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May 2023 News Blog

DATE: Monday, May 8, 2023

News briefs from the HCC campus and beyond

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HCC staff and students gather with the El Centro staff to celebrate the programs first birthday.

Felice Cumpleaños, El Centro!
HCC's El Centro program celebrated its first anniversary May 10 with a party in the Campus Center, featuring food, music and appreciations for all the people who were instrumental in getting the program started and making it so successful, including President Christina Royal, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Sharale Mathis, members of the HIspanic Leadership Committee, and more. Students currently involved with the program and those who are graduating this spring also received citations. "I'm incredibly proud of the work our team has accomplished since opening our doors to students," said director Julissa Colón. "El Centro provides a whole host of services for our Latin X students with academic counseling and in depth, wraparound support. We connect our students with the people and programs across campus. We bring our full selves into this space and we celebrate the brilliance of our varied cultures in an effort to shine a light into the backgrounds and histories of our students and where they come from. We are dedicated to building a sense of community and belonging for all of our students on HCC's campus." See more pictures in our Facebook album ...

HCC student-nurses took part in an active shooter drill at the Holyoke Mall.

Active Engagement
HCC student nurses took part in an active shooter drill at the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside on Sunday, May 7, organized by the City of Holyoke Critical Response Team. They worked alongside personnel from the Holyoke Fire and Police departments, neighboring police departments, Cataldo Ambulance, Chapin Ambulance, the Department of Fire Services Special Ops, and students from Smith Vocational High School in Northampton. "Sixteen of my best volunteers on the planet from the Nursing department showed up for this collaboration," said Tara Kavanaugh, associate professor of nursing. "We had a future student, an alumna, and a nice mix of first and second year students agree to join me for this event  at the mall. They have asked us to collaborate with them moving forward, and it is a great collaboration with our partners in our city." As evident in the photo above, many of the HCC volunteers wore patches illustrating wounds gunshot victims would suffer. "Unfortunately, I did not survive the incident," said Kavanaugh, center left. "My gaping abdominal wound was life threatening."  

Karlie Moriarty, Mitchell Sadowski '19, Lindsey Dion, and Darlos Robles get ready to take soil core samples in the Sustainability Garden

Core Team
One Wednesday, a few weeks ago, a small group of "core" students literally spent Student Activity Period poking around in an overgrown garden behind the Marieb Building. A few years ago, the spot was a well-tended sustainability garden, flush with flower, fruit and vegetable beds. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and some departures via retirement and graduation took, their toll, and, as often happens, nature took over. Now, a new crop of HCC students is taking action to clean it up. Armed with silver-handled soil sample probes, the team spent the afternoon removing soil cores from different areas of the garden in advance of a scheduled weekend weeding event. "The plan is to start a collaborative project, basically to gather up, enough helpers and volunteers to do the cleanup of the sustainability garden and get ready for planting produce and flowers and fruits in later semesters," said environmental science major Karlie Moriarty of Granby, president of the Sustainability Club. That's Karlie, above left, with environmental science lab technician and HCC alum Mitchell Sadowski '19 of Northampton, environmental science majors Lindsey Dion of Westfield and Carlos Robles of Granby. 

HCC students Bianca Lopez, Angela Tindell-Gula, and Rachel Reynolds stand in front of their poems at Westfield State University

Creative Collaboration
Last month, four students from HCC's Creative Writing program attended Westfield State University's end-of-semester conference in their Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA). The event follows the model of formal academic conferences, including dozens of presenters, special performances, and displays of participants' work. At the "Wall of Words," HCC students Angela Tindell-Gula, Bianca Lopez, Rachel Reynolds, and Robert Herrick each presented a poster featuring a poem they'd written, and all four performed at a spoken word open mic. This was the second time HCC students have participated in conference at WSU along with Dave Champoux, HCC's Creative Writing coordinator. The event is part of a growing collaboration between HCC's Creative Writing Program and Westfield, one of HCC's main transfer institutions. "The event was so special," Reynolds said. "It was an insight to how powerful writing is - not just for me but for the world around me! I loved being part of it."