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December, 2018

QCC nursing students
December, 2018

It’s “all aboard” for 40 eligible participants in Quinsigamond Community College’s Training Resources and Internship Networks (TRAIN) program. The college and its partners were awarded $206,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in collaboration with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, to provide educational training and hands-on experience to individuals...

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It’s “all aboard” for 40 eligible participants in Quinsigamond Community College’s Training Resources and Internship Networks (TRAIN) program. The college and its partners were awarded $206,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in collaboration with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, to provide educational training and hands-on experience to individuals who are considered long-term unemployed (one year or longer), or under employed. This training will enable participants to become either nursing assistants or pharmacy technicians.

“Our vision for this project is to help long-term unemployed, low-income individuals build their economic self-sufficiency through an innovative program that includes workforce readiness training, skills training, education, internships, job placement, and comprehensive wraparound support services situated at QCC’s Healthcare and Workforce Development Center,” said Dean of the Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Kathleen Manning.

Beginning in January 2019, QCC will offer two 120-hour, non-credit, nurse assistant training classes and two 75-hour pharmacy technician training classes. The nurse assistant training program is classroom-based, instructor-led, and is under the supervision of a registered nurse. The training consists of lectures and hands-on lab work in the Massachusetts DPH state approved training lab.

The pharmacy technician training program is provided in collaboration with QCC partner, CVS Health. The program will blend the CVS Health pharmacy technician training curriculum with QCC classroom-based pharmacy technician and ESL (English as Second Language) training programs, as well as 30 hours of apprenticeships.

The classroom component of both training programs will simulate the way students are expected to behave in a workplace setting. During training, students will be paid an hourly stipend to help financially support them while they are in the program.

TRAIN program participants will receive additional support services resources from:

  • The Mass Hire Workforce Board, which will offer readiness training to help participants conceive and execute a more positive approach to personal and career goal attainment.
  • Mass Hire Career Center, which will provide career counseling and a host of workshops that are available to job seekers.
  • Worcester Community Action Council, which will provide comprehensive wraparound support services to help meet the diverse needs of at-risk, low-income populations in our community.
  • Worcester Credit Union, which will offer financial literacy training.

There are still openings for eligible individuals. For more information on these training programs, email Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education Program Manager, Kathleen O'Connor at cce [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • The first graduating class of Student Peer Domestic Violence Advocates
December, 2018

At Quinsigamond Community College taking care of the whole student is the way the college is working to ensure student success for all. To that end, QCC has developed a Student Peer Advocate Training for domestic violence, designed to connect the victims of domestic violence here at QCC to both campus and community resources to assist them in gaining perspective and heathy responses to this issue. 

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At Quinsigamond Community College taking care of the whole student is the way the college is working to ensure student success for all. To that end, QCC has developed a Student Peer Advocate Training for domestic violence, designed to connect the victims of domestic violence here at QCC to both campus and community resources to assist them in gaining perspective and heathy responses to this issue. 

“We know students are experiencing intimate partner violence, and that there are times when they discuss those issues with their fellow students here at QCC,” said Dean of Compliance Liz Woods.

According to Associate Professor of Human Services Brenda Safford, students are referred by faculty in Healthcare, Criminal justice, Human Services, Psychology and the biannual training is open to all interested students. The next training session will be held in the spring.

Nine students participated in the training, which was offered this fall from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for four Saturdays. After the completion of all four training sessions, each student received a certificate from the YWCA of Central MA. 

“I volunteered to ‘add tools to my toolbox’ and to meet and learn from classmates. The behind the scenes systems set up to help those living with domestic violence was informative” said QCC student Charles Ketter, who is majoring in Human Services.

QCC Human Services student Darcie Peters said her own experience with domestic violence was the impetus for becoming a student peer advocate.

“I wish someone could’ve been aware of what I was going through. Then maybe it wouldn’t have lasted so long. I want to be that person to help others when they need the assistance of getting out of a domestic violence relationship,” Ms. Peters said. “I feel this training has given me the ability and tools to help others because of the resources that were brought to my attention. As well as the different ways to identify when domestic violence is occurring.

“I decided to volunteer to be a peer advocate both because as a human service worker it’s amazing experience and because I know how important representation is when seeking help so having more queer and male advocates helping in any location is important,” said QCC student Tomas Steinbrecher. “I feel like for the most part your capacity to help others comes from you. But the training gave me the tools and knowledge to help classmates with domestic violence on campus.”

Many of the students who took this training will be moving into careers that put them in contact with individuals and families experiencing these issues.

“The YWCA certification will prepare them to engage appropriately in their professional careers,” Ms. Woods said.

The students said they not only learned that domestic violence so wide spread, but that there were many resources and ways to help someone in need.

“I would definitely recommend students to be advocates, the more hands on deck we have, the healthier students’ peer relationships can be. The training gives you a lot of information on what domestic abuse looks like and can help you have insight on your own relationships and behaviors,” said Mr. Steinbrecher.

“I would strongly urge anyone interested in learning how to be an ally to those affected by domestic violence to take this training,” Mr. Ketter added.

Ms. Woods said she is confident that this type of training will continue in the future.

“Congratulations to our first class of Domestic Violence Advocates here at QCC,” Ms. Woods added.

Anyone interested in the program should reach out to Ms. Safford at bsafford [at] qcc.mass.edu or Ms. Woods at lwoods [at] qcc.mass.edu

“I would completely recommend other students to become student advocates. The more awareness there is of domestic violence, the more likely more people could get help. Sometimes people slip through the cracks because of the lack of awareness,” Ms. Peters said.

  •  From left: Adrienne Linnell, QCC student Maame Amoah-Dankwah and Darcy Carlson
December, 2018

A dream to go to Harvard University is what initially led QCC student Maame Amoah-Dankwah to Worcester and Quinsigamond Community College.  A native of Ghana, Ms. Amoah-Dankwah came to the U.S. to live with her mom after graduating from high school, with dreams of attending medical school and an even bigger sense of purpose that one day she would help others.

“My parents...

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A dream to go to Harvard University is what initially led QCC student Maame Amoah-Dankwah to Worcester and Quinsigamond Community College.  A native of Ghana, Ms. Amoah-Dankwah came to the U.S. to live with her mom after graduating from high school, with dreams of attending medical school and an even bigger sense of purpose that one day she would help others.

“My parents separated when I was 11 or so. My mom went to the U.S. with my younger brother who was sick and I stayed in Ghana with my dad,” she said.

In Ghana, Ms. Amoah-Dankwah said every high school student takes an exam at the end of their high school career, which basically decides their career path.

“My goal was to get into medical school with eight ‘As’ and I got six out of eight so the medical school path was blocked for me,” she said, which gave her the drive to move with her mother to the U.S..”I thought I might have a shot at medical school.”

Once in the U.S. Ms. Amoah-Dankwah realized she would need to take the SATs in order to even be considered for Harvard, but would have to wait a year to take them.

“I didn’t want to do that and since my mother was here at QCC in the nursing program, I thought it would be a great start to go to QCC,” she continued. “She said, ‘why wait a whole year when you can go to QCC now.’”

Ms. Amoah-Dankwah heeded her mother’s suggestion and took the Accuplacer test and entered QCC, initially as a pre-pharmacy student. A chemistry class she took from QCC Chemistry Professor Tetteh Abbeyquaye solidified her interest in chemistry and she quickly changed to a chemistry major.

“This was not planned, but here I am two years later majoring in Chemistry. QCC was a great start and helped me to learn how the (educational) system worked. QCC was much more flexible and I got to learn what it was like in college,” she said.

While Harvard may not be in the cards today, Ms. Amoah-Dankwah has set her sights on Johns Hopkins University after graduating from QCC.

“My goal is still to become a doctor but I’m now open to other things like research,” she said.

Her interest in research came after working on the development of a new drug for Type 1 diabetes through a scientific research project she did this past summer at Boston University (BU).The project was funded by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant (“REU”), a program she found out about from QCC alumna and friend Narda Bondah, a friend she has known since high school in Ghana. Ms. Bondah did a project (through the REU program) – preventing regurgitation of blood in tissue engineered heart valves at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

 Ms. Amoah-Dankwah has applied to different colleges and universities and said the summer project solidified her interest in research, but it still “ties in” with her life goals.

 “I’m glad I started here at QCC. There are so many opportunities. You can start here and go anywhere. If I went anywhere else, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities,” she said. “Everyone here cares and it’s tremendous. I had support no matter what office or classroom I walked into. Everyone here is great and I am very grateful.”

