School:Western New England University

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Western New England University

Western New England University (WNE) is a comprehensive, private institution with a tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship. We value a commitment to service, awards, undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in various departments from among our Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Pharmacy and the School of Law. As one of only a few U.S. comprehensive institutions enrolling under 5,000 students, WNE is recognized by national and international accreditations at the highest levels in law, business, engineering, and social work. WNE serves students predominantly from the northeastern U.S., but also enrolls students from across the country and around the world. The vast majority of undergraduate students reside on campus. Our 215-acre campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, is remarkable for its beauty, security, and meticulous upkeep.

Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation Lab

Western New England is home to an innovation lab in the 3rd floor of the engineering building Sleith. In this space students can develop and prototype anything. The lab is fully equiped with a laser cutter, three 3D printer and hands tools for prototyping. 

Western Mass Innovation Jam (WMIJ)

Each fall, Western New England University participates in a Western Mass Innovation Jam, a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to students in a hands-on environment. Western New England University partners with other local colleges to teach studentsentrepreneurial  skills and innovation. WMIJ is an organization that that helps campuses organize entrepreneurial workshops to provide their students experience in creating a startup company. Undergraduate and graduate students in all majors are invited to participate in the Western New England University event at which local entrepreneurs serve as mentors and judges.

One product resulting from the event is already in development. AnyCafé was invited to participate in a 3DS event in Austin and participated in the Valley Venture Mentors’ (VVM) Accelerator Program for burgeoning entrepreneurs. Watch a video interview of the team on PBS.Gettens with people.jpg

Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is a resource for small business development in the Pioneer Valley region. Combining the resources of the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy and the School of Law, the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship offers personal and professional assistance to entrepreneurs in the business startup stage, free of charge through the Small Business Clinic and numerous community outreach events.

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KEEN Entrepreneurial Teaching Initiatives at the College of Engineering

The College of Engineering established a partnership with the Kern Entrepreneurial Network (KEEN)in order to collaborate with other partner institutions and contributors to develop and identify the best solutions and practices in modern engineering. This partnership also offers support to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate students.  The College of Engineering has received multiple grants from KEEN designed to bolster our Engineering students’ education in order to better position our graduates for the demands of their field.

An abbreviated list of accomplishments from these grant efforts included:

  • Student groups have been sponsored to attend workshops and competitions. Last year 4 students traveled to Palo Alto, CA for 1 week and meet with entrepreneurs and business leader in Silicon Valley.
  • 100 % of current 1st year engineering students participate in entrepreneurial minded learning activities through the innovation showcase in spring semester.
  • 100% of current 2nd year engineering students participate in entrepreneurial minded learning activities.
  • 47 WNE faculty have attended and participated in our 4 day entrepreneurial minded learning workshops.
  • The faculty of the College of Engineering and the School of Business have disseminated scholarly work related to student demonstration of entrepreneurial thinking.KEEN.png

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Assistant Dean Richard Grabiec


Richard Grabiec, once a professor of industrial engineering at Western New England University, is responsible for interacting with the students who are studying engineering. He would like to see more programs on campus that create unity among the different majors offered at the school. More specifically, a central location on campus where students can interact with each other.

Dr. Robert T.T. Gettens


Students and Alumni Receive Recognition at Grinspoon Banquet. (L-R) Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Robert Gettens, Jhonatan Nagasako, Professional Educator of Marketing Jim McKeon, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Glen Vallee. Jhonatan Nagasako, a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering, won second place in the Elevator Pitch contest for his "Smash Cap" product which is a wireless brain concussion measuring and monitoring device using accelerometer technology. The Smash Cap is a recent innovation of the multidisciplinary course called Product Development and Innovation, which teams business students with engineering students and tasks them with creating a new innovative product. The University has applied for a utility patent for Smash Cap. Nagasako competed against representatives of fourteen area colleges and universities. More can be found here:


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Dr. Lynn A. Walter


Students Compete with Marshmallows and Spaghetti. The first Innovation Challenge event was a towering success as 17 teams of students competed to build the tallest structure possible within 20 minutes, using uncooked spaghetti, tape, string and a marshmallow on top. More can be found here:


