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Faculty & Staff Crier E-Newsletter

CCRI Crier


Personal Announcements

A message from the Department of Marketing and Communications

This is the last scheduled issue of Crier before it takes a summer hiatus. Throughout the rest of the summer, Crier will be sent on an as-needed basis and return to its regular weekly schedule at the start of the Fall 2016 semester. If you have news or an announcement that needs to be shared with the college community during the summer, please submit a request online. Thank you.

Upgrades coming to campuses this summer

Several projects are underway and work will be taking place this summer as part of the Warwick Renewal and other capital improvement plans. These include finishing up the SIM lab renovations at the Flanagan Campus as a result of a Champlin Foundations grant; a reroofing project and terrace reconstruction at the Newport County Campus; renovations in the manufacturing lab and door replacement and swipe card access installation at the Liston Campus; and biology and chemistry lab renovations, door replacement, swipe card access installation, "classroom of the future" technology installation, an upgraded marquee at the main entrance, and an acoustic and audiovisual upgrade in the Great Hall at the Knight Campus. CCRI has been host to the Imagine Preschool on the first floor of our Knight Campus for several years. By the end of June, the preschool program will relocate so that our school can expand student-related services in that space. Imagine Preschool will be moving to The Providence Center's location at 520 Hope St., where it will expand from its current two classrooms to three.

Also of note in the area surrounding that campus, the Kent County Water Authority is replacing a water line on Commonwealth Avenue, which affects access to the rear entrance for the next five to seven weeks. The road will be closed to all but local traffic, so we recommend using only the main entrance on East Avenue during this time.

Students recognized at International Career Development Conference

deca Members of the Flanagan, Knight and Liston Campus Collegiate DECA, along with advisers Joanne Orabone, Cecile Roberti and Carol Rowey, attended the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Washington, D.C., and returned with outstanding success stories.

  • All three chapters were recognized with the Presidential Leadership Passport Award, which encourages local chapters and individual members to plan activities and participate in events that enhance the experiences of members.
  • Individual Gold Leadership Passport Awards were presented to: Rosseline Bencosme, Thao Dang, Suzan Erkesin, Maria Rangel Leon, Jonathan Plante, Nina Soares, Daniela Soriano, Justin Waktins and Vincent Vozzella.
  • Receiving individual Blue Leadership Passport Awards were: Marcus Bonnenberg, Maria Rangel Leon, Jonathan Lopez, Cesar Michitrujillo and Jonathan Plante.
  • Additionally, the ICDC focuses on career competencies and, this year, Daniela Soriano received a medal for advancing to the finals in Human Resources Management.
  • Certificates of Excellence are awarded to students competing in either case studies or role-play business simulations with an overall score of 70 percent or higher. The following students earned certificates of excellence: Maria Rangel Leon and Jonathan Plante, Business Ethics; Nina Soares, Accounting Principles; Daniela Soriano, Human Resources Management; and Justin Watkins, Marketing Management.
  • The Collegiate DECA Academic Honor Award was presented to Thao Dang, Nina Soares, Justin Watkins and Vincent Vozzella. To receive this award, a student must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.5 and have demonstrated participation in Collegiate DECA activities, leadership and community service.
  • Chapter Leadership Awards were presented to Thao Dang, Suzan Erkeskin, Maria Rangel Leon, Jonathan Plante and Nina Soares.
  • Nina Soares received a State Leadership Award.
  • The Flanagan Chapter received a Community Service Award for its work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State and the Liston Chapter received a Community Service Award for its ongoing work with the Rhode Island Food Bank.

Additionally, members of the Liston Chapter attended the annual DECA Northeast Regional NSO Competition at Johnson & Wales University in February. Nina Soares placed first in the Accounting Principles competition and received a $150 scholarship from the Rhode Island Association of Accounting Professors, and Daniela Soriano placed second in the Human Resources Management competition.

A message from Purchasing regarding W.B. Mason orders

The last day for placing orders against existing W.B. Mason blankets through the online ordering system for FY16 will be June 17. This will allow all deliveries to be made during the week of June 20 to 24.

Please verify the contents of your order as soon as it has been delivered. If any portion of the order needs to be returned, please contact W.B. Mason immediately so that a pickup can be scheduled. This will allow for credits to be processed in a timely manner. Send all packing slips to Accounts Payable as soon as the orders have been verified to help expedite year-end processing.

To more efficiently process W.B. Mason blanket orders for FY17, departments will not need to enter a Banner requisition to create a new blanket purchase order. Departments will be notified when the online system is available to place FY17 orders. Departments can make advice of changes to the W.B. Mason purchase orders once they have been established. The only exceptions to this process are new grant monies. Please email Purchasing with any questions.

