The first recognition ceremony for students who have completed credits toward a bachelor's degree as part of the Westfield Promise was held May 14. Seventy-five students from high schools in Holyoke, Springfield, and Westfield completed coursework through the University in this early college degree program.
The Westfield State Foundation at Westfield State University has established the Baystate Health Scholarship for Nursing. The scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Baystate Health System, a partner with the University's Nursing Department. Sarina Gallant, a graduating senior from East Longmeadow, was selected as the first recipient of the award. Both announcements were made at Westfield State's annual Nursing Pinning ceremony on May 15.
The University celebrated its sixth annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony on May 16. Thirty-nine members of the Class of 2019 received their pins, among 61 who completed degree requirements to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing at the 2019 Commencement.
"Westfield State University will host a Westfield Wednesdays 350th Anniversary Historical Lecture Series event titled "History of the Westfield Normal School," on Dever Stage in Parenzo Hall on March 6 at 6:30 p.m. The event will be presented by panelists L. Mara Dodge, Ph.D.; Walter Fogg, and Beth Ann Rothermel, Ph.D. Following the event, a photography exhibit will be on display in the Arno Maris Gallery, on the second floor of Ely Campus Center. Desserts and a raffle will be available at the exhibit.
Dr. Dodge is a professor and department chair of history at Westfield State, and editor of the Historical Journal of Massachusetts, published by Westfield State since 1972. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has taught at Westfield State since 1999. Her areas of prior research include labor history, women's history, legal/constitutional history, and the history of crime and punishment. She has also won an outstanding book award for her work, "Whores and Thieves of the Worst Kind": Women, Crime, and Prisons, 1835–2000. She is editing another book, which is anticipated to be published in August."
"Westfield State University will host New York Times reporter and 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones on March 7 at 6 p.m. in Scanlon Banquet Hall. Part of the University's Higher Ed/Higher Ground speaker series, the event is free and open to the public.
Her talk, titled "Race, Equality, and the Modern Age of Segregation," will focus primarily on the history and legacies of racial segregation in the public education and housing systems. Hannah-Jones will speak from her extensive research on the history of racism, school re-segregation, and the disarray of hundreds of desegregation orders."
"Ramon S. Torrecilha, Ph.D., president of Westfield State University, was recently appointed as a trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Dr. Torrecilha will serve a three-year term.
'I am thrilled to work closely with President Zobel and serve on the board of a foundation that has been an exemplary catalyst for positive change for our region," says Dr. Torrecilha. "I trust my appointment will also provide some additional exposure for Westfield State University and its strides in student success, civic engagement, and workforce development.'"
Evan Lucey (MS), Jarrod Petersen and Michael Goyette (Biology) presented their immunological research at the Upstate New York Immunology Conference (NYIC) this week. Their immunological studies featured wound healing experiments as well as HIV infection dynamics. Note: they only got to watch the HIV infections studies being done. Specifically, watching from a closed environment, while their professor, Kristen Porter, used their samples at her collaborator's lab at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
As the only undergraduates to present, their work was among that of graduate, post-doctoral fellows and faculty from Dartmouth (Geisel School of Medicine), Cornell, Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, UConn, McGill University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, SUNY schools from across NY, Albany Medical College, etc. As well as immunological giants of the field from Emory and Pfizer. They also attended numerous talks in different Immunological breakout sessions and made meaningful connections towards fulfilling their post-WSU career goals.
From Left to Right:
Evan Lucey (MS) and Jarrod Petersen and Michael Goyette (Biology)
"Westfield State University will host "Nún Isilmë" (underneath the moon), featuring the art of Tyler Vouros in the Arno Maris Art Gallery, Ely Campus Center, October 30–December 7. An artist's reception will be held on Wednesday, November 7, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the gallery.
Vouros' exhibit features a series of realistic charcoal pieces featuring bird and sunflower drawings. Water, brushes, erasers, and sandpaper add depth to his charcoal drawings which are later mounted to canvas for display."
"Westfield State University has received a $140,000 Early College Implementation Grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to continue The Westfield Promise program, which was officially designated as an early college program by the Department of Higher Education in May. The program aims to benefit underrepresented student populations, including first-generation and students of color.
Partnering with public high schools in Holyoke, Springfield, and Westfield, the program involves Westfield State faculty co-teaching a "stretch year" course with the high school faculty to high school juniors. As seniors, students then take courses on the University's campus, providing the students with an early exposure to the rigor of collegiate study and the campus environment – enabling them to more clearly visualize themselves completing a four-year degree. As an additional measure, the students are supported with peer and professional tutors.
"By immersing high school juniors and seniors in the Westfield State University culture, college becomes more of an attainable reality," said President Ramon S. Torrecilha, Ph.D. "The Westfield Promise students are already identifying themselves as Westfield State students, which is highly encouraging."
Seventy-nine high school seniors and 119 juniors are participating in The Westfield Promise this year, a program which began last fall. Upon high school graduation, if the students meet the appropriate admissions criteria of the University, they will earn preferred admission and enhanced financial aid packages at Westfield State."
"The Westfield State Foundation, after a record-breaking year of raising more than $3 million, increased the amount of scholarship awards to students and honored philanthropist James Huffmire at its annual meeting in September.
As a result of the funding, the Foundation awarded 253 scholarships in 2017–18 to 194 students totaling $227,233. In addition, 161 internship scholarship awards were given, totaling $281,642. Total support eclipsed one-half of a million dollars. Representing the scholarship award recipients at the annual meeting were Thomas Howard, a junior from Agawam majoring in history and political science, and Alexander Dedinas of Millbury, a senior criminal justice major. Each student thanked their supporters and shared how the scholarship aid has helped their pursuit of a degree from Westfield State.
The Foundation presented its 2018 Stewardship Award to James Huffmire for his vision, commitment and leadership to the students, faculty and staff through many years of service. Huffmire has served as a Foundation director and has sat on numerous committees in the Westfield area."