On Thursday, December 12, The Goodwin College Center for Magnet and School Choice Leadership will welcome educators from throughout the country to a symposium on topics in magnet education
“Innovations in Learning – What We Know” will examine different issues, themes, and much more as experts and educators present on magnet schools. Goodwin College’s main campus at One Riverside Drive in East Hartford will host the conference from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but seating is limited and preregistration is required.
Goodwin’s Center for Magnet and School Choice Leadership is a newly established initiative within the College’s Department of Magnet Schools. This inaugural conference brings together leading researchers, parents, and educational leaders in school policy, law, administration, curriculum, and instruction to share findings on the future of public school magnet programs in light of recent court rulings, policy developments, and research findings.
“Magnet schools continue to be effective programs that engage students, create lifelong learners, and turn around low performing schools, but best practices need to be researched, documented, and replicated to benefit all public school students,” said William Magnotta, Director of the Center.
Presentations will cover a diverse set of topics, including recent court cases and legal implications impacting magnet programs, the importance of merging research on parents’ choice values and priorities against a map of racial and social segregation in urban school contexts. Another presentation will address the implementation of curriculum and instructional practices that are responsive to the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse student populations.
Attendees will have the opportunity to visit magnet schools on campus or nearby in East Hartford and Hartford. Goodwin College has two magnet schools on campus – The Connecticut River Academy interdistrict high school and the Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School.
The symposium is sponsored by Magnet Schools of America and American Education Solutions.
All who are interested can register online at www.goodwin.edu/magnetcenter. Attendees should program GPS units to route to 211 Riverside Drive, East Hartford.
For nearby hotel information and rates, please contact Dr. Robert Brooks, Conference Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Center, call 860-913-2109 or email Magnotta at email@example.com.
Goodwin College had plenty of help from the community-at-large in helping create a warmer and more wholesome holiday for many families and people in need.
The week before Thanksgiving, the College joined with WTIC 96.5 FM and other partners within the greater Hartford area for a successful clothing and mitten drive. Over three days, Goodwin collected frozen turkeys and cash donations to benefit Foodshare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding the hungry.
Additionally, the College collected donations of new winter clothing, such as hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens, to go to the Hartford-based Love Kitchen Ministry. In turn, the organization would distribute the clothing to people who might otherwise go cold during the winter months.
CBS Connecticut, which operates several radio stations throughout the state, helped coordinate the effort. On Tuesday, November 19, radio personality Damon Scott was among those who came to Goodwin to encourage a successful drive.
“We had great participation from people on campus and beyond and the feedback from the community has been very positive,” said Kimberly Nadeau, the Admissions Manager at Goodwin College and chair of the institution’s Community Engagement Committee.
Donations were steady over the three days. East Hartford businesses and organizations such as Marco Polo Restaurant, Augie & Ray’s, and the local Chamber of Commerce contributed frozen turkeys to the effort. Goodwin students and employees donated food, money, and clothing, and many people from outside the College stopped in to help. Holiday trees became covered in warm clothing, and bags of more woolen items overflowed.
Much of the clothing was courtesy of a determined 12-year-old girl. Haley Phelps, a 6th grader at Haddam-Killingworth Middle School, recently had friends bring clothing donations in lieu of gifts at her 12th birthday party. Working with her parents, Haley donated the clothing to the Goodwin drive.
“The happy feeling I have knowing we will help keep others warm this winter was better than any present anyone could ever give me,” Haley wrote in a letter to Goodwin.
By the time the drive concluded, both the freezer and the coffers for Foodshare had been filled. In total, the College collected 33 frozen turkeys and about $1,200 in cash, which Foodshare representatives collected for the benefit of the hungry.
On Thursday evening, Nadeau and fellow Community Engagement Committee members Sandy Pearce and Lee Hameroff went to Love Kitchen Ministry to drop off the clothing. Pearce said the Ministry was very appreciative of the effort and the College looks forward to partnering again with the organization in the future.
Goodwin’s Center for Magnet and School Choice Leadership, a newly established initiative within the College’s Department of Magnet Schools, will host its inaugural conference on Thursday, December 12, in the main College building from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This symposium, Innovations in Learning – What We Know, will bring together leading researchers and educational leaders in school policy, law, administration, curriculum, and instruction. View the full description and agenda. Click here to register. For more information, please contact Bill Magnotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Robert Brooks at email@example.com.
Goodwin College is pleased to announce that Carmen Hufcut has been named Goodwin College’s Program Director of Dental Hygiene.
