Search form

You are here

Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Banner

December, 2019

  • Gilmarie Vongphakdy's (left) Mass Communication students record 'A Christmas Carol' at Audio Journal Studio.
  • Students receive some last minutes directions before recording.
December, 2019

Students in Gilmarie Vongphakdy’s Introduction to Mass Communication course got a hands on experience they will likely never forget, when they recorded a performance of Charles Dickens famous,  “A Christmas Carol” for Worcester’s Audio Journal on December 12.

Audio Journal Inc. is a nonprofit agency that provides audio access for information,...

More...

Students in Gilmarie Vongphakdy’s Introduction to Mass Communication course got a hands on experience they will likely never forget, when they recorded a performance of Charles Dickens famous,  “A Christmas Carol” for Worcester’s Audio Journal on December 12.

Audio Journal Inc. is a nonprofit agency that provides audio access for information, culture and opportunities for the sight impaired in the Worcester region.

According to Ms. Vongphakdy, the eight students in her class had the opportunity to do the recording as their final project or they could choose to do a research paper. All but one chose to do the recording.

“The students learned what it takes to produce a radio program. They trained on all the equipment," she said. 

Ms. Vongphakdy said this is the first time she has done this type hands-on class, and thanks radio personality Hank Stolz who connected Ms. Vongphakdy with Audio Journal’s Executive Director, Mary Frandsen. In prior classes, she has taken the students to tour the Worcester radio station Mr. Stolz is affiliated with; however, this time she decided to try something different.

“This was a win-win for both agencies,” Ms. Vongphakdy said, adding the station’s close proximity to QCC was helpful.

The students spent time at the station rehearsing the script prior to the final recording. They had to cut the script down from an hour long to 47 minutes, in order to fit the alloted timeframe. On December 12 at 7:00 p.m. they students did a run through, before doing the final recording at 8:00 p.m.

“It went really well,” Ms. Vongphakdy added.

The show will air on AM 830 WCRN on December 24 and December 25 at 9:00 a.m., noon and 7:00 p.m.

  • Blue Santa gives a holiday greeting to QCC student George Baraklilis.
  • QCC President, Dr. Luis Pedraja and Detective Sargent Joseph Cecchi
  • STEM Starter Academy Project Coordinator Darcy Carlson stops by to make a donation to the Stuff-A-Cruiser event.
  • Associate Professor of English Michael Gromley, donates to the Suff-A-Cruiser event.
  • QCC Police Academy students make a large donation on Dec. 9 to the Stuff-A-Cruiser event.
  • QCC Staff Assistant Liz Hanlan made a quick drop off.
December, 2019

Not snow or sleet or canceled school days could keep away Quinsigamond Community College’s Campus Police from filling their cruiser full to overflowing with unwrapped toys at the College’s annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event. Once again thanks to the generosity of those in the QCC community who came out in droves to help those in need, the holidays will be just a little bit brighter for QCC students and their...

More...

Not snow or sleet or canceled school days could keep away Quinsigamond Community College’s Campus Police from filling their cruiser full to overflowing with unwrapped toys at the College’s annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event. Once again thanks to the generosity of those in the QCC community who came out in droves to help those in need, the holidays will be just a little bit brighter for QCC students and their families.

QCC’s Campus Police, led by “Blue Santa” aka in Detective Sargent Joseph Cecchi, accepted donations of unwrapped toys and monetary donations to benefit the College’s Feed Our Family initiative (formally known as Feed A Family) at each QCC location.

A QCC cruiser was stuffed approximately four times with toys, and $350.00 in cash and gift cards. QCC’s Police Academy students also contributed by donating toys as a group to the Stuff-A-Cruiser event.

“It is so gratifying to see the support the Stuff-A-Cruiser event receives each year. This event is one we all look forward to each year and one that brings out the very best in our QCC community,” said Chief Kevin Ritacco. “We thank everyone for their generous donations.”

This year’s donations will help over 40 QCC families. 

"I hope this event was as enjoyable for you as it was for me.This year was a very special event even for me, as my wife and our three-month-old son, 'Ashton Cole Cecchi' donated to the event and spent some time with Blue Santa. However, the true joy came from all the students, parents, faculty and all the children, including my own, who I encountered during these events," said Detective Sargent Cecchi."Your gracious giving and community support has sustained and enhanced this wonderful QCC tradition of Stuff-A-Cruiser for four years and Feed-a-Family for over 31 years. Thank you for your help."

  • QCC student Patrick Petitto (L) and Professor Michael "Mike" Gormley
  • QCC student Dee Dee LePage with Professor Michael "Mike" Gormley.
  • QCC student Zachary Behrmann receives tickets to the opening of the last Star Wars movie: Episode IX, “The Rise of Skywalker.”
December, 2019

A snow day didn’t stop students in Professor Mike Gormley’s class, “Star Wars as Narrative and Culture,” from delivering stellar final presentations on what they learned this semester.

As the major part of their final, the students were required to give oral presentations to their classmates. After all the presentations were completed, the students...

More...

A snow day didn’t stop students in Professor Mike Gormley’s class, “Star Wars as Narrative and Culture,” from delivering stellar final presentations on what they learned this semester.

As the major part of their final, the students were required to give oral presentations to their classmates. After all the presentations were completed, the students voted through an online survey for the one they felt was the best. Patrick Petitto's final presentation was the one chosen by the students. Mr. Petitto won two tickets to the opening night of the last Star Wars movie: Episode IX, “The Rise of Skywalker.” In an interesting twist, Mr. Petitto already had opening night tickets and ended up switching prizes with second place winner Zachary Behrmann. Professor Gormley also gave his own award to student Dee Dee LePage for her presentation.

This course has been a big hit with students, filling up quickly when it was introduced. It will be offered again in Fall 2020.

  • PTK student Luceily “Lucy” Ortiz shows off one of the hats made by alumna Jacqui Viar.
  • PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman is surrounded by poinsettas PTK is selling to raise funds for the new Live and Learn Greenhouse.
December, 2019

Each year since she graduated from Quinsigamond Community College, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) alumna Jacqui Viar has given back to her alma mater by knitting and crocheting hats for QCC students. The 2017 accounting graduate came to QCC after transferring from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and was an active member of the PTK Alpha Zeta Theta Honor Society.

Earlier this month she stopped by...

More...

Each year since she graduated from Quinsigamond Community College, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) alumna Jacqui Viar has given back to her alma mater by knitting and crocheting hats for QCC students. The 2017 accounting graduate came to QCC after transferring from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and was an active member of the PTK Alpha Zeta Theta Honor Society.

Earlier this month she stopped by the PTK office to drop off a bagful of hats to warm the hearts and heads of QCC students in need during the cold weather months.

“Jacqui was the PTK recording secretary from 2016-2017 and was always there to help out. Even today, she still thinks of how she can help our students,” PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman said, adding, “The beautiful hats she made were distributed in the Food Pantry and Resource Center and many students left happy and a little bit warmer this winter season.”

Make sure to check out the January 2020 Wyvern Guardian newsletter to learn more about alumna Jacqui Viar.

Caroling by Associate Professor Jose Castillo and his music students .
December, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College was alive with the sounds of the holiday season thanks to Associate Professor Jose Castillo, coordinator of the College's music program. Mr. Castillo's class traveled throughout QCC's main campus singing carols and bringing holiday cheer to students, faculty and staff. 

More...

Quinsigamond Community College was alive with the sounds of the holiday season thanks to Associate Professor Jose Castillo, coordinator of the College's music program. Mr. Castillo's class traveled throughout QCC's main campus singing carols and bringing holiday cheer to students, faculty and staff. 

