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Alumni Ambassadors
Spreading the Word
It’s a well-known fact at Charter Oak
that a vast majority of our students
hear about the College through
word of mouth from our alumni.
One reason is that our graduates are
extremely happy with their Charter
Oak experience – 97 percent report
being satisfied or very satisfied with
their Charter Oak State College
program. Given this, who would make
better spokespersons for the College
than our alumni?
Last year we launched the official Alumni
Ambassador Program and today have
scores of alums who have committed to
Charter Oak – Advancing the Workforce it. As a volunteer Ambassador, you can
invest as much or as little time as your
By Nancy Taylor, Assistant Director of Alumni their employers with information about schedule allows. Among the important
Relations and Corporate Recruitment the Corporate Partnership program. roles Ambassadors have played that
As a college whose mission is focused We find that employers are frequently have proven extremely valuable to
on advancing the nation’s workforce, unaware of the many advantages an Charter Oak:
Charter Oak is interested in working online institution, like Charter Oak, • Serve as an email contact for
closely with the employer community is able to bring to their employees prospective students who have
to assist in meeting employee and, in turn, to their businesses. specific questions about Charter Oak
educational needs. One important However, the response of employers is degree programs and the positive
means through which the College feels usually very positive when they learn effect your own degree has played
it can best identify businesses whose about Charter Oak’s affordability and in advancing your career.
workforces may benefit from Charter convenience and the College’s ability
Oak’s Corporate Partnership programs • Attending a college-sponsored
to increase employee contributions to
is our valued alumni. Our graduates event at a location close to your
their organizations through advanced
who consistently recommend the home to welcome and encourage
College to their fellow employees often prospective students to investigate
Such has been the experience of Charter Oak degree completion
approach us asking that we contact
businesses currently participating in programs.
continued on pg. 3 continued on pg. 5

2 The President’s Take

Let’s get adults their
college degrees!
4 Alum Profile
From small town girl
to Big Town success
5 Alums Steppin’ Out
Events to enlighten,
6 Your New
Online Shop
Products galore for your
8  Alumni Spotlight
Alums share their news,
shopping enjoyment
Let’s Get Adults their College Degrees! former institutions and earning a bachelor’s degree through
…a Plan for Scalable Adult Degree our credit aggregator program, or it may entail taking our
Attainment online courses and/or earning college credits through our
President Obama has established a prior learning credit assessment process. Charter Oak offers
national goal of leading the world adult students many paths to a college degree.
with the highest proportion of Since this work is at the core of our mission, this project
college graduates by 2020. He has will not cost the state additional dollars. What it will
made this a major goal of the United require is that public higher education work together
States because new jobs require to identify students with credits but no degree and
new skills which are often obtained through higher then help them find the most efficient and cost effective
education. Between 1999 and means to degree completion.
2007, the United States increased Since Charter Oak’s approach
its percentage of adults with a
bachelor’s degree from 27.5% to
“…we are equipped to provide encourages learners to use a
variety of means to gain missing
30.9% – an increase of only 3.4 the most efficient, flexible path to credits – including portfolios,
percentage points. This is the
lowest percentage increase of
degree completion.” testing, courses/credits from
Connecticut institutions and our
any of the countries in the top own distance learning courses –
ten using this metric. (Source: we are equipped to provide the most efficient, flexible
Organization for Economic path to degree completion.
Co-operation and Development, 2009).
Connecticut is fortunate to have Charter Oak State
In response, the Lumina Foundation has challenged the College, whose mission for the past 37 years has been
nation to empower 60% of its working population with a adult degree completion. Over the decades, we have
bachelor’s degree. They believe that this goal can only be successfully credentialed more than 11,000 working adults
accomplished if we bring adults with college credits but no nationwide. Charter Oak successfully meets the needs of
degree back into higher education. Toward that end, they all students it serves. Minority and non-minority students,
have funded a series of proposals that promise to identify for example, achieve their college degrees at similar rates.
and credential such adults. Lumina’s idea is to approach We believe this is because we have reduced the effects
this problem at scale rather than on a student-by-student of time, cost and logistics for students taking our online
basis. For example, Minnesota has started a program to courses. Our course completion rate is more than 85%.
assist individuals with partially completed degrees to finish Ninety-seven percent of our graduates are very satisfied or
their degrees. Minnesota state colleges and universities will satisfied with their Charter Oak experience. According to
create the RAPID Completion Program that will increase the Connecticut Department of Labor, 82% of Charter Oak
re-enrollment, degree progress and degree completion graduates living in Connecticut have employment, 96% are
among former system students who did not earn degrees. retained for six months or longer and earn an average of
The system has identified about 160,000 former students $1,057 per week.
who attended college in the last 10 years and already have
Charter Oak is positioned to help adult students earn
15 or more credits. (Source: Lumina Foundation).
their college degrees and to help Connecticut expand
Charter Oak State College, Connecticut’s public on-line its economy. As our new vision statement says, we are
college, can be part of the solution to this challenge. We “A dynamic community of online learners advancing
propose that Connecticut ask its public higher education the nation’s workforce one graduate at a time.” We look
institutions to identify students who have left those forward to working with the Connecticut higher education
institutions during the past five years with 60 or more community to meet the needs of Connecticut.
credits but no degree. Charter Oak will write to each of
these adults and offer them a plan to achieve the degree
they never finished.
Charter Oak would work with these adults to develop an
academic plan allowing them to complete their bachelor’s
Ed Klonoski
degrees. This may entail taking courses on ground at their

