Monthly Archives: November 2013

Turkey and Clothing Drives Yield a Happy Holiday for Families in Need

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.

Members of the Community Engagement Committee worked to get the word out about the Turkey Drive.

Members of the Community Engagement Committee worked to get the word out about the Turkey Drive.

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.

Radio personality Damon Scott was joined by members of the CBS Radio Team.

Radio personality Damon Scott was joined by members of the CBS Radio Team.

“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.

Cold winter nights will be a little warmer thanks to those who donated hats, gloves, scarves, and mittens.

Cold winter nights will be a little warmer thanks to those who donated hats, gloves, scarves, and mittens.

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 College Welcomes Carmen Hufcut

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

Early Childhood Magnet School Classroom Dedicated to Former Valedictorian

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.

Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg joins Trustee Merilee DeJohn and her husband Gene.

Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg joins Trustee Merilee DeJohn and her husband Gene.

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.

The DeJohns stand outside Classroom 134, which has been dedicated to Merilee.

The DeJohns stand outside Classroom 134, which has been dedicated to Merilee.

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.

Urban League of Greater Hartford Honors Goodwin, Scheinberg

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.

The “What If?” Game; Goodwin Author, Writing Partner Explore an Alternative History

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.

"Columbia and Brittania," edited by Goodwin English Professor Brian A. Dixon and his writing partner Adam Chamberlain, is on sale on

Columbia and Britannia, edited by Goodwin English Professor Brian A. Dixon and his writing partner Adam Chamberlain, is available on

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.IMG_9334

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.