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09/2019

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September, 2019

  • QCC students and the community will reap the benefits of the new cutting-edge equipment being purchased.
September, 2019

It’s been an exciting start to the fall semester at Quinsigamond Community College, particularly for the college’s dental programs. In late August the college received word that it was awarded a $476,807 Skills Capital Grant. QCC received the third largest grant out of the 45 grants awarded to high schools, colleges and educational institutions in the Commonwealth. QCC has a long history of being awarded...

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It’s been an exciting start to the fall semester at Quinsigamond Community College, particularly for the college’s dental programs. In late August the college received word that it was awarded a $476,807 Skills Capital Grant. QCC received the third largest grant out of the 45 grants awarded to high schools, colleges and educational institutions in the Commonwealth. QCC has a long history of being awarded Skills Capital Grants. In 2016, the college received $488,735; $431,900 in 2017 and $10,000 in 2018.

This grant is being heralded by the college as a perfect way to complete its new dental materials lab, which the college rolled out this fall to create a hands-on teaching classroom to train future dental hygienists, dental assistants and new expanded function dental assistants. The grant funding will be used to purchase state-of-the-art dental equipment used in today’s dental materials labs across the region.

“We’ve been told that there is only one other training lab at a college or university in the state with this level of equipment,” said QCC Dental Clinic Operations and Facilities Manager Sheryl Ficorilli.

Dentists and community leaders in the region have sung the praises of QCC’s dental program and its new dental materials lab.

“The dental materials lab is critical to student learning in QCC’s program, which offers dental hygiene, as well as dental assisting classes in the lab,” said Chairman of the Worcester District Dental Society, George E. Maloney, D.M.D. “This lab is part of QCC’s efforts to address Greater Worcester’s need for dental health care by creating a workforce of skilled clinicians in the field of dental hygiene and dental assisting.”

The state-of-the-art equipment being bought will enable students to learn how to utilize CAD/CAM technology and digital cameras. A milling machine that can make a crown; a high-tech scanner; staining unit and oven, in addition to other cutting-edge dental equipment are also being purchased. 

“This equipment will support high-quality career and technical training of more than 600 dental hygienists and dental assistants, including new expanded function assistants, and help meet significant demand in Central Massachusetts,” said Executive Director of MassHire Central Region Workforce Board, Jeffrey Turgeon.

Once the new equipment is received, QCC’s dental staff will spend two days training in order to be totally versed on how to operate each piece of equipment, before they begin training students. 

“We are all very excited about this,” said QCC’s Professor of Dental Assisting/Hygiene, Jennifer McKeon.

“This project will have a positive impact on QCC students and our residents for years to come,” said Brian A. Genna, D.M.D.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the percent growth rate in employment from 2018 to 2028 for dental assistants will be 11%, compared to the average growth rate of 5% for all other occupations.

“A new facility is necessary to attract more and well-qualified applicants who will one day work in the fastest growing job sector in the United States,” said David Handsman, D.M.D., M.D.S. “Access to affordable healthcare is critical to the continued development of the Greater Worcester area. A new dental materials lab will help meet a clear need to our city and community.”

QCC’s Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which is nationally recognized by the United States Department of Education as the sole agency to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level. To learn more visit Dental Assisting.

  • Funding from QCC's workforce Success Grant will be used to train individuals for jobs in healthcare and social assistance.
September, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College was awarded a $249,527 grant in the first round of Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants. QCC was one of only four community colleges to receive grant funding for training that will assist unemployed or underemployed people in filling in-demand jobs within the Commonwealth. The funding will also enable entry-level workers to advance in their current workplace.

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Quinsigamond Community College was awarded a $249,527 grant in the first round of Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants. QCC was one of only four community colleges to receive grant funding for training that will assist unemployed or underemployed people in filling in-demand jobs within the Commonwealth. The funding will also enable entry-level workers to advance in their current workplace.

 “We are thrilled to be awarded this grant that will help us to advance our current programs. This funding will be used to train individuals for jobs in healthcare and social assistance,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “At QCC we are training people for the in-demand jobs of the today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Baker-Polito Administration awarded $4.2 million to 18 grant awardees. The grants, named in memory of Senator Donnelly, who spent his career promoting workforce opportunities in Massachusetts, target jobs in healthcare and social assistance, information technology and includes occupations in accommodation, food service and hospitality, construction, finance and insurance, and transportation and warehousing.

  • Addiction expert Dr. Ruth Potee gives a compelling talk about addiction at QCC.
  • Local officials attend addiction program at QCC.
  • Reliant Foundation Board Chair and President (far right) with Dr. Ruth Potee and State Rep. Jim O'Day
  • Informational tables lined the walkway to the Hebert Auditorium.
September, 2019

In recognition of September being National Recovery Month, the Reliant Foundation and Quinsigamond Community College teamed up to host leading addiction expert Ruth Potee, M.D., in a compelling public presentation entitled, “Physiology of Addiction.” Over 300 people attended the free public event held on September 16, in QCC’s Hebert Auditorium.

“As a community college we always...

