QVCC Students Named to All-Connecticut Academic Team

Two Quinebaug Valley Community College students, Michaela Grimaldi of Plainfield and Stephen Jacobsen of Bolton, have been named to the All-Connecticut Academic Team and were honored at the State Capitol on Friday, April 6.

The All-Connecticut Academic Team recognizes outstanding scholarly achievements and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in Connecticut’s community, technical, and junior colleges. It is sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa honor society in 38 participating states.

Grimaldi, a graduate of Plainfield High School, is enrolled in the Pathways to Teaching Careers program. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a student ambassador, and treasurer of the Student Government Association. She plans to transfer to Eastern Connecticut State University to pursue a degree in elementary education.

Jacobsen is a Human Services major and graduate of the Learning Clinic. He is also a student ambassador and member of Phi Theta Kappa. His goal is to transfer to a four-year college and become a human services professional.

Photo: Students Stephen Jacobsen and Michaela Grimaldi are flanked by President Carlee Drummer and PTK Advisor Debbie Rimkus after the ceremony at the State Capitol.

Released April 9, 2018

Security Expert Will Speak at QVCC on April 19

Stephen M. Harney, president and CEO of Internal Security Associates and internationally recognized expert in the areas of physical and personnel security, will be the featured speaker for this year’s Visions in Leadership program at Quinebaug Valley Community College.

The event takes place Thursday, April 19, starting at 5:30 pm. Why We Are, Where We Are: The Evolving Nature of Our Nation’s Security is the title of his presentation.

Harney has a broad array of experience advising and assisting major airlines, insurance companies, educational institutions, state government agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, the Social Security Administration, as well as the U.S. Departments of Justice, Defense, State and Treasury in securing sensitive facilities and substantially reducing losses attributable to theft, fraud and corruption.

He has served as special agent in charge, director of security, and regional director of internal affairs for a federal agency now within the Department of Homeland Security. He was responsible for physical and personnel security operations at over 300 government facilities, both domestically as well as in foreign countries.

Harney has either directed or participated in many high level security operations, including events associated with the 2004 Democratic National Convention, high profile political and corporate events, coordination of security details for prime ministers and visiting heads of state in concert with federal agencies, and finally as a former senior special agent on loan to the U.S. Secret Service during his government career.

Now in its tenth year, Visions in Leadership provides an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear from a speaker of national recognition.

Tickets to the evening event 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

Released April 5, 2018

Honor Societies Induct New Members

Forty-two Quinebaug Valley Community College students were inducted into one or more of the college’s academic honor societies at a ceremony held March 28.

Alpha Beta Gamma is an international business honor society established in 1970 to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students in business and related curricula. New members include: Dean Campanaro of Brooklyn; Grace Denault of Thompson; Sarah Dragon of Norwich; Maria Miranda and Jason Walker of North Grosvenordale; Tanya Rizer of Canterbury; Emma Salatin of Preston; Valerie Schrump of Putnam; Christina Small of Danielson; and Megan Vertefeuille of Dayville.

Phi Theta Kappa is the International Honor Society of the Two Year College. Students must pass rigorous academic requirements, which include enrollment in a degree program, the completion of 12 credits, and maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or above. New members include: Sarah Acelin and Renee Vezina of Plainfield; Tyler Adams and Michaela Rouillard of Sterling; Hannah-Rose Andrews, Thomas Kacerik, and Stephanie Marasco of Pomfret; Alexus Arrington of Moosup; Mary Arsenault and Christina Haynes of Willimantic; Crystal Coraccio, Ryan Deoliveira, Marrisa Herring, and Patty Pescatello of Brooklyn; Analia Correa, Dana Huber, Roxann Huckaby, and Edward Walsh of Danielson; Aurora Dziadul of Griswold; Vincent Goernert, Genie Johnson, and Cuinn Stevenson of Woodstock; Cameron Huizenga and Alexander Iamartino of Thompson; Rachel Kistler of Jewett City; Courtney Knudson of Canterbury; James Laudon and Emma Salatin of Preston; Jose Negron of Hartford; Emily Stewart of Storrs; Samantha Stone of Putnam; and Shannon McMaugh of Foster, RI.

