MCC to Offer Immersive Online Experiences for Language Learners7/9/20207/9/2020 5:30 PM
Middlesex Community College is committed to providing access to a high-quality education at an affordable cost to students – while keeping all students, faculty and staff safe and healthy. This fall, the college’s World Language Institute (WLI) and Intensive English Institute (IEI) for English Language Learners (ELL) will be offered online.

“Learning any language successfully involves a number of communication skills that have to be developed in order to grow and flourish,” said Marilyn Glazer-Weisner, MCC’s Director of WLI & IEI. “At MCC, we are both excited and proud that we can bring these learning opportunities to students who wish to learn languages online and in a safe environment. We balance our concern for everyone’s safety and good health with positive learning experiences.”

In these online courses, students learn skills for active listening and understanding, speaking and fluency, reading and reading comprehension, writing to demonstrate knowledge of grammar, and understanding of different cultures.

The college’s WLI offers seven different language options as online courses, including Arabic, French, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Russian and Spanish.

Priya Thangapandian, an MCC WLI faculty member, has helped create an immersive online learning experience that will teach students how to communicate with confidence, learn critical thinking skills, and complete memory-building exercises – including playing online games to learn vocabulary and structure of languages.

“Get attuned to listen and imitate what you hear,” she said. “You can listen to the conversation at a slower speed and imitate a native speaker using the audio lessons in the electronic book. The diverse range of new technologies ensures students will find content perfectly suited to their language skill level, preferred learning style and personal interests, and let the cultures come alive – setting up students to forge deeper connections with languages.”

The IEI helps students develop self-confidence and learn to read, write, speak and listen in English. The 16-week, 18-hours a week program is for ELL students who want to become successful and culturally aware for a U.S. college or university.

According to Susan Wheeler and Rachel Emelock, MCC instructors for the IEI, Middlesex provides courses for non-native speakers of English for students to then start at MCC for a degree or certificate. These online classes allow students to meet with their instructors and fellow students daily. Students will also have access to pre-recorded lessons and tutorials.

“Students can expect daily writing prompts in journals, speaking during collaborative face-to-face sessions, and weekly assignments building their skills so they can succeed in U.S. higher education,” Wheeler and Emelock said. “At MCC, we empower all learners to become productive and socially responsible members of our local and global communities.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldlanguageinstitute/ for more information on the World Language Institute. Go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/ell/ to learn more about the Intensive English Institute. Contact Marilyn Glazer-Weisner at 978-656-3350 or glazerm@middlesex.mass.edu with questions.

MCC’s Fall semester will feature enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Middlesex Community College Awarded $841,000 for Biotech Program6/30/20207/9/2020 5:28 PM
Middlesex Community College has been identified by Strategic Grant Partners (SGP) as the recipient of an $841,000 grant intended to help the college scale up its already successful Biotechnology program by infusing a Learn and Earn Experience for students.

MCC – the first community college to receive a grant from SGP – was selected because of the Biotech program’s high-quality curriculum, its successful graduation rate, the quality of faculty, and the large number of minority and low-income students enrolled in the program who successfully find employment with industry partners.

Middlesex will use the grant funding to create the Biotech Learn & Earn Experience – a new experience within the program focused on helping students complete their associate degree faster. This experience is a unique collaboration with industry partners designed to ensure students gain relevant work experience at the same time as they are completing their academic studies.

“The Learn & Earn Experience developed through our work with Strategic Grant Partners and innovative Biotech companies will help MCC students progress more quickly through their studies and get them into critical industry jobs,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “Our industry partners will get a steady stream of well-qualified employees who will help them meet their research and production goals. This is another creative partnership between the community college and industry partners to support a vital and growing sector of the MA economy.”

Most Middlesex Biotech students are enrolled part-time – taking classes over several years – due to existing job responsibilities, scheduling conflicts and affordability. With this new funding, students in the Biotech Learn & Earn Experience will take face-to-face and hybrid courses at MCC and will be matched with relevant employment opportunities at partnering companies. Students receive the same high-quality and industry ready curriculum the MCC Biotech program is known for – and at the same time – complete a paid work experience with an employer that is invested in their success and understands the academic commitment they have made.

SGP has been working closely with Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Phil Sisson; Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Kathleen Sweeney; Director of the Biotech Program, Mariluci Bladon; and Biotechnology faculty to design a program schedule that aligns with a student’s work schedule. The partners have also worked at identifying industry partners and how to best connect employer need with student participants.

“This partnership will provide financial, academic and professional experience for the students,” Bladon said. “Because the biotechnology field continues to grow, there is a great demand for well-trained MCC students and graduates to accommodate the needs of the industry. At the same time, this grant will allow students to continue their education – this is a ‘win-win’ situation for both parties. I feel the experience is a unique opportunity for the improvement of students’ lives and their professional development.”

The grant from SGP will allow MCC to support students through the experience over the next two years with the first cohort beginning in Fall 2020. Companies who have committed to employing students as Manufacturing Technicians include AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester and Takeda in Lexington and Alewife (Cambridge).

MCC was the first community college in Massachusetts to offer a Biotech program. As more biotechnology labs opened in Massachusetts, there was an evident need for trained technicians. Bladon established MCC’s award winning program in 1990 when she first came to the college. At the start, the program had 25 enrolled and has risen to over 200 students.

“I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Mariluci Bladon, MCC students and biotech companies through the Biotech Learn and Earn Experience,” said Stefana Soitos, MCC’s Director of the Learn & Earn Experience. “It’s an honor to work alongside the Biotechnology program at Middlesex Community College to provide students with the opportunity to gain direct professional experience within the biotech industry while completing their associate degree.”

Middlesex is committed to preparing its students for the 21st Century workforce and strives to create innovative and out-of-the-box options to drive student success. The college is already in the process of renovating the Biotech Lab in order to continue providing students with the necessary technology, knowledge and skills needed to be competitive in the workforce. With the launch of this unique Biotechnology Learn & Earn Experience, the college will be better equipped to focus resources where they are needed most and create meaningful pathways to employment and career success.

MCC’s Biotech program has started scheduling labs for students to take classes this summer. The classes will run at half capacity in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. MCC requires full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – masks, gloves, lab coats and face shields – be worn in order to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty working in the lab. Students are provided with MCC safety guidelines and a self-checklist before coming to class.

“We had scheduled five sections of three lab courses for the first summer session that are integral to the Biotechnology program – Advanced Techniques, Methods in Biotechnology and Immunology,” Dean Sweeney said. “Without these classes, students would not have been able to progress in the Biotech program this fall. The Methods course is critical for those students interested in our Learn and Earn Experience.”

For more information, contact Kate Sweeney, MCC’s Dean of STEM, at 781-280-3609 or sweeneyk@middlesex.mass.edu.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Music Faculty Film At-Home Performances7/8/20207/9/2020 5:27 PM
The Music faculty at Middlesex Community College want to stay connected with their students and the Middlesex community throughout the summer. Several faculty members have filmed at-home performances to stay engaged and continue the ‘A World of Music Concert’ series.

Carmen Peralta-Rodriguez, MCC’s Chair of Music, kicks off the performances by playing “O Polichinelo” by Heitor Villa-Lobos on the piano. She also offers an introduction to the compilation of faculty at-home performances.

