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October, 2019

  • 2019 H.A.C.E. Awards
  • From left: Dolly Vazquez, Senator Michael Moore, Eric Batista, Sheila del Bosque, Nacho González Nappa
  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja greets student Johathan Mora.
  • From left:Sheila del Bosque, Dr. Viviana Abreu-Hernández and Gilmarie Vongphakdy
October, 2019

Since 1985, 735 Hispanic youth have been recognized and celebrated for their achievements in leadership, academics, sports, arts and civic engagement, thanks to business and community leaders in the Worcester community. On October 9, 36 senior high school students from public and private high schools throughout Worcester and Southbridge were honored at the 34th Hispanics Achieving and Celebrating Excellence (H.A....

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Since 1985, 735 Hispanic youth have been recognized and celebrated for their achievements in leadership, academics, sports, arts and civic engagement, thanks to business and community leaders in the Worcester community. On October 9, 36 senior high school students from public and private high schools throughout Worcester and Southbridge were honored at the 34th Hispanics Achieving and Celebrating Excellence (H.A.C.E) Youth Awards, held at Quinsigamond Community College.

This year was the first time students from Southbridge (which has a 56 % Latinx population) were honored with this distinction.

“I’m so proud…it’s incredible that you’re being recognized. You have so much skill to bring to America and the world,” said Jeffery Villa, receiver for Southbridge Public Schools and a Cuban immigrant himself. “We’re going to show what Latinxs can do in this country. “

Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty proclaimed October 9 H.A.C.E. Day in the City of Worcester and recognized the students for their hard work and contributions to their communities.

“You’re an important part of this community. Make sure to come back to this community and make it a better place,” Mayor Petty told the students.

Dr. Déborah L. González, chair of H.A.C.E. and director of Community Bridges at QCC, told the students that all the accolades they were receiving  (citation from the House Committee, Proclamation from Mayor Petty, citation from Senator Harriette Chandler and citation from Senator Michael Moore) will make important additions to their portfolios. 

"This validates all your hard work," she said.

Keynote speaker for this year’s event was world-renowned Cuban flutist Sheila del Bosque, an expert in Latin jazz and Cuban music. Ms. del Bosque performed at the award ceremony before speaking to the students. She spoke from the heart, detailing her struggle as a young child in Cuba with virtually nothing and described how she worked and persevered to get where she is today.

“When you have a dream tell people, share it. Ask, how can you help me? Be proactive. Listen to the voice inside you; it will always tell you the truth. Study more, apply for scholarships…don’t be afraid,” Ms. del Bosque said.

The 2019 H.A.C.E.  Award winners include:

  • Herwin Godinez Figueroa, Burncoat Senior High School - Athletics
  • Isaiah Gomez, Burncoat Senior High School - Art
  • Sebastian Lima, Burncoat Senior High School - Leadership
  • Maria Tapia Betancourt, Burncoat Senior High School - Academics
  • Jasmine Miletti, Claremont Academy - Arts
  • Latreyu Ojeda, Claremont Academy - Athletics
  • Kimberly Patrocinio, Claremont Academy - Leadership
  • Daniel Ponce, Claremont Academy - Academics
  • Alberto (AJ) Barrera, Jr., Doherty Memorial High School - Athletics
  • Isabella Piedrasanta, Doherty Memorial High School - Arts
  • Lennox Santiago, Doherty Memorial High School - Leadership
  • Francisco Luc Zafon-Whalen, Doherty Memorial High School - Academics
  • Abigail De La Cruz, North High School - Academics
  • Alanis Perez Rivera, North High School – Leadership
  • Davanyel Romero, Baez North High School - Athletics
  • Angel Sotomayor, North High School - Arts
  • Mauricio Manuel Blanco, South High Community School - Academics
  • Alexa June Diaz, South High Community School - Athletics
  • Victoria Malmquist-Ribeiro, South High Community School - Leadership
  • Ivy Nieves, South High Community School - Arts
  • Damian Bermudez-Cruz, Southbridge High School - Arts
  • Stephany Breton Rodriquez, Southbridge High School - Leadership
  • Johansi Santana, Southbridge High School - Athletics
  • Joelis Velez Diaz, Southbridge High School – Academics
  • Julio Del Valle, St Peter-Marian Catholic High School - Academics
  • Daniel Jimenez, St Peter-Marian Catholic High School - Leadership
  • Emmanuel Vargas, St Peter-Marian Catholic High School - Academics
  • Ezenia Diaz-Lembert, University Park Campus School - Academics
  • Gabriella Guzman-Jerry, University Park Campus School - Leadership
  • Jonathan Mora, University Park Campus School - Athletics
  • Michel Salazar, University Park Campus School - Arts
  • Jose Ramon Curet III, Worcester Technical High School – Athletics
  • Willeisha Rodriguez, Worcester Technical High School - Academics
  • Jason Sanchez, Worcester Technical High School - Academics
  • Janely Santana Trinidad, Worcester Technical High School - Athletics
  • Paul Hernandez, Jr., Latino Education Institute - Leadership

 

  • Quinsigamond Community College student and Phit Theta Kappa President Tabitha Leber
October, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College student Tabitha Leber found herself in an elite group of college students when she received a Mechanics Hall Collegiate Apprentice Award, during the 2019 Celebration of Excellence event, held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on October 5. This is the first time the Worcester County Mechanics Association has given this type of colligate award to exemplary student leaders...

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Quinsigamond Community College student Tabitha Leber found herself in an elite group of college students when she received a Mechanics Hall Collegiate Apprentice Award, during the 2019 Celebration of Excellence event, held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on October 5. This is the first time the Worcester County Mechanics Association has given this type of colligate award to exemplary student leaders within Worcester’s higher education community. Students were chosen for their demonstrated leadership, creativity and innovation, excellence in academics and community involvement within Worcester or the student’s hometown.

“Tabitha exemplifies what a QCC student is and we are honored that she has received this prestigious award as a student leader at our college,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja.

Ms. Leber, an Elementary Education major, personifies the definition of a Mechanics Hall Collegiate Apprentice award winner. She is president of QCC’s Alpha Theta Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa’s (PTK) Honor Society, overseeing the chapter’s research projects; working on developing goals for the chapter, representing PTK at all its functions, as well as playing an integral role in the PTK Live and Learn Greenhouse on QCC’s main campus.

“Tabitha is an exceptionally hardworking and committed student whose dedication, generosity and work ethic make her a shining example for all QCC and PTK students,” said PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman.

According to Ms. Leber, she wasn’t always as focused as she is today. Before coming to QCC, she said she felt her life lacked direction and while being a mom to her daughter was fulfilling, she knew something was missing.

“When my child was in kindergarten, I was volunteering on a daily basis in her classroom. Her teacher saw how well I did with the students and told me she believed I would make a great teacher. It was her gentle nudge that inspired me to go back to school,” she said. “Knowing that going back to school would set a better example for my child, I jumped in head first.” 

Ms. Leber said she chose QCC because it was close to her home and offered a flexible class schedule that worked with her and her family. She began taking classes at the college and in 2018, after attending a PTK Open House, decided to join the organization. It was a decision that not only solidified her desire to teach, but also gave her a community and connections that she would have for a lifetime.

“I learned about the PTK/ Burncoat Mentoring Program and that's when I knew I had to get involved in PTK,” she said. “What drives my passion for community service is that I am putting good out into the world. As a member of PTK, the work that we do here on campus and out in our local communities has inspired me to do more and be better.”

Her drive, passion and academic excellence were not lost on those at QCC, which was why the college nominated her for the award.

“When I found out I had been selected to receive this award I was in disbelief. I emailed my advisor Bonnie Coleman to confirm that it was real. The things I do, I do because I am passionate about them, not for any recognition,” she said.

Ms. Leber, who aspires to be a first grade teacher,  plans to graduate in spring 2020 then transfer to a four-year university to complete her bachelor’s degree and then move on to attain her master’s degree.

One student from each college and university in the Worcester region was selected by their respective institutions to be part of the inaugural class of award winners.

  • Community College Student Advocacy Day
  • Department of Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago
October, 2019

More than 200 Massachusetts community college students, faculty, staff, and presidents gathered at the State House on October 23 for Community College Student Advocacy Day. They met with members of the Legislature and urged them to support the state’s community college system in providing a better funded, more accessible, high-quality education for its students.

The event was hosted by the...

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More than 200 Massachusetts community college students, faculty, staff, and presidents gathered at the State House on October 23 for Community College Student Advocacy Day. They met with members of the Legislature and urged them to support the state’s community college system in providing a better funded, more accessible, high-quality education for its students.

