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May, 2019

  • QCC grads proudly show off their degrees.
  • 2019 Commencement
  • QCC students process into the DCU Center.
  • QCC Chair of the Board of Trustees Susan Mailman
  • QCC graduates are ready to take on the future.
  • QCC graduates patiently wait for their names to be called.
  • 2019 Commencement
  • QCC grads are all smiles during commencement.
  • Members of the Class of 2019.
  • QCC's Commencement Ceremony is the culmination of a lot of hard work.
  • QCC graduates listen to the commencement speakers.
May, 2019

Breaking the bonds of poverty through education was the message Quinsigamond Community College’s keynote speaker Worcester Attorney AiVi Nguyen delivered to the college’s 1,543 graduates at its 2019 Commencement ceremony, held at the DCU Center in Worcester on May 23, 2019.  Ms. Nguyen is a partner at Bowditch, a Worcester-based law firm. She became the youngest partner in the firm...

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Breaking the bonds of poverty through education was the message Quinsigamond Community College’s keynote speaker Worcester Attorney AiVi Nguyen delivered to the college’s 1,543 graduates at its 2019 Commencement ceremony, held at the DCU Center in Worcester on May 23, 2019.  Ms. Nguyen is a partner at Bowditch, a Worcester-based law firm. She became the youngest partner in the firm’s history in 2016 at the age of 31.  Ms. Nguyen is the only child of Vietnamese refugees who came to the US without being able to speak English and with no money, no education, and no transferable job skills.

QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja can personally relate to the trials Ms. Nguyen faced. He emigrated from Cuba as a young boy and grew up in a low-income Miami neighborhood. He was the first in his family to attend college; later earning his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He attributes education as a way to achieve equity, and considers it is a basic human right that helps break the bonds of poverty.

“AiVi has dedicated her life to helping others get access to opportunities to help them break the cycle of poverty.  She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Central Massachusetts and the Vice Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for the City of Worcester.  From 2010 until 2016, she was a Trustee of Quinsigamond Community College,” said Dr. Pedraja.

“I grew up on Millbury Street, Great Brook Valley, and Upland Gardens in Worcester - in extreme poverty.  My parents were day laborers and made very little money.  I grew up on welfare, Section 8, free breakfast and lunch at school. We were surrounded by drugs and gang violence for much of my childhood.  My parents always pushed me to do well in school, even though they could not help me.  They taught me that for people like us, the only avenue out of poverty was education - and that I was lucky to even be given the avenue,” Ms. Nguyen said.

She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her juris doctorate from Boston College Law School.

“The only reason I am where I am today, a partner at a prestigious law firm and looked to as a leader in the community, is because I am educated.  I did not inherit a company, or money, or social status.  Had I not pursued an education, the cycle of poverty for my family would not have ended,” she said.

At the commencement ceremony, the college’s annual Trustees’ Citizen’s Award was awarded in absentia to former Trustee, Dr. Matilde Castiel. Dr. Castiel is the Commissioner of Health and Human Services for the City of Worcester and was the founder, Executive Director and Medical Director of the Latin American Health Alliance, a collaboration of diverse community groups dedicated to combating homelessness and drug addiction. She is also the founder of the Hector Reyes House and Casa Reyes, a substance abuse treatment facility and transitional house for Hispanic males in Worcester. Additionally, Dr. Castiel opened Café Reyes, an innovative jobs training program in partnership with QCC, in which residents at Hector Reyes House and Casa Reyes run a Shrewsbury Street restaurant.

“We are happy to recognize Dr. Castiel’s exceptional impact on Quinsigamond Community College, her dedication to our community and her five years of service as a trustee,” said QCC Chair of the Board of Trustees Susan Mailman.

Student greetings were given by QCC Student Government Association President Stephanie Teixeira, who told her classmates that even as the doors close on their time at QCC, other exciting doors and opportunities will open.

“We have now become the conduit to our own success. The possibilities are endless and we have the tools we need to prosper,” she said.

A total of 1,141 degrees and 562 certificates were conferred upon this year’s graduates.

“Enjoy the celebration, the pride in the smiles of your friends and family, and the feeling of accomplishment, but never stop learning.  You are our ambassadors to the world.  It does not escape me that we are sending you out into a world dominated by divisive discourse, inequality, and filled with uncertainty and challenges but I know that you are up to the challenge,” Dr. Pedraja said.  “Continue to believe in yourself and believe in your dreams; be brave and courageous and do not let anyone dissuade you from pursuing your dreams and attaining your goals.  Dare to dream and dream big.”

Visit Commencement 2019 for all the details on QCC's biggest day of the year! 

  • From left: QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy
May, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja has been named to the Economic Development Planning Council. Dr. Pedraja will join a diverse group of members from across the Commonwealth that include leaders in higher education. The Council will be co-chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. The goal of the Council is to provide...

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Quinsigamond Community College President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja has been named to the Economic Development Planning Council. Dr. Pedraja will join a diverse group of members from across the Commonwealth that include leaders in higher education. The Council will be co-chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. The goal of the Council is to provide Governor Charlie Baker with input and oversight of an economic development plan by year’s end.

“Our administration values the unique insight the members of the Economic Development Planning Council will bring under Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy’s leadership to continue propelling Massachusetts’ economy forward,” said Governor Baker. “We remain committed to empowering local communities with the tools and funding needed to succeed and I look forward to reviewing the Council’s recommendations.”

Dr. Pedraja, who has already made his presence felt within the Central Massachusetts region since he took the helm of QCC in 2017, said he is honored to be part of the Council.

“Taking part on this Council is such a valuable way to help strengthen our economy and bring a voice to our community. I feel privileged to help bring to light the issues our community faces and work on ways to help bolster our region and the Commonwealth,” Dr. Pedraja said. “At QCC, our programs are aligned with the economic needs of the region. We train our students not only for the jobs of today, but for the global workforce of tomorrow.”

During the coming year the Council plans to hold regional sessions with the public in order to gain information that will assist in crafting a new economic development plan for Governor Baker’s review. 

  • QCC Police Academy cadets
  • Dignataries at the first QCC Police Academy Graduation.
  • QCC’s first graduating class from the college’s police academy salute the American flag.
May, 2019

On May 11, Quinsigamond Community College’s Police Academy for reserve/intermittent police officers made history when 44 cadets (37 men and 7 women), ranging in age from 19-55, graduated from its inaugural program. QCC is the first community college in the Commonwealth to actually run a reserve police academy.

“This is an historic moment for the college and for communities across the state that...

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On May 11, Quinsigamond Community College’s Police Academy for reserve/intermittent police officers made history when 44 cadets (37 men and 7 women), ranging in age from 19-55, graduated from its inaugural program. QCC is the first community college in the Commonwealth to actually run a reserve police academy.

“This is an historic moment for the college and for communities across the state that will benefit from these graduates,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “At QCC, we stay abreast of the needs of our communities and work to tailor programs that are aligned with those needs.”

The inaugural commencement included a processional by the Police Pipes and Drums Band of Worcester; greetings from Dr. Pedraja and comments from District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.; Academy Director QCC Police Chief Kevin Ritacco; Program Coordinator QCC Detective Sergeant Joseph Cecchi; and Retired Sergeant Albert “Al” Toney of the Massachusetts State Police.

Graduates of the college’s police academy will now have the opportunity to be hired by municipal police on a part-time/intermittent capacity and will have the same police powers as full-time officers. Already some of the graduating cadets have secured positions in different departments across the Commonwealth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 7% increase in the number of police jobs by 2026. 

“As an accredited academy by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission our Program Coordinator Det. Sgt. Cecchi and his staff made sure these new officers received the best training possible,” said Academy Director, QCC Police Chief Kevin Ritacco, adding, “It’s immensely gratifying to hear that our graduates are already securing employment and becoming police officers.”

To date, graduates have been hired by:

  • Milford Police Department (Auxiliary Officer)
  • Nantucket police (seasonal police officer)
  • Provincetown, MA Police
  • Eastham, MA Police
  • Assumption College Police
  • Worcester State College Police
  • St. Vincent’s Police
  • UMass Lake Ave (public safety/security department)
  • North Shore Community College Police (waiting on conditional offer)

Other graduates are in the process of being hired (background/interview) by:

  • Paxton, MA Police
  • Athol, MA Police
  • Oakham, MA Police
  • Becker College Police
  • Trial Court
  • Orleans, MA Police
  • Aquinnah, MA Police
  • Mount Wachusett Community College Police
  • Fitchburg State College Police

An Academy Orientation Day will be held in early August and the next Police Academy session will begin on September 4. To request an application packet or for additional information, contact QCC’s Center for Workforce Development & Continuing Education at cce [at] qcc.mass.edu or call 508.751.7900.

  • Governor Baker, President Pedraja and Secretary Peyser
May, 2019

QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja began his presidency at Quinsigamond Community College with one distinct goal, to make education accessible for all. To that end he has become embedded in the Worcester community and the region at large, making himself and the college an influential presence within the Commonwealth. Due to the important role that both he and the college play in the local economy...

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QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja began his presidency at Quinsigamond Community College with one distinct goal, to make education accessible for all. To that end he has become embedded in the Worcester community and the region at large, making himself and the college an influential presence within the Commonwealth. Due to the important role that both he and the college play in the local economy and community, Dr. Pedraja has been named one of the 50 most influential people in the Central Massachusetts economy by the Worcester Business Journal (WBJ). This annual distinction is given to members of the community who hold a significant amount of power and wield it in a way to have an outsized role in the community, according to WBJ Editor Brad Kane.

