by volunteers’ arms. They then proceeded to
different activity stations.
Sylvia Nkrumah, an education major at Holyoke
Community College, said during the June 29 event
that she had lacked self-confidence during her first
year of college and wasn’t sure what she wanted
to do in the field. But being part of SEAM has
connected her with other education students —
not only at HCC but at other institutions as well,
especially Westfield State University. Along the way,
she has gained more confidence in her abilities.
“Being part of this group has been amazing,”
she said. “It’s the first time I connected with my
major in a serious way.”
She was proud that her chapter won a club
award at HCC and that she personally won an award
honoring her commitment to the program and her
Tricia Kiefer, faculty adviser to the HCC SEAM
chapter, said that the club has brought students
together, providing them with a social network as
well as professional support. The HCC chapter is the
first SEAM chapter at a community college.
It’s harder to organize on community college
campuses, Kiefer said, because students commute.
Many also have jobs and family to take care of, so
their schedules vary. For those reasons, they may
need the connections even more, Kiefer added.
For one activity, the chapter screened portions of
a film titled “School of the Future” and brought in a
panel of professionals to talk about trends in education
practices. The chapter has also done professional
development in brain development, technology in
education and combating summer learning loss. In
addition, the chapter held a fundraiser and book drive
to benefit Holyoke students.
Ashley Linnehan and Katie Morris are two other
MTA members who took a day out of their summer
to volunteer at the fair. The Westfield State University
students were brimming with enthusiasm. They
were excited that the MTA offers free workshops for
students, including sessions on the Massachusetts
Tests for Educator Licensure, classroom management,
They joined aspiring teachers from other states
at a pre-RA conference and learned about similarities
and differences. From an Alabama contingent, they
learned how to line dance. And what did they teach
other students about Massachusetts? “We taught
them to appreciate Tom Brady,” Morris said.