BCC Hires New Faculty and Staff, Reorganizes Staff Positions

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired new faculty and staff on campus – as well as new titles for other current staff.

Maryann Carnes has been hired as an assistant professor of nursing. Carnes recently retired from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, where she worked as the risk manager and subsequently as the diabetes educator and the program manager of care coordination and telehealth. She also has previously worked as an adjunct nursing instructor at BCC and has an associate degree in nursing from BCC, a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Elms College, and a master of science degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix.  

Sarah Polo has been hired as an associate professor of nursing, and she currently works as an IV therapist at Berkshire Medical Center. Polo lives in Pittsfield and has two associate degrees from BCC in theater and nursing, a bachelor in education degree from SUNY Albany, and a master in science degree in nursing leadership from Walden University.

Amanda Osgood has been hired as the assistant professor of nursing. Previously, she worked at Berkshire Medical Center for the past 18 years in a variety of nursing roles. She also works for Berkshire Health Systems as an instructor for the Certified Nursing Assistant Program. Osgood lives in Pittsfield and has her associate degree in nursing degree from BCC and her bachelor of science in nursing degree from University of Phoenix.

Karen Hines has been hired as an associate professor of business. She previously worked at Holyoke Community College. Hines lives in Lee and has her bachelor in science degree from Albright College in Reading, Pa., where she majored in marketing with a minor in communications, and she has her master in business administration degree from American International College. In addition to teaching, Hines speaks at national conferences about the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) that are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes.

Andy Ottoson has been hired as the new administrative assistant to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at BCC. He previously worked for NADAP, which is asocial services agency contracted by NYC's Human Resources Administration to connect public assistant applicants and recipients to treatment services for substance use disorders and as a freelance director/producer/stage manager in theater and opera. He lives in Pittsfield and has a bachelor of arts degree in theater from Webster University in St. Louis.

Joshua Costa has been hired as the Institutional Security Officer III at the college. Previously, he worked as the college's facilities/evening crew leader. He is a graduate of the New Hampshire Part-Time Police Academy class and the New Hampshire Campus Safety Academy class. Costa is also a certified mental health worker issued by New Hampshire State Hospital. He is currently working on completing his associate’s degree in criminal justice at Eastern Gateway Community College.

Alicia Starsja, a recent BCC graduate, earning her associate's degree in social work, has accepted the position of program assistant for TRIO at the college. Starsja brings three years of TRIO experience and a national certification as a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor. She is studying to earn her bachelor's degree in social work at the Elms College.

Heidi Bailey, who was an administrative assistant in the Human Resources office, has moved to become an administrative assistant in the Student Financial Services office at the College.

Deborah Carderella, who was an administrative assistant in the Humanities division, has moved to become an administrative assistant in the Student Engagement Center.


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Pittsfield Residents Fight Cell Tower Construction

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents hope Berkshire Superior Court rules on an injunction forcing Verizon to halt the construction on 150-foot cell tower on South Street.
Residents of Alma Street will have their date in court on Tuesday, claiming Verizon did not properly notify abutters before constructing a cell tower.
"I pray that the honorable judge not only rules in favor of our neighborhood, but at the same time also grants the injunction to stop work, preventing further damage, stress, and concerns associated with the tower being up and active," resident Courtney Gilardi said. "I would hope she would stop this tower from being placed in our neighborhood."
Verizon received the permitting from the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2017 to erect the 115-foot cellular tower. Work began in this spring.
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