Hufcut, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico and currently resides in Milford, came to the United States in 1986 to pursue a Dental Hygiene career at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. “I learned English as I went through the program,” Hufcut said. This feat was not an easy one, but she was determined to pursue an education, as are many of our students, and she became the first member in her family to earn a college degree.
Hufcut received an associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene and went on to receive a bachelor’s in Health Science and a master’s in Dental Hygiene with a concentration in Education and Public Health.
Hufcut previously worked as a full-time dental hygienist for 16 years. After getting married and having children, she worked part-time for four years and opened a placement agency for dental hygienists, assistants, and dentists.
As a dental hygiene faculty member at the Fones School of Dental Hygiene School at the University of Bridgeport, her alma mater, she secured a $50,000 grant from the state to develop a school-based dental sealing program. As a result of this grant, a dental hygiene clinic was opened in one of the elementary schools in Bridgeport.
In 2011, Goodwin College was looking for a consultant for its upcoming Dental Hygiene Program, and Hufcut fit the criteria perfectly. She quickly assessed the overall needs and began the process of developing a new program. “I researched and incorporated current trends and standards into the dental hygiene curriculum,” Hufcut said.
In 2012, Hufcut was hired as an Associate Professor, leading the Dental Hygiene Program as the Program Director, responsible for its overall development and academic integrity.
Hufcut brought the expertise and specified skill set needed to make Goodwin’s Dental Hygiene Program successful. Scheduled to open in May 2014 pending accreditation, the program has exceeded expectations in accordance with the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). “It took a year and a half to come to fruition. This specific program has been developed differently from other programs, integrating clinical/classroom-based learning and eLearning,” Hufcut noted.
Goodwin’s program is the first to offer hybrid core courses – a combination of online and in-class sessions – to enrolled students. Students will be using the latest state-of-the-art equipment. Two patient simulators have been purchased to make the learning experience as hands-on as possible. The program will be taught in six consecutive semesters, spreading out the curriculum, and making it more manageable.
“Goodwin’s vision is different. The majority of our students have to support families. They need to work, but at the same time they want to succeed in life. The program’s structure will be more conducive to their lifestyles,” Hufcut said.
The demanding program includes studying anatomy, radiology, nutrition for oral health, and x-ray technology. It involves many hours of clinical work, interacting with patients, field work, and much more. “Goodwin’s clinic will be fully operational, offering cleaning, x-rays, and fluoride treatments to the public for a fraction of what they would have to pay in a private practice. This benefits those in Hartford County as well as our students,” Hufcut mentioned.0
Dental Hygiene is a promising field to enter into. “In this field, you have freedom of choice. You could work full-time or part-time, and you can choose the type of environment you’d like to work in. Registered hygienists could provide dental hygiene services for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and public health clinics. You could teach hygiene students in dental schools and dental hygiene programs, as well as, research, office management, and business administration,” Hufcut said. Dental hygienists can earn an impressive hourly rate after just two years of schooling.
As the opening date approaches, Goodwin is busily readying faculty and staff to launch a successful program that will help many students reach their goals. “We are really excited. The clinic is beautiful, and there is great access to the community. With the right faculty we will exceed expectations,” Hufcut said.
By: Hannah Stacy
As a student, alum, and Board of Trustees member, Merilee DeJohn has left a profound mark on Goodwin College. As a result of a generous contribution to the Goodwin College Foundation, a classroom at the new Early Childhood Magnet School now literally bears her name.
DeJohn, who was valedictorian of the Goodwin College Class of 2007, was honored on Friday, November 8, in a ceremony that left her surprised and humbled. A large crowd of people, including Goodwin alumni, Board members and senior executives, gathered in the Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School to celebrate as classroom 134 was dedicated in her honor.
“Everything I’ve done has always been about the children and that’s what makes this so special to me,” DeJohn said.
Her husband Gene DeJohn worked secretly with the College to make a generous gift and name the classroom after Merilee. Goodwin College invited her to speak at an alumni event for grads of the Early Childhood Education and Child Study programs, without spilling the secret that the unveiling would be the highlight.
“We all knew she wouldn’t decline an offer to help the College whenever she could,” Gene DeJohn said as he introduced the surprise.
The contribution will help strengthen the Goodwin College Foundation’s endowment, which provides scholarships and other opportunities to students. Given DeJohn’s focus on Early Childhood Education and her role as a teacher, the new magnet school was the ideal setting for a classroom to be named in her honor.
Gene DeJohn recalled how Merilee’s experience at Goodwin provided the foundation for a career dedicated to serving children. A former stay-at-home mom, she was inspired to seek a job as a paraprofessional on the advice of a teacher. At the time, Goodwin had recently established an associate degree program in Early Childhood Education and Merilee enrolled in the program. She was 42 years old at the time of her enrollment.
