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CT Baby Bonds Program Information Session at Mitchell on Feb. 12

Mitchell College hosts the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut for their public information event “Ending child poverty in Connecticut: Baby Bonds and beyond,” on Monday, February 12, 10am–noon at The Red Barn on the Mitchell campus, 629-A Montauk Avenue, New London. The program features a conversation between Connecticut State Treasurer Erick Russell and Darrick Hamilton, an economist and professor at The New School. Attorney Nilda Rodriguez Havrilla, from Connecticut Legal Services, facilitates the discussion, which focuses on how the Baby Bonds program will bring greater equity to children and families in Eastern Connecticut and help end child poverty. Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, president of Mitchell College, will give the welcome.

The program is free, but registration is required (open through February 8). REGISTER HERE

Erick Russell, in his first term as treasurer, successfully secured funding to launch CT Baby Bonds, the first-in-the-nation program to combat generational poverty. According to the CT Baby Bonds website, the program invests $3,200 on behalf of each baby born in Connecticut whose birth is covered by HUSKY, Connecticut’s Medicaid program. The funds are held, managed, and invested by the Office of the Treasurer. When a participating child reaches adulthood (between the ages of 18–30), they are eligible to claim the funds to buy a home, start or invest in a Connecticut business, pay for higher education or job training, or save for retirement. To be eligible to claim for approved uses, participants must be Connecticut residents and complete a financial literacy course. Depending on when the funds are claimed, the initial investment is expected to grow to between $11,000–$24,000.

Darrick Hamilton is the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and founding director of the Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy at The New School. He has been involved in crafting policy proposals, such as Baby Bonds and Federal Job Guarantee, which have inspired legislative proposals at the federal, state, and local levels.

Mitchell College Welcomes New Trustees

The Mitchell College Board of Trustees is pleased to announce four new members who have joined the board over the last year. New trustees include Mark Alberti, retired director at Pfizer; Kevin Coleman ’18, litigation associate at Covington & Burling; Moish Tov, CEO and chairman of JoyDew, an organization providing a path to employability, personal fulfilment, and community for autistic adults; and Marc Verbos, president of AIMCOR Aligned Distribution and executive vice president of AIMCOR Group, LLC, a national insurance marketing organization. Dr. Anne Bingham Pierson, a descendant of the Mitchell family for whom the college is named and recipient of a 2019 honorary Doctor of Science, has been named an honorary trustee.

Board of Trustees Chair Richard D’Avino said, “Along with my fellow trustees, I am delighted to welcome our four new colleagues and our honorary trustee to the Mitchell College Board of Trustees. Their breadth of expertise and desire to serve will greatly benefit the college as it continues on a trajectory of growth, solidifying Mitchell as a place of radical possibilities and powerful transformation for our students. As the college continues to distinguish itself as an inclusive and accessible institution of higher education, it will benefit from the valuable viewpoints and diverse backgrounds of our new trustees—in business, autism support, law, and with deep Mitchell connections.”

Mitchell College is committed to expanding higher education opportunities for all types of learners, recently adding three new programs: an online degree completion program in Professional Studies for adult learners; the Mitchell Hub, an online learning platform providing industry-focused credentials and professional skill-building for those seeking career entry or advancement; and the STAIRs Program (Skills Training, Advancement, and Individual Readiness), for recent college graduates needing additional guidance and support to gain independence, pursue graduate studies, or seek employment.

For more information about Mitchell College, visit

Fall 2023 Academic Honors Recipients

Congratulations to the following Mitchell College students named to the Fall 2023 Dean’s List (3.50+ GPA) or Commendable Scholar List (3.0-3.49 GPA).

Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

1. Must be a matriculated student.
2. Part-time students are eligible for commendable scholar status for every 12 calculable credits completed.
3. Must have a grade point average between 3.0 and 3.49 for the given semester (Commendable Scholar) or 3.50 and 4.00 for the given semester (Dean’s List).
4. May not have any Incomplete, Satisfactory (S), Unsatisfactory (U), Withdrawal or Failing grades for the given semester.

