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05/2018

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May, 2018

  • Graduating Students
  • rom left: Senator Harriette Chandler, President Dr. Luis Pedraja, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative James O'Day
  • Graduating Students
  • Stephanie Teixeira and Dr. Pedraja
  • Graduating Students
  • Dr. Pedraja and Senator Warren
  • Graduating Students
  • Student Senate President Edward Reitz
  • QCC graduate Benjamin Aryeh
  • President Dr. Luis Pedraja
  • Graduating Students
  • Senator Warren gives the keynote speech at QCC's 53rd Commencement.
  • QCC graduates wait for their name to be called.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • QCC grads can barley hold their excitement in as they wait to receive their degree or certificate.
  • QCC grad prepares to go on stage.
May, 2018
May, 2018

On May 18, students from 11 states, two countries and 134 cities and towns became a part of history as Quinsigamond Community College’s Class of 2018 became the largest in the school’s annals. Dr. Luis G. Pedraja presided over his first commencement as the college’s president; a class that graduated 1,522 students, 978 with honors and 348 students with highest honors.

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On May 18, students from 11 states, two countries and 134 cities and towns became a part of history as Quinsigamond Community College’s Class of 2018 became the largest in the school’s annals. Dr. Luis G. Pedraja presided over his first commencement as the college’s president; a class that graduated 1,522 students, 978 with honors and 348 students with highest honors.

“Congratulations graduates, you did it! Your determination and resilience has brought you here today,” Dr. Pedraja said.

The ceremony, held in the DCU Center, was a combination of solemnness and joy as the graduates listened to words of encouragement while their families and friends looked on.

“Use your super powers for good, QCC grads, our world needs you,” said Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance, Tom Simard.

Student Senate President Edward Reitz, told his class,” “Today is our day and today we bask in our achievement. We now own our own futures. These certificates and degrees are the key that will unlock the doors to success.”  

Degrees and certificates were awarded in a total of 106 unique programs to graduates who came from 134 cities and towns, with 686 degrees and certificates conferred to 619 Worcester residents.

Keynote speaker for the event was Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose speech was interspersed with humor, politics and her own personal story.

“Delete every college photo you’ve ever taken. I’m serious. No matter how well behaved you’ve been, nothing good can ever come of them, trust me,” she told graduates, before discussing her own background, which included attending a commuter college for $50 a semester, while working as a part-time waitress to pay for her education.

“I went to a commuter school a lot like this one, so I know that you’re leaving campus with a quality education that will help you take the world by storm,” Senator Warren continued. “America gave me a chance, and I’m grateful down to my toes.  I ran for the Senate because I want the next Quinsig student to have that same chance. To grow up in an America full of possibilities. You are the future of America. I’m honored to fight alongside you. ”  

Recent graduate Tarin G. Zenteno De Flores, of Rochdale, who received his associate degree in Criminal Justice, said the ceremony was a very special event and he was proud to be a part of it.

“My time at QCC has been great and worth it. I have learned (and value) that my education will bring me a better future,” he said.

 View all the highlights of the 2018 Graduation Ceremony.

 

  • Dental Pinning
  • Registered Nursing Pinning
  • Respiratory Therapy Pinning
  • Respiratory Pinning
  • Registered Nursing Pinning
  • Radiologic Technology Pinning
  • Radiologic Technology Pinning
  • Registered Nursing Pinning
  • Surgical Technology Pinning
  • Dental Hygiene Pinning
  • Surgical Technology Pinning
  • Sharing a special moment at the Dental Hygiene Pinning ceremony.
May, 2018
May, 2018

Quinsigamond Community College recently held a variety of pinning ceremonies throughout the month of May. Ceremonies were held in the Hebert Auditorium and the Worcester Senior Center.

May QCC pinning ceremonies included:                                ...

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Quinsigamond Community College recently held a variety of pinning ceremonies throughout the month of May. Ceremonies were held in the Hebert Auditorium and the Worcester Senior Center.

May QCC pinning ceremonies included:                                       

Pinning ceremonies date back to the 1800s and also include a symbolic lighting ceremony to remind students to carry out the ideals of the nursing tradition. All nursing schools have a unique pin that identifies where nurses earned their degree. QCC nursing students wore traditional white nursing uniforms and were presented with a special pin to mark their achievement.

For more information on QCC’s healthcare programs, visit QCC Healthcare.

 

  • Dr. Pedraja presents Shelby Maiorana the 2018 Outstanding Female Athlete Award.
  • Dr. Pedraja presents Johnny Dombrowkski the 2018 Outstanding Male Athlete Award.
  • Ashley Forhan (left) with Criminal Justice Associate Professor Kristy Glover.
  • Edward Reitz and Stephanie Teixeira
  • Director of Veteran Affairs Paula Ogden congratulates a QCC veteran graduate.
  • Graduates at the 2018 Honors and Awards Ceremony.
  • QCC History Professor Ken Wong presents the award for Outstanding Achievement in Liberal Arts to Trevor Mackowiak.
  • The 2018 Honors and Awards Recipients.
May, 2018
May, 2018

On May 9, family and friends came out to celebrate those students who have made exceptional achievements during their time at QCC. The Annual Honors and Awards Ceremony was held at Hebert Auditorium and recognized students for their high academic achievements, college and community involvement.

