News

African American female in blue cap & gown holding flower bouquet

Class of 2024 Set to Graduate at Bucks County Community College

 Bucks County Community College will confer more than 980 degrees and certificates to its Class of 2024, including 537 May graduates. Of those, 494 earned associate degrees and 43 earned certificates. The College will hold two commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 16 in the College’s gymnasium on the Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). The 2 p.m. ceremony is for graduates from the following three academic departments: Business, Innovation, and Legal Studies; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; Social and Behavioral Science. The 6 p.m. ceremony will include graduates from four academic departments: Arts and Communication; Health Sciences; Kinesiology and Sports Studies; Language and Literature. Both commencement ceremonies will be streamed live for those unable to attend in person. Other celebrations this week include the Bucks County Public Safety Training and Certification Fire Academy Graduation and the Nursing Pinning Ceremony. The Basic and Advanced Fire Academies’ graduation will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. in the Newtown Campus gymnasium. Firefighter training is integral to the public safety of the region as the majority of fire departments in Pennsylvania are comprised of volunteers. The training allows the students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to serve in fire departments state-wide. The Nursing Pinning Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at 6 p.m. in Newtown Campus gymnasium. All 56 graduates have earned their Associate of Science in Nursing and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The Bucks program’s pass rate for the 2022-23 year was 96.97%. The Associate Degree Nursing program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Female middle school students representing various building and construction trades as well as emergency responders pose for a group photo during ‘Girls Ignite'

Philadelphia Building Trades Partners with Bucks for ‘Girls Ignite’ Trades Expo

Workforce Development Effort Aims to Raise Awareness Among Young Women for Careers in Construction The Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council, led by Business Manager Ryan N. Boyer once again partnered with Bucks County Community College today for “Girls Ignite”, a one-day career exploration expo in which female Building Trades’ members introduced young women to the many benefits of careers in the unionized construction industry. Approximately 60 young female middle school students from the Bristol Township School District gathered in the community college’s new, state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Technologies facility on the Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks to be introduced to the basics in a wide variety of unionized construction industry jobs, including: Sheet Metal Insulators Finishing Trades (Painters, Glaziers) Electricians Carpenters Boilermakers Elevator Constructor In addition, the students gained valuable insights into firefighting as a career option. Bucks County Community College operates the third largest fire school in the country which provides both basic and advanced public safety training. Bristol Township Fire Department participated in today’s event as well. “We have forged a great partnership with Bucks County Community College, beginning with the establishment of the 10-week Building & Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania,” said Building Trades Business Manager Boyer. “Today’s ’Girls Ignite’ trades career expo is intended to interest young women in the construction industry and to empower them to pursue careers that have long been the province of their male counterparts.” “Bucks County Community College is proud to once again join forces with the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council to present today’s ‘Girls Ignite’ event,” said Tom Jennings, Chair of the Bucks County Community College Board of Trustees. “Bucks is committed to providing our students with pathways to meaningful and relevant career opportunities, and this collaboration furthers that commitment.” Female recruitment efforts such as Pre-Apprenticeship programs, “Girls Ignite,” “Rosie’s Girls” and others are clearly working. As of 2022 (the most recent national analysis), there were approximately 1.3 million women working in the U.S. construction industry, which accounted for 10.9 percent of the entire national construction workforce. That equates to a significant 53 percent increase in women working in construction over the past decade.
Photographs by Fran Orlando

The Roosevelt Project: Photographs by Fran Orlando at BCCC

 Bucks County Community College is pleased to announce the opening of The Roosevelt Project: Photographs by Fran Orlando at Hicks Art Center Gallery at the College’s Newtown Campus on Wednesday, May 22. The exhibition features more than 40 portraits from Orlando’s project photographing the residents of the small New Jersey town in the late 1970s. Roosevelt, New Jersey, began in the 1930s as Jersey Homesteads, a planned community to help Jewish garment workers escape poverty and the city. Although the social experiment failed when the factory closed a few years later, the town soon became a rural mecca for artists such as Ben Shahn, Bernarda Bryson Shahn, Gregorio Prestopino, and Jacob Landau. Orlando intended to create a portrait of the town by photographing the people who lived there, several of whom were original residents. She photographed for two years, in black and white with 35mm and medium format cameras. During that time, she received recognition and support for the project from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, exhibited at the New Jersey State Museum, and had a solo exhibition of the work in progress at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie. The project was put on hold when she left New Jersey to attend graduate school in Philadelphia. During the intervening years, Orlando established a photography business in Philadelphia, worked in various museums as an educator and exhibition planner, and served as Director of Exhibitions and Artmobile at Bucks County Community College for 35 years. She currently works as assistant editor at The Photo Review, a critical photography journal of international scope and readership. Orlando notes, “Much has changed in the 45+ years since I started this project. Neither the town nor photography are the same. The elders that I photographed are gone; the children are grown. My original gelatin silver prints are considered ‘vintage.’ Moreover, the project has taken on a historical significance that I never considered when I began. “After all these years, I didn’t feel like I could return to the darkroom and begin literally where I had left off. My life has been spent teaching and learning and I couldn’t deny the changes in myself either. I needed to leave my original gelatin silver prints in the past to bring my work to the present, so I scanned the original negatives and printed the work digitally with my current sensibilities.” All are welcome to the opening reception on Wednesday, May 22 from 4–7 p.m. at the Hicks Art Center Gallery, Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940. The exhibition will remain on view through July 3. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon – 4 p.m. The Roosevelt Project: Photographs by Fran Orlando is presented in conjunction with (re)FOCUS, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts/1974, a citywide festival recognizing women artists. With over 150 exhibitions, panels, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations, it was one of the first large-scale surveys of the work of contemporary American women artists, signaling the inception of the American Feminist Art Movement. (re)FOCUS 2024 is also a Philadelphia citywide festival showing how women-identified and BIPOC artists have moved from the periphery to the center of the art world. Like its 1974 predecessor, (re)FOCUS is a collaboration among Philadelphia's large, small, and diverse visual arts institutions. This exhibition is funded in part by the Bucks County Community College Committee on Cultural Affairs and the Bucks County Community College Foundation. Photography: Jonathan Shahn with bust of Peri Prestopino, 1980/2023, archival pigment print Marilyn and Peter, 1978/2023, archival pigment print.
2024 High School Poet of the Year

Neshaminy Senior Named Bucks County High School Poet of the Year

Cecelia Shine, will read from her works Saturday, May 4, 1-3 p.m., at the annual Reading + Celebration in Tyler Hall on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus Hailing from Neshaminy High School, senior Cecelia Shine rose to the top of more than 100 entries to be named the 2024 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year, announced officials at Bucks County Community College. The 37th annual contest is part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program administered by the College. With the first-place finish, Shine wins $300 and will be honored at the annual Reading + Celebration on Saturday, May 4, 1-3 p.m., in room 142 of the historic Tyler Hall mansion on the College’s Newtown Campus. The event will feature the contest winners, finalists and judges. Shine’s three poem submissions were entitled “one heart too many,” “The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine” and “it might be just a dream.” This year’s current Bucks County Poet Laureate Tara Tamburello and last year’s Bucks County Poet Laureat Tom Mallouk served as judges and reviewed a strong field of entries from all over the county. In addition to the winner, the judges also named Jack DeBoyace, sophomore from Central Bucks High School East, as first runner-up. Second runner-up was Kade Booker, a senior from Neshaminy High School. The third runner-up was Olivia Cao, a Central Bucks High School South senior. The three runners-up will also read from their works during the celebration. The entire competition, including the awards and refreshments, is sponsored by a generous donor, Gary Kephart, originally of Levittown and currently of Fort Collins, Colorado. Thanks to Kephart’s generosity, and new this year, each runner-up will receive $100. The annual Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest is another way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region. For more information contact Dr. Ethel Rackin, a Professor of Language and Literature at Bucks and the director of the Wordsmiths Reading Series and Poet Laureate Program at ethel.rackin@bucks.edu. Shine’s winning poems: one heart too many one day the doctors told my mother i had two heartbeats. they said thiswith a downturned wince and a crinkle between their brows,like a sheet of paper which can not be unwrinkled, can notbe made perfect again. when i was born,it was with double the blood flow, double the oxygen, double the fear. when i was born,my two hearts beat a rhythm that echoed through my skull and gave me somethingto march to, a hopeful anthem to keep me moving, to keep my bones from crumblingand cracking under the weight of my organs, the overproduced instruments humming too loudly,beating too quickly, working too well. when i was born,it was with extra love built in; extra love for gifting neighbors, gifting mailmen,gifting worms that wash up when the rain pours down. when i was born,it was with too many feelings, too many obstacles, too many faults.doctors said i was a miracle; my mother said that thats just life.i dont know how my two hearts are functioning, how their pulseis strong enough, suitable enough, for my long limbs, but they are.they are calling to each other and answering back, creating a song thatwakes me up in the morning and puts me back to sleepwhen i need it to. i have two hearts, and theyre surviving and theyre thrivingand theyre dying one secondat a time, but theyre mine,theyre mine.my god, arent they mine? The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine All of a sudden I am an ant in a city of marble and stained glass,cemented in porcelain skin, thin like bible paperin an old friend’s cabinet. Technicolor light showers infrom crystal windows, swaddles me in beacons of riverand sky, paints over me with patterns of rainbow shine.I am becoming unbreakable, like my bones are rooted through tile,like my existence is sanctioned between these tall walls. My weight is somehow pardonedbecause every statue and pillar above, every archand emblem is grand like my heart, is grand like the seaand bluebirds chirping in boiling heat. Candlelight darts alongthe wrinkles of a praying woman on her knees. This place of worshipwas once on fire and then rebuilt, remade, rebeautified, and I realizethere is a cathedral hiding inside all of us, a religion restingright under the skin, and I realize that I am no stranger here.No one ever could be. it might be just a dream now and then when my hurtclouds over and fizzles at the sides,i see another version of meflickering between my outline,proclaiming herself just tow i t h e r away again.and for one meaningless moment,we become the same person, andeach of my steps leaves a footprintof purpose behind, and my tearsfeed flowers by the front door,and my hands don't leave scratcheswhere lovebites should be.and then she is gone, and i’mmissing her, and every footstepis almost as heavy as the last,and i'm trapped within this visionof other me on the opposite endof a black hole, and i'm hopingshe is as happy as i know her to be.maybe one day i'll understand herbeyond fleeting meetings, beyondsuperficial thoughts. maybei'll know her well enough to engravethe shape of her smile to the backof my eyelids, and to see it reflectedon my own forsaken face
ShadowGrass on stage

ShadowGrass Appearing Live at the Zlock Performing Arts Center

 Get ready for a foot-stomping, banjo-picking good time as the Zlock Performing Arts Center presents an exhilarating bluegrass concert featuring ShadowGrass on Sunday, April 28, 2024. ShadowGrass is redefining the bluegrass genre with their fast picking and fresh arrangements, incorporating each member's diverse influences into a project that branches outside the bounds of traditional music while maintaining traditional instrumentation. Hailing from culturally rich areas of traditional music, the band members infuse their performances with a deep appreciation for their musical heritage, creating a sound that is both authentic and innovative. Feeding off each other's musical ideas and energy, ShadowGrass creates a constantly evolving musical landscape that draws audiences in at every show. Their dynamic performances showcase their passion for bluegrass and their commitment to pushing the boundaries of the genre. The concert will be preceded by a Lobby Bluegrass Jam from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., where attendees are invited to bring their instruments and join in for a jam session. Participants will receive one free drink on the house as they come together to celebrate the spirit of bluegrass music. Doors will open at 2:45 p.m., with the concert starting promptly at 3 p.m. Additionally, a cash bar will be available starting at 1 p.m. for attendees to enjoy refreshments before and during the concert. Do not miss your chance to experience the magic of bluegrass with ShadowGrass at the Zlock Performing Arts Center located on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). Tickets are available now and can be purchased online.
Installation view of 58th Annual BCCC Student Art Exhibition

BCCC Student Art Exhibition April 26 Through May 7 at Hicks Art Center

 The Arts and Communication Department at Bucks County Community College is pleased to host the 59th Annual Student Art Exhibition; a showcase of work made during spring and fall 2023 and spring 2024 by students in the Arts and Communication Department. Medias include ceramics, dance, digital media, drawing, film, fine woodworking, glass, graphic design, jewelry, music, painting, printmaking, photography, 2D design, 3D design, video, and web design. The exhibition will be on view from March 28 through May 9 in Hicks Art Center. The public is invited to the exhibition reception, open studios, student art and craft sale, and the arts scholarship and award ceremony on Sunday, May 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. The schedule and locations for May 5 are as follows: 59th Annual Student Exhibition Reception1 – 4 p.m., Hicks Art Center2 p.m., Arts Scholarship and Award Ceremony Student Art and Craft Sale1 – 4 p.m., 3-D Courtyard (weather permitting) or 3-D Arts 001 Open Studios1 – 4 p.m., Hicks Art CenterFine Woodworking, Room 130; Jewelry, Room 111; Photography, Rooms 118 & 120; Printmaking, Room 106; Sculpture, Foundry, 3-D Building. Wood Turning Demonstration1 – 2 p.m., Hicks Art Center, Room 130Janine Wang shows her expertise in the art of Wood Turning. Bronze Pour Demonstration3 p.m., 3-D Arts Building, Metal FoundryJon Burns guides a team of artists through the process of casting bronze sculpture. For additional information please visit the Hicks Art Center Gallery online, follow the department’s Instagram account @bcccartscomm or phone 215-968-8432. Hosted by the Bucks County Community College, Arts and Communication Department at Hicks Art Center Gallery. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the following Saturdays during the exhibition from 12 – 4 p.m.: April 27 and May 4, 2024.
High School Short Fiction Winners

Bucks Announces the Winners of the Annual High School Short Fiction Contest

 The Bucks County Short Fiction Contest for High School students is pleased to announce the winners for the Spring 2024 contest. There were 38 entries this year. Olivia Beno, a junior at Pennsbury High School, and a Yardley resident, was awarded first place for her story, “Death and Dreaming on the Golden Coast.” Alaina Kass, a junior at Neshaminy High School and a resident of Levittown, won second place for “The Sin of a Smile.” Katie Krom, a senior at Neshaminy High School, and also a Levittown resident, captured third place for “Forever, Shattered.” Dr. David Venditto, a faculty member at Bucks County Community College, made the final selections. Venditto said of Beno’s work, “This story had a dreamlike quality to it that mirrored the protagonist’s own mental state, stuck going through memories and imagined future scenarios. The writing is beautiful and heartbreaking, realistically conveying the feelings of loss that accompany an untimely death. It taps into a deeply relatable feeling that lingers long after reading the story.” Of the story by Kass, Venditto said, “The writing itself is engaging, with carefully chosen words that reveal a truly surprising ending. The textured and grounded world of the story isn’t incongruous with the more supernatural conclusion, due to the foreshadowing sprinkled throughout. Furthermore, excellent pacing and development of the protagonist give the twist a visceral impact.” In Krom’s “Forever, Shattered,” Venditto noted, “The basic premise is simple, but thematically intriguing. The story turns what would ostensibly be a typical teenage romance into a fantastical tragedy. In addition, a lot of interesting visuals are conjured from the author’s eloquent writing.” A reception for the winners and their friends and family will be held on the Newtown Campus later this month. Bucks County Community College is the sponsor of the Bucks Short Fiction Contests. The contest receives support from the Department of Language and Literature.

