Five College News

Articles and Announcements 2021-22

Five College Libraries Consortium adopts FOLIO services platform

Pioneering equity-driven open-source system improves the user experience 

July 07, 2022: The Five College Consortium announces the adoption of FOLIO, an open-source library services platform, which will begin operation throughout the Five College libraries later this month.  

The campus libraries of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges are among the first set of FOLIO adopters—and adapters. Five Colleges worked with EBSCO, one of the largest providers of digital library content in the world, to develop and beta test the implementation and hosting services for FOLIO. Orchestrated by the Open Library Environment (OLE), FOLIO is a global library collaboration community focused on open solutions for libraries.  

FOLIO, which stands for the “Future Of Libraries Is Open,” is the result of a collaboration of libraries, developers, and vendors who have built a platform to support traditional resource management functionality, to be extended into other functions. 

In the past, campus libraries made use of numerous non-integrated products to keep bibliographic data up to date throughout a network of systems and in shared catalogs such as the Five Colleges library catalog. UMass, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, Smith, and Amherst colleges share both print and e-resources but purchase digital materials separately. To be shared across the consortium, an item’s data had to be entered in multiple places, which was time consuming and left room for error. 

While users of the library’s website and search engines won’t notice much difference, FOLIO delivers a net improvement for the user by delivering more accurate results, and offers library staff ease in managing data and finances. 

“Our investment in FOLIO aligns with our mission, values, and strategy, moving toward openness in research and discovery, and community-driven development and collective governance in libraries and consortia,” says Sarah Hutton, interim Dean of Libraries at UMass Amherst for 2021-2022, during which time much of the FOLIO implementation work occurred. “We are honored to be part of a global community working to make information access more equitable by helping create an open, community-developed platform.” 

The migration to FOLIO has been made possible by dedicated staff who built this over four years and hundreds of hours, and due to the commitment from Five College library leadership. It’s a developing product, so the Five College libraries will reap additional benefits with features rolled out in subsequent releases.  

“We developed wholly new functions specifically for library consortia in FOLIO,” says Kat Berry, head of Information Resources Management at UMass. “So our work will benefit other library consortia all around the globe who can adopt features developed and tested by our team members.” 


Something for Everyone: Publishing Day Announced for Five College Faculty

April 22, 2022: Five College Publishing Day 2022, a launch event for collaborative publishing programming among neighboring academic institutions, will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, May 17 from 9:00am to 2:00pm.  The event is free and open to all Five College faculty and aims to foster connections among attending editors and authors.

The event is co-hosted by Amherst College, the Five College Consortium, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in collaboration with Amherst College Press, The Common, the Massachusetts Review, and the University of Massachusetts Press.

According to UMass Amherst Director of Faculty Development Wendy Varner, the event serves both to mentor faculty in academic book publishing and to highlight the “abundance of new opportunities” available to faculty considering the rapidly changing field of publishing.

The day’s program will begin with a roundtable discussion with editors, agents, and authors who will share their perspectives on the world of publishing today. From there, participants will have the opportunity to attend sessions on different areas of publishing and writing.

The scheduled moderators and panelists possess a wide array of publishing backgrounds from within the consortium  and beyond.

“We have a wealth of experience and expertise here in the Five Colleges, and I am excited to learn from our neighbors and from our invited guests,” said Mary Dougherty, director of the University of Massachusetts Press. 

Publishing Day 2022 marks a revival of cooperative Five College events focused on the publishing industry.

“I am delighted to see the return of Five College Publishing Day,” said Raymond Rennard, Director of Academic Programs for the Five College Consortium. “It's been almost 20 years since the last one, and the publishing industry has changed a lot for academics since then. This kick-off event has something for everyone, from publishing a first monograph to exploring alternative scholarly formats.”

See the program.

Register for Five College Publishing Day

Five Colleges announces end-of-semester bus schedules 

April 22, 2022: Five Colleges and PVTA have developed bus schedules to continue service among the campuses through the end of classes, and during final exams:

Bus 38: UMass-Amherst-Hampshire-Mount Holyoke

  • The 38 will continue its full, normal schedule through the end of the day on Tuesday, May 10. See the schedule
  • On Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12, the 38 will follow its normal schedule for Monday through Wednesday. This means on May 12, there will not be the same late-night service normally offered on Thursdays. See the schedule.
  • On Friday, May 13, the 38 will offer limited service to ensure students are able to attend the last day of classes at Amherst College. See the schedule
  • May 13 service will not include stops at UMass; UMass students should count on taking one of several other buses running between the University and downtown Amherst. See schedule options. 
  • 38 service will end on May 13 with the last bus leaving Amherst at 5:10 pm.
  • 38 service will resume with limited service from May 19 to May 24 to ensure students can attend finals at Amherst College. See the schedule
  • Final exam service for the 38 will not include stops at UMass; UMass students should count on taking the B43 or one of several other buses running between the University and downtown Amherst. See schedule options.

