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Westfield State Honors Monterey's Gilderdale

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WESTFIELD, Mass. -– Senior track and field athlete Lauren Gilderdale (Monterey, Mass./Housatonic, Conn., High) and senior volleyball middle hitter Brianna Starkey (Rockland, Mass.) have been honored as the Westfield State University Female Athletes of the Year for the 2019-20 academic year. 
Gilderdale has been a key component of the women’s track and field team as the Owls have won four-straight MASCAC women's indoor track and field championships. She won the weight throw event with a college-best throw of 17.25 meters, or 56’ 7.25” at the 2020 MASCAC indoor championships. Gilderdale also qualified for the NCAA Championships 2020 indoor meet, but the championship was canceled a day before it was to start due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Gilderdale has also won a total of six MASCAC individual titles over the past three years in the indoor and outdoor throwing events, including the shot put event at the 2020 indoor championship with a distance of 12.94 meters.
Starkey served as co-captain of the women’s volleyball team, leading the Owls to the number one seed in the MASCAC playoffs this past season thanks to a perfect 7-0 MASCAC record.
Starkey finished the 2019 season leading the Owls with 348 points, 279 kills and 82 blocks. She was named to the MASCAC All-Conference team for a third straight season.
The Owls won the MASCAC title with a 3-1 win over Framingham State in the championship match, earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, where the Westfield lost to eventual Elite Eight participant Clarkson in the opening round.
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Berkshires Beat: Bidwell House Museum Cancels House Tours for 2020

Bidwell House update

The Bidwell House Museum has decided not to open for guided tours of the house in 2020. The staff and trustees feel that leading groups through the confined spaces of the house, even later this summer, may not be safe or comfortable for visitors. 

In addition, the museum has also decided to cancel the opening concert with Diane Taraz that was scheduled for May 24 and the Bidwell Country Fair that was to take place on July 12. Both programs are community events that draw hundreds of people, young and old, to the museum each year.

The Bidwell House Museum staff will continue to monitor the situation in Berkshire County and around the world and will make a decision at a later date about other events and programs scheduled for August and September. If the situation allows, the museum may consider tours by appointment later in the year. In the meantime, the staff is working remotely on new programming and lectures that can be experienced online. One new initiative is the weekly email newsletter Bidwell Lore that comes out on Tuesday afternoons and tells the many stories of the Bidwell family.  Those stories can also be viewed on the museum’s blog. 

The museum also is expanding their outdoor offerings, with new self-guided interpretive tours of the Bidwell gardens and grounds that will open later this month. Finally, the museum's four miles of hiking trails remain open every day, free of charge. Staff asks that people observe social distancing on the trails. For more information, visit the website.


MCLA innovation challenge

This year, The MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge is going virtual, and the MCLA community is invited to serve as one of the judges. Beginning at 5 p.m. on May 4, the three finalists’ pitches will be available to watch and review online. Voting will be open until 9 a.m. on May 8. Any member of the MCLA community (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) will be eligible to vote once during this period. Details are on Facebook.

The three students who will be pitching their business ideas are seniors David Flight: "Settling the States"; Kimberly Granito: "Detailing Dream"; and Sierra Lamonde: "Pyrography Crafts."

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