Sara Stecewicz, Goodwin College Environmental Studies graduate, now lives in sunny California working as a lab technician at Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa Valley. The winery was founded in 1972 and takes advantage of its geographic setting to produce a high quality selection of wines with a focus on merlot.
Stecewicz’s interest in natural sciences and water systems originally inspired her to pursue Environmental Studies at Goodwin. After graduation, she managed to combine her interest in the environment with her passion for wine and create a uniquely successful career. She has worked in a variety of positions in wineries, from cellar work to vineyard management. In her current position, she uses her experience and knowledge of chemistry and microbiology to measure wine for levels of acid and sulfur.
“I love that I get to work with wine and live in a beautiful place. It feels like I’m in a chemistry lab all day,” she noted.
She credits Goodwin’s program for preparing her for a successful career in the field through a hands-on approach to learning and an emphasis on using education to join the workforce. “I feel that Goodwin was really focused on getting me started in a career.”
Stecewicz is very interested in environmental and urban planning and sees herself continuing her contribution to the environment for years to come.
Rosanna Getty, Environmental Studies student at Goodwin College and self-proclaimed “nature girl,” is an enthusiastic advocate for environmental sustainability.
Having worked as a bartender for 10 years, Getty decided to come to Goodwin to pursue a degree in a field she is passionate about: environmental stewardship. She believes it’s important for people to realize that our population is growing and resources are finite.
Getty feels that being able to do field work directly on the Connecticut River has been a huge advantage to her progress. Her core classes have allowed her to learn about wildlife, biology, ecology, chemistry, and other sciences. “Everything is coming together nicely,” she said. “I love what I’m learning and where I’m learning. It’s not just out of a book.”
Her professors have motivated her to do more and learn more. “The faculty members at Goodwin are worldly, charismatic, and have so many connections,” Getty explained.
Even the campus itself is a source of inspiration for her studies and a great example of sustainability. In developing and remediating the riverfront property, Goodwin was awarded multiple EPA Brownfield grants to convert contaminated industrial properties into the site for the new college campus. “It all connects. Comparing photos of the brownfields to what the campus looks like now is amazing,” Getty stated.
Getty hopes to continue her education, pursue her master’s in Environmental Studies, and become an environmental consultant.
Now, Cichowicz is a student in the Goodwin College Child Studies program, with a promising future ahead. With an internship already lined up at Goodwin’s Early Childhood Magnet School, she is excited to once again work in the field she loves.
Her outlook on education aligns closely with the Early Childhood Magnet School’s philosophy. “I want children to be creative,” Cichowicz said, “and I want them to be able to choose how they learn.”
By observing careers at a number of educational settings and by having her professors share their own experiences with her, she hopes to expose herself to the wide variety of options she will be able to pursue with this degree. “Not only can you teach, but you can also become a director, a family engagement coordinator, a reading specialist, and so much more,” she explained.
An East Hartford native with a 7-year-old daughter to care for, Cichowicz appreciates the convenience of the magnet school’s location and class times. “My daughter and I do our homework together. I want to be a good example for her and show her that, even if something unfortunate happens in your life, you can pick yourself up.”
Her long-term goal is to advocate for a more open style of teaching by conducting and providing research.
To those who encounter their own challenges along the path to a fulfilling career, Cichowicz advises, “There are a lot of people out there — like I was — who can’t afford to pay their bills and are working at fast food restaurants or similar jobs. Don’t think you can’t do it. You can — and Goodwin can help.”
Goodwin College has announced its spring 2015 Adult Continuing Education (ACE) offerings. The classes — free of charge to seniors 55 and older — are offered in conjunction with the East Hartford South End Senior Center. All courses are presented in two-part sessions at the Goodwin campus, One Riverside Drive, East Hartford and the Senior Center, 70 Canterbury Street, East Hartford. Introduction to Spanish: Part 1 on Friday, March 13, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Senior Center and Part 2 on Saturday, March 14, 9 to 11 a.m. at Goodwin College. Introduction to Computers: Part 1 on Friday, April 10, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Senior Center and Part 2 on Saturday, April 11, 9 to 11 a.m. at Goodwin College. Personal Safety: Part 1 on Friday, May 8, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Senior Center and Part 2 on Saturday, May 9, 9 to 11 a.m. at Goodwin College. Interested participants must register for classes by contacting ACE Program Coordinator Claude Mayo at 860-913-2051 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Download flyer.
