Second Chance Pell Program Creates Stories of Hope

Stories of hope and redemption are very powerful. The Second Chance Pell Program is giving incarcerated individuals at the Brooklyn Correctional Institution the opportunity to create their own stories through access to higher education.

Quinebaug Valley Community College is one of 65 colleges nationwide selected in 2016 to participate in the Second Chance Pell Program initiative, which examines whether expanding access to financial aid increases incarcerated adults’ participation in educational opportunities.

QVCC has partnered with the Brooklyn facility to offer courses in manufacturing and business administration to individuals likely to be released within five years. Manufacturing students are able to take the required non-lab courses and finish the program at one of the community college manufacturing centers. Business students are able to complete a certificate in management while incarcerated.

This spring 12 individuals were awarded certificates at a graduation ceremony held June 5. At the same time 18 inmates were honored for being named to the dean’s list.

“Some of my students from this program are among the best students I have had in my 30-year career at QVCC,” said instructor Buz Sherman. “These men are optimistic, capable, determined, hardworking, and respectful, and many have exceeded the high expectations the staff had of them.” Sherman is confident that if given a second chance upon release, these individuals will be productive and successful. “Others will be as impressed as we have been,” he added.

A former participant credits his experience with the Second Chance Pell Program for the success he now enjoys. “QVCC staff and teachers are passionate about the Second Chance Pell program and go above and beyond for the students. As a former inmate who excelled in classes while incarcerated, I am now enjoying success in my career…because of the seed that was planted through the program.

“Many former felons cannot find jobs, but for those who have some education, employers are far more willing to take a chance and doors will be opened. The program has afforded me so many opportunities for personal expansion, and my quality of life has improved dramatically.” He is currently enrolled at QVCC and planning to complete his associate’s degree. “

Ruth Delaney, program manager at Vera Institute of Justice, which provides technical assistance to participating colleges and corrections departments, said Connecticut is in the top five states in terms of the number of students served by the Second Chance Pell Program. “We applaud the partnership between the Connecticut Department of Corrections and QVCC,” she said. “Due to their work together, these students have the opportunity to succeed in their chosen careers when they return home to their families and communities.”

For more information and an update on the Second Chance Pell initiative, visit

Released June 28, 2018

QVCC to Offer Associate’s Degree in Cybersecurity

With organizations and companies regularly facing cyberthreats and potential data breaches, the demand for cybersecurity experts is rapidly growing.

Quinebaug Valley Community College’s new Associate’s Degree in Cybersecurity provides the training needed for a career in this growing industry. The 60-credit program can be completed in two years with the goal of immediate employment. Students can also easily transfer to a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year college or university.

Cybersecurity, also known as computer security or information technology security, is a field that covers the tools and systems used to monitor, mitigate, and prevent online threats. Cybersecurity professionals use innovative technology to combat hackers, cyberterrorists, network outages, and other technical problems that could compromise network security. Due to our growing reliance on web-based technology at home and in the workplace, this fast-paced profession has grown quickly over the past two decades.

Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.

According to Program Coordinator Chris Parden, there are currently over 4,000 unfilled cybersecurity job openings in Connecticut alone. By 2020, it is expected there will be 1.5 million jobs nationwide that will need to be filled.

Parden also says the curriculum aligns with and prepares students for numerous nationally recognized industry certifications such as ISC2’s Systems Security Certified Practitioner and CompTIA’s Security+ certification. Cybersecurity certification qualifications are becoming the norm in many job descriptions as organizations seek quantifiable ways of measuring prospective employees’ expertise. Many employers view these certifications as favorably as college degrees.

For more information about the Cybersecurity degree program, email Parden at For information on how to register, contact the Student Success Center at 860-932-4020.

Released June 13, 2018

QVCC Announces Spring Dean’s List

Quinebaug Valley Community College has announced 215 students have been named to the spring semester dean’s list in recognition of high academic achievement. These students attained a grade point average of more than 3.4 for all courses taken during the semester.

Complete list can be found here >>

Released May 30, 2018

QVCC Schedules Special Registration Days in June

Quinebaug Valley Community College is holding several special registration days during the month of June for students planning to enroll for the fall semester.

The college will be open Saturday, June 2, from 9 am to 2 pm, with admissions, advising, and financial aid staff available to assist with the registration process and answer questions.

