Westfield State University awards emeriti status to eight retired faculty and staff members

Feb 17, 2021
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Westfield State University recognized eight retired employees as emeriti faculty and staff during a recent online ceremony. Ninety-five current faculty, staff, and administrative members were also recognized for celebrating milestones from five to 35 years of service to the University.

“We are so proud to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our emeriti and to applaud the dedication of so many talented individuals and their commitment to the success of our students,” said Roy H. Saigo, Westfield State’s interim president.

Several emeriti faculty and staff made significant contributions to the city of Westfield during their tenure at the University. The new emeriti are:


Patricia Berube helped to ensure the health of Westfield State students through 34 years of service, primarily as the director of Health Services. She developed the University’s first health fairs, flu clinics, STD clinics, and smoking cessation workshops, among others, and co-advised the Emergency Medical Services Club.

Susan Krieg served Westfield State for 30 years, helping to shape the University’s learning disabilities program through the Banacos Academic Center. The significance of her leadership was recognized by the creation of an endowed scholarship in her name.

Amy Szlachetka devoted 25 years of service to Westfield State in a variety of roles, as director of the Campus Center and commuter student services. She served as a class advisor; advised student ambassadors and the commuter council; helped design the Fitness Center; taught exercise classes; and conducted health and science workshops.

Katharine Tansey served the University for 26 years in several capacities, working in Conference Services, Alumni Affairs, the library, and finally, the Education Department, where she addressed the needs of students and faculty members with her excellent organization skills and warm sense of humor.


Dr. Laura Baker spent 11 of her 47 years as a professional educator at Westfield State, where she served as associate professor of special education and department chair, mentored colleagues, and enriched the learning experience of her undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. William Cook taught criminal justice at Westfield State for 27 years, earning a John M. Nevins Outstanding Educator Award in 1998. He took a special interest in mentoring and advising students. Scholarly publications and professional presentations featured his vast expertise in ethics and morality through terrorism, juvenile justice, and criminal justice education.

Dr. Jane Mildred was one of two faculty members hired to inaugurate the bachelor’s in social work program in 1998–99. She later helped develop the master’s in social work program and worked closely with more than 1,000 students as founding MSW field education director during her tenure. Her academic work focusing on child welfare policy and practice as well as teaching content related to diversity and social justice in human services has been widely published.

Dr. Cheryl Stanley served the University’s Department of Education for 27 years, eventually becoming department chair and dean of the College of Education. Her teaching, mentorship, scholarship, and leadership had lasting impacts on her students and colleagues. She taught 11 courses during her tenure, served on numerous committees, and guided the education unit through several accreditations.