BCCC Awarded $250,000 Grant to Prepare Next Generation of PA Workers

 Bucks County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development has been awarded a $250,000 grant through the PA Department of Labor & Industry to expand access to its highly successful Building and Construction Trades pre-apprenticeship program. Bucks will be one of 14 recipients of the state’s $3.3 million Schools-to-Work initiative. The Center for Workforce Development at the College will continue its partnership with the Bucks County Workforce Development Board, the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council and the Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 19 which serves as sponsor for Bucks’ Building and Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program. The pre-apprenticeship program aims to increase diversity in enrollment and offer math and literacy skills for entry into the trades. Together, Bucks will provide the hands-on experience necessary to prepare graduates for jobs in the trades including basic electricity, plumbing and carpentry. Other fundamental topics included in the training are shop measurement and math, blueprint reading, welding basics, job planning benchwork and layout. Participants will earn industry-recognized credentials in OSHA10 and Forklift Safety. Students will also work one-on-one with a career coach to assist with the next steps whether it is finding an apprenticeship or preparing for union exams. “We are so pleased to be able to expand access to our building and construction pre-apprenticeship training program. Bucks continues to strive to provide education and career opportunities for people whether they are seeking a degree or aiming to go directly to the workforce,” says Susan Herring, Associate Vice President, Workforce Development. The $6,500 training is free for those that meet eligibility requirements. Bucks will recruit interested applicants from Bucks County and the surrounding region including Philadelphia. Ms. Herring went on to say: “With these funds, we will be able to continue providing our Building and Construction pre-apprenticeship at no cost and will aim to attract diverse candidates including women to enter the construction field and start in careers with life-sustaining wages upon graduation.” The first cohort under the Schools-to-Work grant is anticipated to start in the beginning of 2025 with recruiting starting towards the end of 2024. The 10-week free bootcamp will be held Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Advanced Technologies on the Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks in Bristol. The Center is a brand-new, state-of-the-art training facility which offers job seekers access to high-quality career training programs in advanced manufacturing and other programs. The new facility will provide students with an up-to-the-minute, high-tech learning environment. Find more information on our Workforce Development site. Requirements for the Building and Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program include: Must be a U.S. Citizen or possess a Green Card Must be at least 18 years old Must have a high school diploma or GED Must pass an aptitude test, drug screening, background check (determined on a case-by-case basis), and a physical test Daily attendance and punctuality Must have reliable transportation to commute to training For more information about this program, contact Susan Herring at 267-685-4827 or susan.herring@bucks.edu.
Life in a Jar cover image

BCCC Hosts Life in a Jar Book and Panel Discussion on April 16

Jack Mayer, author of the book about Irena Sendler, who saved hundreds of Jewish children during WWII will be joined by local panelists to discuss what it means to resist, rescue, and build community in times of war and conflict. Bucks County Community College invites the public to a book and panel discussion about Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project on Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in the Zlock Performing Arts Center on the Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). The book, written by Jack Mayer, tells the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish woman who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. As part of a secret World War II organization called Żegota, Irena Sendler (1910–2008) rescued several hundred Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto — providing false identities and hiding places in orphanages, convents, and private homes. Mayer’s book weaves Sendler’s story with that of the Kansas students who helped tell it to the world. In addition to author Jack Mayer, the panel will feature: Rabbi Anna Boswell-Levy of Kol Emet, Yardley; Barbara Simmons, Adjunct Professor, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, Arcadia University, and Executive Board of NAACP, Bucks County Chapter; and Nancy Isserman, Co-Director, Transcending Trauma Project, Director, Operation Home and Healing, Council for Relationships and Faculty, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Gratz College. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Visit the Zlock Performing Arts Center to reserve your spot today. To learn more about the History of the Holocaust course or the April 16 panel discussion, contact the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at sb@bucks.edu or 215-968-8270.
close up of a 3D printer

Bucks County Community College to Host 3D Printing Expo

The two-day expo will feature industry experts at the Newtown Campus, April 18 -19  Bucks County Community College’s inaugural 3D Printing Expo will be held at the Newtown Campus on Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The expo will showcase the latest advances in 3D printing and additive manufacturing technology. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of some of the most influential companies in the industry. All are invited to attend. Bringing together enthusiasts, experts and industry leaders, the 3D Printing Expo promises to inspire and spark your passion for innovation. Roundtable panel discussions on the evolving state of the additive manufacturing industry will be held Thursday, April 18 and will include representatives from Allegheny Educational Systems, AON3D, Creaform/Ametek, Filament Innovations, Formlabs, Mosaic, Phillips Hybrid, Stratasys, UltiMaker, and Xact Metal. Register in advance by visiting the 3D Printing Expo site by April 16, 2024. After April 16, registration will be at the door. Please contact Stan Timek stanley.timek@bucks.edu at or 215-504-8548 for registration assistance, exhibitor information, or sponsorship opportunities. The Newtown Campus is located at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940. Free parking is available. The 3D Printing Expo will be on the second floor of the Linksz Pavilion. The 3D Printing Expo is made possible by the College’s Workforce Development & Strategic Partnerships division as well as the Learning Resources department.
Speakers Rachel Hetrick and Mia Scocozzo

‘NAMI In Our Own Voice’ Aims to Break the Mental Health Stigma

Two speakers will share their perspectives on a highly misunderstood topic Tuesday, April 2 at Bucks County Community College in Newtown and online In order to help break the stigma about mental health issues, Bucks County Community College presents “NAMI In Our Own Voice” at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at the Newtown Campus and online. Speakers Mia Scocozzo and Rachel Hetrick will share their personal perspectives and talk openly about their experiences in an attempt to change attitudes, assumptions and ideas about people with mental health conditions. Scocozzo, the Youth Programs Director of NAMI Bucks County, visits students to talk about the warning signs for mental health conditions, facts, statistics, and how to get help. For example, she developed a program called Small Talk for elementary students to learn how to name their feelings, differentiate between emotions, and practice healthy coping skills. Scocozzo shares her personal journey of recovery to allow others to feel less alone in a drive to end the stigma around mental health. Hetrick is a graphic designer based in Philadelphia who expresses herself through painting and illustration and loves to exercise. Mental health advocacy is a big part of her life, and she is passionate about spreading hope. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, also provides information on how to learn more about mental health and get involved with the mental health community. “NAMI In Our Own Voice” takes place at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the Gallagher Room, located inside the Rollins Center on the campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. The presentation can also be viewed live online. Register for the Zoom session. The event is sponsored by the BCCC Psychology Club and DEI Programs in the College’s Office of External Affairs. To learn more, contact Jean Dolan at jean.dolan@bucks.edu or 215-968-8094.
Band members of GA-20 in black and white

Zlock Performing Arts Center Announces Bucks Blues Explosion Featuring GA-20

 The Zlock Performing Arts Center is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated Eighth Annual Bucks Blues Explosion, featuring the sensational blues trio GA-20, on Friday, April 5, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. GA-20 is more than just a band; they are leading a movement, a revival of traditional blues that is taking the music world by storm. The dynamic trio, consisting of guitarist Matt Stubbs, guitarist/vocalist Pat Faherty, and drummer Tim Carman, brings a fresh and energetic take on traditional electric blues, blending elements of blues, country, and rock 'n' roll into their signature sound. "We make records that we would want to listen to," says guitarist Matt Stubbs. "It's our take on the song-based traditional electric blues we love." Since their formation in 2018, GA-20 has been at the forefront of the traditional blues revival, earning accolades and skyrocketing to the top of the Billboard Blues Charts. Joining GA-20 for this electrifying evening is local blues artist Deb Callahan and her band, who will kick off the event with their soulful and powerful blues melodies. Presented in partnership with the Bucks County Blues Society, the Eighth Annual Bucks Blues Explosion will again be an unforgettable celebration of the blues performed live on stage at the Zlock Performing Arts Center. Tickets for the event are $27 including fees, are available now and can be purchased online. Tickets will also be available at door on the day of the show. Lobby cash bar opens at 6 p.m.
Text Criminal Expungement Clinic over image

BCCC to Host Free Criminal Expungement Clinic on April 25

Free of charge and under the supervision of Legal Aid attorneys, Bucks County Community College paralegal students will assist people in determining if they are eligible to have prior arrests or convictions expunged or sealed from their record. Bucks County Community College is offering a criminal expungement clinic, free of charge, under the supervision of attorneys from Legal Aid of Southeastern PA on Thursday, April 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The clinic will be held in the Gateway Center on the College’s Newtown Campus located at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940. During the clinic, Bucks County Community College paralegal students will assist people in determining if they are eligible to have prior arrests or convictions expunged or sealed from their records. Bucks County Community College is proud to partner with Legal Aid which has assisted over 1,000 people per year in conjunction with schools. All information shared with attorneys and paralegals is confidential. The clinic will try to accommodate walk-ins; however, advance registration is preferred. The registration deadline is April 7. To register for the clinic, email legalstudies@bucks.edu. Some convictions cannot be expunged but may be sealed so that they are not of public record. Paralegals may not practice law or otherwise provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law. The clinic is for individuals who: have arrests without convictions; or have misdemeanor convictions, without new convictions, over 10 years old; or are over 70 years old, and their conviction is at least 10 years old; or passed away 3 years ago, and post-humus expungement is sought. Please note that individuals must have paid all fines due and completed any probation to qualify for expungement. Please also note that in some instances, certain convictions cannot be expunged and will remain on the record. However, these same convictions could be sealed from the general public. It is important to note that the clinic may need to refer some individuals to other legal organizations due to the location of individuals’ criminal records, such as Philadelphia and/or outside of Pennsylvania. For more information or to register, email legalstudies@bucks.edu or call 215-968-8247.

Discover All That Bucks Offers at Spring Open House

Bucks County Community College to Host Spring Open House on All Three Campuses in April Spring is a wonderful time to visit Bucks County Community College, which will host an open house at each of its three of its campuses this April. Prospective students will receive valuable information whether they are looking to start their collegiate journey, return to school, pursue a skilled trade, prepare for or advance their careers, or take courses for personal enrichment. Prospective students and their guests will learn all that Bucks has to offer and have the opportunity to speak with representatives from Admissions, Financial Aid, Advising, Transfer Planning, and additional resources. Plus, guided tours will be offered at each campus so that attendees can experience Bucks County Community College firsthand. Spring Open House will be offered at the following locations, dates, and times: Upper Bucks Campus (One Hillendale Road, Perkasie, Pa.), Wednesday, April 3, 6:30 – 8 p.m.The Upper Bucks Campus open house begins with a welcome session where you can meet with faculty, staff, and students, followed by a session about the admissions process, financial aid, and transfer services. A tour will be provided, and attendees can visit tables at the resource fair plus enjoy refreshments with representatives of the College community. Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa.), Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.Attendees of the Newtown Campus open house will have the opportunity to speak with academic deans and faculty about the robust range of academic and career programs. Attendees can also choose from a variety of brief information sessions including topics such as English Language Learner programs, veteran resources and prior learning assessment, student services, online learning, workforce development and career-focused programs, Child Development Associate credential, and high school programs. Guided tours will be offered throughout the event as well as the chance to meet representatives from enrollment, academic areas, and support services in the Linksz Pavilion. Lower Bucks Campus (1304 Veterans Highway, Bristol, Pa. 19007), Thursday, April 25, 5 – 7 p.m.In addition to meeting with representatives from enrollment, academic areas and support services, the Lower Bucks Campus open house will include tours of the new, state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Technologies which houses in-demand advanced manufacturing training and workforce programs, many of which are free to those who qualify. Register to attend Spring Open House. For questions, please email admissionsevents@bucks.edu or call 215-504-8608.
Women's Power Panel: Breaking Barriers

Remarkable Women Share How They Broke Barriers

Bucks County Community College celebrates Women’s History Month with third annual Women’s Power Panel at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, March 28 in Newtown and online In honor or Women’s History Month, Bucks County Community College presents “Women’s Power Panel: Breaking Barriers” at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, March 28, at the Newtown Campus and online. The panel discussion features three remarkable women and a moderator who will discuss this year’s national theme, “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” Moderated by Erica Waller-Hill, an award-winning author, educator, and motivational speaker, the panelists are: Elizabeth (Liz) Ellis – the first female instructional equipment specialist at Bucks County Community College’s Public Safety Training Center (PSTC), one of the first female career firefighters in Bucks County, and the second female fire chief at the Dow facility in Bristol-Croydon. Ellis has also traveled throughout the U.S., Japan, and Korea as a public safety instructor. She is currently assistant director of certification and curriculum at the PSTC. Dr. Vail Garvin – the first female CEO of a large hospital, former top executive at a large health-insurance company, and former leader of a 1,500-member chamber of commerce. For more than 20 years, Garvin was president and CEO of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and is currently senior advisor to the Bucks County Herald Foundation. Barbara Simmons – mediator, facilitator, and educator, who served as Executive Director of The Peace Center for more than 30 years. Simmons created hundreds of programs to address conflict, violence, racism, and bigotry in more than 300 schools, businesses, and communities in the tri-state region. Waller-Hill will lead the discussion as moderator. She is the CEO and founder of Destined for a Dream Foundation and Speak Life LLC, and author of It’s Bigger Than Me: Conversations of Empowerment Through the Eyes of a Conscious Educator. Waller-Hill has served more than 45,000 students, schools, community centers, and churches through her foundation, and is currently completing her doctorate at Gwynedd Mercy University. The event will also feature information tables staffed by representatives from A Women’s Place and the Bucks County League of Women Voters. “Women’s Power Panel: Breaking Barriers” takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, in the Library Learning Studio, located in the Bucks County Community College Library at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. Admission and parking are free. The panel discussion can also be viewed live online. Register for the Zoom session. The Women’s History Month event is sponsored by DEI Programs in the College’s Office of External Affairs. To learn more, contact Jean Dolan at jean.dolan@bucks.edu or 215-968-8094.
Patrick M. Jones, Ph.D.

BCCC Board of Trustees Announces New President

Patrick M. Jones, Ph.D., will become the College’s sixth president on July 1, 2024. Today, the College’s Board of Trustees announced that Dr. Patrick M. Jones will take the helm as the sixth president of Bucks County Community College effective July 1, 2024. “We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Jones home to Bucks County,” said Board Chair Thomas J. Jennings. “We are confident that he will lead the College forward with integrity, skill, vision, and enthusiasm. He is a compassionate leader, driven by results, devoted to students and well-acquainted with service to our diverse communities.” The Board of Trustees unanimously selected Dr. Jones to lead Bucks County Community College, which serves more than 10,000 academic-credit students and 25,000 alternative-credit students annually. The nationwide search for a new president was launched last fall after Dr. Felicia Ganther announced her resignation as president effective in December 2023. “I am grateful to the trustees for this opportunity to help Bucks County Community College continue to make a difference in the lives of our students and communities across the county” said Dr. Jones. “The college is a gem and I look forward to working with the trustees, faculty, staff, and students on our campuses and centers, and our business, community, and elected leaders in ensuring it thrives and fulfills its indispensable role as an educational, cultural, and economic engine of Bucks County.” The intensive, focused search was led by the Presidential Search Committee which worked with RH Perry & Associates, a nationally recognized higher education recruiting firm. The on-campus visits included open forums with faculty, staff, and students as well as an interview with the full Board of Trustees. The Board welcomed input from the extended College community and thanks all who participated in the process.   About Patrick M. Jones, Ph.D. Dr. Patrick M. Jones is currently the chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill as well as a professor of music. During his tenure which began in January 2019, he has overseen the addition of in-demand programs such as nursing, cybersecurity, and information technology. Dr. Jones has also overseen upgrades to the campus’ physical plant including new laboratories for chemistry, nursing, and radiological sciences; a learning center; and technology and equipment upgrades to classrooms and athletic and recreation facilities. In addition, the campus partnered with the business and non-profit community to develop and launch Penn State Schuylkill Co-op in Fall 2020. Dr. Jones served in a variety of academic and administrative roles prior to joining Penn State, including Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Drexel University, Director of Veteran Enrollment Practice and Director of the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University, Chair of the Music Education Department at Boston University, and Head of the Music Education Division at The University of the Arts. He also has held leadership positions in national and international scholarly societies, presented papers at academic symposia around the globe, and published book chapters and research articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals. In addition to his academic career, Dr. Jones served for thirty years in both the Army and Air Force, retiring from the Air National Guard at the rank of Colonel. His assignments included serving as a musician, unit commander, and Chief of Air National Guard Bands and Advisor to the Air Force Director of Public Affairs. As Chief of Bands, he was responsible for units across the country and a worldwide mission that included diplomatic outreach globally and troop entertainment in deployed locations throughout the Middle East, Central and Southwest Asia, and the Horn of Africa. Dr. Jones holds the Bachelor of Science degree in music education from West Chester University, a Diploma of Fine Arts in conducting and wind literature from the University of Calgary, the Master of Arts degree in conducting from George Mason University, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in music education from Penn State University. He also is a graduate of the Armed Forces School of Music, Air National Guard Academy of Military Science, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.
The Centurion staff members posing for photo

