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January, 2021

QCC student Armela Xhindole
January, 2021

On January 20, we witnessed a time-honored tradition with the inauguration of our 46th President Joseph R. Biden Jr. We also witnessed history in the making as Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman (and first woman of color), to hold the office.

President Luis G. Pedraja Ph.D. was heartened by the inauguration and released a statement after the swearing-in ceremony. The...

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On January 20, we witnessed a time-honored tradition with the inauguration of our 46th President Joseph R. Biden Jr. We also witnessed history in the making as Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman (and first woman of color), to hold the office.

President Luis G. Pedraja Ph.D. was heartened by the inauguration and released a statement after the swearing-in ceremony. The full text is below. 

"Today marks a historic time in our nation’s history with the inauguration of our 46th President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman elected to that office. Last week, despite the violent assault on our democracy, our Constitution held strong and today we witnessed a peaceful transfer of power.  While the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 threatened the cradle of democracy, today is a cause for celebration and hope for our future as we watched the swearing in of our new President.

Equity and justice for all is not just a pipe dream realized by a few, it is a right of everyone in a free society. It is my sincere hope that we can begin to come together as a country and to find common ground, based on mutual respect. As someone who emigrated from Cuba as a young boy, my family came to this country for the freedoms that only democracy could offer. I am hopeful that the country I have come to call my home will represent the diversity that is our great country.  I am heartened by President Biden’s cabinet nominees, who reflect the multicultural fabric that make up the United States of America. This gives me hope for our future and the freedoms that democracy affords us.

Freedoms such as higher education for all is the hallmark of democracy and something that I value dearly as a first generation college student who became an educator. I fervently believe that education is a human right that helps raise people out of poverty and changes the trajectory of their lives.

I am excited that the White House now has an educator in its midst with Dr. Jill Biden as our First Lady. Dr. Biden brings a unique perspective to higher education, as a community college professor. What an inspiration and advocate she is for community colleges!  I am confident that Dr. Biden can help change the lens in which community colleges are viewed. As a community college president, I understand the importance of making affordable, accessible higher education for all. Through Dr. Biden’s perspective, I hope that she and President Biden will help to realize community colleges’ full potential, by elevating and escalating investments and programs to support our community college students. The President has repeatedly noted that community colleges are America’s “best kept secrets,” and I am hopeful that they will now get a more equitable share of the funding pie.

The dawning of a new time is upon us and I look toward the next four years with a sense of anticipation and faith that our democracy is strong. Today has reinforced and enriched the values that have made our country a symbol of freedom throughout the world."

Prior to the inauguration, the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts (HECCMA) held a pre-inauguration forum with welcoming remarks from Congressman James P. McGovern. The forum featured a variety of area college students who voiced their hopes and reflections for the next four years.  President of QCC's Student Government Association, Armela Xhindole, took part in the event and shared her thoughts on the incoming administration, her hopes for the future as a whole, and the future of higher education. 

  • QCC is offering an Administrative Medical Professional Program funded by a Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant.
January, 2021

Quinsigamond Community College was one of only two community colleges awarded a 2020/2021 Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant for Expanded Training Capacity & Employment Program Performance.

QCC was awarded a $197,183 Grant that will provide funding for unemployed residents to take part in the College’s Administrative Medical Professional Program. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants serve...

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Quinsigamond Community College was one of only two community colleges awarded a 2020/2021 Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant for Expanded Training Capacity & Employment Program Performance.

QCC was awarded a $197,183 Grant that will provide funding for unemployed residents to take part in the College’s Administrative Medical Professional Program. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants serve people across Massachusetts whose life experiences and circumstances make it difficult for them to succeed in employment without targeted support. QCC’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education (CWDCE) will provide training and placement services for 40 eligible, unemployed residents in the Central MA region.

Eligible students who take part in the program can realize a career as a Medical Administrative Assistant in a variety of healthcare settings such as hospitals and health systems, physicians’ offices, clinics, long-term care facilities, surgery centers, ambulatory surgery centers, rehabilitation centers, and other types of healthcare settings.  Students in the program will learn the roles and responsibilities of a healthcare team, interpersonal communication, medical records management, compliance with HIPAA, and diagnostic and procedural coding. Students will also learn how to handle medical emergencies to prepare for, and appropriately respond to various life-threatening emergencies in the medical office setting. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2019 to 2029, Medical Administrative Assistants will more than quadruple the job growth rate of all other occupations.