  • PTK alumna Kayla Patterson
December, 2018

To meet Quinsigamond Community College alumna Kayla Paterson is like meeting a breath of fresh air. A former Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta Honor Society Chapter president of the college, Ms. Paterson has never truly left QCC, even though she officially graduated with her associate degree in Elementary Education (EE) in 2016.

Today, she holds a bachelor’s degree in EE from Anna...

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To meet Quinsigamond Community College alumna Kayla Paterson is like meeting a breath of fresh air. A former Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta Honor Society Chapter president of the college, Ms. Paterson has never truly left QCC, even though she officially graduated with her associate degree in Elementary Education (EE) in 2016.

Today, she holds a bachelor’s degree in EE from Anna Maria College and is working as a paraprofessional with third and fourth graders at a nearby school district. She is also working several hours each week in the PTK office, a place she fondly refers to as “home.”

Ms. Paterson took the circuitous route to QCC. She said her lifelong dream was to become a teacher and after high school, enrolled in a four-year institution as an elementary education major.

“I was commuting to school and also working full-time. Then life happened and I dropped out. I wasn’t ready for it (college),” she said.

She continued working full-time but knew that she needed to go back to school if she was ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher.

“I knew I could do a two-year college, but wasn’t ready for a four-year commitment. I did my research and chose QCC because it was affordable, was an easier drive, and I had heard good things about it,” she said.

Although she had a great love for teaching, her first collegiate experience had made her a bit gun-shy to major in elementary education at QCC; instead deciding to get her degree in deaf studies. Ms. Paterson quickly became immersed in the college and the deaf studies program, enjoying the classes, professors and her classmates. She was excelling academically, which got her an invitation to become a member of PTK. She was inducted into PTK in 2015 at the same time she was elected the honor society’s president. It was during this timeframe that she was asked by one of her professors if she wanted to become a tutor in the writing center. She jumped at the chance.

She loved the experience so much that when one the students she was tutoring, who happened to be an elementary education student, suggested she become a teacher, a light bulb went off in her head.

“It made me so happy. I loved working with the students and tutoring them. I went home, woke up the next day and came to school and switched my major to elementary education,” she said.

Her core classes in deaf studies transferred easily into the elementary education program and the only classes she had left to take were the education classes. In her education classes, she went to schools in Worcester where she was able to observe teachers in action, which solidified her desire to one day become a teacher. In 2016, she entered Anna Maria College as a junior, excited to complete the next chapter of her education.

“I felt so prepared when I entered Anna Maria. It was a smooth transition. All my education courses were accepted and I started there as a junior. QCC has such a good program. I felt there was nothing I missed out on or didn’t know. Some of the professors at QCC work in the school district and they had so much real-word teaching experience, which was just great,” she said. “I graduated from Anna Maria and I was ready to go into teaching.”

Ms. Paterson also continued working in the PTK office as the Fundraising/Event Specialist part-time, having forged a legacy there by raising thousands for the PTK chapter and its community service projects.

After graduating from Anna Maria she began substitute teaching, while she applied for full-time teaching positions. A short two-week stint as a legal administrative assistant and then a three-week, longer-term substitute teaching position for an area sixth grade class confirmed to her that teaching was the only job she wanted to do.

“Working with the sixth graders during those three weeks was the most tiring of my life, and also the most awesome and rewarding,” she said.

Sadly, the position ended the Friday before Columbus Day; however, as luck would have it, she was offered and accepted a paraprofessional (teaching assistant) in a nearby school district. She began her new position the Tuesday after Columbus Day and hopes to one day to be a teacher and have her own classroom.

She had also previously given up her part-time position in the PTK office at QCC, but the draw of QCC, PTK, and her mentor and friend PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman, eventually drew her back to the college where she works several hours a week in the PTK office after her teaching job.

“I love working here. QCC and PTK are my home,” she said, adding, “Everyone should start at QCC. It’s affordable, it connects you to so many things and you are getting the best education. Even if you don’t know what you want to do, there is a program here for you. There’s so much variety you will find a program.”

You may also find a “home away from home,” just like Ms. Paterson did.

  • QCC students and siblings Mahmoud, Mustafa and Mohamed Boweden
December, 2018

Quinsigamond Community College is a place that many students find to be a nurturing and encouraging environment and siblings Mustafa, Mohamed and Mahmoud Boweden couldn’t agree more. The brothers, who are each attending QCC part-time, have quickly become embedded in the college community not only attending classes, but also becoming an integral part of QCC student life.

Oldest brother...

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Quinsigamond Community College is a place that many students find to be a nurturing and encouraging environment and siblings Mustafa, Mohamed and Mahmoud Boweden couldn’t agree more. The brothers, who are each attending QCC part-time, have quickly become embedded in the college community not only attending classes, but also becoming an integral part of QCC student life.

Oldest brother Mustafa is a general studies major, middle brother Mohamed is a general studies major with a focus on healthcare, and youngest brother Mahmoud is majoring in computer information systems - web development and programming option. 

While the three have seamlessly integrated into QCC, the brothers have only been in the U.S. a relatively short time, having moved with their parents and two younger brothers from Libya in 2014 when they were all in high school. They came to the U.S. close to Thanksgiving (and saw their first snow) moving first to Connecticut, then Revere, Mass. before finally settling in Hopedale.

“It was hard when we came here. I knew very basic (English) words. It was hard being in a classroom and not know what the other students were saying,” Mohamed said. “In high school we were trying to get used to the system.”

Oldest brother Mustafa said that while he was supposed to be a senior in high school, he was kept back initially so that he could work on his English.

“After a semester in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class, I received a certificate for outstanding ESL learner. It was a very exciting moment for me,” he said.

After high school graduation Mustafa first went to Bunker Hill Community College, since it was closer to his former home. When his family moved to Hopedale, he looked into transferring to a closer college.

“I looked at Mass Bay and QCC. What I really liked was the QCC campus and how open it was, so I came to QCC,” he said.

Mustafa began taking his general studies classes at QCC in the fall of 2017. He plans to continue his education in the law field, possibly focusing on international law after he graduates from QCC. His brother Mohamed also started at QCC at the same time, focusing on healthcare. His goal is to continue his education after QCC and one day become a dentist. Each said the financial savings they’ve obtained by attending QCC was very important to them, as well as the educational and emotional support they’ve received. 

“When we came to QCC we had a lot of people here who were helpful to us,” Mohamad said.

“There are people here at QCC who opened my eyes to the many activities that are here,” Mustafa added.

In fact, the brothers have been so involved with the college that this year Mustafa became vice president of QCC’s student Senate, Mohamed is in charge of public relations and youngest brother Mahmoud, who began QCC in fall 2018, is a senate member.

“It’s really nice that the three of us are together,” Mahmoud said. “QCC is a very nice school.The people and professors are so friendly. I’ve made friends here.”

According to Mustafa, trying to help enhance the student experience is something he and his brothers feel is very important in paying it forward. They have been working to start up a men’s soccer team and circulated a petition to help get it off the ground.

Soccer been very important to all the brothers and has helped them acclimate them to the U.S. They all played soccer recreationally. Mahmoud was even on the Hopedale High School’s winning soccer team his senior year. It was the first time in the school’s history the team reached the district finals.

Currently they hold impromptu pick-up games at the Athletic Center two times a week, with the hope of getting a more formal team organized this spring.

“It’s welcoming here.There’s a lot of diversity and immigrants who are here too and that makes you feel more comfortable to have people who have the same issues that you do,” Mustafa said. “If you know someone who is undecided they should come to QCC. It’s a great school. It’s very convenient; it will save you money, plus you’ll get a quality education and there’s so many activities. There’s just lots of options and as more students become involved here the sky’s the limit.”

 

 

  • Polar Beverages fieldd trip
  • Professor Anita Soracco’s environmental science class learned about the Asian longhorn beetle.
  • The Asian longhorn beetle
  • Student Assas Haraj learns about the Asian longhorn beetle from a member of the ALB team.
December, 2018

Experiencing something first-hand can sometimes mean the difference between basic understanding to truly grasping a concept or skill. No one know this better than the students in Professor Anita Soracco’s environmental science class.

Throughout the year the students have been taking what they’ve learned in their class and seen it applied in “real life.” This past...

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Experiencing something first-hand can sometimes mean the difference between basic understanding to truly grasping a concept or skill. No one know this better than the students in Professor Anita Soracco’s environmental science class.

Throughout the year the students have been taking what they’ve learned in their class and seen it applied in “real life.” This past semester students had the opportunity to visit a water treatment plant in Holden, Polar Beverages and the Department of Agricultural Resources.

At the water treatment plant, which serves greater Worcester, students learned how water is filtered and how water is transferred to each town.