The Centurion Student Newspaper Wins a Record 22 Keystone Media Awards

 Bucks County Community College’s student newspaper, The Centurion, won a record 22 awards in the statewide 2024 Student Keystone Media Awards competition, including firsts in categories like general news, public service/enterprise reporting, sportswriting and video news. Since 2010, The Centurion has won more than 180 awards, making it one of the most-honored student newspapers in Pennsylvania. This year’s awards were for work done in the spring and fall 2023 semesters. The paper is produced mostly by students in the College’s journalism program, though non-journalism majors are also welcome to take part. The Student Keystone Media Awards are administered by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. The Centurion competes in Division III for two-year colleges. Raeanne Raccagno, a 20-year-old journalism major and the editor-in-chief of The Centurion, said, “My biggest goal for the paper has been for us to cover a diverse range of topics. I communicated that with the staff, and they answered with no problem. We added some new content to the paper as well this academic year like comics, more column writing and word games.” Raccagno said the paper is still trying to attract readers on campus. “I’m not sure if it’s cause students don’t expect there to be a paper newspaper, but most students will have no idea about us,” Raccagno said. “I always hear I want to hear about what’s going on at campuses and we’re the place to do that.” Raccagno added that at Bucks, “There are so many impressive departments with experienced professors on campus and they all deserve to have a story.” Tony Rogers, Bucks’ journalism professor and the paper’s faculty advisor said, “Between environmental contaminants being found in several campus buildings and the sudden resignation of the College’s president, this has been a tumultuous year at Bucks. Our students have covered all these events and many others with real professionalism, and I’m extremely proud of the work they’ve done.” The Centurion website is located at bucks-news.com and the Instagram is @centurion_bucks. The paper is distributed across the College’s three campuses in Newtown, Bristol, and Perkasie. The Centurion is financially independent. For more information about The Centurion or the College’s journalism program, email Tony.Rogers@bucks.edu. The awards will be presented during an awards luncheon on April 11 in Harrisburg. A complete list of the award winners follows: General News - First Place: The Centurion Environmental Findings in Campus Buildings Spark Concerns and Class Changes, Raeanne Raccagno General News - Second Place: The Centurion Bucks County DA Sues Social Media Firms, Raeanne Raccagno Ongoing News Coverage - First Place: The Centurion Environmental Concerns On- and Off-Campus Christian Grosso, Leila Kelley & Raeanne Raccagno Public Service/Enterprise Package - First Place: The Centurion Environmental Findings in Campus Buildings Spark Concerns and Class Changes, Raeanne Raccagno Public Service/Enterprise Package - Second Place: The Centurion Forever Tainted - How PFAS Pollutes Some of Bucks County’s Drinking Water, Christian Grosso Feature Story - First Place: The Centurion SEPTA Looks To Modernize Its Aging Public Transit System, Christian Grosso Feature Story - Honorable Mention: The Centurion ‘Never Forget,’ A Trip To The 9/11 Memorial And Museum, Christian Grosso Personality Profile - First Place: The Centurion Founder of Bucks’ Nursing Program Promotes Never-Ending Compassion, Raeanne Raccagno Personality Profile - Second Place: The Centurion In the Wake of Ganther’s Resignation, New Bucks Provost Faces a Host of Problems, Madison Kifolo Sports Story - First Place: The Centurion Bucks Women’s Basketball is Ready to Bounce Back After An Unsuccessful Last Season, Chris Lopez Sports Story - Second Place: The Centurion Men’s Basketball Struggling; Looks to Make a Comeback, Chris Lopez Sports Story - Honorable Mention: The Centurion Bucks Men’s Basketball Team Brings Home ESAC Championship Title, Raeanne Raccagno Column - First Place: The Centurion Philadelphia 76ers Trade James Harden to LA Clippers; Take Me Out to The Ball Game; Bucks’ Softball Team Comes Back Swinging, Daulton Parry Column - Second Place: The Centurion Attention Ghostface Fans… New “Scream” Video Game in Development; Zoo Wee Mama!; Hold on to Your Golden Ticket?! Raymundo “Ralph” Varela-Urizar Review - First Place: The Centurion ZTSD Punk Bash Lights Up Fishtown, Colt Gunn Cartoon/Graphic Illustration - First Place: The Centurion Dog Life parts 1, 2 and 3, Connor Sturza Feature Photo - First Place: The Centurion Therapy Dogs Visit Bucks, Jesse Fischer Photo Story - First Place: The Centurion ‘Never Forget,’ A Trip To The 9/11 Memorial And Museum, Christian Grosso Website - First Place: The Centurion Raeanne Raccagno, Raymundo “Ralph” Varela-Urizar, Colin Riccardi, Megan Pizarro, Parker DeStefano & Christian Grosso Video Story - First Place: The Centurion Septa Bus Route Changes, Christian Grosso Video Story - Second Place: The Centurion Andy’s Brick Shop is Building Success, Parker DeStefano Video Story - Honorable Mention: The Centurion Sixers Fans Excited About Playoffs, Evan Boyle Photo of Centurion staff: Front row (l to r): Madison Kifolo, Raeanne Raccagno, Raymundo Varela-Urizar, Christian Grosso. Back row (l to r): Chris Lopez, Parker DeStefano, Daulton Parry, Jesse Fischer.
Tom Smarr

Bucks Announces 16th Annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture

Bucks County Community College Announces the Sixteenth Annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture, April 27, featuring Tom Smarr, Executive Director of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens Bucks County Community College is pleased to announce the sixteenth annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture featuring Tom Smarr, Executive Director of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens, to be held on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. at the College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). The lecture topic is “For Love of Garden: Establishing Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens as a Community Resource.” Smarr will discuss one of the region’s great horticultural and botanical garden assets located near Valley Forge Park, and how its story began in 1968 as a loving gift that envisioned the property as a public space to explore a naturalistic botanical garden. Encompassing 48 acres of diverse plant collections, it is home to nationally accredited rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurels and eastern North American plants. A tour of the impressive Tyler Formal Gardens will immediately follow the lecture. There will also be an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to win accents for your garden. Tickets for the sixteenth annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture are $15 general admission, free for students with ID, and $10 for veterans and Bucks alumni. Register online or mail your check payable to the BCCC Foundation and the registration form to: Bucks County Community College Foundation, Tyler Hall, Room 221, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940. The Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture series is part of the Bucks LIVE! series of innovative programs to inform, inspire and enrich the lives of greater Bucks County residents. Please contact Professor Emeritus Lyle Rosenberger at lyle.rosenberger@bucks.edu for more information. About Tom Smarr: Mr. Smarr has worked for numerous horticultural institutions from Longwood to West Coast botanic gardens and led the early establishment of horticultural programs at newly opened parks such as the Rose Fitzgerald Greenway in Boston; the High Line in New York City; and the Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville, Kentucky. About Tyler Formal Gardens: Tyler Formal Gardens served as the “outdoor parlor” of George F. and Stella Elkins Tyler, original owners of the estate that became Bucks County Community College. The gardens were constructed in the early 1930s to provide a formal landscape setting for the Tylers' magnificent home and to accommodate the large social gatherings that the couple enjoyed hosting. The four-tier gardens, positioned on an acre of land, were greatly influenced by French and Italian gardens and demonstrated characteristics that were common in formal gardens in the Philadelphia area at that time. Architectural plans and photos from the 1930s show four terraces that included gravel walks, fountains, sculptures, staircases, parterres, planting spaces, swimming pool, and tennis courts. The Tyler mansion is arguably the grandest home ever built in Bucks County and believed to be the last of the great estates ever constructed in the United States. In 1987, Tyler Hall (as the mansion is now known) and Tyler Formal Gardens were placed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Weekend art workshops

Four New Weekend Art Workshops at BCCC's Newtown Campus

 Registration is open for the spring “Weekend Art Workshops” at Bucks County Community College. For the first time, the Arts and Communication Department is offering four workshops taught by experts in woodworking, photography, jewelry, and bookbinding. Each workshop is for two days. Visit Weekend Workshops to register before spots fill! “Turn a Tripod Stool” will be taught by Janine Wang on April 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Design and make a sweet and simple small tripod stool using a wide variety of traditional woodturning and woodworking techniques. Both faceplate turning and turning between centers will be used to produce its parts on the lathe, and machine and hand skills will be used to construct off the lathe. Design possibilities are endless with this template, and you will leave with a unique, handcrafted, functional piece of furniture, as well as exposure to a whole suite of skills including spindle joinery and fitting, paper joining, sacrificial work holding, layout work, through tenon joinery, and much more. All levels are welcome, including beginners. Photographer Sandra C. Davis will teach “Cyanotype Printing” on April 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This workshop will introduce participants to working with photographic images and light resists (anything that blocks light in various tones) on a variety of alternative surfaces. Participants will learn the steps to make digital negatives from digital captures. Coated surfaces can be exposed in the sun or using an ultraviolet light source. There will be an emphasis on making unique prints that convey a personal vision. This workshop does not require any darkroom or Photoshop experience. On April 20 and 21, metal smith and jeweler Paris Muchanic will guide participants to create a one of a kind “Viking Bracelet.” During day one, participants will learn the basics of wire handling for the weaving process, the Viking weave pattern, and finishing the chain. On day two, attendees will explore soldering and sawing basics, stone setting and finishing touches to complete the sterling silver and stone bracelet. Dave DiMarchi’s “Hardcover Binding, Zines & Journals” workshop on April 20 and 21 will explore the ins and outs of contemporary bookmaking, towards making participants’ own professionally (and archivally!)-bound journal, sketchbook, or albums. This workshop will introduce participants to bookmaking techniques—the basics of paperfolding, adhesives, stitching and sewing, and handcraft—to begin to integrate bookmaking into the participants’ artistic practice. Participants will work with high-quality archival materials, easy-to-master skills, and step-by-step processes towards creating a suite of handmade books. Along the way, participants will establish basic mark-making techniques in printmaking processes to further personalize their book cloths and end papers.   Instructor biographies Janine Wang is a woodworker and educator based out of Philadelphia, PA. She teaches woodturning within the Fine Woodworking department at Bucks County Community College and woodworking at the West Philly-based non-profit Tiny WPA. She additionally leads various workshops and demonstrations across the states every year and continues to explore the wide world of furniture from her woodshop. She has a formal educational background in architecture and furniture arts from the Cooper Union and Rhode Island School of Design, has garnered a working education from the wonderful woodworking and production industry in Philadelphia, and done residencies at various craft institutions including the Museum for Art in Wood, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, and Goggleworks Center for the Arts. She believes a hands-on approach is crucial in good design and is excited to share in this as much and often as she can. Sandra C. Davis is a fine art photographer whose haunting imagery is about capturing remembered moments from the past to cherish in the future. Most of her work is printed in gum bichromate, palladium, cyanotype, and other alternative photographic processes. She teaches alternative photography classes at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and teaches alternative photography workshops throughout the USA. Her works have been published in several books on alternative processes including: The Book of Alternative Processes, Second and Third Editions by Christopher James as well as Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes and Gum Printing, A Step-by-Step Guide, Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practices by Christina Z. Anderson. Her award-winning images have been exhibited internationally and are in public, corporate and private collections. Paris Muchanic has always felt the push pull between science and art. The sciences won out until 2004 when she discovered metal smithing. The properties of metal satisfied the science “geek” in her, while creating wearable art fed her creativity. Her first classes were at Bucks County Community College under instructor Cris Martino who allowed her the freedom to explore. She joined the Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths in 2005 where she was invited to join the Board of Directors. As Workshop Coordinator, she had the privilege of continuing her journey learning from world-class artisans such as Marne Ryan, Harold O’Connor, and Allen Revere. Paris has shown her work at area craft shows and galleries. She has taught beginning to intermediate metal smithing at the Wayne Art Center. Dave DiMarchi is a queer, multi-disciplinary artist working in printmaking, papermaking, and sculptural book forms. Nurturing ideas into singular and editioned works, he engages in a relentless material practice. As a multi-disciplinary artist, he has exhibited works on paper, installations, and books in the US and internationally. In addition to teaching printmaking, papermaking and book forms throughout the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area, he maintains a small collaborative studio and art space in New Hope, Pennsylvania. In autumn of 2022, he was announced as the Arts Council of Princeton’s Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, through which he developed a practice of collage-based multimedia and print works. He also serves as the Arts Council’s Printmaking Studios Manager and Master Printer, and as Instructor of Printmaking and Drawing at two New Jersey community colleges. For nearly 15 years, he has created his own work, curated exhibitions, provided print exchange opportunities, and published fine art prints as 9INHANDPRESS, a fine art printmaking and education studio located in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Sara Trudo, Self-Portrait, Adobe Photoshop

29th Annual High School Art Exhibition Opens March 29 at Hicks Art Center

 Hicks Art Center is pleased to host the 2024 United States Congressional Art Competition for the Pennsylvania First Congressional District and to present the 29th Annual High School Art Exhibition. Art teachers from over 20 area high schools will select artworks in digital media, 2D and 3D art categories made by their students between May 2023 and March 2024 to be considered for the US Congressional Art Competition Prize and 29th Annual High School Art Exhibition Awards totaling $1,500 in prize monies. Competitions such as this are held in every congressional district nationwide each spring. The first-place winning artwork from this exhibition will be sent to Washington, D.C., where it will represent Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District and be displayed in the corridors of the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for a year. More than 200 artworks in drawing, painting, photography, digital media, ceramics, fibers, sculpture and furniture showcasing the local, young artists’ creative talents fostered by esteemed high school art teachers will fill the galleries and hallways of Hicks Art Center. On view from Friday, March 29 through Sunday, April 14, an opening reception and awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 14 from 12:30 - 4 p.m. Pennsylvania District 1 Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick will present the awards at 1 p.m. Free and open to the public. Hosted by the Bucks County Community College Arts and Communication Department at Hicks Art Center on the College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the following Saturdays from 12 -4 p.m. during the exhibition: March 30, April 6, 13. For additional information, please visit Hicks Art Center Gallery and the department’s Instagram account @bcccartscomm.
Human Trafficking Forum

Bucks Holds Forum to Raise Awareness About Human Trafficking

Allegra Cressman of Worthwhile Wear, a nonprofit that serves human trafficking survivors, speaks March 7 about how to end modern-day slavery. Human trafficking is a crime that deprives millions of people of their dignity and freedom, as at-risk populations are exploited for labor or commercial sex. According to the U.S. Department of State, an estimated 27.6 million people are currently victims of trafficking worldwide, and, sadly, many of them are often hidden right in front of us. Bucks County Community College seeks to raise awareness of this major problem by inviting the public to a free forum at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in-person and online. Allegra Cressman, Director of Programming at Worthwhile Wear, will speak about how the nonprofit is working to end modern-day slavery. Worthwhile Wear provides a residential program to help survivors of human trafficking with counseling, education, and training. The organization also operates thrift stores in Plumsteadville and Collegeville to help fund its mission and to offer employment opportunities to women in their programs. As Director of Programming, Cressman oversees the development of Worthwhile Wear’s housing, employment, and community-based outreach and empowerment programs for survivors of human trafficking. Prior to joining the team, she was the Executive Director at Family Promise of the Main Line, and before that spent 19 years as the Housing Program Director at Keystone Opportunity Center. Cressman’s talk takes place at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in the Gallagher Room, located inside the Rollins Center building on the College’s campus at 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, Pa. The event will also be streamed live online for those who register in advance. The event is sponsored by the College’s office of DEI Programs and the Bucks Catholic Student Association. To learn more, contact diversity@bucks.edu.
ParaCon!

