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Class Notes

Class Notes

Sue (Bodenrader) Connolly 89’ was married in a romantic candlelit ceremony on New Year's Eve in a little white church in Billerica, MA to Peter Connolly. She works in the Biotechnology/Life Sciences industry (for 25 years) and continues to work as an artist on the side.  Her husband Peter, from Billerica, is a US Customs Broker in the Freight/Logistics Industry. They currently reside north of Boston.


Proud parents Travis and Johanna (Masotti) Searles 07' of Agawam are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Andrew John Searles. Andrew was born at Mercy Hospital on December 16, 2015. He joins his brother, Jacob, age 4 and sister, Emily, age 2. Travis is an attorney at Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, CT. Johanna has taken a break from teaching and is currently a stay-at-home mom.

Maura (Collins) Boyle ‘96 wed Owen Boyle on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2014, in Andover.  Maura, a Business Management and Communications graduate, was known for being a Disc Jockey for the Westfield State radio station WSKB and a team member on the Women's Track and Field team.  The couple has three sons: Christopher, Ryan, and Michael, and reside in North Andover.  Maura works for a software company, Mzinga, in Burlington, and is looking forward to helping plan the class of 1996's reunion next year.
Ryan Crossman '07 and Katie (Quist) Crossman '07 are pleased to announce the birth of their twin daughters, born on August 15, 2014! Savannah Josephine was born at 9:26pm weighing 5lbs 1 oz and 18 inches long, and Madilynn Patricia was born at 10:11pm weighing 5lbs 2 oz and 20 inches long. The entire family is doing well!
Windsor Marketing Group (WMG), an innovative in-store marketing company based in Suffield, CT., has announced the hiring of Donna Murphy '92 as the company’s Executive Director of Group Advancement.  Murphy comes to WMG with 22 years of experience in local government. She is a CCMA II Certified CT Municipal Assessor who has worked on multiple local and state EIDC projects.  In her role, Murphy will be responsible for ensuring that WMG actively participates in all relevant government grant and economic development programs, lead all aspects of the company’s community-focused initiatives, and serve as company representative on the board of the Connecticut Food Association (CFA) trade group.

Tina Stevens '90 has joined Greenfield Community College as an adjunct faculty member for the academic year. She will be teaching Principles of Marketing, an in-depth course which covers the fundamental concepts of marketing and includes the hands-on preparation of a marketing plan for a local business.  She is the Principal and Creative Director of Stevens 470 in Westfield, a multichannel marketing consultancy. With over 20 years of experience growing the agency and working with a diverse mix of clients, Tina has real world experience in developing and directing marketing plans.  She attended Greenfield Community College and earned an associate degree in graphic design. She received her bachelor of arts from Westfield State. Tina also has a master’s degree in advertising design from Syracuse University through their Independent Study Degree Program for working professionals in the creative industry.

Mary Ahern '14 has joined The Starline Academy for the Performing Arts in Stoughton as a hip hop and lyrical instructor.  While at Westfield State, Mary competed and co-coached nationally with the competitive hip hop team.  She has additional training from Dean College.

Meg McDevitt '05 wed Mike Berman '03 at the State Room in Boston on June 28, 2014.  The couple were both Communication majors and met working at WSKB 89.5 in 2002.  Several alumni attended the ceremony.  Pictured are 1st row L-R: Mike Boyd '03, Tim Jones '05, Mike Berman '03, Meg (McDevitt) Berman '05, Becky Jacobson '10, Leanne Loth Wilson '06, Emily Higgins '03; 2nd row L-R: Nicky (Britton) Manning '05, Meg Connerney '05, Lindsay (Berman) Dee '06, Katie Loth '05; 3rd row L-R: Bob Musto '05, Kevin Lessard '05, Dan Surette;  4th row L-R: Scott Toomey '03, Ryan Rowe '04, Jess Morse '05.

Karen Chauvin Katsanos '99 has been promoted to vice president of Human Resources at Freedom Credit Union. She will continue to manage the human-resource and training activities for the credit union, which employs a staff of 130. Katsanos joined the credit union in 2012 and has 20 years of HR experience in several industries, including healthcare and manufacturing. She has held a number of senior management positions throughout her career. Katsanos earned her bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and has earned two master’s degrees — one in psychology from Westfield State and the other in business administration from Western New England University. She holds an SPHR designation that she earned from the Human Resource Certification Institute. She is a board member for the Human Resource Management Assoc. of Western New England and the Ronald McDonald House of Springfield.

Pat Padgett '06, with help from lots of friends, has faced his battle with cancer head-on.  The cross-fit athlete is a picture of fitness, standing at 6'1" and weighing 215 lbs.  Pat lost 40 pounds after his fifth surgery in an 11-week span to remove a cancerous growth from his mouth. The fight for life is on, and those in his inner circle are figuring out it’s not happening alone. A community is growing around Pat Padgett right before their very eyes. Read more about Pat's story here.