Dean’s List

Zhane Adams | Norwich, CT

Jocelynn Allen | Clinton, CT

Julia Alves | Portsmouth, RI

Kathryn Anderson | Chesapeake, VA

Nicholas Anderson | Madison, CT

David Arbuckle | Gales Ferry, CT

Isabella Avalos | Chino, CA

Jaileen Barber | Waterford, CT

Joshua Bar-Nadav | Narberth, PA

Derek Barrientos | Bridgeville, DE

Samuel Bellos | Waterford, CT

Jenna Bennett | Shelton, CT

Taylor Bialowas | Jewett City, CT

Jenna Blankenship | Virden, IL

Sabrina Bloise | New London, CT

Allison Blum | Garden Grove, CA

Christopher Bradley | Babylon, NY

Paige Broadbent | Binghamton, NY

Philip Burns | West Dennis, MA

Aaron Calouro | Westerly, RI

Robert Campbell | Glastonbury, CT

Grace Carey | Providence, RI

Rachel Casasnovas | West Haven, CT

Andrew Champagne | Pawcatuck, CT

Ethan Chavez | New London, CT

Jessica Cochran | Waterford, CT

Madison Cole | Westbrook, ME

Mya Colon | West Hartford, CT

Christopher Corbin | Danielson, CT

Paige Cornetta | Huntington, NY

Karissa Cotoia | North Scituate, RI

Marisa D’Agostino | Niantic, CT

Olivia DeCicco | Haverhill, MA

Ryan DeCosta | Niantic, CT

Giuseppe Del Prete | Bronxville, NY

Leandra DeLeon Mordan | Waterford, CT

Joseph DeLoria | New Hope, PA

Luke Demsey | Cheshire, CT

Matthew Dougherty | Waterford, CT

William Dreier | Barrington, RI

Zhangir Dyussenov | New London, CT

Kevin Ellis | Clinton, CT

Mahra Engdall | Waterford, CT

Jacob Faigel | Natick, MA

Michael Ficocelli | North Providence, RI

Isabel Foley | Framingham, MA

Morgan Fontaine | Killingworth, CT

Samuel Forst | Ellington, CT

Jameson Foster | Salem, CT

Morgan Frost | Brunswick, ME

Tatyana Gales | Upper Marlboro, MD

Archie Gardner | North Charleston, SC

Sydnee Gaskin | Englewood, NJ

Marybeth Gonzalez | Waterford, CT

Keeano Gonzalez | New London, CT

Jack Green | Niantic, CT

Abdullah Hadhood | New London, CT

Cameron Haefs | Cary, IL

Malaki Hart | Milford, CT

Maren Harwood | East Lyme, CT

Joseph Hayes | Stonington, CT

Robyn Higley | New London, CT

Melanie Hintz | Bristol, CT

Zoe Hull | Quaker Hill, CT

Chelsea Jackson | East Hartford, CT

Oscar Jacquot | Brooklyn, NY

Noah James | New London, CT

John Jerrild | Fairfield, CT

Sevda Kalican | Quaker Hill, CT

Asya Kerr | Groton, CT

Oliver Kerrigan | West Hartford, CT

Anna Kochansky | Bronxville, NY

Emma LaBreck | Rollinsford, NH

Matthew Ladd | Griswold, CT

Angel Ladford | Baltic, CT

Cole Lalli | Coventry, CT

Jason Landis | Summit, NJ

Gemma Landry | Lewiston, ME

Sarah Latch | Hampstead, NH

Justin-Corey Le | Norwich, CT

Julia Lent | Miller Place, NY

Alessio Liberti | Glen Rock, NJ

Christopher Llewelyn | Bloomfield, CT

Kyrsten Lucas | Manchester, MD

Christa Ellen Mancuso | Naugatuck, CT

Logan Maneri | Canterbury, CT

Sheldon Marcelin | Coral Springs, FL

Anthony Marini | Port Chester, NY

Jacqueline Mathieu | Ashford, CT

Kayla McKinney | Groton, CT

David Meiliken | Rye, NY

Alexander Moubayed | Swansea, MA

Alexander Nardone | Wellesley Hls, MA

Timothy O’Hayre | Hull, MA

Diamara Pagan | Norwich, CT

Sarah Parker | North Stonington, CT

Jennifer Peck | Glastonbury, CT

Hannah Penn | New Fairfield, CT

Autumn Pepin | Jewett City, CT

Morgyn Perkins | Bristol, CT

Robert Perry | Carver, MA

Inonda Peterson | Missouri City, TX

Austin Polak | Ambler, PA

Dontae Pollard | Fort Walton Beach, FL

Carly Potts | New London, CT

Emily Reynolds | Somers, CT

Angelia Rheaume | East Lyme, CT

Hana Rihani | Washington, DC

Emily Rizzo | Bethel, CT

Mason Rodriguez | Danbury, CT

Santiago Rodriguez | Old Lyme, CT

Cassandra Roman | New London, CT

Charlotte Rowley | Bedford, NY

Yasmine Santos | Pawtucket, RI

Emily Sargent | Westerly, RI

Joshua Scamman | Rochester, NH

Matthew Schwartz | New City, NY

Tessa Seesock | Jacksonville, FL

Ta’Naya Shaw | Edgewater, NJ

Thomas Simmons | Holtsville, NY

Logan Smith | Quaker Hill, CT

Arrianna Stark | Schenectady, NY

