Page 1

winter 2011

From the president

celebrate attleboro

BCC Boat Races

Dropout Program





From the president JOHN J. SBREGA, PH. D. Dear Colleagues in Learning: To summarize (and borrow from James Agee): Let us now praise famous tenets. As educators, we must embrace everything that comprises our profession. All learning and disciplines deserve, indeed command, our respect. This fundamental tenet represents a key element in my familiar characterization: “Colleagues in Learning.”  The Workforce Development component of our mission is drawing attention from high and lofty places – from President Barack Obama, community college professor Dr. Jill Biden, Governor Deval Patrick, and growing numbers of public leaders. They raise their voices calling for community colleges to assume a major responsibility for Workforce Development and, by extension, economic development at local, regional, state, and federal levels. Leaving aside for the moment the question of adequate funding and resources to meet this challenge (yes, a considerable “aside”), this is a priority that Bristol embraces, in both its credit and noncredit activities. So what is the controversy? In my view, it revolves around just how one defines workforce development. Some see it as “merely” vocational training – fast, targeted delivery to waiting jobs. Others believe that a degree from Bristol means that students have knowledge and competencies beyond technical work skills. These so-called “soft skills” include communicating clearly, researching analytically, and thinking critically. Rather than create artificial separations, why not view the two dimensions of higher education as complementary and mutually reinforcing?  For example, I often proclaim that our responsibility at BCC is not just to produce good citizens but to prepare good citizens who can make ethical choices.  In doing so, I make no distinction BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 2 ]

about a student’s program of study.  Our formal description of a BCC Educated Person speaks directly to the required attributes (knowledge, abilities, competencies, and skills) which require a rich mixture of technical and liberal arts education.  Accordingly, our BCC Family emphasizes cultivation of “the soul” as well as technical qualities.  Both, of course, are associated with humane values.  One cannot be educated liberally among the arts and not understand—and appreciate— the absolutely vital role that STEM and other technical fields play in society.  Similarly, it is grossly simplistic and condescending to dismiss technical/career education as one dimensional and devoid of humane, “soul-like” qualities; moreover, it is a chimera.  Throughout world history, the Great Thinkers in philosophy, the creative arts, humanities, and social sciences stand beside the Great Thinkers in STEM and related fields.  Each makes unique and valuable contributions to the human existence.  Is it relevant to note that the “invention” of writing, some 5,000 years ago in Egypt, were papyrus inventory ledgers, accounting, and business reports? Aren’t these workplace activities? Does a career program, such as nursing or computer information technology, contribute more to workforce development than a liberal arts program? I would argue no. All disciplines make unique and valuable contributions in the education process.  Our description of the BCC Educated Person relies heavily on this truism.  Moreover, our general education requirements celebrate the value of theoretical pursuits (e.g., the Humanities and Social Sciences) driving the learning process. So, too, do career and

technical disciplines enhance the virtues of an educated person. It seems of late, however, that there are those who eschew the term Workforce Development as a pejorative description that somehow detracts from the pursuit of learning for the sake of learning.  I have always believed that all of our degree and certificate programs fall under the general heading of Workforce Development. Whether you are majoring in history or culinary arts, you are putting in your apprenticeship for, yes, a job and a career. Isn’t this a paramount priority and responsibility for your life (not to mention the lives and well-being of others who may have to depend on you)? Thus, academic quality PLUS marketplace needs continue to create valuable opportunities for our students. The purpose of an educational institution, IMHO, focuses on the growth of the whole individual.  At every student orientation, I emphasize the overriding importance of holistic education. At BCC, we blend the utilitarian and the humanistic; the pragmatic complements the philosophic.  We seek eternal verities in all fields.  This noble goal underlies all scholarly inquiry.  Therefore, we extol the technical/career pursuits, and we celebrate other explorations about the true meaning of what it is to be human.  In my view, all members of our BCC Family should take great pride in these activities because our scholarly inquiry in all fields reflects the authentic spirit of Academe.  It is our collective responsibility to continue to build upon this majestic tradition.



Joe Yasian, Director of Campus Services at Attleboro with Sarah Garrett, Vice President of Academic Affairs; Max Volterra, a director of the BCC Foundation and of the “Celebrate Attleboro” committee; Max Volterra and Michael Lasko, a BCC Attleboro student who shared how the Attleboro Center helped him move into a better career. Meadow Larks trumpet player; Marion Volterra and Gerard Hickman, Attleboro resident; Thomas Murray, a Foundation director, with his niece Marin; Karen Giglio and DeanVernon Harlan; Don Smyth, former Trustee, Shelly Costa and Karen Giglio, from the President’s office, and President John J. Sbrega.

