Commencement Moved to Woodstock Academy

Released May 23, 2017

Due to the forecast of inclement weather on Thursday, May 25, Quinebaug Valley Community College’s commencement has been moved to the gymnasium at The Woodstock Academy. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m.

• Graduates should report to the Bates Auditorium at the Academy no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

• Tickets will be required for guests, who should enter the building at the gymnasium entrance.

• Graduates walking in the ceremony will receive four (4) tickets when they pick up their caps and gowns today. Due to fire code, no additional tickets will be distributed.

The Woodstock Academy is located at 57 Academy Road, Woodstock, Conn. Parking is available at the Evangelical Covenant Church, 24 Child Hill Road, or on the Green off of Academy Road.

QVCC’s 45th Commencement will be held May 25

Released May 15, 2017

Quinebaug Valley Community College will hold its 45th commencement Thursday, May 25, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Danielson campus, where approximately 300 students are expected to receive degrees and certificates.

This year’s speakers will include Jenna Haines of Brooklyn, CT, a graduating student, and Keith M. Phaneuf, state budget reporter for The Connecticut Mirror.

Haines, a member of the Student Government Association, was co-founder/co-president of the Current Events Club and actively involved in the college’s Baugstock Music Festival. She will receive an associate degree in liberal arts and sciences and is transferring to Smith College to study government. Her grandmother, Lois Dapsis ‘96, is QVCC professor emeritus of mathematics, and her mother, Rebecca Haines, is an adjunct instructor.

Phaneuf, a graduate of Putnam High School who attended QVCC, has spent most of 24 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. A former contributing writer to The New York Times, he is a graduate of and former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

The Danielson campus is located at 742 Upper Maple Street. The ceremony is held outside in the Richard Berry Amphitheater. Guests should bring lawn chairs or blankets as seating is not available. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at H.H. Ellis Technical High School, 613 Upper Maple Street, Danielson. A decision will be made by 12 noon on May 25 if there is a change in venue. Additional information about the ceremony can be found on the college website

Baugstock Music Festival, Friday May 5, 2017 – Held Indoors – Featuring Local Talent and Vendors

The Baugstock Music Festival continues again this year at Quinebaug Valley Community College on Friday, May 5, 2017, starting at 4 p.m. This free event will feature local talent, food trucks, craft vendors and more at the Danielson campus. The event is open to the community and held rain or shine.

Headliner bands including Desert Rain, from Danielson and New England natives, Wicked Peach, return to this year’s event. Additional talent includes The Dirty Secret, Jon Searles, The Infinite Groove Band, The Stock and Pat You and the Yo-Yos.

The QVCC Student Government Association is the driving force behind the expanded schedule of events and talent.

Besides food and musical entertainment, there will be crafts, outdoor games (weather permitting), and a variety of vendors selling their products. In the event of rain, all activities will be held indoors on campus.

For questions, contact Amanda Giles, 860-932-4217 or  or to learn more


The Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation awarded over $130,000 in scholarships to 97 current and future QVCC students at its annual Scholarship Night on May 3. Of the recipients, 26 are high school students who will enroll in the fall.

Thirty students were the recipients of the Steven & Marjolaine ’87, ’88 Townsend Scholarships, given in the areas of fine arts, business, and liberal arts and sciences. In addition, one of the Townsend Scholarships is given exclusively to veterans. Each of the 30 students was awarded a $1,500 scholarship.

Three new scholarship endowments were set up this past year, providing financial assistance for additional students. The Dr. Frank Aleman Scholarship, the Northeast Opportunities for Wellness Norman Corriveau Scholarship, and the Putnam Rotary Gerry Cotnoir Scholarship were among those awarded.

The Foundation provides approximately $210,000 in overall financial support each year to QVCC. In addition to scholarships, funds are provided for equipment, faculty support, and financial aid to both credit and non-credit students.

Student Poets Honored at Julius Sokenu Poetry Night

Released May 1, 2017

Fourteen Quinebaug Valley Community College students, as well as another four from Quinebaug Middle College, were recipients of the 10th annual Julius Sokenu Poetry Awards and were honored at an evening of poetry readings on April 19. In attendance for the first time was  the awards’ namesake, Julius Sokenu, who read several of his original poems.