Tau Upsilon Alpha, a human services honor society, honors academic excellence, fosters lifelong learning, leadership and development, and promotes excellence in service to humanity. Karena Burnham of Thompson is the newest member.

Released March 29, 2018

Women in Government Panelists Have an Impact

Secretary of State Denise Merrill, State Representative Anne Dauphinais, Windham Town Councilwoman Rose Reyes, and Pomfret First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson (left to right in photo) participated in a panel discussion on Women in Government on Monday, March 26. Topics included why they ran for office, how they won, and what challenges they faced as women.

‘The following is a letter sent to the panelists by student Heather Vogt:

I was at the discussion Monday afternoon where you talked about being a woman in politics. I would first, like to thank you all for coming, and second, to say thank you for inspiring me. I attended my first Democratic Town Council meeting tonight where I was not only made a member, but also voted Co-Vice Chair. I could not have said yes if it had not been for you all yesterday. Each of you said that you started out small, and said yes when asked to serve your towns. Tonight I was asked and I said yes. Though attendance was small the other day, just know that your time was worthwhile.

Photo below shows student Heather Vogt with
Pomfret First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson.

Jane Doe No More: Discussion on Sexual Assault

QVCC to Host Discussion on Sexual Assault with Strong Survivors Fighting for Change

On April 23 at 6:00 pm, On Cue: Culture and Conversations at QV will present “JANE DOE NO MORE: Sexual Assault Survivors Fighting for Change,” an exploration of the challenges faced by sexual assault survivors who speak up about their experiences. The event will feature Dylan Farrow, with assault survivors Donna Palumbo and Susan Campbell.  Investigative journalist Andy Thibault will moderate. The event will be held in the Robert E. Miller Auditorium at the Quinebaug Valley Community College main campus in Danielson. Seating is limited, so attendees are urged to arrive before the event, which is free and open to the public. Donations for Jane Doe No More, an organization that supports survivors of sexual abuse, will be accepted. Audience members should be aware of the potential for emotionally difficult content.

Panelists will include Dylan Farrow, who renewed allegations of a sexual assault she suffered as a 7-year-old with a column in the Los Angeles Times and an interview on CBS This Morning Director Woody Allen, Farrow’s adoptive father, has denied the allegations

Joining Farrow are rape and assault survivors Donna Palomba and Susan Campbell Palomba is founder of Jane Doe No More, Inc. a CT based non-profit organization that honored Farrow last year with the Dr. Henry C. Lee Award. Farrow is a member of

The Jane Doe No More Survivors Speak Outreach Team. Campbell, a well-known journalist and author, teaches at the University of New Haven and appears regularly on WNPR

In an interview with Gayle King on CBS, Dylan Farrow commented on her motivation to make her story public “With so much silence being broken by so many brave people against so many high profile people, I felt it was important to add my story to theirs because it’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time ….It was very momentous for me to see this conversation finally carried into a public setting.”

Veteran investigative journalist Andy Thibault will serve as moderator. Thibault’s 1997 Connecticut Magazine article about the criminal case against Allen has been cited by news outlets including Vanity Fair, Huffington Post and Bustle

A question and answer session with the audience will follow the panel discussion.

Supplemental security for this event will be provided by Integrated Security Services of Hartford.

For more information, please contact professor of English Jonathan Andersen at

Released March 21, 2018

Waiting for Yoko Spoken Word Series at QVCC March 28

“Waiting for Yoko”: A Celebration of the Art of Resistance, featuring the internationally recognized poet Martín Espada, will be held Wednesday, March 28, at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson. The event, which runs from 6 to 9 pm, includes local musician and Quinebaug Middle College Principal Gino LoRicco, Windham/Willimantic NAACP Chapter President Leah Ralls, and activist/musician Miles Wilkerson. An open mic follows the featured performances.

