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QCC’s 50 Guardians, Alumni Making a Difference: Brenda Safford

Saturday, April 05, 2014


Brenda Safford, Adjunct Faculty, Healthcare and Human Services Division at Quinsigamond Community College

To celebrate Quinsigamond Community College's 50th anniversary, the college is naming "50 Guardians": QCC alumni and friends who have made a difference within the QCC and broader Worcester communities.

Ten Guardians from all manner of occupation and walks of life have already been announced, including this week's profile, Brenda Safford, Adjunct Faculty, Healthcare and Human Services Division at Quinsigamond Community College. GoLocalWorcester will profile a Guardian every week, celebrating each of these 50 extraordinary individuals.

Find out more about Brenda—plus how to nominate a Guardian—below.

Brenda Safford, Adjunct Faculty, Healthcare and Human Services Division at Quinsigamond Community College

A seasoned secretary, Brenda Safford excelled at her job until rheumatoid arthritis derailed her work life. In some ways, the illness proved to be a blessing in disguise. A counselor who was helping her manage the disease encouraged her to return to school, specifically Quinsigamond Community College.

As a non-traditional student, Safford felt she’d be out of place, but decided to take a chance when she enrolled in QCC in 1996. “I was embraced and made to feel welcome,” she said, although she still worried about the coursework. “I hadn’t done math since high school.”

Faculty quickly dispelled her fears and helped cultivate a positive attitude. “They whet my appetite for learning,” she said.

Safford satisfied that hunger by earning an associate degree in human services from QCC in 1998, along with Student of the Year Award. She then enrolled at Assumption College, where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human services and rehabilitation counseling.

Safford, adjunct faculty in the Healthcare and Human Services Division at QCC, recently was named an Alumni Guardian by Quinsigamond Community College, for her service to the community and the college. To help celebrate QCC’s 50th anniversary, the college is naming 50 guardians who have made a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them.

The first 10 guardians were announced earlier this fall, and now QCC is seeking nominations from the community. Read more about the Guardians and find out how to nominate someone at www.qcc.edu/guardians

In 2003, QCC asked her to become its admissions and financial aid coordinator. Two years later another alma mater called. “Assumption College hired me to develop its multi-cultural office. I worked there until 2011,” she said.

In the meantime, she kept in contact with YWCA colleagues. “I learned that they needed someone to rebuild the young parent program,” Safford said. In short order, she became case manager and director of the Women Economic Empowerment program, a position she held until just recently.

Safford never forgot the reception she received at QCC. In fact, she now teaches cultural competence in QCC’s human services program as an adjunct faculty. In the greater community, Safford serves on the YWCA, Youth Center and Girls CHOICE Advisory Boards as well as the City of Worcester Advisory Board for Affirmative Action and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation Scholar-ship Committee.

All of these accomplishments reflect upon Safford’s decision to attend QCC. “It was a priceless experience. They helped me believe in myself and gave me confidence,” she said.

Guardians should be people who have attended QCC or been involved with the college, and have been transformed by their experience. It may have led them to further education, involvement in the community, or entrepreneurship.

The guardians represent the spirit of the College’s mythological mascot, the Wyvern, who was the guardian protector of our sister city, Worcester, England. Staff, faculty, and friends of Quinsigamond Community College also may be considered for this award provided they meet the eligibility guidelines. A selection committee will review nominations and choose guardians.

To nominate a guardian, go to www.qcc.edu/guardians and fill out the form provided. Watch for announcements on Twitter at twitter.com/50Guardians and Facebook at www.facebook.com/50Guardians


Related Slideshow: New England Colleges With the Best Undergraduate Teaching

U.S. News & World Report released a survey conducted in 2013 of college administrators on the best schools for undergraduate teaching. Several New England made their lists for best National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Universities. See which schools made the lists in the slides below: 

Prev Next

National Universities

9. Brown University

Providence, RI 
Students: 6,435
2013-14 Tuition: $45,612
Admissions: 9.6% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

National Universities

5. Yale University 

New Haven, CT
Students: 5,405
2013-14 Tuition: $44,000
Admissions: 7.0% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

National Universities

1. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Students: 4,193
2013-14 Tuition: $46,752
Admissions: 9.8% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

National Liberal Arts Col

18. Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley, MA 
Students: 2,322
2013-14 Tuition: $41,456
Admissions: 42.1% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Liberal Arts Colleges

9. Amherst College

Amherst, MA
Students: 1,817 
2013-14 Tuition: $46,574
Admissions: 13.0% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Liberal Arts Colleges

5. Williams College

Williamstown, MA
Students: 2,052
2013-14 Tuition: $46,600
Admissions: 17.0% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Regional Univ. - North

4. Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT
Students: 3,879
2013-14 Tuition: $42,920
Admissions: 71.2% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Regional Univ. - North

2. Providence College

Providence, RI
Students: 3,810
2013-14 Tuition: $42,206
Admissions: 61.0%

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