  • Devine “Dee Dee” Johnson takes a free throw shot.
  • QCC student and Wyverns Captain, Devine "Dee Dee" Johnson
  • The 2019-2020 Women's Basketball teeam led by Devine "Dee Dee" Johnson.
December, 2019

Every once in a while you come across a basketball player who is special. Names like NBA legend LeBron James or WNBA phenom Tamika Catchings come to mind as those once in a lifetime players, but did you know Quinsigamond Community College has its own rising basketball star? First year Lady Wyvern basketball player Devine “Dee Dee” Johnson has been tearing up the basketball court this...

More...

Every once in a while you come across a basketball player who is special. Names like NBA legend LeBron James or WNBA phenom Tamika Catchings come to mind as those once in a lifetime players, but did you know Quinsigamond Community College has its own rising basketball star? First year Lady Wyvern basketball player Devine “Dee Dee” Johnson has been tearing up the basketball court this season with her talent and basketball finesse. Since the start of the season, the freshman point guard and team captain, has been a standout for her playing ability and her poise on and off the court.

According to Lady Wyverns Head Coach Andrew “Andy” Kupec, Ms. Johnson is a strong leader who brings excitement and leadership to the team.

“Dee Dee is having a great season. She’s really helped us. She’s been a great captain, dedicated and patient,” Mr. Kupec said.

On December 7, Ms. Johnson took the Lady Wyverns to their first victory racking up an astounding 50 points (an unofficial school record) in an away game against the Lady Tigers of Roxbury Community College. QCC come out on top, 72-66.

“I knew I scored a lot of points, but not 50. They tried to double-team me, she said, adding, “They did that in high school. All you’d hear was ‘get on number two.’”

This isn’t the only double-digit game Ms. Johnson has had in recent weeks. In the December 5 game against Springfield Technical Community College, she scored 38 points. She’s been such a standout that a scout for Worcester State University talked to her after the game.

“She carries the offense, which is a hard thing to do,” Mr. Kupec said. “Dee Dee can play after here at a four-year school for sure.”

This year’s women’s basketball team is a young team, with a few players who have never played the game. They look to Ms. Johnson for guidance.

“I like to stay positive and motivate them,” she said.

“We are trying to build a team and Dee Dee is excellent in helping us with that goal,” Mr. Kupec said.

A lifelong basketball player, who comes from a family of 10 siblings (she is the second to the youngest) with a father who was a star ball player, Ms. Johnson has had a basketball in her hands from a very young age. She attended Keefe Technical High School in Framingham, where she excelled in sports, particularly basketball. She made varsity all four years starting as either shooting guard or point guard. She also was on the school’s varsity track and volleyball teams.

After graduating high school Ms. Johnson was accepted to Florida State University and Johnson and Wales for culinary arts; however, she ultimately decided to hold off going to college for a while. In fall 2019, she enrolled at QCC as a criminal justice major.

“I had wanted to do something in the criminal justice field. At first I thought police officer or EMT, then learned about teen corrections and decided I wanted to help teens. I’ve seen kids who have encountered hard times and I want to help them do better,” she said.

When asked why basketball is such an important part of her life, Ms. Johnson said, “It’s something that keeps your mind off other things and I just love the game.”

For those who might want to play for the Lady Wyverns, she suggests giving it a try.

 “It’s better to see if like it than to never know,” she said.

To learn more about the women’s basketball team, visit QCC Student Athletics.

  • Six of the 17 QCC students competing in the Student Math League National Competition.
December, 2019

Seventeen QCC students are vying to win a national mathematics competition run by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC). The Student Math League National Competition is a precalculus level math competition, which is conducted in two rounds of exams. Over 8,000 community college math students from more than 165 colleges are participating in this annual competition.

QCC Professors...

More...

Seventeen QCC students are vying to win a national mathematics competition run by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC). The Student Math League National Competition is a precalculus level math competition, which is conducted in two rounds of exams. Over 8,000 community college math students from more than 165 colleges are participating in this annual competition.

QCC Professors Philomena D'Alessandro and Ibar Delacruz conducted Round 1 of the competition at QCC on Friday, November 1. As AMATYC’s Student Math League (SML) moderator for QCC, Professor D’Alessandro is eligible to submit potential questions for use in the test and two of her questions were selected for use.

Grand prize for the national completion is a $3,000 scholarship for the individual who has the highest total score on the two exams, to be used to continue his or her education at an accredited four-year institution. Participants must compete on both exams to be eligible for an individual award. The top 10 ranking individuals will receive prizes of a mathematical nature, as will the five highest ranking members of the first-place team. In addition, certificates of merit will be awarded to the top five individuals from each participating school.  AMATYC will also recognize the performance of the highest performing college teams in each of its eight regions. The five highest collegiate team scores, as well as the team and individual champions from each of AMATYC's eight regions, will receive plaques at the following year’s AMATYC annual conference. In 2012, QCC received the Lois A. Martin plaque for the highest team score in the New England Region.

Ten the 17 QCC students who participated in Round 1 are currently enrolled in Calculus 1, two are in precalculus, and the remaining five students are taking higher level math courses. Prior to the first exam, Professors D’Alessandro and Delacruz held three study sessions to help students prepare for Round 1, which consists of 20 short-answer, or multiple choice questions. They shared information about the competition and covered math problems from prior competitions. Students were limited to one hour to complete the test. Participants will receive their first round scores during the month of December.

Samuel Lugo Medina, a senior at Shrewsbury High School who is dual enrolled at QCC, said he found competing in an academic contest a “unique experience,” and noted that the practice sessions were helpful to put him in a competitive frame of mind. He plans to participate in Round 2 of the competition in the spring.

 “Participating is an accomplishment that students can include on a resume, as well as on applications for transfer and scholarship,” said Professor D’Alessandro.  Round 2 of the competition will be held between Friday, February 21 and Saturday, March 14.

  • Participating QCC students include:
  • Engineering majors: Francisco Abreu, Jorgo Gushi, Javery Mann, Samuel Lugo Medina and Donovan Tames
  • Biomedical Engineering majors: Thalita da Silva, Daniel Larrabee, Cassandre Marin and Armela Xhindole
  • Computer Science majors: Carlos Flores and Arber Kadriu
  • General Studies majors: Asma Ali, Isabella Landivar, Shaymaa Majeed and Lubaba Malik
  • Business Transfer majors: Rayanne Silva
  • Environmental Science majors: Amy Kaiser
  • PTK Student Alyssa Durham sings at the PTK Faculty and Staff Appreciation event.
  • From left: PTK students Yozue Davila, Chris Baker and Alyssa Durham.
  • Faculty and Staff enjoy PTK's Appreciation event.
  • PTK students host event of thanks for faculty and staff.
December, 2019

Fun festivities, food and friendship were on tap at the recent Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society Faculty and Staff Appreciation event held on December 6. Faculty and staff were treated to a variety of holiday treats, as they were entertained by live musical performances by PTK students Chris Baker, Alyssa Durham, Krystle Bedrick and Yozue Davila. The annual appreciation event is hosted each year by the PTK students...

More...

Fun festivities, food and friendship were on tap at the recent Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society Faculty and Staff Appreciation event held on December 6. Faculty and staff were treated to a variety of holiday treats, as they were entertained by live musical performances by PTK students Chris Baker, Alyssa Durham, Krystle Bedrick and Yozue Davila. The annual appreciation event is hosted each year by the PTK students who pull out all the stops to thank the college community.