Greetings From Your Alumni Association…
Happy New Year! In addition to these new
The Charter Oak Alumni Association benefits, the Alumni
is gearing up for a very exciting year, Association is gearing
having come off a tremendous second up for more social and
half of last year. We added 35 alumni career- enhancing
to our official “Ambassador” roles, events in 2011. Last year
and several have already represented we partnered with the
Charter Oak at various events around Student Association
the country. Two new Board members to bring three experts
joined the Alumni Association – Lisa to the College to talk
Wildman, of Connecticut, and Mary about making the
Jo Betzen, a Texas resident. Both have most of your Charter
hit the ground running! (See article, Oak experience as it
page 10). We were sorry to lose board relates to the changing
member Ruth Kenneth Barbieri to other job market. This event
personal commitments, but want to was webcast to alumni Guiding the Charter Oak State College Alumni Association are its president,
thank her for her stellar service to the around the country. We’re Carlo Esidore, and Nancy Taylor, the College’s Assistant Director of Alumni
Association. currently formulating Relations and Corporate Recruitment.
plans for a social ‘night-
For only $15 a year you can become out’ in Connecticut with via email. If you have not already given
an Association member and support dinner and theatre, and are in initial us your current contact information
your alma mater. Alumni Association planning stages for a number of career and would like us to remain in touch
membership provides many benefits, networking events. with you, please send it to: http://www.
including two recently added:
We hope you will seriously consider
the Charter Oak Career Center at and Mechanic on Duty. membership in the Alumni Association Here’s to a great 2011! is a national job search to help support Charter Oak and
and career enhancement Web site with the events we’re planning which are
hundreds of thousands of current jobs designed to benefit all alumni. Also, Carlo Esidore
available exclusively to Charter Oak if you would like to join the Alumni President, Charter Oak State College
Alumni Association members. Mechanic Association Board, we are always ready Alumni Association
On-Duty is a roadside assistance and car to welcome you from wherever you
Nancy Taylor
repair information center. may be around the globe.
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations
(For membership information and Finally, we recently updated our and Corporate Recruitment
registration, please visit http://www. database with current alumni addresses,, and click the emails and phone numbers and have
Membership box at the top of the page. developed a system that allows us
A membership package will be mailed to expand our capability to provide
to you.) updated information about the College
Issued semi-annually by the Board for State
“Advancing the Workforce” continued from pg. 1 Academic Awards for alumni and friends
of Charter Oak State College.
Charter Oak’s rewarding Corporate agencies. If you feel your employer
Partnership program. The College’s low would benefit by establishing a learning
tuition, for example, results in greater partnership with Charter Oak, please
economy for both the employee-student don’t hesitate to contact me at
and those organizations that offer tuition I will quickly
reimbursement programs. respond to your inquiry! Chuck Albert, Editor
State of Connecticut
Among entities active in the Corporate A Charter Oak corporate partnership is Dannel P. Malloy, Governor
Partnership program are hospitals, health a win-win for all – you, your employer Board for State Academic Awards
care organizations, financial services and the College. Ed Klonoski, Executive Director
companies and law enforcement

