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Three Generations of Women Help Put the ‘Community’ into Quinsigamond Community College

March, 2019
  • Cheryl and Ashley Marrino (L) Cheryl Marrino speaks at QCC's 2018 commencement.
    Cheryl and Ashley Marrino hold a photo of QCC alumna Sandra Sorenson (L) Cheryl Marrino speaks at QCC's 2018 commencement.

Children often emulate their parents and for QCC alumna Cheryl Marrino that took on the form of attending Quinsigamond Community College and becoming a part of the unique fabric that has made the college home to her for more than 20 years.

Cheryl had her first taste of QCC when she was about 10 years old and her mother, QCC alumna Sandra Sorenson attended the school. Sometimes she brought Cheryl and her three other siblings to experience the campus and attend the community activities that the college occasionally held.

“I have the fondest memories of the Easter egg hunt and all the families,” she said. “I remember lots of fun things on campus from graduation to eating in the cafeteria.”

The community events stuck and when her mother graduated and went on to attend Worcester State University, it was those memories of QCC that stayed with her.

It was that sense of community, which led Cheryl to decide to register for classes at QCC. While she didn’t end up actually starting that first time she registered, she came back to school the following year, registered again and began taking classes.

“It felt like I belonged here,” she said.

Initially registered as a criminal justice major, a chance computer class she took with Professor of Computer Information Systems Charulata Trivedi changed her mind on her major choice.

“I didn’t know anything about computers and I took this class and thought ‘wow’ this is interesting. Eventually I even ended up doing web pages for the college through a co-op program. I found out who I was and what I loved and that was software,” she said. “To this day I have a forever bond with Charulata.”

While at QCC, Cheryl also became acquainted with Liz Woods (Current Dean of Compliance at the College) and worked as work study student in the Student Life offices, a foreshadowing of things to come.

“Liz Woods was a wonderful role model and I learned a lot,” she said.

At the time she was attending classes, Cheryl was a mom to four young children; often bringing them to events the same way her own mom brought her many years before.

“We’re a community here at QCC. It’s really about family and bringing people together,” she said. “To me this campus has a lot of heart and compassion from the professors and staff to the students.”

Cheryl graduated in 2004 with an Applications Specialist Certificate and started working part-time at QCC in both the Fuller Student Center and the Athletic Center. In 2008, she earned her Web Applications Certificate.

Her daughter Ashley Marrino also began helping out at the Athletic Center when she was old enough, and when she graduated high school, QCC was her college of choice. This was particularly special for Cheryl as she was able to graduate with her daughter in 2015, earning an associate degree in General studies, while her daughter earned her associate degree in Business Administration Transfer, as well as a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.

Today, Ashley works as a manager at a European Wax Center and Cheryl works at QCC as the Fuller Evening Supervisor; however, don’t be fooled by the job title. When she is not in the Fuller Student Center, you may find her helping out students in the Athletic Center or downtown with IDs, or visiting various QCC locations, while working on fundraising events. You see, Cheryl is also the president of the QCC Alumni Association. She has continued to advance her education at QCC, earning an associate degree in Computer Information Systems and an associate degree in Liberal Arts in 2018.  

“I want others to know that education goes on and on…as far as you can reach for it,” she said.

Sadly her mom passed away a few years ago, after retiring from working at the IRS, but the legacy of QCC lives on in the next generation. Cheryl’s youngest daughter Angelleyez is planning on attending QCC when she is old enough and follow in her grandmother, mother and big sister’s footsteps.

“I think a lot of people have a fear of going to college but QCC is different by a mile. Everyone is here to help guide you on your way,” Cheryl said.