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April, 2020

  • QCC's Assistant Director of Advancement Program and Services Keith McKittrick gets a helping hand (paw!) as he works remotely.
  • Dean of Compliance Liz Woods unloads food picked up from the Worcester County Food Bank.
  • Each week QCC staff members continue servicing students who are food insecure with a type of drive up food pantry.
  • QCC's facilities staff continues to ensure the campus remains safe.
  • QCC Sports are offering free daily yoga sessions for the QCC community, Monday- Friday on Zoom.
  • This April the daffodils on QCC's main campus didn't seem to get the message about social distancing.
  • QCC Alumna Kayla Paterson hosts a Facebook Live program for PTK members to stay engaged and informed.
April, 2020

As college campuses across the country adjust to working and educating remotely, Quinsigamond Community College faculty and staff have rallied to show true Wyvern spirit. They have adjusted their mode of teaching, increased support to students, adapted to less than ideal working conditions and put their fears aside in order help students fulfill their dreams of a higher education.

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As college campuses across the country adjust to working and educating remotely, Quinsigamond Community College faculty and staff have rallied to show true Wyvern spirit. They have adjusted their mode of teaching, increased support to students, adapted to less than ideal working conditions and put their fears aside in order help students fulfill their dreams of a higher education.

Do you have an interesting work helper, remote work space or are you doing something to help out our students in a unique way? We want to know! Please send us your "work from home" photos and stories to Wyvern Inspiration and you may be featured in an upcoming Wyvern newsletter.      

March, 2020

  • QCC Respiratory Therapy students from left: Jaclyn Banach, Kiara Still, Allison Foskett and Tiffany “Tiff” Wayland.
March, 2020

Quinsigamond Community College Respiratory Therapy students are in the thick of things these days, and while they have all dedicated themselves to caring for others, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the scope of what they do. In the coming weeks we will be featuring our amazing Respiratory Therapy students, who each day are on the front lines, working in area hospitals to help save lives. These amazing...

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Quinsigamond Community College Respiratory Therapy students are in the thick of things these days, and while they have all dedicated themselves to caring for others, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the scope of what they do. In the coming weeks we will be featuring our amazing Respiratory Therapy students, who each day are on the front lines, working in area hospitals to help save lives. These amazing students are the embodiment of the QCC guardians and our Wyvern mascot - a mythical, winged dragon that was viewed as the ancient protector of Worcestershire, England. As the Wyvern protected Worcestershire, England, QCC's students and alumni protect our communities. Below are four Respiratory Therapy students who are making a difference one patient at a time. They are protecting our communities each and every day, selflessly putting their lives on the line for others. 

Meet some of our amazing QCC students:

  • Kiara Still is a QCC Respiratory Therapy sophomore who will graduate in May. She’s joining the team at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester next week because she wants to make a difference during this uncertain, unprecedented time. Ms. Still lives with her boyfriend who is considered high-risk, but has made the decision to put her nerves aside and jump right into the front lines.

    "I am grateful for the Quinsigamond Respiratory Care program and as scary as it is, I am ready! We are the Quinsigamond Community College Class of 2020, and we are ready,” she said. Ms. Stills is one very special guardian.
  • Tiffany “Tiff” Wayland is a QCC student who is on her second week as a student respiratory therapist at Harrington Hospital. She is taking care of COVID-19 pending patients, running ventilators and checking blood gases. She will also be wearing two pairs of gloves and two masks, along with everything else that goes into keeping herself and her patients safe. As scary as it is, Tiff says loves helping out. Tiff was a student just two weeks ago...now she is working to save lives.
  • Jaclyn Banach is a QCC Respiratory Therapy student who has been on the front lines for five years, working overnight at Marlborough Hospital in Emergency Registration. She is in the process of having her license expedited by the Board of Respiratory Care. As soon as she gets it, she said she is ready to jump in and work directly with those suffering from Coronavirus/COVID-19. Thank you for being a QCC student and protecting our community.
  • Allison Foskett is on her second degree at QCC. Currently she is a Respiratory Therapy student who has been working at UMass Memorial on the University campus since last fall in a student position as a Respiratory Therapist I. She said the experience and lessons she has learned during the time she has been there have been "significant" and says she has loved every minute of it. Today, her world has turned upside down due to the pandemic crisis.

    "I don’t think any of us could have predicted what is happening now, it’s surreal. I have to say that I am in awe of my coworkers, they are amazing! Under stress and uncertainty, they are still taking the time to teach me. That speaks volumes about the respiratory department at UMass, she said. "I am doing the best I can through this trying to balance working through a pandemic, completing school work, studying for the boards, and raising my four children."

    Ms. Foskett said she is grateful that all the people she loves and cares about are healthy at the moment, which is really all that matters. Her message to others is a simple one, "Stay safe and stay home." Thank you, Ms. Foskett for taking care of our community and helping keep us all safe. You are a true hero.

Do you know someone who is helping during this time of great need? Please send an email to Marketing Manager Gina Cone at gcone [at] qcc.mass.edu and let her know so that we can tell the world about their incredible feats.

  • QCC Professor Lee Duerden demonstrates a 3D protoype mask he made. Two UMass Memorial nurses were thrilled to try the masks out.
March, 2020

As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis deepens, Quinsigamond Community College faculty, staff, students and alumni have come together to assist area hospitals and healthcare facilities. The College’s science department recently donated 45 cases of nitrile gloves to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

“This totals 45,000 gloves, which will go to hospitals and healthcare facilities in the...

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As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis deepens, Quinsigamond Community College faculty, staff, students and alumni have come together to assist area hospitals and healthcare facilities. The College’s science department recently donated 45 cases of nitrile gloves to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

“This totals 45,000 gloves, which will go to hospitals and healthcare facilities in the most need,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja.

Other initiatives by the QCC community include a project spearheaded by Lee Duerden, associate professor of Manufacturing Technology. Mr. Duerden is utilizing QCC’s Fab Lab and its form lab resin printers to make respirator masks that have removable HEPA filters, capable of filtration rates to 0.01 microns. In comparison, according to the Centers for Disease Controls, N95 filtering face piece respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. N95 FFRs are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses. Mr. Duerden has currently printed prototypes that are being tested and utilized by 10 area nurses. 

QCC students are also taking part in the crusade to help out. QCC student Ilina Ivanova is a Liberal Arts Biology major, due to graduate this May. Ms. Ivanova has begun sewing masks after finding a Facebook group, “Worcester Stitchers for Health,” where people share patterns online. These masks also enable a filter to be inserted.

“I have made about 25 masks so far and I plan on making as many as I can. They take about 20-25 minutes to sew each, depending on the template,” she said, adding that the masks can either be dropped off at a drop box at the home of the coordinator of Worcester Stitchers for Health, or the coordinator will make arrangements to safely pick them up. 

They are taken to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) where they are either autoclaved or UV irradiated, depending on the mask material (anything that contains plastic will melt in an autoclave), packaged in sterile pouches and distributed by MEMA.

“However, many people know people personally who are working in high risk healthcare settings that are asking for these masks. For example, I know that a client at an ER veterinary hospital just made masks for the entire staff to alleviate pressure on their dwindling surgical mask supply," she said, adding that grocery store workers, delivery drivers, and other essential workers may also not have access to a mask.

Classes and labs at QCC’s Center for Healthcare and Workforce Development, located at 25 Federal Street, Worcester have also made donations to:

  • UMASS Medical School - N95 masks, gloves, gowns, surgical masks
  • Harrington Hospital – Gowns, and surgical masks
  • Salmon Healthcare – Gowns, gloves and surgical masks
  • Knollwood Nursing Home – Gowns, gloves and surgical masks

“In these unprecedented times, we must all do our part and try and help mitigate the medical supply demand our hospitals and healthcare facilities are facing,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja. “We will continue to do everything we can to assist our healthcare workers who work tirelessly on the front lines.”

  • Jacob Longacre, QCC associate professor of Electronics Engineering Technology
  • QCC has been host to many Vex robotics competitions.
March, 2020

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) was recently awarded a $298,108 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant for a new Robotics Technician Certificate program. The program will be designed to offer a curriculum that supports technical communication, teaches problem-solving skills and offers a strong integration of industry-recognized certifications. Underrepresented QCC student populations that participate in QCC...

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Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) was recently awarded a $298,108 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant for a new Robotics Technician Certificate program. The program will be designed to offer a curriculum that supports technical communication, teaches problem-solving skills and offers a strong integration of industry-recognized certifications. Underrepresented QCC student populations that participate in QCC’s existing robotics community outreach programs will directly benefit from the program. Additionally, other beneficiaries targeted include 400 pre-college and undergraduate students, who have demonstrated interest in robotics technology.

