Western New England University to Host Engineering Open House December 5

Posted November 25, 2015

Western New England University will host an Engineering Open House for prospective students on Wednesday, December 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 in the College of Engineering.

Engineering is one of the fastest-growing and highest-earning fields, and Western New England University offers several outstanding academic programs.

Fresh from a $12.8 million renovation and expansion project, Sleith Hall now has a biomedical engineering suite that includes labs, study spaces, and a model hospital room including a medical simulation manikin.


Western New England University offers a network of more than 1,000 internships at world-renowned companies. In many cases, students are offered jobs in their chosen field even before graduation- or shortly thereafter. In a survey of our most recent graduates, 94% responded that they were employed or offered employment within 6 months of graduation.

The day begins with breakfast with the Dean of the College of Engineering, and overview of the College of Engineering, followed by a panel discussion of current engineering students, a tour of the Engineering facilities. Campus tours and meetings with admission officers are optional.

For more information and to register, visit www.admissions.wne.edu/engineering or call 413-782-1322.


Western New England University to Host Author Rachel B. Glaser

Posted November 24, 2015

rachel_b_glaser410jpgThe Department of English at Western New England University will host Rachel B. Glaser as part of its Fall Author Series on Wednesday, December 2 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy, Room 400. This event is free and open to the public.

Rachel B. Glaser is the author of the story collection Pee On Water and the poetry collection MOODS. Her novel, Paulina and Fran, was released by Harper Perennial in 2015, and is forthcoming from Granta Books in the U.K. in 2016.

“Sideways is how Glaser approaches things, from bizarre angles and directions, wrong-footing the reader, which is something I relish,” explained Tania Hershman, editor of The Short Review. “Rachel B Glaser unpicks and unearths, and does it succinctly and with a sharp-pointed stick. I want to read more,” Hershman added.

Glaser received a BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a recipient of the McSweeney's Amanda Davis Fiction Award, and her work has appeared in the anthologies 30 Under 30 and New American Stories. Nylon magazine has cited her as one of the "Coolest Female Poets to Know Right Now." She lives in Northampton, MA.

Glaser’s appearance is sponsored by the Western New England University English and the Creative Writing Program. For more information visit www.wne.edu/english.


Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Springfield Anymore

Posted November 22, 2015

Review by Gennah Borg and Alexandria Escribano

It was a busy weekend for Western New England University’s Stageless Players, as they put on three outstanding performances of The Wizard of Oz in just 24 hours. On Friday November 13th in the Wood Auditorium, directors Alexandria Escribano and Jared Duval whisked away their audience on opening night, making them feel as if they were not in Springfield anymore. From the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City gates, the Stageless Players recreated the entire Land of Oz in a single room.

Elizabeth Grosse, playing the lead role of Dorothy, captured the audience from the get-go. She set the bar high and left everyone wondering if the cast would be able to meet the high standard.

Fortunately, directors Alexandria Escribano and Jared Duval recruited new talent from the freshmen class of 2019, assigning the important role of the Scarecrow to newcomer Ryan Glynn. Director Alexandria Escribano stated, “Many would say he already had the personality to portray the Scarecrow with his youthful exuberance and contagious smile.”

Sophomore Steve O’Brien might have had the most difficult role in the production as the female Wicked Witch of the West, but O’Brien’s experience and talent helped him nail the part. “My role as the Wicked Witch of the West forced me to grow as an actor, and as a person, and pushed me to a new level that I didn't know I had in me,” remarked O’Brien.


Senior James Kolesar delivered a very heart felt take on the Tin Woodman, showing how depressing life can be without having the basic ability to love. And some of the highest praise goes to sophomore Daniel Hernandez who was an audience favorite with his captivating performance of the Cowardly Lion. The delivery and subtle gestures Hernandez gave made people feel as if they were watching Bert Lahr in the original movie. “The Wizard of Oz is my all time favorite show to be a part of. Playing the Cowardly Lion is my first main role and I wanted to put on the best possible show,” said Hernandez.

Kudos to the entire cast for an outstanding performance in The Wizard of Oz! Members of the cast include Adam Deshefy (The Wizard of Oz), Elizabeth Grosse (Dorothy), Ryan Glynn (Scarecrow), James Kolesar (Tin Woodman), Daniel Hernandez (Cowardly Lion), Steve O'Brien (Witch of the West), Kristen Dansereau (Good Witch of the North/South), Jeffrey Massicott (Uncle Henry), Gennah Borg (Aunt Em), Jesse Walters and Kenya Jenkins (Munchkins), Jeffrey Massicott (Guardian of the Gates), Tink Moretti and Grant Felenstein (Ozites), Jimmy Sullivan (King of the Wicked Monkeys), and Aoife O'Connell and Chris Jurkiewicz (Winged Monkeys).

To view or download more photos from the performance visit: 

With this great cast it was no wonder that the Stageless Players gave yet another stunning performance and left their audience in anticipation for their spring musical, Legally Blonde, opening on April 1st in the Lyman and Leslie Wood Auditorium. Stay tuned!