alumni profile Meet
Donna Betancourt

Donna is a small town, New England to the Web design business. From that
girl whose self-cultivated, technology- evolved the Web hosting, computer
influenced talents have taken her to training and video production aspects
the Big Apple where she serves the of her enterprise. Employing the talents
diverse communications needs of of her team of independents, she
corporations, small businesses and recently completed her first feature
individuals through her company, film, shot on location in New York City’s
Silver Cheese Productions & Media. Central Park.
What effect did her Charter Oak Professional photography and the
experience have on her career? precise art of photo restoration are also
“Enormous,” Donna emphasizes. “I was among the services Donna provides.
married and had a family, so earning Her Web site –
a degree was a huge task. I really had – reveals a great deal more about this
Donna Betancourt no time to pursue a traditional college multi-talented Charter Oak alum.
education, but Charter Oak’s unique Donna says she is unhesitating in
approach to degree completion made recommending Charter Oak to
Web Designer, Web Hoster, Computer it work for me. What I gained from people she meets whose professional
Trainer, Video Producer, Photographer, my business oriented curriculum advancement is dependent upon a
Photo Restorer… enabled me to go on to earn my bachelor’s degree. “It’s the least I can
Whoa!! How does one person manage master’s in Film and Broadcasting and do to give back to the institution that
to manage a career that involves such to make a smooth transition from opened the door to success for me.”
a multitude of undertakings? small town-based author and self-
defense instructor to New York City (NOTE: If you are interested in sharing your
“It’s a team effort,” responds Donna success story with your fellow alumni,
Betancourt who completed a please contact Nancy Taylor – Charter Oak’s
concentration in Business to earn her Prior to her move to the big city, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations –
Charter Oak bachelor’s degree. The Donna authored two books, taught and let her know. She can be reached via
‘team’ to which she refers is a group at prestigious Smith College and e-mail:, or by
of New York City-based independents lectured on the subject of self-defense telephone: 860-832-3863).
who merge their individual creative for women at numerous corporate
skills in response to the marketing sites. But it was the fascination of new
needs of a high profile clientele. computer technology that lured her

President Klonoski Is Blogging Online – Invites Your Comments

Charter Oak President, Ed Klonoski, opportunity to respond to and
has taken to blogging. He has comment about Ed’s thoughts and
addressed a variety of interesting theories. You’ll find a portfolio of
College-related subjects and issues his blogs at charteroakpresident.
surrounding higher education, in Take a look at
general, in a series of blogs we think your leisure, and post your
you’ll find thought provoking. The thoughts about what the president
online blog site gives you has to say.

