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January, 2019

  • From left: QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Professor James Heffernan
  • Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Benjamin Aryeh, Student Trustee
  • Representative James J. O'Day
  • Professor James Heffernan, President Dr. Luis Pedraja and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito
  • QCC alumni discuss the manufacturing programs they were in at QCC with Lt. Gov. Polito.
  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja
  • Leslie Greis, owner of Kinefac Corporation and founder and managing member of Perennial Capital Advisors, LLC
January, 2019

A robotic hand, CNC machines and a packed-house were on tap January 14, as Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Quinsigamond Community College President Luis G. Pedraja, regional workforce leaders, state and local officials at QCC’s QuEST Center to announce $2.5 million in grant funding to four regional consortiums, through the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program. It was a particularly special time for...

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A robotic hand, CNC machines and a packed-house were on tap January 14, as Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Quinsigamond Community College President Luis G. Pedraja, regional workforce leaders, state and local officials at QCC’s QuEST Center to announce $2.5 million in grant funding to four regional consortiums, through the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program. It was a particularly special time for QCC to host this event in the QuEST Center, as it was the third anniversary of the opening of the building, which is dedicated to technology.

The state-wide program was designed to address the skills gap in the manufacturing industry by creating a fully-coordinated manufacturing training system that will connect residents to full-time employment, and meet the needs of regional industry.

“Since October 2017 we’ve added over 3,500 manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

The event featured the awarding of grants to each of the four regions in the Commonwealth. The Central region received $638,750 for the training and placement of 160 individuals. Manufacturing represents 10% of the Commonwealth’s total economic output.

“As the skillsets continue to evolve, students and the workforce are going to require more advanced training. These skills are vital to the success of advanced manufacturing,” QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja.

Since 2015, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program has invested more than $5 million in workforce development, and this year’s award round nearly doubled the yearly investment over previous years. This round also further aligns the program with the efforts of the Workforce Skills Cabinet to regionalize workforce development approaches, and better streamline resource access points for job-seekers and employers. In April 2017, the Workforce Skills Cabinet launched regional teams to gather and analyze data to better understand the needs of local employers, existing skill gaps in the talent pipeline, and determine high-growth industries with long-term hiring needs.

“QCC works closely with manufacturers to ensure a strong and solid pipeline of workers are available to help them grow and prosper,” Dr. Pedraja said. “We thank the Commonwealth and the Administration for the funding to continue our efforts to be able to train our students for the jobs of today, and tomorrow.”

To learn more, visit QCC’s manufacturing programs.

  • QCC will offer a training program to eligible businesses that includes critical soft skills.
January, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College’s Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education has been awarded a $143,000 Direct Access Grant from the Workforce Training Fund. QCC’s grant is part of $2.98 million in Small Business Direct Access Program grants awarded to qualified training organizations by the Commonwealth Corporation, a state agency that fosters partnerships between industry, education and...

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Quinsigamond Community College’s Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education has been awarded a $143,000 Direct Access Grant from the Workforce Training Fund. QCC’s grant is part of $2.98 million in Small Business Direct Access Program grants awarded to qualified training organizations by the Commonwealth Corporation, a state agency that fosters partnerships between industry, education and workforce organizations.

The Small Business Direct Access Program addresses the training needs of small businesses by offering free training to eligible businesses. The state grant was recently redesigned for businesses with no more than 100 employees, in order to help them remain competitive in today’s marketplace. This is the first time QCC has been awarded a Direct Access Grant. The college will offer a training program to eligible businesses that includes: critical workplace skills such as listening, collaborating with others, presenting ideas, and communicating with team members.  These topics were chosen due to the overwhelming need that was expressed by businesses in the region.

“These skills are not only highly valued in today’s marketplace, they are necessary if the business and the individual are to succeed,” said Dean of the Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Kathleen Manning. “Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative, healthy and effective work environment, key attributes for organizations in an increasingly competitive, global world.”

Companies that are eligible for these types of grants must pay into the Unemployment Fund, which allocates money into the Workforce Training Fund administered by Commonwealth Corporation and hold a Certificate of Good Standing that is issued from the Commonwealth.

QCC will begin offering six workshops, “Essential Soft Skills in the Workplace” beginning in April 2019.  The six workshops include:

  • Essential Business Skills
  • Communicating with Clarity and Impact
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Time Management
  • Presenting with Impact
  • Conflict Resolution

There will be four series offered in spring 2019, fall 2019, spring 2020 and fall 2020. Each workshop will enroll between 12-15 participants and be offered throughout the Central Massachusetts region.  Workshops are currently scheduled at QCC’s Healthcare and Workforce Development Center location on 25 Federal Street, Worcester; QCC Southbridge, 5 Optical Drive, Southbridge, and Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough, 75 Felton Street, Marlborough.

To learn more, call QCC Program Specialist Christine McNally at 508.751.7929 or email her at cmcnally [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • QCC students who passed Level 1 certification.
  • QCC students who passed Level 1 certification.
  • QCC student Dhalin Lutaaya shows off the challenge coin he earned.
  • QCC student Will Nunes
  • MACWIC pyramid chart
January, 2019

A dozen manufacturing students recently passed the first level of the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC) credentialing/certification program. The program, which is designed and influenced by industry leaders in order to support the growing manufacturing initiatives in today’s marketplace, is a part of QCC’s advanced manufacturing program. The MACWIC credentialing...

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A dozen manufacturing students recently passed the first level of the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC) credentialing/certification program. The program, which is designed and influenced by industry leaders in order to support the growing manufacturing initiatives in today’s marketplace, is a part of QCC’s advanced manufacturing program. The MACWIC credentialing is a stackable system that builds onto itself, increasing manufacturing skillsets.

