Home Posts tagged Western New England University
Daily News

Girls on the Run of WMA will host its 5K event on June 5 at 11 a.m., at Western New England University. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach social emotional lessons and life skills to girls in grades 3 through 8. During the 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections, and encourage community service while they prepare for an end-of-season celebratory 5K event. 

This spring season, GOTR has 1,007 participants registered in its program (in all four Western Mass. counties) at 70 sites with 250 volunteer coaches. It expects to have 3,000 participants at this 5K celebration. 

Participation in the 5K event onis open to the public, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Girls on the Run WMA. The event is the culmination of the 10- week season and will be the program participants, coaches, running buddies, their family and friends and community members. Registration cost is $30 and includes an event shirt. 

The event will begin at 11a.m., but registration opens at 9 a.m. Group warm up and festivities will begin at 10 a.m.  For more information about the event, how to register and volunteer opportunities, visit www.girlsontherunwesternma.org. 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE)  announce that on May 21,professional mixed martial artist (MMA) Nick Newell will give the keynote address at the 2022 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony. On May 22, Sheila Barcohana Hollender, a leading authority on women’s issues, environmental health, and sustainability, will provide the keynote address at the 2022 Graduate Commencement ceremony. 

University President Dr. Robert E. Johnson will present both Newell and Hollender the Western New England University President’s Medallion at the ceremonies, which will be held at 2 p.m. in the Caprio Alumni Healthful Living Center on the University Campus. Established in 2002, the President’s Medallion Award is bestowed upon those who have distinguished themselves in a particular field or in service to an important cause that has benefited society locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. The President’s Medallion also recognizes men and women in a variety of fields who are role models worthy of emulation by all, particularly by our students at Western New England University. 

From an early age, Newell accepted the fact that he was born without a left hand and part of his left arm. What he did not accept was a life with limits. He tried many sports growing up, including soccer, baseball, and basketball, and was successful in all of them. But what truly interested Newell was the martial arts. His foray into combat sports was high school wrestling, competing in the 103-pound weight class, where he lost his first 17 bouts. He finished his freshman campaign 2-22. At that point, most people would have quit. 

Newell isn’t most people, though, and his sophomore year record was 24-12. In his senior year, he made All-State, and he wrestled for four years at Western New England University, winning matches in six different weight classes and being named team captain twice. 

He earned a bachelor of Arts in Communication at WNE in 2008 and worked as a master control operator for the History Channel while training day in and day out for his goal of fighting in mixed martial arts. Newell made his debut in 2009 and eventually left his day job to become a professional MMA fighter. After starting his career 11-0, he has amassed a Now a professional MMA fighter, he has a 16-4 career MMA record, with 10 of his wins occurring in the first round. He’s also the owner and head coach of Fighting Arts Academy (FAA) in Milford, CT. 

Newell’s story is now the subject of a movie, Notorious Nick, released by Lionsgate in 2021, which details his hard-fought journey and achievements as a one-handed fighter. 

To say Sheila Barcohana Hollender has forged an influential path in the women’s environmental health movement would be an understatement. Following a career as a partner in a New York law firm, she cofounded Seventh Generation, which sells eco-friendly cleaning, paper, and personal care products, with her husband, Jeffrey Hollender. She worked as the director of Giving for Seventh Generation, as well as serving as the company’s women’s environmental health advocate, and helped to innovate and launch its feminine care line of products. Unilever acquired Seventh Generation in 2016. 

Along with her husband and daughter, Hollender also cofounded Hollender Sustainable Brands (originally Sustain Natural), a company that developed and marketed Sustain Condoms, the first U.S. brand of condoms certified to be fair-trade, free of chemicals of concern, and sustainably produced. Not only did Sustain integrate social and environmental sustainability into each aspect of the business, but the company also partnered with non-profit organizations to increase awareness of safe sex and women’s reproductive health. Sustain donated 10% of its profits to women’s healthcare organizations. The company was acquired by Grove Collaborative in 2019. 

Hollender’s focus on the empowerment of women and girls worldwide has led her to work with organizations that provide women and girls with feminine care products, as well as educate them on the use of condoms to limit their exposure to HIV and STDs and to allow them to make their own decisions related to family planning. She feels that these topics are the most basic tools of empowerment. 

She serves on the board of the Stephen Petronio Dance Company. She previously served on the boards of the Breast Cancer Fund and Sustainable Health Enterprises, and the Board of Advisors of Healthy Child Healthy World. 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Beth Cohen, professor in Western New England University (WNE) School of Law and former WNE Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has been named interim dean of the School of Law by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Maria Toyoda.

Cohen will provide interim leadership following the departure of current Dean Sudha Setty, who will begin her new role as dean of the City University of New York School of Law on July 1.

“Professor Cohen was the first female associate dean at our School of Law, and the longest-serving, working with three deans,” Toyoda said. “The community and I have the greatest confidence in her leadership; she’s earned our trust and proven her abilities time and again.”

A School of Law professor since 1990, Cohen has also served as director of the Legal Research and Writing Program since 1999. She was the associate dean for Academic Affairs from 2009 to 2020 and the director of the Academic Support Program from 1994 to 2008. She teaches Lawyering Skills, Externship Seminar, Professional Responsibility, and Mindfulness in Law Practice, and has written a number of articles in the areas of legal education, legal writing, civic education, and name-change law.

Cohen graduated cum laude from Suffolk University Law School and earned a diploma in Advanced International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge Law School. She also co-founded and co-directed the popular civic-education Mini-Law School Program at WNE.

“I’m grateful that Professor Cohen has agreed to serve as interim dean, and I look forward to working more closely with her,” Toyoda said. “She is an outstanding teacher whose service to the university is greatly appreciated. She has filled important leadership roles across the university, including serving on several university-wide committees and in her roles as faculty liaison to the First-Generation Law Student Support Group and director of the Legal Research and Writing Program.”

A search committee will be appointed to conduct a national search for a new School of Law dean. Cohen will hold her position until a new dean is appointed.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University’s Center for Social Justice (CSJ) will host a virtual expungement and record-sealing event on Wednesday, April 6 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Those wishing to learn more about expunging and sealing records can watch presentations by activists and experts, ask questions, get a copy of their criminal (CORI) record, and/or speak with free pro bono attorneys in private breakout rooms.

Registration for this free event can be found at mavirtualexpunge.com/expungement-and-sealing.

The event is presented by a coalition of nonprofits, cannabis-industry professionals, and the Center for Social Justice at Western New England University School of Law. To learn more about the Center for Social Justice, visit wne.edu/social-justice.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University will host high-school students and their parents at an open house on Saturday, March 5 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting in the University Commons. The event is free, but registration in advance is requested. Visit wne.edu/openhouse or call (413) 782-1321 to register.

This undergraduate open house is intended for all prospective students, regardless of their year in high school. It is an opportunity to come to campus to get a sense of the university’s warm and engaging community, while learning about the wide variety of academic programs and emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration.

Students and parents will have the chance to tour the campus and a first-year residence hall, meet current students, get a general overview of the admissions and financial-aid process, and have academic questions answered. The day concludes with an exhibit hall where students can gather more information on student clubs and activities, the honors programs, and athletics, as well as hear from the Career Development Center regarding the varied internship and career opportunities students are receiving.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University’s (WNE) College of Engineering Laboratory for Education and Application Prototypes ([email protected]) in Springfield is the first to offer the latest hands-on integrated photonics training in collaboration with Spark Photonics to enhance the Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) Department’s optics/photonics bachelor of science in electrical engineering degree sequence.

