QVCC Foundation Awards $173,000 in Scholarships to Current and Future Students

The Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation is pleased to announce that 112 scholarships, totaling over $173,000, have been awarded to local students. In addition to current QVCC students, 24 area high school students were 2023 recipients. Foundation scholarships support direct educational expenses including tuition, books, fees, technology, and other course requirements.

2023 Scholarship Chair, Mark Light, offered his best wishes to the recipients, “On behalf of the scholarship committee and the entire QVCC Foundation, it’s my honor to congratulate our 2023 Scholarship winners, who have earned this honor because of your stellar academic achievements. We hope these funds help you pursue your academic goals and dreams.” Light, who is a 2002 QVCC graduate, also shared his pride as an alumnus and member of the QVCC Foundation, “As a former QVCC student, it gives me distinct pride to serve as a Foundation board member and as Scholarship Chair. It is my hope for students that by receiving a hand-up from our Foundation and generous donors, they will be inspired to one day help others achieve their educational dreams.”

The QVCC Foundation was established in 1971 as a 501c3 organization to help those who otherwise could not attend college due to financial constraints by involving area business and community members in fundraising efforts. Today’s 25-member strong diverse group of community leaders continues to work tirelessly in support of the Foundation’s mission… to raise funds so that all residents of Northeastern Connecticut are provided the opportunity to attend QVCC regardless of income and to support educational excellence, technological advancement, and professional development at the College and to serve as the Regional Advisory Council to the College.

For more information about the QVCC Foundation, please contact Monique Wolanin, director of Institutional Advancement at 860-932-4174 or


Tackle the Trail Returns to Northeast CT on October 15th

Tackle the Trail ESL team Tackle the Trail JR Tackle the Trail photo1

On Saturday, October 15th, runners from twenty-one states and two countries will take part in Tackle the Trail™, a trail race along the scenic Airline Trail in Northeast Connecticut. Tackle the Trail™ embodies the idea of a community event with 150 volunteers supporting a course that runs through the towns of Windham, Pomfret and Putnam, CT. Celebrating its ninth year, this annual event features marathon, half-marathon, and relay team options, as well as TackleJR, a half-mile youth race that ends at the official Tackle the Trail finish line.

Individuals and up to 5-person relay teams will enjoy the quiet solitude of nature with bursts of energetic and supportive volunteers at 4 relay stations during this point-to-point race. Individual runners can choose between the marathon and half-marathon course options for a fun and challenging experience with mixed terrain including some single-track technical sections. In addition to prizes for the top runners in each event, all finishers will receive race medals, complimentary food, and free beverages from brews sponsor Michelob Ultra. Following the finish line festival, runners are encouraged to explore the quaint but lively communities of Northeast CT, including the many fall festivals that coincide with race weekend.

Tackle the Trail™ serves as a major fundraiser for the Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation and benefits students attending the Danielson and Willimantic campuses of Quinebaug Valley Community College. This cause, coupled with the event’s promotion of wellness, attracts the support of many sponsors on the local and national level. Race sponsor Whitcraft Group has supported the event since its inception in 2014 and has demonstrated the company’s commitment to employee health and wellness, with over 200 employees participating in the race over the event’s nine years. Community and youth wellness is also a motivator for TackleJR sponsor the Newell D. Hale Foundation, a charitable body known for their support of access to healthy activities and education for children. Sponsor support like this ensures healthier communities and future Tackle the Trail™ runners for generations to come.

Those interested in running at this year’s Tackle the Trail™ are encouraged to sign up before the registration deadline of September 25. For more information or to register, visit

Monique Wolanin
Race Director
742 Upper Maple Street
Danielson, CT 06239
(860) 932-4174

The QVCC Foundation Mission is to raise funds, so all residents of northeast Connecticut have the opportunity to attend QVCC regardless of income and to support educational excellence, technological advancement, and professional development at the College. The Foundation also serves as the Regional Advisory Council to the College.  


Purchase Books Online

QVCC bookstore logo

Update: QVCC Bookstore & Buying Textbooks

QVCC students who are looking to purchase textbooks and materials for the fall 2020 semester can only do so through our online shop at Orders will be shipped directly via USPS. Students are able to use any major credit card, PayPal, or Financial Aid as the payment option. Students using Financial Aid must start their banner ID with the @ symbol during the checkout process.

Financial Aid is available now through September 11th. Due to limited transportation availability as a result of COVID-19, we strongly suggest students make purchases sooner rather than later as delivery times may be extended.


Store Manager: Mik Saksith,
Phone: (860) 779-1177 | Fax: (860) 779-3105


CARES Act Distributions for Students

May 22, 2020

Questions: please contact the Bursar’s office, Jen Hyatt

QVCC Students:
The recently enacted federal CARES Act includes a distribution of funds to institutions of higher education, including QVCC.  A significant portion of this funding will be reserved to provide students with grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to Covid-19.