The event was hosted by the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges and featured a speaking program that included testimonials of support from community college students, as well as Department of Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago, Senate Committee on Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, and co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Higher Education Senator Anne Gobi and Representative Jeffrey Roy. Dr. Gentile served as the MC for the program.

“It’s terrific to see such passionate public advocacy from our community college students, who represent the largest and most diverse sector of our public higher education system,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education. “These are the students – so many of whom are raising children and working multiple jobs while pursuing their degrees - who represent the future citizenry and workforce in our state. I’m delighted so many took time to share their stories with legislators.”

QCC student Jorgo Gushi was on hand at the daylong event with several students from Quinsigamond Community College. Mr. Gushi is president of the College’s Student Government Association and chair of the Student Advisory Council.

Community College Student Advocacy Day was one of the most important and exciting events that ever happened to community college students. It was the first time that all student leaders and administrators of community colleges gathered at the Massachusetts State House to share stories of how our journeys at a community college transform our lives,” Mr. Gushi said. “Quinsigamond Student Government Association had one-to-one meetings with four representatives and one senator to address issues and concerns that students of community colleges face.”

The Massachusetts Community College system serves more than 156,000 students across 15 institutions in all regions of the Commonwealth. The colleges offer wide-ranging programs, workforce training, arts courses, campus athletics, clinics for community members, and much more. A common theme throughout the day was the reality that many community college students face significant non-academic challenges that often get in the way of their educational success such as homelessness, food insecurity, full-time jobs, and the extensive costs of transportation and childcare.

“At QCC we recognize that the challenges our students may face can transcend academics. This is why we have put in place initiatives such as the QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja. “Today’s event gives us a further perspective into the lives and subsequent issues our community college students are up against and an opportunity to discuss ways in which we can assist them.”

  • QCC students visit Table Talk Pies during Manufacturing Month.
  • QCC students learn about food manufacturing during a visit to Table Talk Pies.
October, 2019

A group of Quinsigamond Community College students had the opportunity to visit the Table Talk facilities during Manufacturing Month. The event, which was coordinated by Walmart, showcased the importance of manufacturers creating innovative new jobs in U.S.

“Manufacturing—particularly food manufacturing—is a strong part of Massachusetts economy and we are proud to be a part of it,” said...

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A group of Quinsigamond Community College students had the opportunity to visit the Table Talk facilities during Manufacturing Month. The event, which was coordinated by Walmart, showcased the importance of manufacturers creating innovative new jobs in U.S.

“Manufacturing—particularly food manufacturing—is a strong part of Massachusetts economy and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Harry Kokkinis, president of Table Talk Pies. "We look forward to continue to work with local colleges, including Quinsigamond Community College, to attract and train future generations of students interested in manufacturing, including working at Table Talk Pies.”

QCC students who attended the event are enrolled in the College’s Programmable Logic Controllers class. They received a behind-the-scenes look at how Table Talk manufactures their pies and were also introduced to possible career opportunities with the company.

“We want to thank Table Talk Pies for hosting our students and giving them the opportunity to experience this part of the manufacturing industry during Manufacturing Month. The manufacturing industry is a vibrant one in the Commonwealth and QCC works closely with manufacturers in our region to ensure there is a well-educated pipeline of skilled workers. We are training our students not only for the jobs of today, but also the jobs of the future,” said Quinsigamond Community College President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja.

To learn more visit QCC Manufacturing .

  • AbbVie Project Manager John Sauers greets a QCC student at the recent QCC Job Fair.
  • Students stopped into the QCC Job Fair to learn about employment opportunities and career options.
  • Table Talk Pies was a popular booth at QCC's Job Fair.
  • Unum was at QCC's Job Fair speaking with students about career opportunities.
October, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College students looking for a job had the opportunity to visit with 25 companies when the College hosted its Fall Job Fair in late October. For over 10 years, QCC has brought in a myriad industries to its job fair with the goal of making connections and finding potential employees.

Westaff, a professional staffing organization, has participated in QCC’s Job Fairs for the...

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Quinsigamond Community College students looking for a job had the opportunity to visit with 25 companies when the College hosted its Fall Job Fair in late October. For over 10 years, QCC has brought in a myriad industries to its job fair with the goal of making connections and finding potential employees.

Westaff, a professional staffing organization, has participated in QCC’s Job Fairs for the last five years or so, according to Leominster Branch Manager Jonathan Simms. He said that while the objective was to find potential full-time job candidates, many students at the fair were only looking for part-time employment.

“Although, we are trying to work with some viable candidates to match up multiple part-time candidates at one of our clients. For example, two people working part-time equals one full-time,” he said. “It was a good turnout, however in temporary staffing and recruiting it’s usually hit or miss and that is not a negative reflection on the candidate or QCC or the turnout for each job fair. We just may not have the right job to offer the candidate."

Human Resources Recruiter for Securitas, Ashleigh Grice, said the company has been participating in QCC Job Fairs for several years; however, this was her first year personally participating.

“It was an extraordinary experience for me as I had not been to a job fair like that one before. Being at QCC's Job Fair brought out some great potential candidates who would fit perfectly into Securitas program, especially with some of them not having any security experience. With some candidates who don’t have security experience, we have the opportunity to mold and groom each candidate into our ideal security officer,” she said.  

First-time company participant AbbVie, a research-driven biopharmaceutical company, was new to QCC’s Job Fair but not new to hiring QCC graduates.

“Since 1993 when I helped QCC launch their Biotech Certificate Program, we have hired probably in excess of 100 QCC graduates. Just about all of those hires resulted from their participation in the capstone course, ‘Techniques in Biotech,’ which has been taught continuously since 1993 by employees here at our site,” said AbbVie Project Manager John Sauers.

When looking for potential candidates, all the employers were quick to offer some words of advice to students in order to make the best impression possible.

“First and foremost, the students need to understand the importance of job fairs and come prepared (resumes, elevator speeches, research on the companies participating, etc.),” Mr. Sauer said.

“We look for dependability, accountability, a good work ethic and good communication,” Mr. Simms said.

They stressed bringing resumes to the job fair, having an “elevator speech” prepared that promotes the student as a viable job candidate; wearing proper attire (business casual); asking questions, and make sure to have a confident, positive and eager attitude.

"For future references just having a resume on hand and maybe 20 minutes of their time to conduct a brief interview," Ms. Grice suggested, adding, "It was a phenomenal experience and I can’t wait to be invited back for a second round."

Mr Saur said his company looks for students with good grades (minimum of 3.0), accomplishments outside of work, as well as an understanding of what AbbVie does, and an interest in specific interests within the company. While AbbVie personnel did not find any potential job candidates at this job fair, Mr. Saur said he discussed a return visit to QCC.

“I spoke with some of the event organizers about considering a targeted site visit by AbbVie staff who could present on our company, what we do, job openings and such and also treat the visit as an opportunity for students to submit resumes and let us know what opportunities they are interested in,” Mr. Sauer said.

Other companies that attended the job fair included:

  • 1st Advantage Dental
  • Autism Learning Partners
  • Bud’s Goods & Provisions
  • Charter Spectrum
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Connection
  • Continental Pools
  • CoWorx Staffing
  • Cumberland Farms
  • Fastenal
  • FedEx Ground
  • Invoice Cloud
  • Open Sky Community Services
  • Renewal by Andersen
  • Salmon Health & Retirement
  • Scribe America
  • Table Talk Pies
  • The Home Depot
  • UMass Memorial
  • Unum
  • Valet Park of America
  • Wegmans
  • YMCA of Central MA

To learn more about career opportunities, visit QCC’s Career Services & Credit for Prior Learning.

  • Game-minded students work with QCC's Fab Lab instructors to create models of characters, scenery and props for their games.
  • Students brainstorm in the Fab Lab with instructor Bryan DeConte (blue shirt).
  • Instructor Bryan DeConte works with a student on a gaming character.
  • 3D creations for gaming
October, 2019

If you walk into the Fab Lab in the QuEST Center on most Tuesday afternoons, more often than not you will find a dedicated group of gamers and anime fans hard at work, energized by their passion for play. On Thursday afternoons you most likely will find the college’s theater troupe buzzing with enthusiasm, while they design and create props, sets, and signage for their upcoming productions.

Into its...

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If you walk into the Fab Lab in the QuEST Center on most Tuesday afternoons, more often than not you will find a dedicated group of gamers and anime fans hard at work, energized by their passion for play. On Thursday afternoons you most likely will find the college’s theater troupe buzzing with enthusiasm, while they design and create props, sets, and signage for their upcoming productions.