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In recognition of September being National Recovery Month, the Reliant Foundation and Quinsigamond Community College teamed up to host leading addiction expert Ruth Potee, M.D., in a compelling public presentation entitled, “Physiology of Addiction.” Over 300 people attended the free public event held on September 16, in QCC’s Hebert Auditorium.

“As a community college we always feel being part of the community is central to our mission. We welcome the community into our campus. We want to be defined by the whole community that we serve,” said President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “Addiction affects all of us. It’s so important to bring in experts and initiate conversations that need to be had. All of us as a community must address addiction.”

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early, Jr. was quick to add that there is no bigger social problem than the opioid crisis. Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis reflected on the first time he was in the Hebert Auditorium some five-plus years ago for the first Governor’s Task Force meeting on opioid addiction.

“This room has a history of being a leader when it comes to combating this horrible epidemic we are in the midst in right now,” Sheriff Evangelidis said.

In addition to the 300-plus attendees, the event drew the support of other notable community and elected officials that included:  Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale; Worcester Commissioner of Health and Human Services Mattie Castiel, M.D.; Massachusetts State Representatives Hannah Kane and David Muradian, Jr.

“Substance abuse – in particular the opioid epidemic – continues to make headlines across the country, and directly impacts our local communities,” said Reliant Foundation President Kelsa Zereski. “Our hope is that attendees of this presentation will walk away with an even deeper understanding of this public health crisis, and also some context around how and why an individual becomes addicted to any substance.” 

“Just about every day we hear new staggering statistics about the impact substance abuse has on our communities,” said Dr. Ruth Potee. “We’re all working really hard to combat this epidemic, but we – as a collective – must first start with an understanding of how we’ve gotten to this point…how someone becomes addicted, why it’s so difficult to break an addiction, and why so many addicts struggle with maintaining sobriety.”

To watch Dr. Potee’s presentation visit “Physiology of Addiction.”

Dr. Potee is a board-certified family physician and addiction medicine physician. She is currently the medical director for the Franklin County House of Corrections, the director of addiction services for Behavioral Health Network, and the medical director for the Pioneer Valley Regional School District. Co-chair of the Healthcare Solutions Committee of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Regions, Dr. Potee was named 2015 Franklin County Doctor of the Year by the Massachusetts Medical Society. 

  • From left: QCC student Zuheyry Encarnacion with her mentor Dr. Natalie Anumba.
  • Student mentee Zuheyry Encarnacion shares a laugh with her mentor, Dr. Natalie Anumba.
September, 2019

Zuheyry Encarnacion finally knows what it’s like to have someone in her corner. Since she began taking criminal justice classes at Quinsigamond Community College, Ms. Encarnacion has had the support and guidance of a special woman in her life -  Dr. Natalie Anumba, a forensic psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical...

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Zuheyry Encarnacion finally knows what it’s like to have someone in her corner. Since she began taking criminal justice classes at Quinsigamond Community College, Ms. Encarnacion has had the support and guidance of a special woman in her life -  Dr. Natalie Anumba, a forensic psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This special partnership, thanks to QCC’s mentoring program, is one that has made an indelible impression on both women and one that has given Ms. Encarnacion the motivation and self-confidence she was looking for in her life. 

It was when she started taking classes at QCC that she was encouraged by her Massachusetts EDCO (Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities) advocate to get into the college’s mentoring program. QCC’s mentoring program connects QCC students with staff, faculty, industry, and community members to create one-on-one mentoring relationships. The program provides extensive benefits to students, as well as professional development and networking opportunities for mentors. Ms.Encarnacion took the advice of her advocate and was matched with Dr. Natalie Anumba, who happened to be the first community partner to become a QCC mentor.

“I didn’t want to do it at first but I’m so glad I did. Natalie helps me with my major and helps me with resources in my career. She got to know me,” Ms. Encarnacion said. “She’s my motivator even if I’m having a bad day.”

Dr. Anumba said she heard about QCC’s mentoring program after attending a Worcester Chamber of Commerce event where she heard QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja speak about the value of mentorship. She said one of the points he made, which resonated with her, was that employers need to pay attention to the local workforce because there’s a wealth of potential right in Central Massachusetts. Dr. Anumba said she went up to Dr. Pedraja after the program and asked how she could help.

“There is a demand for mentors and mentoring is so important. I look back at my career and the people who contributed to it and the mentors along the way,” she said. “I personally feel like I’m contributing to something special that’s in-line with my skills.”

Ms. Encarnacion, who is set to graduate in December 2019, has a close relationship with her mentor. She detailed one particularly tough time when she was trying unsuccessfully to get a work study job on campus and “everything was going horrible.”  

“Natalie said to keep trying you’re almost done and then I got called to do work study with Eduardo Rivas (who does the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program),” she said. “Having someone in your corner, no matter what, is amazing. Not a lot of people can say they have emotional and academic support.”

