Family Math Night Held at Glickman School

Posted April 24, 2015

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Western New England University sophomores in the Elementary Curriculum and Methods Education course participated in Family Math Night at Glickman Elementary School on April 14. Family Math Night is an opportunity for University students to interact with teachers, elementary students, and parents, while developing a math activity that engages the children, and helps strengthen their mathematical knowledge and self confidence.

“The event featured eight different math games developed by Western New England students, for parents and students to play together,” explained Education Professor Molly Munkatchy. “Family Math Night affords students the chance to take the theories and strategies they are learning in the classroom and apply it to a real-world teaching experience.”

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Family Math Night was started six years ago by Professor Munkatchy and Glickman Math Director Leslie Lewis. Another popular games each year requires the parents to calculate the cost of a large sack of groceries, by estimating each item. The closest estimate wins the groceries. 

For more information about the Education Program at Western New England University click here.

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Western New England University Students Inducted into Mortar Board Honor Society

Posted April 24, 2015

Thirty-four students were recently inducted into the Pynchon Chapter of the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society at Western New England University on Monday, April 13, 2015.

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The Mortar Board Induction Ceremony, held in Rivers Memorial Hall on the University Campus, is an event to honor the incoming group of students selected to join Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society. Students from the College of Arts and Science, the College of Business, and the College of Engineering were inducted. University President Dr. Anthony S. Caprio addressed the graduating members and welcomed the newly inducted members.

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Jeffrey Coles, President of the Pynchon Chapter thanks Maureen Keiser, Assistant Dean of Students/Student Activities and Leadership Development.

Jeffrey S. Coles, current President of the Pynchon Chapter, spoke highly of the society, “Mortar Board has allowed all of the graduating members to, not only create several memorable events including Reading is Leading, Save a Horse, Ride a Golden Bear, and the Last Lecture, but it has allowed all members to create bonds throughout this past year in ways only Western New England University students can.”

Mortar Board is a national honor society that has recognized college seniors since its founding in 1918. Mortar Board provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities, and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. The Pynchon chapter at Western New England College was chartered in 2000 and currently has 34 members. Notable Mortar Board members include former President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

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Engineering Students Explore Railroad Safety Opportunities 

Posted April 23, 2015

The Western New England University Student Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently hosted Dr. David Jeong, Structures and Dynamics Expert with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA. The center has over 500 employees, most of whom are engineers, and nearly 40 college interns, with an annual budget of nearly $300 million dollars.

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The Volpe Center’s mission is to improve the nation’s transportation system by anticipating emerging issues and developing advanced design and operational innovations across all modes of transportation.

Oil and natural gas drilling have increased dramatically in the U.S. over the past 10 years and railcar transportation of those products has doubled in the same period. The result is a significantly higher number of railcar accidents. This development has produced the need for more rail transportation safety engineers.

dr_david_jeong_2jpg“When I heard that the University was planning to launch a new program in railroad transportation engineering, I offered to speak to the students about the work we do,” explained Dr. Jeong. “At the Volpe Center, we can offer your engineering students a variety of resources including internships and potentially jobs.”

To view a video example of a Volpe Center rail safety test crash click here. 

“The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is planning to offer railway engineering courses starting Fall semester of 2016, eventually leading to a specialized concentration within the civil engineering program,” says department chair Dr. Kenneth Lee. “We see tremendous career opportunities in the railroad industry for our students.

Western New England University Assistant Professor Moochul Shin is currently involved with research in railroad infrastructure such as, failure analysis of pre-stressed concrete crossties and fastening systems. This is another opportunity for University students to explore careers in this field. 

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Executives from the Chinese owned Changchun Railway Vehicle Company visited Western New England University last year to discuss their plans to build a railcar manufacturing facility in the City of Springfield. During the visit, Changchun Vice President Yu Weiping presented University President Anthony S. Caprio with a model of a light rail vehicle that would be manufactured in Springfield.

For more information about the Civil and Environmental Engineering Program at Western New England University click here.

