Class of 2019 Graduated 1,310
A total of 1,310 students completed graduation requirements to march with the Class of 2019. The Commencement ceremony was held May 18 at the MassMutual Center, where actor Jennifer Lafleur ’01 delivered the address. Valedictorian Megan Gentile ’19 finished her computer information systems degree with a 4.0 grade point average, while salutatorian Meghan Tessitore ’19 earned a 3.99 GPA.
Thirty-nine Participated in Sixth Annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony
At the University’s sixth annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony on May 16, 39 members of the Class of 2019 received their pins; 61 completed degree requirements to earn a bachelor of science in nursing at the 2019 Commencement. Apple Bottass ’16, a nursing alumna and current cardiac unit nurse, gave the keynote presentation. Tara Lambert ’19 received the Nursing Department’s Leadership Award, while its Spirit of Nursing Award was presented to Sara Collier ’19.
Strategic Plan Approved by State
The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education unanimously approved the University’s Strategic Plan on May 7. Created through comprehensive input from campus constituents and developed with campus-wide committee involvement, the plan provides Westfield State with a strategic roadmap to better attach resources and priorities for the next several years. Its direction ensures the University’s competitiveness in the statewide and national higher education landscapes, which continue to evolve.
Biotechnology Agreement Signed with STCC
University officials signed an agreement in May to create an affordable pathway for students who earn an associate degree in biotechnology from Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) to transfer credits and pursue a bachelor’s degree at Westfield State. Students will receive credit from Westfield State for program-related courses completed at STCC. They can apply those credits toward the requirements for a bachelor of science degree in biology with a concentration in biotechnology at Westfield State. The program began in the fall 2019 semester.
University Partners with HCC on RN-to-BSN Program
Holyoke Community College entered a partnership with the University in January to create an RN-to-BSN completion program through a streamlined dual admission agreement. Program courses can be taken online or via satellite locations at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton, or at Greenfield and Springfield Technical community colleges. Applications were accepted for fall
Tom Kettle Appointed Emergency Management Director
Westfield State and Holyoke Community College jointly hired a full-time director to oversee emergency management and operations planning on each campus. Tom Kettle was appointed; he most recently served as a fire safety and emergency training and operations specialist at Brown University. He holds a master’s degree in emergency management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Gloria Lopez Named Vice President for Student Affairs
Gloria Lopez, Ed.D., was appointed vice president for Student Affairs in April, following a national search. She began her tenure this summer. Dr. Lopez most recently served in a similar role at Hampshire College in Amherst. She replaces Susan LaMontagne, dean of students, who also served as interim vice president of Student Affairs since Carlton Pickron, Ed.D., retired following 35 years of service to Westfield State.