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January, 2018

  • From left: Susan Mailman, Owner and President of Coghlin Electrical Contractors, Inc. and Coghlin Network Services, Inc. and QCC Chair of the Board of Trustees, QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja and COO Stephen Marini.
  • Dr. Pedraja and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
January, 2018

Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative grant awarded to collegiate partnership

On January 11, 2018, Quinsigamond Community College’s (QCC) and Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) partnership was strengthened with the awarding of a $4 million Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) grant by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, to support the emerging and future technology of...

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Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative grant awarded to collegiate partnership

On January 11, 2018, Quinsigamond Community College’s (QCC) and Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) partnership was strengthened with the awarding of a $4 million Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) grant by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, to support the emerging and future technology of integrated photonics through the launch of an AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP). This is the second LEAP in the Commonwealth.

The Lt. Governor relayed the news of the award and partnership to a packed house of legislators, industry and academic leaders at WPI’s campus center.

“This is a collaborative effort of Federal partners, our state dollars and then of course here with the folks at QCC and WPI,” Lt. Gov. Polito said to the assembled crowd.

Photonics is a technology that allows for a faster transfer of data than traditional electronic circuits. The technology is used in a vast array of industries and applications such as telecommunications, data storage, flat screen TVs, radar and autonomous vehicles. 

The new LEAP facility is being developed as a collaboration between AIM Photonics, AIM Academy, QCC, WPI, the Mass Tech Collaborative through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2), and the Department of Defense.  The first LEAP facility is located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is home to AIM Photonics Academy. The Academy’s mission is to provide a skilled workforce for the integrated photonics industry.

These LEAP facilities are designed to be a pipeline from Boston to Rochester, NY in order to foster photonics education, research, and workforce development that will meet the needs of the industry now and in the future.

“What sets this (LEAP) apart from MIT is that it has a connection to a community college,” Lt. Gov. Polito said. “I’m really happy that WPI can be a catalyst along with Quinsigamond for this innovation hub of connectivity in Central Massachusetts.”

WPI’s President Dr. Laurie Leshin and QCC’s President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja both touted the strong partnerships the two institutions have shared and their excitement to help bring this innovative technology to students and area companies.

“We’ve had a special partnership with Quinsigamond Community College for more than half a century,” President Leshin said. “Putting our assets together is invaluable.”

“We’ve had a long history of collaboration,” President Pedraja said. “This is an exciting time. This opportunity to be a partner with WPI and LEAP will help our students for the future. We are truly training our students for the jobs and the technology of the future.”

Jacob Longacre, QCC Assistant Professor in Photonics, described the vital role QCC plays in its partnership with WPI, noting that the college’s robust photonics, engineering and manufacturing programs give students a foundation that enables them to go directly to the workforce or continue their education.

QCC students will have the opportunity to learn how testing of integrated photonics works, in addition to enhancing their knowledge of the overarching concepts of photonics through hands-on applications at the LEAP facility. This enables students seeking an Associate Degree a much broader opportunity for advanced learning about photonics by working with WPI and area companies. Students will also be able to take a certificate program and have a comprehensive set of skills they can immediately use in the workforce.

“We have a very broad spectrum of students and that is where we come into this, as a gateway to people, students and industry who are not fully cognizant of how this (photonics) works,” he said. “We’re there to present to them and to get them to a point where they can fully utilize LEAP and learn what they can do in these areas. We’re a gateway to educate and inform. ”

The goals of the LEAP facility at WPI are:

  • to teach integrated photonics manufacturing practice with the goal of building a skilled workforce at all levels; from technicians with Associate Degrees through Ph.D.s, performing research and developing new applications for the technology
  • to provide small and medium-size enterprises technician training and certification
  • to provide local start-ups and small to medium-sized manufacturers with access to state-of-the-art equipment run by skilled workers, and to help companies prototype and scale up new product designs using integrated photonics technology
  • to support the AIM Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) and Test, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) hubs

The LEAP facility will be housed on the WPI campus and will be utilized by students from both institutions, in addition to faculty and industry partners.

“LEAP allows us to help companies create and bring to market tomorrow’s technologies, while simultaneously ensuring that today’s students are trained and ready to work with these new technologies when they complete a certificate or degree program,” Dr. Pedraja said, adding, “Think of how far we’ve come. This is an incredible time.”

Learn more about QCC's Photonics program

Jacob Longacre, QCC Assistant Professor in Photonics Dadbeh Bigonahy,Professor of Engineering & Sciences/Coordinator of the Engineering Program. James Haffernan, Professor of Electronics Engineering Technology/Coordinator of the Electronics Engineering Technology Programs.
  • QCC is working with WPS and WSU on an Early College Program.
January, 2018

The Baker-Polito Administration has announced that Quinsigamond Community College has received Early College Program Preliminary Designation status, in addition to a $10,000 Early College Program Planning Grant for its collaborative effort with Worcester State University (WSU) and the Worcester Public School System, to establish college pathways for Worcester Public School high school students through an Early College...

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The Baker-Polito Administration has announced that Quinsigamond Community College has received Early College Program Preliminary Designation status, in addition to a $10,000 Early College Program Planning Grant for its collaborative effort with Worcester State University (WSU) and the Worcester Public School System, to establish college pathways for Worcester Public School high school students through an Early College Designation Program.

The Boards of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education named QCC as one of the 21 public colleges and universities to receive this preliminary designation and one of the eight educational institutions to be awarded a competitive planning grant. The competitive planning grants will assist schools in becoming “designated” early college programs by the Boards of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education. Early college programs are designed to help high school students prepare to be successful in college. QCC will apply for final designation by February 2018 with the goal of launching the program in the fall of 2018.