Robotics education is not a new concept at QCC. It is already a part of the College’s manufacturing and mechatronics programs. According to Jacob Longacre, associate professor of Electronics Engineering Technology at QCC, the new Robotics Technician Certificate will be based on input from industries within the region, as well as local high schools and four-year institution educators. The hope is for the new certificate program to act as a conduit between K-12 robotics outreach programs.

“We want to be sensitive to industries’ needs, how things are changing, and bring more of that interest and need to the program,” Mr. Longacre said.

While QCC faculty and staff have already begun reaching out to industry leaders, the grant funding will now enable QCC to formally begin a comprehensive fact-finding process. This summer, QCC will establish a local business and industry leadership team for robotics, to identify and prioritize the skills desired by local employers. The goal is to have the pilot program tested and in place within three years.

One key component to the program is finding ways in which to engage and inspire students in the world of STEM, particularly those students in middle and high school. For many years QCC has been involved with the VEX Robotics programs. These programs and competitions target high school and middle school students, in an effort to increase interest in STEM from an early age.

“These programs expand students’ interest in STEM and connects those students who may not have these types of technology opportunities,” Mr. Longacre said. “We want our certificate program to get these students excited and interested in robotics.”

“The awarding of this NSF Grant enables us to develop new career pathways for students,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja. “We must teach not only for today’s industry needs, but also teach to the needs of the future. I believe this program will be a gateway to self-sufficiency for many students.”

  • QCC student Murillo Gomes
March, 2020

As students came back from an extended spring break due to the Coronavirus, they came back to a new remote mode of learning. For some students this may be the first foray into this type of learning, for others it may be more familiar. Remote instruction can mean many different things depending upon the course and instructor. Over the past two weeks, professors have reached out to students and detailed their courses...

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As students came back from an extended spring break due to the Coronavirus, they came back to a new remote mode of learning. For some students this may be the first foray into this type of learning, for others it may be more familiar. Remote instruction can mean many different things depending upon the course and instructor. Over the past two weeks, professors have reached out to students and detailed their courses’ required mode of instruction, as students entered into their last weeks of the spring semester.

“It is with great pride and humility that I thank the QCC community for their support during these difficult times. In record time, our faculty, staff and students have adjusted to our new mode of remote instruction and supported one another in ways that have left me speechless,” said QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja. “Our students came back to a well thought out plan in which to continue their classes.”

All QCC services, as well as student support services have also transitioned to online that include everything from simple email communication, to remote meetings and get togethers on various online platforms. All contact information and services can be found on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information Center . For students in need of transfer advising services, there is currently regular drop-in transfer advising sessions using Zoom video conferencing. To learn more, visit QCC Transfer Services.

“We will have some challenges to overcome in the days and weeks to come, but I know that as we all pull together as a community, there is nothing we can’t accomplish,” Dr. Pedraja added.

  • A sampling of some of the homemade masks made by PTK student Ilina Ivanova.
March, 2020

Phi Theta Kappa student Ilina Ivanova is making a difference in her community one mask at a time. The Quinsigamond Community College sophomore has been putting the pedal to the metal…the sewing machine pedal that is, to make masks for healthcare workers in need. The Wyvern recently had a Q&A online interview with this inspiring and humble student.

What is your major at QCC...

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Phi Theta Kappa student Ilina Ivanova is making a difference in her community one mask at a time. The Quinsigamond Community College sophomore has been putting the pedal to the metal…the sewing machine pedal that is, to make masks for healthcare workers in need. The Wyvern recently had a Q&A online interview with this inspiring and humble student.

What is your major at QCC and when do you anticipate graduating from QCC?

My major at QCC is Liberal Arts Biology, and I am due to graduate this May.

Why did you decide to get involved in making masks?

For several reasons. First, I understand that there is a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) all over the country. I used to work as an Emergency Veterinary Technician, and the hospitals that I worked at have either made their own masks, or have had masks made by the community so that they can free up supply for the human hospitals. Second, I felt I needed to do something productive with my two idle hands that would help my community. I feel guilty when I go to the grocery store and I see the workers without masks. I wanted to offer them an alternative. I would do more if I had the resources or the training. I really wish I could be on the front lines doing everything I can at a moment like this, so I am doing what I think I can.

My goal is to reach out to people who are interested and able to help and connecting them to others who are doing the same.

How did you find the pattern for the masks?

It has been a good deal of trial and error. I am not an expert seamstress by any means. My father has a sewing machine and I asked him if I could use it. I researched patterns on the Internet and I joined the Facebook group, “Worcester Stitchers for Health” where people share patterns. That gave me a lot of hope because the number of people uploading pattern ideas via platforms like Facebook or Youtube in the last couple of weeks tells me that a lot of people all over the country are organizing to make masks with what they have. I know that these masks are not ideal, but this is not an ideal situation and some people are going with zero protection. The filter insert allows for further protection.

Here is a Youtube link for the pattern I am currently using: pocket facemask video

You mentioned dropping them off at your organizer’s home, to then be dropped off at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  Do you know where WPI will distribute them?

I work at a small startup research company based out of the MBI Incubators at WPI. On my way into work on Monday, the lobby was filled with boxes of PPE donations being organized by the WPI community. I asked them if they were accepting handmade masks and that’s when I was put in touch with Kris Boudreau, who is the coordinator for Worcester Stitchers for Health. Once the masks are made, they can be dropped off at Kris’s doorstep (there is a drop-off box outside to limit social contact), or she is willing to pick them up given a reasonable distance. Kris takes them to WPI where they are either autoclaved or UV irradiated, depending on the mask material (anything that contains plastic will melt in an autoclave). Then they are packaged in a sterile pouch and distributed based on need. This part gets a little tricky because for the most part WPI is working with Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), which is working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to identify high need areas and distribute accordingly. However, many people know people personally who are working in high risk healthcare settings that are asking for these masks. For example, I know that a client at an ER veterinary hospital just made masks for the entire staff to alleviate pressure on their dwindling surgical mask supply. Not to mention all of the grocery store workers, delivery drivers, and other essential workers who may not have access to a mask.

How many have you made or are planning to make?

I have made about 25 masks so far and I plan on making as many as I can. They take about 20-25 minutes to sew each, depending on the template. Part of what takes the most time is finding a template that you like and getting comfortable with it. The template that I am currently using is a pleated mask with a filter insert and a metal wire nose bridge. It can be made with elastic bands or with ties. I got my materials at Joann Fabrics the day before they closed and they were entirely cleared out of elastic! That’s how many people are making masks.

Is this something where anyone can get involved? If so, can you please share the details?

This is definitely something that anyone who has the tools and materials and is willing to deal with a minor learning curve can get involved with. I know a lot of people have more time on their hands these days, and for me, personally, when I feel myself going a little crazy, I now get behind the sewing machine. (The Facebook page is Worcester Stitchers for Health and Kris Boudreau’s email is kboudreau [at] wpi.edu)

Professor Lee Duerden made a prototype of a respirator mask and you mentioned a friend in Vermont who will be using Lee’s prototype to make 3-D Masks. Can you tell us a bit about this?

Sure. My friend, Josh Shedaker, is a musician and guitar/bass repair man, amongst other things, living in Vermont. He posted on Facebook about looking for resources on making 3D printed respirator masks. I shared Lee’s prototype with him and he said that this is the type of mask he is looking to make. What surprised me is that under his Facebook post, there were many others with 3D printer access who commented that they were also making 3D printed respirator masks. It is great to get the word out because it helps with organizing and connecting people who I think naturally want to help but either don’t know how or they think their effort will be insignificant.

What are your plans after you graduate from QCC?

After QCC I will be finishing my bachelor's in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Clark University. I actually just found out I was accepted last Friday and I am so excited. This would not have been possible without all of the support, inspiration, guidance, and quality education that I received at QCC. When I started last year, part of me didn't think this would have been possible. I will really miss QCC. 

If you are a QCC student or alumni doing something in your community to help others during this national pandemic, we want to hear from you and tell your story. Please email the Wyvern Guardian newsletter at khutner [at] qcc.mass.edu.

  • QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja and WBZ Anchor Kate Merrill
March, 2020

As Quinsigamond Community College transitions to a new way of delivering student services, QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center is working hard to continue to serve students who are food insecure. The College stands united in its commitment to students and in the coming days students will be receiving information in their Qmail about how to apply for food pantry assistance through a...

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As Quinsigamond Community College transitions to a new way of delivering student services, QCC’s Food Pantry and Resource Center is working hard to continue to serve students who are food insecure. The College stands united in its commitment to students and in the coming days students will be receiving information in their Qmail about how to apply for food pantry assistance through a new food pantry and resource center intake form.