Approximately 140 students and 30 advisors from around the state attended the Connecticut Envirothon Aquatics Workshop hosted at the Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) at Goodwin College on January 17, one of several workshops in anticipation of the statewide student competition later this year. The impressive turnout at the Aquatics Workshop was well received by both attendees and hosts.
“This is great,” Envirothon Steering Committee Chair Jeff Folger said. “We’ve had statewide competitions that weren’t this well attended.”
The aquatics workshop was held at CTRA after Bruce Morton, Goodwin College’s Environmental Studies Program Director, reached out to the organization to suggest the environmentally-themed magnet school’s facilities as a potential location for the event.
“The Connecticut River Academy is amazing,” Envirothon Aquatics Chair Kim Bradley said. “The facilities and personnel were incredible.” With large science lab spaces and direct access to the Connecticut River, CTRA offered the perfect environment for the workshop. The aquatics workshop had previously been held at the main Goodwin College building, Bradley said.
The Connecticut Envirothon is a natural resource-based education program started in 1992 by the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which brings together teams of high school students to participate in workshops related to the environment. On May 6, the teams will meet for an all-day field competition and oral presentation to present before a panel of experts. The winning team will have a chance to compete at the North American Envirothon in the summer.
Goodwin College’s Human Services program provides students with a wide range of opportunities to make a positive impact and to improve the quality of life for others — and that’s exactly what Veronica Vioude and Yamilette Rosado are learning to do, even before they graduate. Collectively, Vioude and Rosado are often referred to as the “dynamic duo” by their professors and classmates.
Vioude came to Goodwin straight from Manchester High School and chose to enroll in the Human Services program because she genuinely enjoys helping people and wants to make a difference on a large scale. She recognizes how much extra time the Goodwin faculty spends encouraging students and designing curricula that support all learning types.
Rosado is a transfer student and appreciates how different the atmosphere is at Goodwin compared to what she had seen elsewhere. “The difference can be seen in the professors, the surroundings, the warm and professional environment, and how students choose to pursue their education,” she explains. “It’s obvious that this school is centered on the students.”
Both Vioude and Rosado credit the Goodwin faculty on changing their lives. “The faculty members really want the students to succeed, and that makes such a difference. They’ve given us the knowledge and tools to move ahead,” Rosado notes.
Both students say that their ultimate goal is to establish an organization in Connecticut aimed at combatting human trafficking. “It’s our dream. We want people to have knowledge, stability, and a safe place to go,” Vioude states.
In their Human Services classes, Vioude and Rosado have learned different ways to facilitate therapy through group counseling. “It’s not only informative, but it’s therapeutic as well. It’s a safe place for participants to share what they’re feeling and have their voices heard,” Vioude notes.
“We’ve been empowered at Goodwin, and in turn we hope to empower others,” adds Rosado.
They will be graduating this spring and have both been accepted into the School of Social Work MSW program at the University of Connecticut.
When the printing company where he had worked as a pressman for 23 years shut down, Robert Misbach came to Goodwin College in search of a career change and decided to pursue environmental studies. “I’ve always been an outdoorsman, so it seemed like a natural transition,” Misbach stated.
He began his studies in 2008, graduated with his degree in 2010, and later secured a position as the environmental health and safety director at Microbest, a precision machined components and assemblies company in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Misbach is in charge of OSHA record keeping and the safety of over 200 employees. “I perform safety counseling for hazardous waste disposal, storm water control, and pollution,” he noted.
Goodwin’s Environmental Studies program laid down a solid foundation for Misbach to work from. “The College had a lot to do with me getting a job. They get you in the door.”
Misbach used his degree to help him branch off into safety. Working in the field has broadened his skill set and he hopes to learn more about machinery. “I see myself here years from now, but continuing to grow and learn.”
Misbach plans to enroll in manufacturing courses at Goodwin to gain more experience and knowledge in machine maintenance. “I have already had a great experience at Goodwin, and the most important thing I learned is that hard work pays off.”
By: Hannah Stacy
The Great Meadows Conservation Trust is offering guided winter nature walks in the Meadows along the Connecticut River in Glastonbury, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, and East Hartford through the end of February. Two of the walks, February 21 and 28, will feature Goodwin College’s Bruce Morton, Program Director of Environmental Studies.
Jim Woodworth, the trust’s stewardship chairman, urged people to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the Meadows area. Bald eagles are common in the area, so a sighting is likely, he said. “It’s just great to be out in nature and the fresh air, especially in winter when you just don’t get out as much,” Woodworth said. “It can be beautiful if the sun is shining.”
