Rising to the Challenges of Remote Instruction
In normal times, MCLA’s Center for Academic Technology, headed by Gerol Petruzella, supports and empowers faculty to create quality instructional materials, including help with instructional design, Canvas, the College’s learning management system, and other tools. In the time of COVID-19, it mobilized to respond to immediate needs.
MCLA Admissions Ambassador Gains Entry to Her Own Dream Program
After she graduates this May, Alyssa Keegan ’20, a psychology major, will be continuing her studies at New York University. The Long Island, New York, native has been accepted into NYU’s master’s in counseling program.
An MCLA Class Partnership with Norman Rockwell Museum Goes Virtual
Students in Associate Professor of Visual Art Melanie Mowinski’s From Concept to Print class are creating a global call for art about the meaning of home—in partnership with Norman Rockwell Museum (NRM), and in response to the NRM exhibition “Finding Home: Four Artists’ Journeys,” which chronicles artists’ interpretations of their family immigration stories.
Kaylea Nocher ’21 Helps Kids Remain Social with Berkshire Buddies
Although school has moved online for most children across the country, future educator Kaylea Nocher ’21 has made it her goal to inspire kids of all ages to keep interacting with each other, even from a distance.
Current Events Put the Writing Skills of Steve Millmore '79 in the Limelight
Marketing and public relations professionals are the faces and voices of organizations. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, their skills are more important than ever. Steve Milmore ’79, the director of corporate communications at Limelight Networks, located in Burlington, Mass., says his job is to relay a clear message to the company’s employees and clients, to make them aware of what procedures are in place, and to assure them things are under control.
Creating a Culture of Joy and Learning: Principal Annie Pecor
An experienced teacher, the current head of the Berkshire County Elementary Principals Network, and a graduate of MCLA’s Master of Education program as well as MCLA Leadership Academy, Pecor knows well that working in education can be challenging. As principal, “people come to you all the time with questions or problems,” she said. “When I was a teacher, I’d go to the principal with a problem, and to me, it was the biggest problem. As principal, people deserve for me to be present in that moment with them. I want people to feel valued.”
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work for Emily Dessingue ’14 and Sarah Murphy '15
MCLA alums Sarah Murphy '15 and Emily Dessingue '14 are building their respective new businesses by helping each other. The Albany, N.Y.-based entrepreneurs were both English Communications majors at the College and met in class.
When You Know You’re on the Right (Pre-PA) Track
Philip Malm ’20 knew he wanted to be a physician assistant when he transferred to MCLA as a sophomore health sciences major. But the experiences he had in the College’s pre-PA concentration program solidified his career choice. Malm was recently accepted into his top-choice physician assistant master’s program, in his home city of Worcester, Mass. He will begin classes at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in January 2021.
Elizabeth Cardaropoli ’12 Makes Her Love of History and Theater Work Together
When people find something they really love, they’ll often dive in head first. During her time at MCLA, Elizabeth Cardaropoli ’12 did just that, taking advantage of the College’s drama clubs and Berkshire County’s top-caliber theater companies to immerse herself in what she loves most.
MCLA’s New Education Professors on Teaching Future Teachers
As attitudes and practices around education change, so must educators—and the professors who educate them. The two newest members of MCLA’s Education Department, assistant professors Maggie Clark and Clio Stearns, know this well.
MCLA’s Recording Studio Produces its First EP, with More on the Way
Last December, a group of 11 MCLA music students released a holiday EP featuring their take on seven classic Christmas songs. “A Very North Adams Christmas: The Holiday EP” was released as a physical CD during the MCLA Winter Concert on December 9, 2019 and a limited number were given out for free. All 125 were snatched up quickly.
MCLA Students Present Research at the 2019 Wilson Ornithological Society Meeting
For those who study birds, the annual meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society is a chance to gather and share research with other professionals while also fitting in some prime birding time. For Hannah Wait ‘21 and Noah Henkenius ’20, it was also a way to network, present research, and meet professors whose work they have cited.
New MCLA Class Identifies Business Opportunities in the Cannabis Industry
Kevin Bopp, a practicing attorney living and working in Williamstown, Mass., has been teaching business law at MCLA for the past six years. But 2020 finds him at the helm of a brand-new business course for the College. His spring semester Cannabis Industry class is fully enrolled, showing student interest in this burgeoning industry.
MCLA Mathematics Professor Dr. Elizabeth Hartung Focuses In On Fullerenes
MCLA Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Elizabeth Hartung’s main area of research is graph theory—chemical graph theory in particular. To narrow that down even more, Hartung focuses primarily on fullerenes and benzenoids. But what are those, exactly?
How Aimée Hudon ’13 Fell in Love with Fungi
After graduating from MCLA with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in biotech, Aimée Hudon ’13 went on to earn a master’s degree in mycology and forest pathology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in 2019. Since September 2019, she has worked as a plant propagator for Nourse Berry Farms in Whately, Mass.
Wanted: Community-minded MCLA Grads to Mentor the Next Generation
Carolyn Brooks, the coordinator of a student mentoring program at the Berkshire Family YMCA in North Adams, Mass., said that the initiative, now in its second year, is doing well. Part of that success, she said, can be attributed to alumni of the College.
Four MCLA Students Find Renewed Energy at PhysCon 2019
Around this time last year, Kiah DaViega ’21, a physics major, came upon a pamphlet quite by accident. It was the first time DaViega, president of the MCLA physics club, had heard about the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Congress (PhysCon), an undergraduate conference held every four years. The pamphlet stated the next PhysCon would be held from November 14-16, 2019 in Providence, R.I. She knew she had to attend.
MCLA Grads’ Clothing Company Gets a Boost from Assets for Artists
A fashion label founded at MCLA is now poised to take its next big step thanks to Assets for Artists (A4A), a program of MASS MoCA, ArtBuilt, and the Midas Collaborative.
From Acting to Business and Back Again with Jammal Clark '09
Jammal Clark ’09 began his MCLA studies as a fine and performing arts major, with the hopes of one day pursuing an acting career. He’d fallen in love with acting in fifth grade, when he and his cousin appeared on an episode of “Family Double Dare” at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.
At Berklee College of Music, Alexandra Kadell-Peltier ’16 Helps Break Down Barriers
Alexandra Kadell-Peltier ’16 has taken what some people once told her was an insurmountable obstacle and turned it into a list of successes.
With a Push from His Former MCLA Coach, Jason Mlodzianowski ’07 Made Sports His Career
Jason Mlodzianowski ‘07 is celebrating his seventh year at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he serves as the associate director of athletics for events, facilities, and operations. Hard work got him to the finish line, but a little push from a former MCLA coach is what got it all started.
Berkshire Workforce Board Names MCLA's Dr. Josh Mendel its 2019 'Workforce Professional
of the Year'
The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board (BWB) honored Dr. Josh Mendel, director of corporate engagement and strategic partnerships at MCLA, with its “Workforce Professional of the Year” Award at its board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The award recognizes employers, organizations, and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the workforce system.
It's About More Than Books for Leominster Public Library Director Sondra Murphy '08
At MCLA, Boylston, Mass., native Sondra Murphy ’08 was an English major with a concentration in creative writing and journalism. Because she loved books, Murphy thought a journalism career might be in her future, but that grad school probably wasn’t.