QCC’s PTK Alpha Zeta Theta chapter is an active chapter that was chartered in 1980. PTK students work throughout the year on community service projects that have a positive and lasting impact on QCC and the surrounding communities the College serves. Currently there are 819 active PTK members and 86 active alumni members who work on projects throughout the year. One of the recent and exciting initiatives set for 2020 is a new Live and Learn Greenhouse that will expand the produce being grown in the current greenhouse exponentially.

“We want to thank everyone for their dedication to the success of the students at QCC. The support and encouragement the students have received throughout the year is greatly appreciated,” said PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman.

  • QCC student Regina Slootsky takes a break from studying with a furry new friend.
December, 2019

QCC students preparing for their finals earlier this month had the chance to de-stress a bit with a visit from a few furry friends from the organization, Tufts Paws for People, is a non-profit organization in New England associated with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. The biannual event is one that students look forward to as a way to take a break from the stress of final exams...

More...

QCC students preparing for their finals earlier this month had the chance to de-stress a bit with a visit from a few furry friends from the organization, Tufts Paws for People, is a non-profit organization in New England associated with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. The biannual event is one that students look forward to as a way to take a break from the stress of final exams.

Other events included Study-Palooza on December 5, in the Harrington Learning Center. Students had the chance to study with friends, receive free school supplies, snacks and QCC swag.  The first 25 students also received a free print card. This way the perfect way to get ready for finals.

  • Quinsigamond Community College Psychology Professor Maura Stickles
December, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College Psychology Professor Maura Stickles was recently named to the YOU, Inc. Board of Directors. You, Inc.’s mission is to provide youth and families with opportunities to fulfill their potential and build a brighter future. The longstanding college professor was voted onto the board in October of this year and will serve for three years.

Ms.Stickles is a former...

More...

Quinsigamond Community College Psychology Professor Maura Stickles was recently named to the YOU, Inc. Board of Directors. You, Inc.’s mission is to provide youth and families with opportunities to fulfill their potential and build a brighter future. The longstanding college professor was voted onto the board in October of this year and will serve for three years.

Ms.Stickles is a former acute clinician who worked with adolescents and children before coming to work at QCC. Through that role she was already extremely familiar with the YOU, Inc. organization and felt a kinship to its mission. So when the organization’s interim president and, CEO Paula Aiello, reached out to her about serving on the board, she jumped at the opportunity. It was a request that had come at the perfect time in Ms. Stickles life, aligning perfectly with with her mission of servicing adolescents and children in the Central Massachusetts community.

“It was a nice fit (in my life) and all the pieces came together. It’s a neat way to give back and it compliments my work at the College,” she said. “It’s really important to me to give back.”

Ms. Stickles has been a part of QCC for the better part of 27 years, since she walked through the doors as an adjunct professor.

“I was an adjunct for four years before becoming full-time,” she noted.

Ms.Stickles teaches "Abnormal Psychology and Theories of Personality." Her teaching style is one of giving examples, rather than just book learning. She said using examples from her past has helped her students learn concepts in easier way. She feels that being a part of the YOU, Inc. Board can only help to enhance her teachings at QCC.

“This seems to be an active board that is very connected to the Worcester community. YOU, Inc. is helping guide and direct over 15,000 children and families in Central Massachusetts,” she said. “Right now I’m doing a lot of listening and learning. While this experience is different, it broadens my sense of behavioral and mental health services and that can only help my students. This all feels very connected.”

While being a college professor and being on an active board would seem to be more than enough for one person, Ms. Stickles is also a certified tennis professional at the Greendale Family Branch YMCA. She is the lead pro for junior development, working there in her off hours and during the summer.

“This all comes back to my love for children and adolescents and being a mentor. This is really important to me,” she said, noting that sports such as tennis teach important life skills. “How do we define mental toughness? There’s no quick fix, you have to work at it and commit to it.”

While there is no easy road to success or happiness, she often shares her personal thoughts to her students.

“How lucky am I to get to say I love my work. I love the college and love that I get to be a part of a process that will impact people’s lives and futures every single day.”

  • QCC's Veteran Affairs makes a difference through “Operation: Care Package."
December, 2019

Once again QCC’s Veteran Affairs and the Veterans Club gathered items for “Operation: Care Package,” to help make the holidays a bit brighter for currently deployed service members. For the last few years the Veterans Club has gathered needed items, cards and letters of well-wishes and put together care packages for those service personnel serving our country overseas.

This year...

More...

Once again QCC’s Veteran Affairs and the Veterans Club gathered items for “Operation: Care Package,” to help make the holidays a bit brighter for currently deployed service members. For the last few years the Veterans Club has gathered needed items, cards and letters of well-wishes and put together care packages for those service personnel serving our country overseas.

This year’s donation drive was a particularly successful thanks to the efforts of QCC student veteran Ron Polomski. Mr. Polomski, a business administration major at QCC and a U.S. Navy veteran, brought in 40 additional boxes and bags of items that were donated by Elmwood Street Elementary School and Raymond E. Shaw Elementary School in Millbury. Two of Mr. Polomski’s children attend Elmwood Street Elementary School. After hearing about the donation drive from Mr. Polomski, the schools’ decided to make it a school-wide project.

Already the care packages are making a positive impact to many active duty personnel serving overseas.

“We here in Afghanistan just want to extend are sincere thanks for the care packages you sent to brighten our spirits. They did indeed bring our spirits up.The high point of the packages were the letters. All of us at the Tactical Operations Center read the letters from the kids and all of us had warm smiles from the sentiments they expressed. Thank you and the kids from the bottom of our hearts. Your efforts are much appreciated,” wrote Master sergeant, Ray Brown, of the United States Marine Corps, in an email sent to the Veteran Affairs office.

Closer to home, QCC student veterans celebrated the holidays with camaraderie and song.

  • Commonweath Honors Students and their professors Amy Beaudry (R) and Gaelan Lee Benway (L).
December, 2019

For many years Quinsigamond Community College has been a member of the Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP), which is accredited by the Department of Higher Education (DHE). All of the Massachusetts community colleges, state universities, and UMass campuses are part of this honors program, with each school determining their curriculum, based on the accreditation criteria that the DHE has established.  QCC’s...

More...

For many years Quinsigamond Community College has been a member of the Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP), which is accredited by the Department of Higher Education (DHE). All of the Massachusetts community colleges, state universities, and UMass campuses are part of this honors program, with each school determining their curriculum, based on the accreditation criteria that the DHE has established.  QCC’s Honors Program requires students successfully complete four courses at an honors level with a B or higher. A small, seminar-style, team-taught class, is the capstone course of the program.

The theme of this fall’s capstone was, “Dystopian/Utopian Worlds in Literature and Contemporary Society.” Over the previous summer, each student chose and read a novel from the genre of dystopian literature.  During the fall semester, students worked closely with their two professors, Amy Beaudry and Gaelan Lee Benway, and a library mentor (Denise Cross, Michael Stevenson, or Tiger Swan), to select a real world topic that is addressed in their dystopian novel. They then conducted scholarly research on this topic, wrote a 10-15 page literature review, and presented their findings to the college community on December 4.  Students who presented their research included:

  • Brandon Anderson, Liberal Arts - Psychology, “Alone together: A Society of Electric Sheep and Extremists”
  • Jenna Glode, Liberal Arts – History, “Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Anarchy”
  • Larissa Gloss, Business Administration Transfer, “Visible and Psychological Impacts of Objectification”
  • Haley Gordon, Criminal Justice, “Privatization v. Public Good: Education”
  • Jonathan Lane, General Studies, “The Fight for Liberty”
  • Lily Lavender-Hoge, Business Administration, “Political Fear Tactics”
  • Sarah Maino, General Studies,“The Cognitive Consequences of Forbidden Love”
  • J. Carlos Simoes, General Studies Health Care, “The New Boogeyman: Social Media”
  • Hue Truong, Computer Science, “Collectivism: Thoughts on the Assimilation of Chinese Minorities”
  • Savannah Vangel, Liberal Arts - Psychology, “Government Surveillance”
  • Ryan Waxman, Liberal Arts, “Fear as a Form of Social Control”
  • Sarah Zlody, General Studies, "Prostitution: The Real Story"

Visit Commonwealth Honors to learn more.

