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02/2021

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February, 2021

  • From left: Dean of Compliance Liz Woods and QCC Foundation President Dr. Linda Maykel help load food into a student's vehicle.
February, 2021

Thirty-seven percent of public university students in Massachusetts experience food insecurity, according to a recent report by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, and the MA Department of Higher Education. This stark reality, combined with the opportunity at the federal and state level to tackle food access as a basic need on campus, led to the filing of comprehensive and visionary legislation titled...

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Thirty-seven percent of public university students in Massachusetts experience food insecurity, according to a recent report by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, and the MA Department of Higher Education. This stark reality, combined with the opportunity at the federal and state level to tackle food access as a basic need on campus, led to the filing of comprehensive and visionary legislation titled, “An Act establishing the Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Initiative.”

The bill sponsors include Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester), Representative Mindy Domb (D-Amherst) and Representative Andy Vargas (D-Haverhill). This critical legislation aims to provide capacity, guidance, and funding to allow 2- and 4-year public colleges and not-for profit institutions of higher education that serve a significant proportion of low-income students, to take several steps in alleviating hunger and food insecurity on campus. The effort is supported by the statewide Hunger-Free Campus Coalition, which formed in the Fall of 2019 to address food insecurity among high-need populations enrolled in MA public colleges and universities.

"Access to food is a fundamental survival need and all students deserve a hunger free campus. Unfortunately, food insecurity and hunger are daily struggles for some Massachusetts college students, many of whom are already saddled by loan debt and the stress of schoolwork,” said Senator Harriette Chandler. “This bill seeks to empower students and colleges to address food insecurity together and to chart a path towards hunger free campuses statewide.”

"Burdened by student debt, college students often work more than one job while attending school to help meet their expenses, and still have to make painful decisions between paying for dinner or buying textbooks. This legislation partners with campus communities to build their capacity to address student hunger with meaningful and effective interventions. I’m proud to join my colleagues to offer a mechanism to support campuses to engage in this crucial work,” said Representative Mindy Domb.

“Food insecurity is a solvable problem. The pandemic has further exacerbated hunger, especially for college students already struggling to get by. In a state where our cost of living is so high and navigating support can be complicated, solving food insecurity will require a systems approach that builds capacity, efficiency and meets people where they’re at,” said Representative Andy Vargas. “At the end of the day, college students can’t learn or take advantage of professional opportunities while on an empty stomach. We can fix this.”

The bill includes steps such as establishing a hunger-free campus taskforce comprised of both students and administration staff, notifying students of their potential eligibility for federal and state nutrition benefits, developing a student meal credit sharing program, creating an emergency fund to support students in crisis, providing capacity-building funds for campuses to implement these best practices, and more.

In 2018, noting an important need, Quinsigamond Community College established a Food Pantry and Resource Center to address the food insecurity its students were facing. 

“We have witnessed first-hand the hunger our students are experiencing. Many are first-generation college students, working for a better life for themselves and their families. They face an uphill battle that often includes food insecurity issues. The pandemic has compounded the hunger many in our community face. Today well over 400 Quinsigamond Community College students are regularly utilizing the college’s food pantry to feed themselves and their families. Food insecurity is a systemic issue in our community that can no longer be ignored. It is our duty as educators and citizens of the Commonwealth to remove food insecurity from our higher education system,” said QCC President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D.

This legislation and the movement behind this hunger-free campus effort comes during a national hunger crisis. Massachusetts is seeing the largest increase in food insecurity at 59% when compared to any other state in the nation as a result of COVID-19. Many students are currently off campus; however, there is an opportunity to ensure that when they return, their schools are equipped to address one of their most basic needs – food.

“We must remove the stigma that is often associated with college students who experience food insecurity. I have the opportunity to volunteer at the food pantry. It opened my eyes to the needs of our students and the community as a whole. My hope is that this legislative bill will shine a light on the issue of food insecurity and make a positive and lasting impact on our students. No one should be denied the chance of a better life because they are hungry,” said QCC Foundation President Linda Maykel, D.D.S.

“Worcester County Food Bank supports food pantries at three institutions of higher learning because we believe that no college student should have to choose between buying food and paying college expenses.  It’s normal for college students to worry about grades, papers, and exams; they shouldn’t have to also worry about where their next meal is coming from.  We support this important legislation because the services it provides are an investment in their education and lifelong achievement,” said Worcester County Food Bank CEO, Jean McMurray.

The Massachusetts public higher education system serves over 250,000 students annually. Due to historic and contemporary divestment and discrimination, Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ students disproportionately experience food insecurity – at rates of 52%, 47%, and 46% respectively. Student parents also experience higher rates of food insecurity at 53%. This initiative prioritizes equity and ensures that all students, particularly these groups who are traditionally underserved, have access to food.

“It’s difficult to learn when you have been at work and school all day but not have had means to eat. Hunger, like homework and paying tuition, is a reality for college students. This legislation acknowledges that food insecure high school students do not stop being food insecure upon entering college. It provides guidelines and resources to tackle this issue. As hunger advocates in central Massachusetts where lack of transportation makes things more difficult, we’re excited to support this legislation that will help students focus on school and successfully complete their education,” said Gina Plata-Nino, Central West Justice Center.