Spark Photonics, an independent commercial photonic integrated circuit-design house based in Waltham, recently delivered its first commercially available education and workforce development (EWD) photonic integrated circuit (PIC) kit to the Western New England University College of Engineering Laboratory for Education and Application Prototypes. [email protected] is a state-of-the-art optics/photonics training center established through the Massachusetts Center for Advanced Manufacturing to advance innovation and job growth throughout the state.

Steve Adamshick, associate professor and director of [email protected], said there will definitely be a shift in the program as a result of the EWD PIC kit.

“Starting in the fall of 2022, WNE will officially include an integrated optics/photonics sequence within their electrical engineering program using learning modules from the EWD PIC kits,” he said. “This is a far more effective way of communicating critical integrated photonics concepts to students. Before, we relied heavily on computer-simulation tools to visualize abstract concepts such as guided wave modes and how they contribute to key parameters such as waveguide loss and confinement. Now, with the EWD PIC kits, we can provide the hands-on learning experiences to demonstrate these concepts in action and, more importantly, close the loop from design to fabrication to test.”

Unlike other established industries, few education and workforce-development programs focus specifically on the integrated photonics industry in the U.S., and only a handful of those offer students the type of hands-on experience that they will face in a real-world manufacturing environment.

Neeraj Magotra, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, applauded the development of more hands-on learning tools for students and educators. “The hands-on learning experience is a critical and key component of all ECE offerings, including embedded systems, digital signal processing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence/robotics, wireless communication, and now integrated optics/photonics.”

The hands-on difference at WNE has resulted in the ECE department placing 99% of its students in jobs with a median salary of $103,390 or full-tuition scholarships at prestigious R1 institutions (those with very high research activity).

“Integrated photonics is just the latest technological advancement that enhances core ECE fundamentals,” Magotra said, “and we look forward to innovating joint projects/collaborations across the College of Engineering.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) School of Law Professor Jennifer Levi has been named an inaugural fellow in a new Salem State University program of the Berry Institute of Politics (IOP). Levi will share this honor with former Boston Mayor Kim Janey for the spring 2022 semester.

Levi is a lawyer, professor, and nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues who has dedicated their career to fighting for the rights of women, children, the poor, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) clients. Currently, Levi serves as director of the Transgender Rights Project for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and as professor of Law at Western New England University. Throughout their career, Levi has led legal fights for transgender equality across a range of contexts, including in the areas of family law, education, healthcare, incarceration, military service, and beyond.

As rising or seasoned professionals, fellows share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with students who are exploring and pursuing careers in politics and public service. As current practitioners, fellows support students building practical skills that will supplement what they are learning through academic courses. Through one-time and ongoing engagement, fellows serve as resources and mentors to students. During their visits, IOP fellows will participate and lead both curricular and co-curricular programs.

Established in 2019, the Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics is a non-partisan effort to expand political engagement at the university and on the North Shore.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) School of Law’s Center for Social Justice, in conjunction with the Springfield Public Forum, will present “Victory in Charlottesville” on Wednesday, Feb. 2 from 5 to 6 p.m.

The public is invited to hear from Alan Levine, one of the lead attorneys who won a historic victory in the landmark federal lawsuit Sines v. Kessler, which brought justice to nine plaintiffs who were victims of white supremacists during the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. in August 2017. Register for this virtual Zoom event at bit.ly/CharlottesvilleTrial.

Levine is a senior counsel at Cooley LLP in the commercial litigation, securities litigation, and white collar & regulatory practice groups of the litigation department. For more than 40 years, he has represented individuals and companies in complex civil, criminal, and regulatory matters as lead trial counsel.

WNE’s Center for Social Justice works toward advancing social justice through research, advocacy, education, innovation, and public engagement. It is designed to strengthen collaborative efforts between the School of Law and the region to work toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — In newly released rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Western New England University (WNE) was again recognized among the 2022 Best Online Programs.

Among online MBA Programs, WNE made significant gains, jumping 71 places and ranking 153rd (up from 224th in 2021); among Online Graduate Business Programs (Non-MBA), the university ranked 110th (up from 129th in 2021); and among Online Master’s in Engineering Programs, it ranked 79th, up from 104th. The rankings place Western New England University in the top 10 in Massachusetts for accredited online MBA and graduate business programs and in the top three in Massachusetts for accredited master’s in engineering programs.

For the 2022 edition, U.S. News & World Report assessed 1,728 online degree programs and ranked 1,646, both all-time highs. Best Online Programs rankings credit schools for long-term investments in designing and scaling their student services, technologies, curricula, and instructor training toward distance learners.

Sharianne Walker, dean of the College of Business, credits the College of Business faculty and the high quality of the online curriculum for the impressive gain in both the Online MBA and Online Graduate Business (Non-MBA) program rankings.

“This is wonderful external validation and recognition of the hard work, expertise, and commitment of our faculty to deliver on our mission promise to provide relevant, industry-aligned learning that positions business students for the future of work,” she said, adding that a core commitment of the College of Business is providing students with hands-on, relevant, industry-aligned learning, and the college maintains a rich collaborative relationship with the Business Advisory Board and business partners, which has resulted in the creation of outstanding opportunities for students and faculty to research, innovate, and shape business practice. “As the business world quickly evolves and reinvents itself, we embrace our role as an AACSB business school in preparing both traditional students and working professionals to successfully lead in a dynamic global business environment.”

The Western New England University College of Engineering continues to be top-ranked in the Online Master’s in Engineering Programs category. For the 2022 Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs rankings, U.S. News ranked ABET-accredited schools using five categories: engagement, faculty credentials, and training; expert opinion, services, and technologies; and student excellence.

The College of Engineering offers several full master’s programs online: MS in industrial engineering, MS in engineering management, and MS in electrical engineering. The colleges of Engineering and Business offer a dual-degree master of science in engineering management and an MBA that can be completed entirely online.

“Our graduate students are well-prepared with the future-ready skills and agile mindset they need to add value to their organizations and communities, both for today and for the uncertainties of tomorrow,” said Maria Toyoda, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. “Recognition by U.S. News & World Report of our online programs affirms our continued efforts to prepare graduates to adapt and thrive in a complex and hyper-connected world.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) is the first U.S. institution of higher education to feature Oscar Sort, an AI-driven, intuitive, trash-sorting robot. This intuitive robot educates the campus community at the point of recycling and disposal and helps them to better understand how waste is measured, reduced, and eventually eliminated.

Oscar Sort is a signature product of Intuitive AI, a startup company founded by two students at Simon Fraser University in Canada. Oscar uses a display screen and AI camera to identify recycling from trash and instructs users which bin to use when disposing of waste.

According to Intuitive AI, 98% of the world’s waste ends up in landfills, oceans, or incineration chambers, in spite of more than 80% of everyday items being recycled. The core reasoning for this staggering disparity is rooted at the source — the point of disposal — where the user is unsure of how to dispose of their waste appropriately.

“The problem isn’t that people aren’t recycling. The problem is that they are doing it wrong and contaminating the process,” said Melissa Motyka, Aramark general manager at WNE University Commons. “Oscar educates — so it’s a natural fit for higher education. The real benefit is providing a greater understanding of what can be a confusing process for many. We’re hoping that this creates lifelong habits that students will share with their families when they return home, providing an even greater effect.”