Alumni Association Sponsors Career, Social Events
As the Charter Oak Alumni Association
expands, we are constantly in search
of new ways to provide services to our
alumni. In November, the Association
partnered with the Student Association
to bring a distinguished panel to the
college to discuss the changing job
market. The event, held at the college
and webcast nationally, drew on the
expertise of Dr. Jay Mulki, Assistant
Professor of Marketing at Northeastern
University; Patrick Flynn, Human
Resource Manager, Career Resource
Center, at The Hartford; and Lisa
Wildman, a 2010 Charter Oak graduate
who is employed by IBM.
Each speaker addressed the challenges
of the “new workplace” focusing on the
skills required of the many employees
who, today, work remotely from their
homes. The good news for current and
former Charter Oak students, according
The Alumni Association’s Board of Directors – seated (l-r), Midge Pych, ’06; Carolyn Brown, ’03; Lisa Wildman, ’10;
to the experts, is that skills acquired standing (l-r), Karianta McCaw, ’07; Marcia Anderson-Esson, ’02; Eddie Rodriguez, ’04; Assistant Director of Alumni
through a remote (online) education Relations, Nancy Taylor; Association president, Carlo Esidore, ’05; Charter Oak president, Ed Klonoski.
will prove beneficial in the new
workplace environment.
legendary Goodspeed Opera House survey you’ll find at www.charteroak.
The Alumni Association has also located in East Haddam, CT. edu/connections.survey. Your Alumni
scheduled a spring social event that Association welcomes all suggestions
will bring alumni, faculty and staff We would very much like your input
as we make plans for future alumni that contribute to strengthening
together. The April 29 gathering will our organization and improving the
include dinner and a performance of events. Please take a moment to share
your ideas with us in the online alumni services we provide you.
the musical My One and Only at the

“Alumni Ambassadors” continued from pg. 1

Skip Callahan, a 2010 Charter Oak obligations with going to school,” held at U.S. military bases and related
graduate, recently attended a observed Lisa, “and I was glad to be the positives of Charter Oak online
business expo in Connecticut and able to tell them how I managed programs to active duty personnel
spent time at the Charter Oak table working full time, my family and considering degree completion.
talking with prospective students my education. The flexibility of As an Alumni Ambassador, you need
about his experience as a Charter Oak the Charter Oak program made not be an expert on the technical
student. Said Skip, “I never realized it all possible, and if sharing my aspects of online learning. The need
how my experience of returning to experiences helps other women is to share your personal experiences
college more than 20 years after I make the decision to complete their with prospective students. If
started could help others make the degrees, then I’m pleased to do it.” you are interested in becoming
decision to return to college. “ The College is often invited to events an Alumni Ambassador for your
Lisa Wildman, also a 2010 graduate, across the country, and Ambassadors alma mater, please contact Nancy
attended a Women’s Expo and had have attended in many locations. Taylor, Assistant Director of Alumni
a similar experience. “Many women For example, our grads with military Relations and Corporate Recruitment
have fears about balancing family backgrounds have visited college fairs at

‘Online Shop’ Is Popular Web Destination
It appears that Charter Oak alums... twill shirts. All clothing is available
and their families...are enjoying the in a variety of colors and sizes. Other
products offered in the College’s new appealing Shop items include carrying
Online Shop. Visits to the year-old bags, mugs, coasters and window
shopping spot ( decals, each sporting the Charter Oak
have far exceeded expectation. logo.
Winter oriented shop items (for those The Shop now inventories a much-
attempting to survive this season’s in-demand item – a handsomely-
onslaught of white stuff and sub- designed, richly-appointed diploma
normal temperatures) include long- frame that allows you to proudly
sleeve fleece jackets and vests; hooded display your Charter Oak diploma at
and non-hooded sweat shirts (see home or at work.
accompanying photo); scarves, hats
and blankets – all bearing the Charter If there’s a specialty item you’d like
Oak name and/or logo. inventoried, let us know by e-mailing We will make
Looking ahead to warmer weather, an effort to add it to our exciting
the shop features such clothing as product lines. Check it all out at
men’s and women’s micro-fiber and
soft-shell jackets, golf and T-shirts and

WIT Program Bolstered By New Grants

Several generous new grants, targeted WIT program provides cost-free use
for Charter Oak’s successful Women of laptops and Internet access to all
In Transition (WIT) program, were participating students. More than
recently received by the College. 100 women have taken part in the
The WIT initiative, which provides program since its inception in 1999.
single mothers in low-paying jobs Grants additionally provide financial
the opportunity to complete their support for tuition, fees and textbooks.
college degrees online, has received To qualify for the WIT program,
new support from the Women & Girls’ participants must be single mothers
Fund at the Main Street Community who have earned a minimum of 21
Foundation, headquartered in Bristol, college credits prior to matriculation
Connecticut. The grant will be used at Charter Oak. They must additionally
to further assist women who reside meet federal student financial
in specified Connecticut cities and requirements and be prepared to take
who currently participate in the WIT a minimum of two courses during
program. the fall and spring semesters and one
Additional grants have been received summer course.
from Hartford Foundation for Public The College and its WIT program
Giving, the Leipold Foundation, students are most appreciative for the
and the Daphne Seybolt Culpeper interest organizations and individuals
Memorial Foundation, Inc. Each has have shown through their grants
provided funding in the past. Grant and donations. If you would like to
dollars will be used to purchase new make a personal contribution to the
laptop computers for WIT students, Charter Oak State College Foundation’s
for computer maintenance and for WIT-Endowed Fund, please visit
student access to the Internet. The

Charter Oak Hosts Jenzabar User Group Meeting
Your alma mater served as host for representing 25 institutions of higher
a recent Jenzabar New England education, spent a productive day
Regional User Group gathering at of information sharing, learning and
Wheelock College in Brookline, networking. A Charter Oak contingent
Massachusetts. Jenzabar, Charter of 13 attended. Three of the College’s
Oak’s student database, is software IT professionals led informative break-
designed to support institutional out sessions.
success by optimizing administrative Michelle Way, Charter Oak’s Assistant
operations and business processes Director of Student Information
at colleges and universities. The Systems, served on the committee
software is further geared to responsible for organizing the
delivering enhanced results in meeting. She is a member of the
student enrollment, retention and Jenzabar Advisory Board that Michelle Way, Charter Oak Assistant Director of
advancement rates. Student Information Systems
manages the organization’s business
The meeting’s theme was ‘Connect- affairs.
Collaborate-Commiserate.’ One
hundred twenty-five attendees,

Call For D’Amato Graduate Studies Get Your Charter

Award Applications Oak Class Ring
Charter Oak State College is currently how to apply and to request an award Alumni interested in purchasing
accepting applications for the 2011 application, e-mail mwoodman@ a class ring should contact
D’Amato Graduate Studies Award, a or call 860-832-3876 Josten’s representative,
$600 cash award presented annually or send a stamped, self-addressed Steve Fitzgerald. He can be
at the College’s June commencement envelope to:
exercises. To be eligible for award
reached directly by e-mail –
D’Amato Graduate Studies
consideration, you must hold a
Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak bachelor’s degree, must 55 Paul J. Manafort Drive or by phone at 401-683-5675.
be a Connecticut resident and have New Britain, CT 06053-2150.
been accepted into an accredited
The application submittal deadline is
graduate program at the time you
March 31, 2011.
apply. For detailed information about

Leave A Legacy
As Charter Oak State College strives the future of the College and assist Please contact the Foundation
to sustain its leadership role in us in fulfilling our commitment to through the office of Charter Oak
adult higher education, we look to our mission and to our students. Your President, Ed Klonoski – 860-832-3876
our alumni and friends to lend a generosity is also a way of expressing – to discuss your bequest.
helpful and caring hand. By making your appreciation to the institution For additional information about
a charitable, tax deductible bequest that has made a positive impact upon the Foundation and its scholarship
to the Charter Oak State College your life and career. Gifts of any size programs, please visit the new
Foundation, you will help provide are important, and we hope that, in Foundation Web site –
the resources required to preserve your own way, you will leave a legacy.

Donna Marie Waranowicz-Foss has
earned her second graduate degree,
an MS in Science for Human Services
(Clinical) from Post University. She
had previously received a master’s in
Organizational Management from the
University of Phoenix.

