OWL Talks

Westfield State And Our Impact On The Local Community

Posted by Kelly Hart on Jun 16, 2017 2:03:00 PM
Kelly Hart


Westfield State is more than a school. We’re a family. That means we’re invested in the wellbeing of our students and we work within our community. Whether it’s through volunteer hours, campus events or encouraging innovative thinking, we’re making a positive impact on our local community everyday with the help of our students, faculty and staff. Read on to find out how you can join us in making a difference.

At first glance, Westfield is a liberal arts school located in Western Massachusetts. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see a passionate student body dedicated to creating a change in our world. Each year, over 5,500 students at Westfield State contribute over 61,000 hours of volunteer efforts. Their work ranges from Big Brothers Big Sisters to the National Parks Service, with the biggest difference being made right here at home in our local community.

Westfield student volunteers

Every year, HOOT (Helping Out Our Town) Day unites Westfield State students and Westfield community members for chance to serve, learn and volunteer together. The goal is for students to not only engage in and impact the community, but to make connections that can carry over into their future. This is especially important considering over 40% of Westfield State alumni live and work in Hampden County. HOOT Day is a chance for students to take on an active role in their new hometown and to become part of it’s success.

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There’s also an opportunity for students to help out the global community, with several service learning trips each year. For the past several years, nursing students have journeyed to Guatemala helping disabled children and providing clean water to remote areas. 

 See the difference a service-learning trip can have on students.

But in order to really make a difference in the world, you have to think big. That means bigger and better educational programs that focus on some of the toughest challenges we face today. We’re starting with climate change. Biology professor Jennifer Hanselman, Ph.D., developed a new teaching module to better explain climate change through literature. Her module was so successful with students that a Westfield State graduate went on to teach a modified version of the course to local high school freshmen. Then there’s the new Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science & Innovation Center. The 54,000 building opened in September 2016 and is home to our STEM disciplines. Students can take part in hands-on lab experiments, interactive lectures or conduct their own graduate and undergraduate research throughout the facility.

Learn more about the new Science & Innovation Center and the Westfield State alumna that inspired its name.

Whether you want to start small or go big, making a positive impact in your community can be easy as long as you have the passion and the resources to get the job done. At Westfield State, we have both. But the work is never done. 

Find out how Westfield State fits in your life and together we will make a difference in the world.


Topics: Choosing the right college, Civic engagement, Working with Our Community, Community Impact

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