***To avoid delays in receiving the grant, please consider immediately enrolling in direct deposit by following the link below or clicking on the “Direct Deposit” box directly on the homepage of MyCommnet. Please also review for the accuracy of your address and any direct deposit information already on file.

Please note the following important terms of the grant:

  • This grant is to be used as direct assistance for expenses related to the disruption of your studies during the spring 2020 semester, such as: food, housing, materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.
  • Even if you have an outstanding balance on your account, your grant will not be reduced.
  •  This funding does not impact your financial aid award.

We are working as quickly as possible to process the funding, and we currently estimate the money to be disbursed in May, but the timing is subject to change. Students on direct deposit can expect the grant to be deposited sooner than those receiving checks.

QVCC Awarded Healthy Campus Grant Addressing Opiod Education and Awareness

Quinebaug Valley Community College has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Connecticut Healthy Campus Initiative (CHCI); funded by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), with the support of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).  The overall purpose of the grant is to create an opioid education and awareness program.

Ct healthy campus logo With this grant, QVCC has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students, their families and the community.  The idea to purse a grant developed from a small group of staff whom came together to discuss how to provide Narcan training to students at the College. From this idea and with research, the CHCI grant surfaced and the task force generated ideas for an entire program.  The award will support  our mission to not only reduce opioid- related overdose deaths, but to also reduce stigma and provide resources through education, campus campaigns, training, and a panel presentation.

The current task force members are Satina Salce, Katie Gregory, Jenn Hyatt and Paul Martland.

Aurora Dziadul ’18

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 May 24 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 she may have her bachelor’s degree and be heading to graduate school before she can take her driving test.

Faculty Member’s New Poetry Book Honored

Part of English Professor Jon Andersen’s fall 2016 sabbatical was dedicated to finishing his second full-length collection of poetry,  Augur. The book has been named the recipient of the 2017 David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize and will be published by the literary arts press Red Dragonfly Press. The book will be available in early May.

Red Dragonfly Press is based in Minnesota and has been operating for 20 years, publishing work by emerging voices along with established poets and writers like Robert Bly, Louise Erdrich, and Barry Lopez. “The poems in Augur are attempts, in prescribed and open forms, to ‘decode’ the signs of a world in the midst of tremendous and often bewildering upheaval,” said Andersen. “The augurs of ancient Rome were charged with studying natural phenomena, like the flight habits of birds, in order to look for propitious or unfavorable omens,” he explained. “Written from the interlocking perspectives of father, husband, son, brother, educator, and citizen, the poems seek to engage life with clarity,” he added.

Andersen’s first book, Stomp and Sing, was published by Curbstone Press in 2005 and is currently available from Northwestern University Press.

March 2, 2018

Kevin Champagne

Kevin Champagne never dreamed he would be a college student. Originally from Baltic, he graduated from Windham Tech in 1981 having completed the electrical course program. He spent eight years at Electric Boat, lived in Atlanta, and worked in construction, all the while battling the demons within – addiction, depression, the inability to hold a job. He ended up homeless.

But something inside told him he could get out of the endless cycle his life had become. He was fortunate to find support from local physicians and therapists as he started his road to recovery. He applied for disability benefits and then found a counselor who recommended he consider going back to school.

“I felt like I finally had someone on my side, who really listened to me,” said Kevin. “I was not comfortable with what I was doing with my life. I did not want to live on disability indefinitely. After 17 years in recovery, I wanted to make a better life for myself.”

However, the idea of going to college at his age—more than 36 years after finishing high school—was daunting. “I always hated school,” he said. “How would I fit in? My preconceived notions about college education kept me away. I didn’t think it was possible for someone like me.”

But in late August last year, Kevin walked in the door of Quinebaug Valley Community College, submitted an application, applied for financial aid, and completed placement testing—all within one week. Several days later he was sitting nervously in a classroom..

Much to Kevin’s surprise, he discovered that it was possible for him to attend college and succeed. Starting with two courses in the fall semester, one of which was “the first English class I ever enjoyed,” he gradually assimilated himself into the college culture. “I love the diversity of the student body,” he explains.

Kevin credits his professors, the library staff, and the Student Success Center for providing the help he needed to navigate his first year as a college student. Now in his second semester, he feels “connected” to QVCC and has an extended family of students and staff who provide “a lot of backing and support.”

“Now I know it is possible for someone like me to attend college,” says Kevin, adding, “it makes you feel good inside.” His next goal is to make the dean’s list—in his words, “a big deal.” While he is thinking of transferring into the drug and alcohol recovery counselor program at Manchester Community College, he now realizes that success in colleges means he can do anything he wants.

“When life throws you a curve ball, you learn to hit a curve ball,” he laughs, adding, “so that’s what I’m doing.”

Mikayla Gagnon ’12

I chose QVCC because I wanted a college where the professors knew me by name and cared about my success.

Josh Pratt ’05

I had to start off slow. I needed small class sizes and professors who could really focus on my learning. QVCC did just that for me