QCC’s Director of Mentoring for Perkins Programs, Gabriel Santner works to find the best match for each mentor and mentee partnership. This year there are already 130 mentor/mentee matches and Mr. Santner expects to have close to 150 within the next few weeks. In fact, this year five core community partners have signed on to be part of the mentoring program - AbbVie Biopharmaceuticals, The City of Worcester, University of Massachusetts Memorial Healthcare, Hanover Insurance and Love Your Labels. 

“When you meet someone in your chosen career you see what you’re going to go into and you gain another support,” Ms. Encarnacion said.

Ms. Encarnacion’s goal is to graduate in December and transfer to Worcester State University. Her dream is to one day be a detective and said she will keep pushing to meet that goal for her three-year-old daughter.

While this may be the end of her academic year at QCC, Dr. Anumba and Ms. Encarnacion plan to continue their mentoring relationship.

“What you put into this program is what you get out of it and I’ve gotten a lot,” Ms. Encarnacion said.

Visit QCC Mentoring to learn more.

  • From left: PTK alumni Kimberly May and Kayla Paterson
  • PTK alumni were out in force for the Dragon Boat races.
  • Current and former PTK students took part in the third Worcester Dragon Boat Festival.
  • From left: QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja with President of QCC's Student Government Association Jorgo Gushi
September, 2019

A team of excited Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) students and alumni paddled their way to a fun-filled day at the third Worcester Dragon Boat Festival, held on September 21.

Participants include PTK alumni: Kayla Paterson, Jason Butler, Kimberly May, Ato Fynn, James Mbugua, Robin Wood, Erika Lacrosse, Rodrigo Rivas, Jose Mesmar, Karen Oberg, Kennedy Udechukwu and current students: Jorgo Gushi, Diana...

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A team of excited Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) students and alumni paddled their way to a fun-filled day at the third Worcester Dragon Boat Festival, held on September 21.

Participants include PTK alumni: Kayla Paterson, Jason Butler, Kimberly May, Ato Fynn, James Mbugua, Robin Wood, Erika Lacrosse, Rodrigo Rivas, Jose Mesmar, Karen Oberg, Kennedy Udechukwu and current students: Jorgo Gushi, Diana Mohammed Basher, Shaymaa Majeed, Alexander Paulino, Lucy Ortiz, Stephanie McGinnis, Ilina Ivanova, Jose Carlos Simoes, Devon Arthur, and Israa Majeed.  

QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja was on-hand to show his support for the students, praising them for their commitment to the QCC community.

“Every little bit helps to get the word out about our college. These types of community events help let people know what we are all about - community,” said Dr. Pedraja.

The Wyverns battled hard in their two races, sadly coming up short of a spot in the finals. While no trophy was forthcoming for the team, the day brought out great Wyvern camaraderie for alumni and students alike.

  • Anthony “Tony” Barnardo gets ready to head out to his first day of school.
  • Navy veteran Anthony “Tony” Barnardo shows his excitement on his first day of classes at QCC.
September, 2019

For Navy veteran Anthony “Tony” Barnardo, of Webster, a dream of owning his own food truck or restaurant was just that - a dream, until he became a student at QCC. This fall Mr. Barnardo is starting his third semester at the college as a hospitality major with the goal of owning his own food truck. He has already seen first-hand what it’s like to run a food truck.

“In...

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For Navy veteran Anthony “Tony” Barnardo, of Webster, a dream of owning his own food truck or restaurant was just that - a dream, until he became a student at QCC. This fall Mr. Barnardo is starting his third semester at the college as a hospitality major with the goal of owning his own food truck. He has already seen first-hand what it’s like to run a food truck.

“In QCC’s hospitality degree program you have to do a co-op. I’ve been working at the food truck, ‘The Dogfather’ and it’s been a blast. It’s made me want to do my own food truck even more,” he said. “I found the co-op through Pat Hutchinson (Professor of Hospitality and Recreation Management). She knows everyone.”

Mr. Barnardo took the roundabout route to QCC. His dad was a Navy veteran and so it wasn’t a far stretch for him to enter the U.S. Navy right out of high school and serve for eight years. He worked as an electrician for almost five years, during which he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2008 he was selected to serve onboard the USS Constitution.

“I was basically a teacher and gave thousands of people tours of the ship,” he said.

During that time he also was part of an honor guard at Red Sox games, Celtics games and coordinated the honor guard during the Boston Pops Hatch Shell show in 2011. When he got out of the service he worked for an electrical company doing medium and high voltage testing. He did that for five years before moving on to Walker Magnetics.

“I was a sales engineer without the engineering degree. I loved that job but they closed the office,” he said.

It was getting laid off that spurred him to talk to a veteran’s agent about his dream to one day own a restaurant or a food truck. He used his G.I. Bill, which enabled him to have his tuition paid for, a book stipend and housing allowance. This was instrumental for him to be able to attend college as a single dad to seven-year-old daughter, Isabella.

“I found out QCC has a hospitality program and I realized this time there were no more excuses,” he said. “I was terrified last winter but I did both spring and both summer sessions and I’m killing it.”

Today, more often you’ll find Mr. Barnardo in the Veteran Affairs office on campus. He has become active in the Veterans Club.

