MCLA Logo 125

Our Stories

BRAINworks Perseveres, Providing Professional Development Through a Pandemic
Since 2018, the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network (BRAINworks) has offered free in-person professional development for local educators, focusing on integrating the arts into their curriculums. But when all schools, public and private, went virtual this year, BRAINworks’ programming became even more crucial.

Preserving History as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow
Emily Sienkiewicz ’21 has loved the Library of Congress since she visited it during a trip to Washington, D.C. when she was 13. This summer, though she’s not there in person, she’s contributing as a Junior Fellow to the Library’s important work.

MCLA Interns Help Tell BCArc’s Story
Two MCLA students, Amanda Bortman and Max Martel, are interning for Berkshire County Arc this summer, using their communications skills to help tell the stories of BCArc’s staff.

Are Youth Sports in Crisis? An MCLA Professor and Her Students Look Beyond the Headlines
If you were to read a popular press book about the state of youth sports, you would think the situation needed immediate attention. According to some recent tomes, youth sports are in a crisis and parents are partly to blame. Their rude, aggressive, and overbearing antics are allegedly making the sports field a dangerous place for kids to be and the fear is that this might stop other parents and children from signing up to play.

MCLA-IAH Interns Enhance Their Skills Through Mission-Based Work
Drew Thomas ’21 and Declan McDermott ’21 are working to promote MCLA’s Institute for Arts and Humanities this summer. As they enhance their skills in design and nonprofit administration, they’re both making an impact on the Berkshire community. 

Finding a Job that Changes Lives, Including Your Own
Sonja Stewart is the director of family support and advocacy at Berkshire County Arc (BCArc), based in Pittsfield, Mass., which serves more than 1,000 individuals and their families across the Berkshires. She earned her master’s degree in education from MCLA in 2018, after receiving a bachelor’s in social work from the College of St. Rose in 2014.

An MCLA Grad is Helping SpaceX Get to Mars
Although he’s now helping design temperature sensors for the cutting-edge rockets of SpaceX, Dan Kuszpa ’98 entered the field quite by accident.

MCLA Faculty Accomplishments
Every year, MCLA’s faculty members write, edit, and contribute to papers and articles, receive awards and grants for their research, are quoted as experts, and contribute to their community, among other accolades. We are proud to present this list of accomplishments for the 2019-20 academic year.

A Journalist Returns to Cover Her Community
Maya McFadden ’19 was hired by her hometown newspaper, the New Haven Independent, only days after graduating from MCLA this past December. The Independent’s editor was already familiar with her work. McFadden was the recipient of a 2019 Ellen J. Bernstein Journalism Internship award, which allowed her to write for the paper during her summer break.

MCLA Student Awards and Scholarships, 2020
We're reflecting back on the impressions all our MCLA students made this year. The following students were recognized at the end of the Spring 2020 semester for going above and beyond in their studies, as club and organization leaders, and as community citizens.

MCLA Student HelpDesk Staff Keep Serving Their Community
In the midst of a pandemic, five MCLA students have stepped up to provide help with tech needs for the College community.

MCLA Office of Admission Creates Virtual Connection for Prospective Students
While nothing can replace an in-person visit to the campus, the MCLA Office of Admission has been making sure prospective students and their families can experience the College’s unique charms in other ways during the pandemic shutdown.

Keeping Students Focused on Mental Wellness
Through the pandemic, and through the summer, MCLA’s Counseling Services staff have been reaching out to students, offering mental health support, and distributing information about how to maintain some consistency through a crisis.

Network, Succeed, Mentor: Sally Shaughnessy ’02 Passes It On
By networking with a fellow MCLA grad and Pi Upsilon Omega sister, Sally Shaughnessy ‘02 began her career in project management at Digitas in 2005, and has been in the field ever since. “I owe my entire career to networking through my sorority sister,” said Shaughnessy.

MCLA Student Crystal C. Wojcik '21 Wins a Second Top MSCPA Scholarship
Last year’s recipient of an inaugural $5,000 Massachusetts Society of Certified Professional Accountants (MSCPA) scholarship is also this year’s winner of MSCPA’s first $10,000 scholarship. MCLA junior Crystal C. Wojcik, a business major with a concentration in accounting, said it’s an exciting feeling to know she’s received the highest scholarship from MSCPA two years in a row.

Amy Tibbetts ’97 Ushers Novel Pharmaceutical Compounds to Market
As a vice president of business development for PPD® Laboratories Bioanalytical Lab, Amy Tibbetts ’97 has created a career for herself in the science field that makes good use of her people skills to bring novel compounds from the lab to the patients who need them.

An MCLA Master's Degree + Leadership Academy = Success for Pittsfield Principal
Educator Sara Luciani’s goal was to become a school principal by the age of 30. Three years ago, she turned 30 and became the head of Stearns Elementary School in Pittsfield, Mass. “I’m pretty young to be a principal,” she said, “and I knew it would be difficult, but I did it.”

Rising to the Challenges of Remote Instruction  
In normal times, MCLA’s Center for Academic Technology, headed by Gerol Petruzella, supports and empowers faculty to create quality instructional materials, including help with instructional design, Canvas, the College’s learning management system, and other tools. In the time of COVID-19, it mobilized to respond to immediate needs.

MCLA Admissions Ambassador Gains Entry to Her Own Dream Program
After she graduates this May, Alyssa Keegan ’20, a psychology major, will be continuing her studies at New York University. The Long Island, New York, native has been accepted into NYU’s master’s in counseling program.

An MCLA Class Partnership with Norman Rockwell Museum Goes Virtual
Students in Associate Professor of Visual Art Melanie Mowinski’s From Concept to Print class are creating a global call for art about the meaning of home—in partnership with Norman Rockwell Museum (NRM), and in response to the NRM exhibition “Finding Home: Four Artists’ Journeys,” which chronicles artists’ interpretations of their family immigration stories.

Kaylea Nocher ’21 Helps Kids Remain Social with Berkshire Buddies
Although school has moved online for most children across the country, future educator Kaylea Nocher ’21 has made it her goal to inspire kids of all ages to keep interacting with each other, even from a distance.

Current Events Put the Writing Skills of Steve Millmore '79 in the Limelight
Marketing and public relations professionals are the faces and voices of organizations. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, their skills are more important than ever. Steve Milmore ’79, the director of corporate communications at Limelight Networks, located in Burlington, Mass., says his job is to relay a clear message to the company’s employees and clients, to make them aware of what procedures are in place, and to assure them things are under control.

Creating a Culture of Joy and Learning: Principal Annie Pecor
An experienced teacher, the current head of the Berkshire County Elementary Principals Network, and a graduate of MCLA’s Master of Education program as well as MCLA Leadership Academy, Pecor knows well that working in education can be challenging. As principal, “people come to you all the time with questions or problems,” she said. “When I was a teacher, I’d go to the principal with a problem, and to me, it was the biggest problem. As principal, people deserve for me to be present in that moment with them. I want people to feel valued.” 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work for Emily Dessingue ’14 and Sarah Murphy '15
MCLA alums Sarah Murphy '15 and Emily Dessingue '14 are building their respective new businesses by helping each other. The Albany, N.Y.-based entrepreneurs were both English Communications majors at the College and met in class.

When You Know You’re on the Right (Pre-PA) Track
Philip Malm ’20 knew he wanted to be a physician assistant when he transferred to MCLA as a sophomore health sciences major. But the experiences he had in the College’s pre-PA concentration program solidified his career choice. Malm was recently accepted into his top-choice physician assistant master’s program, in his home city of Worcester, Mass. He will begin classes at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in January 2021.

Elizabeth Cardaropoli ’12 Makes Her Love of History and Theater Work Together
When people find something they really love, they’ll often dive in head first. During her time at MCLA, Elizabeth Cardaropoli ’12 did just that, taking advantage of the College’s drama clubs and Berkshire County’s top-caliber theater companies to immerse herself in what she loves most.

MCLA’s New Education Professors on Teaching Future Teachers
As attitudes and practices around education change, so must educators—and the professors who educate them. The two newest members of MCLA’s Education Department, assistant professors Maggie Clark and Clio Stearns, know this well.

MCLA’s Recording Studio Produces its First EP, with More on the Way
Last December, a group of 11 MCLA music students released a holiday EP featuring their take on seven classic Christmas songs. “A Very North Adams Christmas: The Holiday EP” was released as a physical CD during the MCLA Winter Concert on December 9, 2019 and a limited number were given out for free. All 125 were snatched up quickly.

MCLA Students Present Research at the 2019 Wilson Ornithological Society Meeting
For those who study birds, the annual meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society is a chance to gather and share research with other professionals while also fitting in some prime birding time. For Hannah Wait ‘21 and Noah Henkenius ’20, it was also a way to network, present research, and meet professors whose work they have cited.

New MCLA Class Identifies Business Opportunities in the Cannabis Industry
Kevin Bopp, a practicing attorney living and working in Williamstown, Mass., has been teaching business law at MCLA for the past six years. But 2020 finds him at the helm of a brand-new business course for the College. His spring semester Cannabis Industry class is fully enrolled, showing student interest in this burgeoning industry. 

MCLA Mathematics Professor Dr. Elizabeth Hartung Focuses In On Fullerenes
MCLA Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Elizabeth Hartung’s main area of research is graph theory—chemical graph theory in particular. To narrow that down even more, Hartung focuses primarily on fullerenes and benzenoids. But what are those, exactly?

How Aimée Hudon ’13 Fell in Love with Fungi
After graduating from MCLA with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in biotech, Aimée Hudon ’13 went on to earn a master’s degree in mycology and forest pathology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in 2019. Since September 2019, she has worked as a plant propagator for Nourse Berry Farms in Whately, Mass. 

Wanted: Community-minded MCLA Grads to Mentor the Next Generation
Carolyn Brooks, the coordinator of a student mentoring program at the Berkshire Family YMCA in North Adams, Mass., said that the initiative, now in its second year, is doing well. Part of that success, she said, can be attributed to alumni of the College.

Four MCLA Students Find Renewed Energy at PhysCon 2019
Around this time last year, Kiah DaViega ’21, a physics major, came upon a pamphlet quite by accident. It was the first time DaViega, president of the MCLA physics club, had heard about the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Congress (PhysCon), an undergraduate conference held every four years. The pamphlet stated the next PhysCon would be held from November 14-16, 2019 in Providence, R.I. She knew she had to attend.

MCLA Grads’ Clothing Company Gets a Boost from Assets for Artists
A fashion label founded at MCLA is now poised to take its next big step thanks to Assets for Artists (A4A), a program of MASS MoCA, ArtBuilt, and the Midas Collaborative.

From Acting to Business and Back Again with Jammal Clark '09
Jammal Clark ’09 began his MCLA studies as a fine and performing arts major, with the hopes of one day pursuing an acting career. He’d fallen in love with acting in fifth grade, when he and his cousin appeared on an episode of “Family Double Dare” at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.

At Berklee College of Music, Alexandra Kadell-Peltier ’16 Helps Break Down Barriers for Students
Alexandra Kadell-Peltier ’16 has taken what some people once told her was an insurmountable obstacle and turned it into a list of successes.

With a Push from His Former MCLA Coach, Jason Mlodzianowski ’07 Made Sports His Career
Jason Mlodzianowski ‘07 is celebrating his seventh year at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he serves as the associate director of athletics for events, facilities, and operations. Hard work got him to the finish line, but a little push from a former MCLA coach is what got it all started.

Berkshire Workforce Board Names MCLA's Dr. Josh Mendel its 2019 'Workforce Professional of the Year'
The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board (BWB) honored Dr. Josh Mendel, director of corporate engagement and strategic partnerships at MCLA, with its “Workforce Professional of the Year” Award at its board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The award recognizes employers, organizations, and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the workforce system.

It's About More Than Books for Leominster Public Library Director Sondra Murphy '08
At MCLA, Boylston, Mass., native Sondra Murphy ’08 was an English major with a concentration in creative writing and journalism. Because she loved books, Murphy thought a journalism career might be in her future, but that grad school probably wasn’t. 

An Internship Got Stephanie Kolapa '06, M.Ed. '10, in the Door; The Rest is History
Timing is everything. Stephanie Kopala ’06, M.Ed. ’10, didn’t know that when she chose to complete her student teaching internship at Drury High School in North Adams, she would still be working there 14 years later.

Kayla Wendling '14 Found Her Passion, Then Made it Her Career
After graduating from MCLA in 2014, Pittsfield, Mass., native Kayla Wendling used what she learned in her MCLA classes to pinpoint what she was most passionate about and where she would be able to make the greatest impact.

Street Law Series Tackles Real-Life Situations
What are your rights when a police officer stops you on the street? When you show up to vote, can you legally be turned away? Do immigrants have Constitutional rights in this country? What does “due process” really mean in a courtroom setting?

Securing a Job at One of the Big Four, Before Graduation
Two of the most important decisions facing graduating college students are where to live and where to work. MCLA senior Alexander Mitchell already knows the answers to those questions: Hartford, Conn., and Deloitte.

From Liberal Arts to Law School, and Beyond
As a pollution claims analyst at RiverStone Resources in Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren Casola ’09 has something few attorneys can claim: A healthy work-life balance. 

What is it Like to Intern at the Norman Rockwell Museum?
Rachel Mancour ’19 learned about Norman Rockwell when she was a child—she even dressed as the renowned American illustrator for Halloween when she was in third grade. So when she was offered a summer internship at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge this summer, it was an easy yes.

Changing Careers? Recycle What You've Learned
As challenges around recycling in America grow ever more complicated, Brian Ellithorpe ’13 has had a front-row seat.

Playing Nine Roles in a One-Woman Show
At this point, Brittany Nicholson ’16 is a seasoned performer. She’s appeared in more than 15 productions, from Shakespeare to “The Vagina Monologues”—but over the summer, she appeared in her most challenging role yet.

Interning at a Renowned Theatre Fest, Five Miles From Campus
As a theatre major, Amanda Gilmore ’20 knows that the world of performing arts can be unpredictable and fast-paced. As an acting apprentice at Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer, she was able to live that truth, gaining hands-on experience and learning exactly what it takes (spoiler alert: a lot!) to put on an award-winning theatre festival.

MCLA Welcomes Students for 2019-20 Academic Year
Four hundred and fifty new students and 1,400 students total will comprise MCLA’s student body for the 2019-20 academic year. Students move in over Labor Day weekend, and classes begin on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

The First Day of School, But Now You're the Teacher
Morrison “Mo” Robblee ’19 has pictured himself as a teacher for a long time—and this fall, that picture will come into focus. Robblee, originally from Minnetonka, Minn., has accepted a full-time teaching position at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield.

How Political Science Can Help You in the Health Care Industry
As director of admissions, marketing, and patient accounts for North Adams Commons, the skilled nursing and rehabilitation center on Franklin Street, Russo, a member of MCLA’s Class of 2012, is responsible for quite a lot. She plans and executes marketing campaigns, enrolls new residents, works on community outreach projects, and more—and her MCLA political science and public policy major is still helping guide her in that work. 

Things for MCLA Students to do #intheBerkshires
Bored? Good news! There’s a lot to do right here on campus, in North Adams, and in the Berkshires—and a lot of it is cheap or free. We’ve created this list for you—refer back to it through the year when you have some free time but haven’t decided how to spend it! Make the most out of your college experience. Make it MCLA.

Hard Work and Dedication at MCLA Summer Academy
Fourteen rising seniors from Berkshire County have completed MCLA Summer Academy, which gave them the opportunity to earn three college credits and learn about the college search process including applying to college, financial aid and making a final decision.

A Summer on Campus, Blending Art and Design
Kamryn Dunton '19 is using her arts management and art double major to work on marketing and graphic design via a paid position in MCLA’s Student Affairs Division; she’s working on her senior art show at the same time.

Abbe Museum 'A Dream Job' for Arts Management Grad
The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, is dedicated to educating visitors about the Wabanaki Peoples, a Native American confederation of five nations that originated in the area we now call Maine. Alongside the rest of the museum staff, Kaitlyn Vogel ’19 is using her arts management degree to fulfill that mission.

Focusing on Early Child Education, at Work and in Grad School
Allison Gaylock ’17 of Brooklyn, N.Y., is currently in grad school—and working as an infant teacher while she earns a degree in infant and family development/early childhood education.

The Net Value of an MCLA Education: Accounting Alum’s Career Advances
A couple of years post-graduation, Brianne O’Rourke ’17 is moving up in her career as an accountant: in June 2019, she was promoted to assistant controller at Waste Connections, a waste services company that operates across the U.S. and Canada.

MCLA Builds on Tradition with Campus Center Upgrades
Major upgrades will be waiting for MCLA students when they return this fall: Renovations to the Amsler Campus Center are under way and most are expected to be complete by August 2019.

When Your Son is Your Classmate: Catherine and Tyler Ellsworth's Story
When Tyler and Catherine Ellsworth read MCLA’s ivy poem at the College’s annual Baccalaureate celebration this year, it was a culmination of broken ground: The mother and son were the first duo to read the poem in MCLA history. Tyler is the first in four generations on his father’s side to earn a college degree. Both Tyler and Catherine will be using their new degrees to advance their careers as educators. And they did it together, every step of the way.

What is it Like to Market for a Theatre Company?
The events in our lives have a tendency to build on one another in ways we can’t necessarily predict. So it was for Tyler Prendergast ’13: Volunteering to do graphics and posters for plays produced at MCLA led to a design internship, then to a theatre communications job in Watertown, Mass, then to his current job as marketing and communications manager at Company One Theatre in Boston.

What Makes a Course of Distinction? Communication
In June, Dr. Maryann Schroder received a Course of Distinction Award at the 14th annual Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) Conference on eLearning, held in person at Fitchburg State University, for her Human Growth and Development online course.

When Your Professor is Also a Lead Ecologist
Though part of Dr. Julie Richburg’s work at the Trustees of Reservations is to engage volunteers in the work of land conservation and historic preservation, MCLA students get the benefit of her expertise in many more ways than the occasional field trip. 

For a Job in the Arts, no Need to Roam
At ROAM Gallery in North Adams, nestled behind the walls that hold large-scale photographs of African wildlife, are four MCLA alumni, each with a unique role that supports the gallery’s mission of conservation and awareness.

Finding a Purpose, and a Mentor, in Nutrition
If you’ve visited Community Health Programs’ Pittsfield Neighborhood Health Center lately, you may have received a nutrition fact sheet prepared by Devyn Renzi ’19. One of MCLA’s first graduating health science majors, Renzi found footing and purpose through her internship, and is now applying to graduate programs in nutrition.

The Country, the City, the River, the Times
William Shannon ’11 is no stranger to the history and character of New York’s Hudson River Valley. Growing up on the river in Germantown, N.Y., Shannon has spent his life searching for the untold stories of his native home—some of which have made it into The New York Times.

MCLA Student Awards and Scholarships, Spring 2019
The following students were recognized at the end of the Spring 2019 semester for going above and beyond in their studies, as club and organization leaders, and as community citizens. MCLA also offers more than 100 scholarships for qualifying students. We’re proud of each and every MCLA student and are proud to share this list with the world!

Sharing Knowledge at the Northeast Natural History Conference
You could spend hours in the woods tracking dark-eyed juncos—but where do you go from there? One good suggestion: The Northeast Natural History Conference. (But make sure to prepare a presentation first.)

MCLA Adds Model UN Chapter to Political Science Club
Do high-pressure scenarios get your adrenaline pumping? Do you often read political news and then ponder what you would do if you had been in the same situation? Are you interested in time travel—past, present, or both?

How to Become a Veterinarian, with Elizabeth Wheeler '10
First, finish your undergrad at MCLA. Then apply to veterinary programs, which tend to be extremely selective. Don’t get down on yourself when you don’t get in the first time; apply again next year. But that’s just the beginning of this story.

