After earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications, master of education, and completing Leadership Academy, Hoosac Valley High School Principal Colleen Byrd is back at MCLA, working toward her special education director's license.
MCLA's chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has been named a "distinguished" chapter by the national SPS association, recognized for its active student leadership and slate of on-campus (and now virtual) activities.
The Berkshires are more than 90 percent white, and while MCLA's student population is fairly diverse, it can be hard for students to find role models and mentors. Though Erica Barreto '18, Kayla Hollins '12, Khalil Paul '17, and Michael Obasohan '11 all work in very different roles on campus, they have something crucial in common: All opted to stay in the Berkshires after graduation, and all are actively working to create change on campus, mentor students, and contribute to the wider community.
MCLA alumni regularly opt to stay in the Berkshires after graduation, launching careers here and often finding ways to stay involved at the College. Rachel Durgin '18, Adam Galambos '18, and Noah Henkenius '20 are among those alumni--all graduates of MCLA's Environmental Studies Program, they found full-time work in the area and continue to stay in touch with the ENVI community.
This year, Leslie Appleget will work with schools, cultural institutions, youth development organizations, and many other groups to advance the goals of the Creative Compact for Collective Impact, also known as the C4 Initiative.
The federally funded TRIO program is designed to empower students who are the first in their families to attend college, come from families with income eligible backgrounds, or have a documented disability. It's been implemented in many colleges across the U.S., and MCLA secured $1.3 million in federal funding for the program--enough to help 160 students over five years--in 2020.
Starting Feb. 1, Monique Symes '11 will be helping the MCLA community breathe, stretch, and become a little more mindful.
This year, MCLA's 23 student tutors helped more than 100 of their peers gain a deeper understanding of all kinds of class materials, from software development to accounting and radiographic positioning.
Even in a pandemic, mentorship projects between teachers and cultural partners in the Berkshires marched on after connecting through the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network (BRAINworks).