According to Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Bonnie Coleman, the QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center will be picking up food weekly from the Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB). Dean of Students Terry Vecchio and Ms. Coleman recently spent two and a half hours training with David Reed, agency relations coordinator for the WCFB, so that the College could have access to their food.

“We will have a variety of food staples, depending on what they have each week,” she said.

Each week Ms. Coleman and Ms. Vecchio will visit the food bank and pick up items for QCC’s food pantry, bringing them back to the College where they will be sorted and bagged. The food will be distributed into individual bags that can be picked up at the College’s turnaround area in front of QCC’s main campus (670 West Boylston Street, Worcester). Each bag with not only contain food items, but also valuable information on different resources available to students. The goal is to also rotate to QCC’s Healthcare and Workforce Development Center, on 25 Federal Street, Worcester.

Ms. Vecchio asks students for their understanding and patience as they navigate this new process.

“We will try and have a consistent day each week that is to be determined,” she said, adding that services will be on first-come, first-serve, rotating basis each week. We are going to do the very best we can to help out our students in need.”

For questions, please email foodpantry [at] qcc.mass.edu 

  • Register online today
March, 2020

If you are a current Quinsigamond Community College student, you know what time it is…it’s REGISTRATION TIME! Registration for current students is currently underway and beginning on April 13, the College opens up its registration to the general public.

Due to the current health crisis, QCC Advising has changed its registration format for the health and safety of students and staff. During...

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If you are a current Quinsigamond Community College student, you know what time it is…it’s REGISTRATION TIME! Registration for current students is currently underway and beginning on April 13, the College opens up its registration to the general public.

Due to the current health crisis, QCC Advising has changed its registration format for the health and safety of students and staff. During this registration period, ALL current QCC students are able to self-register for classes. Visit QCC Register Now for easy to follow instructions and support information.

Summer Sessions Set to Start Early June

Due to the current situation with the Coronavirus/COVID-19, Quinsigamond Community College has made the decision to delay summer courses until the beginning of June. The new session dates are:

  • Summer I:  Monday, June 8- Tuesday, July 14
  • Summer II: Monday, July 20 – Tuesday, August 25

Summer offers students, whether QCC students or students from other colleges or universities, a way to take a class they might still need, transfer the course credit, and be ahead of the game when they return to their schools in the fall.  Additionally, students from other collegiate institutions who choose to take a summer course at QCC often see a substantial cost savings.

Open registration for summer and fall classes begins on April 13. For more information, visit QCCRegister.

  • Karl Storrs employees are advancing their careers through QCC's Manufacturing Certificate program.
  • Karl Storrs employees at QCC's Advanced Manufacturing lab.
March, 2020

Karl Storz Endoskope Inc., of Charlton, recently partnered with Quinsigamond Community College to bring a Manufacturing Technology Certificate program to the company workplace. The goal was to encourage employees to further their education, by acquiring knowledge and skills to be more qualified for advancement. Storz employees from different shifts and different departments participated in the program.

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Karl Storz Endoskope Inc., of Charlton, recently partnered with Quinsigamond Community College to bring a Manufacturing Technology Certificate program to the company workplace. The goal was to encourage employees to further their education, by acquiring knowledge and skills to be more qualified for advancement. Storz employees from different shifts and different departments participated in the program.

Most classes were taught on-site in the company’s training room, with some “hands-on” classes conducted in the advanced manufacturing lab at QCC. Not only was this convenient for employees to attend the bulk of their courses on the jobsite (providing valuable time savings), but also helped remove an additional financial barrier by having the company fund the program.

QCC’s Manufacturing Certificate program is designed to prepare students to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills to the identification and resolution of production problems in the manufacturing of products. Additional courses in mathematics and microcomputer applications were provided to ensure the employees had the foundational skills they would need to be successful.

QCC manufacturing faculty members, Professors Lee Duerden and Damian Kieran, provided instruction that included basic machine operation, engineering materials science, computer-aided design, machine maintenance and instrumentation, manufacturing quality and safety. Some of the standard curriculum was also modified to directly support Karl Storz activities.

“An example of curriculum modification would be in the Strength of Materials. We specifically identified endoscope vertebra, which are tested to determine strength of the weld. There were some other areas where we brought in discussion points for Karl Storz manufacturing processes and quality control,” Mr. Duerden said.

The participating employees were challenged in many ways, juggling full-time work and family schedules, while also making their education a priority. Eight of the students who embarked in the 15-month program earned their Certificate in Manufacturing Technology. The students who were unable to complete the program retained their academic credits and can apply them to a certificate or degree in the future.

Storz company management recognized the accomplishments of the employees with a celebration at its Charlton site. President and General Manager Bruce Watkins addressed the group at the event, highlighting the company’s growth and calling out the participating employees for their contribution to the company’s success.

 “It takes a lot of work to complete 24 credits – you should be proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations on a job well done,” Mr. Duerden told the employees.

One of the participating employees, Jake Manilla, has already enrolled in the QCC Engineering Associate in Science Degree program.

“Karl Storz offering these classes on-site gave me the opportunity to see if college was for me. I now know that I can do it. I chose to enroll in the engineering program at QCC because there are many different kinds of engineering jobs at Storz that I can apply for with an engineering degree,” Mr. Manilla said. “I am very grateful to Karl Storz for having offered us the certificate program.”

For more information on QCC’s customized workforce training programs, contact QCC’s Business Development Specialist, Christine McNally at cmcnally [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • Phi Theta Kappa's Virtual Office is up and running.
March, 2020

Staying connected during these trying times is an important part of staying healthy and the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter is doing just that- staying connected. Each Tuesday PTK Alumna Kayla Paterson will bring live updates on (YouTube), called YouTube Tuesday with Kayla!  This virtual PTK office is the perfect way to keep PTK members informed, connected and engaged.

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Staying connected during these trying times is an important part of staying healthy and the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter is doing just that- staying connected. Each Tuesday PTK Alumna Kayla Paterson will bring live updates on (YouTube), called YouTube Tuesday with Kayla!  This virtual PTK office is the perfect way to keep PTK members informed, connected and engaged.

Other ways of connecting will include Zoom Live meetings and while Wednesday may be “Prince Spaghetti” in some places, this Wednesday (April 1) Ms. Paterson and PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman hosted a Zoom Live meeting. The meeting discussed upcoming events, answered questions, and discussed PTK’s upcoming Interactive Trivia night. If you missed it never fear, another Zoom meeting is planned for Saturday, April 4. Details and login information will be emailed to all PTK members.

“This is a great way to stay in touch with our chapter,” Ms. Coleman said.

Ms. Coleman wants to remind all members about the upcoming officer elections and asks that everyone check out the latest YouTube post with information on each candidate.

“It is very important that all members vote. Voting will take place on April 8 and April 9, and students will receive an official ballot on April 8,” she said. “We are here to help with any questions or concerns. We also want to hear from students on any suggestions or ideas they might have. We are all in this together and I just know that our amazing Chapter will do incredible things in the days ahead. I want to thank everyone for all they do for our community. Stay safe, stay well and I hope to see you virtually soon!”

For more information visit PTK Alpha Zeta Theta’s Facebook page or email Ms. Coleman at bcoleman [at] qcc.mass.edu.

QCC students Veronica Morson and Alyssa Durham
March, 2020

QCC students Veronica Morson and Alyssa Durham, both Liberal Arts Music majors, took up the "John Oliver Tik Tok challenge" from Last Week Tonight to remind everyone that washing your hands frequently is an important step in helping to curtail the Coronavirus. Watch as they dance to the Vietnamese song "Ghen Cô Vy.” For more information, visit...

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QCC students Veronica Morson and Alyssa Durham, both Liberal Arts Music majors, took up the "John Oliver Tik Tok challenge" from Last Week Tonight to remind everyone that washing your hands frequently is an important step in helping to curtail the Coronavirus. Watch as they dance to the Vietnamese song "Ghen Cô Vy.” For more information, visit QCC’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information Center.

  • Professor Brennan works to inspire his students.
  • QCC Assistant Professor James Brennan
March, 2020

When someone says they love what they do, you know they are in the right job field and Quinsigamond Community College’s Assistant Professor of English, James Brennan loves what he does. The professor has been teaching at QCC for the last 10 years and recently received recognition for his dedication and contribution to his students and his profession, by being honored with a National Institute...

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When someone says they love what they do, you know they are in the right job field and Quinsigamond Community College’s Assistant Professor of English, James Brennan loves what he does. The professor has been teaching at QCC for the last 10 years and recently received recognition for his dedication and contribution to his students and his profession, by being honored with a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award. He also was chosen as a Suzanne Rouche Faculty Scholarship recipient and will receive complimentary registration, travel expenses and lodging to the NISOD’s Annual Conference, which was to be held in Austin, Texas in May (due to the current national health crisis this has been canceled and is expected to move to an online format).

