Local History: Lecture Series Begins January 25th At Capital’s Centinel Hill Hall Auditorium

Historian William Hosley will lead off Capital Community College’s Hartford Studies Lecture and Discussion Series on Thursday evening January 25th at the 950 Main Street at historic Centinel Hill Hall auditorium on the campus.

The public lecture, focusing on the value of local art, architecture and archives “to attract talent and foster innovation and teamwork” in Hartford, will be held at 7 p.m.

The College’s Hartford Heritage Project and College Foundation are hosting the series on Hartford history as part of  Capital’s 50th anniversary commemoration.  The history series, curated by Hosley, will also include three additional public lectures on the last Thursday of February, March and April.

Hosley is a cultural resource development and marketing consultant, historian, preservationist, writer, and photographer. He was formerly director of the New Haven Museum and Hartford-based Connecticut Landmarks, where he cared for a chain of  house museums, including Hartford’s Butler-McCook and Isham-Terry houses. Prior to that, as a curator and exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum, his Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt’s Empire (1996), helped spawn the Coltsville National Park.

Prior to the lecture and discussion, the College will host the Connecticut Humanities Council’s (CHC) board meeting and  a welcoming reception for new CHC Executive Director, Dr. Jason Mancini.

Contributions in support of the history series and placed-based learning are welcome through a contribution form, secure online giving or by phone: 860-906-5102.

For more information Email: CA-foundation@capitalcc.edu

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Historic Centinel Hill Hall, formerly a part of the G. Fox & Company Department Store, is now Capital Community College’s auditorium for large lectures and community and cultural events.

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One of a series of posts commemorating Capital Community College’s (formerly Greater Hartford CC and Hartford State Technical College) 50th academic year.

 

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Remembering Professor Darling: His Guide To Grammar Still Reaches Millions With Online Writing Help

In 1996 Professor Charles Darling created an online instructional guide for his creative writing and literature classes at Capital Community College (CCC).

Dr. Darling,  the author of several books of poetry, wanted to create a place where his students could obtain help with writing their research papers and reports, as well as look up grammatical issues for themselves.

The Guide to Grammar & Writing rapidly took on a life of its own, mushrooming into a widely popular site as use of the web for personal and educational uses became ubiquitous.

Twenty-two years later Charles Darling’s  Guide To Grammar & Writing is still going strong as a free resource for teachers, students and anyone trying to get their grammar and written communication right. People from all corners of the earth call and e-mail the college with questions on grammar use and writing.

Professor Darling died in 2006 after a courageous battle with brain cancer, not long after retiring from a 35-year career at CCC.  But his gifts as an extraordinary teacher  live on through the Guide that he created and generously shared.

The Guide, built by Darling with an older technology and appearing much the same as in 1996, remains the helpful and free source on writing it has always been.

Anyone who “googles” or “bings” the words  “grammar guide” will find Capital Community College’s site near the top of the list.  In the second quarter of 2017 alone traffic totaled 5.6 million visitors and 11.1 million page views for an average of 59,200 visitors per day.

From The Beginning A “Labor of Love” And Free To All

From the start Dr. Darling encouraged “the general online community” to freely use his comprehensive self-help tutorial and a worldwide community of teachers, students and writers did.  “This Guide may not be reproduced wholly or in part, by any means whatsoever, including mirroring on other Web servers, without prior written consent of the author,” read the only disclaimer. “Printing out sections for a student’s personal reference or class practice is permitted as long as the source is indicated. Linking to this site is encouraged.”

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Charles Darling, Creator of the Guide to Grammar and Writing at Capital Community College

Charles Darling was an indispensable and respected colleague and teacher,  a tech savvy man of letters awarded the CT Community Colleges’ Educational Excellence and Distinguished Service award in 2001 for a career that began at Greater Hartford Community College in 1970.

He earned a bachelor’s from the College of Wooster and a master’s in English from St. Louis’ Washington University in his native Midwest. A Ph.D. in English followed in 1977 from the University of Connecticut.