Steven Swiderski | Hooksett, NH

Haley Tedeschi | New London, CT

Micheal Thompson | Rio Rancho, NM

Melissa Tucker | Wilton, CT

Joshua Tucker | Warwick, RI

Paola Varela | Cranston, RI

Duneshka Vazquez | Norwich, CT

Jaden Violette | Woonsocket, RI

Joseph Volkerts | New London, CT

Nathanael Votta | Avon, CT

Alexia Watson | Stamford, CT

Haley Westfal | Lakewood, CA

Brooke Whitmarsh | Portsmouth, RI

Theodore Wolf | Bayonne, NJ

Lola Worsdale | Stonington, CT

Aliyana Wright-Thomas | New London, CT

Jacob Yoensky | Groton, CT

Commendable Scholars

Aidan Acor | Gales Ferry, CT

Ashten Adams | Scarsdale, NY

Kiara Ampuero | New London, CT

Avery Appiah | Old Saybrook, CT

Chloe Athanas | Gaithersburg, MD

Catherine Ayer | Weston, MA

Walker Baillargeon | Norwich, CT

Rafael Barreto | Norwich, CT

Harry Bernard | Goleta, CA

Rajiah Betts-Smith | Windsor, CT

Aubrey Borden | San Jose, CA

Noah-Joshua Brooks | East Hartford, CT

Aidan Buck | Plantsville, CT

Riley Callicutt | New London, CT

Wilton Causey | Worcester, MA

Brooke Clancy | East Haven, CT

Caleb Cobb | Fort Pierce, FL

Andrew Colwick | Plantsville, CT

Kaila Crawford | Pleasanton, CA

Nathan DaCruz | Seymour, CT

John David De Oliveira | Brick, NJ

Jacob Ditscher | Danbury, CT

Brady Ensko | Brockton, MA

Louis Fazio | White Plains, NY

Gabriel Fish | Needham Heights, MA

Aidan Fontaine | Mystic, CT

Nicholas Forst | Ellington, CT

Michael Gajda | New Britain, CT

Angel Galindez | Hamden, CT

Crystal Gangi | New Fairfield, CT

Joseph Garry | New London, CT

Hannah Gomes | Colchester, CT

Angel Gonzalez Deleon | Laurel, DE

Joshua Griffo | Middletown, CT

Sylvia Guerrero | New York, NY

Nicholas Gyra | Wenham, MA

Jared Hague | Cranston, RI

John Hayes | New Milford, CT

Jonathan Hecker | Arlington, VA

Hailey Hill | Jewett City, CT

Craig Jackson | Pittsfield, MA

Aidan Jacobson | Branford, CT

Halie Jennings | New London, CT

Haley Jeske | Maricopa, AZ

Elon Johnson | Davenport, FL

Liam Kane | Waterford, CT

Seth Kline | Lafayette, CA

Sean Kresge | Waterford, CT

Jessica Krupnikoff | Unionville, CT

Grace Kyle | Chevy Chase, MD

Mia Larson | Sutton, MA

Brandon Lee | Stockton, CA

Katelyn Lipsky | Plantsville, CT

Nicholas Litke | North Stonington, CT

Armando Lopez | Maplewood, NJ

Edward Lugo | New London, CT

Stephen Mallaney | Madison, NJ

Ana Matos Diaz | New London, CT

Antonio Mattucci | Huntington, NY

Jenica Mccauley-Logan | New London, CT

Lindsy McFarlane | Plainfield, CT

Kingsley McHale | New London, CT

Emma McNamara | Westfield, NJ

Sara Milkowski | Manasquan, NJ

Gaia Mourad | Venice, CA

Matthew Murphy | Ledyard, CT

Sean O’Donnell | Terryville, CT

Kristina O’Hanlon | White Plains, NY

David Pittman | New London, CT

Maxwell Pomponi | Norwalk, CT

Gregory Powell | Middletown, CT

Na’Shyia Preston | Meriden, CT

Julianna Repaci | New Britain, CT

Liam Robb | Rockaway, NJ

Kesean Robinson | Middletown, CT

Ayla Robinson | New London, CT

Kyle Robison | Branford, CT

Erik Romero | Windsor, CT

Julius Rosado | Torrington, CT

Alysson Schuyler | Groton, CT

Rahel Scully | Kingston, NH

Thai-ler Sestokas | Danbury, CT

Hannah Shelkowitz | Rhinebeck, NY

Natalie Smith | Massapequa Pk, NY

Julia Stasiowski | Manchester, CT

Nicholas Strojny | Woonsocket, RI

Daniel Sullivan | West Hartford, CT

Luke Sullivan | Shelton, CT

Grant Swick | Houston, TX

Brooke Taylor | Uncasville, CT

Charles Terni | Oakdale, CT

Lucas Thiebaut | Doral, FL

Marissa Thiel | Killingworth, CT

Christina Thompson | Oswego, NY

Ajhalae Thrash-Acevedo | Pawtucket, RI

Casey Tichy | Easton, CT

Jayeson VanBeveren | Bristol, CT

Kiersten Veenstra | Three Rivers, MI

Kevin Vining | Wallingford, CT

Raphael Vogt | Uncasville, CT

Mollie Yezza | West Hartford, CT

Robert Zirlis | Clinton, CT


Financial Aid Advisor Speaks About Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

