Monthly Archives: November 2012

“Conversations on Leadership” Brings Employees Together

Sometimes, teamwork is a tough balancing act, which was proved quite literally on Thursday with a little help from a Hula Hoop.

Dozens of Goodwin employees participated in “Conversations on Leadership,” a series of  panel discussions led by College staff. Guests from other colleges and organizations also contributed to the panels, which saw employees take on hypothetical challenges and examine different issues affecting the workplace.

The Employee Development Committee presented the seminars, with participants choosing two of four topics.

Cassandra Tierney, a Goodwin College Science Professor, discusses how she balances teaching with research.

Cassandra Tierney, a Goodwin College Science Professor, discusses how she balances teaching with research.

Women in Science featured Sandra Affenito, Dean of the University of St. Joseph School of Health and Natural Sciences. Goodwin College Science Professor Cassandra Tierney and St. Joseph Biology Professor Irene Guttilla also contributed on the issues facing female science professors and instructors advance in a field historically dominated by men.

Concurrently, Goodwin managers, including Provost Ann Clark, Assistant Dean of Students Angela Skyers, and Early Childhood Development and Child Studies Director Lori Blake, presented a seminar on conflict resolution. Among other issues, the seminar examined hypothetical situations of decisions managers must make when trying to balance the needs of the organization with its employees.

Later, a Hula Hoop provided the challenge during a seminar Characteristics of Effective Work Teams. The hoop was suspended between a group of employees, who held it aloft using just their fingertips and attempted to raise it up and down while keeping it level. Goodwin Human Resources Director Jean McGill, Social Science, Business, and Education Chair Cliff Thermer, and Professor Michael Wolter led the seminar, which emphasized the importance of every member of a team.

IMG_8433The panel on Balancing Work and Life presented an opportunity for participants to discuss and analyze how difficult it can be to maintain a career while also contending with home and family life. Dean of Students Sandy Wirth and General Education Chair Sharon Koch offered differing perspectives on the role of technology. Courtney Brooks, a familiar face to the 70 or so employees who undertake the Weight Watchers at Work challenge, offered tips on making time for the things that are personally important while balancing professional responsibilities.

Goodwin Launches Free Senior Citizen Learning Program

Goodwin College understands that the love of learning does not diminish through the years. As a result, the College has launched a brand new program aimed to engage senior citizens and retirees in an academic setting.

Goodwin launched its new Adult Continuing Education (ACE) program in October, partnering with the East Hartford South End Senior Center and drawing on the expertise of College faculty. The program will be completely free of charge to attendees 55 and older, with classes offered both on the Goodwin campus and at the Senior Center.

So far, classes have included coping with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in a caretaker role, the history of Hartford, and sign language. The topics reflect topics that Goodwin offers many of its students, as well as subjects of which College instructors are passionate and knowledgeable.

For the next session, scheduled to begin in March 2013, topics will include:
• Long Term Care Placement
• The ABCs of Dementia
• Crime Prevention and Home Safety
• Music / Songwriting Workshop
• Intermediate American Sign Language

“We want to give back to the community and provide seniors with the opportunity to engage in lifelong learning with the faculty at Goodwin College,” said Sociology Professor Gaylynn Moore-Collins, faculty liaison to the ACE program.

Times and locations for the Spring session will be posted on the Goodwin website on or before December 15.

Anyone interested should contact Terry Wright Antoine at 860-913-2053 or TAntoine@goodwin.edu to join our mailing list for program updates.

“Life After Goodwin” Panelists Impart Wisdom, Advice

As daunting as a job search can be, Goodwin College students received some helpful advice on Thursday from many people who have successfully navigated a career path.

Over a dozen alumni returned to the College to speak about “Life After Goodwin,” telling their own stories of what direction their respective careers have taken since they received their diplomas. The panelists, representing many of the programs offered at the College, shared their job hunting experiences and what led them to seeking their selected careers.

“You have to stay positive,” alum Ana Hernandez said. “You will struggle, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

Hernandez graduated from Goodwin in 2011 from the Medical Billing and Coding program. She told the audience that she was always intrigued by what goes on behind the scenes in the doctor’s office, and is happy working in a radiology center.

For people like Kathryn Monroe, the right career can be elusive. She decided to seek a Nursing degree after spending years working in the insurance industry. After graduating from Goodwin, she found a job as a clinical care nurse at St. Francis Medical Center.