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Dr. James C. McKeon


Five Students Honored for Entrepreneurial Spirit. (L-R) Naomi Guteng, College of Business Associate Dean Marilyn Pelosi, Professional Educator of Marketing Jim McKeon, Thomas McLeod, College of Business Dean Julie Siciliano, Nicholas Starr, Chair/Professor of Sport Management Sharianne Walker, and Chair/Professor of Marketing Paul Costanzo. The 9th Annual Harold Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Awards Banquet took place on April 25 at the Log Cabin. The event recognized local college students for their entrepreneurial spirit. Over 500 students, faculty, and community business leaders were in attendance as five Western New England University College of Business students were honored. The students include Thomas McLeod, Nicholas Starr, Naomi Guteng, Rhiannon Goebel, and Sabrina Cordiliko. More can be found here:


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Dr. Glenn E. Vallee


Seniors Receive Awards at American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Professional Development Conference. (Back L-R) Evan Butcher, Richard Mindek, Logan Greaney, Chase Vajcovec, and Glenn Vallee. (Front L-R) Joe Conti, Micah Bowen, Mike Emery, and Chris Menino. Chair and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Richard Mindek, Jr. and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Glenn Vallee brought seven Western New England Mechanical Engineering seniors to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Professional Development Conference (SPDC), which took place on April 2nd at the University of Connecticut. More can be found here:


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Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function

3D Printers

Recently, Western New England University has bought several 3D printers for the mechanical engineering lab, and the freshman innovation lab. These printers are used to expose new students to the new technology that is being developed at an exponential rate. Students are also able to use them to print parts that they design in SolidWorks for their freshman design projects, and senior design projects.

Frances and Norman Cohen Trading Room and Financial Center

Opened in 2013, the Frances and Norman Cohen Trading Room and Financial Center gives students access to Morningstar Direct, which provides detailed and historical financial information about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and commodities. Real-time stock tickers and data boards provide important financial information. More can be found here:

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Business Analytics Center

Recently Western New England has built a Business Analytics Center in D'Amour Library, This 30-seat computer lab is used for tutoring sessions and business classes. It assists business students by providing state-of-the-art Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) management software. When the lab is not being used, it is open to any student that would like to use it.

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Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

Sleith Hall Expansion and Renovation will Take the College of Engineering to "Even Greater Heights"

Sleith Hall’s renovation and expansion, begun in summer 2012, is already providing a tremendous boost to the College of Engineering's new and foundational programs. The project is attracting more students and faculty, increasing research, and accelerating collaboration with industry. And when the $12.8 million construction is completed in 2014, it will include a two-story, 8,600-square-foot addition to the south side of Sleith Hall, along with a major renovation of the existing building’s interior. More can be found here:

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Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts


Nearly 200 employees attended the first Western New England University LIVE UNITED Enrichment Day in Rivers Memorial Hall on January 30. Attendees were able to access dozens of campus services in one location. Services offered included cholesterol screening by Health Services and blood pressure testing by Pharmacy students. Public Safety also registered the campus community for the e2Campus alert system and participants had the opportunity to win various door prizes. In addition, the Human Resource Department was on hand to answer benefit questions and D’Amour Library shared information about the many database services available at the library. Several local business also set up tables and handed out promotional items and held raffles

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Western New England Community


New Dining Commons

Western New England University has built a new Dining Commons for the growing population of students. The first floor includes a mall consisting of: Starbucks, a deli, a grill, and a bakery. A lounge will be set up for students and commuters to have a place to relax in between classes. The second and third floor are for students to use their meal plan and have spacious sitting. There is also room available for a stage for presenters or variety shows. The fourth floor will be offices, conference rooms, a rooftop terrace.


Related Links


Western New England Univseristy Page :

Candidate Bio:

WNEU Strategic Proirities :

2018 Change Story:


<a href="<a href=""></a>">Caroline Best</a>

<a href="<a href=""></a>">Samantha Peterson</a>

<a href="<a href=""></a>">Isabelle Rivas</a>

<a href="<a href=""></a>">Landscape Canvas</a>


<a href="<a href=""></a>">Kathryn Jordan</a>

<a href="<a href=""></a>">Jonathan Young<br /><br /></a><a href="<a href=""></a>">Ben Kennedy</a>


<a href="<a href=""></a>">Jhonatan Nagasako</a>

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