Because Oscar’s software is consistently updated as close to real time as possible, WNE has the ability to be at the cutting edge of national and international guidelines for optimal waste and recycling procedures.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) School of Law will host attorney Justin Hurst on Monday, Feb. 7 as part of the school’s Color of Law Roundtable Discussion Series. Hurst will discuss his career path at noon. Registration for this virtual event is at bit.ly/3fgN3ipColorofLaw. The event is free and open to the public.

Hurst was born and raised in the city of Springfield. He is the son of attorneys Frederick Hurst and Marjorie Hurst, who are the founders and publishers of An African American Point of View newspaper. Attorney Hurst is a graduate of Springfield public schools and received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Virginia.

Hurst began his service in the Springfield public school district as a secondary English teacher, and assumed the role of coordinator of Implementation for the Striving Readers Adolescent Literacy Initiative. Later, he was appointed director of Implementation for the Striving Readers Adolescent Literacy Initiative.

He received his juris doctor degree from Western New England College School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. in 2004. He currently serves as manager for London Realty, LLC. In 2013, he was elected as a Springfield city councilor. In 2019 and 2020, he was unanimously voted by his colleagues to serve as president of that body.

The Color of Law series is designed to expose Western New England University law students to attorneys, professionals, and judges of color. The series provides students a chance to network with people of color from the legal community and learn about various career paths.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) President Robert Johnson announced the appointment of Kristine Goodwin as the university’s vice president of Student Affairs.

“Kristine Goodwin is a widely respected administrator in the field of student affairs with over 30 years of direct experience. She is a proven problem solver and highly regarded in her field,” Johnson said. “Western New England University is fortunate to have Kristine join us.”

Goodwin is charged with developing and maintaining an energized approach to cultivating an engaged student environment where learning, academic success, career readiness, and personal development are top priorities. She will oversee the university’s departments of Athletics, Career Education, Residence Life, Community Standards and Education, Student Involvement and Leadership Development, Inclusive Excellence, and the Center for Health and Wellness.

Goodwin earned a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University and a master of education degree from UMass Lowell before graduating magna cum laude from the UMass School of Law in 2020. A senior executive in higher education for more than 20 years at multiple institutions, most recently having worked as an attorney and adjunct faculty member teaching ethics, Goodwin succeeds interim Vice President for Student Affairs Bryan Gross, who will return to his previous position as vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) School of Law’s Center for Social Justice will present “Addressing Conflict in Schools Using Non-violent Strategies” in conjunction with the Greater Springfield Campaign Nonviolence on Monday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. Executive Director of Nonviolent Schools RI Robin Wildman will lead this discussion. Click here to register for this virtual Zoom event.

Wildman has been a senior-level Kingian Nonviolence practitioner and teacher for 20 years and a public-school teacher for 28 years (recently retired). Her current role with Nonviolent Schools RI is a result of her desire to train those who work in the field of education in Kingian Nonviolence so that they can work towards institutionalizing the philosophy and conflict-reconciliation strategies, thus transforming the climate and culture of their schools.

She has conducted workshops, given lectures, and trained hundreds of adults and children in methods to address and reconcile conflict used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is the author of a Kingian Nonviolence curriculum used nationally and internationally, as well as a post-training reflection journal.

Wildman has worked closely for 20 years with her mentor and the honorary board chair of Nonviolent Schools RI, noted civil-rights leader Bernard LaFayette Jr., who worked with King. She believes giving students and school staff the tools to understand and address conflict will significantly reduce school violence in all its forms and lead to a more just environment in which students can thrive and achieve their full potential.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University (WNE) Small Business Legal Clinic is accepting applications from entrepreneurs and small-business owners seeking legal assistance for the spring 2022 semester. Under faculty supervision, law students assist clients with legal issues including choice of entity, employment policies, contract drafting, regulatory compliance, and intellectual-property issues relating to trademark applications and copyright.

This is a free service available to local businesses that might not have the resources to obtain such services. The Small Business Clinic has assisted more than 500 small businesses since it opened.

“The clinic is a great resource for entrepreneurs who lack the finances to retain an attorney,” Associate Clinical Professor of Law Robert Statchen said. “By using the clinic’s services, businesses can avoid problems by getting legal issues addressed early and correctly. It also provides students with a great opportunity to get real-world experience.”

The clinic asks small-business owners to submit their applications by Jan. 1. Applications received after that date will be considered if additional resources are available. Students will begin providing services in late January. For more information, call the Legal Clinic at (413) 782-1469 or e-mail Marie Fletcher, Clinical Programs administrator, at [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) School of Law’s Center for Social Justice will present “Addressing Conflict in Schools Using Non-violent Strategies” in conjunction with the Greater Springfield Campaign Nonviolence on Monday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. Executive Director of Nonviolent Schools RI Robin Wildman will lead this discussion. Click here to register for this virtual Zoom event.

Wildman has been a senior-level Kingian Nonviolence practitioner and teacher for 20 years and a public-school teacher for 28 years (recently retired). Her current role with Nonviolent Schools RI is a result of her desire to train those who work in the field of education in Kingian Nonviolence so that they can work towards institutionalizing the philosophy and conflict-reconciliation strategies, thus transforming the climate and culture of their schools.

She has conducted workshops, given lectures, and trained hundreds of adults and children in methods to address and reconcile conflict used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is the author of a Kingian Nonviolence curriculum used nationally and internationally, as well as a post-training reflection journal.

Wildman has worked closely for 20 years with her mentor and the honorary board chair of Nonviolent Schools RI, noted civil-rights leader Bernard LaFayette Jr., who worked with King. She believes giving students and school staff the tools to understand and address conflict will significantly reduce school violence in all its forms and lead to a more just environment in which students can thrive and achieve their full potential.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Zhaojun ‘Steven’ Li of the Western New England University (WNE) College of Engineering has been elected to serve as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Reliability Society’s 2022 president. Election results were announced in early December.

Li is an associate professor with the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management at WNE. He currently serves on the editorial board for IEEE Transactions on Reliability and is the lead editor of IEEE Access Reliability Society Section. He served as the vice president for publications of the IEEE Reliability Society in 2019 and has been the treasurer since 2020. He also served as a board member of the IISE Quality Control and Reliability Engineering Division. He is an ASQ-certified reliability engineer and Caterpillar Six Sigma Black Belt. His research interests include data analytics, applied statistics, operations research, and reliability engineering. He is a senior member of IEEE and IISE.

Li was named Engineer of the Year by IEEE Reliability Society in 2020. He received his PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Washington.

Established in 1884, the IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. The IEEE Reliability Society promotes recognition of the reliability profession, develops and disseminates reliability best practices, and is a resource for collaboration among reliability professionals.

“I am very honored and humbled to be elected as the president of the IEEE Reliability Society,” Li said. “I will be listening to our members’ voices and to enhance the membership benefits in multiple dimensions, such as active member engagement, publications, new technical activities, and other initiatives. I look forward to serving our community in this new role and working together to embrace growth and excellence.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) announced that Chicopee-based U.S. Tsubaki Automotive (USTA) made a gift of $12,500 to support the university’s colleges of Business and Engineering’s Product Development and Innovation (PDI) course over the next five years.

“U.S. Tsubaki is pleased to work with Western New England University to advance this important program and curriculum,” said Dan Butterfield, president of USTA. “We value innovation and seek to assist in the development of future business and engineering students. We look forward to many years of innovations with this course and Western New England University.”

Taught in the fall semester, PDI is comprised of business and engineering students who develop an idea at the onset of class and grow the concept into a limited, functional prototype supported by a business plan.

“The PDI course is a capstone course, which is a culmination of the core courses offered to business students,” said Sharianne Walker, dean of the WNE College of Business. “The cross-functional teams and development of innovations are critical to developing entrepreneurial thinking that will guide our students in their future careers.”

