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Hollywood is Coming to AIC!

A one-of-a-kind television show that allows colleges and universities to market their unique qualities to prospective students will be filming on the American International College (AIC) campus in Springfield in March.  During filming, a selected group of AIC students will showcase their college experience for an episode of The College Tour.

 

Each new episode of The College Tour, a TV show on Amazon Prime, features a single college or university.  The show focuses on a variety of topics, from campus life to academics, athletics, activities, and more. The segments will give prospective students an inside look at what it’s like to attend AIC.

 

Casting for the AIC episode is underway now. The show’s production crew is looking for ten students to talk on camera about their AIC experience to viewers. Interested students are being invited to submit audition videos, talking about why they would be perfect members of the cast to help tell the AIC story.

 

The series is hosted by Alex Boylan, a former winner of CBS’s Amazing Race show. Alex and his Emmy-Award-winning production team have also worked on Survivor, The World’s Toughest Race, and The Chef’s Table, among others. According to Alex, The College Tour series is intended to “provide a well-rounded perspective that provides prospective students with a feel for the culture and vibe of a campus that they can’t get just reading about it online.” 

 

The episode featuring AIC will air this fall on Amazon Prime Video and Tubi. It will also be available on The College Tour website and app and will stream on The College Tour TV channel on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and Android TV.  And it will be distributed to more than 60,000 high school and college counselors across the US. 

AIC Establishes DEIB Office and Names Figueroa-Santana as Director

American International College (AIC) is taking a step toward implementing its diversity and equity objectives by establishing an Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB).  

 

The College also announces the appointment of Bianca Figueroa-Santana as director of this newly created office, effective February 1, 2023. In her former role as AIC’s assistant director of Diversity Education, Figueroa-Santana demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the work and principles of DEIB.  

 

Figueroa-Santana says she is eager to work with faculty, staff, and students to assess the College’s current DEIB infrastructure, look at perceived barriers, and author a DEIB plan that includes initiatives for strengthening the College’s infrastructure as outlined in its new five-year strategic plan AIC Reimagined. “I am excited to step into the role of Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. This is a pivotal moment for the College in its journey to ensure our diverse community feels a sense of inclusion on campus. This new office not only reaffirms the College’s commitment to DEIB but also empowers us to make positive changes on campus through thoughtful programming and targeted initiatives”.

 

AIC President Hubert Benitez, DDS, PhD Hubert Benitez congratulates Figueroa-Santana, adding, “We look forward to supporting Bianca as she takes on this new and important responsibility. By continuing to work together, we will transform the AIC climate to create an environment where we all belong and can thrive.”   

 

The creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is made possible, partly, by two recent grants; One for $30,000 awarded to AIC by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and another for $35,000 from the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation.   

Woody Wednesdays: Official Therapy Dog Provides Comfort on Campus

Wednesday is more than hump day for members of the AIC Admissions team. That day is one they look forward to because of a weekly visit from a furry friend. 

 

Woody, the resident therapy dog on the AIC campus, stopped by the Admissions office on Wednesday, January 18, on the first day of the spring semester. He began visiting administrative offices before the start of the pandemic. Vice President for Admissions Kerry Cole says the staff enjoyed the visits so much, they asked his owner, Executive Assistant to the President Candy Lash, to stop by weekly, and the term “Woody Wednesdays” was coined. 

 

Cole says her staff finds Woody’s visits are not only a nice break in their day, but also provide stress relief and a sense of camaraderie. “Seeing Woody and Candy can brighten even the darkest of days. We love Woody Wednesdays and hope to have them continue for many years to come.”

 

When Cole’s two-and-a-half-year-old son Will visits campus, he always makes a point to visit with Woody. The gentle dog has made quite an impression on Will, who even has a stuffed animal, whom he has fondly named Woody Lash. 

 

The real-life Woody is a certified pet therapy dog who not only provides stress relief to staff (and their children) but also offers comfort to AIC students who feel any pressure over classes and exams. The golden retriever mix was adopted by Lash as a rescue from Texas and received training from Bright Spot Therapy Dogs of West Brookfield, MA. Now, instead of wandering the streets, Woody makes his weekly rounds on campus, offering support where it’s needed. His reward is lots of love and treats in return.

You can see more about Woody in the following stories covered by WWLP–22News and The Republican/MassLive:

 

WWLP-22News: Therapy dog makes a difference at AIC

MassLive: AIC’s therapy dog ‘Woody’ soothes souls on campus

 

Latina Students Discuss College Experience with AIC President

Latina students who have demonstrated leadership qualities at American International College (AIC) have been invited to the table, in both the literal and figurative senses. 

 

Meeting students, staff, and community members over a meal is how AIC President Hubert Benitez prefers to gather. And on January 18th, the first day of the College’s Spring 2023 semester, a group of about a dozen young women, ranging from first-year students to doctoral candidates, were invited to a Latina Leaders Luncheon with President Benitez. 

 

The luncheon, organized by the AIC Core Academics (ACE) program, was designed as a way for students to learn more about the initiatives underway at the College to better serve Hispanic students, as well as for President Benitez to hear from the students about their experiences on campus. 

 

ACE is a Student Support Services program for first-generation college students to help them achieve success, including their development as leaders. ACE Program Director Terrence O’Neill hopes this lunch meeting is the first of many, representing diverse groups of students. 

 

Among the AIC initiatives underway to better serve Hispanic and Latino students is the College’s effort to become a Hispanic Serving Institution, defined as a college or university with a full-time undergraduate Hispanic student enrollment of at least twenty-five percent. Earning this designation would allow AIC to apply for federal grants to expand its educational opportunities and programs for Hispanic students.  

 

Other initiatives impacting Latino students include AIC’s participation in the Immigration Focused Alliance, which is a group of “American college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses, and communities.”

 

AIC also continues to expand its international reach with partnership agreements recently signed with Universidad Andres Bello Santiago de Chile (UNAB), which ranks among the top fifty academic institutions in Latin America, and Universidad Catolica de El Salvador (UNICAES), among others. The goals of these compacts include the exploration of shared student and academic programming. 

 

While a few of the students at the luncheon expressed nervousness about speaking with the College president, many said they were also grateful for the opportunity. “I feel honored to be chosen to represent as a Latina at AIC, and to be in a school with such a diverse population,” said Sophomore Shayliez Rosario, a psychology major.  She added, “It makes me feel seen.” 

AIC Announces Fall 2022 Dean's List

AIC has named 453 students to the Fall 2022 Dean's List. Dean's List students are full-time students who have achieved a 3.3 to 4.0 GPA. AIC congratulates these dedicated scholars. A full list of names can be found online at AIC Merit Pages.