2018-2019 Academic Year Highlights

The 2018-2019 academic year has been a busy, exciting, and rewarding one here at Elms College.

As commencement approaches, I would like to review some highlights from this past year. I am thankful for the hard work of our faculty and staff, who strive to provide the best Elms experience to our diversity of students, and for the dedication of our students, who consistently seek new ways to excel both academically and as compassionate people.

Academic Highlights

  • September: The computer science department is awarded a major NSF grant to help create a program designed to spark interest in computer science and related fields among middle school girls in Holyoke, MA.
  • October: The School of Nursing announces a 100% NCLEX pass rate for the Class of 2018.
  • November: Communication sciences and disorders alumna Silvana Tellerico ’18 and Brittney Carlson, Au.D/Ph.D., assistant professor and CSD program director, present a research poster at the 2018 American Speech Language Hearing Convention in Boston.
  • December: Faculty in the ASD/ABA program make significant changes to their program curriculum, achieving certification for the fifth edition from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
  • January: Joey Jackson, BMS ’19, and Alexandra Norton ’20 attend the Pioneer Valley Microbes Symposium to present posters on their research in the lab of Prof. Janet Williams, Ph.D.
  • March: The School of Nursing receives a $750,000 grant to improve health outcomes in Haiti through nursing faculty development.
  • March: Elms College announces a new Honors Scholar Program, which will begin in fall 2019, designed by faculty from a foundation of academic excellence, experiential learning, ethical leadership, and a diversity of individuals and ideas.
  • March: Peer tutors Kyle O’Brien ’19, Keara Moulton ’21, and Shames Radi ’19 represent Elms tutoring services at the New England Peer Association’s Annual Conference at UMass Lowell.
  • April: STEM students present work at the Eastern New England Biological Conference, held at Emmanuel College in Boston.
  • April: Elms College and STCC sign a new agreement to offer accelerated online degree-completion programs in computer science and computer information technology and security at STCC.
  • May: Elms College awards than 540 degrees to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • May: Premed Director Prof. Janet Williams, Ph.D., announces that this year two students have been accepted into medical school, another into a doctor of osteopathic medicine program, four into physician assistant programs, one into an optometry program, one into a veterinary medicine program, two into schools of dentistry, and two into doctor of pharmacy programs.

Campus & Community Events

  • August: The Dorothy Day Service Program welcomes 42 first-year students and student leaders for a week-long community-service experience at locations such as Homework House of Holyoke, Gray House of Springfield, Nuestras Raices in Holyoke, Genesis Spiritual Life Center in Westfield, and Providence Ministries.
  • September: Opening convocation kicks off the academic year with a message of empathy, compassion, and the importance of being a good listener from former attorney and lobbyist Helena Bala, founder of the blog Craigslist Confessional.
  • October: More than 50 Elms students serve as mentors at a JA Economics for Success event hosted by Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts at Putnam High School.
  • October: The Borgia Gallery celebrates the opening of “Robin and James Miller Present ‘Langston Hughes,’ ” an exhibit of artwork inspired by the life and works of the poet, with a Mary Dooley Lecture by the artists.
  • November: Author Andrew Forsthoefel, author of “Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time,” this year’s Campus Common Read, visits campus to speak with First Year Seminar students.
  • November: Over 60 educators from 10 local districts attend the Education Division’s Trauma-Sensitive Schools Institute, sponsored by Elms and Chicopee Public Schools.
  • November: Elms College hosts its annual career fair connecting 211 students with 50 companies and organizations in accounting, business, banking, business, healthcare management, nursing, and social services.
  • November: The Center for Law & Justice hosts a lecture on forensics by Sarah Stein, M.S., Ph.D., of The Center for the Resolution of Unresolved Crime (CRUC).
  • December: The Elms College School of Nursing and the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Sandwich Ministry, in cooperation with Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry, host their annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Tribute.
  • February: The second annual Black Issues Summit invites scholars to campus to discuss equity, empowerment, community, and excellence.
  • February: The inaugural Elms Innovation Challenge gives students from all majors the opportunity to collaborate and develop creative solutions to the issue of bullying in schools.
  • February: Elms hosts nine undergraduate students from the University of Kochi in Japan, and 30+ Elms students serve as Friendship Partners to the exchange students.
  • March: Campus Ministry sponsors mission trips to Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Houston, and El Paso, in addition to January trips to New Orleans.
  • March: Students hold a launch part for the C.O.V.E. (“culture, openness, values, and education), a new safe space created in the Center for Student Success.
  • March: The Earl of St. Andrews, a senior member of the House of Windsor, the reigning royal house of the United Kingdom, visits campus.
  • March: Elms College once again hosts the Mass GeoBee and GeoChallenge.
  • March: The Elms family holds a Take Back the Night rally and march, starting with a poetry reading, continuing with a march through downtown Chicopee, and concluding with readings of true stories of assault survivors.
  • March: A group of students and faculty from Elms College visit the Statehouse for Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD), which offers an opportunity for social workers to learn about the legislative process, and to lobby legislators for policy that is important to clients and the profession.
  • March: Campus Ministry hosts three “Partners in Mission” events in celebration of National Catholic Sisters Week: an Agape Latte talk by Sr. Melinda Pellerin, SSJ, a member of the National Black Sisters Conference; a St. Joseph’s Day Mass and lunch with SSJs; a luncheon event with students, faculty, and staff, and members of the Sisters of St. Joseph Peace and Justice Committee and SEED (Sharing in Earth’s Ecological Design) Committee.
  • April: Student Engagement and Leadership recognizes 14 sophomore students who completed the Sophomore Leadership Program, which develops personal leadership strengths through workshops and retreats, as well as a coordinated group service project.
  • April: Sr. Mary Johnson, SNDdeN, Ph.D., delivers the inaugural Fr. Hugh Crean Distinguished Lecture in memory of the beloved priest and theologian.
  • April: More than 160 participants attend the Elms College Executive Leadership Event: Community Breakfast to hear keynote speaker Dennis P. Duquette of MassMutual and the MassMutual Foundation discuss the economy of Western Massachusetts.
  • April: The new interfaith reflection/prayer space, on the lower level of the Alumnae Library, is blessed by Campus Ministry.
  • April: Tim Donahue ’19 wins an award at the Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative Annual Banquet for his table presentation of his company, Fit Labs.
  • April: The Elms College dance team hosts a charity concert in Veritas Auditorium that draws hundreds of local dancers to campus and raises over $1,000 for the We Love Riley Fan Club, a charity that supports children with cancer and their families. The team also performed throughout the season at men’s and women’s basketball games, and received 5th place at the UDA New England Dance Championship for their pom routine.
  • May: At the inaugural student showcase for the Keating Schneider Experiential Learning Fund, students deliver presentations on research projects, mission trip experiences, internships, and study abroad opportunities enabled by the new fund.