“We are presently recruiting for two classes that will begin in the Spring/Summer,” said Kathie Manning, dean of the CWDCE. “This program includes all materials, as well as the certification test.”

Students enrolled in the program are expected to work a minimum of 30 hours per week (remote or in-person) once they have completed the course and obtained certification. Students who complete the program and are employed for 60 days at 30-hours-a-week, are eligible to receive a $500 stipend.

“To maintain a competitive and sustainable economy, Massachusetts must continue to invest in a skilled and well-trained workforce,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants will give workers and companies the opportunity to gain access to occupations critical to the future economic success of the Commonwealth.”

To learn more about the program, email cce [at] qcc.mass.edu or call 508.751.7900.

  • QCC Practical Nursing students prepared COVID-19 vaccines last month at the Southbridge Armory.
January, 2021

Qunisigamond Community College's Nurse Education department is giving a real “shot in the arm” to UMass Memorial Medical Center by assisting in the COVID-19 vaccination of their employees. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their students, QCC nursing faculty have been setting an important example for their students by assisting in the massive vaccination process.

“The nursing...

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Qunisigamond Community College's Nurse Education department is giving a real “shot in the arm” to UMass Memorial Medical Center by assisting in the COVID-19 vaccination of their employees. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their students, QCC nursing faculty have been setting an important example for their students by assisting in the massive vaccination process.

“The nursing program is strongly committed to helping out with the COVID-19 vaccine effort, particularly as a way to provide assistance to our long-term clinical partners, as well as, to allow the students to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime clinical experience,” said Patricia Creelman, professor of Nurse Education, clinical coordinator and chair of the program.

Ms. Creelman, a 20-year nursing faculty member, reached out to UMass Memorial to offer support in the vaccination process. The response was met enthusiastically.

“We knew that the vaccination process was to begin shortly after the New Year and the Advanced Placement/ Evening Nurse Education Program was to start their second course right after the New Year,” she said. “This fit beautifully into the curriculum for one of our courses and provided some much needed ‘hands-on’ clinical opportunities for our students.”

 Professor of Nurse Education Meredith Stone said the feedback from the nursing students has been positive.

“The students are very enthusiastic about being able to participate. In our program (Advanced Placement Nurse Education/ Evening Program) students are primarily already working in the healthcare field, as paramedics and licensed practical nurses, and our prior degree students often work as certified nursing assistants, so they have been working throughout the pandemic,” said Ms. Stone, a 12-year QCC faculty member. “I did not hear of anyone who was fearful to participate.  Most are happy to be able to contribute to ending this crisis.” 

Nursing Professor Ellen Vangel-Brousseau is also a vital resource for this vaccination initiative. Retiring in 2018 (as coordinator of the program) after close to 40 years educating QCC nursing students, she is still working as an adjunct faculty member. “The College and student populations are part of me,” she said.    

Ms. Vangel-Brousseau coordinates vaccination times with the students and helps in the clinics. She said she works closely with Karen Uttaro, UMass Memorial's senior director for professional practice, quality and regulatory readiness in this important college/community partnership. Nursing faculty Mary Ellen Tetreault and Susan Rosa also work at the clinics with students. In addition to assisting in the UMass vaccination process, Margaret “Meg” Yoder, professor of Nurse Education, and faculty member Christian Ilustre have assisted nursing students in administering COVID-19 vaccines to Harrington Hospital employees at the Southbridge Armory.

As the next phase in the vaccination process gets underway, QCC nursing students with continue be front and center helping out.

“We will be transitioning to the UMass Front Street facility location in a couple of weeks and the students will begin to start administering vaccines to the community,” Ms. Vangel-Brousseau said.  

Currently only the evening students are participating in the vaccination process; however, Ms. Creelman has reached out to the Department of Public Health to offer assistance.

“They are offering the COVID-19 vaccines to the public at the Worcester Senior Center.  We are negotiating the specifics so that our day students can start participating there over the next few weeks,” Ms. Creelman said. “The hope is to have all of our Associate Degree students participate in some aspect of the vaccine effort.” 

Make sure to check out next month's Wyvern Guardian to hear from our amazing nursing students. 

  • QCC President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D.
January, 2021

President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D. released a statement condemning the January 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol Building. Below is Dr. Pedraja's statement.

"The events we are witnessing today in Washington DC at the US Capitol Building are unprecedented. As a boy in Cuba, America and its Constitution represented the democratic ideals that my family and I sought. It was that place...

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President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D. released a statement condemning the January 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol Building. Below is Dr. Pedraja's statement.