Actions at the federal level, such as the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December that expanded SNAP eligibility for college students, have created recent momentum around the issue of college student hunger. The MA Department of Higher Education and Department of Transitional Assistance proactively sent letters to 94,000 low-income college students recently to inform them of this expanded eligibility. While these measures are effective short-term solutions, colleges need long-term anti-hunger strategies to combat food insecurity, and implementing those strategies is the intent of this bill.

About the Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Coalition

The Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Coalition was formed in the fall of 2019 to address food insecurity among high-need populations enrolled in MA public colleges and universities.

Collectively, the coalition is working to leverage and expand existing resources and services including maximizing student enrollment in federal nutrition programs such as SNAP, supporting meal swipe options with campus food vendors, ensuring that campuses work with MA food banks to expand food pantries, and other initiatives designed to address food insecurity among the student population.

Current members include: The Greater Boston Food Bank, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Mass Law Reform Institute (MLRI), Worcester County Food Bank, Central West Justice Center, One Family, Project Bread, Boston Office of Food Access, Quinsigamond Community College, Bunker Hill Community College, The Open Door of Gloucester, uAspire, Worcester State University, Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Bristol Community College, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Salem State University, Roxbury Community College, UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program, North Shore Community College, and The Amherst Survival Center.

Our goal is to ensure equity and incorporate student voices as we work to make Massachusetts college campuses hunger free.

  • QCC nursing students from left: René Latino, Paramita Pal Roy and Angela Yarborough.
February, 2021

QCC nursing students are now an official part of history – a history that is expected to change the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. The students recently took part in the COVID-19 vaccination process for healthcare workers at UMass Memorial Medical Center’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic. This is not the first foray into nursing for most of these students, yet all say they have gained valuable lifelong...

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QCC nursing students are now an official part of history – a history that is expected to change the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. The students recently took part in the COVID-19 vaccination process for healthcare workers at UMass Memorial Medical Center’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic. This is not the first foray into nursing for most of these students, yet all say they have gained valuable lifelong skills they will take with them in their nursing careers.

QCC nursing student Luisa Contreras is one such student who has taken part in the vaccination process.

“I was incredibly excited when we were informed that we'd be involved in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. I never imagined that as a nursing student we would be able to help out in such a tremendous way,” Ms. Contreras said. “This is such an important step to begin to regain some normalcy and I feel so lucky to have been involved. I am so grateful to both the staff at QCC and UMass for setting this up and providing us with tremendous opportunity. “

Ms. Contreras came to QCC after earning her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in 2017. She is on track to receive her Associate Degree in Nursing, December 2021, and plans to continue her education.

“The professors at QCC are absolutely wonderful and super supportive. This past year, we've seen just how important nurses are and we definitely need more of us out there. From my experience, QCC has set up a fantastic learning environment for their nursing students to succeed,” Ms. Contrera said.  “I think that with everything that’s happened this past year, we’ve seen just how much the health care world is constantly changing and evolving. So who knows, maybe my future lies in something that has yet to be fully developed.”

Nursing student Angela Yarborough said being a part of the COVID-19 vaccination process was a “wonderful” experience. A seasoned nurse who was a graduate of the first LPN class of QCC in 2000, Ms. Yarborough came back to QCC to further her nursing education after her daughter went off to college. At UMass she helped vaccinate nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff with their second vaccination.

“We would say ‘congratulations’ after giving someone their second vaccination. They would hold up their vaccination card with pride. One woman mentioned how she hopes that getting the vaccine is going to allow her to be able to finally see her parents once they are vaccinated without fear of getting them ill,  she said, adding, “It was exciting to be a part of this initiative. It was a very rewarding experience. I am thankful to Professor Ellen Vangel-Brousseau for coordinating our participation with the UMass vaccine clinic.”

Ms. Yarborough anticipates earning her degree in December 2021 and plans to take a couple of courses at a time to reach her next goal  - attending the RN to BS program that QCC offers with Worcester State University. She currently works in home health care and is excited to see what opportunities the future holds after she earns her degree.

“When I decided to begin my journey to return to school to become a registered nurse, I was able to take a couple classes a semester to complete my prerequisites. This allowed me to still work, while I furthered my education,” she said. “I have met so many peers at different stages of their nursing journey who have inspired me. QCC offers both day and night nursing programs that make it possible to continue your education with a schedule that still allows you to work and take care of family needs.”

For nursing student Paramita Pal Roy, doing her clinical at UMass Memorial’s vaccine clinic was a bit of a happy coincidence, as she had been a volunteer in the hospital’s cardiac ICU family waiting room before attending QCC.

Before coming to the U.S., Ms. Pal Roy was an ICU nurse who had to give up her career due to family commitments. Once she came to the U.S., she began to rethink her nursing career and started researching nursing programs. She discovered that not only did QCC have an impressive nursing program; it was also affordable. She began in the College’s LPN program and graduated last year. Currently she is in the bridging program to graduate as an RN.

“Since last year, COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways. As nursing students, we needed that hands-on experience. I am thankful to my college and UMass for providing me with the opportunity to be a part of this vaccination process. It feels great to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination team,” she said. “The whole process was organized meticulously, maintaining all safety protocols was always the priority. I was very excited and fortunate at the same time to be a part of this program. I look forward to being in the vaccination clinic in the near future.”

