Goodwin College is proud to announce the President’s and Dean’s Lists for the Fall 2013 session. The College saw record numbers of students earn places on each respective list, reserved for those students who perform exceptionally in academics.
Placement on the President’s List requires a student to maintain a flawless 4.0 GPA during an academic session in at least six registered credits. During the fall, 247 students achieved the President’s List.
The Dean’s List requires students to earn a minimum 3.5 GPA across at least six registered credits. Students earning a place on the President’s List are also included on the Dean’s List, which saw 846 students meet the requirements in the fall.
In addition to publishing the lists on the Goodwin College website, the lists were sent to all local newspapers in the state and region. Also, the College created individual Merit Achievement stories that can be posted to students’ social media accounts.
Congratulations to all students who qualified for either or both lists and best of luck in academic sessions to come.
NEW BRITAIN – Enthusiasm was mounting in a Central Connecticut State University gymnasium on March 5 when “Hail to the Chief” began to play and President Obama made his entrance.
And, as the President made his way to the podium, a contingent of Goodwin College students and staff members were a mere three rows away.
“It was really good to see how invested people are in what President Obama had to say about important issues like raising the minimum wage and equal pay for women,” said Tianna Ferguson, a Goodwin student aspiring to enter the Nursing program.
Ferguson, from Enfield, is a prominent member of the Goodwin’s Women Invested in Securing an Education (WISE) program. She waited three hours in the cold for the President to arrive, attending the event along with WISE Coordinator Latanya Kennedy and Americorps VISTA Meghan Gallagher. Congressman John B. Larson, a CCSU grad and resident of East Hartford, provided tickets to Goodwin.
Manny Sanchez, a member of the New Britain City Council and Goodwin’s Employer Relations Coordinator, secured prime seating for the contingent for the President’s speech.
“We very much wanted to have our students be a part of this experience,” Kennedy said. “Being able to partner with CCSU gave us the opportunity to see what an incredible impact a presidential visit creates.”
President Obama was visiting to advocate that the national minimum wage be raised to $10.10. Connecticut, along with states including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, have all recently raised their state minimum wages. The respective state governors, including Connecticut’s Dan Malloy, support the President’s initiative and joined him at CCSU.
In his speech, President Obama delved into the need for quality educational opportunities at all levels, regardless of obstacles that may be in place hindering academic success and job training.
“The bottom line though is whether it’s technical training, community college, or four-year university, no young person should be priced out of a higher education,” President Obama said.
Gallagher is from upstate New York and was the first in her family to graduate from college. She is spending the next year as an Americorps volunteer working at Goodwin. She was especially inspired by the message that, regardless of background, anyone can succeed.
“So many of us understand that at the heart of America, the central premise of this country is the chance to achieve your dreams if you work hard, if you take responsibility; that it doesn’t matter where you start — it’s where you finish,” President Obama said.
Ferguson took heart in the President’s push to raise the minimum wage, which she believes would be very beneficial to students.
“A higher minimum wage would make paying for college more manageable for many more students,” Ferguson said.
The contingent also expressed hope that someday President Obama might make a visit to Goodwin, either during his time in office or afterward. Having experienced a day of Secret Service checks, long lines, and enthusiastic crowds, Gallagher said it would be an honor to host the President on the River Campus.
“It would be madness, but it would be worth it,” she said, to the agreement of her contingent.
Vital Voices in Entrepreneurship Featuring Stew Leonard, Jr.: The Ups and Downs of Running A Successful Family Business
An audience of more than 300 gathered at Goodwin College on February 26 to hear Stew Leonard Jr., president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s, deliver an inspiring, uplifting speech, often laced with humor, at Vital Voices in Entrepreneurship, a speaker series focused on first-hand perspectives from leaders who are making their mark in business and the community.
President Mark Scheinberg set the tone for the evening as he addressed the packed auditorium buzzing with energy. “Goodwin College is anything but institutional. We are deeply customer based,” he said, making Leonard a perfect guest speaker. “What’s amazing about his stores is that you don’t feel like a customer. It’s an event. It’s an experience that’s really, really special.”