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Students Celebrated During Appreciation Week

Posted April 23, 2015

hr_1jpgThe University Payroll Department

Western New England University staff and faculty went "all out" for Student Employment Appreciation Week, April 12-18. The opportunity to honor these hard working students was embraced by staff and faculty throughout the campus. Celebrations included some amazing and very creative office decorations, and parties complete with refreshments and gifts. In addition, an appreciation event sponsored by the Student Employment Committee was held on Tuesday, April 14 in the Campus Center.  The event was attended by over 200 student employees, and included prizes and entertainment by the Improv on the Rocks group. The sentiment shared by all departments is that our student employees and their efforts contribute to our continued success!

hr_2jpgStudent Affairs won the trophy for Best Student Employer.
L-R Student employees: Luis Robles, Jasmin Chatman, and Nilsa Salas 

Western New England University employs more than 1,300 students whose work plays a key role in our educational, research, and operational excellence. Student employees perform invaluable services with enthusiasm, dedication, and initiative. At the same time, they develop important skills and experience as they prepare for the workforce. Thank You!

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University Polling Institute Reveals Mixed Support for Senator Warren Presidential Bid

Posted April 22, 2015

The movement to draft Senator Elizabeth Warren
has little traction in Massachusetts

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While progressive political organizations dream of convincing Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016, a majority of Warren’s constituents think a presidential candidacy is a bad idea, according to the latest survey from the Western New England University Polling Institute.   

The telephone survey of 427 registered voters in Massachusetts, conducted April 6 – 14, found that 57 percent said that Warren seeking the presidency would be a bad idea, 32 percent said it would be a good idea, and 11 percent said they did not know or declined to answer the question. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.

Warren has repeatedly said she has no plans to run for president in 2016, despite ongoing efforts by liberal political organizations to entice her to run. While a majority of voters in Massachusetts don’t think Warren should run for president, those sentiments do not necessarily reflect negative views of Warren. The survey found that 62 percent of voters approve of the job Warren is doing as senator, 21 percent disapprove, and 17 percent said they did not know or declined to answer the question. Fifty-five percent of voters have a favorable view of Warren, and 30 percent of voters have an unfavorable view. 

The survey also found that:

-- Senator Ed Markey, who won re-election in November, has a job approval rating of 35 percent, with 18 percent of voters disapproving and nearly half of voters – 47 percent – either unable or unwilling to offer an opinion. Markey’s favorability rating is 35 percent, with 19 percent unfavorable, 15 percent saying they have not heard of him, and 27 percent saying they have no opinion of him. Markey’s unfavorability has dropped 10 points since October, while his favorability has remained steady. 

-- Governor Charlie Baker, after having served 100 days in office, has a job approval rating of 63 percent, with 10 percent of voters disapproving, and 27 percent saying they did not know or declining to answer the question. Fifty-six percent of voters have a favorable view of Baker, while 13 percent hold an unfavorable view, marking an increase in Baker’s popularity since winning election as governor in November. 

After asking voters about a hypothetical Warren candidacy for president, the Polling Institute asked voters to explain, in their own words, why they think Warren running for president would be a good idea or a bad idea. 

tim_vercellotti_web.jpgAmong voters who said a Warren White House bid would be a bad idea, the most frequent reason given was that Warren does not have enough experience yet to serve as president (38 percent). Twelve percent said Warren is too liberal, while 12 percent said they don’t like Warren, or they don’t like her issue positions. Eight percent of voters who oppose Warren running for president said that she is doing a good job in the Senate and should stay there. 

Tim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute and a professor of political science at Western New England University, said that voters who think a Warren presidential candidacy is a bad idea are a mix of her detractors and supporters. 

“While there are plenty of voters who oppose the idea because they feel Warren is inexperienced or they don’t like her or her issue positions, there is also a significant number of voters who say she is doing a good job in the Senate and they want her to stay there,” he said. 

Democrats were almost evenly divided, with 42 percent saying a presidential run would be a good idea and 46 percent saying it would be a bad idea. Among Republican and unenrolled voters, more than 60 percent said they thought it would be a bad idea. 

Younger voters, ages 18 to 39, were most likely to endorse a Warren candidacy, with 46 percent saying it would be a good idea, and 44 percent saying it would be a bad idea. Also, as education increased, so did support, but even among college graduates 55 percent said they thought it would be a bad idea. 

Voters who said they supported Warren running for president offered a wide range of reasons for their views. The most frequent explanation was that Warren would provide competition for Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination (17 percent). Fifteen percent said Warren would be an intelligent candidate, 13 percent said Warren has good ideas, 11 percent cited Warren’s advocacy for the middle class, and another 11 percent said they want to see a woman run for president.

Vercellotti noted that, even though Warren has insisted that she is not considering a presidential bid, the survey results still offer a nuanced look at the extent of her support among Massachusetts voters. “We’re engaging in some hypothetical thinking with these survey questions,” he said. “But the results tell us a great deal about where Warren stands with her constituents.” 