John Griese reports that he received
1983 1999 his master’s in Astronomy in 2006 from
Dr. Bradford Howard, Jr., who received Colleen Kruger, who earned a master’s James Cook University in Australia and
his doctorate in Ministry from the degree in Education from Endicott that he is currently working on his Ph.D.
North Carolina College of Theology, College in 2008, has been named thesis at the same institution.
has embarked on a career as a writer Director of Continuing Education and
and performer of gospel music. He Community Engagement at Central 2004
recently received a Gospel Media Music Connecticut State University. Stephanie Galindo has been awarded
Achievement Award in recognition of a master’s degree in Education by
his first CD. He has since completed 2000 American Intercontinental University
seven additional CD projects and has Peggi Camosci has fulfilled a dream and, to date, has earned 18 units of
established his own record label. fifteen years in the making. After subject area credit in Management
working for a local school systems at Aspen University. She currently
1990 for several years, she has opened a co-teaches a writing course for Ph.D.
Lawrence Gilpatric currently serves as tea room – Tea Roses – in the town of students and serves as Dean of
a professor of Hospitality Management Cromwell, CT. Students at a college in California.
and as Chair of the Department of Earlier this year, she was accepted into
Business Technology at Summit College Bob Wilson received a promotion to a doctorate program in Educational
at the University of Akron (Ohio). Service Manager of an information Leadership and Learning. “If it wasn’t
He had previously been an assistant technology company two months after for…Charter Oak…I may not have even
professor at Connecticut’s Gateway earning his Charter Oak degree. He begun this journey,” she tells us.
Community College. currently oversees a department of
32 employees. 2005
1997 Forrest Adams, who resides in
Ann Bidou has co-published the book 2001 Chanhassen, Minnesota, gave birth
Career Match. The book, which has John Hiller has entered the master’s to her second daughter, Anika, in
been translated into Chinese and is degree program in Liberal Studies at August. She is a community journalist
about to be translated into Vietnamese, Albertus Magnus College. and serves as a teaching assistant at
has won a Shomaker Award for Best
Research in the Sharp Writ Book Awards 2002 St. Paul’s Metropolitan State University
where she is also seeking her master’s
competition. Robin Smith teaches Radiology at
two Connecticut hospitals – Danbury degree in Technical Communications.

Albert Schmid was granted the title Hospital and St. Vincent Hospital in
Daniel Maver has graduated from the
‘Professor’ by the Academic Rank Bridgeport. She is currently pursuing a
Ross University School of Medicine.
Committee of Louisville, Kentucky’s master’s degree in Human Services with
Sullivan University. He serves as Chair of a certificate in Forensic Science. Robin 2006
that college’s Beverage Management, has referred a number of her colleagues Robert Eads has been appointed City
Hotel-Restaurant Management and to Charter Oak and serves as an Manager of Del Rio, Texas. He supervises
Hospitality Management departments. enthusiastic member of the College’s the activities of all city departments
“I won a Gourmand World Cookbook Alumni Ambassador program. that include more than 450 employees
Award for Best Book on Cooking with and oversees an annual budget of more
Wines, Beers and Spirits in the USA,”, than $80-million. He had previously
Albert tells us. “This means I am up for served as Del Rio’s Acting City Manager
the Gourmand World Cookbook Award and as Vice President of Operations/
for Best Book on Cooking with Wines, Chief Operations Officer for the Laredo,
Beers and Spirits in the World.” Texas Chamber of Commerce.

