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WSU gets top 100 rank for online ed

Westfield State University is among the top 100 colleges in the country offering online programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. In the publication’s “2021 Best Online Programs” ranking, released Jan. 26, the university is tied for 86th overall and is ranked fifth among all Massachusetts institutions.

It is the only institution among its peer comprehensive Massachusetts state universities to appear on the list of more than 360 colleges nationwide. “Westfield State University is proud to have earned this recognition,” said interim president Roy H. Saigo. “We continue to provide affordable and accessible educational pathways for students, both online and on campus.”

Added Stefanie Sanchez, interim dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education, “The flexible, accessible and affordable programs offered at Westfield State enable students to earn their degree through part-time and full-time online options. Our students learn and receive support from faculty whose teaching methods reflect today’s online learning environment.”

Westfield State offers six bachelor’s completion programs, four minors, multiple online hybrid degrees, and numerous online courses. Students receive customized support through online tutoring and tutorials.

U.S. News & World Report rankings were determined by several factors, including assessments of each institution’s engagement, services, and technologies, faculty credentials and training, as well as expert opinion. For more information, visit, usnews.com/online.

STCC offers appraiser’s course

Springfield Technical Community College will offer a certified auto damage appraiser course for insurance claims professionals and auto body technicians beginning March 1.

The 60-hour course is the first step to becoming an auto damage appraiser in Massachusetts. The training through the college’s Workforce Development Center prepares students for the exam to be a licensed appraiser.

Classes will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., through May 10. Students will meet in the Scibelli Hall (Building 2) theater and must follow the college’s COVID-19 protocol. The auditorium seats 200, but the class size will be limited to no more than 20 individuals. Masks are required.

Approved by the state Division of Insurance, the training offers an indepth discussion of insurance regulations, policy arbitration and work completion forms. The instructor has 20 years’ experience in the collision repair and insurance industry in Massachusetts and Connecticut and holds auto appraiser licenses in both states. The course will include the use of flat rate manual, collision diagnosis, cost estimation and preparation of written estimates.

To become licensed, students will need to complete the course and a three-month apprenticeship with a licensed automobile appraiser. In addition, they will need to obtain a certified letter verifying the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship must be completed prior to applying to take the Massachusetts Automobile Damage Appraisers License Examination.

For more information and to enroll online, go online to stcc. edu/wdc and then click on “auto damage appraiser.” To contact the Workforce Development Center Office, call 413-755-4225.

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Westfield State University has been named as being among the top 100 colleges in the country offering online programs, according to U.S. News & World

Report. (DON TREEGER / THE REPUBLICAN)

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Accounting firm launches website

The Holyoke-based accounting firm of Meyers Brothers Kalicka has launched a new website, mbkcpa.com, “rooted in a history of excellence and propelled by a fresh mission and vision.”

The primary goal during the redesign process was to create a more user-friendly and valuable resource for clients and community alike, according to partner James T. Krupienski.

The firm undertook a rebranding effort that includes a new style guide, logo and aesthetic.

“Over the past few years, (our firm) has undertaken a significant transformation with a brand new mission and vision statement. One of the ways that we are building on our tradition of excellence is by becoming a better online resource and authority for our clients and community,” said Krupienski. “By updating our website, increasing our blog activity and having a consistent presence on social media, we are making ourselves and our knowledge more accessible to others.”

The website features an active blog with articles about taxation, accounting, advisory, news and community. Additionally, the firm offers free newsletters centered around taxation, business, not-forprofits and health care.

“We envision Meyers Brothers Kalicka as an employer of choice in Western Massachusetts, setting the bar for organizational culture and commitment to community,” added Krupienski. The website includes a careers page for more information of employment opportunities.

The firm is comprised of approximately 50 professionals and administrative staff, including six partners.

Bank donates $2,500 to nonprofit

Monson Savings Bank recently contributed $2,500 to the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship following the public voting results of the 2021 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative. Dan Moriarty, president and future CEO of Monson Savings, met with Cori Medeiros, vice president of the agency, to present the donation on behalf of Monson Savings Bank.

“The public has submitted their votes through the Community Giving Initiative and they have chosen the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship as a 2021 donation recipient,” said Moriarty. “We are proud to contribute to this organization and are thrilled that this donation will help support a woman in our local communities to achieve her education goals.”

The Women’s Empowerment Scholarship serves to empower females by encouraging and enabling them to pursue higher education. The foundation provides educational grants to women while paying special attention to women entering into one of many male-dominated career paths, including, but not limited to, science, technology, engineering, finance, and law.

“It means the world to have support from my hometown bank,” said Bailey Medeiros, president and founder of the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship. “Each year, our team works hard to raise money for the cause. This year, due to the pandemic, we faced many challenges in doing so, including not being able to host our major fundraising event. Despite these difficult times, Monson Saving Bank’s contribution makes it possible for us to continue to award females educational grants.”

Dan Moriarty, right, Monson Savings Bank president and future CEO, visited with Cori Medeiros, vice president of the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, to present a $2,500 donation. The donation was given as part of the bank’s Community Giving Initiative. (MONSON SAVINGS BANK PHOTO)

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. has announced a new dynamic website.

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