QVCC Foundation Raises Over $125,000 This Fall

Whether it’s sponsoring a golf tournament or holding a road (trail) race, the Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation has a knack for successful fundraising – with the numbers to prove it.

This fall the Foundation raised over $125,000 during two highly successful annual events, money that will provide scholarships and other financial aid for QVCC students.

In September the Foundation’s 25th annual Golf Tournament, held for the first time at Connecticut National Country Club in Putnam, featured 36 teams, seven tournament sponsors, as well as 94 Gold, Silver, and Hole sponsors. Despite a last minute date change due to impending storms, the Foundation raised a record $82,000.

Tournament sponsors included 1st Alliance Lending, Gerardi Insurance Services, Jewett City Savings Bank, Weiss and Hale Financial, Westview Health Care Center, Foster Custom Compounds, and Putnam Plastics Corporation. First place went to the team of Kevin Cole, Robert Cloutier, Justin Cyr, and Mike Panteleakos. Second place went to Brendan Meehan, Jared Meehan, Ryan Salvas, and Mike Angeloff. Third place was taken by Tom Harney, Patrick Harney, Bill Poirier, and Todd Poirier.

Three and a half weeks later on October 21, Foundation members, assisted by 60 volunteers, hosted its 4th annual Tackle the Trail.

Sixty-five teams of varying sizes, as well as 30 individual runners, participated in the 20-mile trail race that winds through Pomfret, Hampton, Chaplin, Windham and ends in downtown Willimantic. Finishing first in the men’s division was John Xeller with a time of 2:11:16. Setting a course record for women, Amanda Rossolimo finished with a time of 2:21:39. Relay teams coming in first in their divisions were Zip’s Diner (men), Kristin & Vicky (women), and Pomfret School Team 1 (coed). Also setting a course record in the 13 and under category was the Pomfret Community School X Country team.

Strong community support for the event was evident by the number of sponsors (25), including race sponsor Whitcraft, and several in-kind donors. Also critical to the success of the event were the volunteers who manned crosswalks, helped with parking and other logistics, handed out water, and cheered on the runners. All participants enjoyed a post-race lunch and celebration at the Willimantic Elks.

Tackle the Trail raised another $45,000 for the Foundation.

Released Nov. 14, 2017

Dean’s Debate Series Tackles Controversial Topic

The second in the fall series of Dean’s Debates at Quinebaug Valley Community College, which examines the often contentious topic of abortion, will be held Wednesday, November 15, at 12:30 pm in the college’s auditorium.

Alfred Williams, dean of academic affairs and student services, and Heath Hightower, associate professor of human services will debate both sides of “Abortion is morally unjustified”, followed by a community cross-examination period when the audience can ask questions. These 45-minute Lincoln-Douglas style debates are designed to promote spirited and thoughtful civil discourse about a range of topics.

In addition, each of the debate series will include a post-debate community discussion about the topic, facilitated by Williams and Hightower. The public is invited to attend and join the conversation.

For additional information, please contact Heath Hightower at 860-932-4139 or

Released Nov. 2, 2017

New Scholarship Fund at QVCC Endowed on Veterans Day

The Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation recently announced that an endowed scholarship fund has been set up by a sister and brother to honor the memory of their father, his career in manufacturing, and his military service.

The John J. Sarnowski Memorial Scholarship is the gift of Lois Sarnowski Brower of Woodstock and her brother, Walter L. Sargent of Farmington. Their father, born in Bridgeport, Conn. in 1916, was a graduate of New Britain Trade School. In 1940 he started work as a machinist at the Wallace Barnes Division of Associated Spring in Bristol, Conn. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served as a machinist mate on the USS Shadwell, which was torpedoed in the Pacific Theater during World War II, but not destroyed. Upon his honorable discharge as a machinist mate 2nd class in 1944, he returned to Wallace Barnes, retiring in 1983 after 38 years with the company. He also served in his local Veterans Association and on various town committees.

The Sarnowski family tour the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. Back row (L to R) Walter Sargent, Bill Brower, Steve LaPointe (director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center) Front row (L to R) Sandy Sargent, President Carlee Drummer, Monique Wolanin (director of institutional advancement), Lois Brower


“The two things that meant the most to my father, in addition to his family, were his military service and his job,” said Lois Brower. Walter Sargent remembers as a child going to machining events with his father. “He loved machines,” said Sargent, commenting that the current equipment in the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center were just being thought about in his father’s day.

“All three Sarnowski children spent their careers in the field of education,” said Monique Wolanin, director of institutional advancement at QVCC. “This endowment reflects their belief, as well as their father’s, in the importance of education. That is one reason why they decided to endow this with the QVCC Foundation, whose mission is to provide access to education,” she added.

As a tribute to their father, a family man who took great pride in his job, his military service, and his country, the donors chose to endow the scholarship on Veterans Day.

Released Nov. 13, 2017

QVCC to Celebrate Veterans Day

Ceremony will include brick dedication and Veterans photo exhibit

Quinebaug Valley Community College will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 10, with an afternoon ceremony, the dedication of new bricks in the Veterans’ Garden, and the opening of the Veterans’ Connection Photo Exhibit. In addition, Vietnam Veteran lapel pins and Wartime Service Medals will be presented to local veterans. Representative Joe Courtney and State Senator Mae Flexer will be among the speakers.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will include the dedication of 83 new bricks in the Veterans Garden walkway, each of which honors a veteran. Over 400 bricks already lie in the garden, which was created in 2010 with the goal of having a place where local veterans could be honored and remembered. In addition, the winner of the Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse Veterans Day Essay Contest will read his or her winning essay.