What do you do with History Once it's Harvested?
Miss Agnes Scully was a bit of an enigma. A native of Troy, N.Y., she spent summers at a house on Windsor Lake in North Adams, and seems to have been regularly entertained by a series of gentleman callers—at least, that’s what MCLA students in Assistant Professor Amanda Laury Kleintop’s Introduction to Public History class have deduced by studying Scully’s life through her correspondence.

Crystal Wojcik '21 Earns $5K MSCPA Scholarship
The first recipient of a brand-new scholarship awarded by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Professional Accountants (MSCPA) is none other than MCLA student Crystal Wojcik ’21, a business major from Cheshire, Mass.

MCLA Interns Help BRAINworks Fulfill its Mission
What’s behind the development and coordination of BRAINworks, MCLA’s federally funded grant program connecting Berkshire County educators to opportunities to integrate the arts into their curriculum? Dedicated staffers—and MCLA interns who have served multiple semesters in order to launch the program.

MCLA's Resident Expert on Kashmir
As tensions flare in Kashmir, the world is watching, and it wants context. Enter MCLA Anthropology Professor Mohamad Junaid.

Learning—and Advocating—at Berkshire County Arc
On his way to becoming an occupational therapist, Schuyler Robinson ’19 of North Adams has been interning at Berkshire Arc, and recently traveled to Boston as part of 2019 Adult Family Care State Awareness Day, an opportunity to meet lawmakers and other supporters and advocate for full state funding for family home care.

Real-Life Health Promotion and Planning
MCLA Assistant Professor of Biology Nicole Porther’s Health Promotion and Planning class recently got the opportunity to put their knowledge to work at the College’s annual Wellness Fair.

Building a Spanish Newscast, then Going Abroad to Improve it
Don’t be surprised if you see Karen Canela ’19 reporting live from New York sometime soon. A native Spanish/English speaker who discovered her love of journalism at MCLA, Canela has spent the past three years using her skills to create community and enhance perspective on campus via Beacon Web News and Berkshire News Now.

Seeing the Light and Writing About it
How do you find an internship that blends your two majors if those two majors are at opposite ends of the spectrum? Ask Reshawna Maine ’20; she found a perfect fit, combining physics with English/communications through her work at Photonics Magazine.

Halie Smith ’18: Becoming a Master of Fine Art

Halie Smith ’18 of Spencer, Mass., has realized her goal by accomplishing something only a select few have achieved – admittance to MassArt’s highly selective graduate program, where she is earning her Master of Fine Art in painting.

Four Ways to Look at Food Systems
A $4,500 Campus for Environmental Stewardship grant is supporting the work of four MCLA classes studying food systems, as well as a local nonprofit.

Preparing Students for Grad School—and Tracking Results
Harvard. NYU. Rutgers. Smith. UMass-Amherst. What do these have in common? MCLA Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work alumni attended grad programs at all of them. 

When the Bill You Wrote in Class Goes to the State House
You go to college hoping you’ll make an impression on the world someday. But do you ever really expect your work to be presented on the State House floor—even if a Massachusetts State Representative is your professor?

MCLA Students Mentor Girls in the Berkshires
As Bianca Lascase '21 explains the rules of “Girl Talk” to a dozen or so fifth- and sixth-grade girls seated in chairs assembled in a circle, they wriggle in their seats. But before they can get into Girl Talk, they have to recite “The Girl Code”: I am beautiful. I am brave. I am smart. I am powerful. I am funny. I am helpful. No other girl is like me. I will support any girl in need. We should stand with each other as women and we are unstoppable!

Alex Sasso '18: Planning a Career as a Performer and Educator
As part of the College’s vibrant theatre program, Alex Sasso ’18 enjoyed rich experiences, including her participation in a week-long residency program in London and an acting apprenticeship at the renowned Williamstown Theatre Festival.

An International Education that Started at MCLA
During her MCLA career, arts management major Lara Dudley ’19 of Westford, Mass., took a travel study course that culminated with a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Peru, studied abroad for a semester in Barcelona, Spain – which included trips to Morocco and France, including a visit to the Louvre Museum, in Paris.

Touring with the American Shakespeare Center: Thomas J. Coppola '08
Seven months out of the year, you’ll find Thomas J. Coppola ’08 on the road with the American Shakespeare Center, based in Staunton, Va. If you’re lucky enough to catch a production of the company’s 2018/19 Hand of Time tour, take a moment to look for him in the details.

How Does it Feel to be Accepted to a Top Ph.D. Program?
After she graduates in May, Bri Sarno ’19 is off to West Virginia University (WVU) to begin work on her Ph.D. in behavioral analysis—one of the top behavioral analysis doctorate programs in the country.

MCLA Alumni Join Forces at 1Berkshire
Recently, Kevin Pink ’09 joined Ben Lamb ’07 at 1Berkshire, a county-wide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the Berkshire region as a preferred place to visit, to live, and to grow a business.

For Kelsey Sherman ’20, Clark Internship is by Design
The pivotal moment for Kelsey Sherman ’20 came during her intermediate design course: As she worked on a class project, Art Professor Melanie Mowinski took notice. “You’re a graphic designer,” she said.

Job Search Help? Career Development’s Got You Covered
MCLA students and alumni searching for jobs, internships, and networking opportunities now have a stable of resources available to them via MCLA’s Career Development Office.

Anthropology Prof Continues Research in South Africa Dr. Anna Jaysane-Darr will head back to Cape Town to conduct ethnographic fieldwork as she studies what’s being done by therapists, educators, and clinicians who work those who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. “I am interested in the ways in which societies conceptualize what is considered ‘normal,’ and how they understand and deal with neurodiversity.”

Senior’s Love of Outdoors Shapes Career Goals Originally, Kaitlin Gevry ’19 wanted to major in education, but then took a course about the environment and human impacts. “From there, I became interested in environmental studies.” A career as a game warden or park ranger, so she can work with natural resources and people, “would be the perfect fit.”

Sociology Alumna Takes on MBA at MCLA
Jessica Wojcik ’06 did not take a single business class as an undergraduate at MCLA, but she’s well on her way to earning her MBA while she continues her fulltime work as a billing and collection specialist at Berkshire Health Systems. The graduate degree, she said, “will make me a better candidate for job opportunities.”

‘A Moment in Time’: Prof Delivers TEDx Talk
A TEDx North Adams event would not be complete without a talk about the integral role the arts play in the region, especially when the theme is “community.” And no one is more qualified to share her big ideas on the subject than MCLA’s own Dr. Lisa Donovan, professor of arts management.

Conservation Classroom: MCLA Fosters Endangered Turtles
Biology students aren’t the only ones that hang out in the labs at the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation: they share space with some very special reptiles as MCLA participates in a conservation program that aims to increase the number of Red-Bellied turtles, which are native to Plymouth County, Mass.

Two Paths, One Campus: Mother & Son Attend MCLA Together
When she attended a 2017 open house event at MCLA with her son, Brian Adelt ’21, as he considered his college options, Stephanie Melito ’19 of Adams was impressed. But it wasn’t until she found herself unemployed several months later that she decided to finish the degree she started at the College back in 2008.

Alligators, Sharks & Manatees: Students Explore the Everglades
Five students had the adventure of a lifetime over the winter break when they encountered some South Florida wildlife on a nine-day trip with their environmental studies class. Their professor, Dr. Daniel Shustack, designed the travel course’s experiences to include wading, swimming and paddling on kayaks through various habitats.

Alumni Reopen North Adams Cafe
As students, Julia Daly ’17 and Nick Tardive ’17 often hung out at the Parlor Cafe, but never dreamed they one day would run it. That’s exactly what happened last October. Since then, they have made the Ashland Street cafe – which serves breakfast and lunch, along with a variety of beverages – their own.

Tarantulas, Snakes and Scorpions: Junior Enjoys Unusual Internship
Caitlin Ryan ’20, who majors in environmental science and minors in biology, served an internship at the Berkshire Museum, but her work had nothing to do with the arts – instead, she worked with some local mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects that live in representations of Berkshire ecosystems.

Music & Philosophy Grad Finds Perfect Job at NEFA
Dual degree graduate Falyn Elhard ’18, a classically trained soprano who performed at various campus and community events while a student at MCLA, said it was a love for singing that led them to major in music. The performances also contributed to their enjoyment of arts administration.

MCLA Welcomes New Director of Alumni Engagement and Donor Relations
MCLA welcomes a new director of alumni engagement and donor relations: Kate Gigliotti, who brings years of experience in alumni programming and development to MCLA’s Office of Advancement.

Award-Winning Alumnus’ Unique Lens on the Berkshires
Ben Mancino ’14, who recently won a second place honor from the 2018 International Photography Awards, says his MCLA education unlocked opportunities that continue to propel his career forward. “I am able to travel to new parts of the world and transform rare moments into beautiful artwork.”

Student Arts Entrepreneur Starts Stationery Biz
After assisting letterpress artist Melanie Mowinski with the “50 Card Project,” Amanda Romanelli ’19 served an internship at Lever, Inc., a small business incubator. She didn’t stop there: she went on to form her own business. “All of these amazing opportunities, and more, are thanks to MCLA and the amazing arts community in North Adams.”

Discovering MCLA’s 60-Acre Forest
Did you know that MCLA includes its own 60-acre forest? Located in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains and just a short walk from the main campus, it’s filled with mature, second-growth mixed hardwood trees, and is used for teaching, ongoing research, ecological monitoring, outdoor classes, student-led projects, and more.   

New Alumna Enjoys Recruiting Work as She Fills Technology Positions
As an MCLA student, Michelle Laga ’18 served two internships, which helped her gain confidence and skills she uses today as a recruiting specialist. “It is important that students serve an internship because it helps them determine if they are in the right field. They also will get experience: internships are great resume builders.”

New Prof Specializes in Transnational Studies
Assistant professor Dr. Guangzhi Huang focuses his research on urban developments in contemporary China, and the interconnection between urbanization in China and Africa. “Having a global awareness and being able to use an interdisciplinary approach to understand social issues are vital to the growth of students, whom we are training so they may become responsible global citizens.”

Biology Internships Provide Unique Learning Experiences
Page Ellsworth ’19 is one of several students who are serving animal care internships this year. She takes care of crayfish and mosquitofish, and observes their natural behaviors. “They demonstrate to me how they fight over territory, interact with one another, feed, and just simply are themselves.”

Alumnus Reports on Western Mass for WGBY-TV
A recent story on reviving the Hoosic River in North Adams brought Brian Sullivan ’12 full circle: He returned to the home of his alma mater for his job as a multimedia journalist for PBS television station WGBY’s “Connecting Point,” based in Springfield, Mass. “I do it all, from start to finish.”

New Prof Shares Love of Psychology with Students
Dr. Sara Steele, who joined our Department of Psychology this fall, discovered her love of teaching very early on in her doctoral training. “It is still hands down one of my favorite things to do. It lets me share my passion with students, while learning more and more about the growing field each day!”

Business Student Eyes Corporate Accounting Career
Crystal Wojcik ’21 arrived on campus as a psychology major, but a single business course she took as a core requirement completely redirected her career trajectory. Now she’s working with Dr. Chali Nondo to prepare a research paper she wrote for his course, “Money, Banking, and Global Financial Markets,” for publication in a scholarly journal.

Comp Sci Major Serves Research Internship at Cornell
Celine Manigbas ’20 spent last summer at Cornell University, where she learned about bioinformatics and conducted research at the Boyce Thompson Institute. “I learned a lot about the ever-changing and advancing field ... and it was exciting to work with the cutting-edge programs on research that is relevant to the real world.”

Alumna to Work with Teach for America in Atlanta
This spring, Miesha Adams ’18 will take her degrees in psychology and sociology and head south to Atlanta, Ga., to participate in Teach for America (TFA), where she will teach middle school math and science for two years. “MCLA allowed me to take advantage of every opportunity that pushed me toward my goals.”

MCLA Students Benefit from Internships at The Clark
Two students this semester are among the first from MCLA to participate in the Rodgers Internship Program at the renowned Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in nearby Williamstown, Mass. Luke O’Brien ’19 and Danielle Prestogomo ’19 are serving internships in the museum’s advancement and education departments, respectively.

An Alumna’s Wild Career in Montana
As an undergraduate student at MCLA, TaylorJae Taber ’17 vowed to have a career that specialized in wildlife conservation and endangered species. Now she cares for seven grizzly bears, six gray wolves, an array of raptor species, and a colony of Uinta ground squirrels at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Mont.

A Summer with Sea Turtles
Jordan Teixeira ’18 spent his summer as an intern at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital in Surf City, N.C. There, the environmental studies major cared for wounded sea turtles, including those injured by fishing hooks and boats. This semester he’s serving an internship with the Hoosic River Watershed Association, in collaboration with Dr. Elena Traister.

Students Present at Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Conference
Undergraduate research co-chairs Dr. Justin Golub and Dr. Jenna Sciuto recently took 10 MCLA students to the Northeast Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Conference at SUNY Geneseo. At this COPLAC-sponsored event, they introduced their work to other students and faculty from campuses across the region.

Campus Community Members Receive Local Service Awards
Members of our campus community volunteer their time and talent to help make the region a great place to live. Jackie Kelly ’17 was among those recently recognized with a “Neighborlies” award. “Knowing that I can make a difference in my community ... reminds me that I am in the right place,” she said.

STEM Academy Starts Junior on the Path to Research & Medical Career
After she completes her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and psychology, Shannon Prouty ’20 plans a career as a research neurosurgeon. Just as she is majoring in two programs on campus, she intends to earn joint Ph.D and MD degrees at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass.

Alumna Manages New England Carousel Museum
A minor in public history proved to be the perfect choice for Cassandra Lavoie ’18, now the manager of the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, Conn. “I’ve already been able to apply my [research] skills and my writing numerous times at the Carousel Museum, in just the last six months!”

Alumna Finds Dream Job in NYC
Madelyn Gardner ’13 recently left her beloved Berkshires and the wonderful non-profit theatre organization where she got her start for an exciting new position in New York City – as the public relations and external communications manager for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Senior Serves NYC Community in Summer Internship
Over the summer, Jaret Gonzalez ’19 of the Bronx, N.Y., served an internship as a co-educator for Manice Education Center in nearby Florida, Mass. Created for New York City youth, “The best thing about this organization is the exposure to nature and support provided to children who are often overlooked or not yet empowered.”

Alumna Set to Run in 2019 Boston Marathon
For years, Sarah Lieneck ’14 dreamed of running in the Boston Marathon. Next spring, she will participate in this well-known race as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, with Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Because she has a personal connection with the organization, “I know that will help me run the 26.2 miles.”

Area High School Student Spends Senior Year at MCLA
Mount Greylock Regional High School senior Isabella Nicastro is getting a jump start to her college career by spending her entire last year of high school at MCLA. “MCLA has provided me with an amazing opportunity,” she said. “All of my professors are so helpful, the campus is beautiful, and the resources are unlimited.”

New Prof Brings Experience from Chinese Journalism Outlets
Initially interested in radio journalism as an undergraduate student in Beijing, China, Dr. Qian Wang realized over the years that what she really likes about journalism is its nature of telling the truth and empowering people. “This is especially precious in our day and age when the industry struggles to survive the fast-evolving digital world.”

STEM Academy Launches Students’ Success
How does MCLA’s Berkshire Bank STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy measure its success? Through its students, like Phoebe Pelzer '18, who go on to earn their degrees, enjoy outstanding internship opportunities, attend graduate school, and secure great jobs in their chosen fields.

Alumnus Earns Third Bachelor’s on Way to Nursing Career
After he completed double majors in biology and psychology at MCLA, Bentley Munsell ’15 headed to UMASS-Amherst to attend a 17-month, accelerated program to earn his nursing degree. His experiences at MCLA equipped him for success, both in nursing school and as an emergency department nurse.

New Sociologist’s Research Focuses on Gender
According to MCLA’s newest sociologist, Dr. Travis Beaver, parents are discouraging their sons’ participation in feminine activities for fear they might be bullied. This fear is not unfounded, and highlights how femininity is devalued, he said. “I think this has harmful ramifications for our society.”

‘My Chance to Advance’: Head Start Exec Director Lauds MCLA Degree Completion Program
Brett Westbrook ’15 recently took the helm as the new executive director of Berkshire County Head Start. MCLA’s degree completion program, she said, gave her the jump start she needed to advance her career. “The support and encouragement we received as a class from all of the professors and advisors during the cohort experience was amazing.”

Dr. Jerome Socolof Joins Arts Management Degree Program
Two things inspired Dr. Jerome Socolof to teach arts management – a love of the field and the industry’s need for arts managers who have studied and are trained to hold those positions. Coupled with the opportunity to encourage new and diverse voices in the field, “The decision to teach rather than practice was an easy one.”

Poli Sci Prof’s Research Attracts International Audience
Dr. Samantha Pettey’s research recently gained a much wider audience after the London School of Economics asked her to write a piece for its American political science blog, United States Centre. “Academic research is not always read by ‘the masses,’ so being able to share my work with people is humbling.”

Courtney Llewellyn ’07 Takes on Jeopardy!
Only a few hundred people make it on the popular TV show Jeopardy! each year, but this fall Courtney Llewellyn ’07 was one of them. Her recent appearance fulfilled a longtime goal for this trivia whiz, who called the experience “breathtaking.” “I feel extremely lucky that everything lined up for me the way it did.”

MCLA Bio Student Also An Elite-Level Cyclist
Biology major Paige Williams ’20 is an elite-level cyclist who trains throughout the Berkshires and southern Vermont. She competes in USA Cycling collegiate athletic events throughout the region, and in January placed 12th in an elite, U23 (under age 23) women’s race in Connecticut, where she represented MCLA.

Meet MCLA's New Comp Sci Professor, Dr. Guodong Wang
Dr. Guodong Wang is particularly interested in the ways that technology allows us to interact. “Computer science is a practical field, and the software industry requires teamwork. I believe students should have extensive hands‐on experiences in solving actual problems, rather than just a theoretical study of the subject.”

Working Hard and Inspiring Future College Grads: Emily Dessignue ’14
As the director of business development, Emily Dessignue ’14 travels throughout the United States to find, qualify, and bring in business for Cresa, a global commercial real estate advisory firm. Soon, she plans to head back to MCLA, to show a group from Girls Inc. what college life is all about.

English Grad Lands ‘Dream Job’ at The Clark
Nicollette Tanzi ’17 recently began work at The Clark in Williamstown, Mass., which allows her to work in the Berkshires’ vibrant arts community. The College, she said, “gave me the tools and confidence I needed to begin my journey into the adult post-collegiate world. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for MCLA.”

Meet Dr. Mohamad Junaid, Cultural Anthropologist
Dr. Mohamad Junaid uses ethnographic and historical methods to study state violence and political subjectivity. This includes his research into youth politics in his home of Kashmir, which he sees as part of other, much larger global justice movements that recently have arisen, and have been suppressed, across the world.

Bio Grad Shines as a BMC Nurse
MCLA’s biology program prepared Susan Bloom ’16 for success in a competitive, intensive nursing program. Now a registered nurse, she works at Berkshire Medical Center. “There is nothing better than standing outside a room and hearing the roommates tell each other what a great nurse you are! I can’t wait to grow in this profession.”

Building HADES: Physics Major’s NSF-Funded Research Opportunity
Jordan Darling ’19 recently participated in a highly competitive research experience program at the University of Rochester. Because scientists believe that warm dense matter may be found inside the cores of giant planets, brown dwarfs, and small stars, “Building HADES will help us understand how these certain bodies form in space.”