An Internship Got Stephanie Kolapa '06, M.Ed. '10, in the Door; The Rest is History
Timing is everything. Stephanie Kopala ’06, M.Ed. ’10, didn’t know that when she chose to complete her student teaching internship at Drury High School in North Adams, she would still be working there 14 years later.
Kayla Wendling '14 Found Her Passion, Then Made it Her Career
After graduating from MCLA in 2014, Pittsfield, Mass., native Kayla Wendling used what she learned in her MCLA classes to pinpoint what she was most passionate about and where she would be able to make the greatest impact.
Street Law Series Tackles Real-Life Situations
What are your rights when a police officer stops you on the street? When you show up to vote, can you legally be turned away? Do immigrants have Constitutional rights in this country? What does “due process” really mean in a courtroom setting?
Securing a Job at One of the Big Four, Before Graduation
Two of the most important decisions facing graduating college students are where to live and where to work. MCLA senior Alexander Mitchell already knows the answers to those questions: Hartford, Conn., and Deloitte.
From Liberal Arts to Law School, and Beyond
As a pollution claims analyst at RiverStone Resources in Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren Casola ’09 has something few attorneys can claim: A healthy work-life balance.
What is it Like to Intern at the Norman Rockwell Museum?
Rachel Mancour ’19 learned about Norman Rockwell when she was a child—she even dressed as the renowned American illustrator for Halloween when she was in third grade. So when she was offered a summer internship at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge this summer, it was an easy yes.
Changing Careers? Recycle What You've Learned
As challenges around recycling in America grow ever more complicated, Brian Ellithorpe ’13 has had a front-row seat.
Playing Nine Roles in a One-Woman Show
At this point, Brittany Nicholson ’16 is a seasoned performer. She’s appeared in more than 15 productions, from Shakespeare to “The Vagina Monologues”—but over the summer, she appeared in her most challenging role yet.
Interning at a Renowned Theatre Fest, Five Miles From Campus
As a theatre major, Amanda Gilmore ’20 knows that the world of performing arts can be unpredictable and fast-paced. As an acting apprentice at Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer, she was able to live that truth, gaining hands-on experience and learning exactly what it takes (spoiler alert: a lot!) to put on an award-winning theatre festival.
MCLA Welcomes Students for 2019-20 Academic Year
Four hundred and fifty new students and 1,400 students total will comprise MCLA’s student body for the 2019-20 academic year. Students move in over Labor Day weekend, and classes begin on Wednesday, Sept. 4.
The First Day of School, But Now You're the Teacher
Morrison “Mo” Robblee ’19 has pictured himself as a teacher for a long time—and this fall, that picture will come into focus. Robblee, originally from Minnetonka, Minn., has accepted a full-time teaching position at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield.
How Political Science Can Help You in the Health Care Industry
As director of admissions, marketing, and patient accounts for North Adams Commons, the skilled nursing and rehabilitation center on Franklin Street, Russo, a member of MCLA’s Class of 2012, is responsible for quite a lot. She plans and executes marketing campaigns, enrolls new residents, works on community outreach projects, and more—and her MCLA political science and public policy major is still helping guide her in that work.
Things for MCLA Students to do #intheBerkshires
Bored? Good news! There’s a lot to do right here on campus, in North Adams, and in the Berkshires—and a lot of it is cheap or free. We’ve created this list for you—refer back to it through the year when you have some free time but haven’t decided how to spend it! Make the most out of your college experience. Make it MCLA.
Hard Work and Dedication at MCLA Summer Academy
Fourteen rising seniors from Berkshire County have completed MCLA Summer Academy, which gave them the opportunity to earn three college credits and learn about the college search process including applying to college, financial aid and making a final decision.
A Summer on Campus, Blending Art and Design
Kamryn Dunton '19 is using her arts management and art double major to work on marketing and graphic design via a paid position in MCLA’s Student Affairs Division; she’s working on her senior art show at the same time.
Abbe Museum 'A Dream Job' for Arts Management Grad
The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, is dedicated to educating visitors about the Wabanaki Peoples, a Native American confederation of five nations that originated in the area we now call Maine. Alongside the rest of the museum staff, Kaitlyn Vogel ’19 is using her arts management degree to fulfill that mission.
Focusing on Early Child Education, at Work and in Grad School
Allison Gaylock ’17 of Brooklyn, N.Y., is currently in grad school—and working as an infant teacher while she earns a degree in infant and family development/early childhood education.
The Net Value of an MCLA Education: Accounting Alum’s Career Advances
A couple of years post-graduation, Brianne O’Rourke ’17 is moving up in her career as an accountant: in June 2019, she was promoted to assistant controller at Waste Connections, a waste services company that operates across the U.S. and Canada.
MCLA Builds on Tradition with Campus Center Upgrades
Major upgrades will be waiting for MCLA students when they return this fall: Renovations to the Amsler Campus Center are under way and most are expected to be complete by August 2019.
When Your Son is Your Classmate: Catherine and Tyler Ellsworth's Story
When Tyler and Catherine Ellsworth read MCLA’s ivy poem at the College’s annual Baccalaureate celebration this year, it was a culmination of broken ground: The mother and son were the first duo to read the poem in MCLA history. Tyler is the first in four generations on his father’s side to earn a college degree. Both Tyler and Catherine will be using their new degrees to advance their careers as educators. And they did it together, every step of the way.
What is it Like to Market for a Theatre Company?
The events in our lives have a tendency to build on one another in ways we can’t necessarily predict. So it was for Tyler Prendergast ’13: Volunteering to do graphics and posters for plays produced at MCLA led to a design internship, then to a theatre communications job in Watertown, Mass, then to his current job as marketing and communications manager at Company One Theatre in Boston.
What Makes a Course of Distinction? Communication
In June, Dr. Maryann Schroder received a Course of Distinction Award at the 14th annual Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) Conference on eLearning, held in person at Fitchburg State University, for her Human Growth and Development online course.
When Your Professor is Also a Lead Ecologist
Though part of Dr. Julie Richburg’s work at the Trustees of Reservations is to engage volunteers in the work of land conservation and historic preservation, MCLA students get the benefit of her expertise in many more ways than the occasional field trip.
For a Job in the Arts, no Need to Roam
At ROAM Gallery in North Adams, nestled behind the walls that hold large-scale photographs of African wildlife, are four MCLA alumni, each with a unique role that supports the gallery’s mission of conservation and awareness.
Finding a Purpose, and a Mentor, in Nutrition
If you’ve visited Community Health Programs’ Pittsfield Neighborhood Health Center lately, you may have received a nutrition fact sheet prepared by Devyn Renzi ’19. One of MCLA’s first graduating health science majors, Renzi found footing and purpose through her internship, and is now applying to graduate programs in nutrition.
The Country, the City, the River, the Times
William Shannon ’11 is no stranger to the history and character of New York’s Hudson River Valley. Growing up on the river in Germantown, N.Y., Shannon has spent his life searching for the untold stories of his native home—some of which have made it into The New York Times.
MCLA Student Awards and Scholarships, Spring 2019
The following students were recognized at the end of the Spring 2019 semester for going above and beyond in their studies, as club and organization leaders, and as community citizens. MCLA also offers more than 100 scholarships for qualifying students. We’re proud of each and every MCLA student and are proud to share this list with the world!