“We envision an expanded QCC Early College model that will exponentially increase college and career attainment for underserved Worcester Public School students,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “A decade-long partnership between QCC and Worcester Public Schools has already offered thousands of Worcester Public School students from the City’s seven high schools the opportunity to enroll in QCC courses each semester - both on campus and at their respective high schools. We now want to take this to the next level.”

QCC will collaborate with the Worcester Public School system and WSU to increase college pathways for underserved Worcester high school students, at no cost to the students, by expanding upon QCC’s early college dual enrollment program. QCC’s early college model was developed to offer an unobstructed pathway to postsecondary education and career learning experiences, bringing dual enrollment, remediation, mentoring and wrap-around services to high school students. The program focuses on those who are underrepresented, under-served and first generation-to-college students. Students will have the opportunity to earn from 12-18 college credits while completing a high school diploma.

The early college program model will use multiple approaches and outreach strategies to reach, encourage, and recruit underserved students who may not consider college an option due to barriers such as language, disability, financial and social factors, culture, and academic performance. QCC is looking to substantially increase the current number of dual enrollment seats by the year 2021.

“We are looking to reach and recruit those students who may have little or no experience with, or knowledge of postsecondary education,” Dr. Pedraja added.

The proposed program will incorporate and integrate elements of other successful dual enrollment models such as the 100 Males to College program and the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership educational and wrap-around services.These will include English Language Learner (ELL) classes, tutoring, mentoring, preparation for college course placement, curriculum alignment, and information sessions about how to apply to college, how to complete a FASFA, search for scholarships, and how to apply for financial aid.

QCC is no stranger to the merits of early college programs. In 2011, QCC and Marlborough Public Schools launched an Early College program in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM). To date over 650 students in grades 6 through 12 have been enrolled. In 2014, the program expanded to six STEM-based pathways that included advanced manufacturing, engineering, information technology, computer science, healthcare and biotechnology. The goal is to also continue to expand this program and include career opportunities and certification completion. 

  • Dr. Luis G. Pedraja receives the key to the City from Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty.
  • Dr. Luis G. Pedraja delivers an impassioned speech at the MLK Community Breakfast.
  • The Gospel Choir Association of New England performed at the MLK Community Breakfast.
  • Lt. Governor Karyn Polito addresses the crowd at QCC's Athletic Center.
January, 2018

On January 15, 2018, the Athletic Center at Quinsigamond Community College came alive with the sounds of music, inspiration and hope as the college hosted over 700 people at the 33rd Annual Community Breakfast honoring Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Worcester Attorney Polly Tatum was the master of ceremonies for the program, which included QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja...

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On January 15, 2018, the Athletic Center at Quinsigamond Community College came alive with the sounds of music, inspiration and hope as the college hosted over 700 people at the 33rd Annual Community Breakfast honoring Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Worcester Attorney Polly Tatum was the master of ceremonies for the program, which included QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja as the keynote speaker and speeches by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, U.S. Representative James P. McGovern, Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty and Susan M Mailman, Chairwoman of the QCC Board of Trustees.The Gospel Choir Association of New England, led by Eric Edmonds also performed throughout the program. During the program Dr. Pedraja was presented with the key to the City of Worcester by Mayor Petty in recognition as president of QCC and for his commitment to the City.

Lt. Gov. Polito told the crowd that she felt it was particularly special that the community breakfast was held at QCC.

“I want to say how awesome it is we are on this campus celebrating the great Martin Luther King Jr. because on this campus there are amazing things happening to lift us up and move us forward,” said Lt. Gov. Polito.

The Lt. Governor mentioned QCC’s early college program and how the program is helping to move people forward, giving them hope and opportunities. She also addressed the job training that is available at technical high schools and community colleges across the region saying they offer people the skills they need to advance their careers and enable them to obtain better paying jobs.

One of the highlights of the program was keynote speaker, Dr. Pedraja. QCC’s President gave an impassioned speech echoing Dr. King’s sentiments of standing up against racial inequality and asking those in the audience, “I ask dare we dream, and I say YES because if not us, then who?”

As a first generation college student who emigrated from Cuba with his family as a young child and grew up in low-income Miami neighborhood, Dr. Pedraja said the day honoring Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was very dear to him. Dr. Pedraja advocates tirelessly for increased higher education access for all people, especially those who have been underserved historically by the American higher education system. He has brought this vision and passion to QCC.

“Today education still marks a great divide where some communities have greater access than others,” he said. “If we are to achieve equity, education must be a part of the solution. Education cannot be a commodity reserved solely for the wealthy and the elite. Education is a basic human right.”

The breakfast also honored Cynthia M. McMullen, former principal of Doherty High School, who received this year’s MLK Eleanor Hawley Service Award and Martin Luther King Jr. scholars who received scholarships. Scholarship winners included Collins Gatongo Chege – UMass-Lowell ($1,500), Fabielle Mendoza- UMass-Amherst ($1,500), Ligia Nunez – UMass-Amherst ($1,500), Sandra Orellana- Holy Cross ($1,500), and Ashley Forhan- QCC ($1,000). 

  • Professor Betty Lauer assisting at a past VEX Robotic Competition at QCC.
  • Each year VEX robots perform different challenges during competitions.
January, 2018

Quinsigamond Community College Professor Betty Lauer (Professor of Computer Systems Engineering Technology/Coordinator of the Computer Systems Engineering Technology Program/Coordinator of the Computer Information Systems Program,) is someone who is “in the zone” when it comes to helping to students change the trajectory of their lives. 

Ms. Lauer has spent the past 16...

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Quinsigamond Community College Professor Betty Lauer (Professor of Computer Systems Engineering Technology/Coordinator of the Computer Systems Engineering Technology Program/Coordinator of the Computer Information Systems Program,) is someone who is “in the zone” when it comes to helping to students change the trajectory of their lives. 

