WCC In The News
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What's new at the College? This section of Viking Voice brings you the latest news stories and press releases detailing the College's accomplishments and interaction with the community. Click on the story title to read more:

The Viking Voice - February 2018

Acunto taught me boxing, and much more: Gary Stern
Stephen Acunto had more than a passing resemblance to Mickey from the "Rocky" movies. All that was missing was the knit cap. He was a small, wiry guy, perpetually light on his feet, with a flat nose from so many punches long ago. He talked like a city kid, sort of out of the side of his mouth. Like the fictional Mickey, Acunto was a sweet guy. He still referred to boxing as a "science" and thought that the sport's discipline could help mold good men.

Peekskill 'AIMs' to Be Major Media Hub
The city of Peekskill wants to join other major cities around the country in becoming a major media hub.  Instead of making stoves and plows, Peekskill wants to be the go-to place to create media content such as film, 3-D animation, and digital arts.  Local business leaders and members of the arts industry met Wednesday to introduce a new initiative they're calling AIM '18, which stands for Art Industry Media. Its goal is to bring film production and other major media businesses to the city.

The Viking Voice - January 2018

WCC Wins Innovation Award
The Coaching Connection Program at Westchester Community College has been named as a 2017 “Innovation of the Year” winner by the  League for Innovation in the Community College (LICC).

WCC Names New Provost, Vice President Of Academic Affairs
Vanessa Morest is the new provost and vice president for academic affairs at Westchester Community College. The announcement was made Friday by WCC President Belinda Miles. Morest is currently dean of institutional effectiveness at Norwalk Community College.

Students Build Mobile Apps That Aid Westchester Seniors
Students at Westchester Community College recently created an app to help families stay connected to their elderly loved ones who are with caregivers--and to keep track of important things such as what medications were taken, what meals were eaten and what kind of pain they may have experienced.

Walmart makes $1.8 million investment in worker training
As a result of the grant, retail sector employees will begin to receive contextualized English language training through a project of the National Immigration Forum, Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce. Employees of Kroger, Publix and Whole Foods are taking part in this important opportunity to gain the skills needed to advance their careers.

The Viking Voice - February 2017

Free College Tuition Invests in Human Capital: WCC President

The president of Westchester Community College supports New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new plan to make college more accessible for the middle and working class. Nearly one million students from middle- and working-class families attending public colleges and universities in New York state would no longer pay tuition if an unprecedented scholarship plan proposed Tuesday by Cuomo makes it through the state legislature. Cuomo announced the plan at a Tuesday morning press conference alongside Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. "The American Dream lives in the state of New York and nobody is taking it away," Cuomo said. "And that's what this program is about."

Vanessa Williams Inspires WCC Students With Life Story
acclaimed actress and singer Vanessa Williams visited Westchester Community College’s Valhalla Campus. Students and faculty attended the event in the theatre of the Academic Arts Building on Feb. 2.Before Ms. Williams made her way to the stage, attendees were kept occupied by two of her music videos.The first video was of her hit single “Dreamin”. The second was her hit song, “Comfort Zone”, which made it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 R&B charts in 1991.Those are only two examples of the critical and commercial successes that have accompanied Vanessa Williams’ music career. This was made clear by the poignant and lengthy intro given before Ms. Williams’ actual appearance.The introduction listed almost every accomplishment within Ms. Williams’ repertoire. The length of the intro even warranted a small quip from Vanessa Williams herself on the fact of the matter.Once Vanessa Williams took the stage, her years of Broadway experience were in full effect. She seemed extremely comfortable on stage talking to a diverse room of people.


The Viking Voice - January 2017

Just Add One Program at Westchester Community College Wins Award
The Westchester Community College Just Add One program, which assists small businesses in their efforts to expand, has received the Workforce Program Award from the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP). The program is funded by the Westchester-Putnam Development Board. “We are proud of this recognition for an initiative which truly fits into our mission as a community college,” says Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President, Westchester Community College. “The college prides itself on its involvement in workforce development. The Just Add One project has proven to be a successful team effort.” NYATEP is a statewide workforce association made up of colleges, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), workforce development boards and other workforce associations. The annual award was presented at the organization’s conference in Albany, New York.

