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Student Spotlight: Sarah Robischon
of Liberal Arts
Learning Services Center By Monique Symes
Coming from Saratoga Springs, New York to
North Adams, Massachusetts was not that big
of a change for Sarah Robischon. She was
Paul Miranda able to adapt quickly to the similar small area
Monique Symes and close-knit community of MCLA. Sarah
Wendy Guerra did, however, graduate from a big high school
and appreciated the small classes that MCLA
INSIDE THIS offers. Sarah also liked the idea of paying in-
ISSUE: state tuition even though she was from New
York. She was able to travel outside of her
IEP Reunion 2 home state for the same price and also ex-
Talent Show perience education in a beautiful area.
Summer Seminar 3 [Advantage New York provides students from New York—and other states—
Student Awards with a substantial reduction in tuition costs.]
ALANA Awards 4 Sarah has been plugged into the MCLA community since her arrival on
Dinner campus. She has been a part of several clubs and organizations, including the ski
Tutor Network 6 club, and was a class officer her freshman year as well as a senator on the
Writing Center 6 Student Government Association for two years. Sarah’s involvement goes
What’s Happening 7 beyond simply participating. She has also reached out to younger students with
Who’s Who in LSC 7 a helping hand. She has been a part of a huge group of students who volunteer
New Editorial Staff 7
to help freshmen move in during the First Days program and has helped to bring
Services for 8
the student community together by being a part of the Hoosac Hall advisory
Students with board. Sarah has not stopped there when it comes to helping and advising
Disabilities others—she has also served as a Peer Advisor.
Alumni Corner 8
Continued on page 2
Sarah Robischon (Continued from page 1)
Sarah recently studied abroad at sea (in the gram supports at-risk youth and helps them to interact
Semester at Sea program, along with classmate Dauri with other students and do better in school. MCLA
Torres) and has visited Spain, Morocco, Namibia, Af- students from the Pathways program also visit Bridging
rica, India, Thailand, Japan, and Guatemala. She says she the Gap and help to get youth excited about higher
has truly had the best experience of her life on this trip education. Sarah hopes to be an environmental police
and has “learned so much more in 4 months on the ship officer or park ranger because she wants to continue to
than [she has in her] entire college career.” support the community around her.
Sarah is a Sociology major with a minor in Criminal Sarah thanks MCLA for giving her the attention she
Justice and has taken multiple opportunities to get the received. She says that MCLA has “a little bit of every-
best she can out of her educational fields. Sarah has thing for everyone here.” She was able to go abroad,
interned at the Berkshire Juvenile Court where she was intern in her field of interest and participate on campus
able to work closely in the Probation Department and in a variety of clubs. Sarah has truly experienced a well-
was able to meet with the youth there as well. This has rounded education. She admits that while it was a chal-
been her favorite educational experience since she has lenge to balance everything, meeting everyone and
been at MCLA because she was able to work in the hearing their stories are what kept her motivated to
field in which she is most interested. always do more. Congratulations, Sarah, on taking the
She is currently interning at a program called Bridg- campus and the community by storm!
ing the Gap that teaches life skills to youth. This pro-
IEP Reunion Talent Show
By Paul Miranda
The IEP Reunion Talent Show and dance party may not have been strong in
numbers, but when measured in talent and fun, the showcase and party was
a hit. Hosted by Esther Fan Fan with co-host Michael Obasohan, the show-
case ran smoothly as the two entertained the crowd with sarcasm and over-
the-top humor that left the audience gathered in Venable Gym engaged. Paul Miranda, Quincy Goodwin, and
There was a wide array of performances and performers—talents ranged Shavonne Brown share the stage at the
from spoken word, to dancing, to singing. talent show.
The night started off with a performance by the humorously named (due
to their height) trio “Small, Medium, and Tall,” which consisted of Shavonne
Brown, Paul Miranda, and Quincy Goodwin singing a Gospel piece.
