May 17, 2017

Inbox [May 17]: News and notes from Major Taylor Association, WBDC, UMass Medical, Zephyr Workshop and St. Peter-Marian

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Courtesy Zephyr Workshop / Breeze Grigas

AEGIS and Zephyr Workshop are building momentum.

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Registration open for George Street Bike Challenge for Major Taylor

The 15th annual George Street Bike Challenge for Major Taylor will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 23, at Main and George streets.

Riders are timed traversing the 500 feet up George Street — where Major Taylor trained on his way to becoming a turn-of-the-century world record holder — which has an average grade of 18 percent.

Wikimedia Commons / Collection of Jules Beau

Major Taylor

The contest is open to riders age 12 and up. Cost is $20. Helmets are required. Proceeds benefit the Major Taylor Association Inc.

Read the entire story and find registration information on the Major Taylor Association website

Baker-Polito Administration awards $40K to WBDC

In celebration of Massachusetts Small Business Month, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $330,000 to eight Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) districts to support downtown improvements for business growth and job creation.

Among the recipients was the Worcester Business Development Corporation, which was awarded $40,000.

The WBDC will use this Find it Local grant to develop a “placemaking kit” for area businesses that will include the necessary tools to host an event, such as chairs, tables, lights and more. It will also provide technical assistance and guidance on special event permits, branded materials, and information on how to successfully engage an audience. It will match the grant with an additional $16,250.

“The Commonwealth is home to more than 600,000 small businesses that create jobs and support our local economies,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “Our administration is committed to providing innovative tools through these grants to bolster economic growth in every zip code.”

Read the entire story on the state website

Carruthers to step down as dean of UMass Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

After a distinguished and influential career as a scientist, mentor and dean, Anthony Carruthers, Ph.D., will leave his post as dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in early 2018, according to an announcement by Chancellor Michael F. Collins and School of Medicine Dean Terence R. Flotte.

“When Tony joined the biochemistry laboratory of Don Melchior here in February of 1982, he was a new postdoctoral fellow, fresh from his Ph.D. studies at King’s College in London. He and his wife, Lorraine, arrived in Worcester with two suitcases and the intention of remaining for only two years,” Collins said. “Over the next 35 years, Tony participated in a revolution in his field, where protein-mediated transport across cell membranes is now understood to include more than a thousand unique proteins — each remarkable in its specificity and biology. His work, funded continuously since 1983, continues to result in new insights, new publications, new graduate students and a deeper understanding of protein-mediated glucose transport.”

Carruthers has mentored 15 Ph.D. students and is always quick to acknowledge that it is their work and the insights and support of his UMMS colleagues that have advanced the field so dramatically, Collins said.

“If he had simply chosen to run his successful and innovative lab while here, his accomplishments would unequivocally deserve our admiration,” said Dean Flotte, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and executive deputy chancellor. “But as you know, Tony has done much more.”

Read the entire story on the UMass Medical School website

Local game company reaches Kickstarter goal in one day

Zephyr Workshop, an independent game company comprised of alumni from Becker College and the MassDiGI Interactive Media Design program, recently reached its crowdfunding goal for its new game in less than one day.

“AEGIS: Super Combining Robot Tactics” reached its funding goal of $16,200 in just nine hours. As of Saturday afternoon, the campaign had raised $25,503 from 317 backers.

Two-time winners of Start-Up Worcester and the Audience Choice Award winners of the MassDiGI Games Challenge in 2016, Zephyr Workshop is comprised of Director Breeze Grigas, Design Lead Jesse Clark, Programmer Zach Kettell and Sales lead Ryan Richford.

Check out our profile on Zephyr Workshop

SPM names McKay football coach

The St. Peter-Marian athletic department is pleased to announce the hiring of Justin McKay as its next football coach. Director of Athletics Keith Brouillard made the announcement.

Justin McKay

McKay comes to St. Peter-Marian after serving the past five seasons at Algonquin Regional High School. During his time at Algonquin, McKay made an immediate impact, as the Tomahawks posted their first winning season in 17 years. His tenure was highlighted by three consecutive winning seasons, which culminated in 2016 by finishing as the Division 2 Central Mass. finalists. For his efforts, McKay was tabbed the 2014 and 2015 MetroWest Daily News coach of the year.

Prior to Algonquin, McKay served as an assistant football coach for the eight seasons at Wachusett Regional High School where he was a key contributor for three Super Bowl Championships in 2004, 2009 and 2010.

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity,” McKay said. “I have heard wonderful things about St. Peter-Marian both academically and athletically and I look forward to bringing a passion for education and football to the students of SPM.”

McKay will begin his head coaching duties effective immediately.

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