Into its fourth year of operation, QCC’s Fab Lab has become a magnet for students, faculty and staff who have a passion for creating and making things. The Fab Lab management team of Nick Bold and Bryan DeConte are excited that lab use has expanded, with members of the college community pursuing their personal interests in the maker space. Noting that both clubs and individuals have been taking advantage of the lab’s resources, Mr. Bold cited numerous examples of projects done in the lab.

Projects included QCC’s cheerleaders learning to use the digital embroidery machine to personalize their uniforms; budding staff entrepreneurs who created tee shirt designs, then printed and affixed them to shirts, as well as a QCC student who decorated tote bags using environmental awareness designs drawn by children. A group of gamers have gone a step further, using the Fab Lab as a hub not only for making, repairing and finishing game pieces, character models and costumes but also playing a game using those items each week.

Mr. DeConte explained that as game-minded students started working on individual projects and were exchanging ideas in the lab, he and Mr. Bold decided to offer a weekly workshop focused on gaming and role-playing on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. During the workshop, students are coached in using 3D printers to create models of characters, scenery and props of varying sizes; painting and put the finishing touches on models; making props for their models, and creating costumes and props for humans who role play characters. Whether working at tables or on equipment, these animated gamers, while engrossed in their work, are busy helping one another and sharing ideas on how to make all of their models better.

An avid gamer himself, Mr. DeConte proposed conducting weekly game playing sessions following the workshop right in the Fab Lab, and the response from students was an overwhelming “Yes!"

Christian Bacelis is a dedicated gamer who is majoring in Computer Systems Engineering Cybersecurity at QCC. He has taken on the role as game leader. Mr. Bacelis said he references different Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) guide books in planning a story and setting the background for games.

"The games typically begin by 5:00 p.m. and end a few hours later, when everyone feels the time is right. If people are enjoying a game, it may carry over to the next week; if not, a new game may be started. Together we decide what is working well and what we want to do differently," he said.

“Everyone is very flexible and supportive of each other. I tend to be on the quiet side, but I am very comfortable here. I really enjoy working and playing with this group,” added Robert O’Shea, a QCC student who is majoring in Electronics Engineering (Mechatronics option). 

Having the support of Mr. Bold and Mr. DeConte in the Fab Lab has helped the group form, hone and advance their skills, noted Engineering major Justin Balanca-Hawkes, adding that both staff members are “very open to sharing their knowledge and their creativity gives us inspiration”.

In a different spin on gaming, Computer Science major Vincent Strzelecki pursued his interest in electronic games in the Fab Lab by building an arcade housing, researching, designing and installing the electronic systems needed to run a game and then downloading electronic game code on it. Mr. Strzelecki explained that “there is a lot of open source coding for electronic games available online”, and said he plans to try loading a variety of games into the system he built.

The Fab Lab offers workshops on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Wednesday focuses on the building of Fab Lab skills. Thursday afternoons are geared towards building props and sets for QCC’s theater troupe, while Tuesday afternoon workshops are dedicated to Gaming & Role Playing.  Workshops are open to everyone and no specific skills or knowledge is required, just an interest in learning and some curiosity are recommended. The Fab Lab also offers open hours Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. 

Visit QCC's Fab Lab to learn more. 

  • Quinsigamond Community College student Luceily “Lucy” Ortiz
  • Damaged caused by Hurricane Maria.
  • Hurricane Maria's destruction of a nearby gas station.
  • Surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.
October, 2019

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, one of the deadliest category 5 hurricanes in recorded history, hit the island of Puerto Rico leaving death and destruction in its wake. For many on the island the hurricane took loved ones, leveled homes and took away basic life necessities that are still being felt today. The storm also displaced thousands of people who came to the United States seeking shelter. Over 400...

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On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, one of the deadliest category 5 hurricanes in recorded history, hit the island of Puerto Rico leaving death and destruction in its wake. For many on the island the hurricane took loved ones, leveled homes and took away basic life necessities that are still being felt today. The storm also displaced thousands of people who came to the United States seeking shelter. Over 400 hurricane-displaced students initially entered the Worcester school systems and today some of those students have graduated from high school and begun college.

One such student is Quinsigamond Community College student Luceily “Lucy” Ortiz.  Ms. Ortiz and her family are from Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, a town of approximately 38,000.  The town took an almost direct hit from the eye of the hurricane. The town had already experienced Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane a scant two weeks prior to Maria. While initially Ms. Oritiz’s family (which consisted of herself, her mother, step-father, brother and sister) was without power, they rode out the storm fairly well.

“Since we had warning about Hurricane Maria we thought it would be like Irma. Yet when Maria hit it was completely devastating…life-changing,” Ms. Ortiz said. “The landscape was completely different. We had strong winds and we got a lot of flooding inside the house. It was a scary moment.”

Hurricane Maria’s full effects came during the night so the utter carnage was not visible until the next day. Ms. Ortiz said that while her family’s home was still standing many homes, even those made from cement were destroyed. The family was able to get in the car and drive around on streets that were sometimes impassable assessing the damage.

“The trees were all burned and there was no power. The damage was massive,” she said. “We lived near a mall and it was so flooded it looked like an ocean. It was all destroyed.”

The family would spend the next days and weeks trying to find supplies and waiting in lines for hours at one of the few supermarkets that was still open. Lines for gas stretched for miles and no one in the area was able to get cell phone service, so they would have to drive a distance to get a signal. Ms. Ortiz’s father lived 20 minutes away and due to the lack of service it took a while before she knew that he was all right.

After a month of living this way the strain became too much for the family and the decision was made to move to the United States and in with her step-father’s mother in Worcester until they got their own home. They waited at the airport for an entire day until they were finally able to board a plane on November 1 that would take them to the states.

“A lot of people on the plane were crying leaving everything behind,” she said.

Five days after arriving in Worcester Ms. Ortiz and her sibling began school in Worcester.

A New Beginning

Ms. Ortiz attended Doherty Memorial High School as a senior along with other students who had also left Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

“We are stable now and have our own place but it was rough in the beginning,” she said, acknowledging the support she received from her teachers and counselors to help her become acclimated. “Our quality of life has greatly improved and we’ve taken a bad experience and made it a great experience.”

In June 2018 Ms. Ortiz graduated from Doherty. Having learned about college and college options while at Doherty, she decided to attend QCC as a psychology major. Her goal is to transfer to a four year school when she completes her studies at QCC.

“I decided to come here because I liked the smaller campus and the transportation was easy. It really was the perfect place to start,” she said.

Since being at QCC, Ms. Ortiz said her entire perspective on things has changed. She has become a Phi Theta Kappa member and volunteers at many of their events. She also has a work study position in QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center and is this year’s vice president of the Psi Beta honor Society and the Psychology Club.

“My experience has been a really good one. Everyone is really supportive and patient, from advising to financial aid,” she said. “I don’t regret moving here. I’m doing great at QCC. Things happen for a reason and we got something positive by moving here.”

 

  • QCC student Jorogo Gushi with former U.S. Secretary of Education John King Jr.
  • 2019 Student Advisory Council
  • QCC President of the Student Government Association and Student Advisory Chair Jorgo Gushi
October, 2019

Life is pretty sweet for Jorgo Gushi. The Quinsigamond Community College sophomore came to the U.S. and QCC right after his high school graduation, beginning his life on U.S. soil at QCC. Recently he was elected as the Student Advisory Chair of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) in Massachusetts. Mr. Gushi, who is also QCC’s President of the Student Government Association, was elected by 25...

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Life is pretty sweet for Jorgo Gushi. The Quinsigamond Community College sophomore came to the U.S. and QCC right after his high school graduation, beginning his life on U.S. soil at QCC. Recently he was elected as the Student Advisory Chair of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) in Massachusetts. Mr. Gushi, who is also QCC’s President of the Student Government Association, was elected by 25 of his peers from colleges and state universities across the state. He will lead the SAC’s Executive Team that also includes QCC Student Trustee Mustafa Boweden as the Public Relations Committee Chair/Secretary. Initiatives that are being discussed include Open Educational Resources such a free texts books in digital form; how to improve retention rates at all colleges and universities, as well as campus safety and sexual assault.  The SAC was created by the state in order to foster communication between student leaders from every public college and university in Massachusetts and the Board of Higher Education.

“This is the second year in a row that a QCC student has led the SEC Executive team,” Mr, Gushi said, referencing QCC alumna Stephanie Teixeira.

Government and education hold special places for Mr. Gushi. As a fifth grader in Albania he was a part of the student government and was a student senator for his class. In his senior year of high school he was class president. At 18, he came to the U.S., where he lives with his grandparents and sister. While his parents are still in Albania, they are both very supportive of his future. He said his love of education has always been an important part of his life. Everyone in his family has college experience. His sister is currently attending Worcester State University, his grandparents were both teachers and his mother, who is a headmaster and teacher, was his teacher when he was in the first grade.  