DSU, Westchester Community College (NY) Sign Agreement
Delaware State University and Westchester Community College of Valhalla, N.Y., have reached an agreement that will facilitate the transfer of the latter institution’s associate degree graduates to DSU where they will be able complete a bachelor’s degrees in two years.  In addition to the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in two years at DSU, the agreement also makes it possible for WCC Associate Degree in Accounting graduates to continue their academic pursuits at the University through a “2+2+1 Program.” Such students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Accounting Degree in two years and a Master of Business Administration Degree after one additional year.  DSU President Harry L. Williams and WCC President Belinda S. Miles signed the agreement on the afternoon of Nov. 7 on the Del State campus.

Prepare People for 'Middle Skill' Jobs
“Middle-skill” jobs are those that require education beyond a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. These positions may require complex and evolving communications, customer service, presentation, analytic, and computer skills. The National Skills Coalition reports that key industries are unable to find enough sufficiently trained workers to fill these positions. In New York State, 46 percent of anticipated job openings through 2022 will be in the middle-skill category. Westchester Community College, serving more than 25,000 students, is well positioned to meet the shifting regional demands of the marketplace. Fueled by our own sense of urgency in how we serve and prepare students, WCC recently participated in a ground-breaking study on the changing nature of the regional economy and the role that middle-skill jobs will play. The study, “Connecting to Promising Careers: Middle-Skill Jobs in the Lower Hudson Valley,” challenges all stakeholders to do a dramatic reassessment of the way that education and training match new and upcoming openings in the regional workforce.

The Viking Voice - November 2016

Westchester Combats Drug Epidemic With Free Public Workshop

To help combat New York’s drug abuse problem, the  Ossining Extension Center of Westchester Community College will host a training session on overdose prevention on Thursday, Oct. 27.  Senator David Carlucci and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services -- or OASAS -- is sponsoring the free, public workshop, one of many they offer throughout the area. The workshop will address how to recognize an overdose, provide rescue breathing and administer naloxone, a drug used to block the effects of an opioid overdose.  "We are happy to work with Senator Carlucci as we battle this growing issue," said Nicole Joseph, Director of Ossining Extension Center of Westchester Community College. "We think the training will be very valuable because of the county’s rising drug use."

Mercy College, Westchester Community College Receive Federal Funds to Spur STEM Education

Mercy College will receive almost $700,000 in grant funds to create a five-year program to help Hispanic and low-income students complete studies in STEM fields.  Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, announced the $696,572 grant Thursday at the Mercy College Wellness Initiative Fair.  She was joined at the announcement by Mercy College President Timothy Hall and Westchester Community College Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Peggy Bradford.

The Viking Voice - September 2016

Immigrant Whole Foods workers get schooled on English in the context of the supermarket

“I want tabouli salad,” English instructor Paula DaSilva-Michelin said to one of her students during a recent role-playing exercise.  “Do you have gluten-free bagels?” she asked another.  The vocabulary may seem unusual, but it is tailored perfectly to her class at LaGuardia Community College — which is entirely made up of immigrant workers at Whole Foods grocery stores in New York City.

The classes, which are also being offered at Westchester Community College for workers at the crunchy supermarket chain’s suburban branches, were launched this spring as part of a new project from the nonprofit-backed New American Workforce program and the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education.

Ridgefield: Scholars work with Prospects

tudents in a scholars program at Westchester Community College have been involved in a program at the Prospector Theater. Since February, the student group has developed a variety of interactive skill-building activities in conjunction with the Prospector’s Sparkle classes, designed to build social and employment skills and enhance social interaction, emotional well-being and confidence among the Prospects. It is part of the Kathryn W. Davis Global Community Scholars Program, currently in its sixth year, and co-directed by Dr. Lori Maida, SUNY professor of sociology and a resident of Ridgefield.