Students who were honored included those in the Honors Program; graduates who are Veterans; members of the honors...

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On May 9, family and friends came out to celebrate those students who have made exceptional achievements during their time at QCC. The Annual Honors and Awards Ceremony was held at Hebert Auditorium and recognized students for their high academic achievements, college and community involvement.

Students who were honored included those in the Honors Program; graduates who are Veterans; members of the honors society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK); members of the psychology honor society Psi Beta; Engineering Student Distinction Award; Distinguished Service Awards for Clubs & Major Organizations, and students who completed the Student Leadership Academy and Academic Achievement awards.

This year, 92 PTK Honor Society students received their gold stoles. To qualify a student must have a minimum of two community service events, while maintaining a 3.5 cumulative GPA received a gold stole.

“A total of 150 PTK students graduated this year and approximately 87 percent of them are transferring to a four-year institution,” said PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman.

Special recognition awards were given to 10 students who were honored for their achievements and contributions to the college that occurred outside the framework of student organizations and whose individual efforts might otherwise go unnoticed.

Other awards conferred that evening included:

  • The Francis X. Gardner Psychology Achievement Award - Ethan Brochetta-Platt
  • The Nancy O’Han Memorial Award - Corey Ball
  • The Rose Caprioli Memorial Award - Leslie Soto
  • The Jean Smelewicz Award for Computer Information Systems – Elias Slaybi
  • The Robert J. McDonald Award – Thomas French
  • The 2018 Wyvern Award – Dana Peary
  • The 2018 Outstanding Male Student Athlete - Johnny Dombrowkski
  • The 2018 Outstanding Female Student Athlete – Shelby Maiorana
  • The 2018 James H. Harrington Outstanding Citizen Award – Tony Sanders
  • The 2018 Outstanding Student Leader Award – Ashley Forhan

 

  • Stephanie Teixeira
May, 2018
May, 2018

Recent QCC graduate Stephanie Teixeira has been elected as the Community College Segmental Advisor to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. In her new role, she will represent Massachusetts’s 15 community colleges on the Board of Higher Education in an advisory capacity, and as an ex officio member of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2018-2019 academic period.

Ms....

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Recent QCC graduate Stephanie Teixeira has been elected as the Community College Segmental Advisor to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. In her new role, she will represent Massachusetts’s 15 community colleges on the Board of Higher Education in an advisory capacity, and as an ex officio member of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2018-2019 academic period.

Ms. Teixeira will work in conjunction with the community college segment and the SAC to create a strategic student agenda for Fiscal Year 2019. She will serve as an advocate for students and help shape decisions about state educational policy that directly affect students. In addition, she will bring student views to the attention of the Board of Higher Education and keep students from her segment apprised of Board actions that would impact their education.

  • Kyle Mondino is recognized by Governor Charlie Baker as one of the “29 Who Shine."
May, 2018
May, 2018

On May 4, at the Massachusetts State House, Quinsigamond Community College student Kyle Mondino was recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as one of the “29 Who Shine,” a Commonwealth awards program in its seventh year.

The annual awards program honors 29 outstanding student graduates from the state’s higher education system. The 2018...

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On May 4, at the Massachusetts State House, Quinsigamond Community College student Kyle Mondino was recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as one of the “29 Who Shine,” a Commonwealth awards program in its seventh year.

The annual awards program honors 29 outstanding student graduates from the state’s higher education system. The 2018 award winners were nominated by a faculty, staff member, or by a university awards committee and were honored by Governor Charlie Baker, House and Senate leaders, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser and Commissioner of Higher Education Jeff Riley at the event.

Mr. Mondino has not only been chosen for “29 Who Shine,” he was also chosen as a member of the 2018 All-USA Academic Team (one of only 20 chosen nationally), the All-Massachusetts Academic Team  and as the 2018 New Century Pathway Scholar from Massachusetts.

“Kyle is a natural leader at Quinsigamond Community College,” said Bonnie Coleman, QCC’s Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society Advisor. “He is a dedicated student who has made a significant change to our college community and community as a whole.”

Mr. Mondino has played a vital role in the college’s Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK), taking on the role of Executive Vice President of Scholarship and leading monthly scholarship workshops. He also took on the role of project manager for the PTK Live & Learn Greenhouse project, which grows produce that is donated to students with food insecurities.  He put together teams that included: research botany, crop harvest and distribution, embedded engineering and data analytics full stack specialists, as well as writing grants to keep the greenhouse running.

The information will be used to create models that will give accurate data on how many people the greenhouse can feed, with the ability to scale it smaller or larger.

In addition, while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, he spent countless hours tutoring other students in the college’s General Academic Tutoring Center, increasing other students' self-efficacy.

“I'm proud of what Kyle has accomplished, and how he represents QCC locally and nationally,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja. “He is a shining light who will have a positive impact as he continues his educational pursuits.”

Mr. Mondino graduated from QCC with an Associate Degree in Business Administration on May 18 and plans to attend Bentley University this fall.

