January 27, 2018

The Quad [Jan. 27-Feb. 3]: Four things to know from WPI, Becker, QCC

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WPI’s Seaport site set for grand opening

WPI is opening a location in Boston’s busy Seaport District, with the idea of strengthening business and research ties between Worcester and Boston while offering collaboration and learning opportunities for students and staff.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for WPI Seaport, at 303 Congress St., Boston, is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, with registration and tours.

WPI President Laurie Leshin, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Worcester Mayor Joe Petty and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are expected to attend. Students and faculty plan to showcase cutting-edge work in the areas of medical robotics, biomedical research, financial technology, user interface and user design systems, and data visualization tools.

The 6,400-square-foot space features tech suites, a state-of-the-art classroom, and flexible designs to accommodate large and small group meetings. The design features a distinct, open-style layout that fosters collaboration, team working and team building. The prominent new location places the university amid some of the nation’s leading innovators and technology companies with whom WPI will look to create innovative strategic partnerships around curricular and research opportunities, according to a statement from the school.

The plan for WPI Seaport, according to Stephen Flavin, vice president for academic and corporate engagement at WPI, is “to connect WPI’s innovation strategy with Boston’s innovation district, allowing this proximity to serve as a catalyst to foster collaborations that will drive opportunities and economic development from Boston to Worcester. WPI Seaport is a mechanism for closing the distance between Boston and Worcester — in miles and mindshare — one that leads to potential partnerships extending beyond the region.”

Flavin, in the statement, said the feedback he has received since WPI signed a seven-year lease on the space last summer indicates the WPI community finds the new location a great fit for WPI’s mission, goals and ambitions.

“The revitalization of the Seaport and the organizations that are increasingly calling it home, are very much synergistic with WPI’s capabilities — developing outstanding talent, supporting research opportunities, building multifaceted partnerships. These activities, and more, make the WPI presence in the Seaport an ideal match.”

To help further develop a “use” strategy for the location, WPI’s Seaport Advisory Group (SAG) was formed last summer. Composed of faculty, staff, and students, the group serves as a brainstorming group and a sounding board on the highest and best use of the space, Flavin says.

Help is here: QCC hosts FAFSA Day Jan. 28

Quinsigamond Community College is once again serving as a host site for the annual FAFSA Day Massachusetts.

This free event provides students and their families with assistance in helping to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is a federally required form that every student must fill out annually if they are trying to obtain federal financial aid for higher education. This includes grants, loans and Federal Work Study. More than 30 locations across the state planned to host FAFSA Day events.

QCC’s FAFSA Day event was set for 1 to 4 p.m. on the college’s main campus at 670 West Boylston St., in room 379 of the Harrington Academic Computing Center, located in the Administration Building.

Anyone applying for financial aid for the 2018-2019 academic year is encouraged to attend a FAFSA Day Massachusetts event. At QCC, over $9 million in financial aid is annually awarded, with over 50 percent of students receiving financial assistance. QCC’s priority filing deadline for grant assistance is April 1.

At FAFSA Day, QCC financial aid counselors will be available to assist students with accurately completing the FAFSA and answering any financial aid questions they might have. The school will also have Spanish-speaking staff members on hand to also offer assistance as needed.

In order to successfully complete the FAFSA, parents and students are asked to bring as much of the following information as possible (Students born before Jan. 1, 1995, do not need to bring parental information):

FSA ID, both student FSA ID and Parent FSA ID (fsaid.ed.gov); Social Security number; alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen); driver’s license number (if available); 2016 federal tax return; 2016 W-2 or year-end pay stub; 2016 untaxed income records; current bank statement; current business and investment records.

Contact QCC’s Financial Aid Office at 508-854-4261 with any questions. For additional information on FAFSA Days Massachusetts, visit www.masfaa.org.

Becker PD empowering women through self-defense

The Becker Police Department is offering a four-week R.A.D. (Rape. Aggression. Defense.) course that teaches women proper techniques and skills to ward off a potential attacker.

“We are teaching women to remove the opportunity from the victimization triangle, which consists of victim, perpetrator and opportunity. Without opportunity you cannot have a crime,” said campus police Sgt. John Bolduc.

“It’s terrible to be afraid,” he said. “By the end of the course, each individual will be able to prove to themselves that they’ve decided not to be a victim.”

The course, which is free and open to the public, will be taught by certified instructors from the Becker Police Department and will consist of classroom and practical sessions.  Participants will learn risk awareness, recognition, reduction and avoidance. The course includes drills for deploying proper self-defense techniques and a simulation of a real-life scenario.  All participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the four-week program.

Similar courses will be offered to men later this year. Becker has been offering self-defense courses to its faculty, students and the public for more than a decade.

“We’ve seen this work. We’ve been contacted by individuals who have taken the class in the past letting us know how they weren’t victimized because of the class,” Sgt. Bolduc said.

Classes will be held once a week in the evenings on the Worcester campus, beginning Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. All required classroom materials will be provided free of charge. Space in limited, and participants must be at least 13 years old. To register or for more information, contact Sgt. John Bolduc at 508-373-9552 or john.bolduc@becker.edu.

Courtesy Becker College

Becker College student Jacob Houghton created this artwork for an ArtsWorcester exhibition on an iPad Pro.

Works by three Becker students chosen for ArtsWorcester show

The creativity and talent of three Becker College students will be on display at the 14th Annual ArtsWorcester College Show, a juried exhibit of the best art coming out of the city’s colleges and universities.

Works by Interactive Media Design students Gage Domhoff ’18, Jacob Houghton ’20 and Julianne Stone ’20 were accepted into the exhibit, which was highly competitive. Only 65 works were selected out of 253 submissions.

The exhibit opens at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Aurora Gallery, 660 Main St., Worcester. The exhibit runs through March 2.

One of the pieces featured is “Dr. Paleobyte,” by Houghton, which illustrates a mad scientist who spends his time reviving extinct creatures and mixing DNA to create exotic new species. The sci-fi concept was created using the app Procreate for iPad Pro.

“All three students represent some of the best of Becker’s Game Programs,” said Scott Niemi, associate professor of Interactive Media at Becker College, in a statement from the school. “They are equally adept at the various forms of ‘traditional’ media, as well as with today’s important cutting-edge technologies. We’re very proud of them here at Becker, and know that they are on their way to great things in their respective fields of interest.”

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