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March, 2019

  • Cheryl and Ashley Marrino (L) Cheryl Marrino speaks at QCC's 2018 commencement.
March, 2019

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

Cheryl had her first taste of QCC when she was about 10 years old and her mother, QCC alumna Sandra Sorenson attended the school....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • QCC's first group of student peer advocates.
March, 2019

The statistics are staggering. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than two in five women (43.6%) and almost one in four men (24.8%) have experienced some form of contact sexual violence during their lifetime.  Each April agencies across the country put a spotlight on sexual assault to help prevent and educate our society in the pervasiveness of sexual assault. At Quinsigamond...

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The statistics are staggering. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than two in five women (43.6%) and almost one in four men (24.8%) have experienced some form of contact sexual violence during their lifetime.  Each April agencies across the country put a spotlight on sexual assault to help prevent and educate our society in the pervasiveness of sexual assault. At Quinsigamond Community College, students, staff and faulty have taken a proactive approach to educating its population and offering resources for victims.

Students at QCC are taking the lead in helping their fellow students in dealing with domestic violence and unsafe situations, by developing an Advocacy Club to bring awareness and support to those in need. QCC students Luz “Maria” Mejia and Jamilex Rivas, both Human Service Majors, are two of the driving forces behind the club. They each were part of the first group of QCC student to go through Student Peer Advocate Training for domestic violence held this past fall.  The training is designed to connect the victims of domestic violence at the college with campus and community resources. A few of the students in the first group were themselves survivors of domestic violence. Those students who have already received the Peer Advocate Certification will also be part of the club.

“What we’re trying to do is to develop a club to help victims and give them a place where they can feel comfortable with other students and we can help them with resources,” Ms. Mejia said.

While both Ms. Mejia and Ms. Rivas will both be graduating this May, they want to make sure the club is formed and well established before they leave. They each recognize that a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence often is afraid to come forward.

“I’d encourage anyone who is in need to reach out, open up and not afraid. I’m a domestic violence victim myself.  The first step is acknowledging things. There’s no judgement. This is why we are developing this club. It’s going to be a safe place for students,” Ms. Mejia said, adding, “I had an advocate at the ‘Y’ who really empowered me to speak about this and listening to other women I was able to discuss what I went through.”

Ms. Mejia said taking the Peer Advocate Training certification gave her more clarity on the issues of domestic violence.

“I feel it was healing for all of us. We were able to see what other people had gone through and there was a lot of common ground. We were really able to come together and it was a proud moment for all of us,” Ms. Rivas said.

A new round of students have already begun the Student Peer Advocate Training process this month. Training sessions are held on four Saturdays and at the end the students will receive a certificate from the YWCA of Central MA.

To learn more about the Advocacy Club, contact Dean of Compliance Liz Woods at 508.854.2791 or email or DVAdvocates [at] qcc.mass.edu. To learn what events are taking place on campus for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, visit the April Look Ahead Calendar.

  • From left: Benjamin Aryeh Marcela Rivas, Eduardo Rivas and Mauro DePasquale
March, 2019

As March gives way to April and the weather turns nicer, many people begin to think about their taxes. Not a pleasant thing for most of us, but the folks in Eduardo Rivas’s new tax assistance course may think otherwise.

Mr. Rivas is the Admissions Enrollment Counselor and Adjunct Faculty at QCC He is also the Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) Coordinator at QCC, a program that offers free...

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As March gives way to April and the weather turns nicer, many people begin to think about their taxes. Not a pleasant thing for most of us, but the folks in Eduardo Rivas’s new tax assistance course may think otherwise.

Mr. Rivas is the Admissions Enrollment Counselor and Adjunct Faculty at QCC He is also the Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) Coordinator at QCC, a program that offers free tax preparation and electronic filing to low and moderate income families who make less than $54,000 or less. This year Mr. Rivas has worked with the college to establish a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance course that introduces students to concepts and languages of the IRS and taxation. Students in the course learned these concepts in the first two weeks of class and became certified tax preparers, before volunteering to prepare federal and state taxes for low-income individuals in Worcester. The course requires students to complete 12, three-hour volunteer sessions at Main South Community Development Corporation. While still in its infancy stages, the inaugural course has already garnered a lot of attention, particularly from QCC business majors.

“I chose to participate because it allows me to gain working experience while preparing taxes for individuals. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering my services,” said Business Administration Transfer student Odette Carty-Bleary said.

Business Administration Transfer student Rebeka Mehmeti said volunteering to prepare taxes was a great opportunity for people to get experience in the field of tax preparation.

“I hope to gain some accounting knowledge and gain some experience on how to handle customers,” she said.

Currently there are four locations that offer this service through the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition: the Worcester Community Action Council, Inc., Main South Community Development Corporation (CDC), Plumley Village and Worcester State University. Mr. Rivas was also able to work with Worcester Housing Authority to offer a one tax predation event at Great Book Valley Apartments. Most of his students also volunteered at the event.

“We prepared income taxes for close to 40 clients,” Mr. Rivas said.

Mr. Rivas and two of his student volunteers, QCC Trustee and student Benjamin Aryeh and QCC student Marcela Rivas recently went on the WCCA TV produced "Soapbox" show, hosted by WCCA Executive Director, Mauro DePasquale to explain the VITA program and how it works.

“We now have 34 volunteers who are QCC students and community volunteers,” Mr. Rivas said. “As of the last report we have prepared the second most returns of the four sites in Worcester,” he said.

All the volunteers said giving back to the community was paramount.

“If someone is considering being part of this volunteer program, I would tell them to do it. This is a great experience to have not only for your school or resume, but for yourself.”

To learn more about volunteering or income tax assistance, visit VITA program. Read QCC's Beginners guide to tax forms.

  • Nick Martin heads for first after another power hit.
  • Nick Martin sends one into the outfield.
March, 2019

Former Quinsigamond Community College student and baseball standout Nick Martin, now a student at Westfield State University, has been named to the Worcester Bravehearts roster. Mr. Martin was a star player on the Men’s Wyvern baseball team during the 2018 season, playing catcher. His batting average during the regular season was an impressive 412.

“It was .368 or .370 after...

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Former Quinsigamond Community College student and baseball standout Nick Martin, now a student at Westfield State University, has been named to the Worcester Bravehearts roster. Mr. Martin was a star player on the Men’s Wyvern baseball team during the 2018 season, playing catcher. His batting average during the regular season was an impressive 412.

“It was .368 or .370 after playoffs…I got robbed,” he laughed.

Today, Mr. Martin starts for the Westfield Owls with a current batting average of .540. He’s on pace to break the school record. While he is excelling both academically and athletically, he said it was QCC that gave him that foundation and direction to get him where he is today.

He said that after high school he had a plan in place; one that he felt would help get him to his future goals. Yet sometimes plans change and through those changes new and better opportunities come. It was that way for Mr. Martin, whose original intent was to attend Suffolk University in Boston, to major in business and play baseball. He attended an orientation and left afterwards knowing the university wasn’t for him.

“It wasn’t the best fit for me, financially and personally. I’m not a city kid,” he said.

He went back home to Shrewsbury, discussed things with his family and decided to attend QCC to “figure out what I wanted to do.”

QCC was already familiar to him. QCC’s Baseball Coach, John McLaughlin had been his coach since he was 12 years old, playing Shrewsbury Legion baseball. His mother had also taken classes there.

“Coach (McLaughlin) and everyone welcomed me to QCC with open arms. He’s really good with his players. He’s such a great guy. He puts everyone in the best situation to succeed and treats everyone the same. It’s a great culture. It was the best decision to come to QCC,” he said. “The athletic department was especially helpful and gave me all the resources I needed. I had access to tutors and everything I needed. I always felt at home here.”

Mr. Martin took classes at QCC that helped him hone in on what he really wanted to study. After a year at QCC, he transferred to Westfield State University, double majoring in economics and political science. He said many of the classes he took transferred, so he was already ahead when he got there.

His dream is to continue his baseball career and take it as far as he can, and feels if he stays focused and respects the game, he has a shot at something special.

“This is my number one dream, but if it doesn’t work out I know I will never have a full-time job I don’t like,” Mr. Martin said.

He looks back on his time at QCC as the footing that got him to where his is today, and to where he is headed in the future.