“This crowd is a testament to our guest. We are very blessed and very appreciative to have him here.” He welcomed Leonard to the podium, referring to him as a “true icon of Connecticut business.”
Stew Leonard’s, a unique family owned and operated fresh farm food store, came from humble beginnings in the 1960s, as a milk company — one with a distinctive flair for marketing. During the last 50 years, the company has expanded its products with four farm store locations in Connecticut and New York, as well as nine wine stores in the tri-state area, accounting for more than 20 million visitors annually.
Leonard referenced the four main STEW principles of business that he and his family follow: Satisfy, Teamwork, Excellence, and Wow!
Satisfying customers and maintaining the philosophy that the customer is always right have proved essential to Stew Leonard’s business plan. Listening to customer needs and providing for them are something the Leonard family insists on. “People want to help local farms, they want organic foods, and they don’t want antibiotics in their food. We get a lot of our products from farmers in Connecticut, and we provide whole, organic foods that customers want,” Leonard noted.
The dictionary defines teamwork as a “cooperative effort on the part of a group of persons acting together in the interest of a common cause.” Leonard understands the importance of a healthy working environment. “You can’t make a great place to shop without first making it a great place to work,” he stated.
The number of Stew Leonard’s employees is growing at a steady pace with no layoffs in the history of the business. Achievement awards are presented at events to show appreciation for all of their hard work in the common cause of providing quality products. Employees are the key to making a business prosperous. Something is certainly working: Stew Leonard’s has been included in FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the last 10 consecutive years.
“Stew’s business messages are wrapped in honesty and humor. They are simple, clear, and very affective. He understands that his employees make his business what it is,” said Lee Housley, a current student in Goodwin’s Management and Leadership program.
Leonard’s third philosophy, excellence, means providing top-notch products and staying up to date with the latest trends. Leonard explained, “We make our bread fresh in store, we meet with ranchers to find the best quality meat, we get our lobsters from Maine, we provide fresh fruit platters, and we are always in search of new products.”
When “cronuts” (a cross between a croissant and a donut) became a recent fad, Stew Leonard’s developed their own version, selling over $100,000 worth since August. Another treat, “crogels” (a cross between a croissant and a bagel) have created profits upwards of $50,000 in a just a few weeks of their premiere.
Researching, being ahead of the curve, and visiting with farmers to understand where their products are coming from have allowed the company to reap endless benefits. “With competitors like Walmart, Costco’s, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, we can’t just sit back. We are always trying to make the stores better,” Leonard said.
The final philosophy — the Wow! Factor — is all about creating a unique, uplifting experience. “We don’t act like a chain. We keep that family feeling alive,” Leonard stated. Stew Leonard’s provides an interactive environment complete with costumed characters for kids, milk containers that sing, and much more. No one who visits a Stew Leonard’s location is likely to forget the experience.
As with all businesses, Stew Leonard’s has experienced its share of failure. “The reality of life is that there are bumps and setbacks and you stumble,” Leonard explained, “but you pick yourself back up.” Failure is a part of business and life in general. “[Leonard] embraces the failures as opportunities to be better,” Housley noted.
Some of Leonard’s setbacks have been personal. He lost his 21-month-old toddler in a drowning accident in 1989. This sparked Leonard and his wife to seek ways to prevent this tragedy from striking other families, especially since drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under five. In 1990, the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation was founded. In 2006, the Leonards expanded the foundation’s mission to address childhood obesity through better nutrition. To learn more about the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation, visit their site: http://www.stewietheduck.com/12ourstory.cfm
“Triumph through tragedy” seems fitting for Stew Leonard and his success story. In business and in life there are hurdles to overcome, but once crossed they can lead to endless possibilities through effort and hard work.
