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It’s a Family Affair at QCC

June, 2020
  • From left: Nicole Murphy, Devon Bruyer and Carol Murphy.
    From left: Nicole Murphy, Devon Bruyer and Carol Murphy.

Wyvern nation’s roots run deep in the Murphy family. Since the early 80s when Accounting Professor Carol Murphy was a part-time student at Quinsigamond Community College, the college has been a part of their lives. Today, Ms. Murphy is an adjunct professor at the College, her daughter-in-law is an alum and her grandson is a current engineering student at QCC.

“I am so, so happy they took advantage of this college. People care here, they want you to succeed as a student and a professional,” she said.

For Ms. Murphy, the path to QCC and higher education came later in life.

“In high school I attended a college prep school and at the end of sophomore year was told ‘I was not college material,’ so I transferred to a school with business courses.  I absolutely loved my bookkeeping course; just couldn't get enough of it. It made sense to me. After graduating high school, I became a full charge bookkeeper in the business world,” she said.

Eventually Ms. Murphy left that world, started a family and had two sons. Once they were in preschool, she began thinking about working part-time.

“Two friends, in one week, asked why I didn't go to college to get paid more for what I knew,” she said.

A light bulb went off and at the age of 32, she decided to try a couple of courses. 

After starting at Worcester State, she realized she needed more flexibility and decided to attend QCC, because it was the perfect fit for her schedule.

“Plus my husband graduated from QCC years before and had been successful,” she added.

She ended up taking two courses a semester at QCC, then transferring to Assumption College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in accounting, at the age of 40. While attending college, she also worked as an accounting tutor in QCC’s learning center and said she loved helping students understand the courses. It was the start of a lifetime love affair of learning.

“I started in graduate school in the Nichols MBA program and asked if I could teach a course to see if I liked it,” she said, adding that when she was given the opportunity to teach she “loved it.”

She taught as an adjunct professor at QCC for a few years before applying and being hired for a full-time position in 2000. It would be a position she would hold until 2017, before going back to being an adjunct professor.

Ms. Murphy’s daughter-in-law Nicole Murphy is also a QCC alum, having come to QCC looking to advance her nursing career at Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center.

“My mother-in-law has always been a strong advocate for QCC. She is aware of how flexible the schedules can be to meet your other priorities in life while still maintaining a degree.  It gave me a sense of pride when instructors knew she was my mother-in-law. I have been at my workplace for over 20 years and I always appreciate dedication and a long history at a career. It is special to me to now be part of that with her,” Nicole Murphy said, adding “With my career and family the flexibility was key to my success.”

Nichole Murphy’s son, Devon Bruyer, has also found QCC to be the perfect place to begin his future, a fact that comes as no surprise to both mother and grandmother.

“My mother-in-law and I both felt QCC was a good fit for Devon. He is not the type to sit in a class five days a week, which is why he went to a trade school. We both know he will come out with a great degree but can also continue to work in his field for real life practice. It also makes me very happy he is still home with us,” Nicole Murphy said.

Mr. Bruyer said he researched many schools with his grandmother before deciding on QCC.

“I find QCC to be more diverse and open to the community. Most of the students feel equal with each other. QCC is close to home and an affordable option. I have seen how successful my grandmother and mother are in life. I am proud to follow in their footsteps while earning my degree,” he said. “It is a great place to get your degree, especially if you want to live at home and work in the community. QCC offers a wide variety of options to work with everyday life. “

Carol Murphy sums it up for those considering attending QCC.

“We have it all, try us out, you won't be sorry!”