Seven of the students passed the Level 1 certification, which entailed achieving an average of 85 or better in a five section exam that focused on blueprint reading, metrology, shop math, safety and work readiness. Those students who attained an 85 or better in each of the five sections also received a challenge coin to commemorate their achievement.

Level 1 leads onto Level 2, and then onto Level 3. Levels 2 and 3 are focused on CNC (Computer Numerical Control) technologies and capability. MACWIC credentialing can go as high as Level 5 (see attached chart). Those who reach that level are then considered qualified to be machinists or even be part of manufacturing’s management sector.

According to Assistant Professor of Manufacturing Technology Lee Duerden, the students who passed Level 1 credentialing are now adequately prepared for entry level manufacturing jobs.

“This is the first step to a higher paying job in almost any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) industry,” he said, noting that while many of the students may have already been well-versed in some of the sections of the exam, blue print reading and metrology (the science of measurement) are skills they learned and can now apply with more confidence in the workplace.

Five QCC students also passed the Level 2 certification, which gives them a broader manufacturing skillset and enables them to move on to more advanced certifications.

“We have been using the MACWIC credentialing system for about 4 years now,” Mr.  Duerden said, adding that approximately 70 QCC students have already received this credentialing.

QCC students who passed Level 1 certification included:

  • Michael Mielinski
  • Will Nunes
  • Jonah Wicklund
  • Tomas Dorman
  • Vincent Algieri
  • Andrew Paquette
  • Dhalin Lutaaya

QCC students who passed Level 2 certification included:

  • Nick Mannella
  • Josiah Gianfriddo
  • Mark Nystrom
  • Johanny Polanco

Visit QCC’s manufacturing programs to learn more.

  • Joyful singing was a part of the MLK Worcester County Community Breakfast.
  • QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja spoke at the MLK Jr. Worcester County Community Breakfast.
  • Keynote speaker Rev. Lester A. McCorn
  • Congressman James McGovern was one of the many speakers at the MLK Jr. Community Breakfast.
January, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College once again was host to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Worcester County Community Breakfast. This is the 34th year the breakfast has taken place, with each year bringing Dr. King’s message to those in the Worcester region.

This year’s keynote speaker was the Rev. Lester A. McCorn, a 1984 graduate of Doherty Memorial High School and current President of Clinton...

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Quinsigamond Community College once again was host to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Worcester County Community Breakfast. This is the 34th year the breakfast has taken place, with each year bringing Dr. King’s message to those in the Worcester region.

This year’s keynote speaker was the Rev. Lester A. McCorn, a 1984 graduate of Doherty Memorial High School and current President of Clinton College in Rock Hill, SC. Reverend McCorn was given keys to the City by Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty.

Reverend McCorn discussed his time in Worcester, telling those in attendance, "I’ve literally gone from being a college janitor to being a college president,” after discussing his time as a janitor when he was a teen at Central New England College (now closed).  The Reverend noted that while Rev. King had called out America to account for several of its original sins, they have still not been redeemed. He went on to ask those in the audience to help join in the fight against racism and hatred.

“Listen, the fight is not over. It did not end with the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act - I’ve been fighting all my life. The reason I’m here today is because Worcester taught me how to fight,” he said.

Other speakers included: Master of Ceremonies Susan Mailman, Chair of QCC’s Board of Trustees; Congressman James McGovern; Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito; QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja and Executive Director for the ELM Action Fund Joseph O’Brien.

The invocation was performed by Reverend Dr. Esau Vance and the benediction was performed by Reverend Clyde Talley. There were also performances by the New England gospel Mass Choir, Knights of Zion Men’s Choir and a traditional folk song performed by the Worcester Choirs.

Numerous scholarships and awards were given out during the breakfast including a $1,000 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship to QCC student Nelly Medina.

“Although the mountain top may still seem quite far for us, I still believe that we will reach it. Last year when I spoke, I said that we must dare to dream and that the dream must go on. So I say to you that amongst all that we face nowadays, let the dream go on. Dare to believe; dare to hope that we will reach that mountain top,” Dr. Pedraja said.

  • PTK Alumni Kimbery May
January, 2019

The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta (AZT) chapter has been an integral part in the lives of thousands of QCC students since it became a charter on April 8, 1980. On November 30, 2018 PTK took a giant step forward in its mission to support the people, programs and priorities of the PTK Society with the founding of the PTK AZT Alumni Association Executive Board.

“This association grew out of a need...

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The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta (AZT) chapter has been an integral part in the lives of thousands of QCC students since it became a charter on April 8, 1980. On November 30, 2018 PTK took a giant step forward in its mission to support the people, programs and priorities of the PTK Society with the founding of the PTK AZT Alumni Association Executive Board.

“This association grew out of a need to keep connected with our PTK students after they have graduated and moved on in their lives. Our students want to continue to be a part of PTK and QCC after they’ve left here, and this association will give them a way to maintain that connection,” said PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman.

The goals of the organization are to provide support to the PTK chapter and its members, as well as work on fostering personal and professional growth and relationships through networking, social events, leadership events, and community service. 

The newly formed Executive Board is made up of PTK alumni that include:

Advisor- Kayla Paterson is a 2016 QCC Elementary Education graduate and earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Anna Maria College. Ms. Patterson is currently a paraprofessional working with third and fourth graders in a nearby school district. She also works part-time in QCC’s PTK office.

President - Allen Phillips is a 2016 QCC Business Administration graduate. Mr. Phillips has been employed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency for the last 14 years. He recently retired after 20 years of working for the town of West Boylston as a firefighter and EMT. He earned his bachelor’s degree in December 2018 in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from the University of Alaska.