New Creative Writing Prof Focuses on Fiction, Friendships
The newest member of MCLA’s Department of English/communications brings to campus her expertise in creative writing, particularly fiction. Dr. Caren Beilin hopes her students will learn ways to keep working at what they love. “I also hope my classes can be places where important, critical, life-intensifying friendships are made.”

Business Prof Shares Theory with International Audience
Conference attendees heard from Dr. Thomas Whalen, associate professor of business, over the summer when he presented his work in Granada, Spain, and Peabody, Mass. While his paper is set for publication next year, students in our MBA program will benefit from his expertise this fall when he shares the presentation with them.

Campus Radio Job Leads to Internship at Top 40 Station
Jacob Vitali ’20 returns to campus this semester as president of MCLA’s student radio station, WJJW, after having spent his summer working for AMP Radio, a Top 40 station in Boston. “I’ve been told there’s a lot of pressure that accompanies working in a top 10 city, but WJJW prepared me incredibly well for this opportunity.”

With Her Bachelor’s Completed, Campus Police Sergeant Pursues M.Ed
Now that she's earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and business, Laura Lefebvre ’17 next will pursue her M.Ed at MCLA. “I am designing and customizing two of my classes in my master’s program. They want you to succeed. MCLA is not so big that you are just a number.”

Environmental Studies Major Tackles Habitat Restoration in California
Katie Howe ’20 spent part of her summer in Northern California, where she participated in an internship that involved removing non-native plants to protect the watershed, which saved a grove of trees, worked with a local fish and wildlife biologist, and discovered a passion for working outdoors.

Music Prof Shares Work at Conferences in Prague and Athens
Professor of music Dr. Christine Condaris shared her expertise this summer at conferences held in the Czech Republic and Greece. In lieu of the traditional lecture-style music appreciation course for non-musicians, she proposes an entirely hands-on experience where students learn to compose, notate, perform, and improvise.

New Women’s Lacrosse Coach: Kaitlin Feeney
A lacrosse player since the fifth grade who participated in the sport throughout her college years, MCLA’s new women’s lacrosse coach will share an important level of understanding with the student athletes with whom she will work, and a variety of experience as a collegiate coach for multiple institutions.

Arts Management Alumna Lands Position at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Arts management alumna Cecilia Wright ’16 recently began work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which contains one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas. “It is amazing to work in a building where you are surrounded by incredible pieces and have the opportunity to appreciate them on a daily basis.”

Alumna to Earn MBA in her Fight against Homelessness
Audra McMahon ’17 utilized the College’s degree completion program to finish her bachelor’s, with a major in interdisciplinary studies and a focus on leadership. This fall, she will continue to study at MCLA when she begins work on her MBA. “I have a passion for the work I do and for social justice.”

In Her New Role, 2018 Grad Draws on Arts Education Experience
When Erica Barreto ’18 arrived at MCLA she had no idea what kind of career she wanted, but several opportunities, including an internship to help create a regional arts network, led her to what she loves. “The greatest reward of my work is being able to positively impact the community.”

Renowned Artists Contribute to MCLA Art Collection
A “Megaplanet” by renowned glass artist Josh Simpson is on view in Admissions. It, along with Academy Award-winning artist Stephen Hannock’s sweeping landscape painting in our Center for Science & Innovation and Jarvis Rockwell’s innovative assemblage works in Bowman Hall, are part of MCLA’s impressive collection of art.

Music Student Joins Berkshire Theatre Group this Summer
Trevor Wheelock ’19 is spending his summer as the pianist for Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of Tarzan. “The best aspect of this position is the opportunity to be involved with a highly successful and credible regional theatre company to do something that I absolutely enjoy doing. It never feels like work to me.”

From Student to Principal
Fewer than 3 percent of Massachusetts’ school principals are under the age of 30, but as the recently named principal of New Hingham Regional Elementary School, 25-year-old MCLA alumnus Jesse McMillan ’14, M.Ed ’17 is one of them.

Admissions Welcomes New Grads as New Counselors
Kolumbia Cook ’18 and Oscar Castro ’18 have a lot in common. They not only are new graduates of MCLA’s business administration program, they also recently were hired as the campus’s newest Admissions counselors. “I knew I wanted to continue to work in higher education. This position utilizes everything I learned,” Cook said.

Area Business Leaders Enhance MBA Program
A recent presentation to Dr. Nancy Ovitsky’s MBA students by Zogics CEO Paul LeBlanc is one example of how the local business community enriches our students’ education as they learn how applications of the theory and content from their coursework are succeeding in the real world.

High School Seniors, Recent Grads Get an Early Start to College
Fifteen Berkshire County high school seniors, including Kelby Lesage and Casey Meczywor, are getting a jump start on college thanks to MCLA and Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) Summer Academy 2018, a Commonwealth Dual Enrollment program offered for the third time in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

BWN Grows 400 Percent While Providing Valuable, Hands-on Experience
Julia Teixeira ’20 will start out her junior year with the confidence that she can succeed in the broadcast media field due to the many opportunities she has had at MCLA. The soon-to-be executive producer of Beacon Web News (BWN) brings a wide variety of experience to her new position, which begins in September.

Professors Help Soc Major Expand on His Dreams
Michael Masley Hannett ’19 never thought he would study sociology until one of his professors noticed that he did well in her class, and suggested that he add sociology as a major. That was just the one of many ways his professors enhance his education. “There aren't many schools that care as much as MCLA.”

DownStreet Art 2018 Celebrates Success amid City’s Growth
This summer’s DownStreet Art season goes beyond a celebration of art: The festivities commemorate the progress that North Adams has made through the initiative’s partnerships with new businesses, galleries, tourists, and residents, as the city enjoys continued cultural growth.

MCLA Profs Team up to Advance STEM Teaching Strategies
First-year students who study in MCLA’s health sciences programs will benefit this fall from a specialized section of Dr. Erin Kiley’s “Introduction to Statistics” math course, which she and two other faculty – who teach biology and community health education – recently developed at the STEM Pedagogy Institute in Durham, N.H.

Film Grad Aids Puerto Rico: ‘How Can I Help?’ 
Ryan Scutt ’09, educational and studio production coordinator of Catamount Access TV in Bennington, Vt., recently produced a feature-length documentary film. “Rebuilding Puerto Rico” recounts the story of 24 volunteers who rebuilt homes for victims of Hurricane Maria.

Working Adults Realize Lifelong Dreams by Completing Degrees
Over the past 20 years, Rose Borgnis ’18 had tried several times to finish her bachelor’s degree, “But something would always happen,” she said. “I had given up.” However, thanks to MCLA’s degree completion programs, she and other graduates realized their lifelong dream when they received their diplomas in May.

English Prof’s Upcoming Book Examines Law, Sexuality & the Color Line in Literature
Dr. Jenna Sciuto, associate chair of undergraduate research, is writing a book based on research of her own Her upcoming publication, Policing Intimacy, examines representations of colonial inheritance, fragmented subjectivities, and sexual violence in literature about the United States South, Haiti, and Rwanda.

Tech Teamwork: MCLA Collaborates with BCC
Gerol Petruzella, MCLA’s associate director of academic technology, collaborates with a Berkshire Community College (BCC) colleague to present monthly “Teaching First” workshops for faculty, which focus on teaching processes, pedagogy and technology. This year’s series concluded with BCC faculty attending MCLA’s 11th Annual Tech Fest.

Four New Faces in MCLA Leadership
It's an exciting time for the College as new colleagues include Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Christopher MacDonald-Dennis and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Emily Williams. Alumni Gina Puc ’07 and Bob Ziomek ’89 also will join the campus’s leadership team this summer.

Gaining STEAM: Teacher Quality Program Empowers Educators
After a remarkable five-year run that included two extensions and paved the way for additional education projects such as the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network project (BRAINWorks), the Berkshire Early Learning Lab Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) program will conclude at the end of September.

Alumna Helps Co-workers Earn their Degrees
When Laura Lefebvre ’17 and Sierra Holland ’18 walked across the Commencement stage last month to accept their diplomas they had much more in common than that shared moment. In addition to being co-workers, they had another colleague cheering them on. Samantha Lincoln ’15, MBA '17, got them started on their educational journeys.

Meet Dr. Nicole Porther: New Community Health Prof
When MCLA added the Community Health Education major last fall to address a growing demand for health care educators, the addition brought Dr. Nicole Porther to campus. A specialist in public and community health, she joined the campus not only as an assistant professor of biology, but also as the new program’s coordinator.

New Jobs, Internships, Master’s Programs: 2018 Grads Take on the World
There’s no limit to where an MCLA education may take our students. We are proud of our newly graduated Class of 2018, who are on their way to great things with prestigious first jobs, admittance to top graduate schools, and exciting new internships that will launch their careers.

Living History: Students Explore Civil Rights Movement Where It Happened
Lakeria Darkins ’20 thought she was familiar with the Civil Rights Movement before she took Dr. Ely Janis’s history course on the topic, then traveled with him and the class throughout the American South to see where history happened, speaking along the way to people who were on the front lines of the experience. The result was eye-opening.

Three Conference Presentations Highlight Student’s First Year
Noah Henkenius ’21 embraced undergraduate research, presenting his poster, “Sediment Transport and Salinity of the Hoosic River” not only at MCLA’s Undergraduate Research Conference, but also at the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference at UMASS-Amherst, and at the Northeast Natural History Conference in Burlington, Vt.

Psych Grad Goes West to Follow Her Passion
In addition to developing her skills as a researcher, “MCLA provided me with countless opportunities to grow as an individual and a student,” said Rose Mastico ’18. A six-time Undergraduate Research Conference presenter who also wrote a senior thesis, this fall she’s headed to graduate school where she will serve a cognitive neuroscience assistantship.

Journey to Japan Includes Bonus Stopover in China
A day-long layover on their way to Japan provided students with the opportunity to explore China as they toured the Forbidden City and Central District of Beijing. Once in Japan, the students visited a variety of places, including Tokyo, the ancient capital of Kyoto, castle town Matsumoto, and the seaside city of Kamakura.

‘Queer San Francisco’ Trip Provides Life-Changing Experiences
Led by anthropology professor Dr. Sumi Colligan, MCLA students had a unique opportunity last year to explore queer history in that city. As a result of the success of that first trip, Colligan returned this past spring with nine more students who were eager to learn more of San Francisco’s rich LGBT history.

History Grad Starts Career at Historic Landmark in Stockbridge
Tianna Darling ’18 participated in a variety of activities at MCLA, including Dance Company. She also was an admissions ambassador. “When I came to MCLA I was extremely shy and would never have thought that, four years later, I would be leading tours around campus or helping to direct a club with 60 active members.”

English Prof Leads 10th Trip ‘Across the Pond’
As part of Dr. Rosanne Denhard’s “Arts of Medieval & Renaissance Britain” class, students explored landmark sites, visited art galleries and museums, and took in theatrical productions. “England was overall just an amazing experience,” said Michael Masley Hannett ’19. “I learned about another culture far more than I could have in a textbook or from a website.” 

Chinese Exchange Student Wraps up Business Degree at MCLA
As part of MCLA’s 2+2 Dual Degree Academic Exchange program with Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Yuki Li ’18 of Suzhou City, Anhui Province, China, not only will earn her Chinese degree but also another bachelor’s degree here in the United States, once she graduates from MCLA this summer.

Psychology Student Wins Pamela Dennis ’82 Scholarship
Two- time MCLA Undergraduate Research Conference participant Bri Sarno ’19 is this year’s winner of the Pamela P. Dennis ’82 Scholarship. “I was unbelievably surprised to hear my name called for this scholarship,” said Sarno, who works two jobs to support herself as she attends college. “This is such an incredible honor.”

Digital Course Lets Arts Students Explore Hoosac Tunnel’s Dark History
Thanks to a digital course they took through COPLAC, Erica Wilcoxen ’19 and Cassie Lavoie ’18 discovered the nearby Hoosac Tunnel’s dark past. “Every time we visited the North Adams Public Library, we came away with more and more information,” Wilcoxen said. “Each piece unraveled more layers that we had not considered.”

Haiti Trip Offers Profound Insight into Life beyond the U.S.
Students who traveled to Haiti this spring expected to provide service. What happened was much more profound, as they experienced firsthand how the villagers live. There’s no electricity or running water: their lives lack many of the modern advances of the 21st – or even the 20th – century, that those in the U.S. take for granted.

Senior’s Entertainment Biz Wins 2nd Annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge
Graduating senior Shannon Cahill ’18 is on her way – not only to the Commencement stage, but to a career that just got a very big boost. She will continue to build Greylock Sound, her performing arts booking and promotion agency. “This was an incredible opportunity that I am increasingly thankful for.”

Students Enjoy Rare Opportunity for Cuban Immersion
For the first time, 11 students traveled to Cuba over spring break. Led by Dr. David Cupery, the travel course immersed them in the rich diversity and the controversies that surround this Caribbean island. The experience allowed for a deeper understanding of issues related to Cuban history, politics, culture, and society.

Record-breaking URC at MCLA Draws Hundreds of Student Presenters
Aletta Brown ’19 is one of the many student researchers who will present their work at MCLA’s 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Thursday, April 19. With about 150 presentations, it will be MCLA’s largest research conference to date. The event also includes an art tour and the Philosophy Mini Conference.

Paris in the Spring
Ten students – along with Diane Scott, associate professor of arts management, and Dr. Lisa Donovan, professor of fine and performing arts – experienced Paris in the springtime when they visited landmarks such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Montmatre, and the Catacombes. The trip also included an excursion to Versailles, France.

Scientist James Chapman ’15 to Deliver URC Keynote Address
James Chapman ’15, now pursuing his Ph.D at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will deliver the keynote address at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Thursday, April 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the Amsler Campus Center gymnasium, where he will speak on “Materials Informatics: A Fresh Perspective from the Past.”

Oscar Castro ’18: Business Major, Student-Athlete, Leads ‘Men of Color’
In addition to his business studies and life as a student-athlete, Oscar Castro ’18 found an unexpected passion – his leadership in a relatively new organization known as the Men of Color Initiative. “[N]ow our bond is so strong it feels like they are my brothers. I can count on them, and they can count on me.”

‘So Far, I Love Taxes’: Accounting Students Attend Major Industry Workshop
Before attending an accounting workshop hosted by PricewaterhouseCoopers one of the largest accounting and attestation firms in the world – Jared Grise '18 wasn't interested in a career with a big firm. He and three other students, including Yuki Li '18, discussed job opportunities, career paths, and how to make the transition from student to accountant.

Alumna Earns Master’s Abroad, Embarks on International Career
Melody Rolph ’14 earned her master’s degree at the University of Freiburg. Now she lives and works in Munich, Germany, as a community manager for InterNations, the largest international community for people who live and work abroad. “MCLA really prepared me with many people skills to excel in future jobs such as this one.”

From Museum Intern to Museum Educator: Alexandra David ’17
Now a museum educator for the Tsongas Industrial History Museum at the Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell, Mass., Alexandra David ’17 said the turning point in her education was an introduction to museum-based learning. “I realized, ‘Wow. I really like this!’”

MCLA Earns ‘A’ for Women Coaching Women
“Blazing trails in these areas and showing young women that they can grow up and serve in leadership positions is important. It gives them confidence. Women are in the minority in athletics leadership, so it’s really important that we are empowering and mentoring women in those ways. This mindset really can change the industry as a whole.”

Rhea Werner ’15: From MCLA to a Ph.D in London
A recent graduate of City University London, Rhea Werner ’15 plans to continue her education in England as she pursues her Ph.D in arts management. “One of my favorite parts of London is its vibrancy. I can go to Camden and see the eclectic shops and street art, or walk along the Thames and see the architecture.”

Sophomore Seeks ‘Beauty Empties’ for Recycling Competition, Scholarship
Abbi Luczynski ’20 needs your help as she aims to help divert one million “beauty empties” from landfills this year, and win a $5,000 scholarship in the process. Her goal? To collect 5,000 empty beauty and personal care recyclables. “I love the idea of taking something and turning it into something new.”

Working with Teens, Alumna Librarian Uses Knowledge Honed at MCLA
What started as volunteer work morphed into a fulltime job that Emily Boughton ’15 loves. As the new young adult specialist at the Athol Public Library Center Library, she uses what she learned from MCLA’s art and psychology programs to benefit the entire library, and its patrons.

Plotting a Path to Graduation: New Software makes it Easier
MCLA recently introduced remarkable new software that makes it easier than ever before for students to plan their path to graduation. Degree Works provides an easy-to-read, ongoing review that shows what courses students have completed, and what’s up next.

A Liberal Arts Approach to Teaching: Siobhan Greene ’17
Education and history major Siobhan Greene ’17 is a high school teacher on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, where she relies on her education as she teaches various topics. “The broad base of the core curriculum at MCLA has greatly helped me with my wide range of classes.” 

Senior’s Art Challenges What it Means to be an American
The self-portraits that Nicole Stearns ’18 creates are both personal and political, as her art challenges what it means to be American. “Many people think that I look white. So I question the notion of what it means to label someone by their race, and how that’s not always clear-cut.”

Pitch Perfect: Alumna Mirrors MCLA Successes after Graduation
At MCLA, Rachel Quackenbush ’16 studied psychology and played on the women’s softball team. As an alumna, she continues her involvement in both endeavors. “All my professors – both in psychology and in social work – were very supportive of me as a student athlete. They were always flexible with game schedules and make-up work.”

Senior Creates Fashion Show with a Berkshires Twist
One of the most creative activities during MCLA’s Black History Month celebration is a project by Adazae Shepherd-Edwards ’18. A fine and performing arts major who concentrates in arts management, minors in dance, and specializes in modern dance and ballet, she is behind the upcoming “Many Nations, One Thread Fashion Show.”

Junior to Have Byline in Law Magazine
A paper by interdisciplinary studies major Justin Therrien ’19, titled “Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords,” soon will be published in the University of Chicago Undergraduate Law Magazine. Therrien wants a career in environmental law. “I have been very interested in the environment for a long time, and anything that has to do with protecting it.”

Communications Alumna Takes on NYC
On her way to achieve her goal of a career in television broadcasting, Shadea Blyther ’16 headed to New York City, N.Y., where she works as a writer and an editor for Bronze Magazine. “I feel like this is the start. I am happy where I am for now, and will keep moving forward.”

Alumnus Founds, Curates Black WWII History Museum
A collector of military memorabilia for the past 60 years, Bruce Bird ’85 founded and curated the Black World War II History Museum with his assortment of military firearms, hundreds of artillery rounds, and more. But it wasn’t until he was 37 that this history alumnus attended the College, where he honed his expertise.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! MCLA Rolls Out Career Software
It’s the perfect time for this year’s seniors to get a jump start on finding their first positions as newly graduated alumni. Just launched by the Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE), “The Career Trail Online” is a software portal that helps to prepare students for employment through a wide variety of services.

Alumnus Applies Agroforestry Technologies in West Africa
Jason Brown ’13 is an agroforestry volunteer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. “[MCLA] environmental studies courses proved to be a great foundation when I transitioned to graduate school. I firmly believe that a liberal arts education provides you with the necessary foundation, and increases your versatility in today’s global society.”

Cornell Grad, Buxton School Development Director Pursues MBA
It wasn’t long after Suzy Konecky ’20 began her position as the development director at Buxton School in nearby Williamstown that she decided to pursue her MBA at MCLA, where she is enjoying the classes. “I appreciate the really small group setting and the cohort model. The professors have been excellent..”

'Diversity Fellows' Teach Through Performance Art
It’s an opportunity for the campus to continue its conversation on diversity as the “Diversity Fellows” spend a two-week residency at MCLA to show students and faculty how they might use performance as a method of communication by uniting theory, politics, and the arts, through a wide range of activities.

