Celebrating the work of Mount Holyoke staff

Winterfest 2019 was celebrated in Chapin Auditorium in Mary Woolley Hall.

By Christian Feuerstein

Great food, great conversation and celebration of the community were some of the highlights of 2019’s Winterfest, the annual holiday party saluting fellowship for faculty and staff. 

The 28th annual Winterfest was held on December 11 and was sponsored by Staff Council. Among holiday decorations and tables heaped high with food, staff and faculty mingled and celebrated not only the end of the fall semester, but the end of 2019 and the closing of a decade. 

“On a daily basis, we go farther because of our desire to work together as a community to provide the best education for our students,” said President Sonya Stephens. 

President Stephens then bestowed Trailblazer Awards on Mount Holyoke staff members who have been singled out by their colleagues and managers for their outstanding efforts. Trailblazer Awards honor “individuals or teams who have completed a project, or met a challenge head-on, and, through their collaboration and creativity, have advanced the College’s mission and incorporated our shared values into their work.” 

Trailblazer Awards for fall semester 2019 were given to: 

  • The Telephone Replacement Team, for the selection and implementation of a new telephone system on campus.
  • The Multifunction Device Replacement Team, for the upgrade of 84 campus copier/printer multi-function devices and the Auxiliary Services Print Shop press.
  • The Education Division’s program review, who put together a 1,400 page document detailing the strengths of Mount Holyoke’s teacher licensure programs, both undergraduate and graduate.
  • Annie Sullivan, associate director of admission and coordinator of international recruitment.

A tradition at Winterfest is collecting donations for local charities. This year, donations were accepted on behalf of Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. and T.J. O’Connor Animal Adoption Center. Additionally, the community donated toys for Toys for Tots. 

Winterfest isn’t the only occasion Mount Holyoke College celebrates its staff; Trailblazer Awards and the Mary Lyon Leadership Awards are also given out at the end of the academic year. The Mary Lyon Leadership Award honors “groups or individuals who reflect Mount Holyoke’s institutional core values of integrity and excellence, whose contributions advance the mission of the College and the initiatives of the strategic plan, and who through their exemplary service have demonstrated their dedication to the institution.”

At the end of the 2019 spring semester, the following Trailblazer and Mary Lyon Leadership Awards were bestowed upon: 

  • Deb Garrity, director of web communications and development, and Heather Tetrault, conference and event services manager, for recognition of their work on the Localist Web Calendar selection and implementation.
  • The Tech Access Committee, for its commitment to provide an equitable experience for all students through the College’s electronic tools and information. 
  • Laura Bundesen, sponsored research officer, for her extraordinary contribution toward meeting the College’s goals for fundraising, making the College a prime destination for faculty and raising the profile of Mount Holyoke among its peers. 
  • Nancy Apple, associate director for sustainability of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment and former director of environmental health and safety, for her work advancing sustainability and safety initiatives at the College throughout her career.