Underneath his imposing 6’9″ frame was a gentle and caring educator. In addition to a full teaching load, Darling was the college webmaster, the director of public relations.  editor of a campus newsletter and the unofficial poet-in-residence for his The Saints of Diminished Capacity and two other volumes.  And every day he looked forward to answering scores of emails on writing and grammar from a legion of Guide users.

When he died in February, 2006 Centinel Hill Hall auditorium on the campus overflowed with friends and colleagues to hear tributes and remembrances. The tributes also poured in from online visitors:

I’m a freelance journalist in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. I work for CNN and a local paper. Your site has helped me. Thank you. My sympathies for the loss of Charles Darling and my condolences to friends and family. There’s a special place in heaven for teachers.

 I was sorry to hear of the passing of Dr.Charles Darling, a generous teacher who shared his knowledge and expertise with everyone on the Net. He was (and will continue to be) a great help to teachers like me. His work will live on, and those of us who refer to it will continue to appreciate him.

The Guide “was a labor of love for Charles and, when he retired in 2005, he continued working on it,”  wrote Jane Bronfman, the college’s marketing director in a tribute that can be found on the Grammar site. “Charles thought it was essential that the site remain a free service, but laughed at the implications if it were otherwise. ‘If I collected a dime for every e-mail, I wouldn’t have to do the painting of my doors and walls myself in our remodeled home,” Charles told Hartford Courant reporter Bob Sudyk in 2004.'”

“It’s sort of a power trip for me,” Darling told Sudyk in the 2004 Courant story.  “What teachers love to do is teach. And I have the opportunity to teach people around the world. It’s exciting. I’m very lucky. It gives me a sense of service, a sense of worth, a sense of purpose in this life I never could have imagined.”

Darling, recognizing the viral reach of the Guide, invited appreciative visitors to make a donation to the college’s non-profit foundation.   The Foundation has a permanent fund at the College in his memory. In 2018 the fund will be used for the Charles Wallis Darling creative writing awards.

  “Best” Online Site, “Exemplary” Honors From Peer Reviewers

The big numbers for the  guide inevitably  brought national accolades for Charles Darling’s site.  In 2009   Good Housekeeping magazine singled out Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) and Capital’s  Guide to Grammar & Writing as the two best online sites for English help.

“This site offers very in-depth explanations and has different methods for testing students’ knowledge, instead of providing only one basic quiz for each topic,”  Good Housekeeping researchers concluded in naming it one of the best.

One year later in 2010,  a peer review English editorial board of MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)  recognized the Guide with an award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources.

“It furnishes information on all levels from basic sentence structure to writing research papers,” MERLOT’s editorial board said. “It is complete, self-contained, and generally easy to use.”

More recently, in a cooperative project with a team from Algonquin College in Ottawa, the Guide was shared and adapted  for freshmen English classes at the  Canadian school of 21,000 full-time students on three campuses confirming again the international reach and pedagogical value  of the Guide To Grammar & Writing.

In 2018 a faculty and staff team at Capital is looking to maintain and enhance the Guide as a teaching and learning resource for Capital students and, honoring the wishes of Professor Darling,  continuing it as an open source  “for the general online community.”

 

 

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This post is one of a series marking the 50th Anniversary of Capital Community College founded in 1967 as Greater Hartford Community College.

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Puerto Rican Relief: Capital CC Responded To Humanitarian Crisis Throughout Fall Semester

The devastation of Hurricane Maria on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico last September  20th brought  campus-wide, humanitarian responses from Capital Community College’s staff, faculty and students throughout the fall semester.  Members of the college community joined other organizations and individuals in Greater Hartford with helping hands and resources that are still needed for recovery from the Category 4 storm on the island and to aid displaced families coming to Connecticut from the hardest hit areas of Puerto Rico.

Led by Marisol Malave from the Dean of Administration’s office,  Early Childhood Lab School teacher Carmen Marrero, the Latin American Student Association (LASA) and Student Senate, the campus community supported a multi-faceted campaign in support of relief efforts.

The campaign was launched on October 4th at a meeting to discuss how Capital could assist with  humanitarian relief efforts.  Joe Rodriguez, Deputy State Director for U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, shared information on conditions in Puerto Rico and organizing began to respond to the humanitarian crisis.

