School of Law Hosts Journalist and Guantanamo Activist Andy Worthington 

Posted February 1, 2015

Western New England University School of Law hosted a presentation by Andy Worthington on Wednesday, January 14, in the Blake Law Center. Worthington’s talk was titled, “Closing Guantanamo and Seeking Accountability for Torture.” 

guan_3jpgAndy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, and film-maker, who has researched and written about Guantanamo Bay Prison since 2006. He co-founded the Close Guantanamo campaign and is the author of The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. 

“Like many people around the world, I had seen the images of the shackled, blind-folded, ears covered prisoners held in Guantanamo, and thought something just didn’t look right. So I decided to learn more,” explained Worthington. “The Bush administration did all they could to keep information about the prisoners from the public, but once the first few low level prisoners were released, we began hearing stories of the torture that was occurring. That’s when I knew I had to learn more and do something about it,” Worthington added.

Worthington also co-directed the documentary Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo. His website,, features regular blogs about Guantanamo. His articles have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera. 

This event was sponsored by the Western New England University Law School chapter of The National Lawyers Guild.


College of Business Sport Management Program Receives Prestigious Accreditation

Posted January 30, 2015

unknown2pngThe Western New England University Sport Management program was recently accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) for 2014 through 2021. It is one of only two sport management programs in the U.S. accredited by both COSMA and AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International. 

COSMA is a specialized accrediting body whose purpose is to promote and recognize excellence in sport management education worldwide in colleges and universities at the baccalaureate and graduate levels. COSMA reviews sport management programs and evaluates how well the program educates students and prepares them for a career in the sport management industry.

“We are very pleased and honored to have achieved COSMA accreditation,” Professor and Chair of the Department of Sport Management Dr. Sharianne Walker said. “This marks a major milestone in the program’s history and speaks volumes about the quality of the University, College of Business, and our Sport Management program. The three-year accreditation process was both intensive and rigorous and with this distinction, our program is now recognized as part of a small elite group of those sport management programs in the world that are housed within a College of Business.”

sports_managementjpgStephen Hennessey, Stephanie Bellizzi, and Kevin Miculcy

The Sport Management program at Western New England University was established in the 1996-97 academic year. The 2014-15 academic year marks the 18th year of Western New England University’s commitment to providing quality undergraduate sport management education. The program is designed to prepare students to pursue professional careers in all facets of the sport industry from professional sport and stadium and arena management to intercollegiate athletics, footwear and sporting goods, sport media, sport marketing, international sport, and sport agency.  

“News of COSMA accreditation brings me a great deal of pride, but no surprise,” says Ad Solutions and Revenue Analyst at ESPN Tim Conrod ’11/G’1). “Dr. Walker and her team have been going above and beyond to prepare students to thrive within the sports industry for nearly two decades. Personally, I’ve always felt a debt of gratitude to the program and its faculty. I owe a great bit of my success to the educational foundation laid at Western New England. 

Alumni of the Sport Management program work in a wide variety of sport organizations including ESPN, Arizona Diamondbacks, New Balance, NBC Sports, Mass Mutual Center, Mullins Center, Australian Baseball League, Single A Frederick Keys, PGA Tour, Stub Hub, Arizona Coyotes, Barclay’s Center, World Wrestling Entertainment, UCONN Athletics, U.S. Soccer, New England Revolution, Boston Red Sox, Global-Comcast, New Jersey Devils, Brooklyn Nets, Iowa State University Athletics, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Dolphins.

Students majoring in Sport Management follow a rigorous business curriculum while taking a full range of sport business specific coursework, including sport marketing, sport law, labor relations for sport organizations, sport facility management, and sport policy and finance. The Sport Management program offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.) in Sport Management. For more information about the Sport Management Program click here


Origami Lecture Helps Launch Museum Exhibit

Posted January 30, 2015


The Springfield Museums recently hosted the presentation, “The Origami Renaissance: How Paper-folding and Math Influence Each Other,” by Associate Professor of Mathematics at Western New England University, Thomas Hull. More than 100 museum guests attended this unique lecture complementing the museum’s recent opening of a special exhibit called, “Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami.” a ground-breaking exhibition of large-scale origami installations by nine visionary master folders.

origamifoldjpgArtists from all over the world are folding paper into increasingly elaborate and provocative sculptural works, while scientists and mathematicians are using origami to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Since even our DNA is folded, origami artist Paul Jackson has expressed, “You and I are born from folding. We are all, in essence, works of origami.”

