Flying Cloud Institute holds mentor training at Berkshire Innovation Center
PITTSFIELD — On Friday, Nov. 19, Flying Cloud Institute (FCI) held a mentor training session for its Girls Science Club program at Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) in Pittsfield. New, returning, and prospective mentors who are female- or non-binary-identified youth were invited to attend. The session included hands-on activities in virtual reality and 3-D printing technology, a speech from BIC Assistant Director Kate Light, and a complimentary dinner.
Female-identifying and non-binary students in grades 9-12 may apply to be a mentor in FCI’s Girls Science Clubs, which meet once a week after school in Great Barrington, Lee, Sheffield, and Pittsfield. Young women mentors work with women STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) specialists, participating in experiments and activities while helping to lead labs and facilitate communication between the younger club participants (grades 3-6) and women STEM professionals.
Mentors are compensated by stipend, community service credits, or a combination of both. In addition to compensation, mentors gain science knowledge and exposure to a wide range of STEM fields and professionals. They develop leadership, public speaking, and collaboration skills to build their resume and learn to showcase their strengths for career and academic advancement.
Throughout the academic year, FCI offers these free trainings for young women mentors committed to individual growth and community stewardship. The training aims to build necessary skills for mentorship and help to build overall content knowledge on subjects ranging from career and academic preparedness to issues surrounding social justice. Additionally, training builds leadership, group management, and goal-setting skills.
Girls Science Clubs are offered for free thanks to generous sponsorships from Berkshire United Way, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Feigenbaum Foundation, local banks, and individual donors. To make a tax-deductible donation, click here. For more information on becoming a mentor, click here.
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Dalton’s Berkshire Money Management opens Great Barrington office
GREAT BARRINGTON — Berkshire Money Management, now in its 20th year as a boutique wealth management firm, has opened an office at the corner of Castle and Main Streets in the heart of downtown Great Barrington.
“I wanted to do something for our current and future South County clients,” said BMM founder and CEO Allen Harris. “So I built them something more convenient. This branch office is a ‘thank you’ to them, and a convenience for new clients who prefer an advisor in their back yard.”
In addition to having offices in South County, BMM has also begun expanding its community engagement efforts in Great Barrington and the surrounding towns as a lead sponsor for Berkshire Busk! this past summer, as well as sponsoring the important work of Construct, Inc., distributing backpacks filled with school supplies to Southern Berkshire children, and other initiatives.
Berkshire Money Management’s new office will hold a soft opening at the annual Great Barrington holiday stroll, Saturday, Dec. 11. The offices will provide treats and hot chocolate for visitors to enjoy. An official ribbon cutting will be announced in early 2022.
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Brian Horan joins Cain Hibbard’s Litigation Group
GREAT BARRINGTON — Cain Hibbard & Myers PC recently announced the hire of Brian T. Horan as Of Counsel. Brian joins the firm from the New York City Office of the Corporation Counsel, where he established himself as an accomplished, creative litigator in cases spanning areas including real estate, health care, telecommunications, construction, finance, insurance, and intellectual property. At Cain Hibbard, Brian will leverage his experience to benefit the firm’s clients in commercial and employment disputes, government investigations, and other matters.
At the NYC Office of the Corporation Counsel, Brian served as lead counsel in cases against major domestic and international companies for breach of contract, fraud, False Claims Act violations, and other theories. He also litigated cases involving trademark and copyright infringement, insurance coverage disputes, debtor-creditor issues, and arbitrary and capricious government action. Brian was recognized as a 40-under-40 “Rising Star” by the New York Law Journal in 2018. Brian received his BA from Columbia University and his JD. from NYU School of Law.
