Shea ’97 Named to Board of Trustees at Western New England University

Posted July 1, 2015

shea_kathleen_photojpgKathleen A. Shea ’97 of Cromwell, CT, was named to the Western New England University Board of Trustees. Western New England President Anthony S. Caprio announced the appointment, which the Board approved during its June meeting.

Shea is the Vice President of Transmission Project Development for Eversource (formerly Northeast Utilities). She has overall responsibility for project development in Eversource’s Transmission organization in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

A native of Waterford, Connecticut, Shea joined Northeast utilities in 2004 and was Associate General Counsel in the Legal Department moving to Transmission as Project Director in 2007. She managed the highly successful $1.3 billion New England East-West Solution (NEEWS) Project, a high-voltage transmission system build out program. Her project team consisted of over 200 employees from Northeast Utilities and various contractors.

Shea’s responsibilities as Director extended over three major and several smaller projects located in Connecticut and Massachusetts and included the planning, siting, permitting and construction of all project segments. Combined, these projects included approximately 100+ miles of new 345-kV overhead transmission lines, 45+ miles of new and rebuilt 115-kV lines and work on 17 substations (new and upgrades) in two states.

Previously, Shea clerked for the Chief Judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court, and practiced for nearly ten years in the utility industry for Day Pitney LLP where she was responsible for utility clients in need of financing, corporate/securities work, rate cases, FERC matters, renewable work, compliance and asset divestitures.

Shea earned her B.S. from the University of Connecticut and her Juris Doctor from the Western New England University School of Law.


School of Law Offers Unique Opportunity to Study Gender and Law in Israel

Posted June 29, 2015

Western New England University School of Law is running a 2-week comparative gender law course (2 credits) in Israel from December 21-31, 2015. It is a unique program featuring a three-way comparison between U.S., Israeli, and Jewish law on gender discrimination issues, to be held at a law school near Tel Aviv.


This course will focus on three contemporary examples of challenges to gender segregation- at worship spaces, on public buses, and in restrooms. Students will examine, compare, and explore the basic principles of gender, discrimination, equality, and justice across three different legal regimes: American, Israeli, and Jewish. They will focus on the structure of these legal systems that support or sometimes conflict with principles of equality, nondiscrimination, and pluralism.


Program Director Jennifer Levi is a Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law and has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of women, children, the poor, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients. She served as counsel in the first United States court ruling permitting same-sex couples to marry and is one of our nation’s leading legal experts on transgender legal issues.

The program is open to J.D., graduate, and undergraduate students who can demonstrate the potential for academic success. The course will be taught in English and will offer the opportunity for American students to interact with Israeli law students. Participants are not required to have background in Israeli or Jewish law.

Applications are due October 1, 2015. Space is limited. To apply, email


Thomas Cowin ’15 Named to Board of Trustees at Western New England University

Posted June 25, 2015

cowin_thomas_photojpgThomas M. Cowin of Hampden, ME, was named to the Western New England University Board of Trustees. Western New England President Anthony S. Caprio announced the One-year Alumni Trustee appointment, which the Board approved during its June meeting.

Thomas Cowin majored in International Business with a minor in Marketing. He is a recipient of the Frances and Norman Cohen Scholarship. Cowin served as Vice President of the Student Senate from 2013-15 and was also the elected representative of the College of Business in the Student Senate. He was also a member of the Class of 2015 Council and an accomplished First-year Peer Advisor. He has been an Open House Associate and an Orientation Group Leader.

Known well by the campus community, Cowin has worked for various departments throughout the University and is therefore familiar with offices that provide services to students and was the student speaker at the Western New England University 2015 Undergraduate Commencement.

Cowin is employed at TEKsystems in Farmington, CT. Born in England and raised in Hampden, ME, he now resides in Connecticut.


Cromack ’80/G’02 Named to Board of Trustees at Western New England University

Posted June 22, 2015

cromack_gary_photojpgGary T. Cromack ’80/G’02 of Greenfield, MA, was named to the Western New England University Board of Trustees. Western New England President Anthony S. Caprio announced the appointment, which the Board approved during its June meeting.

Gary Cromack is the President and Chief Financial Officer of privately-held Cromack Industries, Inc. Established in 1979, Cromack Industries is a manufacturer of wireless data communications equipment and associated test equipment. Cromack provides consulting services and specialized turnkey system design and implementation for major corporate and state/local government clients in the areas of land mobile voice and data communications system design, RF coverage area prediction and design, planning and procurement; mobile vehicular data communications/location tracking. The company has two operating divisions. The Cromco Electronics division manufactures test equipment products. The Cromack Network Systems division develops hardware and software for both server and client side inter-networking between wired and wireless systems.

Cromack has consulted for GE Transportation and holds patents related to infrared communications networks. In addition to his degrees from Western New England University, Cromack earned a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1982.

Cromack is completing his service on the Western New England University Alumni Association Board of Directors as Secretary of the Board.


School of Law Student Honored for Ethics

Posted June 17, 2015

The Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel recently held its 11th annual Law Student Ethics Awards dinner at The State Room in Boston, MA. David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN and advisor to four U.S. presidents, gave the keynote address. Western New England University Law student Ryan Scott of Buckland, MA, was among the award winners.

