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Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute The Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute was created in 2002 by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Baystate Medical Center, the western campus of the Tufts University School of Medicine, to provide a novel translational research environment for interdisciplinary teams of life scientists, physical scientists, engineers, and physicians. The PVLSI was incorporated as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization in 2004 and designed as a joint venture between the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Baystate Medical Center. The vision for the PVLSI emerged from the strengths of each partner. Baystate Medical Center had excellent clinical facilities and strong educational programs but little basic science research. UMass Amherst had excellent basic science research faculty but limited opportunity to link the basic sciences to clinical medicine. By creating the PVLSI, UMass Amherst now has a place to give access to a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines, including many not found in traditional medical school environments, while Baystate provides the deep clinical expertise of a major teaching hospital. The joint venture addresses a unique set of needs for each by providing a mechanism for the two institutions to work together in biomedical research and by providing opportunities and facilities that would not otherwise be available to them.
Community Research Engagement REU This new program will provide mentors for undergraduate students for a 10-week summer program for rising seniors (those who are in the summer before their senior year) to participate in an ongoing or new community-engaged research project in western Massachusetts, with preference for the Holyoke or Springfield communities. Students will meet as a group for seminars and training in community-engaged research, present their research study proposal aims and hypotheses, and present study results to students and faculty.
PV STEMNET The Pioneer Valley Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics PreK-16 Pipeline Network (PV STEMNET) collaborates with the Springfield School District, the Springfield Archdiocese Schools, and Springfield area colleges—Springfield College, Western New England College, and Springfield Technical Community College—to address systemic change, administer regional projects, and communicate information about funding opportunities, events, and training sessions.
Massachusetts School Counseling Model Implementation Project The Massachusetts School Counseling Model Implementation Project is committed to ensuring that all children receive the benefits of outstanding school counseling. Supported by the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research, the Springfield District has undertaken a self-study and program review to examine new models and directions to ensure that all students in the district have access to the benefits of an exemplary school-counseling program.
180 Days in Springfield 180 Days in Springfield, a program for beginning teachers interested in teaching in urban settings, now in its second decade, consists of graduate coursework combined with a yearlong teaching assignment in the Springfield Public Schools. Master’s degree students create service-learning projects that provide opportunities for middle and high school students to participate in programs ranging from school tutoring to sports clubs, school and community beautification projects and arts-related activities. 180 Days in Springfield serves as preparation for Massachusetts Initial Teacher Licensure.
4MALITY Faculty and graduate students, in conjunction with the Center for Educational Software Development, developed an intelligent tutoring system designed to improve fourth-grade mathematics MCAS test scores in Springfield, Greenfield, Northampton, and Amherst schools.
ACCELA: The Access through Critical Content and English Language Acquisition ACCELA: The Access through Critical Content and English Language Acquisition (ACCELA) Alliance in Springfield and Holyoke prepares teachers to work with English language learners. It offers a master’s degree in education with licensure in ESL (English as a Second Language) and Reading for school educators. The ACCELA Fellowship Program also provides graduate scholarships for bilingual pre-service and in-service teachers and the ACCELA Professional Development initiative created a forum for administrators to learn from local teacher research activities.
Closing the Achievement Gap in Springfield Public Schools Supported by a Public Service Endowment Grant, research on innovative teaching strategies with English language learners and culturally diverse students in four urban middle schools is being conducted by School of Education faculty to assist Springfield Public Schools in developing a basis for initiatives that have the potential to reduce the achievement gaps in their classrooms. The research will inform the national debate about effective strategies to close the gap.
Teaching Teachers about Robotics The School of Education is collaborating with Tufts University, Springfield College, the Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative, a district science specialist, and Springfield’s Van Sickle Middle School principal and science teachers who have been trained in LEGO robotics, in a federally funded, summer robotics program designed to expand innovative learning that addresses both the academic and developmental needs of students.
Tutoring Enrichment Assistance Models for Schools (TEAMS) The Tutoring Enrichment Assistance Models for Schools (TEAMS) Project, which began in 1984, places School of Education undergraduate and graduate student tutors in Springfield and other area schools. The project aims to improve school performance among K-12 students and increase knowledge of teaching as a career among college tutors.