Advising and registration sessions for students interested in allied health or advanced manufacturing programs will be held Tuesday, June 5, from noon to 4 pm.

Current allied health programs include medical assisting, medical lab technician, medical coding, phlebotomy, medical office skills, and allied health pathways. Allied health faculty will be available for academic advising.

Potential manufacturing students will get a chance to tour the 10,000 foot manufacturing lab and learn about the mechatronics/automation technician and advanced manufacturing machine technology programs that take only two semesters to complete.

On Wednesday, June 13, personalized advising and registration assistance from STEM faculty will be available from noon to 5 pm. STEM programs at QVCC include manufacturing, engineering/technology studies, computer science, science, math, pathways to teaching, and the new cyber security program.

For more information on how to enroll and register, contact the Student Success Center at 860-932-4020.

Released May 29, 2018

Veterans Stand Down Returns to QVCC June 9

Quinebaug Valley Community College will host its third annual Veterans’ Stand Down, an event designed to give former service members assistance with benefits information, on Saturday, June 9, at the Danielson campus.

Produced in partnership with the Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse, the Stand Down is an annual event that serves veterans residing in northeast Connecticut.

Andrew Morrison, interim director of community outreach and veterans’ services, says there are many veterans who are unaware of what benefits are available to them, whether it’s food, housing, transportation, or health. “Veterans are used to helping themselves, or relying on each other to figure out those benefits,” he said. “This is a starting point, a place to ask questions and be referred to people or groups that can help.”

Annie Hill, veterans’ services program assistant and school certifying official, adds that the Stand Down will also provide information regarding education benefits that can be used at QVCC. “Nearly all veterans residing in Connecticut are entitled to a tuition waiver, but we find many veterans aren’t aware of this benefit,” she said. “The Stand Down is one way we can raise awareness.”

A variety of community, health, and government groups will have representatives at the Stand Down providing guidance to veterans and their families on the benefits they have earned. In addition to free hearing and eye screenings, the event includes booths hosted by several veterans’ services groups, as well as representatives from the state Department of Labor, the American Legion and others. This year’s event will also feature employers interested in hiring veterans and a fall prevention exposition sponsored by the Northeast District Department of Health.

The Veterans Stand Down runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For additional information, contact Andrew Morrison at 860-932-4360 or

Released May 24, 2018

Class of 2018 Will Graduate Tonight

Nearly 250 Quinebaug Valley Community College students will receive degrees and certificates at the 46th commencement tonight starting at 6 pm. The ceremony will be held outside in the Richard Berry Amphitheater. Guests are advised to bring lawn chairs or blankets because seating is not available.


Ashford: Jeffrey M. Cosman, Connor Jordan Grimason, Juana Grechen Paredes, Tyler J. Smith, Marcella Lois Vertefeuille

Brooklyn: Michael A. Beauregard, Justin Mathew Beausoleil, Justin Michael Becker, Jason J. Behmlander, Laurel Julia-Rose Bellavance, Dean Charles Campanaro, Jovani A. Capozziello, John L. Carr, Sara Lynn Chagnot, Chandler Thomas Cloutier, Stephanie Diane Collins, Orenthain Javar Daniel, Richard Brian Dragonette, Ricky L. Ellis, Michael T. Ferguson, Arionna Elaina Flores, Austin Tylor Gill, Amara Venessa Greene, Thomas L. Hull, Christopher William Klawitter, Kerry H. McGuire, Morgan Brooke Morrow, Alan M. O’Donnell, Andrew Stephen Ozimek, Alyssa Joyce Pero, Patty A. Pescatello, Marissa Lynne Poulin, Barbara A. Rainville, Tasha Lyn Schapp, Byron L. Taylor, Robert Charles Tuttle, Heather Allison Vogt, Michael Thomas Wetherell, Aaron Wood, Sr., Katrina Rose Zannini

Canterbury: Julianne Jean Alicé, Nicole Ashley Benoit, Birch J. Brennan, Aaron Button, Romona Lynn Clauson, Benjamin Ross Engel, Matthew James Hare, Courtney Jordan Knudson, Adam Joseph Roberts, Justin Robert Sulich

Chaplin: Dylan Lee Milhomme, David Anthony Pascale

Coventry: Charles Dominick Baird, Melinda Anne Tourigny, Catsy Aquatta Turre

Danielson: Robert Brian Challinor, Judith Rose Chatelle, Analia Janet Correa, Sarah J. Dragon, Andrew John Ferguson, Logan C. Gray, Abigail Marie Roberts, Tom Ray Russell, Keith Montgomery Scott, Lynn Marie Scovel, John Simoneau, Tori R. Singer, Christina Marie Small, Anthony James Sychevsky Jr., Carrie L. Tetreault, Joseph Thomas Thivierge, Edward M. Walsh, Katrina Michelle Webster, Joseph Mark Wetherbee, Frank Eric Seely Zemanek

Dayville: Stephanie Elizabeth Beausoleil, Jeremy Richard Billings, Kristen A. Blanchard, Katelyn Elizabeth Boswell, Chelcie Brown, Karena-Anne Therrien Burnham, Jacqueline Marie Capron, Andrew Robert Erskine, Julianne Marie Grimaldi, Andrew R. Hesson, Sabrina Lynn Kudelsky, Seth B. Marceau, Madison Olivia Taylor, Paige Rochelle Vanasse

Griswold: Shane Matthew Babbitt, Sean Michael Bruyere, Aurora Kay Dziadul, Tyler Stephen Lamirande, Melanie Lynn Leffler

Grosvenor Dale: Storme K. Larkin

Groton: Donna M. Andrews

Hampton: Cathleen A. Greene

Hartford: Jose A. Negron

Jewett City: Rachel Lynn Kistler, Brett Ronald Shoquist

Lebanon: Amanda Lynn Cole, Taylor L. Napolitano

Ledyard: Amanda R. Boore

Lisbon: Chelsey Grace Sobanski, Mary Elizabeth Truman

Mansfield Center: Hazel A. Billings-Chiu, Justin K. Billings-Chiu, Jeremiah Edward Dunphy, Yunchu Liu, Sierra Desiree Rodriguez, Luke Joshua Soderberg

Moosup: Alexus Renee Arrington, Shelly A. Dumont, Jordan Taylor Federer, Nicholas Daniel Firlik, Edward Kent Kraemer, Laurel Jean Morganson, James Mitchell Schmartz, Sara E. Schmartz

Niantic: Burim Kurtishi

North Grosvenordale: Ernest A. Blanchard Jr., Ivy Marie Collette, Nick Irving Graham, Joshua Andrew Lewis, Kasey Lynn Marrier, John Peter Porra, Katie C. Purcell, Kaitlin Ann Rivers, Erika Pauline Rooney, Mackenzie Lee Trudeau, Jason Scott Walker

North Windham: Jezabel Calixto

Norwich: Xkele Janice Pettis, ALMouhallab Y. Tmeem

Plainfield: Abena Serwah Adjei, Heather Lynn DeParasis, Michaela Anna Grimaldi, Shawn Edgar LaGrandeur, Amy Rose Macha, Heather Ann Rizer, Andrew D. Robbins, George C. Robinson, Matthew T. Sandage

Pomfret: Kelly Marie Phar, Kristen Ann Yanick, Jade Patricia Beltrami, Kenneth Louis Chambrello, Alexi L Cournoyer, Rosaleen Louise Donovan, Emiajlen Leigh Malcein, Tyson James Malek, Noah Alan Smutnick

Preston: James M.R. Laudon, Emma Jane Salatin

Putnam: Dakota Elaine Anderson, Michael Gerard Aubin, Charles W. Blagburn, Grey Necker Clark, Carly Madeline Cotnoir, Timothy Sean Dignam, Eleana Jean England, Hazel Elizabeth Glaude, John B. Kline, Sabrina Lynn Mayo, Michael P. Pedersen, Tara C. Porter-Hunt, Devin Scelfo Provost, Marc M. Ravenelle, Collin J. Rice, Valerie J. Schrump, Ke Sherman, Christian Andrew Smith, Brittany Roze Stott, Taylor Rose Trudeau, Robin Dianne Vaudrain

Rogers: Kevin Joseph Brooks, Molly C. Hayes, Connell Avery Quercia, Matthew Yves Carpentier, Jarod R. Denomme, Hanna R. Rouillard

Sterling: Michaela Rose Rouillard, Tiffany Alice Shaw, Johannah Lee Thompson, Emily Caroline Vaughan