Disability Services survey

Help Disability Services as we assess our program. Share with us how you view our services and where you feel we could improve through a brief online survey. The data collected will be invaluable to move our department forward. Click here to take the survey.

Relief supply donations

Student Renzo Ponce from Ecuador is collecting nonperishable canned goods and clothing to send to victims of the earthquakes in Ecuador. Donation boxes are located in Room 4200 at the Knight Campus and CWCE Adult Education offices at Liston and Flanagan.

Student work displayed at regional medical conference

medicalMedical Laboratory Technology students Lauren Manuel and Brooke Miller presented their scientific research poster "Increased ABO Antibody Reactivity in Cases of Weak or Missing Reserve Grouping Based on IgM Molecular Weight," in April at the 68th ASCLS-CNE Annual Convention. Their presentation was one of 23 from undergraduate and graduate students.

Student Government President election results

On April 13, the Student Government presidential election was held on each campus. Election results for each campus are as follows:

  • Knight: Jesse Sullivan
  • Flanagan: Chantel Pestana
  • Liston: Oscar Rosa
  • Newport County: Mariela Lucaj 

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New Announcements

Commencement 2016

CCRI will celebrate its 51st commencement on Friday, May 20, in the field house at the Knight Campus in Warwick. Learn more about the event on the Commencement Web page.

Upcoming music event: 'Hello Broadway'

Under the direction of Dr. Audrey Kaiser, CCRI students and alumni will perform a musical revue of new and old Broadway shows. Showtimes are as follows:

  • 2 and 8 p.m. Friday, June 24
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, June 26

The production will take place in the Bobby Hackett Theater at the Knight Campus in Warwick. For more information, visit the "Hello Broadway" Facebook page.

Writers retreat

Are you working on an article, conference or grant proposal, dissertation, book manuscript or other writing project that would benefit from two days of uninterrupted work this summer? Do you need a quiet space in which to write, gain the support of colleagues who are also writing and receive feedback on your work? If you'd like to make substantial progress on a writing project, register for the CCRI Writers Retreat sponsored by the Center for Innovative Teaching, Learning and Assessment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14 and 15, in the library at the Knight Campus. Space is limited to 10 participants, so those interested are encouraged to submit the registration early. For more information and to register, visit the CITLA website.

Summer and fall Safe Zone trainings

The Safe Zone Project is a nationally recognized program that equips individuals with the tools they need to be allies within the LGBTQ community. The CCRI Gender Equity Initiative will offer Safe Zone trainings according to the following schedule:

  • 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17, in Room 233 at the Newport County Campus.
  • 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, in Room 2144 at the Flanagan Campus.
  • 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, in Room 1130 at the Knight Campus.
  • 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, in Room 1134 at the Liston Campus.
  • 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, in Room 233 at the Newport County Campus.
  • 8 to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, in Room 2144 at the Flanagan Campus.
  • 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Room 1134 at the Liston Campus.

All members of the CCRI community are welcome to attend. To register or for more information, contact Nancy Forsstrom at 825-2024 or by email.

safezoneIf you see the Safe Zone symbol (see image) on campus, it means the person in that office has had special training and is attuned to the needs of and issues that often follow the LGBTQ community.

Forsstrom also is available to talk to classes and departments about Safe Zone and offer training to employees and students. Trainings take approximately two hours and are best in a group of eight to 12. Please contact her to set up an appointment.

Trip to the Jonathan Edwards Winery

The CCRI Alumni Association presents a trip to the Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, Connecticut, on Sunday, Aug. 21. The bus will depart the CCRI Knight Campus at 10 a.m. and leave the Jonathan Edwards Winery at 3 p.m.

The trip includes:

  • Round-trip transportation.
  • Welcome tasting, private tour of the fields, and education about grape growing and winemaking.
  • Learning about how wine is produced and participating in blending your own wine from various barrel samples.
  • Enjoying a catered lunch in the barrel room with local fresh ingredients and learning how to pair wine and food with The Savory Grape's Food and Wine Educator Tulay Lawton. End with sweet nibbles.
  • Sampling eight to 10 wines during the day.

Cost is $135 per person. Payment must be made in full upon booking. All reservations are nonrefundable. Reservations and full payment are due by Wednesday, July 20. For reservations, contact Tulay Lawton at 401-886-9463 or

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Events Week of May 16

Biology workshop

For the first time, CCRI will host the New England Biology Association of Two-year Colleges biology teachers' workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 19 at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. The day will feature roundtable discussions, lab presentations and a keynote speaker.

Faculty from community colleges throughout New England will participate in this event. There will be a keynote speaker, the presentation of research and laboratory activities, a poster session and a round table discussion concerning issues affecting two-year colleges. Past conferences have focused on curriculum development, lab activities, and trends in pedagogy. This conference provides an opportunity for the college community to discuss the thrills, challenges and pitfalls that affect the community college.