Ms. Lauer has spent the past 16 years working with elementary, middle and high school students quieting and passionately developing an after school robotics program in the Worcester Public Schools (WPS) that is making a difference. Each year Ms. Lauer works with students in the WPS after-school program helping them design and build robots to compete in the VEX Robotics Competition. The program gives students a hands on approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and teaches them invaluable lifelong communication, teamwork and leadership skills. Students who have historically been under-represented and under-served are able to become a part of something that oftentimes is transforming, Ms. Lauer said.

The students use the robots they’ve made to play against other teams, performing a set of challenges at local competitions. If students advance far enough, they are invited to compete in the nationals. These competitions are put on by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. The Vex Robotics Competition currently is in over 40 countries with over a million students competing worldwide.

“WPS doesn’t have a K-12 outreach except for the math club. This is the largest after-school program in the WPS system since 2006. This is a void that we’ve filled,” Ms. Lauer said, adding that this year WPS will take over the elementary school component of the program.

Participants in the WPS program number 600 students (elementary – high school). In past years there’s been over twice that amount. “I’ve seen so many students change their life paths through this program,” she continued.

Ms. Lauer has been involved in this program for close to 16 years, when she first organized a summer outreach robotics program. The program is funded by private organizations that donate money to pay for the VEX robotics kits the students use to build their robots, in addition to food for the students who attend the competitions.

“It’s such a good program but it’s all paid for by outside funding,” Ms. Lauer said, noting that the funding can fluctuate year-to-year as company dynamics change.

QCC has been an integral part of the program since its inception, hosting competitions at its main campus each year. The school has a robotics club and many of the former club presidents come back each year to help out in the competitions. Students who are part of the competition become familiar with QCC and many end up attending the college once they have completed high school.

“Every one of our former robotics club presidents are doing very well,” Ms. Lauer said, noting many who have gone on to four year universities and attained high levels of success in their careers.

On Sunday, January 28, Professor Lauer along, with past and present QCC students, assisted middle and high school students in a day long qualifying competition, named “In the Snow Zone at QCC.”  The students spent the day competing against other schools on a 12 ft. x 12 ft. field. Two alliances of two teams competed against each other and used their robot to attain the highest score possible by stacking cones on goals, scoring mobile goals in goal zones, having the highest stacks, and by parking robots.

Dozens of area middle and high school students took part in the day-long event, which saw the winners advance to regional competition, the Southern New England Championship, to be held at QCC on March 3 and March 4.

 “It’s such a good opportunity for these students and they learn so many other things,” Ms. Lauer said. “It’s changed the direction of students’ lives.” 

  • The QCC community experienced a rare partial solar eclipse.
  • Members of the QCC community were able to safely view the partial solar eclipse through telescopes with solar filters.
January, 2018

Early risers will be in for a treat the morning of January 31 (weather permitting) when the first lunar eclipse of 2018 will take place. This eclipse is called a “Super Blue Blood Moon” because of the three occurrences that will take place simultaneously. A moon in total eclipse is referred to as a blood moon because of the reddish hue it takes on during the eclipse. A super moons occurs when the moon is...

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Early risers will be in for a treat the morning of January 31 (weather permitting) when the first lunar eclipse of 2018 will take place. This eclipse is called a “Super Blue Blood Moon” because of the three occurrences that will take place simultaneously. A moon in total eclipse is referred to as a blood moon because of the reddish hue it takes on during the eclipse. A super moons occurs when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, appearing larger and brighter than a typical full moon. A blue moon is when dust particles make the moon appear blue. Put all three of these together and you get a “Super Blue Blood Moon.”

This total lunar eclipse will be visible from much of the U.S., northeastern Europe, Russia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, and Australia. However, in Worcester, only a partial lunar eclipse will be visible. So just what does this mean if you’re looking to view as much of the eclipse as possible?

“You have a mere 13 minutes (starting at 6:48 a.m.) to view this partial eclipse,” said QCC Professor of Integrated Sciences, Andria Schwortz. “Sunrise on January 31 is at 7:02 a.m. and the full moon sets at approximately the same time as the sun rises.”

According to Professor Schwortz, Europe and Africa will have a better view of the eclipse, noting that lunar eclipses can be seen from half of the world (anywhere that the moon can be seen) unlike solar eclipses, which can only be seen from a small part of the world.  

There are two types of eclipses, lunar and solar. These eclipses are caused by the shadows of the earth and moon and how they line up. A lunar eclipse occurs at full moon and only when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow. A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking the light from the sun.

On August 21, 2017 the QCC community experienced an incredible occurrence with the viewing of a solar eclipse. This transcontinental solar eclipse was the first since 1918 and there were areas of the country in totality (complete darkness from the shadow of the moon blocking the sun), making it a very rare occurrence. In Central Massachusetts eclipse viewers were able to only view a partial solar eclipse.

One of the key differences between a lunar and solar eclipse is that you can view a lunar eclipse safely.

“Lunar eclipses are always safe to look at,” said Professor Schwortz. Solar eclipses can never be viewed with the naked eye, nor through an unfiltered telescope or binoculars.

Eclipses happen multiple times a year and depending where you are in the world will determine how often you are able to view one. One of the most impressive total lunar eclipses in modern memory was during the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals World Series. This was the first lunar eclipse to take place during a World Series game and also coincided with the Red Sox winning their first World Series since 1918. While not quite as impressive as that lunar eclipse, the January 31 eclipse is something that shouldn’t be missed.

“For the best viewing you should go outside and look west a little before sunrise. Try and go up on a hill or building so that you can see the horizon,” Professor Schwortz said. “Kids will love to see it!”