Organizers immediately joined an online campaign encouraging donations to provide long-lasting solar lights to the people of Puerto Rico amid a loss of electricity that persists into 2018.

A November 10th Dinner Dance at Centinel Hill Hall raised more than $2,600 and counting.  Malave and Marrero mobilized a community-wide response for the fund raiser with help from CCC’s Hamish Lutris, Madeline Santiago, Miriam Mercado, Marcia Clark,  Marcelle Witten and William Mendoza. Malave thanked Musician Ray Gonzalez, Orquesta Calidad and DJ Carlos Montano for the dinner dance music.

Participating restaurants and caterers included Humacao, Mi Sabor,  The Rockin’ Chicken, Donde Julio, Panderia Pan Del Sinai, Sweet Harmony Cafe & Bakery, Tom Caraher’s Papa Tom’s Cookies, Evelyn Echevarria’s Eve’s Catering and Jen Acuna’s Loafing Around.  Volunteering additional support were Julio Velez’ JCV Photography and Karla Medina’s Sudor Taino Group Fitness.  Proceeds supported the Sudor Taino for Puerto Rico Strong GoFundMe drive.

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Dinner Dance raised funds for Puerto Rico relief at Centinel Hall.

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Hartford restaurants responded with food for the fund raiser. At left is State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez

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Marisol Malave (holding flag), organizer of the college’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, leads ceremony at the start of dinner dance

A group of students from Professor Hamish Lutris’ American Government class organized a month-long collection of coats, hats, gloves, shoes, diapers and basic necessities for Puerto Rican families displaced from the hurricane who have arrived in Hartford.  With LASA and the Student Senate helping, the students accepted donated items through December 19th at collection boxes for distribution to families through the Capitol Region Education Council.

 

 Lutris credited his students for leading the drive including Milagros Taveras, Joannie Castillo, Rajni Boodhram, Infinity Jemison, Letitia Lewis, Reyna Jusino, Keannu Barton, Eneidaliz Perez, Maria Resto, Claire Williamson and Alfred Easterling.

“On behalf of my students and the others who worked on this drive, thank you for your generosity. In giving so freely, you have shown that Capital is really this community’s college.” Lutris said. And Lutris praised Malave and Marrero for their leadership.  “The drive would never have gotten off the ground without the work of two people, Marisol Malavé and Carmen Marrero. They are experienced and cheerful to work with, and highly effective. They proved excellent mentors to the students, most of whom were engaged in an effort like this for the first time.”
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Students in Hamish Lutris’ American Government class joined by organizers Marisol Malave and Carmen Marrero  led a collection drive for families and children arriving in Hartford displaced by Hurricane Maria. 

 

 

 

 

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Group Marks 10 Years Of Scholarship Giving And 35 Years Of Helping Computer Users

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Professor Seth Freeman (left) and John McNamara of Capital Community College accept scholarship contribution from BPMUG President Steve Langford. BPMUG, established in 1982, will disband at the end of the year after 35 years of activity as a self-help computer user group.

The Business and Professional Microcomputer Users Group (BPMUG), a volunteer organization founded in 1982,  donated an annual scholarship for a 10th consecutive year at its October meeting. The $500 gift will benefit a Capital student majoring in computer information systems.

The October meeting held at the First Baptist Church in West Hartford marked the last regular meeting of the membership organization whose members voted to dissolve at the end of the year.

Through the years the focus of the group has been to help the public and each other with computer questions and usage. The October meeting featured a presentation on “The Future of Computing” by Professor Seth Freeman, coordinator of the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program. Freeman and other faculty from Capital have made presentations on information technology and computers in recent years. Professor  Freeman became a member of BPMUG’s Board of Directors and editor of its monthly newsletter, The Help Key. BPMUG members began scholarship giving to Capital’s Foundation in 2008 when the organization celebrated its 25th anniversary.

BPMUG, affiliated with the international Association of Personal Computer User Groups, was founded in 1982 as computers were being introduced in homes and workplaces. In its first year consumers were buying the new Commodore 64 computer with 64 kilobytes of memory, Apple Computers made its first billion dollars and the Wordperfect Corporation introduced Wordperfect 1.0.