Student teams demonstrate their project innovations at the annual PDI Showcase held the first week of December. Attending the event are members of the university’s board of trustees and several area economic-development leaders and investors. The attendees invest ‘Golden Bear investment dollars’ into the innovations they believe have the most commercial potential. Some of the innovations continue as senior design projects, while others compete in the Grinspoon Spirit Awards and the Draper Competition. The university patents select innovations that have the most potential.

“This grant is foundational to our prototyping efforts and helps teach the students about how to innovate efficiently,” said Hossein Cheraghi, dean of the WNE College of Engineering. “We are pleased that U.S. Tsubaki, who is an important community business, values innovation and nurturing student talent from Western New England University and the College of Engineering.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University will host its Stuff-a-Cruiser Toy Drive event on Monday, Dec. 6 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the University Commons. Donations from the public are welcomed.

Bring a new unwrapped toy to the University Commons, where officers will park a cruiser to collect donations for the benefit of Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield.

Shriners has been leading specialty pediatric healthcare since 1922, delivering specialty pediatric care to children around the world, providing a comprehensive range of treatments and services that help improve the quality of children’s lives and allow them to reach their full potential. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal-cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

“This year, our Love to the Rescue goal is to fill the Western New England University’s entire fleet of five cruisers,” said university Police Officer Alexandria Capen-Parizo, the event organizer, adding that monetary donations are also welcomed. “Directly after the event, members of Public Safety and Student Senate will purchase toys that fill the need gaps as outlined by Shriners.”

This event is sponsored by the Western New England University Department of Public Safety.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Western New England University (WNE) announced a new master of science degree in pharmacogenomics degree starting in the fall of 2022.

Pharmacogenomics is a fast-growing field that helps medical practitioners prescribe personalized treatment plans to patients based on how they may respond to medications due to their DNA sequence. Pharmacogenomics supports personalized or precision medicine, which explores a patient’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle as a way to craft a treatment plan that will best suit the patient. The goal of this modern approach to medication therapy is to limit adverse effects while optimizing response and beneficial outcomes.

The master of science in pharmacogenomics degree from WNE — the only degree of this type in New England — prepares graduates for careers that will revolutionize the delivery of healthcare and make the most of emerging opportunities from basic laboratory research to clinical implementation of personalized healthcare.

“Students will work directly with pharmaceutical scientists in our state-of-the-art laboratories and clinical practitioners at healthcare facilities that utilize genetic testing, which will allow for students to develop skills and expertise necessary for a variety of careers in research or at medical institutions,” said Dr. Shannon Kinney, asssociate professor of Pharmacology and coordinator of the new program.

This new master’s degree program joins the doctor of pharmacy program, whose class of 2020 scored an impressively high pass rate (93.2%) on the NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination) — the third consecutive year the college’s pass rate has exceeded the national average.

As future scientists, students will benefit from mentorship and research opportunities with WNE faculty who are not only outstanding classroom teachers, but actively engaged in a wide range of research. Dean John Pezzuto has recently been named by Stanford University among the top 2% of the world’s most-cited scholars, ranking him #21 among 80,622 researchers in the medicinal and biomolecular chemistry field. WNE graduates possess skill sets prized by employers and essential to careers in discovery and innovation: divergent thinking, communication, teamwork, leadership, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

To learn more about the MS in pharmacogenomics and the admissions process, click here or call (413) 796-2073 to speak with an admissions counselor. The application deadline for fall 2022 is May 1.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University (WNE) School of Law’s Center for Social Justice and Springfield Public Forum will present an interview with Ria Tabacco Mar, director of ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, on Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. as part of the Center for Social Justice’s Gervino-Ward LGBTQ+ Speaker Series, which provides a venue for conversations about legal issues significant to the LGBTQ+ community.

The virtual event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration for this event is required by clicking here.

Mar oversees the ACLU’s women’s-rights litigation. Previously, she was a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project, where she fought gender stereotypes, sex segregation, and attempts to use religion to discriminate in schools, at work, and in public places.

She will be joined by WNE School of Law Professor Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, who will moderate a Q&A-style event.

“We are incredibly lucky to welcome Ria Tabacco Mar as the center’s Gervino-Ward LGBTQ+ speaker this year,” center Director Ariel Clemmer said. “She is a passionate advocate for change working on today’s cutting-edge social-justice issues.”

Mar was part of the ACLU’s litigation team representing Aimee Stephens and Don Zarda, whose cases were decided as part of the recent Supreme Court ruling recognizing that federal employment-law protections apply to LGBTQ people. She also led the ACLU’s team in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case in which a same-sex couple was refused a wedding cake because they are gay.

Mar is a frequent commentator on gender-justice issues, appearing on television programs including All In with Chris Hayes, PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, and PBS’s Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, and has authored opinion pieces for the New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets. She has been recognized on the Root 100, an annual list of the most influential African-Americans ages 25 to 45, and as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Assoc. She graduated from New York University School of Law and Harvard College.

The Gervino-Ward LGBTQ+ Speaker Series provides a venue for conversations about legal issues important to the LGBTQ+ community by bringing prominent leaders, speakers, and advocates to engage with the Western New England University School of Law Community. The mission of this series is to draw awareness to emerging trends in LGBTQ+ law and continuing social-justice concerns that might affect LGBTQ+ clients or practitioners. Lectures will be held during the lunch hour and are open to students, alumni, the university community, and the general public.

This series is made possible by a donation from WNE School of Law alumna Elena Gervino; her wife, Kathleen Ward; and their two daughters.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) School of Law’s Clason Speaker Series will host “The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom” on Wednesday, Nov. 10 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Law School Commons. The event will feature Sahar Aziz, professor of Law, Middle East legal scholar, and chancellor’s social justice scholar at Rutgers University Law School and founding director of the Center for Security, Race, and Rights. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

Aziz’s groundbreaking book of the same title demonstrates how race and religion intersect to create what she calls the “racial Muslim.” Comparing discrimination against immigrant Muslims with the prejudicial treatment of Jews, Catholics, Mormons, and African-American Muslims during the 20th century, Aziz explores the gap between America’s aspiration for and fulfillment of religious freedom. With America’s demographics rapidly changing from a majority white Protestant nation to a multi-racial, multi-religious society, the book seeks to understand how our past continues to shape our present, to the detriment of our nation’s future.

The Clason Speaker Series presents expert lectures to the WNE School of Law. The series is named after Charles Clason, a prominent local attorney and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who held the position of dean of the School of Law from 1954 to 1970. Today, the purpose of the Charles and Emma Clason Endowment Fund is to host speakers who will enhance the academic environment of the School of Law and the university.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University will host high-school students and their parents at an open house on Sunday, Nov. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting in the University Commons. The event is free. Advance registration is requested. Visit wne.edu/openhouse or call (413) 782-1321 to register.

This undergraduate open house is intended for all prospective students, regardless of their year in high school. It is an opportunity to come to campus to get a sense of the university community, while learning about the wide variety of academic programs and emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration.

Students and parents will have the chance to tour the campus and a first-year residence hall, meet current students, get a general overview of the admissions and financial-aid process, and have academic questions answered. The day concludes with an exhibit where students can gather more information on student clubs and activities, honors programs, athletic opportunities at both the NCAA and recreational levels, as well as hear from the Career Development Center regarding the varied internship and career opportunities students are receiving.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Andrea Kwaczala, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the Western New England University (WNE) College of Engineering, has been named a 2021 Woman of Innovation for her efforts in post-secondary academic innovation and leadership by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc.

