The countdown is on for the 16th Changing Lives Celebration originating virtually from Capital Community College’s downtown campus from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 22nd.
The Changing Lives Silent Auction, traditionally held as part of the in-person campus event , is now mobile and open for browsing and bidding through Friday’s celebration The catalog includes a growing list of gift baskets from College faculty and staff, vacations, staycations, art and other goods and services from our auction partners.
In order to participate in the Online Auction you must create an account.to place a bid on any of the items in the catalog. Once registered you’ll receive updates and notifications on the items of interest to you. Follow the link to sign on and create an account:
The Changing Lives Celebration for supporters, friends and alumni will focus on the College’s School of Workforce and Continuing Education’s new school-to-work programs that lead to “a first job, a better job and a career” as students gain specialized knowledge and credentials for immediate jobs and opportunities to pursue higher education. Alumni Wall of Fame honorees will share their stories in a program that will feature The Island Reflections Dance Company and Hartford singer Nidayah Bolling. Net proceeds will benefit the College’s school-to-work programs and scholarships.
To join Friday’s celebration register at the link below. Donations are invited at the Supporter ($100), Friend ($50) and Alumni ($25) levels. Registrants will be sent a link to join Friday’s Celebration. Supporters and friends will receive a Changing Lives Gift Box for their contribution.
Four inductees for Capital Community College’s Alumni Wall of Fame will be recognized at a virtual Changing Lives Celebration on Friday October 22, 2021, continuing an annual event that has supported scholarships and programs at Hartford’s two-year public college since 2004.
The Changing Lives Celebration originating from the downtown campus from 6 to 7:30 p.m. will focus on the College’s School of Workforce and Continuing Education’s new school-to-work programs that lead to “a first job, a better job and a career” as students gain specialized knowledge and credentials for immediate jobs and opportunities to pursue higher education. Alumni honorees will share their stories in a program that will feature The Island Reflections Dance Company and Hartford singer Nidayah Bolling. Net proceeds will benefit the College’s school-to-work programs and scholarships.
The 2021 inductees, who come from the fields of nursing, education and literacy, cybersecurity and insurance include:
Carol V. Johnson (’71), EdD, is director and co-founder of the Hartford-based Center for Urban Education & Training (CURET), a community organization founded in 1991. CURET, a partner with Hartford Public Schools, Capital Community College and other institutions, has provided adult literacy, parenting education, health and civic literacy for residents and immigrants in its 30-year history. Graduating with an associate degree from Greater Hartford Community College, Carol earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degrees in evaluation and statistics from Andrews University. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Hartford. With her husband, Dr. Edgar Johnson, Carol has edited and published the West Indian American newspaper, a voice for Hartford’s large West Indian community.
Stephanie Knutson, (’95) RN, EdD is a senior training and technical assistance associate for Education Development Center (EDC). Retired from the CT Department of Education as a school health administrator Knutson is an accomplished educator and nurse leader in the fields of school nursing, health education, and early childhood education. Knutson develops evidence-based tools, techniques, and trainings for EDC’s National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety. All of her work, according to the EDC, focuses on reducing health disparities, preventing chronic disease, and advancing knowledge of the pivotal role of health in closing opportunity gaps. Prior to joining EDC, Knutson served as a school health administrator and school nursing and health education consultant for the Connecticut State Department of Education. She is the past president of the Connecticut Nurses Association (CNA) and currently serves as the membership assembly representative for the CNA Leadership Committee. Knutson holds MSN and EdD degrees from the University of Hartford and a BS in Accounting from the University of Connecticut. Following her undergraduate education at UCONN Stephanie enrolled at Capital Community College earning the Associate degree in nursing in 1995.
Rupesh Parajuli (’11) earned the associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS) from Capital in 2011 going on to earn a B.S. in Industrial Technology Networking and an MBA as he worked at Travelers. Rupesh was selected as a Travelers EDGE intern as a Capital and CCSU undergraduate and now mentors and encourages others to pursue an insurance career. Recently he was promoted to Director, Business Information Security Officer, at Travelers where he began his career as a network engineer in 2013. Born in Nepal Rupesh came to Hartford for his post-secondary educational start at Capital balancing work and full-time study that led him to become an IT security professional with increasing responsibilities at his employer. A free-lance translator, Rupesh is fluent in Hindi and Nepali. He resides in West Hartford with his wife and two young children.