DeJohn would graduate in 2007 not only at the top of her cohort, but as the College’s valedictorian. She has since earned bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Hartford and is working toward a Master’s degree in special education from St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania. She teaches second grade at Highcrest Elementary School in Wethersfield.
Her ties to Goodwin College have been reinforced through the years. In 2008, DeJohn was named to the College’s Board of Trustees and serves on its Student Affairs subcommittee. She also chairs the Alumni Leadership Committee and is a constant presence at Goodwin events and gatherings.
“She is not just my aunt, she’s an inspiration,” said her niece, Christina Sorano, a Goodwin College pre-Nursing student.
Goodwin College’s continual efforts to provide career-focused educational opportunities to “the undiscovered student” have been recognized with the Business Excellence Award from the Urban League of Greater Hartford.
On Friday, November 1, the Urban League held “A Night at the Bellagio” at the Hartford Marriot, a casino-themed evening to celebrate people and institutions that align with the organization’s goals to provide equal opportunities to all.
Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg, as well as the College as a whole, was one of a handful of honorees for the evening. Scheinberg could not attend as the result of a Young Presidents Organization gathering in Mumbai, India. In his place, a contingent of Goodwin ambassadors attended the upscale event.
Todd Andrews, Goodwin College Vice President of Economic and Strategic Development, accepted the award on behalf of Scheinberg and the College. Congressman John B. Larson, a good friend to Goodwin and a native of East Hartford, presented the award.
“Tonight, I am thrilled to offer my congratulations to the Greater Hartford Urban League as it celebrates its 49th Equal Opportunity Day Dinner, and I am pleased to present President Mark Scheinberg and Goodwin College with the Business Excellence Award,” Congressman Larson said in his remarks. “Just as the Greater Hartford Urban League has provided excellent services and support to our communities for nearly 50 years, Goodwin College under President Scheinberg’s direction has provided our students with the education they need to excel in today’s workforce.”
Larson represents Connecticut’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Hartford and East Hartford.
“I am honored to have such an outstanding institution in my district, and I know that Goodwin College and President Scheinberg’s vision will continue to propel our students towards meaningful and rewarding careers for years to come,” Larson said.
The honor is the latest of several bestowed on President Scheinberg. His accolades include the 2012 East Hartford Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award, the Hartford Business Journal 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2011 Paul Harris Award from the East Hartford Rotary Club.
Note: This article was submitted by students in Prof. Randy Laist’s English 300 class: Jennalyn Bantang, Deneen Bouchard, Mary Brathwaite, Breonna Counsel, John Custy, Travis Samuels, Terry Schaefer, LaToya Thomas, Deana Tracey, and Randy Laist
What if the Nazis had won World War II? What if the South had won the Civil War? What if chimpanzees had evolved into super-intelligent beings and kept human beings in zoos? Welcome to the bizarre world of alternate history, where “what if” becomes “what was.” It is a world in which Brian Dixon, Assistant Professor of English at Goodwin College, and his writing partner, Adam Chamberlain, are well traveled.
In their 2009 collection of short stories, Columbia and Britannia, they weave a historical narrative that postulates a world in which the American Revolutionary War never took place.
That’s right, no Fourth of July cookouts, no “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” no Stars and Stripes, no Lady Liberty: a world in which North America is just another colonial outpost in the British Empire.
On September 23 in the Goodwin College auditorium, Dixon and Chamberlain discussed their book with a receptive crowd. The audience listened with rapt attention as the authors explained their ideas about alternate history.
Travis Samuels, one of the students attending the event, found it interesting how Dixon and Chamberlain altered history by diverging from historical events and creating a different time line.
“I was amazed to think how one minor change of events can alter the entire time line of history,” said Samuels. “It makes me wonder, What if I did something differently years ago? Where would I have been now?”
Dixon, an American obsessed with British culture, has taught college English for over 10 years, since he received his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. Through social networks such as Skype and Facebook, he came into contact with Adam Chamberlain, an Englishman who enjoys country music, and who now resides in London. Chamberlain has earned his degrees in psychology and criminology. Their unique friendship was the starting-point for the imaginative journey that grew into Columbia and Britannia.
Their vision of alternate history is one in which familiar events combine with bizarre twists. For example, in Columbia and Britannia, the first astronaut landed on the moon in 1996. Fenway Cricket Grounds became the target of a terrorist attack in 2001. A man named John Kennedy assassinated Queen Elizabeth II in 1962. These points in their story exemplify the manner in which Columbia and Britannia blends familiar historical benchmarks with surprising divergences and ironies that rewrite history in unforeseen and startling ways.