“The Athletic Department at QCC; Lisa Gurnick (Director of Athletics & Fitness Center), Josh Cole (Assistant Manager of Athletics and Fitness Center and Mac (Coach McLaughlin) did so much for me, making me comfortable.They gave me everything and I will be forever grateful,” he said.

  • Ashley Forhan
March, 2019

Recent QCC graduate and Phi Theta Kappa student Ashley Forhan has been named a 2019 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Selections as a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar are based on scores the students earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition. The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by the Phi Theta Kappa...

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Recent QCC graduate and Phi Theta Kappa student Ashley Forhan has been named a 2019 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Selections as a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar are based on scores the students earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition. The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by the Phi Theta Kappa honor Society.  Students are nominated for the academic team by their college administrators, and selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”

Ms. Forhan, who graduated in December 2018, is the former QCC Food Pantry Manager and was instrumental in getting the Food Pantry and Resource Center off the ground.

“I am truly grateful to PTK, QCC, and most importantly Bonnie Coleman (PTK Advisor) who’s incredibly hard work with the PTK students is what makes getting an award such as this one possible,” Ms. Forhan said. “QCC and PTK gave me the educational and leadership tools I needed to succeed at my four-year school and this award has eased the financial burden that comes along with transferring to a private school.”

Ms. Forhan recently began at Lasell College and is majoring in Legal Studies. She is on track to graduate next year, with the goal of attending law school.

“This award continues to prove that although I am studying at a different school, QCC will always be my home. It will always be the place where my dreams began turning into my reality,” Ms. Forhan added.

Visit QCC’s PTK Program to learn more.

  • STEM Students of the Month
March, 2019

Sometimes it is those students who are not always in the limelight; the ones who don’t always get the highest grades, but who consistently put in the effort to move forward in their lives despite opposition that make the biggest impact. The professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program recognized the need to acknowledge the perseverance of these students and developed...

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Sometimes it is those students who are not always in the limelight; the ones who don’t always get the highest grades, but who consistently put in the effort to move forward in their lives despite opposition that make the biggest impact. The professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program recognized the need to acknowledge the perseverance of these students and developed a new initiative known as the STEM Student of the Month program. The intention of this program is to have a new group of students recognized each month.

One student will be selected and recognized in the areas of science, technology engineering and mathematics. Students are nominated by their professors and final selections are made by each department. Selected students will be given a certificate of achievement and be invited to make something in QCC’s Fab Lab to commemorate their achievement.

Below is the first group of STEM students of the Month, with a few comments from the professors who nominated them.

The inaugural STEM students of the Month include:

Science – Emily Robinson, nominated by Biology Professor Lauren Klosowski

“Emily is a dedicated, hardworking student. She is a mom of three working toward being an Occupational Therapist. She is always prepared for class and not only prepares the work she needs to do but is ready to help other students as well,” Ms. Klosowski said.

Technology – Peter Erian, nominated by Computer Science Professor Hao Loi

“I have followed Peter’s progress with interest and come to know the many positive qualities that define him. Peter manages his schedule to balance his work life with attending classes at QCC. Peter is very approachable and his classmates look up to him,” Mr. Loi said.

Engineering – Timothy Petrides, nominated by Automotive Technology Professors Don Morin & James Krapf

“Tim is currently in his second year of automotive studies. He is working full-time at North End Subaru in Lunenburg, MA and is part of the Subaru U partnership with Subaru of New England. Tim has excelled at work and is well liked by his peers. Tim is the nephew of an alumnus of the program and is keeping auto-tech in the family,” said Mr. Krapf.

Mathematics – Daniel Diaz, nominated by Mathematics Professor Stephen Zona

“Dan is an engineering student who, after starting in developmental math, is currently enrolled in Calculus II (Fall 2018).  His impressive class participation, leadership skills, work ethic, math knowledge, and positive attitude, were demonstrated in his Trigonometry class, which was the reason he was asked to act as a volunteer tutor in my evening College Algebra class,” Mr. Zona said. (He has since successfully completed the course)

Make sure to visit the Wyvern Guardian each month for the latest STEM students of the month.

  • From left: Brian Tankersley and Alex Belisle
March, 2019

QCC’s Business Administration department hosted an informational session event at the Harrington Learning Center in late February to help students understand mortgage basics. The information session was arranged by QCC business student Vaughn Lee and was a real hit with the students looking to learn more about how mortgages work. According to Business Administration Professor Jean McLean...

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QCC’s Business Administration department hosted an informational session event at the Harrington Learning Center in late February to help students understand mortgage basics. The information session was arranged by QCC business student Vaughn Lee and was a real hit with the students looking to learn more about how mortgages work. According to Business Administration Professor Jean McLean, Mortgage Advisor Alex Belisle of SECURITY FIRST Mortgage Funding and Millbury Federal Credit Union Branch Manager (Greendale Office) Tony Romniou, worked with QCC to put the program together.

Mr. Belisle gave students an overview of the different types of mortgages and loans that are available and explained what items affect a mortgage, such as your credit score.

“I think it was very well received. There were about 30 people in the audience and they asked a lot of questions during the Q & A at the end of the presentation,”Ms. McLean said. “One of my students in my Introduction to Business class, Stephanie Pelletier, told me she really enjoyed it and learned a lot, especially about protecting your credit score.”

 “We all felt that it was a fantastic idea to have a seminar like this at Quinsigamond.  First, we want to thank Vaughn for setting this up. It was great to see such a diversified group come in to join us. It really was a reflection of Worcester as a city,” Mr. Belisle said.As far as what the attendees got out of the program, Mr. Belisle said he hoped the students realized that if they make good choices, the dream of owning a home can be a reality.

“Everyone deserves to own their own place one day,” he added.

  • Dental Hygiene students at work in QCC's Dental Clinic.
March, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College's Dental Hygiene students have been brushing up on their skills and it all comes down to this. As they prep for their clinical exams they are in need of a very important piece of the puzzle... patients!

Volunteers will receive free care if they meet the criteria. Interested? Here's how it works...            ...

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Quinsigamond Community College's Dental Hygiene students have been brushing up on their skills and it all comes down to this. As they prep for their clinical exams they are in need of a very important piece of the puzzle... patients!

Volunteers will receive free care if they meet the criteria. Interested? Here's how it works...                                     

  • Volunteers will need to schedule a screening.
  • Screenings are available on the following dates and times:
  • Monday, April 1 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 2 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 5 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 8 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 9 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • All cleanings and necessary x-rays will be free of charge and forwarded to your dentist upon completion at your request.
  • Free toothbrushes and toothpaste will be given to anyone who takes part in the screenings.
  • All volunteers must be available to take part at the QCC Dental Clinic on Saturday, April 27.

Interested?

Contact the QCC Dental Clinic directly at 508.854.4306 to schedule your screening, or email Denise Urella at durella [at] qcc.mass.edu with questions. Your help is needed and very much appreciated. Thank you for your consideration and please help us spread the word for our hard-working students.

  • Lt. Governor Karyn Polito,along with regional workforce leaders, state and local officials visited QCC’s QuEST Center in January
March, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College is an active partner in the Central Region Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (CRAMC), one of four consortia funded by the Commonwealth’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Program. The program is designed to address the skills gap in the manufacturing industry by creating a fully-coordinated manufacturing training system that will connect residents to full-time employment,...

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Quinsigamond Community College is an active partner in the Central Region Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (CRAMC), one of four consortia funded by the Commonwealth’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Program. The program is designed to address the skills gap in the manufacturing industry by creating a fully-coordinated manufacturing training system that will connect residents to full-time employment, and meet the needs of regional industry. Funding for the consortia was announced on January 15 by the Lt. Governor Karyn Polito at an event held at QCC.

While regional in scope, the four consortia are working together with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development to develop a strategic plan that will be both statewide in scope and customized for each region.

CRAMC supports Worcester County. Partners include the Mass Hire offices in Central and North Central Worcester County, Quinsigamond & Mount Wachusett Community Colleges, the Regional Technical High Schools, the Blackstone Valley Educational Foundation, and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Mass MEP). Two CRAMC Manufacturing Program Specialists will be connecting prospective trainees to programs, and then to employers. Jason Walker, QCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program Specialist who represents the college at CRAMC, is working closely with Workforce Development and MassHire in supporting the central and southern part of Worcester County.