An image of a lunar eclipse.
  • ZUZU African Acrobats
January, 2018

On Wednesday, January 31, from 1:00 p.m. -2:30 p.m. the QCC Diversity Caucus will host the ZUZU African Acrobats in the Hebert Auditorium. The show features an authentic representation of what you would see at a cultural center in Nairobi or Mombasa. Three members of the group, Hamisi Kitole, Paris Mumba and Shauri Kahmis appeared on the recent “America’s got Talent Show” on NBC TV.

This high...

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On Wednesday, January 31, from 1:00 p.m. -2:30 p.m. the QCC Diversity Caucus will host the ZUZU African Acrobats in the Hebert Auditorium. The show features an authentic representation of what you would see at a cultural center in Nairobi or Mombasa. Three members of the group, Hamisi Kitole, Paris Mumba and Shauri Kahmis appeared on the recent “America’s got Talent Show” on NBC TV.

This high energy acrobatic show will feature chair balancing, pyramid building, limbo, comedy, juggling, audience participation and much more. The lecture portion highlights the amazing story of togetherness through adversity in order to live out one's dreams, as well as African culture and traditions. This positive, high energy cultural lecture and show offers an uplifting message. The event is free and open to all at QCC. 

  • Alex Fontanes as the "Sandman" in the college's recent theater production.
  • Liam Doherty as "Heat" in the college's recent production.
January, 2018

Student nominated for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition

Quinsigamond Community College’s fledgling theater program has just taken a giant step into the spotlight with its upcoming trip to the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). The school has also received a nomination for a QCC student to perform in the Irene Ryan Acting Award program during the northeast...

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Student nominated for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition

Quinsigamond Community College’s fledgling theater program has just taken a giant step into the spotlight with its upcoming trip to the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). The school has also received a nomination for a QCC student to perform in the Irene Ryan Acting Award program during the northeast regional festival, held on January 30 – February 4, 2018 at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury Connecticut. The Kennedy Center American College Theater is a national theater program that involves thousands of students from colleges and universities across the country, serving as a catalyst for improving quality college theater in America.

Eight regional festivals are held across the country that showcase high caliber, college-level theater production.  comedy_and_tragedy_masks_without_background.svg-thumb.png

“This is very unique to have a nomination for the first production by a school, as well as for a new program,” said Dr. Clarence Ates, QCC’s Dean of the School of Humanities and Education, who has been the driving force behind the theater program. “While any school can attend this festival, not every school is nominated.”

QCC’s Liberal Arts Theater Option Associate Degree program is still in its infancy stages, having begun in 2016. The comprehensive program is designed to maximize opportunities for students in theater arts who may be interested in transferring to four-year institutions or who immediately want to enter the visual or performing arts workforce.

This past fall, the QCC Student Theater presented a production titled, “Struggling to Connect, Exploring Relationships.” The production garnered such positive feedback that QCC’s Theater Production Coordinator, Kelly Morgan, entered the show for KCACTF consideration in the upcoming 2018 festival.

To find out if a college or university merits being nominated, KCACTF has performing arts faculty from universities around the state represent the program to visit and critique the schools’ productions. There are a variety of categories in which a school has the opportunity to be nominated for, involving every aspect of performing arts.

It’s also important to have the support of your school in order to be a part of KCACTF.

“The respondent will do the nominating, but the school has to be willing to be a sponsor, since there are financial costs associated with attending the festival,” said Dean Ates. “The college been extremely accommodating and financially supportive. President Pedraja recognizes that this is a wonderful opportunity for our students and our institution. ”

Adam Zahler, a Visual and Performing Arts Professor at Worcester State University, was the respondent who came to QCC to watch QCC’s production. Mr. Zahler discussed his recommended nomination with QCC’s Theater Director, Kelly Stowell, who agreed with his recommendation.

QCC student Alejandro “Alex” Fontanes, who was the “Sandman” in the school’s production, was nominated to compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Award program at the festival.  QCC theater student Liam Doherty will also be a part of the competition, acting as a scene partner for the scene portion of the competition.

Mr. Fontanes will be competing with 300 students (and their partners) during the first round at the regional festival. This number will then be cut down to 36 after the first day, and to between 18-16 for the final round. Students who win their regional festival will receive a $500 scholarship, with the chance to compete at the national festival in Washington, D.C. to win a $5,000 scholarship.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this,” said Mr. Fontanes.” It’s been really fun (rehearsing) and almost therapeutic. I had in my mind who I thought was going to be nominated but when I heard my name, I just lost it!”

Other QCC theater students who will be attending the festival include Lola Balogun, Kyler Simard, David Rodriguez and Alexis Guertin. The students will have the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops such as acting, movement, stage management, make up, voice, script analysis, musical theater and dance; productions; directing and design competitions and new play competitions. They will also have a chance to meet with nationally-recognized professionals and even have an opportunity to audition for a professional internship.

Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation has awarded scholarships to university actors. Scholarships are awarded to the outstanding student performers at the 16 regional festivals and then the students move on to compete in the national festival where they can win a $5,000 scholarship. Students are required to perform two scenes and one monologue during the competition.

“This is truly a very special honor and we are looking forward to all the great information the students will be bringing back to the college,” Dean Ates added.

For more information on QCC’s theater program visit www.QCC.edu/theater .

  • Dr. Pedraja discuses the college's ongoing initiatives at All College Day. .
  • Ingrid Skadberg, Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee updates the college on the strategic plan goals.
January, 2018

After six months on the job, QCC’s President, Dr. Luis G. Pedraja began his second All College Day talk with a nod to the MLK Breakfast held at the college on January 15, in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As the guest speaker at that event, Dr. Pedraja discussed the division that is in the country today, noting there seemed to be a rhetoric of hate.