All administrators, faculty and staff are invited to attend. The conference is open to all and is free of charge.

Commencement 2016

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Ongoing News and Events

CITLA Spring Symposium

Join Laurie L. Grupp, Ph.D., as she presents an interactive workshop on effective course design and intentional pedagogy, an approach that encourages us to be more mindful of the types of student engagement that we promote, at the CITLA Spring Symposium from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, in Room 1040 at the Knight Campus in Warwick. Participants will learn how to incorporate active learning techniques that motivate students to engage with course content, the instructor and one another. Lunch will be provided.

Learn more and RSVP.

CCRI Alex and Ani bangle

The CCRI Alex and Ani charm bangle is available at all four CCRI Bookstore locations and on the Bookstore website. Proceeds from the sale of the CCRI bangles, which feature the college's seal, will provide financial assistance for students through Alumni Association scholarships and book awards. The bangle can make the perfect graduation gift.

CCRI 5K run/walk

runThe college will host its second annual CCRI 5K run/walk at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. The day will include a kids' 1K fun run.

Take advantage of early bird pricing. General registration costs $18; for CCRI students with a valid student ID, the cost is $10. The kids' 1K fun run registration fee is $5. Pricing will increase on June 1. Register online.

Technical writing survey

CCRI Technical Writing students have developed a survey and are interested in your opinions on life issues.Take the survey now. It will take only a few minutes.

Annual Alumni Golf Tournament

The Community College of Rhode Island Alumni Association will hold its 14th Annual Golf Tournament on June 15 at Crystal Lake Golf Club. Proceeds raised through this event will help the Alumni Association provide tuition assistance and emergency funds for college expenses as well as money to buy textbooks and supplies. Online registration is now available.

Clothing drive

The Flanagan Campus DECA Chapter is collecting clothing to donate to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State organization. Clothing of any size can be left on the first floor in the faculty area at the Flanagan Campus. Please label donations "Lincoln DECA, attention Jon Plante."

Film project

Did you or your family live in a triple-decker house? I am consulting on a documentary film project about triple-deckers and am seeking people who would like to be interviewed. Please contact me 825-2169 or by email.

-- Kate Dunnigan

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Do you have questions about teaching and student learning that you would like to turn into research questions and hypotheses that can be answered empirically? Join the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning faculty learning community and work with a group of like-minded faculty who are also researching meaningful questions about their teaching and their students learning. For more information and to complete an application, visit

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Human Resources
Announcement Corner

In addition to its important announcements, the Office of Human Resources wants to share good news with you on a regular basis. If you have a birth, marriage or a new hire that you would like to share with the college community, please send an email to


As part of CCRI's commitment to keeping employees up-to-date about its policies and procedures, the Office of Human Resources is asking that you to take a few minutes to review the following policies:

Both policies pertain to biweekly and part-time employees and volunteers. If you should have any questions about the Bioterrorism Preparedness Program policy, please call Dale Wetherell, director of Safety and Security, or Norm Mageau, College Police lieutenant, at 825-2109. If you have any questions about the Equal Employment Opportunity policy, please call Human Resources at 825-2311.

Open enrollment

This open enrollment period for biweekly employees provides the opportunity to make changes or enroll in the following benefit programs:

  • Medical/pharmacy
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
    • General Purpose Health Care (if no HSA)
    • Limited Purpose Health Care (if HSA)
    • Dependent care
  • Group legal insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Short-term disability

Elections or changes, including health waiver elections or changes, can occur only during the annual open enrollment period unless a qualifying status change occurs during the plan year. All new elections and all election changes will be effective as of July 1.

If you wish to make changes or enroll, please complete the form(s) no later than June 10 and submit to the Office of Human Resources. The only exception is for FSA elections; completed forms are necessary only if you want to make changes to your existing coverage or if you want to enroll in one of the above programs. Elections or changes, including health waiver elections or changes, can occur only during the annual open enrollment period unless a qualifying status change occurs during the plan year.

Plan year notes: Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, all health and FSA plans will be operating on a calendar year basis (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31). In order to align all plans on a calendar year basis, the state will be conducting a six-month "short plan year" from July 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016. There will be another open enrollment period in the fall 2016 for the 2017 plan year.

FSA notes: All current FSA participants must make a new election to continue participating after June 2016. Due to the short plan year, any elective salary deferrals for FSA plans will be capped at half of the IRS contribution limits for 2016. In other words, during this open enrollment period, the maximum FSA contribution you can make is $1,275 for health care (general and limited purpose) and $2,500 for dependent care.