CRAMC partner activities include:

  • Recruiting & training residents to fill currently open positions in manufacturing today
  • Training incumbent workers to move into higher level manufacturing positions
  • Creating a comprehensive training system across the area that will meet the needs of manufacturing employers for skilled workers
  • Developing and deploying a campaign to drive public interest in manufacturing as a great career pathway and to connect people with job opportunities in the industry

CRAMC partners in the southern part of Worcester County recently held a “listening session” with area manufacturers to discuss their current and emerging needs. The session was led by Ethan Brown of the Central Worcester County office of Mass Hire and Kathy Rentsch, Assistant Vice President for Workforce Readiness and Innovation at QCC. Employers from Vibram, Dexter-Russell, Metso, Trident/Hass Machine, OFS Optics and Flexcon attended and identified current needs for machinists / CNC operators, industrial engineers, inspectors, production workers, mechanical drafters and supervisors. QCC offers certificate and degree programs that prepare students for these positions. QCC’s Career Center works with these and other companies to connect QCC students with internships and employment opportunities in these high demand occupations.

  • Old time car in Cuba
  • Pastoral setting in Cuba
  • A spectacular sunset in Cuba
  • Cuban businesses
March, 2019

When people found out my partner and I were going to Cuba last month, we were met with a lot of confusion. “Can you even go there?,” my friend asked skeptically. Yes, you can go there! It took a lot of online research (and a few travel tips from President Pedraja) to get prepared, but as an American citizen all you need is a valid passport and a visa. To obtain a visa you have to travel under one of the 12...

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When people found out my partner and I were going to Cuba last month, we were met with a lot of confusion. “Can you even go there?,” my friend asked skeptically. Yes, you can go there! It took a lot of online research (and a few travel tips from President Pedraja) to get prepared, but as an American citizen all you need is a valid passport and a visa. To obtain a visa you have to travel under one of the 12 authorized categories such as: a family visit, a professional research project, or the category we chose, which was support of the Cuban people.

 We also had a lot of people ask, “Why Cuba?” Besides the obvious desire to escape New England winter and enjoy the beauty of a Caribbean island, part of the motivation was to see a place that had been off limits for so long. I was always a terrible history student in school, so when I think back to what we learned about Cuba I can only conjure the phrase, “Bay of Pigs.” What happened at the Bay of Pigs? I really had no idea until we got to one of our first stops in Havana. The Museo de la Revolución in Old Havana is only a few blocks from the ocean and was the former palace of Cuba’s presidents. Now it’s a large scale museum that details the lead up to, and aftermath of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, as well as some information on the pre-colonial period of the island.

Given the long standing tension between our two governments, I was amazed at how welcoming the Cuban people were. When people found out we were from America they were very excited to share their thoughts on Obama opening up travel, or to ask us who our favorite baseball players were. They loved to tell us about their daily lives and some of the best parts of Cuban culture, such as free higher education and a robust art scene. We stayed with one family in Viñales that had such a warm presence that I will never forget. We stayed in an outbuilding behind their home with an entrance that allowed for privacy if needed. But they insisted we join them in their kitchen for long conversations that included many misunderstandings (they often forgot my request to habla despacio -speak slowly), a sample of vegetables we’d never had before, and so many laughs that my face hurt.

I am extremely privileged to be able to travel and I try to seriously consider the social, economic, and environmental effects that travelling has on the world. The increased tourism in Cuba seemed to be welcomed by most citizens, as it provides an added income that can make a great difference in their lives. But some people noted that it comes with new challenges. One restaurant owner who we spoke with said he was ecstatic that his family and many of his neighbors were allowed to open their businesses, but that there were growing pains associated with the increasing presence of capitalism. While he didn’t go into too much detail, the main concern seems to be keeping up with infrastructure needs. My hope is that they can find a balance that works for the people, the government, and the environment. I still have a lot to learn about Cuba, and the world in general, but I am immensely thankful to the people there and for my experience abroad.    

This first-person account is written by staff member Rose D'Errico

  • Cooking Matters held a nutrition session at the QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center.
March, 2019

Knowledge is a powerful tool and the recent nutritional information session at the QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center by, Cooking Matters Massachusetts, proved that point to over a dozen QCC students. Cooking Matters programs were developed to teach parents and caregivers with limited food budgets how to make healthy food choices. Those students who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits...

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Knowledge is a powerful tool and the recent nutritional information session at the QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center by, Cooking Matters Massachusetts, proved that point to over a dozen QCC students. Cooking Matters programs were developed to teach parents and caregivers with limited food budgets how to make healthy food choices. Those students who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were eligible to attend and learn about nutrition and at the end received a $20 gift card from Price Chopper.

The students who participated in, what is known as a “Cooking Matters at the Store tour” was held in a classroom on the college’s main campus. According to Cooking Matters Community Engagement Associate Kristin Cunningham, during these tours, students used visuals aids to discuss how they shop for food and what techniques they could adopt to save money, while making healthy choices

“Throughout the night, students developed skills for comparing foods for cost and nutritional value. Participants practiced identifying whole grain options; discussed how to use unit price to find the best deal; reviewed how to use the nutrition facts label to compare products; and analyzed the pros and cons when choosing among fresh, frozen, and canned produce,” Ms. Cunningham said.

One of the things that seemed to surprise the students the most was that frozen and canned fruits and vegetables retain a lot of their nutritional value, which can make them a good food choice option.

“People often think of fresh as nutritionally superior, yet this class debunked some of these preconceived notions. We discussed the fact that exposure to light, water, and air (and long travel time across the world!) can cause fresh fruits and vegetables to lose some of their nutritional value.  This led to great student discussions on how to procure food that hasn’t traveled very far (places like farm stands and farmers markets),” she continued.  

Students also shared tips on how to use their SNAP dollars at local farmers markets around Worcester. “Many farmers markets double your spending power when using SNAP at their market, which makes it affordable to buy fruits and vegetables that haven’t traveled very far,” Ms. Cunningham said

Visit QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center to learn more about the services that are available.

  • Dr. Peter Frost (center) discusses cell phone usage and its effects with students.
March, 2019

Smartphone usage – do we know the real story? A 2018 Pew Research study found that 77 percent of all U.S. adults have smartphones and that percentage rises to 94 percent for people between the ages of 18- 29. Do these statistics make you concerned? Are you worried your smartphone is making you less smart, or that there are potential lingering effects of Smartphone use on cognition?

A talk on March 8, by...

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Smartphone usage – do we know the real story? A 2018 Pew Research study found that 77 percent of all U.S. adults have smartphones and that percentage rises to 94 percent for people between the ages of 18- 29. Do these statistics make you concerned? Are you worried your smartphone is making you less smart, or that there are potential lingering effects of Smartphone use on cognition?

A talk on March 8, by Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Professor of Psychology, Dr. Peter Frost, dispelled some of the concerns associated by smartphone use. Dr. Frost and two of his research assistants explained their findings from a study of 105 students from SNHU that tested some of the reports that are in the media about cell phone use.

Dr. Frost asked those in the audience how long they thought they were on their phones each day. Answers ranged from one to two hours, to even four hours. In reality, Dr. Frost said the average was 5.5 hours, significantly higher than the students predicted. Other findings from Dr. Frost’s study had some interesting results that didn’t always line up with other published articles. One of the most interesting findings in Dr. Frost’s study was that there was no strong, lasting effects in cognition due to excessive cell phone use. The findings suggested it might be the fear of technology itself that is driving some of the articles and concerns. He cited the historical concerns man has had over new technology from calculators and email and even books when they were first made.

  • Dr. Joanne Kong
March, 2019

A new student club posed an idea to Quinsigamond Community College students, faculty and staff to consider the impact of their diet on the well-being of themselves and the world. The club, called Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA), was formed by Kelsey Crisostomo, a first year student at QCC. Kelsey’s interest in the topic began when she performed research for a paper and found...

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A new student club posed an idea to Quinsigamond Community College students, faculty and staff to consider the impact of their diet on the well-being of themselves and the world. The club, called Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA), was formed by Kelsey Crisostomo, a first year student at QCC. Kelsey’s interest in the topic began when she performed research for a paper and found a video on YouTube of a TEDx talk, given by Dr. Joanne Kong. Dr. Kong’s topic was, “The Power of Plant Based Eating.” Dr. Kong discussed the harmful impacts of animal agriculture on the environment; on human physical and emotional health, as well as concerns about the treatment of the animals. The message resonated with Ms. Crisostomo, who started talking to students and faculty about the topic. Some like-minded students shared Kelsey’s passion and the SETA club was formed.

