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quinebaug valley community college

Center for Teaching


Welcome to the QVCC Center For Teaching page!

center for teaching word mashupThe Center for Teaching (CFT) is a program within the Connecticut Community College System that is meant to promote teaching excellence through the sharing of ideas, the interaction of faculty members on each campus, and the creation of coordinated professional development opportunities within and between colleges.

The system-wide Center For Teaching supports and develops all-college activities such as the annual Barnes Seminar, the Spirit of Teaching Workshop, the New Faculty Workshop, and the Schwab Institute for Academic Leadership. Annually, each college receives a budget to support and stimulate Center For Teaching activities on its campus.

At Quinebaug Valley Community College the current Center For Teaching contact is Jakob Spjut (CFT Chair and Teaching and Learning Consultant (TLC)), who works with the members of the CFT Committee to develop and provide a range of resources and activities for professional development for both full and part-time faculty

Kudzai Zvoma
Professor of Mathematics
QVCC Center for Teaching Committee Chair
Teaching and Learning Consultant

2021-2022 QVCC Center for Teaching (CFT) Committee

Jon Andersen, Jodi Clark, Brian Donohue-Lynch, John Lewis (top row, left to right).
Erin Pagano, Cindy Shirshac, Eric Spencer, Jakob Spjut (bottom row, left to right).
Kudzai Zvoma (picture not available).

Jon Andersen   jodi clark    Brian Lynch    JohnLewis

Erin Pagano    Cindy Shirshac    Eric Spencer   Jakob Spjut

We’re on FaceBook – Click here to access the Connecticut Community Colleges Center for Teaching FaceBook page.



Thursday, November 10th at 12:30 pm in room W101
Lunch and Learn: Promotion & Tenure Process – with the assistance of the 4C’s Union and CEO’s Office we are gathering for an informal discussion on the basics of the Promotion & Tenure Process.

The program will include an overview of the promotion, tenure (and sabbatical) processes, an outline of the important forms for staff and for faculty, a primer on professional files and documents and a listing of the important dates to keep in mind.

The goal is to help make the process clearer for current and future applicants and give senior and supervising staff and faculty an opportunity to assist as they themselves were assisted and guided. This is a busy time of year, but your attendance whether you are just beginning to think about this process or whether you have a helpful experience to share would be welcome and appreciated. Please RSVP for lunch and bring your questions, observations, perspectives and tips.



Center for Teaching Pathways to Teaching Success Workshop Series:
Fostering A Sense of Belonging 

Workshop 1:  Friday, November 18th, 2022, 1-3 pm – “The Belonging Project” (WebEx Invitation to Follow)

In this first workshop of our series, we welcome Nicole Henderson, Professor of English and Director of the First-Year Experience Program at Southern Connecticut State University. Professor Henderson recently developed a new curriculum for the First-Year Experience Program called “The Belonging Project”, which encourages dialogue amongst students and between students and faculty about fostering a sense of community both inside and outside the classroom and overcoming perceived obstacles that may stand in the way of “fitting in”.

Professor Henderson’s curriculum is still being developed, so besides sharing her inspirations, strategies, and tactics with us, she welcomes thoughts, ideas, and open discussion about how we apply the theme as well.

Below is a link to “The Belonging Project” page, which contains a series of videos collected from student leaders who discuss the ways in which they felt they did not belong as first-year students and how they overcame those feelings.

The Belonging Project (southernct.edu) 

Questions?  Please contact Prof. Lauren O’Leary, Chair, Statewide Pathways to Teaching Success:   Loleary@gwcc.commnet.edu


Tuesday, October 25th at 12:00pm in room W101
Lunch and Learn – Jakob Spjut, Professor of Engineering Science, will host a presentation on all the new technology now standard in many of our classrooms.

Have you ever wondered about those new monitors in many of the classrooms around campus? What about the microphones, the webcams, and that thing with a lot of buttons on the desk? Jakob will demonstrate the basics of using the new technology for traditional classes, for recording class, and will provide attendees with a chance to try for themselves (Yes! You will actually get to push these buttons!).  Whether you are an expert or a novice with these tools your experience and questions will be valuable.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 – 12:30 pm in room W101 – BEYOND GOOGLE
Lunch and Learn – Our new colleagues Tamara Greer and James Thibeault from the Library will host a Lunch & Learn entitled “Beyond Google” looking at how instructors can learn and model use of the highest quality information on the internet while minimizing loss of personal data.

Thursday, October 6, 2022 – 12:30 pm in room W210 – Lessons from the Start of the Semester
W210 join us for a discussion on Lessons Learned from the start of the semester. We have finally completed September and (whether it feels successful or not) navigated the start of the fall and arrived at the results of first tests, first projects, first papers. While the creative solutions, syllabus policies, adjustments, class reconfigurations (and the gaps and scenarios they might not have covered) are still relatively fresh in everyone’s minds please come and share the lessons learned while enjoying lunch with your colleagues.

Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 12:00pm in room W210 please join QVCC yoga instructor Karla Desjardins for a Lunch & Learn & Breathe & Stretch session.  Bring your questions, bring your curiosity.  Come (RSVP) and learn more strategies to calm your mind, relax your body and find some balance and peace amidst the chaos.  Karla will take everyone through a series of chair Yoga asanas (poses) with a focus on unwinding and stretching your body as well as pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation to relieve stress. Slow down and take some time for yourself to re-center and refocus as we sprint to the end of the semester.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 12:00pm in room W210 please join us for a Lunch & Learn discussion on The Challenge of Staying Engaged and open while teaching and meeting our various responsibilities in the face of frustration and fatigue in and around the classroom.  This Lunch & Learn will begin with a video to help us to set an aspirational goal and then the session will move to discussion of the kinds of challenges attendees are facing and how they themselves are responding to those challenges.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 12:00pm in room W210. Karla Desjardins and Mark Lowe will present on the “Not Anymore” training program designed to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.

Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 12:00pm in room W210 Debbie Rimkus and Matt Soucy will host a Lunch & Learn introducing the coming systemwide Achieving the Dream initiative.  Matt and Debbie recently attended Achieving the Dream’s national conference in Long Beach, CA.  They will talk about their experiences at the conference, and the steps going forward as a Campus Student Success Team (CSST) is assembled here at QVCC.  Come and get some lunch (RSVP) and learn more about the changes we can make to ensure equitable, accessible and relevant student experiences and how we define this.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 (after the Spring Recess) at 12:00pm in room W210 Pauline Clifford and Brian Lynch will host a Lunch & Learn serving as an Early Introduction to the 2021 NECHE Self-Study.  Join in on the discussion as we all learn more about what the initial steps of the Self-Study are and what the timeline actually looks like.

To lower the affective filter related to the accreditation process
To introduce the timeline for our self-study process
To review the importance of getting the data first
To provide resources relevant to the writing of the self-study narrative

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 12:00pm in room W210, Nicole Marcoux-Bowen hosed a LUNCH & LEARN on FERPA and what we all as educators need to know.  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) information can seem confusing. This Lunch & Learn will shed some light on your responsibilities, clear up some misconceptions and provide information on how FERPA is applicable to you.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 12:00pm in room W210 in celebration of Black History Month I will be presenting a Lunch & Learn on my journey through 100 Years of Black History in Television & Cinema. A great deal has changed since America’s first popular cinematic release, D.W. Griffith’s 1915 “The Birth of A Nation”. Last year saw the release of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” a global cultural and financial record setting phenomenon. Which of the steps along the way do each us recognize? What were the landmark moments in our own lives learning about the black experience through television and cinema?