"The events we are witnessing today in Washington DC at the US Capitol Building are unprecedented. As a boy in Cuba, America and its Constitution represented the democratic ideals that my family and I sought. It was that place beyond the seas that beckoned and held the promise of freedom that fueled our dreams; it was that promise that led us to leave our country and join this nation’s ongoing quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I am saddened and dismayed to watch the footage and read the news of today’s assault on the cradle of democracy. To see those who would disrupt what should be a historic day, celebrating the peaceful transfer of power after a democratic election, is disheartening and goes against everything we represent as a nation. I sincerely hope that we can find common ground, unify this country and restore the faith in our government and the ideals that define us both as a nation and as a beacon of democracy to the world.

I believe that we are better than what we saw today, and, in spite of this affront, the democratic process will prevail. It is my hope that we will listen to our better angels and once again come together to realize the ideals and dreams at our core. As an educator, I believe that knowledge can set us free, that access to education is a hallmark to democracy, and that institutions of higher education like QCC lead the way forward, providing opportunities for our community to engage in civil discourse of ideas, empower our pursuits, foster democracy, and pave the way for a better future. It is my hope that we can move past this dark day and become the nation that we were truly meant to be –the country that I longed for as a child and that I have so dearly come to love."

  • Community Service is an integral part of QCC's Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter.
January, 2021

No one understands the importance of staying connected more than QCC’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society’s Advisor, Bonnie Coleman. Under the veil of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Coleman has seen the largest student membership increase in recent memory in the College’s Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter. This past Fall Semester, 160 new students became new members. This number exceeds the...

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No one understands the importance of staying connected more than QCC’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society’s Advisor, Bonnie Coleman. Under the veil of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Coleman has seen the largest student membership increase in recent memory in the College’s Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter. This past Fall Semester, 160 new students became new members. This number exceeds the combined total of new members of both fall and spring semesters in previous years.  

“It’s been really amazing the way the students have responded since we’ve gone to remote instruction. We are finding that more often than not they are joining if they meet the criteria for membership,” Ms. Coleman said.

Students must have at least 12 credits of college level courses (level 100 or higher) and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater to be eligible to join, as well as pay a one-time membership fee of $85 (a requirement of the national PTK organization).

This increase in student interest may be attributed to the personal growth, camaraderie and leadership skills that students find as a PTK member. Yet what seems to be of particular interest to many new PTK members, are the community service projects.

“Community service is the cornerstone of our chapter and even through a pandemic we have made it our core mission,” Ms. Coleman said. “We currently have 40 students who are volunteering on campus and helping with paperwork and other needs for student COVID-19 testing.”

Another community service project underway is a phone outreach project to all QCC students. PTK students make calls that are designed to ensure that all QCC students know how to manage classes in a remote learning environment, and connect anyone who needs assistance with the appropriate support services.

“It’s really amazing how many PTK students want to help their fellow students,” Ms. Coleman said.

While community service is not a mandatory membership requirement, students who perform two community service projects through the chapter and attend two general chapter meetings before they graduate, will earn a gold stole.

“Becoming a PTK member is so much more than students realize. They are members in PTK for life and the positive implications of being a part of this honor society are endless,” Ms. Coleman said.

While the PTK Office is currently a virtual one, it continues to be active by engaging students online through games and activities, in addition to the ongoing community service projects.

Registration has just begin for the Spring Semester and according to Ms. Coleman, in less than 24-hours, 32 new students registered to members.

“There is no sign of membership slowing down this semester. This demonstrates the importance of programs such as these that help keep students connected despite the challenges of being remote,” she added.

To learn more about the PTK Honor Society, visit PTK. To check on eligibility and register to join, email Ms. Coleman at bcoleman [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • Gateway to College Director Marci Skillings (L), Gateway Grad Joe Poirier and Senior Gateway Outreach Counselor Jenna Glazer.
January, 2021

For the fifth year in a row, QCC’s Gateway to College Program has received the nationally recognized Program Excellence Award from its national network, Achieving the Dream.

“Nationally there are approximately 35 Gateway to College programs and we’re always in the top 10 percent. Since the first year they’ve given this award we’ve received it and not many are at this same...

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For the fifth year in a row, QCC’s Gateway to College Program has received the nationally recognized Program Excellence Award from its national network, Achieving the Dream.

“Nationally there are approximately 35 Gateway to College programs and we’re always in the top 10 percent. Since the first year they’ve given this award we’ve received it and not many are at this same level every year,” said QCC’s Director of Gateway to College, Marci Skillings.  “We’ve been called on a lot by our national network to present programs on our best practices.”