Club members were so energized by Dr. Kong’s TEDx talk the students invited her to QCC to speak to the community on March 9. An engaged audience attended of QCC students, faculty, staff and members of the Worcester community attended the event.  Dr. Kong discussed Environmental impacts that included carbon and methane gas produced by animals; fecal contamination from animals in run-off water; large amounts of potable water diverted to animal agriculture, and deforestation from clearing land for grazing pastures. A group discussion followed during which participants acknowledged that change is difficult, and generated ideas for easy to prepare meals and tips to help individuals in transitioning to a more plant-based diet over time. An informal plant-based lunch was shared afterward by attendees.

The club plans to hold additional events; ideas suggested include cooking classes, speakers and possibly producing a cookbook of easy to prepare plant-based recipes. To learn more about SETA, contact Kelsey Crisostomo at krcrisostomo [at] qmail.qcc.edu or club advisor Adrienne Linnell at alinnell [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • Daniel de la Torre and Beth Fullerton
  • QCC's Fall Transfer Fair
March, 2019

Quinsigamond Community College is hosting its annual Spring Transfer Fair on Wednesday, April 3 and this year there is a bit of a twist. The college will be holding TWO separate Transfer Fairs - one for day programs and one for evening, on-line or hybrid programs.

“QCC Transfer Services has decided to try a new approach to the Transfer Fair this spring.  Many of our...

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Quinsigamond Community College is hosting its annual Spring Transfer Fair on Wednesday, April 3 and this year there is a bit of a twist. The college will be holding TWO separate Transfer Fairs - one for day programs and one for evening, on-line or hybrid programs.

“QCC Transfer Services has decided to try a new approach to the Transfer Fair this spring.  Many of our students attend part-time and/or on-line and we wanted to make sure that students who attend college in this format know that they have the opportunity to pursue their bachelor degree in the same manner.  So, on April 3 from 2:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m., we have invited four-year schools who have continuing on-line and on-ground programs as well as a hybrid of the two,” said QCC Transfer Counselor Beth Fullerton.

Located in the Harrington Learning Center (Rooms 109 A&B), over 50 colleges and universities will be represented at the Transfer Fairs. These fairs offer the perfect way for QCC students to meet a wide variety of institutions to learn more about their transfer options. Almost half of all QCC students transfer to a four-year institution, making this bi-annual event one of the most popular on campus.

The Transfer Department encourages all QCC students to attend a transfer fair before their final semester so that students have a clear understanding of the pathways available to them before they graduate from QCC.

QCC offers a variety of transfer and articulation agreements with colleges and universities across the region and is also part of the MassTransfer program, a state-wide network of agreements between the Massachusetts Community Colleges, Massachusetts State Universities, and University of Massachusetts campuses.

Colleges and Universities Represented from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m (Day Programs)

  • American International College
  • Anna Maria College
  • Assumption College
  • Bay Path University
  • Becker College
  • Bentley University
  • Boston University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Bryant University
  • Castleton University
  • Clark University
  • Curry College
  • Dean College
  • Elms College
  • Emerson College
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Framingham State University
  • Husson University
  • Lesley University
  • Mass Maritime Academy
  • Mass College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Mass College of Art
  • Mass College of Liberal Arts
  • Merrimack College
  • National University of
  • Natural Medicine
  • New England Institute of Technology
  • Northern Vermont University
  • Pine Manor College
  • Plymouth State University
  • Roger Williams University
  • Simmons University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Springfield College
  • Suffolk University
  • UMass Amherst
  • UMass Boston
  • University of Connecticut
  • UMass Dartmouth
  • UMass Lowell
  • University of New Haven
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Western New England University
  • Westfield State University
  • Worcester State University​

Colleges and Universities Represented from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.(Evening/Online/Hybrid Programs)

  • Assumption: Continuing & Career Education
  • Bay Path University: One-Day-a-Week College
  • Bay State College
  • Becker College: School of Graduate & Professional Studies
  • Boston College: Woods College
  • Charter Oak State College: Online
  • Columbia University: School of General Studies
  • Eastern Nazarene College: Adult & Graduate Studies
  • Endicott College: Van Loan School
  • Fitchburg State University: Graduate & Continuing Education
  • Granite State College
  • Nichols College
  • Northeastern College of Professional Studies
  • Quinnipiac University: Online
  • Southern New Hampshire University: Online
  • Springfield College: Professional & Continuing Studies
  • UMass Amherst: University without Walls
  • UMass Lowell: Online & Continuing Education
  • Worcester State University: Continuing Education

The Transfer Services Department also offers a variety of workshops throughout the year that students can attend. They feature topics that include the application process, college search, preparing to transfer and transfer agreements. To learn more visit Transfer Services .

  • The Children's School celebrates the Week of the Child with an Art Exhibit in April.
March, 2019

Monday, April 8 – April 12:  In honor of the Week of the Young Child, visit the Children’s School Art Exhibit, located in the Administration Building hallway and Room 107A to see the art created by the preschoolers at the Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) Children’s School. The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the national Association for the...

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Monday, April 8 – April 12:  In honor of the Week of the Young Child, visit the Children’s School Art Exhibit, located in the Administration Building hallway and Room 107A to see the art created by the preschoolers at the Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) Children’s School. The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the national Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  The purpose is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meets those needs. The art will be displayed from April 8 – May 6, 2019.

Thursday, April 11: De-Escalation Workshop 11:00 a.m. in the Hebert Auditorium. Watch a film," Escalation," followed by a guided discussion. All are welcome to attend. 

Tuesday, April 16: Phi Theta Kappa - Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter will be holding its Induction Ceremony at 4:00 p.m. in Hebert Auditorium on QCC’s main campus. All are invited to attend.

Tuesday, April 16: Bystander Training on April 16 from 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium. Watch a film: The Bystander Movement - "Transforming Rape Culture at its Roots," followed by a panel discussion. Everyone is welcome to attend. The event is put on in collaboration with the Psi Beta Honor Society, QCC Diversity Caucus and  Title IX Compliance Office. For more information or to request accommodations, contact Dean Liz Woods at lwoods [at] qcc.mass.edu

Wednesday, April 17: Celebrate Diversity Day at QCC! This is a celebration of peace and diversity through arts, culture and literacy. 11:00 there will be a PEACE Ceremony outside the Fuller Center uniting different groups of people and religions for the greater good. At noon there will be a Cultural Food Festival that includes food from around the globe, live performances, an interactive selfie booth and more! All events will be held on the lawn in Fuller Student Center.

Thursday, April 18: Fitchburg State University Campus Tour for Manufacturing and Computer Science. Students will receive general information about FSU and the two programs. Free transportation from QCC to FSU. Bus leaves at noon and is scheduled to return at 4:00 p.m. to be part of the tour or for more information, contact Diane Boudreau at the Career Placement Office at 508.854.4574 or email her at dboudreau [at] qcc.mass.edu

Friday, April 19: Pizza with the President at noon in the Fuller Student Center.

Wednesday, April 24: Denim Day at QCC's Main Campus.  Everyone is encouraged to wear denim today to help promote domestic violence awareness. Events will be happening from 9:00 a.m. - noon in front of the Fuller Student Center (inside the Fuller student center if it rains!) 

Thursday, April 25: Denim Day at QCC's Healthcare and Workforce Development Center (25 Federal Street, Worcester) – Everyone is encouraged to wear denim today to help promote domestic violence awareness. Events will be happening from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Friday, April 26: Undergraduate Research Conference at UMass Amherst (UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College) from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. View research projects from undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds from universities, colleges, and community colleges across the Commonwealth. A free coach bus will pick up students at the main campus (670 West Boylston Street, Worcester) at 8:00 a.m. and leave UMass at 3:30 p.m. to go back to QCC’s main campus. Seating is limited. All those who are should contact Darcy Carlson, STEM Starter Academy Project Coordinator at 508.845.4441 or email dcarlson [at] qcc.mass.edu

April Spotlight: QCC’s spring production, Shakespeare on a Bench, presented by the QCC Theater Program and directed by Kelly Stowell will be held Wednesday, April 10 – Saturday, April 13 at &:00 p.m. and on Sunday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m. in the Hebert Auditorium, 670 West Boylston St. Worcester. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door. For more information email Theater Kelly Stowell, kstowell [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • The Wyverns took their practice on the road.
  • QCC coaches give instruction to their players during the Men's Baseball team's spring training in Florida.
March, 2019

Wyverns Baseball Season Is Underway 

Batter up! The Wyvern Men’s Baseball season is in full swing, thanks to some extra practice at a training facility in Cocoa Beach, Florida. For the second consecutive season the QCC Baseball team traveled to warmer weather for their spring training trip. The team played five games in three days in the warm Florida weather.

