President’s Newsletter — November 2020

Three Rivers President

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the end of the fall semester, one that has challenged all of us in different ways, I want to thank you for your hard work in ensuring that our students have had the opportunity to pursue their educational goals in spite of the challenges presented by the pandemic and the state budget.

I appreciate the stellar work of the faculty and staff and our facilities and security teams to serve our students. Along with Dean Barfield, I thank the faculty who participated in the listening tours held prior to Thanksgiving. We learned a lot about your teaching experiences, student issues you encountered, and the technology concerns students faced. We are in the process of putting all of the feedback together so that it can be shared with the entire faculty.

We are finalizing the committee membership of the NECHE Self-Study Standard committees, and we will kick this process off with the start of the spring semester. Nicola Ricker has agreed to serve as the Chair of the NECHE Committee for this very important process.

As we begin a holiday season that may cause mixed feelings due to the changes we need to make to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, let us not lose sight of what we are thankful for in our lives. I am so appreciative  of the way that everyone at TRCC has stepped up and shown resiliency. You make me very proud to lead this institution. You have demonstrated that TRCC has the ability to pivot when needed to serve our students wherever they are.

With warm wishes,

Mary Ellen

Thanksgiving Drive Feeds 80 Student Families

80 students received Thanksgiving Dinners thanks to the hard work and generosity of the Three Rivers community. Alycia Ziegler and several of her work-study students helped Janet Hagen, who runs the Full Plate Food Pantry, with shopping and distribution of the dinners.

The Full Plate Food Pantry has continued feeding the community despite the pandemic changing how they distribute the food. Students can contact the pantry and receive assistance. The week before Thanksgiving they handed out 47 bags of groceries and toiletries. The toiletries were provided by Joyce Martin’s Human Service students with help from Alycia Ziegler. Phil Mayer and Betti Gladue have been managing the distribution of food items on Wednesdays.

Want to donate, lend a hand or need to use the food pantry? Visit the Full Plate Food Pantry webpage for more information.  Thank you to everyone who made this possible.


Library Support Staff Certification Program Renewed

Three Rivers recently received renewal of its Recognition Agreement with the American Library Association to provide Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) courses.  The online Library Technology Certificate program at Three Rivers is one of less than 25 community college or university providers in the country!

The program allows library support staff to demonstrate their competencies and become a Certified Library Support Staff. The LSSC means that a TRCC student who has successfully completed the program has attained and is prepared with specific knowledge and skills to work in libraries. Current library staff can increase their skills leading to improved performance and career attainment. 

Student in library



Scholarship Funding

The LaMattina family committed $15,000 to support the Spring Scholarship Program. The Hargus family contributed an additional $2,500 toward the program, and Chelsea Groton Bank also donated $5,000. This funding will complement our current Summer and Fall programs.

Nursing Simulations Support

The Foundation continues to support Standardized Patients “telehealth simulation” for the nursing program! Students and faculty place telehealth phone calls to practice nursing care using telehealth assessments, planning, and evaluation of care.

The Foundation also purchased a birthing simulator. Students are required to learn about the care of women during labor and delivery, about the newborn, and post-delivery care for mom/baby/family. Under normal conditions, providing this experience can be challenging due to unknown timing of deliveries, emergency deliveries, and patient preferences.

With COVID, the nursing department was unable to provide this experience, nor are students able to participate in observational activities involving labor/ delivery/post-delivery nursing care. The Natalie Birthing Simulator will provide this experience in a simulated nursing experience.

In addition, the Foundation provided funding for “makeovers” of the Sim Essential and Sim 3G. The maintenance will provide necessary replacement and/or refurbishment of the equipment.


Congratulation to Professor of Nursing Lillian Rafeldt on earning her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Grand Canyon University. Her quality improvement project was titled, “Prayer, a Nurse’s Tool to Reduce Pain and Promote Comfort in Clients.” Lilian says, “The overall education enhanced the work I do here with nursing students, and my project supported a community of people in need of pain relief and comfort.” What an accomplishment!

Virtual Advising Days and Open House Week a Success

Student Services has been working hard to continue to drive registration for the Spring semester. The pandemic has forced a switch to virtual modalities, but that didn’t slow them down.

Jodi Osborn, Associate Dean of Student Services, and Alycia Ziegler, Director of Student Activities, coordinated the event, which featured pre-registered spots, waiting rooms, and break out rooms, and it was all done virtually. Over the two day event, 159 students were advised.

Acting Director of Admissions Jonathan Lamiotte spearheaded a week of Virtual Open Houses. Each day classrooms of students at schools and individuals tuned in for a rundown on the advantages of Three Rivers. Financial Aid, Student Programs, degree programs, affordability and more were discussed. After each session, there were smaller breakout sessions on specific programs or areas of study.

Great job everyone!

More Virtual Events on the Horizon

Student Services is also holding special evening and Saturday registration events on December 5 and 9. These virtual events allow students to get the hands-on help they need outside of regular registration hours. Learn more here. 

Workforce will also be holding two virtual open house events on December 8 and 15 to introduce prospective students to Three Rivers’ non-credit job skills training classes and program in Allied Health, Manufacturing, and Professional Development. Get all the details here.

Save the Date:

12/15 – Last Day of Classes

12/8 – Non-Credit Virtual Open House, 9:00-10:00 am

12/9 – Extended Hours Registration,  5:00–8:00 p.m.

12/15 – Non-Credit Virtual Open House, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

12/21-1/3 – Campus closed, faculty and staff to work remotely

12/25 – Christmas, College Closed

12/29 – Winter Classes begin

1/1 – New Year’s Day, College Closed

1/18 – Martin Luther King Day, College Closed

1/22 – Spring Semester Classes Begin

In The Gallery

Saturday, session one - Oil on Canvas Paper - 16"x20"

Michael J. Peery, “Saturday, session one”, Oil on Canvas Paper, 16″x20″

Faculty and Staff Virtual Exhibition

The Faculty and Staff Virtual Exhibition is live on The Gallery webpage. It features up to 3 pieces each from faculty and staff members and will run through December 26, 2020.