Williams College Grad Picks MCLA for MBA
After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics at Williams College, Mohammed Rashid ’20 chose to attend graduate school at MCLA. “Through my research, I learned that the MBA program was excellent, intense, but very manageable. Additionally, the cost is much more affordable, compared with some of the other schools out there.”

‘Maybe They Need a Chance to Run Around’: MCLA Prof’s Recess-Focused Research
Dr. Dale Fink examines elementary school recess in an upcoming article for the Journal of School Health. He found that most teachers withhold recess as a disciplinary consequence, “in spite of the fact that 100 percent of them reported that they thought students received important benefits – physical, social, or both – from participating in recess.”

‘50 Card Project’ Asks Viewers, ‘What’s Your 51?’
It started with a single card and an idea that Melanie Mowinski, associate professor of visual art, had after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. Soon, she found herself involved in a project in response to an emotionally charged political climate. On Thursday, Jan. 25, all 50 cards may be viewed in MCLA Gallery 51’s first exhibition of 2018.

Senior Refines Digital Skills with MCLA Internship 
Messaoud Kerris ’18 recently created a promotional video for the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Challenge. "Every time I shoot a video I know exactly how I want it to be before I shoot. I don't write anything down: I simply begin directing and shooting on set, and adjust as I film. I am a one-man crew."

It’s Easy to Get Involved on Campus: One Psych Major’s Story
Up until the time he began to apply to various colleges, psychology major Theodore “TJ” Jones ’20 had never heard of MCLA. In fact, it was his mother who decided – on a whim as they traveled to Albany, N.Y., one day – that they should stop by to take a look. “I fell in love with the place.”

Class President Lines Up Job Before Graduating
She won’t graduate until May, but Shannon Esposito ’18 already has her first job lined up; a marketing and communications position in New York City. “My professors pushed me to be the very best, and to take my well-rounded liberal arts education and make it what I want it to be.”

Alumnus Inspires High School Students with Creative Curriculum
Extremely popular among his students at nearby McCann Technical School, history teacher Ken Recore ’10 M.Ed ’12 does not limit the material he presents to his ninth and tenth grade students to mere dates and facts to memorize. Instead, to keep the curriculum fresh, he presents it as a series of stories and themes.

Sophomore: MCLA Inspired a Passion for Politics
The newest president of MCLA’s Political Science Club, Joseph Bellas ’20, double majors in history and political science. Also on the Student Activities Council (SAC), he serves as the Saturday Night Spotlight Chair. “I would definitely recommend the College to others, as there are a lot of unique opportunities here, and many ways to get involved.”

MCLA Poised to Add Electrical Engineering Program
Beginning in January 2018, the College's Department of Computer Science will offer a new concentration in electrical engineering. According to Dr. Mike Dalton, coursework will include Electrical Circuit Design, Advanced Circuit Design, Electronic Fabrication, Control Systems, Communications, and Computer Organization.

History Major Focused on Shays’ Rebellion for Digital History Course
During his final semester, Shane Voci ’17 completed a COPLAC digital course in “Conflicts in America: Case Studies in Peace-Making,” where he focused on Shays’ Rebellion. “The conflict showed how it is possible to build a bridge between two sides, when each believes they are completely in the right, and the other is in the wrong.”

New Programs Provide Multiple Career Opportunities
MCLA’s newest programs include the computer science major’s concentration in electrical engineering, a new entrepreneurship minor in the business program, and a myriad of additional choices in the fine and performing arts. As a result, MCLA students this academic year have more options than ever before: three brand-new concentrations and four new minors.

Broadcast Grad Lands Position at CNYCentral
Just a few months after he graduated, Dan Wohler ’17, who concentrated in broadcast media and journalism, started work as a digital news producer for CNYCentral in Syracuse, N.Y. While at MCLA, “I managed live-streamed events. I wrote, shot, and edited news packages. I produced programs, and gained live, on-air experience.”

‘Creative Entrepreneur’ Works for MoCA’s Assets for Artists
For years, arts management alumna Krystal Henriquez ’16 dreamed of working at MASS MoCA. As a program assistant for its Assets for Artists residency program, she is doing just that. “Just about every class and conversation I had with my peers and professors applied to the real world – and this job – immediately after I graduated.”

New Entrepreneurship Minor Enhances Liberal Arts
It may be part of the business department, but a new entrepreneurship minor may be added to most – if not all – of the programs that MCLA offers.  Every discipline in the liberal arts can be coupled with this new minor to make that degree more effective, according to Dr. Thomas Whalen.

MCLA Continues Strong Legacy of Preparing Innovative Educators
According to Marianne Young, who recently joined the campus as an instructor and the education program review coordinator, “There’s always a need for great teachers, a need for innovative teachers, a need for strong, independent thinkers for teachers. We need that now more than ever. That’s where MCLA comes in.”

A Major of Her Own
Because she double majors in psychology and interdisciplinary studies, Edith Sherburne ’18 takes classes “in just about anything,” as she designs an education tailored to her specific needs and career desires. “Being able to take classes that interest me but don’t directly relate to my majors is the reason that I thrive here.”

Clark Art Institute Provides Student with World-class Opportunities
As an arts management major, Samantha Bedell ’17 served an internship at the renowned Clark Art Institute; home to works such as those by artists Monet, Gauguin, and Degas. “The amount of care and dedication that MCLA’s arts management professors put into their students is unparalleled. … I took classes that weren't offered anywhere else.”

Alumna Returns to Campus to Teach Physics
After Bridget Gormalley ’09 graduated summa cum laude in physics from MCLA, she headed to Columbia University in New York, N.Y., to earn a master’s degree in applied physics. She recently rejoined our campus, this time as a physics instructor.

Campus Filmmaker Aims for Career in Sports Commentary
Andrew Baillargeon ’19 involves a number of students on campus in one of his favorite pastimes: making short films. His many roles on campus include his service as an SGA senator and president of the debate team. Ultimately, he aims to enter the field of sports commentary. “I enjoy expressing myself in all facets of life.”

New Biology Prof Specializes in Microbial Ecology
With the addition of two new biology majors this fall came some new biology faculty, including Dr. George Hamaoui, who recently completed his doctorate in microbiology at UMASS-Amherst. There, he studied how organisms in soil are affected by human-induced changes. “A big part of my dissertation looked at microbial communities in the Amazon rainforest.”

Sophomore Spearheads ‘Save the Bees’ Campaign
Lindsey Vachon ’20 is leading the charge to transform MCLA into the first pollinator-friendly campus in Massachusetts. “Bees pollinate one out of every three bites of food we humans consume, so without them our diets and world would be incredibly bland. … Without bees, we would not enjoy things like apples, strawberries, coffee, chocolate, [and] avocados.”

First Year Experience Program Immerses Freshmen in Academic, Social Life
Through FYE, new students receive direct support from peer advisors – experienced MCLA students who not only mentor and attend a class with them – they also socialize together. “I cannot think of a better way to start off your first year at college,” said Sarah Pudney ’18, who now serves as a peer advisor.

Alumni Share Arts & Culture Opportunities with Undergrads
Five recent graduates connected and reconnected with some of our students and faculty earlier this month when MCLA’s arts management program presented the Positive Deviants Career Panel. According to its organizer, Assistant Professor Diane Scott, this successful event gave undergraduates who study arts management and Fine & Performing Arts much to think about.

Spring Break Trip Leads to Spot on Local Board of Directors
After Katie Howe ’20 returned from the 2017 Alternative Spring Break trip to Haiti, she couldn’t stop thinking about her experiences there. Now, she serves on the local non-profit organization’s board of directors. “The Haiti Plunge exposed me to a whole new way of living, with different definitions of happiness, and also terrible images of poverty.”

New Dance Instructor Helps to Shape New Dance Minor
From the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in D.C., to San Francisco, and from the New Zealand Conservatory of Dance to Jacob’s Pillow in Great Barrington, Mass., Tom Truss III brings to campus a wide range of experiences that not only shape the classes he teaches, but also MCLA’s new dance minor.

Cool Courses Students Love: Superheroes, CSI, ‘Game of Thrones’ & More
What do superheroes like Superman and Wolverine have in common with fantasy tales such as Harry Potter, taking part in a Model United Nations, and a new approach to history through an analysis of how war and science combine to influence societies? All are the focus of some creative courses taught on campus.

New English Prof Explores Connections Between Life & Language
Assistant Professor Dr. Victoria Papa loves learning about life through stories. It was this preference that put her on the path to her new position at MCLA. “I’m fascinated by the relationship between life and language, and the way that language is always reaching to make meaning beyond its own capacity.”

Hardman Lecturer Issues Call to Action
As part of his Hardman Lecture, Emmy Award-winner Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC’s “Nightline,” challenged MCLA students to become involved and help others – not only on campus, but throughout the community. “Indifference can be a deadly weapon,” he said. “We should help others, and inspire them.”

Freshman Says College Exceeds Expectations
When Jake Daignealt '21 arrived on campus this fall to begin his MCLA career, he expected to major in business. And, as a commuter student, he did not expect to be particularly engaged in the day-to-day happenings on campus. Both expectations quickly changed.

Political Science Students Host Candidate Events
Our students recently delved into local politics when they worked with the North Adams Chamber of Commerce to present two political forums that showcased area candidates. The events allowed area voters to become better acquainted with the candidates running for mayor, as well as seats on the North Adams City Council and the city’s school committee.

New Prof Comes Full Circle at MCLA
When she was a child, Dr. Hannah Noel would play outside MCLA’s bookstore as she waited with her father for her mother – who was employed there – to finish work for the day. Now an assistant professor of multi-ethnic studies and the digital humanities on campus, little did she know that one day she would join our faculty.

Alumna's Work Supports Teens and Community
In addition to serving as an artistic mentor for the teen-based Playwright Mentoring Project at the Barrington Stage Company, Jessica Sweeney ’11 is the founder and director of the Common Folk Artist Collective, and serves as the executive director of the Roots Teen Center in North Adams.

Math Major Loves ‘Solving the Puzzle’
Megan Richardson ’19, who plans a career as a high school math teacher, decided to transfer to MCLA because of the rigorous course schedule that our math and secondary education majors must complete. “I am prepared to answer any question a student may have in class because of the math courses I am completing here.”

Alumna Tells the ‘Story’ for Shakespeare & Company
A desire to work with a theatre company, a semester abroad in London, two internships, her involvement in MCLA’s theatre program, and the grant-writing skills she learned from her arts management minor helped Veronica Snienek ’16 land a job at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Mass. “I am always learning something new.”

Facebook, Blogs Enhance Digital History Course
What do Facebook, blogs, video conferencing and the Quakers have in common? They all were part of a digital course that allowed Madeleine McKeon ’19 to create a website that teaches high school students in alternative educational settings. “I got to know students from all over the country. To learn with them and from them was really fun.”

Student Double Majors in Biology & Math for Medical Career
Taurus Londoño ’18 is interested in cardiac arrest and the lack of blood flow to the brain that can result – global cerebral ischemia. “I believe that the best way to illuminate this horrible disease state is to combine mathematical models with a deep knowledge of the complex biology that underlies the brain, circulatory system, and body as a whole.” 

Health Systems Manager Enjoys MBA Program
For the past 10 years, Veronica Torres Martin ’19 has managed Berkshire Medical Center’s (BMC) Department of Language and Translation Services in Pittsfield. Last month, she began MCLA’s Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program. In the first meeting of her upper-level management course, “I learned so many things that I can apply right now.”

New Drop-in Center Offers Help with Math
Students now have access to a new Math Drop-in Center in Room 101 of the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, where their peers will tutor them to clarify any math confusion they experience with their coursework, or as they prepare for exams. According to student-tutor Taurus Londoño, “If it’s math-related, we can help!”

A New Process for Problem-Solving
Using methods from traditional science and the humanities, classrooms all over the country are now employing Design Thinking as a way to step back and understand multiple aspects of an idea or problem. For two days in August, the Feigenbaum MCLA Leads Initiative and Williams College focused on Design Thinking, collaboration, and sharing ideas.

Campus Focuses on Immigration with ‘Yellow Bowl Project’ 
Multiple departments will collaborate with a Gallery 51 art exhibition to explore issues of immigration and racism in the U.S. “Art can raise profound and important questions for us to consider, perhaps revealing perspectives or ideas that are new to us, even if the subject material is already known,” said Dr. Anthony Daly, associate professor of history.

Environmental Studies Alumnus Teaches Sustainability to Farmers
David Wilfore ’11 helps farmers to become more open to sustainable farming techniques as he teaches them about water quality and how to improve the health of their soil. “When they get good result, that’s a huge accomplishment; not just for me and for the county, but for the environment.”

Business Prof’s New Book Introduces Social Theory
Dr. Thomas Whalen hopes his students will benefit from his new book, as he explains new ways of looking at the world. “If we think of humanity as being one with the world around us, then it becomes easier to understand how we as humans form the socially constructed things that we do.”

Political Science Prof Focuses Research on Female Candidates
Women and men are equal in the population, so why do men hold a disproportionate number of seats in office? Dr. Samantha Pettey is intrigued by that puzzle. “I have studied this question – with a special focus on states – as to why American institutions do not have an equal number of men and women in office.”

Four Brothers Attend MCLA Together
First there was Daniel Heinen ’18. When he was a sophomore, his brothers Raphael Heinen ’19 and Gabriel Heinen ’19 – who are twins – joined him on campus. This fall, the fourth and final Heinen brother, John Heinen ’21, made this college their family’s college, as all four siblings attend MCLA.

Students Need Votes to Help Feed the Hungry with National Geographic
Over the summer, Avery Woodbury ’17 and AJ Coty ’17 worked on a gardening project and donated the food they grew to those in need. Now, they’re asking for your votes to secure a $25,000 award from National Geographic to expand upon their idea, “Berkshire Community Garden Network,” and help to combat area hunger.

M.Ed Candidate Develops Summer Literary Activities for Children
A third grade teacher at Conte Community School in Pittsfield, Ceira O’Brien ’17 is just one of the many educators in the area who are enrolled in MCLA’s Master’s of Education program. Also working on her Reading Specialist License, this summer she created lessons for youngsters to help improve their literacy skills while school was out.

Physics Alum Models Weather Events
As a research scientist in model development at Boston’s Karen Clark and Company, Marc Simon ’12 researches and mathematically models catastrophic events like hurricanes, earthquakes and severe convective storms – such as hail storms and tornadoes. “We use what we know to build software that provides financial loss estimates to insurance and re-insurance companies.”

Math Expert Connects Statistics with Politics
Dr. Elizabeth Hartung recently participated in a workshop that focused on the mathematics of redistricting and voting rights. “There’s a lot of math that goes into making voting districts and assessing them to determine whether or not they are drawn fairly, and in a manner that allows people to have an equal voice.”

Senior Serves Engineering Internship, Develops Computer Game
In high school, Alexander Switzer ’18 of Brooklyn, N.Y., found humanities far easier than math, so he never thought of studying computer science in college. That is, until he arrived at MCLA. About to start his senior year, he just wrapped up an internship with General Dynamics in Pittsfield, and co-develops a zombie survival sandbox game.

Alumna Begins Ph.D after Publishing Scientific Papers
With two publications in a scientific journal under her belt, and a third under consideration for being published, Sara Peck ’17 is off to a great start at Utah State University, where she has begun a five-year Ph.D program in behavior analysis. “The psychology department at MCLA truly nurtures and motivates its students.”

NYC Model Breaks New Ground in Toys R Us Ad
This September, Myles Ellison ’10 will appear in the annual Toys R Us catalog as one of its principal models in what will be a landmark publication: he and another model will be the first to be portrayed as gay parents in advertisements for the well-known children’s products company.

History Grad Excels in Computer Analytics
John Hollows ’12 never took a computer science class while at MCLA, but he uses his talent for attention to detail at a company that provides software compliance intelligence and usage analytics. As the data success program manager, the responsibilities of this history graduate include tracking down illegal software usage.

Mellon Grant Provides 'Signature Opportunity'
Thanks to a $50,000 planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we will continue to be on the forefront of arts and education through the creation of the Berkshire Humanities Council. “This is yet another wonderful opportunity for MCLA to lead the region’s humanities and cultural organizations,” said MCLA President James F. Birge.

FPA Professor named ‘Best in the Berkshires’
Dr. Lisa Donovan was named as the “Best Professor in the Berkshires” by the Berkshire Eagle, as part of its annual “Best of the Berkshires” designations. “Nowhere else are there so many renowned arts and culture resources in one place that are so open to collaboration, and to internship and learning opportunities. I often feel like a kid in a candy shop.”

Alumna Begins Her Ideal Job Just Days after Graduation
As an MCLA student, Cecilia Wright ’16 took “Grants and Fundraising.” The class included field work at the Clark Art Institute, which turned into an internship, and then a part time job. “I learned about membership, and most importantly, databases. That experience was exactly what the EcoTarium was looking for.”

Award-winning Alumnus Returns to Campus 
Soon after completing his master’s at MCLA, Thomas E. Kachadurian ’12, an associate principal at South Colonie Central High School in Albany, N.Y., and a colleague came up with the “iCARE” program. “We’ve raised nearly $40,000, supported five local charities and turned 2,000 students into agents of effective and positive change.”


Working behind the scenes at MASS MoCA, Chris Handschuh '16 is an art installation assistant in the museum's Art Fabrication and Installation Department. This arts management major - who also minored in music - also has a passion for live music production and stage management. 


Environmental Studies Grad Helps NY Farmers
Amber Luke ’15 grew up on a dairy farm in New York. Her love of working outside continues: “I am so happy to be helping farmers, to show them that if they change the way they do things, even slightly, they can help protect the environment for the better of their farm and for the future.”

Students Attend New Orleans Jazz Fest
From trying fried alligator and enjoying a Maroon 5 concert to bowling while listening to live music and, of course, hearing lots of great jazz, a group of arts management and fine and performing arts music students had the time of their lives on a recent trip to the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

New Alumna Works for BSO at Tanglewood
Once again, Rebecca Patterson ’17 is working with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  “I make sure that the musicians have everything they need to be able to do their best work and get the most out of the Tanglewood season,” she said. “I love the opportunity to get to know so many talented musicians.”

Arts Management Prof Speaks to International Audience
Diane Scott, assistant professor of arts management, recently traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland, to speak to professors from across the United States and Europe on Design Thinking, at the 36th Annual Association of Arts Administration Educators Conference. “The Design Thinking process flips the classroom.”

Business Alumnus Heads to Google
Business administration major Nate Andrews ’16 is headed to Google’s Silicon Valley, Calif., headquarters this month, where he will begin work in the company’s Information Technology (IT) Residency Program. “MCLA was invaluable in helping me to secure my job, because I was surrounded by so many passionate and smart people.”

Biology Department Announces Pre-Med and Pre-Veterinary Concentrations
Starting this fall, our Biology Department will offer two new concentrations – pre-medical professions and pre-veterinary. Our pre-veterinary concentration will be the only one offered in the Massachusetts State University System, while the pre-medical professions concentration will serve students who are interested in medical, dental and pharmaceutical careers.

MCLA's Biology Department Adds Majors in Health Sciences, Community Health Education
MCLA is the first public institution in the state to offer the new Health Sciences major – to prepare students for careers in physical therapy, nursing, or as a physician’s assistant or an occupational therapist. The campus also added the Community Health Education major, which addresses a growing demand for health care educators.

Mother and Daughter Graduate Together
Susan DiGrigoli ’17 not only finished with her degree through MCLA’s degree completion program, she graduated with her daughter, who said, “It was inspiring to see her effortlessly manage her full-time job and a full course load. I was very proud of her for completing her degree in such a short time, and with honors, no less!”

