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Center for Entrepreneurial & Global Studies (CEGS)

The Mission of the Center for Entrepreneurial & Global Studies (CEGS) is to prepare students to enter an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

CEGS courses serve as the History and Social Science department and offers college-level and honors courses in History, Economics and Geography, along with Advanced Placement courses and distinctive trimester electives.

The department houses the the Mark R. Shenkman Trading Center, which serves as the showcase facility for economics, finance and entrepreneurship classes.

To prepare students for success at the university level and beyond, CEGS also offers guest speakers, conferences and international travel opportunities to allow students opportunities to personally engage with the people, institutions and challenges of the modern world.


Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG)

Entrepreneurial Thinking

Students learn to think and act like entrepreneurs, including utilizing opportunity evaluation, critical thinking, and flexibility in all areas of academic life.

Students are engaged in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of real programs, including for-profit and nonprofit ventures. While students are learning about globalism in theory, CEGS provides real-world opportunities to use those skills.

Innovative Practices

To address the complex problems of today and explore solutions for a better tomorrow, students are encouraged to practice critical reasoning and employ a design thinking methodology. We see these skills in action through interdisciplinary projects and courses.

Global Travel

Each year WMA offers exciting opportunities for students to travel around the country and around the world to enhance their classroom studies. Students explore the differences and interconnectedness of peoples and economies from around the world and around the nation.

Trips offered vary in academic focus, such as community service, school exchange, business and design, language/culture immersion, ecology/conservation, and visual art.

Experienced Experts

CEGS faculty have a broad range of experience. In addition to graduate degrees and scholarly work in their discipline, the department also brings a wealth of professional experience in other fields including economic development, higher education, energy and environmental management, business consulting, media creation, international development, and entrepreneurship.

WMA is a founding member of the GEBG, an organization that promotes nationwide standards in global education. Our faculty is invited to teach other schools best practices in global education through sharing information, speaking engagements and contributing to publications.

Gary Cook

Gary Cook
Titles: CEGS Teacher
Degrees: B.A.
M.A.L.S.
Email:

Michael Dziura

Michael Dziura
Titles: English, CEGS Teacher
Degrees: B.A.
M.F.A.
M.A. Media Studies
Email:

Gayle Hsiao

Gayle Hsiao
Titles: Director, International Student Program, Director, Summer Programs
Degrees: B.S.
M.Ed.
M.B.A.
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 413.596.9103

James Irzyk

James Irzyk
Titles: Director, Mark R. Shenkman Trading Center, Head Coach, Varsity Baseball
Degrees: B.A. Economics
M.B.A.
Sixth Year Certificate in Education Leadership
Email:

Erik Kindblom

Erik Kindblom
Titles: Dean of Studies, Head Coach, Varsity Softball
Degrees: B.A.
M.S.
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 413.596.9104

Gina Markowski

Gina Markowski
Titles: Department Chair
Degrees: B.A.
M.A.
Email:

Daniel Moran

Daniel Moran
Titles: CEGS Teacher, Head Coach, Varsity Swim
Degrees: B.S. History
Email:

Walter Swanson

Walter Swanson
Titles: Dean of Faculty, Head Coach, Rugby
Degrees: B.A.
Ed.M.
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 413.596.9140

Jinnie Trabulsi

Jinnie Trabulsi
Titles: Library Assistant, CEGS Teacher
Degrees: B.A.
M. Div.
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 413.596.9119

Charles Warden

Charles Warden
Titles: Economics
Degrees: B.A.
D.S.
Ph.D.
Email:

Events

Lectures, conferences, workshops

Our students have many opportunities to participate in engaging lectures, workshops, and conferences, featuring alumni, authors, artists, politicians, conservationists, and entrepreneurs, both on and off-campus.

Here are some examples of the types of events students have access to at WMA.

“It really opened my eyes to a genocide that I really didn’t know much about and it got me interested in helping out and being part of something bigger.
Now I’m thinking how I can help these children and children from around the world who have struggled with something like this.”
Colin O’Brien ’16

Conflict Resolution: Post-Genocide Rwanda

In 2015, Academy students had the opportunity to Skype with a government official from Rwanda who experienced and survived the genocide of 1994, when nearly one million Rwandans were slaughtered by fellow countrymen.