College News

  • September: US News & World Report ranks Elms in the top 100 of north regional colleges.
  • October: The Sisters Kathleen Keating & Maxyne Schneider Experiential Learning Fund is established to put internships, study abroad opportunities, and service-learning in reach of all students, with funded projects to start in the spring semester.
  • October: The Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce names Elms College MBA its exclusive Educational Training Partner.
  • October: Elms establishes two new urban and Catholic education grants.
  • November: Elms names seven new trustees: Beth E. Anderson, founder/CEO of Phoenix Charter Academy Network; Pascale Desir, chief legal officer of Way Finders; Dr. Jose Fernandez, co-owner of Sunrise Behavioral Health Clinic; Mark Fulco, president of Mercy Medical Center; Steven Gobel, first vice president of Morgan Stanley; Fawwaz Habbal, Ph.D., executive dean for education and research and senior lecturer at the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University; and Richard K. Sullivan Jr., president/CEO of Western Mass Economic Development Council.
  • November: Past President Sr. Kathleen C. Keating is named president emerita in recognition of her outstanding contributions to this college.
  • November: Elms College is ranked in the top three Safest College Campuses in Massachusetts, according to Niche’s 2019 Best Colleges rankings, and the School of Nursing is one of only two Western Massachusetts schools named by Niche to the top nine Best Colleges for Nursing in Massachusetts.
  • November: Work begins on the new Gaylord Mansion living-learning community space.
  • January: President Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA, joins the presidents of Westfield State and Holyoke Community College at WGBY to discuss diversity in college leadership in Western Massachusetts for a segment of “Connecting Point.”
  • March: Thanks to our engaged community, Blazer Blitz raises $14,000 to support Elms students in just 24 hours!
  • April: Three of BusinessWest’s “40 Under 40” Class of 2019 are from Elms: Trista Hevey ’05, MBA; Dorothy (Makselon) Ostrowski ’11, MSN/MBA ’15; and Nicole Florian-Theriaque, CPA, MSA.
  • April: ElmsConnect replaces Blazernet, enabling students to access their student information and register for classes online.

Athletics Highlights

  • October: The women’s cross country team wins the NECC championship.
  • October: Biology professor Jill Bigos is named NECC Coach of the Year for cross country.
  • October: SAAC partners with Special Olympics Young Athletes to offer budding athletes a sports program focused on fun.
  • January: 37 fall sport student athletes earn All-Academic NECC recognition.
  • March: Men’s and women’s swimming earn the Scholar All-America Award from the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA)
  • April: The men’s volleyball team is ranked #5 nationally by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA
President of Elms College
Wednesday, May 15, 2019