 

  • Recent QCC graduate Robin Tasca
  • Wendy Jameson, Volunteer Coordinator at Reliant Medical Group
  • Co-op Breakfast BraekfastCo-op Appreciation Breakfast recognized students and employers.
  • The Co-op Appreciation Breakfast recognized students and employers
May, 2018
May, 2018

Transitioning effectively from college to a career is crucial in the workplace. For some students, the ability to learn those skills in a cooperative education setting will give students a chance to work in their field, gain professional experience and allows them time to make meaningful adjustments to academic and career plans.

Recently, QCC’s Career Services and Credit for Prior Learning Office hosted...

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Transitioning effectively from college to a career is crucial in the workplace. For some students, the ability to learn those skills in a cooperative education setting will give students a chance to work in their field, gain professional experience and allows them time to make meaningful adjustments to academic and career plans.

Recently, QCC’s Career Services and Credit for Prior Learning Office hosted a Cooperative Education Appreciation Breakfast to recognize the college’s Co-op students and the 48 employers who hosted them.

“The Co-op Program is a fantastic opportunity for the students to get a first-hand look into what it is like in the working atmosphere of their study,” said Wendy Jameson, Volunteer Coordinator at Reliant Medical Group. “It gives a supervisor the opportunity to mentor bright and enthusiastic students along with taking part in the training of their future.”   

Robin Tasca, a recent QCC graduate who earned her Certificate in Hospitality Management, knows firsthand the value of the Co-op program.

“I love the Co-op concept. I find it extremely valuable to gain real life, on-the-job experience,” Ms. Tasca said.

Ms. Tasca did her Co-op at the DCU Center in Worcester, working in the corporate sales office as a sales intern.  She said the program gave her a hands-on understanding of the sales venue selling process within the hospitality industry.

“For me, the program was one of the greatest opportunities given to me. The experience allowed me to network and meet new people,” she said. “Thanks to my internship at the DCU Center I was able to apply, interview and get hired by the brand new AC Hotel in Worcester as the Sales & Catering Coordinator. “

“I believe it (the Co-op program) enhances visibility and reputation through interactions with the community,” Ms. Jameson added. “I enjoy working and placing QCC students and hearing about their continued employment opportunities.”

Most QCC students can elect a cooperative education study option, which can be used as an elective in some academic programs, or a requirement in others. A student can earn up to nine credits in cooperative education toward their degree.  Visit QCC Cooperative Education to learn more about the program requirement.

 

  • QCC students Nick Voyer (left) and Andrew Paquette
  • Manufacturing students John Carmody and Lyndon Perkins
  • Associate Professor of Manufacturing Technology,Damian Kieran (left) and President Dr. Luis Pedraja.
  • President Pedraja looks on as manufacturing student Andrew Pettyjohn works on his capstone project.
  • Manufacturing student Chris Bartczak (center) demonstrates his capstone project.
  • Dr. Pedraja examines Marc Ste. Marie's project.
May, 2018
May, 2018

In early May, eight QCC manufacturing students presented their capstone projects to the public in an informal demonstration that showcased the products they had worked on for the semester. According to Damian Kieran, Associate Professor of Manufacturing Technology, this is a class that the students take near the end of the manufacturing program to try and create as much as possible, a real world...

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In early May, eight QCC manufacturing students presented their capstone projects to the public in an informal demonstration that showcased the products they had worked on for the semester. According to Damian Kieran, Associate Professor of Manufacturing Technology, this is a class that the students take near the end of the manufacturing program to try and create as much as possible, a real world situation and end result product. The students dealt with deadlines as they would in a real world setting.

Projects included a student who did an injection molding project and made a case for a USB memory stick; two woodworking projects using a CNC router; a T-shirt project that utilized the Fab Lab’s new embroidery machine and a 3D printer project, which was an extension of last year’s 3D project.

Manufacturing student John Carmody took an existing 3D printer that was made by last year's manufacturing students and upgraded and improved it by adding a thicker frame to make the printer sturdier; tightening up the electronics and putting a protective cover around it.

“Every one of these students delivered real-world products at the end of the semester,” said Associate Professor Kiernan. “I’m very pleased with how these students handled this project for the entire semester and I’m very pleased with the outcome.”

  • At a recent QCC Math Boot Camp Associate Professor Sheiba Mas-Oud explains a mathematics problem to student Bethany Bailey.
May, 2018
May, 2018

A boot camp may conjure up visions of military marching but QCC’s Math Boot Camps are a far cry from the militia. These free weeklong (4 or 5 hours a day) math boot camps are held throughout the summer at QCC’s main campus and one week at QCC Southbridge. They are designed to refresh students’ math skills and help prepare them to succeed in math placement testing and college mathematics.

For...

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A boot camp may conjure up visions of military marching but QCC’s Math Boot Camps are a far cry from the militia. These free weeklong (4 or 5 hours a day) math boot camps are held throughout the summer at QCC’s main campus and one week at QCC Southbridge. They are designed to refresh students’ math skills and help prepare them to succeed in math placement testing and college mathematics.

For many students who have taken a QCC math boot camp, the experience was transformative. QCC student Ashley Forhan is one such student.

“I was out of school for a long time and hadn’t done math. I needed a refresher course to get started,” said Ms. Forhan, a Criminal Justice student, whose major required a college algebra course.

Ms. Forhan said she had originally taken the accuplacer test and scored lower than the required college algebra (MAT100), so she signed up for the developmental mathematics class.