  • James "Jim" Heffernan, John Solaperto and Tom Hebert perfrom at the Holiday Luncheon.
  • Faculty and staff enjoy the holiday luncheon.
  • From left:Theresa Vecchio, Dr. James Keane, Dr. Luis Pedraja
  • QCC staff members Lucinda Costa and John Solaperto
  • Staff members from the Human Resources and Cmomunity Connections depratment enjoy great food and conversation.
December, 2019

An annual holiday tradition that faculty and staff look forward to each year is the College's holiday luncheon, held this year on Dec. 11 in the Harrington Learning Center. Faculty and staff were treated to a special holiday buffet complete with holiday music by the talents of QCC's own James "Jim" Heffernan, John ...

More...

An annual holiday tradition that faculty and staff look forward to each year is the College's holiday luncheon, held this year on Dec. 11 in the Harrington Learning Center. Faculty and staff were treated to a special holiday buffet complete with holiday music by the talents of QCC's own James "Jim" Heffernan, John Solaperto and Tom Hebert

"Each year we hold this event to let our faculty and staff know how much we value their hard work and dedication to our students," said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja. "It's a time to regroup with our colleagues and rejoice in our accomplishments from the past year and look forward to the new year." 

From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!

  • STEM Students of the Month - October 2019
December, 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 October 2019 STEM Students of the Month with a few comments from the professors who nominated them. They include:

Science - Savannah Finney, nominated by Professor Anna Krzywicka-Racka....

More...

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 October 2019 STEM Students of the Month with a few comments from the professors who nominated them. They include:

Science - Savannah Finney, nominated by Professor Anna Krzywicka-Racka.

“I would like to nominate as a STEM Student of the Month Savannah Finney. She was in my BIO 108 class during the spring semester and she has shown an exceptional level of enthusiasm toward class and biology in general. Her involvement reaches much beyond the class material and what is required in school. She reminds me of a naturalist of previous centuries who will spend her life trying to discover the mysteries of nature. She is passionate, involved and empathetic toward nature. Savannah is also a good, hard working student who can be an example for others.”            

Technology -  Mina Fahmy, nominated by Charulata Trivedi, professor of Computer Information Systems

“Mina was a student in my Web Development I class and has had many courses with Professor Robert Desilets. We believe he deserves to be ‘Student of the Month’ award due to his exceptional work ethics. He is well-organized, and skilled at handling multiple high priority tasks. He is consistent in quality for his assignments, is willing to suggest solutions, and go extra mile to support other students. He is always on-time for class meetings and submitting project work. We believe that Mina’s hard-working ethics, willingness to help out his fellow students, and enthusiasm in the subject matter will take him far beyond Quinsigamond Community College.”                 

Engineering - Sharon Ridley, nominated by James Heffernan, professor of Electronics Engineering Technology

“Sharon came to Quinsigamond Community College with a significant amount of prior work experience in various aspects of manufacturing.  Since her last company relocated, she has used her unemployed status as an opportunity to update her skills and abilities to prepare for the next phase of her career.  She enrolled in the Electronics Engineering Technology program and is completing both the Mechatronics Option and the Photonics Option. Sharon has distinguished herself in every course she has taken, demonstrating a strong work ethic and a willingness to spend extra hours in the lab when necessary.  She comes to class with a professional and positive attitude and sets a good example for other students. We are delighted to have her here at QCC and know she will represent the college well in the community after she graduates.”

Jonathan Kimball – Mathematics, nominated by Steve Zona, Professor of Mathematics

“College Algebra and Precalculus are the first two college STEM courses that the Math Department offers. Many students struggle, but one student, Jonathan Kimball, has excelled in both of these courses.  As one of my students in both of those courses, I have come to know Jonathan as a model student and a role model for others. Perfect attendance and outstanding class participation seemed effortless for Jonathan.  His willingness to contribute to class and to be a leader among his peers in class are exemplary. Outside of my classes, Jonathan has excelled in Trigonometry and his current course, Calculus I.  Outside of class, Jonathan is generous with his time and expertise. Not only is he a Phi Theta Kappa member with a 3.73 GPA in Engineering, but he is also a volunteer tutor in my College Algebra class where he is respected by everyone.”       

  • Director of Athletics & Fitness Center, Lisa Gurnick and Assistant Manager of Athletics and Fitness Center, Josh Cole.
December, 2019

Athletic Center Holiday Hours

The Athletic Center will be closed from Wednesday, December 25 – Wednesday, January 1 and will reopen on Thursday, January 2.

Baseball 

Interested in playing for the Wyverns baseball team this season? Contact Coach John McLaughlin at 508.854.4316 or email jmclaughlin [at] qcc.mass.edu...

More...

Athletic Center Holiday Hours

The Athletic Center will be closed from Wednesday, December 25 – Wednesday, January 1 and will reopen on Thursday, January 2.

Baseball 

Interested in playing for the Wyverns baseball team this season? Contact Coach John McLaughlin at 508.854.4316 or email jmclaughlin [at] qcc.mass.edu

Basketball

The Men and Women’s Wyvern Basketball teams are still in the thick of their 2019-2020 season. Visit Wyverns Men’s Basketball and Wyverns Women’s Basketball for the complete schedule and make sure to catch a game or two in the New Year.

Winter break is the perfect time to rest and recharge, but remember there is no winter break from exercise.

For more information visit, QCC's Athletic Center

  • Quinsigamond Community College adjunct faculty member Chryssa Meleti
December, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College adjunct faculty member Chryssa Meleti has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in the category of Best American Poetry 2020. Ms. Meleti was nominated by the American Aesthetic Journal, which published her poem, "Romel Forks." The Pushcart Prize is an American literary prize published by Pushcart Press that honors the best published poetry...

More...

Quinsigamond Community College adjunct faculty member Chryssa Meleti has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in the category of Best American Poetry 2020. Ms. Meleti was nominated by the American Aesthetic Journal, which published her poem, "Romel Forks." The Pushcart Prize is an American literary prize published by Pushcart Press that honors the best published poetry, short stories, essays, memoirs or stand-alone novel excerpts over the previous year, from little magazine and small book press editors throughout the world.

Ms. Meleti, who is originally from Greece, came to the U.S. in 2016 and quickly became a permanent citizen. She writes in both English and Greek and has been published in American, Greek and Finnish literary magazines. She’s had a novel, “Lydius” published in Melbourne, Australia and participated as an author in two collective works: “Fugue,” a collection of contemporary short stories, published in London, England and “Fortune Cookies II, an Anthology of the New Wave of Greek Writers,” published in Athens, Greece.

“I have been writing poetry for 10 years now. I mostly write fiction. I started writing fiction -with pauses and breaks- since when I was a kid,” she said. “I prefer free verse; I think that free verse offers more expressive autonomy to a poet as it has no rules. However, it still needs an inner sense of rhythm otherwise it isn’t poetry. I believe that the inner tune of language is what defines the good free verse poems.”

Ms. Meleti has been teaching at QCC since 2019 as an adjunct instructor, teaching French and ESOL.