The Viking Voice - April 2016
New Study will Analyze Critical Job Skills Gaps in Putnam, Rockland, Westchester
Westchester Community College is starting an analysis of critical job skills gaps in the region, teaming with JPMorgan Chase, which is providing a $150,000 for the research project. WCC is teaming with regional partners such as the Westchester/Putnam Workforce Investment Board, the Workforce Investment Board of Rockland County, Westchester and Rockland Directors of Economic Development, the President of Putnam County’s Economic Development Corporation, the Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester County Association, and Rockland and Dutchess community colleges.

The Viking Voice - July 2015
WCC Baseball Enjoying National Success
For Westchester Community College’s baseball team, Tuesday’s practice session at the Game On 13 training facility was a nice break from the hectic schedule of seven games in the last six days.  With the Vikings sporting a 29-4 record at the time, along with being ranked 11th in the NJCAA Marucci Division II Top 25 poll, the camaraderie between the players, the vast majority of whom used to star at Section 1 high schools, is better than ever.

The Viking Voice - May 2015

Tech Businesses Partner with Community Colleges
As a partner in the SUNY grant consortium, Westchester Community College created a pathway program to enable people with no manufacturing experience to gain basic advanced manufacturing skills and multiple industry certifications, including National Institute for Metalworking Skills certificates. Those who complete the program are prepared for entry-level jobs in advanced manufacturing and, if qualified, they can continue their education to prepare for higher-level advanced manufacturing positions.


The Viking Voice - November 2014
White House Honors Westchester Community College Dean
Teresita Wisell, a White Plains resident and Westchester Community College administrator, was one of five people honored at the White House this week for promoting citizenship in the workplace. She is vice president and dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at the Valhalla college. In that role, Wisell oversees the Gateway Center, which hosts English language classes, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs and citizenship and civic education. Since 2011, more than 250 county residents have taken part in the center's civic education offerings. Sixty percent of those have applied for citizenship and almost all have been naturalized.

The Viking Voice - October 2014

WCC and Mastercard Team up to Support Entrepreneurship for New Americans
Responding to the changing demographics and economic opportunities in the country, Westchester Community College has launched a new pilot program to help encourage business development for new Americans. Supported by a philanthropic grant from the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, Entrepreneurship for New Americans is a pilot program that will offer immigrant entrepreneurs workshops on topics ranging from understanding legal aspects of starting a business, access to credit, English language through the college’s English Language Institute, and more.


The Viking Voice - January 2014

Westchester Community College Plans New Film Series
Westchester Community College is presenting a new film series in the Gateway Center on the Valhalla campus. The series begins in January.  Free screenings, open to the public, will take place at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in Gateway’s Davis Auditorium.  Here are the films scheduled: 

Westchester Community College Dance Company Plans Program For Kids
Danceworks, the dance company of Westchester Community College, will perform a special program for children on Sunday, Feb. 2.
  Danceworks for Children will be presented at the college at a 3 p.m. matinee in the Academic Arts Theatre. The troupe, a diverse ethnic and cultural combination of college students and alumni, is led by Company Director Mollyann Franzblau.

The Viking Voice - September 2013

Colleges eager for details on Cuomo's SUNY tax-free zones
Westchester Community College has no available office space on its main campus in Valhalla, but has plenty of room for the construction of new buildings, spokesman Patrick Hennessey said.  "We are certainly interested and would like to hear more about the governor’s plans,” he said.

Westchester Community College Starts $2.5M Renovations To Sports Fields
Construction has begun on a $2.5 million project to renovate the athletic fields and connecting roadways at SUNY Westchester Community College under the supervision of BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers.

 The Viking Voice - April 2013

Westchester Community College Prepares $103 Million Expansion Plan
With a $190 million expansion almost complete, Westchester County Community College is already working on creating a $103 million master plan to upgrade its Valhalla campus with new classrooms at a time when enrollment is near peak levels.