“This was a great...

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Wyverns Baseball Season Is Underway 

Batter up! The Wyvern Men’s Baseball season is in full swing, thanks to some extra practice at a training facility in Cocoa Beach, Florida. For the second consecutive season the QCC Baseball team traveled to warmer weather for their spring training trip. The team played five games in three days in the warm Florida weather.

“This was a great experience for the team and it gave them the opportunity to get a ton of innings in before their conference games begin,” said QCC Josh Cole Assistant Manager of Athletics and Fitness

The team reached the Region 21 finals in 2017 and 2018 and with a newly renovated field, Coach John McLaughlin is looking to build on the legacy of the past successes. The regular season kicked off on March 23 with two games against Community College of Rhode Island.  Visit the Wyverns 2019 baseball schedule to learn more and make sure to catch the home season opener scheduled for March 31.  Go Wyverns! 

Athletic Center Building Hours

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner, making this the perfect time to take advantage of the Athletic Center!

  • Monday: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
March, 2019

On March 4, 2019, Workforce Readiness and Innovation welcomed Jason Walker as the Advanced Manufacturing Program Specialist-Central MA Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (CRAMC). Jason brings to this position over 12 years of recruitment experience. Most recently, he was a Retail Account Manager at Eastridge. Jason earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Fitchburg State University.

Please join...

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On March 4, 2019, Workforce Readiness and Innovation welcomed Jason Walker as the Advanced Manufacturing Program Specialist-Central MA Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (CRAMC). Jason brings to this position over 12 years of recruitment experience. Most recently, he was a Retail Account Manager at Eastridge. Jason earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Fitchburg State University.

Please join us in welcoming Jason into his new role at QCC.

February, 2019

  • Carol King, Julio Zayas, Staisha Chavis and David McGrath
February, 2019

A recent partnership between the Worcester County House of Correction (WCHOC) and Quinsigamond Community College is gaining some traction. The college has become part of a program to deliver college readiness courses in mathematics and English to the temporary residents of WCHOC who will soon exit. The program is being funded by the WCHOC through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA...

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A recent partnership between the Worcester County House of Correction (WCHOC) and Quinsigamond Community College is gaining some traction. The college has become part of a program to deliver college readiness courses in mathematics and English to the temporary residents of WCHOC who will soon exit. The program is being funded by the WCHOC through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) Adult Education Services.

According to QCC’s Director of College and Career Pathways, Carol King, QCC has worked for over a year on developing a stronger partnership with WCHOC.  The college explored a number of programming options with the WCHOC and ultimately was funded to provide college readiness in English and math. The intent with this specific program is to develop a pipeline of credit students into the Future Focus Program. 

“Over the last several years, Gilmarie Vongphakdy, QCC’s Future Focus Program Coordinator, has been working with WCHOC and recruiting students for the Future Focus Program,” Ms. King said. Future Focus is an Adult Basic Education Transition to Community College initiative for adult learners who have participated in and/or completed high school equivalency (e.g., GED or HiSET preparation) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.

One of the first and biggest challenges that faced the staff of the new WCHOC program was developing a program that would provide maximum benefit to a student population with different and often changing exit dates.  There is no way to guarantee that a student would be available to complete 24 weeks of classes. After much discussion and research, the staff decided that a college-readiness program delivering mathematics and English consecutively, rather than concurrently, would better suit the WCHOC students. 

“In many ways, this math and English college readiness program mirrors other, similar efforts already underway at QCC,” Ms. King said, adding that those who complete these classes will take the QMAT (QCC’s mathematics placement testing) and Accuplacer, and are expected to place at college level, or closer than they would have without the additional readiness classes.

The program, which is managed by Julio Zayas under the leadership of Ms. King, began in January and is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 24 weeks – 12 weeks for mathematics and 12 weeks for English. The class, which can have a maximum of 20 students, began with 17 participants and currently has 14 participants. Students have left due to early releases or transfers.Courses are taught by instructors David McGrath (mathematics) and Staisha Chavis (English). 

Program Manager Julio Zayas, said the program has been very well-received by the students, who currently are in the program’s math segment. They are interested in and engaged with the curriculum, class materials, and instructional staff.

“College readiness is our goal,” Mr. Zayas said. “These students deserve a second opportunity for education and they are doing very well.”

Although the WCHOC program currently ends in June, the hope is that it will be continued. “It’s going well so far,” Ms. King said, adding, “If WCHOC is fully funded next year, we believe this program will be renewed.”

  • QCC paramedic students from left: Maria Soja, Jay Kersting, Brian Hatch and Ioanis Pintzopoulus
  • QCC paramedic student Ioanis Pintzopoulus
  • QCC paramedic students Brian Hatch & Maria Soja
February, 2019

Encountering a firefighter or paramedic on the job is something most of us hope we never have to face; however, when an emergency arises, these are the first people we want to see.  At Quinsigamond Community College, no one knows that better than the instructors in QCC’s Paramedic Technology associate degree program. These industry experts have trained many of the paramedics that serve in today’s...

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Encountering a firefighter or paramedic on the job is something most of us hope we never have to face; however, when an emergency arises, these are the first people we want to see.  At Quinsigamond Community College, no one knows that better than the instructors in QCC’s Paramedic Technology associate degree program. These industry experts have trained many of the paramedics that serve in today’s firehouses across Central Massachusetts.

Many of QCC’s paramedic students are firefighters within the region who have chosen to advance their skillset. QCC’s Program Coordinator of the Emergency Medical Services Program, Cheryl Finn said approximately 75 percent of the students in her current classes are firefighters.

Newly appointed Northborough firefighter and paramedic student Brian Hatch attended QCC right from high school, earning his Emergency Medical Services (EMT) certificate before deciding to continue at the college for his associate degree in Paramedic Technology

“Students must be EMTs before they can take the paramedics course,” Ms. Finn said.  “Students are generally in their 20s, however, we do have students in their 30s and 40s.”

QCC paramedic student Jonathan “Jay” Kersting, a newly appointed full-time firefighter in Orange had previously attended QCC, earning a degree in criminal justice before eventually returning back to pursue his Paramedic Technology degree at the college.  

Northborough firefighter and QCC student Ioanis Pintzopoulus said he had heard a lot about the college’s paramedic program before attending.

 “I knew a lot of people who came here to Quinsigamond. I worked for Community EMS and Patriot (ambulance services) and every time paramedic school came up, QCC was mentioned,” he said.

Paramedic student Maria Soja, a firefighter on the Auburn Fire Department, was already familiar with QCC, having obtained other degrees from the college.

EMS (Emergency Medical Services) tends to be a small world and a lot of the firefighters I come in contact with, a good majority of them have come to QCC,” Soja said.

QCC’s Paramedic Technology program combines academics with the opportunity to deliver optimum patient care at several clinical hospital sites, using a preceptor approach. Clinical rotations occur within a variety of hospital departments( Intensive/Critical Care Unit, Emergency Department, Anesthesiology (Operating Room), Pediatric Emergency Department, Emergency Mental Health, Labor and Delivery, and other departments as needed). The final component of the program is the paramedic field practicum, which provides students with an opportunity to utilize and refine the skills and knowledge they have gained.

Unlike many other programs, according to many of the students, what distinguished QCC’s Paramedic program was its delivery, focusing on academics before clinical, and the fact that the program is semester-based.

 “The semester approached really worked. We were completely focused on the academic before clinical.      This sets the program apart from other programs where often you learn in dribs and drabs,” Mr. Kersting said. “Being able to devote time for academics before you do anything is important so you don’t get ahead of yourself.”

“I also like the fact that the program is a two-year program. Personally, I can better retain information that way. Some other paramedic programs are accelerated and that doesn’t work for me,” Mr. Hatch added.

Other aspects of the program that stood out for the students included the support of professors and instructors, who have all worked in some aspect of the EMS field. All the students said this gave them a real-world perspective on what it’s like to be a paramedic.