She said the recent experience in the vaccine clinic will add value to her nursing career, and is looking forward to finishing the RN program later this year and take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for her RN license.

“QCC has a great nursing program,” she said. “I am fortunate that QCC has the best nurse education faculty. Due to this well-structured program, QCC has an impressive NCLEX pass rate. I will always recommend QCC’s nursing program.”

As an alumna of QCC’s PN program, Jedda Richardson decided to return to QCC for its Nurse Education Program to enhance her skills and qualifications for more job opportunities. She said participating in the vaccine clinic was a great experience.

“I felt like I was involved in a positive change to overcome this pandemic and felt like I was making a difference within our community,” she said, adding “The professors (at QCC) are great and very compassionate about teaching the next generation of nursing students. They really prepare students for real life experience within the nursing field.” 

Ms. Richardson anticipates graduating in 2022 and plans to work in critical care within the nursing field.

For nursing student René Latino, nursing called to her after she earned a four-year degree in communications.

“I have a lot of nurses in my family and I think it's really amazing how much they care about other people. I would say the biggest thing that pulled me into nursing is my desire to take care of those who can't take care of themselves or for those who just need help,” she said.

Ms. Latino was able to enroll in the accelerated nursing program at QCC because she already had a bachelor’s degree.

“QCC was the best choice because of the program, the great reviews, and the location,” she said.

QCC’s nursing program also gave her the opportunity to take part in the COVID-19 vaccine clinic, an experience she described as “amazing.”

“It was great to be able to be a part of something in the community. I really felt like we were making a difference in this step to stop this virus, which has created such a change and sadness in our world. I'm very thankful that UMass gave us the opportunity to be a part of the initiative and I really hope that I get to do it again in the future.” 

Ms. Latino is expected to graduate from QCC in December 2021 and is hoping to work in some type of a hospital setting, where she can feel she is making a difference in the lives of patients.

“For anyone considering enrolling in QCC's nursing program, I think it's a great choice. The professors are awesome and they're so compassionate about what they do. I started this program in September of last year and I can't believe how much I've already learned. I've heard from so many people that QCC has a great nursing program and I'm really seeing that for myself,” she said.

Visit QCC Nursing to learn more.

Guest speaker Tim Wise
February, 2021

QCC’s Black Student Union and the Diversity Caucus recently hosted guest speaker Tim Wise in a live Zoom webinar on February 23.

Mr. Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences on over 1,500 campuses, at hundreds of conferences, and to community groups across the country. He has provided anti-racism training...

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QCC’s Black Student Union and the Diversity Caucus recently hosted guest speaker Tim Wise in a live Zoom webinar on February 23.

Mr. Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences on over 1,500 campuses, at hundreds of conferences, and to community groups across the country. He has provided anti-racism training to educators and administrators nationwide and internationally. During the hour-long webinar, he shared information on ending systemic racism and increasing awareness at QCC, as well as in our community.

According to Human Services Professor Brenda Safford, co-chair of the President's Advisory Council on Equity, co-chair of the Diversity Caucus and advisor of QCC’s Black Student Union, there were 250 members of the college community in attendance, of which 160 were students.

“In July 2020, President Pedraja charged the College to begin the work on the Equity Initiative. It requires everyone, to have a clear and thoughtful understanding of diversity, inclusion, and equity. The Black Student Union and the Diversity Caucus' major objective of inviting Mr. Wise was for him to share his knowledge and increase understanding and awareness of systemic racism to help further the college’s progress regarding the Equity Initiative,” Professor Safford said.

"We were so excited to have so many faculty, staff, students and community members in attendance to hear Mr. Wise speak. Feedback has been very positive and one faculty member shared some of her students' reactions to the presentation included eye-opening, informative, necessary, captivating and interesting," said Selina Boria, co-chair of the President's Advisory Council on Equity and the Diversity Caucus.

  • QCC alumna Katie Berry will be the March 11 Psi Beta & Psych Club guest speaker.
February, 2021

On March 11, from 12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m. Psi Beta & Psych Club Guest Speaker Series will have a familiar face as its virtual guest speaker, QCC alumna Katie Berry. Her presentation, "Food and Alcohol Disturbance Among U.S. College Students: A Scoping Review," addresses disordered eating and problematic alcohol use that are primary health concerns on U.S. college...

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On March 11, from 12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m. Psi Beta & Psych Club Guest Speaker Series will have a familiar face as its virtual guest speaker, QCC alumna Katie Berry. Her presentation, "Food and Alcohol Disturbance Among U.S. College Students: A Scoping Review," addresses disordered eating and problematic alcohol use that are primary health concerns on U.S. college campuses.

Ms. Berry received her Associate Degree in Psychology from QCC in 2018 and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Exercise and Sports Studies from Smith College in December of 2020. She will be starting a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program in the fall and is currently wrapping up the interview process.

She chose to focus her research on food and alcohol disturbance because it was a topic that she was interested in learning more about the relationship between disordered eating and alcohol use.

“It's also a relatively new phenomenon, so there are a lot of opportunities for future research, which is something that I find exciting,” she said.

