Town & Legislative Forum To Be Held At Capital’s Downtown Campus Wednesday, March 7th

The Capital Community College Foundation & Advisory Council will host a Town and Legislative Forum on Wednesday March 7th from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the campus’ Walter J. Markiewicz Community Room, 950 Main Street in downtown Hartford.

State legislators in Capital Community College’s  primary service area, officials from Hartford and surrounding towns and community partners have been invited.

Policies and legislation impacting Capital CC will be discussed including the plan for the proposed  consolidation of  community colleges and new proposals to make student financial aid more accessible.  Lawmakers have introduced bills before the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee that call for “tuition free community college.”

Shared will be  initiatives for workforce development and place-based learning:

  • The nationally recognized  insurance apprenticeship program   launched in 2017  with The Hartford offers an insurance-specific curriculum, paid-on-the-job training, tuition assistance and mentoring to equip students for key customer-facing roles in The Hartford’s claims operation.  The program is creating career track opportunities for Capital students.
  • The success of Capital’s Hartford Heritage Project that since 2011 has made Hartford’s rich and diverse cultural institutions, landmarks, and neighborhoods an extension of classroom incorporating content about Hartford into the curriculum.

Seating is limited for the Town & Legislative forum. RSVPs are required for this event. For more information contact the college’s advancement office at 860-906-5102 or email

The Connecticut General Assembly opened for the 2017 session on February 7th and will adjourn on May 9th. To contact your legislators visit the Connecticut General Assembly

Capital Community College, located in the center of Hartford in the renovated, historic G. Fox building, is a public, open-door, educational institution committed to the metropolitan community it serves. Its mission is to provide higher education and lifelong learning to people of diverse cultures, abilities and ages, and to serve the needs of the community, government agencies and business and industry. To learn more about the college, visit

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College Presents Black History Talk in New Lecture Series

In 2010, Capital Community College established the Hartford Heritage Project (HHP), the first place-based curriculum at a Connecticut college or university.  The HHP connects course content to the world class art, history, and theaters at the college’s doorstep.

This year, Capital launched The Hartford Studies Public Lecture Series, envisioned to underscore the importance of Hartford’s history and rich cultural resources.

Thursday, February 22nd at 5:30 pm, historian and preservationist William Hosley will present Black History is American (& Local) History, A Travelogue, the second lecture of the new series. A generation ago people of African descent were almost invisible in the day-to-day experience of American history museums, including southern plantations where enslaved people did most of the work and were the majority of the population. A lot has changed. This program will explore African American stories by taking you on a journey of discovery to southern plantations and Civil Right museums of astonishing reach and ambition in Atlanta, Memphis, Charleston, Birmingham, Baltimore, and Detroit. It will also suggest a path forward for Hartford’s black history.

“I love presenting and promoting Connecticut’s heritage,” says Hosley. “If we don’t teach our children to know and care for this place, we will lose things worth cherishing and they will miss discovering the small and large wonders in their own backyards.”

Black History month lecture - screens-3

Black History is American (& Local) History, A Travelogue will take place Thursday, February 22nd at 5:30 pm, Capital Community College, 950 Main St, Hartford, Degnan Hall, Room 1126. Refreshments will be served; validated parking in Morgan St Garage. For more information contact or 860-906-5102.  To learn more about the Hartford Heritage Project, visit

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Don’t Forget To Vote! Travelers EDGE Video Up For Corporate Citizenship Award At Boston College Film Festival


A video marking the 10th anniversary of Travelers nationally recognized higher education program EDGE – Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment — is under consideration for corporate citizenship honors at the 2018 Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship Film Festival.

The festival, now in its 10th year, showcases companies committed to driving positive change in local communities and around the world. Boston College invites the public to vote for one of the more than 70 entries in small, medium and large company categories through February 19th. The top three videos based on popular vote in each category will be reviewed by an industry panel to determine Best by Company Size, Fan Favorite and Best in Show winners.

Your vote in the large company category can help the Travelers EDGE video — featuring several Capital Community College alumni  — advance the video  to the judging panel.

The video “Travelers EDGE at 10” prominently features Capital Community College alumni and “captures the spirit of the program’s aim to successfully prepare underrepresented students to attain bachelor’s degrees and thrive in insurance or financial services careers.”   It was a part of the program at the College Foundation’s 2017 Changing Live Gala that recognized Travelers with a community partnership award.

This year, there are more than 70 film festival entries from small, medium and large companies. The top three videos based on popular vote in each category will be reviewed by an industry panel to determine Best by Company Size, Fan Favorite and Best in Show winners.

How to Vote

  1. Visit the film festival website.
  2. Click the tab labeled Large Companies above the video thumbnails and scroll to the Travelers video entry at the bottom of the page (entries are listed alphabetically by company).
  3. Watch the video.
  4. Click the Vote button below the video.

Travelers launched its signature EDGE initiative at Capital in the 2007-2008 year as the “Crossroads to Careers” program. The insurer has provided grants and paid internships over a decade to associate degree students who have gone on to the baccalaureate and graduate programs and careers in the insurance sector.  In partnership with Travelers, the Capital Career Advancement Program (CCAP) continues at Capital and other colleges and universities. Of the first 12  EDGE Scholars in 2008 enrolled at Capital,  eight have moved on to careers at Travelers after completing their higher education degrees.


About Travelers

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for autohome, and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees. For more information, visit


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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:


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.


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.”


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.”




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.


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


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


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.”
Puerto Rico photo

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


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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