Click here to view full poll results.

METHODOLOGY

The Western New England University Polling Institute survey consists of telephone interviews with 499 adults ages 18 and older drawn from across Massachusetts using random-digit-dialing April 6 – 14, 2015. The sample yielded 427 adults who said they are registered to vote in Massachusetts.  

Paid interviewers at the Polling Institute dialed household telephone numbers, known as “landline numbers,” and cell phone numbers using random samples obtained from Survey Sampling International of Shelton, CT. In order to draw a representative sample from the landline numbers, interviewers alternated asking for the youngest adult male or the youngest adult female age 18 or older who was home at the time of the call. Interviewers dialing cell phone numbers interviewed the respondent who answered the cell phone after confirming three things: (1) that the respondent was in a safe setting to complete the survey; (2) that the respondent was an adult age 18 or older; and (3) that the respondent was a resident of Massachusetts. The sample of all adults consisted of 333 interviews completed on landlines and 166 interviews completed on cell phones. The landline and cell phone data were combined and weighted to reflect the adult population of Massachusetts by gender, race, age, and county of residence using U.S. Census estimates for Massachusetts. The data also were weighted to adjust for cell phone and landline usage based on state-level estimates for Massachusetts from the National Center for Health Statistics. Complete results of the poll are available online at www.wne.edu/news. The full text of the questionnaire for this survey is available at www1.wne.edu/pollinginst

All surveys are subject to sampling error, which is the expected probable difference between interviewing everyone in a population versus a scientific sampling drawn from that population. The margin of sampling error for a sample of 499 adults is +/- 4 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval, and the margin of sampling error for a sample of 427 registered voters is + / - 5 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval. Thus if 60 percent of registered voters said they approve of the job that Charlie Baker is doing as governor, one would be 95 percent sure that the true figure would be between 55 percent and 65 percent (60 percent +/- 5 percent) had all registered voters in Massachusetts been interviewed, rather than just a sample.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  Sampling error does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording, or context effects.

Established in 2005, the Western New England University Polling Institute conducts research on issues of importance to Massachusetts and the region. The Institute provides the University’s faculty and students with opportunities to participate in public opinion research. Additional information about the Polling Institute is available at www1.wne.edu/pollinginst.

 

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College of Pharmacy Hosts Inaugural Inter Professional Experience Day

Posted April 21, 2015

Western New England University, Bay Path University, and Springfield Technical Community College joined forces to hold an inaugural Inter Professional Education Simulation Program. This two day event included nearly 200 students, faculty, and staff from Bay Path's Physician Assistant program, Springfield Tech’s Nursing program, and Western New England’s Pharmacy program. The goal of this innovative program was to clarify health profession roles, develop communication skills, and collaboratively deliver patient-centered care.

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The first part included an orientation held in March in which all students worked in teams to learn about each other’s profession and collaborate on a patient care case. In April, Inter-professional teams worked together in simulated experiences to provide optimum patient care. Students were shuttled to SIMS Medical Center where teams worked in a hospital environment using high-fidelity human simulators. Teams also worked at Western New England University in an ambulatory care environment using the Community Care Clinics as well as patient actors.

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The program allowed students from all three campuses to feel equally valued and helped them understand the different rolls each had in delivering patient care.

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School of Law Holds Housing Discrimination Conference

Posted April 21, 2015

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Western New England University School of Law held a conference on Thursday, April 16, titled, “Fair Housing Rights: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues.”  The impetus for holding the confab is the recently released findings by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, that clearly documents higher rates of discrimination against potential renters when they disclose that they have a same-sex partner moving in. That data shows that it doesn’t matter if a person lives in a state with strong protections or not, which suggests that there remain much work, and education, to do around enforcement on this particular discrimination problem.

“The problems that occur concerning discrimination in housing for LGBT people, has not received a lot of enforcement yet,” explained Law Professor Erin Buzuvis. “We already have a lot of precedent for dealing with other forms of discrimination in the context of housing, such as race and religion, but there has been very little attention focused on LGBT housing discrimination up until now.” 

The featured speakers included Meris Berquist, Executive Director, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center; Assistant Attorney General Ann Lynch, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office; Lauren Wilhote, Esq., U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; and Commissioner Sunila Thomas-George, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

For more information about the Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies at Western New England University School of Law click here.

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Western New England University Polling Institute Finds Voters Lean Against Boston Olympic Bid
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Dr. Michael Meeropol
WAMC
4/3/2015

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3/30/2015


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