“Although my colleagues and I have been able to continue teaching online instruction, we really miss performing at the college,” she said. “Sadly, we can’t return yet, but we’d like to offer you some short at-home performances we will be posting over the next few weeks.”

Other faculty performances include Marcus Santos, a percussionist, playing Hand Drumming Solo phrases from Guinea; Orlando Cela, a flutist, playing “Etude de Salon” by Johannès Donjon; and Aaron Rosenberg, a composer-pianist playing “A Contrivance.” More performances will be added in the coming weeks.

Visit www.youtube.com/channel/UCOEBeNUAl_TcbcnCdB73wLA to enjoy.

These faculty performances are in addition to a student at-home recital released in the spring. MCC students filmed themselves at home and sent it to Cela, who created a compilation video to share with the community. Performances include singers, guitarists, a cellist and the MCC World Drumming Ensemble.

Visit https://youtu.be/2YvHQVic_D4 to watch.

To learn more about the Performing Arts department at Middlesex, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/music/ or email Peralta-Rodriguez at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC is offering expanded online classes for the Fall semester. To learn more and to register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Middlesex CC to Host New and Prospective Student Virtual Open Forum for Fall Semester7/1/20207/9/2020 5:27 PM
The mission at Middlesex Community College is to ensure the academic and personal success of every student. Middlesex has the resources and 20+ year history of award-winning online education to help students who are new to online learning. The college also understands the need to detail plans for the upcoming semester for students who want to take classes in the Fall. MCC’s Office of Admissions is offering a Virtual Fall Semester Open Forum to answer questions that students and their families may have about taking college classes this September.

“At Middlesex, it’s more important now than ever that we stay in contact with our prospective students and their families,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Our Virtual Open Forum is an opportunity to check-in with new students and members of our community about all that MCC can offer them, and to answer their questions about the semester. Although there are a lot of unknowns in our current climate, MCC has a plan in place to ensure that students remain healthy, safe and on track with their educational goals.”

MCC’s Virtual Open Forum will cover the college’s plans for online and on-campus learning options for Fall, as well as Middlesex’s plans to keep students healthy and safe. Students and their families will then have an opportunity to engage in a question and answer session with Admissions staff, academic advisors, enrollment counselors and college leadership.

The open forum will start at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 9 on Zoom. To register, visit https://forms.gle/aBvvBu5vnJ84qDZi6 ​

For more information, contact admissions@middlesex.mass.edu or 1-800-818-3434.

To register for the Fall semester, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434. Classes begin September 9.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Seek Justice & Equality in NYC7/1/20207/9/2020 5:27 PM
When Dr. Jennifer Bauer, Middlesex Community College’s Chair of the Communication Department and Professor of Communication, was approached to lead the Interdisciplinary Studies course 140 - LGBTQ+ History in NYC, she pounced at the opportunity.

“I never took a course like this in college,” Bauer said. “I never had the opportunity to see people like me front and center. Not only featured, but legitimized and celebrated. To be able to bring that to my students is really powerful.”

The LGBTQ+ History in NYC course is a three-day experiential learning travel seminar that takes students to New York City over spring break every March. For two years now, Bauer has been in charge of planning the class. Last year, Kirsten Morrow, MCC’s Coordinator of Student Engagement and Retention, was approached by the administration to help support the trip through the Office of Student Engagement.

“It’s a great example of how we can use the integrated learning model with co-curricular activities, along with academics to support learning outside the classroom,” Morrow said.

Prior to leaving, students complete a series of assignments to prepare themselves for the trip.

“They learn about some of the pioneers in the LGBTQ+ history movement, like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson,” Bauer said. “We learn about Stonewall, they listen to archival footage, listen to podcasts, they read some primary source documents and articles, and then they do a reflection on each piece – what struck them, what they didn’t know, what they were surprised to find out, and then they follow it up with any questions they might have.”

During their three-day visit, students go see a Broadway show – they saw Kinky Boots in 2018 and 2019 – visit an art museum that features LGBTQ+ artists, receive a guided tour of the Village to learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and then tour Harlem so they can learn how the Harlem Renaissance intersects with the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

“I think it’s really important to show that intersectionality and to also underscore the fact that a lot of the pioneers – much like the civil rights movement and almost any movement for justice and equality – have often been Black people, people of color and indigenous people, and that they tend not to get the same credit as their white counterparts do,” Bauer said. “I find it really important – especially given the mission of equity here at the college that we are trying to strive toward – that we center their experiences and contributions.”

Morrow – now a veteran trip leader – was shocked by how much history the students learn.

“There were things I didn’t know about LGBTQ+ history of New York, even though I’ve been out for a very long time,” Morrow said. “While it was a learning experience for me, it was amazing to be able to experience it through our students’ eyes as well.”

She sees this class as an opportunity for all students to expand their worldview through the power of education.

“I firmly believe that a liberal arts education – and education overall – is about expanding a person’s world view,” Morrow said. “One of my biggest goals and why I’m so excited to be involved with this class is around that expansion of the world outside of what a student’s individual experience may be.”

Bauer feels like this class is a step in the right direction and hopes to see more students – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – participate.

“I think it’s so important to have a course like this where people can see themselves represented, and I think it’s equally important for folks who identify as cis or straight to take this class,” Bauer said. “Just because you are not from a specific marginalized group doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know that history.

“It’s equally important and I think it helps you understand the world, become more empathetic, and really be able to better support people who aren’t necessarily like you and have been historically marginalized.”

Although the course did not happen in the spring 2020 semester because of COVID-19, Bauer and Morrow are looking forward to a time when they will be able to bring back the class and travel to NYC with students.

MCC’s Fall semester starts on September 9 and features enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Alum and Lowell-Native Publishes Book6/25/20207/9/2020 5:27 PM
Lowell-native David Moloney published his book “Barker House” in April 2020. A Middlesex Community College and UMass Lowell alum, he now lectures in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. Before becoming an author, Moloney worked at Valley Street County jail in Manchester, N.H. – his time there inspired him to write his book.

Moloney’s original concept for the book was to write non-fiction based on his experience, but feedback from friends helped him develop his writing into a novel. Characters and storylines are somewhat based on his real-life experiences, with necessary changes to protect the people he knows and to make the overall story more interesting.

While some of the content can be dark, Moloney said he infused his stories with some light-heartedness and humor so each chapter can feel like a fresh start. “Barker House” offers the point-of-view of nine different narrators over the course of a year. Some perspectives have multiple chapters, others disappear or return as secondary characters.

“I wanted to use that structure because that’s how prison works,” Moloney said. “People come and go, it’s a revolving door. I did it that way because it’s a novel in stories – each chapter is its own story but when you read it all together, it’s another larger story. You can read one chapter and still be satisfied, or you can read the whole book and it will come together.”

While working at the jail, Moloney took classes at Middlesex to get an associate degree in Liberal Arts. He had started at another college a decade before, but the credits expired. With a baby at home, his goal was to finish his education as quickly as possible and MCC helped him get there.

“I did the MassTransfer program,” he said. “It guaranteed that my credits transferred to UMass Lowell – that was mostly what I was concerned about. I was 26 and I didn’t want to feel like I was wasting any time. That program guaranteed that every minute I spent on campus would be used towards a four-year degree. It was a seamless process.”