“I like being with fellow like-minded people. This office is what I’ve been missing in my life,” he said.

Mr. Barnardo is set to graduate next spring.  He already had a handful of credits from the military which saved him both money and time.

“I’m using the G.I. Bill and once I graduate here I plan to transfer to Nichols College to get my business degree. I love it here at QCC. I’m excited but nervous to transfer,” he said, adding, “I hope my experience is as good as here.”

  • President of QCC, Dr. Luis Pedraja discusses initiatives to increase student success at All College Day.
September, 2019

September 3 shone bright with promise for the start of the fall 2019 semester as QCC faculty and staff kicked-off All College Day. The day began with an inspirational message from psychology student Alba Frias who detailed her journey to QCC, beginning as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.

“I came from the Dominican Republic in 2014, lived in Lawrence then moved to Worcester...

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September 3 shone bright with promise for the start of the fall 2019 semester as QCC faculty and staff kicked-off All College Day. The day began with an inspirational message from psychology student Alba Frias who detailed her journey to QCC, beginning as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.

“I came from the Dominican Republic in 2014, lived in Lawrence then moved to Worcester because I needed to be around people and professors who would speak English to me, not Spanish,” she said.

Ms. Frias said she chose QCC for a variety of reasons, all of which made an indelible impression on her life.

“When I arrived at QCC the very first day I spoke with an advisor who made me feel more than a number. I also found a person who believed in me when I was not able to believe in myself,” she said. “I have been around professors who have helped me so that I can be in front of you today.”

She described her fears of beginning college and acknowledged that many of her fears were the same as that of other students  -  “will I pass or fail, will I be able to get good grades or will my classmates understand what I am saying because of my accent.”

“All my fears went away with time,” she said.

Mr. Frias is working hard to achieve her dream of earning an associate degree in psychology, and challenged faculty and staff to help her attain her goal.

“I will not ask you to save my life or help me get famous or rich. I will only ask you to help me become the best version of myself,” she said, adding, “Never forget that in your hands you have the future doctors, professors, politicians…the future. Help me prepare for the future because that is my goal.”

 Coordinator of Future Focus Program, Gilmarie Vongphakdy, reminded faculty and staff that Ms. Frias was the featured speaker at All College Day to remind faculty and staff that her story is the story of many QCC students.

“It’s about their pathways and how they came here to ‘Quinsig.’ For Alba, despite all the reasons for her to not add another thing to her plate, for her college is the gateway to greater things,” Ms. Vongphakdy said. “As we enter this new school year, I ask you to take a moment and remember that every single interaction matters. These are our students and that’s why we’re here.”

In addition to Ms. Frias, campus initiatives that have already taken place and that are being developed were discussed, as well as the Department of Higher Education’s equity agenda.

Additionally, each year a special award is given out to QCC faculty, staff and administration by the Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance. These award winners are nominated by their peers, supervisors and professional colleagues. This year’s winners included:

  • Sharon Marini - Administrative Secretary I
  • Michelle Sheehan -  Clerk IV/Educational Partnerships & Early College Initiatives
  • Laurie Teece - Evening/Weekend Nurse Education Laboratory Coordinator
  • Michelle Tufau Afriyie - Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Success/Title III Coordinator

National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development awards were also handed out to QCC faculty, staff and administration who demonstrated teaching excellence, exemplary leadership in teaching and have made a significant contribution to support teaching and learning. These awards have been a part of QCC’s All College Days since 2006. This year’s 2018/2019 award winners included:

  • Lisa Antonelli
  • Joseph Babu
  • Bonnie Coleman
  • Jessica Crowley
  • Maureen Giacobbe
  • Dr. Deborah Gonzalez
  • Russell Gwilliam
  • Brenda Kuchnicki
  • Patricia LaFountaine,
  • Roger Meservey
  • Dr. Lillian Ortiz
  • Karen Plant
  • Patrick Printz
  • Kristin Proctor
  • Benjamin Wendorf
  • Nichole Wheeler
  • Joseph Whitney

"Every little thing you do as a member of the QCC family makes a difference to students' lives. All of you have a role in education and all of you are shaping and transforming lives," President Dr. Luis Pedraja said. Go for it and have a good year." 

  • QCC nursing student teach the QCC community vital lifesaving techniques.
  • Advanced Placement Nurse Education students were out in force to train the QCC community.
  • Jacqueline Guittar from the Registrar's office learns how to perform "Hands Only CPR."
  • A QCC student learns the proper way to "Stop the Bleed."
September, 2019

Have you got two minutes to save a life?

You never know when learning life-saving techniques can save a life. For those who have learned some basic emergency procedures and then put them into action, the end result is often transformative.

In a cardiac arrest, every second counts. The same holds true when a person is severely bleeding. A person can die from blood loss in as little as five minutes....

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Have you got two minutes to save a life?

You never know when learning life-saving techniques can save a life. For those who have learned some basic emergency procedures and then put them into action, the end result is often transformative.

