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Business Briefs: Berkshire Nonprofit Awards; WCMA Summer Space; STEM grant for BCC, MCLA; Lee Bank promotes Brown; BMM community events

Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts have announced that the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has awarded the institutions $24,980 to establish the STEM Transfer Summer Bridge Program.

Berkshire Nonprofit Awards honorees celebrate at breakfast event

Pittsfield — Nearly 260 people gathered May 21 at Berkshire Hills Country Club for the second annual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards, which recognized 19 honorees across seven award categories. Hosted by the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires in partnership with the Berkshire Eagle, the breakfast event paid tribute to the nonprofit sector’s employees and volunteers for their outstanding commitment and contributions to the Berkshire community. Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, served as emcee.

In April, a panel of judges reviewed 60 nominations and chose three honorees in each of six categories, and one Lifetime Achievement honoree—Madeline Cantarella Culpo of Albany Berkshire Ballet. “Miss Madeline,” as she is known to her students, has operated in Pittsfield for 55 years.

Honorees received a certificate from the NPC Berkshires and a Blue Q tote bag inscribed with the phrase “So Much To Do.” Culpo was introduced by former student Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, who gave testimony to the power of dance in building self-esteem and leadership skills. Culpo received citations from the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate as well as flowers from Bella Flora. Many of her family members were in attendance, driving in from as far as Rhode Island for the occasion.

The awards were presented by bank and foundation sponsors following opening remarks by NPC Berkshires founder Liana Toscanini, and a keynote speech by WAM Theatre artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven.

–E.E.

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Artwork from the WALLS collection adorn the Williams College Museum of Art Summer Space at 76 Spring St., Williamstown, which will be open daily June 3-Sept. 2 while WCMA’s permanent home in Lawrence Hall is closed for renovations. Photo courtesy Williams College Museum of Art

Williams College Museum of Art opens Summer Space

Williamstown — The Williams College Museum of Art’s Summer Space will open to the public Monday, June 3, at 76 Spring St. WCMA Summer Space will replace the museum’s permanent home in Williams College’s Lawrence Hall while the building closes from Monday, June 3, through Thursday, Sept. 5, to undergo a series of renovations.

Open daily free of charge from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Monday, Sept. 2, Summer Space will be a place for visitors to gather, shop and sip cold beverages while surrounded by works from the WALLS collection, a special collection of original artworks that go on loan to Williams students every semester. WCMA also will continue its popular summer series, Ologies, with programs at different unique locations around the Williams College campus on Thursdays from Thursday, July 11, through Thursday, Aug. 15. A reception back at Summer Space will follow each program, which will include topics such as physiology, campanology and etymology.

The main WCMA galleries in Lawrence Hall will reopen Friday, Sept. 6, with a lineup featuring “Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.,” a critically acclaimed exhibition co-curated by Williams College professor C. Ondine Chavoya.

–E.E.

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BCC, MCLA receive grant for STEM summer program

North Adams — Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts have announced that the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has awarded the institutions $24,980 to establish the STEM Transfer Summer Bridge Program.

Part of BCC’s STEM Starter Academy funding, the grant will make it possible for the institutions to work together to design a summer bridge program that combines in-person classes and online instruction. Classes will be held on MCLA’s campus from July 21-26, 2019, and online instruction will take place July 29-Aug. 23, 2019.

Open to 10 transfer students, with five students from BCC as priority participants, the program will aim to provide a successful bridge for students from community colleges into the four-year university environment; create an on-campus community of peer students with activities designed to develop a supportive, collegial environment; enable students to build early relationships with STEM faculty members; introduce students to general campus support and STEM support resources; and enroll students in a three-credit course that will count toward a college degree.

BCC will identify and recruit their students to enroll in the program toward transferring to MCLA for enrollment in one of the STEM majors. This transfer program will also be promoted through the STEM Starter Academy pipeline as will all of the Commonwealth’s two- to four-year STEM transfer programs.

–E.E.

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Lee Bank promotes Laura Brown

Laura Brown. Photo courtesy Lee Bank

Lee — Lee Bank has announced the promotion of Laura Brown to the position of loan compliance and default manager.

Brown joined Lee Bank in 2011 as a loan processor and was promoted to loan administrator in November2015, followed by a promotion to loan compliance supervisor a year later. In her new position, she will continue to oversee the servicing department and handle compliance for residential lending, in addition to her new duties in loan default management. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in business management from Bay Path College, and expects to graduate from the New England School for Financial Studies in June.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Money Management hosts firefighters, animal lovers, nurses

A local firefighter competes in a five-event combat challenge relay held May 14 at Berkshire Money Management in Dalton. Photo: Barbara Schmick

Dalton — Over the span of six days, Berkshire Money Management welcomed more than 300 visitors to its Model Farm, hosting three events to support the local community. On May 14, BMM hosted and competed in a five-event relay combat challenge to raise awareness and support for Berkshire County fire departments. Nearly 10 teams and their supporters showed up for a grueling course designed by Pittsfield Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Garner. On May 18, the firm hosted the Berkshire Humane Society’s gala fundraiser, which included tarot readings, a fire juggler and a dedicated crowd of animal advocates. BMM then hosted a picnic May 19 celebrating the nurses of Berkshire Health Systems.

“Having these types of community events at BMM is an honor for us,” said BMM founder and CEO Allen Harris. “Sure, with the combat challenge, there was plenty of smack talk leading up to the event, which was just plain fun. Also, it’s an opportunity for us, and for the people coming here, to talk about what matters to them and to all of us.”

–E.E.

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