“The professors are very helpful and they’ll put in the extra work, to help you because they want you to succeed,” Mr. Hatch said.

“The instructors are incredibly supportive and I wouldn’t have made it to this last semester without them,” Mr. Kersting added.

Ms. Soja said she’s found this to be the perfect program for those who are currently working or looking for employment.

“This is really the place to get your two-year degree. It’s local, convenient, and can work with people’s schedules. It gives you expose to people who are working in the field in this area and if you don’t have a job and are looking for one, it’s a great way to network.”

To learn more, visit the Paramedic Technology Program.

  • From left: QCC Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene & Dental Assisting Jacklyn Ventura and QCC student Samantha Chamberlain.
  • QCC students and faculty wear pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness.
February, 2019

They say a smile is worth a thousand words and students at Quinsigamond Community College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, located on the college’s main campus (670 West Boylston Street, Worcester) are in total agreement. Since QCC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic opened its doors in 1972 (it was completely renovated in 1999), the college’s dental hygiene and dental assisting students have been delivering...

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They say a smile is worth a thousand words and students at Quinsigamond Community College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, located on the college’s main campus (670 West Boylston Street, Worcester) are in total agreement. Since QCC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic opened its doors in 1972 (it was completely renovated in 1999), the college’s dental hygiene and dental assisting students have been delivering affordable dental hygiene care to those in Worcester and the surrounding communities.

The Clinic is a hands-on, state-of-the-art training facility for QCC’s hygiene and dental assisting students that provides the opportunity for them to work directly with patients. The college’s Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the programs have become so popular that often there is a waiting list for students.

“Our students treat patients directly and are overseen by faculty, two supervising dentists, and one dentist who comes in on Fridays to work with our dental assistant students,” said Dental Clinic Operations and Facilities Manager, Sheryl Ficorilli.

New patients are first screened and accessed at no cost to determine the level of care. Once the assessment is made, patients will set up appointments as needed. According to QCC Professor of Dental Hygiene Jane Gauthier, a cleaning and x-rays in the Northeast can average anywhere from $125- $200 or even higher, whereas at QCC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic those same services cost $25.

“The Clinic not only offers a learning environment for our students, but also offers patients great dental hygiene care for extremely affordable prices. It’s the ideal partnership,” Ms. Ficorilli said.

Veterans and active military are able to receive free services with a Military ID and the Clinic also accepts Mass Health.

Services offered include:

  • Complete oral Health Assessments
  • Adult and Child Dental Cleanings
  • Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy
  • Fluoride Treatments
  • Digital Full Mouth X-Rays
  • Digital Panoral X-Rays
  • Local Anesthesia
  • Custom Athletic Mouth Guards
  • Individual Oral Infection Control Plans
  • Sealants
  • Tooth Lightening
  • Chemotherapeutic Agents
  • Supplemental Aids

The Clinic closely adheres to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention infection control guidelines regarding safety and sterilization procedures and follows HIPAA regulations in maintaining confidentiality of patient information. A complete list of hours and pricing can be found at QCC's Dental Health Clinic. For more information or to schedule an appointment call, 508.854.4306.

  • QCC alumna Natasha Torres
February, 2019

For the last five years Quinsigamond Community College alumna Natasha Torres has been a successful entrepreneur operating Garden of Eden Spa, a skin, make up, waxing and nail services spa in Oxford, dedicated to making her clients feel relaxed, pampered and special.

Ms. Torres’s journey into the cosmetology world began at a young age, and by the time she was in...

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For the last five years Quinsigamond Community College alumna Natasha Torres has been a successful entrepreneur operating Garden of Eden Spa, a skin, make up, waxing and nail services spa in Oxford, dedicated to making her clients feel relaxed, pampered and special.

Ms. Torres’s journey into the cosmetology world began at a young age, and by the time she was in high school, she knew she wanted to one day own her own business in the field of cosmetology. Ms. Torres attended Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton, focusing her career path in cosmetology. She knew she needed to have a strong business acumen before taking the leap into entrepreneurship and chose to attend QCC after high school, to obtain her degree in business administration.

“I chose QCC because it was affordable; it was a well-known school; I could commute easily, and my mom went there,” she said. “QCC is an awesome college and it gives you a strong foundation, without having to be in debt.”

Ms. Torres said she was already familiar with the college because of her mother.

“My mom never finished classes because she had me and was in the hospital a lot with me, so she had to drop out,” she said.

Ms. Torres said she was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. While this has left her using a wheelchair to get around, it has never stopped her from any accomplishments she set her mind to do. While attending QCC, Ms. Torres worked in QCC’s Math Center as a work study student, in addition to working an off-campus job in the food service industry. During her time at QCC she made an indelible impression on virtually everyone she met and was even honored with a Women of Distinction Award.

She said she got a terrific start at QCC by taking a college preparation class, which gave her a clear path on how to maneuver college classes.

“I loved that class. It taught me how to study and get ready for college. They don’t teach you that in high school. It was so beneficial and so useful,” she said, adding, “The accessibility and having the buildings closer together was also very helpful for me.”

During her time at QCC she took a psychology course, taught by Professor of Psychology Maura Stickles. She said it gave her great insight into the future clients she would hope to one day have.

“The psychology course was so amazing and I realized if I was going to be working with clients these classes would be very helpful,” she added. “Professor Stickles was amazing and that’s why I still remember her. I feel like I learned so much at QCC; there were so many wonderful teachers.”

Ms. Torres was awarded her Certificate in Small Business Management in 2003 and then in 2006 completed her Associate Degree in Business Administration. From there she transferred to Worcester State University where she hoped to earn her bachelor’s degree; however, family issues led her to put her education on hold (with only a few credits short of her bachelor’s degree) and work full-time in food service. While this would have deterred many people, Ms. Torres remained unfazed and kept alive her dream of one day owning her own business.

Eventually she was able to leave her food service job and go back to cosmetology, working for other salons; however, by this time she had begun to fall out of love with cosmetology.  A chance encounter at a beauty supply shop eventually led her to her true love - being an aesthetician (someone who is a licensed skin care specialist and performs cleansing, massage and treatment of the skin). After becoming a licensed aesthetician she began working at various spas and gaining valuable experience, and in 2011 she opened her own spa. Through her spa she continues to give back to the community, often sponsoring area fundraisers.

Today, her successful and thriving business has even brought in staff members from QCC.

“I didn’t realize it when I made an appointment for a facial at Garden of Eden Spa, but I recognized Natasha immediately when I got there. We had known each other years ago when she attended QCC and I worked in one of the offices she frequently visited. Her warmth and friendliness, as well as the pride in knowing that she is a fellow alumna, has made me a faithful client at Garden of Eden Spa for over four years now,” said QCC Development Operations Supervisor Shirley Dempsey. “Natasha truly cares about her clients and shows concern for our overall heath and well-being. She keeps abreast of current trends, providing us with the most up-to-date products and services.”

Ms. Torres said it was QCC that gave her the foundation she needed to get where she is today and has a bit of advice for anyone who is considering attending, but is afraid to take that first step.

“QCC is adept with different learning styles and it gives you different opportunities. I’m physically disabled,  but if I can do it and make it there (at QCC) you can do it and make it,” she said.

  • QCC student veteran Keith Anderson
February, 2019

As a small child Keith Anderson saw firsthand what it was like to be a fighter. Both his mother and father had been firefighters in the U.S. Air Force and he was able to spend time in different fire houses as a youngster. The early experience stuck with him.

“I just had kind of a natural inclination to join fire service,” he said.

However, fire service would take a back...

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As a small child Keith Anderson saw firsthand what it was like to be a fighter. Both his mother and father had been firefighters in the U.S. Air Force and he was able to spend time in different fire houses as a youngster. The early experience stuck with him.

“I just had kind of a natural inclination to join fire service,” he said.

However, fire service would take a back seat to military service and for 14 years Mr. Anderson served in the U.S. Army, ending his military career as a staff sergeant in 2016. About six months before he ended his military career he tossed around the idea of going back to school for fire science.Mr. Anderson’s father-in-law had been a student at QCC and he had always talked very highly of the college, so QCC immediately came to mind. He decided that was the school he wanted to attend.

He said the transition from military life to going back to school was a bit nerve-wracking and he acknowledged he was initially nervous entering college.