Unveiling the Supernatural: Bucks County ParaCon!, Saturday, March 9

First Annual Paranormal Conference Set to Thrill Audiences on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus Get ready for a spine-tingling adventure into the unknown as Bucks County Community College presents the inaugural Bucks County ParaCon! This one-day extravaganza, dedicated to all things paranormal, will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2024, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., on the College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940) in the Zlock Performing Arts Center. Bucks County ParaCon! promises an immersive and electrifying experience for attendees, featuring a lineup of esteemed speakers, captivating presentations, and an array of vendors offering intriguing merchandise related to the supernatural world. Hosted by Eric Mintel and team member spirit medium Dominic Sattele, this event is a must-attend for enthusiasts of ghosts, Bigfoot, UFOs, and beyond. Special guest speaker Nick Pope, renowned for his work as the host of History Channel's Ancient Aliens, will share his insights and experiences in the realm of ancient mysteries and extraterrestrial phenomena. His presence adds an extra layer of excitement to an already star-studded lineup of speakers. Attendees will have the opportunity to delve into the mysteries of the paranormal with engaging presentations by renowned experts in the field. From discussions on ghost hunting techniques to explorations of extraterrestrial encounters, each session promises to enlighten and enthrall audiences. Additional speakers at Bucks County ParaCon! include: 1-1:45 p.m. Jim Krug: Experienced ghost hunter and founder of a leading paranormal investigation team. 2-2:45 p.m. Eric Mintel and Dominic Sattele: Eric is host of the event and a passionate advocate for paranormal exploration; team member and spirit medium Dominic Sattele, offers unique perspectives on communication with the other side. 3-4 p.m. Nick Pope: Special guest speaker. 4:15 – 5 p.m. Bill Birnes: Noted author and investigator, sharing his expertise on UFOs and government conspiracies. 5:15- 6 p.m. Tom Carey: Renowned UFO researcher and author, shedding light on Roswell and other infamous cases. 6:15- 7 p.m. Eric Spinner: Paranormal investigator and author, delving into the world of cryptozoology and mysterious creatures. Attendees can browse the offerings of vendors in the adjoining theater lobby area, where a variety of paranormal-themed merchandise will be available for purchase. There is ample free parking, food trucks and a lobby (cash) bar. CosPlay welcomed! For more information about Bucks County ParaCon! and to purchase $45 general admission tickets, please visit the Zlock Performing Arts Center.
Dr. John C. Boyd, Dr. Patrick M. Jones, Dr. Evon W. Walters

Bucks County Community College Announces Presidential Search Finalists

 The Presidential Search Committee appointed by the Bucks County Community College’s Board of Trustees announced today that three finalists have been selected in the search for the College’s next president. Following Dr. Ganther’s mid-October announcement of her resignation as president effective in December, the Board retained RH Perry, a national search firm specializing in higher education to conduct the search. Without the luxury of having a sitting president during this search, Board Chair Thomas Jennings knew that the Board had to act swiftly in order to have the executive leadership position filled by July 1. Seventy-five applications were received and after careful consideration, the search committee narrowed the field to three finalists. The finalists are... John C. Boyd, Ph.D., President, Mayland Community College Patrick M. Jones, Ph.D., Chancellor and Professor of Music, Penn State Schuylkill Evon Washington Walters, Ed.D., President, Northwest Region, Community College of Allegheny County Bios and resumes for each candidate are available on BCCC’s website. The three candidates will take part in the final round of the search process which includes open forums, conducted in person but also available virtually, with faculty, staff, and students. The finalists will visit BCCC on February 26, March 4, and March 7, 2024. “We are looking forward to the face-to-face meetings with the candidates in the coming weeks,” Jennings says. “Each candidate has amassed significant accomplishments in their higher education careers to date. We are excited to learn about their vision and aspirations for Bucks and the communities we serve.” After receiving and carefully reviewing feedback from the college community, the Presidential Search Committee will make their recommendation to the full Board of Trustees. Following deliberation by the Board, an announcement of the College’s sixth president will be made public.

Bucks to Host Recovery & Mental Health Community Resource Fair on March 9

The Collegiate Recovery Program at Bucks County Community College will be hosting a free Recovery & Mental Health Community Resource Fair with 30+ community organizations participating The Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) at Bucks County Community College is hosting a free Recovery & Mental Health Community Resource Fair on Saturday, March 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be held in the Linksz Pavilion on the Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940). During the resource fair, members of the community will be able to speak with more than 30 organizations from Bucks, Montgomery, & Philadelphia counties to obtain information about resources and support pertaining to: collegiate recovery programs; substance use disorder and recovery; harm reduction; mental health; suicide; grief; eating disorders; domestic violence; and sexual health and wellness. The event will also feature a keynote speaker, Nicholas Emeigh, Associate Executive Director for NAMI Bucks County PA, an affiliate of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nicholas Emeigh is a mental health advocate and public speaker with eight years of continuous recovery from mental illness and substance use. He is also a survivor of three suicide attempts. A Bucks County resident, Emeigh proudly serves the NAMI mission providing help, hope, awareness and opportunities to the county’s 600,000 residents. For more information about this event or the CRP, email collegiaterecovery@bucks.edu. About the Bucks Collegiate Recovery Program CRP supports students at Bucks County Community College affected by substance use disorders. The program offers a safe, sober and confidential environment to connect with peers and CRP staff. Highlights of the program include: Weekly support groups for students in recovery and/or struggling with substance use disorder. Access to substance use disorder and mental health community resources. Campus-wide harm reduction training and distribution of Narcan and Fentanyl/Xylazine test strips. Weekly support groups for those who have loved ones struggling with addiction. Annual recovery-based events focused on breaking the stigma of addiction, treatment, and recovery.
Diane Burko detail of “Deforestation 2” mixed media on canvas 2021

Three Artists in “Construction Time Again” Exhibition to Present Artists’ Talk

 Starting at 5:30 p.m. on February 28 in the Zlock Performing Arts Center on the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College, Philadelphia-based artists Diane Burko, Nicolo Gentile and Kristen Neville Taylor will discuss their artworks featured in the exhibition, “Construction Time Again” on view nearby in the College’s Hicks Art Center Gallery. All three artists respond to social, cultural, architectural, ecological, and environmental events that locally and globally impact all human lives through different media and concepts in their artworks. In 2023, Diane Burko attended the LABverde residency in Brazil. The experience invigorated the artist’s pursuit to “[celebrate] the sublimity of the landscape by honoring the intricate geological and political webs that shape the identity of a place” in her art practice. Burko’s diptych paintings on view in the exhibition, “Deforestation 1” and “Deforestation 2”, illustrate and represent the charring of the landscape; a violent act displacing Indigenous peoples who have inhabited Amazonia for thousands of years. Nicolo Gentile’s figural aluminum casts on weightlifting equipment specifically address the demolition of the building that once housed the 12th Street Gym in Philadelphia—a vital hub for the neighboring gay community that closed in January 2018 after serving 4,000 members for 30 years. A ghostly presence permeates Gentile’s sculptures—vestigial reminders of the members whose space held community. Land use and resource evolution are central themes in Kristen Neville Taylor’s recent body of work “End of Days.” With personal ties to glass production and installation; her father worked as a glazier installing windows in skyscrapers, Taylor’s pâte de verres, videos, and sculptures describe myths and lore around the evolution of the sand mines of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The once 1,000 active mines have mostly vanished leaving massive lakes of tropical hued water- tinged with cyanobacteria. Discussion topics and questions for the artists during the artists’ talk will include: “How does each use research in their creative processes?”; “What does the adage ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ mean to them now?”; and “How can artists make the world more peaceful?” After the discussion, the audience will have the opportunity to ask the artists questions. The artists’ talk and discussion will be moderated by Hicks Art Center Gallery Exhibitions Associate, Clifford Eberly. This event is free and open to the public. The Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon – 4 p.m. For more information, please visit Hicks Art Center Gallery and follow on Instagram @bcccartscomm.
Voting Rights Public Forum, Kevin L. Antoine, Diane Ellis-Marseglia, John Jordan, Joe Hogan

Bucks County Community College Hosts Voting Rights Panel Discussion

County and state officials will address how to ensure a fair and safe election Thursday, February 15 at Newtown Campus and online as part of Black History Month events To commemorate Black History Month, Bucks County Community College invites the public to a Voting Rights Forum at noon Thursday, February 15, at the Newtown Campus and online. “The 15th Amendment gave African American men the right to vote in 1870, but even with this Constitutional right, it was denied to most African Americans until the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965,” said Kevin L. Antoine, the College’s Associate Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer. “It’s vital that we remain vigilant to protect voting rights in order to sustain our democracy.” Antoine will moderate the discussion with the following panelists: State Representative Joe Hogan, 142nd District Diane Ellis-Marseglia, Bucks County Commissioner and member of the Board of Elections John Jordan, 1st Vice President, Bucks County NAACP The discussion gets underway at noon Thursday, February 15, in the Gallagher Room, located in the Rollins Center of the Newtown Campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. The panel discussion will also be streamed live online to those who register in advance. The event is sponsored by the College’s Office of External Affairs and DEI Programs, and is among several educational forums at Bucks County Community College to encourage dialogue on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more, visit the DEI page or contact diversity@bucks.edu.
Jessica Edwards & John Smitherman

Experience an Unforgettable Valentine's Special: "People Will Say We’re in Love"

A Romantic Concert by John Smitherman & Jessica Edwards – Friday, February 9, 7:30 p.m. Love is in the air this Valentine's season as the Zlock Performing Arts Center proudly presents "People Will Say We’re in Love," a special concert crafted for the romantic in all of us. Join renowned artists John Smitherman and his lovely wife, Jessica Edwards, for an evening filled with the beautiful music of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and other timeless composers, featuring enchanting duets for lovers. This extraordinary Valentine's event will take place on Friday, February 9, 2024, at 7:30 pm at the Zlock Performing Arts Center on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus. Couples and music enthusiasts alike are invited to indulge in an unforgettable night of romance and melody, as John and Jessica serenade the audience with their captivating performances. "People Will Say We’re in Love" promises to be a celebration of love's enduring magic, with a carefully curated selection of classic love songs that will tug at your heartstrings and transport you to a world of romance and passion. From the irresistible charm of Cole Porter's melodies to the timeless elegance of Irving Berlin's compositions, this concert will showcase the beauty and depth of the Great American Songbook. John Smitherman and Jessica Edwards, both accomplished artists in their own right, bring a wealth of talent and charisma to the stage. Their chemistry and musicality will captivate audiences as they breathe new life into beloved favorites and lesser-known gems alike. Tickets are $20 and are free for current Bucks County Community College students with valid student ID. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Zlock Performing Arts Center. For group sales, please call: 215-968-8469.
Calligraphy pen and paper

High School Scribes Encouraged to Enter 37th Annual Poetry Contest

Bucks County high school students in grades 9–12 can submit three poems by March 15 for the chance to win $300 Bucks County Community College, which has been nurturing writers for more than 50 years, calls on creative young people to enter the 37th annual Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest for the chance to win $300. Students have until Friday, March 15 to submit three original poems, according to Dr. Ethel Rackin, director of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program, which runs the Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest. The contest is open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who live in Bucks County or attend a Bucks County high school. Home-schooled students may also enter. Previous winners are not eligible. In addition to the prize money, the winner receives a proclamation from the Bucks County Commissioners, and the opportunity to read at a public reception. Runners-up and finalists in the contest will also be invited to read at the public event. “Entering the High School Poet of the Year contest may give students a chance to discover and develop a talent they may not have realized they had,” said Rackin, a language and literature professor at the College. In addition, participating in the public poetry reading may help a student stand out in the college search. “Mentioning the contest, public reading, and anthology on college applications will demonstrate initiative, writing skills, and public speaking experience,” Rackin added. “Clearly, there’s a lot to gain from entering this contest.” Each participant must submit three original poems with an application form. The contest will be judged by the current Bucks County Poet Laureate Tara Tamburello and the former poet laureate Tom Mallouk. To learn more about the Bucks County Poet High School Poet of the Year program, visit the website. For more information, contact Dr. Ethel Rackin at ethel.rackin@bucks.edu.
Graphic of person at desk on virtual call

Bucks Announces Monthly Virtual Paralegal/Legal Studies Information Sessions

The newly re-named Department of Business, Innovation and Legal Studies underscores the College’s commitment to legal education and career preparation. Bucks County Community College Announces Monthly Virtual Paralegal/Legal Studies Information Sessions The newly re-named Department of Business, Innovation and Legal Studies underscores the College’s commitment to legal education and career preparation. The Business, Innovation and Legal Studies Department at Bucks County Community College is pleased to offer virtual information sessions every month from January through April making it easier for prospective students to learn more about the College’s Paralegal/Legal Studies associate degree and Paralegal certificate programs. These programs prepare students for in-demand careers as paralegals and legal assistants while also providing a pathway to a bachelor’s degree and law school. The free online information sessions will be held via Zoom on: Monday, January 22 at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 20 at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. To attend the information sessions, visit the website. The College’s Paralegal/Legal Studies programs are approved by the American Bar Association and can be completed at the Newtown Campus or the Upper Bucks Campus in Perkasie, Pa. through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online instruction. Related programing offered by the Business, Innovation and Legal Studies department includes: Continuing Legal Education in conjunction with the Bucks County Bar Association Expungement Clinic in partnership with Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania Student Mock Trial Speakers and events including a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court Wills for Heros in partnership with Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The College recently renamed the Department of Business + Innovation to the Department of Business, Innovation, and Legal Studies with unanimous support from the department faculty, as well as students and Advisory Board members. “The new department name emphasizes Bucks’ commitment to legal education and career preparation while enhancing the clarity of the department’s mission and academic offerings,” said Provost Kelly Kelleway, Ph.D. The Business, Innovation, and Legal Studies Department at Bucks County Community College offers 23 programs of study that lead to either an associate degree or certificate in Business, Entrepreneurship, Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Fire Science, and Paralegal/Legal Studies. To learn more, visit the Business, Innovation, and Legal Studies Department page or email business@bucks.edu. Unauthorized Practice of Law No person shall engage or assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activities that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.
Upper Bucks Campus exterior

Local Artists Invited to Showcase Their Work in Spring “Art in Bloom” Exhibition

Artwork Submissions Due February 7; Exhibition Runs February 12–March 21 at Upper Bucks Campus of Bucks County Community College; Opening Reception February 16 (Perkasie, Pa.) Bucks County Community College is pleased to announce their second art show in the brand-new Fickes Art Gallery in the North Building of the Upper Bucks Campus (1 Hillendale Road, Perkasie, Pa.). The gallery's spring exhibition, “Art in Bloom," is open to all members of the community and promises to captivate visitors with an array of diverse and inspiring works of art from talented local artists. The College invites artists to showcase their creativity, incorporating the broad theme of spring being a time of new beginnings, rebirth, and revitalization, by submitting their work for consideration by Wednesday, February 7. For a nominal $10.00 fee, each artist can enter up to two pieces of art. Artists of all levels are encouraged to participate and contribute to the rich tapestry of artistic expression. The exhibition is scheduled to run from February 12 until March 21. The gallery will be open to the public, offering a space for visitors to engage with local art and explore the diverse perspectives presented by the contributing artists. With affordable art in mind for this show, all pieces will be priced at $200 (plus tax). An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, February 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees will enjoy light fare, beverages, and entertainment, not to mention the perfect atmosphere for art appreciation and community networking. As a testament to its commitment to education and community engagement, the Upper Bucks Campus will designate 25% of the proceeds from the sale of artwork to the Bucks County Community College Foundation in support of student scholarships. "We were so impressed by the amazing pieces submitted for our gallery opening and initial exhibition and are incredibly excited to see what this tremendous community of artists has in store for this show" said Kevin Murray, Upper Bucks Campus Director. The Upper Bucks Campus’ Fickes Art Gallery promises to be a dynamic cultural space that will foster artistic growth, community connections, and inspiration for years to come. For further information about the "Art in Bloom" exhibition, submission guidelines, and event details, please contact Kevin Murray at kevin.murray@bucks.edu or 215-258-7752.
Aim & Attain Near Completer Grant Logo

Bucks Offers Free Career Training Through Aim & Attain Grant

 Thanks to a grant awarded to the Bucks County Department of Workforce and Economic Development (WED), Pennsylvania residents who were previously enrolled in a degree or certificate program and were unable to complete it may be eligible for the Aim & Attain: Near Completer Grant at Bucks County Community College. Provided all eligibility criteria are met, students may complete their degree or certificate at no cost by enrolling at Bucks County Community College. Applications are being accepted through June 30. To qualify, students must have exited their degree or certificate program with a minimum 2.0 GPA, or higher, after June 1, 2021. They also must enroll in a program that will be completed prior to June 30, 2024, and be interested in seeking employment within 12 months of program completion. The Aim & Attain program is open to unemployed individuals as well as currently employed individuals seeking to enhance their knowledge in their current field or gain skills to transition to a different field. In addition to free tuition and the opportunity to complete your program of study and obtain your degree or certificate, benefits of the grant-funded program include free books and education supplies, mentorship, tutorial services, technology resources, guidance from a career services specialist as well as job placement resources and assistance for in-demand careers. Additionally, support services including childcare, transportation or internet access reimbursement may be available. The grant funding is provided from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. The College offers a variety of short-term occupational programs including Dental Assisting, Pharmacy Technician, Building and Construction Trades, Electrical Training, Industrial Maintenance, and fully online Bookkeeping, Education and Information Technology courses. Interested parties can request more information from Bucks County Community College.
MLK Leadership Awards Honorees