In a cardiac arrest, every second counts. The same holds true when a person is severely bleeding. A person can die from blood loss in as little as five minutes. The “Stop the Bleed” technique teaches the proper way to apply a tourniquet to help a bleeding victim, until professional assistance arrives on the scene. Today, more and more incidents are happening where victims have had a cardiac arrest or hemorrhaged and died before medically-trained first responders have arrived. In an emergency, no matter how quick the arrival of emergency professionals, bystanders will always be the first on the scene.

Last year, Professor Peg McGrath, MSN RN and Professor Susan Johnson, MSN RN trained the QCC senior nursing students in the Advanced Placement Nurse Education program to teach members of the QCC community two basic life-saving techniques - “Hands-Only CPR” and “Stop the Bleed,” for life threatening bleeding. The nursing students then offered free demonstrations on campus and through their dedication and hard work, trained over 850 students, faculty and staff. This was such a monumental feat that Quinsigamond Community College was honored as the 2018-2019 College Hands-Only CPR Challenge award winner at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association of Central Massachusetts.

Once again this year, thanks to Professor McGrath and Professor Johnson who are passionate about paying it forward with these trainings, another group of 65 senior nursing students in the Advanced Placement Nurse Education Program were instructed on these vital life-saving techniques. The nursing students have currently been on QCC’s main campus and at the Healthcare and Workforce Development Center in downtown Worcester, teaching “Hands-Only CPR,” the basics of CPR, and the “Stop the Bleed” technique.

Both professors are asking all members of the QCC community to please take a few minutes of their day and learn these lifesaving skills, to make a difference in the event of an emergency.

 “The only thing more tragic than a death is a death that could have been prevented,” they said.

Already the nursing students have trained over 650 people this year, with a goal of surpassing last year’s number of 850.

Additional training events are still taking place on the college’s West Boylston Street campus on October 3, 2019 at the following locations:

  • West Boylston Street, at the Athletic Center from 11:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • West Boylston Street, on the patio area between the Administration building and the QuEST Center from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

For additional information email Professor Johnson at sjohnson [at] qcc.mass.edu.

  • The alpacas once again visited QCC.
  • The alpacas were once again a hit at QCC.
  • Alyssa Durham showcased the Music Club.
  • Students came out in force for QCC's two-day Club Fair.
  • Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter held a informational membership drive.
September, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College’s name says it all…COMMUNITY. It’s that community spirit students experienced first-hand at the start of the fall semester. “Getting to know you” events took place across campus, as new and old students alike got to learn about QCC for the first time, or reacquaint themselves with all that makes QCC so unique.

Students were treated...

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Quinsigamond Community College’s name says it all…COMMUNITY. It’s that community spirit students experienced first-hand at the start of the fall semester. “Getting to know you” events took place across campus, as new and old students alike got to learn about QCC for the first time, or reacquaint themselves with all that makes QCC so unique.

Students were treated to a Welcome Back Breakfast by Student Life the first two days of classes. A Welcome Fair greeted students on the first day of classes, with a Kona ice truck on-hand to help students chill between classes. Welcome tables were also set up throughout the campus on the first few days of classes to give students information they needed such as directions to their classes, as well as offer them a friendly face and a kind word.

On September 6, students had a chance to take a breather from school and enjoy a few moments with a couple of longtime friends of QCC, the Angel Hair Alpacas from North Grafton. Owner Jay Cohen has become a bi-annual staple at the college thanks to the Director of Disability Services, Kristen Proctor who worked to bring the alpacas on campus several years ago. The alpacas are brought in during times when students are feeling anxious, generally during the start of a semester and exam times.

A club fair held on September 18 & 19 brought out hundreds of students to learn about the 25 clubs the college currently offers. If you missed out, check out Student Life and become a part of the vibrant community that helps make QCC a one-of-a-kind place of higher learning.

  • The 2018 H.A.C.E. award reipients with state and local diginitaries and QCC staff.
September, 2019

On October 9, Quinsigamond Community College will be host to the 34th Hispanics Achieving and Celebrating Excellence (H.A.C.E) Youth Awards. The event will take place at the college’s Welcome Center from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. This year’s awards will honor 36 senior high school students from public and private high schools throughout Worcester and Southbridge.

“These students are making...

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On October 9, Quinsigamond Community College will be host to the 34th Hispanics Achieving and Celebrating Excellence (H.A.C.E) Youth Awards. The event will take place at the college’s Welcome Center from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. This year’s awards will honor 36 senior high school students from public and private high schools throughout Worcester and Southbridge.

“These students are making indelible and lasting contributions to our communities. They are raising awareness of our Hispanic culture and impacting our communities in positive and powerful ways,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “We are proud to be honoring such inspiring young men and women.” 

Each year H.A.C.E. recipients are recognized for their contributions in leadership, academics, sports, arts and civic engagement. Created in 1985 by faculty and staff at QCC, along with business and community leaders in the Worcester community, the H.A.C.E. Awards were developed to raise community awareness of Hispanic culture. Since its inception, the H.A.C.E. Committee has recognized over 720 students with financial awards totaling $180,250.  The money raised through sponsorships and donations is distributed directly to students.