“I bring the students there so that they can see the hard work that goes into making our tap water potable, safe, reliable and very regulated,” said Professor Soracco.

The students said they were surprised to learn that while public/tap water is highly regulated, the bottled water industry is virtually un-regulated and contributes to a lot of environmental contamination.

“There’s a lot of stigma attached to town water, but it’s actually better,” said student Elisabeth Morgan.

“I didn’t expect it to be so big and massive,” added student Assas Haraj.

The students also visited Polar Beverages in Worcester, where they got a real insight into energy efficiency and green initiatives. They discussed the environment and the economy with Polar Beverage Owner Chris Crowley and learned how each go hand-in-hand. 

Ms. Morgan said what really stood out for her was the fact that the company does so much to lessen its ecological foot print.

“It was more about reuse and staying out of the waste steam,” she noted.

“The Polar Beverage field trip was beneficial for many reasons. First it shows the students the magnitude on the environment of just one business in one town. Second, Chris Crowley, has taken many initiatives to “green” his business such as LED lights, which are on motion detectors and reducing the thickness of the plastic on the bottle caps.”

Mr. Crowley explained to the students that by reducing the thickness of the plastic on the cap, by just a tiny amount, it will save thousands of pounds of plastic, as well as generate revenue. 

“So it hits home for them that a successful business plan takes into account the environment, whether that means reducing, reusing or efficiency in the manufacturing process,” Professor Soracco added.

 At the Department of Agricultural Resources in Worcester, students met with the Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB) team and learned more about the beetles’ local impact and what is being done to eradicate it. Outreach Coordinator Joshua Bruckner, spoke with the class about the history of the problem and the eradication program.

“They gave us a tour of the office, which is the headquarters for the ALB team. One of the team members then hopped on our tour bus and gave us a driving tour of the neighborhoods most affected by the infestation and took us to the grounds where they grind tree stumps from the infested trees,” Professor Soracco said, adding it was the STEM Starter Academy that sponsored the trip.

Student Dominic Parretti said the field trip was particularly interesting, as ALB directly impacted him.

“I saw the effects of the Asian longhorn beetle in my own neighborhood. They had to take a lot of trees down,” he said.

Every student said they felt the field trips enhanced what they were learning in class.

 “I’m a visual learner, and seeing is believing. It was all pretty cool,” Mr. Haraji added.

Other field trips on the students’ wish list include visiting other colleges to see how the schools’ reduce their waste; visiting the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, to more grand plans of visiting  the City of Curitiba, Brazil, a place considered to be the most sustainable in the world.

“This is an awesome class. This should be a core class for everyone,” said student Julia McElroy.

  • Quinsigamond Community College’s Surgical Technology program
December, 2018

Quinsigamond Community College’s Surgical Technology program received notification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting that 100 percent of the college’s program graduates who attempted the National Certification Examination (August 2017 – July 2018) passed the exam. These graduates will now hold the title of Certified Surgical Technologist. QCC is one of seven...

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Quinsigamond Community College’s Surgical Technology program received notification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting that 100 percent of the college’s program graduates who attempted the National Certification Examination (August 2017 – July 2018) passed the exam. These graduates will now hold the title of Certified Surgical Technologist. QCC is one of seven schools in Massachusetts that offers surgical technology programs and is the only one to have a 100 percent pass rate this year. For the last two years the college has attained a 100 percent pass rate. Since the end of 2012, surgical technologists have had to be certified in Massachusetts in order to perform surgical technology tasks. QCC’s program has been in existence since 1999.

“This is something we are immensely proud of at the college. Our students will now be able to enter the workforce and make a positive impact on the lives of others,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja.

QCC’s Surgical Technology Certificate prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to provide services in the operating room in the role of surgical technologist, as part of a surgical team. Students learn the basic sciences, operating room policies and procedures, safe patient care, operating room techniques, surgical procedures, and have direct clinical experience in their last semester.

QCC Professor of Surgical Technology, Deborah Coleman, said the students have in-class practice exams, which help prepare them to take the national exam. She said the clinical work they do is also beneficial to their success on the exam.

“It was great to congratulate the surgical tech graduates at their pinning ceremony and hear that they all had been offered jobs before they even had taken the certification exam. The operating room managers know that our students are prepared for the workforce and they are hiring them before graduation,” said QCC Dean of Healthcare C. Pat Schmohl, Jr.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 the median annual wage for surgical technologists was $46,310, with employment for surgical technologist expected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026.

 

  • QCC student George Baraklilis and Blue Santa
  • Donations abounded during the Stuff-A-Cruiser event at QCC's main campus.
  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja drops off a toy for the Stuff-A-Cruiser event.
  • From left: Reynaldo Rodriguez and Stephen DiGiovanni
  • Blue Santa at QCC Southbridge
December, 2018

QCC’s annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event was once again a huge success, with this year's event raising more than $400 in cash donations and over 300 toys. The cash donations were allocated to the "Feed-A-Family" portion of the event and distributed to families in the form of grocery store gift cards. According to QCC Social Worker/Mental Health Counselor Tina Wells, over $1,000 was...

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QCC’s annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event was once again a huge success, with this year's event raising more than $400 in cash donations and over 300 toys. The cash donations were allocated to the "Feed-A-Family" portion of the event and distributed to families in the form of grocery store gift cards. According to QCC Social Worker/Mental Health Counselor Tina Wells, over $1,000 was raised this year which will help over 40 families.

The three-day event was held at QCC’s main campus, Southbridge Campus and Healthcare and Workforce Development Center in downtown Worcester, with "Blue Santa" helping to collect donations and bringing cheer to everyone.       

"The students who I spoke with during the distribution were grateful, often tearful, that they were given this gift; for many it was the only opportunity to have a gift for their children/families or the difference between a holiday celebration or a standard meal," Ms. Wells said.                     

"Portraying Santa in a blue suit again for the third year in a row was an amazing experience and brought about pure gratification. However the true joy came from all the students, parents, faculty and the children who I encountered during the three events," said  Detective Sergeant Joseph P. Cecchi. " Once again thank you to everyone who made this possible. Your gracious giving and community support has sustained and enhanced this wonderful QCC tradition of Feed-a-Family for over 30 years."

 

  • QCC Honors Colloquium students
December, 2018

Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) students presented their final projects at the Honors Colloquium in early December. The students each read a dystopian novel then wrote about a real-world topic reflected in their literary selection, describing the potential consequences of modern society.  The fall the 2018 section of IDS 200 was titled: Dystopian/Utopian Worlds in Literature and Contemporary Society, and is...

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Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) students presented their final projects at the Honors Colloquium in early December. The students each read a dystopian novel then wrote about a real-world topic reflected in their literary selection, describing the potential consequences of modern society.  The fall the 2018 section of IDS 200 was titled: Dystopian/Utopian Worlds in Literature and Contemporary Society, and is facilitated by Professors Amy Beaudry (English) and Dr. Gaelan Benway (Sociology).

IDS 200 is the capstone course for students enrolled in the Commonwealth Honors Program. The program is accredited by the Department of Higher Education. All of the Massachusetts community colleges, state universities, and UMass campuses are part of one program, with each school determining their curriculum based on the accreditation criteria that has been established by the DHE.

At QCC, the program involves students successfully completing four courses at an honors level with a “B” or higher. IDS 200 is the culminating course. In the fall section of IDS 200, students participate in a Conference Panel, and the spring section of IDS 200, students participate in a poster presentation. All IDS 200 students also have the option of presenting at UMass Amherst’s annual Undergraduate Research Conference, held each May.

In order to assist students in composing the best piece of scholarly writing during their time at QCC, IDS 200 has established a library mentoring program whereby each student enrolled in the class is matched with one of QCC’s four reference librarians for the semester. Working with the two faculty, as well as the reference librarians, is integral to the students’ success.

Presenting Honors Colloquium students included:

  • Brianna Canavan
  • Elvin Kaninjing
  • Santana Wright
  • Sam Brown
  • Tom Coley
  • Ashley Forhan
  • John Beane
  • Emma O’Brien
  • Andrew Leger
  • Outgoing Food Pantry Manager Ashley Forhan works with incoming Food Pantry Manager Max German.
December, 2018

QCC’s food pantry will start the year off right in its new location on the ground floor in Room B63 of the Administration Building on the college’s main campus. The pantry will also see a passing of the baton as Food Pantry Manager Ashley Forhan, who graduates this month, will turn over her duties to PTK student Max German.

The food pantry will be closed over the...

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QCC’s food pantry will start the year off right in its new location on the ground floor in Room B63 of the Administration Building on the college’s main campus. The pantry will also see a passing of the baton as Food Pantry Manager Ashley Forhan, who graduates this month, will turn over her duties to PTK student Max German.

