President’s Newsletter — September 2020

Three Rivers President

Dear Colleagues,

It’s good to see some of your faces back on campus. It’s been a trying time since we departed in March amid a whirlwind of adjustments, as we moved to a largely virtual campus. I appreciate everyone who comes to campus and their willingness to incorporate our new Coronavirus protocols into their daily routines, which keep us all safer.

The beginning of this semester has been different than others, but I am happy to say it is progressing smoothly. I applaud you all for your flexibility, creativity and determination to do the best for our students even when so much has changed.

As we adjust to our new rituals and start the 2020-21 academic year, I want to wish each of you a personally satisfying and professionally rewarding year.

Best wishes,

Mary Ellen

TRCC Becomes a Successful Virtual Campus

Three Rivers did wonderful work this spring and summer in finding ways to support students in this unprecedented time.

The virtual commencement program and webpage were thorough, inclusive and meaningful.

TRCC Commencement Crew

The TRCC Commencement Crew passed out caps and gowns, programs and more.

Over the summer and into the fall, Student Services stepped up in a multitude of ways offering virtual everything – open houses, advising, general admission and nursing sessions, financial aid seminars, Virtual Saturdays, orientations and more. The Student Programs Office found ways to continue to engage students from their homes with the Quarantine Games, Welcome Week activities, and Virtual Fresh Check Days. The tutoring center and library adapted to virtual services. The TRC Foundation came forward with funding to help meet the technological needs of students without access to computers.

Faculty has had to make their own drastic adaptations, as first they needed to adapt to online teaching mid-semester, and now as many are teaching with new online modalities like LRON.

The campus underwent many changes suddenly while the people enacting them also dealt with uncertainty and anxiety at home. Despite these uneasy times, faculty and staff successfully came together with grace and determination to put students’ needs first and to transition to a thriving virtual campus.

Student Success Story Grace Carlos

Congratulations to student Grace Carlos on her recognition in The Day for her civic calling and responsibility to community. We are lucky to have you as part of our Three Rivers Community! Read the article here.

TRCC Student Grace Carlos



The Three Rivers College Foundation is excited to share the 2019-2020 Annual Report that highlights this past years achievements. We are grateful to our donors in their confidence of the Three Rivers College Foundation and look forward to supporting the Three Rivers College community.

TRCC Annual Report

TRCC Library Partners to Acquire Books

UCONN and the CSCU Library Consortium, and by extension Three Rivers, have partnered to acquire major university press eBook collections from Walter De Gruyter Inc. The first of its kind, this purchase lays the foundations for future library partnerships among all public institutions of higher education in Connecticut.

Library from HallwayThe partnership gives students, faculty, and staff at UConn and all CSCU institutions permanent online access to almost every book published by:

  • Harvard University Press, 2000-2020
  • Iberoamericana Vervuert, 1979-2020
  • University of Chicago Press, 2017-2020
  • Yale University Press, 2016-2020

Access to these approximately 4,800 books is through the De Gruyter platform, which allows chapter-by-chapter downloads in PDF format without restrictions on simultaneous users. Faculty may adopt these books in their courses. CSCU and UConn are also permitted to lend the whole eBooks to other libraries nationwide, enabling even more inclusive access.

The books are available now, and students, faculty, and staff may browse and access the newly acquired eBooks by visiting the Three River’s library website and searching for DeGruyterCT in the library’s catalog. To learn more about these ebook collections, please explore De Gruyter’s University Press Library.

LRON Class Now Being Taught at York

The first “LRON” class is now happening at York Correctional Institute! Congratulations to Kevin Kelly and everyone who helped make this happen.

After testing the technology on the day prior, Gary Tobias began his “Customer Service” class with the students on Wednesday, October 7 at 8:30 am. Gary will be teaching remotely to both York and Radgowski. If all things go well, this should enable us to recruit new students at these facilities. Great work everyone!

Remotely taught class at Three Rivers

Technology Training Available

As the format of classrooms changed rapidly, faculty too needed to quickly adjust and learn to teach virtually. Over the summer, CSCU offered technology training on their website, which is still available here

At Three Rivers, Kem Barfield and Amanda Caffary offered Coffee with EdTech sessions in Teams. They showcased Team’s features but also talked about anything related to EdTech as well as the questions that participants brought with them. Amanda, as well as EdTechs at all of the community colleges, ran summer sessions and accepted registrations from faculty at all colleges, not just Three Rivers. The sessions covered all things Blackboard – Getting Started, Grade Center, Assignments, Tests, Rubrics, and Bb Collaborate.

The Center for Teaching has also been running workshops that address not only the challenges of teaching online but also difficulty of teaching while many students are experiencing a crisis. There are also regular Water Cooler Chats held on Blackboard, where faculty can share their experiences with online learning.

The next workshop will be held Friday, October 16th from 9:30 – 11:00 am, for a TRCC CFT PD event: Lessons Learned: How I Would Approach Online Teaching with More Time to Prepare.

In addition to the events at the college, there is a CFT State Wide Professional Development opportunity: Spirit of Teaching: Resilience. It will be held Virtually on Friday,

October 23, 9:00 am -12:00 pm. This event will explore the theme in the context of our personal and professional lives: sharing our stories, offering times for reflection, and suggesting ways in which to foster resilience in ourselves and our students. Although Spirit is not a formal academic conference, the issues and questions raised will be grounded in contemporary research on our theme of resilience. Register here for this event no later than October 20.

More CFT events will be forthcoming, so watch for emails from Jennifer Nally.

Save the Date:

10/21 – All-College Meeting

10/22 – Club Fair

10/26-10/30 – Spirit Week

10/29 – Fall Fest

11/2-3 – Advising Days

11/26-25 – Thanksgiving Recess – no classes

12/15 – Last Day of Classes

In the Gallery

David Fontaine, "Statue Study", Prisma color on toned paper, 20" x 30"

David Fontaine, “Statue Study”,
Prisma color on toned paper, 20″ x 30″

Virtual Visual Fine Arts Program Graduate Exhibition Spring 2020

Due to Covid-19, the Visual Fine Arts Program Graduate Exhibition has become a virtual show. It features work by the following students who graduated with an associate degree in Visual Fine Arts in Spring 2020 See the show  here.