The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., (ABET, Inc.) is a non-governmental organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. A federation of 35 professional and technical member societies representing these fields, ABET reviews curriculum for accredited programs every six years. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., the faculty, and staff of STEM Division’s Engineering Technology Department hosted the ABET re-accreditation site visit team from October 9-11.
Nearly 400 middle and high school students and more than a dozen companies from the STEM and Advanced Manufacturing Technology sector participated in the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s STEM and Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Exposition held Friday, November 18 at Naugatuck Valley Community College.
More than 40 colleges and universities from across Connecticut and beyond were represented at NVCC’s College Transfer Fair on the Waterbury campus’s Café West on October 19. Held every spring and fall semester, the event is organized by the College’s Center for Academic Planning & Student Success (CAPSS). At NVCC’s Danbury campus, students participated in a Transfer Fair on November 9. The new space allowed the College to invite a larger number of representatives than in past semesters and organizers reported a great turn out from colleges and universities in Connecticut and New York.
NVCC students unraveled lights, unpacked bulbs from boxes, and laid out strands of golden garland last week in the College’s Prism Lounge to trim a tree that will provide aesthetic cheer during this holiday season.
For students at high schools like Bethel High or Waterbury’s W.F. Kaynor Technical, the first steps on the college path are taken before graduation. That’s thanks in part to an early college opportunity program supported by Naugatuck Valley Community College, and directed by the office of Academic Affairs and the Bridge to College Division.
ESL Program Coordinator, Karlene Ball, writes of the vibrancy of the ESL program which boasts a richly diverse and incredibly resilient student body.
From Afghanistan to Venezuela, from Brazil to Yemen, from Gambia to Uruguay—they’ve come to the NVCC campus. This fall we welcomed students from some 40 countries to NVCC’s English as a Second Language Program. With these newcomers, we now boast a diverse group of students from about 54 countries around the world.
On November 9th, Naugatuck Valley Community College honored the country’s veterans and staff, faculty, and students who are current military members through a touching, interactive ceremony held in the College’s Leever Atrium. Sponsored by the Veterans Affairs Office and the Veterans Club the ceremony included speeches, singing, poetry, and a dedication of a wreath followed by a moment of silence. Koralin Dains, Secretary of the College’s Veterans Club, and a member of the Army National Guard who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012, greeted the dozens of community members present. Gerald Mullings, a Naugatuck Valley student, led attendees in an emotionally resonant rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. provided opening remarks and a reading of Emily Dickinson’s poem, “‘Hope is the Thing with Feathers.” To the College’s 250 student veterans, President De Filippis said, “We hope that in your studies here and in your engagement with us, you find the respect and the solace and the strength, and the hope to come back, if you’ve been in battle, and engage in meaningful ways in a society that is grateful for your service.”
NVCC held a Capital Campaign luncheon at Waterbury City Hall on Friday, November 4. The lunch was hosted by Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary. Championed by Dr. Peter J. Jacoby of Waterbury’s Saint Mary’s Hospital, the campaign will raise capital to fund the equipment, expertise, and programs that will run out of the College’s new Center for Health Sciences in Founder’s Hall. Slated to complete construction in 2016, Founder’s Hall will add 85,000 square feet of much-needed campus space for NVCC’s health sciences division which provides programs in nursing, physical therapy, respiratory care, and radiologic technology. The expansion will enable the school to graduate a higher number of next-generation professionals in the community’s health care sector, an area of the Connecticut economy that continues to surge in its demand of a highly trained workforce.
Students learn about how to pay for college
College students and their parents who need help to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) came to the annual College Goal Sunday workshop hosted by Naugatuck Valley Community College on Sunday, October 23. For prospective students and parents who haven’t filled out the application before, it can prove a daunting and often confusing task, so the event is aimed at simplifying the process.
On a bright, warm autumn afternoon, 60 staff, faculty, and students walked to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The walk, held on October 19, began at the College’s Atrium Plaza and was sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Student Activities Department of NVCC. The SGA sold t-shirts featuring the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation logo and the NVCC logo on the front and the team name “Chelsea’s Champions” on the back. The shirts and team were created to honor a student who suffers from the illness and to raise money in her honor. The shirts, which have been on sale since September, are $10 each and all proceeds raised through their sale will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Walkers completed one lap around the NVCC campus and celebrated the end of their walk with an after party where refreshments and music by New York-based EDM Trap band Trillmatik were enjoyed. The walk is part of the SGA/Student Activities “give back to the community initiative” which runs the entire academic year.
Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a special evening of music and poetry featuring three award-winning writers and poets at Confluencia on October 12 in the College’s Playbox Theater. The evening began with music played by a student ensemble and refreshments and moved onto college President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., opening remarks followed by an “open mic” featuring NVCC students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Greater Waterbury community who offered readings of original works as well as poetry and prose by noted writers.
Naugatuck Valley Community College inducted seven new students into the prestigious President’s Circle during an October 21st ceremony held in the Technology Hall Dining Room. Membership represents the highest honor a student may receive while matriculating at the College. Inductees have a minimum GPA of 3.4 and they represent a select group of outstanding achievers who serve as the College’s student ambassadors. President’s Circle ambassadors have the opportunity to attend major college events with the President and/or her Cabinet and lend voice to their experiences as NVCC students.
Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., led a discussion around stories of farming and El Cuento Del Cafecito, or, A Cafecito Story a book by Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez which was translated by President De Filippis. The event, which was hosted at the College on October 14, brought together students, faculty and staff from NVCC, and students from Hartford’s Prince Technical High School around narratives of coffee and farming. Helping coordinate the event was the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury, a community organization that offers free programs for adults in basic literacy, ESL, family literacy, and building workforce and job readiness skills.
Work and family obligations often compete with dreams of going to college. Naugatuck Valley Community College has created an affordable solution. Through the College’s new part-time accelerated weekend Business Management Certificate and/or degree program, students who work full-time can get an associate degree or certificate in Business Management. The new program offers the opportunity to complete a fully transferrable associate degree in two or three years, by attending part-time classes that meet on weekends. At both the Waterbury and Danbury campuses, classes will be held on Friday evenings, Saturdays (Sundays-Waterbury campus only.) Financial aid is available for qualified students.
The NASA CT Space Grant Consortium awarded 10 Community College Scholarships this Fall 2016 semester. Naugatuck Valley Community College students earned 6 of the 10 scholarships worth $1,500 each. The students were from different disciplines in the college represented by Josiel Batista Matos, Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology; Lindsey Japa, Engineering Technology; Jody Jarvella, General Studies with an interest in Information Technology; Levi Reynolds, Math/Science with an interest in Physics; Andre Roscoe, Engineering Science; and Lanaya Shuler, Nursing. Each semester the NASA CT Space Grant Consortium gives 8-10 Community College Scholarships to students with an interest in a STEM field through a competitive proposal process. NVCC has had a strong showing among the scholarship recipients every semester since spring 2014, consistently at least two NVCC students have received scholarships.
The sidewalks and streets of downtown Danbury were filled with pageantry and celebration to mark the opening of the new and expanded Danbury campus of Naugatuck Valley Community College. President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., welcomed a standing-room-only crowd of almost a hundred people who came to wish the College well. Provost and Senior Dean of Administration, James Troup opened the festivities with a note of thanks to all who made this moment possible. The President continued by thanking Governor Malloy, CSCU President Mark Ojakian, the legislative delegation, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, the faculty and staff of the College. “What a joy it is to stand here with all of you dear students, faculty, staff, BOR colleagues, members of the NVCC Foundation and the Regional Advisory Council, elected officials and community partners and friends as we celebrate a significant moment in our journey to make a difference in the communities NVCC serves, and most particularly this afternoon, to the City of Danbury. What a generous journey it has been thus far. Today marks the beginning of what promises to be a wonderful partnership.”
The University of Santo Domingo (UASD) honored Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., with an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities, on October 6, 2016. In a ceremony marked by academic processions and congratulatory remarks, the UASD conferred the honorary degree in recognition of the President’s contribution to Dominican, Caribbean and Dominican Diaspora literature.
Leading with a creative pedagogical response to the “teachable moments” that arise in the classroom is the hallmark of a great teacher. Entry level mathematics classes at a community college, having statistically higher levels of diversity, are rich with such opportunities. Ruth Urbina-Lilback, Professor of Mathematics at Naugatuck Valley Community College recently published an article that looks at her own efforts to develop and implement successful instructional techniques within an elementary algebra classroom at a community college. Through her publicationSnapshots of Equitable Teaching in a Highly Diverse Classroom, Professor Urbina-Lilback shares her pedagogical style from which we can all learn.
Cyndi Zoldy, Executive Director of the Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut (SMA), has an office in the new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) of Naugatuck Valley Community College. Her position there enables her to mentor aspiring manufacturing students, especially the women for whom her own career in manufacturing inspires mentorship. Zoldy has a daily presence in the AMTC where she frequently meets students. Her experience and outgoing personality support the leadership role she takes to extend mentorship opportunities to students; it can start with a simple invitation to lunch. In her role as executive director, Zoldy is keenly aware of the skills, and relationships that go with a career in manufacturing. She is also deeply involved in the community in many volunteer capacities: she is a board member of the Naugatuck Community College Foundation, and the Mattatuck Museum, she supports community activities of the Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut, contributes to the planning and organization of the Saint Mary's Gala, Chase Collegiate School, Highlander Theater Company, the Sports Booster Club, and the Watertown Soccer Booster Club.
According to the 2015 Center for Disease Control Suicide Fact Sheet, suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10-14, the second among persons aged 15-34 years, the fourth among persons aged 45-54 years, the eighth among persons 55-64 years, and the seventeenth among persons 65 years and older. It is a significant health problem that inspired the collaboration between the Western Connecticut Mental Health Network and the Naugatuck Valley Community College Human Services Club. Kathleen LeBlanc, MS, MSW, Coordinator for Human Services/Pre-Social Work Programs at NVCC, assisted with the outreach to invite leaders in the field of mental health to the College for what is destined to become an annual event.