Dr. Anne Poirot Receives Teaching Excellence Award

Posted July 28, 2015


The 2015 winner of the Western New England University Teaching Excellence Award is Dr. Anne Poirot of Drury MA, Professor of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. This prestigious award serves to recognize the important contribution made by excellent teachers at the University in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Business. 

Among the letters nominating Dr. Poirot, students described her as being an outstanding, inspirational, and hardworking professor, who pushes and encourages students to do their very best work, because she believes in every single student. Dr. Poirot challenges students beyond their own expectations.

“This important award highlights the value of quality teaching and a commitment to the mission of the University and its students,” remarked University Provost Dr. Linda Jones.

Dr. Poirot earned her Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, formerly North Adams State College. She worked as a licensed Medical Technologist at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for three years and then went on to earn her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Rhode Island. After a completing a post-doctoral fellowship in biochemical pharmacology at Brown University, Dr. Poirot joined the faculty of Western New England University in 1993. Her teaching and research interests primarily include synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, and toxicology.


University Students Explore Europe

Posted July 26, 2015

This past spring, five Western New England University sophomore business students lived and studied at IESEG School of Management in Lille, France, through a student exchange agreement. Beginning this September, 15 sophomore business students will spend their fall semester at Richmond University in London, as participants in a unique program called Sophomore Experience Abroad (SEA).

sea_4jpgRichmond University in London. Front L-R: Briana Andella, Heather Mavin, Asia Weisgerber, Nellysha Sanabria-Lopez, and Katlyn Doherty. Back: Andrew Wise, David Briganti, Cameron Couture, Ian Capozzoli, Kaitlyn Larrabee, Michael Belinski, Michaela Polk, and Eric Barsalou. Missing from photo: Mark Fitzgerald To see more photos, visit the SEA blog  http://sea201.blogspot.com/ .

The SEA was established five years ago in the College of Business to provide a study-away opportunity for students interested in acquiring international and intercultural exposure in a structured academic setting, but doing so in a cohort of fellow Western New England students. The cohort aspect of this program distinguishes it from traditional study-abroad programs that typically involve students choosing and traveling alone to countries that have institutional host arrangements.

“Through this program, I was exposed to new foods, languages, and cultures, while making friends from all over the world!” said Danielle Savoie of Springfield who is majoring in International Business. Scarlet Lamothe of Palmer, also majoring in International Business said, “The SEA program was one of the best things I have ever done.” Claire Regan, a Management Leadership major from Troy, New York said “It was everything I imagined studying abroad would be,” summing up her nearly five month experience abroad.

College of Business associate dean and SEA program director Curt Hamakawa said that this unique study-away program has proven to be popular among students in a part because it does not cost the students’ families any more in educational expenses than they would pay for their children to attend Western New England University. “But the real benefit,” according to Hamakawa, “is the acceleration of the students’ personal growth and development from living in a foreign country and having to navigate the cultural and linguistic landscapes over an entire semester.” Hamakawa added that “It is a wonderful thing to see and especially to hear from the students’ own family members that their child returned a changed person.”


“In today’s global economy, students who take advantage of study away opportunities have a decided leg up on their competition,” Hamakawa said, explaining that “employers are more likely to hire graduates who are able to relate to people of diverse backgrounds, and who have demonstrated an ability to succeed in challenging environments.”


Pay Gap Remains “Stubbornly Persistent” in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Posted July 22, 2015

deb_goldbergjpgMassachusetts Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s (pictured left) statewide advisory committee on wage equality held a regional roundtable discussion to gather input from businesses, both large and small, and from the general public, on Friday, July 17. The forum was held in Springfield’s Tower Square.

Western New England University Economics Professor Karl Petrick, (pictured right) who presented wage information to the advisory committee explained, “Companies fail to realize the macro-effect of wage equality. Fair pay is good for morale. It limits turnover and the staff feels invested in the company, which translates to better karlpetrickjpgcustomer service and more customers in the door. Wage equality is good for the bottom line and good for the overall economy.”