When he first got to Middlesex, Moloney thought he would be the oldest in the classroom and that he wouldn’t fit in. He soon realized there were other students in their 60s and 70s and age didn’t matter. It also wasn’t a problem that it had been 10 years since he was first in school. MCC made him feel comfortable and set him up for success.

“The teachers are great [at MCC] and they understand a lot of the students are working a lot of hours, working third shift, they’re showing up to class in uniform or they have young kids,” he said. “That’s the kind of thing you get with community colleges and Middlesex – professors and adjuncts and support staff at community colleges just know the students they have and the support they need.”

MCC professor Emeritus, prison activist and accomplished writer Jean Trounstine taught Moloney’s English Composition courses. According to Moloney, they would talk about his experiences working in the prison – and still continue to meet and talk about writing every few months.

Trounstine also inspired his decision to teach at the college-level. Now as a lecturer, Moloney believes in promoting a classroom that is welcoming and inclusive, rather than intimidating. Although he was nervous to start at MCC, the culture on campus and the support from his professors put him at ease – and that’s how he wants his own students to feel in his classroom.

“You shouldn’t feel lucky to pass a class,” he said. “I think Middlesex and the way the teachers approach their classes, they understand what college is supposed to be. It should be a learning experience and it should set you up for your next plan in life.”

It’s this culture of openness and success that helps Moloney teach a course ¬– on MCC’s Lowell campus – for the Lowell court system called Changing Lives through Literature. The course gives people in the court system an opportunity to read and discuss literature. Many of those who finish the course may see a reduction in court fees or time on their probation.

“A lot of them reluctantly take my class because they hate reading or they haven’t read a book in a long time, and then by the end they wish they could take more classes or read more books,” Moloney said. “We read a book and we talk about the characters’ actions and what they could have done better or differently and I can see them thinking about themselves within the character and within the book.”

Reading helps people learn about different people and perspectives, according to Moloney.

“A lot of times when I see people with hateful comments or rhetoric, I always wonder if they read good literature about characters that don’t look like them,” he said. “I feel like if we just read more, if we just allowed ourselves to see what other people experience, that would help a lot.”

Moloney also reads a lot in order to work on his writing process. He lists authors Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Tim O’Brien and William Faulkner among his favorites. Moloney suggests to read books outside of a normal comfort zone and to just write and see where it goes.

Every day, Moloney writes about 500 words – enough to flesh out a story but not too much that his writing starts to feel rushed. But developing the story doesn’t stop when he stops writing – he’s always thinking about his characters and working through ways they would react in particular situations. The people and the places he writes about are inspired by the Merrimack Valley – his home and what he loves.

To students, he also advises they continue taking classes so they don’t have to pause their education, despite any circumstances that may arise.

“I love Middlesex,” he said. “And especially during this time, I think community colleges are going to be a smart move. Do your first two years at a community college instead of going to an expensive university online. It’s smart to be cost-effective with the same quality of classes.”

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

To register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434. Summer Session 3 is five weeks and starts on July 7. Fall Semester will start on September 9.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Dancing His Way to Oral Health at Middlesex Community College7/2/20207/8/2020 12:32 PM
Growing up in a low-income family that moved all over the country, having no health or dental insurance and lacking knowledge of the importance of dental care caught up to Richard Peebles when he was 21 years old.

“I went to the dentist for the first time in eight years and had to have a scaling and root planning procedure (aka deep cleaning) due to the accumulation of bacteria that had caused the beginning signs of bone loss,” he said. “I had to pay $1,000 out-of-pocket for this deep cleaning — after that, I began to brush, floss and research dentistry.”

At that time, Peebles had a career as a professional dancer, having attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for two years on a full-talent scholarship and spending a summer at Alvin Ailey’s Dance School. He had also worked in restaurant management, but was unfulfilled professionally.

“That difficult experience at the dentist made me think about how I could help others with dental education,” he said. “I wanted to teach others how to brush and floss so they wouldn’t end up in the same boat as me.”

He danced into the dental field by earning a certificate in Dental Assisting from Everest College in 2010 and worked as a dental assistant until 2016 when he quit that job to enroll in Middlesex Community College’s Dental Hygiene Program.

Peebles chose MCC because he knew two alumni of the program who spoke highly of the experience. Living closer to Boston than Lowell at the time, he was concerned about the commute, but the cost difference of $8,000-10,000 less per year at MCC than at a school in Boston sealed the deal.

“MCC saved me so much money for the same ¬– if not better – education,” he said.

The highlights of that education, Peebles said, were having a dental clinic on campus that gives students the experience of working in the real world, participating in community outreach and working in harmony with other students in study groups.

The MCC Dental Hygiene Clinic provides low-cost dental procedures and education to MCC students, faculty and the community-at-large, serving more than 600 patients in the 2018-2019 academic year.

“MCC keeps such high standards in the clinic, it is hard to see it any other way now that I am in the community working,” Peebles said. “I have instituted changes in both offices I have worked in because the MCC dental clinic has such high standards — they taught us the right way a clinic should run.”

The community outreach program allowed Peebles to work with elementary school students in Lowell, patients at Tewksbury State Hospital and inmates at the Billerica House of Corrections.

“These challenging situations take you away from the comfort of the MCC dental clinic and help you understand the other aspects of dentistry,” he said. “There are many ways you can provide dental services without being in a dental office. MCC and the outreach program helped me see dentistry in a different way and many different paths for my career.”

Peebles said the array of support services offered to students helped keep him on track.

“From tutors to counselors to fun events, the school offers so many additional aids for students, especially those who are struggling,” he said. “I realized at MCC the education process is not just black and white — there are many ways to learn and educate.”

Peebles graduated from MCC in 2018. At 33 years old, he is a dental hygienist for an Aspen Dental office in Gloucester that opened earlier this year.

What is the most important dental advice Peebles can give?

“Floss, floss, floss!” he said. “The food that gets in-between our teeth cannot be removed even if we have an amazing electric toothbrush that we are using 12 times a day. If you had dirt all over your hands and you washed your hands with your fingers closed, once you dried them and opened your fingers, you would still have dirt between your fingers. If we look at teeth the same way, we may be better off.”

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dentalprograms for more information on MCC’s Dental Programs, including Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Dental Lab Technology.

MCC is still registering for Summer Session 3 and the Fall 2020 semester – featuring expanded online options. For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Names Daniella Dankwa 2020-2021 Student Trustee6/24/20207/8/2020 12:32 PM
Daniella Dankwa, of Lowell, has been named to the Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees for the 2020-2021 academic year as Student Trustee.

An international student from Ghana, Dankwa has been studying at MCC since January 2019. She has been taking general studies courses – having started with English Language Learners (ELL) courses – and plans to apply to MCC’s Nursing Program to become a registered nurse.

“Comparing my experience adjusting to this country and my new educational experience, I just felt like I need to help people,” she said. “I can use my time and my experience at MCC to help others. I’m excited about all the roles and responsibilities – everything about becoming the Student Trustee. I’m honored and excited to be on the Board of Trustees.”

Dankwa immigrated to the U.S. in March 2018 to join her father and sister. Her goal is to further her education, so she can help people as much as she can. It helps to have her sister with her at Middlesex as the two support each other throughout their academic journeys.

As a future nurse, and hopefully a doctor, Dankwa wants to help make positive differences in people’s lives, as she imagines doing so is rewarding both personally and professionally.