The Gateway to College program helps students who have dropped out of high school or who may not graduate. Through this program students can obtain a high school diploma and earn college credits at the same time. QCC’s Gateway to College is in partnership with Uxbridge High School and graduates of the program receive their high school diplomas though a partnership with the high school.

“Without our amazing high school partnership we could not support this program,” Ms. Skillings said, adding that the success of the program is also due to the amazing QCC Gateway team that includes Senior Gateway Outreach Counselor Jenna Glazer and Gateway Clerk Glenda Rodriguez. “We are a great team together.”

Quinsigamond Community College Gateway to College staff have not missed a beat in their quest to help students attain their dreams of a brighter future. Since March 2020 when QCC transitioned to remote instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gateway staff have worked on creative ways to keep students engaged. During the Fall 2020 semester, 41 students were part of the Gateway program and through the staff and faculty’s ongoing engagement, 12 students earned their high school diplomas (graduating in December) and eight have continued their education at QCC. The remainder of the students (with the exception of two) have continued with the Gateway program.

“All of our professors have helped us tutor the students. We couldn’t do this without everyone believing in and supporting Gateway,” Ms. Skillings added.

Prior to the pandemic, the Gateway staff saw students face-to-face on a daily basis. With the advent of remote learning, the staff had to figure out ways to continue that daily engagement.

“We set up weekly Google meet chats with each student for check-ins. This gave the students a live person to talk with about their classes and concerns.  We also put together an interactive website that was shared with students and their parents and was updated weekly,” Ms. Skillings said. “We were lucky to be able to use Google Suite (Google voice, calendar, Google chat/meet), as all of the students had a Google account from QCC.  We did a lot of communicating via text and emails and Google meet. “

In addition to sending out weekly emails to students and parents, the students documented their lab time for academic study hall in an online lab tracker. Yet, the faculty and staff noticed that students needed more support with how to navigate study time in a remote learning environment.

“This Spring semester we’ve developed study pods for all Gateway classes,” Ms. Skillings said.

Study pod sessions meet outside regular class time and are a proctored online study group. Students are required to be in a Zoom session with a proctor present. The proctor can assist with questions and make sure students stay on track with their work and don’t fall behind.

“If students need to go into breakout rooms to work together for 10-15 minutes they are able to do so, and we can check on them in case they have any questions,” Ms. Skillings continued. “We had this type of academic lab on campus (pre-pandemic) and students found it beneficial and were able to more effectively get their work done. So many thanked us afterwards.”

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

  • PTK student Fatima Mohammed
January, 2021

QCC Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) student Fatima Mohammed is one of the many PTK students who is volunteering her time to assist with student COVID-19 testing, as part of a PTK community service project.

According to Ms. Mohammed, volunteering to help during the COVID-19 pandemic has become special part of her life. Under the vigilant guidance of QCC’s COVID-19 Health Team, she helps instruct...

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QCC Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) student Fatima Mohammed is one of the many PTK students who is volunteering her time to assist with student COVID-19 testing, as part of a PTK community service project.

According to Ms. Mohammed, volunteering to help during the COVID-19 pandemic has become special part of her life. Under the vigilant guidance of QCC’s COVID-19 Health Team, she helps instruct students on how to use a swab properly for COVID-19 testing and then watches the students to make sure they use the swap properly.

SMs. Mohammed said she found unsuspected benefits volunteering, witnessing first-hand the hardships and challenges others are facing during the pandemic. The experience has given a new appreciation and perspective on her own life.

“I became thankful for the life I have and started to see my problems are not as important as I thought,” she said. “This was, and will continue to be, one of the unforgettable experiences in my life. I am pleased to say that this opportunity made me realize how important it is to dedicate my time to volunteering.”

Ms. Mohammad said the experience has also helped with her confidence and expanded her social skills. She said one of the main reasons for helping out was to make a difference in someone’s life, while supporting her community during this pandemic.

“We are going through times where we all must stand up together, support and help each other to overcome these challenges we face every day,” she said. “It has been my pleasure to be able to assist in this project during these uncertain times.”

Currently double majoring in Liberal Arts and pre-dental hygiene, she plans to graduate with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts in May 2021. Ms. Mohammed said she chose QCC because it was affordable, offered a high quality education as well as transfer opportunities. After graduating this spring, she plans to continue her education at MCPHS University in Fall 2021, with the goal of earning her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. After earning her four-year degree, her hope is to work in the dental hygiene field and help others. 