Jeffrey LaBell '04 wed Sydney Bender in a ceremony on Saturday, June 14th in West Tisbury.  LaBell is a detective for the Oak Bluffs police department. He is a graduate of Westfield State and has been a full-time police officer on Martha’s Vineyard since 2005. The couple honeymooned in Paris before returning to their home on Martha’s Vineyard.

Kami Falcione '95 was named as a relationship manager for MassMutual's New England district, serving retirement plans that rely on third-party administrators (TPAs). Falcione was a client relationship manager for 401(k) plans at Great West Retirement Services. She also held previous relationship management positions at DST Retirement Solutions and Bank of America, and has a total of 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. A graduate of Westfield State, she holds FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses.

Jeff Chalmers '91 is thriving in the real estate and mortgage world! Regarded as one of the 100 Most influential People in Real Estate, he was recently named one of 25 Ambassadors for Real Estate Connect San Francisco by Inman News®, a leader in independent real estate and technology news. Ambassadors are leaders chosen for their outstanding work in the industry and their work in raising the bar with education and events. They are influencers within the real estate sphere, engaging in thoughtful outreach in their online and offline communities. Jeff has spoken at NAR tech edge conferences in Detroit, Michigan and Atlanta, Georgia, and is a 2013 Agent Reboot Boston Ambassador. He is a contributor to Eight Eleven's 2014 Guide to Social and Tech for REALTORS® from 45 Experts. You can learn more about Jeff and his business on his website.

Annmarie Hurley
'12 has been promoted to Accounting Officer at People's Bank. She possesses more than 20 years of banking and financial experience, joined the bank in 1993, and most recently held the position of Senior Staff Accountant. Annemarie is a resident of Russell.

Easthampton High School seniors recently participated in the “What You Need To Know About The Scholarship Search” workshop which focused on the scholarship application process.

The workshop was created by Melissa Kmon '11, of Holyoke, a graduate student at Westfield State in the school guidance counseling initial licensure program. She is completing her practicum at Easthampton High. Kmon also works at a graduate assistant in the university's alumni relations department.

One of the scholarships that students learned about was the Jake Austin Martindell Memorial Scholarship. Three Easthampton seniors were recently awarded the scholarship by the Martindell family.

The Martindell family awarded a top scholarship of $250 to Hajar Akanour, while Gillian McRitchie and Caelin Mottor, each won scholarships of $25.  Pictured are Easthampton High School students and guidance counselors with Melissa Kmon '11, center.

Lisa Mangini '08 has been hard at work with her writing. Her chapbook, “Slouching Towards Entrophy” will be published by Finishing Line Press and is currently available for pre-order.  Her fiction chapbook, “Perfect Objects in Motion” is produced by Red Bird Chapbooks, and she is slated to publish her full-length collection of poems, “Bird Watching at the End of the World” in October 2014. Mangini works part-time at Aetna and is an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University and Asnuntuck Community College.

Meghan Kelly '05, has joined Governor Deval Patrick's team as deputy director of communications for the state Executive Office of Administration and Finance.  Kelly has spent the past seven years serving as the "voice" of state Senator Stephen Brewer of Barre, and the Senate Ways & Means Committee. 

Kate Quigley '09 '11G wed Nick Levesque '11 on December 21, 2013.  They welcomed one of the largest alumni groups at their reception.  Well over 20 alumni were in attendance to celebrate the couple's big day.  Kate and Nick currently reside in New Hampshire.  

L to R back row: Stephen A. Mangine '82, John Troy '75, Shannon Collins '98, Christopher Collins '73, David Nicoll '86, Susan Lynch '05, M'11, Kelli Nielsen '04, Mindy Lawson '08, Meaghan Sheehan '09, Rosemary Dowling Sevigny '07, Ryan Sullivan '11, Casmir Storozuk '86;

Middle row: Kristen Troy '99, Elizabeth Roy McDonald '09, Andrew Dalesandro '08, Deanna Suomala '98, Kathi Bradford, Courtney Andros '08, Courtney Dacey '10;
Front row: Kate Quigley Levesque '09, M'11, Nick Levesque '11
Missing from Picture: Mark Dore '11, Mary Beth O'Neil '83, and a few more!

Hayley Perry '08 wed David Johansson '08 at a beautiful ceremony at Ocean Edge Resort on Cape Cod on June 15, 2013.  Several alumni were in attendance, including Eric Bristol '02, Beth (Johansson) Bristol '02, Michael Primeau '08, Rob Crowell '08, Aaron Newton '08, Eric Walker '08, Laura (Durand) Walker '07, Randi Lucius '08, Rachel Deslauriers '08, Lindsey Holmes '08, Andrea Nicholas '08, Patrick Logan '08, Amanda (Richmond) Logan '08, Rachael Gannett '10, Greg Zanni '08, Bethie Soule '08, Jenna Dunn '08, Sean Brown '08, and Matt Miner '08.  

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.

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 or email Janice at

 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.








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