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Rolaine James, George Ambriz. and Lauri Byrnes.
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Charlotte Lotz, Kaila Mullaney, and Sandra West.
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Amanda Lardizabal, Chris Bodnar, and Christopher DeGray.
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Lyndsay Isham-Morton, Maureen McLaughlin, and Rebecca Schmitt.

BCC Announces New Hires, Promotions

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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced the addition of ten new staff and faculty members, in addition to three promotions.  
 
New to BCC  
 
Chris Bodnar has joined BCC as Director of Procurement in the Administration and Finance Division, bringing 20 years of experience in buying, purchasing, planning and inventory management with KB Toys and a hardware store chain. He has studied business administration at the University of Connecticut, Houston Baptist University, Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT, and Berkshire Community College. A resident of Hillsdale, NY, he lives with his girlfriend Noreen and has three grown daughters. 
 
Lauri Byrnes has joined BCC as Administrative Assistant for Academic Advising in the One Stop Center for Student Success. Previously, she was the part-time office coordinator for Politis Family Chiropractic in Pittsfield for the past 10 years, along with other part-time positions she held throughout Berkshire County while attending college. She graduated from Berkshire Community College in 2017 with an associate degree in human services and from Maria College in 2021 with an associate of applied science degree in occupational health sciences. She and her husband Andy, who have five adult children, live in Lanesborough. 
 
Christopher DeGray has joined BCC as Director of Facilities in the Administration and Finance Division. Previously, he was Facilities and Operations Department Director, Environmental Services at Westfield State University, Westfield for nearly 12 years, where he was part of the Facilities Capital Projects Team, Emergency Management Team, and Green Team/Sustainability Committee. At Westfield State, he assisted in capital planning, construction, and renovation of large projects. Born and raised in West Springfield he currently resides in Westfield with his wife Beth and sons Adam, 15, and Jack, 12. 
 
Rolaine James has joined BCC as Academic Success Coach in the Disability Resource Center. Previously, she was Assistive Technology Access Coordinator at Dartmouth College. She specializes in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technology tools for education. She earned a master of science degree in assistive technology and human services from California State University, Northridge and a bachelor of arts degree in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies from California State University, Sacramento. A native of California, she currently resides in New Hampshire.  
 
Amanda Lardizabal has joined BCC as Assistant Biology Professor in the Environmental and Life Science Department, STEM and Allied Health. Previously, she was Adjunct Biology Professor at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan for four years and at River Valley Community College in Keene, New Hampshire for one year. She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Rochester and a master of science degree from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Born in California, she grew up in upstate New York and currently resides in Chatham, NY with her fiancé.  
 
Charlotte Lotz has joined BCC as Experiential Learning & Career Services Coordinator, Office of Student Engagement. Previously, she was Academic Advising Coordinator at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for four years, preceded by her position as Career Development Coordinator at Georgia College & State University. She received a bachelor of arts degree in creative writing from Susquehanna University and a master of education degree in counseling and college student affairs from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. A resident of Pittsfield, she resides with her fiancé and her Pomeranian. 
 
Maureen McLaughlin has joined BCC as Director of Strategic Initiatives. Prior to joining the higher education sector, she spent more than 20 years in the high-tech industry working in or with large corporations and start-ups resulting in IPOs or acquisitions. She also spent 10 years in public elementary schools supporting severe special needs students and students in crisis. McLaughlin holds a bachelor of science degree in Computer Information Technology from Bentley University and a master's in business administration from the University of Rochester. She is currently in the data analysis phase of her doctoral dissertation (Community College Leader Learning) at Endicott College with an anticipated completion and defense in January 2022. She and her husband Devin, parents of seven adult children, are recent empty nesters, splitting time between Manchester-by-the-Sea and Pittsfield.  
 
Kaila Mullaney has joined BCC as Administrative Assistant to the Vice President and Office of Academic Affairs. Previously, she worked as a sales administrator for iPrint Technologies, a Los Angeles-based printer, toner, and technology company. She attended Pierce College in Los Angeles and California State University, Northridge, where she focused on physiology and psychology research as well as diversity in STEM. She resides in Dalton, where she relocated from Los Angeles in the winter of 2020 amid the pandemic and first major snow storm of the season. 
 
Rebecca Schmitt has joined BCC as Administrative Assistant to the STEM and Allied Health Division. She earned an associate degree from Berkshire Community College. Originally from Stephentown, NY, where she has a large extended family, she resides in Pittsfield with her husband Marty and son Christian. 
 
Sandra West has joined BCC as Administrative Assistant in the Nursing Division. Previously, she held administrative positions at Pittsfield Public Schools, Springfield College School of Social Work, Harvard University (where she worked for 13 years) and Northeastern University in Boston. She attended Springfield College School of Social Work in the Human Service program as a full-time student, where she maintained a 4.0 average. A native of Cambridge, she married her fiancé of three years in 2018 and moved to Pittsfield.  
 
 
Promotions 
  
George Ambriz, who was serving as Director of Academic Advising, Career Development, and Transfer Services since June 2018, has been promoted to Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Director of SUCCESS. A resident of Clifton Park, NY, Ambriz holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; a bachelor's degree in administration of justice from Western New Mexico University; and an associate's degree from Cochise College in Arizona. He is currently a doctoral candidate in philosophy from UNLV.  
 
Shelly Armstrong has been promoted to the position of Academic Coordinator, One Stop Center for Student Success. Previously, she was Academic Counselor. A resident of Pittsfield, Armstrong earned a master's degree in education from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 
 
Lyndsay Isham-Morton has been promoted to Interim Director of Academic, Career and Transfer Advising. She has been with BCC since 2016, when she was hired as Academic Counselor, and was promoted to Student Advising Coordinator in 2018. A resident of Pittsfield, she earned a master's degree from Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont and a bachelor of arts degree from William Smith College in Geneva, NY. 
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Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Discusses Priorities for Forest Center

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The executive committee of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership on Thursday encouraged collaborators working on ideas for a forest center not to reinvent the wheel.
 
A pair of students in Williams College's Environmental Planning and Design program gave a presentation to the board about a survey they plan to assess priorities for the center, "an ambitious, somewhat nebulous concept right now but ... part of the enabling legislation establishing the partnership," according to the partnership's Chair Hank Art.
 
That legislation empowered a collaboration of 19 towns and cities in Berkshire and Franklin Counties to increase natural resource-based economic development and promote sustainable forestry practices in the region.
 
Sabrine Brismeur and Abby Matheny of Williams are working with the partnership to develop early concepts of what a permanent home for the MTWP might include and where it might be located.
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