Ms. Berry was an active student body member during her time at QCC. She was president of the Psi Beta and Psychology Club, as well as the Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa's High School Mentoring Program.

“I fully immersed myself in several volunteer and community outreach opportunities both on and off-campus such as hosting a prom for the elderly, volunteering at a free medical clinic every Tuesday, and mentoring at-risk high school students. I also had the opportunity to become very involved in research and present my findings at the New England Psychological Association Conference,” she said, also noting that QCC prepared her for Smith College.

“QCC allowed me to learn more about who I am, what I'm passionate about, and develop an appreciation for my journey. Academically speaking, QCC also helped teach me how to think critically and analytically about my work, which made my transition to Smith College relatively easy.”

 While she has moved on from QCC, she has never forgotten her Wyvern roots and said she decided to do the upcoming virtual speaker presentation as a way to give back for all that the psychology club has done for her.

“I remember when I was still a student at QCC, I would always tell Psychology Professor Valarie Clemente that one day I'm going to come back to QCC and present my own research, so it's cool to see that this is finally happening,” she said. “I hope students will take away that community college can be a wonderful stepping stone, no matter what your dreams are! There is often a stigma surrounding community colleges, but I hope people will see that community college isn't something to be ashamed of, but, instead, it's something to be proud of because it's a launching pad for great success and a promising future!”

When asked what she would tell someone who was considering attending QCC, Ms. Berry was quick to reply.

“Do it! I sincerely loved my time at QCC and it fully prepared me for Smith College. I strongly believe that college is what you make of it, no matter where you go, so if you come to QCC and take advantage of all it has to offer I promise that you will have a bright future ahead of you!”

For Zoom information on this upcoming event, e-mail to Dr. Clemente at vclemente [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • From left: Laurinda, Thomas, Elena, Joseph and James Ralph.
February, 2021

Quinsigamond Community College is a familiar place to the Ralph family, of Webster. All five siblings have taken classes (or are currently taking classes) at QCC. Laurinda is the oldest, followed closely by brothers Thomas, Joseph and James. Youngest sibling Elena is following in her older siblings footsteps. She is the last to attend the college...

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Quinsigamond Community College is a familiar place to the Ralph family, of Webster. All five siblings have taken classes (or are currently taking classes) at QCC. Laurinda is the oldest, followed closely by brothers Thomas, Joseph and James. Youngest sibling Elena is following in her older siblings footsteps. She is the last to attend the college and is currently taking online courses.

“We all started taking classes before we could drive. QCC allowed us to be close enough to home to take public transportation or to receive rides. The small campus was more comfortable for us to manage, as we started attending as high school students. And the online options allowed us to take classes from home, as well,” Laurinda said.

The siblings said they chose QCC because of the “amazing faculty and staff,” as well as the support they received when they had an issue. The family used a variety of support services that included the student center and library, as well as utilizing faculty office hours.

“Office hours were pivotal to helping me understand the content being taught and allowed me to forge friendly relationships with several of the professors,” Thomas said.

“I loved writing for the Open Door newspaper and I had a lot of great professors. My art professor (Art 131, Spring 2012) and I wrote a grant to get easels for the school, which was a really amazing experience for me,” Laurinda said.

One faculty member who is very familiar with the Ralph family is Mathematics Professor, Steve Zona, who has had four of the five family members (Laurinda was the only one who did not take a course with Professor Zona).

“All are hard-working, motivated students, all of whom got A's in both my college algebra and pre-calculus classes (Elena completed the college algebra class and is presently in the pre-calculus class).  Often in online classes, I need to send out some nudges here and there, because students do not see me every week, and, thus, they can put the online class on the back burner. However, this did not happen with the Ralph family. If anything, they were ahead of where they needed to be during any week of the semester,” Professor Zona said.

According to mom, Christina Ralph, Professor Zona made quite an impression on her and her children as well.

“I have recommended him to other high school students taking QCC courses and know that several have gone on to take his courses,” Ms. Ralph said, making sure to add the valuable assistance the family received from Senior Enrollment Counselor Rebecca Brownstein.

“Rebecca Brownstein has been amazing, year after year. She is knowledgeable, helpful and approachable.  She has helped the last four kids get their testing and get registered for classes,” Ms. Ralph continued.

“It was my pleasure to provide advising and enrollment services to members of the Ralph family at the QCC Southbridge location over the years, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to help them realize their academic and lifelong goals. I am so pleased to have made such a positive impact on their lives,” Ms. Brownstein said.

While only one of the Ralph siblings is currently attending QCC, the impact it has had on all of them is significant.

“I went on to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and graduated with degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering and International and Global Studies. The credits I earned while at QCC were instrumental in allowing me to pursue dual majors at WPI,” said Thomas, an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

Younger James is also currently attending WPI, and Joseph graduated UMass Amherst on May 2020.

Yet for older sister Laurinda, the lure of QCC is still strong.

“I now have my Master’s degree but hope to attend QCC within the next few semesters to increase my American Sign Language (ASL) skills,” Laurinda said. “And I think that is the best thing about QCC. It was a great fit for me when I was in high school and is still a great fit for me after graduate school, because it offers such a wide variety of awesome classes. I really loved QCC. I had really amazing professors and learned a lot.”