College to Honor Three for Building on King’s Dream

Officials and trustees to hold third annual MLK Leadership Awards Friday, January 26 to honor Community, Corporate, and Humanitarian changemakers. Bucks County Community College, which has been making the dream of higher education a reality for nearly 60 years, will honor three individuals with the third annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Awards on Friday, January 26. Tom Jennings, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, and Associate Vice President Kevin L. Antoine, J.D., will recognize leaders of corporate, humanitarian, and community organizations who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to nondiscrimination, regardless of an individual’s station in life. Jennings says the event serves as a reminder that the work of Dr. King continues for us all. “We remember Dr. King for his courage, compassion, and unwavering commitment to justice for all,” said Jennings. “We honor three extraordinary citizens who live his values. They are the peacemakers of our time, and they enrich our college and our community by their good example, steadfast spirits and lives of generous service.” Antoine, the AVP of External Affairs and chief civil rights officer at the College, says the honorees are being recognized for the work they do at the local level to ensure that all residents of Bucks County have an opportunity to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. “The MLK Leadership awardees demonstrate through their life’s work that civility, character, and fairness are unique to American democracy.” said Antoine. “What’s more, this program exemplifies the College’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by reaffirming that there is goodwill in the people of Bucks County, regardless of their station in life.” This year’s honorees are: Community Leader – Billie Barnes, Executive Director, Workforce & Economic Development, County of Bucks Corporate Leader – Bernard Tynes, Chief Experience & Impact Officer, Penn Community Bank Humanitarian Leader – Erin Lukoss, Executive Director/CEO, Bucks County Opportunity Council The third annual Bucks County Community College MLK Leadership Awards, featuring live music from the College’s Madrigal Singers and jazz faculty combo, takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, January 26, in the Linksz Pavilion on the Newtown Campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. The ceremony will be streamed live online starting at 5:30 p.m. on the College’s website. Special thanks to the presenting sponsors, Parx Casino and Penn Community Bank.
Construction Against Time artwork

“Construction Time Again” Group Art Exhibition at Bucks County Community College

 The artists and architects in the exhibition, “Construction Time Again," on view from January 19 - March 8, 2024, in Hicks Art Center Gallery creatively respond to social, cultural, architectural, ecological, and environmental sustainability in urban and rural environments through their projects. Named after the title of the 1983 studio album by Depeche Mode of the same name, the participating artists, and architects in “Construction Time Again” employ diverse materials, subjects and medias to address the impacts of construction and demolition on buildings, lands and people over periods of time in numerous locales. As the lyrics of Depeche Mode’s song, “The Landscape Is Changing” decry, “Now we’re re- arranging, There’s no use denying, Mountains and valleys, can’t you hear them sighing,” the objects and works in the exhibition challenge us to evaluate our collective responses and responsibilities to outcomes of our presence on Earth and to seek new ways of sustainable resourcefulness. As a basis to the exhibition, seeing through filters of air, water and traceries of building sites is vital to interpreting what is constantly changing in the environments that surround us. But what are the nuances of perspective when atmosphere, distance and other phenomena are constantly mediating our vision both indoors and outside? Gwen Kerber’s floor installation serves as a launchpad to visualize how we perceive not only the natural world, but also built environments. Using grids, color and vantage, Kerber’s “Wading; Field of Vision Looking Down at a 45 Degree Angle from About Two Feet Away” brings us closer to our bodies’ limits, depths, and confines. Arden Bendler Browning’s AR video/painting works collide gestural, seemingly abstract paintings with buildings and landscapes that take the viewer on mesmerizing journeys through moving colors overlayed on and woven through familiar and wild sites. Like Kerber, Bendler Browning uses vision and sight as tools to convince us that the act of observing is imperative to comprehending movements of our surroundings that could be life-threatening or affirming. With Kerber’s and Bendler Browning’s works addressing the tasks of perception acknowledging change, Diane Burko’s diptych, “Deforestation 1 and Deforestation 2” confronts the fact of the Amazon’s rapidly diminishing natural filter that prolongs life on earth head on. With the encircled word “DEFORESTATION” on one fiery panel hung next to another depicting a cropped map of South America with the Amazon outlined in the same white as the circle on the opposite panel, the viewer has no escape from being implicated as holding great responsibility to environmental cataclysm through the proliferation of fossil fuels and corporate greed. Borrowed from the Museum for Art in Wood, Jean-François Delorme’s mixed media sculpture “Broken” is the artist’s personal narrative of his body suffering a fall and a material also breaking apart but still maintaining perfection. In the exhibition context, the upturned crutches and breaking sphere represent the Earth being barely held up in space while breaking apart—a macabre warning. Around 358,500 accidental fires in urban areas occur every year. The aftermath is not always documented or publicized. After a fire destroyed property that her father owns, Deborah Riccardi’s family banded together to fight the local government that surreptitiously issued eminent domain over the valuable building and land in Ambler. Deborah and her sister photographed her father in the devasted buildings along with the surrounding property and some of the images are on view in the exhibition. The Riccardi’s meticulously sorted the debris and recycled as much as they possibly could, reducing the environmental impact on not only the immediate vicinity but in the local landfill. Architects are essential to make new and renovated buildings environmentally sustainable while using building materials that do not add as much greenhouse gas emissions or use an overabundance of water such as the production of concrete. One highly revered architectural firm that believes in designing buildings that are not only beautifully designed for public interaction but also demonstrations of sustainability is Frederick Fisher and Partners. Videos and printed plans documenting several of their exemplary projects such as the renovation and rebuilding of the Santa Monica City Hall and the rehabilitation of Guyot Hall at Princeton University are featured in the exhibition. As discreet objects, Soo Kim’s sliced and cut image constructions simultaneously obliterate and piece together land and cityscapes that conflate what we imagine to be real or built through our memory and historical events. In “Construction Time Again,” Kim’s works call attention to the Western influence of the master planned city of Chandigarh by Le Corbusier onto a newly post-colonial society striving to remain independent. Another artist in the exhibition addressing architecture, however from a more localized sociological and historical lens, is Nicolo Gentile. Parts of his sculptures were fabricated using melted down metals from a building, now demolished, that once housed the 12th Street Gym in Philadelphia, which was vital to the gay community as a hub promoting health and well-being. Now, Gentile’s sculptures are almost all that is left as physical memories of an important community gathering spot. Depletion of natural resources is one of the central themes in Kristen Neville Taylor’s recent body of work “End of Days.” With personal ties to glass production and installation, her father worked as a glazier, Taylor’s pate de verre’s, videos, and sculptures reveal myths and lore around the evolution of the sand mines of the New Jersey Pine Barrens that are mostly vanished except for massive lakes of blue water that appear to be natural. The Bucks County Historic Association’s Mercer Museum generously allowed Hicks Art Center Gallery to borrow two objects that were once used to pump and to channel water: one from the earth and one from a barrel. From a curatorial perspective, it is important to include such objects in an exhibition such as this to historicize the industrialization of the extraction of natural resources, especially water. While all the artists, architects and museum as well as their objects and projects in “Construction Time Again” are very different in appearance, each are examples showing us what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen to our environment in a collective effort to help all to see how we can keep our Earth a place that is habitable for many generations to come—not just a few. All are welcome to the opening reception on Wednesday, January 24 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at the Hicks Art Center Gallery on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays from noon – 4 p.m. For more information, please visit the Hicks Art Center Gallery website and follow on Instagram @bcccartscomm. Image credit:Kristen Neville Taylor“End-of-Days and Workers Wake Up” installation viewpate de verre (cast glass)2022
Text History of the Holocaust New Course on blue gradient over photo of a concentration camp guard tower

Learn ‘History of the Holocaust’ with New Spring Course at BCCC

 Bucks County Community College, which has been responding to residents’ educational needs since its founding nearly sixty years ago, introduces History of the Holocaust, a three-credit course offered for the first time in the spring semester. In addition, later in the spring, the College is hosting a panel discussion with the author of the book, Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project, which tells the story of a Polish woman who saved several hundred Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. Professor Paula Raimondo, who first proposed the new course last summer, says students will explore the history of the Holocaust through multiple perspectives, and as a framework for interpreting modern genocide. “Studying the Holocaust is a starting point for looking at such a broad range of human behavior,” said Raimondo, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Holocaust and Genocide studies at Gratz College. “For instance, think about all of the human rights and the democratic institutions that we take for granted, how fragile they are, and how important it is to protect them.” Some of the topics to be discussed are the motivations, roles, and responsibilities of individuals, groups, and governments when confronted with civil and human rights violations, war crimes and genocide. “What you stand to learn in a class like this is so much more than history,” added Raimondo. “You’ll learn critical thinking skills and information literacy skills. You will really start to build a framework for interpreting the world and how we should treat other people.” The course comes at the right moment, amid a rise in antisemitism in our country, according to Kevin Antoine, J.D., the College’s Associate Vice President for External Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer. “For some historians, the 2020s are echoing themes that started the rise of antisemitism in the 1920s,” Antoine noted. “In this course, students will be exposed to the brutality of falsehoods that led to the genocide of a people. The course will examine how to prevent the Holocaust from happening again, and how to build trust and civility between people of faith who worship differently.” History of the Holocaust will meet from 10:50 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting January 18 and concluding May 9 (no classes during spring break, March 19 and 21). Tuition is $165 a credit for Bucks County residents, plus additional fees. The course is open to guest students, so no prerequisite or placement testing is required. To register, visit Spring 2024 and look for course number HIST 133. Meanwhile, Raimondo says the public is invited to a free panel discussion April 16 with Jack Mayer, author of Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project. As part of a secret World War II organization called Żegota, Irena Sendler (1910–2008) rescued several hundred Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto — providing false identities and hiding places in orphanages, convents, and private homes. Mayer’s book weaves Sendler’s story with that of the Kansas students who helped tell it to the world. “We will unpack what it means to resist, rescue, and build community in times of war and conflict with the panelists,” Raimondo said. In addition to author Jack Mayer, the panel will feature: Rabbi Anna Boswell-Levy of Kol Emet, Yardley; Barbara Simmons, Adjunct Professor, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, Arcadia University, and Executive Board of NAACP, Bucks County Chapter; and Nancy Isserman, Co-Director, Transcending Trauma Project, Director, Operation Home and Healing, Council for Relationships and Faculty, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Gratz College. “Life in a Jar” panel discussion takes place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in the Zlock Performing Arts Center on the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa. Admission and parking are free. To learn more about the History of the Holocaust course or the April 16 panel discussion, contact the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at sb@bucks.edu or 215-968-8270.
Jingle All the Way with Keith Spencer and Friends

Celebrate the Magic of Christmas with Keith Spencer and Friends in Concert

Two performances are available on Friday, December 15 at the Zlock Performing Arts Center in Newtown Two performances are available on Friday, December 15 at the Zlock Performing Arts Center in Newtown The Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College is proud to present a unique performance of holiday music with Bucks County’s own Keith Spencer and his friends within this original holiday special concert, Friday, December 15 with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Embrace the festive spirit and immerse yourself in the enchanting sounds of the holiday season as Keith Spencer, accompanied by his wife Amy, and special guests Jessica Edwards and John D. Smitherman, take center stage in a Christmas concert like no other. This musical celebration will be backed by the incomparable Sounds of the Season Trio, promising an evening filled with joy, nostalgia, and the timeless melodies of your favorite Christmas classics. The Zlock Performing Arts Center will be transformed into a winter wonderland, providing the perfect setting for an evening of festive cheer and musical delight. Keith Spencer and his talented friends will serenade the audience with a selection of beloved Christmas favorites ranging from cherished classics to contemporary holiday tunes, creating an atmosphere that captures the magic of the season. Don't miss this opportunity to experience the joy and warmth of the holiday season through the power of music. Tickets for the event can be purchased online or at the Box Office the day of the show. The Zlock Performing Arts Center is located inside the Gateway Center building on the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, PA. Parking is free. Tickets start at $30 and are free for current Bucks County Community College students with valid student ID. Senior discounts also available. For more information and to purchase tickets visit Zlock Performing Arts Center, or call 215-968-8469. Follow the event on Facebook and Instagram for updates, behind-the-scenes content, and more.
New students gather for large group photo on the quad

Bucks Cited as Top PA Community College for Transfer-Out Rate

 A recent U.S. Department of Education report highlighting the top two- and four-year colleges and universities supporting student transfer was released earlier this month with groundbreaking data. Nearly 40% of students transfer at some point during their collegiate journey, and they lose more than 40% of their credits on average when they transfer from one institution to another resulting in lost time, money and all too often, the degree or certificate they are pursuing due to never completing their graduation requirements. As a result, the U.S. Department of Education has launched its “Raise the Bar: Attaining College Excellence and Equity” initiative with the goal of improving the student transfer process to boost degree completion by working with higher education leaders across the country. The Department of Education study looked at a substantial sample of students who began their collegiate journey in 2014. Bucks County Community College has the highest transfer-out rate (44 percent) of Title IV students among Pennsylvania community colleges. Title IV funding refers to federal financial aid such as Federal Direct Student Loans and Federal Pell Grants. Of the 700 Title IV students who started a 2-year cohort in 2014, 311 of those enrolled at a 4-year institution within eight years. In addition, the Bucks County Community College and Temple University transfer partnership was recognized as having the best completion rate in the state. “Students participating in the Temple University dual admission transfer agreement benefit from being conditionally accepted to Temple, having their application fee waived and access to merit scholarships up to $2,000 per year depending on their GPA,” according to Bucks’ Provost, Kelly Kelleway, PhD. Dr. Kelleway adds, “Bucks has dual admission agreements with 28 colleges and universities providing many options to students seeking a bachelor’s degree.” In total, the College has transfer and general articulation agreements with more than 66 institutions. However, the Department of Education’s “Raise the Bar” initiative is not focused exclusively on four-year degree pathways. The effort involves improving access for students from all socio-economic backgrounds to succeed in whichever academic or occupational pathway they choose. In fact, the focus of the initiative in 2024 will be on improving completion rates and ensuring student outcomes lead to better employment and earnings potential. Bucks County Community College stands ready to meet the needs of academic-minded and career-focused students alike. With 23 occupational degrees resulting in an associate degree and 27 short-term certificate programs, Bucks helps prepare students for entry-level positions in the workforce as well as career advancement in a wide gamut of professions ranging from culinary arts to diagnostic medical sonography, information technology to brewing and fermentation science, and furniture/cabinetmaking to firefighting. In total, there are more than 90 transfer and occupational majors available at Bucks. In addition, there are numerous career and technical education and training programs, many with funding provided through grants and free to eligible students.
Blue skull profile with three white stripes across head

"Skull Sessions" Group Art Exhibition Opens November 20 at BCCC

 The Hicks Art Center Gallery at Bucks County Community College is pleased to announce the opening of the group art exhibition, “Skull Sessions,” on view from November 20, 2023–January 6, 2024. The Gallery is located in the Hicks Art Center building on the campus of Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania. From realism to narrative installation, the artworks in the exhibition “Skull Sessions” represent a current survey of the range of genres in which artists amongst their art group peers are currently practicing. The title of the exhibition takes its name from the strategy-building sessions that are more typically associated with athletics—especially football. In “Skull Sessions,” the art will speak for the artist with ideas shared and communicated to the viewers as if they are players on a united team. Like an art fair format, the artworks and installations in “Skull Sessions” will be arranged within the areas of Hicks Art Center designated to the following 20 different artist-run collectives and cultural organizations in the Bucks County and Philadelphia regions: African American Museum of Bucks County Art at Kings Oaks Arts and Cultural Council of Bucks County ARTWRKD Automat fjord Grizzly Grizzly Newtown Historic Association Past Present Projects Peep Projects Pink Noise Projects Rush Arts Philadelphia Space 1026 Termite TV Collective The Upstairs Gallery of Bucks County Vox Populi Zach's Crab Shack The groups will be represented by artworks or displays from their board members, curators, directors, or members at large, some of whom do not often exhibit their own works collectively. “Skull Sessions” will offer a unique opportunity for the public to see the 20 participating artist-run spaces and cultural organizations in one location together for the first time ever. There will be an opening reception on December 6, 2023, from 4–7:30 p.m. at Hicks Art Center. All are invited and welcome to meet the artists and cultural organizations’ members. Free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12–4 p.m. Please note that the gallery will be closed in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday November 22–November 25. For winter break, the gallery will be closed from December 22, 2023–January 2, 2024. For more information, please visit Hicks Art Center Gallery or call 215-968-8425. [Image: Avtomat, Death Buy Adidas, digital print on acrylic, dimensions variable, 2010 courtesy of Rush Arts Philadelphia]
Upper Bucks County Technical School logo and Bucks County Community College logo