It’s her drive to help others that led Dankwa to work on the frontlines of COVID-19 as a part-time Nurse’s Assistant at a nursing home. She is also a Writing Tutor at MCC’s Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) and continued tutoring as MCC transferred spring 2020 coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems because of the pandemic. She figured out the best way for her to connect with students was by calling them and reviewing their writing over an online system.

“When I first started at MCC, I was introduced by the Orientation Leaders to the Tutoring Center and it has really changed my life,” she said. “We have amazing faculty and staff that help you, listen to you and explain everything to you, so I felt the need to do the same for people.”

An active member of the MCC community, Dankwa participates in several clubs including the African Cultural Club and the Philosophy Club. Getting to know the people and places on campus helped her adjust and become a better leader and communicator, which led to her becoming Student Trustee.

“A professor told me if you’re a student and you’re active on campus, it will help you with your academics because you know where to go,” she said. “Being active on campus helped me to develop and build up my skills, especially leadership skills and getting to know people – understanding and respecting diversity, and seeing people’s differences.”

Having the support from the “amazing” professors at Middlesex has also helped Dankwa adjust. She credits them for always guiding her and other students to improve their knowledge and skills, and setting students up for success.

“Middlesex has prepared me very well for my future, my career, my family – everything.”

MCC is now registering for the Summer and Fall semesters, which will feature enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC and Black Rocket Offer Virtual Summer Classes for Kids6/23/20207/8/2020 12:32 PM
It’s not too late to sign up for College for Kids at Middlesex Community College. Middlesex understands the challenges the community is facing, and the college continues to support students and keep them on their path with online learning. As summer approaches, MCC has transitioned the College for Kids Program to virtual online platforms for students to have the chance to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence.

“We are excited about all of the ways MCC is providing fun and informative learning opportunities to the kids in our communities this summer,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “We are partnering with Black Rocket and other community colleges in Massachusetts to offer online Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classes, in addition to our virtual College for Kids Program. There are so many options for students to enjoy an entertaining and productive summer!”

Middlesex’s partnership with Black Rocket and other local Mass. community colleges allows the college to offer more online class options that includes high-quality content at an affordable price. Classes start as early as June 8 and as late as August 24. Each class is $149 for a week of classes – five sessions – and runs Monday through Friday.

Black Rocket helps kids explore STEM in creative ways. Their website lists “six pillars of learning” that their classes follow – creativity, technology, make it yourself, peer learning, 21st century skills and project based.

Class options include designing video games, building 3D models, creating video game animations, becoming a streamer and gamer, coding for interactive storytelling, and more – using familiar and popular gaming systems for inspiration.

MCC’s College for Kids also offers one- and three-week, full- and half-day summer programs for children and teens ages 8 to 17. The program runs July 6 to August 13. Classes will either run on ZOOM, Google Classroom or Google Meet. Having classes in a virtual format ensures kids stay safe and healthy while learning.

Programs are taught by public-school teachers or professionals who are experts in their field. Topics include photography, Dungeons & Dragons, decorating baked goods, arts and crafts, Minecraft, science, graphic design, writing, dancing and nutrition.

Most College for Kids full-day offerings run Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Half-day programs run from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.

For the complete 2020 College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663.

Visit http://hcc.3dcartstores.com/Summer-Youth-Programs_c_2132.html for more information on Black Rocket classes. Please note the link goes to Holyoke Community College’s website. All classes taken with Black Rocket will still be associated with Middlesex.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Keep Kids Engaged This Summer with MCC’s Virtual College for Kids6/10/20207/8/2020 12:32 PM
Summer is around the corner and Middlesex Community College wants to help bring back a sense of normalcy, learning and routine. Middlesex has transitioned College for Kids to virtual platforms for this summer’s programming. Enrollment is now open.

College for Kids offers one- and three-week, full- and half-day summer programs for children and teens ages 8 to 17. The program runs July 6 to August 13. Classes will either run on ZOOM, Google Classroom or Google Meet. Formatting classes to these virtual platforms ensures kids remain safe and healthy as they learn.

These fun and engaging summer programs provide children and youth with unique opportunities to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence. Programs are taught by public-school teachers or professionals who are experts in their field.

“Self-inspiration, easy-to-access, adaptability, easy access to experts and diverse students – this is what remote learning looks like with College for Kids at MCC,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training. “Enjoy our online classes and you will see that we are not just learning in a remote environment, but having fun in an online world of learning. I am so very thankful that I have such a wonderful team of educators who have been able to jump right in and transition to remote learning.”

This summer, explore topics such as photography, Dungeons & Dragons, decorating baked goods, arts and crafts, Minecraft, science, graphic design, writing, dancing and nutrition.

Instructor Tory Wesnofske is a photographer who will teach Digital Photography and Traditional Film Photography. She’s planning to teach on ZOOM from her studio and community darkroom.

“We will be getting down to the basics in both classes by learning to shoot manually, which is a great foundation for anyone interested in taking better pictures,” she said. “In film photography, we’ll be learning about all types of films and cameras, how to use them and how to make sun prints from negatives.”

Most College for Kids full-day offerings run Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Half-day programs run from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.

For the complete 2020 online College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663.

MCC and other local Mass. community colleges are also partnering with Black Rocket for more virtual programming that includes high-quality content at an affordable price. Classes start as early as June 8 and as late as August 24. Visit http://hcc.3dcartstores.com/Summer-Youth-Programs_c_2132.html for more information. Please note the link goes to Holyoke Community College’s website. All classes taken with Black Rocket will still be associated with Middlesex.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Host Two Virtual Walk-In Enrollment Sessions7/7/20207/7/2020 11:34 AM
Take charge of your pathway to success! Fall semester classes at Middlesex Community College begin Wednesday, September 9. MCC’s Office of Admissions is hosting two Virtual Walk-In Enrollment sessions to guide students to success.

The Virtual Walk-In Enrollment sessions will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14 and Wednesday, July 15. These one-stop enrollment sessions will include MCC staff answering questions regarding admissions, course placement and financial aid. Advisors will also be available to meet new students and assist with registering for classes.

“Middlesex has so much to offer this upcoming Fall semester and we in Admissions want to ensure students have the guidance and support they need as they go through the enrollment process,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Over these two days, students can learn more about the college, meet with our staff and advisors, and be more prepared heading into the semester. Please join us on our Virtual Walk-In Enrollment sessions to have all of your questions answered!”

With Virtual Walk-In Enrollment, students can learn about MCC’s more than 80 degree and certificate programs without leaving their homes. They can also receive information about student support services – including tutoring, career counseling and disability support.

Also learn about MCC’s many transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Transfer counseling and transfer-credit evaluation will also be available.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx for more information on Admissions virtual events.

For more information about Admissions at MCC, admissions@middlesex.mass.edu or 1-800-818-3434.

Students can also register for classes by visiting www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or by calling 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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An MCC Alumna Story in Her Own Words6/18/20207/7/2020 11:15 AM
Olivia Reposa graduated from Middlesex Community College in December 2019 as a Liberal Arts & Sciences major. When she first came to Middlesex in the fall of 2017, she was hesitant to extend herself beyond taking classes. It is the community MCC offers that altered her mindset and helped transform her education. The following is her MCC story in her own words.