"Celebrate Attleboro"sparkled It is one of the great Attleboro success stories – the beautiful Bristol Community College Attleboro site, reclaimed from an empty old industry space and turned into a modern, bright, state-of-the-art facility. The BCC Foundation invited the com-

The Center has grown from less than 300 munity to listen to music and celebrate stustudents in borrowed quarters at an old school dent success in October. “The Attleboro Center is a fantastic op- on County Street into the new facility on Field portunity for the College to extend its many Road with more than 1,000 students. resources in the community,” said Rodney Clark, Dean of Attleboro and Taunton. BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 3 ]

January 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Breakfast

January 16, 8 -10 a.m Commonwealth College Center, Fall River Free and open to the public


January 26-February 23 Works by: Chuck Boucher, Angela Dispirito Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery

Annual College Goal Sunday

January 29, 2-4 p.m Free help fi ling for financial aid Commonwealth College Center, Fall River

February 2012 African American History Month

Please check the website for specific events

March 2012 Works by: Leslie Hirst, Mary Jo McGonagle, Debra Ramsay March 8-April 11 Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery

Studio 777

April 2012 Open House for BCC eHealthCareers

April 10, 6-8 p.m 800 Purchase Street, New Bedford Learn about applying for these hybrid health programs based in New Bedford

The Secret Garden

April 25-28 BCC Theatre Rep Mainstage production For children of all ages

Annual Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition April 26-May 4 Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery

We each have, tucked away in our brains, an archetypal image of a tree. The tree can be young, only a few years old, or sometimes hundreds of years old before it is harvested. Its history and experiences are indelibly scattered throughout its structure. Rings and knots, growth and decay, and density and color are but the most obvious of the cycle of a tree’s life. It is resonant and rich and can be burned as fuel or transformed into some of the most beautiful things on earth. Wood remains alive after it has been cut from the tree, its sap long migrating throughout the grain. It will never not respond to warmth or moisture and will expand or contract accordingly. Artists have an unlimited palate of media choices at their disposal from which to make art. The artists in our exhibition use wood as their material of choice for making work. Wood is an extraordinary material from which to craft objects. It can be sawn, carved, bent and manipulated in extraordinary ways – so much so that the results can sometimes disguise the materials’ origins. Whether they carve into or paint upon, bend or join, or stain and cajole, their choices mark their works with special consideration because they have chosen this living material upon which to manipulate well beyond our notions of what wood and hence a tree really is. The artists in this show have spoken about their work in ways that mirror their choices of materials. They seek connections with the past along with a desire to find resonance with contemporary ideas about making art.

Kathleen Hancock Director Works by runs from November 3 through December 15. For more information, please visit the galleries website at

BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 4 ]

PICTURED TOP: Bradley Fesmire Last of the Lions Acrylic on routed fir plywood, three panels, 71 by 114 inches, 2011 PICTURED MIDDLE: Yuri Kobayashi Believing Ash, sterling silver, 76 by 18 by 72 inches, 2009 PICTURED BOTTOM: David Richardson Six Views of the Hozu River, Step-back cupboard Cherry, intarsia panel, painted silk screened door, 42 by 18 by 63 inches, 2009

Dr. Sbrega named Veteran of the Year

John J. Sbrega, Ph.D., President of Bristol Community College, was named The 2011 Southeastern Massachusetts Veteran of the Year by the Southeastern Massachusetts Veterans Transition House. Dr. Sbrega served as a C-130 pilot from 1965 to 1968 in Southeast Asia and flew a total of 1,848 missions in South Vietnam. He logged more than 1,400 hours in combat flight time, and is a decorated veteran, earning the distinguished Flying Cross, which is awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.” The award recognized military service but also community activity, and Dr. Sbrega is active in a variety of local boards and organizations. The award also cited the work he has directed at the College on behalf of veterans.


Support BCC students at the BCC Foundation’s Winter Classic on Saturday, February 11, at the Venus de Milo Restaurant in Swansea from 6-8 p.m. The annual fund-raising cocktail party raises funds for the Foundation to help Bristol Community College students with scholarships, campus grants, and emergency loans. The Winter Classic features an evening of good cheer, hors d’oeuvres, and raffle prizes to suit every taste including a weekend stay at Boston’s Liberty Hotel, a basket of COACH ® wares, a Pandora ® bracelet, and more. Winners need not be present, and raffle tickets can be purchased ahead of time or at the event through the BCC Foundation. Call 508-678-2811, ext 2007. BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 5 ]

