Successful Alumni Giving Back at Naugatuck Valley Community College

Successful Alumni Giving Back at Naugatuck Valley Community College

Author: Smith, Tara/Tuesday, March 03, 2015/Categories: News and Press Releases, Current News, Community Engagement

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Thousands of successful students have passed through the halls of Waterbury State Technical College, Mattatuck Community College, and Naugatuck Valley Community College. Today they are all counted among the alumni of the same great institution, NVCC. Three such alumni came by to share their stories this week.

Sandra Simoes, a 1993 graduate of Mattatuck Community College with an A.S. in the Early Childhood Special Education, is now the Director of Operations for the Sunnyview Childcare Center and School and a co-owner. Sandra has a B.A. in Psychology from Western CT State University. She has been working in the field of early childhood education for 20 years. She is currently working towards a real estate license and taking the Supervision Administration Course required for Directors of Childcare centers. The class has brought Sandra back to the Waterbury Campus of NVCC, where she set out to connect with the Alumni Association. Sandra believes in “giving back.” She is currently a board member of the New Milford Homeless Shelter, and had been a board member and fundraiser for Child Advocacy. Her passion is children and the foundations that support their well-being. 

Sandra noted that her time at Mattatuck Community College was a great experience and she has taken that experience into the classroom of her child-care center.  Looking back on her time at Mattatuck, Sandra reflected on how she took advantage of the theater program. She shared fond memories of her participation in many theater productions. She advises students to “dig deep” into their experience at NVCC by getting involved in extra-curricular activities and personal challenges that are available here.

Jessica Miller is a 2013 graduate in the NVCC Behavioral Science program. She is graduating from Western CT State University (WCSU) this May with a B.A. in Psychology. She plans a career in higher education and is researching masters programs in the field of psychology with a focus on higher education. Jessica is interning in the Center for Academic Planning and Student Success (CAPSS) office where she is learning about the process of accommodating students with disabilities, and working with the CAPSS team on a newsletter to make NVCC more veteran-friendly. Jessica also assists at the Women’s Center where she is involved with the Women on Campus Club. She loves the opportunity to help students succeed, “That is why I have fallen in love with higher ed.” Jessica’s advice to students is “Get an associate degree because it helps in your career path.”  She strongly advises students to continue their education in pursuit of a higher degree. NVCC is a great starting point. Jessica also works in the Admissions Office at WCSU where she answers questions for prospective students and parents, gives tours of the campus, and does administrative support work for applications.

Justin Slater is a 2012 graduate of NVCC who is currently matriculating in the master’s program at Central CT State University (CCSU). Justin commented that it is “a great honor” to share his story with the NVCC community of which he is so proud. By assisting in the CAPSS Office, Justin makes a difference every day. He works as a Practicum Student which is part of the academic requirement for his master’s program. Besides his practicum work at NVCC, he is a University Assistant in the Registrar’s Office at CCSU, where he evaluates transfer credits, course substitutions, and works with Faculty Senate reports.

Justin was a Liberal Arts & Sciences major who graduated from NVCC with an A.A. Degree. He went on to earn a B.A. in communication from CCSU where he is pursuing a Higher Education Major in the Master’s program. His interest is to advise students with long-term career goals and ultimately to become the Director of a CAPSS Office.

Justin cited the array of student support services and faculty interaction as the most distinguishing features of NVCC. In fact, in addition to his own hard work and discipline, he credits the faculty and advisors at NVCC as major factors in his success. If he were going to share any advice from his NVCC experience, he would tell students to be as proactive in their education as possible by utilizing various services on campus, such as tutoring and advising. “Do not struggle with your coursework. Get help by taking advantage of your professor’s office hours.”

NVCC is celebrating 50 years of commitment to higher education. Stories like these illustrate the impact that the college has on individual lives that ultimately make such a difference in the community. If you have a story to share please contact the Marketing Office at 203-575-8297 or svoghel-ochs@nv.edu.

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Commencement Information

Thursday, May 28, 2015
2:00 p.m.
Palace Theater
100 East Main Street, Waterbury, CT

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