“For 35 years BPMUG has been serving the needs of many people for information about their use of computers.  Unfortunately, as we all know, all good things must end sooner or later.  In the case of BPMUG, the time has come for us,” said President Steve Langford.

Langford explained the reasons for dwindling membership: “The population of people who have received the most benefit has mostly consisted of people who didn’t grow up with computers, along with a few that thankfully had some computer knowledge that they were willing to share.  Over the years the percentage of the population that didn’t grow up with computers has steadily diminished.”

John McNamara, the College’s Advancement Director and liaison to the Foundation, thanked BPMUG President Langford, the membership and Secretary Sonja Davis, who was instrumental in connecting the group to Capital and its CIS program.  “BPMUG has helped so many get acclimated to computer use and the internet through the years. They’ve accomplished their mission and we are grateful for their annual scholarship gifts.”

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Two Alumna, Travelers EDGE Students Feted at Changing Lives Gala

Capital Community College, marking its 50th anniversary as an associate degree granting institution in 2017-2018,  recognized distinguished alumna and marked the 10th anniversary of a nationally recognized insurance career partnership at the 12th Changing Lives Gala held on campus October 19th at  Centinel Hill Hall auditorium.

Recognized in the field of nursing was Vicie Brooks RN BSN whose career at Hartford Hospital has spanned 47 years. Vicie currently is Community Liaison Nurse at Hartford Hospital. She is a founding member of the Northern Connecticut Black Nurse Association (NCBNA) where she has served as Treasurer for past 5 years. The mission of NCBNA is to “provide a forum to facilitate the collective action by Black nurses to advocate for, and educate about the health care needs of under-represented populations, and to implement strategies that reduce health disparities and inequities.”

Vicie Brooks of Hartford Hospital receives alumna award at Changing Lives Gala. From left President Wilfredo Nieves, Foundation Chair David Seder, Vicie Brooks and State Rep. Peter Tercyak, a nursing alumnus of Capital. (Tony Bacewicz photo)

Rocio Chang-Angulo,  Psy.D., MA, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Medical School in Farmington, received Changing Lives’ recognition for her work on childhood and mental health trauma.  Dr. Chang-Angulo, a native of Peru, began college in the then newly established English As A Second Language (ESL) program at Capital Community College in the 1980s. Her associate degree in liberal arts degree led to the baccalaureate in neuroscience at Trinity College and a Master of Arts and Psy.D degrees from the University of Hartford.  She was Capital’s 2016 Commencement speaker.

Dr. Rocio Chang-Angulo received alumna award as part of the Changing Lives Gala recognition program on October 19th. (Tony Bacewicz photo)

Travelers has provided grants targeting academic and career success over the last decade to Capital and other colleges and universities through EDGE (Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment). Of the 12 EDGE Scholars in 2008 enrolled at Capital eight have moved on to careers at Travelers after completing their higher education degrees.  Capital alums Jose Diaz and Jessica Ugbo, accepted the Changing Lives partnership award for Travelers.

Jose Diaz and Jessica Ugbo of Travelers accept community partnership award at Changing Lives Gala. Diaz and  Ugbo became Travelers EDGE scholars as part of the Crossroads to Careers program. (Tony Bacewicz photo)

New support for scholarships was also recognized from the Widows Society for scholarships for women, the Barnabas Guild for Nursing at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford and the creation of a two-year scholarship for a graduate of Hartford Public High School established by Brendan and Mimi Lynch.

Gala committee and nursing faculty at the Changing Lives Gala. (Tony Bacewicz photo)

Proceeds from the Changing Lives Gala will benefit the Foundation’s annual scholarships in 2018.  Campus sponsorship support came from Travelers and a benefactor sponsorship by Hartford Hospital. Additional sponsors included Webster Private Bank, Community Renewal Team, the Harry E. Goldfarb Family Foundation, the Zachs Family Foundation and President Wilfredo Nieves.

President Nieves welcomes former CCC President Ira Rubenzahl. Changing Lives Galas began under Rubenzahl’s leadership in 2004. (Tony Bacewicz photo)

President Nieves welcomed SGT Jessica Roman and SGT Andre Mack from the Connecticut Army National Guard. (Tony Bacewicz Photo).

