Class Project Yields Dozens of Toys for Children

Posted December 22, 2014

As part of the requirements for the Business 101 course in the Western New England University College of Business, students are asked to select a community service project to perform during the fall semester. This year, Professor Kara Kapinos’ two Business 101 classes agreed to support the annual Toy Drive at The Gray House in Springfield, MA. 

gray_house_toys2jpgL-R: Freshman Jesse Desroches, Dena Calvanese, executive director of The Gray House, Freshmen Devin Kindred, Yabets Erkailo, and Miranda Wyse 

The College of Business has worked with The Gray House in the Nonprofit Board Experience program, a unique course where students serve on the Board of Directors of local nonprofit organizations. Professor Kapinos presented the option to students at their class social and students were excited to engage in this project. 

Leading the effort was freshman, Jesse Desroches of Palmer, MA, who worked with his classmates and various offices on campus to coordinate student toy drive. Toys were donated from a majority of the student in the two BUS 101 classes, and ranged from Tonka trucks to the Little Mermaid dolls. Dena Calvanese, executive director of The Gray House was most appreciative of the toys. At the time of delivery, it was forecasted that about 425 toys would be distributed to area children through the annual Gray House toy drive.


Color of Law Roundtable to Feature Labor Attorney Edward Pichardo

Posted December 18, 2014

The Western New England University School of Law will present its next Color of Law Discussion Speaker on Thursday, January 8, 2015, at 12:00 noon, in the Blake Law Center, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA. The keynote speaker will be attorney Edward Pichardo, Counsel to the Government Relations and Labor practices of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.

edward_pichardo_portraitjpgAttorney Pichardo is an experienced union-side labor attorney, and government affairs and public contracting specialist. The son of two immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Pichardo grew up in New York City and graduated from Norman Thomas High School. He attended Binghamton University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Afro-American/African Studies. Pichardo later attended Marquette University Law School.

As a former legislative director, he is available to represent both public and private sector clients in Albany and New York City concerning legislative, regulatory, and public contracting matters. 

For more information or to register, please contact Professor Baldwin at or Professor Setty at Seating is limited. Lunch will be served. This event is free and open to the public.


Two Join Business Faculty at Western New England University

Posted December 17, 2014

Western New England University President Dr. Anthony S. Caprio is pleased to announced the appointment of two new members of the faculty at the University’s College of Business.

yuqi_gu_14jpgYuqi (George) Gu was named Assistant Professor of Finance. He holds a doctorate in Finance from Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Hong Kong. Before coming to Western New England University, George served as Assistant Professor of Finance at Pennsylvania State University.

His research interests include empirical corporate finance, corporate governance, risk management and corporate innovation. His recent research has been presented at the Eastern Finance Association meeting and at the Financial Management Association meeting. He is a member of the Eastern Finance Association and Financial Management Association.

mary_schoonmaker_14jpgMary G. Schoonmaker was named Assistant Professor of Marketing. Schoonmaker received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration from The George Washington University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Maryland. Her undergraduate B.S. degree is from the University of Connecticut. She has served as adjunct faculty at both the University of Maryland – R.H. Smith School of Business and The George Washington University – School of Business. Dr. Schoonmaker has also taught Technology Transfer at The National Institutes of Health.

Schoonmaker has an extensive industry background in the high-technology industry, where she held sales and marketing positions at IBM and Digital Equipment Corporation, and then led marketing efforts at Quantum Corporation and RosettaNet, a B2B XML consortium. She has experience with business operations in Silicon Valley, Asia, and the Middle East.

Dr. Schoonmaker’s research interests are innovation and entrepreneurship. Her recent research focuses on how biotechnology start-ups with DNA license’s from the National Institutes of Health, secured outside funding during the most early stages of innovation, called The Fuzzy Front End of Innovation. She has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and presented at several national and international conferences and universities.

Schoonmaker is a member of American Marketing Association, Association of University Technology Managers, National Business Incubation Association, Technology Transfer Society, and Women-In-Bio. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies. She is the Western New England University faculty advisor for The Grinspoon Foundation and Valley Venture Mentors.


16th Annual Girls and Women in Sports Day to be Held on January 31

Posted December 16, 2014

The 16th Annual Western New England University Girls and Women in Sports Day is scheduled for Saturday, January 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center (AHLC). This free event is a community service program designed for girls between the ages of 7 and 12 from the greater Springfield area.

To download the register form for the event or for more information, visit or call Western New England University Athletics at 413-796-2229. Snacks will be served.


“The number of girls and women who participate in sports has seen a remarkable growth in recent years, in part because of National Girls and Women in Sports Day,” explained Nicole Chaszar, head women's basketball coach. “This is always one of the best events at Western New England University every year, and it gives girls an opportunity to try out a new sports and discover the benefits and fun they can receive from participating.”

Participants will have the opportunity to select two sport clinics from six offerings: basketball, softball, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, and dance. All of the clinics will be instructed by Western New England coaches and varsity athletes, and include both instruction and time for play. In addition, recreation time will be made available for swimming, racquetball, and squash.

Girls and Women in Sports Day is celebrated nationally to promote the participation of women and girls in athletics. “Along with teaching the girls athletic skills, our goal is to impart to these young athletes the high standards of being a successful student-athlete, such as hard work, self-discipline, dedication, motivation, and then bringing those values into the classroom,” say Jennifer Kolins, the University’s men’s and women’s tennis coach and community outreach coordinator.


Participants are asked to bring a personal hygiene product as a donation (e.g. hair products, deodorant, toothpaste). Items will be donated to a local domestic violence shelter.

Following the clinic, the girls and their families are invited to stay and watch our Golden Bear teams in action. The women's swimming meet versus the University of Saint Joseph will begin at noon in the AHLC pool. The women's basketball team will take on Commonwealth Coast Conference opponent Curry College at 1:00 p.m., in the AHLC field house, and they will be followed by the men’s team taking on the Curry Colonels for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off.


College of Business Advisory Board Meets

Posted December 15, 2014

The College of Business (COB) Advisory Board recently held its bi-annual meeting designed to provide periodic feedback to the COB leadership team on industry trends for strategic planning purposes, as well as to receive status updates on COB programs.

The Advisory Board is comprised of 15 business executives representing a cross section of industry sectors ranging from product development, manufacturing, and distribution, to professional services delivery.


Pictured above, junior Sport Management major McKenzie Pezze and senior International Business major Thomas Cowin, shared their course travel experience to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with board members. The students explained in detail the impact the study abroad experience had on their appreciation of intercultural sensitivity in the global business environment.


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