The siblings have a bit of advice for anyone considering attending QCC.

“QCC has amazing faculty, a beautiful campus, and great classes at an affordable price,” Laurinda said.

“The faculty at QCC are friendly and want to help you succeed.  Take the time after class to speak with them and be friendly. The relationships you make will pay dividends in the future,” Thomas said.

Younger brother James said that he recommends attending QCC.

“I attended and some of my friends have also gone there, and I have only heard good things about the college. I also suggest asking lots of questions of your teachers. They are extremely friendly and also very helpful. If you decide to go to QCC, I don't think you will regret your decision,” he said.  

Elena gives high praise to the professors, adding,”...it is very accommodating if you take online classes.”

Ms. Ralph said attending QCC was a great way to save money on college expenses.

“If a student isn’t sure about college, they can try a few classes before deciding whether to attend a four-year program.  In our case, all the kids have credits that have transferred to their four-year college. It allowed Laurinda to take extra classes to explore her interests at UMass Dartmouth, allowed Thomas to get a double major at WPI, and allowed Joseph to graduate UMass Amherst in three years ("which is a huge cost savings,” she said. “I am also of the belief that taking QCC classes has helped the kids get into college, since their success at QCC is a good indication that they will be successful in their chosen 4-year college program.”

By the look of things, it appears Ms. Ralph is right.

 

  • QCC Dental Assisting students are trained to take dental radiographs.
  • Dental Assisting student Jessica Flood, of Worcester, is currenly doing an externship at Dr. John Gusha's office.
February, 2021

Since 1977, the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) has recognized the invaluable contributions dental assistants make to quality dental care through Dental Assistant Recognition Week™ held the first full week in March every year.

This year’s theme,” "Dental Assistants - Our Heart Goes Into Every Smile," acknowledges the growing importance of these valued workers and on...

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Since 1977, the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) has recognized the invaluable contributions dental assistants make to quality dental care through Dental Assistant Recognition Week™ held the first full week in March every year.

This year’s theme,” "Dental Assistants - Our Heart Goes Into Every Smile," acknowledges the growing importance of these valued workers and on March 7-13, 2021, dental assistants across the country will be honored for their commitment to professional development and quality dental care.

QCC’s Dental Assisting Certificate program is an important part of the dental education landscape in Massachusetts, and is the only program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in Worcester.

“Our students can take their Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam in the last few weeks of the program so they are credentialed, if they pass, with Dental Assisting National Board, CDA when they graduate,” said Jennifer McKeon, professor of Dental Assisting/Hygiene.

The one-year Dental Assisting Certificate program prepares graduates to perform a wide range of patient care duties in the dental office. Dental assistants support dentists by obtaining necessary health history information, maintaining patient comfort during examinations, providing necessary instruments and materials to the dentist during surgical procedures, taking radiographs, and casting impressions. The dental assistant manages a variety of office-related duties including scheduling and confirming appointments, updating patient records, generating bills, following third-party payments, and ordering supplies and materials. According to the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the number of Massachusetts dental assistant jobs is projected to grow by 12.5% over a 10-year period ending in 2022.

QCC’s curriculum provides students with the ability to make judgments regarding intra-oral, chair-side, and laboratory procedures. Courses in business office procedures and basic computer usage are also included. In addition, students will be required to complete a series of clinical rotations arranged by QCC in a variety of general and specialty dental practices.

Students have the opportunity to see different avenues of dentistry while in the program, by being placed in different general dental offices, such as an oral surgeon’s office and an orthodontist office. Students are also exposed to a variety of different avenues of dentistry, through collaboration with the College’s Dental Hygiene program.

Dental Assisting students take radiology courses that offer them hands-on education in digital radiography. Students learn film and developing techniques, learning on a dental X-ray teaching training replica (known as a Dexter head) prior to live patients. The curriculum enables students to take part in the state-of-the-art dental materials lab with Cerac scanning and milling of crowns, affording them the unique opportunity to learn about a dental materials lab.

According to Professor McKeon, students who enter the workforce after completing the program have 100 percent placement.

“Most students have a job offer before they even graduate,” she added.

Additionally, students who complete the dental assisting program will be prepared to continue their studies at the associate's degree level in such disciplines as allied dental services or dental hygiene.

"We have a bridge program that allows two students every year from the dental assisting program to bridge into the dental hygiene program and bypass the waitlist.  Student must have all the admission requirements for the dental hygiene program to qualify to bypass the waitlist,” Professor McKeon said.

To learn more, visit QCC’s Dental Assisting Certificate Program.

  • From left: Connecticut Sun WNBA mascot, Blaze looks forward to meeting the QCC Wyvern.
February, 2021

The Wyvern has a new admirer in the form of the Connecticut Sun WNBA mascot, Blaze. The mascot became enamored with QCC’s mythical, winged dragon when he saw the Wyvern’s photo, and immediately felt a kindred spirit to the college’s well-known mascot. The unique design of the Wyvern costume drew praise and questions from it's admirer.

Blaze is the well-loved mascot of the Connecticut Sun...

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The Wyvern has a new admirer in the form of the Connecticut Sun WNBA mascot, Blaze. The mascot became enamored with QCC’s mythical, winged dragon when he saw the Wyvern’s photo, and immediately felt a kindred spirit to the college’s well-known mascot. The unique design of the Wyvern costume drew praise and questions from it's admirer.