As the book signing concluded, there was an opportunity for a question and answer session with Dixon and Chamberlain. Both men were asked where they get their inspiration to write. Even as accomplished writers, they both agreed that they draw their inspiration from peer review and collaboration.
The process of collecting the stories in Columbia and Britannia required the author-editors to work closely with a team of writers who selected what kind of story they wanted to tell and cooperated with Dixon and Chamberlain to make sure that all of the details in all of the stories corresponded.
The manner in which Dixon and Chamberlain worked with one another and with their contributing authors to tell their story illustrates the value of teamwork in developing a writing project. The audience came away with a valuable lesson in how important collaboration is to the writing process.
Mere days after he retired from a stellar 33 years of duty with the local Police Department, Richard Vibberts has joined the Goodwin College community in a critical role as Director of Campus Safety and Security.
Vibberts is the first person to hold the new position, created to address the needs of a growing campus. He has already begun working for the College, with his first day on the job in mid-October. Earlier this month, Vibberts retired from the East Hartford Police Department, where he was a deputy chief and had served in many capacities throughout a career spanning more than three decades.
As Director of Campus Safety and Security, Vibberts will lead the Department of Campus Safety, develop and implement projects and procedures, and coordinate emergency response protocols between the College and other agencies, including local and state police.
“Working for Goodwin seemed like a natural way of paying it forward to the community where I have worked for the past 33 years,” Vibberts said.
He began his career as an East Hartford police officer in 1980. Vibberts advanced through the ranks and was named deputy chief in 2002. Among his many duties were commanding and oversight of a 125-member police force, serving as a liaison between the police and town officials, preparing emergency response plans, and writing operational plans for large-scale special events such as UConn football games at Rentschler Field, the Hartford Marathon, and Riverfest.
“We are absolutely committed to providing our students, faculty, and staff with a safe and secure environment,” said Goodwin College President Mark E. Scheinberg. “In Rich Vibberts, we have found a person with significant expertise and experience to provide leadership in this very important role.”
Goodwin’s campus expansion and establishment of its magnet school system present unique challenges to Vibberts. While headquartered on Riverside Drive in East Hartford, Goodwin’s classroom and office space extend throughout Main Street. Two magnet schools – the Connecticut River Academy and the Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School – are open on campus, and a third school will be opening the spring of 2014.
Vibberts said he is ready for the challenge and looks forward to continuing to serve a community he has come to love. He plans to employ the best police practices that he learned throughout his career to benefit Goodwin and its neighbors.
“It’s exciting to come to work again,” said Vibberts. “I know there’s plenty of hard work ahead and I am excited to begin.”
Edward Casares graduated from Goodwin College’s Homeland Security program in June of 2009. Casares, the first in his family to obtain a college degree, credits Goodwin in large part to his personal growth and professional development.
In the 1980s, a lawsuit was filed in Hartford by La Casa De Puerto Rico regarding a 12-year-old child who passed away from being buried under debris, unable to be rescued due to a language barrier. The settlement included the hiring of 50 firefighters, 25 of whom needed to speak Spanish, to prevent a similar incident from happening. At 21, Casares was hired by the Hartford Fire Department under this settlement.
He worked his way up in the department, but even with training and many certificates in the field, he felt like something was missing. “There was some emptiness there. I didn’t have a degree. A degree leads to credibility. It means you have met the standards and qualifications,” Casares stated.
Casares had reservations about going back to school after being out of for 30 years, but decided to check out the Homeland Security program at Goodwin. “I had a lot of doubt, but Guy LaBella, Goodwin College Assistant Director of College Relations, motivated me. He challenged me. We talked about the benefits of having a degree. The 30 minutes he took out of his time allowed me to follow my dream.”
His classmates and teachers kept him focused and on track. “Other students motivated me to do better. The instructors took the time to meet with me and made me feel like this is where I belonged. They had compassion – along with certain toughness – that I needed and the students wouldn’t let me fail,” Casares said.
Casares started out as Deputy Fire Marshal and worked his way up gradually to Fire Marshal, a position he held for half of his career in the Fire Prevention Division. His Homeland Security degree gave him the credentials and skill base to apply for Chief. “I had a good foundation and was promoted to Chief of Department and Director of Emergency Management,” Casares recalled.
As the first Puerto Rican ever to be promoted to Chief in the 150-year history of the Fire Department, Casares was responsible for almost 400 employees and a $32 billion dollar budget and was the city’s Emergency Manager.
