Michelle Luciano: Western New England Athletic Family honors a special Golden Bear

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Western New England University athletics department took time out to recognize one of its favorite Golden Bears on January 21 when Staff Assistant Michelle Luciano was the guest of honor at a surprise retirement party.

Since 1998, Michelle has been an invaluable member of the WNE athletics staff assisting the coaches in their scheduling and recruiting efforts while working in the budget and student employment areas.

She is one of the first individuals people meet when they visit the athletics department and often has been a terrific sounding board for staff and students on a multitude of issues.

With her friendly personality, positive attitude, and strong work ethic, Michelle possesses the knack of handling numerous projects quickly and with minimum delay.

Michelle, a native of Syracuse, NY, started her career at Western New England working in Public Safety when the Alumni Healthful Living Center opened in 1993.

Ironically, she became a member of the Golden Bears staff when Mike Theulen took over as Athletics Director in 1998.

"Michelle has been an integral part of our Athletic Family's growth and success ever since my arrival," said Theulen. "Her work ethic, intelligence, and compassion for our students and staff are beyond reproach. 

"More than that, she is a great friend to all of us and she will be sorely missed. We wish her well as she transitions into her 'very active' retirement.  I cannot thank her enough for all that she has done for this department and for me, personally."

Michelle plans to spend more time with her family, which includes her husband Dennis (who is a WNE professor), two children, and three grandchildren. She also plans to travel and spend more time in Florida.

At the party hosted by longtime friend and WNE Director of Health Services Kathy Reid, colleagues presented Michelle with several gifts and numerous words of thanks and appreciation for a job well done.