Bus 39: Hampshire-Smith-Hampshire Mall

  • Bus 39 service, provided this semester by Michael’s Transportation, will continue its normal service until it ends for the semester when it arrives at Smith at 5:05 pm on May 6. See the schedule. 

Bus 39E: Mount Holyoke-Smith

  • The 39E will continue its regular schedule through Monday, May 9, and will also offer regular service on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8. See the schedule. 

Bus B43: Smith-UMass-Amherst

Bus R29: Springfield-Holyoke-Mount Holyoke-Hampshire-Amherst-UMass

  • R29 Service continues year-round, but it is fare-free to Five College students and employees only when classes are in session. See the schedule.

For more information

Anyone with questions about bus service to Five College campuses should contact Kevin Kennedy at:; 413-542-4017

Consortium working to maintain current levels of bus service among the campuses for fall 2022

April 8, 2022: Five Colleges is working to maintain the current levels of bus service among the Five College campuses for fall, 2022. Service on the 38 route from UMass to Mount Holyoke College, with stops and Amherst and Hampshire Colleges, is expected to remain at current levels, as is service on the B43 from Smith College to UMass and Amherst. 

Due to a shortage of drivers, PVTA suspended service on the 39 route between Hampshire College, Smith College, and the Hampshire Mall for the 2021-22 academic year. Five Colleges contracted with Michael's Transportation to maintain a basic level of service on that route. 

Five Colleges is now working with PVTA to determine if the regional public transportation agency will be able to bring back service to the 39 route for the 2022-23 academic year. The staff at Five Colleges is committed to ensuring continuity of service to meet the needs of students and campus employees, and will continue to keep the community apprised of developments. 

View spring 2022 bus service at the Five College website. 

Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Five Colleges, Incorporated. is a nonprofit educational consortium created in 1965 to advance the extensive educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Five College Center for World Languages celebrates 30 years of less-commonly taught language instruction

February 10, 2022: The slogan of the Five College Center for World Languages is “meet the world on its own terms,” and by offering instruction in more than 60 less-commonly taught languages, the Center is working hard to help its students do just that. 

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Center for World Languages was founded in 1991 to complement the existing language programs of the consortium campuses--Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In its first semesters, the Center offered instruction in Korean, Hindi, Urdu, Swahili, and Modern Greek. With a list that has since expanded to include 61 less-commonly taught languages, the Center and consortium campuses together offer one of the widest selections of language study in the country.  

The Center is a key partner in the language curricula of the consortium campuses, says Five College Executive Director Sarah Pfatteicher. “The Center complements and expands on the language and other course offerings of our member campuses,” she said. “Students learning Modern Standard Arabic on a campus can simultaneously study the spoken dialect of Egypt or Morocco with the Center. Or a student pursuing Buddhist studies on a campus can learn Thai or Tibetan at the Center to prepare for studying abroad.”

Nearly 6,000 students from the five campuses have studied at the Center for World Languages over the past 30 years, preparing themselves for research and study abroad, or to communicate with friends or family members in their native languages. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been a vital ally to the Center over much of its 30 years, most recently by awarding Five Colleges $1.77 million to support the Center's operating expenses and to provide a match in the Center's $3 million endowment campaign.  

One of the primary challenges of teaching less-commonly taught languages is finding people who can teach the language. The Center addressed this in its early years by creating the Supervised Independent Language Program through which students work independently while meeting regularly with native-speaking mentors and conversation partners. 

This decentralized instructional approach and small class sizes helped the Center pivot nearly seamlessly to remote learning at the start of the pandemic.“It was inspiring to watch our students keep up their motivation and study during such a tumultuous period,” said Center Director Janna White, “and to see how our mentors found creative ways to engage students from a distance. A couple of my favorite examples were an Urdu poetry slam and a virtual Turkish escape room.”