“I got my love of education from my mom,” he said.

His father is a government official in Albania and his aunt is a judge in Albania, which certainly seems to explain why he is so connected to student government.

Mr. Gushi initially had applied to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) when he came to the states, but changed his mind when he found out about QCC.

“I thought WPI was expensive and why go to WPI to take classes that you can take at QCC for a better price,” he said.

He began at QCC in 2017 as an engineering major and while he acknowledged he was afraid at the beginning he quickly found his way.

“All my professors supported me in every way. Particularly my English Professor Lisa Palmer and Elena Fenici, my math professor in my first semester,” he said. “Also, Professor Dadbeh Bigonahy who is my advisor.”

Today, Mr. Gushi is set to graduate in spring 2020 (he currently has a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor Society) and will be one of the speakers at commencement. His plan is to transfer to a school such as Cornell or Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I’ve always loved education and after my bachelors I’d like to get my masters and PhD. Since I love engineering and sciences and am keen on being a leader, I might want to start a company so that I can do both,” he said.

When he is not in class or in a student government meeting, you may find him working for Student Life or in the college’s Math Center.

When asked what his favorite part of his journey is since he started at QCC he was quick to answer.

“I’ve loved growing as a leader, but the most important and interesting part of being at QCC is all the people I’ve met and all the hospitality. It’s been really good from the first day I came here. It’s going so fast,” he said, adding that after graduation, “a part of us will still always be here.”

  • The team of "Stumbling Forward" came from last to first and won the trivia contest.
  • The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society raised over $1,500 for the Live and Learn Greenhouse.
  • From left: PTK students Tabitha Leber, Thi Tran and Krystle Bedrick
  • PTK student Jorgo Gushi enjoys the evening.
  • It was a packed house at PTK's first-ever Triva Night with the Wise Guys.
October, 2019

Seemingly useless knowledge isn’t quite so useless in today’s world of trivia competitions. On Friday, October 18, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society hosted a night of Trivia with the Wise Guys. The sold-out event was held in the Harrington Learning Center and delivered students, faculty, staff and friends of QCC a night of fun-filled, good natured competition, coupled with raffle prizes, giveaways and...

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Seemingly useless knowledge isn’t quite so useless in today’s world of trivia competitions. On Friday, October 18, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society hosted a night of Trivia with the Wise Guys. The sold-out event was held in the Harrington Learning Center and delivered students, faculty, staff and friends of QCC a night of fun-filled, good natured competition, coupled with raffle prizes, giveaways and light refreshments.

Questions ranged the gamut from music, to Stephen King, sports and Halloween trivia. Two teams, “The Ghost Busters,” and “Stumbling Forward,” battled it out for the top spot, with “Stumbling Forward” ultimately stumbling to victory.

All the funds raised from the event will go toward QCC’s new Live and Learn Greenhouse. The College will be adding a new full-size greenhouse, which is anticipated to break ground next Spring.

“Everyone had a terrific time and enjoyed themselves for such a good cause. This was one of our most successful events raising $1,550, and we plan to host another one again in the future,” said PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman.

  • Director of Disability Services Kristie Proctor (L) and Associate Director of Disability Services Terri Rodriguez
October, 2019

Thirty years ago three offices serviced Quinsigamond Community College’s students who had disabilities. Today, those offices have evolved into one office, dedicated to taking the “dis” out of disability and paving the way for an inclusive, accessible collegiate experience for all. Director of Disability Services Kristie Proctor and Associate Director of Disability Services ...

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Thirty years ago three offices serviced Quinsigamond Community College’s students who had disabilities. Today, those offices have evolved into one office, dedicated to taking the “dis” out of disability and paving the way for an inclusive, accessible collegiate experience for all. Director of Disability Services Kristie Proctor and Associate Director of Disability Services Terri Rodriguez have spent countless hours educating the QCC community about disability services: its mission, the services, what it means when someone has a disability, and now, creating accessibility for the classes, online and face-to-face courses, and the campus environment.

“The ‘D’ in disability services stands for diversity. Disability is an aspect of diversity,” said Ms. Proctor. “QCC has a diverse population and in our population, as with all populations, there are those with disabilities. It crosses all boundaries, age groups, ethnicities, socio-economic groups, etc. No group is excluded.”

Disabilities can run the gamut from invisible disabilities to cognitive and physical disabilities. While many may think that disabilities begin when a person is born or is very young this is often not the case. A person can acquire a disability as they go through life, whether that’s due to a debilitating accident, illness or other life-changing events.

“Many people also don’t realize you can have a disability that’s hidden. Many of our students with hidden disabilities are incredibly bright and gifted, Ms. Proctor said. “These students are also some of our best advocates.”

“For some, their disability is their superpower,” Ms. Rodriguez added.

College can sometimes be the first place that a person must figure out how to deal with his or her disability. This is when the Disability Services department comes into play. Unlike high school, where the school has the responsibility to deliver needed services to students with disabilities, the approach is much different when a student enters college. Colleges do not seek out students who are in need of services, rather the students themselves must disclose and provide documentation of a disability to the institution’s Disability Services office, where one will find out what type of services are available. At QCC, students who are eligible for services must have an initial intake done and then a check-in each semester in order to figure out what barriers they are experiencing in the classroom and how to mitigate these with accommodations. While this sounds straightforward, there are times when students do not disclose their disabilities.

“There are still stigmas attached with disability services and sometimes students don’t disclose a need when they come to college. They want to try it on their own,” Ms. Rodriguez said.

This can sometimes backfire on a student who is in need of an accommodation and both women strongly encourage students to stop by the Disability Services office in order to get the information they need to make informed decisions.

“Don’t ever hesitate to call to ask us a question,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “Come in and talk to us about what you need. Tell us what barriers you’ve experienced in the past and let’s plan ways to lessen them.”

The field of disability services is continuing to evolve and service delivery practices are changing. QCC’s Disability Services office has already taken a holistic approach in how it operates. The Disability Services staff works collaboratively on problem-solving with students, faculty and staff in order to offer inclusive, accessible education for all students.

“We work on what we can do for the student, which will give him or her access to higher education the same as any other student,” Ms. Proctor said. “There is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a case-by-case interactive process.”

Beginning in July 2020, QCC’s Disability Services will become Student Accessibility Services as a way to clearly promote their mission of equal access for higher education to all in the QCC community.  “We are taking steps to reframe our office as being proactive in terms of access, and building partnerships with faculty and staff to ensure the barriers in the campus learning environment are removed for the student.”

To learn more visit Disability Services.

  • STEM
October, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College engineering student Maryssa Leone, was recently named one of 25 students in the Commonwealth to receive a $1,000 scholarship from Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s operating partner for Commuter Rail. This year a total of $25,000 was awarded through the 2019 Keolis Scholars program. The funds are designed to help to offset the cost of post-secondary education or job...

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Quinsigamond Community College engineering student Maryssa Leone, was recently named one of 25 students in the Commonwealth to receive a $1,000 scholarship from Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s operating partner for Commuter Rail. This year a total of $25,000 was awarded through the 2019 Keolis Scholars program. The funds are designed to help to offset the cost of post-secondary education or job training.

The scholarships were awarded during STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Week, which is organized by the Executive Office of Education to help boost interest STEM-related career opportunities. Visit QCC Engineering to learn more about the College's engineering program opportunities. 

  • From left: Sharon Marini, Michelle Tufau Afriyie, President Dr. Luis Pedraja, Laurie Teece and Michelle Sheehan
October, 2019

On October 29, four Quinsigamond Community College staff members were honored at a reception to commemorate receiving a citation by the Commonwealth for recognition of outstanding performance.

Each year this special award is given out to QCC faculty, staff and administration who were were nominated by their peers, supervisors and professional colleagues. This year’s honorees included:

  • ...
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On October 29, four Quinsigamond Community College staff members were honored at a reception to commemorate receiving a citation by the Commonwealth for recognition of outstanding performance.

Each year this special award is given out to QCC faculty, staff and administration who were were nominated by their peers, supervisors and professional colleagues. This year’s honorees included:

  • Sharon Marini - Administrative Secretary I
  • Michelle Sheehan -  Clerk IV/Educational Partnerships & Early College Initiatives
  • Laurie Teece - Evening/Weekend Nurse Education Laboratory Coordinator
  • Michelle Tufau Afriyie - Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Success/Title III Coordinator
  • From left: Professor Valerie Clemente with Certified Peer Support Specialist Shayn McDonald.
October, 2019

The Psi Beta and Psychology Club Guest Speaker Series and Social Justice Speaker Series have been hosting a variety of speakers and topics designed to inform and inspire. In late September, inclusiveness was a big part of the discussion in a lecture by Certified Peer Support Specialist Shayn McDonald.