Financial Aid Advisor Kristen Mercado presented and spoke on a panel at the 58th Annual State Convention of the Connecticut NAACP, held recently at Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Mercado participated in a one-hour seminar that centered on federal student loan forgiveness, including supporting loan forgiveness to underserved populations. Other panelists represented the American Federation of Teachers, the University of Michigan, and the Connecticut Chapter of the NAACP.

When considering federal student loan forgiveness, Mercado said students should familiarize themselves with types of loan forgiveness by checking the Federal Student Aid website (, then reach out to their loan servicer to learn more or enroll in an eligible program.

“Borrowers should know that there are currently a few different options available for federal loan forgiveness. Frequently discussed forms of loan forgiveness are the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF), and the Income-Driven Repayment Plan (IDR); however, loan forgiveness is constantly evolving based on decisions made in Congress, so borrowers should speak with their federal loan servicer to find out if they are eligible and to determine a plan that works best for them,” Mercado said.

She added, “Borrowers must have qualifying federal loans to be considered for loan forgiveness programs. The loans cannot be in default, but borrowers can work with their loan servicers to get their loans into good standing and then attempt to qualify for an eligible loan forgiveness program.”

Mercado also said the Department of Education is conducting negotiated rule-making with the hope of adding additional loan forgiveness options for borrowers in the future. She encourages students to learn more about federal student loan forgiveness through the Federal Student Aid website, by contacting their loan servicer directly, or reaching out to the financial aid office.

Students with questions about financial aid at Mitchell may contact Kristen Mercado at

Mitchell College Offering Fully Online Degree Completion Program

Mitchell College is now enrolling for the Professional Studies degree completion program to help adult learners meet their educational and career goals. Designed for students who have started—but not completed—a degree, this accelerated program offers both a 2-year (A.A.) and a 4-year (B.A.) degree. Two options are available for focused study in high-demand career tracks: (1) Business and (2) Health and Human Services.

Competitively priced and flexible, the program is 100% online and allows students to enroll throughout the year, with both full-time and part-time options. Spring I classes begin Jan. 16, 2024.

Students enrolled in this program can benefit from being with adult learners who are generally highly motivated and have life experience to draw from. Student success is supported by advisors, faculty, and staff who are experienced in working with adult learners and understand the challenges they face.

“The Professional Studies program is ideal for anyone looking to complete a degree they have already started, knowing that might give them an edge in advancing their career. In addition to knowledge gained through coursework, students will also develop transferable skills needed to succeed in the workplace, such as interpersonal and communication skills, critical and creative thinking skills, and an appreciation for diversity,” said Catherine “Cathy” Hurd, vice president of enrollment management.

Those interested in learning more about the program can sign up for an information session by visiting

Alum Offers Insights Into Graduate School

Mitchell alumna Brittney Marcucci (’20) took time out recently from her busy schedule as a graduate student to talk to a Mitchell class about her experiences in graduate school. She offered insights into finding, applying to, and thriving in graduate school to a Graduate School and Beyond class taught by Nancy Parent, Ph.D.

Marcucci always knew she wanted to go into social work. At Mitchell she got her foundation by earning a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies. An internship with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families that was part of her Mitchell degree program “opened my mind and made me realize what I wanted to do.”

Now a student at the Boston University School of Social Work, Marcucci will graduate in May with a master’s degree in social work as a licensed clinical social worker. She plans to work in a therapeutic setting with adult and geriatric clients, a group that she says is underserved. As part of her clinical preparation, she is working at the Waterford Senior Center facilitating groups and doing individual sessions.

A third-generation Mitchell College alum, Marcucci credits Mitchell College with honing her critical thinking skills and teaching her the importance of empathy—both essential abilities for the field of social work.

“Critical thinking was stressed in my classes on human development, and it helped me analyze things from different perspectives. Likewise, through the diversity that is Mitchell, I learned to be understanding, empathetic, and patient. There is such a strong sense of community and acceptance at Mitchell, and that stuck with me.”

Marcucci said that, as with anything, the transition to graduate school can be hard and you have to learn how to adjust. She urged students who are looking at graduate school to pay attention to the values and mission of an institution to make sure they align with themselves.

Similar to an undergraduate program, “finding a community in graduate school that supports you and you want to be part of is crucial to your success,” she said.