“My goal is to be able to assist with basic dental supplies for low income families and be able to educate them on oral care,” she said. “I have so much hope for the future.”

  • Professor of Dental Assisting and Hygiene, Jennifer McKeon (L). A student prepares to take an X-ray in the College's lab (R).
January, 2021

Jennifer McKeon, professor of dental assisting and hygiene at Quinsigamond Community College, has been awarded the 2021 Elizabeth A. Baer Award, by the Yankee Dental Congress.

This annual award is presented to a dental assistant who has made significant contributions to the Massachusetts Dental Assistants Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society. Award winners must have at least 10...

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Jennifer McKeon, professor of dental assisting and hygiene at Quinsigamond Community College, has been awarded the 2021 Elizabeth A. Baer Award, by the Yankee Dental Congress.

This annual award is presented to a dental assistant who has made significant contributions to the Massachusetts Dental Assistants Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society. Award winners must have at least 10 years of cumulative membership in the Massachusetts Dental Assistants Association and 10 years cumulative years of practice as a dental assistant in the dental profession.

“I am very honored and excited to receive this award. Betty Anne, who this award is named after, was a certified dental assistant and a dental hygienist, as am I. She put education on the top of her priority list, just as I do,” Ms. McKeon said.  

Ms. McKeon has been a part of the dental assisting landscape for many years, beginning her career as an “on-the-job” trained dental assistant before becoming a certified dental assistant in 1998. She has called QCC “home” for some time, first attending as a student then part-time instructor, before becoming a full-time faculty member.

“I have a long history with the College that started when I was in high school and took an English class at QCC.  This enabled me to earn college credit and graduate high school early,” she said.

Fast forward to 2001 when she received her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from QCC. In 2002, she began a career educating students part-time at the College where she earned her degree; becoming a full-time faculty member in 2010.

“There were so many professors who molded my life at QCC that I felt honored to become full-time faculty. The two things that I was passionate about came together.  I wanted to give back all that was given to me at QCC, and I could do that by teaching and coordinating the dental assisting program.  I could never have asked for a more perfect position at the perfect college.”

Amy Booth, professor of Dental Hygiene was one of Ms. McKeon’s former professors and today is her colleague and friend.

“I am so proud of my ‘student’." Jenn has been a great support and we work very well together. In addition to her knowledge of dental assisting, she is humorous and genuine,” Ms. Booth said.

Ms. McKeon is the co-director of the Kid Seal program and works with QCC and the Worcester Public Schools to help promote dental health to area youths. When she is not working with students, Ms. McKeon is the presiding chair and room coordinator at Yankee Dental Congress, as well as the president elect. This year she will also be appointed president of the Massachusetts Dental Assistants Association (MDAA). 

“Jenn embodies our dental program and is an amazing role model for our students,” said Pat Schmohl, dean of the School of Healthcare. “She is so deserving of this award.”

Visit QCC's Dental Assisting Program to learn more. 

  • QCC Foundation President Dr. Linda Maykel (L)and Dean of Compliance, Enrollment & Student Services Liz Woods
January, 2021

For non-traditional student veteran Luis Bajana, attending QCC has become his “three times the charm” moment.  After attending a year at a New York university for security management, then a community college to become a veterinary technician when he was younger, life had other plans for him that included attending QCC. The QCC engineering student is currently working his way toward...

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For non-traditional student veteran Luis Bajana, attending QCC has become his “three times the charm” moment.  After attending a year at a New York university for security management, then a community college to become a veterinary technician when he was younger, life had other plans for him that included attending QCC. The QCC engineering student is currently working his way toward an Associate degree that he hopes will take him to UMass Lowell and a bachelor’s degree.

Like many QCC students, Mr. Bajana has seen his share of challenges and hardships in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A married father of grown children as well as a 7-year-old son, Mr. Bajana spent his Fall semester with a full-load of remote courses, while also helping his second-grader with his remote home schooling. While Mr. Bajana attends college full-time, his wife is works outside of the home.

By his own admission, there were times in the past year when he felt financially challenged. He said he is grateful to QCC, who he turned to when he needed a bit of assistance.

“I really appreciate the opportunities I received through the Cares Act Fund and QCC’s Student Emergency Fund. These resources are there to help you. I’m man enough to say when I needed help, I needed help,” he said. “I so appreciate the funds that are available to us at QCC.”