“I got in there and had no idea what I was doing. I was overwhelmed,” she said.

A professor told her about the math boot camps and after doing some research, she signed up.

“It was the best five days of my life,” she said, noting that at first she was hesitant about it. “The first day you take the acculplacer test and then the last day you retake the test.”

QCC Associate Professor of Mathematics, Sheiba Mas-Oud, one of the professors who is the driving force behind the math boot camps, was Ms. Forhan’s instructor.

Professor Mas-Oud came to QCC in 2011 from the Bronx, where he had started a similar math boot camp in 2005. He said the program at QCC was comparable to the one he had created and quickly began helping with QCC’s program. When the QCC professor who was in charge of the math boot camp left for California, he took over.

According to Professor Mas-Oud, there are two reasons the program has been so successful. The first is the teaching method and the second is the level of pressure and motivation that is put on the students.

“There’s a lot of difference between a 14-week course and a 20-hour course,” he said. “They (students) have some fears and I try to defuse them.”

During each boot camp session Professor Mas-Oud gives two 45-minute lectures on various topics each day of the week long camp. He uses real examples that students can relate to and appreciate. Oftentimes the examples are funny and silly, but they get the point across. He said his job is not to have students master mathematics, but rather to bring them as much knowledge and understanding in a short period of time. The students work with MyMathLab and MyMathTest. A study plan is created for students on MyMathLab and tests are then created on basic mathematics. The system builds a study plan for each student based on his or her initial accuplacer score. Professor Mas-Oud expects each student to complete at least 80 percent of the study plan in order to retake the accuplacer at the completion of the course.

“Professor Mas-Oud sits down and helps you. He focuses on the most important things… the whole format was just great. Our class was enthusiastic and we had all kinds of laughs thanks to Professor Mas-Oud,” she said. “It really helps to have a professor there to ask questions and discuss things. It made such a big difference.”

At the end of the boot camp Ms. Forhan retook the Accuplacer test and this time tested into college algebra (MAT 100), saving her not only precious time but money

QCC student Ellen O'Sullivan concurred.

"I walked into Math boot camp the first day picturing a Marine soldier in my face yelling at me. I left four days later having been taught by a wonderful teacher (Sheiba Mas-Oud) who had helped me move up a level (and many in the class several levels) - saving both time and money." Ms. O'Sullivan said.  

“This semester I’m taking biology and my first lab, which involves conversions. I would not have been able to do them without the math boot camp,Those five days are going to follow me forever. I loved it and I tell everyone about it,” Ms. Forhan added.

Professor Mas-Oud said it is these experiences that make him especially proud of the program.

“At the end of the camp, some students are crying and very emotional because they’ve scored well. These are my best moments,” Professor Mas-Oud said. “I’m very passionate about this.”

Ms. O'Sullivan is quick to offer advise for those considering a Math boot camp.

"Do not fear. Math boot camp is worth the effort and is FUN!"

Visit QCC Math Boot Camps to learn more.

  • Cap text: I did it for us
  • Cap text: I wined a lot, but i did it
  • Cap text: to be continued, 2018
  • Cap text: Case Closed
  • Graduation cap with pineapple and flag
  • Cap text: To teach is to tough a life forever
  • Cap text: DHY 2018
  • Graduating students with decorated caps
  • Cap text: Still an ambulance driver
  • Cap text: RT(R) 2018
  • Cap text: OTA be the change
  • Cap text: Teach the change you wish to see
  • Cap text: To be continued
  • A group of graduates
  • Cap text: 18
  • Cap text: She believed she could, so she did
  • Cap text: Don't worry, I practiced on a dummy once
  • Cap text: and off she went to change the world
  • Cap text: do or do not, there is no try
May, 2018
May, 2018

The academic or graduation cap, known as a mortarboard cap because of its similarity in appearance to the mortarboard used by brick masons to hold mortar, has certainly come a long way. Thought to have originated with 17th century clergy, the mortarboard has become a staple at all collegiate commencement ceremonies.

Today the mortarboard cap is proper for all American degrees and is worn both...

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The academic or graduation cap, known as a mortarboard cap because of its similarity in appearance to the mortarboard used by brick masons to hold mortar, has certainly come a long way. Thought to have originated with 17th century clergy, the mortarboard has become a staple at all collegiate commencement ceremonies.

Today the mortarboard cap is proper for all American degrees and is worn both indoors and outdoors in all occasions when gowns are used. A popular trend is to decorate the cap with a remembrance, a thank you, or a hopeful message for the future.

The photos above represent some messages and thoughts from the graduates of the Class of 2018. Did we miss your mortarboard? Send us a photo of your decorated graduation cap and we’ll include it in a future edition of the Wyvern Guardian. Send your photos to khutner [at] qcc.mass.edu.

  • The turn of the century trolley with its new wheels.
  • Associate Professor Duerden, QCC students and Dr. Goulet show off the new train wheels the students created.
May, 2018
May, 2018

Earlier this month four Quinsigamond Community College advanced manufacturing students (James Walden, Chris Bartzak, Lyndon Perkins, John Carmody) completed and passed the rigorous Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC) Level 3 certification exam. The certification credentialing program is part of MassMEP’s workforce development program. This computer...

