Home Posts tagged Western New England University
Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University’s board of trustees announced the unanimous appointment of Robert Johnson as the institution’s sixth president, according to Kenneth Rickson, board chair. Johnson succeeds Anthony Caprio, who has served as WNEU’s president for more than 24 years — the longest presidential tenure in the history of the university.

“We believe we have found the perfect leader to build on our growth as an institution as we chart a course for Western New England’s second century,” Rickson said. “A scholar in the areas of educational leadership, cultural diversity and leadership, marketing and enrollment management, and the future of work, Dr. Johnson is a renowned thought leader who speaks and writes about the future of work, the agile mind, the agile university, and innovating for social impact.”

Johnson currently serves as chancellor of UMass Dartmouth. He will begin his new role as president of WNEU on Aug. 15.

“Building on the leadership and legacy of Dr. Caprio is humbling and an honor,” he said. “His transformation and elevation of Western New England University for 24 years is historic. I look forward to engaging with the campus community to create a shared ambition in writing its next chapter in this extraordinary time, and navigating through this global pandemic and social unrest with a sense of humanity and civility.”

Johnson’s 30-year leadership career spans nonprofit colleges and universities in the Northeast and Midwest, including public, private, urban, rural, small, and large institutions with enrollments from 2,000 to more than 25,000 students. Prior to becoming chancellor at UMass Dartmouth, he served as president of Becker College in Worcester from 2010 to 2017. He has held leadership positions with Sinclair College, the University of Dayton, Oakland University, and Central State University in Ohio. His career reflects several firsts — not only as an African-American leader, but also as the youngest person to hold senior administrative roles.

Johnson’s tenure at UMass Dartmouth resulted in a number of significant accomplishments, including leading the region to create a framework for the blue economy, which will be an ecosystem to drive job creation, economic development, and entrepreneurship; launching a $188 million construction and renovation project for new housing and dining; the renovation of its Science and Engineering building; and securing the largest single research grant in the history of the university, $4.6 million from the Office of Naval Research.

As President of Becker College from 2010 to 2017, Johnson led enrollment growth for seven consecutive years by 23%, increased degrees awarded by 53%, and boosted the graduation rate by 29%. His innovative leadership elevated the reputation of the digital games program, ranked third in the world, and first in New England, by the Princeton Review. He also helped create the first bachelor’s degree in the U.S. in global citizenship. The U.S. Department of Economic Development designated the college as one of 60 schools as a University Center. Creating the Agile Mindset positioned its curriculum with a unique niche in the higher-education landscape.

“The Agile Mindset, which provides students the skillset and mindset to create new value with essential human skills to meet the demands of the future, will be critical to the academy in a post COVID-19 world,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working with our community to evolve the paradigm for the higher-education industry that steeps our students with a sense of humanity, grounding them in the liberal arts with an entrepreneurial spirit that spurs innovation and transforms the world.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Johnson to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and Gov. Charlie Baker appointed him to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and the Hate Crimes Task Force and the Black Advisory Council.

A native of Detroit, Johnson was inspired to pursue a life of education for the social good by his uncle, who was a classmate of Martin Luther King Jr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Touro University International, formerly a division of Touro College in New York City; a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Cincinnati; a bachelor’s degree in economics from Morehouse College in Atlanta; and a certificate in applied neuroscience from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Jennifer Beineke has been named the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at Western New England University (WNEU). She is a professor of Mathematics in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. Winners of this prestigious award are nominated by students, faculty, and administrators for outstanding contributions as educators and advisors.

During the review process, current and former students praised Beineke as somebody who “made me see the beauty of mathematics” and “always pushed us to be our best.” Another added, “when I walked out of her classroom for the final time, I knew I was a different student and person than the one who had walked in.”

Faculty members describe Beineke as having “a natural gift for explaining challenging concepts,” and “using a variety of methods to engage students in thinking about and solving problems.”

Beineke, who has been teaching at WNEU since 2001, received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and French from Purdue University, and earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA. Her research is in the area of analytic number theory. In conjunction with the National Museum of Mathematics, she recently co-edited the three-volume series The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Sharianne Walker has been named dean of the Western New England University (WNEU) College of Business. Linda Jones, university provost, recently made the announcement, citing Walker’s dedication and commitment to the College of Business and her record of spearheading accreditation, strategic planning, and assessment projects at the university.

Walker joined the College of Business faculty in 1996, most recently serving as chair and professor of Sport Management, as well as co-director of the master of science in Sport Leadership and Coaching graduate program.

Walker is the co-author of the texts Managing Intercollegiate Athletics, Managing Sport Organizations: Responsibility for Performance, and Strategic Management in International Sport Management. Her current research focuses on revenue- and resource-development models in sports organizations, strategic management, and leadership. She has presented her research on leadership development, business operations, and revenue generation at various international, national, and regional conferences.

An influential figure in the growth of WNEU’s athletics program, she has served as a faculty fellow, an NCAA faculty representative, and chair of the Western New England Athletics Council, Athletic Direct Report, and was inducted into the university’s Downes Athletic Hall of Fame.

Walker was previously named Career Woman of the Year by the Massachusetts Business and Professional Women’s Assoc. and served as director of the Springfield Leadership Institute. She is currently chair of the board of trustees of Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park in Florence.

Walker earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Smith College, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in sport management from the University of Massachusetts.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNEU) General Counsel Cheryl Smith was honored at the 15th annual “Leaders in the Law” event presented by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The event was held on March 5 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

Smith was chosen from a field of nominees across the Commonwealth for the 2020 In-House Leader Award. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Leader Awards recognize general counsel and staff attorneys who are nominated by their colleagues, clients, and other legal professionals for being leaders in the community and forward thinkers.

For the past two decades, Smith had managed all litigation commenced against WNEU. She also supervised the legal and contractual aspects of a complex new ERP for the university. Additionally, for the past two years, she has served as the Title IX coordinator.

“Attorney Smith practices a special kind of leadership,” said Anthony Caprio, Western New England University president. “Her actions exemplify the noble traditions of the legal profession that are recognized and honored through this In-House Leaders in the Law award. I am thrilled to see her receive this recognition. Cheryl stands tall and always demonstrates that she can best lead folks through the issues at hand, however emotional or complex they may be.”

Smith began her academic career at Wellesley College and concluded at Western New England School of Law in 1983. At WNEU, she is a senior lecturer for “Human Resource Management,” “Legal Aspects of Human Resources,” “Business Law,” and “Business Communication.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — For the third consecutive year, the Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Chapter at Western New England University earned the “highest honors” designation for its campus engagement and programming for the 2018-19 academic year.

According to Beta Gamma Sigma CEO Chris Carosella, earning highest honors “is indicative of a campus where academic excellence is highly valued and where the faculty and chapter leaders work diligently to enhance Beta Gamma Sigma’s stature on campus.”

One indicator of this engagement is participation at the annual Global Leadership Summit (GLS), which chapter President Tessa Wood and Secretary Kathryn Wells attended last year. The GLS enables delegates to participate in professional-development workshops and share best practices with student leaders from other BGS chapters worldwide.

Marielle Heijltjes, chair of the Beta Gamma Sigma board of governors, extended her congratulations in a letter to College of Business Dean Sharianne Walker. In response, Walker said she is “delighted to see the students’ efforts recognized for all their hard work. I’m so proud that the WNE chapter has maintained its high level of engagement deserving of this recognition.”

BGS is the international honor society of AACSB-accredited business schools. Students who rank among the top 10% of their undergraduate class and top 20% of graduate programs are eligible for lifetime membership.