“I love my students and I really enjoy teaching here. The students are amazing, such great personalities and such sensitive and responsible human beings. Their positive response to my teaching gives me strength and motivation to become better by trying constantly to inspire them as much as they inspire me,” she said.

 It was during a break from a meeting at the College that she found out the exciting news of her nomination.

“I was so excited that I had to try really hard to stay focused on the meeting after that,” she said.  “It’s really an honor and I have to thank Thomas F. Jones (editor of The American Aesthetic; writer and essayist  for the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle) for nominating me. I respect his work tremendously.”

Pushcart Prize winners will be announced in Spring 2020.

  • Welcome to 2020!
December, 2019

Happy New Year! The College will be closed for Winter Break from Wednesday December 25 – January 1 and will re-open on January 2.

Thursday, January 2: Intersession classes begin.

Tuesday, January 14: Last day of intersession classes/exams.

Monday, January 20: Martin Luther King Day – the College is closed...

More...

Happy New Year! The College will be closed for Winter Break from Wednesday December 25 – January 1 and will re-open on January 2.

Thursday, January 2: Intersession classes begin.

Tuesday, January 14: Last day of intersession classes/exams.

Monday, January 20: Martin Luther King Day – the College is closed.

Wednesday, January 22: Classes begin for the Spring Semester.

January Spotlight:  QCC will hold a Super Saturday Registration Event on January 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the Welcome Center, located on the college’s main campus. Students who have been unable to register during the week have another chance to register for classes.

Closures or Abbreviated Hours During Winter Break:

Food Services will be closed from December 25 through January 1, 2020 and will re-open on January 2.

The Main Cafeteria located on the basement level of the Administration Building will be observing Intercession hours through January 20, 2020.

  • Monday- Friday:             7:30a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Breakfast:                       7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • Snacks & Beverages:    10:00 a.m.  – 11:00 a.m.
  • Lunch:                            11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Snacks & Beverages:     1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
December, 2019

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

On December 15, 2019, the School of Healthcare welcomed Brittany Casasanta as the Healthcare Simulation Support Technician (EDP Systems Analyst I). Brittany brings to this position over five years of experience. Most recently, she was the Simulation Laboratory Specialist at QCC. Brittany earned an Associate’...

More...

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

On December 15, 2019, the School of Healthcare welcomed Brittany Casasanta as the Healthcare Simulation Support Technician (EDP Systems Analyst I). Brittany brings to this position over five years of experience. Most recently, she was the Simulation Laboratory Specialist at QCC. Brittany earned an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Care from Quinsigamond Community College, Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences from Southern New Hampshire University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Respiratory Care from Boise State University.

On December 1, 2019 Facilities welcomed Anthony Bernardi as a Maintainer II.  Anthony brings to this position over 13 years of experience. Most recently, he was a Maintainer I  at QCC.

On December 1, 2019 Academic Affairs welcomed Michelle Sheehan as the Administrative Secretary I for the School of Math and Science. Michelle brings to this position over 15 years of experience. Most recently, she was the Clerk IV in the Early College Initiatives Office at QCC. Michelle earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Quinsigamond Community College.

On December 1, 2019 Academic Affairs welcomed Julio Zayas as the Reentry Program Coordinator (Special Program Coordinator) for College and Careers Pathways. Julio brings to this position several years of experience. Most recently, he was the part time Program Coordinator/Counselor for WCHOC College Readiness and an Adjunct Faculty Instructor  at QCC. Julio earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Management both from Colorado Technical University.

Please join us in welcoming Brittany, Anthony, Michelle and Julio into their new roles at QCC.

November, 2019

  • Dr. Brandon Cairo works on a patient in QCC's new dental lab with dental assisting student Taylor Handson.
  • QCC Dental Assistant Jocelyn Nguyen trains on new equipment in the new dental lab.
  • QCC Dental Assistant Stacey Graneyu learns to work on new equipment in QCC's dental lab.
November, 2019

Today a visit to the dentist is a far cry from one your grandparents made years ago. There is an evolution in the dental world as more and more innovative technological advances happen in the field of dentistry. Quinsigamond Community College’s dental education programs have stayed abreast of these advances. This year the College opened a new dental lab that offers QCC dental assistant and hygienist students the...

More...

Today a visit to the dentist is a far cry from one your grandparents made years ago. There is an evolution in the dental world as more and more innovative technological advances happen in the field of dentistry. Quinsigamond Community College’s dental education programs have stayed abreast of these advances. This year the College opened a new dental lab that offers QCC dental assistant and hygienist students the opportunity to work on state-of-the-art dental equipment used in dental materials labs across the region.This is welcome news to dentists in the region who have expressed a shortage of dental assistants in the Commonwealth; particularly those with advanced skill sets.

“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,” said Chairman of the Worcester District Dental Society, George E. Maloney, D.M.D.

Central Massachusetts dentist, Dr. Brandon Cairo, is working with QCC instructors to help teach the College’s dental assisting students the ins and outs of what it means to be a quality dental assistant. He said the new lab is a great way for students to gain exposure to the latest in dental technology. According to Dr. Cairo, this type of hands-on education makes QCC’s dental assistants more valuable when they enter the marketplace by having more skill sets than their contemporaries. QCC’s new lab equipment such as CAD/CAM technology; digital cameras, a milling machine that can make crowns; a high-tech scanner; staining unit and oven, and other cutting-edge dental equipment gives students the ability to become proficient on equipment they might one day be working with in a dental office. In Dr. Cairo’s personal practice, his dental assistants have expanded functions and feels dental assistants with advanced skills are worth a lot more.

“The less I have to teach (dental assistants) the more valuable they are to me. Sometimes assistants bring skill sets to the office that a dentist doesn’t have,” Dr. Cairo said. “They command a pay that’s better than average and increases your worth as an employee.”

According to the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the number of Massachusetts dental assistant jobs is projected to grow by 12.5% over a 10-year period ending in 2022. The pay scale for dental assistants is also on the rise. The website, DentalCareersEDU.org noted that on average a dental assistant in Central Massachusetts makes $45,074, while an experienced assistant, on average, makes $50,561.

“In New England there is a definite need for dental assistants. Most weeks I get at least two calls or emails from dentists looking for dental assistants,” said Jennifer McKeon, coordinator of QCC’s Dental Assisting program.

In addition to working in the lab, QCC’s dental assistants do externships working in both general dental offices as well as specialty offices such as orthodontics or periodontics. The students also do community-based service projects such as the KidSeal Program, which provides free dental care, including dental screenings, prophylaxis, radiographs, oral health education and fluoride varnish, to elementary school-aged children at schools in the greater Worcester area.

“You learn more here,” said current dental assisting student Taylor Handson.

QCC’s Dental Assisting program is a one year program, 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. It is the only accredited program in Worcester County. Upon graduation, QCC dental assisting students will be prepared to take the Dental Assisting National Board examination in order to achieve the Certified Dental Assistant designation.

“Accreditation also commands a higher salary,” Ms. McKeon said.

“This program here at QCC is a good one, that’s why I teach it,” Dr. Cairo added.  

To learn more visit QCC’s Dental Programs.

  • High school students from South High Community School and Burncoat High School.
  • Worcester public high school student Samantha Nordstrom shows off her Star Wars creation.
  • It was thumbs up for Worcester high school student Joseph Rajotte.
November, 2019

A short time ago in a college not so far away, Quinsigamond Community College Associate Professor of English, Michael Gormley, began teaching a cultural course on the history of the 42-year Star Wars movie franchise phenomena. In another realm, Betty Lauer, QCC’s dean of the School of Business, Engineering, and Technology was using the Star Wars movie franchise to excite ...

More...