I remember my first day at MCC because I wanted to be invisible. Two months prior, my entire life had turned upside down. I moved across the country leaving behind my life, family members and self-confidence.

Ducking my head two rows back in history class, I was ready to spend the next two years of my life as “the quiet kid.” MCC however had other ideas. The first day of my Honors Macroeconomics class I was thrown into an environment where everyone cared – and suddenly I realized that I cared too.

Eight months later, I boarded a plane to Florida accompanied by five of my fellow Business Club members and Professor Vikram Sharma. I had recently taken over as President of the Business and Economics club. With the help of Professor Rob Kaulfuss, we had grown the club into one of the largest and most active student organizations on campus.

Now, we were on our way to DECA Internationals.

This year's conference represented over ten thousand finalists from across the world. Despite the staggering size of the competition we were one of the only community colleges to make it to the international event. Nevertheless, we were determined for our voices to be heard. Andre De’Gregorio – one of my fellow business club members – and I were elected as the Massachusetts voting delegates, which allowed us to advocate for our fellow community college students across the international stage.

I was proud to represent my college because – in a lot of ways – it had become my second home.

Taking on leadership roles in the Business and Economics Club – as well as Philosophy Club –allowed me to find my place. Past my involvement in clubs, I had become a Statistics Supplemental Instructor (SI) after falling in love with the subject during Professor Hayat Weiss’s statistics class. My role as an SI opened doors of opportunity – as well as doors of community.

I found a second family at MCC through the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). Beth Kelley and Christine Bell are incredible people who any student is lucky to have the opportunity to work with. Furthermore, as an SI, I had accomplished the “impossible” – bringing together an amazing group of students who were actually excited to learn statistics at 8 a.m.

One of the single most defining moments of my life came my last semester at MCC. I stood on stage at MIT – full suit, mic in hand, ready to present my company, VotED, to the world. I realized on that stage I was no longer the girl that wanted to be invisible – instead I was the person who was ready to speak, ready to be seen, ready for my voice to be heard.

However, the difference I was striving to make didn’t start on stage at MIT – it all started in a classroom in Henderson Hall through the incredible DifferenceMaker program led by Professor Stacie Hargis. Through the program my business partner – Mike Dignan – and I developed our idea into reality, learning how to create a business and pitch our ideas to a panel of experts.

We went on to win the 2019 National DifferenceMaker social impact award. From there, VotED was picked up by a local TV network. Mike and I appeared as guest stars on a talk show, spoke at various startup events, and even had the opportunity to speak to a group of a couple thousand high school seniors at a UMass Lowell event. Almost a year after completing the DifferenceMaker Program, we were selected as one of the five companies to present at MIT Enterprise Night. In the past ten years of the event’s history, we are the only community college students ever to be selected.

I assure you our success was accompanied by many long days and all-nighters, but it was also brought together by the incredible community that supported us – a community I never would have found without MCC.

When it comes to my post MCC life, I was recently the regional director of a GOTV (Get Out the Vote) campaign, and I am currently working as a digital campaign specialist on a progressive political firm to make various issue-based campaigns go digital. I have also been doing some mentoring with different start-up companies and free online tutoring for kids in low income areas – all of which have been tremendously rewarding experiences.

I plan on continuing my education in the fall at Middlebury College with a proposed double major in Economics and Political Science. I am beyond grateful for where I am today – although I can honestly say I never thought I would get here. Thank you to every single person at MCC for allowing me the opportunity to do the impossible, be the impossible, and become a part of something bigger than just myself.

Originally from Parkland, Fla., Reposa now resides in Carlisle, Mass. During her time at Middlesex, she was president of the Business and Economics Club and an officer for Philosophy Club. She also actively participated in DifferenceMaker, a campus start-up workshop that led her to starting her own company VotED. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/ to learn more about how MCC can help you discover your path.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

To register for Summer and Fall classes at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Alum Thrives on Sets of Local TV & Film Productions6/16/20207/2/2020 1:31 PM
Brad Polak discovered what he wanted to pursue for his career while attending Lowell High School and he took his first class in film production with now Middlesex Community College Department Chair of Communications Jennifer Bauer. At first, he thought he was below average in the class, but Bauer saw his potential.

With some prompting from his father – and at the prospect of taking more courses with Bauer – Polak came to Middlesex to get an associate degree in Communications in 2016.

“Brad and I made the move to MCC at the same time, providing me with the rare opportunity to work with a student for five years,” Bauer said. “Bringing the same level of enthusiasm and dedication to his college studies as he did to his high school courses, Brad quickly stood out among the communication majors at MCC.”

After two years at MCC, Polak transferred to Fitchburg State University where he continued to study TV and film production and earned his bachelor’s degree in 2018.

“It was a seamless transfer to Fitchburg,” Polak said. “I was able to pick up from where I left off. With my time at Middlesex, I was able to go full-time film when I got to Fitchburg. I did all my math and my history while I was at MCC and I’m glad I did because I liked them a lot.”

Polak credits MCC for giving him the foundation he needed to succeed.

“I could not have made a better decision,” he said. “Middlesex was an easy choice. I really enjoyed my time there and all of my teachers, not only including my film classes. A lot of them had a really big impact on me. They made it a really good experience.”

In addition to his studies, Polak completed two internships while at Middlesex, including working at the Merrimack Valley Film Festival. He interned in the media department at Lowell High where he got technical experience working on access TV, graduations and town meetings.

Bauer believes it is Polak’s work ethic and amiable personality that helped him succeed in his internships and also made him the recipient of the Communications department’s Outstanding Student Award when he graduated.

Polak works full-time in production on films, TV shows and commercials across Massachusetts. His first role on set was in the locations department. Although it wasn’t what he had expected when he first planned to work in productions, he came to love the work and opportunities he gets.

In this role, he helps find and plan locations where productions will take place, including managing a lot of smaller and larger picture details. Since the locations department has to both open and close sets, Polak often works for 12 to 16 hours at a time.

Middlesex prepared him for the grind.

“A lot of my classes at Middlesex taught me ethic and to keep working,” he said. “That transfers over to everywhere you go. Not even just my communications classes, but a lot of my harder professors showed me what it’s like on the film set. There’s a lot of chaos, but if you’re prepared and you do your job, it runs smoothly.”

Polak emphasizes that on sets people see the hard work being put in and that makes people want to hire you again and again – and ultimately, that’s how you move up.

MCC’s Communications department prepares students with these technical skills and theoretical and ethical knowledge for students to continue on into the production industry – and to be successful amid the chaos – according to Bauer.

“Employers want someone who can communicate clearly, analyze information, work as a team, and think creatively,” she said. “Communications majors learn all these things, and more! As part of your major, you build a portfolio of work, whether it be press clippings, media productions or social media posts.”

Because he flourished at MCC, Polak enjoys being an alumni connection to current students in the Communications department.

“Jen has called me back a bunch to talk to people in the department,” he said. “I love to see people who are kind of like me and can’t wait to get on set.”

Now that he’s made it on set, Polak plans to take advantage of every opportunity he gets – while using the skills and knowledge he learned at Middlesex.

“I hope to move up in my department as much as I can within my next couple of shows and eventually become a locations manager,” he said. “A lot of locations managers become producers because it’s a very similar job. I’d like to just see where my department takes me.”