Sharing Knowledge at the Northeast Natural History Conference
You could spend hours in the woods tracking dark-eyed juncos—but where do you go from there? One good suggestion: The Northeast Natural History Conference. (But make sure to prepare a presentation first.)
MCLA Adds Model UN Chapter to Political Science Club
Do high-pressure scenarios get your adrenaline pumping? Do you often read political news and then ponder what you would do if you had been in the same situation? Are you interested in time travel—past, present, or both?
How to Become a Veterinarian, with Elizabeth Wheeler '10
First, finish your undergrad at MCLA. Then apply to veterinary programs, which tend to be extremely selective. Don’t get down on yourself when you don’t get in the first time; apply again next year. But that’s just the beginning of this story.
What do you do with History Once it's Harvested?
Miss Agnes Scully was a bit of an enigma. A native of Troy, N.Y., she spent summers at a house on Windsor Lake in North Adams, and seems to have been regularly entertained by a series of gentleman callers—at least, that’s what MCLA students in Assistant Professor Amanda Laury Kleintop’s Introduction to Public History class have deduced by studying Scully’s life through her correspondence.
Crystal Wojcik '21 Earns $5K MSCPA Scholarship
The first recipient of a brand-new scholarship awarded by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Professional Accountants (MSCPA) is none other than MCLA student Crystal Wojcik ’21, a business major from Cheshire, Mass.
MCLA Interns Help BRAINworks Fulfill its Mission
What’s behind the development and coordination of BRAINworks, MCLA’s federally funded grant program connecting Berkshire County educators to opportunities to integrate the arts into their curriculum? Dedicated staffers—and MCLA interns who have served multiple semesters in order to launch the program.
MCLA's Resident Expert on Kashmir
As tensions flare in Kashmir, the world is watching, and it wants context. Enter MCLA Anthropology Professor Mohamad Junaid.
Learning—and Advocating—at Berkshire County Arc
On his way to becoming an occupational therapist, Schuyler Robinson ’19 of North Adams has been interning at Berkshire Arc, and recently traveled to Boston as part of 2019 Adult Family Care State Awareness Day, an opportunity to meet lawmakers and other supporters and advocate for full state funding for family home care.
Real-Life Health Promotion and Planning
MCLA Assistant Professor of Biology Nicole Porther’s Health Promotion and Planning class recently got the opportunity to put their knowledge to work at the College’s annual Wellness Fair.
Building a Spanish Newscast, then Going Abroad to Improve it
Don’t be surprised if you see Karen Canela ’19 reporting live from New York sometime soon. A native Spanish/English speaker who discovered her love of journalism at MCLA, Canela has spent the past three years using her skills to create community and enhance perspective on campus via Beacon Web News and Berkshire News Now.
Seeing the Light and Writing About it
How do you find an internship that blends your two majors if those two majors are at opposite ends of the spectrum? Ask Reshawna Maine ’20; she found a perfect fit, combining physics with English/communications through her work at Photonics Magazine.
Halie Smith ’18: Becoming a Master of Fine Art
Halie Smith ’18 of Spencer, Mass., has realized her goal by accomplishing something only a select few have achieved – admittance to MassArt’s highly selective graduate program, where she is earning her Master of Fine Art in painting.
Four Ways to Look at Food Systems
A $4,500 Campus for Environmental Stewardship grant is supporting the work of four MCLA classes studying food systems, as well as a local nonprofit.
Preparing Students for Grad School—and Tracking Results
Harvard. NYU. Rutgers. Smith. UMass-Amherst. What do these have in common? MCLA Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work alumni attended grad programs at all of them.
When the Bill You Wrote in Class Goes to the State House
You go to college hoping you’ll make an impression on the world someday. But do you ever really expect your work to be presented on the State House floor—even if a Massachusetts State Representative is your professor?
MCLA Students Mentor Girls in the Berkshires
As Bianca Lascase '21 explains the rules of “Girl Talk” to a dozen or so fifth- and sixth-grade girls seated in chairs assembled in a circle, they wriggle in their seats. But before they can get into Girl Talk, they have to recite “The Girl Code”: I am beautiful. I am brave. I am smart. I am powerful. I am funny. I am helpful. No other girl is like me. I will support any girl in need. We should stand with each other as women and we are unstoppable!
Alex Sasso '18: Planning a Career as a Performer and Educator
As part of the College’s vibrant theatre program, Alex Sasso ’18 enjoyed rich experiences, including her participation in a week-long residency program in London and an acting apprenticeship at the renowned Williamstown Theatre Festival.
An International Education that Started at MCLA
During her MCLA career, arts management major Lara Dudley ’19 of Westford, Mass., took a travel study course that culminated with a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Peru, studied abroad for a semester in Barcelona, Spain – which included trips to Morocco and France, including a visit to the Louvre Museum, in Paris.
Touring with the American Shakespeare Center: Thomas J. Coppola '08
Seven months out of the year, you’ll find Thomas J. Coppola ’08 on the road with the American Shakespeare Center, based in Staunton, Va. If you’re lucky enough to catch a production of the company’s 2018/19 Hand of Time tour, take a moment to look for him in the details.
How Does it Feel to be Accepted to a Top Ph.D. Program?
After she graduates in May, Bri Sarno ’19 is off to West Virginia University (WVU) to begin work on her Ph.D. in behavioral analysis—one of the top behavioral analysis doctorate programs in the country.
MCLA Alumni Join Forces at 1Berkshire
Recently, Kevin Pink ’09 joined Ben Lamb ’07 at 1Berkshire, a county-wide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the Berkshire region as a preferred place to visit, to live, and to grow a business.
For Kelsey Sherman ’20, Clark Internship is by Design
The pivotal moment for Kelsey Sherman ’20 came during her intermediate design course: As she worked on a class project, Art Professor Melanie Mowinski took notice. “You’re a graphic designer,” she said.
Job Search Help? Career Development’s Got You Covered
MCLA students and alumni searching for jobs, internships, and networking opportunities now have a stable of resources available to them via MCLA’s Career Development Office.
Anthropology Prof Continues Research in South Africa
Dr. Anna Jaysane-Darr will head back to Cape Town to conduct ethnographic fieldwork as she studies what’s being done by therapists, educators, and clinicians who work those who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. “I am interested in the ways in which societies conceptualize what is considered ‘normal,’ and how they understand and deal with neurodiversity.”
Senior’s Love of Outdoors Shapes Career Goals
Originally, Kaitlin Gevry ’19 wanted to major in education, but then took a course about the environment and human impacts. “From there, I became interested in environmental studies.” A career as a game warden or park ranger, so she can work with natural resources and people, “would be the perfect fit.”
Sociology Alumna Takes on MBA at MCLA
Jessica Wojcik ’06 did not take a single business class as an undergraduate at MCLA, but she’s well on her way to earning her MBA while she continues her fulltime work as a billing and collection specialist at Berkshire Health Systems. The graduate degree, she said, “will make me a better candidate for job opportunities.”
