MCC Alumni Association Honors Community Leaders, Faculty and Students at Annual Meeting

Manchester, CT – (May 5, 2006) . . . The Manchester Community College Alumni Association is hosting their General Meeting and Reception on Thursday, May 11 in the Library Fireside Commons, LRC at 6 p.m. This event is open to all MCC alumni.

Lucy Anne Hurston ’93, Assistant Professor of Sociology at MCC and author of Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston will be the guest speaker. During the ceremony, the Distinguished Alumni award, the Excellence in Teaching award, the Volunteer Service award and the Outstanding Business Partner award will be presented.

The Distinguished Alumni award will be presented to Donald Pitkin ’04. Pitkin, 85, of East Hartford, is very active in the community, serving on the Town Council for the Town of East Hartford and a member of the East Hartford Round Table. Pitkin is also a member of the First Congregational Church of East Hartford and The Exchange Club of East Hartford. According to the nomination submitted by Stephanie Labanowski, Pitkin donates his time to the Friends of the Senior Centers, Inc., an organization dedicated to raising money for much needed items for East Hartford Senior Centers. He is also part of Connecticut’s famous Pitkin family and he takes time to share his historical knowledge with students. “I believe Don deserves the Distinguished Alumni Award, not for what he has done, but for the legacy he passes on to all who meet him,” stated Labanowski. “He just never stops giving.”

James Gentile is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award. Gentile is co-chair of the English Department at Manchester Community College and has taught full-time for eight years. His work as a teacher focuses on developmental reading and writing. Additionally, he serves as the College’s Teaching and Learning Consultant, developing professional opportunities for faculty at MCC and within the community college system. He has worked with the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium on their online tutoring program in writing and has worked with colleagues in conjunction with the Neag School of Education at UConn on a project focusing on universal design in instruction. Gentile is also co-director of the Connecticut Poetry Circuit and he holds a doctorate in American Literature from Columbia University.

MCC student, Hsiu-Chen Hsu nominated Gentile for the Excellence in Teaching award. “Gentile inspired our class to see the true meaning and beauty of diversity through class readings, writings and discussions,” stated Hsu. ”He taught me not only English, but also how to see the world; the outcome of his class is immeasurable.”

The Volunteer Service award will be presented to Phi Theta Kappa for their involvement at the Alumni Association Car Show and Craft Fair. Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest and largest honor society serving two-year colleges. The organization offers students opportunities for leadership, fellowship, scholarship, and community services.

The East Hartford Gazette will be presented with the Outstanding Business Partner award. For many years, the East Hartford Gazette has served as an important communication vehicle for the College, particularly with publicizing the Alumni Association Craft Fair and other events for the community. Corrine Horran, writer for The East Hartford Gazette, will accept the award on behalf of its staff.

For more information on the Manchester Community College Alumni Association General Meeting and Reception, contact Audrey Letizia at (860) 512-2906 or

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.

News Item Posted On: May 05, 2006
For Additional Information Contact: Endia DeCordova-Murphy at (860) 512-2914