“It is an opportunity to change your life and to make something of your life that you want,” Monroe said, of her decision to change careers and enroll at Goodwin.

Others, like Regina Hurley, find themselves happy in career fields that they never would have expected. Hurley is a graduate of the Goodwin Homeland Security program.

Regina Hurley, a graduate of the Goodwin College Homeland Security program, was one of several alums to share their post-Goodwin experiences.

“If someone told me five years ago that I would be in homeland security, I’d tell them they were out of their minds,” Hurley said. Now she finds herself on the brink on a Master’s degree in the discipline.

Athania Ramos, a graduate of the Human Services program, has found her passion working to help nurture children and develop strong families. She told the audience that people in her career field don’t get the biggest paychecks, but she loves her job and looks forward to going to work.

“It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it,” she said.

The alumni offered tips to the audience to help students in their job searches. Among the advice was to be patient and persistent, network and make face-to-face contact with employers, and research the people and organizations where students would apply to work. Have résumés prepared, because one never knows when a job opportunity might present itself.

The alumni also warned the audience to be careful about what they put online, especially on social media sites. Hirers research their candidates, and finding incriminating photos or evidence of illegal activity can end a job prospect before it begins.

Teshema Oates, a graduate of the Medical Assisting program, encouraged the students to stand out from others. She told them to stand out from other applicants or employees by working harder, staying later, and showing enthusiasm.

Nursing graduate Jean Farber said it was wonderful to find herself in a career where she can touch people’s lives. As to finding that perfect career, she offered this advice. “Have confidence in yourself. Believe in yourself and hold yourself to a higher standard.”

Goodwin Applauds Students on Summer 2012 President’s, Dean’s Lists

Goodwin College is pleased to announce that 173 students earned status on the prestigious President’s List for the Summer 2012 Session, earning perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

Additionally, 617 students made the Dean’s List, including the students who qualified for the President’s List. Students must earn a minimum 3.5 GPA to qualify for the Dean’s List and must be enrolled for at least six credits.

Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg congratulated all the students on their academic success during the Summer Session.

“Making the list is no trivial achievement,” Scheinberg said. “Many of our students have had their difficulties in various academic environments. At Goodwin, they’ve found a place where their academic skills have blossomed, and I am very proud of their progress and accomplishments.”

Newspapers throughout the region have received the President’s and Dean’s Lists. The College has also posted both lists on the newly redesigned Goodwin website.

Goodwin’s enrollment stands at about 3,200 students. The College congratulates all the students who earned academic honors during the Summer Session and also wishes success for students in the current Fall Session.

Click here to view the President’s List.

Click here to view the Dean’s List.

Filling a Niche; Entrepreneur John Fuller’s Broadcasting Success

John Fuller’s success is a testament to simple but effective strategies: find a niche that needs to be filled and fill it, do your research, and get out from the behind the desk.

“I tell my salespeople, just answer the phone. Don’t hide behind email or voice messages, “ says Fuller. “You pick up the phone and call them. If that doesn’t work, you jump into your car and get over there. And that’s the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people. You’ve got to get out of the noise.”

Fuller shared his experiences in the broadcasting business on Thursday, November 8, in an address at Goodwin College in East Hartford. He was the first speaker in a series called Vital Voices in Entrepreneurship. The event was well attended, with community leaders joining Goodwin students and staff to hear Fuller’s story. In all, almost 100 people crowded the Community Room.

John Fuller, President and CEO of Full Power Radio, addressing an audience at Goodwin College on Nov. 8.

Fuller explained how his life in radio began as a game played between him and his sister. That game became a career goal, and that goal has in turn blossomed into a thriving broadcasting business that includes 10 radio stations and thousands of loyal listeners.

“I was very lucky to find something at a very early age that I was always intrigued by and really liked,” says Fuller, the President and General Manager of Full Power Radio. His company owns stations throughout the region, including Connecticut alternative rock station WMRQ 104.1 and the state’s only Spanish language FM stations, Bomba 97.1 and Bomba 104.9.

His business savvy has seen Fuller and Full Power Radio to become the owner stations that include Soft Rock WBMW 106.5 (Ledyard, Conn.), Jammin’ WWRX 107.7 (Pawcatuck, Conn.), and News Now WJJF 94.9 (Montauk, N.Y.).

Fuller grew up in Hope Valley, Rhode Island. As a kid, he and his sister used to play radio games over simple walkie-talkies. She’d head out on her bicycle and deliver traffic reports through her radio, and Fuller would respond with local news, weather, and Wayne Newton songs.