Ms. McDonald is a young adult peer mentor with Zia Young Adult Access Center. She works with others who have...

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The Psi Beta and Psychology Club Guest Speaker Series and Social Justice Speaker Series have been hosting a variety of speakers and topics designed to inform and inspire. In late September, inclusiveness was a big part of the discussion in a lecture by Certified Peer Support Specialist Shayn McDonald.

Ms. McDonald is a young adult peer mentor with Zia Young Adult Access Center. She works with others who have experienced traumas that are relatable to her own experiences. Ms. McDonald told her personal story of how she had struggled with toxicity at home, as well as being actively being assaulted at school. This led her to ask her mom to see a therapist. She described the ensuing days and months of being treated both as an in-patient and out-patient with multiple diagnoses. She told how she found the most helpful people during this time in her life were those people who were experiencing similar issues.

“My experiences were finally seen as valid and understandable,” she said, adding that it was their stories that inspired her to get into the field of psychology.

Today she is certified as a peer support specialist, a designation that is currently a life certification in Massachusetts. As a peer support specialist, there is a mutuality between the peer specialist and the person they are working with, according to Ms. McDonald.

“You don’t assume any authority or intelligence over another person. There is no power differential,” she said.

In late October, Dr. Katie Gabriele-Black did a talk titled, “It’s not contradictory things you know?”: Experiences of LGBTQ emerging adults from Evangelical Christian backgrounds. Dr. Gabriele-Black addressed experiences of LGBTQ+ emerging adults who grew up in conservative Evangelical communities. Dr. Gabriele-Black is a graduate of Houghton College, has a Masters in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College, and a Masters and PhD from Clark University in Developmental Psychology. She’s worked on a range of research studies over the years, from participatory action research projects with undocumented immigrants in Boston and Providence, to a longitudinal adoption study with gay, lesbian, and heterosexual parents, to projects with trans and gender nonconforming college and graduate students.

For additional information on the Psi Beta and Psychology Club Guest Speaker Series and Social Justice Speaker Series, contactvclemente [at] qcc.mass.edu ( Professor Valerie Clemente.)

  • Amy Kaiser and Daniel Larrabee
  • From left: Jonah Wicklund, Sama Abdulrazzaq and Jadvyga (Jackie) Jonaviciute
October, 2019

Each month, the professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs recognize and acknowledge the perseverance of one student in their perspective STEM areas. Below are the September 2019 STEM Students of the Month with a few comments from the professors who nominated them. They include:

ScienceAmy Kaiser, nominated by...

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Each month, the professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs recognize and acknowledge the perseverance of one student in their perspective STEM areas. Below are the September 2019 STEM Students of the Month with a few comments from the professors who nominated them. They include:

ScienceAmy Kaiser, nominated by Professor and Coordinator of QCC Liberal Arts Environmental Science (LAES) Program, Anita Soracco.

“Amy first came to QCC intending to major in Communications, but was still seeking her true passion. She switched into the Liberal Arts-Environmental Science Option, and has been pursuing this dream since.  Her ultimate goal is to work as a scientist doing data analysis, environmental permitting and field work,” Ms. Soracco said. “Amy is an example of someone who realized what her true interests are at QCC, and made the bold decision to pursue that goal and excel.  Amy will make a wonderful scientist and do great things for our planet.”

Technology Jonah Wicklund, nominated by Lee Duerden, professor and Coordinator of QCC Manufacturing Technology Programs and Damian Kieran, professor of Manufacturing Technology.

According to both professors, “Jonah is a dedicated student who has been making steady progress towards his degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technology while working full time at IPG.” Professor Kieran noted that Jonah’s presentation on Manufacturing Safety was great,  adding that he offers real world examples in class based on his work experiences.

Engineering - Jadvyga (Jackie) Jonaviciute and Sama Abdulrazzaq nominated by Engineering Professor Dadbeh Bigonahy. 

“When they learned of the opportunity of receiving a 10-week Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant (“REU”) available at WPI during the summer months, both Sama and Jackie jumped at the chance. They each applied, and were both selected to be research fellows for the summer 2019,” Mr. Bigonahy said. “As research fellows, Jackie and Sama became members of different project teams. In addition to their research, they participated in a summer program held at WPI where they acted as mentors to a group of middle school girls. I am so pleased that the work done by Sama and Jackie will be recognized at the BMES conference. They are both talented students with bright futures.”

MathematicsDaniel Larrabee​, nominated by Mathematics Professor Andreana Grimaldo.

According to Grimaldo, Ms. Daniel Larrabee began his studies at QCC during Summer 2018.  Prior to QCC, he had a unique high school experience and spent six years in China where he was home-schooled.  Coming to QCC was an adjustment but he has found success.  He began by taking MAT 122 Statistics during summer 2018 and then moved into taking MAT 233 Calculus I during Fall 2018.  He found he enjoyed the challenge of math and science and soon declared his major as Bio-medical Engineering.  Over summer 2019, he continued his math studies in Calculus II.  Coming into Fall 2019, he is well-vested in the engineering program and currently taking Calculus III along with other engineering courses.   Daniel has consistently made Dean's List and, recently was nominated and accepted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  During his free time, you can find Daniel tutoring math to fellow QCC students in the Math Center.  "Daniel is a hardworking student and his grades show it,” she added.

  • Sankofa Lecture Series
  • From left: Co-Chair of the Caucus Brenda Safford, Film Director A.B. Webster and Co-Chair of the Caucus Selina Boria.
October, 2019

Finding a space where you can speak openly, honestly and respectfully in an unbiased setting is the premise behind Brave Space/Courageous Conversations, a monthly group meeting open to all Quinsigamond Community College students. The meetings, put on by the QCC Diversity Caucus, are designed for people to speak freely about things such as race and racism, gender, sexism, ableism and ageism.  The Diversity Caucus...

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Finding a space where you can speak openly, honestly and respectfully in an unbiased setting is the premise behind Brave Space/Courageous Conversations, a monthly group meeting open to all Quinsigamond Community College students. The meetings, put on by the QCC Diversity Caucus, are designed for people to speak freely about things such as race and racism, gender, sexism, ableism and ageism.  The Diversity Caucus explores and celebrates the broad spectrum of diversities, including age, race, gender, ability, religious convictions, socio-economic status, ethnic heritage, and sexual orientation through discussions and special events. Co-Chairpersons of the Caucus are Brenda Safford, associate professor of Human Services and Selina Boria, executive assistant to the President for Policy, Governance & Diversity.

Each month enlightening events take place to bring increased awareness on all aspects of diversity. This month’s special events included two Sankofa Lecture Series talks, by Dr. Jarvis Givens and Dr. May Hicks. Dr. Givens’ presentation before a packed audience, focused on the life of Carter G. Woodson as a “rank and file schoolteacher,” then leader and theorist within the professional world of black educators during the Jim Crow era.

Dr. Hicks' talk detailed the seafaring activities of enslaved Africans and Atlantic Creoles who redefined the nature of transatlantic commerce. Dr. Hicks has served as a Jefferson, Ford and Hutchins Fellow at Harvard University.

To learn more visit Diversity Events.

 

  • Memorial plaque in honor of the late Fred Pilch.
  • Professor Jacob Longacre and Dean Betty Lauer help plant a memorial tree in honor of Professor Fred Pilch.
  • A Celebration of Life was held for Professor Fred Pilch.
October, 2019

Earlier this month, QCC administration, faculty and staff gathered at the Harrington Learning Center for a Celebration of Life to pay homage to longtime colleague Frederick “Fred” Pilch, who passed away in late September. Mr. Pilch was a professor of Computer Information Systems and had 37 years of service to the College. He was a trusted and valued co-worker to...

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Earlier this month, QCC administration, faculty and staff gathered at the Harrington Learning Center for a Celebration of Life to pay homage to longtime colleague Frederick “Fred” Pilch, who passed away in late September. Mr. Pilch was a professor of Computer Information Systems and had 37 years of service to the College. He was a trusted and valued co-worker to many at QCC.

During the Celebration of Life, words of friendship were shared by his colleagues, followed by a tree planting in his honor at the south end of Ahlfors Hall.

  • Dating and Relationship Abuse Infographic
October, 2019

Sometimes listening is the most important thing you can do to help someone who is in an abusive relationship. October is designated as Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month and for the past few weeks Quinsigamond Community College has been hosting some events to shed light on this subject that touches everyone.