Blerina (Bela) Pina (’12) is a territory manager and contract surety specialist at Nationwide Insurance. She began her career at Travelers Insurance as an underwriter and financial analyst after earning her associate’s degree in management. At Capital Blerina was also selected as a Travelers EDGE intern in the Career Advancement Program (formerly Crossroads to Careers (C3)). She went on to earn her degree in accounting at Central CT State University (CCSU). In 2019 Blerina was elected to the Board of the CT chapter of Professional Women in Construction (PWC). With her family Blerina migrated from Albania at a young age and she attended Hartford Public Schools.
Parajuli and Pina are among Capital alumni over the last 12 years to be recruited for their high academic achievement in the Travelers EDGE program, a multi-college internship and mentoring initiative the insurer launched at Capital in 2008
Individual contributions at supporter ($100), friend ($50) and alumni ($25) levels and sponsorships are invited in support of the Changing Lives Celebration that will include the Best of Capital online silent auction from October 18 to October 22. Contributors will receive a Capital Changing Lives Backpack with special gifts. Supporting Changing Lives 2021 are corporate sponsors Liberty Bank and Travelers Insurance and patron sponsors American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Garcia and G. Duncan Harris, John Perkins, Lana & Surendra Bridglall.
Capital’s Alumni Wall of Fame, launched at the 2019 Changing Lives Gala, is located at the College’s 2nd Floor Welcome Center near the Main Street windows and the Walter J. Markiewicz Community Room. Inductees’ pictures and biographies are featured alongside a permanent Wall of Fame plaque recognizing an alumni class each year.
For the first time since the radiologic technology associate degree program began in 1992, Professor Paul Creech, MPH, Esq. is not directing the program that has educated a generation of radiological technologists and health care administrators.
Creech retired September 1 after 29 years heading one of the college’s nationally accredited health professions programs. His service will continue in the classroom, however, as an instructor preparing Radiologic Technologist majors for careers in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, nursing homes, and other health care settings. He’ll also help the program meet licensure requirements with Assistant Professor Katherine Bradeen, R.T. (R)(CT), M.S., Rad Tech’s new program coordinator.
Throughout his tenure Creech has been an academic and campus leader having served as a Department Chair in addition to coordinating the Rad Tech program. He also was elected for many years to serve as President of the College Senate, an elected representative to the Faculty Advisory Committee to the Board of Regents and as a faculty representative on the Capital Community College Foundation. Creech, an alumnus of St. Louis Community College at Forest Park (MO), holds a B.A. in Economics from Westfield State University and an M.P.H. from the University of Massachusetts. He earned the Juris Doctorate from Western New England University School of Law.
In a campus announcement Chief Executive Officer G. Duncan Harris, Ed.D congratulated Creech acknowledging his service to Capital. “He has served nobly and built our radiological technology program into a regional exemplar. He is a faculty champion and has been a true servant leader at the helm of our college senate. You will continue to see Paul on campus as he has agreed to join our adjunct faculty ranks and assist us with ongoing licensure requirements of our program.”
Radiologic technology is a major component of associate degree and certificate granting programs in the health professions (nursing, medical assisting, paramedic) at Capital with high rates of completion and career employment of its students. The radiological technology associate degree program is a 30 month program that includes five clinical radiology courses. The CCC Radiology program is fully accredited by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) having earned re-accreditation in 2017 through 2025.
Alumna of the Radiologic Technology Program joined Paul Creech in a ribbon cutting in 2019 for a new lab at Capital funded by a $75,000 grant from the CT Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA). Alums included the administrative director and managers of Medical Imagining at ECHN hospitals. From left: Samantha Bourbeau, Agnieszka Dziiubinski, Jillian Menzel with Program Coordinator Paul Creech and Christina Gallignano.
The CCC Foundation congratulates Professor Creech for his service and many accomplishments at Capital Community College.
Project Focuses On Abolitionist Leader Of Historic Talcott Street Church
An annual lecture on racial justice planned as part of a new exhibit and curriculum project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will be supported by the Hartford Heritage Black Studies Fund at Capital Community College.
The Black Studies Fund is being established thanks to an anonymous donation from a professor in the Science and Math department and additional contributions from members of the CCC Foundation’s Board of Directors. New gifts will be matched on a one to one basis that will double the value of donors who want to support the project and sustain an annual lecture.
The Rev. James Pennington Lecture, named for a pastor and abolitionist activist who served at the city’s first Black Church, is planned as an annual event as part of the project that will include place-based curriculum development and an exhibit.
Capital Community College (CCC) has won a $149,426 two-year grant grant focusing on the history and people of Hartford’s historic Talcott Street Church and Black School. The Humanities Initiative award, part of Capital’s Hartford Heritage Project, will support place-based learning in Black history for students at the college and Capital Preparatory Magnet School (Capital Prep) in partnership with nearby museums. It is one of 21 NEH Humanities Initiatives grants nationwide that will advance curricular innovations and enhance educational resources at colleges and universities. The project is developing 12 courses at CCC and three subjects at Capital Prep. An exhibition is planned to support pedagogy and commemorate the historic site of the church and the grant will support the first public Pennington lecture with the Heritage Black Studies Fund continuing the lecture and related activities in subsequent years.