“Making a positive impact for our students, our community and our state is something that we should all strive to do,” Dr. Pedraja said. “Today’s workforce is a global marketplace and we must remain competitive and relevant in order to succeed.”

Dr. Pedraja has been a shining example for the diverse population that make up QCC’s 13,000 student body. As a first generation college student who emigrated from Cuba as a young boy, he shows the student body by example that a better future is attainable through higher education. Recently he was chosen to be a part of the state’s Economic Development Planning Council. The Council is charged with making recommendations to Governor Charlie Baker on ways to improve the economy. Dr. Pedraja serves on boards for United Way of Central Mass., Worcester Regional Research Bureau, Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University and MassHire Central Region Workforce Board.

He has held many “Pizza with the President” listening sessions with QCC students, and through these meetings has gleaned insightful information that has aided in the development of new programs this fall in criminal justice, media communications and accounting.

Other members of the QCC family have also been named to the WBJ 2019 Power list include QCC Chair of the Board of Trustees Susan Mailman, former trustee and 2019 QCC Commencement keynote speaker Attorney AiVi Nguyen and QCC alumna Amy Lynn Chase, owner of Crompton Collective in Worcester.

“I congratulate my fellow QCC honorees. It is an honor to be part of this prestigious group of community leaders,” Dr. Pedraja added.

  • QCC's new Ceremonial Mace.
  • From left: Jason Butler, Thomas Dorman, Dhalin Lutaaya, Dr. Luis Pedraja, Johanny Polance, and Lee Duerden.
May, 2019

Pomp, circumstance and a special ceremonial mace were on tap at Quinsigamond Community College’s 54th Commencement.  QCC’s new ceremonial mace was the product of a collaboration of students, faculty and a retired Worcester State University professor.

QCC recent graduate Andrew Paquette made the elaborate gold and silver headpiece that features an insignia of the college....

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Pomp, circumstance and a special ceremonial mace were on tap at Quinsigamond Community College’s 54th Commencement.  QCC’s new ceremonial mace was the product of a collaboration of students, faculty and a retired Worcester State University professor.

QCC recent graduate Andrew Paquette made the elaborate gold and silver headpiece that features an insignia of the college.

“Andrew graduated this year with a GPA of 3.8. He works as an engineering technician and is an accomplished CNC programmer,” said Lee Duerden, Assistant Professor of Manufacturing Technology/Coordinator of the Manufacturing Technology Program. “Mostafa Sefiyaoui made the counter weight. Mostafa is one of our lab managers for this semester.”

According to Mr. Duerden, Dr. Gus Luparelli, Retired Emeritus Professor at Worcester State University made the staff that holds the headpiece. An hour before the ceremony Mr. Duerden assembled the mace and presented it to QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja.

“It all came together beautifully proving that the Just in Time (JIT) Manufacturing works,” he said.

JIT manufacturing is a type of methodology designed to reduce times within a production system and is one of the manufacturing techniques taught at QCC. To learn more about QCC’s manufacturing programs, visit QCC Manufacturing.

  • QCC Distinguished Service Award recipients
  • The Hebert Auditorium was filled for this year's Honors and Awards Ceremony.
  • QCC veterans are honored.
  • PTK Adviser Bonnie Coleman gives a hug to PTK graduate Gina Ilas.
  • Professor of Psychology Valarie Clemente shares a laugh with students.
May, 2019

Over 300 people packed the Hebert Auditorium on May 15 to celebrate some of Quinsigamond Community College’s best and brightest students at the college’s annual Honors and Awards Ceremony. QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja congratulated the students who were being honored, noting that oftentimes community college students are overcoming many obstacles such as working jobs while going to...

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Over 300 people packed the Hebert Auditorium on May 15 to celebrate some of Quinsigamond Community College’s best and brightest students at the college’s annual Honors and Awards Ceremony. QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja congratulated the students who were being honored, noting that oftentimes community college students are overcoming many obstacles such as working jobs while going to school, to sometimes even dealing with homelessness or food insecurities. These are the students who have worked to persevere and who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of knowledge and excelled.

“We’re here to honor the best of the best,” he said. “To me community college students are always the best. They’re students who are dedicated, committed, smart and who are exemplary.”

Memorial Awards

Jean Smelewicz Award for Computer Information Systems: Story Duvall

Francis X. Gardner Psychology Achievement Award: Katherine Berry

Outstanding Student Awards

The 2019 Outstanding Female Student Athlete: Vanessa Hanger

The 2019 Outstanding Male Student Athlete: Matt Ambrosino

The 2019 Wyvern Award: Darcie Peters

The 2019 James H. Harrington Outstanding Student Citizen: Helen Hatzopoulos

The 2019 Outstanding Student Leader Award: Katherine Berry

Commonwealth Honors Scholars:

  • Spencer Bodreau
  • Emily Bouchard
  • Samuel Brown
  • Brianna Canavan
  • Donald (Thomas) Coley
  • Chloe Current
  • Samantha Frost
  • Vanessa Hanger
  • Noelle Hemdal
  • Lupia Marchezi
  • Emma O’Brien
  • Jamilex Rivas
  • Philip Saal
  • Santana Wright

2019 Phi Theta Kappa Graduates:

  • Perla Antoine Abboud
  • Adesina Adeoluwa Adegoke
  • Deema Ali Hussien Al Obaidi
  • Douglas Maxwell Alward
  • Georgina Amoah-Dankwah
  • Maame Oforiwaa Amoah-Dankwah
  • Leandro Augusto Araujo
  • Eunice Asare
  • Precious Veronica Baba
  • Stormy S. Bailey
  • Shaunna Michelle Baillargeon
  • Kayla Marie Bardell
  • Shayne Michael Barton
  • Marissa Stephanie Batista
  • William Edward Bennett, III
  • Melissa Ann Benson
  • Katherine Anne Berry
  • Mariusz Bezak
  • Christopher Clark Billings
  • Jamie Lee Blanchette
  • Melissa A. Blanchette
  • Mark Harold Blease
  • Isaac Antwi Boasiako
  • Hulda Elia Boateng
  • Nicole Lee Bodinizzo
  • Spencer Elizabeth Bodreau
  • John Gilbert Boisvert, Jr.
  • John Paul Bollus, Jr.
  • Carli Yvonne Boudreau
  • Jennifer Lee Brevik
  • John Brizuela
  • Farhiya Burale
  • James Elliott Burley
  • Jason Z. Butler
  • Giovanni D. Caban
  • Tatyana Campbell
  • Daniel Sean Carroll
  • Alannah Ann Casello
  • Jaymely Castillo
  • Stephanie Arlette Castillo
  • Regina Chaakum
  • Gary Allen Charron, Jr.
  • Stevie Lee Cheschi
  • Jessica Maye Chianese
  • Amanda Marie Childs
  • Melissa Allison Conchieri
  • Robert W. Conn
  • Darius Alfred Corcoran
  • Chloe Maria Current
  • Ashley Christine Daring
  • Annemarie Laura Darling
  • Lindsey Amber Davieau
  • Ana Paula Ferreira Decarvalho
  • Kristi Anne DeYoung
  • Shana L. Dickieson
  • Kayla Rose Dombrowski
  • Luke Patrick Donoghue
  • Mohamad Salim El-Rifai
  • Keyla Marie Encarnacion
  • Peter Atef Erian
  • Inna Esterkina
  • Timothy Charles Farrar
  • Alexandra Catherine Faucher
  • Charles Fordjour
  • Ashley Elizabeth Forhan
  • Olivia Madison Fraser
  • Madison Rita Gallagher-Gould
  • Jill-Anne Godbout
  • Jessica Jean Goyer
  • Thomas B. Graham
  • Amari Monique Greggs
  • Patrick Grubert
  • Layal Hamze
  • Vanessa Anne Hanger
  • Helen Hatzopoulos
  • Noelle Marie Hemdal
  • Alexandra Carolyn Hernandez
  • Nicole M. Hicks
  • Michael Joseph Hinkley
  • William Lee Hogan
  • Tiana Marie Holbrook Williams
  • Wendy Lorne Holup
  • David Scott Houbre, Jr.
  • Angela Marie Hurd
  • Trendafile Ibrahimi
  • Gina Ilas
  • Sarah Osamah Ismael
  • Shawn C. Jackson
  • Kevin Lyle Johns
  • Cory Keith
  • Lileth Kentar
  • Gwendolyn Mary Kerrigan
  • Charles Edward Ketter, Jr.
  • Riemaan Khaled
  • Yuliana King
  • Joseph Richard Knight
  • Monika Kolibaba
  • Fodee Kromah
  • Zoe Gabrielle Krouner
  • Joshua Francis Lachapelle
  • Cindy Laferriere
  • Cam Tu Le
  • Jacqueline Hoang Lee
  • Andrew Rheal Leger
  • Andrew Taylor Lochner
  • Lori Beth Loftus
  • Reneasia Shawasia Love
  • Matthew Thomas Lucas
  • Adam A. Maarij
  • Katja E. Sunderman-MacKenzie
  • Jessica Michelle Male
  • Cori Anne Malmquist
  • Laurence Ruth Mangho Yimeli
  • Heather Lee Manning
  • Lupia Marchezi
  • Jacob Michael Marshall
  • Maria Concetta Martin
  • Rama Massoud
  • Daniel J. Matisoo
  • Tashena Matthew
  • James N. Mbugua
  • Cheri-Lee McDonald
  • Stephanie Amy McKinney
  • Nelly Medina
  • Mariam Mohammed
  • Nelson Josue Montesinos
  • Maryanne Mosiejczuk
  • Jonathan Mugford
  • Shanna Christy Lora Mullens
  • Hannah Mungai
  • Robin Ann Myrick
  • Stephen John Natale
  • Samuel Eric Nessenthaler
  • Katherine Elizabeth Nordborg
  • Juliana Norton
  • Connor James Nowlan
  • Jonhy Abel Nunez
  • Kuuku Nyann
  • Emma Dianne O’Brien
  • Jennifer A. O’Connor
  • Wayner Oliveira
  • Maryanne Wesonga Ouma
  • Tavis Adrien Paquette
  • Laurie Crystal Parmelee
  • Jonish K. Patel
  • Katerina Pela
  • Alexandra Rose Penny
  • Kasey A. Penny
  • Jacqueline M. Pereira
  • Darcie J. Peters
  • Steven Thanh Phan
  • Briana Joy Picard
  • Cristina S.D. Picozzi
  • Keira Jaide Potvin
  • Natasha Brittany Alexis Prokopowich
  • Joseph Pryor, Jr.
  • Jamilex Rivas
  • Simone Oliveira Rodriguez
  • Megan Collette Romero
  • Monica L. Rowe
  • Lori Ann Rufino-Rutberg
  • Philip Patrick Henry Saal
  • Rosa Maria Torres-Salas
  • Julia Saldanha
  • Karlie Sanford
  • Jacqueline Orieta Santram
  • Maximus Fernandes Seale
  • Stacey Shaw
  • Joseph M. Silk
  • Keila P. Silva
  • Vitor Almeida Silva
  • Miranda Smith
  • Richard W. Smith
  • Sayana Shariel Sobolewski
  • Maria Kathleen Soja
  • James Arthur Spera
  • Mary Ellen Sylvester
  • Michelle Symonds
  • Sydney Rose Szymanski
  • Rachel Anne Taylor
  • Stephanie Marie Teixeira
  • Nicholas James Tisdell
  • Leif N. Torres
  • Phuong D. Tran
  • Lindsay Marie Tucker
  • Jay Michael Turner
  • Hannah Paige Villeneuve
  • Cassidy Walsh
  • Karen Lynne Whitmarsh
  • Cody J. Willman
  • Keith Brian Wilson
  • SangYun Won
  • Hani Nedal Younis
  • Richard Michael Zellmer, Sr.
  • Haoyu Zhao