Blaze is the well-loved mascot of the Connecticut Sun WNBA. Known for his joy-filled dances at WNBA games, as well as his affinity for sunflower seeds (often handing them out to referees during the games), Blaze has become a fixture to the Connecticut Sun fans, as the Wyvern has to QCC.

Blaze may just find a great friend in the Wyvern. The two mascots have much in common, with a love for basketball and their community topping the list. While currently the pandemic is keeping these two future friends apart, rest-assured when COVID-19 restrictions lift, the Connecticut Sun WNBA mascot hopes to blaze a trail to QCC for a visit. QCC and the Wyvern cannot wait!

  • Quinsigamond Community College has earned the 2021-2022 Military Friendly School designation.
February, 2021

Quinsigamond Community College has earned the 2021-2022 Military Friendly® School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Over 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey with 747 earning the designation.

“This award is an honor for QCC and...

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Quinsigamond Community College has earned the 2021-2022 Military Friendly® School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Over 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey with 747 earning the designation.

“This award is an honor for QCC and all the veterans who attend here. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our vets. We are extremely proud of every service person who walks through our doors,” said QCC’s Veteran Affairs Director, Paula Ogden.

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources, within a logic based scoring assessment.

“Schools that achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources, and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the military community,” said National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly®, Kayla Lopez.

The 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine. For more information on QCC’s Veteran Affairs, visit https://www.qcc.edu/veteran-affairs.

About Military Friendly® Schools

The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate.Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

About Viqtory

Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands. VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity.

 

  • Rebecca Ashmore is part of QCC's Attend College Early (ACE) Program.
  • From left: Rebecca Ashmore assembles a printed circuit board. Ms. Ashmore works with a laser cutter at Technocopia.
February, 2021

There is a poise that Rebecca Ashmore demonstrates which belies her age. In the summer of 2020, the high school senior began taking courses through QCC’s Attend College Early (ACE) Program, allowing her to complete her high school degree in Blackstone Valley Regional Vocation Technical High School (BVT), simultaneously pursuing her Associate Degree in Engineering, while also being a part of the...

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There is a poise that Rebecca Ashmore demonstrates which belies her age. In the summer of 2020, the high school senior began taking courses through QCC’s Attend College Early (ACE) Program, allowing her to complete her high school degree in Blackstone Valley Regional Vocation Technical High School (BVT), simultaneously pursuing her Associate Degree in Engineering, while also being a part of the Commonwealth Honors Program. She is active in her community, volunteering at Technocopia, a non-profit makerspace in Worcester, the Community Harvest Project, and is a teaching assistant at Kumon Math and Reading Center in South Grafton.

Recently she spoke with the Wyvern Guardian on her passion for STEM and what it means to be a female in a field known to be male dominated.

How did you become interested in engineering and STEM as a whole?

I’ve been involved with STEM for as long as I can remember - where even at 6 years old I was doing science experiments at home. I just enjoyed trying new things and learning whatever I could. I particularly remember this one experiment I did with a friend around that time where we extracted, analyzed, and froze strawberry DNA - and to this day there is still a small container in the freezer as a reminder.

Doing experiments continued on for several years and covered branches such as Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Geology, and Biology and evolved into elaborate home projects such as a Roshambo robotic hand that could react to how you play against it, by monitoring your hand with a camera. As I went into high school, I widened my scope even more to other projects like a temperature data logger to make sure my pet sugar gliders (small, omnivorous, arboreal, and nocturnal gliding possums) had a stable environment during the winter.

Did you have a specific experience(s) that sparked your interest in engineering?

I would say that it was more of a chain of experiences - as I sort of fell in love with the Electronic and Engineering Technology shop at a nearby high school when I toured it in elementary school. I later joined the shop, and it became the leading cause of my focus to move from pure science to engineering. After that, my interest only grew with each experience.

Females in STEM are still in the minority. Do you see this changing in the future based on your personal experiences?

I don’t think that it will be a quick change, sadly. I do have confidence that as the younger generations see females in STEM normalized, it will improve. I’ve personally seen excellent programs to encourage women to be in the field that truly helped me become more involved in STEM, and I feel that we’ll get closer to women no longer being in the minority through these programs.

My high school (BVT) has a great program that requires freshmen to explore different trades that they may not otherwise have considered. I have personally had the privilege of being involved in a Women’s Research and Mentorship (WRAMP) program, which introduced me to researching with a female mentor who still reviews my research work today, Girls Who Code Club, and met with very high profile female military leaders. Programs like these offered in my area definitely had a big impact on me, and I strongly believe that they can help many others as well.

Do you have a mentor who has been instrumental in your life? Can you tell me how he/she has supported you and the value of having a mentor?

Mentors are definitely impactful. They have given me opportunities that were keystones in my STEM education. I have had multiple mentors, but I do still keep in touch and I hope that one day I’ll be able to pay it forward. Currently, my mentor at QCC is helping me prepare for a presentation at the Commonwealth Undergraduate Research Conference - and before this, they had helped me find a place to volunteer as an intern by referring me to Technocopia, a local makerspace.