Circuits and Beats Circuits and Beats 2011 was the second year for this two week summer camp outreach program for middle school-aged children in Holyoke and Springfield. The program introduced 20 children to the world of electrical and computer engineering via a series of hands-on projects culminating in their successful building of the SDM1, a spinning drum machine kit invented and designed at M5. Each child was able to keep his/her own drum machine. The Circuits and Beats program was funded by ECE, M5, ECE alumni, friends of ECE and the Americorps volunteer program. Several Americorp volunteers served as staff, too.
MSBDC eSolutions Student teams act as consultants and provide e-Solutions to local small businesses by designing a prototypical website and developing a set of business strategies. Current projects include Heart of Shamanism, Crosse Custom Graphics, and Apex Healthcare Services, Inc. Since 1999, more than 150 companies have been served.
Student Chapter of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) As part of the NSMH vision, its mission is to educate in order to aid in the recruitment, retention, support, and advancement of minority students in the hospitality industry, and promote multiculturalism. One NSMH program, STRENGTH (Students Taking Responsibility in Engineering New Growth Through Hospitality), is for high school students in Springfield. Hosted by the UMass NSMH Chapter for the past three years, the program aims to build a bridge between students in the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical High School in Springfield who have expressed interest in this industry and current hospitality and tourism students on campus.
Tourism Initiatives Research projects at Westover, Westfield, and in Holyoke are conducted at a very low cost as demonstration projects for the Greater Springfield Metro Area. Faculty have been involved in legislative meetings locally and in Boston to support regional funding for tourism initiatives and to report on casino gambling initiatives.
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center The MSBDC is a federal-state partnership providing one-to-one free comprehensive and confidential services focusing on business growth and strategies, financing and loan assistance, and strategic analysis. The statewide program’s three integrated product lines, business advisory services, government contracting, and international trade/export services, are delivered though a network of skilled professionals supported by a vast network of federal, state, educational, and private sector partners. Low-cost educational training programs targeted to the needs of small businesses are also offered across the state. It also offers nonprofit program assessments for writing grants and research projects with multiple stakeholders. The Western Regional Office is located at the Scibelli Enterprise Center in Springfield.
St. John’s/W.E.B. Du Bois Center A five-year strategic alliance between the W.E.B. Du Bois Center and St. Johns Church began in 2011 includes: a Du Bois Tribute; the Du Bois Lecture and a Du Bois Birthday celebration. The 2012 events had more than 500 attendees in Springfield. 3
W.E.B. Du Bois Center and Springfield Public Schools This new partnership between the W.E.B. Du Bois Center and the Springfield Public Schools brought more than 30 students in grades 9 to 12 to their first Springfield Du Bois lecture in 2012. Plans are in place for a yearlong initiative that includes more than 200 students.
W.E.B. Du Bois Center and YMCA This partnership emphasizes excellence,knowledge,leadership, and legacy with a primary focus around education and wellness. The program should reach more than 75 students in 2013.
Landscape and Urban Forestry The Landscape and Urban Forestry teams have a longstanding relationship with the Springfield tree warden assisting with street tree issues. Early Detection Training will begin to address the devastating, invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle and the eradication protocol for infested trees.
Massachusetts Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program The Massachusetts Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is part of a national effort to improve the nutrition and health of low-income families with young children. The program identifies individuals from target communities who are recruited and trained to deliver nutrition education to small groups of families for two to four months. Educators teach with a special understanding of the lifestyles, food-ways, and challenges that families face and in a language they understand. Staff use a creative curriculum that engages participants in group discussions, cooking demonstrations, food tasting, music, fun physical activities, and other hands-on learning methods. Staff are based at UMass Amherst and in five field offices across the state (Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield, and Worcester).
SNAP-Ed (SNAP=Supplemental Assistance Program ) The UMass Extension SNAP-Ed program is part of a national nutrition education effort funded through the US Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP). The overarching goal of SNAP-Ed is to provide nutrition education programs and activities that help adults and youth eligible for SNAP to establish healthy eating habits and physically active lifestyles. Staff based at UMass Amherst and in seven field offices (Boston, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, South Hadley, Springfield, and Worcester) will be working in partnership with 35 collaborators throughout the commonwealth. University faculty and staff work closely with community agencies, school systems, and other collaborators in developing an array of educational workshops, events, and materials that are informative and engaging. The program has been consistently successful at promoting healthy lifestyle choices with regard to food and physical activity.