Continued on page 3
Stars of the I.E. Program Summer Seminar 2009:
Most Improved Community Spirit
Monique Dennis Matiqua “Mattie” Liles
Sharon Funes Reyes Paul Miranda
In addition, the following students are currently working
as teaching assistants for math and learning strategies classes:
Karla Disla, Paul Miranda, Rolinda Mondesir, Jennifer Nault
The showcase continued with Quincy Goodwin singing a
powerful solo, Paul Miranda doing a krump freestyle,
Asha Rooks singing a solo, Sausha Capo, Brian
Whittaker, Jenea Warren, and Andre Sheffield teaming
up to perform “Boom Boom Pow” (photo at left) by The
Black Eyed Peas, and Maciel Estrella reciting a powerful
self-composed piece of poetry.
As the scheduled performers wrapped up their acts,
the talent show quickly became an open mic night-style
event. A few more performers graced the stage to share
their talents. Monique Symes and Tasha Berroa per-
formed poems, and Chantel Baptista blew the crowd
away with a very passionate song. Comic relief came in the form of Esther Fan Fan, Mike Obasohan, and Jamila Cres-
well performing their version of “Busted”—drawing an enthusiastic response from the audience.
Overall, the talent showcase was a success. At its conclusion, Wendy Guerra made a few remarks expressing her
gratitude for those who performed and those who attended the show. She also noted she hopes the talent showcase
will be an annual event with increased participation, especially next year when the Individual Enrichment Program cele-
brates its 30th anniversary. Students who stayed for the follow-up party after the talent show danced to a wide variety
of music and had fun to their hearts’ content—definitely an enjoyable night.
ALANA Awards Dinner
By Paul Miranda
The annual ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, and Native American) Awards Dinner, held on September 16, was graced
with many new and familiar faces. Many of these faces were of people who are enrolled in the I.E Program. In any
case, there were many people, both students and administration, who came out to celebrate and acknowledge the hard
work of students who maintained good standings academically, are a positive impact in the MCLA community, and sup-
port ALANA as well.
The dinner had an agenda similar to its predecessors, which is to reunite current ALANA members and spark in-
terest in new students to join ALANA. Jonathan Secor presented a 20-minute slideshow on all the upcoming art
events that are occurring on campus or in the nearby community. It was very informative but a bit of a regression
from the agenda of the dinner. The focus was brought back when the floor was given to Tom Alexander, Coordinator
of ALANA, who then said a few words of appreciation for all that
ALANA has become and is becoming. He mentioned the mission of the
club, which is to spread diversity and present different cultures to the
MCLA community through various cultural and art forms. Promptly
after his humble and genuine speech, which was accompanied by recogni-
tion of members of administration who support ALANA, he began hand-
ing out awards to the recipients present at the dinner. Students were
recognized for both their academic achievement and community service.
Alexander also mentioned a few other events sponsored by ALANA, i.e.,
the International Party and the Cultural Potluck, which were held on
Octavia White displays the certificate she
received for academic excellence.
Charlotte Degan, Dean of Students,
congratulates Natanael Burgos on his
academic achievement award. L-R: Tyeson Bell, Sahira Vasquez, and Nalaja Caesar
greeted guests at the ALANA dinner.
There was a good turnout at the dinner, and the event really PAGE 5
informed the students of the importance of ALANA and of sharing
cultures. Equally, it shared the importance of academic success and
left an underlying message of the importance of good prioritizing
and putting academics first. The dinner was a great night filled with
humor, information, and celebration.
Above (L-R): Ashton Darrett, Michael
Obasohan, and Hawa Umarowa were
among the award recipients.
Left: SGA President Jameek Clovie (at mic)
elicits a laugh from ALANA leaders (L-R):
Monique Symes, Tasha Berroa, Natasha Robinson,
and Ashton Darrett.