The food pantry will be closed over the winter break beginning on December 24 – January 2.

The food pantry will reopen the week of January 2 - January 14 with an abbreviated schedule. The hours for these weeks will be: 

  • Wednesday, January 2: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 3:1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 4: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The weeks of January 7 and January 14:

  • Monday, January 7 & 14:  2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 8 & 15: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 9 & 16: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 10 & 17: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday: closed

After the week of January 14, the new hours for 2019 will be:

  •  Mondays: 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  •  Tuesdays: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  •  Fridays: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Remember: if you are (or know of) a student, faculty or staff member in need, please come to the food pantry help. All information is kept confidential.

For questions, please call the food pantry at 508-854-7403 or email foodpantry [at] qcc.mass.edu

 

  • Veterans Manny Antwi, Heath Tisdale, Jose Figueroa, and Gary Charron all from Veteran Affairs fill up their trucks to drop off t
  • Recruitment Counselor Sabine Dupoux
  • There was a lot of merriment at the annual QCC Holiday Luncheon.
  • Coordinator of Future Focus Program Gilmarie Vongphakdy enjoys the holiday luncheon.
  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja and his table mates at the annual holiday luncheon.
  •  Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Faculty and Staff Appreciation Social
December, 2018

The holiday season is often a time to reflect on the year and show appreciation for others. At Quinsigamond Community College, two annual events are held at the college’s main campus to show appreciation for the faculty and staff.

On December 7, holiday food, music and camaraderie were on tap at the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Faculty and Staff Appreciation Social. Each year the PTK Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter...

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The holiday season is often a time to reflect on the year and show appreciation for others. At Quinsigamond Community College, two annual events are held at the college’s main campus to show appreciation for the faculty and staff.

On December 7, holiday food, music and camaraderie were on tap at the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Faculty and Staff Appreciation Social. Each year the PTK Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter hosts this event to show its appreciation to the faculty and staff who supported PTK. Music for the event was provided by PTK Alumni Scott Olsen.

On December 13, the college held its annual holiday luncheon at the Harrington Learning Center. This is a way to thank the employees of QCC for their service and dedication year round. 

"Our faculty and staff have been there for our students every step of the way, going above and beyond to ensure that all our students have the support they need in order to succeed. This luncheon is one small way to show our appreciation for their work." said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja

  • QCC's Winter Clothing Drive
December, 2018

As the winter kicks into high gear, items from QCC’s Winter Clothing Drive are being utilized more than ever before.

According to Athletic Director Lisa Gurnick, QCC students and their families have been thrilled to receive the generous donations of jackets, hats, scarves and gloves that so many have donated. While the formal Winter Clothing Drive is over, the Athletic Center and...

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As the winter kicks into high gear, items from QCC’s Winter Clothing Drive are being utilized more than ever before.

According to Athletic Director Lisa Gurnick, QCC students and their families have been thrilled to receive the generous donations of jackets, hats, scarves and gloves that so many have donated. While the formal Winter Clothing Drive is over, the Athletic Center and President’s Office will continue to accept donations throughout the winter due to the tremendous need. 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. 

If you haven’t made a donation, please take a moment and consider making one today. For questions, contact Ms. Gurnick at 508.854. 4582 or email lgurnick [at] qcc.mass.edu.

 

  • QCC Cheerleaders from left: Regina Slootsky, Tamara Charles and Amerlin Vasquez
  • Amerlin Vasquez
December, 2018

Wyvern Cheerleaders Gearing Up For First Half-Time Performance

Wyvern power is alive and well at Quinsigamond Community College. Just ask Amerlin Vasquez, Tamara Charles and Regina Slootsky, three QCC students who also happen to be members of the Wyvern cheerleading club.

 The students are part of the cheering club, a group of six students who make up the Wyvern cheering team....

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Wyvern Cheerleaders Gearing Up For First Half-Time Performance

Wyvern power is alive and well at Quinsigamond Community College. Just ask Amerlin Vasquez, Tamara Charles and Regina Slootsky, three QCC students who also happen to be members of the Wyvern cheerleading club.

 The students are part of the cheering club, a group of six students who make up the Wyvern cheering team. The student cheer at home and away QCC men’s basketball games, and on January 17 at QCC’s home game against Holyoke Community College, they will perform a half-time show. This will be their first half-time show, as they have previously only cheered from courtside.

Ms. Vasquez, who is the club president, is a seasoned cheerleader. She moved to Massachusetts in March of this year from New Jersey, registering for the Criminal Justice Program. It was during the college’s annual Club Rush that she found out about the Cheerleading Club. Ms. Slootsky had approached her to see if she was interested in cheering for QCC after she noticed the cheerleading jacket she was wearing.

“I was a cheerleader all four years in my high school (Bagota High School in New Jersey),” Ms. Vasquez said, adding that her high school team was in many competitions and had even won the Liberty Lion Cheer competition.  

Ms. Slootsky said this was her second year in the cheerleading club and while she had no real experience cheering, has embraced being a cheerleader, after a devastating and debilitating accident in high school left her unable earn a spot on her high school cheerleading team.

“I came to QCC in 2017 and was cleared for sports by my doctor. I found out there was not a cheerleading team but we could do a club team,” she said, noting this was a way for her to do the cheering she was unable to do in high school.

According to Tamara Charles, secretary of the club, QCC is the only community college that has a cheerleading team.

“We practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,” she said, noting the other cheerleading club members: Precious Love Devine, Geiselyn Deleon-Sanchez and Lizabeth Felize.

This year, the club members worked with the college’s Fab Lab to design impromptu uniforms, which they have been wearing to games.

 “We are honestly so very grateful for all the work and help that Alex Gray in the Fab Lab gave us,” Ms. Charles said.

While the students are thrilled to have these uniforms, they are working to raise funds in order to buy official cheerleading uniforms and shoes. They are currently holding a fundraising raffle for a variety of gift baskets. Tickets are $2 each and the winners will be drawn at the Jan. 17 game.

Tickets are available through any club member, at the Athletic Center (In Assistant Manager Josh Cole’s office), or email qccwyverncheerleaders [at] gmail.com. Tickets will also be available before half-time at the January 17 game.

“Anyone who is interested in being in the cheerleading club can also email us,” Ms. Vasquez said.

Athletic Center Winter Break Hours

 

Friday, December 21: 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 22:  10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Monday, December 24:  8:00 a.m. - 4:00 .pm.

The Athletic Center will be closed December 25 through January 1

Reopen Wednesday, January 2. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Drone Staff Development
December, 2018

Is it a bird? A plane? A motorized toy? Many people are still a bit perplexed when they first see a unmanned aircraft, commonly called a drone. QCC Senior Technical Specialist John Solaperto gave a recent talk to faculty and staff interested in learning about what a drone is all about and enlightening them to the recent phenomenon. Mr. Solaperto discussed the basics on drones and drone piloting in a...

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Is it a bird? A plane? A motorized toy? Many people are still a bit perplexed when they first see a unmanned aircraft, commonly called a drone. QCC Senior Technical Specialist John Solaperto gave a recent talk to faculty and staff interested in learning about what a drone is all about and enlightening them to the recent phenomenon. Mr. Solaperto discussed the basics on drones and drone piloting in a staff development meeting, after attending a two-day workforce development course where he then took it upon himself to become a licensed drone pilot.

“I showed everyone the drone kit and explained that these are not toys,” he said, demonstrating the Maverick Pro Platinum drone. “I got this because it was quieter than earlier drone models.”

He explained that to fly a drone you must be aware of many conditions such as weather, what airspace is and where you are when you are flying a drone in that airspace.

“The rules are very specific. Whether or not you fly commercially, you must adhere to the rules such as not flying more than 400 feet off the ground and always maintaining visual sight of the drone,” he noted. “You also need to be careful around metal as they are magnetic and make sure the GPS is on, or they have the potential to drift away.”

 Airspace is similar to an “upside down wedding cake,” with aircraft flying at different altitudes, Mr. Solaperto said.

“It’s up to the drone pilot to be aware and get out of the way of everyone else,” he added. “You should always fly with a team.”

To find out more about QCC's drone program, visit the Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education

 

  • Happy New Year from Quinsigamond Community College
December, 2018

Tuesday, December 25 – Tuesday, January 1: The college is closed for its annual winter break and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2.

Wednesday, January 2 – Monday, January, 14: Intersession classes begin.

Monday, January 21: The 34th Annual Community Breakfast honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Doors open at 7:00 a.m. and...

