Alumni News

Alumni Weekend 2014


Join fellow alumni and friends in Amherst for events during Alumni Weekend. Reconnect with the campus as you learn about new initiatives and the far-reaching impact of the College of Education.



Desmond awarded honorary doctorate

Charles F. Desmond, Ed.D. 1992, a longtime educator and chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree at the 115th Commencement at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where he gave an “empowering” Commencement address.

According to an article in the Berkshire Eagle, Desmond spoke about “ lessons he learned from his own difficult journey to where he is today, growing up with a single father who suffered from alcohol addiction.” He also told the students that they should “cherish their liberal arts education.” 

Bill Fibkins (B.S. 1957) publishes two new books

Bill Fibkins (B.S. 1957), an expert in the field of counseling and human development, sent news of his two recent books: “The Emotional Growth of Teens: How Group Counseling Intervention Works for Schools,” 2014, and “Wake Up Counselors: Restoring Counseling Services For Troubled Teens,” 2013. Both were published by Rowman & Littlefield. Fibkins holds an M.A. degree and Ph.D. in counseling, rehabilitation, and human development from Syracuse University.

Senehi is Founder of Open Future Institute

Gerard Senehi (M.Ed. 1987) started a “Big Questions Project that helps high school and university students to define their lives and futures with meaning and purpose.”  The project “engages students in the exploration of questions relating to choice, purpose, fearlessness, interconnectedness and the bigger picture,” Senehi said.  Big Questions is part of the work of the Open Future Institute, a new non-profit institute of which Senehi is the founder.

Gandini Donates Papers and Research Materials to The Strong Museum

Lella Gandini (Ed.D. 1988), Italian-born author and early childhood educator best known in the United States as the leading advocate for the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, has donated to The Strong in Rochester, New York, a collection of materials that spans her career in education. The Lella Gandini Early Childhood and Children’s Folklore Collection includes research notes, presentations, scholarly articles, books that she has written, and scores of other works in English and Italian on topics such as childhood development, early childhood education, and folklore.

Carolynn Laurenza recognized for her work

Carolynn Laurenza (M.Ed. and CAGS 2008), a college counselor at a charter school in Brooklyn, New York, received a “Counselors That Change Lives” award from the Colleges That Change Lives organization. She was one of seven people to receive the award nationally.  Read more.

Retired teacher Robert Heon releases "The Eccentric English Text"

A feature story in The Republican newspaper, Springfield, Mass., looks at the new book “The Eccentric English Text,” a book of poetry and commentary by Robert E. Heon (M.Ed. 1971), a retired teacher from Springfield who also taught at UMass Amherst for two summers.

Read the article




More Alumni News

Au-Yeung Named Fellow of New Science Teacher Academy

Monica Au-Yeung (M.Ed. 2013), a teaching fellow in the College of Education’s National Science Foundation’s NOYCE Foundation project, has been named a 2013-2014 Fellow of the Dow-National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) New Science Teacher Academy, a yearlong program focused on encouraging and supporting early-career science educators.

A teacher at The Charter High School for Arts, Performing and Multimedia (CHAMPS), Van Nuys, CA, Au-Yeung, is among 200 teachers nation-wide selected as NSTA Fellows from more than 1000 applicants.

Bell wins Media Award

A documentary film, “40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk?”, by Lee Anne Bell (Ed.D. 1982), professor and Barbara Silver Horowitz Director of Education, Barnard College, Columbia University, won the 2013 Media Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). The film tells the story of the first African Americans to integrate the white high school in Batesville, Mississippi in 1967–69, and shows a provocative and moving conversation emerging from separate discussions with African American alumni, white alumni, and a third dialogue that brings the two groups face-to-face.

Hutchinson is Provost and VP for Academic Affairs at CSU Channel Islands

Gayle Hutchinson (Ed.D. 1990) recently assumed the role of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at CSU Channel Islands. She previously served as Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at CSU, Chico. She was Chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Chair of the CSU, Chico Academic Senate. In 2005, Hutchinson was selected as one of 39 faculty members and administrators nationwide for the American Council of Education (ACE) Fellows Program, which prepares senior leaders for higher education leadership.


Subscribe to Alumni News