Vice President - Kimberly May is a 2017 QCC graduate. Ms. May earned degrees in General Studies and General Studies Healthcare. She is a Medical Assistant and Clinical Office Coordinator for the department of Neurology at Emerson Hospital. She also works part-time in the PTK office as an assistant and advisor.

Treasurer - Tony Sanders graduated from QCC with three degrees and one certificate. In 2017, he earned a certificate in Electronics Technology and a degree in Electronics Engineering Technology Biomedical Instrumentation option.

Secretary - Laura Loranger is a 2018 QCC graduate with a degree in Liberal Arts. Currently she works as an Executive Assistant on the Pro’s Real Estate Team.

Officer-at-Large - Sean Lauziere is a 2011 QCC graduate with a degree in Liberal Arts. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in International Affairs from Northeastern University (Class of 2013) and his Master's of Policy Administration in 2014. In his current role, he works as a Senior Government Affairs Executive at Rave Mobile Safety.

Each board member will serve a two-year term.

“It is particularly exciting to serve the Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at a time when the leadership is actively working to increase the connections among all divisions in recognition of a community approach for the future; continuing to foster a ‘community’ within and beyond community college,” said Ms. Patterson, a 2016 QCC Elementary Education graduate.

To learn more, contact the PTK Alumni office at 508.854.4411 or email ptkaztalumni [at] qmail.qcc.edu

  • QCC alum Josh Biernacki
January, 2019

Sometimes, just when you think you have your life plan figured out, something goes awry. It was that way for QCC alum Joshua “Josh” Biernacki, who had made a plan to join the Marines after graduating high school.  Today, the Marines are a distant memory and he is poised to begin the next chapter in his life as a high level technical recruiter at an IT consulting and recruiting firm in...

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Sometimes, just when you think you have your life plan figured out, something goes awry. It was that way for QCC alum Joshua “Josh” Biernacki, who had made a plan to join the Marines after graduating high school.  Today, the Marines are a distant memory and he is poised to begin the next chapter in his life as a high level technical recruiter at an IT consulting and recruiting firm in Boston.

Mr. Biernacki’s journey to QCC began circuitously. He had decided to forgo all college applications and went to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) after his high school graduation with the intention of entering the Marines. It was there that he found out he would have to fill out a lot of waivers and paperwork in order to be considered for the Marines due to the fact that he was deaf in one ear. Not wanting to hold up his life while he went through the lengthy process, he decided that he would forgo the Marines and signed up for classes at Quinsigamond Community College two days before the semester began, enrolling in the General Studies Mathematics program. He said he chose QCC for its convenient location and affordability, but quickly realized there was much more to the college.

“There are infinite opportunities at QCC and you’ll save yourself so much money. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I first came here. I wasn’t a people person.This school opened the doors for me to be able to learn book skills and people skills,” he said.“Personal growth was everything to me at QCC.”

Breaking Out Of His Shell

Mr. Biernacki acknowledged that he had been bullied in both middle and high school and because of this he said he was not a very social person. Once at QCC, he made the conscience decision to change this behavior.

“The first or second week of classes the college had a Club Fair that I went to and it was there that I decided to run for Student Senate. It was at the Club Fair that things started to click for me and I knew I had to introduce myself to people. My goal was to go and meet 15 new people each day,” he said. “To this day I have lifelong friends from that journey.”

He became an active member of student life on campus, while also taking classes and working three jobs. One of those jobs was in the fitness world, an area he still enjoys today, working part-time as a trainer.

During his time at QCC he was the Student Senate Treasurer (2010); Student Senate President (2011); Student Trustee for the College (2012, 2013); was a member of the Massachusetts Community College Trustees Association (2011-2013; was QCC’s Representative on the Student Advisory Council to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (2011-2013) and he served as President of the Student Advisory Council. He also was the Student Representative on the Governance Review Team, was a QCC Student Ambassador, was on the 2011-2012 nationally placing math team, was a QCC Student Orientation Leader, and was the Student Representative on the All College Committee.

As someone who once described himself as, “never really getting along with anyone,” he had become one of QCC’s best advocates and a shining example for others. He attributes his success to the many mentors he had at QCC, from Maureen Giacobbe in Career Services, to Cheryl Pike from Student Life, former QCC President Gail Carberry, Joseph Adams in TRIO, Mishawn Davis-Eyene in Admissions, and alum David Chapin Jr., former QCC student trustee and current QCC Guardian.

“Everyone gave me so much time and personal attention. It was amazing. The staff really cares. What I learned here I can relate it to wherever I go. I always tell people that without QCC, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today,” he said. “Here you are not a number… you are never a number.”

Mr. Biernacki graduated from QCC with two associate degrees, one in Business Administration and one in General Studies Mathematics.  For several years he worked in a variety of sales and management positions at numerous companies (and was offered every job he had interviewed for), before realizing his true passion – to work closely with people and to help them find their ideal job.

He is quick to note that the advice, guidance, and support he received at QCC was invaluable and helped to get him where he is today.

“Put everything you can into QCC and you’ll get out twice as much,” he said.

Mr. Biernacki continues to follow his own advice and recently came back to QCC attending the college’s Career Fair as a recruiter. 

 “In my previous position at QCC, I worked in the Career Services Office. During that time, I had the privilege of meeting, and getting to know, Josh. From the moment I met him, his tremendous motivation and enthusiasm were evident.  It was that drive which brought him to the Career Services Office often, to pursue internships, job opportunities, or to update his resume. I recently reconnected with him when he was visiting QCC as a recruiter and am happy to say he still embodies the greatest personal and professional attributes a person could offer,” said Coordinator of Instructional Technology & Assessment Maureen Giacobbe. “I am confident Josh will succeed in any goal he pursues.”

