College of Pharmacy Students Lead Campus Walk for Suicide Prevention April 12

Posted March 29, 2015


Hoping to shine a light on serious mental health issues, Western New England University in collaboration with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP), will host the University’s inaugural Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on April 12, 2015.Out of the Darkness Walks are part of AFSP’s annual nationwide fundraising series, designed to engage youth and young adults in the fight to prevent suicide.

The walk will start and finish at the Alumni Healthful Living Center. Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10:00 a.m. (rain or shine). The cost to register is free. Participants who raise $100 will receive an AFSP Out of the Darkness t-shirt. Additional gifts will be provided (with limited supply). All fitness levels welcome! This event is designed for the whole family to enjoy!

In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 14 minutes, claiming more than 38,000 lives each year. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students,” says event organizer and College of Pharmacy Student Kristy Nguyen. “We hope to raise awareness and educate the public about suicide and prevention efforts. We are so excited to have over 100 participants so far in the University’s first ever Out of the Darkness Walk.”

Funds raised at the event will assist the AFSP in creating educational programs, advocate for public policy, support survivors of suicide loss, and much more. Donations of food, water and ice are requested.

Online registration closes at noon the Friday before the walk. However, anyone who would like to participate can register in person prior to the walk. Walk donations will be accepted until June 30, 2015.

For more information or to make a donation, please contact: Kristy Nguyen at or by phone at 612-308-5089.


2015 Wellen Davison Seminar to Discuss Cultural Sensitivity, Stereotypes, and Inclusion

Posted March 27, 2015

a_jennings_seminar_smjpgThe Wellen Davison Seminar Series will host a discussion by Azekah Jennings titled “Enhancing our Community: Inclusion” on Monday, April 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Sleith Hall, Wood Auditorium. Lunch will be provided.

Jennings will discuss cultural professionalism and inclusion with an aim to raise awareness toward cultural sensitivity and respect in the face of diversity. The differences between prejudice and bias will be discussed, as well as addressing stereotypes and fostering a culture of mutual respect.

Azekah Jennings is a Senior Conciliation Specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service (CRS), in the Boston Regional Office which services Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. With passage of the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, he works with communities to employ strategies to prevent and respond to alleged violent hate crimes.

Prior to joining CRS, he served as a federal prosecutor for over 20 years in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He began as a trial attorney and was eventually promoted to chief of the criminal division. He graduated from the University of Hartford in May 1980 with a BFA, and from the University of Connecticut School of Law in May 1983 with a juris doctor degree. He is a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands Bar and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The seminar is named after former Professor of Mechanical Engineering Wellen Davison, who taught at Western New England University for 38 years.


Przybysz and Berliner Take Home Crowns at the Miss Western Massachusetts Scholrship Pageant

Posted March 27, 2015

Rivers Memorial Hall was the setting earlier this month, as two Western New England University students took crowns at the Miss Western Massachusetts Scholarship Pageant.


L-R: Miss Berkshire County, Amanda Morton of Otis, Aubrie Przybysz of Springfield, Miss Western Massachusetts 2015, Miss Pioneer Valley 2015, Carmen Berliner of Great Barrington.

Pharmaceutical Business major Carmen Berliner was crowned the 2015 Miss Pioneer Valley while, Communication Media Theory and Production major Aubrie Przybysz was crowned 2015’s Miss Western Massachusetts.

"I am incredibly honored to be recognized as Miss Western Massachusetts 2015 and to qualify to compete at the Miss Massachusetts pageant in June,” said Przybysz. “This has been such a humbling experience and has reminded me I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Over the course of the year, Przybysz plans to focus on educating the people in the community and her peers about social media use and how they can utilize these sites to represent themselves digitally for the world to see.

“I am so honored and grateful to have become Miss Pioneer Valley 2015,” said Berliner. “I am also extremely grateful and proud to have received the interview award at the pageant. I am excited and eager to promote my platform Educate to Innovate: Developing 21st Century Problem Solvers which aims to get students excited about the STEM disciplines. I will be working throughout my year to bring programs like Lego league, tech challenge, and robotics programs back into schools across the Western Massachusetts area!”

The Miss Western Massachusetts Scholarship organization provides personal and professional opportunities for young women and promotes their voice in culture, politics and community. The organization empowers young women and encourages them to achieve their personal and professional goals by providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talents and intelligence. Fourteen young and talented women competed in this year’s pageant.


A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer

Posted March 26, 2015

By senior Jourdan Parkinson

On February 13, Western New England University’s V-Day Committee presented the 8th consecutive V-Day production on campus, an intense collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwright, edited by Eve Ensler.

Pictured (L to R): Professor Brenda Garton, Gennah Borg, Lyndsey St. Jean, Victoria Nardone, and Danna Mazzola

Directed by undergraduate students Gennah Borg and Lyndsey St. Jean, this Western New England University production is a part of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Its goal is to generate broader attention and education of the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, and sexual slavery.

"By presenting this information in a theatrical format, we can talk about bad things that happen but show how really good, amazing things can come from it,” says Lyndsey St. Jean, a junior Engineering major.

Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted and of those, more than half do not report their rapes to police, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Approximately 5 million women suffer at the hands of an abuser every year, according to the American Psychological Association. One in four women experience an abusive situation in their lifetimes.

When asked how this is can benefit the University in a positive manner, both Borg and St. Jean stated that displaying the topic of abuse and domestic violence in a manner that is theatrical makes it easier to listen to for the audience and easier to speak about rather than the traditional method of discussion.

Western New England University junior, Ellen Serra said, “This is a great way to bring awareness to an important issue that some people are not comfortable talking about. This program inserts some humor and is more discussion based which is more engaging than a lecture.”

Gennah Borg, junior, “This is the one theater event each year that involves several other student clubs besides the Stageless Players, so it becomes a true campus-wide event.”

Proceeds from the event were donated to the Springfield YWCA.


Asian Culture Saturates Campus Center

Posted March 26, 2015

By junior Jeff Roche


Western New England University's United and Mutually Equal Club (U&ME) recently held another great common hour feast. This time U&ME was celebrating Asian Fusion by bringing food, music, and posters from various Asian cultures to the campus center.

“We have many Asian students on campus and this event helps us to share our traditional foods and music with other students, and the rest of the campus,” explained

Phuong Ha, president of United and Mutually Equal Club. “It’s our hope that the information posters the students made, the food we serve, and music we play, will help students understand that we live in a truly global world now, and should embrace and celebrate other cultures.” 

Students lined up to get a taste of food from countries such as China, Japan, India, Korea, and Vietnam. The food was specially prepared by local restaurants and served by students of U&ME. 


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