Rachel Barrett, Tyeson Bell ,Samantha Bey, Pamela Buchanan,
Natanael Burgos, Shabori Burton, Stephanie Carone,
Giselle Chee, Jesse Clark, Ashley Cruz, Tabitha Cruz,
Nadyne Damas, Ashton Darrett, James DePina, Esther Fan Fan,
Jaclyn Ford, Xhirley Gonzalez, Christena Latimer, Stephanie
Lee, Yaneldys Lopez, Christine Mbaka, Ricky Mercado, Chiara
Morrison, Alexander Munoz, Jessica Nathan, Michael
Obasohan, Vivian Ortiz, Anita Parker, Shataya Pride, Natasha
Robinson, Marlene Romero, Jenny Rosario, Michael Ruiz,
John Sciaraffa, Sheena Shaw, Monique Symes, Marvin
Thompson, Dauri Torres, Michelle Webb, and Octavia White.
Above: The Individual Enrichment Program was well
represented at the ALANA dinner.
(L-R): Elliza Robinson, Shataya Pride, LaTisha Brown,
Jamal Ahamad, Tasha Berroa, Katie Bodnar, Katherina Chhay,
Sausha Capo, Tyeson Bell, Quincy Goodwin, Mattie Liles,
Jameek Clovie, Israel Diaz, Alejandrina Guajardo, Lucy and Shavonne Brown (front).
Hampton, Nhi Lam, Jennifer Millien, Dezee Olivo, Leah Rice,
Sean Snead, Hawa Umarova, and Justin Vanderpoole.
Tutor Exchange Network Need help with a class?
The Tutor Exchange Network (TEN) is one of several academic supports provided by the Learning Services Center. If you are
having difficulty in a class or if you receive a mid-semester warning from the Registrar’s Office (see box on page 7), you can sign up
for a tutor in Learning Services, lower level of Freel Library (in the room to the left at the foot of the stairs).
Sign-up times are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
. . . BUT DON’T DELAY ! The LAST day you can request a tutor is Friday, November 6.
Writing and Research Center
Need help with a paper? The Writing and Research Center, which officially opened on October 13, can help.
Our team of Writing Associates is ready to assist you at two convenient locations and online:
Freel Library - Main Floor (look for the table with the Writing Associates sign)
Monday 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m
Wednesday 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Thursday 4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sunday 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Berkshire Towers - Room L-07
Monday 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
ON-LINE via FirstClass: Go to: Academic Groups & Resources Open: Send Doc to a Writing Associate
Open “Send Doc to a Writing Associate” and change the subject line to include your name and paper topic. Attach
your paper and type a brief message specifying what you need help with (grammar, organization, thesis statement,
etc.), class for which the paper is being written, and the best way to contact you if the Writing Associate has
questions. The next available Writing Associate will respond during the scheduled hours listed above only. (So . . .
if you submit the paper you just finished at 2 a.m., you won’t receive feedback until the following day.)
For additional information about the Writing and Research Center and to “meet” the Writing Associates, visit:
See page 8 for information on services for students with disabilities.
November Who’s Who in the Learning Services Center
Freel Library, Lower Level
4 Last day to WITHDRAW from a class (see box below)
5 Public Policy Lecture: Paul Rusesabagina, author of An
Terry Miller Director
Ordinary Man, Campus Center Gym, 7:00 p.m.
Wendy Guerra Coordinator
6 Modern Language placement testing, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Individual Enrichment Program
Learning Services Computer Lab, (Also scheduled for
Edith Pye Coordinator of Academic Support
November 20 and December 4 (same time and place)
Bob Bouquet Academic Advisor
6 Last day to request a tutor through Learning Services
Thelma Margulies ABE/GED/ESOL Coordinator
11 Veteran’s Day observed (no classes)
Joan Courtney Office Manager
25 Thanksgiving Break begins (classes resume 11/30)
Donna Poulton Secretary
Registration for spring semester began October 30 and will
continue through November 13. Be sure to make an appoint-
ment with your faculty advisor in advance of the time you
are scheduled to register; you’ll need a pin number to register
on-line, and you can only get that from your faculty advisor. Paul Miranda Joins Mosaic Staff
By Wendy Guerra
We welcome Paul Miranda to
Mid-semester warnings are sent to students who the staff of The Mosaic. Paul is
are in danger of receiving a D or an F in a class. If already a familiar face on
you have received a warning in your campus mail- campus: he was the subject of
box, it is important that you follow up by talking a profile on the MCLA web-
to the professor of the class, your faculty advisor, site, in which he shared his
and, if necessary, by requesting a tutor for the thoughts about himself and his
class. If it appears that you still may not be able
to avoid a failing grade, you can withdraw from
the class, with no penalty and no effect on your (especially krumping), volunteerism, singing, playing the
GPA. Remember, however, that it MAY have an piano, his faith, and his Cape Verdean roots. He’ll be
effect on your financial aid, since you must com- performing with Dance Company this fall as well as
plete 75% of the credits you attempt during the with MCLA’s newly formed gospel group opening for
academic year. God’s Trombones in December. Paul also hopes to
REMEMBER: The last day you can form an organization to teach others about the Cape
Verdean culture. He is currently serving as a teaching
withdraw from a class is
assistant in a Mathematics for College class.