A short time ago in a college not so far away, Quinsigamond Community College Associate Professor of English, Michael Gormley, began teaching a cultural course on the history of the 42-year Star Wars movie franchise phenomena. In another realm, Betty Lauer, QCC’s dean of the School of Business, Engineering, and Technology was using the Star Wars movie franchise to excite students from South High Community School and Burncoat High School in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). These movies give students a way to see standard academics come to life.

Star Wars has transformed into a cultural phenomenon that has become firmly embedded in our society. Calling devices, such as the popular “droid,” is one example of the integration of Stars Wars into society. The droid is a registered trademark by Lucas Film (the film company founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas), which was licensed to Verizon Wireless for the company’s smartphones. Additionally, the films’ droids (robots that act like servants, pilots, technicians and soldiers in the Star Wars films) are being seen in our real technology-driven world. Many scientists and engineers have been inspired by the films. Today we have similar droid-like robots such as automated military drones, Google's driverless cars to robotic surgical assistants. Iconic Star Wars phrases such as “May the Force be with you,” have also become commonplace in our society.

The course Mr. Gormley is teaching delivers students a unique way in which they can learn and understand abstract concepts that can sometimes be difficult to grasp. Through writing and discussions, students analyze the dominant and persistent elements of Star Wars, as well as themes of morality, religion, gender, and race. The response from students to QCC’s course has been exceptional. In fact, the three-credit, humanities/liberal arts elective has become so popular that the college added additional seats to try and accommodate as many students as possible. Mr. Gormley plans to teach this course again in Fall 2020.

“Everyone seems to love that the course represents the ability to draw pop-culture into academia. I developed ‘Star Wars as Narrative and Culture’ because it’s the dream. As a kid (and often enough as an adult), I wrapped myself and my worldview in stories, usually Star Wars. In many ways, I’m still that kid who wouldn’t shut up about Star Wars,” Mr. Gormley said, adding, “Those students who do love Star Wars though, when they heard about the course, always reacted excitedly, often with double-takes or jaw-drop happiness.”

The course focuses on Star Wars as a cultural epoch spanning from 1977 to 2019 and curates a nuanced and timely look at the currents that surround and bind the Skywalker Saga with the larger franchise.

“We examine how Star Wars interacts with culture and exists as a culture unto itself. We are also reading most of Chris Taylor’s ‘How Star Wars Conquered the Universe,’ for historical and cultural context, and Ian Doescher’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Star Wars’ to examine how Star Wars interacts with culture,” Mr. Gormley continued.

The class ending will almost coincide with the December 20 release of the last Star Wars movie: Episode IX, “The Rise of Skywalker.”  The goal of the course beyond learning about the Star Wars franchise and culture, is to give students the opportunity to incorporate what they are passionate about with academics.

“This course can never happen again, in this way. We are preparing for the end of a cinematic and cultural epoch,” Mr. Gormley said. “A course like this empowers students’ visions of themselves by teaching how to turn the things they love into academic and career success.”

For the high school students who came to QCC, attending a Star Wars Lego building session at the college’s QuEST Center enabled them to look at the Star Wars phenomenon from a technology perspective.

“Star Wars is such a craze with high school students too; both female and male. This session taught students how to sharpen their spatial skills, while having fun,” Ms. Lauer said. “Many of these students are interested in STEM and this activity shows them that learning can be fun too.”

While the last Star Wars movie may be in sight, its “force” will live on in the students at QCC.

  • High school students are introduced to early college classes at QCC.
November, 2019

It’s 10 minutes after class yet not one of the 14 high school students in the class are making any attempt to leave.  This is not just any class, it’s an early college course at Quinsigamond Community College, “Introduction to Information Technologies,” taught by instructor Robert “Bob” Knox. During this particular class, students were cataloging pieces of...

More...

It’s 10 minutes after class yet not one of the 14 high school students in the class are making any attempt to leave.  This is not just any class, it’s an early college course at Quinsigamond Community College, “Introduction to Information Technologies,” taught by instructor Robert “Bob” Knox. During this particular class, students were cataloging pieces of music, while listening to music as they worked. 

The students are juniors and seniors from a variety of Worcester public schools who are taking part in QCC’s Early College Program. The program enables high school students to take college courses for college credit. This program gives students a chance to experience college ahead of time, with the goal of having them enroll in college after they graduate from high school. Students can earn up 12 college credits while simultaneously attending high school.

“This is my first experience with the Early College students, but I can assure you it is unusual to have 90 percent of a class engrossed to a level where they were not on their phones and not watching the clock, but were actually more concerned with the project and working together to complete it,” Mr. Knox said.

According to Mr. Knox, the students are encouraged to collaborate in class and they do so without prompting or guidance from him. The open lab time becomes one of animated conversation followed by total silence with the exception of the sounds of typing on computer keyboards.

Doherty High School Junior Joel Nanakobi said this was the first early college course he has taken at QCC.

“I really like this class. I was nervous at first because I didn’t know what to expect. It opened my eyes to technology and I think I want to go into the business world now either in finance or computer science,” he said.

Junior Jerimiah Brown is from Claremont Academy. This was also his first time being in an early college course. He said he is enjoying the class and finds it fun, as well as challenging.

“It’s hands-on and we get to work to help others learn, and we learn from each other,” he said. “It’s very different from high school.”

Burncoat High School junior Maria Bahnan is interested in majoring in some type of technology, possibly engineering or architecture when she graduates high school. Her goal is to attend QCC for two years then transfer to UMass Amherst. This was her first experience taking an early college course.

“I really like it. This is very organized compared to my high school classes. I like the project… it gets your brain juices going,” she said.  

The students all discussed the benefits of being ahead of their contemporaries by taking college classes while they were still in high school.

Amin Badmos, a junior from Burncoat High School is taking his second early college class at QCC. He had taken his first one, a statistics class, over the summer for college credit.

“These classes give you an edge over the other high school students and you don’t have to take the AP test (if you are taking AP classes),” he said.  “It’s a different environment (at QCC). When I took my statistics course the professor said he was not going to teach us like high school students.There is more respect.”

Worcester Technical High School junior Philipo Ntibazokiza is someone who has taken full advantage of the early college program. He has already taken a few early college classes and said it makes such a difference to take classes you are interested in, unlike much of high school.

“When you like something you pay better attention and you learn more,” he said.

To learn more, visit QCC’s Early College Pathways

  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja and Sergeant Joseph Cecchi at last year's Stuff-A-Cruiser event.
November, 2019

Stuff-A-Cruiser has become a popular, annual tradition at Quinsigamond Community College. Each year QCC’s Campus Police accept donations of new, unwrapped toys for QCC students and their families. The program is done in conjunction with the College’s Feed Our Family initiative (formally known as Feed A Family), which has partnered with QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center to help QCC families in...

More...

Stuff-A-Cruiser has become a popular, annual tradition at Quinsigamond Community College. Each year QCC’s Campus Police accept donations of new, unwrapped toys for QCC students and their families. The program is done in conjunction with the College’s Feed Our Family initiative (formally known as Feed A Family), which has partnered with QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center to help QCC families in need not only during the holidays but throughout the year. Donations are tax-deductible and can make a difference for many of students, staff and faculty. This year the police will once again be accepting donations to help make the holidays a bit brighter for our students and their families.

New, unwrapped toys along with Feed Our Family donations will be accepted on:

  • Tuesday, December 3 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at QCC Southbridge in the lobby, 5 Optical Drive, Southbridge
  • Wednesday, December 4 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at QCC’s Main Campus at the flag poles, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester
  • Thursday, December 5 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at QCC's Healthcare and Workforce Development Centers in the lobby, 25 Federal Street, Worcester

Interested in making a donation but can’t make those dates? Campus police will be accepting donations at the Campus Police Station, located on the College’s main campus, in the Athletic Center, Room 136.