  • From left: Helen Hatzopoulos, Eduardo Rivas and Benjamin Aryeh
January, 2019

For many, the thought of the upcoming tax season can bring about trepidation, confusion and uncertainty. Imagine trying to figure out your taxes if English is not your first language or if you have a disability. In Worcester, the Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax preparation and electronic filing to low and moderate income families (making $54,000 or less), persons with disabilities and limited...

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For many, the thought of the upcoming tax season can bring about trepidation, confusion and uncertainty. Imagine trying to figure out your taxes if English is not your first language or if you have a disability. In Worcester, the Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax preparation and electronic filing to low and moderate income families (making $54,000 or less), persons with disabilities and limited English speakers who may need assistance in preparing their own taxes. The program is run by volunteers in the community who are looking to give back to their community and runs from January to April. It’s offered through the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition at four locations: the Worcester Community Action Council, Inc., Main South Community Development Corporation (CDC), Plumley Village and Worcester State University.

Volunteers do not need any previous accounting experience and will be trained. Every volunteer must pass a certification test in order to be a certified tax preparer and help with tax preparation. QCC student volunteers work out of the Main South CDC location.

QCC Offers A Variety of Options

This program has become near and dear to the heart of QCC Enrollment Counselor Eduardo Rivas, who was a volunteer in the program for several years when he was a student and is now the VITA Program Coordinator at QCC. He had become a volunteer while at QCC and was able to use the experience for prior learning credit. He continued to volunteer each year thereafter.

The program at QCC is already expanding exponentially since Mr. Rivas has taken over.

“Last year we had 24 volunteers in total. When I took over the position it was 10 or 11 volunteers,” he said, noting that they helped approximately 290 families.

One of those QCC volunteers was Business Administration major Helen Hatzopoulos. She worked as a volunteer last year and obtained prior learning credit for the experience. This year she is volunteering again.

“The training wasn’t too difficult. You have a book and then you get hands-on experience, learning as you go. It looks really good on your resume,” Ms. Hatzopoulos said, adding, “It’s a very welcoming place and giving back to the community is very rewarding. They are very grateful.”

Today, Mr. Rivas is taking the existing volunteer training program at the college and expounding upon it to include, for the first time, a class that QCC business majors can take as a program elective or as a free elective for any major.  Mr. Rivas said he took some valuable pointers from a class he took at Assumption College as part of his MBA degree.  Students who register for the class (ACC 225 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), must attend training during the first two-weeks of classes and become certified as a tax preparer, which they will do in class. Students will then be required to complete 12, three-hour sessions at Main South CDC and attend a recognition ceremony.

Students also still have the prior learning credit option or just straight volunteering. Mr. Rivas said unlike other area colleges who do this type of volunteer training, no one from outside the QCC community will be turned away from volunteering. The only caveat, they must be certified to participate. In fact, he had a PHD student from Worcester Polytechnic Institute reach out and volunteer last year and has had Assumption College reach out and refer volunteers.

A Hope for the Future

QCC Student Trustee Benjamin Aryeh is a big advocate of the VITA program and its positive impact not only on QCC students, but on the community as a whole. He is currently training to be a volunteer and is working with Mr. Rivas on getting the word out.

I’m passionate about working with people and I have the soft skills that will be helpful in helping people prepare their taxes. I’m a bilingual speaker so I will be able to help translate. I like helping to serve the underrepresented population,” he said.

Mr. Rivas said that recently the Worcester Housing Authority approached the Worcester Tax Coalition to discuss ways to either open their own site or affiliate with one of the four existing sites.

“This information was brought during our last coordinators’ meeting. I contacted the Worcester Tax Coalition to see if some of our QCC students could prepare taxes at their office to start a partnership with them," he said, adding that Mr. Aryeh would be interested in taking the lead on this initiative.

“My goal this year is to increase the number of volunteers and prepare returns for more people,” Mr. Rivas said.

For those interested in learning how to become a volunteer for the 2018 tax season, email Mr. Rivas at erivas [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • PTK Food Pantry Manager Max German and student volunteer Alexandra Hernandez
January, 2019

The need is growing and so is QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center, dedicated to helping those in the QCC community who are in need. Located in Room B63A, the Food Pantry and Resource Center has new hours and new resources beginning this semester.  QCC’s Food Pantry Manager, Max German said the pantry is already seeing an uptick in usage, and with new community resources being...

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The need is growing and so is QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center, dedicated to helping those in the QCC community who are in need. Located in Room B63A, the Food Pantry and Resource Center has new hours and new resources beginning this semester.  QCC’s Food Pantry Manager, Max German said the pantry is already seeing an uptick in usage, and with new community resources being brought in he expects to see more and more people utilizing its services.

New resources will include a biweekly visit from a representative from LUK, a not-for-profit social service agency located in central Massachusetts that is dedicated to improving the lives of those age 26 and under. The agency offers a full spectrum of programs that address homelessness, mental and behavioral health, trauma, addiction and substance abuse prevention.  Additionally, Cooking Matters in Massachusetts will be coming in to assist with nutritional training. The Central West Justice Center will also be coming to campus and will hold informational sessions on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The SNAP information sessions will be available to students, as well as all faculty and staff.

Another Central West Justice Center session coming to the resource center will offer information on knowing your rights and what government benefits are available (such as housing, food and transportation), as well as the eligibility requirements.

 The food pantry and resource center hours for spring 2019 are:

  • Monday 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 8:00 a.m. – noon
  • Wednesday 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If you are (or know of) a student, faculty or staff member in need, please come to the food pantry and resource center for assistance. All information is always kept confidential. There will be an intake appointment for your first visit and then each time you return, all you’ll need to do is show your QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center identification (ID) card. ID cards have just a number on them to ensure privacy.