Kwaczala was among 11 exceptional Connecticut women recognized for their achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the 17th annual Women of Innovation awards held virtually on Oct. 14.

Women of Innovation finalists are nominated by their peers, co-workers, and mentors and are selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. The Post-Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership award is granted to a woman working in the post-secondary academic setting who has created and fostered STEM programs in curriculum development, student research, and teacher-student collaborations. Each finalist has secured outside funding to support her work and/or received peer recognition for her leadership and innovation.

“I would like to thank the Society of Women Engineers of Hartford, especially Brenda Lisitano, for nominating me for this prestigious award. Being a member of this vibrant community has been a catalyst for my career,” Kwaczala said. “This would not be possible without my BME department colleagues and the hard work of my dedicated design students who have inspired me with their innovations and determination to build assistive technology.”

The prestigious awards were earned by women innovators, role models, and leaders in STEM disciplines. They were selected from a field of 26 finalists — the scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and technicians who are catalysts for scientific advancement throughout Connecticut.

“As these finalists demonstrate, women in STEM in Connecticut are leading innovation, achieving breakthroughs, and encouraging girls to do that and more,” said Giovanni Tomasi, president and chief technology officer of RSL Fiber Systems and CTC board chair. “Connecticut’s economy is expanding and becoming more robust in great part by achieving and sustaining leadership in STEM. These are the people whose contributions are critical in our state’s renaissance.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) will host high-school students and their parents at an open house on Sunday, Oct. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting in the University Commons. The event is free, but advance registration is requested. Visit wne.edu/openhouse to register, or call (413) 782-1321.

This undergraduate open house is intended for all prospective students, regardless of their year in high school. It is an opportunity to come to campus to get a sense of the university community, while learning about WNE’s wide variety of academic programs and emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration.

Students and parents will have the chance to tour the campus and a first-year residence hall, meet current students, get a general overview of the admissions and financial-aid process, and have academic questions answered. The day concludes with an exhibit where students can gather more information on student clubs and activities, honors programs, athletic opportunities at both the NCAA and recreational levels, as well as hear from the Career Development Center regarding the varied internship and career opportunities students are receiving.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University (WNE) College of Engineering Laboratory for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP), a state-of-the-art optics/photonics training center, has been established through a grant of $2,581,109 from the Massachusetts Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM). [email protected] is part of a national effort to advance state-of-the-art manufacturing with the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics consortium.

With the support of the grant funding, WNE partnered with Convergent Photonics in Chicopee and Springfield Technical Community College for the development of the new advanced-manufacturing center, located at Convergent Photonics. The LEAP lab, only the fourth of its kind in the state, will focus on product development, educational training, and collaborative research in the field of integrated photonics.

The [email protected] facility features six instrumentation and prototyping workstations with capabilities including tunable lasers and optical power meters, polarimeters, and polarization controllers; optical-spectrum analyzers and free-space optics; electronic signal generators, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and power supplies; and PCB fabrication using subtractive and additive techniques.

The grant was part of the CAM Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M212), which has made a $100 million commitment to manufacturing innovation through its capital grant program and is collaborating on more than 60 projects connecting manufacturers with universities and companies.

According to CAM, Massachusetts has made a substantial commitment to developing the Manufacturing USA infrastructure within the state’s academic, research, and manufacturing industry. Through the creation of sector-specific Manufacturing USA Centers, M212 will advance innovations and job growth within the state through cross-collaboration among companies, universities, national labs, government, incubators, accelerators, and other academic and training institutions.

Funded through the M212 program, LEAP is designed to support AIM Photonics, an industry-driven, public-private partnership that focuses the nation’s capabilities and expertise to capture critical global manufacturing leadership in a technology that is both essential to national security and positioned to provide a compelling return on investment to the American economy.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) College of Engineering Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Dr. Andrea Kwaczala has been named an Engineering Unleashed 2021 Fellow by the Kern Foundation. The honor recognizes faculty for their contribution to engineering education, specifically entrepreneurial engineering.

“Dr. Kwaczala is truly an ambassador of excellence for your institution and is distinguished both through a Fellows Project and through interactions with the greater Engineering Unleashed community,” said Douglas Melton, program director for the Kern Family Foundation.

This grant will support the Making with Purpose Workshop Series. These are monthly hands-on events running throughout this academic year. The workshop is intended to introduce students to the entrepreneurial mindset in an inclusive community within the makerspace facilities within the College of Engineering. Some activities align with Kwaczala’s research in assistive technology, such as building rapid prototypes of body-powered prosthetic devices and low-tech assistive technology to improve activities of daily living. Other activities are geared toward understanding a product’s marketspace and learning about manufacturing in scale-up, such as glowing LED pumpkins for Halloween decor and laser-cut jewelry to sell at the holidays. The projects are intended to promote technical skills and coach students to use a growth mindset.

“I want to create a technical space on campus that is welcome to all people, designed specifically towards underrepresented people,” Kwaczala said. “I try to create a place where students can take risks, ask questions, and learn technical skills like soldering, using power tools, and constructing physical devices. I believe, when we use our skills to focus on products that make a difference in society, we can improve students’ engineering self-efficacy and help them to persist in engineering.”

Engineering Unleashed is a community of 3,800 faculty members from 160 institutions of higher education, powered by KEEN, a 50-partner collaborative that shares a mission to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset who are equipped to create societal, personal, and economic value. The Engineering Unleashed faculty-development workshops are elements of KEEN’s multi-institutional activities. Kwaczala is one of 27 individuals from institutions of higher education across the country to receive this distinction.

“Being named an Engineering Unleashed fellow shows Dr. Kwaczala’s passion for learning, teaching, and practicing the entrepreneurial mindset,” said Dr. Rob Gettens, chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Western New England University. “Dr. Kwaczala’s enthusiasm for engineering design and the Making with Purpose series is genuinely infectious. As a leader, Dr. Kwaczala teaches our students to be leaders themselves, gaining confidence in practical engineering and ‘making’ skills, and then spreading the entrepreneurial mindset beyond the university. Dr. Kwaczala is indeed a leader and innovator in engineering education.”

Through their home institutions, fellows are awarded a $10,000 grant that may be used in a number of ways: to advance their project/module, develop a new product/module, participate in conferences, support undergraduate student assistants, or pay for part of their salary.

The nomination and naming process began with Kwaczala’s initiative to participate in one of the many Engineering Unleashed faculty-development workshops. These workshops are designed and delivered by a collaborative group of subject-matter experts who serve as faculty members at more than 25 institutions. They attract faculty participants from across the country, focusing on the development and application of an entrepreneurial mindset whether in teaching and learning, research, industry, or leadership.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) will host a college fair sponsored by the New England Assoc. for College Admission Counseling on Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Caprio Alumni Healthful Living Center located at 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield.

Representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities will be available to speak with high-school students and their parents about their respective institutions and the college-admission process. The event is free and open to the public. Masks are currently required.

Prior to the start of the fair, the university will host a free 45-minute College and Financial Aid Awareness workshop beginning at 5 p.m. in the Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy. “This workshop will give parents and students a great introduction into the entire college-search and financial-aid process — a process that can get confusing,” said Bryan Gross, vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing at WNE. No registration is required to attend the free workshop.