“Coming from the military, I felt I didn’t have any control. It had been so long since I was a student of anything,” he said.

Through the help and support of QCC’s Veteran Affairs and the Veterans Club he began his education in fire science at QCC.  He said it was that support that made such a difference in becoming acclimated to college.

“I came straight here (Veterans Club) and they pointed me to all the right offices, helped me with paperwork I was confused about, and got the enrollment process going for me,” he said, adding that an academic advisor was there for him every step of the way. “If the academic side is becoming overwhelming, the Vets Club is a nice place to retreat. It’s a place you can come to talk to people who understand what it was like to be in the military.”

Mr. Anderson plans to graduate in 2019 with a degree in Fire Science and while having a degree is not an actual requirement to being a firefighter, it makes a candidate more competitive.

“It gives you the edge and there’s more opportunity for advancement,” he continued.

While some municipalities have age limits for firefighters many of the smaller communities do not and Mr. Anderson is hopeful he can find a job in one of those communities, ideally the town he currently lives in.

“Really all I’ve ever wanted is to give back to a community that’s given so much to me. I want to do what I can for that little community and hope to get out of it a chance to serve in a selfless capacity,” he said. “I felt like that was what I was doing in the military and I want to continue. That’s what I hope to get out of the degree.”

Mr. Anderson currently lives in Milford with his fiancée and son.

  • A sample care bag
February, 2019

At Quinsigamond Community College student success means caring for the whole student; however, sometimes that caring takes on different forms that transcend education.

QCC’s Dean of Compliance Liz Woods is someone who knows this first hand. In her time at QCC and in particular since taking on the role of Dean of Compliance, she has seen students who have been in domestic abuse situations...

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At Quinsigamond Community College student success means caring for the whole student; however, sometimes that caring takes on different forms that transcend education.

QCC’s Dean of Compliance Liz Woods is someone who knows this first hand. In her time at QCC and in particular since taking on the role of Dean of Compliance, she has seen students who have been in domestic abuse situations, struggling not only with school, but in finding just the basic necessities. While support services and resources were available at the school, what could the college do for the immediate need?

“We wanted to know, how we can help those students of domestic violence, who don’t feel ready for the day and who may be couch-surfing due to their situations,” Ms. Woods said.

This spawned the idea of the care bag.  The bag is a simple, non-descript QCC nylon backpack filled with personal items that offer students in distress assistance with some of their immediate and basic personal needs.  Included in the backpack is a towel and other personal toiletries that students can take to the athletic center, obtain a locker and take a shower.

Ms. Woods acknowledged that while this is far from a solution to the issues domestic violence or homeless students are facing, it offers them a way to, “feel somewhat whole again while we can get them more resources and services.”

The care bags are given out by QCC’s CARE team members after they have learned of a student in need.

“When someone is in need this can make such a difference for them,” Ms. Woods said.

QCC’s CARE team is made up of the Dean of Students Terry Vecchio, Assistant Dean of Students Jason Kurland, Chief of Police Kevin Ritacco, Mental Health Counselor Tina Wells, Director of Disability Services Kristie Proctor and Ms. Woods. The group meets weekly to discuss student issues and work on ways to connect students with services and resources.

Ms. Woods said the first person to receive a care bag was a student who was experiencing domestic violence. The student said it was that initial small act of kindness and compassion that made a difference for her. Today, Ms. Woods is happy to say that the student, while no longer attending QCC, is doing well and is out of her domestic violence situation.

“She said she is so grateful for the support of the college and is looking to finish her education in the state she is now living in,” Ms. Woods said.

Faculty and staff who see a student they feel is in need can fill out a Care Team referral form, or contact any of the CARE team members.

  • PTK Alumni Association Executive Board President Allen Phillips
February, 2019

President of the newly formed Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta (AZT) AZT Alumni Association Executive Board, Allen Phillips,  shares his experiences and musings as a QCC student, PTK member and alumni.

What drew you to QCC and why did you end up choosing the college?

I decided to attend QCC to finish my degree in Business Administration. QCC was close to my...

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President of the newly formed Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta (AZT) AZT Alumni Association Executive Board, Allen Phillips,  shares his experiences and musings as a QCC student, PTK member and alumni.

What drew you to QCC and why did you end up choosing the college?

I decided to attend QCC to finish my degree in Business Administration. QCC was close to my house and very affordable. The college also had an online program that allowed me to continue with my busy schedule and still complete my education.

During your time at QCC you were a member of the PTK Alpha Theta Zeta Chapter. Can you tell me a bit about your experiences as a PTK member?

 I received an email from PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman, telling me that I was eligible to join PTK based on my GPA. I researched what PTK was and what it meant to be a member. My first thought was, ‘why bother,’ but as I looked into it more and realized this was a good group of people who were all community -oriented, and that it was an honor to belong, I decided to join. There are also scholarship opportunities available to PTK members.

Has being a member of PTK helped you as you’ve progressed through your educational career and your professional career?

Being a member of PTK helped me to realize that I do not have to settle for a lower grade when I am capable of getting higher grades. I continued my education by attending the University of Alaska online for Homeland Security and Emergency Management Bachelor’s program. I finished this past December with a 4.0 GPA and also became a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key and Sword and Shield Honor societies. I am currently pursuing my Masters at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  I link it all back to my PTK induction and how it felt on that day in 2016.

Can you tell me what you are currently doing today work-wise?

Currently, I work full-time for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. I have been there for 14 years. I recently retired from the West Boylston Fire department, where I worked part-time as a firefighter and EMT. I retired because my family and I moved to Leicester, Massachusetts.

Why did you decide to be president of the new PTK Alumni Association?

I decided to be president because I wanted to give back to an organization that had given to me. Being a member boosted my confidence and allowed me to continue my education and understand something a professor once said to me, which was, “you are better than you think you are.” I had offered to be a member of the board in any position, the interview team had asked if I would consider being the president, due to my background, since I had been an association president for other organizations in my town, as well as a selectman.

What do you hope the Association brings to the table for former PTK students?

 I hope our Association brings the same benefits and incentive I felt by being a PTK member. In addition to the ability to re-connect with those members who attended school with you, there are fellowship, volunteer and many other benefits to being a member.

Do you have any upcoming events etc. planned for the Association?

Yes, the current board and I are now working on this year’s events. Once we are finished we will publish a calendar listing all of the events. I can give you an idea of some of the events we discussed, many which we will try to get worked out once we finish working on bylaws and other necessary things for PTK AZT Alumni Association. Some of the ideas are: hiking event, cookout, haunted woods in October, softball game, restaurant days, and a comedy show. We will also take any suggestions from others on what they would like for events.

What would you tell someone who was considering QCC, or someone who is already a student at QCC and has been invited to be a PTK member, but is a bit hesitant to join?

 Do not be afraid of opportunity. What do you have to lose? Think about scholarships, prestige, friendship and walking down that aisle at graduation with your gold stole. The stole tells everybody there that you made to extra effort to succeed.

  • Proud mom Michelle Sheehan shows a photo of her son Nick.
  • QCC student Nick Sheehan
  • QCC student Nick Sheehan holds one of his Rubik's cubes.
February, 2019

When Quinsigamond Community College student Nick Sheehan found the Fab Lab at QCC, there was no stopping his creative juices. As the son of QCC Program Assistant Michelle Sheehan, he was familiar with the college but not the college’s Fab Lab. During the summer between his junior and senior year in high school, at the suggestion of his mother, he visited the Fab Lab and was...

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When Quinsigamond Community College student Nick Sheehan found the Fab Lab at QCC, there was no stopping his creative juices. As the son of QCC Program Assistant Michelle Sheehan, he was familiar with the college but not the college’s Fab Lab. During the summer between his junior and senior year in high school, at the suggestion of his mother, he visited the Fab Lab and was immediately hooked.

His initial plan had been to go to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) after graduating Sheppard Hill High School in 2017; however, after finding out he was wait-listed, he made the decision to attend QCC and do his preliminary classes before transferring to WPI.

“WPI is not cheap and this way I can save money,” he said.

The current QCC Engineering major, who is known for his signature bow-tie and pin-bedecked Red Sox hat has now become a staple at QCC’s Fab Lab.

“I became hooked on going to the Fab Lab and making things with the 3D printers. The first semester at QCC I took an engineering graphics class and learned AutoCAD (computer-aided design software),” Mr. Sheehan said. “This way I can now design things in 3D myself.”