Also on Friday, the Veterans’ Connection Photo Exhibit will open in the college’s Spirol Gallery. The very personal photo exhibit, which also includes memorabilia, honors veterans from the QVCC community. Conceived three years ago as a way to recognize and honor military service, each year new photos are added to the exhibit. The opening reception will be held in the gallery immediately following the ceremony. The exhibit runs through November 30.

All Veterans’ Day events are open to the public. For additional information, contact Andy Morrison at 860-932-4360.

Released November 1, 2017

Financial Aid Night at QVCC on November 8

Evening will assist families through the intricacies of college funding

Quinebaug Valley Community College will hold its annual Financial Aid Night on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 5:30 pm, at the Danielson campus.

The presentation is designed to provide high school seniors and parents all information necessary to understand the process of funding a college education, including the sources and types of financial aid, eligibility requirements, and how to apply. The evening will also include a question and answer session.

“The Financial Aid Night is an opportunity for high school students and their families to learn how to navigate the financial aid process,” said Kim Rich, director of financial aid. “We will be discussing how to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), types of financial aid, and a variety of other topics to assist families through the intricacies of college funding.”

The presentation will be held in the Auditorium and no registration is necessary. For additional information, contact the QVCC Financial Aid Office at 860-932-4003.

Released October 31, 2017

QVCC Hosts Blood Drive on October 30

The Campus Life Committee at Quinebaug Valley Community College is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive on Monday, October 30, from 11 am – 4:00 pm at the Danielson campus.

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day. Yet less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood or platelets.

Appointments for the Blood Drive can be made online at Registration will take place in the Fireside Lounge. For more information contact Cindi Brassington at 860-932-4061 or

Released October 24, 2017

QVCC Marketing Office Wins Medallion Awards

The Office of Marketing and Communications at Quinebaug Valley Community College recently received three Medallion Awards from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations. The awards were presented at the NCMPR District 1 conference in Philadelphia.

QVCC received a Silver Medallion Award for Original Photography – a photo of a grateful scholarship recipient and the donor taken at Scholarship Night. The college also received two Bronze Medallion Awards in the E-cards category for last year’s holiday greeting card, and the Video Shorts category for the New Year’s Resolution to Tackle the Trail video.

The NCMPR Medallion Awards recognize outstanding achievement in design and communication at community and technical colleges. It is the only regional competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year colleges.

QVCC’s Marketing Office is staffed by Susan Breault, director of marketing and communications; Margie Huoppi, coordinator of marketing services; and Jennifer Espeseth, graphics specialist.

NCMPR,an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges, is the leading professional development organization exclusively serving two year college communicators, with more than 1,600 members across the country.

See the Bronze Medallion Award video here >>

Released October 19, 201



The Core Ensemble to Perform “Tres Vidas” at QVCC Oct. 23

A chamber music theater performance of Tres Vidas by The Core Ensemble will be held Monday, October 23, at Quinebaug Valley Community College, starting at 12 noon.

Part of the college’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Tres Vidas celebrates the lives of three legendary Latin American women: Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Salvadoran peasant activist Rufina Amaya, and Argentinean poet Alfonsina Storni. The audience will hear folk songs of Mexico, El Salvador, and Argentina as well as vocal and instrumental tangos. The three women are played by one actress.

“If the chance arises to see Tres Vidas, seize it…” said the Boston Globe. “A marvelous example of how an ensemble can bring their gifts to the stage individually and collectively, to enlighten, entertain, and enthrall an audience…” wrote the Portland Press Herald.

Since its founding in 1993, The Core Ensemble has been acclaimed for the development of a new genre of chamber music theater works, as well as a long history of commissioning and performing contemporary chamber music. A series of chamber music theatre works combining music with other performance elements such as narrative and dance have toured nationally and internationally since 1995.

The performance is sponsored by the college’s Cultural Programming Committee. The public is invited to attend and admission is free. For more information call 860-932-4155.

Released October 16, 2017

Fall Festival at QVCC on October 11

To celebrate the change of seasons, a fall festival will be held at Quinebaug Valley Community College on Wednesday, October 11, starting at 11:30 am.

Organized by the Student Government Association, the event will feature horse-drawn hay rides, artisan pizza, an inflatable obstacle course, pumpkin painting, music jamming, a henna artist, free cider, hot cocoa and coffee, and additional games and activities.

The festival will be held weather permitting. In the event of rain, some activities will be held indoors. For more information contact Amanda Giles, student services assistant, at 860-932-4217 or

Released October 6, 2017

QVCC to Celebrate International 24-Hour Comics Day

Artists who want to test their creativity and push their artistic limits are invited to Quinebaug Valley Community College for this year’s 24-Hour Comics Day. The day of extreme cartooning allows 24 straight hours for amateur and professional cartoonists of any age to challenge themselves to write, draw and letter an entire 24-page comic in 24 hours. This year’s 24-Hour Comics Day starts at the QVCC Cafeteria at 3 pm on Friday, October 6th, and continues through 3 pm on Saturday, October 7th.

Creating comic art can be lonely work. 24-Hour Comics Day provides an opportunity to stretch creative muscles and get invigorated by working alongside a group of fellow artists.

This annual international festival of comics creation draws in young and old, experienced and novice. Don’t let a lack of experience or materials keep you away – previous participants have been as young as 7, and have used supplies ranging from a box of crayons to top-of-the-line drawing pencils. “Celebrity” 24-hour comic book creators include: Neil Gaiman (“Sandman”), Erik Larsen (“Savage Dragon”), Steve Bissette (“Swamp Thing”), and 24-hour comics inventor, Scott McCloud (“Understanding Comics”).

Artists who complete the challenge may submit copies of their comics to be included in the official 24-Hour Comics Collection hosted by the Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum & Library.

For more information about the event, contact Jakob Spjut, QVCC associate professor of engineering science, at 860-932-4156 or visit or

Released September 29, 2017