HSA notes: Current participants in the Choice Plus Plan with HSA are enrolled in that plan through Dec. 31, 2016, and may not enroll in the nonHSA health plan until the fall open enrollment period for the 2017 plan year. Current or prospective Choice Plus Plan participants with an HSA may not enroll in a general purpose health care FSA and may only enroll in a limited purpose health care FSA.

The contribution limits are as follows:

  • Health Care FSA: $1,275
  • Dependent Care FSA: $2,500
  • HSA (Individual): $3,350*
  • HSA (Family): $6,750*

* If you are age 55 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000. Limits include state and employee contributions.

See the Office of Human Resources website for forms.

RIHETC Annual Summer Institute

The Rhode Island Higher Education Training Consortium (RIHETC) will hold its Annual Summer Institute on Thursday, June 30, at Providence College.

Dr. Maura Cullen, nationally known speaker and author, will present two workshops around the topic of building an inclusive campus. Cullen is widely considered one of the nation's foremost authorities on issues of diversity and inclusion. With over 30 years of experience as a trainer and keynote speaker, she has been referred to as being the best there is at simplifying the complex issues of diversity in an entertaining and educational manner.

Workshop times and descriptions are as follows:

  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - "Taking Adversity out of Diversity."
    • This honest and engaging program will inspire people to create more inclusive communities. Our biggest challenge in achieving this goal is our fear of being judged and misunderstood. This fear prevents good people from taking meaningful action. At times we are so afraid of saying the "wrong" thing that we make the biggest mistake of all, which is to say nothing. Our patterns of communication are vital to our success when exploring such explosive issues as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, disabilities, age and religion. This award-winning session gets beyond our fear of saying the wrong thing and teaches more effective and compassionate ways to connect.
  • 12:30 to 4 p.m. - "Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say."
    • We often make statements intended to be supportive or complimentary, but end up being problematic. Meant as joining statements, these remarks often have the opposite effect and end up creating a larger divide. Participants will gain knowledge of communication traps, how to avoid them and what tools to use in their place.

Biweekly employees may register for one or both of these sessions. Seats are limited, so be sure to register early. If interested, please contact Michelle O'Brien in the Office of Human Resources at 825-2311 to register.

Performance evaluations

Performance evaluation forms have been distributed to all department heads for all nonclassified and classified employees via email. Employees were emailed a letter and the Employee Preparation for Performance Review Meeting Form on April 4. All nonclassified and classified job descriptions may be viewed online. Performance evaluations should be completed and returned to Human Resources by Sunday, July 31.

VALIC retirement

VALIC retirement representative Garfield Davidson can help you develop a plan for your financial goals, dreams and life's journey. Biweekly employees who are interested in scheduling an appointment can contact Garfield at 401-413-2920 or via email.

He will be on campus and available for private consultation meetings throughout the year. View the full schedule online. Upcoming sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. according to the following schedule:

  • May 26, Room 233 at the Newport County Campus.
  • June 1, Room 2240 at the Knight Campus in Warwick.
  • June 2, Room 2229 at the Liston Campus in Providence.
  • June 6, Room 2362 at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln.
  • June 7, Room 233 at the Newport County Campus.
  • July 6, Room 2240 at the Knight Campus in Warwick.
  • July 7, Room 2362 at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln.
  • July 8, Room 233 at the Newport County Campus.
  • July 11, Room 2229 at the Liston Campus in Providence.
  • Aug. 2, Room 2362 at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln.
  • Aug. 3, Room 2240 at the Knight Campus in Warwick.
  • Aug. 4, Room 2229 at the Liston Campus in Providence.
  • Aug. 5, Room 233 at the Newport County Campus.
  • Sept. 13, Room 2362 at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln.
  • Sept. 14, Room 2240 at the Knight Campus in Warwick.
  • Sept. 15, Room 2229 at the Liston Campus in Providence.
  • Sept. 16, Room 233 at the Newport County Campus.

2016 TIAA-CREF counseling sessions

TIAA-CREF representative Dan Samson will be available for private consultation meetings from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. according to the following schedule:

Knight Campus
  • Tuesdays, July 12 and Oct. 11, in Room 3116.
Flanagan Campus
  • Tuesdays, July 19 and Oct. 18, in Room 2138.
Liston Campus
  • Wednesday Oct. 19, in Room 1134.

The one-on-one counseling session can help you sort things out and make informed decisions. Setting up a long-term financial plan can be a complicated task. The sessions involve evaluating your potential income sources and then factoring in the impact of taxes, inflation and the larger economic picture.

Biweekly employees who are interested in scheduling an appointment for one-on-one counseling can call 1-800-732-8353. Learn more about TIAA-CREF.

New hire

  • Pedro Tejeda has been hired as a lead information technologist in the Information Technology Department at the Knight Campus in Warwick.

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Last Updated: 5/19/16