President’s Newsletter — Summer 2021


And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

—William Shakespeare


Three Rivers PresidentDear Colleagues,

Welcome back for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year! As the summer days of August wane, the leaves on the trees gradually turn colors, and the sun sets earlier, we can see that summer is coming to an end and now it’s time to turn our attention to the start of the fall semester.

I am really looking forward to having faculty and staff back on campus. It will be wonderful to welcome the new first year students who are beginning their college career as well as letting our returning students know that we missed having them on campus last year. I am also looking forward to catching up with faculty and staff, hearing how each of you are surviving COVID. It was eerie being in the building last year with so few people around. Hopefully, this return to a more “normal” year will see more activities to engage students as well as provide the opportunity for them to meet other students.

We will have a busy year ahead of us preparing for our reaccreditation visit scheduled for Fall 2022. Self-Study committees will be busily working to address and write the section for each of the nine standards. A draft report will hopefully be completed by the end of May so that we can submit it to NECHE for review before we submit the final draft in early August. In addition, we will be reengaging the community in the Achieving the Dream committee work on diversity, equity and inclusion. At the same time this is occurring, the Connecticut State Community College will be developing and writing the Substantive Change Report to be submitted to NECHE in January 2022 for Commission review at the March 2022 meeting. We as a community will need to continue to focus on increasing student enrollment and increasing retention and graduation rates. As a community, everyone’s efforts will be needed as the familiar adage says, “It takes a village to educate a child.”

I am excited to see all of you. I want each of you to know that I am committed to creating a community where we will keep each other safe by practicing the protocols mandated by the system office and where we will make teaching and providing an engaging learning environment a priority.

May each of you have a productive semester!

With best wishes,

Mary Ellen

Covid-19 Vaccine Mandated for Students, Faculty and Staff

This summer, the Board of Regents voted to require all students who participate in on-campus activities this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That means if a student will attend class or extracurricular activities in-person, they must first get vaccinated. Vaccines will also be required for faculty and staff. There will be an allowance of medical and non-medical exemptions for students, faculty and staff. Those that are not vaccinated will be required to be tested weekly. The vaccines that are currently authorized in the United States are safe, highly effective, and critical to resuming normal operations at our campuses this fall.

Now is the time to get vaccinated. With more infectious, more severe variants becoming more and more prevalent, getting your shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family. People with medical and non-medical waivers will be tested weekly.

There will be a vaccine clinic this Saturday, August 28, in the Multi-Purpose room.  Learn more here.  

Student Programs Update

Student Programs hosted the first in-person new student orientation on August 19. It included 87 students and their families. It was the first in-person event they have had at Three Rivers in 18 months, and it was a huge success!

Three Rivers Student Programs Office 


Prof Vesligaj of Three Rivers Community College receives a Fulbright Award.

The Three Rivers College Foundation announced the establishment of the Mark Vesligaj Memorial Scholarship. This endowed fund will award annual scholarships to deserving Three Rivers students enrolled in STEM, preferably engineering, who have shown growth and genuine commitment in pursuing their educational goals.

Three Rivers Celebrates Two Radgowski Graduates! 

Russell Perillo and Chad Whitehead, two students at the Radgowski Correctional Institute in Montville, finished their certificate in Environmental Health & Safety Management this spring.

Kevin Kelly spearheaded a brief ceremony to celebrate their hardwork and perseverance, and Professor Diba Khan-Bureau presented them with their certificates. The certificate consisted of eight total classes which were completed by these students over the last three years while incarcerated.

Three Rivers Hosts S.T.E.P.S Program

S.T.E.P.S., Inc., a Groton-based nonprofit organization which stands for Striving Toward Empowered Personal Success and whose mission is to empower young women, held a four-week summer college and career enrichment program. It ran from July through August 6 and was held at local college campuses. The group spent the longest period at the Three Rivers campus.

S.T.E.P.S offered STEM workshops where girls aged 16 to 19 learned from professionals working in STEM fields and engaged in STEM-based activities, such as building drones. The girls also participated in activities, such as yoga and meditation, and went on field trips and college tours. Learn more here.

STEPS students

Amanda Stanberry, left, 16, of Groton, and Alexis Wheeler, 15, of Mystic, work on Morse Code bracelets during S.T.E.P.S. Inc.’s summer program at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich on Monday, July 19, 2021. The four-week summer STEM enrichment program for teenage girls provides them an opportunity to learn about STEM career paths and socialize with peers from outside their high schools. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Save the Date:

8/26 – First Day of Fall Semester

8/28 – Last Chance Registration Event

8/28 – Free Vaccination Clinic

9/6 – Labor Day – College Closed

9/17 – Constitution Day, classes in session

10/19 – Reading Day

11/1 – Winter and Spring Registration begins for Current Students

11/8 – Winter and Spring Registration begins for New Students


In The Gallery

“The Future is Latinix” brings together eleven exceptionally talented and critically engaged artists who challenge the myths that belittle their Latin American roots, unpack narratives of immigration twisted by politicians and media, and allow us to see a true reflection of their lives and dreams. It will run from August 30 – October 1, 2021.

This exhibition was presented at Eastern Connecticut State University Art Gallery in the Fall of 2020 and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read [case number: 00026859]. Curated by Julia Wintner, aka Yulia Tikhonova, Coordinator, Eastern Art Gallery and Museum Services.

Gallery Show Sept 2021 - The Future is Latinix

Tanya Aguinia, “America’s Wall,” video still, 2018.