‘A Moment in Time’: Prof Delivers TEDx Talk
A TEDx North Adams event would not be complete without a talk about the integral role the arts play in the region, especially when the theme is “community.” And no one is more qualified to share her big ideas on the subject than MCLA’s own Dr. Lisa Donovan, professor of arts management.
Conservation Classroom: MCLA Fosters Endangered Turtles
Biology students aren’t the only ones that hang out in the labs at the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation: they share space with some very special reptiles as MCLA participates in a conservation program that aims to increase the number of Red-Bellied turtles, which are native to Plymouth County, Mass.
Two Paths, One Campus: Mother & Son Attend MCLA Together
When she attended a 2017 open house event at MCLA with her son, Brian Adelt ’21, as he considered his college options, Stephanie Melito ’19 of Adams was impressed. But it wasn’t until she found herself unemployed several months later that she decided to finish the degree she started at the College back in 2008.
Alligators, Sharks & Manatees: Students Explore the Everglades
Five students had the adventure of a lifetime over the winter break when they encountered some South Florida wildlife on a nine-day trip with their environmental studies class. Their professor, Dr. Daniel Shustack, designed the travel course’s experiences to include wading, swimming and paddling on kayaks through various habitats.
Alumni Reopen North Adams Cafe
As students, Julia Daly ’17 and Nick Tardive ’17 often hung out at the Parlor Cafe, but never dreamed they one day would run it. That’s exactly what happened last October. Since then, they have made the Ashland Street cafe – which serves breakfast and lunch, along with a variety of beverages – their own.
Caitlin Ryan ’20, who majors in environmental science and minors in biology, served an internship at the Berkshire Museum, but her work had nothing to do with the arts – instead, she worked with some local mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects that live in representations of Berkshire ecosystems.
Music & Philosophy Grad Finds Perfect Job at NEFA
Dual degree graduate Falyn Elhard ’18, a classically trained soprano who performed at various campus and community events while a student at MCLA, said it was a love for singing that led them to major in music. The performances also contributed to their enjoyment of arts administration.
MCLA Welcomes New Director of Alumni Engagement and Donor Relations
MCLA welcomes a new director of alumni engagement and donor relations: Kate Gigliotti, who brings years of experience in alumni programming and development to MCLA’s Office of Advancement.
Award-Winning Alumnus’ Unique Lens on the Berkshires
Ben Mancino ’14, who recently won a second place honor from the 2018 International Photography Awards, says his MCLA education unlocked opportunities that continue to propel his career forward. “I am able to travel to new parts of the world and transform rare moments into beautiful artwork.”
Student Arts Entrepreneur Starts Stationery Biz
After assisting letterpress artist Melanie Mowinski with the “50 Card Project,” Amanda Romanelli ’19 served an internship at Lever, Inc., a small business incubator. She didn’t stop there: she went on to form her own business. “All of these amazing opportunities, and more, are thanks to MCLA and the amazing arts community in North Adams.”
Discovering MCLA’s 60-Acre Forest
Did you know that MCLA includes its own 60-acre forest? Located in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains and just a short walk from the main campus, it’s filled with mature, second-growth mixed hardwood trees, and is used for teaching, ongoing research, ecological monitoring, outdoor classes, student-led projects, and more.
New Alumna Enjoys Recruiting Work as She Fills Technology Positions
As an MCLA student, Michelle Laga ’18 served two internships, which helped her gain confidence and skills she uses today as a recruiting specialist. “It is important that students serve an internship because it helps them determine if they are in the right field. They also will get experience: internships are great resume builders.”
New Prof Specializes in Transnational Studies
Assistant professor Dr. Guangzhi Huang focuses his research on urban developments in contemporary China, and the interconnection between urbanization in China and Africa. “Having a global awareness and being able to use an interdisciplinary approach to understand social issues are vital to the growth of students, whom we are training so they may become responsible global citizens.”
Biology Internships Provide Unique Learning Experiences
Page Ellsworth ’19 is one of several students who are serving animal care internships this year. She takes care of crayfish and mosquitofish, and observes their natural behaviors. “They demonstrate to me how they fight over territory, interact with one another, feed, and just simply are themselves.”
Alumnus Reports on Western Mass for WGBY-TV
A recent story on reviving the Hoosic River in North Adams brought Brian Sullivan ’12 full circle: He returned to the home of his alma mater for his job as a multimedia journalist for PBS television station WGBY’s “Connecting Point,” based in Springfield, Mass. “I do it all, from start to finish.”
New Prof Shares Love of Psychology with Students
Dr. Sara Steele, who joined our Department of Psychology this fall, discovered her love of teaching very early on in her doctoral training. “It is still hands down one of my favorite things to do. It lets me share my passion with students, while learning more and more about the growing field each day!”
Business Student Eyes Corporate Accounting Career
Crystal Wojcik ’21 arrived on campus as a psychology major, but a single business course she took as a core requirement completely redirected her career trajectory. Now she’s working with Dr. Chali Nondo to prepare a research paper she wrote for his course, “Money, Banking, and Global Financial Markets,” for publication in a scholarly journal.
Comp Sci Major Serves Research Internship at Cornell
Celine Manigbas ’20 spent last summer at Cornell University, where she learned about bioinformatics and conducted research at the Boyce Thompson Institute. “I learned a lot about the ever-changing and advancing field ... and it was exciting to work with the cutting-edge programs on research that is relevant to the real world.”
Alumna to Work with Teach for America in Atlanta
This spring, Miesha Adams ’18 will take her degrees in psychology and sociology and head south to Atlanta, Ga., to participate in Teach for America (TFA), where she will teach middle school math and science for two years. “MCLA allowed me to take advantage of every opportunity that pushed me toward my goals.”
MCLA Students Benefit from Internships at The Clark
Two students this semester are among the first from MCLA to participate in the Rodgers Internship Program at the renowned Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in nearby Williamstown, Mass. Luke O’Brien ’19 and Danielle Prestogomo ’19 are serving internships in the museum’s advancement and education departments, respectively.
An Alumna’s Wild Career in Montana
As an undergraduate student at MCLA, TaylorJae Taber ’17 vowed to have a career that specialized in wildlife conservation and endangered species. Now she cares for seven grizzly bears, six gray wolves, an array of raptor species, and a colony of Uinta ground squirrels at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Mont.
A Summer with Sea Turtles
Jordan Teixeira ’18 spent his summer as an intern at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital in Surf City, N.C. There, the environmental studies major cared for wounded sea turtles, including those injured by fishing hooks and boats. This semester he’s serving an internship with the Hoosic River Watershed Association, in collaboration with Dr. Elena Traister.
Students Present at Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Conference
Undergraduate research co-chairs Dr. Justin Golub and Dr. Jenna Sciuto recently took 10 MCLA students to the Northeast Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Conference at SUNY Geneseo. At this COPLAC-sponsored event, they introduced their work to other students and faculty from campuses across the region.
Campus Community Members Receive Local Service Awards
Members of our campus community volunteer their time and talent to help make the region a great place to live. Jackie Kelly ’17 was among those recently recognized with a “Neighborlies” award. “Knowing that I can make a difference in my community ... reminds me that I am in the right place,” she said.
STEM Academy Starts Junior on the Path to Research & Medical Career
After she completes her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and psychology, Shannon Prouty ’20 plans a career as a research neurosurgeon. Just as she is majoring in two programs on campus, she intends to earn joint Ph.D and MD degrees at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass.
