President’s Newsletter — February 2020

Three Rivers President

Dear Colleagues,

During this month, the world’s leading thinker on innovation, Dr. Clayton Christensen, passed. In 2010, he delivered a powerful speech to the Harvard Business School’s graduating class. He offered a series of guidelines for finding meaning and happiness in life drawing upon his business research. He asks a series of questions: How can I be sure that I’ll find satisfaction In my career? How can I be sure that my personal relationships become enduring sources of happiness? How can I avoid compromising my integrity? The speech was published in a book entitled “How will You Measure Your Life?” What caught my attention in reading this small tome was a quote from Steve Jobs. “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

For me, this quote has particular meaning because earlier this month I attended the Achieving the Dream conference in Washington, DC, along with other members of the TRCC campus team. At this national conference we heard eight Achieving the Dream students share their poignant and inspiring stories of who they are, the obstacles they have overcome and how education is making a difference in their lives. Many in the audience were in tears, including myself, because we know the impact that a teacher or staff member can make in the lives of students.

I hope the spring semester has gotten off to a smooth start and that you are finding joy in doing the “great work” of teaching and supporting students!

Best wishes,

Mary Ellen

Students Love Self-Care Valentines

On February 12, students attended the Self-Care Valentine event that promoted loving yourself. They had the opportunity to create self-care kits, decorating kindness rocks to leave around campus, cuddle a therapy dog and more. Self Care Valentines

Vets Club Raises $500 at Black Wolves Lacrosse Game

Congratulations to the Vets Club on raising $500 at Mohegan Sun on February 22 as part of the “First Responders” night at the Black Wolves lacrosse game. The members of the Vets Club sold numbered orange balls that were later tossed by the audience into a hoop from the stands. The ball closest to the circle won half the amount raised and the Vets club kept the other half. The Vets became the second organization to sell out and they did it before half time ended!

Thanks to all the members who attended and did such a great job!TRCC Vets at Black Wolves Game

Associate Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II Receives Artistic Excellence Award in Poetry

Three Rivers Community College is excited to share that Associate Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II has received the Connecticut Office of The Arts: Artist Fellowship for Artistic Excellence Award in Poetry. Read more here. 

Three Rivers Student Speaks at Women’s Conference

Congratulations to Three Rivers Community College student Grace Carlos on being chosen to speak at the “Women’s Encounter,” a women’s conference put on by the Kingdom Mantles Ministry.



  • The Scholarship Application for high school seniors and new, continuing, or graduating students can be found online at The application deadline is April 1, 2020.
  • The Foundation continues to support Standardized Patients, which provides TRCC Nursing students with a realistic environment for certain simulated activities. The use of patient actors/actresses to create a real nurse-patient interaction is a valuable learning experience. Nursing educators are able to assess nursing care based on learning objectives with a sense of realism and nuances one might not experience with a mannequin simulator. The Standardized Patients are then able to offer nursing students feedback from the patient’s point of view during the debriefing.

Standardized Patients, a TRCC Nurse Training program.


Quick News

•  Thank-you to everyone who took the time to compete the ICAT Survey for Achieving the Dream. The results will be shared at an All-College Meeting/World Café on May 5 or May 6. The World Café is an Achieve the Dream meeting that is facilitated by the ATD coaches. They will lead a three-hour workshop to help analyze and learn from the survey results and includes a summary report.

•  Michael Stefanowicz, Interim CSCU Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, came to campus on Wednesday, February 26, to share the progress on the General Education Proposal. Michael went through the proposed core answering questions and soliciting feedback.

•  Admissions hosted two High School Days on February 14 and February 28. 97 students attended over the two days from EastConn High School, Stonington High School, Montville High School, Old Saybrook High School, and Bacon Academy. Thank you to all who helped make the day a success.

•  Sandra Jeknavorian will be a judge in the Congressional High School Arts Competition in conjunction with Congressman Joe Courtney’s office. Sandra has been involved as a judge for the event for several years and this year it is being hosted by NFA. The winner of the Congressional Arts Competition is flown to Washington, D.C. for a reception in the summer, and the winning artwork is displayed with the other winning works of art from across the country in the U.S. Capitol building until the next spring.


Congratulations to Edie Ouellet on Defending her Dissertation

Edith Ouellet

Director of Nursing and Allied Health Edith Ouellet pictured at the Spring 2019 Pinning Ceremony.

Earlier this month, Director of Nursing and Allied Health, Edith Ouellet, successfully defended her dissertation on “Missed Nursing Care among New Graduate Nurses: Is there a relationship between challenges they experience and prevalence of Missed Nursing Care?” Congratulations, Dr. Ouellet, on earning your Nursing, Ed.D. from Southern Connecticut State University!

TRCC Students part of Transfer Student Exhibition at the Hartford Art School

Congratulations to Ariana Bradley and Amanda Swan! These Three Rivers students have been accept to University of Hartford Art School and will be featured in the 2020 Community: Transfer Student Exhibition at the Hartford Art School. Amanda will be graduating in the Winter of 2020 and is going on to study Painting and Drawing. Arianna graduates this spring and will go on to study Illustration. The Transfer Student Exhibition will run from February 20 through March 12, 2020 at the Donald and Linda Silpe Gallery at 200 Bloomfield Avenue in the Hartford Art School.

Painting by Amanda Swan

Painting by Amanda Swan, who will be graduating Winter 2020.

Club Carnival

Students participated in games and learned about the over 30 clubs and special interest organizations that they could join at Club Carnival. There was free food, axe-throwing (!) and many opportunities to learn about the fun clubs on campus.

Club Carnival at TRCC

Save the Date:

3/9 – In Kind, Write a letter to a faculty or staff member to show appreciation for what they do

3/11 – The Management of Recreational Fishing and what it means for Connecticut’s Economy and Environment

3/15 – Read Across America

3/16-22 – Spring Break – classes not in session

3/25 – International and National Concerns of Stormwater Pollution: Stormwater and Low Impact Design

4/1 – Registration begins for Fall’20 and Summer ’20 Session

4/1-2 – Advising Days

4/8 – Day of Reflection, College Closed

In the Gallery

"Glitter" at The Gallery at Three Rivers

Glitter, featuring the works of Three Rivers own Roy Tookes, will be featured in The Gallery at Three Rivers from Monday, February 24 – Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Read the newspaper article about his show here or  visit the gallery listing here.