“We want to shift the public perception of our Hispanic high school students in Worcester and Southbridge by celebrating all the achievements and contributions they are making to Worcester County,” said Director of Community Bridges at Quinsigamond Community College and Chair of H.A.C.E. Dr. Déborah L. González.

Keynote speaker for this year’s event is world-renowned Cuban flutist Sheila del Bosque, an expert in Latin jazz and Cuban music. Ms. del Bosque will also perform at the event, along with performances by QCC’s Music Coordinator José Castillo and several QCC music students.

For more information about this event, contact Ms. González, at 508.854.7524 or email her at dgonzalez [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • Interim Dean of the School of Math and Science Dr. Benjamin Benton and QCC student and lab support assistant Thi Tran
September, 2019

It’s a diversity of experiences that have brought many to Quinsigamond Community College. It’s also a diversity of experiences that brought Dr. Benjamin Benton to his current position as Interim Dean of the School of Math and Science. For many at QCC, Dr. Benton is a familiar figure, having been a biology professor and the biotechnology coordinator at the college since 2012.

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It’s a diversity of experiences that have brought many to Quinsigamond Community College. It’s also a diversity of experiences that brought Dr. Benjamin Benton to his current position as Interim Dean of the School of Math and Science. For many at QCC, Dr. Benton is a familiar figure, having been a biology professor and the biotechnology coordinator at the college since 2012.

However, what some may not know is the rather circuitous route Dr. Benton took to get to where he is today.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Michigan State University before going on to earn his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, focusing on tumor cell research. In graduate school he met his future wife, who also happened to be a scientist. From there he would spend three years in Japan working as a scientist, where he learned there was more than one way to learn something.

He had a strong interest in the biotech world and that interest would lead him to a career in the industry for close to 14 years, working to develop new drugs for life-altering diseases such as diabetes and cancer. However, as time went on his job as a scientist began to evolve and become less research-oriented and more business-oriented. It was not the direction he wanted his career to head and he began reevaluating his career objectives.

In 2010, he decided the time was right for a career change and in 2011 decided to dip his toe into teaching, becoming an adjunct faculty at QCC. It was a job he grew to love and in 2012, he was hired full-time at the college. He quickly became a valued faculty member and trusted colleague to his department. He leveraged his extensive industry experience and continued relationships with biotechnology companies to further enhance a biotechnology program at the college that was tailored to the needs of the biotechnology industry. When the QuEST Center opened in 2016, he was instrumental in helping pick out industry-specific equipment that was bought with a $1 million Massachusetts Life Sciences Grant.

“We bought equipment that students would most likely use in their first job,” Dr. Benton said.

The premise for buying this type of equipment was that students would be comfortable using the state-of-the-art equipment, which would enable them to more quickly adopt new techniques when they entered the workforce. Dr. Benton said that his joy in teaching was seeing the students succeed and knowing that they were prepared when they entered the job market.

“I truly loved the day-to-day interactions. There’s nothing more rewarding than to hear from a student who took your course and said that while it was tough, it helped him in his next class or job. These types of input are what keep you going and what personally inspires me,” he said. “I look at education as a partnership between instructor and student.”

While being reticent to leave his teaching career behind, Dr. Benton feels his perspective as a former professor can be beneficial to faculty and students.

“My goal is to keep the momentum and initiatives going,” Dr. Benton said. “I will look at ideas with faculty and we will work together to forward those ideas that are going to promote student success.”

He said his central goal is first and foremost to prepare students for the workforce and deliver them key fundamental knowledge in math and science.

“Our job is to deliver this knowledge to our students in a unique and interesting way,” he said, noting this can sometimes be challenging given QCC’s diverse population that includes many non-traditional students.

While the classroom may not be where you’ll find him these days, Dr. Benton said this new role is an opportunity for him to promote a vision of student success and what it means for math and science.

“I have a different perspective being in the classroom and knowing the challenges of teaching students of many learning styles. I’m a big believer in perspective. There’s more than one way to learn and the best way is to synthesize different perspectives to solve a problem. I want to promote a managing style where we work together for the best solution,” he said.

Today Dr. Benton can be found behind a desk rather than in front of a classroom; however, he does his best to make himself available for students whenever possible.

“As a Dean most of the time you see students who have an issue. I’d also like to see happy, excited students,” he said, adding there is nothing better than hearing a success story after a student, “felt you were demanding in class but then used what they learned for a positive outcome.”

“I want to make them competitive in the workforce. It’s these types of experiences that for me is why teaching at QCC is so worth it. Now I can facilitate the exchange of similar experiences among our faculty to keep improving the School of Math and Science,” he added.

  • New dental lab equipment
September, 2019

QCC Dental Clinic Lead Technical Assistant Erica McNeaney, just came back from the A-dec dental manufacturing company training facility in Newberg, Oregon.

She learned critical maintenance procedures to maintain our on-site dental clinic and new state-of-the-art dental lab. The skills she learned involved troubleshooting the new patient dental chairs and rebuilding critical...

