Recent Initiatives

An Unwanted Legacy: Mercury in the Connecticut River Watershed


Anna Martini, Associate Professor of Geology

 Nearly ten years ago, Associate Professor of Geology Anna Martini took a group of students to the Connecticut River for what Martini thought would be a typical classroom assignment.  They set out to investigate the deposition of inorganic mercury from Mount Tom, the coal-fired power plant situated between Holyoke and Easthampton, Massachusetts. Read more

‘Making History Come Alive’: Amherst and Holyoke Community Colleges Team Up to Recreate Holyoke’s History

Frank Couvares, E. Dwight Salmon Professor of History and American Studies

As one of the country’s first planned industrial cities, Holyoke, Massachusetts has seemingly always been one step ahead of national trends in changing landscapes and fortunes. Read more


Examining History Through a Modern Lens

Eric Sawyer, Associate Professor of Music

You’d be hard pressed to find an artistic production as richly embedded in local community as Associate Professor of Music and composer Eric Sawyer’s opera, The Garden of Martyrs. The opera, adapted from the eponymous novel by Michael C. White, is a powerful retelling of a two hundred year old story set in Northampton, Mass. Read more

Bridging Years of Advocacy and Scholarship With Life at Amherst

Paola Zamperini, Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Civilizations

Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Civilizations Paola Zamperini has begun, by all measures, an exciting year — and she’ll be the first to tell you that this year has been twenty years in the making. From an art exhibit to medidation sessions to community-based learning, Professor Zamperini has carefully orchestrated a full year’s worth of community and college events focusing on Tibetan culture, identity, and religion. Read more