible, and our career programs will prepare you to join the workforce upon graduation. We also have many transfer programs, and our graduates continue their educational journeys at colleges and universities throughout the United States.”

For more information, contact the STCC Admissions Office at (413) 755-3333 or [email protected]. To apply to STCC, visit stcc.edu/apply. STCC is accepting applications for Fall Flex Term 2, which starts Oct. 28, and for the spring term, which begins in January.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) traditional fall semester typically begins right after Labor Day, but STCC is also offering flexible options for prospective students.

The college is accepting applications for Fall Flex Term 2, which runs Oct. 28 to Dec. 16. The condensed, seven-week term includes classes from a range of academic disciplines at STCC, including general-studies classes that can be used to transfer to a four-year college or university. STCC has several dozen transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities.

Regardless of the start time this fall, STCC will offer online classes with a mix of low-density, on-campus labs for health, science, and technical programs. The online format allows students to complete coursework any time of the day on their computer. Some class meetings will be scheduled live using videoconferencing.

The October Flex Term start at STCC could be an ideal option for students who had planned to enroll at a four-year institution during the COVID-19 pandemic but decided to stay local, said Geraldine de Berly, vice president of Academic Affairs at STCC.

The Flex Term also can be helpful for anyone who is juggling work and childcare, or for parents whose school-age children are studying from home during the pandemic, de Berly said. “We know that starting the semester in September is not always possible for any number of reasons, so the October start date offers flexibility. Additionally, students can take fewer courses during the session. Some students might do better focusing on two classes in a semester instead of four.”

Fall Flex Term 2 is also open to students who are currently enrolled at STCC who may want to increase their course load. A wide range of online courses will be offered, including accounting, biology, criminal justice, English, history, math, psychology, sociology, and Spanish language, among others.

The majority of three-credit courses at STCC cost $771, a savings of 50% or more versus other campuses. Financial aid is available. Students should apply for admission, in addition to the FAFSA, by Oct. 14 to qualify.

To see the full schedule of classes and to enroll for the fall, visit stcc.edu/flexterms. To apply, visit stcc.edu/apply. Questions may be directed to STCC Admissions at (413) 755-3333, or click the ‘Chat Now’ button at stcc.edu.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The STEM Starter Academy at Springfield Technical Community College invites STCC students to participate in a hackathon-like virtual event on Friday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Students will work in teams through the Zoom videoconferencing platform to create a solution to a problem and present their findings for judging on Friday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. This year’s theme is “Create for Student Success.” The event is open to STCC students, who should e-mail Reena Randhir, director of the STEM Starter Academy, at [email protected] to request registration and Zoom information.

Students will be taught skills such as app design, web design, gaming, and simulations on Sept. 11. Each team is expected to present their creative solution in a seven-minute PowerPoint presentation on Sept. 18. Students will receive a certificate and stipend upon successful completion. Winning team members will receive awards.

The goal of the STEM Starter Academy is to improve awareness among, recruit, prepare, retain, and graduate more students in science, technology, engineering, and math majors and pathways.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — This fall, for the first time, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will offer a course that helps students get their high-school equivalency diploma while introducing them to the field of medical science.

Offered through the Springfield Adult Learning Center at STCC, the class, called “HiSET to Medical Sciences,” prepares students for the high-school equivalency test (HiSET). At the same time, students will learn medical terminology. The class will be offered in three sessions this year, with the first beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23. To apply, visit the Adult Basic Education page at stcc.edu.

Katrina Doolittle, director of the Springfield Adult Learning Center, said “HiSET to Medical Sciences” might spark interest in a healthcare career or inspire students to continue taking college classes after earning a high-school equivalency diploma.

STCC offers an associate degree in health science, which provides the opportunity to explore specialty areas for a career in healthcare. The college also offers a number of specialized health programs, such as diagnostic medical sonography, dental hygiene, and nursing, among others.

“Our ‘HiSET to Medical Sciences’ class will give an introduction to medical science and help students get on the same level as those who are entering health-science programs at STCC,” Doolittle said. “They will be prepared when they take their next step and enroll at STCC. This is a terrific option for students who are highly motivated but don’t have their HiSET yet. I’m really excited about it.”

The Springfield Adult Learning Center is offering the new class in response to workforce demands, said Assistant Vice President of Workforce Development David Buonora.

“Healthcare is a key workforce area in Western Massachusetts, and the college remains committed to responding to the needs of the region’s employers,” he said. “We know that career opportunities in the healthcare sector will continue to grow over the next several years. We’re focused on finding new ways to prepare students for these careers.”

The class, which is free for eligible students, will be taught online. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, STCC will offer online classes with a mix of on-campus, low-density labs.

To apply or for more information, visit stcc.edu/explore/communityed/adult-learning. For questions, e-mail [email protected] or call (413) 755-4300.

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