HCN News & Notes

Elms College Welcomes Nine New Faculty Members

CHICOPEE — Elms College added nine new faculty members in accounting, biology, communication sciences and disorders, education, nursing, and social work this year.

“We are very honored and excited to welcome such an experienced group of new faculty who are well-respected in their fields,” said Walter Breau, vice president of Academic Affairs.

Sara Smiarowski, an adjunct professor in the Elms MBA program, has been promoted to assistant professor of Accounting. Most recently, she was CFO of Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield, MA. She also held leadership financial roles at Yankee Candle Co. in South Deerfield and Kringle Candle Co. in Bernardston.

Joining Elms as a lecturer in Biology is Dr. Andrew Rucks. Most recently, Rucks has been a faculty member at American International College in Springfield and a consultant with Westat in Rockville, Md. He previously held faculty positions at Holyoke Community College, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston, and Western New England College.

Brittney Carlson and Kathleen Murphy have been hired as assistant professors of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Carlson, who had been an adjunct professor at Elms since January, most recently served as a staff audiologist for VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Since 2004, Murphy has worked in a number of roles for Futures Education, Futures Healthcore in Springfield. She has also served as a speech language pathologist at Stepping Stones Birth to Three Center in Hartford, Conn.; Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton; and Holyoke Public Schools.

Joining Elms as associate professor of Education is Natalie Dunning, and as lecturer of Education is Shannon Dillard. Dunning had been assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for Freetown-Lakeville Regional Schools in Lakeville since 2013. Prior to that, she was chief academic officer for Springfield Public Schools and K-12 supervisor of science for Providence (R.I.) Public Schools. Dillard has been adjunct faculty in curriculum development at Bay Path University since 2010. Prior to that, she was a clinical faculty member and lecturer at UMass Amherst.

New faculty in the School of Nursing are Elizabeth Fiscella as associate professor of Nursing, and Deana Nunes as instructor of Nursing. Fiscella most recently served as an associate professor of Nursing at Berkshire Community College and as assistant clinical professor of Nursing at UMass. Nunes, a certified wound care nurse at Mercy Wound Care Center in Springfield since 2010, has been a clinical adjunct at Elms College since 2015.

Finally, William Gilbert has joined the college as assistant professor of Social Work. He has more than 25 years of experience in social work as a clinician, administrator, supervisor, and educator. He has taught at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic; the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Conn.; the University of Connecticut in West Hartford; and Elms College. His social-services experience includes positions at agencies such as Catholic Charities in Norwich, Conn.; Family Support Services; Community Prevention and Addiction Services Inc. in Willimantic, Conn.; and the Village for Families and Children Inc. in Hartford, Conn.

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