New International Students Welcomed to Campus

Posted January 23, 2015

By junior Jeff Roche

january_inter_1jpgAbdulaziz Alshareef, Nader Albogami, and Ziyad Alotaibi

Western New England University International Students and Scholar Services recently held a reception in the Bear's Den for the new international students enrolled at the University. In addition to formally welcoming the new international students to campus, the event afforded them an opportunity to meet the returning international students, along with the deans, faculty, and staff.

"I chose to study at Western New England because it is not too big and the student are like a family here," explained French student Manon Hayart. "I've heard from previous French exchange students that the faculty here are innovative, and I want to experience new ways of learning," Hayart added.


"I came to Western New England to improve my English as I study, to discover American culture, and discover myself," remarked French student Thibault Joyaut-De Couesnongle. 

There are several new international undergraduate and graduate students, bringing the total on campus to about 125. The new international students are from Saudi Arabia, France, Togo, India, and Egypt. They will matriculate in the Colleges of Engineering, Business, and Arts and Sciences.

For more information about International Students and Scholar Services at Western New England University, click here.


Dr. Dawn Holmes Selected for American Society for Microbiology Travel Award

Posted January 22, 2015


Western New England University Associate Professor of Biology, Dr. Dawn Holmes has received the annual American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Conference Travel Award. This award helps researchers and undergraduate faculty develop innovative and interdisciplinary collaborations that broaden participation in the science, technology, engineering, and math workforce. The award is conferred by the American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The ASM is the world’s largest scientific society of individuals interested in the microbiological sciences. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes, and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

“I have had a lot of fun conducting research with Western New England University students over the past few years,” says Holmes. “Students are not the only ones who benefit from undergraduate research experiences. Sometimes I can learn a lot from their fresh insights into experiments.” 

In 2012, the ASM established the Leaders Inspiring Networks and Knowledge program(LINK), dedicated to connecting established researchers with advanced trainees, educators, and early-career scientists and supporting them to form collaborations that are mutually beneficial, well planned, and sustained through ongoing networks and mentoring. With about 350 researchers and educators in attendance each year, ASMCUE is one the world’s largest gatherings of biologists seeking to share best practices in undergraduate science teaching, learning, and mentoring.


The Biggest Loser Finale Party on January 29 

Posted January 22, 2015


Western New England University will host a The Biggest Loser Finale Party on Thursday, January 29, 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., in Rivers Memorial Hall, to cheer for University alum and contestant, Rob Guiry ’10/G’14.

Join us earlier in the evening at the Healthy Living Fair from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and then watch Rob—now down to 315 pounds—compete for the Biggest Loser title on the big screen. Healthy snacks will be served, along with raffle prizes, and fun giveaways.

Guiry is a former residence manager and head rugby coach at Western New England University. A contestant on The Biggest Loser: Glory Days since September, he weighed in at 483 pounds at the beginning of the season. While losing 168 pounds in the past three months, he has enjoyed great support from his Golden Bear family in the form of letters, emails, and care packages.


At 26 years old, Rob says, “I always wanted to get healthy, but didn't feel that I could.” Now he is getting it done. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was raised with two younger siblings in New Jersey. Rob played football in high school and also participated in soccer, wrestling, and basketball. After high school, he discovered rugby and fell in love with the sport. While playing and coaching rugby at the University, he earned a degree in sport management and an MBA with a focus in leadership.

Guiry has struggled with weight his whole life. Stress, the mentality that “bigger was better” for sports, and a more sedentary life after he stopped being an athlete, all played a role as well. He says it has been the perfect time to lose weight, and he looks forward to dating more, and activities that were restricted because of his weight, like playing rugby, biking, skydiving, and riding on roller coasters.


Research Earns Dr. Jennifer Mallory First Place Honors at KEEN 2015 Engineering Conference

Posted January 21, 2015

Cultivating an “entrepreneurial mindset” is one of the key pillars of a Western New England University engineering education. Early this month, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jennifer Mallory was recognized for her efforts to help students identify the many ways thermodynamics can be applied and the unique opportunities the field presents for innovative entrepreneurs.

“Teaching students an entrepreneurial way of looking at the world, as they learn engineering principles, helps them recognize the many ways they can apply thermodynamics to every day things in their lives” explained Dr. Mallory. “In addition, it not only engages students in the classroom, but encourages them to be creative, innovative, and to recognize new opportunities all around them.”

Her poster, entitled “Integrating the Entrepreneurial Mindset into Thermodynamics" won first place in the Individual Course category at the KEEN(Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network), Winter 2015 Conference  in Tempe, AZ. 

mallory_copyjpgThis year's conference theme was "Creativity, Connectivity, and Creating Value." Dr. Mallory also gave a presentation of her research at the conference.

The poster outlined a two-part strategy for effective pedagogies for integrating the entrepreneurial mindset into the existing Thermodynamic curriculum. Phase I provided a background on the field designed to engage students and encourage communication, creativity, and product opportunity recognition. Phase II focused on how thermodynamics could be applied in helping the City of Springfield yield more power through discussion of not only power plant theory, but also how economics, socio-political, and environmental factors may influence design.

Photo: Dr. Jennifer Mallory and Jamie Hyneman, host of the science entertainment show, MythBusters, and conference keynote speaker.

Dr. Mallory’s recognition by KEEN marks the latest chapter in the College of Engineering’s growing relationship with the organization. The College has received nearly $450,000 from the Kern Family Foundation for five projects over the past three years designed to bolster College of Engineering students’ education in order to better position graduates for the demands of their field. 


University to Offer Certificate Program on Meeting the Challenges Of Aging

Posted January 21, 2015

oldjpgWestern New England University is offering a certificate program on “Meeting the Challenges of Aging: Knowledge, Values, and Skills for Service Providers.” Nine sessions will be held between 9:00 a.m. and 12 noon every Tuesday from February 6 through April 3 at Western new England University.

The certificate program will provide human service workers with an understanding of the aging network and aging process, as well as the requisite social work skills and competencies necessary to effectively serve the needs of aging or disabled clients. Students will explore topics through mini-lectures, experiential exercises, and class discussion. Sessions will cover cognitive changes and disorders in depression, grief, medications/healthcare proxies, and substance abuse, as well as cultural, ethical, and legal issues in family dynamics including tools for managing behavioral problems.

Single registration for the program is $289 before January 23, 2015, $269 if registering three or more participants from the same agency, and $309 if registering after January 23. Registrations are being accepted by phone at 413-796-2173 or online by visiting

The program is approved for 3 Category I Continuing Education Hours for each workshop. The certificate program is sponsored by the Western New England University Professional Development and Bachelor of Social Work Program in partnership with Landmark at Monastery Heights.


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