MBA Grad Benefits Berkshires
MCLA MBA Alumnus Nathan Girard ’12 uses what he learned and the connections he made to not only benefit himself, but also his community. “I would definitely recommend the MBA program, whether it’s to improve in your job, get a promotion, a requirement of your job, or to continue learning.”

Local Student Begins Road to Success at MCLA
As a youth growing up in North Adams, Mass., Austin Thompson ’18, a self-described “small-town guy,” quickly learned that he could control the direction his life would take. MCLA is helping him to achieve his dreams through some “great opportunities that I’m not sure I would’ve experienced anywhere else.”

Students Present Projects at National Research Conference
Bryanna Bradley ’17, Peter Chase ’18 and Daniel Heinen ’18 recently traveled to Memphis, Tenn., where they presented research projects on African American dance improvisation traditions and a virtual reality chemistry laboratory. “It was rewarding as a professor to watch the students excel in the professional conference setting,” said Dr. Jenna Sciuto. “From fielding questions to networking, they were really in their element."

MCLA Experiences Prepared Psychology Major for Career
New graduate Milena Casamassima ’17, who served as the president of MCLA’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy as a student, now works as a harm reduction counselor, and educates intravenous drug users on issues such as overdoses, HIV and Hepatitis C.

Students Visit Utah for ‘Land and Identity’ Arts Project
Petroglyphs, stone monuments and the only man-made sculpture visible from a satellite are just a few of the highlights of a project our students collaborated on with their peers at BYU. “I can now say the closest I have been to Mars is Utah; it is like Mars on Earth,” said Guy Francois ’17.

Dual Enrollment Provides Jump Start to College
Marissa Buttliere ’20 just finished her first year at college, but she’s already halfway into her sophomore year thanks to credits she earned as a high school student through the Dual Enrollment Program. “It was a really good idea. I earned all these credits and got a jump on my college career.”

Alumna uses MBA to Grow Multi-Million Dollar Business
Bonnie Eichorn ’12 enrolled in MCLA’s MBA program and began to build her company. Now in its sixth year of operation, Mountain View Home Healthcare, Inc. is a multimillion dollar business that employees 95 part-time and three full-time workers. “Each year has been more successful than the last.”

From MCLA’s Main Stage to Lincoln Center’s Koch Theatre
Sarah Dion ’12 always knew she wanted to work in the performing arts, but it wasn’t until her first semester at MCLA that she decided to work behind the scenes instead of taking center stage. As a stage manager, her work takes her all over the country, including to New York City’s Lincoln Center.

Capstone Course Leads to Art Mural on Campus
Kaitlin Short ’17 never thought much about a wall she frequently passed on her way to the Campus Center. Now, she’s excited to see the transformation that she and Kayla LaVoice ’17 spearheaded as part of their “Service Leadership Capstone” course. “I honestly believed our school needed something like this, at exactly this moment,” Short said.

Biology Major to Study Veterinary Medicine at Purdue
Monica Vogel ’17 will attend the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University this fall, with the ultimate goal of returning to the Berkshires to open her own practice. “MCLA allows you to truly create your own path in life and leaves you with all of the tools you need to face the real world.” 

A Second Bachelor’s Means a Chance to Develop New Technology
Tenzin Khunkhyen ’19 already had a biology degree. At MCLA, he’s earning his second bachelor’s in computer science. Now, he and another student are working on an Internet-connected device, the “Aqua Bob,” which is intended to help solve the problem of “ghost fishing,” the result of people losing or abandoning fishing gear.

It’s Time to Think about Travel: Sign Up for 2018 Courses Today!
It’s not too soon to think about a travel course, which features on-site learning during Spring Break 2018. Next year’s options are plentiful and diverse, with courses that will have students headed to the American South, Arizona and San Francisco, Calif., as well as overseas – to Cuba, the Caribbean, England, France and Japan.

Business Student Accepted to Summer Music Technology Intensive
To Brandon Valdes ’18, this summer means an opportunity to participate in a selective music program in New York City, for undergraduate students with a background in music technology and audio engineering. He plans to use his bachelor’s degree in business administration to help him launch a career in music as a recording artist.

Challenge Offers ‘Life-changing’ Experience
With their first place win at MCLA’s first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge, MJ Shannon ’17 and her LoCal team are on the verge of making their business plan a reality. “It truly takes a village to launch a business, and the Challenge provided us with the best, most qualified, dedicated village we could have hoped for.”

Model UN Conference Provides Unique Perspectives
Nicole Loguidice ’17 was among the students who participated in the North American Model United Nations conference, where she represented the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq. “Studying the inner workings of our government’s decisions gave me a real-life perspective of what our leaders have had to deal with recently.”

Students Explore Queer History in San Francisco
Dr. Sumi Colligan recently led a group of students on a tour of “Queer San Francisco.” Their journey, she said, was an inspirational one that rekindled their sense of hope as they met with people whose lives exemplified the possibilities of shaping the contours of social change and creating alternatives to oppressive social systems.

Technological Upgrade Leads to Surprising Career
Our TV studio’s purchase of some state-of-the-art equipment several years ago proved to be a turning point for Veronica Colacurcio ’16. Her expertise on a new Avid server was critical to landing her first job in the Education and Academic Affairs Department at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, N.Y.

Alternative Spring Break Happens in Haiti
For the first time, Spencer Moser, the director of MCLA’s Center for Service and Citizenship, took students on an Alternative Spring Break trip to Haiti. There, five MCLA students performed a number of services projects, which included building raised garden beds for a women’s cooperative in rural Haiti.

Newman Civic Fellow Dedicated to Mental Health Issues
Our newly named Newman Civic Fellow, Maggie Whited ’19, believes that nearly everyone faces a mental health challenge at some point in their life; but unfortunately, those challenges may be ignored. As an advocate for those with mental health issues, it’s a concern she’s dedicated to, especially when it comes to teens.

Alumnus Commends MBA Program
Darrell Colvin ’15 chose MCLA for his MBA to benefit his career trajectory. Before he graduated, he was recruited to serve in a higher-level position. His MBA also paid for itself within that first year. “The MBA gave me the credentials and professional designation I needed to progress to the next step.”

Students Ready for 15th Annual URC
It's almost time for our 15th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Thursday, April 20! This all-day event will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., when more than 125 students present a wide variety of projects, including a sculpture by art major Halie Smith ’18.

Students Travel to Peru over Spring Break
Over spring break, 13 students explored Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and other destinations in Peru with Dr. David Cupery. At Machu Picchu, Edith Sherburne arrived at 6:30 a.m. to see the clouds rolling off the mountains. “Then, what seemed to be all at once, the ruins appeared below me, and I was breathless.”

URC Speaker: Shifting Career Gears
On Thursday, April 20, Kaitlin Hallet ’10 will return to MCLA to deliver the keynote address, “How to Prepare for a Career in Finance by Going to School to Teach English,” at our 15th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference.

Next Stop, Disney World!
What will two of our graduates do after they earn their bachelor’s degrees this May? They’re going to Disney World! After a very competitive process, theatre majors Conner Norblit ’17 and Erin D’Entremont ’17 were accepted into the Disney Program, a paid internship and apprenticeship.

Degree is 'Top Priority' for Local Man
After more than a decade in the workforce, Adam Galambos ’18 decided to earn a degree in environmental studies. “I have really enjoyed learning about biology, chemistry, environmental law and politics, as well as the sociological aspects of environmental issues.”

Berkshire Museum Fond of Hiring MCLA Grads
MCLA saw a need for arts administrators and launched its unique arts management degree program just over a decade ago. Today, our graduates fill positions at arts venues throughout the Berkshires, and the Berkshire Museum is no exception. Its employees include Victoria Page ’16, Lo Sottile ’12 and Kristina Alexander ’16.

Students Broadcast to Campus and Beyond via Beacon Web News
They’re on television screens in the cafeteria, in the Campus Center, and also online, delivering MCLA’s news to an ever-growing audience, with increasing recognition. Samantha Kniskern ’18 and Dan Wohler ’17 are the students behind Beacon Web News, which broadcasts each Wednesday.

MCLA adds Public History Minor
According to Katherine Rowell ’17, MCLA’s public history minor is providing her with a solid foundation on which she can build her master’s degree, as she pursues admission to graduate programs in history museum studies, history and archives management, and public history.

Mac Lab Supports Creative Technology
Our new, state-of-the-art Mac Lab provides a learning environment that allows students to experience a platform that is an industry standard for creative art professionals, and accommodates the growing need for a dedicated resource to support graphics design and film editing classes.

Alumna Promotes Sustainability through Blog
For the past few months, Kayla Degnan ’15 has reduced her personal trash to what she can fit into a jar, which attracted some attention. “That’s why I created the ‘Simply Sustainable Site.’ I wanted to share my journey in the hope that people could relate to me, and be inspired to begin their own zero-waste journey.”

MCLA Shares Design Thinking Practices at National Conference
Last spring, Zachary Feury ’16 took an integrating design thinking course. Now the project facilitator for the Feigenbaum MCLA Leads Initiative, he recently joined Dr. Jake Eberwein to speak on the subject. “Design thinking requires a student to apply everything they’ve learned across the disciplines for a liberal arts education, into a project that is tangible.”

Students Prepare for First Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge
Nicole Hall ’18, Elizabeth Dawson ’18 and Daniel Heinen ’18 may study in diverse academic fields at MCLA, but all three are among the students who plan to pitch their original and inventive ideas to area business leaders next month, at the culmination of the College’s first-ever Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Downtown Design Lab a ‘Game-changer’
Erin D’Entremont ’17 is among the students who take a class in MCLA’s new Design Lab, on Main Street in North Adams. “I really enjoy the fact that we're studying the North Adams community, off campus, in a space within the community we’re learning about. It allows for a more immersive learning experience.”

Ski Club Enjoys Snowy Season
MCLA Ski Club members like Christopher Gamble ’19 are enjoying some great skiing this year as they introduce others to the sport. The club’s goal is to spread the love of skiing and boarding. Although it can be a rather expensive sport, students who ski with the club can enjoy a day on the slopes at a much lower cost.

Beacon Web News Presents First Spanish-language Report
Karen Canela ’20 recently reported the campus’s first-ever news story in Spanish last week, on Beacon Web News. Looking ahead to future stories, “I’m trying to find some that are relevant today, and work for both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking students.”

Class Trip Changes Career Course
As a freshman, Rachel Durgin ’18 thought she had her career all figured out. However, a trip to South Florida that first year at college changed everything, and she switched to environmental studies the following semester. “The challenge is what makes it interesting: I do not think I could ever lose interest.”

Freshman Engaged in Politics for Positive Impact
Jacob Vitali ’20 served an internship in the office of State Rep. Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica), before MCLA. “Too often, I’ve heard people around my age say that politics don’t matter. I couldn’t disagree more. So much of the change we seek is possible if we organize, advocate and, most importantly, vote.” 

New Alum in Management Position at New England Newspapers
At New England Newspapers, Gary Lavariere ’16 oversees the circulation department for three daily newspapers and one free publication. “A large part of my decision to go to MCLA was the affordability, but I ended up getting so much more. My experiences at the College have shaped my professional success in the work world.”

Science Major Prepared for Career with ‘Amazing’ Experiences
Kennedy Valois ’17 said it is through teaching others that the environment might be improved. “There are so many amazing places, ecosystems and species on our planet. I am very passionate about conservation because I strongly believe that all species have a right to this Earth just as much as we do, and deserve a chance.”

Alumna Earns Master’s from Harvard, Now at Dana-Farber
Alexandra Nichipor ’12 said her MCLA professors prepared her well for Harvard by holding her to a high standard and by promoting critical thinking. “MCLA encourages fresh perspectives and unique ways of viewing old problems. At Harvard, I was willing to take intellectual risks and make connections between ideas.”

Business Major Helps Freshmen through Peer Advising

As a peer advisor, Ritshly Bissereth ’19 is assisting a group of freshmen from this year’s Class of 2020 as they adjust to life at college. “It was a good opportunity for me to do something that was community service-based, and help people through the First Year Experience (FYE) program.”


MCLA Announces Innovative, Accelerated Business Program

MCLA is the first and only institution out of the nine universities in the Massachusetts State University System to offer a new program that allows business students to graduate in three years, instead of four. Its general business concentration allows flexibility to earn a business degree that meets students' needs in a shortened time frame.


Students Explore South Florida’s Ecosystems
Kayaking through a mangrove forest, exploring cypress domes and observing wildlife such as manatees, alligators and crocodiles in their natural habitats were just a few of the activities a group of environmental studies majors experienced when they took a class field trip to southern Florida over their winter break.


FPA Professor Leads Arts Integration Field
Her research and work at MCLA led Dr. Lisa Donovan to realize “there is not another place that has the cultural and arts assets like we do, and the openness in terms of what we could create. We should be a national model for regional collaboration in arts education in rural areas. We have everything we need. We just need to connect the dots.”


MCLA, Local Community Give Back
Johnathan Chery ’17 was one of the many MCLA students who volunteered on Monday at the 24th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, which included projects on campus and at sites throughout region. “Giving back to the community is something that is essential. It helps to make this world a better place.”


Business Major Aims for International Career
When Drasana Johnson ’17 envisions her future, she sees herself working somewhere out of her comfort zone, and in a challenging environment that offers the opportunity for advancement and adventure. “International business is something that attracted me because I’m always in the mood for something new, whether it’s a scenery, food, or even people.”


Alumnus Makes Community Involvement a Priority
Through his work with MCLA and in his personal life, Chris Hantman ’14 has made a practice of being involved in the community. Last summer, he completed hours of training to enhance that effort. “I wanted to learn more about the community, and be able to better connect the wonderful people of Northern Berkshires to the countless and under-utilized resources.” 


Alumnus Prepares Students for Film Careers
With more than 20 years in the animation and entertainment industry, Leonardo Quiles ’16 is sharing his knowledge of the film industry at MCLA. This semester, he’ll teach an introductory course on animation to include a variety of projects, including those with hand-drawn, stop-motion and computer animation. “It’s not just Saturday morning cartoons.”


Psychology Grad Heads to Ireland for Master’s
Now working on her master’s degree in psychology at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, Tanelle Ciempa ’16 aims for a career as a researcher of behavior and crime patterns for the FBI. “My freshmen year I would have never imagined that I would be accepted into a top graduate school, and that I would travel halfway across the world to attend it.”


Freshman Excels on Go Cart Racing Circuit
Courtney Crews ’20 selected MCLA in part so she could continue her passion of go cart racing. The biology major, whose concentration is allied health, is one of just a few women to participate in this male-dominated sport. “I’m glad I chose MCLA. I can continue my job. I can still race when I want to.”


New FPA Prof Brings Love of Theatre and Teaching
Andrea Williams combines her love of teaching with her passion for the theatre, history and sewing for her costume design-focused career. “I want to teach students to be competitive in the field, whether they want to go to graduate school or get out and get to work,” she said. “Being at MCLA gives me the chance to help grow what I love.”


Biology Major Reports Successful First Semester
Months before he first stepped foot on campus, Matthew Gilbert ’20, a biology major who aspires to a career in medical technology, helped to develop a medical device to improve the lives of others. The idea resulted in a patented pair of sunglasses that helps visually impaired people put eye drops into their eyes.


Sociology Major Wins National Award
Alyssa St. Franc ’19, who recently received the Society State of Mind Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success, says her life’s career calling is to work as a school social worker. “My ideal career would allow me be to be influential in the lives of youth, to let them know that their dreams are achievable.”


Journalism Student Jumpstarts Newspaper Career
Mitchell Chapman ’18 is one of several MCLA journalism students who staff the news page design desk at The Berkshire Eagle. According to Kevin Moran, vice president of news at New England Newspapers, “They have the skills and the talent to do this work, and what you see every day … is their news design work product.”


Pittsfield Business Owner Earns ‘Dream’ Degree
KidZone owner Susan Robert ’16 is one of 20 students who just finished their Bachelor of Arts degrees in interdisciplinary studies for early childhood educators this month, through MCLA’s accelerated degree completion program. “We made it,” she said. “MCLA made it possible.”


Junior Creates Mentoring Program to Aid Local Youth
Rebecca Godbout ’17 created the “Colegrove Mentoring Program” this semester.The experience was not a first for her. Last year, she co-created KEEP (Keeping the Elderly Engaged Program). At Colegrove, she coordinates the efforts of 25 volunteers. “The connections they have created in a few short weeks are absolutely amazing.”


MCLA Community Members Honored for ‘Neighborlie’ Efforts
Kayla LaVoice ’17 and Chris Hantman ’14 were among the MCLA community members to be recognized by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition for their volunteer service in the region. Hantman said, “I want to leave my community better than when I found it. I want my neighbors to be happier for me being here.”


Students to Decorate Christmas Trees for Habitat for Humanity
Calling all creative students with the spirit of holiday giving: come make an ornament to decorate some miniature Christmas trees in the Marketplace this Thursday, Dec. 1, 12-5 p.m. The trees will be auctioned off this Saturday at the Christmas Tree Showcase during Williamstown’s annual Holiday Walk, to benefit our local Habitat for Humanity.


New Prof Specializes in Natural Resource Economics
Originally from Zambia in southern Africa, economics professor Dr. Chali Nondo was a civil engineer who discovered his love of teaching while training others in construction. “I want students to know that I believe in their ability to succeed; and therefore, they must develop a strong will to persevere while following their dreams.”


Alumna Pursues Master’s Degree in Athletic Training
With a dream to work with college athletes at a Division I school, Gabriella Prata ’16 recently headed to Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. There, she began work on her master’s degree in athletic training, for which she was well prepared. “The biology program at MCLA was phenomenal,” she said.


Science Educator Named to Jorge Professorship in Education
As MCLA’s newly appointed Evelyn H. and Arlindo Jorge Professorship in Education, Dr. Nick Stroud says he aims “to support and encourage excellent science education in local public schools, positively impact the science learning experiences of undergraduates, and foster a love of science in current and future teachers.”


Alumnus Entertains Crowds in NYC
When Bengey Asse ’06 began his career at MCLA, he was the only DJ on campus, which provided a unique opportunity for experience in his field. Today, he continues to bring that distinctive flair to his work in New York City. “I love to see people happy, clapping and dancing along to the music I select for them.”


Professor Studies Shakespeare during Sabbatical
Dr. Rosanne Denhard is off to London again this month to gain additional perspective on Shakespeare to benefit her students next semester. “The intellectual and creative adventures of eclecticism, and constant study and exploration, are vital to the interdisciplinary focus of my scholarly life and teaching practice dedicated to liberal arts education.”


Journalism Students Contribute to Local Election Night Coverage
Emma Monahan ’18 was one of seven journalism students who headed to the Berkshire Eagle on election night to help with the newspaper’s live, online coverage. “This was my first time in a professional newsroom, and it was different than what I imagined,” she said.


Diverse Institutions Collaborate on Suffragist-themed Project
During this presidential election year, a group of our faculty and students joined others from another university across the country to collaborate, converse and create art. Together, they looked at the Suffragist movement and the impact of Susan B. Anthony. The results are on display through Nov. 20 in the exPRESS gallery.


Alumnus Enjoys National Archives Position
As an archivist in the cartographic branch of the National Archives, Corbin Apkin ’13 works with maps, charts, architectural drawings and blueprints. “Being able to work hands on with records that mean so much to our history and tell the story of our past is an amazing experience. I can't imagine doing anything else.”


Student's Research Published in Academic Journal
As a junior, Sara Peck ’17 of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., conducted a study and co-authored an article about her findings with her professor, Dr. Thomas Byrne. Now a senior, her work was published in a recent issue of the Behavioral Processes journal.“The experience gained by this opportunity is priceless to me,” she said.