Alumna Manages New England Carousel Museum
A minor in public history proved to be the perfect choice for Cassandra Lavoie ’18, now the manager of the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, Conn. “I’ve already been able to apply my [research] skills and my writing numerous times at the Carousel Museum, in just the last six months!”
Alumna Finds Dream Job in NYC
Madelyn Gardner ’13 recently left her beloved Berkshires and the wonderful non-profit theatre organization where she got her start for an exciting new position in New York City – as the public relations and external communications manager for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Senior Serves NYC Community in Summer Internship
Over the summer, Jaret Gonzalez ’19 of the Bronx, N.Y., served an internship as a co-educator for Manice Education Center in nearby Florida, Mass. Created for New York City youth, “The best thing about this organization is the exposure to nature and support provided to children who are often overlooked or not yet empowered.”
Alumna Set to Run in 2019 Boston Marathon
For years, Sarah Lieneck ’14 dreamed of running in the Boston Marathon. Next spring, she will participate in this well-known race as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, with Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Because she has a personal connection with the organization, “I know that will help me run the 26.2 miles.”
Area High School Student Spends Senior Year at MCLA
Mount Greylock Regional High School senior Isabella Nicastro is getting a jump start to her college career by spending her entire last year of high school at MCLA. “MCLA has provided me with an amazing opportunity,” she said. “All of my professors are so helpful, the campus is beautiful, and the resources are unlimited.”
New Prof Brings Experience from Chinese Journalism Outlets
Initially interested in radio journalism as an undergraduate student in Beijing, China, Dr. Qian Wang realized over the years that what she really likes about journalism is its nature of telling the truth and empowering people. “This is especially precious in our day and age when the industry struggles to survive the fast-evolving digital world.”
STEM Academy Launches Students’ Success
How does MCLA’s Berkshire Bank STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy measure its success? Through its students, like Phoebe Pelzer '18, who go on to earn their degrees, enjoy outstanding internship opportunities, attend graduate school, and secure great jobs in their chosen fields.
Alumnus Earns Third Bachelor’s on Way to Nursing Career
After he completed double majors in biology and psychology at MCLA, Bentley Munsell ’15 headed to UMASS-Amherst to attend a 17-month, accelerated program to earn his nursing degree. His experiences at MCLA equipped him for success, both in nursing school and as an emergency department nurse.
New Sociologist’s Research Focuses on Gender
According to MCLA’s newest sociologist, Dr. Travis Beaver, parents are discouraging their sons’ participation in feminine activities for fear they might be bullied. This fear is not unfounded, and highlights how femininity is devalued, he said. “I think this has harmful ramifications for our society.”
‘My Chance to Advance’: Head Start Exec Director Lauds MCLA Degree Completion Program
Brett Westbrook ’15 recently took the helm as the new executive director of Berkshire County Head Start. MCLA’s degree completion program, she said, gave her the jump start she needed to advance her career. “The support and encouragement we received as a class from all of the professors and advisors during the cohort experience was amazing.”
Dr. Jerome Socolof Joins Arts Management Degree Program
Two things inspired Dr. Jerome Socolof to teach arts management – a love of the field and the industry’s need for arts managers who have studied and are trained to hold those positions. Coupled with the opportunity to encourage new and diverse voices in the field, “The decision to teach rather than practice was an easy one.”
Poli Sci Prof’s Research Attracts International Audience
Dr. Samantha Pettey’s research recently gained a much wider audience after the London School of Economics asked her to write a piece for its American political science blog, United States Centre. “Academic research is not always read by ‘the masses,’ so being able to share my work with people is humbling.”
Courtney Llewellyn ’07 Takes on Jeopardy!
Only a few hundred people make it on the popular TV show Jeopardy! each year, but this fall Courtney Llewellyn ’07 was one of them. Her recent appearance fulfilled a longtime goal for this trivia whiz, who called the experience “breathtaking.” “I feel extremely lucky that everything lined up for me the way it did.”
MCLA Bio Student Also An Elite-Level Cyclist
Biology major Paige Williams ’20 is an elite-level cyclist who trains throughout the Berkshires and southern Vermont. She competes in USA Cycling collegiate athletic events throughout the region, and in January placed 12th in an elite, U23 (under age 23) women’s race in Connecticut, where she represented MCLA.
Meet MCLA's New Comp Sci Professor, Dr. Guodong Wang
Dr. Guodong Wang is particularly interested in the ways that technology allows us to interact. “Computer science is a practical field, and the software industry requires teamwork. I believe students should have extensive hands‐on experiences in solving actual problems, rather than just a theoretical study of the subject.”
Working Hard and Inspiring Future College Grads: Emily Dessignue ’14
As the director of business development, Emily Dessignue ’14 travels throughout the United States to find, qualify, and bring in business for Cresa, a global commercial real estate advisory firm. Soon, she plans to head back to MCLA, to show a group from Girls Inc. what college life is all about.
English Grad Lands ‘Dream Job’ at The Clark
Nicollette Tanzi ’17 recently began work at The Clark in Williamstown, Mass., which allows her to work in the Berkshires’ vibrant arts community. The College, she said, “gave me the tools and confidence I needed to begin my journey into the adult post-collegiate world. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for MCLA.”
Meet Dr. Mohamad Junaid, Cultural Anthropologist
Dr. Mohamad Junaid uses ethnographic and historical methods to study state violence and political subjectivity. This includes his research into youth politics in his home of Kashmir, which he sees as part of other, much larger global justice movements that recently have arisen, and have been suppressed, across the world.
Bio Grad Shines as a BMC Nurse
MCLA’s biology program prepared Susan Bloom ’16 for success in a competitive, intensive nursing program. Now a registered nurse, she works at Berkshire Medical Center. “There is nothing better than standing outside a room and hearing the roommates tell each other what a great nurse you are! I can’t wait to grow in this profession.”
Building HADES: Physics Major’s NSF-Funded Research Opportunity
Jordan Darling ’19 recently participated in a highly competitive research experience program at the University of Rochester. Because scientists believe that warm dense matter may be found inside the cores of giant planets, brown dwarfs, and small stars, “Building HADES will help us understand how these certain bodies form in space.”
New Creative Writing Prof Focuses on Fiction, Friendships
The newest member of MCLA’s Department of English/communications brings to campus her expertise in creative writing, particularly fiction. Dr. Caren Beilin hopes her students will learn ways to keep working at what they love. “I also hope my classes can be places where important, critical, life-intensifying friendships are made.”
Business Prof Shares Theory with International Audience
Conference attendees heard from Dr. Thomas Whalen, associate professor of business, over the summer when he presented his work in Granada, Spain, and Peabody, Mass. While his paper is set for publication next year, students in our MBA program will benefit from his expertise this fall when he shares the presentation with them.
Campus Radio Job Leads to Internship at Top 40 Station
Jacob Vitali ’20 returns to campus this semester as president of MCLA’s student radio station, WJJW, after having spent his summer working for AMP Radio, a Top 40 station in Boston. “I’ve been told there’s a lot of pressure that accompanies working in a top 10 city, but WJJW prepared me incredibly well for this opportunity.”