An avid writer, Mr. Brennan already has published works and has been thrilled to pass on his passion for writing to his students.

“I teach what I love and inspire students to love writing. It’s one of the reasons I love what I do,” he said.

Mr. Brennan has a bit of a kindred spirit with some of his students. He is a first-generation college student who went on to earn an undergraduate degree from UMass Lowell and advanced degrees from Rivier College; Harvard University and Bennington College.

“Neither of my parents finished high school, but my mother instilled in me a love of reading and writing. She stayed home and my dad worked menial jobs. We never had much, but I knew I wanted an education,” he said.

For many years, Mr. Brennan worked in the human resource field in corporate America always thinking that one day he might change careers to go into a field that was his true passion. In January 2010, he had his opportunity and began teaching a Saturday composition class at QCC Southbridge. The class morphed into a seven-year stint as an adjunct professor and three years ago he became a full-time faculty member. He has taught an array of English and writing courses, all with the goal of helping students be the best they can be.

“I can really empathize with students. I know what it is like to have obstacles,” he said. “I feel proud to help them.”

Recently, he helped students set up a creative writing club after a few students from his creative writing course last semester wanted to continue to get feedback from him on their writing. Today the club has four officers and is up and running.

“Inspiration. In a word, that is what I love about teaching at QCC: those times when we can inspire a student, but even more, the many times that our students inspire us. Celebrating students’ achievements is another wonderful part of the job: watching them graduate, writing recommendations for them as they pursue further education, nominating them to receive scholarship awards recognizing outstanding achievement,” he said.

Mr. Brennan fondly remembers a student who was in one of his speech classes. The student was painfully shy and had a stutter, which made a class of this nature particularly difficult.

“I worried about how he would get through the course. Speech, of course, is best learned by doing. My preferred pedagogy is experiential, as well as leveraging relationships, mine with students and students’ relationships with one another, to build learning communities and trust. In that environment, feeling supported, this student thrived,” he said. “Not only did he successfully complete all of his prepared speeches, we could not get him to stop talking in front of the class. He volunteered for every role, for example speech timer that would get him up front and talking.”

Mr. Brennan told of the joy the student felt getting up to speak in the class.

“Sure, the stutter came back every now and then, but it didn’t stop him from being one of our most accomplished speakers by the end of the semester. And he made quite a few friends in class that I have a feeling will extend through his time at the college and perhaps beyond,” he said.

Mr. Brennan said that while he is honored to be receiving the NISOD Excellence Award, it is experiences like these that are the true award.

“I’m one of many people here at QCC who are recognized this way. At QCC ,we are all like-minded working for the common goal of our students. I’m very happy to be part of this community…and it really is a community,” he said, adding, “I believe in the product and feel fortunate I do what I do.”

 

Yoga session
March, 2020

Yoga Session

Due to the current pandemic crisis the QCC Athletic Center will be inaccessible until further notice. Although the Center is inaccessible, it is still important to get exercise and QCC’s Yoga instructor recently filmed a full yoga class to get you off the couch and moving!  Please remember during these uncertain times to be kind to yourself as we all adjust to this new way of life....

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Yoga Session

Due to the current pandemic crisis the QCC Athletic Center will be inaccessible until further notice. Although the Center is inaccessible, it is still important to get exercise and QCC’s Yoga instructor recently filmed a full yoga class to get you off the couch and moving!  Please remember during these uncertain times to be kind to yourself as we all adjust to this new way of life. Namaste!

A little Wyvern 'Weights' for No One

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QCC's Assistant Director of Athletics and Fitness, Josh Cole, has been spending some quality time with his son Jaxson, and dog Tyson. The recent 115 lb. barbell he made was a bit of a match for QCC's young Wyvern, but with the help of Tyson, he just might lift it!

Men’s Soccer

Wyvern sports have had many firsts this past year! The Wyvern Men’s Soccer team had their first season and gave their conference rivals highly competitive games, finishing out their inaugural season with 4 wins and 5 losses. 

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Women’s Volleyball

The Wyvern Women’s Volleyball team gave it their all in a hard fought first year season. Their regular season record earned them the right to participate in the NJCAA Region 21 Tournament, where they finally lost in the semi-final game. Their overall record this season was 5 wins and 5 losses. This looks like a great start to a future dynasty!

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Women’s Soccer

The Lady Wyverns Women’s Soccer team was able to play on their home field this year for the first time since they formed a team four years ago. Despite injuries and a lot of inclement weather, the women played extremely hard and finished their season with 1 win and 9 losses.

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Heathy Eating

QCC’s Director of Athletics & Fitness Center, Lisa Gurnick wants to remind everyone to practice healthy eating during these stressful times. A simple, heathly eating suggestion is to make a salad as a meal. Below please find a simple salad recipe.

Simple Salad (241 calories)

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Feta cheese
  • 1 -2 apples cut small pieces
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Optional/extras -  (341 calories – chicken, 351 calories – tuna)

For questions, reach out to Lisa Gurnick, director of Athletics and Fitness at lisag [at] qcc.mass.edu or Josh Cole, assistant director of Athletics and Fitness at jcole [at] qcc.mass.edu

  • December 2019 STEM Students of the Month
March, 2020

Each month, the professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs recognize and acknowledge the perseverance of one student in their perspective STEM areas. Below are the December 2019 STEM Students of the Month, with a few comments from the professors who nominated them.

Science - Ilan Grossman – nominated by Jessica Crowley, professor of Biology and...

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Each month, the professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs recognize and acknowledge the perseverance of one student in their perspective STEM areas. Below are the December 2019 STEM Students of the Month, with a few comments from the professors who nominated them.

Science - Ilan Grossman – nominated by Jessica Crowley, professor of Biology and coordinator of Biology and Biotechnology Programs

“Ilan Grossman is an excellent candidate for STEM Student of the Month. Ilan is a General Studies--Biotechnology Option major who not only performs well academically, but also shows many other characteristics that will ensure his success in the field. For example, in the Introduction to Biotechnology class, Ilan often led discussions on various aspects of biotech whether it was the ethics of gene-editing or the value of GMOs. He is also a valuable team player as he often led in-class groups to solve laboratory math problems. If you asked any of his classmates, they would whole-heartedly agree that Ilan is engaging, helpful, and is truly interested in what you have to say. His passion for biotech is evident in the internship he has completed and his performance in class. When Ilan graduates, he will be a valuable member of any biotech firm that is lucky enough to hire him.”          

Technology - Raven Clarico – nominated by Nathaniel Mello, professor of Interactive Media Game Design

“Raven is an excellent student and someone who is constantly trying to push himself and others in the class to do more. He is a budding game designer already and is showing that he will be an excellent one in the future; with original game design ideas he brought into class and new ones he is creating as the semester rolls on. Raven is always one to help a student who might be stuck on an issue, as well as lend his time to test and critique another’s work. In just his first semester, he and the other students have built a good relationship together which is important in working as a cohort for school and in their future career endeavors.”          

Engineering - Jason Chapman – nominated by Robert Recko, professor and coordinator of HVAC/R Technologies Program

“Jason Chapman entered the HVAC/R program like so many others have. After a series of unsatisfying jobs, he realized that he needed and wanted something more rewarding and fulfilling to his talents. In spite of having a family and all its responsibilities, he threw himself full force into the study and practice of the skills and knowledge required in HVAC/R. He compiled notes and technical information well beyond the stated requirements of the program, and spent hours mastering and applying this technical knowledge to his lab projects. Within the class he was a leader, counseling some of his classmates and taking others under his “wing” and helped with their study habits outside of school hours. The class was very fortunate to have him leading the way and helping to take all to a higher level.

Jason’s plans involve becoming employed as soon as possible so he can help to support his family. He even obtained a position at Huhtala Oil in Templeton several weeks before the end of our program. He has shown himself to be a valuable asset in the short time that he has been there and is held in very high regard by his employer. Jason has proven the old adage: Hard work will get you anywhere you want to go.”             

Mathematics - Bezaida (Betsy) Vilomar – nominated by Donna Dominguez, professor of Mathematics

“Bezaida (Betsy) Vilomar was years out of high school and her last math class, when she registered for MAT 100 this semester. She was also extremely anxious about the course. Betsy is two classes away from her bachelor’s degree at Worcester State and left her math requirement for the end because she has always found math to be difficult and intimidating.  As algebra does not come easily to her, she puts hours into each homework assignment, more than any of her classmates. In order to do this, Betsy has to juggle other responsibilities in her life, including those as a mother. Her efforts have paid off and she did quite well. She is an inspiration!”     

