From the photo lab to the pharmacy, CCRI alumna Roques completes remarkable journey
June 3, 2022
More than a decade after beginning her journey as a Photo Specialist at Walgreens, first-generation Community College of Rhode Island alumna Michelle Roques is now behind the pharmacy counter as a Registered Pharmacist (RPh), recently accepting a new position at Anthony's Pharmacy in Providence where the one-on-one interaction with customers fuels her passion for healthcare.
The 31-year-old Providence, RI, resident and Class of 2016 graduate earned her associate degree at CCRI in Business Administration and Management, after which she decided to pursue a career in pharmacy. She remained at CCRI for the next two years to complete her prerequisites for pharmacy, then transferred to the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, where she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2021.
Growing up, Roques dreamt of a career helping others. After graduating Classical High School in 2008, she enrolled at Lincoln Technical Institute’s Dental Assistant School, but soon realized dentistry wasn’t her passion. Transitioning to customer service, Roques worked her way up the ladder at Walgreens, landing a position as a supervisor, which piqued her interest in business management.
Two years after the birth of her first child, she enrolled at CCRI to pursue her Business degree while continuing to work full time at Walgreens. During that time, a job opening for a Pharmacy Technician became available; eyeing an opportunity to get back into healthcare, Roque earned her Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) designation and began working behind the counter as a Pharmacy Tech. The new position was an eye-opener.
“Becoming a Pharmacy Tech changed everything,” Roques said. “It gave me insight into how I could do more to help people who needed it. I found my path.”
With help from CCRI’s Impact Initiatives Manager Tanekar Alexander, Roques began the process of transitioning to an entirely new career. Alexander provided sound advice, helping Roques discover what her options were for transferring in addition to carving the quickest path possible toward finishing her prerequisites at CCRI. In 2018, Roques officially transferred to MCPHS, beginning the next step in the journey to her dream job.
“Tanekar was such a valuable resource for me throughout this process,” Roques said. “No matter what I needed help with, she was always there for me.”
The path to her doctorate degree wasn’t always easy, but with support from friends, family, and her advisors at CCRI, Roques remained positive and never settled for less than what she knew she deserved, a message she hopes her three children take with them when they as they continue along their own educational paths.
“I never stopped,” said Roques, who has an 8-year-old, a 10-year-old, and a 15-year-old stepson at home. “There were times when I felt overwhelmed, but I always had the end goal in mind. You can’t quit. You can’t settle.
“You just have to be determined.”
“CCRI provided you with everything you need to take that next step. I had two kids while I was in school, so being able to take night classes while my mother or husband took care of them was extremely helpful. Even weekend classes – their flexibility is incredible.
“The professors at CCRI genuinely want you to succeed,” Roques continued. “They stay after class to help you if you need it, or their doors are always open during office hours. And the assistance they provide to first-generation college students like myself is so beneficial. I would recommend CCRI to anyone. I didn’t need to go anywhere else to finish my prerequisites. Everything is available to you at CCRI.”
In her new role at Anthony’s, she will have the opportunity to work more directly with customers, many of whom grew up in or live in the same community she did. More importantly, she’s a continuous inspiration at home, where she hopes her hard work and never-say-never attitude motivate her children to achieve greatness.
“If anything, I did this for them,” Roques said. “I want them to look up to their parents and say, ‘Wow, my mom did it and she did it while we were young. If she can, so can we.’”
Three CCRI professors earn prestigious NISOD Awards for teaching excellence
September 19, 2023
Three Community College of Rhode Island professors earned 2023 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards, which recognize individuals doing extraordinary work on their campuses. This marks the second year in a row the college has had three different professors earn this distinction.
Class of '23 graduate named one of three Gamm Theater fellows for 2023-24
September 15, 2023
After fueling her passion for theater at the Community College of Rhode Island, Class of 2023 graduate Mireya Hoffens will continue to pursue her dream this year as one of three emerging artists to join the 2023–24 Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theater’s Gamm Fellowship Program.
CCRI announces $5 million partnership with Bally's to launch gaming-focused programming
September 14, 2023
The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) today joined Governor Dan McKee, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, Majority Leader Christopher Blazejewski, and Bally’s Corporation Chairman Soo Kim to announce a $5 million donation to CCRI to develop and launch new programming in the gaming, hospitality, and security industries and to support student scholarships.
Alumni Association elects new President, Chair of Alumni Diversity Council
September 11, 2023
The college's Foundation Board and Alumni Association Board recently elected two new officers to key leadership positions on CCRI’s Alumni Association; Jeffrey C. Wright Jr. is the new Alumni Association President and Malida Khim is the Alumni Diversity Council Chair.