UMass Amherst Design Center In February 2010, UMass Amherst began renovations on 3-7 Elm Street, an abandoned historic storefront on Court Square in downtown Springfield. That spring, the UMass Amherst Design Center officially opened. The center provides a physical presence for UMass Amherst in downtown Springfield and promotes collaboration between the city and the university. Faculty and students from UMass Extension, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and the Art and Architecture program all work with the Springfield Planning Department on revitalizing the cultural and commercial heart of Springfield. Together, city planners, faculty, and students have begun making a difference in the city. Two to four studio projects are held per semester. Students and faculty actively engage the community in forums, gatherings, and presentations regarding their work. The center provides students with the important advantage of being within a few blocks of their work. In 2010, the city reopened Pynchon Park, in part due to the work of the UMass Amherst Design Center’s focus on the park.
Health Education for Women at the Massachusetts Alcohol Correctional Center Approximately 20 School of Nursing students have been teaching the female population at the Massachusetts Alcohol Correctional Facility over the last six years. More than 150 men and 18 women are incarcerated there due to three or more drunken driving related arrests. These women are frequently multiple substance abusers and are in need of specific health education directed to their unique needs as vulnerable women. This valuable community service project has flourished and continues to be a desirable senior clinical placement. Students conduct eight health education sessions per semester and have been able to enhance the health education and knowledge of these women. For more than 12 semesters over 200 women have been able to attend at least four sessions conducted by graduating senior nursing students. The work related to this community service project has been presented at numerous conferences including the American Public Health Association Conference and Convention.
Improving the Self-management of Congestive Heart Failure Senior nursing students meet weekly with staff and residents to assess the needs of senior citizens living in the Keystone Woods Independent Living Center. Janet McClelland, a recent graduates of the RN, DNP program, consulted to the center on the results of her research and dissertation on Congestive Heart Failure. Students then collaborated with key informants to develop culturally sensitive objectives on heart health. Sessions include an overview of the heart and the effect of exercise, diet and reading of labels, and how to recognize symptoms. Students apply models based on appropriate mutually established objectives. Residents will evaluate the program. Preliminiary feedback to date is positive.
Scholar in Residence at Jewish Geriatric Services, Inc. Cynthia Jacelon, associate professor at the UMass Amherst School of Nursing will be on site at Jewish Geriatric Services, Inc., to provide advanced geriatric nursing consultation with respect to resident care; provide faculty expertise in the promotion of excellence; enhance scholarly productivity of JGS staff, including conducting and participating in research; facilitate UMass Amherst undergraduate and graduate student research opportunities and experience in geriatric care at JGS; chair the JGS Research Council; coordinate the annual research conference at JGS; create opportunities for faculty and student research, research translation, and scholarly publication; and conduct a program of research involving older adults.
Vietnamese Center After-school Program Senior nursing students meet weekly with staff and fourth and fifth graders to support the after-school tutoring program at the Vietnamese center in Springfield. The first hour the students collaborate with the director to determine the specific homework needs and extra help they might need. The last hour is dedicated to health promotion. Using culturally appropriate websites, the director, children, and student nurses select information on the heart and 16 healthy foods the kids would actually be eating. They provide heart health information by engaging the students in a fun activity and serving fresh fruit. After a quick trip through the Vietnamese market, the students prepare recipes for their families. The feedback from the program director is positive.
2011 UMass Health Careers Opportunity Program Summer Scholars Program Six Springfield high school students participated in the 2011 UMass HCOP Summer Scholars Program designed to provide students with an extended college readiness experience to facilitate their entry into higher education institutions and foster success for completion of a degree program. The UMass/HCOP program aims to create an atmosphere that increases students’ awareness of a variety of college majors and tracks associated with pursuit of a career in the allied health field. The overall intent of the program was to introduce students to the four-year college system and all of its diverse programs and initiatives that support health-related majors and careers. The Summer Scholars program contributed greatly to expanding students’ understanding of what steps they need to take at this critical juncture of their high school career.
