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QCC Alumnus Receives Citation from Governor and Lt. Governor

Contact: Karen Hutner
Office of Institutional Communications
khutner [at]

WORCESTER, MA—April 8, 2019— Natural and manmade disasters can impact any of us at any time; often without warning and many times with severe and catastrophic results. It’s in those moments of greatest stress that Quinsigamond Community College alumnus Allen Phillips shines. For the past 14 years he has worked for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in the response division as a local coordinator. The organization has involvement in every emergency and disaster that happens in the Commonwealth. 

Mr. Phillips, a Leicester resident, was recently honored by Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito with a citation for his work after the September 13 natural gas disaster in the Merrimack Valley. The disaster caused multiple explosions and left one person dead and over 8,000 homes without power in the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. The citation was given to Mr. Phillips (and four other MEMA associates), who took charge and helped those in the Lawrence area with housing and shelter.

“Most of the needed help was in Lawrence as the demographics are drastically different than the other two communities. I headed the congregate housing and sheltering area. Our task was to make sure all of the thousands of people had warm facilities to live in until things were back to normal in mid-December,” Mr. Phillips said.

Tasks such as the natural gas disaster are the norm for Mr. Phillips. He works to help communities across the state recover from disasters that may have displaced people and destroyed infrastructure. Through MEMA, he is also involved in large scale events that could be terrorists’ targets. Those events have included the Boston Marathon, July 4 celebrations in Boston, as well as any large sporting events that draw large crowds. Mr. Phillips has also worked in many parts of the country, assisting during disasters that have included floods and hurricanes, through state-to-state mutual aid during governor-declared states of emergency or disasters. He has received letters of accommodations and awards from former Governor Deval Patrick, as well as letters of thanks from governors in other states. He’s even met and been thanked by U.S. presidents.

He equates his can-do attitude back to his educational start at QCC. 

“QCC sparked my interest in education and gave me the feeling that I can succeed,” he said, adding that he became a member of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society and today is president of school’s PTK Alumni Association Executive Board. The goals of the organization are to provide support to QCC’s PTK chapter and its members, as well as work on fostering personal and professional growth and relationships through networking, social and leadership events, and community service.

Mr. Phillips has gone on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska for Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and currently is pursuing his master’s degree in the same field.  He ties everything he has done back to QCC.
“I feel like QCC is my home and is what inspired me to move ahead,” he said.

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Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.