Sokenu, a longtime English professor at QVCC, left in 2007 to assume a position at Moorpark College in Ventura County, California, where he is currently interim executive vice president. His departure to California inspired the creation of an annual student poetry contest in his name. Sokenu’s poems have been published in Nimrod: International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Zone Magazine. His Master’s Thesis East of Badagry won the Glendon Swarthout Award at Arizona State University. He has been an artist on the roster of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, vice chair of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and Bosselaar Family Foundation poetry scholar at the Aspen Writers Conference.

List of Award Winners >>


QVCC Named a Gold Military Friendly School for 2017

Gold Military Friendly School 2017Released March 13, 2017

Quinebaug Valley Community College has been designated a 2017 GOLD Military Friendly School by Victory Media, a veteran-owned business that benchmarks and rates colleges and companies to help veterans and military families make well-informed decisions about employment, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

This is the 8th consecutive year the college has received recognition as an institution that is “Better for Veterans” – those with programs and policies that lead to positive outcomes. Last year QVCC ranked in the Top Ten category for Military Friendly Community Colleges.

According to Pam Brown, veterans certifying officer at QVCC, the Military Friendly designation includes special awards for those colleges and training facilities that set the standard for excellence. “These are schools that offer exceptional examples of what it means not just to build a program that meets federal requirements, but one that serves the military and veteran community from classrooms to careers,” she said.

“QVCC takes pride in offering veterans and service persons a strong support system,” Brown explained. “In addition to assisting with military educational benefits packages, veterans have advising, registration and certification services in a one stop fashion.”

Brown notes that the college’s student support organization for veterans as well as the dedicated Veterans Oasis on the Danielson campus continue to improve educational access, retention, and degree attainment for veterans and servicepersons. Visitors to the campus will notice the veterans’ garden with individual engraved brick pavers near the main entrance. “It’s a way to honor our student and community veterans and make them a permanent part of the QVCC landscape,” she added.

Award categories in the program include Military Friendly School, Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal, and Top Ten Gold.

QVCC Manufacturing Students Get a Head Start on New Careers

Released March 8, 2017

As it prepares for an open house event on March 22, 2017, the Quinebaug Valley Community College Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center is proud to announce that the majority of students in their second and final semester have secured jobs in eastern Connecticut’s advanced manufacturing industry.

“Companies literally can’t wait for our students to graduate in May,” explained the Center’s director, Steve LaPointe. “Here we are, not even halfway through the spring semester, and the majority of our upcoming graduates are already employed with local companies.”

According to LaPointe, the early placement of upcoming graduates is due in large part to the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center’s paid-internship program. Placed in part-time positions starting at $14 per hour, student-interns hone their technical skills in a real-world environment and earn valuable income as they complete QVCC’s full-time, 34-credit advanced manufacturing certificate program. Since 2013, paid-internships have led to full-time employment for many of the program’s 119 graduates.

As a pipeline to in-demand, high-skilled employees, the internship program has grown popular with area manufacturers in the biomedical, aerospace, and defense industries. At Renchel Tool Inc. of Putnam, three QVCC interns work part-time operating cutting-edge CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machinery to produce complex medical and orthopedic instruments.

“The combination of education and real-world experience benefits the students and our company,” commented Guy LaPointe, chief financial officer for Renchel Tool. “In addition to training them in our technical areas of need, the internship lets us determine if the students are a good fit for our company’s culture. They are fitting in nicely.”

At Slater Hill Tool of Putnam, owner Josh Nason is pleased with QVCC intern Dylan Glaude’s progress as an operator of CNC lathes and milling machines. When Dylan graduates in May 2017, both employee and employer are optimistic that the part-time internship will become a full-time job and the start of a new career.

“If I can get Dylan where he needs to be in order to come work for Slater Hill Tool full-time, that’s a win for both of us,” Nason said.

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center will host an open house for prospective students on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, on the College’s Danielson campus. Presentations will begin at 6:15 and 6:45 p.m., with guided tours of the 10,000 square foot training facility to follow. Open house guests can apply on the spot, free of charge, for the fall 2017 semester.

Scholarships, financial aid, and veteran benefits are available for qualified applicants. Through the generous donation of a $25,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation, the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center also offers a $100 early enrollment bonus, as well as incentive-based financial awards throughout the two-semester program.

For more information, visit or call the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at (860)-932-4128.

