Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce


Westfield State University administrators Dr. Cheryl Stanley, dean of Education, and Azanda Seymour, director, Urban Education Program, both of Springfield, have been appointed to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Black Advisory Commission. The Commission will advise the governor on issues relating to the economic prosperity and wellbeing of the black community in Massachusetts.

“Both Dr. Stanley and Ms. Seymour have provided exceptional leadership at Westfield State University and I now look forward to seeing their innovative ideas continue to positively influence the black community at the state level,” said Westfield State University President Dr. Ramon S. Torrecilha.

Stanley and Seymour are two of only four Western Massachusetts representatives on the 28-member Commission.

Earlier this year, Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito signed an executive order and formally swore in several members of the Black Advisory Commission at a ceremony in the State House. According to the official announcement, the Commission will review and assess the priorities of the black community in the Commonwealth and make recommendations by identifying up to three priority areas to be addressed over the course of the next two years.  Commission members will serve four-year terms.

As dean of Education, Stanley is responsible for approximately 20 educator preparation licensure programs and ensuring that all programs remain compliant with the state and national accreditation guidelines. In addition to her leadership with efforts to increase student interaction with faculty of color, Stanley also helped launch Westfield State’s Reach to Teach program. The program recruits students of color from Springfield Public Schools (SPS) to attend Westfield State and earn an education degree with a guaranteed job placement in SPS upon graduation.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, a Master of Arts in Human Development from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from UMASS Amherst.

Seymour serves as the director of the Urban Education Program, an academic success and leadership development program that focuses on the recruitment, graduation, and retention of first-generation students. She previously served as interim executive assistant to the president, assistant director of the Urban Education Program, and as an academic advisor.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Westfield State University, a Master of Education in Educational Policy, Research, and Administration from UMASS Amherst, and is working toward her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from University of Hartford.

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