“The pay gap between men and women remains stubbornly persistent, even in a progressive state like Massachusetts,” Goldberg remarked. “Women earn only 77 cents on the dollar nationally,” she added. “It's 82.5 cents on the dollar in Massachusetts – but the gap gets even wider for women of color.”

The wage equity committee is hoping to develop innovative strategies to close the wage inequities experienced in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Healthcare Technology Entrepreneur Dr. Terry A. Fuller '70 Inducted into Hall of Fame

Posted July 21, 2015

---The Western New England University College of Engineering Hall of Fame was honored to induct alumnus Dr. Terry A. Fuller. "Terry's entrepreneurial vision and drive will serve as an inspiration for many generations of students to come, reminding them of the rewards of that come with hard work and dedication," commented Assistant Dean Richard Grabiec. 

Dr. Fuller received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University in 1970 and went on to earn his master's and doctoral degrees in Biomedical Engineering from WPI and Clark. He has over 35 years of entrepreneurial business management and technology development experience with emerging and high growth medical device and pharmaceutical companies. He specializes in creating and transforming formative technologies into FDA-cleared medical products. Focused in the healthcare technology market, he has held positions of CEO, COO, and EVP of Technology for both publicly traded and private companies.

A plaque of Dr. Fuller's likeness has been added to the Hall of Fame display in Sleith Hall.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to recognize graduates and individuals who have distinguished themselves by making a significant contribution to the engineering field and/or the College. By honoring these outstanding individuals, the College of Engineering demonstrates its appreciation for bringing distinction to the College at the local, national, or international level.


Thomas ’76 Named to Board of Trustees at Western New England University

Posted July 20, 2015

Garythomas_gary_trustee_2jpg F. Thomas’76 of Southampton, MA has been named to the Western New England University Board of Trustees. Western New England President Anthony S. Caprio announced the Two-year Law Alumni Trustee appointment, which the Board approved during its annual meeting.

Thomas is President of the Wealth Technology Group, with offices in Westfield and Pittsfield, MA. The Wealth Technology Group uses technologies for wealth accumulation and management, tax deflection, and retirement projections.

A native of Pittsfield, Thomas graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Western New England University Law School. A member of the Massachusetts Bar, he also earned the Master of Laws in Taxation degree from Boston University Law School. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter and a Chartered Financial Consultant as well as a member of The Million Dollar Round Table’s Top of the Table.

Thomas has addressed financial professionals in the United States and Britain and for many years, hosted the “Smart Money” radio program, a popular two-hour weekly financial call-in program covering New York and New England.

Thomas has been a member of the adjunct faculty of Berkshire Community College, Westfield State University, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where he conducts seminars which educate the public on retirement planning and other financial strategies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Carson Center for Families and Children, and a member of the Foundation Board of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Gary Thomas was a member of the Western New England University Campaign Cabinet for the Transformations Campaign and served as Treasurer of the Law School Alumni Association. He has been a longtime advocate for Western New England Planned Giving and served on the University’s Planned Giving Advisory Committee for many years.


Western New England University Hosts Legal Summer Camp for Local Students

Posted July 16, 2015


Attorneys with the MassMutual legal department along with faculty from Western New England University School of Law, and other local attorneys, participate as volunteers in the Springfield Summer Legal Institute, a program sponsored by the Just the Beginning Foundation from July 6-10. Only thirty-three students from area schools were selected to attend. During the week-long camp, students were introduced to a variety of different components of the legal system as they attended workshops with local attorneys and law enforcement personnel, participated in mock trials, and learned about the justice system. 

“Lawyers are communicators. It is the cornerstone of what we do,” explained MassMutual Corporate Attorney Kevin Rasch Esq. “Our communication workshop is an entrée for the students into one of the central skills they will need to succeed, whether they become a lawyer or take another career path.” 