March, 2020

On March 1, 2020, Academic Affairs welcomed Kathy Rentsch in to a new role as Associate Vice President for Strategic Academic and Workforce Initiative. Kathy has been working at Quinsigamond Community College for over 20 years. Most recently, she worked as Acting Dean of the Public Service & Social Sciences/Assistant Vice President for Workforce Readiness and Innovation.

On March 15,...

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On March 1, 2020, Academic Affairs welcomed Kathy Rentsch in to a new role as Associate Vice President for Strategic Academic and Workforce Initiative. Kathy has been working at Quinsigamond Community College for over 20 years. Most recently, she worked as Acting Dean of the Public Service & Social Sciences/Assistant Vice President for Workforce Readiness and Innovation.

On March 15, 2020, Auxiliary Services welcomed Jacob Fontanez as Central Receiving/Supply –Storekeeper II. Jacob brings to this position two years of experience. Most recently, he was part-time Staff Assistant for Auxiliary Services.

Please join us in welcoming Kathy and Jacob into their new roles at QCC.

February, 2020

  • QCC HVAC students Jason Laraia (L) and Brian Mele (R) with Governor Charlie Baker.
  • QCC students show Governor Baker the HVAC lab at WTHS.
  • Lt. Governor Polito listens to QCC students explain the project he is working on in the HVAC lab.
  • Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito with students from QCC's HVAC program and WTHS's plumbing and welding programs.
  • President Pedraja with Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito
  • A Governor's roundtable discussion on vocational learning held at WTHS.
February, 2020

Quinsigamond Community College President Dr. Luis Pedraja was part of a roundtable discussion with Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and other state and local legislators to discuss the Governor’s new Career Technical Initiative. Held at Worcester Technical High School (WTHS), the event addressed the need for more adult programs at vocational high schools on February 12. In...

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Quinsigamond Community College President Dr. Luis Pedraja was part of a roundtable discussion with Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and other state and local legislators to discuss the Governor’s new Career Technical Initiative. Held at Worcester Technical High School (WTHS), the event addressed the need for more adult programs at vocational high schools on February 12. In addition to Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Polito and President Pedraja, other state and local officials who took part in the roundtable discussion included:

  • Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Rosalin Acosta
  • Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Mike Kennealy
  • Senator Michael Moore
  • Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty
  • Worcester Superintendent of Schools, Maureen Binienda
  • Executive Director of the MassHire Central Region Workforce Board, Jeffrey Turgeon
  • WTHS Principal Kyle Brenner
  • Director of WTHS Night Life, Liz Tiley

The distinguished group toured the HVAC and plumbing programs that are held at WTHS and spoke with six students during the roundtable discussion who are in the HVAC, plumbing and welding programs.

QCC HVAC students Brian Mele, of Rutland, and Jason Laraia, of Sutton, described what it was like to be an adult learner taking part in the HVAC program in order to change careers. Mr. Laraia, currently a land surveyor, said he initially got into the program at the encouragement of his mother, who is also a QCC student. Both said they are enjoying the program and expect to use this to change and advance their careers.

QCC’s HVAC program, a partnership with WTHS and funded by a $431,900 Skills Capital Grant, was one such program that was highlighted during the roundtable discussion. The College’s HVAC program is also held at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School through a similar partnership.

“We are very excited about this partnership with WTHS,” President Pedraja told Governor Baker, noting the partnership QCC has with other schools such as Burncoat High School, which hosts the College’s automotive technology program.

“We are now trying to see how to articulate our programs into early college,” Dr. Pedraja added.

The Career Technical Initiative is designed to train 20,000 skilled trades workers over the next four years and the governor has included $15 million in his fiscal 2021 budget for this initiative.

“There’s a lot of people who want to be able to expand their career options,” President Pedraja said.

“The bottom line is that every single business you can think of is going to be playing in the STEM space,” Governor Baker said. “This is gratifying work we’ve done, but we have a long way to go.” 

  • From left: PTK Vice President Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick and PTK alumna Kim Lawrence
February, 2020

Mixhe Bedrick Named Newman Civic Fellow

Every once in a while you meet a person who is motivated to better not only themselves, but work for the betterment of others. Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Vice President Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick is one such person. The QCC sophomore is set to graduate in May and has already been making a name for herself in the Worcester community, as...

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Mixhe Bedrick Named Newman Civic Fellow

Every once in a while you meet a person who is motivated to better not only themselves, but work for the betterment of others. Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Vice President Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick is one such person. The QCC sophomore is set to graduate in May and has already been making a name for herself in the Worcester community, as well as the QCC community.  She was recently named a Newman Civic Fellow. This is a one-year fellowship experience for community-minded students, which supports the student’s personal, professional and civic development. This is the first time a QCC student was recommended for this fellowship. Each student is required to have his/her own mentor, a stipulation of the Newman Civic Fellowship. PTK alumna Kim Lawrence was asked and agreed to be Ms. Bedrick's mentor.

“It’s an honor giving back to anyone and it’s a privilege to give back to PTK,” Ms. Lawrence said.

"We are incredibly proud of Mixhe and the amazing accomplishments she has achieved. She has faced adversities in her life, but has never let those stand in the way of a brighter future," QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja said. "She is a shining example for others." 

Ms. Bedrick was also recently chosen as a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and is one of 456 finalists, chosen from over 1,500 applicant from across the nation. Winners for the award will be announced in April.

Ms. Bedrick attributes much of what she has accomplished at QCC to being an active member of the PTK, QCC's honor society.

“Phi Theta Kappa has been the platform that has lifted me up. As a person with many intersecting marginalized identities, it has been difficult to find success. My membership, outside of marrying my spouse and having children, has been the most challenging but fulfilling part of my life,” Ms. Bedrick said.” I have always enjoyed being a student and learning, but Phi Theta Kappa gave me the opportunity to be part of something greater, a global consciousness that is focused on improving the lives of all people. My life is changed for the better, and I will be forever grateful.”

Ms. Bedrick said it was the invitation to join PTK that was the catalyst for change within her life.

“It's difficult to say everything I feel for Phi Theta Kappa. I was extended an invitation to join the Honor Society and was thrilled, and then, melancholy. I knew that I did not have the money to pay for the membership fee, but still felt compelled to follow through. When I walked into the PTK office I told the advisors that I did not have the money to join, but still very much wanted to be a part of the organization. I said something to the effect of, "If this is for me, then it will be.”

Being part of PTK was "meant to be" for Ms. Bedrick, who was offered a scholarship to cover the cost of membership and encouraged to run for an officer position.

“I felt elated. I felt seen. PTK was already taking the time to tell me that I am deserving, and that made me feel welcomed. I found a place to grow as a leader as I was elected as Vice President of Leadership after coming in second in the race for the presidency,” she said.

The officer position offered Ms. Bedrick opportunities to expand her horizon and broadened her experience academia.

“The research that I have participated in has spurred my advocacy and activism. It is because of what we discovered during research that pushed me into my civic engagement. I have been active in advocating for transportation equity in my community, as a way to combat poverty and systemic oppression. Phi Theta Kappa opened the door for me to be able to become a voice for my community. It has given me the foundation and backing to be taken seriously as a student advocate,” she said.

Today Ms. Bedrick sits on the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) Board as a representative for the QCC population, working to help reduce fare rates for all college students, as well as working to get public transportation closer to those who are incarcerated in the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction.

“Currently the closest WRTA stop is 1.7 miles away,” she said, noting that studies have shown that visitation helps to reduce recidivism.

The next group of PTK officers will soon be elected and Ms. Bedrick wants to encourage others to take a chance and run for office.

“My membership, plainly stated, has changed the trajectory of my life forever. The opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of, the accolades, achievements and scholarships I have received, and the networking connections that I have made have all come from being active in my Chapter,” she said. “I am the first person in my family to attend college. I will be the first to graduate, and I'm slated to transfer to an Ivy League institution, something I never thought possible before joining PTK.”

For more information, visit Phi Theta Kappa.

  • From left: Kristen Foster and Matt Foster receive an award in memory of Whit Foster from Professor Charulata Trivedi.
  • QCC grads and current employees of Storm Petrel, Story DuVall and Daniel Margolis, interview a QCC student.
February, 2020

It’s been close to 10 years since Quinsigamond Community College’s Computer Information System (CIS) Department began its cooperative/internship program. In that time, 72 QCC students have taken part in internship and co-op opportunities that have led many to careers in the technology space.

One local company, which has played a major role in QCC’s program is Avatar Computing, Inc. For close...

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It’s been close to 10 years since Quinsigamond Community College’s Computer Information System (CIS) Department began its cooperative/internship program. In that time, 72 QCC students have taken part in internship and co-op opportunities that have led many to careers in the technology space.