By the time he was 19, Fuller had turned the game into something much more. He applied for his first FCC broadcasting license and started his own radio station. Though he professed to hating country music, he found that there was a demand for it. He began broadcasting, and in the process, his career in radio was born.

“There was no FM country station at that time, and the station thrived,” says Fuller. “People were so excited. They loved the local news but they also loved the fact that we were out there at fairs and festivals.”

By the late 80s, Fuller had bought other radio stations in Rhode Island and began expanding into New London, Connecticut, by the 90s. Along with developing stations, he built radio towers to improve frequency, as well as cell phone towers to facilitate the booming mobile industry. The kid on the walkie-talkie had found success in telecommunications, and he has since grown his business and created jobs for dozens of employees.

“You work that hard and it always works,” Fuller says. “Work works. You have to have a relentless self-improvement. You have to be better than you were yesterday.”

His influence goes beyond the business and broadcasting world. Fuller is active in several civil causes, including a partnership with emergency services in Ledyard. The town uses his towers to improve their signals, allowing responders to better serve residents. In 2010 and 2011, Fuller footed the bill in Norwich for police protection for the Winter Festival parades, allowing the town to continue traditions that otherwise would have been canceled for budgetary reasons.

Fuller is also a member of the Chambers of Commerce for every city where he owns a radio station, including Glastonbury.

Vital Voices in Entrepreneurship is a collaboration between Goodwin College and the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce to present successful and innovative speakers to the community.

Even Through Unimaginable Pain, Marcus Engel Emerges as an Inspiration

By Hannah Stacy

Marcus Engel has a remarkable sense of humor, compassion for others, and profound observations that have made him an inspiration to a great number of people. He is proof that you can overcome even the most trying obstacles in life, personally having come back from the brink.

Marcus shared his story at Goodwin College on Monday, November 5, speaking to an audience of students and staff members in the Auditorium.

His story started out with a familiar theme of a small-town kid adjusting to change. When he was 18 years old, he found himself transitioning from life on a farm in a town of 250 people to living in a dorm of over 900 students at Missouri State University.

About six weeks into college, Marcus became homesick and returned home for a visit. He and friends went to see his favorite hockey team, the St. Louis Blues. After the game, Marcus hopped into the passenger seat of the car. The teenagers pulled up to an intersection, stopping at a red light. Once the light turned green, his friend, Tom, pressed the gas.

A drunk driver traveling at twice the speed limit slammed into the car broadside, with Marcus receiving the heaviest blow. All Marcus saw were the bright headlights close to his face. He had a split second to realize what was happening before going into shock.

Marcus Engel and his seeing-eye dog, Garrett, during a visit to Goodwin in 2011. The speaker returned in early November 2012 to again share his story about overcoming adversity.

Marcus found shock to be “a gift the human body receives when an experience is so bad that the mind blocks it out.” He doesn’t remember “doing four or five barrel rolls, landing on the hood, or being thrown from the car.”

When the shock subsided, he found himself lying face-down on the pavement. All the bones in his face were crushed.

“I couldn’t scream because my mouth was full of blood, teeth, and gas,” he said. When he finally was able to breathe and let out a cry for help he realized his left jaw was hanging off its hinge. “That was the moment I thought I was going to die.”

“How many of you have said that you thought you were going to die?” Marcus asked the audience. He recalled the first time he had that feeling at a middle school dance. He built up enough courage to ask a girl to dance, but she just walked away. That feeling of false dread is familiar, but facing actual death is far from funny, he explained.

Marcus asked the audience to imagine that all five senses are gone: you wake up in the morning and you aren’t able to hear your alarm clock or feel the warm blankets wrapped around you. You can’t see the sun shining through your window, smell the bacon cooking on the stove, or taste your freshly brewed coffee.

After the accident, Marcus woke up in the hospital with no senses except earth-shattering pain. He went in and out of consciousness and the events at the hospital came in bits and pieces. “Once in a while, without warning, I was aware and entered into a world of terror, darkness, and pain,” he said.

The doctors needed to create a new airway for breathing in his throat, so Marcus was not able to speak for three weeks. His aunt handed him a legal pad and asked him to write out the questions he wanted answered.  He learned he had been hit by a drunk driver and that his friends were still alive.

At one point, he remembers feeling a soft hand holding his and a sweet, quiet, female voice repeating; “Hey Marcus. My name is Jennifer. You were in a car accident.” Jennifer also whispered two critical, comforting words: “I’m here.”