Nursing to expand to BCC eHealthCareers

Bristol Community College celebrated its first anniversary with its new eHealthCareers program with a long-awaited announcement – that the online-onsite model will expand to offer Nursing in Fall 2012. Applications are now being accepted. “This is the perfect intersection between the employment needs of the community and the access needs of our students,” said John J. Sbrega, Ph.D., President of Bristol Community College. “The BCC eHealthCareers model is the future of healthcare education.” Nearly 300 students have enrolled in the BCC eHealthCareers program. In Fall 2010, Bristol Community College opened the innovative model based in downtown New Bedford. Funded with startup money from The Princeton Review, it aims at students who must balance other responsibilities – such as family and work - with their education. In the College’s traditional programs, students need to attend classes and clinical experiences during the day. Through collaboration with Higher Education Partners, the College has been able to rehab learning space in downtown New Bedford for clinical and laboratory space, and move classroom instruction online so students could “attend” classes on their own schedule. Current General Studies Health Option BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 6 ]

student Viviana Abreu from New Bedford has found BCC eHealthCareers her gateway to education. She said that she watched all her friends go off to college, but because she needed to work and raise her children, she thought that college was not in her future. A student since eHealth’s inaugural Fall 2010 semester, she will complete all of her general education requirements this semester and hopes to enter the Nursing program in BCC eHealthCareers next fall. “This is the only way I could do it,” she said. “BCC has been great. They’ve opened doors for me.” While balancing her full-time job at the Community Health Center in New Bedford, she likes that she can do class work at night, but meet face-to-face with instructors to get her questions answered. Nursing is one of the College’s most sought-after programs, with many more qualified applicants than space to accept them. BCC eHealthCareers expands the number of slots for qualified students. “It is important to know that the program material is exactly the same,” said Marie Marshall, Acting Associate Dean of Health Sciences. “The program is rigorous and admission is competitive. BCC eHealthCareers just offers it in a different way.” Nursing joins a number of other health

careers in the eHealthCareers model, including Therapeutic Massage, Emergency Medical Technician, Medical Coding, Occupational Therapy Assisting, and General Studies Health Option. All programs offer classroom material online and students only attend onsite one or two days a week. BCC eHealthCareers is a hybrid learning system that offers students the chance to take healthcare classes in an online-onsite format. Students do the majority of their lecture work in online classrooms and then meet for laboratory and hands-on studies at the state-of-the-art eHealthCareers campus at 800 Purchase Street in New Bedford. The program was conceived as a way to offer the same outstanding healthcare programs Bristol Community College is known for, but with the added flexibility of online classes and evening and weekend studies.


Prospective students gather information and fill out forms at the announcement of eNursing; top, President Sbrega announces the start of eNursing in Fall 2012; bottom, Occupational Therapy Assisting student Karen Woodcock tells how eHealthCareers made college work for her.

Cardboard regatta sailed once again at BCC

Using just cardboard, duct tape, and plastic trash bags, the contestants of the Second Annual Cardboard and Duct Tape Boat Race built canoes, row boats, and in the case of one entry, a floating car, and competed for best time in a one-run heat of up to three boats at a time on the BCC pond. For the second year, the BCC Engineering Club invited student clubs, faculty, and staff to see the practical use of engineering in a simple, fun, and competitive way by offering the races. Using design materials that seem incompatible with the project, the club has proven that with a little imagination and effort you can build a boat that floats and survives the journey – at least for some.

BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 7 ]

Eyes Wide Open BCC hosted the national “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit in October. The exhibit is an all day living memorial that illustrates the human cost of war featuring the combat boots of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The exhibit was first shown in Chicago’s Federal Plaza in January 2004. As of March 2007, the national exhibit contained over

3,400 pairs of boots and had visited more than 100 cities in 40 states. As a result of its size, the exhibit has been broken down stateby-state. The Eyes Wide Open exhibit was part of the College-wide OneBook events. OneBook brings faculty, staff, and students across disciplines together to read a shared book and participate in a wide array of campus events related to that book.


Kevin Spirlet, Writer & Photographer, College Communications Pictures 1-3, Students learn how to make paper cranes, a symbol of world peace. Picture 4, The “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit illustrates the human cost of war featuring the combat boots of soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

4 BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 8 ]



BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 9 ]

Winning marketing projects The College received three Medallion awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations this fall. Awards included a bronze award for the BCC Briefing, and silver awards for both the College’s academic catalog and for a direct mail piece called, “We have the tools, you have the talent.”