“I...

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After six months on the job, QCC’s President, Dr. Luis G. Pedraja began his second All College Day talk with a nod to the MLK Breakfast held at the college on January 15, in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As the guest speaker at that event, Dr. Pedraja discussed the division that is in the country today, noting there seemed to be a rhetoric of hate.

“I believe we are better than this and I will strive to ensure everyone is welcome here,” he said. “Education plays an important role in creating equality.”

Dr. Pedraja discussed his continued mission to ensure that all students at QCC attain success. He told those assembled that he has been working with staff and faculty to develop a culture that is transparent and inclusive for all.

“Together we share a common value and vision, working for students’ success,” Dr. Pedraja said, adding that QCC students have a determination to come to class in order to help themselves attain a better tomorrow, regardless of the obstacles they face.

Dr. Pedraja also discussed the new signs and the Welcome Center and how he hopes this brings a more welcoming environment to the campus.

“We are committed to welcoming all,” he said. “All are welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, religious view, gender or sexual orientation.”

Dr. Pedraja cited the need for higher education in order to match the needs of the future workforce.

“We are not valuing education, so there are not enough people going into higher education. Studies show that by 2020, 65 percent of the jobs will require some college,” he continued, adding that even Massachusetts falls short of that number and in minority communities those numbers are even lower.

To help try and address some of these issues, Dr. Pedraja said they have started a pilot initiative of community-based learning centers, which will begin in the fall. He said the college is in the process of partnering with three different agencies to create centers in the communities where students live. The community centers will offer a safe place for students to study and offer free Wi-Fi and some computers and printers in order for students to do their classwork.

“A community college cannot just be defined by the walls of our campus. It must be present in our community,” Dr. Pedraja said, adding that the current locations being discussed are the Worcester Housing Authority, QCC’s Downtown campus and Catholic Charities.

Dr. Pedraja also discussed developing a mentor program by the fall that will work with members of the community and QCC alumni to act as an “intrusive program mentor." He said the program will involve proactively reaching out to students to help with their needs, especially in the first year of college.

Wrapping up the morning presentation were Strategic Planning Core Team co-chairs, Kathy Rentsch and Ingrid Skadberg who discussed the Strategic Plan Position Report.

After the presentations, staff and faculty broke up into different groups to informally discuss and suggest actions and strategies to accomplish the goals of the Strategic Plan.

 

  • Gateway to College Program
January, 2018

Gateway to College, in partnership with Uxbridge High School, had 14 students graduate with their high school diplomas in the Fall 2017 semester.  Gateway to College is a program that allows students to earn credit towards both their high school diplomas and college degrees by participating in the program. At one point, all Gateway to College students were at great risk of not completing high school.

In...

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Gateway to College, in partnership with Uxbridge High School, had 14 students graduate with their high school diplomas in the Fall 2017 semester.  Gateway to College is a program that allows students to earn credit towards both their high school diplomas and college degrees by participating in the program. At one point, all Gateway to College students were at great risk of not completing high school.

In addition to 14 graduates, the program also honored 36 students for their academic achievements. In a ceremony held on January 9th, the following awards were distributed:

Gateway Achiever (honoring a 2.5-2.9 college GPA): Sarah Burwick, Hannah Cormier, Josh Dauderis, Edwin Diaz, Jody Gonzalez, Kelsie Jones, Abigail Picard, Bailey Powers, Antonio Sacchiero and Jacquelyn Snell.

Gateway National Network Honors (honoring a college GPA over a 3.0): Julie Anderson, Connor Antul, Quentin Brock, Carley Burns, Logan Czechowski, Allissa Doud, Vanessa Fournier, Christopher Gannon, Angelina Germain, Brittney Gilroy, Jeffrey Hart, Olivia Howard, Alexandra Kehoe, Jack Kelley, Lauren Kolonusz, Casey Kumpey, Lindsey Lambert, Starla Leger-Feldman, Ian Mahoney, Rebecca Manzano-Howard, Nicole Nolasco, Peter Oliveira, Alexis Persson-Ortiz, Isabella Piscitelli, May Therrien and Gelianni Torres

Linda Huddle Award (graduating students who have a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 of higher, and were in the Gateway to College program at least two semesters): Lauren Kolunsz, Ian Mahoney and Isabella Piscitelli .

Fall 2017 Graduates: Jezabel Acevado, Julie Anderson, Connor Antul, Carley Burns, Hannah Cormier, Edwin Diaz, Kelsie Jones, Lauren Kolonusz, Casey Kumpey, Brittany Lazo, Ian Mahoney, Alexis Persson-Ortiz, Isabella Piscitelli, Bailey Powers

Graduates will officially cross the stage and earn their diplomas at QCC’s graduation ceremony on May 24, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium. All are welcome.

Connor Antul, one of Gateway Honors graduates. Carley Burns, one of Gateway Honors graduates. Lauren Kolonusz, a Linda Huddle Award winner.
  • Chess Club President Nadia Ackerman.
January, 2018

When QCC’s Chess Club Advisor and Art Professor Jerry Williams jokingly told QCC Student Nadia Ackerman that girls can’t play chess, what happened next didn’t surprise him.

“I got her interest with that comment and she showed up to play,” he said.

Not only did she show up to play, she showed up to beat him. Since 2013, Ms. Ackerman has...

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When QCC’s Chess Club Advisor and Art Professor Jerry Williams jokingly told QCC Student Nadia Ackerman that girls can’t play chess, what happened next didn’t surprise him.

“I got her interest with that comment and she showed up to play,” he said.

