Campus Notebook


Professor Robert Kersting named interim provost

Robert Kersting, Ph.D., a long-time professor in Westfield State’s Department of Social Work, was appointed interim provost and vice president for academic affairs as of July 1. He founded and directed the University’s social work undergraduate and graduate degree programs and continues to serve as director of the master of social work (MSW) program. During his nearly 25 years on campus, he has provided valuable contributions to a lengthy portfolio of critical committees while serving his profession on the Massachusetts Chapter Board of the Directors for the National Association of Social Work.

Class of 2020 graduates 907

Congratulations to the 907 students—725 undergraduate and 182 graduate—who earned degrees as members of Westfield State University’s Class of 2020. Graduates will be able to celebrate at a May 2021 ceremony at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Check out the University’s online Academic Excellence Awards

Parenzo Hall renovation project update

The University’s $40 million Parenzo Hall renovation project continues. Work to create temporary spaces for employees started in June and is expected to be completed in December. Meanwhile, a groundbreaking ceremony for Parenzo Hall’s reconstruction is anticipated to be held in summer 2021. The whole project is expected to be finished in summer 2023. Visit for updates.

CURCA celebrates online

Westfield State’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity celebrated its spring showcase in May, for the first time online. Highlighted were 67 poster presentations, 27 original works of poetry (a Wall of Words), and a virtual theatrical performance of “Skid Row” from the hit play “Little Shop of Horrors.” CURCA Director Lamis Jarvinen says, “I am amazed by our students’ tenacity, flexibility, and ability; and our faculty and staff’s dedication.”

Political activist Cornel West visits Westfield State

World-renowned political activist and author Cornel West, Ph.D., spoke in March to a large audience of students, faculty, and staff in the Woodward Center. His talk, entitled “The Power of Deep Education,” focused on race, citizenship, love, and leadership. Dr. West, a professor at Harvard’s Divinity School, spoke as part of Westfield State’s Anti-Racism Education Project, which aims to introduce a multicultural perspective to Westfield.


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