Can you tell me why you chose to come to QCC and what prompted you to take part in the ACE program?

Going to QCC has been a decisive part of adjusting my education to match my interests and goals. I chose to go to BVT in high school for the small team project-based learning with hands-on engineering content, and an online high school program for additional subjects that they didn’t offer. The ACE program at QCC was the next level of that - as I plan on attending a 4-year college. The program provided me with the first year of an engineering degree designed for transfer to a 4-year degree, as opposed to a set of high school AP-credit classes. Essentially, the program provides me with a cost-effective engineering-focused college transition year, whether I stay at QCC or go to a 4-year college. I do; however, still work with my high school on specific subjects, independent research, and clubs.

You have accomplished so many thing already. How do you balance it all?

A bulk of it is just planning accordingly, since fortunately everything isn’t happening at the same time. Although there has been the odd time with four soccer games on one day, and another time with two science competitions at the same time. Most of the time I make sure to balance out my commitments as much as I can. There’s also the more long-term activities that require me to go between one focus to the next, but the constant shifts between juggling things like community service and schoolwork are ones that keep me present and in the moment year-round.

You mentioned that QCC is helping you reach your goals. Can you tell me what those goals are?

One of my goals that QCC is helping me reach is a 4-year engineering degree at a well-fitting college. Articulation agreements with public and private colleges give me confidence that the engineering curriculum is in alignment, and I can be credited for my work. QCC is also helping me with my independent research with an independent mechanical design project as part of the Commonwealth Honors Program and helping me present my recent work at the state undergraduate research conference.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would like to complete a Master’s degree, and have made enough development in my work to take the next step of achievement through a patent, award, or thesis. Whatever I am able to achieve, I want to be able to look back with satisfaction.

What would you tell someone who was considering attending QCC?

I would try to understand what you want from attending QCC and plan for it as much as you can. Planning early allowed me to put together a set of courses that would fulfill my high school requirements, meet prerequisites, be part of an engineering degree program and fully transfer beyond QCC. I also found out about other opportunities like the Commonwealth Honors Program, the Commonwealth Research Conference, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the Fab Lab with my current mentor. I would definitely recommend contacting the advisors - as they really helped clear the fog for me and helped me set my path. Everyone has been friendly and helpful, which has really made me feel welcome even when remote learning. QCC has been a great experience for me and I would definitely recommend.

  • QCC's 7-week courses are part of the reason why QCC is College. Made Smarter.
February, 2021

Imagine earning a degree or certificate in the half the time than it would normally take. Sound interesting? Quinsigamond Community College offers 7-week courses that enable students to attain their academic goals faster, while still receiving the highest quality education.

Earning a degree or certificate in half the time is possible thanks to 7-week courses that are available during Spring I and Spring II,...

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Imagine earning a degree or certificate in the half the time than it would normally take. Sound interesting? Quinsigamond Community College offers 7-week courses that enable students to attain their academic goals faster, while still receiving the highest quality education.

Earning a degree or certificate in half the time is possible thanks to 7-week courses that are available during Spring I and Spring II, Summer I and Summer II, and Fall I and Fall II Semesters. These courses are a great way for students to earn the same number of credits as traditional 15-week courses in half the time.

Students who may have missed the traditional start of the Spring or Fall Semesters can register for one or more 7-week courses and get back on track quickly.

There is still time for students to register for over 20 courses offered during Spring II Semester, which begins March 22 and runs through May 11.

QCC is the smarter, safer, option for higher education. To learn more visit 7-Week Courses.

  • QCC's Faculty and staff are committed to 100 percent student sucess.
February, 2021

Monday, March 1: The Greater Worcester Community Foundation offers three transfer scholarships: Herbert D. Sherwin Memorial Scholarship, Cynthia and Harrison Taylor Scholarship and Emanuel’s Empowerment Scholarship, available to QCC students as they move on for bachelor’s degrees. Deadline is March 1. For more information email Transfer Services at ...

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Monday, March 1: The Greater Worcester Community Foundation offers three transfer scholarships: Herbert D. Sherwin Memorial Scholarship, Cynthia and Harrison Taylor Scholarship and Emanuel’s Empowerment Scholarship, available to QCC students as they move on for bachelor’s degrees. Deadline is March 1. For more information email Transfer Services at transfer [at] qcc.mass.edu or email 508-854-4404.

Monday, March 1: The Springfield Area Colleges will host a mini Virtual Transfer Fair from noon to 1:30 p.m. 

Tuesday, March 2: All College Forum for all members of the college community at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Monday, March 8: Town Hall meeting for faculty and staff at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom. 

Monday, March 8: "Can I Kiss You?," a workshop on consent and respect will be held from noon - 1:00 p.m. Mike Domitrz, critically acclaimed author and founder of Date Safe Project presents a hilarious and candid look at dating, communication, respect and intimacy. "Can I Kiss You?" is one of the most inclusive and sought after programs for providing specific how-to skills for teaching consent, respect in relationships, bystander intervention, and addressing sexual assault. 

For questions, email counselingandwellnessoffice [at] qcc.mass.edu.  

