BCC announces the addition of three new members of the nursing faculty, several new full-time staff members and a promotion
New faculty members
Crystal Kruszyna joins BCC as Assistant Professor of Nursing. Prior to joining BCC full-time, she served as an adjunct instructor in the nursing program. Previously, she worked as a registered nurse at Baystate Medical Center, staying on as per diem, and taught as an adjunct in the nursing program at Elms College. When not working, she volunteers at the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department, where she coordinates and assists with teaching a first responder class. Kruszyna’s nursing degrees include a master’s degree from Western Governor’s University, a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and an associate degree from BCC.
Sophie Jannen joins BCC as Assistant Professor of Nursing. Previously, she was a registered nurse at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and at Berkshire Medical Center’s Emergency Department. Jannen holds a master’s degree in nursing from Simmons University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from MCLA, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northeastern University and an associate degree in liberal arts from BCC.
Kimberly VanDeusen joins BCC as Assistant Professor of Nursing. Prior to joining BCC full-time, she served as an adjunct instructor in the nursing program as well as a simulation lab technician and professional nursing tutor. Previously, she worked as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Berkshire Medical Center. She was also the assistant district manager at Charming Shops and the store manager at Fashion Bug. VanDeusen earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Governor’s University and an associate degree in nursing from BCC. She is currently completing her master’s degree in nursing at Western Governor’s University.
New staff members
Dr. Sarah Blizzard joins BCC as Coordinator for the MADE (Multicultural Affairs, Diversity, and Engagement) Center. Dr. Blizzard brings more than a decade of higher education experience, beginning with teaching public speaking and interpersonal communication at two-year and four-year institutions and expanding her roles into academic advising, admissions, residence life, conduct and Title IX. Dr. Blizzard holds an EdD in higher education from the University of Denver; bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies from University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and a certificate in technical communication from Duke University.
Alexa Icenia joins BCC as Academic Counselor for the MADE (Multicultural Affairs, Diversity, and Engagement) Center. A first-generation Spanish-speaking educator born to Afro-Caribbean Dominican immigrants, Icenia seeks to empower and expose the disadvantaged to opportunities. Most recently, she has worked to advance the community of Chelsea, Mass., through programs centered around workforce and college preparation. Prior experience includes serving as a juvenile court liaison and guardian ad litem for the Miami Juvenile Justice Department. Icenia earned a master’s degree in urban education and leadership from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree from UMass Dartmouth.
Amanda Pittenger joins the Registrar’s Office at BCC as Enrollment Services Coordinator. Pittenger was most recently Assistant Registrar and Veteran Certifying Official at the College of Saint Rose and brings significant experience in the veteran certification process and compliance. In addition to focusing on VA compliance, she will manage the department’s communications and publications. Pittenger, who grew up in Western Massachusetts, received her bachelor of science in psychology from UMass Amherst. She currently resides in Voorheesville, NY.
Gary Russett joins BCC as Comptroller. Russett, who has more than 25 years of financial experience, arrives from Elms College, where he spent 10 years as Controller and as an adjunct professor in the MBA program. Previous experience includes positions held at Berkshire Hills Music Academy, Bard College and Berkshire Health Systems. Russett earned a master’s of business administration from Elms College, a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from MCLA and an associate degree in computer science from Berkshire Community College. He lives in Pittsfield with his wife Mary Lou.
Karen Hines, formerly Associate Professor of Business/Department Chair, has been promoted to Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. She came to BCC in 2019 from Holyoke Community College, where she taught and led the campus-wide OER (Open Educational Resources) initiative for eight years. Prior to teaching, she served as a marketing director and new product development lead for several small to medium-sized companies throughout the northeast.
Kimberly VanDeusen, Assistant Professor of Nursing
Dr. Sarah Blizzard, Coordinator for the MADE (Multicultural Affairs, Diversity, and Engagement) Center
Alexa Icenia, Academic Counselor for the MADE (Multicultural Affairs, Diversity, and Engagement) Center
Amanda Pittenger, Enrollment Services Coordinator
Karen Hines, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs