September 26, 2017

Inbox [Sept. 27]: News and notes from Worcester State, MCPHS and Worcester Public Schools, Women Out in Worcester, Literacy Volunteers, Anna Maria

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From left, Sharon Davenport, Stephen DeVincent, Andrew Klein and Dennis Vanasse

Courtesy of Anna Maria College

From left, Sharon Davenport, Stephen DeVincent, Andrew Klein and Dennis Vanasse.

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Michael Sam to kick off Worcester State Diversity Lecture Series

Michael Sam, the University of Missouri football star who became the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, will kick off Worcester State University’s Diversity Lecture Series this morning.

Sam’s presentation, “From Hitchcock High to the NFL: I am Michael Sam,” will take place 11:30 a.m. today at May Street Banquet Hall, 486 Chandler St.

Michael Sam

Courtesy of Worcester State University

Michael Sam will kick off the Worcester State University Diversity Lecture Series on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Sam has become an inspirational icon for inclusion and a spokesperson for the LGBTQ community, and received ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPY’s. Sam offers the story of how he kept his sexuality a secret as a small-town Texas football star, then leveraged his personal strength to come out publicly, and the lessons he’s learned.

The Worcester State University Diversity Lecture Series is sponsored by departments in the WSU Student Affairs division. The event is free and open to the public. Public transportation is encouraged as nearby parking is limited.

MCPHS launches vision health initiative with Worcester Public Schools

MCPHS University and its School of Optometry announced the launch of its Worcester Eyes Initiative, a community public health effort that will provide eye exams and eyewear to students in need in the Worcester Public Schools. The program is a partnership between MCPHS University School of Optometry, Worcester Public Schools, Essilor Vision Foundation and the American Optometric Association.

“This program will bring improved eyesight to students in need, and equally important, it gives MCPHS University the opportunity to fulfill a vital community service mission,” said Dr. Greg Waldorf, associate dean for Clinical Programs at the MCPHS University School of Optometry.  “We are so grateful to be able to work in partnership with the schools and the Essilor Vision Foundation to provide much needed assistance to Worcester students at no cost to their families while providing important pediatric training for our optometry students.”

The initiative begins this fall and will entail an initial in-school screening. Students who demonstrate a need for a more comprehensive evaluation will then receive one at the MCPHS Eye and Vision Center. MCPHS University School of Optometry faculty and students will conduct the examinations. Students who receive a prescription will be provided free eyewear by the Essilor Vision Foundation.

The program will initially be available at the Clark Street, Grafton Street and Lincoln Street elementary schools, and Worcester East Middle School before moving to other schools within the district.

“We are most appreciative for MCPHS University and the Essilor Vision Foundation for initiating this partnership with the Worcester Public Schools,” said Maureen F. Binienda, superintendent of Worcester Public Schools. “This collaborative effort enables students access to quality eye exams and when needed, free glasses, which is a significant benefit to families. We look forward to our students learning about optometry, maintaining good eyesight, and the overall impact quality eye health will have on improving student success.”

Earlier this year, Worcester Eyes was awarded a $5,000 grant from the American Optometric Association to aid in providing any necessary translation services for students.

Third annual Women Out in Worcester Friday night

The third annual Women Out in Worcester will be held 6-9 p.m. Friday night at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St.

Photo courtesy

Mechanics Hall

Guests will be able to enjoy signature cocktails at the cash bar, a DJ, strolling magician, self-defense and fitness demonstrations, shopping, henna, giant Jenga and giant dominoes, complimentary makeup demos, card readings, complimentary crafting, a photo booth and more.

Back by popular demand is the Relaxation Room, this year sponsored by Truth Organic Spa. This space will offer women complimentary chair massages, a coloring station, a scrub station, and more.

“This is the ultimate girls’ night out,” says Charlotte Holberry, owner of Eventive, the company behind WOW. “As a busy woman, I truly understand how difficult it is to take time for yourself. I wanted to create an event for women to come with their friends, get pampered, and have a great evening!”

Early-bird tickets are $10. Tickets are $15 at the door. Women and men 18 and older are welcome.

Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite. For more information, visit Women Out in Worcester on Facebook or email

Barnes & Noble book fair to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester

Barnes & Noble will hold a two-day, in-person and online book fair, a percentage of proceeds from which will benefit Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester.

Participants can purchase books, magazines or visit the cafe Friday or Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Worcester using the special book fair code or order online. Print a voucher or order online using the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester Book Fair ID, 12210845.

Anna Maria receives $10K gift from alum

Anna Maria College has a received a gift totaling almost $10,000 from alumni Stephen DeVincent, class of 1975.

The gift provides support to purchase A Pocket Style Manual, encompassing clarity, grammar, punctuation, research and citations, for the entire incoming first-year class. The book sells for $33, and will be a staple in the academic careers of the students until their graduation from Anna Maria College.

“We are so grateful to Steve for all he has done for the Anna Maria College family. With his latest gift he has provided our incoming class with the most important book of their collegiate career,” Anna Maria College President Mary Lou Retelle said. “Students will have A Pocket Style Manual with them at all times, and will rely heavily on it for the next four years. We couldn’t think of a better, more meaningful gift to start our students out on their path to success.”

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