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Tuesday, December 25 – Tuesday, January 1: The college is closed for its annual winter break and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2.

Wednesday, January 2 – Monday, January, 14: Intersession classes begin.

Monday, January 21: The 34th Annual Community Breakfast honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Doors open at 7:00 a.m. and the program begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. This will be held in the QCC Athletic Center; 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester. Guest Speaker is President of Clinton College, Rev. Dr. Lester A. McCorn

Wednesday, January 23: Spring classes begin.

January Spotlight: New Student Orientation Sessions allow students to connect with departments and all the resources they need in order to succeed at QCC. Sessions include:

Thursday, January 10: QCC Southbridge Session from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Register Now

Tuesday, January 15: Worcester Campus Session from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Register Now

Wednesday, January 16: Worcester Campus Session from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Register Now

These Orientation Sessions will last approximately three hours and will provide:

  • an introduction to campus resources and support services
  • an opportunity to connect with fellow students and QCC support services
  • an in-depth campus tour to where all the QCC resources are located and where classes will be held
  • the opportunity to receive student ID and parking sticker
  • a chance to win raffle prizes
December, 2018

We are very pleased to announce the addition of the following new full-time staff and faculty members to Quinsigamond Community College:

On 12/3/2018, Corey Coleman, Maintainer I - Corey is moving from a part-tme Maintainer position to a full-time Maintainer I position at Quinsigamond Community College. Corey brings to this position over 8 years of experience.

On 12/3/2018, ...

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We are very pleased to announce the addition of the following new full-time staff and faculty members to Quinsigamond Community College:

On 12/3/2018, Corey Coleman, Maintainer I - Corey is moving from a part-tme Maintainer position to a full-time Maintainer I position at Quinsigamond Community College. Corey brings to this position over 8 years of experience.

On 12/3/2018, Jessica Giumentaro, Teacher Children’s School– Jessica brings to this position over 10 years of teaching experience. Most recently, she was a substitute teacher for Quinsigamond Community College Children’s School. Jessica earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Quinsigamond Community College.

On 12/3/2018, Kristen Michaud, Assistant Professor of Associate Nursing Degree, PN Program- Kristen brings to this position over 20 years of teaching and clinical experience. Most recently, she was the Professor of Nursing at Northern Essex Community College, Middlesex Community College and Northeastern University. Kristen earned her Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing from Fitchburg State College and a Master of Science in Nursing from Rivier College, St. Joseph’s School of Nursing.

On 12/3/2018, Ryan Robinson, Maintainer III – Ryan brings over 11 years of experience to this position. Most recently, Ryan served as temporary Maintainer III for Quinsigamond Community College. Previous to that, Ryan worked as a part time Maintainer, also here at QCC.

On 12/10/2018, Deborah Martin, DESE Instructor and Curriculum Developer for ESOL-Adult Community Learning Center - Deborah brings to this position over 20 years of teaching experience. Most recently, she was an ESOL Teacher at Quinsigamond Community College. Deborah earned her Bachelor’s in Science from Organizacao Santamarense de Educacao e Cultura and a Master’s in Education from Framingham State University.

Please join me in welcoming Corey, Jessica, Kristen, Ryan and Deborah into their new roles at QCC.

 

November, 2018

Dr. Pedraja and students inside Food Pantry
November, 2018

In just two weeks, with the help of 118 donors, $10,053 was raised for Quinsigamond Community College's Food Pantry. The college took the initiative to open a food pantry after on campus studies found that close to 50 percent of its students experienced food insecurity.

The two week online fundraiser, which ended on Giving Tuesday, was a combined effort by the QCC community to “growl back against...

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In just two weeks, with the help of 118 donors, $10,053 was raised for Quinsigamond Community College's Food Pantry. The college took the initiative to open a food pantry after on campus studies found that close to 50 percent of its students experienced food insecurity.

The two week online fundraiser, which ended on Giving Tuesday, was a combined effort by the QCC community to “growl back against hunger on QCC’s campus.” A video that highlighted the need for the pantry was shared across social media platforms, with periodic updates by QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja and QCC students who volunteer in the pantry.

“It’s truly heart-warming to see that our ‘ask’ resonated with so many people,” Dr. Pedraja said. “For those who donated, I thank you for helping to make a difference in the lives of our students. Your generous gifts will be used to help combat our fight against hunger.”

With the food pantry consistently feeding well over 150 students, the need to keep it sustained is great. Dr. Pedraja reminds everyone that hunger doesn’t end even though the formal fundraising campaign has concluded.

“Your continued support is needed to help us continue to help our students make a difference in their lives now and in the years to come. Their future depends on all of us,” he said. 

If you didn't get a chance to make a donation during this campaign, please continue to help us in the fight against food insecurity on our campus by making a donation today.

  • Gene Haas Foundation check
November, 2018

Quinsigamond Community College recently received a $10,000 Gene Haas Foundation Grant. Developed by Gene Haas, owner of Haas Automation, Inc., the largest machine tool builder in the western world, the Foundation was formed in 1999 to support the charitable needs within its local community of Ventura County, California. As the Foundation grew, so did the need for a stronger manufacturing workforce.  Reports such...

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Quinsigamond Community College recently received a $10,000 Gene Haas Foundation Grant. Developed by Gene Haas, owner of Haas Automation, Inc., the largest machine tool builder in the western world, the Foundation was formed in 1999 to support the charitable needs within its local community of Ventura County, California. As the Foundation grew, so did the need for a stronger manufacturing workforce.  Reports such as “The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond” projected that, “Over the next decade, nearly three and a half million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled,” confirming the need for a skilled manufacturing workforce.

Today the focus and mission of the Gene Haas Foundation is in line with the needs of the educational community, to support manufacturing and help introduce students to careers in machining and related technologies. To date, the Foundation has donated over $52 million to support educators. High schools and colleges are eligible to apply for the funds on an annual cycle.

"There’s a shortage of skilled labor and as more people age out of the industry, there’s a dire need to replace them with well-educated, skilled workers,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja.

Coordinator of QCC’s Manufacturing Technology Program, Lee Duerden, said the Haas Foundation Grant will be used for manufacturing scholarships that will be awarded in the spring.

Mr. Duerden said the hope is to use the funds to support further education in the field of computer numerical control (CNC) and could possibly be opened up to graduating vocational high school students and veterans. This is the first time the college has applied for the grant.

“I had found out about the award through my network and our relationship with Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC). QCC manufacturing is a HTEC approved member,” Mr. Duerden said. “I am applying again for next year so hopefully this could become an annual award. We are hoping to promote CNC as a skill and for this we need to provide opportunities for further education. This can be from K-12 to community college, or from community college to a four-year institute. These funds will hopefully help encourage students by breaking down some financial boundaries and providing them the opportunity to advance their education in this field.”

“The Haas commitment to education is visible in many ways; the Gene Haas Foundation is a significant portion of how we support educators to grow their pipeline and engage students to prepare them for amazing careers in advanced manufacturing.  We are pleased to work with Quinsigamond Community College to build the future workforce in their region,” said Toni Neary, Director of Education, for Trident Machine Tools (a Haas Factory Outlet, in Windsor, Ct.).

  • Quinsigamond Community College alumna Dianna Provencher
November, 2018

As the Business Manager for Central MA Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC), owner of Little Bit Farm and Apiary in Leicester, as well as resident beekeeper and Leicester selectman, mother of two and grandmother of three, Quinsigamond Community College alumna Dianna Provencher is one busy lady. Persevering through challenges has been a way of life since she was a young girl who had to drop out of high...

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As the Business Manager for Central MA Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC), owner of Little Bit Farm and Apiary in Leicester, as well as resident beekeeper and Leicester selectman, mother of two and grandmother of three, Quinsigamond Community College alumna Dianna Provencher is one busy lady. Persevering through challenges has been a way of life since she was a young girl who had to drop out of high school to help her family when her father got sick.

“The three older kids (there were also five younger ones at home) went to work so I never graduated high school but I wanted to be educated,” she said. “I had an early bucket list and wanted my education back.”

Obtaining her education would not come easily. Ms. Provencher became a single parent to two young children, working to support them but also working toward her dream of an education and better life. Ms. Provencher took and passed her GED and when her kids were both in school, began attending QCC. She took classes at night and during the day when she could fit them in between waitressing and taking care of her children.

“I was pretty nervous because I had already missed subjects by not finishing high school. I thought, ‘Where do I start and am I good enough; am I smart enough?’’ she said, adding, “I wanted to have a real diploma. I wanted to have something no one could take away.”

Ms. Provencher quickly found that QCC was a place where she could attain her educational dreams through the help and support of faculty and staff.