He said his favorite item to design and print are Rubik’s cube-style puzzles. He has designed seven of his own type of Rubik’s cubes and then 3D printed them.

“I got into Rubik’s cubes my freshmen year in high school, after I went to Walmart with my grandma and saw them. I spent time learning how to work them and today I have 250,” Mr. Sheehan said. “Of the seven versions I’ve designed and printed, versions five and seven actually work.”

He said he has worked closely with the lab instructors to learn how to use all the machines in the Fab Lab.

 “They have all been great, especially Nick Bold (Fab Lab Manager). There is so much support there,” he continued.

Today he has taken what he has learned in the Fab Lab and transferred that knowledge to projects at his home, working on his own 3D printer after getting the information about a personal 3D printer from another student in the Fab Lab. He said he went home and told his mother this was what he wanted for Christmas this year.

His mom bought him the 3D home printer and immediately he began printing things from free plans he has found online. In fact, one of the first things he printed was a 3D bow-tie.

Mr. Sheehan’s goal is to still transfer to WPI and obtain an engineering degree. Now he thinks perhaps a company such as FormLabs, a 3D printing technology developer and manufacturer, will be in his future.

“I knew 3D printing was a ‘thing,’ but then I had the opportunity to try it out at QCC’s Fab lab and found out how really neat this all is,” he added.

  • From left: Karen Rucks, Cheryl Marrino and Shirley Dempsey
  • QCC students enjoy some sweet treats.
  • Students, faculty and staff vote sample and vote for their favorite entry.
  • Bake-Off winners received a coveted Bake-Off Champion rolling pin.
February, 2019

The weather finally rose to the occasion and the Alumni Association Board held its Bake-Off on February 20, with all proceeds from the event going to the Alumni Scholarship Fund.

A total of 22 students, faculty and staff bakers dusted off their rolling pins and brought in their best homemade baked goods, with four bakers winning the coveted QCC Rolling Pin and bragging rights as QCC’s Best Baker. Below...

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The weather finally rose to the occasion and the Alumni Association Board held its Bake-Off on February 20, with all proceeds from the event going to the Alumni Scholarship Fund.

A total of 22 students, faculty and staff bakers dusted off their rolling pins and brought in their best homemade baked goods, with four bakers winning the coveted QCC Rolling Pin and bragging rights as QCC’s Best Baker. Below is the list of winners. There’s no “knead” to say more!

Main Campus 2019 Bake-Off Winners:

Pie/Trifle Category

1st Place: Vinny Tran* (Strawberry Mascarpone Hazelnut Chocolate Tart)

2nd Place: Helen Hatzopoulos* (Chocolate Trifle)

3rd Place: Kim Mohareb (Raspberry Bakewell Tart)

Cake/Bread/Brownie Category

1st Place: Kelley LaVergne (Carrot Cake)

2nd Place: Isabella Kearns* (Cannoli Cake)

3rd Place: Beth Fullerton (Sugar Cookie Cheesecake)

Bar/Cookie/Candy Category

1st Place: Tammy Strouth (Ohio Buckeye Bites)

2nd Place: Kristie Proctor (Simply Lemon Macaroons)

3rd Place: Jay Trivedi* (Chocolate Chip S’more Cookies)

Downtown Bake-Off Winners:

1st Place: Deborah Coleman

2nd Place: Bronwyn Teixeira

“We raised $600, of which 100% benefitted the Alumni Scholarship Fund. We also received donations for the bake sale table, as well as donations from local organizations for raffle prizes,” said QCC Staffer June Vo.

*QCC students

  • Gateway to College Program Assistant Glenda Rodriguez and student
February, 2019

Recruitment is currently underway for the Fall 2019 semester of the Gateway to College program. The program was developed to serve those students between the ages of 16-21 who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out, and assists them in obtaining their high school diploma, while also simultaneously earning college credits. Many Gateway to College graduates have gone on to...

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Recruitment is currently underway for the Fall 2019 semester of the Gateway to College program. The program was developed to serve those students between the ages of 16-21 who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out, and assists them in obtaining their high school diploma, while also simultaneously earning college credits. Many Gateway to College graduates have gone on to finish their associate degree and then transferred to a four year college or university. QCC's Gateway to College program is part of a national network that includes 35 programs in 20 states.

Those who are interested in the program must attend an information session in order to apply for admission to Gateway to College. To register visit Gateway to College.

Information sessions will be held in the Administration Building (670 West Boylston Street, Worcester) in room 107A.

Information session dates include:

  • March 13, 2:30 p.m. 
  • April 17,   5:00 p.m.  
  • April 24,   2:30 p.m.  
  • May 7,     5:00 p.m. 
  • June 4,    2:30 p.m.  
  • June 11,  5:00 p.m. 
  • June 18,  2:30 p.m. 
  • June 25,  5:00 p.m. 

Acceptance is not guaranteed as spaces are limited and applicants must meet eligibility requirements. For additional information call 508.854.7587, or email Gateway to College Program Assistant Glenda Rodriguez, gtcinfo [at] qcc.mass.edu. To learn more about the program visit Gateway to College

  • Luk Outreach Case Manager Nathan Pickens
February, 2019

The Quinsigamond Community College Food Pantry & Resource Center provides food for students who lack adequate nourishment, as well as resources to help with other challenges. It is dedicated to helping those in the QCC community who are in need.

Services include assistance and information regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); biweekly visits (on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m....

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The Quinsigamond Community College Food Pantry & Resource Center provides food for students who lack adequate nourishment, as well as resources to help with other challenges. It is dedicated to helping those in the QCC community who are in need.

Services include assistance and information regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); biweekly visits (on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. and on Wednesday from 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.) from Luk, a community-based nonprofit agency dedicated to improving the safety, health and emotional well-being of youths, families and adults; and nutritional training through Cooking Matters of Massachusetts. To find out more about these services, visit Food Pantry and Resource Center or email foodpantry [at] qcc.mass.edu

Cookbook to Support Food Pantry & Resource Center  - Recipes Wanted!

Calling all chefs and home cooks! Do you have the most amazing recipe that everyone just raves about each time you make it?  Would you like to share that recipe and also help those less fortunate?

The Psychology Club and Psi Beta Honor Society are looking for your very best recipes to compile for a QCC cookbook that will support the college’s food pantry. QCC students, faculty, and staff are invited to submit their very best recipe (include your name so you receive recognition for your recipe) by March 16.

Drop boxes will be located around campus for recipe donation. Recipes may also be emailed to qccpsychologyclub [at] gmail.com. The Psychology Club will begin taking orders for the cookbook after the recipe collection ends.

  • Environmental Science Professor Anita Soracco
February, 2019

One of the most important things we can do for our planet is to radically reduce our CO2 emissions, since they are a major contributor to global climate change. There are many lifestyle choices that can help accomplish this, however one change that is very easy to implement in everyday life is the use of reusable shopping bags. According to Waste Management, Americans use a staggering 100 billion plastic bags...

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One of the most important things we can do for our planet is to radically reduce our CO2 emissions, since they are a major contributor to global climate change. There are many lifestyle choices that can help accomplish this, however one change that is very easy to implement in everyday life is the use of reusable shopping bags. According to Waste Management, Americans use a staggering 100 billion plastic bags each year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. The recycle rate is only 1 percent; the rest end up in landfills where they will remain for over 500 years. It is also important to note that while recycling plastic bags is much better than land-filling; recycling is an energy intensive process; so the best thing we can do is to reduce.

Paper bags also have a high carbon footprint because of the vast deforestation to manufacture them. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down annually to meet our demands for paper bags.  Trees act as a carbon sink, which means they temporarily store carbon from the atmosphere, which lessens climate change. The recycling rate for paper bags is also low at 3-5 percent. 

When we choose reusable shopping bags, we help reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing, transporting, recycling, and land-filling paper and plastic bags. As a rule of thumb, the more times a product is reused, the lesser the footprint. Any single use item is going to have a larger ecological footprint than a reusable one. 

Globally, we can make a huge difference in how we impact the environment. Staying out of the waste stream by reducing and reusing will help decrease deforestation, litter, and plastic contamination. So the real answer to “paper or plastic” is: neither, I brought my own.

Learn more about Environmental Science education at QCC.

*This article was written by Environmental Science Professor Anita Soracco.