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Feb. 2024 News Blog

DATE: Monday, January 1, 2024

News briefs from the HCC campus and beyond

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Janine Papesh '19 with culinary arts profesor Warren Leigh

Lunch Meeting
The Wednesday spring, luncheon series has been a staple of culinary arts education at HCC since long before the program moved downtown to its new home at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, which opened to rave reviews in January 2018. Preparing and serving meals to large gatherings is literally baked into the curriculum, as students take courses such as Culinary 112: Dining Room Service, and Culinary 250: Banquet Cookery and Service. On Wed., Feb. 14, the spring luncheon series resumed with the first themed event of 2024, "Tapas - España," featuring family-style platters of rustic Spanish bread, Spanish olives, roasted eggplant and red pepper dip, ham and cheese croquettes, tuna gallegas empanadillas, tortilla de potatoes with onions and leaks, goat cheese honey cheesecake, and almond tarta. For 15 bucks, it's a bargain, with all the proceeds going to the President's Student Emergency Fund. Two of those in attendance for the Valentine's Day affair were HCC alum Janine Papesh '19 and her husband, computer science instructor Brant Cheikes. After working for many years in the Boston area, the couple retired to western Massachusetts and now live in Whately. Papesh enrolled at HCC in 2018 and was a member of the first culinary class to be trained entirely at the new facility. She now works part time in the coffee shop at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, where, she said, "I make very good milkshakes." (Above: Luncheon guest Janine Papesh '19 catches up with one of her former teachers, chef and HCC culinary arts professor Warren Leigh. Thumbnail: Culinary arts student Moi Hamilton slices the tortilla de potatoes before serving.)

Principles of Markeing

Class Action
The reviews are inBy an overwhelming margin, students in Klara Karol's Principles of Marketing class selected "The DunKings," starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Brady, and Jennifer Lopez as their favorite Super Bowl commercial of 2024. Their least favorite? "He Gets Us: Foot Washing," a commercial pushing Jesus Christ. Lists of their Top 5 and Bottom 5 choices were published Feb. 13 in a special online edition of USA Today by writer Rick Suter. HCC was one of five colleges enlisted this year to participate in USA Today's annual Ad Meter Super Bowl commercial rating campaign. "The mission was simple," Suter wrote. "Expand the Super Bowl commercial conversation to the next generation." "I personally thought the 'DunKings' commercial was the best mainly because it had actors and celebrities from our home state of Massachusetts," said HCC student Jacob Balboni, whose comments, along with a few of his classmates' were published in the USA Today story. "Seeing Tom Brady dressed up in a goofy matching outfit was pretty funny." Balboni also like the BWM ad "Talkin; Like Walken," which ranked second  on the HCC best list. Rounding out their Top 5: Michelob Ultra "Superior Beach," starring soccer great Lionel Messi, Popeye's "The Wait is Over," where actor Ken Jeong wakes up after a long cryosleep, and Hellman's "May-ow Cat." Despite Budweiser's "Old School Delivery" ad being ranked number 8 overall in AdMeter's national poll, Karol's students put it in their Bottom 5. "I hated the Budweiser commercial," student Liam Colclaugh said the next day in class as the discusses the results. "Same old thing every year. Horses and puppies. It's getting old." Read the full story in USA Today ... (PHOTO: Klara Karol's Principles of Markeing class took part in a USA Today review of Super Bowl commercials.) 

A student from Springfield Central High School examines a patient at the Centr for Health Education & Simulation.

World Tour
Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno recently joined students from Springfield Central High School for a tour of the simulation labs at HCC's Center for Health Education & Simulation. The visit is part of a a program called the World is Our Classroom, which seeks to expose high school students to career pathways in different STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, such as healthcare. "Our goal is to work with up to 1,200 Springfield public high school students every year to bring them to the five different pathway programs, to show them different opportunities," said Nora Patton, executive director of the World Is Our Classroom. Joining the group for the tour were Yolanda Johnson, a member of HCC's Board of Trustees and the chief of student services for Springfield Public Schools, as well as HCC President George Timmons. "There's a huge opportunity in the work force to fill STEM fields and often times students shy away from that," Timmons told a reporter from WWLP-22News. "So the exposure and experience with those fields the earlier, the better to increase interest and excitement around the fields." (Above: A student from Springfield Central High School examines a patient during a Feb. 9 visit to HCC's Center for Health Education & Simulation while sim technician Michael Suckau looks on.)

HCC student, screenwriter and directot Camryn Rist

Casting Cowboy
The other day, HCC student Camryn Rist was in the Black Box Theater for a casting call. Rather than trying out for a part himself, though, Rist was the one in the director's seat, conducting auditions for his short film, "Pretending Cowboy." Despite the T-shirt he was wearing that day, which said, "This ain't my first rodeo," the movie is actually Rist's first. "I decided to just go for it," said Rist, who was also sporting a kerchief around his neck. Inspired by his love of cowboys, Rist wrote the screenplay for "Pretending Cowboy," which is about Robin, a lonely guy afraid of making connections and winds up pushing people out of his life. One day, Robin discovers old western films and finds peace watching them. His love for the movies distracts him from his everyday life and enables him to focus on something that he can connect with. "I don't want to give away too much of the film, but he goes on this journey to become a cowboy," said Rist, who lives in Holyoke. "He thinks it will fix all of his problems, and he won't need to deal with people anymore." The story, Rist said, is loosely based on his own experiences. "Robin is a lot like me," he said. "I was going through a hard time and wrote Robin as if it was me." Ultimately, though, Rist decided to cast someone else to play the part so he could focus on directing. Rist expects to start filming in late spring or early summer and believes the movie's themes will resonate with viewers. "I think we all have a bit of a cowboy in ourselves, deep inside," he said. For more information, send an email to pretendingcowboymovie@gmail.com. (Above: HCC student, screenwriter and director Camryn Rist)



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