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Earlier this month four Quinsigamond Community College advanced manufacturing students (James Walden, Chris Bartzak, Lyndon Perkins, John Carmody) completed and passed the rigorous Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC) Level 3 certification exam. The certification credentialing program is part of MassMEP’s workforce development program. This computer numerical control (CNC) certification is currently only being offered at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), UMass Lowell and QCC.

The stackable certification credentialing is built into QCC’s manufacturing degree program and is extremely beneficial to students when they are applying for jobs.The certification shows that the students have demonstrated their overall competency in the core skill areas of manufacturing. The higher the level of certification, the more advanced skillset.

The four students who passed the Level 3 certification were not given a traditional final exam, but were charged with replicating some model train wheels for a turn-of-the-century train that was part of WPI Mathematical Sciences Professor, Dr. John Goulet’s train collection.

“The trolley was made by the Morton E Converse Company of Winchendon, Mass in the 1895 - 1905 timeframe. At the time, Converse (no relation to the sneakers) was the largest manufacturer of toys in the world,” Dr. Goulet said. “I collect, repair, restore and operate trains from this era.”

According to Dr. Goulet, the type of cast wheels that had been on the train were no longer available and he needed to find viable replacements. QCC Associate Professor Lee Duerden felt his students were up to the task and worked the project into their curriculum. On May 4, the students presented their wheels to Dr. Goulet.

“We are very proud that our students can handle this level of skill,” Associate Professor Duerden said. “This exam was administered over two week to cover Lathe and Mill skills. The parts were taken away for inspection and results were sent to us.”

“The students did a superb job,” said Dr. Goulet. “The brass wheels that QCC made allow this trolley to get back in action.”

Currently QCC has seven certifications embedded in the Manufacturing program that include:

  • MACWIC Level 1
  • MACWIC Level 2
  • MACWIC Level 3
  • OSHA 30
  • Solidworks CSWA
  • Fanuc robotics
  • SME Lean Bronze

Visit QCC’s Manufacturing Program to learn more.  

  • A few of the completed reusable bags
  • Environmental Science major Ana De la Torre works on embroidering a reusable bag in the Fab Lab.
May, 2018
May, 2018

Environmental Science major Ana De la Torre recently wrapped up her Little School Reusable Bag project, an undertaking she did collaboratively with the faculty and staff in the Fab Lab and the Children’s School. The project was designed to bring awareness of the effects disposable plastic bags have on the environment. Students from the Children’s School drew artwork that was then...

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Environmental Science major Ana De la Torre recently wrapped up her Little School Reusable Bag project, an undertaking she did collaboratively with the faculty and staff in the Fab Lab and the Children’s School. The project was designed to bring awareness of the effects disposable plastic bags have on the environment. Students from the Children’s School drew artwork that was then embroidered onto reusable bags, using equipment in the Fab Lab. In all, 48 bags were made and given to the students and their families.

“We hope this will give students and their parents a personal connection to the product and get them attached to it,” said Ms. De la Torre. “The children and their parents will feel proud and it will give them more of an incentive to use the bag.”

Ms. De la Torre is extremely passionate about environmental issues. Last fall she started the Environmental Think Tank Club, with the goal of bringing environmental issues to the forefront. The Environmental Think Tank’s latest venture is a petition to put an end to the distribution of plastic bags in the QCC Bookstore.

 

  • QCC Board of Trustees Chair Susan Mailman presents Lieutenant Miguel Lopez with the Trustee’s Citizen Award.
  • President Luis Pedraja bestows the honor of Professor Emerita to retiring Radiologic Technology Professor Linda LeFave.
May, 2018
May, 2018

On May 18, at Quinsigamond Community College’s 53rd Commencement, Worcester Police Department Lieutenant Miguel Lopez was honored with the Trustee’s Citizen’s Award. Lieutenant Lopez, a former QCC trustee, was given the award by Board of Trustees Chair Susan Mailman, who noted the exceptional impact he has had on QCC through his dedication to students. Lieutenant...

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On May 18, at Quinsigamond Community College’s 53rd Commencement, Worcester Police Department Lieutenant Miguel Lopez was honored with the Trustee’s Citizen’s Award. Lieutenant Lopez, a former QCC trustee, was given the award by Board of Trustees Chair Susan Mailman, who noted the exceptional impact he has had on QCC through his dedication to students. Lieutenant Lopez served as a QCC trustee for eight years.

The college also honored four professors who received the title of Professor Emerita at the commencement ceremony. QCC has established a tradition of honoring worthy retiring professors who have the ranking of full professor and who have served many years as a full-time faculty member at QCC by bestowing them with the title, Professor Emerita. The award acknowledges the professors for their excellence in teaching and their dedication to QCC and the community.

QCC’s President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs, Nancy Schoenfeld bestowed the honor of Professor Emerita to retiring Radiologic Technology Professor Linda LeFave.