One local company, which has played a major role in QCC’s program is Avatar Computing, Inc. For close to 10 years, the company, which does a great deal of R&D work for the U.S. government, has been hiring QCC students to work on achievable projects that have enabled them to learn valuable, real world skill sets.

“We saw this as an opportunity to test the waters,” said Avatar’s CIO, Matt Foster. “The government was also willing to give the students feedback.”

This became a perfect partnership for both QCC and Avatar, and one that both felt was mutually beneficial. To date, a half dozen QCC graduates have been hired, with two or three still working for the company.

“Avatar helped us to keep going with the program and gave us an opportunity to continue the program,” said Charulata Trivedi, professor of Computer Information Systems.

One person who was intimately involved with the internship program with QCC was Avatar COO Whitney “Whit” Foster. Sadly, last October, Mr. Foster passed away from an illness. In honor of his contribution to the program, QCC honored him posthumously at the Annual Tech Apprentice Breakfast, held on February 26 at the Harrington Learning Center, located on QCC's main campus.

QCC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, James Keane, presented a plaque to Mr. Foster’s brother Matt and wife, Kristen at the breakfast in honor of his amazing contributions.

“We want to recognize the special partnership we’ve had with the Avatar family and one of its founding members, Whitney Foster,” said Mr. Keane. “The impact he’s had on our students has been invaluable.”

 “He was very proud of the program,” Matt Foster said.

Another company that has played an instrumental role in the program is Storm Petrel LLC, a Vermont-based company that has been bringing on QCC students as interns. Often these interns are hired when they graduate. In fact, in 2016 the company did a Skype interview with a perspective QCC student intern and ended up ultimately hiring the student upon her graduation. Subsequently that student has come back to QCC and hired another QCC student, with the cycle repeating.

Two QCC 2019 grads, Story DuVall and Daniel Margolis were part of this hiring cycle. They both started out as interns before being hired part-time, then full-time by Storm Petrel. Both graduates were recruited by another former QCC intern, Raul Gomez, a 2018 QCC graduate of the CIS program, who ended up getting hired by Storm Petrel LLC as a programmer. He was back last year as an employer for the company and recruited Ms. DuVall and Mr. Margolis.

“I started as an intern unpaid, went to part-time and then full-time,” Ms. DuVall said. “I was hired as a programming trainee and now I’m migrating away from that a bit.”

“I took the same path to Storm Petrel,” said Mr. Margolis, who is working as a corporate administrator for the company. “I came to QCC after having my masters. My job had ended so I came to QCC to change career tracts.”

After an informational presentation by Ms. Trivedi, students were able to do a type of “speed interviewing” spending seven minutes with each employer before moving onto the next one.

“This is a real great opportunity,” said Michael Jennette, internship coordinator for the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office. “We certainly like working with Quinsig.”

Companies taking part in this year’s program include:

  • Worcester County District Attorney’s Office
  • Avatar
  • QCC
  • Art Reach
  • Storm Petrel
  • Center for Applied Behavioral Instruction
  • Table Talk
  • Dr. Pedraja addresses legislators at ACC's Annual Legislative Breakfast.
  • QCC Student Government Association President Jorgo Gushi
  • PTK Vice President Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick
  • Legislators, students, faculty and staff at the 2020 Legislative Breakfast
  • QCC student speakers from left: Mustafa Bowden, Tabithia Leber, Jorgo Gushi and Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick
February, 2020

Melodic sounds by Quinsigamond Community College student Yozue Davila and Music Program Coordinator Jose Castillo set the tone for the College’s annual Legislative Breakfast held on Friday, February 7 at the Harrington Learning Center. Over a dozen legislators or their representatives from across the region, in addition to QCC faculty and staff, spent part of their morning...

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Melodic sounds by Quinsigamond Community College student Yozue Davila and Music Program Coordinator Jose Castillo set the tone for the College’s annual Legislative Breakfast held on Friday, February 7 at the Harrington Learning Center. Over a dozen legislators or their representatives from across the region, in addition to QCC faculty and staff, spent part of their morning learning about what makes QCC so unique, from the people who can speak to this best – the students.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society Vice President, Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick,  gave an emotional and heartfelt accounting of her life as a first generation college student, whose experience at QCC she said, has been “wonderful and life changing.” She told those in attendance about an upbringing of intergenerational poverty. Today, poised to graduate in May with an Early Childhood Education degree, Ms. Bedrick is hoping to attend Smith College this fall.  Already the scholarships and awards are stacking up for her. She is the college's first Newman Civic Fellow, a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, and a recipient of the MLK Scholarship, Fuller Foundation Scholarship and the Roland Lajoie Scholarship.

“I never believed in my entire life I could attend college,” she said. “I stand before you having worked incredibly hard to be worth the accolades bestowed on me today.”

“QCC lifts you up and I’m proud to be a student here.  When I graduate from QCC I will be the first in my family to graduate college,” Ms. Bedrick continued, proudly adding, “I have Ivy League institutions emailing me!”

QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja told the legislators, “What we do here we do for our students. We are always striving to assist students in fulfilling their dreams.”

QCC’s Student Government Association President Jorgo Gushi, a bilingual engineering student from Albania, and a member of PTK, told the legislators of the metamorphosis he experienced when he began at QCC.

“QCC was the place where I grew as a student leader and individual,” he said.

Mr. Gushi is hoping to transfer to Worcester Polytechnic Institute or an Ivy League school in the fall to continue his education and told the legislators it is the pathway that QCC has paved for him that has transformed his life. “QCC is about far more than attending classes,” he said, noting that for him it was also about building confidence and acquiring leadership skills. “My voice was fostered by the QCC family. Many of the skills that are making me a good leader were developed and taught at QCC.”

Another student speaker, PTK President Tabitha Leber described her journey to QCC as a 21-year-old single mom who had experienced a debilitating, on-the-job injury and as a result could no longer work. Having to still take care of herself and child, she began working in her daughter’s kindergarten classroom and realized how fulfilling that was. A chance conversation with her daughter’s kindergarten teacher made her realize she wanted to become a teacher. She began taking classes at QCC part-time, while continuing to work for Worcester Public Schools. Today she is a full-time student, telling those in the audience of the amazing initiatives the College’s honor society works on such as the QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center and the PTK Live and Learn Greenhouse.

“We are so grateful for Dr. Pedraja who supports us through these initiatives, which helps students return to college and the community at large,” she said.

QCC Foundation Board President Dr. Linda Maykel addressed the inequity in the current state funding formula, which affords community colleges only 25 percent of higher education funding. She addressed the ways in which QCC is working to help students attend college by working to increase scholarships, expanding daycare, and even looking at an emergency fund for students who experience events that might preclude them from coming back to college.

QCC’s Student Trustee Mustafa Bowden, an immigrant from Libya, expounded on the issues students face, addressing one of the common obstacles – purchasing textbooks.

“Here we have the most dedicated, committed students who step over every barrier there is, yet the biggest barrier we face is paying for a $500 textbook,” he said.

Mr. Bowden went on to discuss the Open Educational Resources (OER) that offers students the ability to access online textbooks for free.

“This alternative will be an accessible way for our students to have better grades in college. I represent 7,000-plus students and close to 50 percent of them are facing hunger and close to 12 percent are facing homelessness insecurity. If we can take that $500 book cost away then no one will have to choose between a meal or the cost of a book,” he said. “We ask for your help, endorsement and support of the OER initiative so more students can pursue higher education.”

While President Pedraja explained the many projects and programs that are going on at QCC, he reminded the legislators of the quality workforce QCC has delivered to the Commonwealth, through the students of QCC.

“I’ve talked to employers who like having our students.They know our students are dedicated. It says a lot about what we are all about. We need to continue to invest in higher education to ensure the Commonwealth succeeds,” he said.

“Education is a way to release those bonds so that our dreams can be a reality. This can’t happen without legislative support,” Ms. Bedrick said, pointedly telling legislators, “Without this institution I would not be the person I am today.”

WBZ visits QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center
February, 2020

It was “lights, camera, action” for Quisigamond Community College’s QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center. The food pantry and resource center, along with Phi Theta Kappa’s Live and Learn Greenhouse were recently featured by our local CBS News Affiliate WBZ/Channel 4, in a “4 Your Community” segment.

PTK student Farah Mohamad, along with QCC President...

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It was “lights, camera, action” for Quisigamond Community College’s QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center. The food pantry and resource center, along with Phi Theta Kappa’s Live and Learn Greenhouse were recently featured by our local CBS News Affiliate WBZ/Channel 4, in a “4 Your Community” segment.