Engineering Student Distinction Awards:

  • Perla Antoine Abboud
  • Ahmad Mohamed Ali
  • Joseph Antas
  • Mark Harold Blease
  • Matheus Ferreira de Almeida
  • Mohamad Salim El-Rifai
  • Christopher McCabe
  • Zachary John Garnes
  • Taher Abdulhusein Jafferji 
  • Jonathan Chung Vu
  • Matthew Robert Brennan
  • Steven Thanh Phan
  • Layal Hamze
  • Cam Tu Le
  • Nicole Bodinizzo
  • Donald Coley
  • Farhiya Burale
  • David Houbre
  • Jacob Michael Marshall
  • David Roach
  • Kevin Pham
  • Steve Agyei Ofousu-Ampofo
  • Shayne Barton
  • Patrick Grubert
  • Andrew Lochner
  • James Ndungu Mbugua
  • Stephen Natale
  • Ashkan Hossieni

Engineering Biomedical Engineering Student Distinction:

  • Matthew Robert Brennan
  • Steven Thanh Phan
  • Dawn Klisiewicz
  • Layal Hamze

Distinguished Service Awards:

  • Benjamin Aryeh
  • Chloe Current
  • Vanessa Hanger
  • Helen Hatzopoulos
  • Sofia Hoda
  • Reneasia Love
  • Stephanie Teixeira

2019 Psi Beta Graduates:  

  • Benjamin Aryeh
  • Eunice Asare
  • Katherine Berry
  • Jennifer Brevik
  • Chloe Current
  • Tracy Donais
  • Sophia Farnsworth
  • Jill-Anne Godbout
  • Amari Greggs
  • Rayssa Guimaraes
  • Kristina Hallenbrook
  • Vanessa Hanger
  • Noelle Hemdal
  • Wendy Kelley
  • Ellie LaPan
  • Adam Maarij
  • Jessica Male
  • Cori  Malmquist
  • Zailynett Naranjo
  • Jennifer O’Connor
  • Carmen Ortiz
  • Kayla Perdomenico
  • Darcie Peters
  • Jamilex Rivas
  • Victoria Schultz
  • Vitor Silva
  • Stephanie Teixeira
  • Karen Whitmarsh

Special Recognition Awards:

  • Casey Collins
  • Vanessa Hanger
  • Helen Hatzopoulos
  • Grit Jana
  • Reneasia Love
  • Lupia Marchezi
  • Tashena Matthew
  • Nelly Medina
  • Yasmine Museme
  • Natasha Prokopwich
  • Philip Saal
  • Patrick Songo

Departmental Awards:

Automotive Technology - Karen Martier
Biology - Daniel Matisoo
Biomedical Engineering - Layal Hamze
Business Career - Sharon Louise Hayes
Business Career Administrative Professional - Jennifer Lopez
Business Transfer - Tatyana Campbell
Chemistry - Deema Ali-Hussien Al Obaidi
Computer Information Systems -  Roni Daabool
Computer Science - Nelson Montesinos Guerrero
Electronics Engineering Technology (Mechatronics Option) - Hunter Boudreau
Engineering -  Perla Antoine Abboud
Environmental Science -  SangYun (Brandon) Won
History - Shawn Patrick Day
Interactive Media Design - Brian Jeffrey Gatto
Liberal Arts - Mariam Jasim Mohammed
Mathematics - Cam Tu Le
Manufacturing Technology - Andrew Paquette
Natural Sciences - Christopher Gannon
Natural Sciences - Richard Smith
Physics - Ashkan Hossieni
Pre-Pharmacy - Esthefanhy Ferreira-Reis 
Public Health Administration - Jatnna Perez
Public Health Administration - Laurence Ruth Mangho Yimeli
Respiratory Care - Megan Collette Romero
Sociology - Ashwaq Mohamed Burale

Student Leadership Academy Graduates:

  • Benjamin Aryeh
  • George Barakilis
  • Mohamed Boweden
  • Mustafa Boweden
  • Bright Bremang
  • Kevin Bui
  • Marlon Cobos
  • Murthada Duffaie
  • Brooke Fancy
  • Dean Fisher
  • Richlue Forndia
  • Anita Griffin
  • Jorgo Gushi
  • Jah’maal Memnon
  • Claude Niyonzima
  • Darcie Peters
  • Alexander Sandberg
  • Alferid Hussin Shifa
  • Patrick Songo
  • Nathan Tran

Veterans Graduates:

  • Sergei Albert
  • Keith Anderson
  • Christopher Billings
  • David Berthiaume
  • Mark Blease
  • Giovanni Caban
  • Ana Paula Ferreira Decarvolho
  • Kevin Johns
  • Charlene Van Cott
  • Richard Zellmer
  • William Bennett III
  • Zachary Berquist
  • Thomas Bolduc
  • Ethan Caless
  • Gary Charron
  • Anael Fernandez Quinones
  • Richard Marinelli
  • Benjamin Lacaire
  • James Baarda
  • Cathy Evans
  • Alexandria Buono
  • Gateway to College student Ginny McKay
May, 2019

Gateway to College holds a very special place in the heart of Ginny McKay. The Gateway to College program has been so life-changing for her that she felt the need to give back…and give back she did! Ms. McKay is currently running a donation fundraiser through her Facebook page for QCC’s Gateway to College program that has already raised over $2,300, well over the $2,000 goal she had set...

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Gateway to College holds a very special place in the heart of Ginny McKay. The Gateway to College program has been so life-changing for her that she felt the need to give back…and give back she did! Ms. McKay is currently running a donation fundraiser through her Facebook page for QCC’s Gateway to College program that has already raised over $2,300, well over the $2,000 goal she had set.

“Gateway is such a great program. The traditional high school route is not always the best way for kids to learn,” she said.

Ms. McKay’s story, like many in the Gateway to College program, is one of perseverance and triumph. Ms. McKay began her life in Seoul, Korea where she was adopted by her parents as a newborn and brought back to York, Maine where she lived for the first 14 years of her life, before moving to Stow, MA. She said the lack of diversity in the towns she lived in made it difficult to fit in and be her authentic self. In the middle of her sophomore year in high school, the pressure became too much and she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She left school for two months to deal with things, coming back to her high school only to find that she felt she did not belong there.

“I heard a girl in the school library talking about the Gateway to College program and I did my own research and went to an information session. It sparked hope in my life hearing other students’ stories and struggles that I could relate to,” she said.

Ms. McKay did not get into Gateway to College the first semester she applied; however, she did get into the college’s Attend College Early (ACE) Program. The program allowed her to attend college while simultaneously working to complete her high school graduation requirements.