Goodwin thanks the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring the event. In addition, Scheinberg made an announcement that T. Boone Pickens, Texas businessman, philanthropist, and Goodwin College 2013 Honorary Doctorate recipient, will be providing funding for future speaker series at the College called the T.Boone Pickens Endowed Speaker Series – Vital Voices in Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
By: Hannah Stacy
Goodwin College and the Yancy Management Group Inc. of Connecticut are pleased to announce that a partnership between their two organizations has resulted in a generous grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation. The $10,000 award will support an innovative, peer-based program that will focus on a 2014 series of leadership discussions for school principals and teachers from towns and cities in Fairfield County.
Designed in partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Forum Educational Leadership Programs (FELP) are a variation of a program first established by Early J. Yancy, head of the Yancy Management Group.
In an environment of confidentiality and carefully structured activities, groups of eight to 12 educators moderated by Mr.Yancy will meet to talk candidly about topics important to them, share access to their personal networks, and draw out the collective wisdom of members to use as best suits their needs.
The forums are unique in that while they focus on work, they also allow members to share their aspirations.
“Goodwin College is committed to building bridges between education, commerce, and community. We believe
that this new partnership is true to our mission and will help strengthen the state’s education system,” said Marion Leonard, Grants Manager for Goodwin’s College Relations and Advancement. “Teachers, principals, superintendents and students will benefit from this unique model. We’re very pleased to be part of this new opportunity for educators.”
“Without natural allies or peers, school leaders often feel isolated in trying to balance discordant public and professional expectations,” said George Coleman, retired former acting commissioner of education in Connecticut. “Through FELP, school principals can convene to collaborate, strategize, and collegially critique each others’ plans for school improvement and professional success.”
“By re-energizing educators on a peer basis, this program will help minority principals and superintendents achieve personal and professional goals that will better their schools and surrounding communities,” Mr. Coleman added.
“Goodwin believes that educational success is best brought about by creative networking and problem solving of educators at all levels,” added Ms. Leonard.
On February 24, the CT Mirror and The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges hosted an open forum on The Knowledge Economy. Part of CT Mirror’s Signature series, the event, hosted at the Quinnipiac School of Medicine and moderated by editor Brett Orzechowski, brought together representatives from state colleges and universities to discuss the rewards and challenges for schools located in a region that one speaker called “an extraordinarily rich environment for education.”
The panelists included Todd Andrews, Vice President for Economic & Strategic Development at Goodwin College; Sal Filardi, Vice President of Facilities & Capital Planning at Quinnipiac University; Richard Jacob, Vice President for Federal and State Relations at Yale University; and Jeff Seeman, Vice President for Research at UConn.
Each speaker offered an overview on how his organization was contributing to The Knowledge Economy. Mr. Andrews spoke of Goodwin’s mission to support not only traditional college-age students, but also career-focused adult learners who work to balance the responsibilities of work, family life, and school. Following the overviews, the panelists focused on more specific topics that included curriculum, support sources, expansion and land development, risk taking, and sustainability.
In his discussion of the rewards of risk taking, Mr. Andrews cited how Goodwin College had outgrown its original, small location; worked with state and federal sources to reclaim land along the Connecticut River; and now offers a beautiful campus that is home not only to a college community but also a unique, thriving system of magnet schools. “The magnet schools assist the College with classroom space in the evening and on weekends,” he said, “and they allow us to affect curriculum at a much earlier stage.”
While the composition and histories of the schools represented at the forum widely varied, the panelists agreed that there is great wisdom in educational organizations working together to create mutual support for developing education for the future. Mr. Seeman commented that the great educational regions of the past — Palo Alto, Cambridge, the Research Triangle — were the result of specific entities coming together under specific conditions. “[Future] strengths” he added, “will stem directly from collaborations.”
Most students can attest to a teacher who inspired them and helped to change their lives. Jamie Mattos, on the other hand, is a student who has permanently and positively affected Goodwin College.
Mattos, who received her associate degree in Nursing in December 2013, is the embodiment of the Goodwin College mission. A mother and grandmother who has endured more than her share of life’s challenges, she thrived as a student and continues to develop a voice and presence in the Goodwin community that resonates beyond the classroom.