Wednesday, November 4. An English major, Paul hopes one day to start a
Don’t miss the deadline! Contact your advisor, church in Africa. In the meantime, he is taking advan-
who can help you decide a plan of action, as soon tage of all that MCLA has to offer.
as possible. Staff members in Advising Services If you haven’t already met Paul, you may have seen
and Learning Services are also available, by ap-
him at the recent MCLA Presents! when he was invited
pointment, to assist you.
by singer and dancer Emeline Michel to share the stage
as she demonstrated dance from her native Haiti—and
Paul’s passion for dance was never more evident.
SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
In addition to providing the academic services described on page 6, the Learning Services Center coordinates academic accommo-
dations for students with disabilities (physical and learning). However, it is the responsibility of students to disclose—and request
accommodations for—their disabilities.
Students with documented disabilities are encouraged to meet with Edith Pye, Coordinator of Academic Support, to deter-
mine accommodations that recognize their disabilities in light of their academic requirements. The accommodations requested
must be reasonable and will be granted based on documentation. To receive accommodations, students must discuss their disabili-
ties during their meeting with the Coordinator of Academic Support, who will then determine reasonable accommodations.
At the initial meeting, documentation will be reviewed. Documentation for a learning disability should be no more than 3
years old and include all aptitude and achievement test scores, observations, and summary. Acceptable tests include:
a. Aptitude testing (signed by the testing professional) with all subtests and standard scores reported (e.g., WAIS, WISC,
KTEA, WJ Cognitive, etc.)
b. Achievement tests (e.g., WJ Achievement, WIAT, etc.)
IEPs and/or 504 Plans are welcome, in addition to the testing, as they serve to document the history of services rendered, but
they are not sufficient sources of documentation in and of themselves. All documentation is held in strict confidence.
Students must meet with the Coordinator of Academic Support each semester to develop a course-specific accommodation
request worksheet, and it is the responsibility of the student to deliver the worksheet to his or her professors. Typical accom-
modations include note takers, extended time and/or separate location for tests, and Preferred Access Registration (registering for
courses prior to open registration). All accommodations are determined after a review of the documentation submitted.
Students wishing to utilize accommodations must request them within the first six weeks of each term.
Presenting documentation to the Office of Admission when you apply to MCLA is NOT the same as requesting accommodations
once you are enrolled as a student. To receive accommodations after enrollment, students must follow the process outlined
above, i.e., providing current documentation to the Coordinator of Academic Support, as needed, and meeting to discuss docu-
mentation and course requirements and to determine reasonable accommodations each semester.
For additional information on services for students with disabilities, go to:
or make an appointment with Edith Pye, Coordinator of Academic Support, in Learning Services to discuss individual accommoda-
“I am an IEP success story!” writes Jeannette Imani (Williamson) Appold. “I graduated in 1990 from
North Adams State College with a B.A. in History. Went on to earn my J.D. from Hamline University
School of Law. I’ve recently started a nationwide adoption coaching business
(www.adoptionplancoach.com) to guide potential adoptive parents through the non-legal aspects of the
adoption process. I haven't quit my day job but I am now doing something that I am passionate about!”