“I felt a lot more comfortable at QCC. There was so much more diversity and everyone was so nice,” she said. “I reapplied for the Gateway to College program in spring 2018 and everything just completely changed for me. The staff was so encouraging and willing to help. They support you through everything. This is such a nice way to transition to college.”

The Gateway to College program is designed to assist students (16-20) who have dropped out of high school or who may not graduate. Through the program, students can obtain their high school diploma and earn college credits all at the same time. QCC's Gateway Program is part of a national network that includes 35 programs in 20 states.

“The Gateway Program is designed to be a very personal experience for students; we have three full time staff members for about 50 students, so each student is given a lot of individual attention. We also have small classes and instructors who are very aware of the struggles our students have,” said Senior Gateway Outreach Counselor Jenna Glazer. “We all work together to support students; staff, faculty, other students and parents. We’re all in it for the same reason.”

Ms. McKay said the program helped to give her the confidence she needed to be her “true self.” She said she has now finished high school earlier than she would have with a much higher grade point average than she when she came into the program. In fact, she became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and for the last two semesters has been working as a tutor at the Writing Center.

“Gateway to College is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. My whole experience at QCC has been nothing but good,” she said. “It’s hard to explain how much it has meant to me. I wouldn’t have gotten through any of this without the unconditional support of my family, friends and the staff at Gateway.”

QCC’s Director of Gateway to College Marci Skillings and Ms. Glazer both noted the confidence that Ms. McKay now demonstrates.

“Ginny really came out of her shell while she was in the program. She was very reserved at first and now she is much more comfortable with both staff, faculty and students,” Ms. Glazer said.

The future is bright for Ms. McKay. She is already that much closer to obtaining her associate degree in Psychology from QCC thanks to the Gateway to College program.

“In a year I will be graduating from QCC with my associate degree and from there I want to transfer and finish my bachelor’s degree. I really want to help people and I’m thinking I’d like to do social work or be a school counselor,” she said.

Ms. Skillings said she hopes that through Ms. McKay’s story people will recognize that this type of program can change someone's life.

“We are a place to give someone a second chance. Also, many students come to us for different reasons and we are here for anyone, whatever the reason. We want to help students get the education and support they need to show themselves and others what they are capable of,” she said.

Visit QCC’s Gateway to College Program to learn more.

  • QCC graduate Vanessa Hanger and QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja
May, 2019

The word “shine” is the perfect word to describe Quinsigamond Community College student Vanessa Hanger, so it comes as no surprise that she was recognized at the State House on May 3, by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, members of the Legislature and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, as a “29 Who Shine” recipient at the 9th Annual Awards Ceremony. A...

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The word “shine” is the perfect word to describe Quinsigamond Community College student Vanessa Hanger, so it comes as no surprise that she was recognized at the State House on May 3, by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, members of the Legislature and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, as a “29 Who Shine” recipient at the 9th Annual Awards Ceremony. A total of 29 graduates from the Commonwealth’s community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses were honored.

The “29 Who Shine” initiative was developed by the Department of Higher Education in 2011 and is designed to recognize 29 outstanding student graduates from the Commonwealth’s 29 public higher education institutions. Ms. Hanger graduated in May from QCC with an associate degree in General Studies. She plans to attend Boston University in the fall where she will double major in Neuroscience and Philosophy.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award. I want to thank my nominators, as well as the students, faculty, and staff who have contributed to this accomplishment. This award is deeply meaningful to me because it represents the culmination of my hard work and commitment to academic excellence, service, and leadership,” Ms. Hanger said.

Ms. Hanger, a resident of Shrewsbury, has made an indelible impression on the QCC community. She is the greenhouse manager of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society’s Live and Learn Greenhouse, which provides fresh produce that helps in the fight against food insecurity on campus. Ms. Hanger also worked part-time in the QCC Writing Center as a student support tutor, assisting high school students in the Gateway to College program. Additionally, as a member of QCC’s Psychology club, she became the first author of the college’s psychological research group and led fellow students through the various stages of research. Her group’s proposals for presentation at the annual conference of New England Psychological Association were accepted for both years that she served as principal author. A natural born leader, Ms. Hanger was also captain of the QCC Women’s Soccer team. 

“Vanessa is one of the shining lights at QCC and an example of the incredible students that make up our college,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “Her deep commitment to the betterment of herself and her community speaks volumes about this young woman.”

According to Ms. Hanger, PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman has profoundly impacted her life with her unwavering support. The feeling is mutual.

“It has been my honor to serve as Vanessa’s advisor over the past year and to watch her grow personally and professionally. Our campus community is better for having known her,” PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman said.

“QCC has had a defining impact on my life. Through my participation in PTK, I have been able to learn from my contemporaries while serving the college community through projects such as the Live & Learn Greenhouse. I am grateful for the many opportunities provided by QCC, which have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally,” Ms. Hanger said.

  • Surgical Technology graduates
  • Surgical Technology graduate is all smiles during her pinning.
  • Pinning is an honored tradition at QCC.
  • QCC's 2019 Nurse graduates
  • Each QCC nursing student received a lamp, which represents one of the most celebrated nurses in history, Florence Nightingale.
  • New QCC nursing grads
  • The excitement shows on the face of this newest nursing graduate.
  • Dean of the School of Healthcare Pat Schmohl was front and center at the nursing graduation.
  • QCC's 2019 dental hygiene and dental assisting graduates
  • Dental hygiene and dental assistants state their oath.
  • Excitement abounds for dental hygiene and assisting grads.
  • The 2019 radiologic technology graduates.
  • A radiologic technology is overcome by emotion.
  • A radiologic technology graduate receives her pin.
  • QCC radiologic technology grads stand poised and ready for their future.
  • Respiratory care graduates from the class of 2019.
  • Respiratory care grad Megan Romero with her children (L) Professor of Respiratory Care Karen Kaletski Dufault with a recent grad
May, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College’s recent healthcare graduates are poised for a bright future. According to an article in ExploreHealthCareers.org, healthcare job opportunities in 2016 were growing on average of 35,000 new jobs per month and that trend is continuing as the “baby boomer” generation ages out.

The college recently held its annual pinning ceremonies for graduates of the Nursing...

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Quinsigamond Community College’s recent healthcare graduates are poised for a bright future. According to an article in ExploreHealthCareers.org, healthcare job opportunities in 2016 were growing on average of 35,000 new jobs per month and that trend is continuing as the “baby boomer” generation ages out.

The college recently held its annual pinning ceremonies for graduates of the Nursing programs, Surgical Technology Program, Radiologic Technology Program, Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting and Respiratory Care Program. Pinning ceremonies are a time-honored tradition dating back to the 1800s. Each program held its own unique ceremony to commemorate the graduates and welcome them into their chosen professions.

Visit the Wyvern Guardian next month to see more pinning photos! 

  • Assistant Professor Lee Duerden’s quality class
May, 2019

Late last month the students in Assistant Professor Lee Duerden’s quality class were charged with doing a Kaizen (“a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency”) project, in order to demonstrate that they have learned the basics of LEAN manufacturing and the 5S system. LEAN manufacturing focuses on minimizing waste, while...

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Late last month the students in Assistant Professor Lee Duerden’s quality class were charged with doing a Kaizen (“a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency”) project, in order to demonstrate that they have learned the basics of LEAN manufacturing and the 5S system. LEAN manufacturing focuses on minimizing waste, while maximizing productivity, and the 5S system stands for:

  • Sort
  • Set In Order
  • Shine
  • Standardize
  • Sustain

The students completed their projects at home then had the opportunity to present their projects in front of industry experts in the LEAN process from AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating located in Leominster.

“I personally think that the presentations on Lean were very interesting. I was very impressed by how they incorporated in their presentations the idea of Kaizen in everyday life. I also think they did an excellent job with the format and time,” said AIS Human Resources Manager Erika Kunhardt.

Students showed before and after images of what they worked on with a detailed explanation on how they were able to make efficient changes.

“The projects were perfectly in-line with our curriculum. They were well laid out, they were executed very well,” Mr. Duerden said.

  • QCC student Dahlin Lutaaya
  • QCC student Dahlin Lutaaya with his finished camera grip installed.
  • QCC Student Tom Dorman
  • QCC students faculty and Dean Betty Lauer
  • QCC student Oliver Carmody showcases the multi-level chess game he designed.
  • QCC student Edmond Isemwami
May, 2019

Learning how to make things work and then applying it to real life projects is the premise behind the Manufacturing Processes II course. Earlier this month students in Associate Professor of Manufacturing Technology Damian Kiernan’s class put on an informal demonstration of their projects they completed in the course that taught them about project management, time management and ...

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Learning how to make things work and then applying it to real life projects is the premise behind the Manufacturing Processes II course. Earlier this month students in Associate Professor of Manufacturing Technology Damian Kiernan’s class put on an informal demonstration of their projects they completed in the course that taught them about project management, time management and how to operate the equipment in the college’s Fab Lab and the Advanced Manufacturing Lab.

The students learned to work with SolidWorks and Mastercam software, different milling applications in addition to CNC cutting and 3D printing. They developed everything from intricate wood and 3D puzzles, to building a manual lathe, a camera grip, unique 3D chess pieces and board and a model plane.

“The class was really treated like a capstone project. The students took all that they learned and then applied it into a project of their choice,” Mr. Kiernan said.

Visit QCC's Fab Lab to learn more. 