Some of Polak’s production credits include the recently released Defending Jacob on Apple TV, The Society and The Sleepover on Netflix, and a to be determined film on Disney +.

MCC’s Communications department offers courses in Film and TV Production, Radio Broadcasting, Print & Digital Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising & Marketing, Corporate Communications and Social Media. Communications majors have a wide range of potential job offerings, such as in business, government, politics, law, health care, human resources and education, in addition to entertainment.

This summer, the Communications department is offering several accelerated online courses – running between two and six weeks – such as Intro to Communication & Media, Public Speaking & Professional Presentations, Message Design, Film & Society, Media Writing and Social Media.

MCC’s Summer Session 3 and Fall Semester will feature an expanded roster of online classes. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Goes Online for Summer and Fall Semesters6/9/20207/1/2020 12:03 PM
To keep the Middlesex Community College community healthy and safe, 95 percent of all classes will run online for MCC’s Summer and Fall Semesters. Middlesex has offered award-winning online programs for over 20 years and has built on its solid foundation of success and effective teaching. During these challenging times, having mostly online courses prevents any disruption to learning and student success in case of a second wave of COVID-19.

“MCC will be moving most of its courses online for the Summer and Fall semesters,” said MCC President James C. Mabry. “This will provide students with access to high-quality and affordable courses that will transfer easily. This is a great way to make progress toward your educational goals while staying safe and close to home.”

MCC’s plan is based on Governor Baker’s Four Phase Reopening Plan. In Phase 2, MCC will allow people back on campus in limited numbers for specific courses and programs. The college will ensure the health and safety of everyone arriving on campus by following state workplace safety guidelines and enforcing necessary protocols including signage and other measures.

“Faculty are currently developing rich, high quality online learning environments that will provide all our students with a broad array of courses to continue their education and to meet their career and transfer goals,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs. “We have a long history of award-winning online programs, and this fall will be no exception as we greatly expand our online offerings and services to further meet students’ needs. Quality, convenience and competitive costs are the hallmarks of a community college education. Middlesex has invested in creating a fall semester where those hallmarks are at the center of all we that we offer.”

Middlesex will use four modalities of teaching – asynchronous online learning, synchronous online learning, blended face-to-face with online learning, and in-person learning. Teaching modalities are specially assigned to each course depending on what works best for student learning and safety.

Middlesex faculty and staff develop courses that are specially designed to run online, creating immersive and interactive educational experiences. In the asynchronous online format, students work independently but still engage with materials and other students on their own schedules while meeting course deadlines. Students have on-going access to pre-recorded lessons and tutorials, as well as links to online resources.

In synchronous online courses, specific dates and times are assigned to each class – which are published on MCC’s course schedule. Professors and students engage in live classes in a remote or virtual setting, like Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate. Students must have access to a camera and microphone on their computers in order to participate and complete synchronous classes.

Some programs and classes require hands-on, in-person work. For these blended classes, students complete work online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting. When coming to class, wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and following social distancing guidelines are required.

Classes that have to meet completely in person– such as some STEM and Performing Arts courses – will require wearing PPE and following social distancing guidelines. MCC has strict safety protocols in place in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone who comes to the campuses.

Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts, is impressed by the “creativity, innovation and hard work” that went into the 2020 spring semester. He credits the dedication of students, faculty and staff – as well as the college’s long history with online learning – for the success. He also believes the Summer and Fall semesters will build on this success – especially as faculty and staff continue to work on designing curriculums.

“The support coming from our Director of eLearning, Roxanne McCorry, and Instructional Designer, Daniela Loghin, has been phenomenal,” he said. “We have been able to quickly develop a full schedule that will allow our students to keep progressing in their academic programs and give visiting students high quality, transferable classes.”

McCorry outlines the academic and tutoring services that are available to students as they learn about online education. For students who need guidance navigating the online learning experience, MCC’s Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) provides tutorials on how to use different platforms.

“MCC has student leaders who have taken online classes embedded within some faculty’s courses in order to provide peer-to-peer support,” she said. “Students can take a self-assessment to determine if they are prepared to take an online course. We also offer Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) courses on Digital Literacy to help students succeed with technology-related materials and have our IT service desk to provide student support for any IT issues.”

Loghin believes current circumstances have ensured these teaching modalities be perfected – an effort that has strengthened MCC’s position as a leader in online education.

“Faculty, staff and students are 100 percent invested in learning existing and new technologies,” she said. “And thus, we are in a good position to prepare for the future successfully."

MCC is approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education to offer fully online programs and has received multiple awards over the years. Most recently, the college ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for Summer Session 3 and Fall Semester courses at MCC.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Math Department Credits Collaboration for Success6/11/20207/1/2020 10:25 AM
Middlesex Community College – like other colleges and universities across the world – had to transition spring 2020 coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. As a leader of award-winning online education for over 20 years, Middlesex reacted quickly to continue helping students on their academic paths. It was a team effort for MCC’s Math department.

“The Math department as a whole has been having ZOOM get-togethers every few weeks to check in with each other,” said Linda Dart-Kathios, an MCC Math faculty member. “We were able to record a message of encouragement to our students this way. It has been a lot of fun and certainly a stress relief for many.”

The Math faculty were a beacon of support for their students and for each other. This collaboration ensured students had access to the resources, knowledge and tools they needed to succeed, according to Dart-Kathios. Faculty recorded lectures and shared them on Blackboard to be viewed at any time, in addition to including written documents and PowerPoint slides.

In real-time virtual sessions, faculty used a whiteboard feature to have students practice problems and breakout sessions for small group work. Having the chat feature allowed students to work through problems with each other.

To help in these stressful times, faculty gave students more time to complete tests and assignments, especially as the students became more familiar with completing the assignments online. Faculty also ensured students had access to one-on-one instruction when needed and offered virtual office hours, individual sessions to go over problems, and mini lecture videos to address specific problems and concepts.

Making sure students were aware of tutoring via Supplemental Instruction (SI) and the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) was also important.

Matthew Rondeau, an MCC math student and tutor, believes the math department was communicative with students throughout the semester and understanding of those who had technology issues or other problems. Although tutoring over a virtual system was a new experience, Rondeau was happy to still be able to offer help to those who needed it.

“The math faculty was great,” Rondeau said. “Everyone I worked with – as a student and as an ACE employee – did such an amazing job. It seems as though the school came together and everyone did their best to make the semester work.”

Laura Ferguson is an MCC nursing student who has always struggled with math. Ferguson is working on the frontlines of the pandemic in a testing tent and found remote learning to be intimidating. Guidance from her professors made it easier. Ferguson calls Marie Caruso, MCC adjunct faculty in Math, and Susan Hutchinson, MCC’s Academic Advisor, “miracle workers” for helping her get through her class.

“Professor Caruso was amazing,” she said. “She fully supported me, got involved in helping me succeed knowing I had limited math experience and work in healthcare. I truly believe they wanted me to succeed and that because of their incredible support, they have become a treasured part of my journey.”

While the pandemic presented many challenges globally, Middlesex came together as a community to continue providing students with the tools needed for success.

“I love the people at MCC,” Rondeau said. “Other students, faculty, staff ¬– they are what make the school. I made my experience more personal than I ever thought was possible.”