“I didn’t even know where I was or where ‘here’ was, but I knew I wasn’t alone,” Marcus said.  “As humans, in the midst of trauma, we all want someone on our side. I don’t think there was anything better for me at the time.”

Jennifer was a 20-year-old volunteer. She didn’t have a degree, certifications, or years of experience behind her. She just understood the need for human connection. “This type of compassion must be in the mind, hearts, and souls of all people who are in healthcare,” he said.

Marcus offered advice to the Goodwin nursing students.  “Imagine being my parents. What is more torturous that watching someone you love in pain? Step back and think about that before you criticize the families who are helpless.”

He felt helpless in that hospital bed, but realized that the only thing he could change was his attitude. “Change the things you can and don’t worry about the rest. What other choice do you have?” he asked, then quoted a line from a Bob Dylan song; “Negativity don’t pull you through.”

Marcus began to count his blessings. he was alive and still had his family, friends, and a functioning brain. He would move forward as best he could.

Marcus spent over 350 hours on the operating table. He went one year without solid food. He had to have his face completely reconstructed through plastic surgery. He moved to Denver, Colorado to attend an 18-month program for adults who were forced to adjust to blindness.

At the program, Marcus learned to read Braille and developed other adaptive living skills. After five months, he asked to graduate early from the program so he could go back to college.

Graduation required two tasks. First, he had to prepare, cook, and clean up a meal to feed the staff and students. The second task, called “the Drop,” was to find his way back to the facility after being dropped off in a random location. He completed both successfully 13 months early.

Marcus now resides in Orlando and is married with step-children. He has an adorable seeing-eye dog named Garrett. “I have to introduce him so he doesn’t walk me into a truck or something,” he joked.

Marcus is the author of several books and is a sought after professional speaker. He holds a B.S. in sociology from Missouri State University and an M.S. in Narrative Medicine, which he described as “a combination of health care, literature, philosophy, and communications.”

To learn more about Marcus visit his website at: www. marcusengel.com.

MOVE, WISE Students are Volunteer Pumpkin Artists

Submitted by Marrie Ayub
Image

On Friday, October 26,students from the MOVE and WISE programs participated in the Annual Harvest Festival held at the Boys & Girls Club on Asylum Hill in Hartford. MOVE and WISE volunteers brought fifty pumpkins with paints in all colors of the rainbow, as well as apple cider and munchkin donuts for the children to enjoy.

Six and seven-year-old children poured into the art room with smiles that brightened the room. The MOVE and WISE volunteers were at first fearful of these vibrant kids and worried that their own artist skills would not be up to par. Children piled into the room, where they picked their pumpkins.  The volunteers helped the children bring the pumpkins to life. Some kids had their own ideas of what a pumpkin face should like, while others needed a little more guidance.

Paint was flying everywhere, laughter filled the room, little Picassos were born, friendships were formed and adults let their inner child free.  The MOVE and WISE students look forward to taking part in the festival as annual volunteers.

Hurricane Sandy Leaves the Half Moon Unscathed

EAST HARTFORD – For the crew of the Half Moon, Hurricane Sandy left no choice but to quite literally batten down the hatches and prepare for a storm.

While docked at Goodwin College, crew members began prepping for Hurricane Sandy well ahead of the storm’s advance up the East Coast. That preparation paid off, as Monday’s hurricane left the replica museum ship unscathed, despite high winds and rising waters on the Connecticut River.

Captain William “Chip” Reynolds had his crew preparing the ship even as the public came over the weekend for tours of the ship, a sailing replica of Henry Hudson’s Halve Maen used during a 17th Century voyage to the New World. Sails were tied tight, masts were lowered, and by the time the storm hit, the Half Moon was ready.

Masts were lowered and sails tied tight as the Half Moon withstood Hurricane Sandy’s wind and rain.

“There were some tense moments, but nothing critical,“ said Reynolds, who remained on the ship for the duration of the storm.

The Half Moon is visiting Goodwin College for the fifth consecutive year, continuing a partnership that has brought thousands of people to campus to view the ship. Additionally, dozens of Connecticut River Academy students have taken part on various Voyages of Discovery, opportunities to help navigate the ship from its home port in upstate New York to the Goodwin College River Campus.

Goodwin College was as safe a place as any to wait out the storm. Reynolds said the deep-water dock – a throwback to the days when Riverside Drive was an industrial site with large oil drums – were essential to allowing the Half Moon to visit, let alone survive a hurricane.