With Her Bachelor’s Completed, Campus Police Sergeant Pursues M.Ed
Now that she's earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and business, Laura Lefebvre ’17 next will pursue her M.Ed at MCLA. “I am designing and customizing two of my classes in my master’s program. They want you to succeed. MCLA is not so big that you are just a number.”
Environmental Studies Major Tackles Habitat Restoration in California
Katie Howe ’20 spent part of her summer in Northern California, where she participated in an internship that involved removing non-native plants to protect the watershed, which saved a grove of trees, worked with a local fish and wildlife biologist, and discovered a passion for working outdoors.
Music Prof Shares Work at Conferences in Prague and Athens
Professor of music Dr. Christine Condaris shared her expertise this summer at conferences held in the Czech Republic and Greece. In lieu of the traditional lecture-style music appreciation course for non-musicians, she proposes an entirely hands-on experience where students learn to compose, notate, perform, and improvise.
New Women’s Lacrosse Coach: Kaitlin Feeney
A lacrosse player since the fifth grade who participated in the sport throughout her college years, MCLA’s new women’s lacrosse coach will share an important level of understanding with the student athletes with whom she will work, and a variety of experience as a collegiate coach for multiple institutions.
Arts Management Alumna Lands Position at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Arts management alumna Cecilia Wright ’16 recently began work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which contains one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas. “It is amazing to work in a building where you are surrounded by incredible pieces and have the opportunity to appreciate them on a daily basis.”
Alumna to Earn MBA in her Fight against Homelessness
Audra McMahon ’17 utilized the College’s degree completion program to finish her bachelor’s, with a major in interdisciplinary studies and a focus on leadership. This fall, she will continue to study at MCLA when she begins work on her MBA. “I have a passion for the work I do and for social justice.”
In Her New Role, 2018 Grad Draws on Arts Education Experience
When Erica Barreto ’18 arrived at MCLA she had no idea what kind of career she wanted, but several opportunities, including an internship to help create a regional arts network, led her to what she loves. “The greatest reward of my work is being able to positively impact the community.”
Renowned Artists Contribute to MCLA Art Collection
A “Megaplanet” by renowned glass artist Josh Simpson is on view in Admissions. It, along with Academy Award-winning artist Stephen Hannock’s sweeping landscape painting in our Center for Science & Innovation and Jarvis Rockwell’s innovative assemblage works in Bowman Hall, are part of MCLA’s impressive collection of art.
Music Student Joins Berkshire Theatre Group this Summer
Trevor Wheelock ’19 is spending his summer as the pianist for Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of Tarzan. “The best aspect of this position is the opportunity to be involved with a highly successful and credible regional theatre company to do something that I absolutely enjoy doing. It never feels like work to me.”
From Student to Principal
Fewer than 3 percent of Massachusetts’ school principals are under the age of 30, but as the recently named principal of New Hingham Regional Elementary School, 25-year-old MCLA alumnus Jesse McMillan ’14, M.Ed ’17 is one of them.
Admissions Welcomes New Grads as New Counselors
Kolumbia Cook ’18 and Oscar Castro ’18 have a lot in common. They not only are new graduates of MCLA’s business administration program, they also recently were hired as the campus’s newest Admissions counselors. “I knew I wanted to continue to work in higher education. This position utilizes everything I learned,” Cook said.
Area Business Leaders Enhance MBA Program
A recent presentation to Dr. Nancy Ovitsky’s MBA students by Zogics CEO Paul LeBlanc is one example of how the local business community enriches our students’ education as they learn how applications of the theory and content from their coursework are succeeding in the real world.
High School Seniors, Recent Grads Get an Early Start to College
Fifteen Berkshire County high school seniors, including Kelby Lesage and Casey Meczywor, are getting a jump start on college thanks to MCLA and Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) Summer Academy 2018, a Commonwealth Dual Enrollment program offered for the third time in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.
BWN Grows 400 Percent While Providing Valuable, Hands-on Experience
Julia Teixeira ’20 will start out her junior year with the confidence that she can succeed in the broadcast media field due to the many opportunities she has had at MCLA. The soon-to-be executive producer of Beacon Web News (BWN) brings a wide variety of experience to her new position, which begins in September.
Professors Help Soc Major Expand on His Dreams
Michael Masley Hannett ’19 never thought he would study sociology until one of his professors noticed that he did well in her class, and suggested that he add sociology as a major. That was just the one of many ways his professors enhance his education. “There aren't many schools that care as much as MCLA.”
DownStreet Art 2018 Celebrates Success amid City’s Growth
This summer’s DownStreet Art season goes beyond a celebration of art: The festivities commemorate the progress that North Adams has made through the initiative’s partnerships with new businesses, galleries, tourists, and residents, as the city enjoys continued cultural growth.
MCLA Profs Team up to Advance STEM Teaching Strategies
First-year students who study in MCLA’s health sciences programs will benefit this fall from a specialized section of Dr. Erin Kiley’s “Introduction to Statistics” math course, which she and two other faculty – who teach biology and community health education – recently developed at the STEM Pedagogy Institute in Durham, N.H.
Film Grad Aids Puerto Rico: ‘How Can I Help?’
Ryan Scutt ’09, educational and studio production coordinator of Catamount Access TV in Bennington, Vt., recently produced a feature-length documentary film. “Rebuilding Puerto Rico” recounts the story of 24 volunteers who rebuilt homes for victims of Hurricane Maria.
Working Adults Realize Lifelong Dreams by Completing Degrees
Over the past 20 years, Rose Borgnis ’18 had tried several times to finish her bachelor’s degree, “But something would always happen,” she said. “I had given up.” However, thanks to MCLA’s degree completion programs, she and other graduates realized their lifelong dream when they received their diplomas in May.
English Prof’s Upcoming Book Examines Law, Sexuality & the Color Line in Literature
Dr. Jenna Sciuto, associate chair of undergraduate research, is writing a book based on research of her own Her upcoming publication, Policing Intimacy, examines representations of colonial inheritance, fragmented subjectivities, and sexual violence in literature about the United States South, Haiti, and Rwanda.
Tech Teamwork: MCLA Collaborates with BCC
Gerol Petruzella, MCLA’s associate director of academic technology, collaborates with a Berkshire Community College (BCC) colleague to present monthly “Teaching First” workshops for faculty, which focus on teaching processes, pedagogy and technology. This year’s series concluded with BCC faculty attending MCLA’s 11th Annual Tech Fest.
Four New Faces in MCLA Leadership
It's an exciting time for the College as new colleagues include Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Christopher MacDonald-Dennis and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Emily Williams. Alumni Gina Puc ’07 and Bob Ziomek ’89 also will join the campus’s leadership team this summer.
Gaining STEAM: Teacher Quality Program Empowers Educators
After a remarkable five-year run that included two extensions and paved the way for additional education projects such as the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network project (BRAINWorks), the Berkshire Early Learning Lab Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) program will conclude at the end of September.
Alumna Helps Co-workers Earn their Degrees
When Laura Lefebvre ’17 and Sierra Holland ’18 walked across the Commencement stage last month to accept their diplomas they had much more in common than that shared moment. In addition to being co-workers, they had another colleague cheering them on. Samantha Lincoln ’15, MBA '17, got them started on their educational journeys.