Strategically speaking BCC is currently working on a new strategic plan to implement in 2012. Throughout the fall semester, the College has held focus groups at all three College learning sites as well as online, asking students, faculty, staff, and community leaders where the College should go over the next three to five years. In late January, the College will host community listening sessions in Attleboro, New Bedford, and Fall River. To contribute to the discussion, please email Strategic Planning Co-Chairs Sally C. Cameron, Vice President of College Communications, ( or Shawn Tivnan, Assistant Director of Web Services, (

The play’s the thing Professor of English J. Thomas Grady and Theatre alum Kyle Whitty ’11 were chosen to participate in the 10th annual Short Plays Marathon at the Whaling Museum Theater in November. Professor Grady’s play, “Europeans Kiss on Three Cheeks,” premiered at the eighth marathon and played at the competitive Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival of New Plays in New York City last summer. Whitty’s play, “Dashwood the Destroyer,” was written while he was a student in Professor Rylan Brenner’s Playwriting course. BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 10 ]

Warm up the winter with a hearty soup recipe from Culinary Arts Mama’s Italian Wedding Soup Servings: 10

Extra-lean Ground Beef Eggs, fresh Dried Bread Crumbs Grated Parmesan Cheese Italian Parsley, fresh, minced Dried Basil Onion, minced S/P Chicken Broth Spinach, fresh, roughly chopped Seashell or any small soup pasta Carrots, ¼” diced

1 Pound 2 Each ¼C ¼C 2T 1 tsp 3T TT 2 ½ qts 2 C packed 1C ¾C

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, eggs, bread crumbs, cheese, basil, parsley and onion. Season TT. Shape mixture into ½ inch balls and set aside. In a large stockpot heat chicken broth to a boiling; stir in the spinach, pasta, carrots and meatballs. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, at a simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente and meatballs are no longer pink inside. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve hot with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Variation: If you wish to enhance it further and make a heartier version, add the following: Eggs, whole Grated cheese Parsley, fresh, minced Garlic, minced Black Pepper

2 each ¼ cup 2T 1 lg. clove 1/4 tsp

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. When the soup is cooked, bring back to one boil, add the mixture all at once, stirring gently but thoroughly to evenly distribute it. Bring back to one boil, remove and enjoy.

Programs rescue dropouts in Fall River and New Bedford

Two different programs have begun at Bristol Community College with the same goal – to recover high school dropouts in the region’s two largest cities. Through two different funding sources, the College has put in place the Middle College in New Bedford and the MassGrad Gateway to College in Fall River to work with those school districts to address a problem draining the region’s economic recovery. Both programs share similar structure. Each program recruits high school dropouts ages 16 to under 22, and working with the school departments, offers Bristol Community College courses that equate to high school credit. It builds on course articulations created through the state-wide Dual Enrollment Program. The students must meet College requirements to enter the courses – for example, they take the placement tests all entering students take and are placed into courses based on the results. “Some students were as few as two or three courses short

of their high school diploma,” said Theresa Romanovitch ‘70, Dean of the New Bedford Campus, who was the lead on the New Bedford program. “They dropped out of high school for a variety of reasons, and not all of them academic.” Steve Ozug, Vice President of Students and lead on the Gateway to College grant, pointed out that without a high school diploma, these students face significant hurdles. “Most importantly, the students know that too,” he said. “We are seeing very motivated, focused students who understand the great opportunity they have.” While similar in structure, the programs followed different paths. In New Bedford, Higher Education Partners, a private firm that funded the start of the BCC eHealthCareers program, and the J.D. Fernandes Trust provided the seed money to get started. Gateway to College in Fall River is funded by the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education through a grant from the Bill and Me-

linda Gates Foundation. “This is a highly reputable and tested model,” said Ozug. “The partnership with the school departments coupled with the support services and educational quality of BCC is demonstrated to enable students to complete their high school diplomas.” In the first year of the program, funding from the award supports the startup costs, including staff, testing, recruitment, and implementation of the first year. After the first year, School Department Chapter 70 funds start to be used to fund the program, with the goal that it be completely School Department funded by year four. Bristol Community College has received a three-year award of $300,000 to work with the Fall River Public Schools to increase the graduation rate by implementing Gateway to College. The New Bedford Middle College began in September; the Fall River Gateway to College will begin in January.

BCC Briefing, Winter 2011 [ 11 ]


Welcoming home those who served december 2012 / winter issue published by College Communications BCC Briefing is published four times a year for the friends and alumni of Bristol Community College.

After fighting overseas, veterans are finding they also have to fight when they get home. To ease access to educational services for the large numbers of service men and women expected at Bristol Community College over the next few years, the College received U.S.

Department of Labor funding through Congressman Barney Frank to support a veterans center starting this fall. The center expands the College’s services for veterans by providing for more dedicated staffing to address paperwork and transition into the College.

editor Sally Chapman Cameron, Vice President College Communications

design Jill Carrico, Publications Specialist Roger Bazinet, Photography

writing Kevin Spirlet, Writer and Photographer We’re glad to hear what you think. Please let us know if you have any ideas about stories you would like to read.

A S S O C I A T I O N Send News Send your news to

enjoy! contact us email

phone 508.678.2811, ext. 2169

Alumni News Scan the QR code to find out what's new with fellow BCC Alumni.

2011 Winter College Newsletter, Briefing  
2011 Winter College Newsletter, Briefing