“My role models were my professors,” she said. “To this day I have a lot of respect for teachers.”

Ms. Provencher not only graduated from QCC with a degree in Business Administration, she also earned a degree in Data Processing; however, she was far from finished with her educational goals. She said QCC had given her the confidence to believe she could succeed in education, enabling her to continue on and earn her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Lesley College. She attended Lesley in the evenings, while working days at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

After graduating from Lesley College, Ms. Provencher landed a job as a business system analyst with Quantum, the company that had bought out DEC. It would be a job she would hold for 18 years until everyone in her department was let go due to downsizing.

“Now I’m thinking that I’m in my 50s and who is going to hire an older woman. I worked at Walmart for a while, then sent my resume into CMRPC and got hired as an administrative assistant,” she said.

She quickly worked her way to her current position at CMRPC (a position she has held for three years) and has worked for there for over 10 years.

For many, the story might have ended there, but Ms. Provencher’s story is far from ordinary. Along the way she met her husband, bought property, and started Little Bit Farm and Apiary. In 1998, she also began beekeeping after ordering her first packet of bees for her husband’s birthday. Today, she sells honey, makes beeswax candles, lip balm and, when asked, teaches beekeeping to students in Sudbury. She also teaches gardening and has gone to senior centers and had classes at the farm.

In her “spare” time she is a Leicester selectman, a position she has held since 2005. She also spent 18 years on the town’s Conservation Board.

When asked how she could do everything she does, her answer is simple.

“If you have a will you can do it. Single moms need to know that their life is not just stuck. It’s hard, I’m not going to lie, but they need to think, ‘If she can do it, why can’t I?’ You have got to get your foot in the door and you have to keep going. I kept going,” she said, adding, “QCC gave me that confidence.”

  • George I. Alden Library
  • George I. Alden Library on third floor of the Harrington Learning Center.
  • QCC librarians
November, 2018

If you haven’t checked out Quinsigamond Community College’s George I. Alden Library recently, or if you’ve never stopped by, you just might be in for a pleasant surprise. The Alden Library recently relocated all its resources to the third floor of the Harrington Center, making access to the thousands of print and online resources, as well as study areas and computers all in one centralized location...

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If you haven’t checked out Quinsigamond Community College’s George I. Alden Library recently, or if you’ve never stopped by, you just might be in for a pleasant surprise. The Alden Library recently relocated all its resources to the third floor of the Harrington Center, making access to the thousands of print and online resources, as well as study areas and computers all in one centralized location. Dean for Library and Academic Support Services Andrea MacRitchie said they had been preparing for a new library, and while the move was not entirely expected, it came at a time when they had already streamlined and weeded out the college’s extensive collection as curriculum changed.

“We got rid of books that were totally outdated or had been loved to death and needed to be replaced. Our collection totaled approximately 60,000 and we got rid of about 12,000.  We compressed and updated the collection,” she said, adding that the purged books were offered to other state institutions or recycled.

In addition to the revised collection, there are seven new student areas, a computer room and reference desk. Individual study areas and group study rooms are also available. Students can reserve a room (in two hour increments) and can check out laptops for free (in two-hour increments) at the circulation desk (laptops cannot be removed from the library). An expansive computer lab is also located in the library.

“Facilities were with us every step of the way helping with the new student area and circulation desk,” Ms. MacRitchie said. “They’ve helped us give the students a nice, welcoming place. We also have some great artwork and paintings on loan. The students love the environment that the paintings create. It’s also a bonus for us.”

One of the highlights of the library and one that the staff is particularly proud of is a new library consortium. QCC is a founding member of the new library network called HELM (Higher Education Libraries of Massachusetts).  QCC has joined with five other community colleges and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to create HELM, which will focus exclusively on the needs of academic libraries.

“The (community college) directors got together to form our own consortium that is for our students,” Ms. MacRitchie said.

HELM is designed to support student and faculty research with a networked library collection that will provide more scholarly materials and a library catalog that integrates course reserves and e-resources in a more user-friendly way. In addition to the HELM, QCC is a member of ARC (the Academic and Research Collaborative). ARC is made up of academic, public, and special research libraries in the Worcester area that work together, sharing resources and services. Institutions that are members of ARC offer students, faculty and staff cross-borrowing cards, delivery of books from other ARC member libraries to onsite use of electronic resources. QCC’s library also is part of the Commonwealth Catalog, which extends the college’s library reach to all participating libraries throughout Massachusetts. This gives the QCC community the most up-to-date comprehensive resources designed for today’s higher education student.

Faculty have been continuously scheduling library instruction sessions for their classes to help students effectively utilize all the services available to them at the library. Close to 300 FYE (First Year Experience) students have also already visited the library for a literacy workshop. Librarians Tiger Swan and Cary Morse introduced students to the concept of an academic library and challenged them to consider how they will use library resources and services throughout their QCC studies.

“All students will need to have a literacy skill. It’s one of the college’s 10 general education learning goals,” Ms. MacRitchie added.

QCC also has a library in its Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education in room 121D.  For more information, visit the Alden Library.

  • From left: PTK students and food pantry volunteers Emma O'Brien, Ashley Forhan and Max German in the new QCC Food Pantry
November, 2018

Quinsigamond Community College’s food pantry has some new digs! The food pantry has relocated to the ground floor, Room B63, of the Administration Building on the college’s main campus at 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester. The new location houses the food pantry, as well as a resource center for students, which is anticipated to be opened in early Spring 2019.

“We are working on building...

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Quinsigamond Community College’s food pantry has some new digs! The food pantry has relocated to the ground floor, Room B63, of the Administration Building on the college’s main campus at 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester. The new location houses the food pantry, as well as a resource center for students, which is anticipated to be opened in early Spring 2019.

“We are working on building partnerships with the community,” said QCC Dean of Students Theresa Vecchio, in regards to the resource center.

Those partnerships and resources will include such services as assistance with homelessness, debt reduction, legal assistance and financial literacy.

Regular hours for the food pantry are Monday 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Tuesday 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Wednesday 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Thursday 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., and Fridays 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

During the month of December, the food pantry will have the following adjusted hours:

Dec. 10 - Dec. 14: 

  • Mon.    2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Tues.   8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Wed.   4:00 p.m. -   7:00 p.m.
  • Thurs. 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Fri:      11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m

Dec. 17 - Dec. 21: 

  • Mon.    2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Tues.   8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Wed.   4:00 p.m. -   7:00 p.m.
  • Thurs. 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Fri:      8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Regular hours for the food pantry are Monday 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Tuesday 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Wednesday 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Thursday 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., and Fridays 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

If you are (or know) a student, faculty or staff member in need, please come to the food pantry for assistance. All information is kept confidential.

The food pantry is always accepting monetary gifts and in-kind donations of non-perishable food items. Donations may be dropped off in the donation box outside of the food pantry (Room B63, Admin Building, West Boylston Street Campus, Worcester).

Items in high demand include:

  • Cans of tuna
  • Cans of chicken
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Peanut Butter
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Cans of ravioli/Spaghettios
  • Boxes of cereal
  • Instant oatmeal (individual packets)

 If you need assistance outside of the food pantry hours listed or you have questions about the food pantry, call 508.854.7403 or email foodpantry [at] qcc.mass.edu .

  • From left: Stuff-A-Cruiser helpersnursing student Amanda Wysote nursing student Victoria (Tory) Shultz
  • Stuff-A-Cruiser at Healthcare and Workforce Development Center
November, 2018

The "Stuff-A-Cruiser" event has become an annual tradition at Quinsigamond Community College. It's an outdoor gathering with hot chocolate, a cruiser, a “Blue Santa”... and the simple joy of giving! The QCC Police Department is inviting students, faculty, staff and the general public to bring new, unwrapped toys to help stuff the cruiser and spread holiday cheer to families in need...

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The "Stuff-A-Cruiser" event has become an annual tradition at Quinsigamond Community College. It's an outdoor gathering with hot chocolate, a cruiser, a “Blue Santa”... and the simple joy of giving! The QCC Police Department is inviting students, faculty, staff and the general public to bring new, unwrapped toys to help stuff the cruiser and spread holiday cheer to families in need.

The Stuff-A-Cruiser event works in tandem with the Feed-A-Family program. Feed-A-Family helps provide holiday meals to those in need within the QCC Family. With these two programs working together, we're able to provide a wonderful gift for the complete holiday experience for families and children who may otherwise go without during the holiday season.  

Each year, the goal is to provide toys and food for 100 families.The QCC Police Department works closely with Counseling Services and Phi Theta Kappa to make this happen, however, it takes the entire QCC community to make it happen.  