“I’ve wanted to become a lawyer since I was very young,” explained Duggan Academy eighth grader Taliyah Cheeks. “We did a mock trial in our school this year and I got to participate, and really enjoyed it. My teacher at Duggan recommended me for this program and I’m really glad she did.” 

mm_legal_92jpgJerry Moore, Autumn Matthew, and Taliyah Cheeks 

“I have thought about being a lawyer, but the things we’re learning this week are useful no matter what we do for a career,” remarked West Springfield High School sophomore Autumn Matthew. “We’ll also be holding a mock trial at the end of the week and we become the lawyers. I’m looking forward to that part of the program. They already gave us a case to study and tomorrow we’ll start preparing for our trial.” 

With a focus on the legal profession, the program includes workshops on professional etiquette, public speaking, setting goals, selling oneself by effective networking, and other important life skills.

“When I heard about this program from my school I applied right away,” said Hampden Charter School of Science ninth grader Jerry Moore. “I’ve been thinking a lot about becoming a lawyer and I really wanted to meet some lawyers so I could speak with them and ask them questions.”   

Throughout the week, each student was selected to be either a defense attorney or a prosecutor, and each spent time each day studying and rehearsing their oral arguments for the mock trials held on Friday. The volunteer attorneys served as the trial judges. 


By the end of the week, the Springfield Summer Legal Institute endeavors to give each student the resources and confidence to pursue a post-secondary education and beyond. 

To view and download photos from the Legal Institute click here.


Western New England University College of Pharmacy Receives Full Accreditation

Posted July 13, 2015


Western New England University College of Pharmacy Dean Evan Robinson recently announced that the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) has granted full accreditation status to the University’s College of Pharmacy. The ACPE is the national agency that sets the standards for professional degrees in the education of pharmacists. This completes the final accreditation step for the College of Pharmacy, which graduated its founding class on May 17, 2015.

evan_robinson_web0017.jpgThe College of Pharmacy enrolled its first class of Doctor of Pharmacy students in 2011. With enrollment limited to about 75 students per year, the faculty and staff are able to build strong relationships with each learner. “From the earliest stages of this endeavor everyone came together to develop the academic program literally from the ground up,” said Robinson. “I cannot thank the dedicated faculty, staff, and administration enough for all the hard work and effort put forth to develop the program. The final thanks go to all our learners and the graduates from the Class of 2015, who enrolled and blazed a trail for others to follow.” 

The ACPE Board also acknowledged two noteworthy practices by the College of Pharmacy. First, a particular strength in the Professional Development sequence that provides cocurricular opportunities for student professional development in concert with the curriculum. Second, the College of Pharmacy places great emphasis on the importance of professionalism both within the curriculum and in cocurricular/ extra-curricular activities. These efforts have resulted in learners embracing the need for professionalism in their interactions with peers, faculty, practitioners, and patients.

“I am certain that the College of Pharmacy will be a nationally recognized leader in pharmacy education,” remarked Western New England University President Anthony S. Caprio. “The College of Pharmacy has developed an innovative curriculum under the remarkable leadership of Dean Evan Robinson, who has successfully recruited a highly talented faculty to bring the College to this accreditation recognition.”

The College of Pharmacy is located within the Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy, a 127,000-square-foot facility that opened in January 2011. “The University provided a uniquely designed and state-of-the-art learning facility to house the College of Pharmacy,” said Robinson. The Center also hosts Western New England's undergraduate programs in the sciences, including physics, biology, chemistry, and psychology. 

“Congratulations to Western New England University, the College of Pharmacy and all the students and faculty on full accreditation,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “The College of Pharmacy enhances the already outstanding higher education opportunities the City of Springfield has to offer. It is also an economic driver, bringing hundreds of additional students and faculty to live, work and strengthen the city and the greater Springfield region.” 

For more information about the College of Pharmacy academic programs visit www1.wne.edu/pharmacy.

Western New England University College of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60503, 312/664-3575; FAX 312/664-4652, web site, www.acpe-accredit.org


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