Espada has published almost 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator, most recently the poetry collection Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (Norton 2016). His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, and the American Book Award. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

A multi-talented musician, LoRicco plays the guitar, banjo, harmonica, djembe, cajon and the garbage can, and writes and records original music. Ralls, a social worker and longtime advocate for those suffering from homelessness, addiction, and mental illness, is currently the president of the Windham/Willimantic chapter of the NAACP. Wilkerson is a local activist, scholar, and musician, who has most recently led anti-racist actions in response to the white supremacist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Waiting for Yoko Series is named for Yoko Ono, an artist, author and peace activist, who is invited to each event and has sent a letter of greeting. So far, she has not attended. “This reading series never fails to disappoint. This is a place where great art, world-class poetry, and new student voices come together in an almost magical way” says Professor of English Brian Kaufman.

Sandwiches and light refreshments will be provided and the public is invited to attend. For more information please contact Jon Andersen, professor of English  at or 860-932-4054.

Released March 20, 2018

Women in Government Panel Discussion

Women in Government: How they ran. How they won. is the topic of a Women’s History Month panel discussion to be held Monday, March 26, at 12:30 pm at Quinebaug Valley Community College.

Participating in the panel will be Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, State Representative Anne Dauphinais, Pomfret First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson, and Windham Town Councilwoman Rose Reyes.

The discussion will examine the reasons they chose to run for office, how they marketed themselves while campaigning, what physical, mental and emotional challenges they faced, and how they won their races.

The event takes place in the Auditorium at the Danielson Campus. For additional information, contact Karla Desjardin at 860-932-4106.

Released March 19, 2018

Artist’s Reception to be Held March 22

“The Ides of March” – plein air painting by Mona Stratos, is on exhibit at the Spirol Art Gallery at Quinebaug Valley Community College through April 6.

Stratos’s landscape paintings of oil on linen feature many areas in rural Connecticut as well as the coasts of Massachusetts and Maine. Her energetic and broad brushwork combined with well-defined patterns of light and shadow convey a peaceful atmosphere in her paintings.

A reception for the artist will be held Thursday, March 22, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The public is invited to attend and admission is free.

Released March 12, 2018

Advanced Manufacturing Open House at QVCC March 22

Quinebaug Valley Community College will host an open house at its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center Thursday, March 22, beginning at 6 pm.

Advanced Manufacturing is an exciting cutting-edge field that uses innovative technology to improve products or processes. Advanced Manufacturing typically offers competitive wages and career pathways for workers with a wide variety of education and skills.

QVCC currently offers two certificate programs: Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology and Mechatronics. Each program involves two semesters of hands-on lab and classroom experience. Many students get paid internships often leading to full-time employment, and both certificates qualify for federal and state financial aid. With more than 200 manufacturing companies in Eastern Connecticut, employment opportunities are available in areas such as aerospace, medical, military and defense, telecommunications, electronics and automotive.

The Open House will begin with an information session and be followed by tours of the 10,000 square foot Center. Attendees may apply for admission and the application fee will be waived. For additional information, contact Steve LaPointe, program director, at 860-932-4111.

Released March 12, 2018

Praise from Eastern Connecticut State University

Sue Spencer and Cindy Shirshac received the following note from Jeffrey Trawcik-Smith, Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair and Professor of Early Childhood Education, at Eastern Connecticut State University:

“. . . what an honor it has been to work with all of you and to meet the great students you send our way. Your students come to us with both remarkable knowledge and a true understanding of the early childhood culture and teach our conventional four-year college students so much. You do such important work and it is my sincere hope that the state, its policy makers, teachers, childcare providers, and families recognize what you contribute to Connecticut’s children.”

March 2, 2018