If you would like to drop off a new, unwrapped toy, gift card or movie tickets you can find a cruiser and “Blue Santa” at:

  • Healthcare and Workforce Development Center Lobby on Tuesday, December 4 from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
  • Main Campus (Flag Poles) Wednesday, December 5 from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. 
  • Southbridge Campus (Front Lobby) Thursday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

For more information on Feed-A-Family, please contact twells [at] qcc.mass.edu.

  • WCU President & CEO Karen Duffy
  • Karen Duffy & Vaughn Lee
November, 2018

Personal money management is an integral part of being successful in the world, and no one understands that better than CEO and President of Worcester Credit Union (WCU) Karen Duffy, a 25 year veteran of the credit union. On November 15, Ms. Duffy presented a talk on personal money management to QCC students. The event was hosted by QCC’s Business Administration department.

QCC Professor of...

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Personal money management is an integral part of being successful in the world, and no one understands that better than CEO and President of Worcester Credit Union (WCU) Karen Duffy, a 25 year veteran of the credit union. On November 15, Ms. Duffy presented a talk on personal money management to QCC students. The event was hosted by QCC’s Business Administration department.

QCC Professor of Business Administration Jean McLean said the college “...was honored to have Karen Duffy address our business students on the topic of personal money management. Business Transfer student Vaughn Lee, who serves with me on the Student Success Committee, approached me last month and expressed interest in having a speaker come to campus to talk about financial literacy. I immediately thought of Karen, who gave an excellent presentation here about five years ago.”.

Ms. Duffy spoke to students about having financial control, budget saving tips, technology tools in online banking, mobile banking, Apple Pay, and popmoney services such as Zelle and Venmo, which enables individuals to send and receive payments electronically. She discussed ways to avoid overdraft fees by using services available at your credit union or bank, the signs of financial distress and debit vs. credit. She told those in attendance to not be afraid to ask questions because your money matters!

"The goal of developing personal money management skills is to provide a basic understanding of your finances and the accounts you use to pay bills and accumulate savings so that you can be self-sufficient," Ms. Duffy said."Everyone can and should have checking and savings accounts free of monthly service charges – you don’t need hundreds or thousands of dollars on deposit. Look to your local institutions and you’ll find them."

“Karen had a lot of knowledge to impart to students - everything from setting up a budget to using credit wisely. She is also a champion of working women and a member of the Women's Political Caucus,” Professor McLean added.

“Of the 75 people who listened and learned about personal money management, Karen Duffy’s impact in advocating financial literacy education was extensive. That's the reason why I coordinated this event to help people of the community better understand their financial values and goals,” said Mr. Lee. “I want to thank Professor McLean, Dean of School of Business, Engineering, and Technology Betty Lauer, and Career Development Counselor Nicole Wheeler for their support of this event.”

 

  • Police Academy students make donation to the QCC Food Pantry
November, 2018

As the only community college in Massachusetts running its own police academy, QCC’s 50 inaugural police academy students are already making an impression on the Commonwealth. The students recently made an impact at the college with a group donation to QCC’s Food Pantry. The idea was presented to them by Program Coordinator Detective Sergeant Joseph Cecchi, who said  the idea was...

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As the only community college in Massachusetts running its own police academy, QCC’s 50 inaugural police academy students are already making an impression on the Commonwealth. The students recently made an impact at the college with a group donation to QCC’s Food Pantry. The idea was presented to them by Program Coordinator Detective Sergeant Joseph Cecchi, who said  the idea was met with great enthusiasm by the students. The college opened the QCC Food Pantry in July to address food insecurities on campus after studies showed there was a extensive need.

“I have known Bonnie Coleman (Phi Theta Kappa Advisor) and Ashley Forhan (Phi Theta Kappa Student and Food Pantry Manager) for many years now. They discussed the need for support pertaining to the QCC Food Pantry. I offered the idea of having the QCC Police Academy recruits donate on a voluntary basis. The Massachusetts Police Training Committee and police academies across the state encourage student officers to give back to the community,” Sgt. Cecchi said.

Graduates of the QCC Police Academy are eligible to be hired by municipal police in a part-time reserve/intermittent capacity and will exercise police powers as a police officer. Giving back to the communities they may serve one day is an important part of police work, noted Sgt. Cecchi. At the academy, the student officers are learning that one of the foundational principles of the policing profession is to foster trust and build strong relationships in the communities they will one day serve, through positive interactions.

“The generosity of the police academy was absolutely breathtaking. To see my fellow students come together to donate to the food pantry was something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Words cannot describe the happiness that I felt in my heart after receiving this incredible donation,” said QCC Food Pantry Manager Ashley Forhan.

Those interested in making a donation can email the QCC Food Pantry at foodpantry [at] qcc.mass.edu.

  • Native American artifacts were on display in the Harrington Learning Center.
  • A photo of Professor Doe West's grandmother
November, 2018

November is designated National Native American Heritage Month, a time to recognize, reflect and learn about the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. Native American culture is not homogenous.  Every nation and tribe within the nations are unique, yet they have erroneously been grouped together.

On October 24, QCC's I Stand With...

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November is designated National Native American Heritage Month, a time to recognize, reflect and learn about the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. Native American culture is not homogenous.  Every nation and tribe within the nations are unique, yet they have erroneously been grouped together.

On October 24, QCC's I Stand With Immigrants Day of Action brought together students, faculty and staff as they shared their stories and personal experiences. One of the most captivating stories was given by Professor and Chair of the Human Services Department, Dr. Doe West, who discussed her Native American heritage.

There are few, if any on campus who can speak with more knowledge on this subject than Dr. West, whose grandmother was a Native American. Her grandmother’s heritage was Lenape or Lenni-Lenape (later named Delaware Indians by Europeans). In the 1600s they were loosely organized bands of Native American people practicing small-scale agriculture to augment a largely mobile hunter-gatherer society in the region around the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island. 

 “It was important when we were having the conversation about the governmental treatment of immigrants and those deemed ‘the other’ to remember Native Americans experienced such issues as the break-up of families and violence created by fear and prejudice,” Dr. West said.

Dr. West talked about the shame associated with what happened to Native Americans, noting how an entire culture was ravaged by diseases such as small pox and measles that were brought with them from other lands. The Native Americans were also virtually wiped out by the European settlers due to the lust and greed of wanting more and more land. 

Dr. West told the story of her grandmother who was taken from her tribe by missionaries at the age of 8 after her parents died to “save her” from the “savages.” Her grandmother was taken to a white woman’s house in New York where she became a slave for the family working in the kitchen.

“They called me ‘the girl,’ but I knew what I was; I was the slave and that’s how I was treated,” Dr. West said her grandmother told her. By the age of 11 her grandmother had escaped the home after cultivating a relationship with the owner of a hat factory and worked nights cleaning the factory in exchange for being allowed to sleep in a storage room.  Child labor issues allowed her that terrible option.

By age 12, she had caught the eye of Dr. West’s soon to be grandfather, the son of a farmer and local butcher, who saw her at a grange (community) dance. Her grandfather’s parents were horrified that their son would want to be with an Indian woman; however, since her grandmother was light-skinned they agreed to allow them to be together if she dressed, talked and acted like a white woman and renounced her heritage. 

It wasn’t until Dr. West was 8 years old that she learned of her heritage from her grandmother, who recognized something within her spirit and felt she was to be taught the ways of her people, she said.  It remained something private between them as long as she lived with the family due to prejudice that remained in that area.  Dr. West finally attended her first pow-wow when she entered college and her eyes were opened further to the plight of Native Americans; as well as the beauty and importance of her heritage and that of all tribal nations.

“Seventy years ago Native Americans could not vote,” she said, adding that many on the reservation today only have post office boxes and so a law was developed that made it necessary to have a street address in order to vote. “It was a next clear denial of rights,” she said.

Dr. West said that today the Native Americans are finding new strength and community support as others add their voice to theirs in such environmental struggles as Standing Rock. 

A historic milestone you will see celebrated by a sign on her wall was the recent election of two Native American women, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland into Congress.

But it is a sign on her door says it all.  “If you’re an American your heritage is Native American, slave, refugee or immigrant that’s it.”

  • Interactive media photos
November, 2018

The world is changing at a rapid pace and interactive media is leading the way. No one knows this better than the folks in Quinsigamond Community College’s Interactive Media program, formerly known as the Applied Arts program. In 1993, QCC established the Applied Arts program, one of the first multi-faceted computer based programs designated for students seeking a design...