Mr. Bajana said he is grateful for the assistance he received from the College and he wants to pay it forward by letting his younger classmates know it’s OK to seek advice and assistance if you need it.

“Never be too proud to ask for help. We’re in this together so reach out and ask for help if you need it,” he continued. “When the pandemic first hit I used the QCC Food Pantry because things were so up in the air. It’s there for us to use if we need it, so then why not use it if you need it? My family ate and it’s helped us push through this pandemic.”

To find information for support services, visit Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information Center.

  • Commedian Robbie Printz
January, 2021

Quinsigamond Community College’s start to the New Year began with all hands on deck, as 400 faculty and staff joined together virtually to prepare for the Spring Semester. 

All College Days are designed to inform and inspire faculty and staff as they begin each semester. As has been the case in previous All College Days, vice presidents’ highlighted the successes within their...

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Quinsigamond Community College’s start to the New Year began with all hands on deck, as 400 faculty and staff joined together virtually to prepare for the Spring Semester. 

All College Days are designed to inform and inspire faculty and staff as they begin each semester. As has been the case in previous All College Days, vice presidents’ highlighted the successes within their departments, recognizing the dedication and hard work of so many during a time of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the virtual event, an inspirational PowerPoint Presentation was shown of faculty and staff keeping motivated during the ongoing health crisis. It Faculty and staff highlighted their families, pets and new hobbies, demonstrating the resiliency of the college community. One of the highlights of the event was an entertaining performance by well-known comedian Robert “Robbie” Printz, who happens to be the brother of Executive Director of Technology, Patrick Printz. His segment in the program was the highlight for everyone.

“This was a wonderful time for some laughter,” President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D. said, noting what a rollercoaster of a year it had been. “We’ve accomplished so much and I am grateful for all the hard work. You’ve stayed the path and focused on student success.”

Of particular note was the ability for the College to keep much of its enrollment intact when nationally so many colleges are struggling with enrollment due to the pandemic. Dr. Pedraja also addressed the Colleges’ ongoing Equity Initiative and its commitment to equity and inclusion. He told of the recent hiring of outside agency Inclusivity Education that will be performing an Equity Assessment this semester. Dr. Akuoma Nwadike will lead a team through the campus-wide comprehensive assessment.

“I’m excited about the equity initiative and excited about the future,” Dr. Pedraja said.

Chair of QCC’s Board of Trustees, Sue Mailman closed the session. “I’m honored to Chair the Board of Trustees and am blown away by all the educators had to do during the pandemic,” Ms. Mailman said.

 

The 36th Annual Martin Luther King J. Community Breakfast was held virtually this year due to the pandemic.
January, 2021

This year's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast was held in a remote format, yet there was nothing remote about the sentiment expressed at the 36th Community Breakfast, honoring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

QCC has traditionally held the breakfast at the College; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event was held virtually on Zoom. This year’s ...

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This year's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast was held in a remote format, yet there was nothing remote about the sentiment expressed at the 36th Community Breakfast, honoring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

QCC has traditionally held the breakfast at the College; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event was held virtually on Zoom. This year’s  featured keynote speaker was Rev. John H. Vaughn, executive pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The Ebenezer Baptist Church was the spiritual home of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and remains at the forefront of the fight for individual growth and social transformation. 

In addition to the virtual breakfast program,  the event featured the release of the first Worcester “Black History Moment,” a video presentation of the Worcester Black History Project, a collaboration with the Worcester Historical Museum. 

"Each year this event reminds us of the power of Dr. King's legacy," said President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D. "We cannot stand for racial inequity. Until we can realize an equitable future for everyone, there is much work to be done." 

  • Zoom into the Spring Semester with QCC's E-Sports program, Zoom Yoga and Zumba.
January, 2021

As QCC continues with its remote learning for the Spring Semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the athletics department will not resume in-person sports this semester; however, the vastly popular new E-Sports program and free virtual Zumba and Yoga classes will continue for the Spring Semester.  

Wyvern E-Sports Team

The E-Sports program offers organized, multiplayer video game...

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As QCC continues with its remote learning for the Spring Semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the athletics department will not resume in-person sports this semester; however, the vastly popular new E-Sports program and free virtual Zumba and Yoga classes will continue for the Spring Semester.  

Wyvern E-Sports Team

The E-Sports program offers organized, multiplayer video game competitions in League of Legends against other community colleges. This exciting and competitive sport has become a hit with colleges across the country. The Wyverns inaugural team won the Region XXI Championship E-Sports game soundly defeating Bunker Hill Community College.