Students are all back on campus and learning in person now, and the biggest challenge of the Center is finding enough native-speaking conversation partners to keep up with the demand. “We usually hire students as conversation partners, but anyone fluent in a less commonly taught language who would like to take on a few hours of work a week should get in touch with us,” said White. With thousands of languages spoken in the world, White expects that this will be an ongoing challenge, and one that she welcomes as the Center continues to grow. 

More information about the Center for World Languages can be found at

Mellon Foundation Awards Five Colleges $1.6 Million Faculty Development Grant

February 7, 2022: The Five College Consortium has been awarded a $1.6 million grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create programming that will develop faculty members’ administrative leadership skills. Entitled Building Academic Leaders in the Humanities, the grant will fund a three-and-a-half year program to prepare humanities faculty to take on leadership roles at Five Colleges’ member institutions–Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst–and elsewhere.  

The program builds on a seminar held at Amherst College in 2020 for 24 faculty members interested in taking on or already occupying administrative roles. The success of the Amherst model led the chief academic officers of the Five College campuses to propose a collaborative leadership development effort across all five institutions. 

Amherst College Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty Pawan Dhingra will lead the grant team, along with UMass Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Sociology Michelle Budig, Mount Holyoke College Associate Dean of Faculty Elizabeth Markovits, Smith College Dean for Academic Development Hélène Visentin, and Hampshire College Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Yaniris Fernandez.

“The transition from faculty member to campus leader can be a challenging one, requiring a broad understanding of institutional operations and in-depth knowledge of the higher education landscape, and this program is intended to support faculty in moving into these roles skillfully,” said Five College Executive Director Sarah Pfatteicher, who will help lead the effort. “Our goal with this initiative is to develop a diverse pipeline of early- to mid-career humanities faculty who are prepared to take on administrative roles at the Five College campuses and beyond.”

The Mellon Foundation funding will support two annual institutes, one designed for early- to mid-career faculty who are planning to take on their first administrative responsibilities, and another for current faculty administrators looking to move into higher leadership roles. Facilitated by experienced campus leaders, these institutes will cover subjects ranging from managing budgets to maintaining work-life balance. Developing participants’ capacity to support diversity, equity, and inclusion will be an overall theme of both institutes.

All Five College bus routes to be covered during spring '22 

January 20, 2022: Students and employees at Five College campuses will see a return to bus service on all regular routes during the spring 2022 semester. Students, faculty, and staff at Five College campuses may ride Five College buses for free during the academic year, and should be prepared to show their campus ID if asked. 

Service on Five College Bus Routes for Spring 2022

The following is an update on expected bus service for the spring 2022 semester. Ongoing updates can be found on the bus page of the Five College website, and at

Beginning Sunday, January 23, the B43 will be running its school-year schedule between Smith, UMass, and Amherst, with stops at the Hampshire Mall in Hadley. It runs late into the evening and on weekends throughout the year, with a different schedule when school is not in session. 

Beginning Monday, January 24, the 38 will resume its school-year schedule  between UMass, Amherst, Hampshire and Mount Holyoke, operating late into the evening and on weekends. It is free to all when it runs, and it only runs during the academic year.

Beginning on Monday, January 24, route 39 service between Hampshire and Smith, with weekend service to the Hampshire Mall, will be offered by Michael’s Limousine service. 

On Monday, January 24, the 39E will resume its express run between Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, operating during the day during the week when classes are in session. It is free and only available to riders with an ID from a Five College campus.

The R29 will continue its regular route between UMass and the City of Holyoke Transit Station, with stops at Amherst, Hampshire, and Mount Holyoke Colleges. It also has stops at the Holyoke Mall, and at Union Station in downtown Springfield. It runs during the day seven days a week, including when school is not in session.

Anyone with questions about Five College area bus service should contact Kevin Kennedy,, 413-542-4017

Smith-Hampshire-Mall bus service returns for spring 

January 19, 2022: Five Colleges, Incorporated has contracted with Michael’s Limousine Service to cover the route normally serviced by PVTA’s 39 bus for the spring 2022 semester. The route runs between Hampshire and Smith Colleges on weekdays, and between Hampshire College and nearby malls on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. The schedule is now posted on the Five College website.

The private bus service will begin operating the 39 route on January 24, using a dark blue, 13-passenger van, with a white, 21-passenger van available to be used if the number of riders merit it. The service will run throughout the semester, ending with the last day of classes on May 5. Additional service will be provided to cover final exams. 