Other retiring Professors who were also awarded the title, Professor Emerita (in absentia) include:

  • Mathematics Professor Eileen Potvin
  • Developmental English Professor Priscilla Underwood
  • Accounting Professor Carol Murphy
  • Memories from a 40 year career at QCC.
  • QCC Campus Police bid a fond farewell to Sergeant Dennis “Denny” Blair.
  • Worcester Police Officer Danny Fallon (left) and Sergeant Denny Blair
  • Sergeant Dennis “Denny” Blair with his own bobblehead.
May, 2018
May, 2018

Sometimes the days can get away from you and they become, weeks, then months, and eventually years. It was that way for Sergeant Dennis “Denny” Blair, who retired at the end of May after a 40 year career with the Quinsigamond Community College Campus Police.

“He is a really good guy. You’re not going to find a nicer guy in this field. He will be missed,” said...

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Sometimes the days can get away from you and they become, weeks, then months, and eventually years. It was that way for Sergeant Dennis “Denny” Blair, who retired at the end of May after a 40 year career with the Quinsigamond Community College Campus Police.

“He is a really good guy. You’re not going to find a nicer guy in this field. He will be missed,” said QCC Police Chief Kevin Ritacco.

Over the years Sergeant Blair has positively impacted literally thousands of students, faculty and staff who have come in contact with him at QCC.  He began, what he deems was his first “official” job, after high school when he went on an interview with the QCC Police Department during the Blizzard of 78.’ Less than a week later he was working at a job that would span the bulk of his adult life.

“My life was really here. I feel like this is my home more than my own home,” he said.

Many milestones have happened at QCC, the highlight of which was meeting his wife, Cynthia. They were together for 25 years before she lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005.

“She worked in the Center for Lifelong Learning and we both did our education here together,” he said. “We were a success story. The day I retire is actually the date of the first date that I had with her.”

Memories abound for Sergeant Blair.  He has worked under all six presidents and one of the two interim presidents at QCC. He has helped train numerous police officers, six of whom have gone on to work for the downtown Worcester Police Force.

He remembers a time while on vacation at Disney World in Florida with his nieces and nephews where he was singled out in Magic Kingdom by the “Prince” of the castle, who broke the line to ask him if he was from QCC and then proceeded to thank him for everything he had done for him. The young man had gotten an internship to Disney by way of QCC.

“It was a good feeling to have him pick me out like that,” he said.

Other memories include the time there was a gas leak in the chemistry lab and he had to evacuate everyone.

“Someone had left the gas burner on,” he said, adding that everyone out safely.

Chief Ritacco, who started at QCC three years after Sergeant Blair, said he is someone who was always willing to give help, wherever and whenever it was needed.

“He never shied away from working with the students and staff. He was always out there directly engaging with the public,” said Chief Ritacco. “For years you would find him at the top of the hill for three weeks during the start of each semester guiding the students and staff. He was never assigned to do this; it was something he just did. He’s a good role model for the younger officers.”

For Sergeant Blair, it all comes down to treating people the way you want to be treated, a credo he has lived by.

“I love people (the students, faculty and staff) and love dealing with the public,” he said. “The staff here is like family. It’s been a pleasure working with everyone.”

On June 1, Sergeant Blair will begin a new chapter in his life, one that involves more golf, as he is an avid golfer.

“I’ve enjoyed the ride and the business. I’m just sorry I haven’t had a chance to meet all the new people,” he said.

 

  • June Vo
May, 2018
May, 2018

Building relationships within the QCC community and the region is one of the primary focuses of the Community Connections Office. Whether it’s through grant development, public and private partnerships, alumni relations and the QCC Foundation, the office is an integral part of QCC. An important cog in the college’s Community Connections department is June Vo. Ms. Vo joined the college in...

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Building relationships within the QCC community and the region is one of the primary focuses of the Community Connections Office. Whether it’s through grant development, public and private partnerships, alumni relations and the QCC Foundation, the office is an integral part of QCC. An important cog in the college’s Community Connections department is June Vo. Ms. Vo joined the college in July 2017 as a Clerk III after a long history with QCC that began more than 17 years ago. She had started taking classes at the college intermittently, with a goal of one day earning a degree. However, according to Ms. Vo, a lack of confidence made her feel that would most likely never happen.

In 2000, Ms. Vo’s life radically changed after a car accident caused her to lose vision in both eyes.  After the life-altering accident, she determined it was time to reevaluate her life and in 2012, decided to go into massage therapy.

“I would always hear people say you don’t have to ‘see’ to feel muscle, so I enrolled in massage school and in six months was licensed by the state,” she said.

While Ms. Vo was pleased to have earned her massage therapy license, she still had aspirations of going back to QCC and earning the degree that had remained elusive to her. In 2014, she decided it was time to face her fears head-on and went back to QCC and two years later earned her associate degree in Business Administration.

She began practicing massage at Elements Massage in Shrewsbury while looking for work in her field and then in 2017, she learned of an opening at QCC.

“I had spent so much time at this college, I thought how awesome would it be to work there,” she said.

Ms. Vo applied and was hired for the Clerk III position, quickly diving in to help in any way she could.

“Since being an employee here, it has opened up opportunities that I didn’t imagine were possible,” she said.

She credits Disability Services with helping her, not only with accommodations in her educational pursuits, but also in her role at the college. She said her colleagues have been instrumental in advising and assisting her, most especially her supervisor Executive Director of Advancement Karen Rucks, who has truly been a “secret” mentor to her.