Student Directs Fall Play
It was a first for both MCLA and Brianna McDermott ’17 when she directed this fall’s production of The Best of Everything on our Venable Theater’s main stage. “Now that I have directed a production, I can definitely see myself committing to a profession like that in the future.”


Double Major Serves Two Internships
The opportunity to have two very different internship experiences made it clear to Kaitlin Wright ’18: her future career path leads to a life devoted to public service. While she plans to start out by running for city council in her hometown after she graduates, ultimately, she is aiming for the White House.


Freshman Aims for Broadcast Career
Karen Canela ’20 joined her sister, Kircys Canela ’18, as an MCLA student this semester. Broadcast media is her passion: she envisions becoming a news anchor. “I want to keep people aware of issues that are prevalent in today’s world. To me, that’s all that matters.”


MCLA’s ‘Supercomputer’ an Invaluable Research Tool
Dr. Elizabeth Hartung traveled to China this summer to share research data generated from MCLA’s supercomputer. Acquired in 2010 through a partnership with Nuclea Biotechnologies, this supercomputer has been used for projects by members of MCLA’s mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry departments.  


Freshman Aspires to Teach English Literature
Inspired by her high school English teachers and the great impact they had on her, Amanda Botelho ’20 has decided to follow their examples as she double majors in secondary education and English – with a concentration in literature. She also participates in our 4+1 program.


Alumnus to Return to Campus with Fashion Show, Concert
During his senior year at MCLA, Anthony Barbosa ’15 helped lead the Trailblazers as captain for the men’s basketball team. Now, the sociology graduate is helping others through fashion, music, sports and community. “American Pyramids is not just about fashion and music. We are really here to support communities and help the youth.”


Bahamian Baseball Player Joins Trailblazers
“I decided to attend MCLA not only because of the great program I know Coach Gladu has in store for the team, but also because of the feeling I got when I set foot on campus during my first visit here,” said psychology major Schamal Forbes ’20.


Biology Prof Excites Young Students about Science
Biology professor Dr. Ann Billetz often can be found sharing her time and talents with members of the greater community. “I love biology. I love science, and it’s fun to see little kids excited about science. Little kids who are excited turn into college kids who are excited.”


Students Throng to Workshop Series on Election Strategies
A standing-room-only crowd of students recently gathered at the first of two “Punch Bowl” workshops held in Murdock Hall, which focus how to decipher the rhetorical techniques and strategies used by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during this presidential election.


Shanghai Students Attend MCLA
Tianlu Chen, a student at China’s Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, decided to study at MCLA after seeing our website’s home page: “There’s tons of useful information, and you certainly feel the welcoming atmosphere and passion.” Now on campus for the fall semester, “The professors and my classmates here are amazing.”


Freshman Aims for Medical Career in Africa
Issa Jalloh ’20 grew up in Sierra Leone, Africa, before moving to the U.S. as a teen. Now he’s pursuing his biology degree with the ultimate intent of returning to his homeland to practice medicine. In the meantime, he’s enjoying life at MCLA, and playing soccer for the Trailblazers.


Senior Previews Her ‘Dream’ Career at Tanglewood
Rebecca Patterson ’17 spent her summer serving an internship at Tanglewood. Back on campus, she’s writing her honors thesis on “Youth Engagement in Symphony Orchestras.” She said, “I love this organization, and I'm going to apply for every job they have available when I graduate.”


After Growing Up Around the World, Freshman Attends MCLA
Ava Zigmand ’20 is an American who grew up in Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, China, Egypt and India. An environmental studies major, she looks forward to her classes, playing intramural sports, joining clubs – such as those that involve hiking, animals and the environment – making lifelong friends, and exploring North Adams.


Junior, Alumni to Perform at MoCA Music Fest
Izzy Heltai '18 and Secret Creature will perform on Friday at MASS MoCA’s Freshgrass Festival. A junior, he those in his contemporary folk band are just a few MCLA community members whose music is produced by Sounds and Tones Records.


Musical Theatre to Take Center Stage for Freshman
For the past four years, Koree Woodley-Adjei ’20 of New York City, N.Y., has been an active member of the Harlem Vocal Ensemble. At MCLA, she looks forward to joining the Allegrettos, the sign language and filmmaking clubs, the Black Student Union, and maybe even women's lacrosse!


Alumna Aims for Career as a Clinical Psychologist
Nicole Hansen ’16 is pursuing her master’s degree at The College of Saint Rose, to become a clinical psychologist. In addition to her internship, “The best thing about the psychology program at MCLA is that it encourages students to discover their interests by offering a wide variety of classes.”


Raised in Mexico City, Freshman Looks Forward to MCLA
Sebastian Phillips ’20 will bring his love of soccer to MCLA when he joins the Class of 2020. But despite being one of the best things he takes away from his home in Mexico City, Mexico, this talented athlete says he plans to forgo soccer for the theatre.


College Resources Prepared Alumna for Success
How did Abigail Lucas ’16 find her online marketing job? She used Google, of course! She’s using her degree in business administration and concentration in marketing to ensure that her clients’ websites, blogs, online listings and other social media rise to the top of Internet search engines.


It's All Here: First Year Experience
New students will jump into the MCLA experience with a variety of activities that not only will immerse them in college, but help them discover what life and learning at MCLA is all about. Activities include the 22nd hike up Mt. Greylock, which illustrates the heights they can reach.


A Guide to Catching Pokémon at MCLA
With millions of users worldwide, Pokémon GO has been getting people moving in hopes of catching them all and becoming a Pokémon master. The augmented reality game allows users, or trainers, to track Pokémon and catch them using Poké balls they’ve collected. Here's a guide--map included--to Pokémon-hunting on campus.


MCLA Alumnae Teach at Summer Program for Berkshire Museum
Three alumnae spent the summer teaching area youth about science through the Berkshire Museum’s GSK Science in the Summer™ program.Elementary school students worked together to construct experiments and see how their creations reacted, explained Courtney Keefe ’16. “We built electroscopes, string instruments, circuits and race cars!”


MCLA is ‘Where I Needed to Be’
Being part of the women’s soccer team proved to be pivotal to Paige Fairman ’16. “They helped me overcome and accomplish so many things through my four years, both academically and personally. … I became a member of so many different honor societies, and I graduated summa cum laude.”


Future Teachers Embrace 4+1 Program 
MCLA is pleased to offer this second story in a series of student profiles about our incoming Class of 2020. This week we introduce two freshmen who will participate in our new 4+1 program, Jade Schnauber ’20 of Pittsfield, Mass., and Morrison Robblee ’20 of Hopkins, Minn.


Admissions Expands Reach with New Programs, Projects
Assistant Director of Admission Dayne Wahl ’09 is among the many alumni who staff our Office of Admission. “It’s great to be able to share my stories, friends’ stories, and current students’ stories about MCLA. I truly love MCLA, and it’s a hidden gem," he said. "I love sharing it and bringing it to new places.”


Musician, Pilot Ready to Join Class of 2020
MCLA is pleased to offer this first story in a series of student profiles about our incoming Class of 2020. We are proud to introduce just a few of the many accomplished and diverse students who belong to this distinctive group as they begin their MCLA careers, including Trevor Wheelock ’20.


Alumna Finds Dream Jobs in the Music Industry
After she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, with concentrations in business administration and music, Brittany Kish ’14 found work with CakeMix Recording and iHeart Media in Dallas, Texas. At MCLA, “I was taught not only the knowledge of the music, art, and entertainment industry, but how to get there.”


CSSE Promotes Alumna’s Success
Sherley Jules ’15 will head to Washington, D.C., this fall to begin a master’s of social work program at Howard University. She’ll also start an internship, working with youth and the foster care program at a local courthouse. “It’s a lot on my plate, but MCLA prepared me for the best.”


History Major Attends Historic DNC
While much of the country watched the Democratic National Convention (DNC) from their living rooms, Amber Coombe ’17 was in the Wells Fargo Center. The experience, she said, was transformative. “The chance to be a part of this historic convention was beyond surreal.”  


Two Interns, Two Stories, One B-HIP
Patrick Engle ’16 is serving his B-HIP internship at the Clark Art Institute, working with its graphic design team. In addition, “the classroom work, group outings and visits from professionals in the field are a tremendous learning experience that I know I will draw from years from now.”


New VP to Orchestrate a Culture of Philanthropy
Over the years, Mary Hastings observed MCLA’s growing visibility as the campus gained repeated recognition. Now, as our new vice president of institutional advancement, she will play a key role in supporting the College’s success.


MCLA Adds Biochemistry, a Field of the Future
Over the past 100 years, advances in the biochemistry field have been staggering. Today, it’s a very exciting time to study this laboratory-based science. With our new biochemistry concentration poised to roll out this fall, it’s also a great time to be a science major at MCLA.


Physics Prof Participates in Cutting-Edge Research
It’s summer, and for physics professor Dr. Emily Maher, that means one thing: another opportunity to spend some extended time working with scientists and engineers from across the globe on the MINERvA experiment at Fermilab in Chicago. Their cutting-edge research is shedding some light on one of the most mysterious particles in the universe – the neutrino.


Region’s Cultural Programs Introduce Youth to MCLA
Our students and young alumni are a big reason why many of our undergraduates – like Sapphire Holland ’20 – choose MCLA. Her relationships with MCLA alumni who work with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition were an important part of her decision: their happiness with their educational experience led her to check out MCLA.


After Discovering Her Passion, Alumna Eyes Ph.D.
Jenna O’Connor ’16 was accepted into five of the six graduate programs she applied to, and this fall will head to Boston to pursue her master’s degree in gender/cultural studies at Simmons College. “MCLA nurtured my confidence, and I am now able to apply everything I’ve learned in my majors and minor to my everyday life.”


Internship Decided Alumna’s Future
For Sierra Bailey ’16, an opportunity to serve an internship at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction changed the course of her career. “I did a lot of one-on-one and group work with the inmates. I loved hearing their stories and trying to figure out how I could help them.


Board Approves Applied Behavior Analysis Coursework
Psychology students like Sara Peck ’17 who desire careers in applied behavior analysis benefit from a recent approval by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.®, which recently approved a four-course sequence at MCLA; an eligibility requirement to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Examination®.

J.K. Rowling Selects Local Setting for New Story
First there was Nathaniel Hawthorne, then Herman Melville, and later, Edith Wharton. Now, J.K. Rowling has claimed her own connection to the Berkshires, placing her newest story in a location steeped in MCLA tradition, and with a sweeping view of our campus. What better place for Ilvermorny than Mount Greylock?

Senior Looks Forward to Career as a Historian, Educator
With the goal of being a positive influence on others and as his graduation grows closer, Jason Adams ’17 of Carmel, N.Y., eagerly anticipates embarking on a career as a high school history teacher. At MCLA, “I will be better prepared as a historian and an educator than I could have been anywhere else.”

Junior Expands Leadership Skills at National Conference
After attending this summer’s NEW Leadership New England conference, where she met with a number of successful women, including political leaders, Brianne O’Rourke ’18 is poised and ready to take on her new responsibility as the student trustee for MCLA’s Board of Trustees. “It was inspiring to learn what these women did, to come to where they are today.”

Prof Joins $10M STEM Effort by NASA, WGBH
Dr. Nick Stroud, associate professor of technology and science education at MCLA, is part of a $10 million effort, “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms,” which will develop new STEM teaching tools to benefit students across the country.“MCLA is a player, not only within the state, but nationally in terms of science education,” he said.

DSA Pairs Students with Creatives in Business Incubator Program
Samwise Fox '17 and local artist Christina King are participating in a new DownStreet Art (DSA) program this summer. The “Creative Business Incubator Program”pairs local artists and creative workers, and their pop-up galleries, with student interns from MCLA.  According to Fox, the program can change lives.

Alumnus Combines Degree, Military Experience in Programming Position
Joseph Melillo ’16 stepped off the Commencement stage and into his software engineer position at General Dynamics, which he attributes partly to the internships he served. “To stand out to managers we need experience. MCLA promotes internships, and even goes so far as to give students scholarships to encourage internships, to ensure their completion.”

Students Benefit from Visits with Elderly
Unable to visit with their own moms last Mother’s Day, Allison Clark ’17 and Rachel Mills ’17 headed to a local nursing home. They also stop by other times during the year. “The best part of the visit was our company. Many of them are not visited often, so being able to be that person to make their face light up with joy is something very special for both of us.” 

Students Snorkel for Research in the Caribbean
Amanda LeBarron ’16 was among the students who traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands to conduct research as part of Dr. Anne Goodwin’s “Field Studies in Marine Biology” course. They spent much of their time in the ocean as they snorkeled to collect data, and also visited habitats including mangrove forests and coral reefs.

Trailblazer Begins Soccer Career
Tyler Vona ’16 of Highland, N.Y., plans to become a dentist one day, but for now he can be found drilling on the soccer field as the newest member of the Hudson Valley’s semi-professional Kingston Stockade Football Club. He secured a spot on the team after beating out more than 120 players in multiple try-out sessions. 

Opportunities to Lead Provide Pivotal Experiences
As president of the Student Activities Council (SAC), Alex Lopez ’16 learned to support and encourage those he worked with, while the experience revealed his leadership style. According to Celia Norcross, director of student development, “The opportunities for leadership are endless because, here, you create your own opportunities.”

From Dance Company to Jacob's Pillow
“I’ve always been dancing, but up until I went to MCLA, I’d never called myself a dancer,” said Bryanna Bradley ’17, who this summer will study dance at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow at its “Improv Traditions & Innovations” program. She is one of 24 dancers from around the globe who were selected among hundreds to participate.

Teaching Strategies Revolutionize High School Math Class
An idea Donna Quallen ’16 developed for a capstone course as part of her Master’s of Education degree program not only transformed the way she teaches math at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, it changed the trajectory of her students’ education by improving all of their Accuplacer math scores by at least 28 percent.

Waiting Prompts Collaborative, Cross-Country Exhibition
MCLA Gallery 51 intern Maggie Kase ’17 spent much of last semester preparing for a collaborative exhibition with Utah’s Brigham Young University. “My favorite part of the exhibition is the fact that it really taps into the community. It’s an art form that is accessible to anyone, and everyone was able to participate in it and make beautiful art.”

Faculty Attend MCLA’s Annual TechFest
An event like TechFest, according to event organizer Dr. Gerol Petruzella, humanizes technology. “We want our faculty to feel as comfortable with technology as they do with a book or a pencil, so it’s as natural and integrated to use as a laptop or a tablet.”


29 Who Shine Recipient Plans Medical Career
The future is bright for Grace Ngobo Toko Mbonda ’16 who, previous to receiving her Bachelor of Science degree last Saturday at MCLA’s Commencement ceremony, was honored at Boston’s State House as one of the Commonwealth’s “29 Who Shine” award recipients.


Summer Courses Save Students Time, Money
By taking a summer course at MCLA, our students – as well as others from different campuses – save both time and money. With a choice of online or a traditional class setting, students will find a wide variety of courses in three summer sessions, starting on May 23. Other sessions begin on June 20 and July 5. 

Sophomores Help Local Students in Need
Each week, Kircys Canela ’18 and Miesha Adams-Mclean ’18 welcome 10 local high school juniors and seniors to campus. As the coordinators of MCLA’s “E3” program – run through the campus’s Center for Service – Canela and Adams-Mclean encourage the teens to finish school as they teach them leadership skills and elevate their aspirations to attend college.


Students Experience Life in England
Jason Adams ’17 and the other students in Dr. Rosanne Denhard’s “Arts of Medieval and Renaissance Britain” class recently went to England, where their travels included taking the Thames “River Bus” to the Tower of London. They also danced with locals at a traditional English ceilidh, a social event with Scottish or Irish folk music.


Senior: Sociology Department is a ‘Family’
By the time he was a sophomore, Josh Hunter ’16 knew he wanted a career in social work because it would allow him “to give people a voice.” He plans to use his degree to help the elderly in a nursing home setting, or as an advocate for senior citizens in need.


MCLA Students Showcase Research at NCUR
Ten MCLA students, including Sara Peck ’17, recently traveled to the University of North Carolina at Asheville to join other undergraduates from throughout the United States who presented their work aimed toward finding solutions to real-world problems.


Journey to Japan Inspires Students
From visiting emotionally moving sites in Nagasaki like the National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, to taking a cable car to the top of Mount Hieizan and enjoying remarkable views as they traveled in a bullet train across the country, MCLA students had an unforgettable experience in Japan.


Alumna Returning to London for Grad School
Rhea Werner ’15 is headed back to King’s Cross Station, where she visited during a travel study class to England two years ago as an MCLA student. However, instead of continuing on to Hogwarts, this time she’s going to City University London to continue her arts management studies as she earns a master’s degree in culture, policy and management.


Students Explore their Irish Roots
For Jessica Wojcik ’16, whose great, great grandfather came to America from County Cork, Ireland, the opportunity to visit the homeland of her ancestors was irresistible. She and 14 other students recently visited the Emerald Isle with Dr. Anthony Daly to explore its rich history and culture as part of a travel study course.


Recurrent Theme Flows through Art Prof’s Sabbatical
On sabbatical this academic year, Melanie Mowinski presented her art in a solo exhibition and taught a printmaking course at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy, explored the levees of the Mississippi Delta, and currently is serving an artist residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska, near the Missouri River.


Financial Aid Makes College Possible for Psych Major
Thanks to financial aid and the work-study program, Davis Turell ’17 has the funds she needs to earn her bachelor’s degree at MCLA. The staff in MCLA’s Office of Financial Aid are always helpful when she has a question or concern, she said. “Since my freshman year I have always had the best support system here.”


Trip Combines Caribbean Adventure and Caring for Others
Twelve students combined a vacation in the Caribbean with helping a community in need when they spent an Alternative Spring Break in Belize. In addition to helping to build walls inside a medical center in the small, rural village of Mahogany Heights, the students climbed Mayan ruins, explored caves, canoed, snorkeled, and swam with sting rays. 


Student Researchers Ready for Signature Campus Event

On Thursday, April 21, 145 students will offer 129 presentations – nearly double the number from last year – making this 14th annual event MCLA’s largest Undergraduate Research Conference thus far. “Undergraduate research at MCLA has become woven into the fabric of the curriculum,” said Graziana Ramsden, Undergraduate Research Council chair.


‘Seizing Opportunities after a Liberal Arts Education’
Chloe McGrath ’13 will deliver the keynote speech at the 14th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference. “I’ve found firsthand you can shape an experience or position to make it all your own. I’ve learned that you are ultimately in command of your education and learning, and the only limits are those that you set on yourself.”


Alumnus Begins Career at Harvard
Soon after beginning his job at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, Osakpolo Igiede ’15 advanced to a new position. As a development assistant, he supports the associate vice dean of campaign and development, and the directors of development. “MCLA’s classes taught me how to think outside of the box, and to expect the unexpected.”


Students Participate in Model United Nations
From stepping into the role of Israel’s minister of defense to representing India during a convention on genocide, seven MCLA students were among the 400 delegates from colleges and universities around the world who tackled issues like terrorism and cyber warfare, and debated the finer points of international law and diplomacy.


Junior Plans Graffiti Project in Barcelona
An emerging arts manager with passions for the arts, activism and the environment, Rebecca Waterhouse ’17 of Fairport, N.Y., will create a graffiti piece in Barcelona, as part of a class she’s taking during her semester abroad in Spain. Art, she said, can encourage action, especially when displayed in accessible, public spaces


History Major: ‘Opportunity Abounds’
First-generation college student Amber Coombe ’17, who wants to teach history to high school students, said MCLA provides much more than an affordable education. “From published historians to well-travelled intellectuals, the history department at MCLA is made up of a dynamic group of professors who each bring a unique perspective to the study of history.”