“I just put one foot in front of the other and pray quite a bit,” Mattos says. “I’m so happy just to be here at Goodwin having new experiences.”
As she struggled to balance her family responsibilities with her student obligations, Mattos sensed the need for a creative outlet. She eventually found the perfect escape in a most unlikely interest: her passion for poetry. Her verse, heavily inspired by her life experiences, has helped her cope with the changes that she has made in her life and propelled her as a leading voice of the student body. She has been featured in poetry jams, published in Goodwin’s Beacon magazine, and soon plans to self-publish a book of her favorite pieces.
“I’m able to express some things that are on my mind,” Mattos says. “At times, it’s been a distraction and outlet from the intensity of nursing.”
Mattos was in a difficult situation when she arrived at Goodwin College in 2010. She was a single mother raising her eight-year-old daughter, Jiana, who had been diagnosed as schizophrenia and autistism. Plans to sell her house and move South were dashed with the decline in the housing market, and a series of harrowing car accidents had forced her onto disability and out of her career as a computer programmer.
“I needed a new plan, and it took a while to figure out what I was going to do,” she says.
Friends suggested that Mattos would make a good nurse. She visited the Goodwin College River Campus and met with academic advisor Glenn Black. He recalls how Mattos worried about her age, her ability to be a student again, and especially Jiana’s needs. After a “long talk,” Black says, she realized it was the right decision.
“I didn’t expect the school to be so warm and supportive, which was wonderful given my age,” Mattos says. “It was scary coming back to school. The whole environment had changed.”
By that time, Mattos was nearing 50 and her older daughter, Jessica, was expecting a little girl of her own. She was at a critical juncture, and she had to sell the idea of returning to school not just to herself, but to her growing family as well.
“It hasn’t been without struggles and tears,” Mattos says.
A Rising Presence
Despite her initial concerns, Mattos started at Goodwin and soon found an environment where she could thrive. A dedicated student, she found herself doing well in her classes, and inspired by her classmates, instructors, and a culture that embraced her.
“One of the things most striking for me was the strong female presence here,” Mattos says. “It helped to have so many strong, positive women surrounding me.”
Soon the challenge shifted from whether college was right for her to whether she could afford to continue. Though she received financial aid, Mattos and many other Goodwin students faced a crisis when the state legislature threatened cuts in the Connecticut Independent College Student (CICS) grants. As a nonprofit, private institution, Goodwin College relies on CICS funding to provide opportunities to students.
The cuts would have significantly impacted several colleges throughout the state. Mattos was inspired to speak out against such a measure and volunteered to appear in front of the Connecticut State Legislature’s Education Committee. In 2011, she found herself sitting before the committee, as well as television cameras and reporters, to plead the case against the cuts.
Mattos’ testimony was taken to heart. The Legislature moved to exempt colleges with small endowments, such as Goodwin, from the cuts.
Goodwin’s Poet in Residence
Mattos was later accepted into the Nursing program and began the rigorous course work. While concentrating on her labs, clinicals, and other technical courses, she discovered a more creative outlet through another voice that had been developing inside of her, that of writer and poet.
English professor Cynthia Hendricks was one of the first to realize Mattos’ talent. Hendricks encouraged Mattos to continue to write, not just for class assignments, but also for herself.
“I have seen such tremendous growth in her writing, from her initial submissions — personal, insular, and mystical — to opening up in her later work to a broader audience with a wide range of appealing strategies,” Hendricks said.
Inspired by some of her favorite writers and poets, such as Maya Angelou, Rudyard Kipling, and Edgar Allen Poe, she developed a style that ranged from playful to serious. The poems draw on her life experience, age, race, and gender.
Indeed, Mattos has become one of Goodwin’s star student talents. She is president of the Poetry Club and frequently shares her work during poetry slams and recitals
“She practiced hard until she found her voice, and the audience found her,” Hendricks said. “She was one of the first poetry slam winners, and as time went on, Jamie continued to prove herself as an emerging force that could not be ignored.”