The Meadows is a low-lying area along the Connecticut River just south of Hartford that remains largely undeveloped because of frequent flooding. The Great Meadows Trust is a nonprofit group that owns parts of the Meadows. It educates residents about the area and advocates for its preservation.
Saturday, Jan. 31, 10 a.m., Rocky Hill
Hikers should meet at 78 Goff Brook La, off of Old Main St. The walk is expected to be about two hours.
Sunday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m, in Glastonbury
Walkers will meet behind Glastonbury Town Hall, at 2143 Main St.
Saturday, Feb. 14, 10:30 a.m., Glastonbury
Meet at the Connecticut Audubon Center at 1361 Main St.
Saturday, Feb. 21, 9 a.m., Wethersfield
Meet Jim Woodworth and Bruce Morton at the Putnam Park parking lot, 100 Great Meadow Road, just north of the Putnam Bridge. We’ll peel away the centuries to imagine the river bank before the bridge, and explore the 300+ acre Crow Point property owned by Goodwin College. We’ll observe the process of nature reclaiming the land and waterways excavated for fill to build the highway across the ancient farmland and wetlands of the great meadows.
Saturday, Feb 28, at 9 a.m. in East Hartford
Meet Jim Woodworth and Bruce Morton at Hockanum Park, 324 High St. Explore our Wilson-Carvalho and Hockanum Meadows parcels in the “Wethersfield Triangle” of land marooned on the east side by the meandering of the river. Goodwin College students are studying environmental science here, experimenting with invasive species control and habitat enhancement.’
For more information, please contact Bruce Morton at email@example.com.
His fascination with the environment began on the tropical Caribbean island of St. Lucia. “Growing up in St. Lucia and being outside in nature, I became interested at a young age. It’s truly my passion.” Altius noted.
“My family gets tired of hearing me talk about it,” he added with a laugh.
Inspired by his early experiences on the beautiful island, Altius wanted to make a difference in how we steward our planet, so he enrolled at Goodwin College hoping to build a career that would reflect his passion. Through his studies, he gained in-depth knowledge on such topics as water systems, ecology, river systems, species, plants, and water tables.
Thanks to Goodwin’s unique location, students are able to use the Connecticut River as a classroom for hands-on learning in environmental studies. “We were able to actually see what we were reading about — you gain a lot more by doing,” Altius explained. “Having the campus on the banks of the river is a big plus. The school is ‘in the field’ — literally.”
Altius connected with the down-to-earth professors who helped him every step of the way. While still in school, he landed a job as a public health inspector and was able to work full-time while completing his degree. In his position, he inspects properties for pollution, trash, or debris. If he notices a violation, he issues a citation to the property owner, thereby helping to maintain a healthy, safe environment.
Altius hopes eventually to move into a lab position that is more hands-on and research based.
“Goodwin really is different than other colleges. The majority are working students who are dedicated to improving their lives and their world,” he said.” By coming to Goodwin, a lot of doors opened for me.”
By: Hannah Stacy
The Goodwin College Homeowners Incentive Program will offer employees the opportunity to receive a $10,000 forgivable loan to help purchase a home in East Hartford.
In an initiative focused on helping employees establish permanent roots in the area and strengthening ties to the East Hartford Community, Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg recently unveiled the school’s new Homeowners Incentive Program.
“East Hartford is Goodwin College’s hometown,” Scheinberg stated. “We’re committed to ensuring its future, and one way to do that is to encourage our employees to live, as well as work, here. The Incentive Program provides us the opportunity to support our valued workforce and help promote employee recruitment and retention while developing direct investment in the East Hartford community.”
Through the program, employees can receive a one-time forgivable loan of $10,000 to help support their purchase of a house or condominium in East Hartford. The recipient must be purchasing a home in East Hartford, and then continue to live in that home. The loan will not accrue interest, and $2,000 of the loan will be forgiven for each year of residence and continued employment.
To be eligible for the loan, the applicant must be a full-time Goodwin employee, have at least one year of full-time service, and remain in good standing with the College. This pilot Incentive Program loan will be awarded to approximately five employees annually on a first-come, first-served basis.
East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc lauded the new program.
“Over the years, Goodwin has added to the community by remediating land, constructing new buildings, and supporting local businesses,” she said. “Now, committing the financial resources to bring homeowners and their families to East Hartford makes a powerful statement about the bond between the College and the Town.”
For more information, visit the Goodwin College Homeowners Incentive Program webpage