MCLA Professor Named Outstanding Educator of the Year by Massachusetts Society of CPAs

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams resident and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts assistant professor Tara Barboza has been selected as the 2020 Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, the professional association of certified public accountants, representing over 11,000 members. 

Each year, the MSCPA recognizes a full-time accounting educator at a college or university who has demonstrated excellence in a classroom teaching, motivating students and inspiring educational innovation.

Barboza was selected for her excellence in teaching and motivating students, as well as her contribution to the accounting profession, active participation in the society and her efforts in serving as a liaison between the classroom and the business world.

An assistant professor of accounting, business administration and economics, Barboza joined MCLA in 2016 and serves as the coordinator of entrepreneurial programs and on the Academic Policies and Curriculum Committee. She formed an IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in 2019, creating numerous on-campus internship opportunities for students and providing valuable service-learning experiences. In response to the closure of several area VITA programs because of the coronavirus, Barboza brought the program online, and her students have continued to serve their communities and increase early access to the economic stimulus payments virtually. 

A valued advisor working with students who are studying public accounting, Barboza is actively involved in the college and local community, working to strengthen ties between MCLA, the Berkshire community and the accounting profession. She co-created the Principals of Accounting Certificate for nontraditional students at MCLA and has created courses in financial literacy and entrepreneurial accounting. 

Additionally, she is the faculty advisor for the MCLA Accounting Club and works with area accounting firms to create internship opportunities for students. Furthermore, Barboza serves as corporator of the MCLA Foundation and a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. She is also an active member of the MSCPA's Academic and Career Development Committee.

"The MSCPA is thrilled to celebrate the achievements of this remarkable woman for her outstanding contributions to her students, her community and the accounting profession," said Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA.

Barboza has three children with her husband, Michael Hernandez. She is looking forward to her first grandchild this summer.


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North Adams School Officials See Plans for Brayton Hill Improvements

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The dangerous entrance to the Northern Berkshire Family YMCA is going to be reconstructed to make it safer for children walking to school. 
 
The $622,000 project is part of the state Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School initiative and is being funded through the Transportation Improvement Program.
 
It will include revamping the steep entrance on the west side of Brayton School and the YMCA and adding in sidewalks and other improvements. 
 
The public schools outreach coordinator Emily Schiavoni said the school district and Northern Berkshire Community Coalition have been partners in the program since 2016. The two entities applied in 2019 to the Safe Routes to Schools program for Brayton and were accepted.
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