“These issues cut across every segment of the population,” said QCC’s Dean of...

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Sometimes listening is the most important thing you can do to help someone who is in an abusive relationship. October is designated as Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month and for the past few weeks Quinsigamond Community College has been hosting some events to shed light on this subject that touches everyone.

“These issues cut across every segment of the population,” said QCC’s Dean of Compliance Liz Woods. “No one is spared.”

The statistics are tough to hear. In Massachusetts, one in three women and one in five men reported having experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. It takes the average person 7-8 times before he/she can actually leave an abusive situation.

Seeing a loved one in an abusive situation is very difficult, and often the initial inclination is to encourage a person to get help. However that can sometimes backfire when a victim is taken out of the situation before he or she ready. And, in some incidents, can even make the situation worse.

“A major issue for victims is regaining some control over their lives. When we take them out of the situation not of their own accord we’ve taken away their decision,” Ms. Woods said.

The best thing a person can do to help someone in an abusive situation is to first listen to them.

“You can then tell the person there is someone on campus who can help when he/she is ready. People are most at risk when they tell the abuser they are going to leave so they have to have a plan ready,” Ms. Woods said, adding that her office (Room 347A in the Administration Building) is a “safe place” and generally people who come to see her are referred by someone they respect. Often those referrals come from a professor or a member of the College’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Group.

Ms. Woods wants students who find themselves in a difficult and dangerous situation to realize they are not alone. There are a multitude of resources both on and off campus that are available. Information and resources can also be found on the College’s bulletin boards and in bathrooms.

“There are great resources in the City that we can connect you with such as the ‘Y,’ Pathways for Change, Jane Doe. Inc. and other services,” Ms. Woods said.

In Massachusetts, more than 50 domestic violence programs are available and provide a range of free and confidential individual and community emergency and advocacy services for survivors and their families. 

Local resources include:

  • the YWCA 24-Hour Help line:  508.755.9030
  • Pathways for Change: 1.800.870.5905

An additional event during the month included a viewing of the video, The Bystander Moment, by Jackson Katz and subsequent discussion.  The film stressed the crucial importance of appealing to people not as potential perpetrators or passive spectators, but as active bystanders and potential leaders who have a positive role to play in challenging and changing the sexist cultural norms that too often lead to gender violence.

To reach Ms. Woods call 508.854.2791 or email,  lwoods [at] qcc.mass.edu  

  • The Wyvern's Volleyball team celebrates scoring a point against their opponent.
  • The 2019 Wyvern's Women's Volleyball team.
  • The Lady Wyverns keep the ball in play.
  • QCC Men's Soccer team
  • The Wyverns 2019 Women’s Soccer team
October, 2019

Women's Volleyball

The Women’s Wyvern Volleyball had a spectacular first year, finishing the season off with 5 wins and 5 losses. Their record took them into the NJCAA Region 21 Tournament where they battled it out in the semi-finals on Sunday, October 27 with Holyoke Community College. Sadly the Wyverns came up short, but expect to see even more great things from them in the coming years.

... More...

Women's Volleyball

The Women’s Wyvern Volleyball had a spectacular first year, finishing the season off with 5 wins and 5 losses. Their record took them into the NJCAA Region 21 Tournament where they battled it out in the semi-finals on Sunday, October 27 with Holyoke Community College. Sadly the Wyverns came up short, but expect to see even more great things from them in the coming years.

Men's Soccer

The inaugural Wyvern Men’s Soccer team gave their conference rivals highly-competitive games and an amazing first season. The team came away with 4 wins and5 losses on the season. QCC cannot wait to see what they do next season!

Women's Soccer

The Wyverns Women’s Soccer team had the opportunity to play on their home field for the first time since the team formed four years ago. Despite player injuries and often inclement weather, the women played extremely hard and finished the season 1 -5.

Athletic Center Hours:

Monday        8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday        8:00 a.m.  – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday   8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday      8:00 a.m.  – 7:00 p.m.
Friday           8:00 a.m.  – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday      10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Questions? Call 508.854.4317

  • Police Academy Food Pantry Donation
  • QCC Veterans Club members with Director of Veterans Affairs Paula Ogden at the Club's annual picnic at Purgatory Chasm.
  • Students were treated to free coffee and conversation by QCC's Campus Police.
October, 2019

Monday, November 11: Veterans Day – the College is closed. Stop and show your support of all veterans and active duty military personnel by attending the Worcester Veterans Day Parade at 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, November 12: Veteran Affairs will be hosting a talk, "Digging for Gold- The Potential Impact of Veterans in Academia" followed by a Q...

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Monday, November 11: Veterans Day – the College is closed. Stop and show your support of all veterans and active duty military personnel by attending the Worcester Veterans Day Parade at 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, November 12: Veteran Affairs will be hosting a talk, "Digging for Gold- The Potential Impact of Veterans in Academia" followed by a Q and A beginning at noon in room 109A at the Harrington Learning Center. All are welcome to attend.

Thursday, November 14: The Early Childhood Education Club will present a showing of the film, “No Small Matter.” The film will be shown from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium on QCC’s main campus.

Wednesday, November 18: Faculty and staff are invited to join "Coffee with the President," a listening session with Dr. Luis Pedraja in the President's office room 132A from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 21: Career Services is hosting a three-part workshop series focusing on the steps needed to start your own business. Part 1 titled,"Is Entrepreneurship Right for You?" will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the Harrington Learning Center room 109A. This is open to all students and majors and is sponsored and facilitated by Michelle Miller from the Center for Women and Enterprise. 

Thursday, November 28- Sunday, December 1: The College will be closed for its Thanksgiving recess. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 1 – Friday, December 6: Winter is coming and with it a need for warm clothing.

QCC’s Early Childhood Club and QCC’s Athletic Center will be holding A Winter Clothing Drive. New or gently used winter coats and accessories are gratefully accepted for QCC students and their children.  Donation boxes are located at the Children Study Center on the second floor of the Harrington Learning Center; in Room 348A in the Administration building, as well as the Athletic Center and the President’s Office (Room 132A).  Requested jacket sizes include children/youth sizes 4-8 and all adult sizes and suggested boot sizes include children/youth sizes 10-4 and all adult sizes.

November Spotlight: The Mobile Winter Farmers Market will be coming to QCC! Get the freshest fruits and vegetables right here on campus. The Mobile Market will be visiting on  Tuesday, November 12 and 19 from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Surprenant Lobby. Accepted forms of payment include: cash, credit debit and SNAP/HIP.

The QCC Veterans Club will collecting cans of gravy and cranberry sauce to donate to local veterans shelters for Thanksgiving. Make a point to grab an extra can or two the next time you are grocery shopping and drop it off to the Veteran Affairs off, room 258A. 

  • Feed Our Families
October, 2019

For many years. Quinsigamond Community College’s Feed-A-Family has provided QCC families holiday meals by way of gift cards for those in need. However; the reality is that our families need help not only during the holiday, but year-round. Recognizing this need, the Feed-A-Family program has become the Feed-Our-Families and will be partnering with the QCC food Pantry and Resource Center to help our families in...

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For many years. Quinsigamond Community College’s Feed-A-Family has provided QCC families holiday meals by way of gift cards for those in need. However; the reality is that our families need help not only during the holiday, but year-round. Recognizing this need, the Feed-A-Family program has become the Feed-Our-Families and will be partnering with the QCC food Pantry and Resource Center to help our families in need throughout the year.

As we enter the holiday season, we ask you to please take a moment and consider donating to our Feed-A-Families initiative. Your tax deductible donation can make a difference for many of our students, staff and faculty. To make a donation, fill out the Feed—Our Families form.

  • White Privilege Symposium
  • White Privilege Symposium
October, 2019

On Oct. 4 and 5, QCC staff and faculty members Gaelan Benway, Selina Boria, Brenda Safford and Byron Thomas attended the White Privilege Symposium at Lesley University.  The White Privilege Symposium is a project of The Privilege Institute, a 501(c)(3) best known for its annual conference, the White Privilege Conference. The White Privilege...

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On Oct. 4 and 5, QCC staff and faculty members Gaelan Benway, Selina Boria, Brenda Safford and Byron Thomas attended the White Privilege Symposium at Lesley University.  The White Privilege Symposium is a project of The Privilege Institute, a 501(c)(3) best known for its annual conference, the White Privilege Conference. The White Privilege Conference (WPC) is a 20-year international conference founded by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. This was a high energy and loving community space that allowed attendees to learn more about concepts of white supremacy, power, privilege, leadership, oppression and the impact of structural inequities.