Thompson: Jennifer L. Andrews, Grace Maria Deneault, Johnathon Kevin Deneault, Sarah Elizabeth Deneault, Alexander Joseph Iamartino, Taylor Rose Kennedy, Kelly E. Lamb, Liam M. O’Brien, Margo Corea Page

Vernon: Carolyn A. Asadoorian, Edward Aaron Dugan

Willimantic: Alyssa Christina Cook, Naomi Lee Crespo, Luz E. Cruz, Mia French, Pedro Isaac Galarza, Fabiola Gonzalez Dominguez, Ryan D. Grant, Richard K. Gyansa, Olivia D. Kurnyk, Drew Bristol Massicotte, Xochitl Mauricio, Irmarie Jannette Santiago, Alicia Lynn Springer, Timothy J. Verastegui

Willington: Theodore E. Kryznel, Ashley M. Palozie

Windham: Nafaely Frutos, Victoria Marie Rooke

Winsted: William Edward Arcand

Woodstock: Rachel Ann Bober, Michelle Morissette Bouchard, Andrew D. Cohen, Jon-Luc P. Cournoyer, Olivia Madison DePetrillo, Jeffrey Ryan Draper, Elijah Charles Dufour, Zachary Tyler Enderle, Antonio Donald Fiorenza, Abigail Rose Frink, Vincent M. Goernert, Benton S. Harris, Brendan C. Hebert, Cody William Lajoie, Erin K. Manis, Austin R. Parke, Ryker J. Pawloski, Jolisa Eva Peabody, Veronica Suzanne Phillips, Jotham Gay Reynolds VI, Daniel Foster Solomon, Bryan Lee Anthony Sosnowski, Margalit Sarah Kaufman


Chepachet, RI: Amanda Lee Laurent, Brenden George Nichols

Coventry, RI: Kerrie L. Karwoski

Foster, RI: Gianna M. Piccione, Tony Pina

Greene, RI: Nathanael Michael Pimental

Dudley, MA: Trevor James Gibbs

Springfield, MA: Jose Junior Marquez

Lincoln, NE: Brian Thomas McGuire

Beaverton, OR: Tess E. McKusick


Released May 23, 2018

Youngest Graduate Will Speak at QVCC Commencement

Photo of Aurura DziadulAt 14 years of age, she’s not old enough to drive and she’s too young to vote. She’d like to go to law school and get a PhD in psychology, then join the FBI as a special agent—lofty goals for the average teenager.

But if you talk with Aurora Dziadel of Griswold, you will soon discover she is well on her way to attaining those goals. You will also be amazed at what she has already achieved.

That’s because Aurora started early. After attending Griswold Middle School and two years of homeschooling, she enrolled at Quinebaug Valley Community College at the tender age of 11. On Thursday she will join her much older classmates at the college’s 46th commencement, graduating summa cum laude with an associate’s degree in liberal arts and sciences.

If that isn’t remarkable enough, Aurora was selected to be the student speaker and will address the graduates and audience members.

“I will be sharing a message of acceptance,” she explained. “Throughout my time at QVCC, I have encountered acceptance from every person at the college, whether it be professors, advisors, or students. I wanted to share my experience with others and explain how much that has meant to me,” she added. “I choose QVCC because of this strong sense of community and the acceptance that was given to me.”

While Aurora admits it was a difficult transition from homeschool to college, especially due to her own shyness, she soon found both the students and professors to be welcoming. “I quickly felt at home,” she said.

It is clear that QVCC has been a good fit for Aurora. “I have immensely enjoyed taking classes in every subject, from math to science to Spanish to Humanities,” she noted. “I learned so much in all of my classes, not just about the subject at hand but life lessons as well.” Not only was she named to the dean’s list for four straight semesters, Aurora was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for community and two-year colleges. This spring, after less than a year of Spanish, she won 3rd prize in the Julius Sokenu Poetry Awards in the Spanish non-heritage speakers category.

When she’s not at the college, Aurora trains and competes at Thames Valley Academy of Gymnastics from December through May. She also enjoys swimming and biking, listening to music, and reading novels.

In the fall she will be transferring to either Salve Regina University in Newport, where her grandparents live, or to the University of Connecticut—she is weighing the pros and cons of each school. No matter which college she chooses, Aurora knows she will probably be the youngest student in the junior class, “but I’m used to that,” she laughed.