MCC’s Summer Session 3 and Fall Session will feature enhanced online options. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Workforce Training Fund Grants Virtual Info Session Offered by MCC6/12/20206/30/2020 12:42 PM
Middlesex Community College will host a virtual Information Session for businesses seeking Workforce Training Fund (WFTF) grants from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 24. The deadline to register is Monday, June 22.

“Middlesex has helped 30+ companies receive over $4 million in WFTF grants,” said Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Director of Corporate Education and Training. “MCC is proud of the many relationships the college has formed with local businesses and organizations as a community partner. We work directly with our employers to train employees based on their specific needs and help them to grow in their individual roles, as well as part of the overall team.”

The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund, administered by Commonwealth Corporation, provides resources to businesses to train current and newly hired employees. The goal is to help improve employee skills and maintain the economic strength of the Commonwealth’s businesses.

At the virtual info session, an WFTF representative will present an overview of the grant options and answer questions in an informational setting.

WFTF provides training grants to Massachusetts employers up to $250,000 per application. MCC’s Corporate and Community Education & Training Program has helped many businesses secure and implement these grants.

Visit the Commonwealth Corporation website at www.commcorp.org/wtfp for more information on specific Workforce Training Fund programs.

To register for MCC’s WFTF session, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/workforce-training-fund-information-session-this-session-will-be-virtual-registration-80875026381

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Adult-Learner & Alumna Sews & Donates Masks6/3/20206/25/2020 12:01 PM
Lynda Zarrow came to Middlesex Community College as an adult-learner seeking a start to a new career. When she graduated, she came away with a certificate in Graphic Design and a job – Graphic Designer at the college.

The North Reading native had left her career in Business to raise her two daughters. When one of her daughters was taking a high school Graphic Design class, Zarrow was impressed by the technology and grew curious. Inspired, she now needed to figure out how to pursue this newfound passion.

Research of local colleges led her to Middlesex where she earned a certificate in 2015 and made a group of friends who she went through the program with – and with whom she still connects with today through MCC’s Facebook Alumni group.

“MCC prepared me very well,” she said. “The professors in the department were some of the best teachers I’ve ever encountered – and over my life I have taken a lot of classes! I learned a lot about design principles, as well as techniques in using the design software.”

As she was completing her certificate and growing excited to jump back into the workforce, Zarrow felt a renewed passion for education and all that the Graphic Design program had done for her. A job opened up in MCC’s Office of Marketing Communications and now as a designer, she works on projects to promote the college’s efforts to support student success.

One of the most important messages of late is the college’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m proud to have a small part in communicating changes caused by COVID-19 to the MCC community,” she said. “To think that professors and students were quickly able to transition to online learning is impressive. I feel that the school is doing a great job of supporting a variety of student needs via social media channels. Our website is continually updated to provide the most current changes impacted by the coronavirus.”

Zarrow is also an avid sewer who makes weighted therapy blankets. She was asked by a friend who works at a healthcare agency if she could sew masks for her staff and the project grew from there. Zarrow turned to social media to get a group of six other sewers involved to finish a total of 1,000 masks – 200 of which she has made herself.

In addition to donating them to her friend’s agency, Zarrow has gifted the n-95 masks to friends with at-risk family members and Bridge Over Troubled Waters – a nonprofit in support of homeless at-risk youth.

To ensure safety, Zarrow washes and dries the materials before sewing and asks users to do the same when they receive the masks. She makes sure to continue practicing social distancing when she drops them off – or leaves them on her porch for others to pick-up.

Zarrow is glad to be doing her part to help her community – and for having a project to keep her busy during her downtime from work. She’s also thankful for Middlesex – both in her academic and professional careers – for providing her with the opportunity to pursue her passion.

“Being home more and having time to think, I realize how lucky I am to have found my path a little later in life,” she said. “Every day I get to do something I love. I advise anyone thinking of exploring a new career path to consider MCC. I got a high-quality education close to home at a price and a pace I could afford.”

For more information on MCC’s Art & Design programs, contact Margaret Rack, MCC’s Art Department chair at rackm@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3803.

Registration is now open for MCC’s Summer Session 3and Fall Session. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Finishes First Cohort of Nonprofit Management Certificate 6/17/20206/24/2020 11:40 AM
Middlesex Community College is committed to training employees to learn the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the Massachusetts’ workforce. MCC’s Community Education & Training Program offers courses to help current employees excel in their positions, furloughed workers learn professional development, and out-of-work job seekers find new jobs.

In spring 2020, Middlesex launched its first Nonprofit Management Certificate to prepare students with key concepts and critical management components for all nonprofit organizations.

Participants – from businesses and MCC partners, such as Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership, Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Enterprise Bank and the Phoenix – learned about essential aspects of nonprofit management, including fundraising, board development, volunteer management and program evaluation.

Sarah Glatt, MCC faculty member and Founder and Principal Consultant of Paper Crane Associates, believed the course benefitted a range of student needs – from those starting out in the nonprofit world to those wanting to take on leadership roles.

“Middlesex’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management provides its students with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the nonprofit sector and to develop new skills and knowledge they can put into action immediately and accelerate the impact of their organizations,” Glatt said. “The course complements and accelerates the on-the-job training that nonprofit employees receive – building a stronger and more impactful nonprofit sector.”

Kerri Keeler is a Development Associate with Mill City Grows in Lowell and has moved into working for a nonprofit after years working in corporate jobs. Keeler chose MCC due to the flexibility in the schedule and affordability of the class.

“I loved the practical, real world examples that were used to illustrate each concept and showcase successes and challenges experienced by other organizations,” she said. “MCC’s course was a great way for me to get myself up to speed in my new career in nonprofit work quickly and with a solid foundation for me to learn more as the work grows.”

This is the third certification course Carl Gallozzi has taken. He is a retired Hewlett-Packard Company Relationship Manager in the Server Division now focused on his volunteer work. He credits MCC’s course for helping him learn a strong overview of the subject matter.

“The modules about both strategic planning and fundraising are also extremely timely and valuable,” he said. “I would recommend these courses to obtain an overview from a practiced professional – who is knowledgeable and supportive.”

Michelle Silveira, Executive Director of the Power of Flowers Project, enjoyed the conversations that stemmed from the class and everyone’s different experiences.

“As a new Executive Director in the nonprofit world – I became ED August 1 and worked in the financial industry for over 30 years – I took away something from every class,” Silveira said. “I shared my learning experiences at my monthly Board meetings, asking them to think about certain topics, such as the life cycle of a nonprofit. This was a great Segway into my career in the nonprofit world.”

MCC’s Community Education & Training offers a host of courses, including on topics such as Management and Leadership, HR training, Project Management, Team Building, Goal Setting and more. Due to the effects of COVID-19 – and to keep the MCC community safe – many courses are now offered online. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to learn more and to register for courses.

For more information, contact Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of Community Education & Training, at EllisL@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3669.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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DHE Names MCC Student Samuel Laderoute One of ’29 Who Shine’6/2/20206/23/2020 11:18 AM
Middlesex Community College student Samuel Laderoute, of Dracut, was named one of this year’s Mass. Department of Higher Education’s 29 Who Shine – an annual program recognizing outstanding students representing each of the state’s 29 public colleges and universities: 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five University of Massachusetts campuses.