The WPC offered various opportunities for building community, interactive learning, and action planning.  The keynote speakers included: Darnisa Amante, Ed.L.D., CEO DEEP (Disruptive Equity Education Project), Robin DiAngelo, New York Times Bestselling Author of White Fragility and Yusef Salaam, Motivational Speaker and Member of the wrongly convicted and exonerated Central Park 5.

 

  • The Wyvern visited the Cliffs of Moher.
  • From left:The Wyvern stopped by Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin and King John’s Castle, in Limerick Ireland.
  • From left: Shop Street in Galway, and a view of Saint Munchin’s Church from the tower of King John’s Castle, Limerick.
October, 2019

The luck of the Irish was with the Wyvern when he accompanied QCC's Assistant Director of Operations Shirley Dempsey on a trip of a lifetime to Ireland. The Wyvern (and Ms. Dempsey!) braved the elements, and even Hurricane Lorenzo, to catch the view at the Cliffs of Moher. 

Have you seen the Wyvern out and about lately? If so, please send your photos and...

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The luck of the Irish was with the Wyvern when he accompanied QCC's Assistant Director of Operations Shirley Dempsey on a trip of a lifetime to Ireland. The Wyvern (and Ms. Dempsey!) braved the elements, and even Hurricane Lorenzo, to catch the view at the Cliffs of Moher. 

Have you seen the Wyvern out and about lately? If so, please send your photos and descriptions through the newsletter submission form.

October, 2019

We are very pleased to announce the following full-time staff updates:

On October 27, 2019 Facilities welcomed Theresa Finn as a Maintainer I.  Theresa brings to this position over 10 years of experience. Most recently, she was a part time Maintainer here at QCC.

Please join us in welcoming Theresa into her new role at QCC.

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We are very pleased to announce the following full-time staff updates:

On October 27, 2019 Facilities welcomed Theresa Finn as a Maintainer I.  Theresa brings to this position over 10 years of experience. Most recently, she was a part time Maintainer here at QCC.

Please join us in welcoming Theresa into her new role at QCC.

September, 2019

  • QCC students and the community will reap the benefits of the new cutting-edge equipment being purchased.
September, 2019

It’s been an exciting start to the fall semester at Quinsigamond Community College, particularly for the college’s dental programs. In late August the college received word that it was awarded a $476,807 Skills Capital Grant. QCC received the third largest grant out of the 45 grants awarded to high schools, colleges and educational institutions in the Commonwealth. QCC has a long history of being awarded...

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It’s been an exciting start to the fall semester at Quinsigamond Community College, particularly for the college’s dental programs. In late August the college received word that it was awarded a $476,807 Skills Capital Grant. QCC received the third largest grant out of the 45 grants awarded to high schools, colleges and educational institutions in the Commonwealth. QCC has a long history of being awarded Skills Capital Grants. In 2016, the college received $488,735; $431,900 in 2017 and $10,000 in 2018.

This grant is being heralded by the college as a perfect way to complete its new dental materials lab, which the college rolled out this fall to create a hands-on teaching classroom to train future dental hygienists, dental assistants and new expanded function dental assistants. The grant funding will be used to purchase state-of-the-art dental equipment used in today’s dental materials labs across the region.

“We’ve been told that there is only one other training lab at a college or university in the state with this level of equipment,” said QCC Dental Clinic Operations and Facilities Manager Sheryl Ficorilli.

Dentists and community leaders in the region have sung the praises of QCC’s dental program and its new dental materials lab.

“The dental materials lab is critical to student learning in QCC’s program, which offers dental hygiene, as well as dental assisting classes in the lab,” said Chairman of the Worcester District Dental Society, George E. Maloney, D.M.D. “This lab is part of QCC’s efforts to address Greater Worcester’s need for dental health care by creating a workforce of skilled clinicians in the field of dental hygiene and dental assisting.”

The state-of-the-art equipment being bought will enable students to learn how to utilize CAD/CAM technology and digital cameras. A milling machine that can make a crown; a high-tech scanner; staining unit and oven, in addition to other cutting-edge dental equipment are also being purchased. 

“This equipment will support high-quality career and technical training of more than 600 dental hygienists and dental assistants, including new expanded function assistants, and help meet significant demand in Central Massachusetts,” said Executive Director of MassHire Central Region Workforce Board, Jeffrey Turgeon.

Once the new equipment is received, QCC’s dental staff will spend two days training in order to be totally versed on how to operate each piece of equipment, before they begin training students. 

“We are all very excited about this,” said QCC’s Professor of Dental Assisting/Hygiene, Jennifer McKeon.

“This project will have a positive impact on QCC students and our residents for years to come,” said Brian A. Genna, D.M.D.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the percent growth rate in employment from 2018 to 2028 for dental assistants will be 11%, compared to the average growth rate of 5% for all other occupations.

“A new facility is necessary to attract more and well-qualified applicants who will one day work in the fastest growing job sector in the United States,” said David Handsman, D.M.D., M.D.S. “Access to affordable healthcare is critical to the continued development of the Greater Worcester area. A new dental materials lab will help meet a clear need to our city and community.”

QCC’s Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which is nationally recognized by the United States Department of Education as the sole agency to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level. To learn more visit Dental Assisting.

  • Funding from QCC's workforce Success Grant will be used to train individuals for jobs in healthcare and social assistance.
September, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College was awarded a $249,527 grant in the first round of Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants. QCC was one of only four community colleges to receive grant funding for training that will assist unemployed or underemployed people in filling in-demand jobs within the Commonwealth. The funding will also enable entry-level workers to advance in their current workplace.

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Quinsigamond Community College was awarded a $249,527 grant in the first round of Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants. QCC was one of only four community colleges to receive grant funding for training that will assist unemployed or underemployed people in filling in-demand jobs within the Commonwealth. The funding will also enable entry-level workers to advance in their current workplace.

 “We are thrilled to be awarded this grant that will help us to advance our current programs. This funding will be used to train individuals for jobs in healthcare and social assistance,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “At QCC we are training people for the in-demand jobs of the today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Baker-Polito Administration awarded $4.2 million to 18 grant awardees. The grants, named in memory of Senator Donnelly, who spent his career promoting workforce opportunities in Massachusetts, target jobs in healthcare and social assistance, information technology and includes occupations in accommodation, food service and hospitality, construction, finance and insurance, and transportation and warehousing.

  • Addiction expert Dr. Ruth Potee gives a compelling talk about addiction at QCC.
  • Local officials attend addiction program at QCC.
  • Reliant Foundation Board Chair and President (far right) with Dr. Ruth Potee and State Rep. Jim O'Day
  • Informational tables lined the walkway to the Hebert Auditorium.
September, 2019

In recognition of September being National Recovery Month, the Reliant Foundation and Quinsigamond Community College teamed up to host leading addiction expert Ruth Potee, M.D., in a compelling public presentation entitled, “Physiology of Addiction.” Over 300 people attended the free public event held on September 16, in QCC’s Hebert Auditorium.

“As a community college we always...

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In recognition of September being National Recovery Month, the Reliant Foundation and Quinsigamond Community College teamed up to host leading addiction expert Ruth Potee, M.D., in a compelling public presentation entitled, “Physiology of Addiction.” Over 300 people attended the free public event held on September 16, in QCC’s Hebert Auditorium.

“As a community college we always feel being part of the community is central to our mission. We welcome the community into our campus. We want to be defined by the whole community that we serve,” said President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “Addiction affects all of us. It’s so important to bring in experts and initiate conversations that need to be had. All of us as a community must address addiction.”

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early, Jr. was quick to add that there is no bigger social problem than the opioid crisis. Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis reflected on the first time he was in the Hebert Auditorium some five-plus years ago for the first Governor’s Task Force meeting on opioid addiction.

“This room has a history of being a leader when it comes to combating this horrible epidemic we are in the midst in right now,” Sheriff Evangelidis said.

In addition to the 300-plus attendees, the event drew the support of other notable community and elected officials that included:  Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale; Worcester Commissioner of Health and Human Services Mattie Castiel, M.D.; Massachusetts State Representatives Hannah Kane and David Muradian, Jr.

“Substance abuse – in particular the opioid epidemic – continues to make headlines across the country, and directly impacts our local communities,” said Reliant Foundation President Kelsa Zereski. “Our hope is that attendees of this presentation will walk away with an even deeper understanding of this public health crisis, and also some context around how and why an individual becomes addicted to any substance.” 

“Just about every day we hear new staggering statistics about the impact substance abuse has on our communities,” said Dr. Ruth Potee. “We’re all working really hard to combat this epidemic, but we – as a collective – must first start with an understanding of how we’ve gotten to this point…how someone becomes addicted, why it’s so difficult to break an addiction, and why so many addicts struggle with maintaining sobriety.”