Springfield Holyoke Health Alliance for Research and Engagement (SHHARE) The Springfield and Holyoke Health Alliance for Research and Engagement (SHHARE) is an SPHHS-initiated effort to build linkages among faculty, students, and community, applying principles of community-based participatory research to enhance joint efforts to solve pressing health problems in Holyoke and Springfield. Forums in Holyoke and Springfield have highlighted the work of community members, including the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, Gardening the Community, and Men of Color Health Awareness. SHHARE has also created a Who’s Who in Public Health in Western Massachusetts database, and in 2011 funded 11 internships in community health organizations through a unique Request for Intern program.
Western Massachusetts Public Health Training Center The Western Massachusetts Public Health Training Center is currently funding three collaborative projects in the city of Springfield—Mason Square Health Task Force, Brightwood Health Center, and Caring Health Center. The Mason Square and Caring Health Center projects are aimed at diabetes prevention and control, and the Brightwood Health Center project will introduce a family garden for children and families attending the Brightwood Elementary School in an effort to address childhood obesity. Interns have been placed in 18 Springfield-based community health sites for Spring 2012.
Kinesiology Projects Biomechanics and motor control researchers Joe Hamill, Richard van Emmerik, and Brian Umberger, are working with clinicians from the Shriners Hospital for Children to study the movement abilities in children with scoliosis, cerebral palsy, and prosthetic limbs.
Mothers and Daughters Dancing Together Like African American women, African American girls suffer disproportionately from obesity. The increased prevalence of obesity has been associated with an increased incidence of pediatric Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A factor associated with the increased prevalence of obesity and T2DM in children is a decrease in their physical activity levels. Reductions in physical activity are more prevalent in African American girls and women; therefore effective physical activity interventions are needed. It has also been speculated that a way to increase children’s physical activity level is to increase parental physical activity level. Studies have shown that parental (maternal) health behaviors can influence children’s health behaviors. Family remains a valued facet of the African American culture, and therefore an important behavioral context for interventions to improve physical activity and other health outcomes. This study carried out in Springfield, funded by the National Institutes of Health, examines the feasibility and efficacy of a 12-week randomized control intervention that engages African American daughters and mothers in Afro-centric dance. If this intervention presents a viable option for increasing physical activity for African American girls and their mothers, we will have identified a route for reducing obesity and T2DM in these groups.
Short Bouts of Exercise for Preschoolers In 2010, Massachusetts State Department of Early Education mandated that preschools provide a minimum of 60 minutes/ day outdoor playtime for preschool-age children. Most preschools divide the 60 minutes into two 30-minute time blocks (morning and afternoon) of unstructured free playtime. This format has proved ineffective at increasing preschoolers’ physical activity (PA). Additionally, preschoolers tend to accumulate only 8 to 12 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) during 30-minute outdoor playtime. This accumulation of MVPA during outdoor playtime generally occurs during the first 10 minutes, with activity levels progressively decreasing the longer the children participate in the same type of activity. Based on this evidence, it has been suggested that a higher level of MVPA would be attained by exposing preschoolers to shorter bouts of structured PA throughout the preschool day. This study carried out in Springfield, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examines the efficacy of short bouts of structured PA during designated outdoor playtime versus traditional prolonged bout of unstructured outdoor playtime on increasing PA and reducing sedentary time during the school day in 10 lower socioeconomic status preschoolers.
Farm to Preschool Evaluation Project Elena Carbone and Gloria DiFulvio are working with the Springfield Partners for a Healthier Community in a communitybased participatory evaluation of the Farm to Preschool and Families program, specifically examining consumption of fresh produce by preschoolers.
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program offers a series of hands-on workshops to low-income families with young children. Through applied learning and group discussions, EFNEP participants learn to make healthful food choices, plan low-cost nutritious meals, prepare foods safely, and get the most nutrition for their food dollars. EFNEP also has a program for youth in Springfield, Worcester, Lawrence, Brockton, Fall River, and their surrounding communities.
