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Alumni News

Published: November 02, 2016 | Categories: Alumni

Colleen Loveless '84/G'93 and James Tierney '08 Honored by the University for their Achievements

Colleen Loveless

Colleen Loveless '84/G'93, president of Revitalize Community Development Corporation in Springfield, was presented with the Alumna of the Year award at the President’s Society Reception. James Tierney '08, a lecturer of Economics at Pennsylvania State University, received the Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award at an October 16 ceremony that also honored the Alumni Association Skookum Award of Excellence winners.

Loveless, who graduated from Western New England with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1984 and her MBA in 1993, has headed Revitalize CDC for seven years, pulling the community together to make life in Springfield better for everyone. Her organization provides rehabilitation, modifications and critical repairs to the homes of low-income families with children, military veterans, people with disabilities and the elderly. Additional services include Small Business Technical Assistance for low- to moderate-income business owners and start-ups.

In 2011, when a tornado tore through western Massachusetts, Loveless and her Revitalize CDC team soon rebuilt 25 homes in five days with the help of many volunteers, corporations, and citizens of the City of Springfield.

Another feature project of the organization is GreenNFit, an annual event now in its fourth year. This past April, 1,200 volunteers and over 90 sponsors—together— rebuilt two full blocks in Springfield. Making homes “greener” include installing new heating systems that use natural gas and adding solar components.

Loveless has worked closely with Western New England University and our athletics teams in recent years to encourage community service participation. 

Majoring in Economics and Mathematics as an undergraduate, Tierney was recognized as Outstanding Student in Economics in his senior year, was Student Senate president, and received the Grand Skookum Award—this award’s highest honor.

Since graduating from Western New England and earning his master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Irvine, Tierney has taught economics courses at Orange Coast College, Irvine Valley College, Chapman University, SUNY-Plattsburgh, and Penn State. He has published three refereed journal articles, co-authored two textbooks, participated in several academic conference panels, and has had presentations at nine academic academic conferences.

Tierney was a member of Improv on the Rocks as an undergraduate—and a founder of his own improv troupe as a graduate student—so it was a natural transition for him bring his presentation skills to the front of the classroom, according to Associate Dean of Students Maureen Keizer, who introduced James at the ceremony. “I had the opportunity to read some of his students’ evaluations, and many commented on how his course was challenging yet ‘entertaining,’” she said. “He has taken his Western New England roots on his personal journey and continues to emulate the principles of Service, Integrity, and Knowledge that are proudly displayed on the University’s seal.”