Talcott Street Congregational Church was built on the corner of Talcott and Market Streets in 1826 where today the dilapidated Talcott Parking Garage, now slated for demolition, stands. The site is next door to the the Capital campus that has been housed in the transformed former G. Fox & Company building since 2002.
The activities funded by the grant spring from three Capital students and a student from Trinity College who worked in the Liberal Arts Action Lab in the Spring 2020 semester with Professor Jeffrey Partridge, who directs the Heritage project. The student team created a digital exhibition on the Talcott church and school that led to the plan for new courses, an exhibit and an annual Pennington Lecture. The Action Lab is an educational partnership between Capital Community College and Trinity College established to strengthen the city and its role in the region, spark social innovation, and support civic engagement and sustainability.
“Capital Community College and its Humanities division have been widely recognized for place-based learning over the last decade through the Hartford Heritage Project,” Capital CEO G. Duncan Harris said. “The exhibit and Black History project will further enhance the humanities curricula with content that will inform and inspire our diverse student population.”
July 21 – Governor Ned Lamont visited Capital Community College Wednesday to launch the Capital Area Tech Partnership involving over 50 technology companies to “help position Connecticut as a leader in the IT, AI and Industry 4.0 economy.”
In a morning ceremony at the College’s Centinel Hill Hall auditorium, Lamont signed Public Act 21-199, An Act Concerning Various Revisions and Additions to the Statutes Relating to Education and Workforce Development that revises education policy to help improve equity in education and improve post-secondary outcomes.
“Post-secondary for all means that all students should be prepared for and have the opportunity to attend a high-quality post-secondary program, which includes apprenticeship programs, certificate programs, and degree programs,” according to a statement released by the Governor’s office shortly after the event attended by members of the Governor’s Workforce Council. The Tech Partnership involved the CT Office of Workforce Strategy, Capital Workforce Partners, the MetroHartford Alliance, the regional IT and tech companies and education partners including Capital and other community colleges that are expected to play a prominent role in the Governor’s Workforce Council Plan 2020.
“Connecticut’s regional sector partnerships will create new career pathways for thousands of good-paying jobs that are currently available in IT, advanced manufacturing, and other industries in the state,” Governor Lamont said. “By upskilling and reskilling our residents, we can prepare them to capitalize on these great jobs to fuel growth in the Connecticut economy now and well into the future.”
New training programs aligned with the Capital Area Tech Partnership are currently under development. In these training programs, participants will receive skills-based training, leading to entry-level employment in high-demand occupation clusters such as IT support, cloud services, data management, cybersecurity, and more.
Capital Community College currently offers an array of certificate and associate degree programs in those areas. The College’s Business and Technology Division includes cybersecurity, Computer Networking and Computer Support Services. This summer an advanced manufacturing program has been established focusing on training city residents.
“We are excited to work with technology business leaders to meet their IT workforce needs through a skills-based training approach,” Alex Johnson, president and CEO of Capital Workforce Partners said. “Engaging marginalized, underserved populations is a priority, especially as these populations were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs will include outreach and training to engage diverse populations and help them access employment and lifelong learning opportunities.”
“As leaders in our region’s technology sector, we know how critical it is for us to train and develop our future workforce,” Martin Guay, vice president of business development for Stanley Black & Decker and one of the founding leaders of the Capital Area Tech Partnership, said. “Our efforts to support the Capital Area Tech Partnership is another important step in helping close the skills gap and build digital-skills training programs that will credential students for career opportunities in Connecticut.”
“Connecticut’s Workforce Strategic Plan 2020 envisions that every Connecticut resident has access to meaningful career pathways and the support needed to fulfill their career aspirations, and every business in Connecticut has access to a skilled workforce,” Connecticut’s Chief Workforce Officer Kelli-Marie-Vallieres said. “With thousands of IT job openings, there is a sense of urgency by the state of Connecticut to engage target populations and accelerate access to opportunities that translate to high-quality jobs.”
The legislation that Governor Lamont signed – Public Act 21-199, An Act Concerning Various Revisions and Additions to the Statutes Relating to Education and Workforce Development – makes several changes regarding education policy to help improve equity in education and improve post-secondary outcomes and reflects the governor’s vision of “post-secondary for all.” Post-secondary for all means that all students should be prepared for and have the opportunity to attend a high-quality post-secondary program, which includes apprenticeship programs, certificate programs, and degree programs. These provisions of Public Act 21-199 were initially proposed earlier this year by Governor Lamont in Senate Bill 881.