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QCC Dental Clinic Lead Technical Assistant Erica McNeaney, just came back from the A-dec dental manufacturing company training facility in Newberg, Oregon.

She learned critical maintenance procedures to maintain our on-site dental clinic and new state-of-the-art dental lab. The skills she learned involved troubleshooting the new patient dental chairs and rebuilding critical components within the delivery system on the dental units. Her newly acquired skills also included troubleshooting and repairing foot controls for the dental chairs, as well as, sterilizing and disinfecting waterline systems and suction systems.

Ms. McNeaney can now disassemble and reassemble control blocks, air/water syringes, foot controls, and overhead lights, which are all parts of the complicated dental delivery system. 

She will be a great asset and her newly acquired skills will be a money saver, as it is very expensive to have repairmen come out for every small problem that results from constant use of the equipment," said Dental Clinic Operations and Facilities Manager Sheryl Ficorilli. "We are proud to have been able to give Erica this opportunity to become a more integral and valuable part of our dental team and to support our students in their learning process."

  • QCC soccer player Samuel Museme powers the ball forward.
  • QCC's new Women's Volleyball team
  • The 2019 Wyvern's Women's Soccer team with coach Josh Cole.
  • The Wyverns prepare to block a shot on goal.
September, 2019

Exciting Start to Fall Sports

It’s been a great start for the two newest Wyverns teams, the women’s volleyball team and men’s soccer team. The women’s volleyball team has been spiking their way into Wyvern sports lore, starting their season out with a perfect 4-0. While they just experienced their first loss, the team is ready to take on Northern Essex Community College in...

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Exciting Start to Fall Sports

It’s been a great start for the two newest Wyverns teams, the women’s volleyball team and men’s soccer team. The women’s volleyball team has been spiking their way into Wyvern sports lore, starting their season out with a perfect 4-0. While they just experienced their first loss, the team is ready to take on Northern Essex Community College in its next game.

The men’s soccer team captured their first program win September 24, taking on Springfield Tech Community College and defeating them 1-0.

The women's soccer team is battling hard to secure their first win. Their next home game is Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 4:00 p.m., so stop by and show your support!  

Remember entry is FREE to ALL Wyvern games! 

Click on Women’s VolleyballMen’s Soccer and Women's Soccer for the complete 2019 schedules.

Basketball Tryouts

It’s hard to believe but it’s that time of year once again. On Tuesday, October 1 the Wyverns men’s and women’s basketball teams will be holding tryouts in the Athletic Center. New women’s head coach Andrew Kupec and longstanding men’s head coach Tishaun Jenkins are looking forward to an exciting season!

Women’s tryouts are from 4:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Men’s tryouts are from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Remember: Physical forms are needed to tryout. Click at Physical Form to download and print the form, or pick one up in the Athletic Center. Student athletes must be enrolled in 12 credits during the season. Questions? Email Director of Athletics & Fitness Center Lisa Gurnick or Assistant Manager of Athletics and Fitness Center Josh Cole, or call 508.854.4317.

 

  • "40 Under 40" winner QCC alumna Kara Wiersma
  • QCC Adminstration showed their support for QCC Future Focus Coordinator Gilmarie Vongphakdy.
September, 2019

QCC’s Future Focus Coordinator Gilmarie Vongphakdy and Kara Wiersma, QCC alumna and daughter of QCC staff member Liz Hanlan, were named award winners of “40 Under 40” by Worcester Business Journal (WBJ). The two were honored on September 16 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

Since 2000, over 800 young professionals in the Central Massachusetts...

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QCC’s Future Focus Coordinator Gilmarie Vongphakdy and Kara Wiersma, QCC alumna and daughter of QCC staff member Liz Hanlan, were named award winners of “40 Under 40” by Worcester Business Journal (WBJ). The two were honored on September 16 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

Since 2000, over 800 young professionals in the Central Massachusetts region under the age of 40 have been honored.

  • Another fall semester begins at Quinsigamond Community College.
  • Thanks to Phi Theta Kappa, the Farmers Market was a huge success.
September, 2019

Tuesday, October 8: “The Bystander Solution” – film and panel discussion from 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium. This film explores peer culture dynamics that help to normalize sexism and misogyny, while silencing other men in the face of abuse. For more information or to request accommodations, email Dean Liz Woods.

Tuesday, October 8...

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Tuesday, October 8: “The Bystander Solution” – film and panel discussion from 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium. This film explores peer culture dynamics that help to normalize sexism and misogyny, while silencing other men in the face of abuse. For more information or to request accommodations, email Dean Liz Woods.

Tuesday, October 8Gateway to College information session at 5:00 p.m. in room 107A. For more information or to reserve a spot visit Gateway to College.