For questions about this service, contact Kevin Kennedy,; 413-542-4017. Information on all public transportation among the campuses can be found at


Five College ASL student awarded annual Lorna Peterson Prize

May 25, 2021:  Hayden Gadd, a member of the Hampshire College class of 2021, has been awarded the Lorna Peterson Prize in acknowledgement of his extensive participation in multi-campus life and academics within the Five College Consortium.

Hayden studied American Sign Language (ASL) at the Five College Center for World Languages. Over the past two years he has collaborated with his ASL instructor, Dana Hoover, and the director of the Amherst College Choral Society, Arianne Abela, to provide simultaneous ASL interpreting for choir performances, including a performance of the John Legend/Common song Glory. with the Amherst College Glee Club. Hayden has also completed the Five College Cognitive Neuroscience certificate.

“The fusion of ASL and music has sharpened my knowledge of how to interpret from one language to another, and has improved my musical and stage performance ability,” said Hayden. “I feel that it has had an immense impact on the choir and our audiences. I’ve been honored to receive gratitude from both d/Deaf and non-d/Deaf audience members for helping them connect to music in new and compelling ways.”

“Hayden is an unforgettable student,” said Dana, a Five College joint faculty appointee who teaches at UMass Amherst as well as the Five College Center for World Languages. “My very first impression of Hayden was that he showed every effort to make sure that I, as a Deaf professor, understood he was assertively ready and highly motivated to learn ASL. Hayden has certainly continued his wonderful passion and attitude for learning the language.”

The award is named for Lorna Peterson, who worked at Five Colleges for 29 years, including 19 years as the consortium’s leader. It honors Peterson’s commitment to collaboration as a means of advancing understanding and expanding opportunities, especially for students. The $500 prize is awarded annually based on nominations from Five College programs.

Last year the award was given to Jéa Adams, Amherst College class of 2021. Jéa was a student of the Five College Astronomy Department who was recognized for her passion for astrophysics, participation at the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Astronomy at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics (CfA), and work with Dr. Alexandra Pope, Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Staff Hired to Support Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative

February 1, 2021:  Five Colleges, Incorporated has hired two new staff members to help carry out a major effort to build a model of collaborative teaching and learning for Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) among the consortium’s member campuses. Titled Gathering at the Crossroads, the effort will allow the campuses to develop a set of new academic pathways for students interested in NAIS, as well as create new advising structures to guide students through these academic options. It is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Debra Butler has been hired to the position of curriculum development fellow for the initiative, and Rachel Beth Sayet has been hired to be community development fellow. Both are three-year positions funded by the grant.

As curriculum development fellow, Debra Butler will work closely with faculty to expand academic opportunities for Five College students. Her faculty partners will include NAIS scholars as well as those from other fields looking to integrate NAIS material and methodologies into their coursework. Butler’s background is working with tribal and indigenous communities in the Southeast United States as well as with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and the Rising Voices Center for Indigenous and Earth Sciences on a range of issues surrounding environmental migration and climate mitigation planning. She is completing her PhD at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

“We are excited to welcome Debra to the NAIS community,” says Kiara Vigil, associate professor of American studies at Amherst College and co-convener of the NAIS Mellon Grant Advisory Circle overseeing the initiative. “She contributes academic knowledge that will be extremely helpful in guiding the NAIS certificate programs, and she will also help to further the efforts of faculty, staff, and students who are committed to strengthening and growing NAIS work here.”

In her work as the community development fellow, Rachel Beth Sayet will provide guidance and training recommendations to campus advisors, professors, and administrators who work with Native students, while developing programming to serve Native student communities and cultivate NAIS scholars. In addition, she will expand relationships with Native communities in the region and forge connections to the Five College community. Sayet, has years of experience working in both tribal libraries and museums, including being the event planner and curator of the Tantaquidgeon Museum on the Mohegan Reservation for the past two years. She also gives lectures at classrooms throughout New England on Native foodways of the Northeast. Sayet has a master’s degree in anthropology from Harvard University, with minors in museum studies and business communication.

“Rachel Beth brings a wealth of personal and academic skills and experience to her role as the community development fellow, and could not be better suited to help guide the strengthening of a Native American and Indigenous community within the Kwinitekw Valley,” says Vigil. “Her deep-rooted family ties to the Mohegan Nation reflect an on-going relationship that scholars, students, and community members across the campuses already have with this local Indigenous nation, and we are excited to see what more we can learn from her. Debra and Rachel Beth offer complementary sets of skills that make them an ideal cohort for NAIS initiatives that are funded by the Mellon Grant.”

Butler and Sayet both began in their new positions in January, 2021.