Her parents will continue to provide transportation until she gets her driver’s license. But Aurora may have her bachelor’s degree and be heading to graduate school before she can take her driving test.

Released May 18, 2018

QVCC to Hold Commencement Thursday, May 24

Quinebaug Valley Community College will hold its 46th commencement Thursday, May 24, 2018, awarding degrees and certificates to approximately 260 students. The ceremony will be held outdoors in the Richard Berry Amphitheater starting at 6 p.m.

Addressing the graduates will be Anne Diamond, J.D., C.N.M.T., president and CEO of Day Kimball Healthcare since August 2017. Diamond began her career as a nuclear medicine technologist, then worked her way up through the ranks of management, hospital administration, and research development. Over the last three decades, she has held roles of increasing responsibility as manager, director, and vice president. Before joining Day Kimball Healthcare, she was CEO of UConn Health’s John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington, Conn.

Also speaking will be graduate Aurora Dziadul, a 14 year old liberal arts and science major from Griswold, who was selected by committee from a pool of applicants. Dziadul enrolled at QVCC at the age of 11 and is one of the youngest graduates in the college’s history. She is planning to transfer to the University of Connecticut or Salve Regina University to study psychology and political science.

QVCC’s Danielson campus is located at 742 Upper Maple Street. Because the ceremony will be held outside, guests should bring lawn chairs or blankets, as seating is not available. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the gymnasium at Woodstock Academy. A decision will be made by 12 noon on May 24 if there is a change in venue. Additional information can be found on the college website –

Released May 16, 2018

QVCC Named a Gold Military Friendly School for 2018-2019

Military Friendly School LogoQuinebaug Valley Community College announced that it has been designated a 2018-2019 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.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation. This is the 9th 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.

The Military Friendly designation includes special awards for those colleges and training facilities that set the standard for excellence. These schools 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.

QVCC takes pride in offering veterans and service members a strong support system, including assistance with military educational benefits packages, advising, registration and certification services in a one stop fashion. The dedicated Veterans Oasis, Veterans Advisory Committee, Veterans Day celebration, and Veterans Garden are some of the ways QVCC supports its veterans.

On Saturday, June 9, a Veterans Stand Down will be held for the third year at the Danielson campus. Sponsored jointly by QVCC and the Danielson Veterans Coffee House, the event is designed to give former service members living in northeast Connecticut assistance with benefits information.

Released May 14, 2018

Foundation Awards $110,000 in Scholarships to Current and Future Students

The auditorium at Quinebaug Valley Community College was full of smiling faces Wednesday night as 90 local students, including 27 from area high schools, were awarded a total of $110,000 in scholarship money by the QVCC Foundation.

Four newly funded scholarships were presented for the first time: Louise Brown Memorial Scholarship, Dr. Ellis A. & Shirley L. Hagstrom Memorial Scholarship, John J. Sarnowski Memorial Scholarship, and the Sommer Family Scholarship.

“Scholarship Night not only reflects the stellar achievements of QVCC students but also the amazing generosity of many donors who are helping to transform lives in Northeastern Connecticut,” said QVCC President Carlee Drummer.

Many donors were in attendance to present their scholarships, including 1978 graduate Dr. Lynn Pasquerella and her husband, John Kuchle, professor emeritus of biology, who traveled from Washington, DC, where she serves as president of the Association of American Colleges & Universities.

“I can’t imagine a better example to represent the best aspects of a community college education than the QVCC Foundation’s 28th annual Scholarship Night,” said Monique Wolanin, director of institutional advancement. “To be able to observe bright, hardworking students receive their scholarships from individuals and business who believe in the importance of education is very inspirational.”

In addition to the current QVCC students, a record number of high school students were scholarship recipients. Leading the way was Ellis Tech, with 11 recipients, followed by 6 from Killingly High School and 5 from Woodstock Academy. All will be enrolling at QVCC in the fall.

“I am very proud of our local students and so appreciative of the opportunity to work at QVCC ,” added Wolanin, “where we experience daily the support our community has for our college.”

Photos L to R
Top row: John J. Sarnowski Scholarship; Woodstock Academy scholarship recipients
Bottom row: Lynn Pasquerella ’78 & John Kuchle Scholarship; Townsend scholarship recipients

Released May 3, 2018