Glenmeadow to Offer Panel Presentation on America’s Two-Party System

 In Client Press Releases

Rob Genest, op-ed editor for the Springfield Republican, to moderate

WEST SPRINGFIELD—Glenmeadow will offer a panel presentation on America’s two-party system on Wednesday, September 4 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Storrowton Carriage House, 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield. 

“Both Sides of the Aisle: A conversation about America’s two-party system” is the first program in the fall Glenmeadow Learning series, which provides free educational offerings in the community.

The panel will be led by Rob Genest, op-ed editor for the Springfield Republican, who will serve as moderator.

Panelists will be Donald Robinson, professor emeritus of government at Smith College; Samuel VanSant Stoddard, assistant professor of political science at College of Holy Cross; Ron Chimelis, op-ed writer for the Republican; Matt Szafranski, editor/founder of Western Mass Politics & Insight; and Brooke Hauser, editor of the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton.

These academic and journalistic leaders will discuss that the American political system has always been dominated by two parties, but rarely have our politics felt so contentious. Americans are increasingly divided by their loyalties, and a growing number seem to identify as neither Democrats nor Republicans. 

In the face of daily scandals and policy gridlock in Washington, our panelists will look at what the future holds, and they’ll discuss the dynamics of our political system and the path forward.

Moderator Genest graduated from Westfield State College and has worked as an editor and section chief for the European edition of the Wall Street Journal, based in Brussels. He sat on the copy desk for the Wall Street Journal in New York City and is currently editor of the editorial page and manager of reader engagement for the Springfield Republican

Robinson holds degrees from Yale, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and Cornell. His academic research and teaching focus on American political and constitutional development. He has edited and authored numerous books, and in the mid-1980s, he was an advisor and panelist on Fred Friendly’s PBS series “The Constitution: That Delicate Balance.”

VanSant Stoddard is visiting assistant professor of political science at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.  He has conducted research on the functions and influences of state political parties for the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.  His most recent work investigates the relationships between Americans’ political identities and rates of voter turnout.  

Chimelis has been writing at the Springfield Newspapers since 1984. Prior to that, he worked at the Chicopee Herald, which he owned for a time, and was a news talk show host and sports broadcaster at WREB Radio in Holyoke. Chimelis has won roughly 30 writing awards, including a national honor in 2012. 

Szafranski is the editor-in-chief and founder of Western Mass Politics & Insight, an attorney and a writer.  A graduate of Boston University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, he has been active in local and state politics for over 10 years. Szafranski’s work has appeared in The Daily Free Press and Blue Mass Group.  He regularly contributes on-air commentary to New England Public Radio, WGBY, and Focus Springfield. 

Hauser is editor-in-chief of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She is also the author of two books, most recently Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman, a biography of the iconic Cosmopolitan editor. Her first book, The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens, won the American Library Association’s 2012 Alex Award. A longtime journalist, she has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesMarie Claire, and Allure.  

Both Sides of the Aisle is free, but space is limited, and reservations are required. To register, contact Jazlyn Wanzo at For more information, or to register online, visit

Glenmeadow Learning is one of many free programs Glenmeadow offers to members of the wider community. It represents only one facet of the life plan community’s mission to serve seniors across the region and to operate as a socially accountable organization.Established in 1884, Glenmeadow is a nonprofit, accredited life plan community; it provides independent and assisted living at its campus at 24 Tabor Crossing in Longmeadow and expanded Glenmeadow at Home services throughout greater Springfield.  

To learn more about Glenmeadow and its history and offerings, visit

About Glenmeadow 

In the 1800s, elderly individuals without family or means were sent to live at what was called “the poor farm.”  In 1884, a group of civic leaders raised funds among themselves and other area families and purchased a house on Main Street in Springfield’s south end, establishing The Springfield Home for Aged Women. Quickly outgrowing that house, land was purchased on the corner of Chestnut and Carew streets, where a new home was constructed and opened in 1900.  In 1960, the name was changed to Chestnut Knoll, and, in 1992, it began to admit men.  

In 1993, the organization purchased a 23-acre parcel in Longmeadow to build a new community that would provide both independent living and assisted living in one building with various common areas.  This was a new concept known as a continuing care retirement community.  Existing residents from the old Chestnut Knoll property were moved to the new campus in 1997.  Shortly after the move, the board voted to change its legal name to Glenmeadow to coincide with the name being used by the developer of the property.  

Continuing care retirement communities are now referred to as life plan communities, responding to the needs of the aging population with new opportunities for care, plus creative, educational and personal exploration. Glenmeadow offerings, which include everything from senior living options and handyman services to personal care and travel programs, are provided at its Longmeadow campus and across the region through Glenmeadow at Home. Glenmeadow strives to fulfill its mission of nurturing the whole person in mind, body, and spirit.

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