story and photo
by Larry Greene
A new book about Three Rivers Community College (TRCC) is generating excitement among staff, faculty, students and alumni.
Compiled by Emeritae Mary LaMattina, and Elaine Pelliccio, professors, TRCC, the book is an ensemble capturing the spirit of the college.
“We’re hoping the student body sees the book as part of their own experience,” said Emeritae, adding that there is much anticipation from students.
The book’s title, Open, is descriptive not only of the students and faculty, but of the newly reconstructed facilities at the Thames Valley and Mohegan campuses.
“We have natural light coming in and the facility is very open so it ties in with the title of the book,” said Elaine.
Open Hearts and Open Minds continue the theme as titles for chapters in the book. The theme was partly inspired by President Obama, who will be sent a copy of the book. Included in each book is an open invitation from Three Rivers’ President and the book’s commissioner, Dr. Grace Jones. The invitation is for “all community members to take part in the exciting experience taking place daily on our campus.”
Elaine said, “It took awhile to decide what we wanted to do.” Considerations included looking timelines and historical highlights, but it was decided to compile individual perspectives of the college from anyone who may be involved with the college. The result was a surprising reflection told through poetry by a student, an article by alumni Shawn Mawhiney, director of communications, William W. Backus Hospital, and even artwork by workers in the college’s maintenance department.
“People had different perspectives,” said Emeritae.
“I think they have captured the spirit, the essence of us, the real humanity of being as different as different can be,” said Dr. Jones.
“We’re very proud of this book,” said Jones, who believed she chose the two best candidates to oversee the project.
Elaine and Emeritae were surprised at how intensive the project was, requiring skills beyond what they used as English professors at the college. Even the stitches in the book’s binding needed their attention. “Who would think of the stitches, it was sometimes overwhelming,” said Elaine.
When the pre-published book was reviewed by a 12-year-old girl, who said the book made her want to go there to college, Elaine and Emeritae knew they had accomplished their challenge.
On November 23, the book will be available in the Three Rivers book store and in the gift shops at Backus Hospital, Norwich, and Lawrence Memorial Hospital, New London.