Chautauqua Series Hosts Senator Candaras

Posted November 21, 2015


Alumna, and former State Senator Gale Candaras L’83, H’15, met recently with the College of Business Cohen Scholars, as part of the students’ “Chautauqua Series,” a bi-monthly professional development roundtable. In response to the students’ queries about her career, first with Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, subsequently as a lawyer in private practice, and for the past two decades in public service as Wilbraham town selectwoman and then state legislator, Senator Candaras gave the students several life lessons from her own experiences, including the importance of their personal and professional reputations and protecting them as their most important quality.


University Polling Institute Reveals Support for Obamacare as Law Enters Third Year 

Posted November 19, 2015

 Survey also shows that  Massachusetts residents expect to pay more for health care in 2016

obamacarejpgWith the third annual open enrollment period for Obamacare now underway, a majority of Massachusetts residents say they support the landmark legislation, according to the latest survey from the Western New England University Polling Institute.

The telephone survey of 404 adults, conducted Nov. 8-15, found that 56 percent support the Affordable Care Act, while 33 percent are opposed and 11 percent said they did not know or declined to answer. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.

Support for the law has dropped six percentage points from a survey that the Polling Institute conducted in October 2013, at the start of the first open enrollment period under the law, when 62 percent said they supported the legislation. Opposition has remained steady, at about one-third of those polled.

The latest survey also asked residents to assess the general state of things in Massachusetts and the job performance of Governor Charlie Baker and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey. The poll found:

-- 58 percent of adults said the state is headed in the right direction, virtually unchanged from the last time the Polling Institute posed the question in October 2013. Twenty-nine percent said things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track, down from 36 percent in October 2013.

-- 52 percent of adults and 55 percent of registered voters approve of the job Warren is doing as United States senator, down from 62 percent among registered voters in April.

-- 42 percent of adults and 46 percent of registered voters approve of the job Markey is doing as United States senator, up from 35 percent in April.

-- 64 percent of adults and 72 percent of registered voters said they approve of the job that Baker is doing as governor. .The 72 percent job approval is up nine percentage points since April, the last time the Polling Institute asked the question.

The Polling Institute survey ended on Sunday, Nov. 15, the day before Baker sparked controversy when he said he would not accept Syrian refugees in Massachusetts without more detailed information from the federal government on how federal authorities screen the refugees.

tim_vercellotti_web.jpgTim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute and a professor of political science at Western New England University, said that Baker’s job approval numbers may have fluctuated since the Polling Institute completed data collection for the latest survey.

“Given the significant amount of publicity surrounding Baker’s remarks on screening of Syrian refugees, there may have been some shifts in public opinion regarding his job performance this week,” Vercellotti said. “Time will tell.”

The latest survey found that while support for the Affordable Care Act has dropped six points compared to the October 2013 poll, the public is still more supportive than it was in April 2010, when only 46 percent of Massachusetts adults said they backed the law. President Obama signed the legislation into law March 23, 2010.

Under the law, Americans who meet income guidelines must buy health insurance or pay a penalty. The law also bars insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals with preexisting conditions, and allows young adults to remain covered by their parents’ health insurance until age 26. The open enrollment period for buying health insurance for 2016 through marketplaces established under the law began Nov. 1, and expires Jan. 31, 2016.

Opposition to the Affordable Care Act continues to come from two directions according to the latest survey. Among Massachusetts residents who said they oppose the law, 66 percent said the legislation goes too far in making changes, and 22 percent said the law does not go far enough in making changes.

Support for the law varies sharply by party registration. Among the 354 registered voters who completed the survey, 83 percent of Democrats said they support the law, as did 47 percent of unenrolled voters, while only 14 percent of Republican voters said they back Obamacare.

Women were more likely than men to support the law (62 percent of women versus 50 percent of men). Younger residents were more likely than older residents to back Obamacare, with 61 percent of respondents ages 18 to 39 indicating their support, compared to 56 percent of adults ages 55 to 64 and 52 percent of adults age 65 and older.

Although a majority of adults said they support the Affordable Care Act, few give the law credit for improving the quality of health care they receive. Eighteen percent of adults said the law had improved their quality of care, 16 percent said it had reduced the quality of care, and 61 percent said the law had not made a difference.

Clear differences emerged along party and gender lines regarding quality of care. Among Democrats, 27 percent said the law had improved the quality of care they receive, and five percent said it had reduced the quality of care. Among Republican voters, only three percent said the Affordable Care Act had improved the quality of care, and 41 percent said it had reduced the quality of care. Women were nearly three times as likely as men to say the law had improved the quality of their care (26 percent of women compared to nine percent of men).

Forty percent of adults said they have seen their health care costs go up under the law, while 48 percent said the law has made no difference and only six percent said the law has reduced the amount they pay for health care. Sixty-two percent of Republicans said they are paying more under the law, as did 53 percent of unenrolled voters and only 28 percent of Democrats. Seventeen percent of Democrats said the law had reduced their health care costs, while only three percent of unenrolled voters said the same. No Republican voters reported a drop in health care costs under the law.