Tuesday, October 8: The Sankofa Lecture series presents Dr. Jarvis Givens' talk on “Schoolmaster of his Race” – a Portrait of Carter G. Woodson from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Harrington Learning Center room 109B.  This event is sponsored by the Diversity Caucus, is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 9: Faculty & Staff are invited to Coffee with the President from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the President’s office (Room 132A). These discussion/listening sessions will take place the second Wednesday of each month. All faculty and staff are welcome to attend. (Please note: these will occasionally be held at the Healthcare and Workforce Development Center, located on 25 Federal Street, Worcester)

Friday, October 18: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is sponsoring, Trivia Night with the Wise Guys from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. in the Harrington Learning Center Rooms 109 A&B. This is a fundraiser for the PTK Live and Learn Greenhouse. Giveaways, raffles, snacks and prizes. You can win $500 off your tuition! Cost is $7/per person. Sign up in the PTK office or email PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman at bcoleman [at] qcc.mass.edu.

Wednesday, October 23: QCC’s Job Fair from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Harrington Learning Center 109 A&B. This event is hosted by QCC’s Career Services and Credit for Prior Learning. Visit Career Services to learn about available workshops.

October Spotlight: October is Disability Awareness Month. QCC is hosting awareness activities for the month of October on QCC’s main campus and at QCC Southbridge. Activities include:

October 1 – 31: Photo contest – snap a photo of accessibility on campus and share it with us! Email your photo to disabilityservices [at] qcc.mass.edu. Prizes will be given to the top three photos on October 31.

October 1-31: QCC Southbridge (lobby) – Trivia Contest - answer the weekly question and be entered into a weekly prize drawing.  

October 9: Everyday Sign Language - come learn basic signs so you can communicate with your peers. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Student Fuller Center.

October 16: The Invisibles – come learn about disabilities that are often overlooked and misunderstood. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Student Fuller Center.

October 21: Take a Walk in Our Shoes – QCC students will share their stories and what disability means to them. 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in the Harrington Learning Center Room 109.

October Transfer visits: October 1 - October 29 – Visit Transfer Services and learn about transfer options from the 14 colleges and universities that will be visiting QCC’s campus this month.

 

September, 2019

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

On August 25, 2019 The School of Business, Engineering and Technology welcomed John Pignataro as an Instructor of Automotive Technology.  John brings to this position over 30 years of experience. Most recently, he was the Lead Technician for Sentry West Lincoln Mazda. John earned an Associate’s Degree in...

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

On August 25, 2019 The School of Business, Engineering and Technology welcomed John Pignataro as an Instructor of Automotive Technology.  John brings to this position over 30 years of experience. Most recently, he was the Lead Technician for Sentry West Lincoln Mazda. John earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science (Ford Asset Program) from Quinsigamond Community College.

On September 1, 2019, The President’s Office welcomed Viviana Abreu-Hernandez as the Associate Vice President for External Affairs.  Viviana brings to this position over 20 years of experience. Most recently, she was the Director for Research and Program Development for the 1199SEIU League Training and Upgrading Fund. Viviana earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master of Arts in Political Science from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Purdue University.

On September 1, 2019, Academic Support Services/Library Services welcomed Carolyn Morse as the Interim Dean for Library and Academic Support Services.  Carolyn brings to this position over 7 years of experience. Most recently, she was Coordinator of Library Serials and Electronic Resources here at QCC. Carolyn earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Languages, majoring in Spanish at Georgetown University, a Master of Arts in International and Comparative Education at George Washington University and a Master’s of Library and Information Science from Simmons College.

On September 15, 2019 Enrollment and Student Services welcomed Tina Wells as the Director of Counseling and Wellness.  Tina brings to this position over 25 years of experience. Most recently, she was a Social Worker/Mental Health Counselor in the Counseling Services Office here at QCC. Tina earned an Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Lesley College and a Master of Social Work Degree from Simmons School of Social Work.

On September 15, 2019, Academic Affairs welcomed Engie Roufail as a Clerk III in the office of Workforce Development and Continuing Education.  Engie brings to this position several  years of experience. Most recently, she held a Customer Service/Cash Management role at Walmart. Engie earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.

On September 22, 2019 Administrative Services welcomed Stephen Holmes as the Program Portfolio Manager.  Stephen brings to this position over 25 years of experience. Most recently, he was the part time Program Portfolio Manager here at QCC. Stephen earned an Associate’s Degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

On September 22, 2019, Enrollment and Student Services welcomed Ai Co Abercrombie as the Director of Admissions. Ai Co brings to this position over 15 years of experience. Most recently, she was the Interim Director of Admissions at QCC. Ai Co earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, minoring in History from the University of Texas at San Antonio and Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Community College from Northern University of Arizona

On September 29, 2019 Auxiliary Services welcomed Luis Fontanez Jr. as the Reproduction Services Supervisor.  Luis brings to this position over 20 years of experience. Most recently, he was the Storekeeper IV at QCC.  Luis earned an Associate’s of Science Degree in Business Administration at Quinsigamond Community College.

On September 29, 2019 Academic Affairs welcomed Patrick Fama as the Student Success Counselor- Health Program.  Patrick brings to this position five years of experience. Most recently, he was the Graduate Academic Advisor at Northeastern University. Patrick earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science at Stony Brook University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Hofstra University.

Please join us in welcoming John, Viviana, Carolyn, Tina, Engie, Stephen, Ai Co, Luis and Patrick into their new roles at QCC.