Senior Attributes Position to Professorial Support
Austin Hannaleck ’16 won’t graduate for another two months, but his first job as a software engineer at General Dynamics Mission Systems is waiting for him. The offer came after the summer internship he served there last year. His professors prepared him for success. “You will find your specialty, and when you do, you will be encouraged to dig deeper.”


History Prof Publishes Book on Irish in America
With a deep interest in the history of the Irish in America, Dr. Ely Janis recently published A Greater Ireland: The Land League and Transatlantic Nationalism in Gilded Age America. “My research on immigration and ethnic history has had a big impact on my teaching. And, in my classes, I think my students appreciate my enthusiasm and love of these subjects.”


Bowman Hall Adds New Makerspace
As of January, Bowman Hall boasts a makerspace with a technological bent. According to physics professor Dr. Adrienne Wootters, director and creator of the new facility, it’s just beginning to be discovered by students. “That’s how you learn – when you build something. You can think and dream, and build something fun.”


MCLA, Shanghai University Form 2+2 Program
Through 2+2 Dual Degree Academic Exchange Program, students from China may earn a degree from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics and MCLA. According to the business department’s Ben Kahn, “Cross cultural and global education are essential elements of education in the 21st century as our students develop an understanding and familiarity with key international players.”


Alumnus Begins Career in Grad School
As an instructor at UMass in grad school, Max Dilthey ’13 pushes the benefits and importance of a diverse, rich, and multifaceted education to his students, using his time at MCLA as an example of the power of interdisciplinary learning. “I am immensely proud of our school, and I am lucky to have started there. I would not be here without MCLA.”


Junior Eyes Genetics Career
In addition to genetic research she conducted at the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program in Maine, Annie Gagnon ’17 teaches science to elementary school, middle school and college students. It’s one of the best ways, she said, to learn. “In order to teach a topic you have to have a great enough understanding to simplify and explain it.”


Senior Poised for Computer Science Career
With two successful internships – one of which led to a part-time job – and many hours logged on her laptop, Kristen Nadeau ’16 will be ready to enter the workforce once she graduates this May. She attributes her accomplishments in computer science to her professors, whom she says have challenged her academically as they’ve taught her to think independently.


MCLA Works to Strengthen Youth Arts Education
Working with others in the community, Fine and Performing Arts professor Dr. Lisa Donovan recently brought an Art Works grant to a conclusion. The goal of “Leveraging Change: Improving Access to Arts Education for Rural Communities” is to foster the development of creative skills in the region’s youth so that they might participate in this expanding sector of the economy.


MCLA Expands Dual Enrollment for High School Students
Bev Maselli and her daughter, Jenna, a Drury High School student who is spending part of her senior year taking college courses for credit at MCLA, recommend the Dual Enrollment Program. MCLA is in the process of expanding this program. The result will be even greater access for more high school students.


Psychology Major Helps Youth
Miesha Adams-Mclean ’18 co-created “E3,” which benefits some 10 local high school students who struggle with traditional studies. “We create different activities that help them gain leadership skills and to learn more about college and how to get there. I definitely would love to continue to work with youth.”


Berkshires Provide 'Living Classrooms' for Students
Dr. Elena Traister’s environmental studies students often pull on a pair of wading boots and plunge into their studies at the nearby Hoosic River – one of many “living classrooms” to be found throughout the Berkshires – where they conduct research, and more, as she includes them in real-world investigations that are essential to their college experience.


Students Attend COPLAC Meeting
Amanda LeBarron ’16 and Daniel Heinen ’18 were among the 10 MCLA students who traveled to Ramapo College of New Jersey to attend the COPLAC Northeast Regional Meeting, where they presented papers and posters on topics that ranged from “The March on Washington and the Rise of Martin Luther King” to “Exploring the Genetic Mechanisms of Exfoliation Syndrome and Glaucoma.”


Degree Completion Programs: Flexible & Responsive
MCLA’s degree completion programs are building an economically stronger region through education. This pathway to a bachelor’s degree reflects the demands and the pressures that adults have in their lives – including family and financial constraints, and timing around a daily work schedule.


‘Blazernet’ Upgrade Heightens Campus Connections
It’s the biggest change on campus that students, faculty and staff may never notice. A huge, behind-the-scenes undertaking – nicknamed “Blazernet” by MCLA’s technology professionals – has the campus community accessing the Internet and college resources four times faster.


Alumna Applies Psych Degree in Abu Dhabi
Less than two years after she graduated from MCLA, Elaine Previl ’14 was off to Abu Dhabi to use her psychology degree. “I felt like the world was my oyster at MCLA, because I knew my professors were on my side. … With your professors’ support and help, you can make almost anything possible.”


New Writing Studio Opens
Located on the first floor of Murdock Hall in room 120, MCLA's new Writing Studio is a place where all writers from across the campus community may meet to collaborate and create, said co-director Dr. Amber Engelson. “We want it to be a vibrant, generative space, filled with conversations about writing in its many forms.”


New 4+1 Program: An Accelerated Path for Education Majors
Beginning this fall, students who enroll at MCLA as education majors may embark on a unique 4+1 program through which they can earn not only their bachelor’s degree and teaching license, but also their master’s degree – all in just five years. 


IT Dean to Retire after Three Decades on Campus

Continual learning has been the theme of Peter Allmaker’s career, as he kept up with the fast pace of ever-changing technology. “Over the 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to see tremendous changes in the campus, especially over the past six to 10 years. We’ve refurbished buildings, built new buildings, and are using the techniques and software that would rival any large institution’s catalog of offerings.”


Class Project Leads to Internship at The Clark
From serving as an art gallery attendant during her freshman year to attending the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference in New York City as a junior, as well as this year’s internship at the renowned Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., Cecilia Wright ’16 has gained a plethora of experience during her time as an MCLA student.


Computer Science Student: Learning Transcends the Classroom
Richard Chiu ’16 began work at the MCLA Computer Help Desk as a freshman. Since then, he’s also served two internships, created a mobile application for his senior project, and soon will move on to his first job as a software developer, after graduation. “My success here has been built upon the support of my classmates and amazing professors.”


Senior Plans Local FIGMENT Arts Festival
Inspired by a professor’s challenge, Krystal Henriquez ’16 is spearheading a FIGMENT arts festival at Windsor Lake in North Adams. Last week, she put out a call to artists who’d like to take part in this free, inclusive, participatory, family friendly festival, which is slated for April 30. 


Community Unites for Day of Service
Hundreds of MCLA students and community members participated in the 23rd Annual MLK Day of Service, which included service projects throughout the region and a celebration of Dr. King’s life, as people from different backgrounds came together to connect with one another and make a difference in the lives of others.


Computer Science Prof Keeps Current in Rapidly Changing Industry
Dr. Mark Cohen of our Department of Computer Science spends his summers learning the latest technologies so he’s ready to teach his students the cutting-edge skills they need to compete in a rapidly changing industry. “It’s a blast. I absolutely love it. It’s why I went into teaching.”


Junior Hones Leadership Skills on Campus, in St. Croix
Timothy G. Williams ’17 recently spent a semester immersing himself in the culture of the Caribbean. Back for the spring semester, he said that MCLA “really helps you to grow and pushes you to experience new opportunities that you probably never thought you were capable of doing.” He recommends MCLA to others: “You’ll walk across that stage in four years knowing that you’ve made an impact.”


New App Guards Students’ Safety
With the press of a single button, students, faculty and staff instantly may contact Public Safety via the Guardian App, a new Smart Phone application intended to help keep our campus community safe in the event of an emergency.


Art Students Collaborate with Susan B. Anthony Museum
As a new member of MCLA’s art faculty last fall, Josh Ostraff set about exploring the museums in the area. At the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in nearby Adams, Mass., he was struck by the dynamic person that Anthony was, and the vibrant time period in which she lived. As a result, Ostraff developed a collaborative project between the museum and his students.


Alumnus: Discover What's New at the Library
An evening and circulation assistant at the Freel Library, Alex Marshall ’12 hopes students will enjoy some newly added features there. “By diversifying the services that we offer here at the library, we are better able to meet the needs of the community we serve, whether they are looking for a specific book for a research project, or simply a place to unwind.”


Recent Grad Explored Dual Passions
From singing solos with the Allegrettos to presenting his research at conferences, recent graduate Paul J. Groff Jr. ’15 enjoyed a full experience at MCLA. The sociology major wants teach disabled and minority children. “When students don’t have the necessary resources – even at young grade levels – they tend to drop out of school. That’s what I’d like to change as an educator.”


Senior Enjoys Semester in 'Paradise'
This past fall semester, Shadea Blyther ’16 studied at the University of the Virgin Islands-St. Thomas because she wanted to become part of a different culture and adapt to it on her own. An English/communications major with a minor in theatre, she recommends the study abroad experience to other students, “because it builds character and helps you grow.”


Longtime SGA Advisor to Retire
Soon, after more than 40 years on campus and over three decades as the office manager for the Student Government Association (SGA), Diane Collins will retire. “Fall in love with what you want to do for a living, and try to find work that fits your personality," she advises students. "When they do, like I did with SGA, they’ll be successful.”


Senior Serves Golf Internship at Hilton Head
With a love of sports and intrigued with how that industry works behind the scenes, Nathan Gutmann ’16 decided to major in business with a concentration in sports management. With the ultimate goal of becoming a director of athletics for a college or a high school, he anticipates finding a position with a sports marketing firm upon his graduation this spring.


Student Art Displayed at Inaugural Bowman Show
Bowman Hall renovations include spaces for students to display their works of art. This week, for the first time, students in Laura Christensen’s “Intermediate Art Lab” have their work on display for a brief exhibition. The show will conclude with a reception on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m., in celebration of the students’ art.


Professor Offers Investment Advice
In a recent Greylock Glass podcast, business professor Dr. Richard Yanow gave some advice on how investors in the stock market, whether they’re just beginning or have years of experience, can overcome the “noise” – information gleaned from news reports and as a result of world events – that can be distracting to investors when making decisions.


Advising with Canvas at MCLA
We've developed an innovative use of our online course management system, Canvas, to build online communities for advising. The result? Our retention rates are rising as we continue to use this powerful method to support student achievement while we develop and maintain deep and sustained advising relationships with students.


Program Inspires Teens to Education Careers
Through the Greylock Teach Fellows program, some teens who aspire to teaching careers are getting an early launch to their college careers as they work with mentor-teachers as teaching assistants in area classrooms, serve as mentors themselves to younger students, and even earn college credits.


Students Team Up with United Cerebral Palsy
Dr. Thomas Whalen and his students recently were among those from MCLA to be recognized by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (NBCC) at its Fall Neighborlies Community Recognition Award Ceremony for their work in the community. “People learn by doing. Plus, there’s the added benefit of helping out others.”


‘One Team’ Theme Sweeps Campus
Brought to MCLA by Laura Mooney, who joined the campus last spring when she stepped into her new position as the director of athletics, the “One Team” theme aims to inspire and encourage all students to excel and achieve their best – not just by themselves, but together.


New Visiting Art Faculty Member Aims to Inspire
At MCLA, the newest member of our visual arts department, Joshua Ostraff, aims to help build awareness of the art program and the importance of art in a balanced liberal arts education. "We teach students to learn creative processes and develop craftsmanship that is inspiring."


New Technology = Innovative Learning in Bowman
Thanks to new technology, the walls in Bowman Hall can transform into touch-screen computer monitors through the use of innovative, short-throw projectors. The opportunities are endless, as faculty enjoy a myriad of teaching options and students access exciting new ways to learn.


Students Serve Community to Fight Hunger, Homelessness
During this year’s “Hunger and Homelessness Week,” MCLA students are at it again as they help prepare meals at Berkshire Food Project, volunteer at the Friendship Center food pantry, and conduct various drives for items to assist those in need. 


New Physics Prof’s Expertise: Experimental Optics
After spending just one month in her high school physics class, Dr. Kebra Ward knew she wanted to teach physics. The newest member of MCLA’s physics faculty, Ward said physics not only made sense to her, it explained everyday events, and gave a context and reasoning for the way the world works.


Alumnus Excels in U.S. Army
Tom Mellone ’11, an Army sergeant who was deployed in Kuwait, earned his expert field medic badge – achieved by only 18 percent who attempt it – was named ‘Soldier of the Month,’ participated in the Southern Regional Best Medic Competition, and graduated as a distinguished honor graduate from Warrior Leader Course, the first basic leadership course for enlisted soldiers.


New Assistant Professor: ‘Writing Transforms’
Dr. Amber Engelson gains a new perspective on the world with each student writer she meets and works with: “That’s why I love teaching, and in particular, the teaching of writing.” She finds her MCLA students to be bright, enthusiastic, honest and ready to learn, and says the most important thing she hopes they learn from her is that their voices matter.


Education Students Teach ‘Virtual’ Class
They’re part of the generation that grew up with realistic-looking video and computer games, and 3D films in movie theaters. So it’s only natural that this group of aspiring educators would have their first teaching experience in a virtual “classroom” of avatars. 


Votes Needed to Bring Concerts to Downtown
With the help and support of everyone who loves North Adams, one of its oldest parks could be the site of a free, 10-week-long concert series for all to enjoy next year. If successful through an online voting process going on now, Colegrove Park will showcase some family friendly concerts beginning in August 2016.


New Political Science Prof Provides Global Perspectives
Dr. David Cupery graduated from a liberal arts college, so he understands the value of small classes, frequent faculty-student interactions and a tight-knit college community. “Teaching at MCLA allows me to work for an organization that shares my values, and to hopefully have the same positive impact on my students that my professors had on me.”


Sophomore Previews Future Career in Higher Ed.
A double major in both English and math, Kayla LaVoice ’18 envisions a career where she can help others. Her dream job is a position where she can assist incoming college freshman prepare not only for higher education, but for the rest of their lives.


Agreement Creates Faster Track to Law Degree
MCLA students who desire to become attorneys will save both time and money, thanks to an agreement signed with the University of Massachusetts School of Law on Monday, that established a joint program allowing them to substitute their first year of law school for their senior year at the College.


Stanley Cup Winner among Alumni Award Recipients
This year’s six alumni award recipients include a two-time Stanley Cup winner, an educator whose diverse students include those from throughout the globe, and the co-chair of Sowing Seeds for Success. On Saturday, they joined the ranks of MCLA’s many distinguished alumni who make a difference in the world, every day.


Digital Journalism Prof Joins Faculty
Dr. Shawn T. McIntosh says the skills journalism students learn – such as how to write well, tell a good story in different formats, do research and critically analyze information – will be more relevant than ever in a social media world. 


Transfer Student Finds Process 'Almost Effortless'
Art major Molly Gurner ’17 says, “There are tons of really amazing museums in the area. Professors do not hesitate to take advantage of the surrounding resources and are always taking their classes beyond the walls of the classroom.” 


Alumnus Gains Recognition as a Playwright
Playwright Bill Doncaster said the two-and-a-half years he spent at the College gave him the best theatre education he could have asked for. His play, “Two Boys Lost,” has garnered multiple award nominations, and he most recently was selected by SpeakEasy Stage for the 2016 Boston Project for his proposal of “Ward 9.”


California Volleyball Player at Home at MCLA
Previously a junior college athlete at Foothill Community College in Los Altos, Calif., Allison Clark ’17 attributes her decision to transfer to MCLA to Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Amanda Beckwith, who contacted and recruited her.I love the warm culture here. It has been such a smooth transition because of the environment that surrounds the campus as a whole.”


Sociology Grad Creates Change in Boston
One of 25 to be selected from 250 applicants, Giselle Sabido ’15 works as a development and membership fellow for the Episcopal Service Corps’ Life Together Program in the Boston, Mass., neighborhood of Roxbury. It’s a position she’s well prepared for from her four years at MCLA.


Senior Serves Internship Behind the Scenes at MoCA
At her MASS MoCA internship, Kathleen Sansone ’16 served in many positions. She worked at large-scale music festivals and on small-scale residencies, provided hospitality to artists and gave public tours of the museum. But the best part of the experience was the opportunity to work directly with the Grammy Award- winning band Wilco during the Solid Sound music festival this past summer.


Senior Enjoys ‘Amazing’ Semester Abroad 
Before she traveled to Barcelona, Spain, as a study abroad student over the last spring semester, Adrianna Carter ’16 had never been beyond this country’s borders. Now, after having met a multitude of people from throughout the globe, she’s ready to tackle the world.


Software Students Track Tourism
Two computer science students who aim for careers in software development are helping Lever, Inc.  – a non-profit organization that encourages social innovation and economic development in northern Berkshire County and southern Vermont – to understand how visitors move between cultural locations in the region.


An International Education
Cristian Sanchez ’16 got a great boost to his future career in international business as he spent his entire junior year abroad, studying in China and Brazil, at Shanghai University and the Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis.


Western New England University Law Professor to Speak at MCLA for Constitution Day
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will observe the 228th anniversary of the enactment of the United Stated Constitution on Thursday, Sept. 17, with a talk by Bruce K. Miller, a professor at Western New England University’s School of Law.


MCLA to Host Mayoral Debate
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), in cooperation with the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, will host a general election debate for this year’s contested race for mayor of North Adams on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. in the MCLA Church Street Center’s Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium.


Perfect Match: Snowboarding and Physics
Why prompted Cody Gawle ’16 of Huntington, Mass., to major in physics? His passion for snowboarding, of course, as he takes what he learned from studying kinematics and mechanics, and transfers it to his riding.


Professor Meets with Syrian Refugees
Anthropology professor Dr. Sumi Colligan headed to Amman, Jordan, and Istanbul, Turkey, this summer to participate in the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) International Faculty Development Seminar.


A Year Abroad: Shanghai and Barcelona
As Troy Segala ’16 returns to campus this month, he does so with a world of experience under his belt: the business management major spent his entire junior year studying abroad in not one, but two vastly different countries.


Preparation for a Global Career
For Kircys Canela ’18 the opportunity to design her own program of study by majoring in interdisciplinary studies is providing the perfect foundation for her anticipated career in global social work.


STEM Academy leads to major decision
When computer science major Alexander Switzer ’18 of Brooklyn, N.Y., first arrived on campus last fall, he wasn’t interested in interacting with anyone other than the friends he’d made at STEM Academy. But as his first semester went on, the shell he’d built around himself began to crack.


Behind the scenes
Throughout her life, fine and performing arts major Veronica Sniezek ’16 of Adams, Mass., has loved the theatre. At MCLA, she’s found her niche in theatre and costume design.


One class changed everything
Rebecca McBrien ’14 loves arts management, but she nearly missed out on the experience. Had it not been for one class, her life would be on a much different trajectory.


Internship provides video game experience
The work Bradley Gradneigo ’15 does as a computer scientist can be just as unique as his artwork. “At the core of my being, I love to be creative. Art and computer science give that to me,” he said.


Senior combines marketing internship with love of theatre
Passionate about theatre, Zack Page ’16 dreams of becoming a professional actor. An arts management major with a minor in theatre, this summer he’s serving an internship in New Hampshire at The Barnstormers Theatre.


Alumna: Studio manager position is the job she envisioned
It didn't take long for arts management major Deanna Boucher ’15 to find a job after her May graduation. She's the studio manager for Shire City Sanctuary in Pittsfield, Mass.


STEM Fellows help incoming freshmen prepare for fall
The fall semester still is a month away from starting, but this week 16 incoming freshmen are attending classes and forming new friendships as they kick off their college careers a little early at the Third Annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy.


Physics professors: Students enjoy advantages of small department
Ask the professors in MCLA’s physics program about the most important skill they want their students to learn from them and they will tell you: It’s how to tackle a problem.


413 STEM Ready Academy prepares community college students for bachelor’s programs
This week, some community college students from throughout the region are finding out what life is like at a four-year college campus.


