MCLA Receives $20K From Berkshire Bank Foundation For Summer STEM Academy

Print Story | Email Story
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire Bank Foundation has awarded MCLA $20,000 to fund the Berkshire Bank STEM Academy, which accepts up to 20 incoming first-year students enrolled in a STEM major or who have expressed interest in STEM fields.  
According to a press release, the five day program is designed to introduce incoming students to careers in STEM. Students will network with STEM faculty, students, and staff in the interest of developing a deeper relationship with those involved in STEM careers in the Berkshires. The program's ultimate goal is to encourage more students to secure jobs in the Berkshires and remain here after graduation. 
The program, which is in its ninth year, was developed to serve low-income and first-generation college students. Alumni of the program have gone on to be MCLA  residential advisors, tutors and supplemental instructors. Graduates have gone on to have careers at Raytheon, General Dynamics, Edge Pharma, and as public school teachers.  
Students are selected based on their responses to surveys taken upon their acceptance to the college. Interested students should email program director, Dr. Sara Steele, assistant professor of psychology, at to have their name prioritized in the selection process.  
During the residential program, where the majority of the awarded funds are spent, students will explore concepts in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, environmental science, psychology and physics through laboratory work and meeting with faculty. Students will also be paired with an upper-level STEM major who will serve as a mentor. Field trips to local STEM employers, including Berkshire Health Systems, MASS MoCA, and General Dynamics, as well as a roundtable discussion and a dinner with STEM professionals to encourage students to begin thinking about internships and local career opportunities.  
Other programming throughout the year will include career exploration, introduction to academic services and resources on campus, presentations on study skills, time management, course advising, and financial planning. Sessions on preparing and understanding FAFSA applications, student loans and personal financial responsibility will be conducted by the MCLA Office of Student Financial Services, with individual appointments for all participating students. Berkshire Bank STEM Academy students will be expected to attend special events during the year, such as visiting speakers, planned programs, and MCLA's annual Undergraduate Research Conference. 

Tags: MCLA,   

0 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Letter: Hinkell Family Thanks Community for Support After House Fire

To the Editor:

We would like to thank everybody for their generous support during these tough times for our family. We greatly appreciate all of the donations, prayers, meals, and support that has been sent our way. We feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing community and we honestly couldn't have made it through this past week without all your help. 
To the North Adams Fire Department, North Adams Police Department, Northern Berkshire EMS, North Adams DPW, the North Adams Animal Control Officer, and the North Adams Water Department, thank you for your quick responses to our house, saving our dogs, and making sure everyone was OK. 
Finally, thank you to Cutting Edge Painting for dropping everything and coming to board up and secure our house and to Thrifty Bundle for immediately cleaning clothes for us to wear.
As we continue to move forward, we can't help but to reflect back to how lucky we are to be able to reside in a community that is so willing to help people in need. We are forever grateful and will never forget everything that the community did for us.  We Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Johno, Emily, Connor and Easton Hinkell
North Adams, Mass. 

View Full Story

More North Adams Stories