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The world is changing at a rapid pace and interactive media is leading the way. No one knows this better than the folks in Quinsigamond Community College’s Interactive Media program, formerly known as the Applied Arts program. In 1993, QCC established the Applied Arts program, one of the first multi-faceted computer based programs designated for students seeking a design career in digital media in the region. The program focused on digital design and photography. In 2000-2001, the program expanded to include two labs that seat 40 students. In 2016, the program changed its name to Interactive Media. According to Interactive Media Professor Mary Valentine, the name change (and adjusted curriculum) reflected the ever changing trends within the industry.

"Everything is changing so rapidly and the field is widening," she said, adding that the need to be current with technology is extremely important so that students can transfer to four year institutions or enter the workforce seamlessly.

The success of the Interactive Media program is demonstrated by the graduates of the program, who have gone on to four year institutions such as the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Lesley University and the University of Massachusetts. Ms. Valentine said many of the students have made an indelible impression in a variety of industries across the interactive media platform.

“We give them a good base, then they go into a more specific major when they transfer,” Ms. Valentine said. “Most of our former students are in the (interactive media) industry. They give us feedback as well as do guest demonstration and lectures.”

In May of this year, QCC students Daniael Alicia, Grit Jana and Nicholas Tisdale had their artwork selected to hang in the State House as part of a Worcester-area college exposition hosted by Senator Michael Moore. Five students' artwork was chosen from hundreds submissions by Worcester Consortium colleges.

“Each year since this began QCC has been well-represented,” Ms. Valentine added.

Gaming Program

Interactive Media Professors George Fitch and Mary Valentine have continued to stay abreast of changing technologies, extensively evaluating the curriculum every three years. In 2015, the college expanded its Interactive Media program to include gaming.

Learning Manager Nathaniel “Nate” Mello, a graduate of Becker College’s gaming program, was hired to run the program. While still in its infancy stages, QCC’s gaming program has already graduated nine students, all of whom have either gone on to four year institutions or directly entered the gaming workforce. This year the gaming program has almost doubled in size and appears to only be growing.

In April, QCC students Nicholas Tisdale and Nicholas Dykers participated in the New England Student Game Design Showcase (NESGDS), hosted by Microsoft. The students received first place in the Best Game Play category for their submission, Data Strain.  Students from over 21 New England colleges and universities participated in the event.

“Gaming requires both the artistic and technical side,” Ms. Valentine said, making it an attractive program for students.

QCC has an articulation agreement with Becker College for digital design and game design, enabling eligible students to easily transfer.

“We are also working on articulation agreements with Lesley University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute,” Ms. Valentine said.

Visit Interactive Media to learn more about the program.

  • Author Nina MacLaughlin
  • English Professor John Stazinski and Nina MacLaughlin
November, 2018

It’s not often that a speaker is so captivating that an hour long talk feels like it was a minute long; however, that seemed to be the case earlier this month when author Nina MacLaughlin came to Quinsigamond Community College and discussed her book, Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter.

“Each fall the QCC English Department chooses a single book and encourages faculty in different...

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It’s not often that a speaker is so captivating that an hour long talk feels like it was a minute long; however, that seemed to be the case earlier this month when author Nina MacLaughlin came to Quinsigamond Community College and discussed her book, Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter.

“Each fall the QCC English Department chooses a single book and encourages faculty in different disciplines to use the book in their classes, and then invites the author to speak on campus. In the past we’ve had Andre Dubus, Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, and Richard Blanco,” said English Professor John Stazinski.

The book chosen, Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter, details Ms. MacLaughlin’s journey of quitting her desk job as an editor of the Boston Phoenix and completely changing careers and becoming a carpenter after answering a blind ad for a carpenter’s assistant.

She told students, faculty and staff about her trepidation after getting the job and asking herself, “What have I done? I had no experience at all.”

Ms. MacLaughlin said she couldn’t even read a tape measure and discussed how the carpenter, “Mary” who hired her, was extremely patient and taught her the importance of making mistakes and learning from them.  Currently, she said she is doing less carpentry (as Mary has been diagnosed with emphysema); working on making wooden spoons, and has written another book that will come out soon.

After the discussion Ms. MacLaughlin opened it up to questions, which ranged the gamut from questions about what inspired her to write her book; what were her goals for the future, to asking her about how Mary was doing.

“It was such a pleasure coming to speak at QCC earlier this month. Talking to some friends later that afternoon, I told them how I'd been asked questions I'd never been asked before, and what fresh, good, curious questions they were. It's such an honor being asked questions that show that the person has read the work, paid attention to it, has curiosity about it, and that was definitely the case that day,” Ms. MacLaughlin said.

She added that some of the questions even took her a little off guard.

What would she have done if she hadn't answered the craigslist ad for a carpenter's assistant ?

Had her relationship with her dad changed after she became a carpenter and wrote a book?

“The students' questions were impressive, and also really fun to answer, from what I'd be doing if I hadn't gotten the carpentry job, to what the future of synthetic wood might be, to how the book changed my relationship with my dad. I'm grateful for the range and engagement, and for the people interacting with the book in such a way,” she said. “I keep coming back to the word honor. It's also really neat to see a bunch of hands shoot up to ask questions --- and a bummer not to be able to answer them all!”

Ms. MacLaughlin said that after the event a few people got in touch with her, telling their own stories of changing paths.

“I drove back to Cambridge that day feeling really, really lucky,” she added. 

  • A November Day at QCC
November, 2018

Friday, December 7: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter will be hosting a Faculty and Staff Appreciation Social in Room 107A. Scott Olson will provide musical entertainment and light refreshments will be served.

Monday, December 10 & Tuesday, December 11: Auditions for the spring play, Columbinus (a docu-drama ...

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Friday, December 7: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter will be hosting a Faculty and Staff Appreciation Social in Room 107A. Scott Olson will provide musical entertainment and light refreshments will be served.

Monday, December 10 & Tuesday, December 11: Auditions for the spring play, Columbinus (a docu-drama with a focus on the tragic Columbine shooting) from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium. Be prepared to read from the script. These auditions are open to everyone at QCC. 

Tuesday, December 25 - Tuesday, January 1: The college will be closed for its annual Winter Break and will reopen on January 2. May you have a happy and healthy holiday season and a Happy New Year! 

December Spotlight: December 4 - 6:  Stuff-A-Cruiser event – The QCC Police Department is hosting this annual event to help support the Feed-a-Family Program. Faculty, staff and students are asked to bring an unwrapped toy, gift card or movie tickets for a Feed-A-Family child. Please take a moment to join the QCC Police and their “helpers” for some hot cocoa as a thank you for your donation.

Event Times and locations:

  • Tuesday, December 4:  10::00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the lobby of the QCC Healthcare and Workforce Development Center, 25 Federal Street, Worcester.
  • Wednesday, December 5: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the flagpoles on QCC’s main campus, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester.
  • Thursday, December 6: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the front lobby of QCC Southbridge, 5 Optical Drive, Southbridge.

Toys and donations will also be accepted on QCC’s main campus in 162A, the Fuller Student Center, and at the QCC Campus Police, Room 136 in the Athletic Center until December 8.

  • Veterans Day Parade
  • Army Specialist Manny Antwi represented Veteran Affairs at the Military Gala held at Vets Inc. in Worcester.
  • Mark Blease helps serve breakfast to QCC veterans.
  • QCC student veteran Desiree Vinson helps serve lunch to veterans.
November, 2018

On the day of November 11, 1919, the 28th U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed an Armistice Day (today known as Veterans Day) to honor all American veterans who have served in the military of the United States. This year Veterans Day held an added significance as it was the centennial commemoration of the ending of World War I. QCC veterans, their families and friends proudly marched in Worcester’s annual...

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On the day of November 11, 1919, the 28th U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed an Armistice Day (today known as Veterans Day) to honor all American veterans who have served in the military of the United States. This year Veterans Day held an added significance as it was the centennial commemoration of the ending of World War I. QCC veterans, their families and friends proudly marched in Worcester’s annual Veterans Day Parade, with QCC’s President, Dr. Luis Pedraja also taking part in the occasion. QCC Veteran Affairs also honored the college’s veterans during the week preceding Veterans Day by providing both breakfast and lunch each day.

Until December 10, the Veteran Affairs office will be collecting donations in order to send holiday care packages, cards and letters to service men and women currently deployed in Afghanistan and local veteran hospitals.  Requested donations include:

  • Cards
  • Candy
  • Magazines
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Eye Drops
  • Lip Balm
  • Body Lotions
  • Holiday Decorations
  • Sticky Pads
  • Beef Jerky
  • Pens

Donations can be dropped off in the Veteran Affairs Office, Room 258A or at the security desk in the HealthCare and Workforce Development Center, 25 Federal Street, Worcester.