Mattos’ poems touch upon many themes — faith, femininity, cultural pride, shame, humor, and love. In Grace, she explores religion as a shield against the sometimes harsh realities of the world.
Between a rock and a hard place
There is a space,
Deep within and far from view,
That is where you will find the essence of you.
That part of you no one can touch,
That shields your spirit from the crush.
She does not shy from controversy, using verse to frame her opinions on divisive issues and events, such as the death of Trayvon Martin, which is the title of the poem from which the following verse is taken:
Another star in the sky
To weep for our ignorance
The bodies of our children litter our streets
Our soil is soaked with their blood
We cry out in anger, and load another gun
It wasn’t long before the College published some of Mattos’ work. Her confidence grew, and Mattos found herself performing her original verse before audiences of students and administrators.
“It’s nice to have other people appreciate what I write,” Mattos said. “It was kind of rewarding to get that response.”
One Journey Ends, Another Begins
As the end of her nursing education approached, Mattos found life becoming much more manageable. She and Jiana moved into one of the College’s properties in East Hartford, and her daughter found classroom success at a local elementary school. Mattos’ nursing clinical experience brought her into the oncology ward at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where she connected well with her patients.
Although she was working with patients who were suffering from cancer, Mattos wasn’t intimidated or overwhelmed. She says that her age and own experiences contributed to her ability to forge good relationships at the hospital and find commonality with those she served.
“Being older and having more life experience can be an asset,” says Mattos. “Your perspective is different than someone in their 20s or 30s. You can connect with people in different ways.”
On December 19, 2013, Mattos and her cohort were pinned as graduates of the associate degree in Nursing program. Her family, who now understand that her sacrifices and return to school were worthwhile, cheered her on as Program Director Jan Costello placed Mattos’ pin on her nursing scrubs.
But Mattos isn’t done with Goodwin College yet. She continues her education here, now in the RN-to-BSN baccalaureate degree program.
“You can’t get rid of me that easily,” says Mattos, with a wry grin.
Goodwin College is pleased to announce that the new Dental Hygiene program has received accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) as of Thursday, February 13. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
With its blend of traditional classroom and online learning, Goodwin’s Dental Hygiene Associate Degree program has been gaining attention across the state and in the national media. This innovative program, designed specifically to meet the needs and schedules of Goodwin students, is slated to open in May 2014.
Carmen Hufcut, Director of the Dental Hygiene program, oversees its overall development and academic integrity. With more than 20 years of experience in the field and a thorough understanding of Goodwin’s student population, Hufcut was the perfect fit for this new position. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Hufcut learned English as she went through college, and — like many of our students —became the first in her family to earn a degree.
As enrollment for May progresses and Hufcut’s leadership sets the stage for a successful inaugural session, the program is attracting attention, including an article in the spring 2014 dental industry publication Incisal Edge Magazine. Click here to view.
For more information on the program, visit our majors webpage.
By: Hannah Stacy
Goodwin College is pleased to announce that the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has approved two grants for the Math Lab, located in Room 219 at One Riverside Drive.
The Math Lab offers tutoring support as well as online learning modules, allowing students to master concepts at their own pace. The Lab is staffed with peer and professional tutors on a walk-in and appointment basis. Students are encouraged to ask questions and seek assistance in this supportive, accommodating environment.
The grants are from the Samuel Roskin Trust and The Right Track Fund at the Hartford Foundation.
These generous grants will allow Goodwin to purchase over 100 graphing calculators. They will be lent out to students, who will return the calculators at the end of the semester to be used by the next student. This initiative will be especially helpful to those who cannot afford to purchase a calculator.
“These donations will have a tremendous effect not only on the Math Lab, but on Goodwin as a whole. We are always seeking ways to improve the College and help students succeed, so we truly appreciate the generosity of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving,” said Marion Leonard, Director of Grants and Planned Giving.