Meet Dr. Nicole Porther: New Community Health Prof
When MCLA added the Community Health Education major last fall to address a growing demand for health care educators, the addition brought Dr. Nicole Porther to campus. A specialist in public and community health, she joined the campus not only as an assistant professor of biology, but also as the new program’s coordinator.
New Jobs, Internships, Master’s Programs: 2018 Grads Take on the World
There’s no limit to where an MCLA education may take our students. We are proud of our newly graduated Class of 2018, who are on their way to great things with prestigious first jobs, admittance to top graduate schools, and exciting new internships that will launch their careers.
Living History: Students Explore Civil Rights Movement Where It Happened
Lakeria Darkins ’20 thought she was familiar with the Civil Rights Movement before she took Dr. Ely Janis’s history course on the topic, then traveled with him and the class throughout the American South to see where history happened, speaking along the way to people who were on the front lines of the experience. The result was eye-opening.
Three Conference Presentations Highlight Student’s First Year
Noah Henkenius ’21 embraced undergraduate research, presenting his poster, “Sediment Transport and Salinity of the Hoosic River” not only at MCLA’s Undergraduate Research Conference, but also at the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference at UMASS-Amherst, and at the Northeast Natural History Conference in Burlington, Vt.
Psych Grad Goes West to Follow Her Passion
In addition to developing her skills as a researcher, “MCLA provided me with countless opportunities to grow as an individual and a student,” said Rose Mastico ’18. A six-time Undergraduate Research Conference presenter who also wrote a senior thesis, this fall she’s headed to graduate school where she will serve a cognitive neuroscience assistantship.
Journey to Japan Includes Bonus Stopover in China
A day-long layover on their way to Japan provided students with the opportunity to explore China as they toured the Forbidden City and Central District of Beijing. Once in Japan, the students visited a variety of places, including Tokyo, the ancient capital of Kyoto, castle town Matsumoto, and the seaside city of Kamakura.
‘Queer San Francisco’ Trip Provides Life-Changing Experiences
Led by anthropology professor Dr. Sumi Colligan, MCLA students had a unique opportunity last year to explore queer history in that city. As a result of the success of that first trip, Colligan returned this past spring with nine more students who were eager to learn more of San Francisco’s rich LGBT history.
History Grad Starts Career at Historic Landmark in Stockbridge
Tianna Darling ’18 participated in a variety of activities at MCLA, including Dance Company. She also was an admissions ambassador. “When I came to MCLA I was extremely shy and would never have thought that, four years later, I would be leading tours around campus or helping to direct a club with 60 active members.”
English Prof Leads 10th Trip ‘Across the Pond’
As part of Dr. Rosanne Denhard’s “Arts of Medieval & Renaissance Britain” class, students explored landmark sites, visited art galleries and museums, and took in theatrical productions. “England was overall just an amazing experience,” said Michael Masley Hannett ’19. “I learned about another culture far more than I could have in a textbook or from a website.”
Chinese Exchange Student Wraps up Business Degree at MCLA
As part of MCLA’s 2+2 Dual Degree Academic Exchange program with Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Yuki Li ’18 of Suzhou City, Anhui Province, China, not only will earn her Chinese degree but also another bachelor’s degree here in the United States, once she graduates from MCLA this summer.
Psychology Student Wins Pamela Dennis ’82 Scholarship
Two- time MCLA Undergraduate Research Conference participant Bri Sarno ’19 is this year’s winner of the Pamela P. Dennis ’82 Scholarship. “I was unbelievably surprised to hear my name called for this scholarship,” said Sarno, who works two jobs to support herself as she attends college. “This is such an incredible honor.”
Digital Course Lets Arts Students Explore Hoosac Tunnel’s Dark History
Thanks to a digital course they took through COPLAC, Erica Wilcoxen ’19 and Cassie Lavoie ’18 discovered the nearby Hoosac Tunnel’s dark past. “Every time we visited the North Adams Public Library, we came away with more and more information,” Wilcoxen said. “Each piece unraveled more layers that we had not considered.”
Haiti Trip Offers Profound Insight into Life beyond the U.S.
Students who traveled to Haiti this spring expected to provide service. What happened was much more profound, as they experienced firsthand how the villagers live. There’s no electricity or running water: their lives lack many of the modern advances of the 21st – or even the 20th – century, that those in the U.S. take for granted.
Senior’s Entertainment Biz Wins 2nd Annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge
Graduating senior Shannon Cahill ’18 is on her way – not only to the Commencement stage, but to a career that just got a very big boost. She will continue to build Greylock Sound, her performing arts booking and promotion agency. “This was an incredible opportunity that I am increasingly thankful for.”
Students Enjoy Rare Opportunity for Cuban Immersion
For the first time, 11 students traveled to Cuba over spring break. Led by Dr. David Cupery, the travel course immersed them in the rich diversity and the controversies that surround this Caribbean island. The experience allowed for a deeper understanding of issues related to Cuban history, politics, culture, and society.
Record-breaking URC at MCLA Draws Hundreds of Student Presenters
Aletta Brown ’19 is one of the many student researchers who will present their work at MCLA’s 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Thursday, April 19. With about 150 presentations, it will be MCLA’s largest research conference to date. The event also includes an art tour and the Philosophy Mini Conference.
Paris in the Spring
Ten students – along with Diane Scott, associate professor of arts management, and Dr. Lisa Donovan, professor of fine and performing arts – experienced Paris in the springtime when they visited landmarks such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Montmatre, and the Catacombes. The trip also included an excursion to Versailles, France.
Scientist James Chapman ’15 to Deliver URC Keynote Address
James Chapman ’15, now pursuing his Ph.D at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will deliver the keynote address at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Thursday, April 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the Amsler Campus Center gymnasium, where he will speak on “Materials Informatics: A Fresh Perspective from the Past.”
Oscar Castro ’18: Business Major, Student-Athlete, Leads ‘Men of Color’
In addition to his business studies and life as a student-athlete, Oscar Castro ’18 found an unexpected passion – his leadership in a relatively new organization known as the Men of Color Initiative. “[N]ow our bond is so strong it feels like they are my brothers. I can count on them, and they can count on me.”
‘So Far, I Love Taxes’: Accounting Students Attend Major Industry Workshop
Before attending an accounting workshop hosted by PricewaterhouseCoopers – one of the largest accounting and attestation firms in the world – Jared Grise '18 wasn't interested in a career with a big firm. He and three other students, including Yuki Li '18, discussed job opportunities, career paths, and how to make the transition from student to accountant.
Alumna Earns Master’s Abroad, Embarks on International Career
Melody Rolph ’14 earned her master’s degree at the University of Freiburg. Now she lives and works in Munich, Germany, as a community manager for InterNations, the largest international community for people who live and work abroad. “MCLA really prepared me with many people skills to excel in future jobs such as this one.”
From Museum Intern to Museum Educator: Alexandra David ’17
Now a museum educator for the Tsongas Industrial History Museum at the Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell, Mass., Alexandra David ’17 said the turning point in her education was an introduction to museum-based learning. “I realized, ‘Wow. I really like this!’”