PTK student Farah Mohamad, along with QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja and community member Ingrid Murphy were interviewed by WBZ Anchor Kate Merrill for the television spot that highlighted the plight of students in need. 

Visit the QCC Food Pantry and Resource Center to learn more about the services and support services available. 

  • QCC's newest Fulbright Scholar Dr. Ingrid Skadberg
February, 2020

Quinsigamond Community College’s Dean of Institutional Research and Planning, Dr. Ingrid Skadberg, has received a Fulbright Scholar Award. She is the fourth person from QCC to be honored as a Fulbright Scholar, and is one of only six from the U.S. who will be visiting Russia for two weeks in April. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange...

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Quinsigamond Community College’s Dean of Institutional Research and Planning, Dr. Ingrid Skadberg, has received a Fulbright Scholar Award. She is the fourth person from QCC to be honored as a Fulbright Scholar, and is one of only six from the U.S. who will be visiting Russia for two weeks in April. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It operates in over 160 countries worldwide. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

Dr. Skadberg holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the City University of New York (CUNY), specializing in immigration studies and education, and has been a QCC staff member since 2006. In addition to her duties as dean of Institutional Research and Planning at QCC, she is the co-chair of the College’s strategic plan.

During her two-weeks in Russia she will spend time in Moscow, Tula and Volgorad, in a variety of academic, business and cultural settings learning about Russia’s educational processes, as well how their educational system is working to meet industry demands. She will also do a presentation about QCC and its programs.

“Exposure to various viewpoints will enable me to approach my work from a different perspective and be more effective in shaping institutional policy,” Dr. Skadberg said. “There is a lot that we could learn from Russia’s approach to education. One challenge that many countries encounter is how to better align workforce development with industry needs. Many of Russia’s challenges in workforce development are similar and I’m interested in learning how and what they are doing.”

Dr. Skadberg is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2019-2020 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. QCC's other Fulbright Scholars include: English Professor Trent Masiki; Assistant Vice President for Workforce Readiness and Innovation, Dr. Kathleen "Kathy" Rentsch; and Business Administration Professor Flo Lucci.

  • Respiratory Care students
February, 2020

Recently three Quinsigamond Community College respiratory care students, Megan Marie Hufault, Tracey Mannix and Federico Ortiz were inducted into the Lambda Beta Society, a prestigious national honor society sponsored and maintained by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). The students were chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, service, and...

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Recently three Quinsigamond Community College respiratory care students, Megan Marie Hufault, Tracey Mannix and Federico Ortiz were inducted into the Lambda Beta Society, a prestigious national honor society sponsored and maintained by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). The students were chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, service, and strength of character. This is the first time QCC has had a chapter in the Lambda Beta Society.

Ms. Hufault came to QCC straight from high school and is currently in her last semester in the Respiratory Care program. Throughout her time at QCC she has earned many industry-recognized certificates such as Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. In April, she will become certified as an American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation provider. She is currently in the process of completing her senior project, which is a requirement for each respiratory care student in their sophomore year. Her senior project is working as a lab assistant for the respiratory care freshmen class.  

“This is a very challenging program and I have worked hard to maintain a 3.96 GPA,” she said, adding that she was able to apply for her student license after her first year in QCC’s program and is currently employed by UMass Memorial Hospital as a student respiratory therapist. “I am proud of these accomplishments. The Respiratory Care program at QCC has provided me with the opportunity to be a caring, competent and accomplished health care professional.”

Ms. Mannix is a respiratory care student who came to the profession late in life after a 24 year career working in the telecommunications industry. She is also set to graduate this spring and embark on a new career.

“I chose respiratory care because of my personal experience with the profession. My grandmother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I went to Florida to make sure that she was receiving the proper care. Respiratory therapists came in every day to work with her,” she said. “I saw what amazing people they were and how important their job was. The respiratory therapists were instrumental in making sure that my grandmother was comfortable. At one point, one of the respiratory therapists asked me if I ever considered a career in respiratory care. I thought about it for a while and then decided it was not only what I wanted to do but…it was what I was meant to do.”

Today, like Ms. Hufault, she has earned a multitude of industry-recognized certificates and said this has been the "most rewarding undertaking I have ever accomplished.”  

Ms. Mannix is currently working in the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at UMass Hospital University campus for her senior project.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments that I have made at QCC. The Respiratory Care Program has allowed me to realize my goals. I look forward to beginning my career when I graduate in May,” she said.

The final respiratory care student inducted into the Lambda Beta Society is Mr. Ortiz, who is the first in his family to pursue a degree in the medical field.

“It has taken a considerable amount of hard work and dedication, but I can proudly say that I have maintained a 3.87 GPA. My educational achievements have allowed me to become a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Psi Beta, and Lambda Beta Honor Societies,” he said. “Last fall, I was awarded one of two scholarships presented to Quinsigamond Community College students by the Massachusetts Society of Respiratory Care. After this, I was offered a student respiratory therapist position at UMass Memorial Hospital.”

Mr. Ortiz said that for his required senior project, he has been able to mentor freshmen students entering the respiratory care program.

“This was a great opportunity as I was able to teach the skills I had mastered, mentor members of the freshmen class and share my tools for success. I feel as though my academic achievements, hands-on experience and classroom success at Quinsigamond Community College has not only built a great reputation for myself, but has also set a strong foundation for a bright future in the field of respiratory care," he said.

Visit QCC’s Respiratory Care program to learn more.

  • Milexie Evri and Shannen Jimenez
February, 2020

Two peas in a pod…that’s what most people think of when they meet South High School students Milexie Evri and Shannen Jimenez. The seniors, who have been friends and virtually inseparable since high school, have recently been taking part in Quinsigamond Community College’s Early College Program. They are currently on-track to complete their fifth class this semester...

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Two peas in a pod…that’s what most people think of when they meet South High School students Milexie Evri and Shannen Jimenez. The seniors, who have been friends and virtually inseparable since high school, have recently been taking part in Quinsigamond Community College’s Early College Program. They are currently on-track to complete their fifth class this semester, which will earn them a total of 15 college credits before they even graduate high school.

QCC’s Early College program gives high school students the ability to take college courses for college credit at no cost. The program gives students a chance to experience college ahead of time, with the goal of having students enroll in college after they graduate from high school. The program allows students to earn college credits while simultaneously attending high school as is the case for Ms. Evri and Ms. Jimenez.

According to Ms. Jimenez, both students are currently taking AP classes at their high school; however, when they found out about the opportunity to take college courses for credit at no cost, they each jumped at the chance.

The students say they find the college courses challenging, but both said they are enjoying the independence.

“You have to be independent and you either do the work or you don’t. You are treated as adults,” Ms. Evri said. “Being able to experience college, the classes, and the college environment for credit, and for free, has been great.”

“As my parents said, ‘if you do it, do it right,’” Ms. Jimenez continued.

Both young women have already taken a variety of courses together that included art, psychology, business law and introduction to microcomputer applications. This semester they are each taking a different mathematics course. They come to QCC each day on a Worcester school bus and travel home at the end of the day by way of the city bus.

Their schedule is incredibly busy and they each put in hours nightly doing homework, yet the two don't seemed phased by the work load.

“We’ve got it down and we know how to manage our time,” Ms. Jimenez said.

The early college experience has been one that both young women say has been a positive one, noting the support they have been receiving from their QCC instructors.

“The teachers are very nice and a lot of them are really encouraging. They understand we have other things in our lives and high school too,” Ms. Jimenez continued. “They make you feel comfortable and listen to you.”

According to Ms. Jimenez, her older sister has also started QCC and her mom is now interested in coming to QCC for nursing.

While Ms. Evri and Ms. Jimenez have applied to several colleges along with QCC, they both believe they will end up attending QCC.

“The faculty are here for you if you need anything,” Ms. Jimenez added. “This has been a good experience.”

To learn more, visit QCC’s Early College Program.

  • QCC Student Government Association President, Jorgo Gushi becomes President Pedraja for a day.
  • President Switch Day
  • Dr. Luis Pedraja and Jorgo Gushi during President Switch Day.
  • QCC Student Government Association meeting that President Pedraja presided over.
February, 2020

QCC’s President, Dr. Luis Pedraja, and President of the QCC Student Government Association, Jorgo Gushi got the chance to find out what it was like to spend a day in each other “shoes,” during President Switch Day, held in late February.

Mr. Gushi spent the day going from meeting to meeting seeing exactly how Dr. Pedraja spends his...

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QCC’s President, Dr. Luis Pedraja, and President of the QCC Student Government Association, Jorgo Gushi got the chance to find out what it was like to spend a day in each other “shoes,” during President Switch Day, held in late February.