Goodwin thanks the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Right Track, and the Samuel Roskin Fund for these generous grants and looks forward to enhancing the Math Lab and assisting our students.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford region, dedicated to improving the quality of life for area residents. It receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families, and organizations and awards grants to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations. For more information, go to http://www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.
By: Hannah Stacy
On Wednesday, February 26, Stew Leonard Jr., President and CEO of Stew Leonard’s, will be speaking at Goodwin College’s third installment of Vital Voices in Entrepreneurship, a speaker series focused on first-hand perspectives of leaders who are making their mark in business and the community.
The event, hosted by Goodwin College and sponsored by the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce, begins at 5 p.m. with a cocktail hour where attendees, including community business leaders and Goodwin College students, alumni and staff, can network and share ideas.
Hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Stew Leonard’s Catering, and beer and wine will be provided by J Restaurant Bar. The keynote address will begin at 6 p.m.
Stew Leonard’s is a unique family owned and operated fresh farm food store with annual sales in excess of $400 million. Originally opened as a small dairy store in 1969 selling only 7 items, the company now has four locations in Connecticut and New York, operates nine wine stores in the tri-state area, and welcomes more than 20 million visitors to their stores every year.
Stew Leonard’s has been dubbed the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores” by The New York Times for its commitment to freshness, quality and in-store entertainment and has earned world-wide acclaim for its distinctive approach to retailing and customer service. It has been featured in two of management expert Tom Peters’ books, A Passion for Excellence and Thriving on Chaos, and was included on FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for ten consecutive years. The company is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having “the greatest sales per unit area of any single food store in the United States.”
The event is free and open to the public and will take place at Goodwin College, One Riverside Drive, East Hartford, CT 06118. Attendees are required to RSVP by Wednesday, February 19 to Vanessa Pergolizzi, Alumni Relations Coordinator, at 860-913-2160 or by email at email@example.com.
Justin Greene and his wife, Casey Sholes-Greene, have been married for a little over a year and are expected to graduate from Goodwin College in May of 2014. Justin will be graduating with a degree in Medical Assisting and Casey with a certificate in Phlebotomy.
Before they became familiar with Goodwin, Justin was working part-time at Home Depot, and Casey found work as a certified nursing assistant. After seeing commercials that highlighted the College’s career-focused degree programs, Justin decided to make a positive change by furthering his education and signing up for classes at Goodwin. Inspired by her husband’s example, Casey enrolled at Goodwin in search of a promising career as well.
“My husband said it was a great school. He highly recommended it to me,” Casey recalled.
The couple was up for the challenge, and they have been each other’s source of support and encouragement along the way. “It’s nice to live with somebody who will help motivate you,” Justin noted.
Many students come to Goodwin with a specific career in mind, but all have the common desire of significantly changing their lives for the better. “I didn’t just want a job; I wanted a meaningful career. I wanted to do something more,” Justin said.
Initially, Justin entered the Medical Billing and Coding program, but eventually was attracted to a career that would allow him greater interaction with patients, so he enrolled in Medical Assisting. “Medical Assisting at Goodwin is preparing me for a career where I can continuously challenge myself,” Justin stated.
Casey also feels positive about the knowledge she will be taking with her after graduation. “Goodwin taught me about responsibility. I didn’t know much about the health care field before coming to Goodwin, but now I feel confident in my abilities,” Casey said.
Goodwin’s atmosphere and supportive environment have been large factors in Justin and Casey’s success. “The teachers promote hands-on learning and have practical knowledge in the health care field. They truly want you to succeed,” Justin said. Of the changes that he and Casey are making, he continued, “I could not be more proud of us. We’ve both made the same great decision: to get our degrees together at Goodwin.”
The health care field is something Justin and Casey are both very passionate about, with plans to come back to Goodwin to obtain degrees in Nursing. “We want to further our careers and continue learning,” Casey stated.
Trading in the rice and flowers for caps and gowns, Justin and Casey will be walking down yet another aisle together with high hopes and expectations for their future.
By: Hannah Stacy