“The holidays can often be some of the most trying times for those in need and any donation, large or small can make a huge difference,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja. “Each year our QCC family comes through for those in need and I have no doubt we will do it again this year.”

  • Gene Haas Foundation check presentation
November, 2019

For the second year in a row Quinsigamond Community College has received a $10,000 Gene Hass Foundation Grant. The grant funding is a welcome addition to QCC’s Manufacturing Technology program and one that Lee Duerden, associate professor of Manufacturing Technology at the College was hopeful would become an annual award. QCC is a Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) approved member....

More...

For the second year in a row Quinsigamond Community College has received a $10,000 Gene Hass Foundation Grant. The grant funding is a welcome addition to QCC’s Manufacturing Technology program and one that Lee Duerden, associate professor of Manufacturing Technology at the College was hopeful would become an annual award. QCC is a Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) approved member.

The Gene Haas Foundation was formed in 1999 with the primary goal of building skills in the machining industry. The Foundation provides an opportunity for schools to apply for funds annually, providing scholarships for CNC machine technology students and NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) credentials. 

“We are fortunate to work with amazing colleges including Quinsigamond Community College. The College is working constantly to help address and close the skills gap in Massachusetts,” said Toni Neary, HFO Trident, director of Education (a Haas Factory Outlet, in Windsor, Ct.) “Local manufacturers need skilled machinists in order to keep manufacturing here at home, and these scholarships remove barriers for students allowing them to complete the program.”

Ms. Neary said they look for colleges with strong pipelines for CNC pathways. QCC currently offers a CNC Technologies Certificate, as well as a Computer Aided Design Certificate, a Manufacturing Technology Certificate and an associate degree in Manufacturing Technology.

“Our goal is to help allow the next generation of machinists continually develop their skill set,” she added.

Visit QCC’s Manufacturing Technology to learn more.

  • QCC 2016 alumna Laurence Fankep
November, 2019

Overcoming the odds is nothing new to Quinsigamond Community College 2016 alumna Laurence Fankep. Ms. Fankep lives in Worcester, a far cry from her native Cameroon, where she emigrated from in 2011 with her husband and young daughter. She is poised to graduate from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) with her pharmacy degree in May 2020 and said it’s all thanks to...

More...

Overcoming the odds is nothing new to Quinsigamond Community College 2016 alumna Laurence Fankep. Ms. Fankep lives in Worcester, a far cry from her native Cameroon, where she emigrated from in 2011 with her husband and young daughter. She is poised to graduate from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) with her pharmacy degree in May 2020 and said it’s all thanks to Quinsigamond Community College, a place she fondly calls “home.”

As a native French speaker, life was not always easy when she got to Worcester and she struggled to understand the English language. In 2014, after having her second child and pregnant with her third, she decided to look into programs that could help with her English, as well as advance her education. She decided to choose QCC for its flexibility, affordability and location; enrolling in the General Studies program, while taking English as Second Language (ESL) classes.

“I wanted to do something in nursing or in the health field, but I wasn’t sure just what,” she said. “At first it was hard for me to understand and interact with people because I only spoke French. Kathy (ESL Professor Kathleen Lewando) was really so helpful to me from the start.”

Ms. Fankep attended QCC full-time throughout her pregnancy and was thriving. In fact, she was in class the day before delivering her third child; however, what should have been one of the happiest moments in her family’s life turned into a life-threatening scare when she developed a blood infection (sepsis) after giving birth to her son that next day.

“I was very sick and it was one of the worst moments of my life. I didn’t know the American term ‘sepsis’… it was so scary. My son was also sick when he was born,” she said.

Thankfully, Ms. Fankep and her son recovered and after three weeks she was released from the hospital, grateful to be O.K., but wanting to make sense of what had happened to her.

“I wanted to know what was going on. I read my health report but I couldn’t understand it and I was so depressed. I wanted to know what had happened and I told my husband I wanted to go to pharmacy school to understand about sepsis shock and the treatment and medications,” she said. “This was such a difficult moment in my life because my other children were 5 and barely 2 years old. “

While she knew the challenges she would face changing majors, particularly with three young children at home and going into an area of study (science) that she was unfamiliar with, she was not deterred.  

“I got back from the hospital on a Friday and on Monday I was back at school. I got all the material I missed, took my final exams and did well,” she said, adding, “I had wonderful, supportive professors.”

Not only did she take her exams, she also changed her major to pre-pharmacy and never looked back. Under the tutelage of Chemistry Professor and Pre-Pharmacy Coordinator Dilip Patel, Ms. Fankep excelled.

“I was so scared at first but Professor Patel said ‘you are smart and I know you can do it,” she said. “He was very, very supportive.”

Ms. Fankep said the math and writing tutoring centers, coupled with her professors, were also instrumental in her success at QCC. So successful that she was asked to become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) and subsequently became a PTK officer.

“The tutoring centers were great resources for me,” she said, noting that she went from using the tutoring centers to becoming a tutor herself.

Having a mentor in Dean of Compliance Liz Woods was also instrumental in her progress at QCC.

“She was always there to listen to me when I was nervous or stressed,” she said adding that PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman was also someone she could turn to for support.

“Being a PTK officer was scary at the beginning because I’m shy, but Bonnie was there to tell me I could do it,” she said.

The Road to MCPHS

As Ms. Fankep neared graduation, she was encouraged to apply to MCPHS after discussing her options with Professor Patel. Not only did she get accepted, she also earned a $30,000 scholarship. English Professor Michael Gormley worked with her on the scholarship application.

“He reviewed my first draft and told me I had to sell myself. I came back with my second draft and he helped me again so I could get it just right,” she said.

Ms. Fankep is now in her final months at MCPHS where she has worked to complete her pharmacy degree, while raising her three children (now 9, 7 and 5) and doing her clinical rotations at area pharmacies. She is in the end stages of these rotations, and while she does not have a concrete plan yet on what she will do after she graduates in May, she has already been offered a job with one of the pharmacies that she did a clinical rotation.

A Foundation for Success

She encourages everyone to take a look at QCC. She was so enthusiastic about the College that her husband, Edris Lodue, also came to QCC and earned a Computer Systems Engineering Technology Certificate.

Her advice to others who are considering attending college is simple.

“You have all the support that you need here at QCC. Just go for it. There’s always someone to talk to.” she said. “I will always come back here to visit…QCC is where I started. I love this place.”

 

  • QCC's three-part Entrepreneur Workshops address the essentials of bunsiness ownership.
November, 2019

Have you always dreamt of running your own business but never knew where to begin?  Career Services has launched a three-part entrepreneur workshop series. The sessions focus on the steps that are needed to start your own business, from discussing the entrepreneur model, to the first steps needed and different financing options. Presenting the sessions is former entrepreneur and current Director of the Center for...

More...

Have you always dreamt of running your own business but never knew where to begin?  Career Services has launched a three-part entrepreneur workshop series. The sessions focus on the steps that are needed to start your own business, from discussing the entrepreneur model, to the first steps needed and different financing options. Presenting the sessions is former entrepreneur and current Director of the Center for Women & Enterprise, Michelle Miller.

Ms. Miller is the former owner of a coffee shop in Central Massachusetts. In the first workshop, held on November 21, she discussed exploring entrepreneurship and told of her own trials and errors during her time as a business owner.

“I did this on my own and learned many hard lessons,” she said.