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

Mr. German said they are still looking for volunteers to help out in the food pantry and resource center. Anyone who is interested can email him directly at mgerman [at] qmail.qcc.edu.

“Training takes less than an hour,” he added.

To learn more about the resources available visit QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center

  • The December 14 ADN Advanced Placement RN students pinning ceremony.
  • Graduates from the Day Associate Nursing Program
  • QCC’s Dean of the School of Healthcare Pat Schmohl
January, 2019

Nursing is not a 9 to 5 job and those who choose a career in nursing recognize the dedication and devotion it takes to enter the profession. On December 14 and 20, over 80 Advanced Placement evening program nursing students and day nursing students received their pins at pinning ceremonies held at the Harrington Learning Center.

Pinning ceremonies have become an important part of nursing graduations, going...

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Nursing is not a 9 to 5 job and those who choose a career in nursing recognize the dedication and devotion it takes to enter the profession. On December 14 and 20, over 80 Advanced Placement evening program nursing students and day nursing students received their pins at pinning ceremonies held at the Harrington Learning Center.

Pinning ceremonies have become an important part of nursing graduations, going back as far as the 1800s. Each nursing school has a unique, identifiable pin that differentiates where the students earned their nursing degree. Each QCC nursing student also received a lamp, which represents one of the most celebrated nurses in history, Florence Nightingale, who was known as the “lady with the lamp,” for her nightly sojourns taking care of injured soldiers. The Nurse’s Pledge was also recited at each pinning ceremony, which is based on the Florence Nightingale pledge of practicing the nursing profession with integrity, honesty and commitment.

QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja and QCC’s Dean of the School of Healthcare Pat Schmohl each gave opening remarks and congratulated the graduates.

“I love seeing all of the smiling faces on the stage and the proud family, children, and friends in the audience. The energy in our auditorium during a nursing pinning ceremony cannot be reproduced. Students are always so thankful to their family, friends and faculty during the actual pinning,” said Mr. Schmohl, adding, “The pinning ceremonies are always an inspiration.”

Graduates from the AP Evening Nursing Program included:

Adesina Adegoke
Kwabena Agyei
Caitlyn Andrews
Solomon Asare
Daisy Chege
Danielle Colpritt
Brittany Crooker
Katherine Daly - President
Amanda Davies
Stephanie Faranda
Edna Fine
Jennifer Fitzgerald
Janet Fortune
Amanda Gibree  - Vice President
Lillian Gichobi
Jessica Goyer – Secretary
Natalie Hartzell
Nancy Irianki
Peter Kimani
Yuliana King
Anjuli Kinell
Ann Labonte
Justin Lemieux – Class Representative
Heather Manning
Richard Marinelli
Dawn McInnes
Kara Miller
John Muchiri
Hannah Mungai
Catherine Munyua
Nicole Murphy
Robin Myrick
Faustina Odoi
Deborah O’Leary
Timothy Pepin
Viktorya Rubinova
Paige Shea - Treasurer
Ashley Starr
Jennifer Thorpe
Jillian Toomey
Jahleh Valipour
Esther Wanjuche
Francisca Williams

Graduates from the Day Associate Nursing Program included:

Daniel Anderson
Mercy Asare
Alfredina Asomaning
Mary Ball
Jessica Bergeron
Ethan Caless
Rebecca Carroll
Katelyn-Rose Church
Ashley Davis
Allison Denman
Joselyn Diaz
Jenna Eddy
Brianna Flanagan
Esther Gabriel-Gergous
Januka Ghimiray
Haley Hitchings
Brianne Johnson
Marissa Kaminski
Andrea Lacey
Kelly Lekas
Erin Lombardi 
Jacqueline Marinelli
Catherine Marschall
Kayla Mendelowitz
Jackelyn Miranda 
Zailynett Naranjo
Gifty Oppong 
Courtney Paquin
Ashley Perez
Briana Picard
Rachel Pilver 
Rosalie Pulsifer
Sheila Quick
Jules Rezidor
Keila Silva
Amanda Smith
Emmanuela St Surin
Deven Turner

 

  • Lady bugs are one of the natural ways the greenhouse volunteers control pests.
  • A gorgeous red pepper is ripe for picking in the greenhouse.
  • Nothing is better than fresh strawberries in winter.
  • The PTK Live and Learn Greenhouse
  • A water filtration system is used to remove any chemicals from the water.
  • Every drop of space is being utilized at the Live and Learn Greenhouse.
January, 2019

When the days of winter seem endless and you feel that one more day of winter just might be one day too many, the volunteers at the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Live and Learn Greenhouse suggest you stop by and see what’s growing. While the trees, grass, and plants around campus are dormant and under a blanket of icy snow, the PTK Live and Learn Greenhouse is alive with color, warmth and many, many plants that are...

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When the days of winter seem endless and you feel that one more day of winter just might be one day too many, the volunteers at the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Live and Learn Greenhouse suggest you stop by and see what’s growing. While the trees, grass, and plants around campus are dormant and under a blanket of icy snow, the PTK Live and Learn Greenhouse is alive with color, warmth and many, many plants that are growing throughout the year. According to PTK student and current Greenhouse Manager Vanessa Hanger, there are lots of plants being grown, with the produce being used to help feed those in need within the QCC community. Everything that is grown is either donated to QCC’s Food Pantry or given to someone in the QCC community.

“Our goal is to grow produce for people in need. Produce is expensive. Everything we grow is donated to the college community. Nothing goes to waste,” Ms. Hanger said.