Fashion Show To Benefit White Plains Hospital
The event continues on Saturday, April 13th at noon with Design Wars, a design competition featuring students from the Westchester Fashion Academy for Children and Westchester Community College and benefiting Operation PROM.

Westchester Community College, State Partner To Help Immigrants
The Gateway Center at Westchester Community College in Valhalla and the White Plains-based Westchester Hispanic Coalition received grants to help serve the county's immigrants, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. The two groups were selected as "Neighborhood Opportunity Centers" and will provide free English as a Second Language instruction, free legal services for naturalization and entrepreneurial workshops for immigrants.

 The Viking Voice - March 2013

Westchester Community College Partnership Expands Local Learning Opportunities
Westchester Community College’s Center for the Digital Arts in Peekskill and SUNY Empire State College signed a memorandum of understanding this afternoon that will allow both institutions to share space, faculty and courses.

Westchester farm, college join to offer workshops for farmers
Westchester Community College and the Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm Inc. have teamed up to offer a certificate in sustainable vegetable production at the farm, located in Yorktown Heights, this winter.

The program consists of the following courses:


The Viking Voice - January 2013
Westchester Community College Brings Program to Mount Vernon Seniors
From Friday, February 1, 2013 until Friday, February 22, 2013 the Westchester Community College’s Institute for Mature Adults will be offering seniors an opportunity to learn about the beauty, diversity and traditions of Africa. For four consecutive Fridays the college will be conducting a two hour segment beginning at9:30 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m. at the Mount Vernon Armory.

The Viking Voice - November  

 Community Colleges Like WCC, RCC Offer Better Deal and Faster Career Track for Many For 22-year-old Lauren Borchert, the annual tuition at her two-year community college is not only a steal in the world of 6-figure or higher education price tags—it’s a ticket to a thriving career.  "I want to expand my mind, I want to expand my opportunities," said Borchert of Cortlandt, who has a cosmetology license, is finishing up an Associate's degree in business administration and plans to transfer to a 4-year school. "I don’t want to wind up with $200,000 in college debts like some of my peers."

The Viking Voice - October

Students to compete in Design Wars at The Westchester
If you’re a fan of "Project Runway,” "Fashion Star” or other similar reality TV competitions, you won’t want to miss the Design Wars event this weekend at The Westchester mall in White Plains.
During Design Wars, 10 students from Westchester Community College and Westchester Fashion Academy for Children, design couture dresses that members of the Junior League of Central Westchester will model on the runway. But there’s a catch. The looks will be made from shopping bags (yes, shopping bags) from participating retailers including Juicy Couture, Cache and Anthropologie.

Brewster doctor authors thrilling Tibetan tale
Polishing up his amateur photography, learning to golf, reading, playing with his grandkids, a little volunteer work at the college, spending more time at his Cape Cod retreat in Brewster, that’s how cardiologist Sanford Zevon planned to spend his retirement.The last thing he expected was to co-author a book detailing the true story of a thrilling trek through jungles and over the mountains of Nepal by a 12-year old girl fleeing Tibet. But he has.

Deferred action rules could lead to increased enrollment
A new federal policy expanding the rights of certain undocumented youths could lead to increased enrollment at some community colleges.

Westchester College To Offer New Financial Courses
Westchester Community College is offering several new, exciting and multifaceted "Financial Fitness” classes this fall.  These courses are for individuals, coping with challenging economic times, who want to implement an effective plan to change the course of their financial future and achieve their dreams.  More than sixty percent of Americans have been affected by the global economic downturn, including the affluent and those less financially secure. They face a variety of financial challenges. Some are discouraged about their financial future? Others want to become "financially fit” money managers.

The Westchester Community College Center for Financial and Economic Education (CFEE) has received renewed grant funding from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. This grant support for the upcoming fall semester, in the amount of $150,000, will enable the CFEE to expand its diverse initiatives to provide personal finance training and education to the student population, faculty members and staff, and the community at large.