  • QCC alumni Raul Gomez receives a Certificate of Appreciation from Joseph Whitney as Nichole Wheeler looks on.
  • Assistant Vice President for Workforce Readiness and Innovation Kathy Rentsch and President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja at the Co-op Ap
  • Nicole Wheeler awards a Certificate of Appreciation to Bobby M's Diner.
  • Co-op students receive Achievement Certificates.
  • Employers receive Certificates of Appreciation at the college's annual Co-op Appreciation Breakfast.
May, 2019

At Quinsigamond Community College student success is the overarching theme. To that end, the college’s Career Services & Credit for Prior Learning department has developed relationships over the years with multitudes of area businesses to help students fulfill not only their co-op requirements in the 22 programs that currently require this, but also in many cases help them secure employment.

In late...

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At Quinsigamond Community College student success is the overarching theme. To that end, the college’s Career Services & Credit for Prior Learning department has developed relationships over the years with multitudes of area businesses to help students fulfill not only their co-op requirements in the 22 programs that currently require this, but also in many cases help them secure employment.

In late April the department hosted a Cooperative Education Appreciation Breakfast at the Worcester Senior Center to honor the students who took part in the program, as well as the companies that graciously hosted them. While 13 employers were in attendance at the breakfast there have been over 50 businesses that have been host to 68 QCC students from summer 2018  - spring 2019.

At the breakfast QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja discussed the importance of co-op and internship opportunities, which provides students with the chance to learn out in the field and connect with employers.

“This is an enriching experience for all involved,” Dr. Pedraja said, adding that getting this type of real-word experience is incredibly valuable for the students.

QCC Foundation Board President Dr. Linda Maykel noted that 90 percent of QCC students go on to work in local businesses in the region, further enhancing the value of these types of programs.

“I want to thank all the different corporations and businesses for their kindnesses in bringing in the high caliber students we have and the overall commitment to make their success your success,” Dr. Maykel said.

QCC co-op student Laura Douglas (Business Administration Career) described her experience as a bit different than some of the others students because she was actually able to do her co-op at her current employer, HMEA. She said the opportunity was a great way for her to pick up new skills and new tasks enabling her to hopefully move up in the company. She said the co-op experience is “a great way for students to get that baseline to know this is really what they want to do.”

Raul Gomez, a 2018 QCC graduate of the CIS program, ended up getting hired by Storm Petrel LLC as a programmer. This is the same company he had worked at as part of his co-op. He is now back at the college as an employer and said he never imagined how much the co-op experience would have helped him.

“They (Career Services) bring employers to the college and we couldn’t ask for more,” Mr. Gomez said. “They opened the door for us. Oftentimes that’s what we need, just an opportunity to succeed.  Receiving a job offer letter was very exciting and the beginning of my new journey.”

Visit Career Services to learn more.

  • QCC student Anthony Le works on a computer program that will enable the robot to perform a function.
  • Computer Sceince student Kenneth Tubman
  • Professor Hao Loi (center) with his Computer Science students.
  • Honors student Elizabeth Lopez presents at the Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • Honors student Samantha Frost explains her research.
May, 2019

QCC students had the opportunity to attend and present at the 25th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference held at UMass Amherst held in late April. The one-day event brought together hundreds of undergraduate students from 28 public colleges and universities across the Commonwealth who presented their research and shared their knowledge with attendees.

QCC honors students presented their poster projects at...

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QCC students had the opportunity to attend and present at the 25th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference held at UMass Amherst held in late April. The one-day event brought together hundreds of undergraduate students from 28 public colleges and universities across the Commonwealth who presented their research and shared their knowledge with attendees.

QCC honors students presented their poster projects at the Conference and students from Professor Hao Loi's Computer Science Program demonstrated computer programming techniques with a robot.

  • QCC Wyverns battled it out till the end.
  • The 2019 QCC Wyverns Baseball team.
May, 2019

The Quinsigamond Community College Wyverns hosted the NJCAA Region XXI Baseball Tournament last weekend. The hardworking, extremely competitive Wyverns remained competitive through the entire tournament and baseball season. Missed it? Here's what happened...

QCC Grabs Lead in Ninth Inning  to Defeat Massasoit CC

QCC stole the lead late in the game in an 11-10 victory over...

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The Quinsigamond Community College Wyverns hosted the NJCAA Region XXI Baseball Tournament last weekend. The hardworking, extremely competitive Wyverns remained competitive through the entire tournament and baseball season. Missed it? Here's what happened...

QCC Grabs Lead in Ninth Inning  to Defeat Massasoit CC

QCC stole the lead late in the game in an 11-10 victory over Massasoit Community College  on Saturday. The game was tied at ten with QCC batting in the top of the ninth when Misael Guzman led the Wyverns to victory by driving in four runs. He went 3-for-6 at the plate. Guzman drove in runs on a triple in the fifth, a single in the seventh, and a single in the ninth.

Massasoit CC scored four runs in the fifth inning. Jonathan O'Donnell, Richie Wood, and David Logan each had RBIs.

Paul Wydom led things off on the mound for QCC. Paul allowed five hits and six runs over five innings, striking out five.

QCC hammered two home runs on the day. Zach May put one out in the fourth and ninth innings.

The Wyverns collected 12 hits on the day. Guzman, CJ Callender, May, and Jacob Gagnon all collected multiple hits for QCC. Guzman went 3-for-6 at the plate to lead QCC in hits.

Final score 11 to 10 Wyverns

2nd game vs Northern Essex Community College

Late Score Costs Quinsigamond Community College Against Northern Essex Community College

QCC stayed in it until the end, but Northern Essex CC pulled away late in a 14-8 victory on Saturday. The game was tied at eight with Northern Essex CC batting in the bottom of the sixth scoring one run.

Misael Guzman collected four hits - singled in the first, singled in the fifth, hit a grand slam in the sixth, and singled in the eighth.

Adam Sowders was on the hill for QCC, he surrendered three runs on one hit over one-third of an inning. Nick DiGirolamo and Guzman entered the game from the bullpen, throwing four and two-thirds innings and three innings respectively. Sowders started the game for QCC, he surrendered three runs on one hit over one-third of an inning.

Quinsigamond C.C racked up 12 hits on the day. Guzman, Zach Cutler, and Mick Sullivan each managed multiple hits, while Guzman led with four hits in five at bats.

Northern Essex CC tallied 12 hits in the game. Final score NECC 14 Wyverns 8

When all was said and done, the Wyverns finished the season 14 - 8. They worked hard, played well and ended up with a third place finish they can be proud of!

  • Reynaldo Rodriguez as part of the color guard on one of the Memorial Day ceremonies at Hope Cemetery.
  • Sliding into third base
  • Beating the tag
  • Winding up for a pitch
May, 2019

QCC Campus Police Deputy Chief of Administration Reynaldo Rodriguez, an avid baseball fan and amateur photographer, has spent over 10 years going to virtually every Wyverns Men’s Baseball games, taking photos of the players in action. He said it all started when he began looking at the team’s page on the college website and thought it might be nice to get some photos of the players in...

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QCC Campus Police Deputy Chief of Administration Reynaldo Rodriguez, an avid baseball fan and amateur photographer, has spent over 10 years going to virtually every Wyverns Men’s Baseball games, taking photos of the players in action. He said it all started when he began looking at the team’s page on the college website and thought it might be nice to get some photos of the players in action. He reached out to QCC’s Director of Athletics & Fitness Center Lisa Gurnick, who was delighted to have additional photos.

“It’s everywhere (baseball). I just enjoy it. Life is like baseball, every game is different. Like life, you practice, but it doesn’t always work out the way you think it will,” he said.

What began as a simple gesture of getting more baseball photos for the website, has evolved into a passion that shows no signs of slowing down. Mr. Rodriguez has become a virtual fixture at the Wyverns games and is often seen sitting with the team on the bench. There were even times when he was not taking pictures, he was keeping score of the same.

While he has not played since his Little League days, Mr. Rodriguez said baseball is truly in his blood. He is a Worcester Bravehearts season ticket holder, taking pictures of the players in much the same way as he does the Wyverns.  In fact, baseball and photography are so ingrained in him that often he will find games virtually anywhere he goes. He also has a vast baseball card collection that shows players from the 1970s to present day and while that may not seem unique, what is special is the type and way he collects his cards.

“I collect them not by the player, but by the picture… the action shots. I’ve got an eye for it,” he said.

Collecting these type of action shot baseball cards also helped him to hone his own photography skills. Today he takes photos with a digital Canon Rebel, a far cry from the film camera he used to use. He said the hardest photo to get is a shot of a baseball in flight and is always trying to get that elusive photo where you can even see the seams.

“I’m always looking for that million dollar shot,” he said.

According to Mr. Rodriguez, he first began his sojourn into photography around 2004 when he took up, what he calls, “Monument Hunting.”

“I’ve taken photos of hundreds of civil war monuments in Massachusetts. I call it ‘Monument Hunting’ because they don’t move and are easy to capture on film. I collected old postcards and searched libraries and traveled to various town commons or cemeteries to hunt them down,” he said.

Mr. Rodriguez is a civil war aficionado and has regularly marched in the Worcester Memorial Day Parade and Veteran’s Day parade, with Willie Grout Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. It is an organization he has been involved in for 15 years.

“In 2016 as a member of the group and the City of Worcester’s G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic Board), we took part in the refurbishing and then the rededication of the Civil War Monument located on the Worcester Common,” he added.

Rest assured whatever he is photographing will be special, just like QCC's own Deputy Chief. 