Hartford Hospital colleagues attended the Changing Lives Gala helping to recognize Alumna Vicie Brooks (Tony Bacewicz photo)

Pat Rehmer of Hartford Health Care congratulated Vicie Brooks with State Rep. Peter Tercyak (Tony Bacewicz photo)

Capital Student News students from communication media covered the Gala and interviewed honorees. (Tony Bacewicz photo)

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Capital’s Oct. 19th Gala To Recognize Alums In Nursing, Health Care and Insurance

Travelers Is Campus Sponsor For 2017 Changing Lives Gala

Alumni from nursing, the health professions and insurance  will be recognized at Capital Community College’s Changing Lives Gala at the 950 Main Street campus on Thursday October 19th.

The Gala in support of annual scholarships will be held at the college’s Centinel Hill Hall from 5:30 to 9 p.m. as part of the College’s 50th anniversary as a two-year community college.

Thanks to an innovative partnership with Travelers launched at the 2007 Changing Lives Gala  Capital each year has graduated a group of high achieving students, preparing them for the baccalaureate, graduate school and careers in insurance.

On the 10th anniversary of the Crossroads to Careers program (re-named the Capital Career Advancement Program) the first group of graduates from 2008 will be recognized.

Changing Lives Registration

Travelers , which has provided grants targeting academic and career success over the last decade to Capital and other colleges and universities through EDGE (Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment), is the 2017 campus sponsor for the Changing Lives event that has been held at the downtown campus since 2004. Of the 12 EDGE Scholars in 2008 enrolled at Capital eight have moved on to careers at Travelers after completing their higher education degrees.

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GOZA Latin Jazz Band will perform at the Changing Lives Gala featuring Tito Ortiz,Jorge Fuentes, Chris Payne and Hank Zorn

Recognized in the field of health care will be Rocio Chang-Angulo,  Psy.D., MA, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Medical School in Farmington.  Dr. Chang-Angulo, a native of Peru, began college in the then newly established English As A Second Language (ESL) program at Capital Community College in the 1980s. Her associate degree in liberal arts degree led to the baccalaureate in neuroscience at Trinity College and a Master of Arts and Psy.D degrees from the University of Hartford.

Dr. Chang-Angulo, an expert in the area of childhood and adult trauma, is sought after to provide specific training on assessment and treatment of complex trauma, and in particular she has been a resource to Latino organizations.  Chang-Angulo has worked to develop a Spanish curriculum on the intersection of domestic violence, mental health and trauma with the Connecticut Coalition against Domestic Violence and the National Alliance of Mental Illness. She was Capital’s 2016 Commencement speaker.

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Ethnic food and selections provided by V’s Trattoria for the Changing Lives Gala

Nursing alumna Vicie Brooks RN BSN whose career at Hartford Hospital has spanned 47 years, will be a Changing Lives honoree for professional accomplishments and community service. Vicie currently is Community Liaison Nurse at Hartford Hospital. She is a founding member of the Northern Connecticut Black Nurse Association (NCBNA) where she has served as Treasurer for past 5 years. The mission of NCBNA is to “provide a forum to facilitate the collective action by Black nurses to advocate for, and educate about the health care needs of under-represented populations, and to implement strategies that reduce health disparities and inequities.”  Hartford Hospital is a benefactor sponsor of the Changing Lives Gala

Individual reservations for the gala are $100 per person. Complimentary parking is available in the Morgan Street Garage. For more information call 850-906-5102.

Changing Lives Online Registration

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Faculty Art: Photo Exhibit On Connecticut Latinos At Tunxis CC In October

Photographer Christine Breslin’s exhibition “A Suspension Of Stereotypic Perception: Illuminating Portraits and Stories of Our Connecticut Latino Residents” opens Wednesday October 3rd at Tunxis Community College’s Wallace Barnes and Barbara Hackman Franklin Art Gallery.

Breslin is an adjunct instructor at Tunxis and Capital Community College.  The opening reception will be held Thursday, October 5th, 4-7 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The exhibition will be coming to Capital’s campus in March.

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