 The Viking Voice - September

Westchester Community College Professor Receives Honors
Westchester Community College Professor of English Richard A. Courage (resident of Valhalla, New York) has been garnering national attention for a book he has co-authored.  Most recently, the Illinois State Historical Society announced that a Superior Achievement in Scholarly Publication award had been given to his The Muse in Bronzeville: African American Creative Expression in Chicago, 1932-1950.

Daily Sports Digest: Westchester CC Shares Conference Award
The Westchester Community College Vikings were named co-winners of the Mid-Hudson Conference all-sports award, along with Orange County CC. The award goes to the school that did the best in conference play in all sports combined.

New Program For Adults At Westchester Community College
Westchester Community College is now offering mature adults the opportunity to take courses with their peers. Starting this fall, the college will join a national effort to expand offerings to adult learners ages fifty and above


The Viking Voice - May

 WCC Graduates Second Largest Class in History
More than 1,600 men and women took a major step toward their future Thursday night in White Plains when they graduated from Westchester Community College as the second biggest graduating class in the school’s history. 

The Viking Voice - April

Westchester Community College Advances EMS Education
As a leader in the field of EMS training, Westchester Community College’s Department of Prehospital EMS takes the issue of CPR and advanced resuscitation seriously. Recent research indicates that the quality of CPR performed influences the survival outcome of patients.

WCC Creates Advisory Panel To Help College Support Entrepreneurs
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Westchester Community College has formed an Advisory Board comprised of prominent leaders and innovators from various organizations across the county. Members include Larry Gottlieb representing Westchester County Economic Development; Kim Jacobs, Community Capital of New York; Fenton Soliz, Wells Fargo; Robert Nechols, Westchester Community College; Fannie Aleman-Lansch, HSBC; Professor Scorpio Rogers, Westchester Community College; Yuval Marcus, Leason Ellis, LLC; Professor Desi Colon, Westchester Community College; Professor Richard Hyland, Westchester Community College; Peter Herrero, NY Hospitality Group.

Seven New York Community Colleges Join National Entrepreneurship Forum
 The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that seven New York community colleges have joined its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. Through the program, presidents of community colleges throughout the country commit to increase the focus on entrepreneurship at their institutions and the impact these colleges have on the economic well being of the communities they serve.

Ann Rubenzahl joins board of economic development group
Ann Rubenzahl, assistant dean of continuing education at Westchester Community College, has joined the board of directors of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. Rubenzahl oversees the college’s professional development center, is a specialist in workforce development, and has experience in adult education, corporate training and curriculum development. The HVEDC works to develop economic growth throughout the Hudson Valley.

Local Administrator Prepares Students for College
Saul Yanofsky is committed to helping students succeed, whether they are already enrolled at Westchester Community College or still in high school.  As the college's assistant dean for academic affairs, he oversees the Advanced College Experience (ACE) program to help high school juniors and seniors earn college credits by taking classes taught by certified teachers.  

 The Viking Voice - March

Westchester Students Honored with Excellence in Programming Award
In addition to its nationally-recognized academic program and grants from Con Edison and The J.M. Kaplan Fund, Westchester Community College recently earned another accolade to add to its litany of accomplishments. Students from towns including Scarsdale, White Plains and Peekskill were awarded with the 2011 Excellence in Programming Award.

5 Colleges That Help The Jobless Prepare For 3.4 Million Open Jobs
Their are signs that laid-off or underemployed workers will have an easier time acquiring new skills, in 2012. These 5 colleges are trying harder than ever to tailor their offerings towards the 3.4 million open jobs that go unfilled.

Student at Westchester Community College Joins Clubs for a Career
Stressed about choosing a career path? Join the club, says White Plains resident, Keyla Garcia. That’s just what this student at Westchester Community College did when she started there two and a half years ago. Garcia says time spent as an orientation leader, peer advisor and vice president of the Student Government Association have helped shape her post-graduate ambitions. She now plans to become an elementary school teacher or counselor.


