Making News: Free shred day, foundation grant awarded and more





Published: 9/24/2018 9:17:41 AM
Credit Union holds free shred day

NORTHAMPTON – Freedom Credit Union will hold a shredding event with PRoshred-Springfield  Sept. 29, 9 to 10 a.m., at the bank’s 226 King St. location. The public is encouraged to bring documents for shredding and food items to support local food banks. 

Members and non-members may bring up to five file boxes or paper bags per vehicle to the event.

Jackson to lead series at HCC

HOLYOKE—Attorney Karen Jackson of Jackson Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, will teach a series of classes highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke. 

The six-hour course, called Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know, will be presented in three, two-hour sessions, on Mondays, Oct. 15, 22 and 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

Jackson will discuss having a core estate plan, the probate court process, Medicare hot topics planning for nursing home care. 

Participants may attend only one session if they choose, but  the full course cost of $89 still applies. To register, call HCC at 552-2500 or online at

Brown awarded foundation grant

AMHERST – Casey M. Brown, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has received a one-year, $500,000 award from the Rockefeller Foundation to support his research and analysis of freshwater resilience around the globe. The foundation’s support for Brown’s work is $1.6 million during the past four years.

Working in collaboration with the World Bank, Brown and his team of researchers are bringing specific improvements to water management in pilot demonstrations in three river basins in Mexico City and Tanzania.

Brown’s work has also been funded by the National Science Foundation, NOAA, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

South Hadley Chorale  welcomes new conductor

SOUTH HADLEY — Alexandra Ludwig has joined The South Hadley Chorale as conductor for the 2018-2019 season.

Ludwig is a conductor, professor and performer. She is an associate professor of music at Springfield College where she accompanies dance as a pianist and percussionist, teaches, and conducts the Springfield College Community Chorus. She is pursuing certification in Dalcroze Eurythmics from Carnegie Mellon University, and is delving into traditional music, playing both the accordion and bass. She sings with Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble, and studies voice with Justina Golden.

Ludwig founded FluxEnsemble in 2013 to perform works with unusual instrumentation. She has also conducted the Bronx Opera, Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus, and Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, assisted at the New York Youth Symphony, covered rehearsals for the Hampshire Choral Society, and prepared singers for the Bard Music Festival, among others.

Ludwig earned her master’s degree from Bard College where she later acted as a conducting teacher. Earlier she received her undergraduate degree from Smith College, focusing on piano performance, and then continued coursework at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. Ludwig also worked for the Philadelphia Orchestra, as orchestra manager of the Riverside Symphony in Manhattan, and as personal assistant to pianist Peter Serkin and mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. 

Hudgik to head HCC admissions

HOLYOKE – Mark A. Hudgik of Hadley is the new director of admissions at Holyoke Community College.

Hudgik, 42, is an HCC alumnus, Class of 2002, who returns to campus with 14 years of experience working in academic admissions, most recently as director of admission at Greenfield Community College, where he started as a senior admission counselor in 2009. He had previously worked as assistant director of admissions at Bay Path University in Longmeadow and as admissions director at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in South Hadley.

After graduating from HCC, Hudgik earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts and his master’s degree in higher education administration from Bay Path.

He enrolled at HCC in 2000 after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, as an aerospace propulsion and jet engine journeyman and programs manager.

For two years as a student at HCC, he worked in the college career center.

Hudgik grew up in Granby and has two adult children with his wife, Ellen.

​​​​​​New director of development for Community Legal Aid 

NORTHAMPTON – Tom Navin has joined Community Legal Aid as its new development director. Prior to joining Community Legal Aid, Navin served as vice president of philanthropy and alumni engagement at World Learning, an international education, development, and exchange organization and as director of annual giving at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A longtime resident of western Massachusetts, he lives in Northampton with his partner and 4-year-old lab/hound mix.

Community Legal Aid is the free legal services provider assisting low-income and elderly residents of Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties. Through its advocacy in over 6,000 cases each year, CLA helps people obtain safe housing; access disability, unemployment, and other benefits; receive services needed to succeed in school; and break free from abuse and exploitation.

For more information about Community Legal Aid, go to


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