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When Jessie Cardin crossed the finish line first, she had no idea she had set a piece of Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference history.
Hikers in Stanley Park are benefiting from the trail mapping efforts of Chelsey Pousland ’17, a recent graduate of the University’s Geography and Regional Planning Program, known as GARP. Thanks to her efforts, the trails in the park’s Frank Stanley Beveridge Wildlife Sanctuary have been accurately mapped, with signs at points of entry and trail maps placed in kiosks throughout the several miles of trails, encompassing some 100 acres of the 200-acre sanctuary property.
DOWER CENTER RIBBON-CUTTING HIGHLIGHTS CELEBRATE WESTFIELD
Hundreds of alumni and parents visited the campus in September 2017 for a three-day “Celebrate Westfield State” event, which combined Family Weekend, Homecoming, and the ribbon-cutting and dedication for the Catherine Dower Center for the Performing and Fine Arts. Events included the Alumni and Golden Owls Brunch, the “Rugged Owl” walk/run to benefit the Emilee Dawn Gagnon Scholarship Fund, athletic events, a carnival with midway games, food trucks, student club performances, and a concert in and tours of the Dower Center.
An article coauthored by Helena Rheault ’18 was published recently in the science journal Ecosphere. Titled “Long-term Population Dynamics in a Multi-Species Assemblage of Large Herbivores in East Africa,” the piece is a direct result of Rheault’s work in Tanzania during fall 2016, according to Jennifer Hanselman, Ph.D., chair of the Biology Department.
As the only public college in New England to offer a bachelor’s degree in regional planning, Westfield State has a solid history of educating and training successful planners that dates back to 1983. Key in this work by the Geography and Regional Planning Program—known as GARP—is the University’s connection to Tim Brennan, the executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC).
A shortage of master of social work (MSW) programs in the Worcester area, combined with a high demand for that degree there, led Westfield State University into a collaboration with the YWCA Central Massachusetts in Worcester. “This partnership has a natural synergy,” says Shelley Tinkham, Ph.D., dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education. “This is a unique model. It is very powerful.”
Madelyn “Maddy” Jemiolo, a junior at Westfield High School, juggles a demanding schedule of school, part-time work, the varsity ski team, and a social life. So when she first heard about The Westfield Promise program during a school assembly, it seemed like it would be too much. Could she add college-level classes to an already full agenda? Jemiolo quickly realized that she could.
Westfield State is always at the heart of a family gathering for Cameron Swan ’19, as his father, aunt, uncle, cousin, and brother are all proud graduates. “I never knew what kind of value Westfield State had until I got here. It’s absolutely incredible,” Swan says.
I hope that spring is in the air as you read this column, after a stormy March in the Northeast.
This spring issue of Focus once again underscores all the great things happening at Westfield State through our students, faculty, and outreach initiatives. Included are stories highlighting some of our incredible alumni that are as rich and varied as the individuals themselves, along with articles spotlighting the amazing accomplishments of today’s students.
From the President
While it is highly unfortunate that society, including many college campuses, has experienced a significant increase in hateful acts, it should not deter us from our mission.Students undergo a transformation during their college years that extends far beyond the classroom. Higher education is uniquely poised to take advantage of plentiful, meaningful, teachable moments as we play our part in shaping the future generations of citizens.