Mr. Didier Nkurikiyimfura serves as the Director General in charge of Information and Communication Technology in the Ministry of Youth and Information Communications. Addressing the students for 15 - 20 minutes, Mr. Nkurikiyimfura spoke of the importance of forgiveness in order for the country to continue to move forward.

The day-long academic conference included Trinity College professor Xiangming Chen as the keynote speaker, and a panel discussion regarding the local casino project with Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, Massachusetts State Senator Gale Candaras, and Denise Jordan, Chief of Staff to Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno.

The conference also include presentations by: Richard Walker of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Guy McLain, Director of the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History; Marla Michel, Director of the Business Growth Center of Springfield; Michael Mathis, President and COO of MGM Springfield; Serin Houston, Visiting Professor of Geography at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley; and Mary Steele, TV Producer of WaterFire.

In the News:

THE CITY: AN ACADEMIC CONFERENCE

Below is a Q&A session during the keynote address with Trinity College professor Xiangming Chen.

"That right there told me that Wilbraham & Monson Academy was the most special place I could ever think of because people came from all walks of life, from all different countries had to take a moment to care about me."
Keshawn Dodds '96
Referring to a standing ovation he received in chapel upon returning to school after his best friend died.

Chapel Talk: Keyshawn Dodds '96

Keshawn Dodds '96 is a motivational speaker and author who attended WMA as a post-graduate student.

He is one of many alumni who come back to campus to speak, teach master classes and perform for the WMA community.

Entrepreneurs in Action

Innovation meets Social Responsibility meets Nonprofit

The idea of ‘social entrepreneurship’ is evolving on the WMA campus. Mengdie Melody Liu '12 submitted a proposal as her final project in the fall Entrepreneurship class that has earned her a nod of approval from our administrators and an endorsement from Andreas Widmer, author of The Pope & The CEO and co-founder of SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization run by entrepreneurs who support enterprises that further solutions to poverty.

The Yunnan Ethnic Minority School Project (YEMS) is a cross-cultural volunteer program. During ten days’ volunteering, Melody and her group of volunteers teach English, make friends and donate books, supplies, and needed resources to the ethnic-minority students in an under-privileged village in Yunnan Province, China. The volunteers have the opportunity to teach and inspire these students through games, stories, and cross-cultural exchanges. The underlying purpose is to give the children of Yunnan Province hope.

Entrepreneurship, computing and biology students collaborated on the Global EcoLearn Project®. Biology students prepared pretreatment forest product inventories on two study sites on campus, and students in the entrepreneurship class have contributed by designing products for WMA families and Alumni. As a first project, the class designed personalized baseball bats for sale. The lumber sourced on campus has been made into hardwood floors (installed in faculty housing), picture frames and cutting boards as well.

In Service to Others

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Cows for Xavante Tribe

Each year, the Academy, in coordination with local boutique So Cool, hosts an annual shopping event with all proceeds going toward purchasing cows for the Xavante Indians of Brazil.

The Xavante tribe were driven from their homeland of Mato Grosso in the 1960s. They returned some 40 years later, however, 70% of the tribe died and much of the land had been destroyed. The Xavante rely on cattle to survive.

Students and faculty visit the Xavante Indians during the Academy’s trips to the Amazon. WMA has bought more than 14 cows for the Xavante.

MS Penny Wars


During the WMA Middle School Penny Wars challenge each grade competes to determine who can accumulate the most pennies over a two-week time period. Each grade can accumulate pennies in one of two ways. One way is to donate pennies to their grade's jar. The second way is to contribute some denomination other than a penny to a competing grade's jar. A quarter would win in battle 25 pennies from a rival grade's jar into your grade's jar, a dollar, 100 pennies, and so on.

Through Penny Wars, the WMA Middle School has raised more than $10,000 and supported The Heifer Project, The Conductor of Terezin, Life Connection Mission in Haiti, Jambo Tanzania, trees for Wilbraham through the Rotary Club, Water for Sudan and the Dakin and T.J. O'Connor Animal Shelters.

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