Mission: Ignition courses are taught by renowned Western New England University faculty. From an award-winning television journalist and financial analyst, to an orchestra musician and a former Assistant District Attorney, these faculty members are experienced professors and experts in their respective industries. Their own personal mission is to spark passion in students and give them the knowledge to drive their own careers.
Forensic Investigation and Trial Skills: Tina Cafaro
Professor Cafaro was an Assistant District Attorney in the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, she served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Kent B. Smith of Massachusetts Appeals Court. She began her law teaching career in 1999 as an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Law Clinic at Western New England University School of Law and joined the full time faculty at the law school in 2001.
Broadcast Bootcamp: Brenda Garton-Sjoberg
Brenda Garton-Sjoberg is a full time faculty member in the Department of Communication. She serves as the Director of the Institute for Media and Nonprofit Communication. She also directs the annual Student Media Festival and codirects the study abroad program to Sorrento, Italy. As a former news anchor and reporter for more than 20 years, most recently at WWLP-TV (NBC), Brenda received numerous awards for her work both on TV, and in the community.
Broadcast Bootcamp: Richard Pont
Richard Pont is a full-time professional in the Educational Technology & Training Center, a division of the Office of Information Technology at WNE. His original background is in computer programming with an emphasis on web design and he has worked as a PC technician and computer lab manager. He has over 10 years of experience in studio production and post-production.
Stock Market Simulation: Bryan Schmutz
Bryan Schmutz has been teaching at Western New England since 2013 and primarily teaches Introduction to Finance, Healthcare Finance, Financial Management (Grad), and Portfolio Management. He has previously worked as an Analyst for Babson Capital Management in Springfield, MA, and Investors Bank and Trust in Dublin, Ireland.
Introduction to STEM and Robotics: Neeraj Magotra
Neeraj Magotra is a recognized expert in digital signal/image processing and low power embedded system technologies with over 40 years of combined experience in industry and academia. He has previously worked at Sandia National Laboratories, University of New Mexico, and Texas Instruments Incorporated.
Math and Music: James Morgan
James Morgan is a member of the Math Department and the Director of the Math Center here at Western New England. He studied philosophy and bassoon performance through the California State University and holds a Master’s Degree in Math from Central Connecticut State University. James has been teaching college-level mathematics for 18 years and has also logged over 500 orchestral and chamber-music performances since the early 1980’s.