Alumnus named MCLA’s new Community Engagement Coordinator

At MCLA’s Center for Service and Citizenship, Chris Hantman ’14 works with our undergraduates to help them reach their goals as they strive to better themselves.


Summer leadership conference prepares political science major for junior year
Kate Rowell ’17 of Billerica, Mass., attended the NEW Leadership New England conference this summer.


Intern gains ‘tremendous experience’ at Berkshire Museum
With the goal of running her own community arts center, SUNY-Albany alumna Johnae Galloway is serving an internship at the Berkshire Museum through MCLA’s Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP).


Semester in Spain provides senior with international perspective 
The international aspect of business is especially relevant and interesting to Noelle Dumont ’16, after she attended the University of Barcelona last semester.


National Student Exchanges, travel courses provide view of America
For a number of our undergraduates, studying away from campus doesn’t necessarily mean travel overseas. They can explore the United States through travel courses and spending a semester at other universities.


Honors Program promotes scholarship and learning
Students who wish to extend their liberal arts education beyond the core curriculum may opt to join MCLA’s Honors Program, which draws hard-working scholars who often bring recognition to the College through their achievements.


Pennsylvania interns soak up the Berkshires
A pair of interns from Pennsylvania are learning about arts management this summer in two distinct gallery settings: in MCLA Gallery 51 and at Kidspace, a child-centered art gallery inside Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).


New athletics director eyes bright future for Trailblazers
A former Division III student-athlete and coach, Athletics Director Laura Mooney knows that little things can make a big difference between a few wins and a winning season. As a result, the Athletics Department will take a new, intentional approach.  


Alumna to serve NCAA internship
Kaleigh Anderson ’15 will serve as the assistant to the director of athletics and the sports information assistant at Elms College.


Alumna selects New Mexico school for first job
Even before her May graduation, Martha Pratt ’15 of Denver, Colo., had her choice of a number of teaching positions, beginning with two job offers she received as a result of attending an education career fair in Boston. 


Intern works to strengthen the Berkshires
When Max Dakin of Lenox, Mass., looked for a summer internship to support his desire to work in business development for a non-profit organization, he did not need to go far: MCLA’s Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) was the perfect match.


Eighth DownStreet Art features large spaces, emphasis on community
MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center is gearing up to launch this season of DownStreet Art on Thursday, June 25, with a focus on community connections and the largest galleries the summer-long celebration has ever seen.


Alumnus enjoys position at U.S. Department of Justice
Chris Goodell ’13 always loved to read and write, but it wasn’t until his freshman year at MCLA, when he took an introduction to news writing course, that he realized he could make a career in the writing, editing and publishing field.


Alumna devotes career to finding treatments for childhood brain tumors
Dr. Katherine Foster Warren '82 is head of the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology division of the National Institute of Health at the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., where she searches for treatments for childhood brain tumors.


Arts management prof, students, support new Makers’ Space
Makers’ Mill opens in the downtown this week, but assistant arts management professor Diane Scott and her students have been at work on the North Adams’ Makers’ Space – the first of its kind in North Berkshire County – since last semester.


Freshman innovates 3D science app
Daniel Heinen ’18 is poised to change the way students study science through an educational mobile application he created for smart phones and tablet devices.

Students gather at BCRC for arts management internships
One sure sign of summer at MCLA is the arrival of our Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) students. Now in its 11th year, this unique program educates tomorrow’s arts managers at cultural venues throughout Berkshire County.


Alumna: Supplemental instruction is an incredible benefit to students
This fall, recent graduate Mikaelle Olivier ’15 will head to Connecticut to teach high school science through Teach for America. She will arrive on the job with some good experience: she served as a supplemental instruction leader in organic chemistry during her senior year.


Part of the community
Timothy P. Williams ’17 became interested in political science after his father, a firefighter who responded to the 9/11 terror attacks, fought for a year to receive his social security benefits when injuries he sustained at Ground Zero left him unable to return to work.


From the Berkshire Hills to Capitol Hill
Chloe McGrath ’13 took a step closer this month to her dream of becoming a Congressional policy analyst when she began an internship with Franklin Partnership, as part of their research team.


Biology alumna aims for healthcare career
With plans to attend graduate school to become a physician's assistant, Alyson Carey ’13 works at Spaulding Rehabilitation Outpatient Center in Framingham, Mass.


New library staff enjoy helping students
The Freel Library welcomed two new faces this academic year as Janet Lexow, a part-time reference librarian, and Access Services Associate Young-In Kim joined the campus community.


Alumna: MCLA teaches you to believe in yourself
At MCLA, Hannah Sterrs ’14 enjoyed multiple internship opportunities, but it wasn’t until she participated in the Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) that she found her niche. Now, she’s a graduate student in the community arts program at Lesley University.


Professor looks back at 46-year career on campus
As the 2014-15 academic year comes to a close, physics professor Dr. Carl Wolf is winding up a remarkable 46 years at the College.


FPA major is at home at MCLA
When she began her MCLA college career last year, Nia Scott ’17 of Brooklyn, N.Y., knew she wanted to major in the arts. Although she started out in theatre, she soon realized that music was a perfect fit for her.


Library to provide Stress-Free Zone during finals
The Freel Library may very well be the most popular place on campus next week as students take advantage of a new program to help them relax while they prepare to take their final exams.


Students enjoy Florida as part of environmental studies class
Seven students recently took the opportunity to combine their spring break with a study of the Sunshine State’s environment as they camped, canoed and snorkeled their way through Southern Florida – and even enjoyed some close encounters with alligators.


Former BCRC program coordinator returns as director
It had been only a year since Jennifer Crowell left her position as program coordinator at the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), but when she saw that MCLA was looking for a new BCRC director, she couldn’t resist the pull to return.


Students help children in need, explore Belize
During MCLA’s Alternative Spring Break, 10 students found themselves making cement from scratch to provide the foundation for a facility that will feed hungry children.


URC prepares students for what’s next
The 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) will be held on Thursday, April 23, when 120 students present 65 projects during this all-day event. 


Grad uses psychology degree to help students
Experience Christopher Tate ’14 gained both in and outside of the classroom benefits the students he assists through his new position as a program specialist for MCLA's Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE).


Alumna to deliver keynote at April 23rd URC
Alicia Girgenti ’07 never thought she would go to college. But at age 21 she did just that, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in criminology. An assistant professor at Merrimack College in North Andover, she will speak at our Annual Undergraduate Research Conference.


STEAM educator ignites love of learning
Recently hired by MCLA through the Improving Teacher Quality grant, Dana Schildkraut collaborates with preschool through second grade teachers as she models lessons in their classrooms and provides support as they implement STEAM curriculum.


Mothers and daughters attend MCLA together
First they raised their children.  Now, a number of women are taking time out for themselves as they earn their Bachelor's degrees - along with their daughters.


Alumna’s first job is the perfect fit
Tess Favini ’14 combined her Bachelor of Arts degree in arts management with her love of event planning and came up with her ideal job: She’s the junior events producer for Design Museum Boston.


First cohort of early educators to graduate in May
MCLA’s first cohort of childhood educators will be among the graduates to walk the Commencement stage this May as they receive their Bachelor’s degrees – something many of them had thought might never be possible.


Senior enjoys language, culture during semester in Spain
Immersed in the Spanish language at Pablo de Olavide Universidad in Seville, Spain, Rominda DeBarros ’15 quickly moved past beginner status during her study abroad experience last fall.


Senior travels throughout Europe during semester abroad
For Nicole Ngoon ’15, spending a semester in Prague was the “cherry on top” of her college experience.


Biology lab instructor: There’s always something new
MCLA recently welcomed Dr. Anne Todorki to campus and the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, where she is a biology lab instructor. 


Student-artists excel in fellowship competition

As winners of the Annual Berkshire Art Association Fellowship competition, the artwork of five MCLA students is on display this month at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, Mass.


Student studies in London for entire junior year
Right from the start, Courtney Smith ’16 planned to study abroad. Now the English major – who’s focusing on creative writing – is spending her entire junior year abroad at Kingston University in London, England.


Senior spends semester studying in Thailand
Kimberly Williams ’15, who aspires to become an elementary school teacher, received the education of a lifetime last semester when she studied in Bangkok, Thailand, and explored Southeast Asia.


Student internships provide crucial experience
Experience gained through serving an internship is crucial for students as they enter the job market and embark on their career.


Future Civil War historian studies at Gettysburg
History major Hannah McClearnan ’15 of Albany, N.Y., aspires to become an American Civil War historian. So, when the opportunity to study for a semester at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania arose, she did not hesitate to take advantage of it.


Senior enjoys semester abroad with MCLA friends
Business major Lily O’Neill ’15 of Worcester, Mass., wanted to shake things up a bit in her life so she decided to study abroad for a semester. However, she was hesitant to travel outside of the United States for the first time by herself.


Alumnus offers video gaming internships to students
Although he didn’t take a single computer science class while at MCLA, David Rubicki ’01 of Dalton, Mass., a teacher with Pittsfield Public Schools, is in the midst of starting up a video gaming production company, Rebel Games Interactive (RGI).


Semester in London allows junior to explore favorite novel setting
A huge fan of gothic literature and Dracula stories in particular, Jeri “Mina” Beeler ’16 of Cohoes, N.Y., studied in England last semester, at London’s Queen Mary University.


Alumnus headed to Hawaii to direct AP bureau
Caleb Jones ’05 will trade in his snow boots and winter coats for flip flops and Aloha shirts next month as he heads to Honolulu, where he will oversee breaking news and enterprise for the Associated Press (AP).


Gallery manager encourages conversations through artwork
In addition to serving as the manager of MCLA Gallery 51, Julia Morgan-Leamon is an artist and an educator who has traveled to Egypt and India to provide others with cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary experiences with the art world.


‘Virtual’ opportunities: Students serve remote internships
Career Services staff at MCLA’s Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE) secures “virtual” internships for students. All they need are their laptops.


Transfer student: There are endless things to do

Krystal Henriquez ’16 isn't wasting any time in getting involved as she pursues her Bachelor of Arts degree in arts management. A transfer student, she arrived at MCLA with a MassTransfer Block of core credits she’d earned at Holyoke Community College, which set her up for a successful two-year plan.


Veterans’ Resource Center offers support, connections
As a veteran of the United States Navy, Brian Nelson ’15 is familiar with the needs of students who have served in the Armed Forces. His idea resulted in the Veterans' Resource Center.


Alumna publishes her first book
Gillian Jones ’91 found time to publish her first book, even while teaching courses at MCLA and working full-time as a photo journalist for the Berkshire Eagle.


Art in NYC: Students attend APAP conference
Ten students recently returned from a whirlwind trip to New York City where they participated in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference.


Athletic Training major earns EATA scholarship
Elizabeth Doughty ’15 finished up her winter break with a trip to Philadelphia, Pa., where she was awarded a $3,000 scholarship from the Eastern Athletic Trainers' Association (EATA).


Political science prof to speak at Rockwell about war and public opinion
Dr. J. Benjamin Taylor will be a presenter at Norman Rockwell Museum’s “Four Freedoms Forum” series on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m., when participants will look at the cultural legacy of war.


CSSE devoted to student and alumni success
MCLA is dedicated to student success – not only on campus, but beyond, whether they choose to continue their studies in graduate school or find meaningful employment once they finish their degree.


New alum earns bachelor’s degree in 30 months
Just two days after he finished high school, Jared Kahn ’14 became an MCLA student. From that point on, he was off and running, attending classes year-round, and graduating just two and a half years after he started.


Freshman finds success on the fairway
Despite longtime plans to play college hockey, Nick Young ’18 found himself on the green instead of the ice last fall, earning honors such as “Rookie of the Year.” He concluded his freshman season with a sixth place finish in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championships.


Alumna poised to begin Nashville career
Brittany Kish ’14 founded “The Soldier Prayer Project” to support the military and their families. The non-profit organization recently attracted the attention of Marcus Luttrell, a former Navy SEAL who was the focus of the 2013 film, “Lone Survivor.” 


Students publish research findings with professor
While many professors in the sciences conduct research and publish their findings in academic journals, it’s not every day that they work side-by-side with their students in those scholarly endeavors. But that’s exactly the opportunity that Dr. Thomas Byrne gave four MCLA seniors earlier this year.


Student-athlete: Trailblazers are innovators
Sarah Murphy ’15 knew she wanted to play tennis in college, but even more than that, she wanted to play at a school where she wouldn’t be “just a tennis player.” 


Sophomore feels at home in residential life
Involvement with residence hall activities, says Aunna Shamlian ’17, has been integral to her MCLA experience and has influenced her life in many different ways. 


Hardman scholar: MCLA trains real journalists
This year’s Hardman Scholar, Makayla McGeeney ’16, says college is the time for students to become independent, work hard, and become aware of all the opportunities available to them. 


Clubs and events valuable to college experience
An important part of the MCLA student experience includes its vast array of clubs and organizations, as well as the many activities they offer.


Deanna Boucher ’15 named 2014 Newman Civic Fellow
Over the past academic year, Deanna Boucher ’15 has served as a residence assistant for Berkshire Towers and a liaison to the residence hall’s advisory board. She’s also a choreographer for the Dance Company and is on the RPS Recycling Committee.


Softball player gives ‘110 percent’ to MCLA experience
As a child, Alexandra Romano ’17 of Peabody, Mass., was very shy – so shy that she spent her time on the school bus writing in a notebook instead of talking to the other children. Fast forward a decade. She hosts a campus radio show, is involved in theatre and is a student-athlete on the women’s softball team.


New professor: Exercise is the best Rx
A new assistant professor of biology at MCLA, Dr. Sarah Herrick is the go-to person when it comes to human anatomy. But while that’s her specialty, she’s also an exercise physiologist.

Physics major follows in his parents’ footsteps
Jon Oleson ’15 of Florida, Mass., had an easy decision when it came to college. He simply followed in his parents’ footsteps. His mother and father are not only alumni of the College, they also majored in physics – the major he selected, as well.

FPA grad poised to complete physics degree

Jesse Egan-Poirier ’15 of Nashua, N.H., had no sooner completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) with a concentration in theater, when he turned around to begin a Bachelor of Science degree in physics.


Philosophy major: ‘My voice has been heard’
Like many MCLA students, Colby Harvish ’16 of Queensbury, N.Y., involves himself in activities that compliment his growth and learning. Participation, he said, is the real-world application of classroom experiences.


Student-trustee: ‘An unforgettable journey’
Athletic training major Alyson Stolz ’15 of Oxford, Mass., has immersed herself in student government – not only on the campus, but beyond. In addition to serving as the student-trustee on MCLA’s Board of Trustees for the past two years, she recently was elected as the secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Student Advisory Council.

MCLA adds IT upgrades
Over the past several months, MCLA has gone through a series information technology (IT) upgrades that enable them – as well as faculty and staff – to use the newest technology tools with greater ease and faster speed than ever before.

Freshman builds company while studying business

When business major Brandon Valdes ’18 of New York City, N.Y., arrived on campus this fall, he already had started the company he hopes to make his life’s career. His consulting business, Devant, which he started two years ago in high school with five others, caters to artists.

Sophomore takes her studies to Alaska
TaylorJae Taber ’17 of Swansea, Mass., is studying far from MCLA this semester. With the goal of specializing in wildlife conservation and saving endangered species, she’s at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) through the National Student Exchange (NSE) Program this fall semester.

Success with CSSE
Kristcha DeGuerre ’14 of Saratoga Spring, N.Y., applied to five graduate programs. She was accepted into each and every one of them.

Sophomore reports college experience through art
After a national search that attracted some 700 applicants, Rebecca Patterson ’17 of Framingham, Mass., was selected to be one of 21 students to document her undergraduate experience through “21 Voices.”

MCLA journalism alumna at work in Abu Dhabi
Jennifer Thomas ’07 took her double majors in English/communications and philosophy from MCLA to Abu Dhabi, where she’s the home page editor for The National, a government-owned, English-language, online newspaper. There, she’s responsible for content viewed by millions.

Diverse classes visit NYC to view Middle East exhibit
Events in the Middle East are on the forefront of global happenings and part of the discussion at MCLA. Here, students consider many aspects of this region through events such last week’s talk by a United Nations expert on “ISIS and the Implications for the International Community,” and courses like “Peoples of the Middle East” (anthropology), “Modern Middle East” (political science) and even “Museum Studies” (arts management).

Senior leads state student advisory board

Keenly aware of how politics and government affect our lives, Brendan Peltier ’15 of Worcester, Mass., as a youth set his sights on a career as a political leader. He took another step toward that goal last month after he beat out three other candidates to be elected as the chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Student Advisory Council.

Alumna pursues international environmental law degree in England
For as long as Rebecca Geraci ’13 of Ulster Park, N.Y., can remember, she’s been interested in the environment. So, she began her freshman year at MCLA as an environmental studies major. A year later, she decided to pursue a degree in political science, as well.

MCLA introduces alumna to the world, non-profits

As the volunteer program coordinator for the Riverside Park Conservancy, Jordan Pagán ’09 oversees the hundreds of people who maintain Riverside Park, a scenic, 267-acre, public expanse that runs along the Hudson River on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

New prof shares passion for social justice with students
It was through Dr. Kerri Nicoll’s experiences as a pastor, as well as an outreach and fundraising assistant for a non-profit organization, that she discovered her passion for social justice, particularly around issues of poverty and inequality.

Students participate in historic Climate March
In New York City on Sept. 21 to participate in “The People’s Climate March,” Fitzpatrick – along with environmental studies professor Dr. Dan Shustack and five other students from MCLA’s Students for a Democratic Society and Environuts clubs – were among the enormous crowd that made their way through city streets as heads of state prepared to gather for a historic summit on climate change.

New prof focuses on Anglophone literature
MCLA’s newest assistant professor of English, Dr. Jenna Sciuto, says it’s important that students study literature to learn more about society and the range of cultures that make up the world in which we live.

VP Degen to retire after 40 years
The College’s name change, a new mascot, new Division III sports teams and the creation of a multitude of programs that benefit students are but a few of the many changes that Charlotte Degen ’73 has seen throughout her four decades of service to MCLA.

New prof brings spirit of lifelong learning and leadership to campus
Throughout the past 30 years and three distinct careers, Dr. Thomas Whalen – the newest assistant professor to join MCLA’s Department of Business Administration – has studied and practiced leadership.

Professor brings back firsthand report on the Middle East
Anthropology professor Dr. Sumi Colligan traveled across three war zones to Amman, Jordan, to learn more about the people who live there.

NSF funds unique program
MCLA leads “Teaching to Learn,” a collaborative effort with Williams College North Adams Public Schools, that has our undergraduates developing and teaching science curriculum to local K-7 students.

STEM student aims to solve medical mysteries
As a double major in biology and psychology with a concentration in biotechnology, Svetlana Morrell '17 wants to research medical mysteries like autism, cancer and diabetes with the expectation that she may discover not only treatments, but cures.

Part of the MCLA family
Daniel Wohler '17 had a great experience at his orientation one year ago, so over the summer he served as an orientation leader to prepare others for life at MCLA.

MCLA Ranked in U.S. News & World Report as Top Ten Public Liberal Arts College for Fourth Consecutive Year
U.S. News & World Report has once again recognized Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) as a top liberal arts college. In the publication's "Best Colleges" 2015 edition, MCLA is ranked one of the top ten public liberal arts colleges in the nation, and is one of only 6 non-military institutions in the top ten.


STEM leader attends national institute
Dr. Christopher Himes found himself part of a select group this summer as one of 10 early career professors who attended the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science Summer Leadership Institute.

First-year students reach for new heights 
The traditional hike up Mount Greylock will happen a few days later this year, as incoming first-year students got things moving in a different way this past Labor Day.

More News...