  • QCC student Bradley Sylvestre explains his project, Organs On Chips, to Coordinator of Library Reference Tiger Swan
  • Honors students Chloe Current and Philip Patrick Henry Saal with their projects.
  • Honors student Jessica McGonagle presented her project on cardiac robotic surgery.
  • Jamilex Rivas
  • Honors student Vanessa Hanger explains her project to Director of IT Services Leo Burgess.
  •  Philip Patrick Henry Saal (left) discusses his research with Executive Director of Technology Patrick Printz.
May, 2019

QCC Honors Program students had a chance to present their final projects for students, faculty and staff at the annual Honors Showcase late last month. The program is lead by Honors Program Coordinator English Professor Susan McPherson and is a seminar-style course that enables students to work on a research project with the end goal of creating a high caliber presentation.

The...

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QCC Honors Program students had a chance to present their final projects for students, faculty and staff at the annual Honors Showcase late last month. The program is lead by Honors Program Coordinator English Professor Susan McPherson and is a seminar-style course that enables students to work on a research project with the end goal of creating a high caliber presentation.

The Honors Program at QCC is accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as a Commonwealth Honors Program and is part of an integrated, collaborative system-wide network of honors programs in Massachusetts public higher education. To learn more visit Commonwealth Honors Program.

  • Future DMS
  • Bat Power!
  • Sweet ending - new beginning
  • Breathing easy
  • Mischief managed
  • Proud PTK grad
  • Hotter by one degree
  • Nevertheless she persisted
  • Inspirational messages
  • Standing out in the crowd
May, 2019

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact, which is why many QCC graduates gave their messages to the world at the college’s 54th Commencement mortarboard style.

Did we happen to miss your mortarboard message to the world? Please send us a photo of your cap and we will include it in a future issue of the Wyvern Guardian newsletter. Send your photos to ...

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Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact, which is why many QCC graduates gave their messages to the world at the college’s 54th Commencement mortarboard style.

Did we happen to miss your mortarboard message to the world? Please send us a photo of your cap and we will include it in a future issue of the Wyvern Guardian newsletter. Send your photos to khutner [at] qcc.mass.edu.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019 – Your future awaits!

  • Fatima Mohammed
  • STEM Students of the Month for May - Science, Technology and Engineering
May, 2019

Each month, the professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs recognize and acknowledge the perseverance of one student in their perspective STEM areas. Below is the third group of STEM Students of the Month with a few comments from the professors who nominated them. They include:

Science - Shayne Barton, nominated by Professor of Integrated Science...

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Each month, the professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs recognize and acknowledge the perseverance of one student in their perspective STEM areas. Below is the third group of STEM Students of the Month with a few comments from the professors who nominated them. They include:

Science - Shayne Barton, nominated by Professor of Integrated Science/Physics Andria Schwortz.

“Shayne has shown great growth over his years at QCC.  He not only does well in his courses, but he is willing to stick it out when things get tough, and try multiple approaches to a course to see what it takes for him to be successful.  He works with his classmates to help all learn the material, and is willing to talk to professors for additional help.  Shane takes responsibility for his education, and is looking forward to graduation this Spring semester and transferring in Engineering,”  Ms. Schwortz said.       

Technology - Savanna Russell, nominated by Professor of Interactive Media George Fitch.

“Savanna has developed into a confident and capable leader inside and outside of the college classroom. She is extremely responsible and her design sensibility shines through in the 14 different course offerings in a group of 114 Interactive Media program enrolled students. I know I can rely on her work to be contemporary and unique. Savanna’s organizational skills are extremely impressive. I know this ability to budget her time will serve her well in any professional or college setting," Mr. Fitch said.

Savanna is an intelligent, and capable young woman and a gentle humanist. She has learned to handle cutting edge interactive media software and integrate it with sophisticated video, audio, lighting and photography equipment. She is a natural creative, a unique and capable communicator.”

Engineering - Matthew Kelley, nominated by Professor of Energy Utility Technology Sharron Gillies.

“Matt is a radiologic imaging technician (CT scans, etc.) seeking to change his profession. He is balancing work, studies and family and maintaining an 'A' average in his Energy Utility Technology Certificate classes. Matt became a father for the second time on April 22, giving him a brand new baby boy, Benjamin in addition to his 3-year old daughter, Brooke.  In January, he was elected “Crew Chief” by his classmates in recognition of his leadership in the classroom.  Since the very beginning of the academic year, Matt made it his goal to see that no one was left behind, collecting notes and assignments for absent classmates and serving as a tutor to many of them.  His classmates were able to return the favor when he missed classes on the day of Benjamin’s birth.  Matt will also be the 2019 recipient of the Robert McDonald Award for Outstanding Student in the EUTC program,” Ms. Gillies said.

Mathematics - Fatima Mohammed, nominated by Professor of Mathematics Elena Fenuci.

“Fatima was a student in my intermediate algebra class during Fall 2018 semester. Her major is Liberal Arts- Biology. During our math class Fatima proved to be a very smart student. She scored in the top 5% on all tests and assignments. She was conscientious about her work, attended all classes, and she never complained. Also, her hand writing and organizing skills are excellent. But what still stays with me is her positivity and kindness. Even now when we meet in the hallway she is always greeting me and we exchange a few words, always with a smile on her face. She is a great student and an awesome person. I would be so glad to see her elected as student of the month as I believe she truly deserves it,” Ms. Fenuci said.

  • Athletic Center
May, 2019

Athletic Center Summer Hours

The Athletic Center will be closed from Saturday, June 1 - Sunday, June 16.  It will reopen for its summer hours on Monday, June 17. Summer hours are Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:00 a.m. – noon and will run until Thursday, Sept. 5.

Shape Up Your Summer Season

QCC is offering Yoga Classes and Full-Body Toning Classes. These 8-...

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Athletic Center Summer Hours

The Athletic Center will be closed from Saturday, June 1 - Sunday, June 16.  It will reopen for its summer hours on Monday, June 17. Summer hours are Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:00 a.m. – noon and will run until Thursday, Sept. 5.

Shape Up Your Summer Season

QCC is offering Yoga Classes and Full-Body Toning Classes. These 8-week sessions begin on Monday, June 17 and will run until Thursday, August 8.

  • Yoga classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon
  • Full-Body Toning meets on Monday and Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m.

Cost is $80 per person. Please register by June 12 at the Athletic Center or at the Business Office located in the Administration Building (Room 07A) 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester. For question call 508.854.4317.

Student ID's

QCC students who do not have a photo ID can obtain one at the Athletic Center during the hours of: 

  • Monday & Wednesday -      9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday & Thursday           9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m  & 4:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m.
  • Friday                                  9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.

Students can also make an appointment by calling the Athletic Center in advance at 508.854.4317.

  • Happy Retirement 2019
  • QCC Student Band
  • QCC President Luis Pedraja (right) stands with several retiring QCC faculty and staff.
May, 2019

Honoring QCC colleagues who have recently retired, or will be retiring soon was the premise behind QCC's Annual Celebration of Excellence and Retirement Recognition Reception held on May 22.  These 13 men and women have dedicated themselves to student success and QCC has been honored to have them as a part of the QCC family.

Patricia Carr       ...

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Honoring QCC colleagues who have recently retired, or will be retiring soon was the premise behind QCC's Annual Celebration of Excellence and Retirement Recognition Reception held on May 22.  These 13 men and women have dedicated themselves to student success and QCC has been honored to have them as a part of the QCC family.

Patricia Carr                            Paula Moreau                               Eunice Snay

Deborah Coleman                   Donald Morin                               Kimberly Thompson

Leslie Horton                          Margaret Motyka                          Eileen Wright

Susan Miller                            Deborah Nash                              Betsy Zuegg

We wish them well on their next journey and remind them that once a Wyvern always a Wyvern! 

  • Quinsigamond Community College's 2019 Graduates
May, 2019

Saturday, June 1 - Sunday, June 16: The Athletic Center will be closed. It will reopen for its summer hours on Monday, June 17. Summer hours are Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:00 a.m. - noon. Summer hours will run until Thursday, Sept. 5. 

Thursday, June 13: QCC Alumni Social from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p....

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Saturday, June 1 - Sunday, June 16: The Athletic Center will be closed. It will reopen for its summer hours on Monday, June 17. Summer hours are Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:00 a.m. - noon. Summer hours will run until Thursday, Sept. 5. 

Thursday, June 13: QCC Alumni Social from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Beer Garden, 64 Franklin Street, Worcester. Light hors d'oeuvres included/cash bar will be available. This is an opportunity to network with fellow graduates and reminisce about college experiences. Alumni $10 | Guests $15. FREE for QCC Class of 2019 Graduates.

June Spotlight: Summer Hours- Quinsigamond Community College will be closed for business at noon on Fridays from May 31 – August 16. Visitors who are looking for Admissions may go to the Welcome Center, located at the Harrington Learning Center, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester.

  • The Wyvern took in the sights of Iowa on a recent road trip.
  • The Wyvern is an art connoisseur.
May, 2019

Maureen Giacobbe, Coordinator of Instructional Technology & Assessment took the Wyvern on a road trip. He's currently in Iowa enjoying the sights! Have you seen the Wyvern out and about lately? If so, please send your photos and descriptions through the newsletter submission form. ...

