Bartlett High School Students Embark On Journey With Nichols Honors Collaboration


DUDLEY, Mass.—Oct. 13, 2016—The Nichols Honors Academy (NHA) is celebrating its third year as a cooperative effort between Nichols College and Webster’s Bartlett High School. Over 25 students were inducted Oct. 12 into the Academy on, joining 50 of their elder peers as the third cohort to be accepted to the program.

The partnership between Bartlett and Nichols launched in 2014 and encourages high school students to pursue higher education through an introduction to college-level courses, activities, and responsibilities. Students interested in the NHA undergo an extensive application process before being accepted. This effort to promote the importance of a college education is made possible by the generosity of Nichols Trustee Emeritus Gerald Fels and his wife, Marilyn Fels, of Webster, Mass.

Bartlett Principal Steve Knowlton and Assistant Principal Rebecca Czernicki commented on the success of the program, citing the requirements that every student enrolled will participate in pre-Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and will eventually go on to take at least one AP class by their junior year.

Referring to the NHA as a “social family,” Knowlton praised the program for “endowing the students with motivation and a sense of identity,” as well as a noted increase in students’ time management skills.

The third cohort—Bartlett freshmen—joined the ranks of the Honors Academy with a ceremony on the Nichols campus. This year’s inductees were joined by their predecessors from the 2015 ceremony, who are currently sophomores and in their second year of the Nichols program.

Each new member of the NHA was gifted a new Chromebook from Nichols to aid them in fulfilling their responsibilities and provide the students with full-time access to technology. In addition, members were provided with Nichols College campus photo identification cards, which allow them access to the College library and events.

While the first-year members enjoyed a tour of campus, the sophomores attended a college class on ethics lead by Professor Mauri Pelto, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and NHA academic coordinator; and Management Professor and Chair Leonard Samborowski.

Pelto, who was behind the initial efforts to conceive the program, gives credit to the students for taking advantage of the opportunity.

“It’s more about learning than it is test taking,” he said. “Learning is what you know well enough to apply, as opposed to just memorizing the information.”

He favors the hands-on approach for guiding the students, allowing them to take charge and gain a rational understanding of their environment.

Bartlett sophomores Summer Lamprey and John Bsoumai of Webster attest to the effectiveness of the NHA.

Lamprey, who plays soccer and participates in show choir, said: “I was encouraged after seeing my older friends who were already in the program, as well as the academic advantages it offered.”

She credits the program with teaching her time management skills that help her participate in activities during the day while staying focused on homework each night.

Bsoumai joined the program for the advantages he felt it gave him to open doors to college and a career.

“It gives me more opportunities than other options,” he said. “And, instead of being scared when I attend college, I will be experienced.”


Proud To Be A Bison


Name: Megan Fields

Major: Marketing

Year of Graduation: 2017

Horoscope: Cancer

Amount of time put into four years of college: priceless.

To be honest, I don’t actually put much stock into zodiac signs and horoscopes, and yet I still find myself avidly agreeing with every description the Internet can think to apply to a Cancer. It doesn’t matter if one post says I keep to myself the majority of the time, or if another says that I’m as extroverted as they come—each time I read those hastily typed blurbs I’m thinking to myself: “That is so me.”

Starting off my fourth and final year of college, I think more about what I’ve been able to accomplish here at Nichols College. I’ve served on the Retention Council, been a peer tutor at the Academic Resource Center, and have spent my free time baking sweets to share with my neighbors in Kuppenheimer Hall—because why not?

It’s not that I haven’t done a lot as a student at Nichols College, because I’ve done my best to be reasonably involved. On the contrary, it’s whether my time and energy spent here will leave a lasting impression on this beautiful campus.

And isn’t that what we all want?

We want to be remembered for leaving behind a legacy … or implementing a great change … or for being so memorable that professors will say your name for years, thinking: “Whatever happened to them?”

I want to be someone who professors fondly remember, even if they are also shuddering while recalling my favorite skill of debating anything and everything.

There lies the ultimate goal for my senior year: to be remembered.

What better way is there to be remembered than to leave a permanent stamp of my presence here on Bison Chronicles, forever on the Internet?

True, it’s a lot of pressure, but as Johnny Kapahaala from Johnny Tsunami said in 1999, “Go big, or go home.”

Megan Fields is a Nichols College senior marketing major and psychology minor. She interns for the Nichols College Office of Marketing and Communications.

Looking Forward to Fall

The fall season is creeping in as Nichols students return to campus and classes. Although the end of summer can be bittersweet, there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming months. Nearby towns host thriving fall festivals and fairs, and there’s always more to explore in central Mass.

Aug 20th – Nov

Fort Hill Farms Corn Maze Adventure: Located in Thompson, CT, Fort Hill Farms is a 15-minute drive from Nichols. Navigating through the corn maze can be a fun group activity. Friday and Saturday nights are flashlight nights where maze-goers can enter the labyrinth guided by flashlight. Fort Hill Farms also sells fresh made ice cream and other products. Admission to the maze is $12.

Sept 2nd – 5th

Woodstock Fair in Woodstock, CT: The Woodstock fair is a nearby favorite filled with food, rides, games, shopping, competitions, and entertainment. Open barns show off cows, chickens, and rabbits. Top country and pop artists headline this year’s fair. The entrance fee is $12 and the fair is about 15 minutes from the school.

Sept – Nov

Factory of Terror: This haunted house in Worcester, Ma is known as one of the scariest. Great makeup and effects paired with classic scares such as zombies, ghosts, and clowns makes for a thrilling experience. Tickets are $22 online.

Oct 1st

Dudley Grange Apple Festival: The Apple Festival is held right next to Nichols at the Dudley Grange. It may be a small event, but all of Dudley attends for the apple crisp. Apple crisp is $5 and the festival also offers other food, drink, and activities.

Oct 1st – 2nd

Wachusett Mountain BBQ Fest: Wachusett Mountain hosts a big weekend-long BBQ event featuring a variety of BBQ vendors, a traditional pig roast, pie eating contests, beer tent, and live entertainment. Tickets are $12 at the door. Travel time is about an hour.

Oct 14th – 16th

Rock and Shock 2016: This horror festival is in collaboration between the DCU Center and Worcester Palladium concert venue. Attendees can choose between buying tickets for the horror convention, the concert shows, or both. The convention features famous horror movie writers and producers, actors and actresses from favorite shows such as American Horror Story, costume contests, and much more.

Oct 22nd

Great Pumpkin Festival: Putnam is a busy little Connecticut town filled with small businesses selling food, artwork, and antiques. Every year there is a pumpkin festival featuring pumpkin carving contests, pie eating contests, scarecrow competitions, live music, and a petting zoo. It’s only a 15-minute ride from Nichols and there is no admission fee.

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community