Mr. Gushi spent the day going from meeting to meeting seeing exactly how Dr. Pedraja spends his days. The engineering major, who is a sophomore this year, was kept on his toes all day as he navigated the president’s schedule.

"President’s Switch Day has been one of the most fascinating and exciting experiences I have ever had as a student and leader," he said. "The first day, when I shadowed President Pedraja, was intense. It all started with a cup of coffee at the president’s office (believe me, much more than a cup is needed to be ready for such a day!). A series of meetings followed, starting with the Executive Team, continuing with the Leadership Team and ending up with the Board of Trustees meeting. Through every meeting I attended and every discussion that I participated in, I realized the uniqueness of the responsibilities somebody has as college president; the hard decisions, the lengthy meetings, but also the fun and excitement of serving 7000-plus students."

"The most thrilling part of the day, was when I had the opportunity to make an executive decision on behalf of the President’s Office. I was able to make available one of the staff/faculty parking spots to a different student every month," Mr. Gushi continued. "A student success survey will be released on the first Monday of each month via student email and students can complete the monthly survey to have their name entered into the drawing to win this parking spot."

During his time in Presidents Switch Day, Dr. Pedraja went back in time, becoming a college student once again. He took one of Mr. Jorgo’s courses with Engineering Professor Dadbeh Bigonahy; spent time socializing in the Fuller Student Center, and co-chaired a Student Government Association meeting with Mr. Gushi.

“This was truly enlightening for both of us,” said Dr. Pedraja. “Not only was it fun, but we also walked away learning something valuable about each other’s day-to-day life on campus. It was a terrific experience and one that I hope to do again in the future.”

  • From left: QCC student Destiny Fausta, Ryan Rios, Bridgett Hylton, Esq., Professor Brenda Safford and President Luis Pedraja
February, 2020

February is Black History Month and at QCC on February 25, the college’s Black Student Union and the League of Women Voters in Worcester hosted a program by Bridgett Hylton, Esq. that highlighted the history of the black vote. Ms. Hylton is the assistant director of the Counseling and Assessment Clinic of Worcester, a clinic that provides mental health services to the residents of Central...

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February is Black History Month and at QCC on February 25, the college’s Black Student Union and the League of Women Voters in Worcester hosted a program by Bridgett Hylton, Esq. that highlighted the history of the black vote. Ms. Hylton is the assistant director of the Counseling and Assessment Clinic of Worcester, a clinic that provides mental health services to the residents of Central Massachusetts. She attended Dartmouth College and received her law degree from Harvard Law.

QCC students Ryan Rios, president of the Black Student Union, and Destiny Fausta, vice president of the Black Student Union, introduced Ms. Hylton, who represents the League of Women Voters in the Worcester Area and gave a bit of background on the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The program began with a video, “Bridging History: Selma and the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” describing what has historically been known as “Bloody Sunday.” Out of these injustices came the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which created a significant change in the status of African Americans throughout the South. The Voting Rights Act prohibited the states from using literacy tests and other methods of excluding African Americans from voting. Prior to this, there was only an estimated 23 percent of voting-age African Americans who were registered nationally, but by 1969 that number had jumped to 61 percent.

“Ms. Hylton shared a timeline of events to help students understand how important voting is in our country and how their vote can help with our identity, decision-making and judgment. History provides models of good and responsible behavior, as well as teaching us how to learn from the mistakes of others,” said Associate Professor of Human Services Brenda Safford, who is also the advisor for the Black Student Union.

  • From left: QCC Alumni President Cheryl Marrino and Assistant Director of Operations, Shirely Dempsey.
  • Kristy Proctor's Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookies took home first prize at the College's main campus.
  • QCC Rad Tech student, Jennifer Mangrum, took home second prize at the college's main campus contest.
  • QCC Financial Aid Counselor, Kirstie Leonard, won third place in the Bake-Off contest at QCC's West Boylston campus.
February, 2020

It was a tough way to judge a contest but students, faculty and staff were up to the challenge during the recent Alumni Association Bake-Off. No one crumbled under the pressure, unless it was the pressure of choosing their favorite sweet treat, with students, faculty and staff turning out for the tasty voting. After a hard fought battle that brought in close to $800 for QCC Alumni Scholarship Fund,...

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It was a tough way to judge a contest but students, faculty and staff were up to the challenge during the recent Alumni Association Bake-Off. No one crumbled under the pressure, unless it was the pressure of choosing their favorite sweet treat, with students, faculty and staff turning out for the tasty voting. After a hard fought battle that brought in close to $800 for QCC Alumni Scholarship Fund, thanks in part to a simultaneous bake sale and raffle drawing, the following people were crowned the 2020 QCC Bake-Off winners from the college’s main campus:

  • 1st Place: Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookies, created by Director of Disability Services, Kristie Proctor
  • 2nd Place: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookies, created by QCC Rad Tech student, Jennifer Mangrum
  • 3rd Place: Cheesecake Brownies, created by QCC Financial Aid Counselor, Kirstie Leonard

QCC Healthcare and Workforce Development Center Bake-Off Contest Winners included:

  • 1st Place:  Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Squares created by QCC Alumna, Cheryl Letson
  • 2nd Place:  Carrot Cake created by Professor of Nurse Education, Patricia Creelman
  • 3rd Place: Gluten-Free Cheesecake created by Bronwyn Teixeira, Math & Science Department

Winners received an exclusive QCC cutting board, custom-made for the event in QCC Fab lab.

 

  • Veterans at Museum
February, 2020

Quinsigamond Community College's Veteran Affairs department recently learned that it has earned the 2020-2021 Military Friendly® School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,000 schools participated in the 2020-2021 survey with 695 earning...

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Quinsigamond Community College's Veteran Affairs department recently learned that it has earned the 2020-2021 Military Friendly® School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,000 schools participated in the 2020-2021 survey with 695 earning the designation.

"This is an honor to be designated as a military friendly institution. We try our best and do whatever it takes to help our student vets be successful," said Paula Ogden, director of Veteran Affairs.

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining each institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

QCC's Veteran Affairs and Veterans Club offer veterans a robust array of services that range from academics, fellowship and comradery to social events and social service activities.To learn more visit Veteran Affairs

 

  • Veronica Morson (L) and Alyssa Durham
February, 2020

At Quinsigamond Community College we see many smiling faces on campus. These are the smiles of over 7,000 students,working in a smarter way to better their futures through higher education that is affordable, accessible and supportive.

We want to let the world know of the amazing accomplishments of our students, which is why we have begun the newly created, QCC‌ ‌SMILE...

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At Quinsigamond Community College we see many smiling faces on campus. These are the smiles of over 7,000 students,working in a smarter way to better their futures through higher education that is affordable, accessible and supportive.

We want to let the world know of the amazing accomplishments of our students, which is why we have begun the newly created, QCC‌ ‌SMILE‌ ‌program‌. The program uses social media to highlight QCC students, and allows them to tell their story and be an inspiration for others who are considering their college options. The purpose is to put the spotlight on QCC students, friendships, relationships, activities, learning, sports, clubs, study groups and all of the other little moments that make QCC the smartest higher education experience in the region. It’s all of these things that build a sense of community and inspire others to be a part of it. This program is a way to inspire those who are thinking about going to college and to have them consider QCC. Additionally, the program is a way to inspire students already at QCC to be more actively engaged.

For students interested in taking part in the QCC SMILE program, below are some ideas on how to be a part of the program:

  • Ask friends to participate with you
  • Attend campus events and take group photos and selfies
  • Send us interesting things you may have learned here
  • Send us a photo of something on campus that made you smile or laugh or think
  • Photos of your favorite place on campus – tell us why
  • Photo of you and your favorite professor (Why does he/she inspire you?)
  • Tell us who inspires you and why

Participating ‌students‌ ‌will‌ also ‌get‌ ‌a‌ ‌professional‌ ‌portrait‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌for‌ ‌LinkedIn,‌ ‌their ‌resume‌, ‌or‌ ‌whatever‌ ‌else‌ ‌they ‌choose‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌it‌ ‌for‌…who knows, a few students might even become famous!  Students who take part in the QCC SMILE program may be featured in a QCC ad campaign that can range from print advertising, a Hulu spot, a TV or radio commercial, to social media, website and signage.

Already the response from students has been great! Meet Veronica Morson and Alyssa Durham, both Liberal Arts Music majors who are part of the SMILE program. Both students in this dynamic duo came to QCC to save money and get a quality education. Today they are making beautiful music together and fulfilling their dreams. Make sure to look for them in an upcoming QCC promotional spot.

Anyone who is interested in being a part of the QCC SMILE program can reach out to Marketing Manager Gina Cone, at gcone [at] qcc.mass.edu.

We hope to see your smiling faces soon so you too and tell the world how QCC is college made smarter.