BCCC and UBCTS Announce First Partnership to Introduce Esthetics Program

Online information session Monday, December 18 at 6 p.m. Bucks County Community College and Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) are announcing the first partnership in the institutions’ history, teaming up to introduce an Esthetics Program for adults as well as high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of esthetics. An online information session will be held Monday, December 18 at 6 p.m. to provide details about the program as well as potential student funding opportunities. “Given the rapidly growing demand by Bucks County employers for workforce training and the national growth rate for the beauty services industry projected as high as 19% by 2030, we see this program as a natural collaboration with Bucks County Community College,” says Dr. Michael Herrera, Executive Director, Upper Bucks County Technical School. The Esthetics Program, which will be administered by Bucks County Community College and held at Upper Bucks County Technical School, will cover a wide range of topics including skincare techniques, makeup application, waxing, facial treatments and more. Students will receive in-depth instruction and hands-on training in a modern esthetics lab simulating salon environments and equipped with the latest skincare technology and products. The program will be led by experienced instructors with a passion for esthetics and a dedication to student success through mentorship, career guidance and job placement assistance. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge base and skills to successfully complete the state licensing exam. “This partnership represents a significant step forward in enhancing the educational and career opportunities available to students,” says Donna Kirn, Executive Director of Community Education & Professional Certification at Bucks County Community College. “It aligns perfectly with the College’s and UBCTS’s commitment to preparing students for a successful future and contributing to the local workforce by offering industry-relevant programs.” Classes will be held Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning January 16 and running through June 20, 2024, at the UBCTS Bedminster Township campus located at 3115 Ridge Rd, Perkasie, PA. Through the state-funded Aim and Attain Grant awarded to the Bucks County Department of Workforce and Economic Development, individuals who were previously enrolled in a degree or certificate program and were unable to complete it between 2021 and 2023 may be eligible to participate in the Esthetics Program at no cost. To learn more about the December 18 online information session, call 215-968-8409 or email veronica.drumm@bucks.edu.
Tara Tamburello

Tara Tamburello Named 2023 Bucks County Poet Laureate

Tamburello will read from her works Sunday, November 12, at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Tara Tamburello of Langhorne has been named the 2023 Bucks County Poet Laureate, officials at Bucks County Community College announced. Tamburello, a published poet who works in marketing, rose to the top of 60 entries in the 47th annual contest, said Dr. Ethel Rackin, director of the poet laureate program administered by the College. The contest is sponsored by the Bucks County Commissioners. Tamburello was raised in Bucks County, along the bank of the Neshaminy Creek. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Ghost City Review, Bone Parade, Rust + Moth, and other journals, as well as in anthologies by Vestal Review and Sans. PRESS. She is a past winner of the Bucks County Short Fiction Contest and was a runner-up for the poet laureate competition in 2021. She lives in Langhorne with her husband, two children, and cat, and she works on the Law School Admission Council (LSAC)'s marketing team. Aside from writing, she enjoys gardening, playing video games and music, hiking, and painting. You can find more of her work at taratamburello.com. The judges this year were Philadelphia poet Courtney Bambrick and Brooklyn poet Joanna Fuhrman. Both judges commented on the strength of this year's entries. Tamburello will be reading her poetry on Sunday, November 12 at 1 p.m. in Tyler 142 on the Newtown Campus. She will be reading with 2022 Laureate Tom Mallouk, and they will be joined by the three runners-up, Lake Angela, Kevin Taylor, and Melinda Rizzo. Courtney Bambrick will also be reading. The Bucks County Poet Laureate program – the longest-running such program in Pennsylvania – is another way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region. For more information, contact program director Dr. Ethel Rackin at ethel.rackin@bucks.edu.
Lakecia Benjamin cover art

Rising Star Alto Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin Performs One Night Only on Nov. 17

 The Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College is proud to present a unique evening of jazz music with rising star, alto saxophonist, and arranger Lakecia Benjamin on Friday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. Voted, “Rising Star Alto Saxophonist,” in the 2020 DownBeat Critics Poll and, “Up and Coming Artist of the Year,” by the Jazz Journalists Association, charismatic and dynamic saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin fuses traditional conceptions of jazz, hip-hop, and soul. Benjamin’s electric presence and fiery sax work has shared stages with several legendary artists, including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and The Roots. Phoenix, the latest and fourth studio album from Benjamin, was released earlier this year and was produced by the multi-Grammy-award winning Terri Lyne Carrington featuring a star-studded line up of specially curated guests: Dianne Reeves, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Patrice Rushen, Sonia Sanchez, Angela Davis and Wayne Shorter. Tickets start at $30 and are free for current Bucks County Community College students with valid student ID. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Zlock Performing Arts Center. For group sales, please call: 215-968-8469. The Zlock Performing Arts Center is located inside the Gateway Center building on the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, PA. Parking is free. The theater is equipped with audio-loop technology for the hearing impaired.
Chief Chuck Gentlemoon DeMund

Learn ‘Teachings from the Turtle Clan’ from a Lenape Chief on Nov. 8 at Bucks

Lenape Chief Chuck Gentlemoon DeMund will speak at Bucks County Community College at the Newtown Campus and online to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. To commemorate Native American Heritage Month, Bucks County Community College invites the public to “Teachings from the Turtle Clan” at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 8, on the Newtown Campus and online. Join Chief Chuck Gentlemoon DeMund for a discussion of the history, current issues, and cultural practices of the descendants of the original inhabitants of Lenape Hoking. Chief DeMund is keeper of ceremony and intertribal liaison for the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania. Among current issues is an effort to get the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to officially recognize the Lenape Nation, as neighboring states Delaware and New Jersey have done. That effort has been underway for more than 30 years, and as recently as last May, the Lenape and their supporters rallied in Harrisburg. Although several lawmakers and other officials have pledged their support of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, this has yet to lead to action. Native American Heritage Month was officially proclaimed as the month of November in 1990. But as early as 1915, efforts began to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. To learn more, visit Native American Heritage Month's website. “Native Americans did not come to the United States from the southern border or Ellis Island – they were here long before the Europeans and the Africans,” noted Kevin Antoine, J.D., the College’s Associate Vice President of Community & Government Relations and Chief Diversity Officer. “The Lenape people, before the arrival of Europeans, had advanced environmental and agricultural practices that are accepted and used today.” “Teachings from the Turtle Clan” with Chief Chuck Gentlemoon DeMund takes place at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 8, in the Orangery Building on the campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. Admission and parking are free. The presentation will also be streamed live on the internet to those who register in advance. The event is sponsored by the College’s Office of Community & Government Relations and DEI Programs, as well as the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission. It’s among several educational forums at Bucks County Community College to encourage dialogue on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more, contact diversity@bucks.edu.
Flower arrangement on display

"Art That Blooms" Floral Design Exhibition Blossoms at Bucks

 Prepare to be enchanted by a symphony of colors, forms, and artistic expressions as the Bucks County Community College Continuing Education Floral Design Department and Student Art Department proudly present the Second Annual "Art That Blooms" exhibition. This three-day event on the College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940) is themed "Line Color Form" and promises to be a celebration of creativity and beauty, merging the worlds of floral design and visual arts for an unforgettable experience. Event Details Title: Art That Blooms Location: Bucks County Community College, Newtown Campus, Hicks Art Center Dates: November 10-12, 2023 Opening Night: Friday, November 10 (Invitation Only). Admission is free, and the public is welcome to attend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 12. Ample free parking is available. Highlights of the Exhibition Designer of the Year Competition: Witness the brilliance of talented student floral designers as they compete for the prestigious title. Student Showpiece Exhibitions: Admire the artistic prowess of budding talents as they showcase their finest creations. Live Demonstrations: Be captivated by live demonstrations from both art and floral design students and instructors, offering a glimpse into their creative processes. Immersive Exhibits: Immerse yourself in captivating exhibits that explore the theme of "Line Color Form." Special Gallery: Explore a special gallery featuring floral design interpretations of student artwork. Kids Floral Design Make and Take: Engage young minds with hands-on floral design activities on Sunday November 12. Live Art Department Demonstrations: Witness the magic of screen printing, wood turning, glass blowing, and foundry work. Prominent Participants: The stars of the exhibition are the student artists and designers, with commentary from floral design instructors. Awards Ceremony: Join us on Sunday afternoon, November 12, for the awards ceremony, where Showpiece and Designer of the Year winners will be celebrated, along with the People's Choice award. Artistic Inspiration: The theme, "Line Color Form," was chosen to allow students to explore and apply the principles and elements of design that they have been studying.
Protest Banner Lending Library Parade

“Better Together: A Community Lecture” with Visiting Artist Aram Han Sifuentes

 The Committee on Cultural Affairs at Bucks County Community College is pleased to present “Better Together: A Community Lecture” with visiting artist Aram Han Sifuentes on Wednesday, October 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gallagher Room, Rollins Center, Newtown Campus. This event is free and open to the public. Artist and activist Aram Han Sifuentes’s work confronts social and racial injustices, interweaving fiber, social practice, performance, and pedagogy to consider themes of immigration, labor, and protest. Many of her projects, such as the ongoing Protest Banner Lending Library, aim to make art more accessible to the disenfranchised, especially immigrants of color. Since 2016, Sifuentes has brought communities together to sew protest banners, creating a creative outlet of resistance for those who cannot attend protests for their own safety. Join Sifuentes for a lecture on their practice’s trajectory, exploring how they make political statements and engage communities through participatory art. About Aram Han Sifuentes Aram Han Sifuentes is a fiber and social practice artist who creates participatory projects that center immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing circles, which become a place for empowerment, subversion, and protest. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago; Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis; moCa Cleveland, Cleveland; and Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. She has received numerous awards including a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, 3Arts Award, 3Arts Next Level Award, Map Fund Grant, and Joyce Award. Her project Protest Banner Lending Library was a finalist for the Beazley Design Awards at the Design Museum (London, UK) in 2016. She earned her BA in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a professor, adjunct, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a board member of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) fighting for Citizenship for All 11 million undocumented immigrants and adoptees.
Group of individuals

Bucks County Community College Marks Hispanic Heritage Month with Free Events

 In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Bucks County Community College invites the public to two free events designed to educate students and the community alike: Latino Business Roundtable on October 12, and Afro Brazilian Culture and Civil Rights October 17. On Thursday, October 12, the Latino Business Roundtable takes place at the Gene and Marlene Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks. Moderated by Rafael Collazo, executive director of UnidosUS Action Fund and founder of the BombaLive podcast, the panel discussion includes: Joel Berrocal, executive director of the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce and broker with the Radcliffe Insurance Group Sara Gibson, J.D., loan officer with Advisors Mortgage Group Jose Tilapa, owner of Keystone Boxing & MMA Gym Lorena Escalera de Rivera, financial center manager with Penn Community Bank Berrocal and Collazo took part in a similar event last year, when they were among five panelists discussing the Puerto Rican Experience in Bucks County and Beyond. “I am honored to be part of this distinguished panel during Hispanic Heritage Month,” noted Berrocal. “Together, we will openly discuss our experiences as Hispanic business owners and community leaders, highlighting both the successes and challenges we have encountered along the way." “Hispanics comprise 19% of the U.S. population and are the second-largest ethnic group after non-Hispanic whites,” added Kevin Antoine, J.D., Associate Vice President of Community and Government Relations and Chief Diversity Officer at the College. “The roundtable discussion will educate the public on the business successes and challenges of this second-largest ethnic population in the country.” The Latino Business Roundtable takes place in-person at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, October 12, in the Student Commons area of the Epstein Campus, located at 1304 Veterans Highway, Bristol Pa., 19007. Next, travel to South America to learn about Afro-Brazilian Culture and Civil Rights on Tuesday, October 17, in the Gallagher Room on the Newtown Campus. Keynote speaker João Victor Nery Fiocchi Rodrigues is a sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the anti-colonial struggles of the Black diaspora across the Atlantic. His dissertation work analyzes the relationship between race and citizenship in the process of state formation of Brazil, former Gran Colombia, and the U.S. during slavery and colonialism. Rodrigues earned his Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from the University of Brasilia, Brazil. He also studied at the University of Porto, Portugal as a Santander Luso-Brazilian scholar. The program aims to start a dialogue between the two largest African Diaspora populations, Antoine noted. “There are more Afro Brazilians in Brazil than African Americans in the United States,” Antoine said. “The language barrier – Portuguese versus English – has prevented a dialogue between the two groups, but both have had similar civil rights movements to overcome discrimination.” To that end, the public is invited to learn more through the African Diaspora collection at the Bucks County Community College Library. The collection boasts more than 200 curated items, from books to DVDs, donated by Diedre H. Crumbley, a sociocultural anthropologist and retired professor of Africana studies at North Carolina State University. Afro-Brazilian Culture and Civil Rights takes place in-person at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 17, in the Gallagher Room, located in the Rollins Center building on the campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. It will also be streamed live online. Register for the Zoom link. The Hispanic Heritage Month events are among several educational forums at Bucks County Community College to encourage dialogue on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more, visit Diversity, Equity + Inclusion or contact diversity@bucks.edu.
Arizona State University and Bucks County Community College

Bucks and ASU Partner to Offer Transfer Pathways with MyPath2ASU® Collaboration

 Bucks County Community College is pleased to announce a new alliance with Arizona State University to provide students a seamless transfer experience with the MyPath2ASU® program. MyPath2ASU allows students to take the steps needed, at the start of their college experience, to successfully plan their transfer to ASU, ensuring a smooth transition process and student success. MyPath2ASU is a set of customized tools available to transfer students from accredited, U.S. regional institutions. These tools ensure a seamless transfer experience to ASU after earning credits or an associate degree from a U.S. community college or university and shortening the time to degree completion. Through this partnership, students using MyPath2ASU will find their transfer experience simplified. They will have access to personalized benefits to help them navigate the transfer experience, to include: End-to-end learner navigation through course-by-course guided pathways Ensure course applicability by assisting students with taking courses that apply to their associate and ASU bachelor’s degree Guaranteed general admission to ASU and admission into MyPath2ASU major choice if all requirements are satisfied; some majors have additional or higher admission requirements More than 400 course-by-course guided pathways into immersion and online ASU degree programs Self-service, degree progress tracking through My Transfer Guide to minimize loss of credit Connected experience through personalized ASU communications to prepare academically and build a connection to ASU ASU and Bucks County Community College will work collaboratively to promote educational degree pathways containing ground and online course offerings. These pathways will ensure their courses are applicable toward their degree in their chosen major and minimize credit loss.
African American boy reading from paper in classroom

Explore “The Right to Read” with Documentary, Panel Discussion at BCCC

Free film screening at 7 p.m. September 21 will be followed by a Q&A panel with experts on the reading crisis in America as a civil rights issue. More than one-third of fourth graders in the United States read at a “below basic” level, according to a recent report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Even more alarming, more than half of Black, Hispanic, and Native American fourth graders score “below basic” on reading tests, the report found. “What good is winning the right to vote if we can’t even read the ballot?” asks NAACP activist Kareem Weaver in the “The Right to Read.” The 2023 documentary by Jenny Mackenzie and executive produced by “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton addresses the literacy crisis as the greatest civil rights issue of our time. Bucks County Community College invites the public to a free screening of “The Right to Read” at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 21, at the Newtown Campus. The documentary will be followed by a panel discussion featuring three educators and activists. The following panelists will share their expertise on the topic after the screening. Brooks Imel, Ph.D., is an independent educational consultant who works with neurodiverse students as an admissions counselor and executive function coach. His doctoral research focused on the cognitive processes involved in reading, and how comprehension differs when students read from screens versus paper. Kevin E. Leven is co-leader of the Bucks County Anti-Racism Coalition, a nonprofit charity organization dedicated to educating, informing, and taking action on matters of racial justice. He is also a columnist for the Bucks County Beacon online publication, where he regularly contributes to the “Race Matters” monthly op-ed column.   Lynne B. Millard is Principal Leadership Coach and Special Advisor of School Impact with the School District of Philadelphia. In this dual role, the veteran educator develops and coaches new school leaders, and serves as a liaison between department leaders, key stakeholders, and the Deputy Superintendent. “The Right to Read” documentary and discussion is sponsored by the College’s Office of the Provost, Bucks Wellness, DEI Programs, Library, and Social & Behavioral Science Department. Learn more about the film on The Right to Read website. The free event takes place in the Zlock Performing Arts Center, located in the Gateway Center building on the Newtown campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. There is ample free parking. “The Right to Read” is among several educational forums at Bucks County Community College to encourage dialog on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more, visit the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page or contact diversity@bucks.edu.
Wordsmiths Fall 2023