20140403_w_0150jpg “As a student assistant district attorney in the Springfield District Court, Ryan prosecuted persons charged with both misdemeanors and felonies. During one difficult case, I watched as Ryan tried to encourage the victim to testify while still appreciating the victim’s very real fear of reprisal if he testified against the gang member defendant,” explained Law Professor Tina Cafaro. “When Ryan learned that the defense counsel was trying to convince the victim to assert his 5th Amendment right to not testify even though there was no allegation that the victim had done anything wrong, Ryan realized that this was an attempt to thwart the justice system. I watched as Ryan grappled with the ethical considerations of knowing the victim was being encouraged to assert a right that did not apply, yet understanding the very real fear the victim had,” Cafaro added. “At all times during this case and throughout the semester, Ryan handled himself with professionalism and in a highly ethical manner.”

The awards program recognizes and encourages the ethical practice of law at the earliest stages of a young lawyer’s professional career. It also shines a spotlight on ethics more generally, demonstrating that the legal community values lawyers who are guided by ethical principles. The award, which also includes a scholarship, is given to one student from each participating law school, who has demonstrated a commitment to ethics as recognized by the law school’s faculty.

“Working in the District Attorney’s office was eye opening,” explained law student Ryan Scott. “I believe deeply that ethical behavior is essential to the functioning of the justice system. It is important that we practice law with honesty and professional responsibility, because our work affects the lives of so many people.”

In his keynote address, Gergen emphasized that just because something is legal doesn’t make it ethical. He also focused on the importance of a commitment to ethics as a guide for how to act in the future.

The Awards Dinner was attended by many prominent judges of the state trial and appellate courts in Massachusetts, including Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, as well as faculty from the participating schools, the presidents of numerous bar associations, general counsel from prominent local companies, and senior partners from law firms.  


Law Professor Erin Buzuvis Awarded 40 Under Forty Class of 2015 from BusinessWest

Posted June 15, 2015

buzuvisejpgWestern New England University School of Law Professor Erin Buzuvis, is a recipient of this year’s “40 Under Forty” award from BusinessWest Magazine. BusinessWest presents the award to forty "rising stars" in local business and nonprofit communities who have demonstrated extraordinary business and civic leadership in Western MA.

“Professor Buzuvis is one of the nation’s leading authorities on Title IX law. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on the statute, and has been quoted on the subject in a number of media outlets, including the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and the Chronicle of Higher Education,” according to BusinessWest editor George O’Brien.

Buzuvis teaches courses on administrative law, employment discrimination, Title IX, torts and property. She is co-founder and contributor to the Title IX Blog, an interdisciplinary resource for news, legal developments, commentary, and scholarship about Title IX's application to athletics and education. She serves as the Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England University School of Law.

Exploring the wide range of issues involved with gender and sexual equality is the informal mission of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England School of Law, which Buzuvis helped launch in 2012. The center serves as an educational resource for the law school, the University, the legal community, and the general public, she explained, adding that it enables the School of Law to provide students with unique opportunities to learn about gender and sexuality legal issues — and there are many of them — and graduate with a concentration in that emerging area of the law.

“We recently held a workshop about housing discrimination issues, and the legal response to those issues for the LGBT community, and we had a program last fall on domestic violence issues in the NFL,” she said, adding that the center was created to shine a spotlight on such matters — and keep that light on.

The 40 Under Forty Gala honoring Professor Buzuvis and the othert 39 shinning stars will take place Thursday, June 18, 2015 at The Log Cabin in Holyoke.


Dean's Prize Winners for Literary and Cultural Studies Announced

Posted June 12, 2015

The Department of English recently announced the results of its ninth Annual Dean's Prize for Literary and Cultural Studies, which honors the best essays written for 200-level and above courses in the area of literary or cultural criticism as judged by a panel of English Department faculty. “This year’s award-winning essays are truly impressive,” said Edward Wesp, Associate Professor of English. "They illustrate our students’ ability to produce original, insightful critical analysis of texts in their relation to cultural forces that impact all of our lives.  These essays, along with the many other fine essays that were submitted for the contest, reflect the complexity of analysis and the skilled writing that are the hallmark of our English classes.  The contest winners have distinguished themselves as writers of particularly ambitious and persuasive argument – this is work to be proud of.” 


The following students were honored for their essays:

First Prize honors went to Sean Coverdill a graduate of Somers High School in Somers, Connecticut. His essay, entitled “The Personal is Political: Systems of Domination and Sexist Oppression in American Beauty,” reshapes existing critical understandings of the film American Beauty by uncovering the ways that gender intersects and complicates the film’s critique of materialism and contemporary culture.

Second Place winner Abby Helfrich is from Hanover, PA. Her essay, "Class, Gender, and Popularity: How Cady Heron Became a Mean Girl” applies an analysis of ideological power to highlight the ways in which the film Mean Girls undermines its intended argument about by subtly reaffirming the power of class and gender conformity.

Third Place was awarded to Patrick Hamel from Southington, CT. His essay, “Whiplash: Not Your Average Drummer Boy Story,” mounts a psychoanalytic analysis of the recent film Whiplash, uncovering the complex ways that masculinity and identification motivate the film’s central struggle.

 Honorable Mention was given to Alicia Young of Shelton, CT for her essay “Freudian Psychoanalysis of Martha in Bubble”, and to Christina Raus of Agawam, MA for her essay “Sally Potter’s Visual Representations of the Thought Processes in Woolf’s Orlando.


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