Getting to know Dr. Costigan: A student's perspective
September 11, 2023
CCRI student Kat Taylor attended Opening Day last month at the Warwick Campus and shares her experience interacting with Interim President Rosemary Costigan from the best seat in the house – front row center in the Great Hall – as the college's new leader addressed faculty and staff for the first time.
CCRI theatre students gain valuable insight during summertime internship
September 07, 2023
Two Community College of Rhode Island theater students are wrapping up a four-month paid internship at the Spectrum Theater Ensemble, a Providence-based theatre company showcasing neurodiverse artists.
Elissa Parente, 19, of Cranston and Jalen Rodriguez, 22, of Woonsocket, who is blind, have handled a variety of roles with STE, including marketing, publicity, social media, and even performing on stage during STE’s 4th Annual Neurodiversity New Play Festival (NNPF) this weekend in Providence.
Dr. Costigan begins tenure as CCRI's Interim President
September 01, 2023
When she first stepped foot on campus of the then Rhode Island Junior College in 1976, Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan never envisioned she’d one day serve as president of her alma mater.
Nearly five decades later, Dr. Costigan begins her tenure Friday, September 1, as Interim President of the present-day Community College of Rhode Island, becoming the first alumnus to serve in that capacity.
CCRI Dental Clinic Offering Free Appointments for the Fall
August 02, 2023
With the start of the fall semester a few weeks away, the Community College of Rhode Island is taking appointments for an array of free dental hygiene services at its Dental Hygiene Clinic located at the Lincoln campus.
The Dental Hygiene Clinic is a learning environment for dental hygiene students during each academic year where patients can schedule appointments Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, to receive free treatment from students under the supervision of a licensed dentist and dental hygienist. Patients are welcome for dental hygiene treatments every 12 months after initial completion.
CCRI Players Present Antony & Cleopatra
August 02, 2023
The CCRI Players present Antony & Cleopatra, the epic love story that moved the events of ancient empire, as part of CCRI’s Summer Repertory program at the Bobby Hackett Theatre in Warwick on August 3 – 6.
Cyber Camp Takes Over CCRI's Newport Campus
July 26, 2023
CCRI welcomed Governor Dan McKee, Newport Mayor Xay Khamsyvoravong, and Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green to its Newport Campus to learn more about the Newport Public Schools’ Cyber Camp to promote learning beyond the formal school day and beyond the traditional 180-day school year.
Business Department Chair Coclin earns Teaching Excellence Award
June 28, 2023
CCRI Business and Professional Studies Department Chair and Associate Professor Maria Coclin has been named a regional recipient of the 2023 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Teaching Excellence Award.
The ACBSP recognizes individuals each year who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom.
CCRI's Cybersecurity Program Director earns Community Service Recognition Award
June 26, 2023
Community College of Rhode Island Computer Studies Assistant Professor and Cybersecurity Program Director Michael Kelly received a 2023 Center of Academic Excellence Community of Practice in Cyber Defense (CAE Cop-CD) Community Service Recognition Award at this year’s CAE in Cybersecurity Symposium for his outstanding contributions to the cybersecurity community.
Kelly – a 2019 recipient of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award – has led efforts to increase enrollment and add new programs to the college’s Computer Studies department, securing CCRI’s reputation as a national leader in Cybersecurity education.
Updated COVID-19 vaccination policy
June 20, 2023
CCRI students and employees no longer need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of enrollment or employment, effective July 1, 2023. This means that students attending Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 semesters will not have a vaccination requirement.
Getting to Know: Carlin Weirick
June 19, 2023
Today we meet Carlin Weirick, one of the newest members of the CCRI community whose unexpected journey through the Human Resources field has led her to a rewarded career as a recruiter with a keen eye for talent.
With a diverse background in several fields, she has brought her exceptional people skills and passion for helping others to CCRI, beginning her latest journey in May as the college's new Talent Acquisition & Diversity Recruiting Manager for the Department of Institutional Equity & Human Resources.
Medication Aide/Tech training for CNAs begins next week at Newport Campus
June 15, 2023
The Community College of Rhode Island’s Division of Workforce Partnerships is currently accepting applicants for the second cohort of its Medication Aide/Tech training for licensed Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) offered at the Newport County Campus.
Classes begin Thursday, June 22. The duration of the program is 48 hours over the course of eight weeks, or two three-hour sessions per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays with participants given the option to choose 9 am–12 pm or 1–4 pm.
Chairs submit names of 1/3 of department faculty (including new hires) who are to be evaluated during academic year
September 23, 2023 All Day
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