Heathy Eating Means Healthy Plantings

The greenhouse is a completely organic one. Plants are not treated with pesticides, but use natural ways such as lady bugs, which eat many nuisance pests such as aphids. The lady bugs cause no harm to the plants and help to keep them healthy.  A water filtration system is also used to remove any chemicals from the water, ensuring clean water for the plants. This semester worms are being brought in to help with the growing process. They will be placed in a bin with holes in the bottom and fed with food scrapes.

“The digestive juices that the red wiggler worms excrete while eating will pass through the holes in the bottom of the bin. We will collect and dilute the juice before using it to fertilize the plants,” Ms. Hanger said. “It’s like liquid gold.”  

This semester they are looking into a camera that can take time lapse images showing the growth of the plants. Sensors are also going to be placed in the greenhouse that will not only now monitor the temperature, but also the humidity. In addition, new greenhouse volunteer Kevin Johns is working with QCC alum Thomas Rokicki on greenhouse automation and updating the website.

Currently the greenhouse is chock full of plants that include peppers, herbs, cucumbers, chives, strawberries and limes in different stages of growth. When the weather gets better, Ms. Hanger said the food pantry volunteers will plant outside, utilizing planters. Compatible plants such as different types of lettuce, tomatoes, basil and strawberries will be planted.

All College Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteers in the greenhouse include a variety of students (students who are in PTK, as well as those not in PTK), a QCC alum who is now a student at Worcester State University, in addition to faculty and staff. There are a variety of teams that volunteers can choose to be on such as Data Analytics, Engineering, Harvesting/Pruning, Research/Fertilization and Transplantation.

Current greenhouse volunteers include:

  • Thomas Rokicki: QCC alum
  • Annette Tolle: Staff
  • Archana Mudbidri: Faculty
  • Kevin Johns
  • Alex Sandberg
  • Carli Boudreau
  • Daniel Gangemi
  • Eunice Asare
  • Isabella Rodriguez
  • Jamilex Rivas
  • Kayla Bardell
  • Moesha Nugent
  • Santana Wright
  • James Barter
  • Mariam Mohammed

“Our focus is building the team of volunteers. This is available to the whole college. Previous botany experience is not required. This is all on a volunteer basis. Students are not getting any credit for this; they are doing this because they believe in giving back to the college community ,” Ms. Hanger said. “We’d love to have more faculty and staff members participate. This is a great opportunity for mentoring as well as giving back.”

While there is much going on at the greenhouse, the small space is limiting to what can be grown. Discussions are currently going on about building a new, much larger greenhouse (16' - 9 1/2" x 20' - 10 1/2").  PTK has already raised the funds to purchase the new greenhouse, which would quadruple the amount of produce that can be grown, according to PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman.

Anyone interested in volunteering can reach out to Greenhouse Manager Vanessa Hanger at vhanger [at] qmail.qcc.edu.

  • From left: Mark Blease and Manny Antwi
January, 2019

It all started out with a candy bar.

Over four years ago when the QCC Veterans Club was newly established and they were looking for fundraising ideas they decided to sell candy bars - Hebert candy bars. While the group sold most of the candy bars, there were still some left after the fundraising drive ended. Since it was Halloween time and QCC was hosting its annual trick-or-treating event at the college,...

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It all started out with a candy bar.

Over four years ago when the QCC Veterans Club was newly established and they were looking for fundraising ideas they decided to sell candy bars - Hebert candy bars. While the group sold most of the candy bars, there were still some left after the fundraising drive ended. Since it was Halloween time and QCC was hosting its annual trick-or-treating event at the college, members of the club decided to give the candy bars away to children who came by. That’s when this story takes a decidedly different turn.

According to Director of Veteran Affairs Paula Ogden, it was a child who had stopped by the Veteran Affairs office that took the bar and turned to the gentlemen behind him and said, “Look grandpa it has your name on it.” A discussion ensued between QCC student veteran Desiree Vinson and “grandpa,” who happened to be one of the owners of Hebert Candies. He said he was part of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and that perhaps there was something they could do to help. He gave Ms. Vinson a contact at the BBB and that’s when Ms. Ogden took over.

“I called the BBB every few weeks telling them the benefits of helping veterans, perhaps helping fund books,” she said.

For the better part of a year and a half Ms. Ogden went back and forth with her contact at the BBB discussing possible scenarios on how the BBB could help out. Finally in 2015, the BBB began Veteran & Service Member Textbook Scholarship. The first year the scholarship awarded three students $500 each. Today the BBB of Central New England and BBB's Consumer Education Foundation awards $500 each to up to eight veteran or service member students attending a university or college within BBB's service area of Central and Western MA and Northeast CT.

“We’ve always had a scholarship winner since this began,” Ms. Ogden continued, noting that this year’s winner is QCC student veteran Mark Blease.

Mr. Blease, who works part-time in the Veteran Affairs office, is an Army veteran who is planning to graduate from QCC with an Engineering degree this May. His goal is to move onto a 4-year college and most likely major in nuclear engineering. He said he was extremely happy to find out he had won the scholarship.

“Paula mentioned the scholarship when I was in the Veteran Affairs office and suggested I try for it,” he said. “There were 12 questions and I researched the answers to each one on the BBB website.”

Mr. Blease said that while it took some time to fill out the questions, it was certainly worth it.

“I probably spent more time than most people would have but it was pretty straightforward and all the answers were findable. They were business related questions and not too hard. I’d tell anyone to do it, why not?”

In other Veteran Affairs News - Red Shirt Fridays 

RED Friday (Remember Everyone Deployed) or Red shirt Fridays is a campaign to show solidarity and support for all men and women in the United States military. Red symbolizes the blood spilled by the brave men and women of the United States military and is a reminder of their sacrifice. Red Fridays is not intended as a political statement, just a nice way for Americans to show they support the people who serve our country. 

