Page 94 - BusinessWest May 12, 2021
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The African Hall Committee
of the Springfield Museums announced its annual Ubora Award and Ahadi Youth Award winners. Now in its 30th year of celebrating leadership by peo- ple of African heritage, the 2021 Ubora Award honors Robert Cee Jackson as an exemplary philanthropist and humani- tarian. The 12th Ahadi Youth Award honors the remarkable energy and intent of Tigist Dawit Terefe, a junior at the High School of Science & Tech- nology. As president of Jackson Security and Jackson Trans- portation, Jackson employs many community members
and negotiates fees to help make his services afford- able to all. As vice president of the African-American philanthropic organization the Brethren Commu- nity Foundation, he helps neighborhood youth with projects such as staging a celebration of Juneteenth
The board of trustees at Westfield State University
(WSU) selected higher-education and public-policy leader Linda Thompson to serve as the university’s 21st president. Pending Board of Higher Education approval, Thompson is slated to begin her presi- dency this summer. Thompson has served as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Boston since 2017 and previously held a similar posi- tion at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. At both institutions, she developed and implemented
a comprehensive, five-year strategic plan to increase enrollment, expand partnerships and academic programs, secure funding, and increase diversity among students and faculty. She has taught nurs- ing and public health throughout her career at 10 different colleges and universities. Her administra- tive experience includes appointments as provost and vice chancellor at North Carolina A&T State University, dean of Nursing at Oakland University
in Michigan, and associate dean at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Her extensive experi- ence in public service includes serving as director of Occupational Medicine and Safety in Baltimore,
ate 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 impro- viser, 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. Bucs has been nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award at Western New England University four times, and received the Col- lege of Arts and Sciences Faculty Service Award in 2017. assisting the advisors with outreach.
Phillip Ringwood was awarded the Greenfield Com-
munity College (GCC) 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award at the college’s recent board of trustees meet- ing. The award was established by the GCC Alumni Assoc. to recognize and honor alumni of GCC who
have achieved substantial public recognition for their accomplishments or success. Ringwood has worked at DIAL/ SELF Youth and Commu-
nity Services — a community- based nonprofit agency that has been serving the youth and communities of Western Mass. since 1977 — for more than
20 years and has served as executive director since 2012. The organization provides a wide array of ser- vices that foster youth empowerment and commu- nity service. Over the course of the last four decades, more than 40,000 area youth have been served by the agency in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden coun- ties and the North Quabbin region. In this role, he
is especially proud of his experience advocating for the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Bill in the Mas- sachusetts Legislature, informed by his own experi- ence as a 15-year-old homeless youth. He actively included the community in developing the case for support to present to the delegation in support of the initiative.
UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced that Lauren Duffy, executive vice president and chief operating officer, was recently appointed board chair of the Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) Member Advantage Mortgage LLC (MAM), a company owned and operated by credit unions
across the country to provide major-lender options for home financing. Understanding that home ownership can be a critical component to building wealth for any individual or family, UMassFive has built and sustained a purposeful partnership with MAM after investing in CUSO in 2009 to bring better home loan and refinancing options to its members. In fact, UMassFive is the single largest-volume loan producer of all MAM credit-union investors, mak- ing up more than half their volume year over year. The MAM board’s official charge is to set the strate- gic direction and execute its fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the credit union members’ investment
People on the Move
Continued on page 96
 People on the Move
where she developed programs
and policies to promote the health of the city’s workforce. At the state level, she served as special secretary for Children, Youth, and Families
in Maryland. There, she developed
that showcased remarkable community talent and providing college scholarships for youth. Jackson’s community-minded leadership also includes the Urban League board of directors and the Springfield Partners for Community Action board of directors. In addition, he is an active member and distinguished leader of the Masonic Order. For decades, Jackson has helped at the Stone Soul Festival, which is recog- nized as one of New England’s largest African-Amer- ican festivals. He was a co-founder of the 5A football program, which is now called Springfield Youth Ath- letics. Its mission is to provide activities and oppor- tunities for young people, regardless of race, religion, or economic status, in the urban Springfield com- munity and surrounding area. He volunteers with the Old Hill Neighborhood Council, which is dedicated to serving the needs and concerns of community members. And he was appointed in 2008 by Mayor Domenic Sarno to serve as a commissioner of the Community Police Hearing Board. Terefe maintains top grades while also pursuing difficult coursework, including advanced-placement classes. She has taken advantage of dual-enrollment opportunities with Springfield Technical Community College to earn college credits as well as the After Dark Voca- tional Program with Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, which allows her to graduate with both
her high-school diploma and as a certified nurse assistant. Terefe also works part-time at Pioneer Val- ley Life Sciences Institute, as an intern in the cancer- research lab, and looks forward to going into cancer biomedical research in the future. She participates
in the Baystate Educational Partnership to expand her insight into the medical world. She is also one of the founders of the first-ever Springfield Leadership Advisory Council, which will work to connect stu- dents of Springfield public schools with district lead- ers. Terefe is a member of District Attorney Anthony Gulluni’s Youth Advisory Board, which addresses issues facing today’s teens, researches effective pre- vention strategies, and works to give youth and resi- dents in the City of Springfield a more powerful voice to make positive change. She is a tutor to other Youth Advisory Board members and leads the inclusion committee, which has created a series of podcasts
to give insight on how people could be more inclu- sive, and what they have experienced as students in Hampden County.
programs and policies to improve the quality of
care for vulnerable populations of children. Many of these programs have been duplicated through her advisory and consulting roles in Brazil, China, India, Korea, and the Caribbean. She was the chief policy advisor to the governor of Maryland on all children and youth matters, managing an interagency bud- get of more than $350 million. Thompson has pub- lished more than 100 articles, books, book chapters, and abstracts. She has received numerous awards, including induction into the American Academy of Nursing, Phi Kappa Alpha, and Sigma Xi, and was an invited participant in the White House Conference on Childcare and as the White House delegate to Bra- zil. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Wayne State University in Michigan and master’s and doctoral degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Thompson will succeed interim President Roy Saigo, who has led Westfield State through the 2020-21 academic year.
Hillary Haft Bucs has been named the recipient of
the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award at Western New England University. Winners of this presti- gious award are nominated by students, faculty, and administrators for outstanding contributions as edu- cators 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, Cur- tains, Hello, Dolly!, and Legally Blonde. Her sabbati- cal 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: Perspec- tives 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 associ-
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