Over the past 40 years, the origami art renaissance has sparked researchers to better understand the complex math behind origami. This is not a coincidence. Art influences math and math influences art. 


More recently, the origami renaissance has inspired new applications in physics, engineering, and technology. Dr. Hull’s talk summarized the intersection of art, math, and new developments in this origami movement.

Dr. Tom Hull is a leading expert on the mathematics of origami (paper folding), and has given talks on this topic all over the world. His research uses graph theory, geometry, combinatorics, and other areas of math, with applications in engineering, materials science, art, and education. 

This North American debut of “Above the Fold” can be seen at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts from January 20 through April 12, 2015. The Springfield Museums are simultaneously  hosting a related exhibit, "Origami Interpretations," by Gloria Garfinkel, at the nearby George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum.


University and Chambers of Commerce Offer Leadership 2015 Program

Posted January 27, 2015

Western New England University and the Greater Springfield Affiliated Chambers of Commerce are partnering to offer “Leadership 2015: Skills for Personal, Organizational, and Community Development.” Seven consecutive sessions will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Thursday from February 12 through March 26.


This year’s Leadership Institute includes an emphasis on strategies and techniques designed to create high energy and high involvement leadership. Sessions will focus on problem solving, learning to ask the right questions, and implementing creative and innovative solutions for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore the realities of community involvement with a panel of community leaders who will share their volunteer and governing board experiences. Participants will actively explore best practices of leaders, analyze their own leadership, learning, and problem solving styles; and experience the synergies that result from high performing teams.

The tuition cost, including a day trip to Boston and graduation dinner, is $885 per participant. All sessions are held in the TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main Street in Springfield. Parking will be validated. For more information about the program, application process, or tuition, contact Kara Cavanaugh at 413-755-1310 or at

This program is sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group, and supported by The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation.


University Law Students Headed to National Tax Competition in Texas

Posted January 26, 2015

Western New England University School of Law students Jean Derderian and Peter Chikov were selected as semi-finalists in the American Bar Association’s (ABA), National Law Student Tax Challenge. The competition asks two-person teams of law students to solve a cutting-edge and complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. 

“This year’s team carries on a tradition of Western New England University School of Law Tax Challenge teams doing very well in the national competition,” says School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin.  “The competition is difficult and demands that students engage the problem at the level of a tax professional. Jean and Peter make a great team and I am proud to have them represent our School.”


Each year, nearly 100 law student teams compete in the competition. Based on their written work product during the first phase of the competition, the top ten teams are given a free trip to the American Bar Association’s midyear meeting on Taxation, held this year in Houston, TX. The teams will complete the competition January 29 through 31, by defending their work product before the country’s top tax practitioners and tax court judges.

Jean Derderian, a Public Interest Scholar, was born in Worcester, MA. After graduating summa cum laude with multidisciplinary honors as a Commonwealth Scholar from UMASS Amherst in 1995, she served in local public office for 20 years as a municipal planner, preservationist, and New Salem MA, Assessor. Currently living on a small farm in New Salem, with her five children, she plans to continue to work locally in community development and hopes to work nationally in tax policy 

“Tax law is dynamic, multidisciplinary, and evolving,” explained Derderian. “I am grateful to Western New England University School of Law for the many opportunities it provides to study the intersection of law and public policy, which prepared us well for our submission to the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge. We are looking forward to representing our School and presenting our research in Texas and to meeting some of the finest tax attorneys and judges in the country,” Derderian added 

Peter Chikov was born in Moscow, Russia, and is now living in Quincy, MA. After graduating from Thayer Academy in Worcester, he graduated from UMASS Amherst in 2004, with Bachelor of Science in Math, Physics, and Computer Science. He currently works for Agero, in Medford, MA. Although an avid hockey player, scuba diver, and downhill skier, his commitment to his local community is paramount.

“I am very grateful to my faculty mentor, Professor William Metzger, and my Tax Challenge partner Jean Derderian, for guiding me through the complex and intriguing world of tax law,” remarked Peter Chikov. “I look forward to exploring this discipline further at the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge and am proud to represent Western New England Law School.”


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