Dee Marvin Emeigh writes that she Michael Savage tells us that he has CORRECTION
has completed dual MEds in Reading earned his master’s in Education, with In a previous issue of ‘Connections’ we
and TESOL Literacy at Delaware’s distinction, from National University incorrectly noted that Marcia Anderson-
Wilmington University. She taught and has received his California teaching Esson, Class of 1993, had been elected
English for three years in a Delaware credential. He intends to teach in the president of the Lions Club of Windsor,
school system before taking a position Los Angeles Unified School District. CT. The organization should have been
as a high school reading intervention While awaiting an opportunity to do so, identified as the Greater Hartford West
teacher. She also serves as an adjunct he serves as an associate producer for a Indian Lions Club.
instructor in Wilmington University’s local television station.
Graduate Reading Education program.
Matthew Friedman is pursuing his Jason Coon has e-mailed us from
Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at Asbury Littleton, Colorado that his experience
with Charter Oak was unforgettable; Board Member, 1998-2009,
Theological Seminary.
that he promotes online education and and Honorary Trustee,
Alexandra Zisimos Lopez earned her Charter Oak State College every time he Charter Oak State College
MA in Educational Studies from Western has the opportunity. Foundation
Governors University and has begun
pursuit of a second master’s degree at 2009 E-mail Helps Us Keep
that institution. Joseph Herrmann has been accepted to
England’s University of Leeds where he In Touch With You
2007 will pursue his master’s degree online. E-mail allows us to communicate news
Daniel Klein is enrolled in New York His focus is on Asia Pacific Studies. of interest to our graduates more
University’s School of Dentistry and He cites Charter Oak and its faculty frequently than we are able to through
will graduate in May, this year. His as the catalysts for his educational this Connections newsletter which is
intent is to work in the area of pediatric achievements. published twice annually. Our e-mail
dentistry. Daniel says he would gladly
respond to inquiries from other Charter 2010 database is fully protected and is used
only to communicate with alumni. If you
Oak graduates and current students Jason Shearer writes that he has
have recently established a first-time
considering careers in medicine. received a job promotion as a result
e-mail address or changed your old e-mail
of his having completed his degree at
designation and would like to share it
Audrey Schoenfeld has furthered her Charter Oak. He has also been admitted
with us, please submit your information at
education with additional graduate to the Professional MBA program at the
studies in the field of psychology and University of Utah.
We would also like to update new postal
expects to soon become a certified
addresses and phone numbers, both
life coach with iPec, the Institute for
‘Home” and ‘Work,’ if they have recently
Professional Excellence in Coaching.
changed. We eagerly look forward to
receiving your new information.


We’d like to hear from you about promotions, graduate degrees, awards, marriages, births, and other significant successes in your life.
We’ll publish your news in the next edition of Connections. Please use the form below, or drop us a note. Send to: Alumni News,
Charter Oak State College, 55 Paul J. Manafort Drive, New Britain, CT 06053-2150 – or e-mail

Your name and address ___________________________________________________________________________________

E-mail address____________________________________ Class of _______________________________________________
My news ______________________________________________________________________________________________
Foundation, Alumni Association Name New Board Members
Two prominent business figures have staunch supporters to its Board. Lisa
been newly-elected to the Charter Wildman (’10) is a Senior Contracts and
Oak State College Foundation Board of Negotiations Specialist in the Legal
Directors. Department of IBM where she has
For the past four years, Patrick been employed for the past 14 years.
Martin (’09) has served as Director She had previously owned a fitness
of Information Technology at the business that specialized in programs
Village for Families and Children in for seniors. While matriculating at
Patrick Martin Hartford, CT. He has worked in the IT Charter Oak, she was the student
field for 15 years and possesses strong representative to the Board for State
project management skills that will Academic Awards and is currently
prove valuable during his tenure as a alumni representative to that Board.
member of the Foundation Board. Texas resident, Mary Jo Betzen (’05),
Charter Oak Alumni Association has also joined the Board of the Alumni
president, Carlo Esidore (’05), will Association. Following her graduation
serve as the Association’s new from Charter Oak, she maintained a
representative to the Foundation 4.0 GPA while earning her master’s
Board. After receiving his Charter Oak degree in Administrative Leadership
Lisa Wildman from the University of Oklahoma. She
degree, Carlo went on to earn an MBA,
online, at Plymouth State University has committed to serve on the Board
and received a Certificate in Teaching as her way of giving back to her alma
and Learning from Norwich University mater. She cites Charter Oak for the
(VT). He serves as an IT Operations contribution it made to furthering
Demand Manger with the Hartford Life her education. “The College,” she
Insurance Company and is an adjunct observed, “offered the online flexibility
professor at Charter Oak teaching that allowed me, as an on-the-move
courses in Training and Development. military spouse, to earn my degree.”

