In Brief

By Damon Markiewicz

Environmental Science Professor Leads Air Quality Research

Chelsea Corr-Limoges, PhD, assistant professor of environmental science is using innovative technology to enhance her students’ academic experience and work with her peers to track air quality throughout the Pioneer Valley.

Chelsea Corr-Limoges, PhD

Since November 2021, the PurpleAir sensors have been installed as part of the Pioneer Valley Healthy Air Network, which was established by the cities of Springfield and Holyoke, the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, Live Well Springfield, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, ReGreen Springfield, the Earthwatch Institute, and the Yale School of Public Health.

“These sensors are a valuable research tool because they measure the amount of particulate pollution in the air,” explained Corr-Limoges. “These track air pollution particles from wherever they come from. In urban areas like Springfield, we have our own sources of these particles because of vehicles and burning fuels, so we look at the trends and analyze them to see if there are certain times of the year we see spikes.”

Falling in line with our Humanics philosophy and the College’s commitment to service to others, having the sensors on campus provides live air quality data directly to families across the Pioneer Valley, so that community residents can make informed decisions on how they spend their days.

Springfield College is home to air quality sensors that track air quality throughout the Pioneer Valley.

Best of Broadway Celebrates Fifty Years

FOR DENNIS ST. JEAN ’73, a simple walk with friends during the spring of 1973 hatched an idea that has turned into one of the great student-led offerings at the College. St. Jean imagined the Best of Broadway theater production and recently returned to campus to celebrate the 50th Reunion Year festivities. 

At right, Springfield College alumnus and Best of Broadway co-founder Dennis St. Jean ’73 with Jo Farias, the current treasurer of the Best of Broadway club and a member of the class of 2024.

“Two friends and I started talking about how there wasn’t going to be a spring music concert … and we talked about how my high school chorus had a performance that highlighted Broadway shows,” St. Jean recalled. His buddies, Vincent Scott ’73 and Robert Parker ’74, were involved in theater; St. Jean was more of a singer. They decided to see if there was interest in hosting a show highlighting Broadway performance. And there sure was.

As part of Reunion Weekend 2023, St. Jean had the opportunity to visit the Fuller Arts Center and meet with the current treasurer of the Best of Broadway club, Jo Farias, class of 2024, an athletic training major. Farias gave St. Jean a tour of the current Fuller Arts Center and expressed how St. Jean’s efforts fifty years ago still resonate with current cast members.

To sustain future productions, St. Jean made a significant gift in honor of his 50th reunion.

Department of Social Work Earns $300,000 Grant

THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK recently received a $300,000 grant from Boston Children’s Hospital’s Collaboration for Community Health. With this funding, the department was able to establish the THRIVE Scholars Program, which benefits graduate social work students who are ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse, and individuals from low-income backgrounds, first-generation students, or working parents/guardians.

The initiative was developed by Springfield College Social Work faculty and staff who are pictured above.

Associate Professor Anthony Hill, EdD; Associate Professor Lisa Watson, PhD; Director of Field Education Laura Mackie, MSW; and Assistant Director of Field Education Lily Ghrear, MSW.

Department of Counseling Earns $3.29 Million Mental Health Grant

THE DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELING at Springfield College was awarded a $3.29 million Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant by the U.S. Department of Education. The grant was written to enhance the training and number of racially and linguistically diverse school counselors in Springfield and Holyoke public schools and help address the increasing mental health needs among K-12 students.

School counselor trainees will be prepared by faculty in the Department of Counseling through either an accelerated program, designed for those who hold master’s degrees in related fields, or a traditional graduate education program. There will also be a pipeline to mentor and support high school students who are interested in pursuing a counseling degree in the future.

Department of Counseling assists with mental health needs in the community.

Physical Therapy Faculty and Students Recognized as Healthcare Heroes

FACULTY MEMBERS and students from the Springfield College Department of Physical Therapy were recently recognized by BusinessWest as Healthcare Heroes for their efforts as part of ServiceNet’s Enrichment Center in Chicopee, and its Strive Clinic in Holyoke, two programs that care for adults with brain injuries caused by trauma or medical conditions.

Kathy Pappas, PT, DPT, associate professor of human anatomy, and Kimberly Nowakowski, PT, ’90, G’91, professor of physical therapy, began working with Enrichment Center Director Ellen Werner back in 2014. Together, they have developed an innovative model of community-based care that brings in physical therapy students to work with clients under the direction of their instructors, who also serve as on-site clinicians. 

“One of the great things about this collaboration is that the students get to see the clients grow and change over an extended period, even as they are growing themselves,” said Pappas. 

At right, Springfield College faculty and students were recognized as Healthcare Heroes as part of a partnership with ServiceNet’s Enrichment Center.

Strength and Conditioning Programs Earn National Accreditation 

SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE’S undergraduate and graduate strength and conditioning programs earned accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Strength and Conditioning Education (CASCE). The graduate program is the first in the nation to achieve this accreditation status, and for undergraduate programs, one of only four programs nationwide.

Graduate program first in the nation to achieve this accreditation status.

Accreditation from CASCE, the only accrediting body for strength and conditioning programs, signifies a commitment to the highest standards of excellence, credibility, professionalism, and safety for strength and conditioning students, educational institutions, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) professionals, and their athletes.

The accreditation further cements the Springfield College Applied Exercise Science Program as a leader in the strength and conditioning industry. “We are honored to be the first graduate program accredited by CASCE,” said Brian Thompson, PhD, professor of exercise science and sport studies and graduate program director for strength and conditioning.

Sue Guyer, DPE’03, dean of the School of Physical Education, Performance, and Sport Leadership, remarked, “Our faculty, facilities, and students we accept into the program are the best in the nation, and I am proud of their work.” End of article