All high-school students are encouraged to attend this college fair, the largest to be held in Western Mass. this fall. An up-to-date list of the colleges that have confirmed attendance can be found at www1.wne.edu/become-a-student/visit/college-fair.cfm.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) has been ranked fourth in Top Performers on Social Mobility among National Universities in Massachusetts by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 edition of America’s Best Colleges, an in-depth look at more than 1,800 institutions of higher education nationwide.

“This is a brand-new category for Western New England, and we couldn’t be prouder of this distinction,” said Bryan Gross, vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing.

The Top Performers on Social Mobility ranking measures the extent that schools enrolled and graduated students who received federal Pell grants (those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually). According to U.S. News & World Report, economically disadvantaged students are less likely to finish college, and some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students who are awarded Pell grants.

“This category looks at the percent of entering students who are Pell-eligible and our six-year graduation rate among those receiving the Pell funding,” Gross said. “Our number was 32% on the entering class and 58% on six-year graduation rate, which is a solid number compared to our national peers.”

The U.S. News rankings focus on measures of academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points covering up to 16 measures of academic quality. Individual colleges and universities are compared with institutions that share similar characteristics and academic missions.

“Having moved from the Regional to National University category in 2020, I am pleased to see Western New England climbing the ranks and now competing at a much higher level with some of our prestigious neighbors — Harvard, Yale, and Northeastern,” said WNE President Robert Johnson. The university improved its overall ranking to 213th in the nation this year, moving up 14 places from 2021.

Western New England University College of Engineering continues to be top-ranked in the Undergraduate Engineering (no doctorate) program category. The ranking is based on survey results conducted by U.S. News of deans and faculty members of undergraduate engineering programs at peer institutions accredited by ABET, the engineering accrediting body.

“A university educates leaders, problem solvers, and lifelong learners that will adapt, compete, and thrive in careers yet to be imagined,” Johnson said. “As a national university, we offer the breadth and depth of a comprehensive institution, supported by individualized attention preparing graduates to be not only work-ready, but also world-ready as well. WNE is a quintessential model of the new traditional university.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Department of Athletics at Western New England University (WNE) recently announced the addition of women’s wrestling to its athletics program. This will be the University’s 21st varsity sport and the first NCAA DIII women’s wrestling team in New England.

National Wrestling Coaches Assoc. (NWCA) Executive Director Mike Moyer is excited about the addition of the program to WNE. “We are forever grateful for the pioneering efforts of Western New England University to add women’s intercollegiate wrestling to its athletics program,” he said. “This new women’s wrestling program represents the first NCAA DIII-affiliated team in New England. With the exploding population of young, aspiring girls who are wrestling in New England, the WNE women’s wrestling program is uniquely positioned to be wildly successful in this endeavor.”

The women’s wrestling program is planned to begin its inaugural season in the fall of the 2022-23 academic year with Mike Sugermeyer, head coach for men’s wrestling, tasked with recruiting the first official class. The university will hire a women’s head coach prior to the start of the season.

There are currently only 25 women’s wrestling programs at the NCAA DIII level. WNE will be the first in Massachusetts, compared to the 140 high-school programs in the state.

“Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. Starting the women’s wrestling program allows us to provide an equal opportunity addition to young women who aspire to compete at the highest level,” said Lori Mayhew-Wood, associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. “I am excited to be able to offer other opportunities to women in sports at Western New England and for the university to have the opportunity to recruit nationally across the country to build the women’s program.”

Two-time Olympian and WNE alumnus Rodney Smith was enthusiastic to hear about the addition of the program. “What an amazing opportunity for wrestling and our local scholar-athletes here in New England,” he said. “This move is timely and on the pulse of history. Coach Sugermeyer’s focus and due diligence has added to our infrastructure, wrestling culture, and tradition. He truly carries the torch for the future of WNE wrestling. I definitely feel that torch has been raised higher and shines brighter than ever today.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD  — Western New England University College of Business will honor 1982 alumnus James “Jimmy” Geyer on Friday, Sept. 10. A brief ceremony of remembrance will be held at noon in front of Churchill Hall, which houses the College of Business.

Geyer, who worked as a bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald, was killed 20 years ago in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. He was on the 105th floor when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the building. Geyer was a general business major and native of Rockville Centre, N.Y.

According to College of Business Dean Sharianne Walker, he was known as an outstanding business student and campus leader who was committed to always helping others and asking for nothing in return.

“It is important for us to take a moment at this 20th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack to remember Jimmy as one of our own,” Walker said. “It is important that all of us carry on his legacy of service and honor the promise that we will never forget the lives of those lost and those families that were devastated on that September morning.”

Geyer excelled in finance, and as an alumnus, he continued to stay connected as a mentor to College of Business students. He played football for the Golden Bears for four years and was a member of the college’s first NCAA Division III program in 1981. His number, 22, was officially retired at the Oct. 13, 2001 football game. He was a member of the Golden Bear lacrosse team and also had a passion for golf.

Geyer was featured in an NCAA News article about former college athletes lost in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Geyer was 41 years old when he died. He left behind his wife, Cathy, and three children, as well as his parents, two brothers, and a sister. The Jimmy Geyer Award for Courage is bestowed annually to a deserving member of the football team.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Mercedes Maskalik, formerly the director of Marketing at CUE Inc., a membership and professional-development nonprofit organization, has been appointed assistant vice president for Marketing and Communication at Western New England University. Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing Bryan Gross announced the appointment, citing Maskalik’s high degree of professionalism, technical skill, and expertise.

“We conducted a national search and had hundreds of highly qualified applicants,” he said. “Mercedes really stood out, not only because of her knowledge and skill, but her positive attitude and energy over the campus community. As the university continues to grow, we feel Mercedes has the exact experience that will help us continue to thrive.”

In her new role, Maskalik will oversee the university’s Division of Marketing and External Affairs, whose mission and purpose is to broadly and creatively share the story of Western New England University regionally, nationally, and internationally.

“I am honored to join the WNE community as we begin this new and exciting second century,” Maskalik said. “I am excited to be part of an institution that is committed to preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in any field they choose, while also embracing the importance of preparing them to flourish in the opportunities of today and the possibilities of tomorrow with an agile mindset and entrepreneurial spirit. I look forward to collaborating with such accomplished faculty, staff, and students to share our great story and enhance the visibility of the university.”

In her previous position as director of Marketing at CUE, Maskalik was responsible for the development, coordination, and management of all marketing and communications efforts to promote the CUE brand, the professional learning community, and the professional learning events.

She received her master’s degree in organizational communications from Central Connecticut State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University. An active member of a number of international associations, Maskalik’s professional affiliations include the American Marketing Assoc., the Public Relations Society of America, and the European Assoc. of Communications Directors. She is the co-author of Social Marketing Environmental Issues, a theoretically grounded text on social-marketing strategies for influencing environmental behaviors.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Department of Athletics at Western New England University will host the 22nd annual Golden Bear Athletics Golf Classic at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow on Monday, Sept. 20 at 12:30 p.m. Registration is taking place through Monday, Sept. 13. The cost for individual participation is $175 per person. Foursomes are welcome.

“The athletics program at Western New England University is an integral part of the institution and to the overall development of the student-athlete,” said Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator Lori Mayhew-Wood, who is organizing this event. “Division III athletes compete at their own expense without the benefit of scholarships. Proceeds from the Classic will directly benefit student-athletes who compete in 20 varsity sports.”

In addition, the university offers an intramural program that reaches the entire campus community. This tournament will help ensure their athletic experience.

The tournament will be a scramble format, and golf carts will be provided. Competitions during the day will include closest to the pin, straightest drive, and longest drive. There will also be mulligan tickets, a raffle, and a putting contest throughout the day.