“I thank her for giving me this opportunity to work for her and QCC and allowing me to create my own opportunities in the workplace,” Ms. Vo said.

One of those opportunities has been to use her massage therapy skills (she renews her license annually) to help raise funds for QCC Foundation scholarships, by offering chair massages during the fall and spring semesters during exam weeks.

“Working with the Foundation has inspired me to work even harder to pay it forward and give back to the community,” she said.

Ms. Vo started off doing chair massages during the Winter Wellness workshops. She recently offered chair massages during the PAWS for a Study Break event this spring and raised over $100, which was all donated to QCC Foundation scholarships. She plans to continue this each semester.  

Today Ms. Vo is back in school at QCC, working on her third year for her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She plans to transfer to Nichols for her final year. Ms. Vo does all this, while also raising a 16-year-old son.

“Although I do not have a disability that can be seen with the naked eye, it is a disability I have struggled with for almost 20 years,” she said. “I wanted to share my story to let more people know about this project and to help inspire our students to keep pushing forward.”

 

  • QCC Jazz Ensemble entertains at the QCC Retirement Recognition Reception.
  • Eileen Potvin looks on as Priscilla Underwood receives the honor of Professor Emerita.
  • Liza Smith, Dean of Academic Planning bids a fond farewell to Maria Addison.
  • Dr. Luis Pedraja presents a gift to Anita Bowden.
  • Vice President Lillian Ortiz gives a good-bye hug to Tara Fitzgerald-Jenkins.
  • Don Hall and Dr. Luis Pedraja
  • Dr. Luis Pedraja and Nancy Knight
  • Dr. Luis Pedraja and Linda LeFave
  • Dr. Luis Pedraja and Carol Murphy
  • Dr. Luis Pedraja and Bill Daring
May, 2018
May, 2018

Honoring those who have made an impact on Quinsigamond Community College and its students is the premise behind the QCC Annual Celebration of Excellence and Retirement Recognition Reception, held on Thursday, May 17 in the Harrington Learning Center.

This year’s event honored 20 recently retired or retiring QCC colleagues. Those honored at the 2018 luncheon included:      ...

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Honoring those who have made an impact on Quinsigamond Community College and its students is the premise behind the QCC Annual Celebration of Excellence and Retirement Recognition Reception, held on Thursday, May 17 in the Harrington Learning Center.

This year’s event honored 20 recently retired or retiring QCC colleagues. Those honored at the 2018 luncheon included:      

  • Maria Addison
  • Dennis Blair
  • Carol Bosworth
  • Anita Bowden
  • Linda Chaput
  • Lyn Cohen
  • Nancy Daigle
  • Bill Daring
  • Tara Fitzgerald-Jenkins
  • Don Hall
  • Pam Hawkins
  • Donna Kilgore
  • Nancy Knight
  • Linda LeFave
  • Barry Metayer
  • Carol Murphy
  • Eileen Potvin
  • Jane Shea
  • Larry Tetreault
  • Priscilla Underwood

 

  • Professor Betty Lauer and Dr. Luis Pedraja
May, 2018
May, 2018

Marvel Comics may have the Avengers, but the Worcester community has Betty Lauer. The soft-spoken powerhouse professor at Quinsigamond Community College, has been introducing robotics and technology education to hundreds of students in the Worcester Public Schools (WPS) and QCC for the last 18 years. The difference she has made in the lives of virtually every student she has encountered is...

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Marvel Comics may have the Avengers, but the Worcester community has Betty Lauer. The soft-spoken powerhouse professor at Quinsigamond Community College, has been introducing robotics and technology education to hundreds of students in the Worcester Public Schools (WPS) and QCC for the last 18 years. The difference she has made in the lives of virtually every student she has encountered is immeasurable.

Professor Lauer’s passion for bringing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and computer science opportunities to underserved students, is legendary. In 2006, she began building an after-school K-12 robotics program in the WPS that has become the largest after-school program in the school system. The program helps students learn about technology, work as a team, and develop leadership skills. Students build robots that they use to compete in local robotics competitions, and in some instances, national and world competitions.  She also hosts a yearly summer camp for middle and lower level high school students, as well as soliciting used computer equipment from area companies to refurbish and give to students who don’t have computers of their own. Ms. Lauer has become one of the Commonwealth’s super heroes, dedicating her life to making technology education accessible to all.

“I’m all about helping underserved students to make it possible for them to obtain careers they might otherwise be shut out of. It’s part of the whole STEM world and once they get hooked, they get hooked,” she said. “It’s part of our responsibility because these are our students of the future.”

One example of success in the WPS K-12 robotics program is the Burncoat Middle School (BMS) K-12 robotics program. The school recently returned from Louisville, Kentucky where the students competed in the Vex Robotics World Championship. According to BMS Coach and Science Department Head, Stephen Rapa, the middle school had been in QCC Robotics competitions since Ms. Lauer introduced the program to the school in 2007. BMS had previously built an affiliation with QCC and Ms. Lauer through a program called Robotics and Project-Base Learning through Engineering Design (2006-2007 school year); however, funding for the program was limited and it only lasted a year.

“Betty had approached BMS a short time later and said she would help us start a VEX Robotics Program.