“My favorite part of the job was getting things done and seeing the end result. The department was great when I got there, and I wanted to continue on that path and constantly improve,” Casares said.
After graduating with his associate’s degree from Goodwin, Casares was motivated to continue on this path of growth and education. On October 25, 2013, Casares graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University.
“My coworkers talked about the challenges of going back to school as an older student, and I showed them it was possible.”
Casares was later asked to represent Goodwin alumni on the College’s Board of Trustees. “I sit in the boardroom with talented individuals, and we talk about how they are helping the school grow. As an alumni, I bring an additional point of view,” Casares said.
Recently retired, Casares is hoping to give back to Goodwin in the years to come. “I would like to come back and teach public safety,” Casares said.
Casares proves that going back to school later in life can lead to unlimited success and fulfillment. “Goodwin lays out a plan and shows it’s possible. For every excuse I had to not do it, they had a plan of how I could. Coming to Goodwin was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself,” Casares said.
By: Hannah Stacy
When Reverend Father John Rohan passed away at the age of 67 on January 20, 2013, Goodwin College lost a beloved friend, trustee, benefactor, and mentor. And although the physical presence of the man no longer walks the campus, he has – in a gesture indicative of his love for the College – found a way that his spirit of caring remains among us every day: a generous bequest of $25,000 to support the Goodwin College Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund. Through this thoughtful, planned gift, the largest of its kind realized in the College’s short history, Father Rohan has helped to ensure the future of Goodwin and financial support for many deserving students.
Two of his dear friends, Ann Zajchowski, executive assistant to Goodwin College’s president, Mark Scheinberg, and Dr. Maria Ellis, physician at Woodland Women’s Health Associates and chair of the Goodwin College Board of Trustees, met recently to share fond memories and stories about Father Rohan and his vast contribution to others.
Father Rohan grew up in Manchester, Connecticut, where one of his earliest friends was Zajchowski, both communicants of St. James Church. He went on to graduate from St. James School and St. Thomas Seminary before continuing his studies for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure in New York. He was later ordained to the priesthood in 1972.
“Church was without a doubt the center of our lives, and his calling came when he was incredibly young. Many priests east of the River were first generation. They formed lasting friendships,” Zajchowski explained.
Father Rohan was appointed as pastor of a cluster of the East Hartford North Churches: St. Rose, St. Isaac Jogues, and St. Mary’s. Under his leadership, the parishes came together, yet each community maintained its own identity. “He was very devout and had deep religious beliefs. His sermons were always literary and thoughtful. He set an example by being 100 percent committed,” Zajchowski noted.
Ellis, who was raised Episcopalian, often went to listen to Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Not being able to receive Communion, she would sit in the back pew. “I became his crusade. The best thing I did for myself was to become a Catholic. He changed my life,” Ellis recalled.
Father Rohan had a profound effect on the Goodwin College community as well. For many years, he served as a trustee and chairman of the Academic Committee. He was also responsible for linking the College with the local Ghanaian community.
“Just as he combined parishes, he was an expert at connecting people. He would stand back and watch it happen. He had a tremendous dedication and love for Goodwin. He was so proud of how the College evolved,” Zajchowski stated.
Father Rohan believed access to quality education was central to alleviating poverty and changing lives. “He resonated with the kind of student we support. He was willing to let you in and guide you just as Goodwin College opens the doors to those who want to make an effort and change their lives,” Zajchowski said.
President Mark Scheinberg often referred to Father Rohan as a “role model and moral compass” who brought positivity and joy into the lives of many. “Father embraced our different and diverse students and saw himself as their spiritual leader. As a trustee, he was a generalist with a broad, diverse knowledge base. He always focused on what was meaningful and would encourage the board to remember the College’s purpose,” President Scheinberg stated.
Father Rohan’s generosity and compassion were evident in all that he did. “You got the sense that he wasn’t looking down on us, but rather opening his arms and reaching out,” Ellis commented. He was always a shoulder to lean on, offering support and empathy in times of need.
One Christmas, Ellis was unable to go home for the holidays due to her work schedule. Feeling homesick, she decided to take Father Rohan’s invitation and attend a Mass he was saying. As the service concluded, he asked the nuns to sing an a cappella version of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” “He picked my favorite Christmas hymn even though it was not in the program. That was his Christmas present to me,” Ellis recalled, smiling.
Father Rohan’s legacy is multi-faceted and will live on through Goodwin College and everyone who was made better by knowing him.
In summing up the man who was her friend for so many years and a source of comfort and inspiration to so many, Zajchowski adds, “He was magnetic and dynamic. He enriched our lives and we feel so blessed to have known him.”
By: Hannah Stacy