Each year, the Classic honors outstanding individuals who have made a positive impact on Western New England University and its athletics family. This year’s honoree will be WNEU President Robert Johnson. A cocktail reception and luncheon honoring him will take place upon tournament completion.

“College athletics programs promote school spirit and unity, which allow students to take pride in and feel connected to their institutions,” Johnson said. “Students who participate as student-athletes glean critical life lessons they will apply as leaders in their professions and communities, such as sportsmanship, time management, and interaction with diverse groups. Their athletics endeavors enrich and augment the education they receive inside the classroom. Now more than ever, it is essential that we protect and preserve the resources to ensure continuity of these opportunities.”

For more information and registration or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit wnegoldenbears.com/landing/index.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNEU) announced the recipients of the 2021 PeoplesBank Award. The award, first given in 2020, is made possible by a grant to WNEU from PeoplesBank to advance innovation and entrepreneurship across the university and the entire Pioneer Valley ecosystem.

Mary Schoonmaker, associate professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Western New England, applauded the students’ spirit and innovation. “We continue to be encouraged to see the breadth of businesses that have applied for awards this year. It is rewarding to see these student-led ventures made possible through this PeoplesBank grant.”

Matthew Bannister, first vice president, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility at PeoplesBank, congratulated each of the student-business initiatives. “We are pleased that our grant could assist these student teams in continuing to develop their businesses. Small businesses, powered by entrepreneurs, are vital to the economic health of our region, and we congratulate these six new ventures and Western New England University for their efforts in this area. This is exactly what we hoped would transpire when we formed this partnership with Western New England.”

This year, the PeoplesBank Award at Western New England University went to the following innovative and entrepreneurial student teams:

• Jeremy Bowler, a computer engineering major, for his work on an electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission (ECVT) for small-engine applications. The funding is being used to continue to advance the prototype;

• Tytianie Brown, a sciences major, who runs a full-service beauty-services business. Brown is using the funding for beauty-services equipment;

• Caleb Miller, a mechanical engineering major and the co-founder of Woodside Getaways, an RV rental startup. Miller is using the funding to provision the RV and complete the rental unit, which is already booked for summer travel by Woodside’s clients;

• Dante Talamini, an engineering major and team leader for Frost Alert, a wearable smart device that monitors skin temperature and alerts the wearer if they are beginning to experience frostbite. The team will be using the funding to continue to advance their prototype development;

• Ethan Valdes, an entrepreneurship major with a minor in health sciences, who co-founded Bus Boiz, a social-media experience startup that captures travel experiences. The team was awarded funding for a drone to assist with aerial shots from their travel adventures; and

• Shemika White, an MBA graduate student and founder of Notes of Beauty chemical-free beauty products. White is using the funding to purchase materials and product testing.

Western New England University aspires to develop students’ entrepreneurial mindset with its innovation and entrepreneurial programs. Through co-curricular efforts, such as Startup Weekend and the Product Development and Innovation course, students are able to create innovations that have market potential. The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, located on campus, is a dedicated space for student startup teams, club meetings, and maker space for student-led innovations. Past WNEU student teams have advanced their innovations by participating in the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Spirit Awards, the Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator, and Draper Competitions.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University (WNEU) College of Engineering has announced a new graduate engineering certificate in artificial intelligence (AI). Applications are currently being accepted for the coming fall.

Focusing on the theoretical foundation and practical application of AI and taught by expert WNEU faculty mentors, this certificate consists of four three-credit graduate courses: “Applied Fuzzy Logic,” “Machine Learning Concepts,” “Machine Learning Applications,” and “Applied Neural Networks.” Each course offered in a hybrid format, providing students the flexibility to participate either fully online, fully in class, or any combination of the two. The 12 course credits earned in this certificate can be transferred to the master of science in electrical engineering degree.

“Artificial Intelligence has become one of the most influential technologies since the turn of the century,” said Dr. Neeraj Magotra, associate professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at WNEU. “AI and machine learning are driving the future of engineering, from big data to healthcare; smartphones to self-driving vehicles; robotics, aeronautics, and medical devices to supply-chain management. According to Forbes, jobs requesting AI or machine-learning skills are expected to increase by 71% in the next 5 years.”

Given that AI can mean different things to different people with a diversity of application areas of interest, this AI certificate program can be taken by people with diverse backgrounds to advance their expertise and career opportunities in this wide-ranging field.

This certificate is offered through the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at WNEU, a leader in engineering graduate education ranked among U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Undergraduate Programs.

The Fall Graduate term begins Sept. 27 for this accelerated, 11-week program. For more information, visit wne.edu/grad.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University Small Business Legal Clinic is accepting applications from entrepreneurs and small-business owners seeking legal assistance for the fall 2021 semester.

Under faculty supervision, law students assist clients with legal issues, including choice of entity, employment policies, contract drafting, regulatory compliance, and intellectual-property issues relating to trademark applications and copyright. This is a free service available to local businesses that might not have the resources to obtain such services. Click here for more information or to complete an online application.

The Small Business Clinic has assisted more than 350 small businesses since it opened, said Robert Statchen, associate clinical professor of Law. “The clinic is a great resource for entrepreneurs who lack the finances to retain an attorney. By using the clinic’s services, businesses can avoid problems by getting legal issues addressed early and correctly. It also provides students with a great opportunity to get real-world experience.”

The clinic asks small-business owners to submit their applications by Sunday, Aug. 15. Applications received after that date will be considered if additional resources are available. Students will begin providing services in early September. For more information, call the Legal Clinic at (413) 782-1469 or e-mail Marie Fletcher, Clinical Programs administrator, at [email protected].

The School of Law Small Business Legal Clinic was established to afford law students with an opportunity to provide practical consultation to entrepreneurs starting and building small businesses in the community. This initiative strengthens alliances within the community by using the resources of the university to foster new business development.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — In an effort to incorporate antiracism education and training into the student experience, Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law has added a new Antiracism and Cultural Competency (ARCC) graduation requirement beginning with incoming students in the fall of 2022.

This requirement offers students more than a dozen options from substantive courses relating to legal history, structural inequality, intersectionality, discrimination, civil rights, and theories of subordination, focusing on cultural context and cultural competency. The list of eligible courses includes “Race, Racism, & the Law,” “Business Law from an Antiracist Perspective,” “Gender & the Law,” “Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession,” and many others.

“Western New England University School of Law has a long and proud history of incorporating social justice and antiracism into the education we offer. We are delighted to be in the vanguard of law schools formalizing that commitment in this way, which teaches our students about key areas of the law, but also prepares them well for the lawyering of today and tomorrow,” said School of Law Dean Sudha Setty. “Further, a cornerstone of our mission is the belief that the study of law must embrace the notion that different beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions are critical components of a well-rounded learning environment.”

WNEU School of Law currently offers a wide range of elective courses, experiential learning opportunities, engagement opportunities through its Center for Social Justice, pro bono opportunities, student organizations, and vibrant speaker series that serve to broaden students’ knowledge on legal issues related to racial justice, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — In celebration of the class of 2021, Western New England University (WNEU) will confer doctoral, law, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and master’s degrees during its 2021 graduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16 at 1 p.m. The themed event, titled “The Future Is Ours, Let’s Make It Golden” will be a high-spirited, virtual ceremony connecting graduates and their families as they watch from home.

District Attorney Anthony Gulluni will be this year’s keynote speaker and will be awarded the prestigious President’s Medallion for his commitment and dedication to building safer communities. The award, established in 2002, is bestowed upon those who have distinguished themselves in a particular field or in service to an important cause that has benefitted society locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. The President’s Medallion also recognizes men and women in diverse fields who are role models worthy of emulation by all.