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Maureen Giacobbe, Coordinator of Instructional Technology & Assessment took the Wyvern on a road trip. He's currently in Iowa enjoying the sights! Have you seen the Wyvern out and about lately? If so, please send your photos and descriptions through the newsletter submission form

  • From left: Deborah Fratturelli, Nichole Wheeler, and Sabine Dupoux
May, 2019

Three Quinsigamond Community College employees all received their MBA's on May 16 from Fitchburg State University. These women are the perfect examples of student success, demonstrating that lifelong learning is not only a mindset, but can also be a reality. 

Congratulations to Deborah Fratturelli, Nichole Wheeler, and Sabine Dupoux!

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Three Quinsigamond Community College employees all received their MBA's on May 16 from Fitchburg State University. These women are the perfect examples of student success, demonstrating that lifelong learning is not only a mindset, but can also be a reality. 

Congratulations to Deborah Fratturelli, Nichole Wheeler, and Sabine Dupoux!

May, 2019

May, 2019

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May, 2019

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

On April 29, 2019 Administrative Services welcomed Patrick Printz as the Executive Director of Technology. Patrick brings to this position over 12 years of experience. Most recently, he was the Interim Director of IT Projects here at Quinsigamond Community College....

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

On April 29, 2019 Administrative Services welcomed Patrick Printz as the Executive Director of Technology. Patrick brings to this position over 12 years of experience. Most recently, he was the Interim Director of IT Projects here at Quinsigamond Community College. Patrick earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems from Fitchburg State University.

On May 12, 2019, Medical Support Specialist Program welcomed Cheryl DeCoff, into her new role as Full-Time Faculty/Program Coordinator. Cheryl brings to this position over 8 years of health care education and clinical experience.  Most recently, she was a Certified Medical Assistant for Charles River Medical Associates. Cheryl earned her Medical Assistant Certificate from Quinsigamond Community College and her Bachelor of Science Degree from Worcester State University.

On May 19, 2019 Information Technology & Academic Computing welcomed David Irwin as the Systems Architect. David brings to this position over 30 years of experience. Most recently, he worked as a contract employee here at Quinsigamond Community College in the role of Interim Director of IT. David earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Fitchburg State University.

Please join us in welcoming Patrick, Cheryl and David into their new roles at QCC.

April, 2019

  • Outgoing PTK Officers
  • PTK students
  • Students listen to speakers during the PTK induction ceremony.
  • PTK Alumni Advisor Kayla Paterson gestures to the new PTK Alumni Board members.
  • New PTK students get sworn into the Alpa Theta Zeta Chapter of the PTK Honor Society.
  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja speaks at the 39th PTK Induction Ceremony.
April, 2019

A new class of QCC students joined the ranks of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta (AZT) Chapter at the 39th PTK Honor Society Induction Ceremony, held on April 16. Dean of Students Theresa "Terry" Vecchio opened the ceremony by reminding people of the four tenants of PTK – scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship and how special it is to be part of the...

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A new class of QCC students joined the ranks of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta (AZT) Chapter at the 39th PTK Honor Society Induction Ceremony, held on April 16. Dean of Students Theresa "Terry" Vecchio opened the ceremony by reminding people of the four tenants of PTK – scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship and how special it is to be part of the PTK community.

“Thirty-nine years ago we inducted 11 students and today we are inducting 190. Overall we have 698 students involved in this organization,” she said. “These are the movers and shakers of QCC and undoubtedly the leaders of tomorrow.”

QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja congratulated the students, acknowledging that he himself was just shy of being inducted into an honor society.

“I didn’t make it but I’m still here as president, imagine what you can do,” he said.

This year’s outgoing PTK members have made incredible strides within QCC and the surrounding communities to help better the world. They have worked on a mentoring program with students from Burncoat, helping them to prepare for like after high school; have served meals at the VA; worked in Worcester’s community garden as well as grown QCC’s own greenhouse and helped to stave off elderly loneliness by hosting many events including a senior prom at the Oasis at Dodge Park.

During the induction outgoing PTK President Dan Underwood, Outgoing PTK Live and Learn Greenhouse Manager (and the 2019 current 29 Who Shine honoree) Vanessa Hanger and Outgoing PTK Executive Director of Mentoring (and current Food Pantry & Resource Center manager) Max German all gave speeches about their time as members of PTK, before handing over the reins to the new officers.

The Alpha Zeta Theta officers for 2019-2020 include:

  • Tabitha Leber – President
  • Krystle Bedrick – Vice President of Leadership
  • Lisa Renaud – Executive Team Leader
  • Ronald Nneji – Executive Vice President of Scholarship
  • Roanlis Toribio – Vice President of Scholarship
  • Murillo Gomes – Treasurer
  • Melissa Intravia – Secretary
  • Aglae Bornhausen – PTK Live & Learn Greenhouse Manager

During the induction ceremony, Ms. Vecchio made it a point to mention PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman, the “heart and soul of PTK,” informing those in attendance she has worked tirelessly for the PTK students for the past 14 years.

“Truly her name is truly synonymous with Phi Theta Kappa,” Ms. Vecchio added.

An addition to this year’s program was the swearing in of the first PTK Alumni Association Board. In November, 2018 PTK founded the PTK AZT Alumni Association and its executive board was officially recognized. They include:

  • Allen Phillips – President
  • Kimberly May –  Vice President
  • Tony Sanders – Treasurer
  • Laura Loranger – Secretary
  • Sean Lauziere – Officer-At-Large
  • Kayla Paterson - Advisor 
  • Live & Learn Greenhouse
  • Blueprint for the PTK Greenhouse
  • PTK's Greenhouse team
April, 2019

The approval has been given, the plans are in place, and all that’s left to finalize is the location before a new Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Live & Learn Greenhouse will be up and running later this year. The exciting news is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the Phi Theta Kappa Greenhouse team, led by current Greenhouse Manager Vanessa Hanger and PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman...

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The approval has been given, the plans are in place, and all that’s left to finalize is the location before a new Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Live & Learn Greenhouse will be up and running later this year. The exciting news is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the Phi Theta Kappa Greenhouse team, led by current Greenhouse Manager Vanessa Hanger and PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman.

The current PTK Live & Learn Greenhouse was opened July 2017 with a mission to renew connections between people and the natural environment, create a resource of healthy, nutrient-rich food for the Quinsigamond Community College community, and provide an educational resource for students, faculty, staff, and children. Located in a former bus shelter, the greenhouse has been busting at its seams with produce that has been donated to QCC’s Food Pantry & Resource Center. 

The new greenhouse will be three times the size of the current greenhouse, according to Ms. Coleman. It will have a sloped roof that has extra wide roof vents, allowing for proper ventilation. This will give the college the ability to grow a lot more produce for the food pantry.

“The current greenhouse has issues with humidity and temperature, since it was a repurposed bus stop. This is an actual greenhouse that will regulate humidity and temperature, which is vital to help things grow,” said Ms. Hanger. “We are thankful to President  Luis Pedraja and the college community for supporting this endeavor.”

Once a site is chosen for the new greenhouse, a foundation will be made and prep work will be done before the greenhouse can be installed. The plan is to also have a meditation garden in front of the new greenhouse that will hopefully be a new location for the mindful meditation sessions during the milder weather.

“We will still use our old greenhouse to start our seeds ideally; then the new greenhouse will accommodate our larger plants, as well as hopefully the meditation garden,” Ms. Hanger said.

PTK is running a greenhouse sale on Thursday, May 2, Friday, May 3, after 2:00 p.m. and Monday May 6 - Friday, May 10, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.outside the patio area between the Administration Building and the Quest Center. Annuals and hangers will be available for purchase. Prices range from $3.75 - $32 (hangers).

“We are working with Matt Olson (former PTK member from another chapter) of Olson’s Gardenhouses, who will be selling us plants at whole sale prices. Any money we raise will go toward the new greenhouse,” Ms. Coleman said. “These are great plants and we hope everyone will decide to buy their plantings from us.”

While Ms. Hanger has been working tirelessly with other PTK greenhouse team members on making the new greenhouse a reality, she will be handing over the reins as greenhouse manger to incoming PTK student Aglae “Aggie” Blanco.

“The new greenhouse is an exciting project for our QCC campus for many reasons. An adequately equipped, full-size greenhouse would shower our community with benefits. From strengthening the connection between inner-city culture with environmental awareness, giving a variety of people around campus an opportunity for community involvement, to sending our locally-grown produce to the food pantry, there is so much this greenhouse can offer,” Ms. Blanco said.

According to both Ms. Hanger and Ms. Blanco, volunteers are always needed and are the backbone of the making the greenhouse what it is today.

“Involvement in the greenhouse can be an inspiration to live a healthy and nutritious lifestyle, as well as a friendly environment for interacting with fellow students who we might not have had the chance to otherwise meet,” Ms. Blanco said. “Building connections through meaningful work can end up turning into the some of the strongest bonds we'll hold onto, which in turn encourages the retention of students and therefore the growth of our alumni community. I am very honored and pleased to be a part of such a purposeful project in which our students themselves can reap the benefits they worked hard for!”

  • Gateway to College Students with Fab Lab Manager Bryan DeConte (blue shirt)
  • Gateway to College students proudly show off their project.
  • Students work on finalizing one of their three projects.
  • Watching the magic of technology in action.
  • A Gateway to College student working on a design using CAD/CAM technology.
April, 2019

Collaboration and partnerships both on and off campus are an important part of the educational process in the Gateway to College Program, according to Gateway to College Manager Marci Skillings.This is why classes such as the Introduction to Fab Lab Science are so vital. Recently 16 Gateway to College students completed the course, which was funded through a grant from the Stem...