Not only did she show up to play, she showed up to beat him. Since 2013, Ms. Ackerman has quietly and efficiently been taking on and beating opponent after opponent including her advisor and mentor, QCC’s Chess Club Advisor and Art Professor Jerry Williams.

Today the QCC student is an avid member of the school’s chess club and also its president. When asked what she likes about the game, one that historically has been male dominated, she offers a telling answer.

“It’s very intellectual and challenging. The more you play the more you grow and learn new strategies,” Ms. Ackerman said. “Anyone can play chess. It’s fun and social and you meet new people, which is great.”

Ms. Ackerman has played in both the QCC and the Assumption College tournaments, placing in the top sections in each.

According to Mr. Williams there are preconceived notions about chess (being incredibly smart or a nerd) that both he and Ms. Ackerman have been working to dispel.

“I like to say I made it cool years back,” she said.

 “She’s helping to promote chess,” Mr. Williams said. “She is also willing to help any newcomer to the game.”

Ms. Ackerman said a person must take the game step-by-step and not get frustrated, and said she is willing to teach anyone who is interested.

“I’ll help them along the way. It makes me happy and it’s fun. I’ve loved chess for a long time and intellectual games in general,” she said, adding, “I also like to win!”

“Anyone who wants to can play anytime, anywhere and at any age,” Mr. Williams said.

QCC ‘s Chess Club meets in Room 67A in the Administration Building every Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Members of the club can also often be found in the cafeteria in the morning or later in the say playing a game or two.

“Other people can also participate and it’s free,” Mr. Williams added.  

January, 2018

On January 16, 2018 during All College Day, QCC faculty and staff were honored with Service Awards for their years of valued service at the college. Elizabeth “Beth” Austin, Interim Executive Director of Human Resources and President Dr. Luis Pedraja presented the awards to 21 QCC employees. Service award winners include:

  • Cheryl Pike: ...
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On January 16, 2018 during All College Day, QCC faculty and staff were honored with Service Awards for their years of valued service at the college. Elizabeth “Beth” Austin, Interim Executive Director of Human Resources and President Dr. Luis Pedraja presented the awards to 21 QCC employees. Service award winners include:

  • Cheryl Pike: 40
  • Roger Trabucco: 30
  • Jesse Bottcher:  20
  • Lisa Gurnick: 20
  • Karole Hager: 20
  • Patricia Hutchinson: 20
  • Jane Lohnes: 20
  • Kara McDonald: 20
  • Anne McKenna: 20
  • Paula Moreau: 20
  • Joan Perry: 20
  • Maura Tighe Stickles: 20
  • Stephen Wojnowski: 20
  • Elizabeth Woods: 20
  • Jill Arrell: 10
  • Michael Cline: 10
  • Carol King: 10
  • Shunfang Lu: 10
  • Roger W.  Meservey: 10
  • Donald Morin: 10
  • Martha Upton: 10
  • Roxane Gay's Event Flyer
January, 2018

On Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)  at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, “The Literary Philanthropy Project” will present: An Evening with Roxane Gay, NY Times best-selling author, featuring her NY Times bestselling book, Hunger.

Words like “courage,” “humor,” and “smart” are frequently deployed when describing Ms. Gay. Her...

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On Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)  at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, “The Literary Philanthropy Project” will present: An Evening with Roxane Gay, NY Times best-selling author, featuring her NY Times bestselling book, Hunger.

Words like “courage,” “humor,” and “smart” are frequently deployed when describing Ms. Gay. Her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, is universally considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. NPR named it one of the best books of the year and Salon declared the book “trailblazing.” Her powerful debut novel, An Untamed State, was long listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.

In 2017, Ms. Gay released her highly anticipated memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, as well as a collection of short stories titled, Difficult Women.

Ms. Gay is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times, was the co-editor of PANK, and formerly was the non-fiction editor at The Rumpus. Her writing has also appeared in McSweeney’s, The Nation and many other publications. She recently became the first black woman to ever write for Marvel, writing a comic series in the Black Panther universe called, World of Wakanda.

Ms. Gay’s speaking topics include:

  • Feminism and gender equality
  • Racial bias in the media
  • Sexuality and trans-gendered rights

Quinsigamond Community College School of Humanities and Education is sponsoring this event and proceeds will go to merit and need-based scholarships for QCC students.

The cost for general admission is $25 and $100 for VIP tickets. All VIP tickets will get preferred seating and admission to a Meet & Greet after party. Tickets will be available at www.QCC.edu/roxane-gay .

January, 2018

Below is a sampling of some of the articles and press releases published in the local (and sometimes national) media that mention Quinsigamond Community College.

QCC articles for the month of January include:

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Below is a sampling of some of the articles and press releases published in the local (and sometimes national) media that mention Quinsigamond Community College.

QCC articles for the month of January include:

  • The Harrington Learning Center houses QCC's Writing Center.
January, 2018

Looking for a place to practice and improve your English language skills? Look no further than the Writing Center at the Harrington Learning Center. The Center will be offering free tutor-led, small group discussions for QCC students that are centered around a weekly theme.  By attending these groups students can help to build their vocabulary, improve punctuation and practice conversational English.

...

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Looking for a place to practice and improve your English language skills? Look no further than the Writing Center at the Harrington Learning Center. The Center will be offering free tutor-led, small group discussions for QCC students that are centered around a weekly theme.  By attending these groups students can help to build their vocabulary, improve punctuation and practice conversational English.

Discussion groups meet on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. and Fridays at noon. Discussion groups usually last approximately one hour.

No registration is needed, just stop by! For more information, email wcinfo [at] qcc.mass.edu or call 508-854-7488. 