The College’s Alumni Association,

Mary Jo Betzen
meanwhile, has welcomed a pair of

Plans for New Master’s Program Taking Shape

A brief reference was made in a The program targets individuals history of Charter Oak State College,”
previous issue of Connections of plans who work in management and said College Provost, Dr. Shirley Adams.
to introduce a new master’s program at supervisory positions and will integrate “We believe the program will prove
Charter Oak with a tentative start date management theory and practice as of value to many of those who have
of Fall, 2011. The College has submitted they apply to complex organizations. earned Charter Oak bachelor’s degrees.”
the graduate program proposal to the The master’s degree coursework will Charter Oak alumni and others
Connecticut Department of Higher help students develop proficiencies in interested in learning more about
Education and is awaiting its review. assessment, leadership and research the graduate program should
Once DHE approval is received, the and is designed to build interpersonal contact Dr. Adams via e-mail –
proposal will go to the New England and team skills. – or by
Association of Schools and Colleges, “We have worked with our academic phone: 860-832-3836.
Charter Oak’s regional accrediting team and faculty to shape the content
agency, for its approval. The College of the master’s program that we
will be in a position to offer the feel will meet the needs of the adult
master’s program once approvals are market and eagerly look forward to
received. establishing a new milestone in the

Matriculated Student Count Continues to Climb
Charter Oak’s matriculated student
Some interesting facts about Charter Oak students:*
population continues to grow. The
number of students enrolled in > 65% are female; 35% are male.
Fall, 2010 classes reached 2278. The > The average student age is 39 – the youngest matriculated student was
College’s administration attributes 17; the eldest, 72.
the increase in adult learners to
> 69% of students resided in Connecticut; 31% were out-of-staters.
several factors including expansion of
the number of online courses offered, > Individual Studies, Liberal Studies, Business, Child Studies, Psychology and
the development of innovative Health Care Administration represented 74% of student areas of study.
outreach programs, increased > 97% of the members of the class of ’09 were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with
marketing and public relations their Charter Oak experience. (Compilation of similar information had not
activity, ongoing Web site content been completed for the class of 2010 at Connections publication time).
addition and refinement, and the
superb job alumni, nationwide, are * Based on information available through November, 2010.
doing to promote the institution.
Charter Oak, to date, has awarded Charter Oak bachelor’s degrees
11,014 degrees to students in all 50 have gone on to master’s programs
states and 10 foreign countries. The in more than 250 U.S. and foreign
results of graduate surveys indicated colleges and universities.
that nearly 50% of those earning

Alumni Recruit On Behalf of the College

Chat Rooms, New Video, Feature Richard Riggs; Charter Oak
Charter Oak Grads Alumni Association president,
Alumni have become an integral part Carlo Esidore; businessman
of Charter Oak’s successful student Jeff Sorrell; IBM contracts and
recruiting efforts. A recent online ‘live negotiations specialist, Lisa
chat’ invited current and prospective Wildman; Texas resident and
students to present questions graduate of the University of
about the College, its programs, the Oklahoma MBA program, Mary
current workforce environment and Jo Betzen; accountant/attorney,
related subjects to a panel made Kathie Sumrow; and Steve
up of Charter Oak graduates who Foerster, a writer and consultant
have established themselves in their on distance learning and higher
fields of endeavor and have been education issues.
recognized for their professional
A new student recruitment
achievement. The hour-long session
initiative, also featuring Charter
entertained a variety of queries to
Oak grads, will soon roll out
which the panelists responded in
in the form of a video that focuses
detail. According to comments from Charter Oak’s recent live Web chat provided
on the College, the advantages it
live chat visitors, the information opportunity for visitors to communicate directly with
provides adults learners seeking to
gathered was most valuable. the alumni panel.
complete their degrees and graduate
Additional live chats are scheduled.
‘proof of performance.’
(You can view the recent chat session
by going to The latter is personified by six alumni
alumchat.) who have reached the pinnacle will accompany admissions personnel
of success in their respective attending recruitment and business
The volunteer panel members,
professional fields. The video, with a fairs and will be reproduced in CD
all Charter Oak alumni, included
Spring 2011 target release date, will format for distribution to prospective
information technology professional,
appear on the Charter Oak Web site, students and corporate partners.
Donna Anastasio: Police Lieutenant,

Board for State Academic Awards

55 Paul J. Manafort Drive

New Britain, CT 06053-2150