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Collaboration and partnerships both on and off campus are an important part of the educational process in the Gateway to College Program, according to Gateway to College Manager Marci Skillings.This is why classes such as the Introduction to Fab Lab Science are so vital. Recently 16 Gateway to College students completed the course, which was funded through a grant from the Stem Starter Academy (SSA).

“The SSA funded the faculty member who taught the program. For two years now we have funded this class,” said STEM Starter Academy Project Coordinator Darcy Carlson. “It’s been wonderful every time we’ve done this Fab Lab class.”

Exposure to STEM is a win-win for the SSA and Gateway to College students.

“Since the program started, 80% to 85% of students continue on to earn their degree here at QCC.This is a great opportunity for us to collaborate on campus,” Ms. Skillings said.

The 10-week program offered students exposure to the college’s Fab Lab, STEM careers and associated technologies. Learning in the class was project-based and students were charged with making three projects in the 10-weeks allotted. The class is credited as a high school science course.

“So many of our students would have never gone to the Fab Lab and now they have this great exposure through this course,” Ms. Skillings said. “These are all undeclared students working on their credentialing for high school and we want to give them the opportunity to become interested in the STEM fields.”

During the class students received exposure to CAD/CAM programming, 3D printing, laser cutting, and woodworking.

“They all did well in this class, with the class average in the 80s,” Ms. Skillings said. “Out of this group, four students talked to us about their interest in a STEM-field.”

To learn more, visit QCC’s Gateway to College.

Associate Professor of Electronics Engineering TechnologyJacob longacre
April, 2019

Sci-fi movies are following the advances of real world technology at a startling rate. Today’s Marvel super heroes have evolved from using electricity to using light as a source of power. In fact, the latest super hero Captain Marvel, can be seen shooting photonic blasts from her fingers in the current sci-fi adventure. This technology is nothing new to Quinsigamond Community College’s own super hero,...

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Sci-fi movies are following the advances of real world technology at a startling rate. Today’s Marvel super heroes have evolved from using electricity to using light as a source of power. In fact, the latest super hero Captain Marvel, can be seen shooting photonic blasts from her fingers in the current sci-fi adventure. This technology is nothing new to Quinsigamond Community College’s own super hero, Jacob Longacre, associate professor of Electronics Engineering Technology.

Mr. Longacre has taken his background in optics with the Navy and entrepreneurship in the toy industry, to new heights, and while he may not have the power of flight, super-strength or the photonic blasts of Captain Marvel, what he does possess is even more valuable, the power of educating students about the latest advances in photonics.

Photonics technology has become prevalent in almost every aspect of day-to-day life and the advances in the technology are growing at a rapid rate, with professors such as Mr. Longacre leading the crusade to help build that knowledge base for the next generation of workers. For the last five years the professor has been demystifying science and mathematics for community college students; after having been enticed to come to the college when it started a photonics program. QCC currently offers an associate degree and certificate in photonics.

“Optics and photonics are incredibly exciting and doing it on a tech level, where you are introducing a whole new area to students that you can link back to other areas (electronics, manufacturing and application work), to me is really exciting,” Mr. Longacre said.

A Visionary Culture

At QCC, the students learn about photonics through the lens of their professor’s past experiences that included a goal of working in nuclear fusion after earning his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Muhlenberg College. However, after starting work on his masters’ in nuclear fusion at the University of Michigan, he quickly decided it was not for him.

“I realized this would be all research and I just didn’t want to do that,” he said.

He changed gears, earning Master of Science degrees in Nuclear Engineering and Electronics at Michigan before beginning a career with the U.S. Navy, working on underwater lasers. In the Navy, he did studies of optical properties on snow and ice, working in such barren and arctic regions as Point Barrow, Alaska and Resolute, Canada. He said it was this type of hands-on, technical research that he truly enjoyed. He even got his name on a few patents; however, as time went on his job with the Navy changed.

“It became more managerial and less technical. They had me get my MBA (at Cornell University),” he said, adding that while useful, it wasn’t the career path he wanted.

Eventually the lure of the technical side became too much and he decided to leave the government and follow what had become his passion when he wasn’t working…developing toys.

“It was a hobby at first. I created toy cars and planes in my own style,” he said.

His entrepreneurial designs paid off and eventually a company asked him to help redesign a toy airplane, which began a 10-year career in the toy industry, working with several companies and developing innovative toy submarines, cars and airplanes. He helped create some of the first mass-marketed backyard radio-controlled airplanes, and developed an air powered toy submarine.

Throughout his career, learning has always been front and center and so, when an opportunity presented itself in academia, he jumped at the chance.

“I had always liked teaching and so I applied and got the offer to come here to QCC. I wanted to come here to teach and also to learn,” he said. “Getting the chance to hopefully have an impact on students is what’s kept me learning at QCC. I love working to find ways to express this to such a broad range of students.”

The diversity that community colleges have in its student body is one of the challenges that truly excites Mr. Longacre. The large disparity between students who may have strong educational backgrounds, or those who don’t have much experience in a formal education background is particularly challenging, and rewarding. In fact, he said some of his greatest achievements are when a student has that “aha” moment and understands the concepts he is teaching. He has seen it time and again when students recognize the cell phones they are carrying use different optical processes in order to operate. Photonics at work!

“At bigger four-year institutions students have lots more confidence. Part of the job here at a community college is to get students to realize how much potential they have. They come here for two years and they realize they can do whatever they want to do,” he said, adding that his students have gone on to immediately enter the workforce with lucrative careers, or have continued their education at top four-year universities.

The power of working together

Mr. Longacre has been instrumental in helping to propel students and businesses forward, which is why he has become an important component in the new AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP) facility, developed as a collaboration between AIM Photonics, AIM Academy, QCC, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the Mass Tech Collaborative through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2), and the Department of Defense. 

“We have a very broad spectrum of students and that is where we come into this, as a gateway to people, students and industry who are not fully cognizant of how this (photonics) works,” he said. “We want to broaden the awareness of this technology to other areas.”

A collaborative lecture was recently held with Mr. Longacre’s Photonics Technology class and WPI Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Yxiang “Shawn” Liu. Most of the students in Mr. Longacre’s class are already working in some aspect of the optical technology field, which added a unique perspective to the lecture.

“WPI brings more of the research and development perspective, while we (QCC) bring more of a ‘how can this be practically applied on the manufacturing floor,’ perspective,” Mr. Longacre said. “This collaboration is looking at how integrated photonics can be applied in the future workforce. We are identifying ways to support emerging technologies from research through production with this work. This is the future and QCC is front and center.”

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  • QCC Public Health student Jatnna Perez
April, 2019

You can see the excitement in Jatnna Perez’s eyes when she talks about her educational journey. The Quinsigamond Community College healthcare student is poised to graduate in May with an associate degree in public health and ready to take on the future. She said her time at QCC began after a friend suggested she check out the college, when she moved to Worcester from New York. She...

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You can see the excitement in Jatnna Perez’s eyes when she talks about her educational journey. The Quinsigamond Community College healthcare student is poised to graduate in May with an associate degree in public health and ready to take on the future. She said her time at QCC began after a friend suggested she check out the college, when she moved to Worcester from New York. She came to the U.S. seven years ago from the Dominican Republic, and after graduating high school in New York, knew she wanted to continue her education. After researching QCC online and thinking it sounded convenient, affordable, and seemed easy to enroll, she decided to make a visit to the college's main campus to check things out.

“When I first came to QCC I knew right away that I wanted to be a student here.The campus has such a great vibe and feels so welcoming,” she said. “The college has many great programs that are flexible and very affordable compared to other schools.”

She said she initially enrolled in the college’s general studies program. However, one of her professors, Hirul Patel, encouraged her to take something more specific and since she really enjoyed biology and loved being involved in the community, the public health program seemed the perfect fit. A class she took in global public health confirmed that this was the degree program she wanted to pursue.She quickly earned a Public Health Certificate, before continuing on to get her associate degree.

Ms. Perez is currently working full-time as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens in Worcester, and is also in the last couple of weeks of her public health cooperative externship, working with New England Donor Services. She found out about the organization through her Professor Anne Marie Winslow.

“Organs are scarce, so many people die while waiting for a liver transplant. Living liver donation is a hope for many. I shared with several of my students my passion for organ donation,” Ms. Winslow said.

Ms. Perez was immediately interested and Ms. Winslow put her in touch with Jennifer Cray, Volunteer Services Program Manager at New England Donor Services, who quickly found a place for her volunteering at area events. Today, Ms. Perez is a staunch advocate for organ donation, participating in events throughout Worcester, informing people on the merits of tissue and organ donation.

“I try to educate people to get them to sign up and become organ donors,” she said, adding, “QCC has many professors who do more than teach a subject. One of the main things I will take away with me after I graduate is all the encouragement and support I have gotten from my professors here.”

After graduating in May, Ms. Perez hopes to begin working in a public health position that will allow her to “put into practice” what she has learned at QCC, while continuing to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“The best thing about QCC is that it is a school for everyone regardless of their age, income or background. The college has room for everyone who wants to succeed. There is support here to help everyone grow and boost their career paths,” she said.  “This place is very special to me. I’ve learned so many things and grown as a student.”