MCLA Earns ‘A’ for Women Coaching Women
“Blazing trails in these areas and showing young women that they can grow up and serve in leadership positions is important. It gives them confidence. Women are in the minority in athletics leadership, so it’s really important that we are empowering and mentoring women in those ways. This mindset really can change the industry as a whole.”
Rhea Werner ’15: From MCLA to a Ph.D in London
A recent graduate of City University London, Rhea Werner ’15 plans to continue her education in England as she pursues her Ph.D in arts management. “One of my favorite parts of London is its vibrancy. I can go to Camden and see the eclectic shops and street art, or walk along the Thames and see the architecture.”
Sophomore Seeks ‘Beauty Empties’ for Recycling Competition, Scholarship
Abbi Luczynski ’20 needs your help as she aims to help divert one million “beauty empties” from landfills this year, and win a $5,000 scholarship in the process. Her goal? To collect 5,000 empty beauty and personal care recyclables. “I love the idea of taking something and turning it into something new.”
Working with Teens, Alumna Librarian Uses Knowledge Honed at MCLA
What started as volunteer work morphed into a fulltime job that Emily Boughton ’15 loves. As the new young adult specialist at the Athol Public Library Center Library, she uses what she learned from MCLA’s art and psychology programs to benefit the entire library, and its patrons.
Plotting a Path to Graduation: New Software makes it Easier
MCLA recently introduced remarkable new software that makes it easier than ever before for students to plan their path to graduation. Degree Works provides an easy-to-read, ongoing review that shows what courses students have completed, and what’s up next.
A Liberal Arts Approach to Teaching: Siobhan Greene ’17
Education and history major Siobhan Greene ’17 is a high school teacher on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, where she relies on her education as she teaches various topics. “The broad base of the core curriculum at MCLA has greatly helped me with my wide range of classes.”
Senior’s Art Challenges What it Means to be an American
The self-portraits that Nicole Stearns ’18 creates are both personal and political, as her art challenges what it means to be American. “Many people think that I look white. So I question the notion of what it means to label someone by their race, and how that’s not always clear-cut.”
Pitch Perfect: Alumna Mirrors MCLA Successes after Graduation
At MCLA, Rachel Quackenbush ’16 studied psychology and played on the women’s softball team. As an alumna, she continues her involvement in both endeavors. “All my professors – both in psychology and in social work – were very supportive of me as a student athlete. They were always flexible with game schedules and make-up work.”
Senior Creates Fashion Show with a Berkshires Twist
One of the most creative activities during MCLA’s Black History Month celebration is a project by Adazae Shepherd-Edwards ’18. A fine and performing arts major who concentrates in arts management, minors in dance, and specializes in modern dance and ballet, she is behind the upcoming “Many Nations, One Thread Fashion Show.”
Junior to Have Byline in Law Magazine
A paper by interdisciplinary studies major Justin Therrien ’19, titled “Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords,” soon will be published in the University of Chicago Undergraduate Law Magazine. Therrien wants a career in environmental law. “I have been very interested in the environment for a long time, and anything that has to do with protecting it.”
Communications Alumna Takes on NYC
On her way to achieve her goal of a career in television broadcasting, Shadea Blyther ’16 headed to New York City, N.Y., where she works as a writer and an editor for Bronze Magazine. “I feel like this is the start. I am happy where I am for now, and will keep moving forward.”
Alumnus Founds, Curates Black WWII History Museum
A collector of military memorabilia for the past 60 years, Bruce Bird ’85 founded and curated the Black World War II History Museum with his assortment of military firearms, hundreds of artillery rounds, and more. But it wasn’t until he was 37 that this history alumnus attended the College, where he honed his expertise.
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! MCLA Rolls Out Career Software
It’s the perfect time for this year’s seniors to get a jump start on finding their first positions as newly graduated alumni. Just launched by the Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE), “The Career Trail Online” is a software portal that helps to prepare students for employment through a wide variety of services.
Alumnus Applies Agroforestry Technologies in West Africa
Jason Brown ’13 is an agroforestry volunteer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. “[MCLA] environmental studies courses proved to be a great foundation when I transitioned to graduate school. I firmly believe that a liberal arts education provides you with the necessary foundation, and increases your versatility in today’s global society.”
Cornell Grad, Buxton School Development Director Pursues MBA
It wasn’t long after Suzy Konecky ’20 began her position as the development director at Buxton School in nearby Williamstown that she decided to pursue her MBA at MCLA, where she is enjoying the classes. “I appreciate the really small group setting and the cohort model. The professors have been excellent..”
'Diversity Fellows' Teach Through Performance Art
It’s an opportunity for the campus to continue its conversation on diversity as the “Diversity Fellows” spend a two-week residency at MCLA to show students and faculty how they might use performance as a method of communication by uniting theory, politics, and the arts, through a wide range of activities.
Williams College Grad Picks MCLA for MBA
After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics at Williams College, Mohammed Rashid ’20 chose to attend graduate school at MCLA. “Through my research, I learned that the MBA program was excellent, intense, but very manageable. Additionally, the cost is much more affordable, compared with some of the other schools out there.”
‘Maybe They Need a Chance to Run Around’: MCLA Prof’s Recess-Focused Research
Dr. Dale Fink examines elementary school recess in an upcoming article for the Journal of School Health. He found that most teachers withhold recess as a disciplinary consequence, “in spite of the fact that 100 percent of them reported that they thought students received important benefits – physical, social, or both – from participating in recess.”
‘50 Card Project’ Asks Viewers, ‘What’s Your 51?’
It started with a single card and an idea that Melanie Mowinski, associate professor of visual art, had after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. Soon, she found herself involved in a project in response to an emotionally charged political climate. On Thursday, Jan. 25, all 50 cards may be viewed in MCLA Gallery 51’s first exhibition of 2018.
Senior Refines Digital Skills with MCLA Internship
Messaoud Kerris ’18 recently created a promotional video for the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Challenge. "Every time I shoot a video I know exactly how I want it to be before I shoot. I don't write anything down: I simply begin directing and shooting on set, and adjust as I film. I am a one-man crew."
It’s Easy to Get Involved on Campus: One Psych Major’s Story
Up until the time he began to apply to various colleges, psychology major Theodore “TJ” Jones ’20 had never heard of MCLA. In fact, it was his mother who decided – on a whim as they traveled to Albany, N.Y., one day – that they should stop by to take a look. “I fell in love with the place.”
Class President Lines Up Job Before Graduating
She won’t graduate until May, but Shannon Esposito ’18 already has her first job lined up; a marketing and communications position in New York City. “My professors pushed me to be the very best, and to take my well-rounded liberal arts education and make it what I want it to be.”
Alumnus Inspires High School Students with Creative Curriculum
Extremely popular among his students at nearby McCann Technical School, history teacher Ken Recore ’10 M.Ed ’12 does not limit the material he presents to his ninth and tenth grade students to mere dates and facts to memorize. Instead, to keep the curriculum fresh, he presents it as a series of stories and themes.
Sophomore: MCLA Inspired a Passion for Politics
The newest president of MCLA’s Political Science Club, Joseph Bellas ’20, double majors in history and political science. Also on the Student Activities Council (SAC), he serves as the Saturday Night Spotlight Chair. “I would definitely recommend the College to others, as there are a lot of unique opportunities here, and many ways to get involved.”