Hurricane Sandy might have left a path of damage in its wake, but the Half Moon was not affected. Now, the challenge becomes the rising waters of the Connecticut River and the loads of debris that floats on the river. Wood and trees are bashing against the ship’s hull, a similar situation to when the river flooded during a Half Moon visit to Goodwin College in 2010.

“We rode very well through the hurricane and we’ll run very well through the flood,” Reynolds said.

The Half Moon will remain at Goodwin until Monday, Nov. 5, when it makes its last voyage of the season to Verplanck, N.Y. Volunteers are still being sought to help crew the ship. If you are interested, send an email to info@halfmoon.mus.ny.us.

As Frank Amodio Leaves BOT Leadership Post, a Look at a Noteworthy Legacy

By Hannah Stacy

Frank Amodio, real estate broker and owner of the privately held Amodio & Co. and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Goodwin College up until last month, has contributed his time and effort in making sure that Goodwin prospers as an institution. Not only does he have a passion for the College as a whole, but he also cares deeply about the students and their personal success.

A resident of Farmington, Frank graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in business management. He has been in the real estate business for many years with his family and has experience in the moving and storage business.

Frank Amodio, the former Chairman of the Goodwin College Board of Trustees, addresses graduates at a previous Commencement ceremony.

After joining an organization the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), he met Mark Scheinberg, the President of Goodwin College. Over the years they conversed about their own businesses and ideas. “When Scheinberg spoke about his institute I became very interested in what he was doing. Shortly after Goodwin was formed he asked me to serve on the board,” he said.

Frank recalled the first graduation in the new building on Riverside Drive: “Everybody was really so proud that the college had its own new building with such a nice setting and campus.” Frank even postponed his honeymoon so he could attend this special day.

Bylaws state that a board member may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. Eight of those years he served as the Chair of the Committee at Goodwin. Currently, he is serving on the board of the Goodwin College Foundation, the Investment Committee, the Goodwin College Board of Trustees, and the Building Committee.

“I feel very positive about Goodwin. I especially enjoy hearing the student’s stories,” he said.

The program that he is most proud of is the MOVE (Men of Vision in Education) program, which is meant to help transition at-risk male students into a college setting and assist those who have barriers to education.

He has seen firsthand how the program has changed their lives for the better, he said. “It’s been very successful and I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few of the students.”

Frank speaks fondly of the other board members and of his experience at Goodwin College. “At the last board meeting I told the Trustees how I was really sad that my tenure had ended because I really enjoyed every bit of it. I am very happy that Dr. Maria Ellis will be the new Board Chair. I really feel that she will do an even better job.”

“I really want to thank my fellow board members and the staff for the opportunity to jure the board and for all their help in making Goodwin the great place that it is.”

How to Help Hurricane Victims

While many of us were lucky to avoid the worst of Hurricane Sandy, there were millions of people throughout the northeast who bore the brunt of the storm. We’ve compiled a list of organizations dedicated to bringing aid to hurricane victims.

 

Donate to the Red Cross

Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives were cancelled because of Sandy, so blood supplies are low in the areas affected the most. The New York Blood Center is urging people to donate blood for those in the New York/New Jersey area. To donate, call 800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.

Get Involved

Call the non-emergency number for your police station, local schools, or religious organizations and see how you can get involved.

The Christie Administration Emergency Volunteer Response Hotline

If you are interested in volunteering with a variety of Hurricane Sandy clean-up activities in New Jersey, call the state’s volunteer emergency response hotline at 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397).

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has dozens of units and shelters along the East Coast that are working to serve thousands in the most heavily hit areas. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate.

Feeding America

Feeding America has thousands of pounds of emergency food, water and supplies in the disaster zone that it is working to distribute to the storm’s victims. To donate, visit www.feedingamerica.org or call 800-910-5524.

AmeriCares

AmeriCares is providing medicine and other supplies to people affected by Hurricane Sandy. To donate, visit www.americares.org.

World Vision

World Vision is distributing flood clean-up kits, personal hygiene items and emergency food kits to people hit by the hurricane. To donate, visit www.worldvision.org.

Save the Children

Save the Children is working to provide relief to families and their children. Visit www.savethechildren.org to donate.

Offer Help to Those in Need

Offering those without power or water a warm meal, a hot shower, an outlet to charge electronical devices or any sort of assistance would be greatly appreciated.