Reba Barrows, M.Ed
Reba Barrows is an undergraduate admission counselor at Elms College. She received both her bachelor of arts and master of education in school counseling degrees from Merrimack College. In the admission office, She supervises the student ambassadors and manages the recruitment of first-year students from Central and Western Massachusetts. Prior to her employment at Elms College, she worked at the secondary level, both in a guidance office and as a substitute teacher.
Jill Bigos, M.S.
Jill Bigos received her master’s degree in forensic science. Her interests include the forensic applications of biochemistry and the expansion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for undergraduates. Her research projects have included work on tadpole metamorphosis and histology. She currently teaches anatomy & physiology for undergraduate nursing majors, as well as forensic science. She is also involved in various STEM outreach initiatives for local students in middle school and high school.
Amanda Garcia, MSA, CPA, CFP
Amanda Garcia, MSA, CPA is the director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and assistant professor of accounting at Elms College. Amanda earned her B.A. in accounting from Elms College and her Master of Science in accounting (MSA) at Western New England University. Amanda teaches in the disciplines of accounting, finance and economics. She has owned a tax and consulting business for over 10 years, which focuses on tax planning for individuals and small businesses. She specializes in small business, rental properties and individuals with investments seeking tax planning strategies. She is also passionate about financial education. She is a 2010 Business West 40 under 40 awardee and finalist for the 2016 Business West Continued Excellence Award. Amanda serves as a volunteer for Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, Young Professionals of Greater Springfield, and the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the MSCPA.
William Gilbert, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, AADC
William Gilbert has been a social worker for over 25 years as a clinician, administrator, and educator. He received his MSW from Boston College and his Ph.D. in social work from the University of Connecticut. He has worked at several social service agencies in Connecticut serving in both administrative and clinical positions, including 15 years in the addictions field. He also currently works at Griffin Counseling LLC as a private practice therapist. His dissertation was titled “Correlates of Recovery from Substance Use Disorders.” His primary research interest is the investigation of factors affecting recovery from substance use disorders. He is married with three adult children and three dogs.
Cecily Hughes, MFA
Cecily Hughes is a lecturer in art history, co-director of First Year Seminar, and the Borgia Gallery curator at Elms College. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for international education, she completed her master of fine arts degree from the Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She has an avid interest in contemporary art and is especially drawn to artists who use humor, wit, and satire as a spark for social change. A firm believer in the importance of the liberal arts, her teaching style promotes critical thinking, open discussion from diverse points of view, and clear, concise writing.
Laura McNeil, Ph.D.
Laura McNeil is the director of the Honors Scholar Program and an associate professor of history at Elms College. She received her B.A. from Hampshire College and her Ph.D. in history from Boston College. She offers survey courses in European and world history, and upper-level courses in her areas of specialization, modern Ireland and Britain. She enjoys travel and good food. As such, she has led study-abroad trips to Ireland and Italy, and enjoys offering unusual experiential-learning classes, most notably HIS250: “A Taste of Freedom,” a historical and culinary exploration of the American immigration experience.
Sara Smiarowski, MSA, CPA
Sara received her bachelor of science in accounting from Truman State University and her master of science in accounting from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is licensed as a certified public accountant (CPA) in Massachusetts. Sara started her career in public accounting, specializing in start-up, private equity backed companies and closely-held manufacturers. She has over 10 years of experience in finance and accounting roles, ranging from public accountant to chief financial officer. She teaches in the disciplines of accounting, finance, and economics.
Rob Southall, MPE
Rob Southall serves as the assistant athletic director and head men’s basketball coach at Elms College. He earned his master’s in physical education and bachelor’s in movement studies from Springfield College. He currently serves as the national chair representative for the New England NCAA basketball regional advisory committee. Prior to his employment at Elms, he served as a lecturer of physical education at Springfield College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.