Gulluni was sworn into office as Hampden District Attorney in January 2015 and is currently in the middle of serving his second four-year term. He is a lifelong Springfield resident who attended local schools, including WNEU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 2003 and juris doctorate in 2007.

As DA, Gulluni has promoted his vision of safer communities by innovative and significant investment in community building and outreach, crime prevention and education, and smart prosecution of violent offenders. The Hampden District Attorney’s Office has engaged with many community-based organizations, including Roca, the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley, and the YWCA to broaden its reach and provide equitable services to all communities in need. His office has also initiated many of its own programs to engage youth, prevent crime, help people overcome addiction, and promote social and racial equity in criminal justice.

Last year, the Hampden District Attorney’s Office created a young adult court named EACH, the Emerging Adult Court of Hope. This groundbreaking model engages young adults from ages 18 to 24 who are ensnared in a cycle of negativity and incarceration. EACH, in partnership with various community organizations and state agencies, was designed by Gulluni to disrupt this cycle, to which he saw many young people fall prey. Instead of incarceration, the court provides intensive support and programming focused on the participants’ physical and mental health, behavior patterns, housing, and ultimately the development of a pathway for careers through education and job training. The court is the first of its kind in Massachusetts and is already receiving national attention.

Gulluni was also appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to serve on the board that oversees the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance and administers millions of dollars of funds to victim and survivor organizations. In addition, Baker appointed him to his statewide Task Force on Hate Crimes. Gullini is also the immediate past president of the Massachusetts District Attorney Assoc.

For more information on Western New England University’s 2021 commencement ceremonies and to view live-streaming videos, visit wne.edu/commencement.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Hillary Haft Bucs has been named the recipient of the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award at Western New England University. Winners of this prestigious award are nominated by students, faculty, and administrators for outstanding contributions as educators and advisors.

Bucs is a professor of Theatre, teaching playwriting, acting, and improvisational comedy. She is also the adviser for the Stageless Players and Improv on the Rocks. She has directed numerous productions at the university, including Mamma Mia!, Beauty and the Beast, Footloose, Curtains, Hello, Dolly!, and Legally Blonde. Her sabbatical research is on Yiddish theatre through Odessa, London, Johannesburg, and New York City through the lens of her great-great-great-grandfather, Jacob Katzman.

With Valerie Clayman Pye, Bucs coedited Objectives, Obstacles, and Tactics in Practice: Perspectives on Activating the Actor, and is currently working on a second book called Embodied Playwriting: How Thinking Like an Improv Actor Can Make You a Better Playwright.

Bucs’ improv training and performance work began in Chicago, where she graduated from the legendary Second City Training Center, trained and performed with I.O. (Improv Olympics) and Annoyance Theatre, and was an improv actor with Michael Gellman’s TheatreWorks.

She was an associate artist for Enchanted Circle Theatre in Holyoke, where she played the role of Nellie in The Skinner Servant’s Tour over a six-year period. As an improviser, she was a company member of TheatreSports in Pittsburgh, as well as a variety of smaller troupes in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and New York City. She was an original performer with Happier Family Comedy in Western Mass. and continues to train there, as well as at the Magnet Theatre in New York City.

She has been a member and office holder of the Assoc. for Theatre in Higher Education since 2007 and is presently the secretary of the Acting Program Focus Group. She received her master of fine arts degree in performance from the University of Pittsburgh and her bachelor’s degree in speech and theatre from Northwestern University.

During the review process, one of Bucs’ nominators noted that “she is, and has always been, one of the hardest-working faculty members at Western New England, putting much of her spare time, thought, and imagination into making her classes and the community better.” Students described her as somebody who “possesses a positivity that always makes students leave the classroom with a smile” and one who “pulls up her sleeves and puts her heart into everything she does.”

Bucs has been nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award at Western New England University four times, and received the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Service Award in 2017.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Professionals from throughout Western Mass. will gather virtually as Western New England University (WNEU) convenes its 38th annual Social Work Conference on Wednesday, May 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. This year’s conference is being presented virtually in accordance with CDC recommendations at the time of planning.

Risa Silverman, director of the UMass School of Public Health and Health Sciences Office for Public Health Practice and Outreach, will be the keynote speaker for this event. Silverman’s presentation, “Bridge the Gap: Look at Race and Health Through an Intergenerational Lens,” will describe the work of the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network and its latest project, creating a film with community members young and old, on conversations about racism and health in our communities.

“We will discuss what health equity looks like during and post-pandemic for our community members and how to move forward together by learning and identifying action steps,” said Silverman. The presentation will discuss working together to address racism as a public-health crisis and ways in which conversations can be productive in this space. Members of the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network will join Silverman in the conversation.

Rosa Espinosa will be honored with the annual Jim Quinn Human Service Award at the conference. Espinosa is the director of family-based services at New North Citizens’ Council (NNCC), which provides advocacy, public, and human services to Hampden County residents with an emphasis on the Hispanic/Latino community.

“Human services saved my life,” said Espinosa, who describes her younger self, as a young mother with two children, the literal definition of the population NNCC serves. “After 30 years, I can honestly say that not only is this work fulfilling, but no matter how much I’ve done, I know I can do more because I will always remember what the agency did for me and my family.”

The daylong conference is sponsored by Western New England University’s Bachelor of Social Work program, the Social Work Advisory Council, and the Office of Enrollment Management, as well as more than 30 virtual sponsors.

Registration for this event is now open. If received before May 12, the registration fee is $120 and includes seven credit hours for full (100%) attendance. The conference fee after May 12 will be $135. Lower student rates are also available. Visit wne.edu/prodev to register online, or call (413) 796-2173.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University announced the appointment of Basil Andrew Stewart as vice president for Finance and Administration after a comprehensive national search. Currently, he is vice president for Finance and chief financial officer for Lasell University and assistant treasurer and chief financial officer of Lasell Village in Newton. At Western New England, Stewart will serve as the chief financial officer for the university.

“WNE will benefit greatly from Stewart’s breadth of experience in higher education and expertise in strategic planning as we move forward with a bold new vision for WNE as a model for what a 21st-century traditional university can and must become,” university President Robert Johnson said. “Now more than ever, institutions need to be as agile and transparent with their finance and technology operations as they are with their academic programming to ensure long-range growth and financial stability. Stewart brings that innovative mindset.”

Stewart will be responsible for the university’s finance and budgeting, internal audits, facilities management and construction, campus police, risk management, information technology, and auxiliary services. As CFO, he will serve as chief advisor to the president on financial and administrative matters and will have administrative responsibility to the board of trustees by providing administrative support to its finance, audit, and investment committees.

Prior to his current post, Stewart served as chief financial officer and senior vice president for Finance and Administration at Merrimack College and held controller posts at such prestigious institutions as MIT, Northeastern, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Smith College, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. He held auditing posts for the Gillette Co. and Coopers & Lybrand.

Stewart earned his MBA and a BBA in accounting from UMass Amherst. He is a board member of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and Boston Senior Home Care Inc. and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Inc. and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants Inc. He holds designations as a chartered global management accountant and certified public accountant.

Stewart, who joins Western New England University in June, succeeds retiring Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Wagner, who also served as director of Institutional Leadership and Planning for 18 years.

buy ivermectin for humans buy ivermectin online
buy generic cialis buy cialis
payday loans online same day deposit 1 hour payday loans no credit check