Connecticut College Magazine · Summer 2013

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Community college partnership brings new talent to campus

Community college partnership brings new talent to campus
Joseph Headen '14 and Leah Mantei '14. Photo by Bob MacDonnell

When Joseph Headen '14 arrived on campus last fall, after a 13-hour drive from Michigan, he brought something that few of his classmates possessed: an associate degree from a community college.

Headen and another rising senior, Leah Mantei, were the first students to enroll under a new Connecticut College initiative to attract qualified transfer students from selected community colleges. Headen and Mantei completed their associate degrees in a small honors program at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich.

“I'm excited about the potential for this program,” says Carolyn Denard, dean of the College and senior diversity officer. “We are expanding access to a Connecticut College education for high-achieving, highly motivated students and, at the same time, expanding the range of perspectives and life experiences represented in our student body, which contributes to the quality of education for all.”

Headen maintained a 4.0 grade-point average in the biology honors program at Henry Ford. Now he is majoring in behavioral neuroscience and preparing to apply to medical school. Over the summer, through a connection of his adviser, Associate Professor of Neuroscience Joseph Schroeder, he is interning with a professor at Wayne State University, working on psychopharmacology projects. He is also finishing up an independent research project on physical activity as a treatment for depression, under the direction of Ruth Grahn, associate professor of psychology and director of the behavioral neuroscience program.

While Headen had never been outside Michigan before applying to Connecticut College, Mantei spent her junior year of high school in Münster, Germany, and speaks German fluently. With her associate degree in Arabic cultural studies, she has been able to self-design a major in Middle Eastern language and culture; she will spend the fall semester studying in Egypt.

The College is also working with other potential community college partners and may expand the program further. The program is financially supported by the Goodnow Family Community College Partnership Fund.


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