Cost Effectiveness Analysis of a Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Education Program Rosa Rodriguez-Monguio and her graduate student, Christopher Jasinski, are working with Ksenia Tonyushkina (Baystate Medical Center, Pediatrics Department) on the cost-effectiveness analysis of type 1 diabetes mellitus education program provided in different health care settings.
Early Life Somatotypes and Breast Tumor Gene Expression Susan Hankinson is collaborating with Grace Makari-Judson and Giovanna Crisi, of Baystate Health, in a prospective study of selected gene expression profiles of 90 women diagnosed with breast cancer to explore the potential mechanisms underlying the intriguing hypothesis that greater body fatness at young ages confers a long term protective effect on breast tissue. The goal of this research is to identify the critical pathway(s) underlying the lower risk of breast cancer seen in women who were obese in childhood. By determining how to impact these pathways without concomitant childhood obesity, this work may lead to new modalities for breast cancer prevention.
Public Health and Baystate Emergency Medicine Studying Blood Vessel Functions Rongheng Lin is collaborating with Howard Smithline of Baystate Emergency Medicine Department in a pilot study to examine how blood vessels function in patients with heart failure. The blood flow intensities of patients were recorded before, during and after transient blockage of their arteries. The study’s aim is to characterize the signal intensity patterns and to explore the reliability of different measures that have the potential to be used as index of heart health status.
Health Environment/Healthy Springfield; an EPA CARE Project (Community Action for a Renewed Environment) This project involves multiple Springfield community stakeholders in assessing and prioritizing environmental risks in the city of Springfield through community forums, informational sessions, and quantitative analyses of environmental risks by a core group of professionals and scientists. The project also provides mentorship to high school students to increase their awareness and involvement in environmental risk assessment. The long-term goal is to establish a working coalition of organizations, residents, businesses, and government agencies to address environmental health issues and improve the quality of life for all Springfield residents.
HIV/AIDS Prevention Supervised by a faculty member, a student is working with Tapestry Health and La Voz in Springfield in developing the evaluation of an HIV/AIDS prevention program targeting injection drug users.
Baystate-UMass Biomedical Research Program Barry Braun is the codirector of the Baystate-UMass Biomedical Research Program, which funds research projects with Baystate and UMass Amherst and runs a Summer Scholars program for undergraduate students to work in research laboratories at UMass Amherst or Baystate Medical Center.
Partnership for Innovation Program The Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts used to be known as Precision Valley because of its abundance of precision manufacturing companies. Outsourcing of work in recent decades has led to the demise of many of those machining shops, many of which were family owned with fewer 50 employees. Precision Valley may be making a comeback. A new partnership involving the western Massachusetts chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, the Hampden County Regional Employment Board, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst Precision Manufacturing Regional Alliance Project (PMRAP) works to enable the adoption of new technology from the university to the companies through a process of discovery, communication, and grant writing. It also works to support the development of the future precision manufacturing workforce. The goal of the partnership is business growth and expansion into new markets with a prepared workforce. The project was initially sponsored by the John Adams Innovation Institute and subsequently funded by the National Science Foundation’s Partnership for Innovation program.
Community Journalism Project Every spring Professor Nicholas McBride teaches a campus/community partnership course,Community Journalism, with Commerce High School in Springfield, designed to use journalism education for literacy development. UMass undergraduates and Commerce students work together in a process of journalism instruction and mutual mentorship.
Investigative Journalism & The Web Students in the class are spending the year examining and analyzing the aftermath of last spring’s tornadoes on western Massachusetts. During the spring they will focus on Springfield and seek to determine the impact of the wealth gap between Springfield and surrounding communities. The class is part of a partnership with Boston.com, The BostonGlobe.com and The Boston Globe. Students are blogging on a regular basis at: http://www.boston.com/community/blogs/after_the_ storm/ and, they will be producing a package of stories looking at the anniversary that will hopefully be published in the week before June 1.
Springfield GIS Project The Springfield GIS Project is mapping census data in the Springfield MSA that shows population characteristics (e.g., family composition, poverty rates, employment levels) across the city and trends over time. The information is being used to support analysis and decision making as part of the Wellspring Initiative, and also to develop presentations to initiative stakeholders and other groups interested in economic development in the city.