The legislation signed into law at the Main Street campus includes a requirement for school districts to adopt policies to improve completion rates of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the primary method by which need-based financial aid is provided – including federal Pell grants, the state’s Roberta Willis Scholarship, and the state’s PACT program. Students who complete the FAFSA are more likely to go on to enroll in and eventually complete post-secondary education. The FAFSA will become significantly shorter and easier to fill out next year, which should help improve completion rates.
Capital Community College is an urban, two-year institution that offers 60 academic programs in accredited studies preparing students for associate degrees, certificates and transfer, while its non-credit offerings prepare students for the immediate needs of the Connecticut workforce. Capital, one of New England’s most diverse campuses, was the first college in Connecticut to be designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution. The Capital Community College experience revolves around its historic eleven-story, Art Deco building in the heart of downtown Hartford, which offers unprecedented access to the city’s cultural and employment offerings.
A group of students are enrolled in a new Line Worker Certificate Program on Capital’s campus in June that will lead to employment at Eversource, the region’s electric utility.
A $20,000 grant from the Eversource Foundation with additional support from the Capital Community College Foundation is providing financial aid to a first cohort in the program that prepares participants for one of the electric industry’s essential occupations.
The 11-week certificate program prepares students to join the Eversource work force following the program’s completion as line worker apprentices. Line workers maintain and service the electric infrastructure, meeting the energy demands of homeowners, businesses and municipalities across Connecticut.
Students develop the fundamental skills required to effectively install and maintain the Electric Distribution system. The program is being offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings om campus amd online and on six Saturdays through August 11th. Students are earning a Lineworker Certificate with First Aid/CPR training, occupational and safety training ((OSHA10) and CDL permit test preparation. Grant funds are helping to defray the $2,400 tuition cost of the program for the first enrollees at Capital.
The certificate program is open to 18 year olds who have a high school diploma or GED with a driver’s license. Obtaining a CDL driver’s license will be required. Participants must have the ability to work at heights in nearly all weather conditions.
The line worker training at the College’s School of Workforce and Continuing Education renews a partnership with Eversource which sprung from electrical engineering and technical programs at Hartford State Technical College. Hartford State was consolidated with Capital in the early 1990s.
Capital Community College held its 2021 Commencement exercises at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on Thursday, May 27th a short walk from its downtown Hartford campus under cloudless skies.
Chief Executive Office G. Duncan Harris, Ed.D, greeted faculty, guests and 369 graduates who earned associate degrees and certificates in nursing and the health professions, accounting, management, technology, liberal arts and other disciplines.
Harris, marking his third commencement at Capital as CEO, noted that the graduation ceremonies, which were also streamed virtually, was the first large in-person gathering for the college since COVID-19 shut down the campus in March of last year. “This has been a year like no other. Our country faced two pandemics. The COVID pandemic which resulted in the loss of over 500,000 Americans and the other linked to social and racial justice. This week marked the one-year anniversary of murder of George Floyd. Our college responded, with our faculty, staff, and students, and campus community engaged on the frontlines of both.”
Abdul-Rahmaan I. Muhammad, LMSW, founder and executive director of My People Clinical Services, was the keynote speaker. He exhorted graduates to live by his motto “never stop dreaming” by challenging “yourself in ways that push you beyond what you think are your limits. What you will find is every time you reach what you think is a limit, there is more.”
“I believe that the world, our community, your family and friends need to have individuals like you who are on fire with ideas, aspirations and dreams that are not just for philosophical conversations but are actually action items in their lives. The more individuals are able to see success and achievement, the more they are able to aspire to it.”
Muhammad, reflecting on his work as a clinician during the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement against police violence over the last year said: “As a social worker I am seeing the need for us all to get some therapy in order to let some of the stress and trauma we have experienced individually and as a community go. I could only imagine that managing your mental health while maintaining your GPA is no easy task. Unmasking systematic racism, rallying due to the latest police shooting and protesting for the same civil rights that you read about in your books provides an interesting correlation to your studies.”
Muhammad, a CCC Foundation member since 2018, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Tougaloo College and his Master of Social Work degree from Clark-Atlanta University. He is a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a member of The National Association of Black Social Workers and the NAACP.
Dr. Harris concluded the program by asking the graduating class “to stay connected with your alma mater and give back. Many of you will go on to get other degrees from other institutions. Don’t forget your Capital Days. Our foundation has spent the past year revamping its operations and working on ways to make it easy to stay connected and to invest in those Capital students who will come after you.” Harris announced that his family and Nursing Assistant Professor Kristen Marie Guida’s family have pledged a leadership gift of $30,000 to help establish a nursing program annual fund at the College’s Foundation.