If you are a full-time student (12 credits of more) this Spring Semester or know of a student that is full-time and may be interested in being part of the Wyverns E-Sports team, email Coach Nate Mello nmello [at] qcc.mass.edu for more information.

Yoga is Back!

Warrior pose your way to a new semester with QCC’s Free Zoom Yoga. Offered Monday – Friday from noon – 12:40 p.m. for the entire semester, this is a great way to take a break and regroup during a hectic day. Attend as much or as little as your schedule allows.  To receive a weekly Zoom invite email Athletic Director Lisa Gurnick at lisag [at] qcc.mass.edu .

Party Like Its 2021 with Zumba

 QCC’s popular Free Zoom Zumba is the perfect way to dance into 2021. QCC’s Zoom Zumba is held twice a week on Tuesdays from 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Thursdays 6:00 p.m. - 6:45p.m. Start the year out on a healthy and fun note with Zoom Zumba. Email Ms. Gurnick for a weekly Zoom invite at lisag [at] qcc.mass.edu .

Live Chat with Josh and Lisa!

Athletic Director Lisa Gurnick and Interim Assistant Director of Student Life and Leadership, Josh Cole, are available each week on Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., to answer your sport or fitness questions (or other questions you need help with) through Zoom (email will be sent with a Zoom link).

  • QCC's Black Student Union
January, 2021

Staying connected and engaged with fellow students is an important part of the college experience. It is now more important than ever during the pandemic, when students are unable to connect to one another in-person. Clubs are designed to add value to life and are important part of college life at QCC.

Many clubs are meeting virtually this semester. A few highlights include:

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Staying connected and engaged with fellow students is an important part of the college experience. It is now more important than ever during the pandemic, when students are unable to connect to one another in-person. Clubs are designed to add value to life and are important part of college life at QCC.

Many clubs are meeting virtually this semester. A few highlights include:

  • The Black Student Union: This club advocates the needs of black students at QCC, while empowering, teaching, discussing and exploring the black experience. Meetings are held on Zoom, Thursday nights at 6 pm. Interested students can email the bsu [at] qcc.mass.edu (Black Student Union.) 
  • The Multicultural Club: This club explore cultures and builds friendships. All students are welcome to be part of the conversation. Students are encouraged to bring their ideas and interests to help define the club. Meetings are held on Zoom the first and last Monday of every month from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. For additional information, or to obtain a Zoom link, email President sconnelly [at] qmail.qcc.edu (Shauna Connelly), Vice-President lpuma [at] qmail.qcc.edu (Ligia Puma), or Advisors tgonzalez [at] qcc.mass.edu (Teresa Gonzalez ),ddesilva [at] qcc.mass.edu (Damindi De Silva), jdangelo [at] qcc.mass.edu (Jude D'Angelo), mgiacobbe [at] qcc.mass.edu (Maureen Giacobbe) and dgonzalez [at] qcc.mass.edu (Deborah Gonzalez).
  • The Psychology Club: This is the perfect way for students who are interested in human behavior. Open to any student with an interest in psychology, the club provides a great place to socialize and discuss issues related to psychology. The Club meets virtually on Zoom February 12 ,26 ; March 3,12, 26; April 9 and 23. Zoom links will be sent via email prior to each meeting Visit QCC Psychology for more  information. For questions, contact Advisor vclemente [at] qcc.mass.edu (Dr. Valerie Clemente).

To learn more about other clubs meeting virtually, visit Student Life.

  • Bridgett Hylton, Esq. discussed the history behind the Black vote in February 2020.
January, 2021

February is Black History Month - visit Diversity for upcoming events and virtual activities.

Monday, February 1 – Wednesday, February 3: Struggling with technology? Join a live zoom Tech support session with peer mentors and Blackboard tutor. Three daily sessions: 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a...

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February is Black History Month - visit Diversity for upcoming events and virtual activities.

Monday, February 1 – Wednesday, February 3: Struggling with technology? Join a live zoom Tech support session with peer mentors and Blackboard tutor. Three daily sessions: 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. -7 :00 p.m. For a Zoom link, email Professor Cordeiro at lcordeiro [at] qcc.mass.edu

Tuesday, February 2: All College Forum beginning at 2:00 p.m. All members of the College Community are invited to attend.

Monday, February 15:  In observance of Presidents Day, no classes will be held and the College will be closed for the day.