She addressed the importance of developing a working business model and went through the steps of the entrepreneurial process, which are:

  • Identify an opportunity
  • Develop a concept
  • Determine the required resources
  • Acquire the necessary resources
  • Implement and Manage
  • Harvest the venture

“You must have a passion, patience and time. You’ll be working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life,” she continued, noting that it’s important to have a good support system.

Having good credit and knowing what your credit is are extremely important, as well as learning about alternative funding methods.

“A common factor in the fail rate of a business is not understanding the money piece,” she said.

This means having a familiarity with budget, knowing what insurance you need, marketing costs and what you need to earn to make a living.

It’s also important to have experience in the industry you are going into or at the very least be able to learn about it from someone else.

The key takeaway in Ms. Miller’s presentation was to make sure you write a business plan defining your end goal. This organizes your thoughts and is the key to getting your business off on the right foot.

There are a myriad of ways to entrepreneurship from starting something from scratch to purchasing an existing business; taking over a family business to becoming a franchise owner or an employee who works to ownership.

“Map out your idea and test it to see what’s out there. Entrepreneurship can be taught but the passion and dedication you bring can’t,” Ms. Miller said.

The second workshop, "Steps to Start a Business,” will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in the Harrington Learning Center, Room 109B.

Visit Career Services to learn about additional workshop opportunities.

  • QCC student veterans and their families march in the Worcester Veterans Day Parade.
  • QCC student veterans attend the Veterans Inc. breakfast.
  • American flags line the roadway way leading up to the Administration Building on QCC's main campus.
  • Director of Veteran Affairs Paula Ogen with Guest Speaker Sarah McNary
November, 2019

Each year on Veterans Day QCC veterans and active duty military personnel and their families get together to take part in Worcester’s annual Veterans Day parade. Once again our students did not disappoint and a large group of our veterans and active duty service personnel participated in the parade. Additionally, through the support of the Veteran Affairs Office and QCC Vets Club, a free veteran’s...

More...

Each year on Veterans Day QCC veterans and active duty military personnel and their families get together to take part in Worcester’s annual Veterans Day parade. Once again our students did not disappoint and a large group of our veterans and active duty service personnel participated in the parade. Additionally, through the support of the Veteran Affairs Office and QCC Vets Club, a free veteran’s breakfast was held at Veterans Inc. prior to the start of the parade. A particularly touching tribute in honor of Veterans Day was the lining of the roadway with American flags leading up to the College’s main campus.

Other ongoing veteran-centric initiatives include: “Operation: Care Package,” which is running until December 3. The Veterans Club is gathering items to send to currently deployed service members to make their holidays a bit brighter.  Accepted items include:

  • Cards/Letters
  • Snack nuts
  • Candy
  • Gum/Mints
  • Beef Jerky
  • Popcorn
  • Deodorant
  • Stamps
  • Phone Cards
  • Crossword Puzzles
  • Hot Chocolate Packets
  • Hair Ties
  • Toothpaste
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Fuzzy socks

Drop off boxes are located in 258A, and at the main desk of QCC’s Healthcare and Workforce Development Center, 25 Federal Street, Worcester

For more information contact QCC Director of Veteran Affairs, Paula Ogden, at pogden [at] qcc.mass.edu.

  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja
November, 2019

Supreme Court Begins Hearings

On November 12, the U.S. Supreme Court began deliberating on the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This decision, which may be made as early as February 2020, will have a monumental impact on hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers,” who came to this country as young children, and is one that Quinsigamond Community College...

More...

Supreme Court Begins Hearings

On November 12, the U.S. Supreme Court began deliberating on the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This decision, which may be made as early as February 2020, will have a monumental impact on hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers,” who came to this country as young children, and is one that Quinsigamond Community College President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja and other college presidents are watching closely.

On October 4, President Pedraja joined over 164 colleges and universities from across the country in signing an amicus brief supporting the roughly 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children and who hold DACA status. These individuals, known as “Dreamers” have received temporary protection against deportation, and have been allowed to work and attend school legally. This “friend of the court” brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration to help ensure that these children are able to continue with their lives without fear of repercussions or deportation.

“Our country was founded on the principle that all are endowed with three basic rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Parents who brought their children to this country for a better way of life and future should not have those children punished for these basic human rights,” President Pedraja said, adding,  “Our College is one of inclusivity for all and this includes the Dreamers in our community.”

QCC is a diverse community and works to ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable, higher education. Dreamers today have become doctors, nurses, business owners, police officers, early childhood educators, scientists and others who work to strengthen our society and help it prosper. They bolster economic development and contribute to state, local and federal taxes. They are the embodiment of QCC's Wyvern mascot, whose spirit serves to guard and protect our community.

Since 2012, DACA has offered temporary protection from deportation and the ability to work legally to more than 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children. The program has benefited these Dreamers, including our students, their families, their communities, and our economy tremendously. On September 5, 2017, the administration announced that they were terminating the DACA program. To date, multiple courts have kept renewals ongoing for current DACA recipients, but Dreamers have still been forced to live court case to court case, uncertain about their futures and in fear of being separated.

  • From left: QCC graduate Noelle Hemdal and current students Krysa Boyce and Norma Charles-Rodriguez
November, 2019

On November 9, the Psi Beta and Psychology Club students presented their research at the New England Psychological Association Conference at Southern New Hampshire University. The project "Staying Engaged: The Examination of Factors Related to College Course Engagement," was presented by Noelle Hemdal (QCC graduate and current tutor, now attending The American Woman’s...

More...

On November 9, the Psi Beta and Psychology Club students presented their research at the New England Psychological Association Conference at Southern New Hampshire University. The project "Staying Engaged: The Examination of Factors Related to College Course Engagement," was presented by Noelle Hemdal (QCC graduate and current tutor, now attending The American Woman’s College-Baypath University in Forensic Psychology)  and current QCC students Krysa Boyce and Norma Charles-Rodriguez. Ms. Boyce and Ms. Charles-Rodriguez will be graduating in December and continuing on in their psychology studies at Worcester State University.

Other research associates who were part of this project included: QCC psychology graduates Chloe M. Current, Adam A. Maarij and current QCC psychology student Leah Johnston. The Psi Beta and Psychology Club will be launching its spring research project in January. Any student who is interested in participating, should contact either Professor Valerie Clemente at vclemente [at] qcc.mass.edu or Professor Eric Mania at emania [at] qcc.mass.edu   

  • The 2019 Women’s Wyvern Basketball team
  • Wyverns get off a tough shot.
  • Wyverns drive down the court.
November, 2019

Men's and Women's Basketball 

The Men's and Women’s Wyvern Basketball teams have gotten underway to an exciting season. Men’s Head basketball coach Tishaun Jenkins has a younger team this year (nine are freshmen), but that’s not stopping the veteran coach from having his team give it their all this season.

New Women’s Head basketball coach Andrew Kupec...

More...

Men's and Women's Basketball 

The Men's and Women’s Wyvern Basketball teams have gotten underway to an exciting season. Men’s Head basketball coach Tishaun Jenkins has a younger team this year (nine are freshmen), but that’s not stopping the veteran coach from having his team give it their all this season.

New Women’s Head basketball coach Andrew Kupec has put his basketball prowess to good use this season working to put the Lady Wyverns on their basketball skills. Make sure and stop by to watch both Wyvern teams when they play at home on Thursday, Dec. 5.  The women’s team plays at 5:00 p.m. and the men’s will play at 7:00 p.m.

Visit Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball for the complete schedule.

Athletic Center Holiday Hours

The Athletic Center will be closed on Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving). It will reopen for normal hours of operation on Monday, December 2.