January 20, 2018

The Quad [Jan. 20-27]: Four things to know from WPI, QCC, Clark and Holy Cross

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Courtesy Quinsigamond Community College

QCC President Luis Pedraja speaks with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at a recent announcement outlining a new partnership between QCC and WPI.

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QCC, WPI join forces for new integrated photonics lab

Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute have been awarded a $4 million Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) grant. The money will allow the schools to support the emerging and future technology of integrated photonics through the launch of an AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP).

The lab will be housed at WPI, and is the second LEAP in the state.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito relayed the news of the award and partnership to legislators, industry and academic leaders at WPI’s campus center on Jan. 11. “This is a collaborative effort of federal partners, our state dollars and then of course here with the folks at QCC and WPI,” she told the crowd.

Photonics allows for faster transfer of data than traditional electronic circuits. The technology is used in various industries and applications such as telecommunications, data storage, flat-screen TVs, radar and autonomous vehicles.

The new LEAP facility is being developed as a collaboration between AIM Photonics, AIM Academy, QCC, WPI, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2), and the Department of Defense. The first LEAP is at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, home to AIM Photonics Academy.

These LEAP facilities are designed to be a pipeline from Boston to Rochester, N.Y. in order to foster photonics education, research and workforce development.

“What sets this (LEAP) apart from MIT is that it has a connection to a community college,” Polito said. “I’m really happy that WPI can be a catalyst along with Quinsigamond for this innovation hub of connectivity in Central Massachusetts.”

WPI President Laurie Leshin and QCC President Luis G. Pedraja spoke of the strong partnerships the institutions have shared and their excitement to help bring this technology to students and area companies.

QCC students will have the opportunity to learn how testing of integrated photonics works, in addition to enhancing their knowledge of the overarching concepts of photonics through hands-on applications at the LEAP facility. This enables students seeking an associate degree a much broader opportunity for advanced learning about photonics by working with WPI and area companies. Students will also be able to take a certificate program and have a comprehensive set of skills they can immediately use in the workforce.

The LEAP facility will be used by students from both institutions, in addition to faculty and industry partners.

To learn more about QCC’s photonics programs, visit the website here.

Clark hosts conference on King’s legacy

A conference at Clark University, “Daring to Dream Today: Education and Hope in Difficult Times,” will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20, beginning at 9 a.m. in Dana Commons, 36 Maywood St., Worcester. The conference will examine the role critical pedagogy and radical education play in the movement for justice.

The conference begins with breakfast and a plenary at 10 a.m. on “where we are today and how we got here.”

The events in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. are free and open to the public.

Two workshops will examine the role of art and healing in the movement; a third workshop will look at the relationship between Clark and the Worcester community. Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, Professor Colette Cann, and Italo Fini will convene the plenary dialogues; Lulama Moyo, Cheyenne Jones and Florcy Coyolxauhqui will lead workshops. Lunch is included.

Saturday’s daylong event concludes Clark’s two-day conference,“Radical Dreaming, King, and Intersectional Activism,” honoring King’s legacy.

The events are sponsored by Clark University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Peace Studies concentration, Hiatt Center for Urban Education, Africana Studies of the Center for Gender Race and Area Studies, Multicultural and First Generation Student Support, Community Youth and Education Studies, and International Development Community and Environment Department. For more information, call 508-421-3722.

Four decades of works on paper by Robert Beauchamp on view at Holy Cross

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross will present a representative selection of four decades of works on paper by the American artist and figurative expressionist Robert Beauchamp (1923-1995) from Jan. 25 to Mar. 28.

An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the gallery.

The exhibition, “Robert Beauchamp: Four Decades of Works on Paper,” is curated by Maurice Géracht, the Stephen J. Prior Professor of Humanities in the English Department at Holy Cross; visual arts faculty member Leslie Schomp, who teaches drawing at the College; and Roger Hankins, director of the Cantor Art Gallery.

Through the generosity of Beauchamp’s widow, Nadine Valenti Beauchamp, the Cantor Art Gallery received a substantial gift in 2016 of works on paper by Beauchamp. The exhibition traces his long career from the early days in New York to his death in 1995, highlighting a vast array of inventive drawing techniques and deep engagement with the figure, along with imaginative combinations of personal symbols and narration.

A number of lectures and special events that will take place during the run of the show are in the planning stages. Information will be posted to the Cantor Art Gallery’s website and through social media as details are confirmed.

Holy Cross ranked No. 13 ‘best value’ liberal arts college by Kiplinger

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine has ranked the College of the Holy Cross No. 13 on its list of the top 100 best values in liberal arts colleges, and No. 25 on its list of the top 300 best values in all colleges in the country for 2017. Introduced in 1998, the rankings highlight public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.

Kiplinger ranks more than 1,200 four-year public and private schools. The outlet assesses quality according to measurable standards, including the admission rate, student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

Last year, Holy Cross had a four-year graduation rate of 89 percent; good for fifth in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The average starting salary for 2016 graduates was $50,534.

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