  • John Solaperto proudly holds his drone certification.
January, 2018

The definition of being a pilot has changed over the years as unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones as they are referred to have become commonplace in our society. From hobbyists to professional careers as drone pilots, the allure of flying a drone has touched many people. One such person is QCC’s Senior Technical Specialist John Solaperto. A 25-year veteran of the college, Mr. Solaperto recently...

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The definition of being a pilot has changed over the years as unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones as they are referred to have become commonplace in our society. From hobbyists to professional careers as drone pilots, the allure of flying a drone has touched many people. One such person is QCC’s Senior Technical Specialist John Solaperto. A 25-year veteran of the college, Mr. Solaperto recently decided to take advantage of QCC’s Center for Workforce Development & Continuing Education course offerings and take a drone pilot course.

According to Mr. Solaperto taking a drone course was something he had always wanted to do.

“I’ve known about drones and aerial drone photography for a while and thought that this might be something fun to do,” he said.

As an avid photographer who also teaches photography courses at QCC, Mr. Solaperto was excited to learn more about drones.

“The class was so much more interesting than I originally thought it would be. There are so you need to know before you can fly a drone. We learned about aeronautical charts and the National Airspace System,” he said. “Awareness is so important. You need to be aware of where you’re flying and what’s going on in a particular day.”

Mr. Solaperto said he learned about the distances that a drone can be flown over a structure and how far from clouds a drone can be flown. Weather is also a consideration.

“There’s a lot more to it than people think,” he said, adding, “It’s really worth taking the class even if you don’t do any work with the drone and are just a hobbyist. “

Drones are being used commercially as first-aid vehicles, tools for police departments, high-tech photography and recording devices for real estate properties, concerts, and sporting events.  Many entrepreneurs are getting into the act and starting their own drone businesses.

“They’re used for video filming and are now used to inspect high steeples, smokestacks and high tension wires. Hobbyists also race them.”

There are rules and regulations involved in flying drones that everyone, regardless of what they plan to use a drone for must follow.

“You’d better know the rules when you’re flying to protect yourself and your investment,” Mr. Solaperto continued.

Mr. Solaperto said QCC’s drone courses helped him to pass the U. S. Department of Transportation FAA Airman’s Knowledge test.

QCC’s is offering its next drone course from March 6 - March 29.  Students will learn valuable information in order to take the Part 107 Drone Pilot Test students Gain the confidence and knowledge the will  need to pass your exam and, get certified as a commercial drone pilot. Students will have the opportunity to fly drones at the end of the course.

“I’d recommend this to anyone. This is flying for real. You learn what it takes to be a pilot. The knowledge is well-worth having, regardless of what you want to do with your drone,” Mr. Solaperto said. 

QCC's Drone Class
January, 2018

The Psi Beta Honor Society is conducting a research study that is investigating variables that influence academic performance. The honor society is seeking college students (18 and older) to take a 20-minute survey in the Psychology Center for Excellence, located in the Administration Building, Room 321.

For the past several years QCC students have presented their research at the New England Psychological...

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The Psi Beta Honor Society is conducting a research study that is investigating variables that influence academic performance. The honor society is seeking college students (18 and older) to take a 20-minute survey in the Psychology Center for Excellence, located in the Administration Building, Room 321.

For the past several years QCC students have presented their research at the New England Psychological Association conference. This has been a wonderful experience for them to collect, analyze and present original research data at a professional conference.

Dates and times that are available to take the survey include:

  • Mondays: February 5, February 12 and February 19; noon -1 p.m. and 2 -3  p.m.
  • Tuesdays: February 6, February 13 and  February 20; 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesdays: February 7,  February 14,  February 21; noon - 1 p.m.and 2 - 3 p.m.
  • Thursdays:  February 8;  February 15 and  February 22; 9:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m. & 2 - 3 p.m.

 

Questions? Contact Valarie Clemente, Ed.D. at vclemente [at] qcc.mass.edu or Eric Mania, Ph.D., emania [at] qcc.mass.edu

Psychology Research Study
  • From left:Thomas Dotson, Coordinator, Kim Cummings, Manager of Interpreter Services, Terri Rodriguez, Associate Director, Tami Strouth, Coordinator, Joanne Sharac, Coordinator, Ann Panetta, Coordinator, Anne Shore, Coordinator, and Kristie Proctor, Director of Disability Services.
January, 2018

On January 9th, Disability Services staff presented a two-hour workshop on transition as part of a Worcester Public Schools (WPS) professional development day. Coordinated by Eileen Quinn, Assistant Director of Special Education for Worcester Public Schools and Kristie Proctor, Director of Disability Services for QCC, the workshop allowed for increased communication and...

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On January 9th, Disability Services staff presented a two-hour workshop on transition as part of a Worcester Public Schools (WPS) professional development day. Coordinated by Eileen Quinn, Assistant Director of Special Education for Worcester Public Schools and Kristie Proctor, Director of Disability Services for QCC, the workshop allowed for increased communication and a foundation of collaboration between the two stakeholders.

The workshop goals included:  promoting collaboration, appreciating the service-delivery differences between and secondary and post-secondary special education models, and underscoring the student-centric approach that Disability Services adheres to at QCC. Disability Coordinators shared and answered many questions regarding the transition process from high school to college. QCC’s documentation guidelines and how accommodations operate in the college setting were ranked as the most valuable topics by workshop attendees.  

As a result of the presentation, Worcester Public Schools has asked QCC's Disability Services to present to the WPS-Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Spring meeting in order to prepare parents and guardians about service/delivery and the transition to college.This event will take place on Monday, March 5 at 4:30 p.m. in the Harrington Learning Center, Room 109. For questions contact Kristie Proctor at 508.854.4471.

January, 2018

Andria Schwortz -  Professor of Physics and Astronomy

andria-thumb.jpg

I love teaching, and learning about how people learn things. I had my first peer-reviewed journal article published last year: Schwortz, Burrows, & Guffey. (...