Four students were presented with a medallion, the College’s highest academic honor, for attaining a 4.0 grade throughout their program of study. Dr. Harris was joined by Foundation Chair David McCluskey and Dr. Alice Pritchard, CSCU’s Chief of Staff, in presenting the medallions to Mariana Kotyk, Kishan Kunver, Cynthia Emily Torres, and Regina Marie Whiskeyman. Dr. Pritchard was presented with a Capital CEO Stakeholder Award for guiding and assisting the state’s 12 community colleges throughout the pandemic.
Associate Dean for Student Services Jason Scappaticci also recognized students receiving institutional and foundation transfer scholarships and shared the achievements and contributions of Valedictorian Mariana Kotyk and her journey from the Ukraine to this country to earn her accounting degree. Professor of Mathematics Kathy Herron delivered the traditional greetings from the faculty. Dr. Miah LaPierre Dreger, Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, was joined by faculty chairs in conferring degrees and certificates to the Class of 2021.
Participants paused for a moment of silence to honor the memory of Building and Grounds Officer Peter Morgan who passed away on May 6th. “Peter was one of our staff on the front lines during the COVID monitoring access to the building in the lobby, keeping individuals accessing the building safe,” said Harris in remembering Morgan for his service to the college.
The platform party included Associate Dean of Campus Operations Eddie Miranda, Dean of the School of Workforce and Continuing Education Linda Guzzo, State Troubadour Nekita Waller, who sang the National Anthem and her rendition of Rise Up, and Rev. Dr. David Grafton of Hartford Seminary who gave the invocation and closing prayer
The ceremonies for the 74th commencement ended with a flourish as Hartford’s Proud Drum, Drill & Dance Corp led by Terry and Duffy Starks marched faculty and graduates out of the baseball stadium that is the home of the Eastern League AA Hartford Yard Goats.
The Capital Community College Foundation is accepting applications for scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year. The closing date for applications is June 30, 2021.
The Foundation provides merit and need-based scholarships each year to new and continuing students contingent on gifts and grants received and spendable income from endowments.
General eligibility includes entering or continuing students at Capital Community College who apply and enroll full- or part-time with satisfactory academic standing and/or scholastic achievement. Additional eligibility requirements apply to scholarships with gender, geographic or other criteria and the amount of the awards vary. There are 12 scholarships available for new and continuing students including the Annual Fund Scholarship. Alumni Scholarship, Amica Insurance Early Childhood Scholarship, Arthur C. Banks, Jr. Scholarship, St. Barnabas Guild Scholarship for Nursing, the Tanya Cleveland-Wiggins Memorial Service Award, Katz Family Scholarship, Conrad L. Mallett Scholarship, Rotary Club of Hartford Scholarship, Wellington-Lawton Memorial Scholarship, Bloomfield Warhawk Fund Scholarship and the Widows Society Scholarship for women students.
The Closing Date for Applications Is June 30, 2021
Additional information on scholarship opportunities is available at the CCC Office of Financial Aid, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 Telephone: (860) 906-5090, E-mail: CAfirstname.lastname@example.org .
Supporting The Scholarship Fund
For information on creating a scholarship fund or making a contribution, contact John McNamara at (860) 906-5102. E-mail: email@example.com
The Wall of Fame is located at the College’s 2nd Floor Welcome Center near the Main Street windows and the Walter J. Markiewicz Community Room. Inductees’ pictures and biographies are featured alongside a plaque recognizing alumni at one of the prominent places on the downtown campus.
The Wall of Fame was established in 2019 at that year’s Changing Lives Gala when five alumni from different decades and backgrounds were selected. In 2020, another four graduates were selected for the honors at the virtual Changing Lives event. This year’s nominees will be recognized in October at the next Changing Lives event.
Through the years alumni have been recognized and student success stories shared at annual Changing Lives Galas that have been held since 2004 on the campus. The Wall of Fame provides a permanent place so that accomplished graduates will inspire continuing and new students to excel.
CCC graduates are often the first members of their family to make it to higher education and the career opportunities that come with it.
A selection committee will consider each individual focusing on but not limited to the following:
career and professional achievements and contributions;
past or present service to Capital Community College or its founding institutions;
Demonstrated leadership and public and community service.
Alums from both Capital (Greater Hartford Community College) and Hartford StateTechnical College are eligible for the Wall of Fame. Nominees must have completed a minimum of two semesters (24 credits) to be eligible.