To watch Dr. Potee’s presentation visit “Physiology of Addiction.”

Dr. Potee is a board-certified family physician and addiction medicine physician. She is currently the medical director for the Franklin County House of Corrections, the director of addiction services for Behavioral Health Network, and the medical director for the Pioneer Valley Regional School District. Co-chair of the Healthcare Solutions Committee of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Regions, Dr. Potee was named 2015 Franklin County Doctor of the Year by the Massachusetts Medical Society. 

  • From left: QCC student Zuheyry Encarnacion with her mentor Dr. Natalie Anumba.
  • Student mentee Zuheyry Encarnacion shares a laugh with her mentor, Dr. Natalie Anumba.
September, 2019

Zuheyry Encarnacion finally knows what it’s like to have someone in her corner. Since she began taking criminal justice classes at Quinsigamond Community College, Ms. Encarnacion has had the support and guidance of a special woman in her life -  Dr. Natalie Anumba, a forensic psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical...

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Zuheyry Encarnacion finally knows what it’s like to have someone in her corner. Since she began taking criminal justice classes at Quinsigamond Community College, Ms. Encarnacion has had the support and guidance of a special woman in her life -  Dr. Natalie Anumba, a forensic psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This special partnership, thanks to QCC’s mentoring program, is one that has made an indelible impression on both women and one that has given Ms. Encarnacion the motivation and self-confidence she was looking for in her life. 

It was when she started taking classes at QCC that she was encouraged by her Massachusetts EDCO (Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities) advocate to get into the college’s mentoring program. QCC’s mentoring program connects QCC students with staff, faculty, industry, and community members to create one-on-one mentoring relationships. The program provides extensive benefits to students, as well as professional development and networking opportunities for mentors. Ms.Encarnacion took the advice of her advocate and was matched with Dr. Natalie Anumba, who happened to be the first community partner to become a QCC mentor.

“I didn’t want to do it at first but I’m so glad I did. Natalie helps me with my major and helps me with resources in my career. She got to know me,” Ms. Encarnacion said. “She’s my motivator even if I’m having a bad day.”

Dr. Anumba said she heard about QCC’s mentoring program after attending a Worcester Chamber of Commerce event where she heard QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja speak about the value of mentorship. She said one of the points he made, which resonated with her, was that employers need to pay attention to the local workforce because there’s a wealth of potential right in Central Massachusetts. Dr. Anumba said she went up to Dr. Pedraja after the program and asked how she could help.

“There is a demand for mentors and mentoring is so important. I look back at my career and the people who contributed to it and the mentors along the way,” she said. “I personally feel like I’m contributing to something special that’s in-line with my skills.”

Ms. Encarnacion, who is set to graduate in December 2019, has a close relationship with her mentor. She detailed one particularly tough time when she was trying unsuccessfully to get a work study job on campus and “everything was going horrible.”  

“Natalie said to keep trying you’re almost done and then I got called to do work study with Eduardo Rivas (who does the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program),” she said. “Having someone in your corner, no matter what, is amazing. Not a lot of people can say they have emotional and academic support.”

QCC’s Director of Mentoring for Perkins Programs, Gabriel Santner works to find the best match for each mentor and mentee partnership. This year there are already 130 mentor/mentee matches and Mr. Santner expects to have close to 150 within the next few weeks. In fact, this year five core community partners have signed on to be part of the mentoring program - AbbVie Biopharmaceuticals, The City of Worcester, University of Massachusetts Memorial Healthcare, Hanover Insurance and Love Your Labels. 

“When you meet someone in your chosen career you see what you’re going to go into and you gain another support,” Ms. Encarnacion said.

Ms. Encarnacion’s goal is to graduate in December and transfer to Worcester State University. Her dream is to one day be a detective and said she will keep pushing to meet that goal for her three-year-old daughter.

While this may be the end of her academic year at QCC, Dr. Anumba and Ms. Encarnacion plan to continue their mentoring relationship.

“What you put into this program is what you get out of it and I’ve gotten a lot,” Ms. Encarnacion said.

Visit QCC Mentoring to learn more.

  • From left: PTK alumni Kimberly May and Kayla Paterson
  • PTK alumni were out in force for the Dragon Boat races.
  • Current and former PTK students took part in the third Worcester Dragon Boat Festival.
  • From left: QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja with President of QCC's Student Government Association Jorgo Gushi
September, 2019

A team of excited Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) students and alumni paddled their way to a fun-filled day at the third Worcester Dragon Boat Festival, held on September 21.

Participants include PTK alumni: Kayla Paterson, Jason Butler, Kimberly May, Ato Fynn, James Mbugua, Robin Wood, Erika Lacrosse, Rodrigo Rivas, Jose Mesmar, Karen Oberg, Kennedy Udechukwu and current students: Jorgo Gushi, Diana...

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A team of excited Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) students and alumni paddled their way to a fun-filled day at the third Worcester Dragon Boat Festival, held on September 21.

Participants include PTK alumni: Kayla Paterson, Jason Butler, Kimberly May, Ato Fynn, James Mbugua, Robin Wood, Erika Lacrosse, Rodrigo Rivas, Jose Mesmar, Karen Oberg, Kennedy Udechukwu and current students: Jorgo Gushi, Diana Mohammed Basher, Shaymaa Majeed, Alexander Paulino, Lucy Ortiz, Stephanie McGinnis, Ilina Ivanova, Jose Carlos Simoes, Devon Arthur, and Israa Majeed.  

QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja was on-hand to show his support for the students, praising them for their commitment to the QCC community.

“Every little bit helps to get the word out about our college. These types of community events help let people know what we are all about - community,” said Dr. Pedraja.

The Wyverns battled hard in their two races, sadly coming up short of a spot in the finals. While no trophy was forthcoming for the team, the day brought out great Wyvern camaraderie for alumni and students alike.

  • Anthony “Tony” Barnardo gets ready to head out to his first day of school.
  • Navy veteran Anthony “Tony” Barnardo shows his excitement on his first day of classes at QCC.
September, 2019

For Navy veteran Anthony “Tony” Barnardo, of Webster, a dream of owning his own food truck or restaurant was just that - a dream, until he became a student at QCC. This fall Mr. Barnardo is starting his third semester at the college as a hospitality major with the goal of owning his own food truck. He has already seen first-hand what it’s like to run a food truck.

“In...

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For Navy veteran Anthony “Tony” Barnardo, of Webster, a dream of owning his own food truck or restaurant was just that - a dream, until he became a student at QCC. This fall Mr. Barnardo is starting his third semester at the college as a hospitality major with the goal of owning his own food truck. He has already seen first-hand what it’s like to run a food truck.

“In QCC’s hospitality degree program you have to do a co-op. I’ve been working at the food truck, ‘The Dogfather’ and it’s been a blast. It’s made me want to do my own food truck even more,” he said. “I found the co-op through Pat Hutchinson (Professor of Hospitality and Recreation Management). She knows everyone.”

Mr. Barnardo took the roundabout route to QCC. His dad was a Navy veteran and so it wasn’t a far stretch for him to enter the U.S. Navy right out of high school and serve for eight years. He worked as an electrician for almost five years, during which he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2008 he was selected to serve onboard the USS Constitution.

“I was basically a teacher and gave thousands of people tours of the ship,” he said.

During that time he also was part of an honor guard at Red Sox games, Celtics games and coordinated the honor guard during the Boston Pops Hatch Shell show in 2011. When he got out of the service he worked for an electrical company doing medium and high voltage testing. He did that for five years before moving on to Walker Magnetics.

“I was a sales engineer without the engineering degree. I loved that job but they closed the office,” he said.

It was getting laid off that spurred him to talk to a veteran’s agent about his dream to one day own a restaurant or a food truck. He used his G.I. Bill, which enabled him to have his tuition paid for, a book stipend and housing allowance. This was instrumental for him to be able to attend college as a single dad to seven-year-old daughter, Isabella.

“I found out QCC has a hospitality program and I realized this time there were no more excuses,” he said. “I was terrified last winter but I did both spring and both summer sessions and I’m killing it.”

Today, more often you’ll find Mr. Barnardo in the Veteran Affairs office on campus. He has become active in the Veterans Club.

“I like being with fellow like-minded people. This office is what I’ve been missing in my life,” he said.

Mr. Barnardo is set to graduate next spring.  He already had a handful of credits from the military which saved him both money and time.

“I’m using the G.I. Bill and once I graduate here I plan to transfer to Nichols College to get my business degree. I love it here at QCC. I’m excited but nervous to transfer,” he said, adding, “I hope my experience is as good as here.”