Tuesday, March 9: The University of Massachusetts will host a virutal Transfer Fair from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday,  March 10: Students can practice their interview skills and gain the confidence through this free workshop from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. For questions, email mentoring [at] qcc.mass.edu.    

Sunday, March 14 - Saturday March 20: Spring Recess.

Monday, March 22: VIP registration begins for returning/active students. This continues until Friday, April 2.

Tuesday, March 23: The Springfield Area Colleges will host a mini Virtual Transfer Fair from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

March Spotlight: March 4, 12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m., the Sankofa Lecture Series presents, “New World Order”: Whatsapp, Pandemic Panics, and the Global Spread of Misinformation through Zoom. Dr. Anika Wilson will compare old disease treatment rumors in Malawi to new ones and the meaning and possible course of such moral panics. Dr. Wilson is the current chair of the Department African and African Diaspora Studies at UW-Milwaukee. She earned her doctorate in Folklore and Folklife Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her book Folklore, Gender, and AIDS in Malawi: No Secret Under the Sun (2013) was awarded the Elli Kongas Maranda Award for feminist scholarship in folklore in 2014. She is currently analyzing legends and knowledge related to sacred sites, as well as working on a project examining the representation of gender expectations in divorce court transcripts from Malawi. This free event is sponsored by the QCC’s Diversity Caucus and is open to the public. For more information, contact Professor Benjamin Wendorf at bwendorf [at] qcc.mass.edu  Zoom link to join the meeting: https://zoom.us/j/98846640093.

  • The official Region XXI E-sports season begins March 2.
February, 2021

QCC Athletics Wyvern E-sports Team

Let the games begin! It’s just about time for the start of the official Region XXI E-sports season! Games officially kick-off on March 2 and run through April 13, with playoffs scheduled for April 24 &25.

The team will play in the League of Legends, a highly competitive, fast-paced action strategy game. If you are a full-time student (12 credits of...

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QCC Athletics Wyvern E-sports Team

Let the games begin! It’s just about time for the start of the official Region XXI E-sports season! Games officially kick-off on March 2 and run through April 13, with playoffs scheduled for April 24 &25.

The team will play in the League of Legends, a highly competitive, fast-paced action strategy game. If you are a full-time student (12 credits of more) this Spring semester, or you know of a student who is full-time and may be interested in being part of QCC’s E-sports team, Coach Nate Mello wants to hear from you! To learn more, email Coach Mello at nmello [at] qcc.mass.edu

Zoom Yoga

QCC is currently offering free Zoom Yoga classes Monday – Friday, noon -12:40 p.m. for the Spring 2021 semester. This is the perfect way to take a break, regroup and reinvigorate. Email Athletic Director Lisa Gurnick for a Zoom Yoga invite at lisag [at] qcc.mass.edu. Namaste!

New Yoga & Meditation Class

The perfect way to end a long day is with yoga and meditation and that’s just what this new free class offers. On Monday and Wednesdays from 6:00pm – 6:40 p.m. let go of your stress and tension through the movement of Yoga and the calming your mind. Attend the whole 40- minute class, or just the yoga portion from 6-6:20pm or the meditation portion from 6:20-6:40pm. You decide!

All that’s needed are comfortable clothes and a yoga mat if you have one, and an open mind. If you are interested in participating in this class, email lisag [at] qcc.mass.edu for a weekly Zoom invite.

Zoom Your Way into a Zumba Class

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. This is a fun way to stay active and get your grove on! Email Ms. Gurnick for a weekly Zoom invite at lisag [at] qcc.mass.edu .

Weekly Live Chat with Josh and Lisa

Do you have a sport or fitness question and can’t seem to find the answer? 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 help! Zoom links are sent weekly so be on the look out. No link? No problem! Email Ms. Gurnick at lisag [at] qcc.mass.edu to request one.

February, 2021

February, 2021

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February, 2021

February, 2021

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

On February 7, 2021, Administrative Services welcomed Suraj Patel as the Communications Dispatcher I for Campus Police. Suraj brings to this position over 10 years of experience. Most recently, he worked at Seven Hills Foundation. Suraj earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Worcester State University, and a Master’s...

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

On February 7, 2021, Administrative Services welcomed Suraj Patel as the Communications Dispatcher I for Campus Police. Suraj brings to this position over 10 years of experience. Most recently, he worked at Seven Hills Foundation. Suraj earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Worcester State University, and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Lasell University.

On February 14, 2021, Enrollment Management, Student Engagement & Community Connections welcomed Denise Haile as Associate Director of Admissions. Denise brings to the position over 20 years of experience. Most recently she was an Independent Educational Consultant. Denise earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University, an MBA in Management from Bentley University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University.

On February 21, 2021, Administrative Services welcomed Kathleen Foley as Administrative Secretary-I (Downtown Campus). Kathleen brings to this position over 20 years of experience. Most recently, she was a part-time Office Administrator (Downtown Campus) here at QCC. Kathleen earned a Bachelor Degree from UMass-Amherst.

On February 21, 2021, Administrative Services welcomed Shane Higgins as Maintainer-I. Shane brings to the position over 10 years of experience. Most recently he was a part-time Maintainer here at QCC. Shane earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Westfield State University.

Please join us in welcoming Suraj, Denise, Kathleen and Shane into their new roles at QCC.