"If you were not already aware of Red Friday, please spread the word," said Ms. Ogden. "We hope to see everyone wearing red on Fridays."

  • QCC recent alum and past president Katie Berry (left) with Professor Valerie Clemente.
January, 2019

The QCC Psychology Department inducted a new group of students into its local chapter of Psi Beta, a National Honor Society in Psychology for community and junior colleges. The new inductees included:                                    ...

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The QCC Psychology Department inducted a new group of students into its local chapter of Psi Beta, a National Honor Society in Psychology for community and junior colleges. The new inductees included:                                       

  • Benjamin Aryeh
  • Eunice Asare
  • Kristina Hallenbrook
  • Jessica Hanam
  • Elizabeth Lopez
  • Lynette Maldonado
  • Elizabeth Milhans
  • Jessica Sands
  • Vitor Silva
  • Karen Whitmarsh

Members of Psi Beta are recognized for their academic excellence and are eligible to win Psi Beta awards and scholarships. All QCC students who have an interest in psychology, and meet the eligibility requirements are invited to apply, regardless of their program of study. The QCC Psi Beta chapter regularly meets with the Psychology Club and provides a variety of opportunities for engaging with psychology, including conducting original research, presenting research at professional conferences, hosting a guest lecture series, community service, leadership opportunities, and fundraising for mental health and other community initiatives. 

Meetings are held every other Wednesday from noon - 1:00 p.m. in the Psychology Center for Excellence (Room 321, in the Administration Building). 

Students may request induction into Psi Beta if they have a strong interest in psychology, complete one psychology course, have a minimum of a “B” average in all psychology courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.25 and have completed at least 12 credits.

To learn more contact Chapter Advisor vclemente [at] qcc.mass.edu (Professor Valerie Clemente, Ed.D.)

  • On January 22, 2019 37 QCC faculty and staff members were honored for their years of service.
January, 2019

At Quinsigamond Community College’s semi-annual All College Day held on January 22, a total of 37 faculty and staff members were recognized for over 500 years of service to the college. These are members of the QCC community who have worked 10 years or more at the college.

The 2019 Service Awards recipients included:            ...

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At Quinsigamond Community College’s semi-annual All College Day held on January 22, a total of 37 faculty and staff members were recognized for over 500 years of service to the college. These are members of the QCC community who have worked 10 years or more at the college.

The 2019 Service Awards recipients included:               

10 Years

  • Beth Austin
  • Leo Burgess
  • Dan Cahill
  • Rachel Clarke
  • Cathy Coleman
  • Philomena D'Alessandro
  • Robert Desilets 
  • Stephen DiGiovanni
  • James Dussault 
  • Steve Ericson
  • Juliana Esposito 
  • Jennifer Guzman-Gayflor
  • Christina Hebert
  • Jason Kurland 
  • Josh Martin
  • Meghan Martin
  • Margaret Motyka
  • Martin Muysenberg
  • Ulises Poyser 
  • Maureen Ricotta
  • Terri Rodriguez 
  • Mary Rodziewicz 
  • Geraldine Russell 
  • Mariette Sbat 
  • John Stazinski
  • Laura Tino
  • Michelle Tufau Afriyie

20 Years

  • Krista LaJoie
  • Elsie Newmane
  • Josie Santos 
  • Cheryl Travers

30 Years

  • Margaret Motyka
  • Nancy Donohue-Berthiaume 
  • Dagne Yesihak 

40 Years

  • Raymond Johnson 
  • Deputy Chief of Administration Reynaldo Rodriguez
January, 2019

Last month, at the 30th Annual Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA) Awards and Recognition Ceremony for Excellence in Higher Education Law Enforcement, Quinsigamond Community College Deputy Chief of Administration Reynaldo Rodriguez received the award for Outstanding Personal Contribution to Campus Public Safety. QCC Police Chief Kevin Ritacco,...

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Last month, at the 30th Annual Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA) Awards and Recognition Ceremony for Excellence in Higher Education Law Enforcement, Quinsigamond Community College Deputy Chief of Administration Reynaldo Rodriguez received the award for Outstanding Personal Contribution to Campus Public Safety. QCC Police Chief Kevin Ritacco, who nominated Deputy Chief Rodriguez for the award, said he has made outstanding contributions and is devoted to campus policing.

“Deputy Chief Rodriguez has worked tirelessly over the past several years assisting the department (QCC Campus Police) in attaining certification and accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC),” said Chief Ritacco.

QCC is the first community college police department in the Commonwealth to receive this prestigious accreditation. Chief Ritacco said with over 20 years of experience, the Deputy Chief was able to help bring the QCC campus police department together to accomplish the task of certification and accreditation. As the department’s Accreditation Manager, his main focus was (and continues to be) on accreditation and professionalizing college policing.

  • Students begin the Spring 2019 semester
  • The Wyvern is hanging out and getting ready to Celebrate Valentine's Day at QCC Southbridge.
January, 2019

Friday, February 1: Interested in renewable energy? Stop by the Harrington Learning Center Room 109B from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to learn about the new Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Transfer Program that provides scholarships to perform research in renewable energy. Pizza and beverages will be provided.

Monday, February 4: Black History Month Trivia in the Fuller...

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Friday, February 1: Interested in renewable energy? Stop by the Harrington Learning Center Room 109B from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to learn about the new Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Transfer Program that provides scholarships to perform research in renewable energy. Pizza and beverages will be provided.

Monday, February 4: Black History Month Trivia in the Fuller Student Center from 10:00 a.m. – noon.