Wellspring Initaitive Representing an innovative public-private partnership that includes UMass Amherst, Baystate Health, and Mass Mutual, among other Springfield partners, Wellspring aims to create a network of worker-owned businesses in inner-city Springfield that supply the needs of area anchor institutions. The project’s goals are to create entry-level jobs that pay a living wage and enable low-income residents to accumulate wealth—an important prerequisite for moving into the middle class, investing in one’s neighborhood, and contributing to healthier communities. Support for Wellspring has come through the UMass President’s Creative Economy Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Third Sector New England, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and matching funds from Wellspring anchor institutions and partner organizations. 9
World Wide Views on Biodiversity This project is designed to bring the voices of citizens to the deliberations of the 2012 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11). A UMass Public Service Endowment Grant is supporting the involvement of up to 15 low-income residents in Springfield to participate in a day of deliberation on biodiversity at the Museum of Science in Boston in September 2012. Their views, along with those of other Massachusetts residents and citizens from nations across the globe, will be shared with delegates to the UN convention to inform their deliberations and decision making.
Population 7 Population 7 is an urban art laboratory with a vision of making a tangible impact on the culture of public art in Springfield. Located in the upper Lyman Warehouse District, two studios in 2010 and this public art studio in 2011 studied and implemented public art installations. The installations coincided with an art walk tour of works produced for Population 7 and others located within downtown Springfield. Work was produced by Professor Frank Sleegers and graduate students Elizabeth Englebretson, Carli Foster, Doris Yiwei Huang, and Eric Wojtowicz. This past November, Sleegers installed a mural depicting silhouettes of students, city planners, and professors working cooperatively on underused urban areas like the forgotten upper Lyman Warehouse District. The “Community Spirit” silhouettes on the wall of a warehouse owned and operated by Conklin Office Furniture reference the once vibrant activities on Lyman Street. The idea for the mural came from Chris Johnson, a UMass Amherst landscape architecture student.
Arts Partner Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin, donates the lobby of One Financial Plaza to host art exhibits by UMass Amherst students. Under the tutelage of John Simpson of the University Fine Arts Center, the students, all non-art majors, typically recreate painted historical masterpieces including such famous works as the “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli and “St. Matthew and the Angel” by Caravaggio and the “Doni Tondo” by Michelangelo.
Springfield Stories The Springfield Stories project applies locative media technology (video on website and mobile devices) to spur community engagement and economic development in downtown Springfield. Video performances (narrative stories, songs, dances, etc.) by local Springfield youth relate their experiences and perceptions of the city. The video performances are accessed on the project website as well as locative media which enables smart phones to download content on site in a downtown Springfield performance walk.
The Springfield Compact The Springfield Compact will be a partnership among the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the city of Springfield, its public high schools, and low-income Springfield families. The program will enhance the mutual relationship between UMass Amherst and Springfield through a focus on education. As the basis of the compact, low-income families are invited to commit at least $30 each month toward college savings, support their students’ attendance at an approved afterschool program, and attend at least four Family Savings Workshops a year. In return, the family savings would be matched, dollar-fordollar, up to $1,500. UMass Amherst will provide admitted students who meet federal income and eligibility requirements for financial aid, up to $14,000 a year toward their tuition and fees. In addition, through a Springfield Scholars Program, UMass Amherst will provide up to 20 full scholarships a year, including room and board, to the most talented Springfield high school students who have met established academic criteria. 10
STCC/UMass Partnership: Scibelli Enterprise Center The mission of the Scibelli Enterprise Center, located at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) is job and wealth creation in the city and surrounding region. It advances this mission by providing comprehensive support services, resources, and a stable environment to early stage and young businesses looking to grow in western Massachusetts. Management services to the Scibelli Enterprise Center and its Business Incubator are provided by UMass Amherst through an agreement with Springfield Technical Community College. Services include strategic planning, client and tenant recruitment, budget oversight, and revenue generation, including grant writing, marketing, facilities liaison, incubator management, client development, UMass faculty liaison, and outreach. The Scibelli Enterprise Center is also home to a business incubator, which accelerates the growth of successful companies through customized mentoring from regional business leaders. Its anchor tenants providing services to small businesses include the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Western Regional Office, New England Business Associates Business Consulting Center, SCORE, and the US Small Business Administration regional office. The 19 companies and organizations resident in the Enterprise Center fall into three clusters: cleantech, IT enabled, and education.