Comtrafect To Participate in NY Biohud Valley Mini-MBA Program
ContraFect Corp., a biotechnology company based in Yonkers, will participate in New York BioHud Valley’s "mini-MBA” program. The program is part of a regional initiative to help employees of biotechnology firms develop business management skills and give the entire industry a boost throughout the Hudson Valley. ContraFect employees will enroll in a three-day program in June 2012 that offers their management-level scientists the opportunity to learn business skills.

Port Chester High School Performance Skyrockets
Port Chester High School Principal Mitchell Combs delivered his state of the school address to the Port Chester School District Board of Education on Thursday inside Port Chester High School.
"Tonight I'm delighted to report that the state of our high school is strong," Combs said in the opening of his presentation. He said that since 2004 the high school’s performance has increased dramatically across the board. Combs said there was a staggering increase in the number of students both enrolled in and passing honors, advanced placement (AP) and college level classes. According to Combs, that number has improved from 207 in 2004 to 443 last year.  "We have done this by eliminating unnecessary prerequisites, partnering with Westchester Community College and Syracuse University by offering more college level classes, and by adding AP classes where we can," Combs said

Native Plant Center Names New Director
Native Plant Center (NPC) at Westchester Community College has named Carol Capobianco as its new director. An experienced communications and conservation professional, this Peekskill resident previously worked for The New York Botanical Garden, the National Audubon Society, and Groundwork Hudson Valley.

The Viking Voice - January

 Great Books Forum Series At Westchester Community College
Westchester Community College is offering the opportunity to encounter classic and modern literature with its Great Books Forum Series beginning in February.  Along with the works themselves, discussions focus on issues of context and interpretation.

 Do You Qualifiy for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit?
Once again, Westchester County and a team of specially recruited volunteers are teaming up to help low and moderate-income people with their income tax filings, part of an effort to make sure they get the tax credits they may qualify for.  County Executive Robert P. Astorino kicked off the free program Friday at a news conference at Westchester Community College's Gateway Center on the Valhalla Campus. WCC President Joseph Hankin and Phillip Gordon from Single Stop USA were on hand for the conference. Single Stop USA, a nonprofit agency that among other things focuses on financial counseling and services (including tax preparation services) for students at community colleges, has provided a $50,000 grant to operate a site at WCC.

Westchester Community College students visit stock exchange
Members of WCC’s Global Business Club visited the NY Stock Exchange recently at the invitation of WCC Alumnus and former NYSE Trader Marc Ruppenstein. Ruppenstein, who is currently a studying at Columbia University, invited the small group to a private guided tour of the floor of the venerable exchange known for its raucous "open cry” system of buying and selling stocks.

Immigrant Students Gain Important Skills For College and Job Success
The Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE) has released a new report, Increasing Opportunities for Immigrant Students: Community College Strategies for Success, which illustrates how CCCIE member colleges are improving educational and employment outcomes for immigrant students, including increased accessibility, affordability, college degree or certificate completion, and job placements.

Put On Your Dancing Shoes 
For the past 31 years, a group of students and alumni at Westchester Community College known as Danceworks have studied together and performed for the public. Under the direction of adjunct professor Molly Franzblau, they share their knowledge with children through workshops and performances.


Credit Stu Bayer

Westchester Community College students participate in mass vaccination drill, flu clinic


In November, second-year ADN students at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, N.Y., participated in two mass vaccination drills sponsored by the Westchester County (N.Y.) Health Department.



Giving Voice to the Legions Buried in a Potter’s Field
In one drawing, Kazimierz Szymanski faces the viewer, bags of dry cleaning clutched in each hand. In another, Ben Maurer rides on a scooter, while across the gallery, Jean Jaques Maré stands with one leg crossed in front of the other, feet resting on nothing, as if he is pirouetting in the air. These images are among the works on view in "The Hart Island Project: Shades of New York,” currently at Westchester Community College’s Peekskill Center for the Digital Arts.

Harrison Library Offers Free English Courses
A beginner's English as a second language course will be available through the Harrison Public Library this month, free of charge. The course, courtesy of Westchester Community college's English Language Institute, will help locals learn basic vocabulary, grammar, speaking and listening skills.

Westchester Community College Press Releases