Through her support, the program grew and we have participated in every event offered by QCC including the Women in Science program,” Mr. Rapa said. “Our QCC sponsored programs are offered to any interested student as an after-school activity, including students who are faced with emotional and/or physical challenges. The robotics and technology programs continue to grow, sparking interest in the sciences and math for our middle school students. The programs that Betty has offered to public and private schools, have given direction to many young students.”

QCC has also played an integral role in the WPS robotics after-school program since its inception, hosting competitions at its main campus each year. Students who are part of the competition become familiar with QCC and many end up attending the college once they have completed high school.

“QCC Robotics programs have had the biggest positive effect on our students. Many have gone on into the engineering, science, and math fields because of their experience with these programs. Many have also attended QCC to continue with robotics and study engineering and computer sciences,” said Mr. Rapa. “The whole experience has given my students new confidence to tackle problem-solving and excitedly work together to find solutions to engineering design problems.”

Ms. Lauer was also able to assist Bristol Community College (BCC) in starting its own Vex robotics program through funding from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

“They do what we do,” she said, noting that the college now regularly hosts Vex Robotics competitions similar to those at QCC.

For the last 16 summer, Ms. Lauer has also hosted a camp that’s offered to middle school and high school freshmen and sophomores. Acknowledging that many parents cannot afford to send their children to summer camp, Ms. Lauer put together the technology-driven camp to meet a need she saw in the community. The camp, which is held on QCC’s main campus, has had anywhere from 20 to over 150 students participate each year, but there are always more students than available spaces.

“We target B and C students, underserved first generation college bound students, and lower income students. We want to impact students and build a new path for them,” she said.

The program runs anywhere between two weeks to a month and fluctuates each year depending on funding, which is primarily done through private donations. Students get a chance to learn about technology first-hand and there is always an off-site visit to a company at some point during camp. Students always take home some type of technology they’ve built and more often than not they build a computer that they can take home at the end of program.

“Summer camps can’t teach students about computers if they don’t have access to them,” she said.

Another program Ms. Lauer is intimately involved with is CyberPatriot, a National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association that engages middle and high school students in learning about careers in cybersecurity and other STEM disciplines.

While all this may sound incredibly difficult for just one person to accomplish, factor in the classes Ms. Lauer teaches at QCC, in addition to raising five children, all of whom have attained academic and career success (professions run the gamut from doctor to lawyer).

Earlier in May, she participated in a road race with her seven-year-old grandson to help raise awareness of substance use disorder and support families who have lost a loved one to addiction.

When asked why she is so passionate about helping others, her answer is that of a typical super hero.

“Everyone can work to change and help their community. Everyone needs to find how they can contribute and make their community better,” she said. “It’s something as a society we should think about more.”

  • QCC Graduates prepare for their future.
May, 2018
May, 2018

Monday, June 4: the 2018 High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) Graduation at QCC will be held at 5:00 p.m. in the Harrington Learning Center, Rooms 109A&B. Come celebrate this great milestone with these graduates.

Monday, June 4 – Thursday, June 14: Student ID hours are on Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. & noon  –2:00 p.m...

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Monday, June 4: the 2018 High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) Graduation at QCC will be held at 5:00 p.m. in the Harrington Learning Center, Rooms 109A&B. Come celebrate this great milestone with these graduates.

Monday, June 4 – Thursday, June 14: Student ID hours are on Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. & noon  –2:00 p.m. Fridays are from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. in the Athletic Center.

June Spotlight: QCC’s Cafeteria will be observing summer hours from now until Wednesday, September 5.  Summer Hours: Monday through Friday   7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Please note: the Cafeteria will close at 12:00 p.m. on Fridays from June 1, 2018 - August 17, 2018.

  • 2018 Baseball Team
May, 2018
May, 2018

QCC Wyvern Baseball Team ends 2018 Season with Tough Loss in Championship Game

The Wyvern’s Baseball team fought to bring the game to extra innings Northern Essex Community College in a déjà vu National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Region XXI Baseball Championship game on May 14, but was ultimately unsuccessful.  It was QCC’s victory over Massasoit Community...

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QCC Wyvern Baseball Team ends 2018 Season with Tough Loss in Championship Game

The Wyvern’s Baseball team fought to bring the game to extra innings Northern Essex Community College in a déjà vu National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Region XXI Baseball Championship game on May 14, but was ultimately unsuccessful.  It was QCC’s victory over Massasoit Community College earlier in the week that led the Wyverns to the championship game against Northern Essex at Trinity Stadium, a rematch from last year.

Northern Essex jumped out to an early lead, getting three runs in the first inning and one run in the third, before QCC battled back in the fifth inning and scored four runs.  From that point on each team had their chances to break the tie, however, it came down to the bottom of the tenth inning and a play at the plate that enabled Northern Essex to score the winning run.

“The QCC Wyvern student athletes and coaches did an amazing job! Congratulations to them on a highly competitive season,” said QCC Athletic Director Lisa Gurnick.

UPDATED Athletic Center Building Hours

The Athletic Center will be closed from Saturday, June 2 – Sunday, June 17. The Athletic Center new summer hours will begin on Monday, June 18 – Wednesday, September 5.

NEW HOURS:  Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Friday, 7:00 a.m.

 

May, 2018
May, 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 May include:

  • Telegram & Gazette: ...
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