Monday, February 7: The QCC Black Student Union and Diversity Caucus will present, “We Grow Into Courage,” a dramatic reading of civil rights texts excerpted from Hands in the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, email Associate Professor of Human Services Brenda Safford at bsafford [at] qcc.mass.edu

Friday, February 11: PSI BETA and the Psychology Club Guest Lecture Series presents: Kristie Farrar, Ph.D – “Leveling up on violent video game research: Is violent game play a risk factor for aggression and attraction to guns?” Dr. Farrar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include the effects of the mass media on individuals, particularly concerning violent video games, aggression, and attraction to weapons. The discussion will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Room 109B at the Harrington Learning Center. For questions contact Professor of Psychology Valerie Clemente at vclemente [at] qcc.mass.edu

Wednesday, February 13: Valentine’s Day Celebration at the Student Fuller Center from 10:00 a.m. -noon.

Thursday, February 14:  Valentine’s Day!  QCC Southbridge Valentine’s Day celebration from 10:00 a.m. – noon.  

Monday, February 18: Presidents Day – The College is closed.

Month of February – The Psi Beta Honor Society is looking for college students (age 18 and older) for a Psychology Research Study to learn about college engagement, student-professor rapport and academic self-concept. Interested participants will take a brief questionnaire in the Psychology Center for Excellence in Room 321 of the Administration building. To find out available days and times, visit Psychology Research Study.

February Spotlight:  A Valentine’s Day Bake-Off Event: Wednesday, February 13 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All students, faculty and staff are invited to prepare their favorite holiday baked goods recipe and enter the Valentine’s Day Bake-Off Event presented by the QCC Alumni Association. There is an entry fee of $2 for faculty and staff and $1 for students with an active QCC ID. Entry allows you to sample and judge entries. Proceeds will benefit the QCC Alumni Scholarship fund. Registration to enter the Bake-Off is Free. To learn more and register visit Bake-Off.  The top winners in four categories receive ribbons and bragging rights. Will you crumble? Or will you take the cake? Questions? Email June Vo, Community Connections at jvo [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • From left Josh Cole and Lisa Gurnick
January, 2019

Intramural Soccer

Beginning this semester, every Monday and Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. any QCC student is welcome to come to the Athletic Center and play Intramural Soccer.  This is the perfect way to get some exercise and be part of a team. For questions, contact Josh Cole, Assistant Manager of Athletics and Fitness Center at 508.854.4317 or email him at...

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Intramural Soccer

Beginning this semester, every Monday and Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. any QCC student is welcome to come to the Athletic Center and play Intramural Soccer.  This is the perfect way to get some exercise and be part of a team. For questions, contact Josh Cole, Assistant Manager of Athletics and Fitness Center at 508.854.4317 or email him at jcole [at] qcc.mass.edu

Fitness Classes

Make the start of 2019 your best start ever and sign up for a fitness class at QCC.  Exercising reduces stress, cholesterol, and helps to prevents osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. Exercising can help you maintain a healthy weight, firms and tones your body and gives you more energy.

This semester two classes will be offered: a Yoga Class and a Full-Body Toning Class. Each class will run for a 10-week session. For more information and to sign up, visit the Athletic Center or call 508.854.4317.

Student Identifications

A student ID is mandatory for all students. Students can get a Student ID at the Athletic Center. There is a $10.00 charge to replace an ID. Hours to get an ID include:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Fridays:  9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Thursdays:  9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Students can also make an appointment by calling the Athletic Center in advance at 508-854-4317.

Athletic Center Building Hours

  • Monday: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
January, 2019

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

On January 2, 2019 the Adult Community Learning Center welcomed Glennys Fuentes into her new role as a Clerk IV-Program Assistant. Glennys brings over five years of experience to this position. Most recently, she was an Administrative Assistant with HW...

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

On January 2, 2019 the Adult Community Learning Center welcomed Glennys Fuentes into her new role as a Clerk IV-Program Assistant. Glennys brings over five years of experience to this position. Most recently, she was an Administrative Assistant with HW Staffing Solutions. Glennys earned a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University.  

On January 9, 2019, Nursing welcomed Patricia Hartigan into her new role as Associate Professor of Nurse Education/A.D.N. Evenings- Patricia brings to this position over 30 years of health care education and clinical experience.  Most recently, she was an Associate Professor of Nursing at Massachusetts Bay Community College.  Patricia earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at The University of Bridgeport and a Master of Science in Nursing from Boston University School of Nursing.

On January 13, 2019, Enrollment Management, Student Engagement and Community Connections welcomed Nicole Etcheverry as Director of Grants Development. Nicole brings to this position over 18 years of grant management experience. Most recently, she was the Grants Manager at Quinsigamond Community College. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Northeastern University.

On January 13, 2019 the Welcome Center welcomed Josephine Santos into her new role as a Clerk III/ Welcome Center Customer Service Assistant.  Josephine brings to this position over 20 years of facility maintenance experience. Most recently, she has worked here at Quinsigamond Community College as a Maintainer II within the Facilities Department. Josephine earned an Associate’s Degree from Institute Junior College in Puerto Rico.  

On January 22, 2019, Nursing welcomed Joyce Brazee into her new role as Associate Professor of Nurse Education/A.D.N.-Days. Joyce brings to this position over 30 years of health care education and clinical experience. Most recently, she was an Associate Professor of Nursing at Massachusetts Bay Community College. Joyce earned her Master of Science in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Nursing Education from Regis College.

On January 22, 2019 Nursing also welcomed Richard Ellbeg into his new role as Assistant Professor of Nurse Education/A.D.N.-Days. Richard brings to this position over 35 years of health care education and clinical experience. Most recently, he was an EMT, Infection Control Officer with the West Boylston Fire Department. Richard earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Worcester State College and a Master of Science in Nursing from Norwich University.

 Please join us in welcoming Glennys, Patricia, Nicole, Josephine, Joyce and Richard into their new roles at QCC.