Women’s History Month: The QVCC Community and the Women’s March – Reports and Reflections

Released March 8, 2017

The Cultural Programming Committee of Quinebaug Valley Community College, in collaboration with the Quinebaug Middle College, will host a panel discussion, offered at two different times, in observation of Women’s History Month: “The QVCC Community and the Women’s March 2017: Reports and Reflections.” The Women’s March was held on January 21, 2017, in Washington D.C. and cities across the country to advocate for women’s rights and related issues, including comprehensive healthcare, environmental justice, LGBTQ rights, and workplace justice.

Members of the QVCC community who participated in the march will discuss what motivated them personally to attend and to offer their impressions of the event and its consequences. Participants include Suzy Lefevre, a Quinebaug Middle College English teacher; M’lyn Hines, QVCC’s research librarian; Madison Cook-Hines, a University of Rhode Island sophomore studying wildlife biology; Jennifer Green, the executive assistant to the president of QVCC; and Emma Green, a sophomore at Woodstock Academy.

The event is free and open to the public. The panel will take place twice: on Friday March 24, 2017 at the main campus in Danielson, 742 Upper Maple Street, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 in Room 100/101; and at the QVCC Willimantic Center, Room 10 at 729 Main Street, Willimantic, from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday March 29.

For more information, please contact Professor of English Jonathan Andersen ( or (860) 932-4054).

Times and Locations:

Friday March 24, 2017
10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
QVCC Main Campus, Room 101
742 Upper Maple Street, Danielson

Wednesday March 29, 2017
4 to 5 p.m.
QVCC Willimantic Center, Room 10
729 Main Street, Willimantic

No Dakota Access Pipeline Movement is Focus of Visions in Leadership at QVCC

Released March 2, 2017

An emotional issue that has pitted Native Americans and environmental activists against the Federal Government and oil industry is the focus of this year’s Visions In Leadership program sponsored by the Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion project that crosses four states, would connect oil-rich areas of North Dakota to Illinois, where the crude oil could be transported to refineries. Depending on who you ask, the 1,172-mile pipeline could be an economic boon that decreases the U.S. reliance on foreign oil or an environmental disaster that threatens the water supply and destroys sacred North American sites. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been at the forefront of massive and prolonged protests over the pipeline.

On Thursday, March 23, two women who have played instrumental roles in the No Dakota Access Pipeline Movement will share their perspectives about what is at stake if the pipeline is constructed.

Waniya Locke is from the Ahtna Dene, Dakota, Lakota and Anishinaabe tribes and currently resides on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. She was a Lakota Language Education Action Program (LLEAP) student. This is a college-level intensive Lakota language course for educators of Lakota language. Waniya attended Sitting Bull College and the University of South Dakota.

Jessye Stein is a founding member of People Over Pipelines, an organization started by concerned citizens to support direct action against illegal and immoral pipeline construction across the United States. A graduate of Boston University with a BA in philosophy and political science, she was a founding teacher at the Pine Ridge Girls School and a computer teacher and bus driver at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Tickets to the evening event, which starts at 5:30 p.m., must be purchased in advance and are expected to sell out. The cost is $50 per person and includes dinner, dessert, the presentation, and a silent auction. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Monique Wolanin at 860-932-4174 or

The Foundation recognizes this protest as a highly debated current event. The views expressed by the speakers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the QVCC Foundation.

QVCC Robotics Team Honored

Released February 2, 2017

The Robotics Team from Quinebaug Valley Community College, winner of last year’s NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium Community College Quadcopter Challenge, was presented a plaque last night to honor its win.

On hand to make the presentation were Hisham Alnajjar and Mary Arico from the University of Hartford, administrators of the NASA Space Grant program.

According to faculty advisor Jakob Spjut, assistant professor of engineering science, the project involved “building a quadcopter and designing modifications to accomplish specific tasks, such as take pictures, capture video, map terrain, and collect a water sample.”

Spjut said the students learned how to use SolidWorks, a 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) package, to design parts that they then 3D printed or lasercut as part of the fabrication process. “They prepared a short video to document the process as they also learned to solder and troubleshoot electromechanical problems,” he added.

NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium (CTSGC) is a federally mandated grant, internship, and scholarship program funded as a part of NASA Education. Space Grant Consortia are located in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Left to right: Hisham Alnajjar, student Amy Skrzypczak of Dayville, Jakob Spjut, student John Gray of Lebanon, and Mary Arico. Unable to be present were students Eric Abell of Mansfield and Melanie McFadden of Putnam.