BCCC’s Wordsmiths Reading Series Continues September 22

 The Wordsmiths Reading Series, one of the longest-running cultural events at Newtown-based Bucks County Community College, continues its proud tradition of live readings with three exciting gatherings for the fall 2023 season. On Friday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m., poets Joanna Fuhrman and Lynn Levin will read selected poems in room 142 of the historic Tyler Hall on the Newtown campus. Fuhrman, an assistant teaching professor in creative writing at Rutgers University, is the author of six books of poetry, most recently To a New Era (Hanging Loose Press, 2021). Fuhrman’s next book Data Mind, a collection of prose poems about the internet, is forthcoming from Curbstone/ Northwestern University Press in 2024. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming on The Slowdown podcast and in The Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Poetry 2023. Last year, Fuhrman became a co-editor of Hanging Loose Press after publishing with them since she was a teenager. Levin, a poet and writer, is the author of nine books, most recently House Parties (Spuyten Duyvil), her debut collection of short fiction. Philadelphia Magazine calls the stories “vivid, funny, and quietly powerful” and says, “House Parties may break your heart, but it’ll never do it the same way twice.” A Bucks County poet laureate and winner of the Bucks County Short Fiction Contest, Levin has published stories, poems, essays, and translations in Valparaiso Fiction Review, Elm Leaves Journal, Cleaver, Boulevard, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mandorla, and other places. She lives in Southampton, Pennsylvania and teaches at Drexel University. The next reading in the fall series, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 20, will feature poets Patricia Smith and Hayden Saunier. The final reading for the fall comes on Sunday, November 12, at 1 p.m. when poet Courtney Bambrick and the still-to-be-chosen 2023 Bucks County Poet Laureate will read selected works. Dr. Ethel Rackin, a Language and Literature professor at the College, is the director of the Wordsmiths Reading Series and Poet Laureate Program. Dr. Rackin has been organizing these public collaborations since 2010, shortly after she began her teaching career at Bucks. The first Wordsmiths reading was in the 1960s, and featured Allen Ginsburg strumming on his guitar, and chanting verses to the audience as they swayed sitting on top of cushions on the floor. Since then, the series has featured dozens of outstanding and respected poets over the years. In recent years, the series has also featured renowned fiction writers. Poets featured in the series have won a host of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book award, and the PEN Literary Award. For more information on the Wordsmiths Reading Series, contact Dr. Rackin at Ethel.Rackin@bucks.edu.

Bucks County Short Fiction Contest is Open for Entries

 The Fall 2023 Bucks County Short Fiction Contest is open for entries from Bucks County residents who are 18 or older and are not employees of Bucks County Community College. The deadline for submissions is 12 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2023. The top three winners will receive gift cards of $200, $100, and $50, and will share their work at a celebratory reading in November with this fall’s final judge, writer Emma Copley Eisenberg, attending. Stories must be previously unpublished, including in blogs and online platforms, and must be submitted online. Complete rules and the submissions link are available on the Bucks County Short Fiction Contest page. Eisenberg’s first book, “The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia,” is a work of hybrid nonfiction that mixes memoir, cultural criticism, and reporting. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and Editor’s Choice of 2020. Her debut novel, “Housemates,” will be released by Hogarth Books, a division of Random House, in June of 2024. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University, and has taught creative writing at Bryn Mawr College, Temple University, and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in fiction. Raised in New York City, she lives in Philadelphia, where she co-founded and now serves on the board of Blue Stoop, a community hub for the literary arts. The Bucks County Short Fiction Contest receives funding and administrative support from the Department of Language and Literature at Bucks County Community College. For further information, contact the contest director, Professor Elizabeth Luciano, at elizabeth.luciano@bucks.edu.
Centurion Ale in glass and cans

BCCC’s Brewing & Fermentation Science Program Partners With Moss Mill Brewing

 BCCC’s Brewing & Fermentation Science Program Partners With Moss Mill Brewing Company to Release Centurion Ale The STEM Department at Bucks County Community College is excited to announce the release of Centurion Ale, an exploratory beer release made possible by a collaboration between Bucks County Community College’s Brewing & Fermentation Science Program and Moss Mill Brewing Company in Huntingdon Valley, PA. Centurion Ale, named after the College’s mascot and sports teams, was made with several malted barley grains from Proximity Malt; German Tettnang hops; and a German ale yeast strain. It has a deep amber color with an ABV of about 5.5%. The flavor is one of malt (biscuit) with just enough hop bitterness producing a well-balanced beer. Amber in color, Centurion Ale is available now on tap at Moss Mill Brewing Company as well as in canned 4-packs to-go. The artwork for the can was selected via a county-wide contest and the winner was Susan Alexander of Quakertown. The College offers an associate of applied science degree in Brewing & Fermentation Science—the only brewing science associate degree in the Philadelphia metro area—to prepare students for employment within the brewing and/or fermentation industries. Students must be at least 21 years of age prior to registering for courses involving beer production. To learn more about the 60-65 credit program, visit the Brewing & Fermentation Science page. Bucks County Community College and Moss Mill Brewing Company anticipate that this will be an ongoing partnership, with each new Brewing & Fermentation Science cohort having the opportunity to be a part of the brewing process. Moss Mill is located at 109 Pike Circle, Unit D, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006, and is open Wednesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
New students gather for large group photo on the quad

BCCC Hosted Its Second Annual President’s New Student Convocation

 Continuing the tradition launched last year, Bucks County Community College (BCCC) held the Second Annual President’s New Student Convocation on Thursday, August 31 at the Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940) in the Gymnasium. Convocation is the official introduction to academic life at the College and welcomes new students and their families with a ceremony to mark the milestone. BCCC’s president, Dr. Felicia Ganther, introduced the inaugural event in 2022. “The start of our students’ academic journeys is an exciting time for them and for the College— it’s a new beginning, the next step on their pathway to their educational and life goals—and the entire college community is happy to celebrate the occasion.” This year’s keynote speaker was Bucks County native Karen Gross, founder of She Rocked It, a media and mentorship platform, who was accompanied by acclaimed musician Tim Motzer. Together, the duo presented the Rock-It Roadmap™, a series of six lessons for a courageous life, education, and career. Through words and music, Gross energized the new students to raise their unique voices, follow their audacious dreams, and build a supportive community at Bucks. “We’re proud to keep this tradition going for our new students and really let them know how monumental this moment is in their academic careers,” said Dr. Rodney Altemose, Interim Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at BCCC. “The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time, and we’re celebrating in true Bucks style.”
Calligraphy pen and paper

BCCC Launches 47th Bucks County Poet Laureate Competition

 The search is on for the 47th annual Bucks County Poet Laureate, according to Bucks County Community College (BCCC) Professor Ethel Rackin, Ph.D., director of the longest-running poet laureate program in Pennsylvania. The contest is open to Bucks County residents over the age of 18 who have not previously served as poet laureate, said Rackin, who teaches language and literature at BCCC, where the program is based. Each entrant must submit 10 original poems of any style or length along with an entry form to the college’s Language and Literature Department. Entries must be submitted online by Friday, September 8, 2023. The winner receives a $500 honorarium, a proclamation from the Bucks County Commissioners, and will be featured at a Fall reading and reception at Bucks County Community College with the previous year’s poet laureate, Tom Mallouk. Poetry of any kind is welcome. The entry requires 10 poems, any style, form, or length. All work must be original, published or unpublished, typewritten or word-processed, one poem per page, in black ink. The poems and entry form must be submitted online. There is no charge to enter the contest, but there is a limit of one entry per person. Two judges will blindly select the winner. The preliminary judge will narrow the entries down to a few dozen for the final judge, who will choose the winner and three runners-up from the pool of finalists. The 2023 final judge will be Joanna Fuhrman. Fuhrman, an assistant teaching professor in creative writing at Rutgers University, is the author of six books of poetry, most recently To a New Era (Hanging Loose Press, 2021). Fuhrman's next book Data Mind, a collection of prose poems about the internet, is forthcoming from Curbstone/ Northwestern University Press in 2024. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming on The Slowdown podcast and in The Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Poetry 2023. Last year—after publishing with them since she was a teenager, Fuhrman became a co-editor of Hanging Loose Press. The preliminary judge will be Courtney Bambrick. Bambrick is poetry editor at Philadelphia Stories. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Inkwell, Invisible City, New York Quarterly, Beyond Words, The Fanzine, Philadelphia Poets, Apiary, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Mad Poets Review, and Certain Circuits. She teaches writing at Thomas Jefferson University’s East Falls campus in Philadelphia. The Bucks Poet Laureate Program is one of the oldest in the country. It also holds a High School Poet Contest every spring, yet another way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region. For more information, contact Ethel Rackin at ethel.rackin@bucks.edu.
Evolve sculpture

Evolve Arrives to Sculpture Walk on Newtown Campus

The Hicks Art Center Gallery is thrilled to announce the recent addition of Wendy Liss’ Evolve to the Sculpture Walk on the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College. Evolve by Wendy Liss is the latest addition to the Sculpture Walk on the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College. In the fall of 2022, Clifford Eberly, Exhibitions Associate at the Hicks Art Center Gallery began a conversation with Liss and invited her to create an original piece for the site after researching sculptors in the region and seeing a video of her discussing her site-specific installation at Sculpture in the Glen III, located in Gladwyne outside Philadelphia in the fall 2021. Eberly explained, “What struck me about Wendy’s approach to placing her sculpture, Presence, was how she responded to the environment by finding a tree trunk in situ for the base and adding moss to make it appear as though the clay body was born out of the ground.” In her studio, Liss and Eberly discussed the location and scale of the campus site, and Liss set about making drawings and creating maquettes for the piece after several site visits. She collaborated with Tom Ransom, a metal fabricator, who created the steel support portal that is bolted to the salvaged base of the sculpture. Evolve is a site-specific work and is brilliantly positioned so when viewed from a distance or up close, the steel ring shifts its visual volume from a thick curving ribbon to a thin encircling orange line contrasting with the sky while framing the rhythmic organic shape of the ceramic elements within. Inspired by nature and the human figure, Liss works out of her studio in the suburbs of Philadelphia where her creative process is driven by the energy and environment that surrounds her. Liss earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts (‘84) and an Art Education Certification (‘85) from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, PA. Her work is shown throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and is available through InLiquid, The Art Shop at Moore College of Art and Design, and Parisa Rugs & Decor in Old City, Philadelphia. Currently she is exhibiting in Claybash at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ on view until September 3. On First Friday in October 2023 her work will be featured at Parisa Rugs & Decor in Old City, Philadelphia. The community is invited to view Evolve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week located along Linden Lane on the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College. To schedule a free Sculpture Walk tour, email Clifford Eberly at gallery@bucks.edu.
Donor check presentation

Gene and Marlene Epstein to Fund 100 Scholarships for Lower Bucks Students

 Gene & Marlene Epstein are partnering with the Bucks County Community College Foundation and are giving 100 local Bucks County high school graduates the opportunity for higher education! One hundred area high school graduates will receive a scholarship award thanks to a very generous donation from the Gene & Marlene Epstein Humanitarian Fund. Committed to helping students in need earn a degree or credential, Gene & Marlene donated to the Bucks County Community College Foundation. "Figuring out how to pay for college should not be a barrier for a person who wants to make a better life for themselves. We want every student in Bucks County to know that there is a path forward for them at Bucks County Community College, and this scholarship will help you get started today. Don’t think you can afford college, well now you can!" says Gene Epstein, long-time supporter, and advocate of Bucks County Community College. "We are honored and gratified by the generosity of Gene and Marlene. Their support of our students enables us to stand firm on our mission of providing accessible educational opportunities for our community," says Dr. Felicia L. Ganther, President of Bucks County Community College. The Gene & Marlene Epstein Humanitarian Fund will award 100 scholarships to students who have financial need. In combination with students’ financial aid package, this fund will result in full scholarships. The full scholarship awards will be announced by the College’s Foundation by the start of the Fall semester which begins on August 23. Scholarship eligibility is based on financial need and is for recent high school graduates from Lower Bucks County. For consideration, students must apply for admission, and complete a FAFSA application. College admission counselors are available in person and virtually for consultations and for support in applying to Bucks. "Every student’s story is different, but the financial gap in paying for college is still apparent. Through the generosity of Gene and Marlene Epstein, a student can earn achieve greater success in college without a financial burden." says Dr. Rodney Altemose, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. Gene and Marlene Epstein have been generous donors to the College for many years. In 2017, the Foundation in collaboration with the College’s Board of Trustees dedicated the College’s Bristol campus as the Gene and Marlene Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks. "We are grateful for their commitment to helping others and serving the Bucks County community. Gene’s motto is, ‘what can I do to make someone’s life better today?’ Every day, through their philanthropy and advocacy, they answer this question with intention and with pride." says Christina Kahmar, CFRE, Executive Director, Foundation, and Interim AVP, Advancement at Bucks County Community College. In addition to this new scholarship, the Bucks County Community College Foundation also offers more than 150 scholarship funds for students pursuing their education at Bucks. For more information about the scholarship, please contact scholarships@bucks.edu or 215-968-8416.
Exterior of Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks

Bucks Launches New Weekend College Program

With the Newly Launched Weekend College Program, Students Will Earn Credentials Faster in as Few as Eleven Months, leading to an Exciting and In-Demand Career or Accelerating the Transfer Process to a Four-Year University Faster! Bucks County Community College announces the launch of the new Weekend College Program beginning on August 23. Students who enroll in the Weekend College option will prepare for a new, exciting, and in-demand career while quickly and affordably accelerating their path to the workforce or a four-year university. Courses start at just $687 each, including both tuition and fees. Financial aid, scholarships, and payment plans are available! Bucks proudly launches the Weekend College option in the following disciplines: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice Associate of Science in Health Science Paralegal Certificate “In as few as 11 months, the ABA-Approved Weekend College Paralegal Certificate program will prepare individuals with the practical skills and knowledge needed to excel in the high-demand, high-earning potential paralegal field.” – stated Greg Luce, Dean of Business + Innovation. These accelerated cohorts will meet Fridays and Saturdays using a hybrid model for students’ needs for flexibility. Enrolled students will be able to learn from and work with industry experts while participating in networking events with local employers, alums, and students. Additional opportunities will be offered through dinners and breakfasts with faculty and guest speakers. Workshops will also be provided for students, focusing on career development, interviewing skills, resume building, and more. Financial aid and scholarships are readily available. “Bucks is already well known for developing successful graduates who are fully prepared for gainful employment throughout our region. That said, we fully acknowledge the reality that some potential students simply cannot afford to give up time during the workweek to acquire the skills necessary for advancement to the next level. This program addresses that need and provides a flexible pathway for these students to pursue their dreams on their schedule” – Jody Seutter, Interim Associate Provost & AVP, Academic Affairs. “The nursing profession is a well-respected, high-demand career. Students are getting recruited even before they graduate from our program. We are well known for developing successful graduates who pass the licensure exam and are respected employees of a great variety of institutions in the county.” – Dr. Connie Corrigan, Dean, Health Sciences “A Criminal Justice degree from Bucks prepares you for the workforce or to transfer to a four-year college or university. This program offers you the opportunity to earn your degree in an accelerated timeframe while learning from and working with experts in the field.” – Samantha Gross, Dean, Social & Behavioral Science Classes are forming now for the Weekend College cohort that begins August 23! Interested students can request more information online or contact weekendcollege@bucks.edu. *Disclaimer: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
Building and Construction Trades graduates

