University Student Intern Wins Top Award 

Posted August 22, 2014

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) holds an annual state-wide "Reach for the Stars" competition to recognize student interns who have demonstrated great skills and initiative on the job and for a reflective essay of their experience. The essay question posed to the 2014 summer Interns was, “How has your diversity as a person living with legal blindness impacted your life and your preparation for employment?" Western New England University freshman Syed "Mahmud" Rizvi, of Longmeadow, won First Place and was awarded a $2,000 scholarship. MCB Commissioner Paul Saner remarked, "Mahmud's candid and inspirational essay clearly expresses how his blindness has impacted his preparation for employment. I am pleased that Mahmud recently completed another productive internship experience with Western New England University. Mahmud appears to have a bright future in front of him. I wish him the best of luck and look forward to hearing of his future successes."

seyed_1jpg      Christine Ventulett, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at MCB, Syed "Mahmud" Rizvi,     MCB Commissioner Paul Saner, and MCB Deputy Commissioner John Oliveira

Rizvi worked for the past two summers in the Facilities Management Office on campus and was supervised by Facilities Office Manager Melissa Brooks who remarked, "Mahmud, as he likes to be called, plans to major in Computer Science and was a big help to us. He's very down to earth and has a wonderful attitude all the time. Despite his challenges, I learnd more from him than he learned from me these past two years." In his essay Mahmud said, “I may not have sight, but I do have what really matters, vision.” 


Dr. Ronny Priefer Speaks at Google Headquarters

Posted August 19, 2014


Dr. Ronny Priefer, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy at Western New England University, was invited to speak to a group of Google employees in Mountain View, California, on August 13, at the main Googleplex Facility. The title of the Dr. Priefer’s talk was “Point-of-Care Diabetes Monitoring via Breath Acetone Detection.”

Dr. Priefer gave his presentation to a group of engineers, chemists, biologists, and business professionals from Google. "It was exciting to present our results to Google researchers and business people. Knowing that our project, here in Springfield, MA has attracted attention from such a large global company on the other side of the U.S., is really encouraging.”

Google is also interested in the development of non-invasive diabetes monitoring technology that Dr. Priefer is developing along with Biomedical Engineering Professor Michael Rust, and Pharmacy Practice Professors Kam Capoccia and Izabela Collier.

Dr. Priefer is leading this team of scientists at Western New England University to develop a hand-held breathalyzer device to detect acetone in the breath of diabetic individuals. They are attempting to optimize its capabilities as well as correlate it with blood-glucose levels to ultimately replace the current invasive “finger-prick” technology.


University Students March in 14th Annual Caribbean Parade and Festival 

Posted August 16, 2014


On Saturday August 16, members of the Western New England University Cheerleading Squad joined in the celebration of Springfield's 14th Annual Caribbean Parade and Festival. Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jeanne Hart-Steffes led the University students down the State Street parade route.


The most popular member of the University contingent was the Golden Bear, who gave out hundreds of hugs and high-fives to children and adults along the parade route.  The parade began in Rebecca Johnson School in Mason Square and ended at Blunt Park, where a "Food and Music" Festival continued throughout the day and evening. 


To view more photos of the parade, visit Campus Photos.


More Headlines:

University Announces Major NIH Research Grant 
Dr. Lori Holder-Webb Receives 2014 KPMG Outstanding Published Manuscript Award
Autism Experts Provide Research Improving Problem Behavior in Children with Autism
University Soccer Teams to Compete in Europe
University Students Study in Czech Republic
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