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Berkshire Music School adds faculty, staff, and advisory board
PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire Music School (BMS) has announced two new faculty members: Jonathan Suters on guitar and percussion, and the return of Bing Liu on violin. BMS also welcomes Jim Wojtaszek to its staff as Operations Manager. In addition, BMS has appointed new officers to its Board of Trustees: MCLA professor Christine Condaris as president, local historian Jeffry Bradway as vice president, voiceover actor and performing artist Lisa M. Avery as secretary, and Cindy Hashim as treasurer. Headquartered in Pittsfield, the Berkshire Music School is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the love and pursuit of music for all ages through quality education activities, community collaborations, and performance opportunities.
In addition to these positions, BMS announces its new Advisory Board, comprised of three community members with specialized expertise on music in Berkshire community building: social justice facilitator and performer Otha Day, medical manager and non-profit organizer Lacy Florentino-Consolini, and cultural and educational manager Bridget Rigas. The Advisory Board will help bring new perspectives to keep the school engaged in the community.
To schedule private lessons in guitar, percussion, violin, or another instrument please call the Berkshire Music School at 413-442-1411, or visit the website for online registrations at www.berkshiremusicschool.org.
About the new faculty members
Bing Liu is a graduate of Boston Conservatory of Music, and began her musical career in China, where she won prestigious violin competitions at the age of 14. She attended Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and Boston University. Liu performed with the first China Youth Symphony Orchestra Goodwill and Friendship Tour in Europe, with over 15 stops, in 1987 and again in 1988. She worked at Central Opera Theatre Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. In addition to BMS, Liu teaches at Miss Halls School and Suzuki Music School of Troy, New York. She is co-founder of the Berkshire Trio and plays in the Berkshire Symphony.
Jonathan Suters began studying music at the age of 9, first on violin, then piano, double bass, classical guitar, tuba, and trombone. His guitar teachers include Ed Flower (Ithaca College), Richard Provost (Hartt School of Music), and Ben Verdery (Yale Guitar Masters program). Suters has performed with James Taylor, Charles Neville, Dr. John, Ed Mann, Horacio Hernandez, Owen Young, and many others. He has taught at Berkshire Country Day School, Salisbury School, Indian Mountain School, Richmond School, Austen Riggs Center, Simons Rock College, and Flying Cloud Institute. He has performed with Barrington Stage Company, Albany Pro Musica, Halifax Cathedral Choir, and Taft School Choir. He performed recently at the Kaufman Center Musical Storefronts Series with Dashon Burton, winner of the 2021 Grammy Award for best classical solo vocal album.
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Berkshire Community College announces new, returning staff
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announces the addition of three new staff members and two staff members returning to BCC after a hiatus necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New to BCC
- Gabriella Martinez has joined BCC as a Clerk IV for the SUCCESS Program (Supporting Urgent Community College Equity through Student Services). A native to Berkshire County, Martinez attended American International College (AIC), where she earned her BA in sociology and worked in the Student Affairs Office.
- Sean Reagan has joined the BCC Academic Advising & Transfer team as an Academic Counselor. He arrives from Holyoke Community College, where he had been teaching English and journalism for 10 years. Reagan is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College and Western New England University School of Law, and he also holds an M.F.A. from Goddard College.
- Ross Ryan has joined BCC as a Database Analyst. He attended New York University and Columbia College in Chicago. Ryan brings a wealth of experience he gained while working at Crane & Company in Pittsfield, starting as a designer and working his way up to the positions of Senior Systems Analyst and Database Administrator.
Returning to BCC
- Eric Nystrom has returned to BCC as an Academic Success Coach through the SUCCESS grant. Nystrom has been with BCC in a variety of roles since 2005, when he started as the coordinator for the Fitness Center. He has been an adjunct faculty member and served as Interim Director of Recreation Services before assisting as Special Projects Coordinator at Paterson Field House. Nystrom graduated from Nichols College with a BA in psychology and received his master’s degree in counseling psychology.
- Patricia Wright has returned to BCC as a Maintainer I for Facilities in the Administration and Finance Division. Previously, she worked at BCC as a Maintainer II evening shift supervisor.