Inaugural Building & Construction Trades Cohort Celebrates Graduation

 Bucks County Community College celebrated six Building & Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program students during their inaugural cohort graduation on June 15 at the new Center for Advanced Technologies on the Gene and Marlene Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks in Bristol, PA. Graduates of this 10-week program will be applying for union-registered apprenticeships. The program, funded through a PA Department of Labor and Industry PAsmart grant and believed to be the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, consists of 288-hour curricula that provides the fundamental education necessary for graduates to apply for a Registered Apprenticeship Program to potentially secure a high-paying, family-sustaining job. Additionally, students earn OSHA-10 and Aerial Platform Lift Safety certificates. Throughout the 10-week program, students experienced hands-on training in a variety of building and construction trade disciplines including sheet metal working, electrical, and plumbing. Luke Millevoi of Conshohocken, a member of the inaugural cohort of students who graduated from the program, praised the learning opportunities it provided him. “Through this hands-on training and classroom instruction, I’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of the trades, and I am confident in my ability to contribute effectively to the workforce. The Building & Construction Trades program has opened doors to a career that aligns with my passions and values while allowing me to contribute to a better future for all workers. I am grateful for the opportunities it has presented, and excited about the journey that lies ahead.” Millevoi, who has already applied to be accepted into Steamfitters Local 420, also said that the program has helped him form strong bonds with his classmates and Bucks County Community College staff. “I’ve developed friendships with fellow students and instructors who share the same passion for the trades, creating a network of support that will endure throughout my career.” Anjeannette Parlin of Philadelphia, another member of the inaugural cohort, said she chose to enter the Building and Construction Trades program because, “it ties into what I want to do in life, which is real estate and development.” Parlin, who has applied to be accepted into Philadelphia Carpenters Local 158 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, said that she enjoyed every day being in the program and that, “these were some of the best weeks of my life. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity, the knowledge, the experience, and exposure that I’ve gotten from these past 10 weeks.” The pre-apprenticeship program can accommodate as many as 32 students over the next two years thanks to the current grant funding.
Rhianna Searle

George School Senior Named Bucks County High School Poet of the Year

 Rhianna Searle, a senior at the George School, has been named the 2023 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year, officials at Bucks County Community College announced. Searle, who was first runner-up in last year’s contest, rose to the top of more than 120 entries in the 36rd annual contest, part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program administered by the college. For the first-place finish, Searle wins $300 and will be honored with a poetry reading on Saturday, May 13 from 2-4 pm in Tyler Hall 142 on BCCC's Newtown Campus. The event will feature winners, finalists, and judges. The three poems Searle submitted for the contest were entitled “Steady,” “Sugar Snap Peas” and “Springtime Sonnet.” The judges were Tom Mallouk (the current Bucks County Poet Laureate) and Nicole Steinberg (last year's BCPL). In addition to the winner, the judges also named Olivia Cao, a junior Central Bucks High School South, as first runner-up. Second runner-up was senior Eva Houlton from New Hope-Solebury school. Third runner-up was Charlotte Smyth, a junior from Central Bucks High School West. The three runners-up will also read from their works during the celebration. The annual Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest is another way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region. For more information contact Dr. Ethel Rackin, a Professor of Language and Literature at Bucks and the director of the Wordsmiths Reading Series and Poet Laureate Program at Ethel.Rackin@bucks.edu. Winning poems Steady I slide into womanhood like a glove trying on different sizes testing the waters. Most girls bloom, are written in poems as flowers, green metaphors. I wonder if most of those poems are written by men. I am the knot of roots beneath the soil. As time’s waters roll women are the river stones shifting but standing firm. My own mother smells of muscle balm and quinoa. She sounds like summertime. Women are strong like wintering trees. Stop calling their beauty ephemeral like cherry blossoms. Womanhood is also private fitting in the crevices between stonework and sheets fingers tracing Georgia O’Keeffe patterns; Like cacti in deserts, women hold their own water. Sugar Snap Peas “Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. Let me call it, a garden.” -Natalie Diaz, “From the Desire Field” It’s not that poetry isn’t truth –it’s a trellis. I’d like to untie the knots of my fear like tendons turned tendrils reaching towards the light to transplant myself to let myself be wild and patient I wrap metaphors around my arms like casts after some time I can crack them off, peel them off, I become one not a comparison or a shadow but bones and being. Anger is red. Love is peach colored anxiety No–love is blossoms turned fruit and even fear is fertile. What I mean to say is                        I love younot in spite of but through My love is never adjacent Fear and love are the same poem at different stages of revision, the same sentence, rewritten, translated. Springtime Sonnet “And it’s over!” cry the leaves, as daybreak Chimes. And still and still…when I am leaning Here on you: it’s a sweeter kind of ache. Time is passing away, away, cleaning And rearranging. My ambitions changed. In hearts’ safe chambers, recollections sproutAnd melt as something soft becomes estranged. Now April comes around again with doubtOf Summer, then September. Trees turn green Again, and I will become old and new. And oh the tremor! Oh the thrill–eighteen! And yet…less fear when sitting here with you.              We are young, and caught in April’s arm              And now for just a moment, out of harm.

Learn About ‘Cultivating Your Resilience’ from Mental Health Expert at Bucks

Clinical psychologist Dr. Lise Deguire shares how to use cognitive tools of resilience to improve well-being at 12:30 Tue. April 25 at Newtown and online Bucks County Community College invites the public to “Finding and Cultivating Your Resistance,” a mental-health awareness program at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Newtown campus and online. The forum is presented by clinical psychologist Dr. Lise Dequire, who suffered third-degree burns on two-thirds of her body at age four, setting her on a journey of pain, hospitalizations and social ostracism. Yet she now lives a life of great joy, meaning, and purpose. In her talk, Dr. Deguire uses these personal experiences to discuss psychological resilience, the cognitive tools of resilience, and how we can cope more resiliently with life’s challenges. The award-winning author of Flashback Girl: Lessons on Resilience from a Burn Survivor has appeared on NPR, NBC, ABC, FOX, Sirius XM, and numerous podcasts, and writes a blog for Psychology Today. Learn more about the speaker at www.LiseDeguire.com. The event takes place in the Library Learning Studio on the campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa. It will be also offered live online to those who register at https://bit.ly/FindYourResilience. “Finding and Cultivating Your Resilience” is brought to you by the Office of Community and Government Relations, and by the student-run Psychology Club. It’s among several educational forums to encourage engagement and dialog on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community. To learn more, visit www.bucks.edu/diversity.
Group of people posting for photo

BCCC and Philadelphia Building Trades Announce Historic New Partnership

Pre-Apprenticeship Program To Provide Students with Path To Union Membership Officials of Bucks County Community College (BCCC) and the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council today announced the launch of the “Bucks County Community College Building & Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program”, which is believed to be the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. The 11-week course offers BCCC students the opportunity to study many skilled Building Trades disciplines. Skilled building and construction workers are in high demand. To help fill the need, BCCC has partnered with local Building Trades unions to offer its students free training and career service assistance. The launch of this new program is funded through a PA Department of Labor and Industry PAsmart grant. Participants will learn from industry experts with extensive experience in their fields at the state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) on the Gene and Marlene Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks in Bristol, PA. The 11-week, 288-hour curricula will provide the fundamental education necessary for graduates to apply for a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) to potentially secure a high-paying, family-sustaining job. Additionally, students will earn OSHA-10 and Aerial Platform Lift Safety certificates. “The Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council is ecstatic to be partnering with Bucks County Community College on this unprecedented new Pre-Apprenticeship Program,” said Building Trades Business Manager Ryan N. Boyer. “This innovative program, taught by our experienced Trades’ instructors, will provide students who are interested in a career in the unionized construction trades with industry-specific knowledge and a significant edge on other apprentice training program applicants.” “Bucks County Community College is proud to join forces with the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council in this historic partnership,” said Dr. Felicia L. Ganther, President of Bucks County Community College. “Bucks is committed to providing students with pathways to meaningful and relevant career opportunities, and this collaboration furthers that commitment. We are thrilled to welcome our first cohort of students to this inaugural program!” Joining Boyer and Dr. Ganther on the dais were BCCC Board Chair Tom Jennings and Associate Vice President Tracy Timby. For many young people, a traditional four-year college degree is not a viable option, for various reasons. The Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council Apprenticeship programs provide young people with the opportunity to “earn while they learn”, along with entry into family-sustaining careers in the unionized construction industry, upon graduation. This unique Pre-Apprenticeship Program being offered by BCCC and the Trades offers participants a potential gateway into a highly-coveted Philadelphia Building Trades Apprenticeship Training Program. The inaugural cohort of the BCCC Pre-Apprenticeship Program begins April 10, 2023 and will feature a total of eight students. With the current staff of seven Building Trades instructors, the BCCC Pre-Apprenticeship Program can accommodate as many as 32 students over the next two years under current grant funding. For more information, contact Program Manager Christine Harvie at christine.harvie@bucks.edu.
Painting by Edward Ellis Hughes

Code Number Safe [Un]Safe Exhibition At Hicks Art Center Gallery

 Hicks Art Center Gallery at Bucks County Community College is pleased to present a group exhibition of new and historic art works featuring U.S. and internationally based artists. Code Number Safe [Un]Safe will be on view from Wednesday, January 18 through Saturday, March 4, 2023. The group exhibition will feature sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, assemblage, photography, and video works by: Miriam Carpenter, Paul W. Evans, Helen Rebekah Garber, Hand Drawn Map Association (Kris Harzinski), Daniel Healey, Edward Ellis Hughes (Courtesy of The Petrucci Family Foundation), Barbara Martin, Kathleen McSherry, Neal Pressley, Lorna Simpson (Courtesy of The Petrucci Family Foundation), and Steina and Woody Vasulka (Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix). The premise of the exhibition "Code Number Safe [Un]Safe" is built around the concept of numbers and numeric systems holding values for safety and stability or on the contrary- impermanence and oppression. The cohort of artists participating in the exhibition use numbers and numeric identifiers to describe personal, process and historical narratives through sculpture, painting, collage, or visual diagrams/images that symbolize spaces for realized well-being or vessels of conflict. Artistic expression is often codified solely as a right-brain endeavor. However, many artists utilize left- brain processes, organically, out of preference or necessity, by sourcing a multitude of numeric systems to augment right-brain creative activities; in artworks deploying painting, printmaking, photography, video, assemblage, and sculpture in the exhibition “Code Number Safe [Un]Safe.” For example, Lorna Simpson’s photogravure and screen-print work, “Counting” employs various means of quantifying time, history, architecture, and the body(hair) with texts flanking three images while Barbara Martin’s expressionist paintings include repetitive marks or tallies to measure rhythm in dance. Enumeration for Paul W. Evans is made visible by tackling familial relationships through sibling birth order. In addition, Evans paints and collages numbers juxtaposed with plant shapes to question the proliferation and detrimental side effects of genetically modified organisms to humans and the environment. Neal Pressley’s “No. 7” series of woodblock prints capture a historic building’s past identification before it was erased during the site’s development into a construction company’s Lancaster headquarters. An augmented reality video will illustrate where the “No. 7” was originally seen on the building prior to its transformation. Daniel Healey’s Letraset transfer drawings are shape forms the artist meticulously creates by hand, “not [with] a computer, or lensing an AI response.” Steina and Woody Vasulka on the other hand, embraced new medias and broke technological barriers to create moving images that questioned the presence of the human hand in artmaking. Their two works in the exhibition, “1-2-3-4” and “Solo for 3” look archaic now and almost humorous in their basicness. But at the time of their making, the videos were groundbreaking. From the Hand Drawn Map Association’s archive, founder Kris Harzinski is exhibiting a selection of maps with subjects ranging from concepts of partnership to transit line numbers in a fictional city. While numbers do not appear visually on Miriam Carpenter’s exquisitely carved wood feathers, the title of the first one the artist created is the average number of feathers of a mallard duck, 11,903. Each subsequent sculpture’s numeric title is one less than the one made before it. In “Code Number Safe [Un]Safe, Carpenter will exhibit the 15th feather, “11,889.” Experiencing the daily ritual of self-injection as a means of healing and survival, Kathleen McSherry felt guided to make the sculpture “MS Nightmare” from found objects in her collection that spoke to her in a transformative and meaningful way that words cannot describe. In Edward Ellis Hughes’ remarkable collaged painting from 1982 the numeric references are not obvious which raises questions that may remain unanswered; “Did the artist choose the numbers randomly and do they signify some thing or being?” Although numbers are attached to specific values like money and hurricane categories, the artists in “Code Number Safe [Un]Safe” made conscious decisions to include them in their artworks as clues to explain the inherent values personally significant to them and others. Exhibition programming is free and open to the public and includes: February 2, 2023, 2 p.m. - Helen Rebekah Garber will present an Artist Talk in the Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College. Garber will speak about her journey as a nurse practitioner and artist and how they intersect on her canvases through numerical patterns. Following the Artist Talk, the exhibition’s opening reception will be held in the Hicks Art Center from 4-6 p.m. February 7, 2023, 10-11:30 a.m. - Kris Harzinski, artist, director, and founder of The Hand Drawn Map Association will present a map making workshop in the Hicks Art Center room H100. Materials and supplies will be provided. Gallery hours throughout the exhibition will be Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays noon to 4 p.m.     About the Hicks Gallery Hicks Art Center Gallery at Bucks County Community College provides a varied series of curated art exhibitions and related programming in support of the Arts & Communication Department and as an important educational and cultural resource for the community. The Gallery is located at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940 in the Hicks Art Center on the Newtown campus of Bucks County Community College.

The Esteé Lauder Companies Donates to BCCC to Advance Supply Chain Education

ELC donation will fund scholarships for the next generation of diverse talent near ELC’s manufacturing and distribution operations in Bristol, PA The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is proud to donate $200,000 to Bucks County Community College, a public community college located nearby ELC’s long-held manufacturing and distribution operations in Bristol, PA. This donation, which marks the largest single corporate investment the college has received in its 60-year history, will help advance supply chain education and employment opportunities for students in the local community and lay the foundation for a comprehensive, multi-year career readiness program. “As one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributers of prestige beauty products, The Estée Lauder Companies is committed to investing in the supply chain talent of the future,” said Roberto Canevari, Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain, The Estée Lauder Companies. “We are thrilled to offer Bucks County Community College students an opportunity to advance their education and be exposed to the vast career opportunities available in supply chain.” This donation is expected to fund scholarships for local students with expressed interest in supply chain to complete their two-year Associates degree at Bucks County Community College on-campus or online. Students will obtain experiential learning opportunities at ELC’s Bristol, PA facilities to gain real-world insights into supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution operations. ELC leaders will also serve as mentors for these students. “It is an honor to partner with The Estée Lauder Companies to unlock new academic and hands-on learning opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Felicia L. Ganther, President of Bucks County Community College (Bucks). “This career pathway program will provide support, funding and intentional engagements to propel students from their first college course to successful supply chain careers. It underscores the power of higher education and corporate collaborations to drive employment.” This donation marks a critical step in laying the foundation for a broader, comprehensive educational and career readiness program in development between The Estée Lauder Companies, Bucks County Community College, and Temple University's Fox School of Business. This program will foster a new pathway that guides students through high school and college to pursue full-time careers in supply chain operations. Additional details on this unique program and the initial pilot group of students will be unveiled in spring 2023. For additional information on the Supply Chain Scholars program, please contact SupplyChainScholars@bucks.edu or visit the Supply Chain Scholars website bucks.edu/SupplyChainScholars. The Estée Lauder Companies is one of the largest employers in Bucks County, PA with thousands of employees working across its manufacturing and distribution operations. Throughout its 33-year presence in the area, ELC has supported the Bucks County community through support to a range of local organizations. “We are incredibly proud to further our philanthropic investments in the Bucks County community and build a pipeline of emerging talent who can help strengthen our local distribution and manufacturing operations,” said Ken Pickett, Vice President, NA Distribution, The Estée Lauder Companies. “We look forward to the powerful possibilities that this program will unlock for ELC and Bucks County Community College students.” On a global scale, ELC and ELC’s Charitable Foundation are committed to supporting education through partnerships with a range of non-profit organizations and academic institutions in the U.S. and around the world. About Bucks County Community College Founded in 1964, Bucks County Community College is a two-year, public institution located in Southeast Pennsylvania that offers more than 80 programs of study that lead to either an associate degree or certificate, as well as many noncredit certificate and workforce training programs. Classes are held online, and at campuses in Newtown, Pa., Bristol, Pa., and Perkasie, Pa. To learn more, visit bucks.edu. About The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers, marketers, and sellers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products. The company’s products are sold in approximately 150 countries and territories under brand names including: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Lab Series, Origins, M·A·C, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Darphin Paris, TOM FORD BEAUTY, Smashbox, AERIN Beauty, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, KILIAN PARIS, Too Faced, Dr.Jart+, and the DECIEM family of brands, including The Ordinary and NIOD.