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Andria Schwortz -  Professor of Physics and Astronomy

andria-thumb.jpg

I love teaching, and learning about how people learn things. I had my first peer-reviewed journal article published last year: Schwortz, Burrows, & Guffey. (2017). Mentoring Partnerships in Science Education. Educational Action Research. 25(4): 630-649. 
Free preprints: https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.04808

Department: Natural Sciences

Office location: Administration Building Room 270.

Contact informationaschwortz [at] qcc.mass.edu; extension 7495

Tell us about your role at QCC: I am a Professor of Physics and Astronomy. I teach classes ranging from conceptual astronomy for non-majors who need just one Math or science course to graduate, to calculus-based physics for engineers. The variety keeps me on my toes, and I never get bored! 

How long have you worked at QCC?I started as full-time faculty at QCC in August 2004, with a three-year professional leave of absence from Aug 2012 to Aug 2015 to start work on my PhD in Physics.

What is your favorite movie? I'm a sucker for anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Black Panther film, as I've been really enjoying Afrofuturist science fiction books lately, and I'm looking forward to seeing the genre on the big screen. I can't wait to see if Wakanda has the Soul Gem.

What is your favorite T.V. show? I recently binged the first two seasons of Once Upon A Time on Netflix. I started off watching it as background noise while grading final exams, and the combination of fairy tales (the show draws from Disney Princess films, but is heavily influenced by the comic book Fables) and soap opera style drama just sucked me in!

What was the best book you ever read? Speaking of Afrofuturism, I can't stop singing the praises of the N.K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season". It starts off seeming like any other fantasy novel, with a main character who has a type of magic that can affect earthquakes, but as you go through the novel you realize it's a deep reflection on the constant nature of oppression and slavery, and their opposing forces of hope and survival.

What do you like to do in your free time? I read a lot of science fiction (mostly in audiobook format), I knit (currently working on my first long-sleeve sweater), and I play with my bird Kappa (not pictured).

We want to learn about you! Please share your story with your colleagues. Please fill out the attached faculty/staff spotlight form and be the next spotlight.

January, 2018

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The Wyvern was recently spotted at QCC's Southbridge location already gearing up for the Super Bowl! This is the eighth time the New England Patriots have gone to the Super Bowl since 2000.

Join the Wyvern ...

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resized_pats_wyvern-thumb.jpg

The Wyvern was recently spotted at QCC's Southbridge location already gearing up for the Super Bowl! This is the eighth time the New England Patriots have gone to the Super Bowl since 2000.

Join the Wyvern and help route for New England's home team on Sunday, February 4. GO PATRIOTS!!! 

If you've seen the Wyvern in the wild, please let us know!  Send your photos and descriptions through the newsletter submission form.

  • Indoor Cycling is a popular class at the QCC Athletic Center.
  • Previous QCC baseball teams have enjoyed winning seasons.
January, 2018

Batter up! QCC Baseball Try-Outs Begin Soon

On Wednesday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. QCC will be holding tryouts for its 2018 baseball season in the Athletic Center. Any student interested in trying out must contact Coach John McLaughlin before tryouts. Contact Coach McLaughlin by emailing him at jmclaughlin [at] qcc.mass.edu...

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Batter up! QCC Baseball Try-Outs Begin Soon

On Wednesday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. QCC will be holding tryouts for its 2018 baseball season in the Athletic Center. Any student interested in trying out must contact Coach John McLaughlin before tryouts. Contact Coach McLaughlin by emailing him at jmclaughlin [at] qcc.mass.edu. Students must be registered full-time (12 credits) and have a valid physical, clearing them for competitive sports to be eligible.

Swing into Spring with a Golf Tune-Up at QCC’s Golf Clinic

On Thursdays, beginning on, January 25 from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. local Golf Pro Jim Fenner will offer free golf sessions in the Athletic Center to all students, staff and faculty with a valid QCC I.D. Clubs will be provided. All you need to do is show up and know the rust off your swing! Golfers of all skills are welcome! FORE more information. stop by the Athletic Center or call 508-854-4317.

Group Fitness Classes

Group classes are available FREE for all current students, staff and faculty members. Classes meet weekly in the Athletic Center.

YOGA -  Find your zen with Yoga classes each week.  Classes meet each week on:

Tuesdays: 5:15 p.m. -6:30 p.m. and Thursdays: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Full Body Toning  - Enjoy a class geared to tone your entire body. Classes meet each week on:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Indoor Cycling - Spin your way to a healthier you with an indoor cycling class. Classes meet on:

Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.

Athletic Center Hours for 2018:

  • Mondays: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: 7:30 a m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Fridays: 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays:  9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
January, 2018

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

On January 2, 2018, Academic Affairs welcomed Jacqueline Nguyen as Clerk III – Evening Nurse Education Department. Jacqueline brings to the college over 7 years of customer service experience to this position. Most recently, she was Business Assistant at another college. Jacqueline earned an Associate Degree from...

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

On January 2, 2018, Academic Affairs welcomed Jacqueline Nguyen as Clerk III – Evening Nurse Education Department. Jacqueline brings to the college over 7 years of customer service experience to this position. Most recently, she was Business Assistant at another college. Jacqueline earned an Associate Degree from Quinsigamond Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Nichols College. 

On January 2, 2018, Academic Affairs welcomed Lupe Lomeli as Director of Advising. Lupe brings to this position over 15 years of experience in K-12 and higher education advising. Most recently, she has been working as a Career and Academic Planning Services (CAPS) Advisor here QCC. Lupe earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Master of Education from Northern Arizona University.

Please join us in welcoming Jacqueline and Lupe into their new roles.