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Freshman Focus Program

Why Does the Freshman focus Program Exist?

Education is about gaining knowledge to assist in making good decisions as students are faced with many challenges and choices associated with college. The Freshman Focus Program Series is intended to inform, educate, and stimulate students in ways that are both educational and entertaining. Moreover, it is a platform for an exchange of ideas which can be collectively shared. It is part of the spirit and sense of open inquiry that any college should be cultivating.

Each program represents a different genre and embodies personal growth. Programs range from those that revolve around themes of personal responsibility and self-awareness to a Student Activities Expo that connects students to community participation.

What is the Presentation Series?

The purpose of the Freshman Focus Program Presentation Series is to expose participants to a wide range of ideas and life philosophies. From celebrating diversity to managing your finances, presentations focus on bettering the student transition here on campus. Western New England University does neither endorse nor advocate any of the speakers platforms but rather intends them to promote scholarly discourse and personal reflection.

Past Programs Have Included:


    Kathy Reid, Director of Health Services

    Kathy Reid, Director of Western New England University’s Health Services, presents a look at the realities of college health issues associated with the first year. Media influence on sexual attitudes, virulence of sexually transmitted diseases, and decisions about intimacy are explored. The presentation is candid, lively, and specific to first year students at Western New England University.


    Wendi Fox, Neon Entertainment

    Inspirational Comedian Wendi Fox was a natural with the party lifestyle and admits that until her early twenties her excessive and reckless behavior created an assembly line of alcohol related problems.  Based on her personal experiences, Wendi takes a mind bending but funny look at all of the bad plays in a youthful game of reckless roulette and how her dysfunctional childhood, youthful optimism and drunk logic lead her to tragic people and frightening places.

    This story is a funny and wickedly truthful look at the drunk and dangerous journey of a young high-risk drinker, who compromised her safety and the safety of her friends in the pursuit of a good time.  It is a roller coaster ride of comedy and catastrophe all slammed together, a compilation of hysterically funny, hindsight-full observations of unhealthy choices, dangerous circumstances, lessons learned and a journey through personal reinvention.  It is also the inside story and testimony of three generations of people on both sides of the family tree, who have struggled with alcohol abuse and high-risk drinking, as well as what they’ve learned and what they’ve lost. 

  • It Happened Here

    It Happened Here, a compelling new documentary from director Lisa F. Jackson and producer Marjorie Schwartz Nielsen, explores sexual assault on campuses through the personal testimonials of five survivors who transform their experiences into a springboard for change.

    In raw and intimate interviews, the students describe surviving sexual assault only to be met with apathy, disbelief, blame and retaliation from the authorities when they tried to report the crime. When they tried to get justice, they were ignored, belittled and shamed, while their attackers remained on campus with impunity. But instead of hiding away in shame, they chose to speak out, and found a way to force institutional change.


    C.L. Lindsay, Bass-Schuler

    C.L. Lindsay is the country’s foremost authority on Higher Education Law. He literally wrote the book on legal problems in higher education. The College Student’s Guide to the Law has become the definitive authority used by students, university counsel, and nationwide as a textbook for masters and law courses. But what defines C.L. isn’t his knowledge. It’s his uncanny ability to make legal concepts not only understandable, but outright hilarious. Through his interactive program, students will begin to understand the implications of participating in campus “confession” sites, including potential legal and disciplinary liabilities for posters and site administrators, what constitutes plagiarism and intellectual property, and how the content of your Facebook page can undermine future job opportunities.


    Laugh. Win. Learn! Patrick McGarrity delivers an entertaining program that educates students on the importance of money management. Through light-hearted scenarios, humorous anecdotes, and reallife stories, students learn to combat financial pitfalls with common sense strategies. Students will learn about fiscal responsibility as Patrick addresses avoiding credit card debt, preventing identity theft, and managing student loans. Select students will get the opportunity to enter the “Big Money Machine” filled with over $500 in cash.