WFCR 88.5FM WFCR, licensed to the University of Massachusetts, and all-news WNNZ AM 640 and 91.7 FM, licensed to the WFCR Foundation, Inc.—New England Public Radio—are the regional affiliates of National Public Radio (NPR), delivering exceptional NPR and local news, information, music, and cultural programming on air and online. The regional television affiliate of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), WGBY, is already located in downtown Springfield, and New England Public Radio operates a news bureau from that location. Bringing New England Public Radio to Springfield, close to WGBY/PBS gives the station the opportunity to be part of a public media hub and give the university a greater presence in Springfield. For the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, having New England Public Radio in the Springfield community will strengthen its case for philanthropic giving with a large portion of the listening region. The WFCR Foundation, Inc., is conducting a major capital campaign to construct studio and office space at 1537 Main Street inSpringfield, and complete the rehabilitation of a broadcast suite for WFCR and WNNZ in Hampshire House on the UMass Amherst campus. The WFCR Foundation expects the facility in Springfield to be ready in early 2014 and the station plans to move the majority of its operations to 1537 Main Street upon completion, while maintaining its studio and offices on the UMass Amherst campus and its news/talk studio at WGBY as well.
Islamic Art Professor Walter Denny of the Department of Art at UMass Amherst is involved in a project to install a gallery of Islamic Art at the Springfield Art Museums. This effort will involve a complete survey of the Islamic collections of the museums and a topical installation with educational programs, signage, and possibly film.
Western Massachusetts Writing Project The Western Massachusetts Writing Project is a K-13 professional development provider licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Most of the work is carried out by teacher-consultants, many of whom serve on task forces in the areas of continuity (programs to support WMWP teacher leaders), in-service (programs for all teachers), and outreach (programs for youth and community). It also collaborates with the StemTec program and the five colleges and public schools in Springfield.
Department of History K-12 Workshops The History Institute sponsors in-service training for K-12 teachers during the summer and academic year. Last year’s institute, Emerging America: From Agrarian Colonies to World Leader, was a partnership with the Hampshire Educational Collaborative (HEC) and a dozen area school districts. Local teachers and students aid schools nationwide to learn about key events in U.S. history that occurred in western Massachusetts. The Historic Northampton Museum and the Springfield Armory National Historic Site are making documents and artifacts available. Teachers from across western Massachusetts participate at no charge.
The Translation Center The Translation Center offers an array of translating, interpreting and language consulting services at very low costs to a variety of clients: small businesses, multinational corporations, museums, law firms, hospitals, NGOs, filmmakers, advertising firms, educational institutions ranging from elementary schools to university departments, and individuals.
Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) UMass Amherst is leading a Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) to design and carry out comprehensive programs that address under representation in information technology (IT) education and the workforce. CAITE will focus on women and minorities in underrepresented groups (economically, academically, and socially disadvantaged) in Massachusetts. CAITE sponsors frequent outreach programs with organizations and community colleges in Springfield and Holyoke.
Leadership Pioneer Valley LPV is a regional community leadership program for mid-career professionals from non-profit, public, and private sector organizations throughout Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. In this year-long monthly program participants spend the day either in leadership development programming or community orientation/network development. Field experiences bring the group to sites within a specified sub-region to meet with community leaders. UMass has been actively involved on the Steering Committee, Curriculum Committee, and Marketing Committee.
Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress: Small Business Strategy The Pioneer Valley’s Plan for Progress Small Business Strategy Team, co-led by private industry and UMass Amherst, is working to establish a business ecosystem to support the establishment and growth of businesses in the Pioneer Valley. It is an effort to bring together service providers to small businesses—public and private—to help the businesses grow and contribute in a more prosperous way to the regional economy. A grant proposal has been written to support this work and efforts are underway to create a regional web portal and summit of all the providers.