Kenneth E. Keegan '82 of Merrimac, passed away on Sunday, November 3, 2013. He was the beloved husband of Kathleen J. (Tarrant) Keegan '82 and devoted father of Haley, Kendall and Sean Keegan. Born in Cambridge on February 29, 1960, he was the son of the late John E. and Florence (Zinfon) Keegan.
Rachael Oleson '09 wed Jonathan Imperial '10 on Saturday, June 1, 2013 in Londonderry, NH. A reception immediately followed at the Brookstone Country Club in Derry, NH. Present at the wedding were several Westfield State alumni. Pictured from top L to R: Dave Malone '10, Aaron Burns '10, Chrissy Gallo Ferreira '12, Mark Ferreira '10 (groomsman), Bill Bartlett '08 (best man), Ryan Nix '10, Kurt Hawes '10, and Sara Mackey '10. Bottom L to R: Matt Burzdak '09, Shannon Allen '09 (bridesmaid), Meghan Wallace '10 (bridesmaid), Nicole Nalepa '10, Kristen Pierce '10 (bridesmaid), and Jacqui Brown Ferguson '10 (bridesmaid). Rachel and Jonathan are front center. Jonathan is currently a police officer and Rachael is a Special Education Assistant Teacher. The couple resides in Gorham, NH.
Kaitlin Gallagher Casey '08 wed Jeremy Casey '07 on July 14, 2012 at Rosedale Vineyard in Simsbury, CT. Present at the wedding were several Westfield Alumni including (L to R): Hayley Nelson '08, Ryan Gallagher '10, Kathleen Chea '08,Jared Walsh '08, Stephen and Emily Gibbons '08, Kristen Bolognese '08, Thomas Daniel '09, and Katie Knodler '08.
Raymond J. Chelte '67 passed away on Tuesday, July 16th. Ray was the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Westfield State, awarded at Homecoming 2011. He was very active in the military and in local civic groups, and recieved numerous awards for his service. Ray is pictured here at Homecoming 2011 with Kevin Queenin '70, Ray's wife Judy, Ryan O'Connell '07, and Westfield State President Evan S. Dobelle.
Joseph S. Dalessio '11 has completed police academy training with the regional police academy at Springfield Technical Community College. He will now fill one of two patrol officer vacancies for the town of East Longmeadow. Dalessio is a lifelong resident of East Longmeadow and received his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Westfield State and went on to the academy for reserve officers in Longmeadow.
The Northampton Police Department has hired Michael W. Graham '07 as its newest officer. Graham, 29, recently graduated from the Western Massachusetts Regional Police Academy in Springfield. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University. Graham is currently assigned to the department’s 15-week field training program.
Kim Lynch '94 has joined Hampden Zimmerman, New England's premier provider of lighting design, as their Marketing Coordinator. Lynch, of Somers, Conn., brings more than 18 years of experience in developing, implementing and coordinating marketing initiatives. At Hampden Zimmerman, Lynch will focus on store merchandising, managing the company website and partners rewards program, developing customer databases and promotional materials. Most recently, Lynch managed marketing projects for Holyoke-based Horizon Solutions, an electrical and industrial distributor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Westfield State and an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Springfield Technical Community College.
Heather Young '12, has been hired on a full-time basis as Accounting Specialist responsible for Accounts Payable and Payroll reporting directly to Jim. She has worked for Big Y Foods for the past 7 years, most recently at their Corporate office in Springfield. In 2012 she completed an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Heather earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree with a concentration in Accounting from Westfield State.
Joshua A. Garcia '09 '12M of Holyoke has joined the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission as Municipal Services Coordinator. Garcia holds a Masters in Public Administration from Westfield State University. Previously, he worked for the Holyoke Housing Authority, most recently managing more than 400 public housing units. Garcia serves as chair of the board of Nueva Esperanza Inc. and represents Ward 1 on the Holyoke School Committee.
Colin Tansey ’08 and Jessica Mowatt Tansey ’09, ‘11M are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Mia Katharine, born on January 10, 2013. Mia and family are doing great!
Brittany Suslak '10 married Matthew Lechter '10 on April 27th in East Bridgewater. The couple met at Westfield State in 2006. Matthew went on to earn his master’s degree from Westfield State and is currently employed as an Area Coordinator at Dean College. Brittany is employed as a Sales Coordinator at eClinicalWorks. The couple lives in Franklin.
Carla Marie Santaniello '10 became the bride of Jonathan Patrick Ryan on December 31, 2012. The bride earned her bachelor’s degree from Westfield State and a master’s degree from the University of Hartford. She is employed as a communications and marketing specialist with Springfield College. The couple resides in West Springfield.
Steven Hiersche '74 has been named Superintendent of the Mashpee School District. He has served as interim superintendent for the Hopkinton School District since the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Sarasota, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from Westfield State.
The College Board recently presented David R. Gelinas '76, senior associate dean and director of financial aid at Davidson College, with the Eleanor S. Morris Service Award. The award recognizes individuals who have been involved with the College Scholarship Service and the College Board, and exemplify the high standards, commitments, contributions and service exhibited by Eleanor S. Morris during her 30-year career as director of financial aid at UNC-Chapel Hill. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Westfield State, and a master's degree in education from Western Michigan University.
Nancy Lavarnway '77 has been appointed to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women. She is currently Career Development Specialist at the South Burlington (VT) High School Career Development Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State and a master’s degree in education from Norwich University.
Dan Kane '83 was recently named as Scholastic’s “Outstanding Educator of the Year 2013”. This is a nation wide Award given to 4 teachers that demonstrate excellence in teaching. Scholastic is one of the largest book companies in the world. The prize includes 3 days in New York City where he will meet with other educators. Dan has been a special needs teacher for 30 years. He teaches at Franklin Avenue Elementary School in Westfield, MA. His 150 member singing group, The Dan Kane Singers, performs frequently to sold out crowds at the Springfield Symphony Hall.
Janice Beetle '85 is excited to announce the publication of her first book, Divine Renovations: A Carpenter, His Soul Mate and Their Story of Love and Loss. The book is a memoir about Janice’s late husband, Ed Godleski. It’s a story of love and a story of hope, and it has been called “remarkable,” “spare” and “brutally honest.” Janice would love to get invited into peoples’ homes or churches to read from the book and talk about her experience, and she is willing to travel. To learn more, read Janice’s blog or order the book, visit janicebeetle.wordpress.com or email Janice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron Dean '98 of Adams, has been appointed as the new principal of Stearns Elementary School in Pittsfield. Dean holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a master's degree from Cambridge College and a bachelor's from Westfield State.
Nikali Benkert '01 was recognized as a Local Hero from the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The award, one of 10 given to teachers in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut last year, came with a $1,000 prize for Agawam High School, where Benkert teaches math. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Westfield State and his master’s degree from Western New England University. He has taught math for the past 13 years.
Corey Tobin '12 has joined Gilbane Building Company as an Associate Regional Accountant in the Boston Office. Tobin earned his degree in Business Management and joined Gilbane as an accounting intern in September 2012 and has spent the last several months working with the MA SPG team on Special Projects.