Looking ahead to 2016, 53 percent of adults said they expect to pay more for health care next year, while 37 percent said they expect to pay the same amount and five percent said they expect to pay less.

Vercellotti noted that Massachusetts residents have had some time to get used to the law, which was patterned after a similar law in Massachusetts.

“The latest survey data, while showing support for the Affordable Care Act, also seem to reflect a sense of realism about the law and its limitations,” he said. “Most residents said they have not seen much change in the quality of care that they receive, and they still expect to pay more for health care in 2016.”

To view the full survey report visit:  http://www1.wne.edu/assets/112/Poll_HealthCare_FINAL_TABLES.pdf


The Western New England University Polling Institute conducted a telephone survey Nov. 8-15, 2015. Western New England University sponsored and funded the study. The survey sample consists of telephone interviews in English only with 404 adults ages 18 and older drawn from across Massachusetts using random-digit-dialing. The sample yielded 354 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 281 interviews completed on landlines and 123 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, and to adjust for voter registration by party using figures from the office of the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. Complete results of the poll and the full text of the landline and cell phone versions of the survey are available at http:// 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 404 adults and 354 registered voters is +/- 5 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval. Thus if 55 percent of adults said they support the Affordable Care Act, one would be 95 percent sure that the true figure would be between 50 percent and 60 percent (55 percent +/- 5 percent) had all adults 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. The Institute is a charter member of the Transparency Initiative, sponsored by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. The Transparency Initiative supports greater openness in the reporting of survey research methodology. Additional information about the Polling Institute is available from Dr. Tim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute, at http:// www1.wne.edu/pollinginst.

To view the full survey report visit:  http://www1.wne.edu/assets/112/Poll_HealthCare_FINAL_TABLES.pdf


Western New England University Ranks Near Top of “Best Value” Colleges

Posted November 18, 2015


Western New England University is ranked in the top 3 percent of colleges and universities among the top 1,275 public and private institutions reviewed in the United States by The Economist magazine. The rankings analyzed which institutions offered the “best value” for the education received.

This new ranking formula utilizes data from the national College Scorecard released by the U.S. Department of Education in September 2015, and factors in how much college students are projected to earn after graduating verses what they actually earn.

The Economist’s
results showed a predicted salary for undergraduates from Western New England University of $47,947 while the reported salary 10 years after enrolling was $55,100. Western New England University over-performed by $7,153 in predicted annual salary.

The data in The Economist ranking is also consistent with findings recently published by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, a larger and broader study, where Western New England University is ranked in the top 17 percent of nearly 8,000 college and universities in the United States.

“For students who want to know which colleges are likely to boost their future salaries by the greatest amount, given their qualifications and preferences regarding career and location, we hope these rankings prove helpful,” The Economist report explained. “The college rankings are based on a simple, if debatable, premise; the economic value of a university is equal to the gap between how much money its graduates and former students earn, and how much they might have made had they studied elsewhere.”

There are 114 colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Economist report placed six institutions from Massachusetts in the top 3 percent of  “best value” universities including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Western New England University.

“As families compare institutions during the college selection process, Western New England University understands that their return on investment is always a priority,” explained Bryan Gross, vice president for Enrollment at Western New England University. “A Western New England education balances academics with experiential learning and cross-disciplinary programs, which help produce graduates who are prepared for a successful career.”


Diwali Festival Celebrates Good Over Evil

Posted November 17, 2015

By junior Natasha Mercado-Santana


With help from University graduate students from India, Western New England’s Spiritual Life hosted its first Diwali celebration on November 11, in Rivers Memorial Hall. Western New England undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, friends and family all came to enjoy the holiday.

Although Diwali is a Hindu holiday, the five-day festival is celebrated by people throughout India and the world. Diwali is a festival of lights and a celebration of good over evil. It includes a variety of fun events from decorating your home, shopping, fireworks, and puja -prayers to Lakshmi, the goddess of spiritual and material wealth. “There is organized dancing, and families light candles at the gate of their houses,” explains Neresh Saka, an international graduate student from India, working on a degree in industrial management.

The event was planned and hosted by Vinay Adulaburam, also a graduate student from India, getting his master’s degree in engineering management. This event was bitter sweet for Adulaburam who is entering his final semester at Western New England. “I’m so excited to be celebrating this festival with my Western New England family,” he exclaimed. “I miss my family back in India, but my friends are here, so I thought, why not celebrate the Diwali festival with my Western New England family?”


The Diwali celebration here at Western New England included a candle lighting, shrine to Lakshmi, Indian snacks, and dancing, organized by Neresh Saka. Substituting for the traditional fireworks, paper lanterns were lit and released into the sky. Many Western New England students curious about this Indian customs attended. Junior Mashael Abdi,  enjoyed the atmosphere of the event stating, “It helped me understand the origins and  meaning of the Diwali celebration, which is very interesting.” 


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