February Spotlight: Take a few moment during the Spring Semester and catch your breath with a virtual Mindful Moments session. Taking a moment to relax and regroup is a great way to reduce stress. Sessions are Mondays from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. or Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 pm. For a Zoom invite, email counselingandwellnessoffice [at] qcc.mass.edu.

January, 2021

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

On January 10, 2021 Academic Affairs welcomed Steven Dexter as the Nurse Education Laboratory Coordinator (Senior Technical Specialist). Steven brings over 10 years of experience working in healthcare. Most recently he was a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Emerson Hospital. Steven earned his Bachelor of...

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

On January 10, 2021 Academic Affairs welcomed Steven Dexter as the Nurse Education Laboratory Coordinator (Senior Technical Specialist). Steven brings over 10 years of experience working in healthcare. Most recently he was a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Emerson Hospital. Steven earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Worcester State College.

On January 10, 2021, Strategic Enrollment Development & Student Engagement welcomed Amy Lawson as the Associate Director of Financial Aid for Student Services. Amy brings to the position twenty years of working in higher education. Her most recent position she was Senior Financial Aid Counselor here at Quinsigamond Community College. Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice/Legal Studies at Clark University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Amy also earned a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration at Bay Path University.

On January 17, 2021, Administrative Services welcomed Dotty Georgiopoulos as the Executive Director of Human Resources. Dotty brings to this position over 20 years of experience, most recently, as Human Resources Coordinator for Sutton School District. Dotty’s previous Human Resources experience at Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine, and in high tech private industry is augmented by experience in customer services.

Dotty earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Education from Boston University.

On January 17, 2021, Administrative Services welcomed Elizabeth Austin as Senior Director of Human Resources and Compliance. Elizabeth brings over 10 years of working in higher education. In her most recent position she was Interim Executive Director of Human Resources here at QCC. Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature from College of New Rochelle and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Framingham State University.

On January 17, 2021, Administrative Services welcomed Javad Bonyani as IT Service Desk Support Technician (EDP Systems Analyst I). Javad brings to this position seven years of experience of working with information technology. Most recently, he was a Help Desk Support Specialist at the Hanover Insurance Group. Javad is currently enrolled at Quinsigamond Community College in Computer Systems Engineering Technology.

On January 17, 2021, Academic Affairs welcomed Shanna Cawley as Assistant Professor of Biology. Shanna brings to this position over 10 years of experience. Most recently, she was an adjunct faculty here at QCC. Shanna earned her Bachelor of Science from Springfield College and a Master’s of Science from Boston University.

On January 17, 2021, Academic Affairs welcomed Ricci Hall as Assistant Professor of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Faculty.  Ricci brings to this position over 25 years of experience with nine of those as a paramedic. Most recently he was a Director at French River Education Center. Ricci earned his Masters of Education from Worcester State College.

On January 17, 2021, Academic Affairs welcomed Stefanie Parker as Clerk IV-School of Healthcare, Evening Program. Stefanie brings to this position 20 years of experience. Most recently she was a Patient Ambassador at UMass Medical Healthcare. Stefanie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Fitchburg State University.

On January 17, 2021, Academic Affairs welcomed Eduardo Rivas as Assistant Professor of Accounting. Eduardo brings to this position over 10 years of experience. Most recently, he was an enrollment counselor here at QCC. Eduardo earned his Bachelor of Professional Studies from Excelsior College and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with concentration in accounting and finance from Assumption College

On January 24, 2021, Enrollment Management, Student Engagement & Community Connections welcomed Jeffrey Farland as a Financial Aid Counselor. Jeffrey comes to QCC with over 10 years’ experience working as a financial aid counselor. He was a Guest Services Manager at Broadway in Boston in his most recent position. Jeffrey earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Suffolk University. 

On January 24, 2021, Enrollment Management, Student Engagement & Community Connections welcomed Matthew Christian as a Financial Aid Counselor. Matthew comes to QCC with over seven years of experience working as a financial aid counselor. In his most recent position, he was a financial aid counselor at Mass Bay Community College. Matthew earned his Bachelors and Master’s Degree from University of Northern Colorado. 

On January 31, 2021, Academic Affairs welcomed Glenda Rodriguez as Administrative Secretary I- College & Career Pathways. Glenda brings to this position over 10 years of experience. Glenda also serves as the AFSCME Unit 1 Stewart. Most recently, she was Clerk III-Gateway to College.

Please join us in welcoming Steven, Amy, Dotty, Elizabeth, Javad, Shanna, Ricci, Stefanie, Eduardo, Jeffrey, Matthew and Glenda into their new roles at QCC.