“Each honoree is nominated by a faculty or staff member, or by a university awards committee,” said Steve Rossi, MCC’s Director of Student Engagement. “We are always amazed and proud at all of the wonderful talent and effort from our 29 Who Shine nominees. These students represent some of our best and brightest stars in the Commonwealth!”

Laderoute was chosen because of his academic achievements, record of leadership, and commitment to community service and civic engagement. As an Academic Enrichment Center (ACE) Supplemental Instructor (SI) and math Peer Tutor, he is known for being patient, reassuring and kind. In his nomination form, he is said to “model integrity and what is to purposefully contribute to the good of society.”

“My experience at MCC has been amazing,” Laderoute said. “It gave me the opportunity to explore my options and see what I liked before committing to a major. I hope I can live up to what this award entails. I genuinely enjoy learning and love helping fellow students with their academic achievement.”

He credits Nina Shirk, MCC’s SSTA-Academic Support Specs Voc Ed, and Beth Kelly, MCC’s SI Learning Specialist, for offering him encouragement and helping him grow more confident.

After graduating from MCC in May 2020 with an associate degree in computer science, he hopes to transfer to UMass Lowell to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He wants to pursue a career as a software engineer doing database analysis as he enjoys solving difficult challenges. Laderoute is also an artist who thrives because of this unwillingness to give up under tough circumstances – an ability he honed through his studies.

Because of COVID-19, this year’s in-person ceremony to honor the 29 Who Shine was canceled. Visit http://www.mass.edu/29whoshine/home.asp – the Mass. Department of Higher Education website – for more information.

Take advantage of MCC’s enhanced online summer offerings to make this summer a productive one. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register Now for Online Classes This Summer at MCC5/22/20206/18/2020 12:38 PM
A leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex Community College offers high-quality instruction at a fraction of the cost. Middlesex faculty have a history of teaching award-winning online programs – an immersive experience that uses specially designed curriculums. Due to the effects of COVID-19, the college is expanding its online offerings this summer. MCC’s online Summer Quickstart Session and Summer Sessions 1 and 2 start May 26.

Taking online classes at Middlesex ensures students can remain safe and close to home. With circumstances challenging across the world, MCC has a solid foundation and a proven track-record of success to guide students on their academic paths using online learning. This success is grounded in the college’s faculty, staff and the systems in place to make online education a seamless process.

“I am incredibly impressed with how our faculty have been so quick to find creative solutions for helping students to finish the semester despite the current conditions and constraints,” said Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts. “The majority of our faculty have started using a variety of web conferencing tools so they can talk in real-time to students, delivering lectures and answering questions. They have done this through support from our Educational Technology department – headed by Roxanne McCorry – and through impressive peer support.”

At MCC, there is a place for everyone – returning students can keep on their paths; high school-aged and dual enrollment students can take college-level courses and transfer credits to a four-year college or university; college students home for the summer can keep on pace with their academic goals and finish general requirements; and furloughed and out-of-work students can get back on their feet, enjoy flexible schedules, and become workforce ready.

"Summer is a wonderful time to take an online course,” said Cathy McCarron, MCC professor of English. “I have taught the Short Story course for many years and have enjoyed having a wide range of students from Middlesex and four-year institutions from across the country. Students can learn on their own time and still be collaborative by engaging with their peers in a stimulating, interactive online environment."

MCC is approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education to offer fully online programs and has received multiple awards over the years. Most recently, the college ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

The college understands that the COVID-19 crisis has financially burdened many students. To ensure student success, MCC’s Student Accounts is offering summer payment plans for the first time. In addition, the college will waive all $20 enrollment and $10 late payment fees.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Music & Art Programs Get Creative with Learning6/5/20206/17/2020 12:53 PM
Middlesex Community College’s 20-year history of success with online learning helped the college transition the 2020 spring semester coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems efficiently. Programs – like Music and Art – require hands-on instruction and practice, and MCC faculty rose to the challenge of developing creative alternative options for students to continue towards their success.

The remaining performances scheduled for the Spring 2020 World of Music Concert Series were canceled because of COVID-19, but the Music department organized an At-Home Student Recital for students to have the opportunity to perform for the MCC community.

Music students – including singers, guitarists, a cellist and the MCC World Drumming Ensemble – filmed performances at their homes and sent in the videos to Orlando Cela, MCC’s Assistant Professor of Music. Cela compiled the videos and edited them into a recital that the Music department shared on YouTube.

“Since we could not present a live recital at the college due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to celebrate the students through this at-home recital,” said Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chairperson of Music. “The students were very excited about this.”

MCC student and vocalist Em Russell faced some challenges during the transition to remote learning for her voice lessons, but the music faculty were supportive and guided her through any concerns she had. As Russell said, “they have always treated me with so much respect, and I feel very at home within the department.”

Russell called the rehearsal an “interesting” process because she recorded herself singing and then sent it to Rodriguez-Peralta to record her accompaniment on the piano. For her final product, Russell sang along to the piano recording as though it were a karaoke track.

“This was actually my first time recording myself for a performance,” she said. “It was exciting to see the finished product – the recitals are always fun and diverse, but this format made it especially unique.”

Nathaniel Abreu, a recent Duel Enrollment graduate, was grateful to continue having practical learning experiences despite the circumstances. He credits his professors for their support and for helping him find performance and learning opportunities – even when they are remote.

Abreu believes the remote learning experience was similar to in-class instruction and feels he learned a lot. For his at-home performance, he played the cello.

“I filmed a few takes in my living room and ended up choosing the first one funnily enough,” he said. “It was nice knowing people would hear it in the context of a virtual concert. Playing for a camera as opposed to an audience is definitely a skill to get used to.”

The concert premiered on Friday, May 8. Visit https://youtu.be/2YvHQVic_D4 to watch.

MCC’s Facilities and Security departments teamed up to distribute loaner instruments – like keyboards for piano students – and equipment students needed in order to finish their classes. This was crucial for students who may have relied on the community center or other public locations to practice and could not visit these locations when COVID-19 struck.

The Facilities and Security teams also distributed modeling clay for students in Yary Livan’s ceramics course. Livan is MCC’s Kiln Project Coordinator and a Cambodian master ceramist. He offered feedback online to his students and planned to apply heat treatments to the projects at the end of the semester.

“Always seeking to improve, for the fall semester Professor Livan is creating high quality videos of various techniques to help his students learn better online,” said Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts. “Despite being online, we feel that art classes should be as educational and enjoyable as when we are on campus. In fact, this spring we had many student art pieces showcased in an online student show despite being remote.”

The online art show features projects by students in MCC’s Studio Art and Graphic Design programs. Pieces include drawings, paintings, sculptures and ceramics, photography and digital images, typography, logos, digital drawings, posters, campaigns, and website and app designs.

Visit https://sites.google.com/view/mccstudentartshow/fine-art?authuser=0 to enjoy the art work.

MCC is offering expanded online classes for Summer Session 3 and the Fall Semester. To learn more and to register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Health Programs Finish Clinicals Following Safety Protocols5/26/20206/16/2020 11:09 AM
Although Middlesex Community College transitioned to remote, virtual and limited contact systems for its spring semester coursework and student services due to COVID-19, there are still skills that need to be learned in a practical, in-person setting. Middlesex is able to allow students in the college’s health programs to finish necessary lab work while following strict safety protocols and practicing social distancing.

“Hands-on learning and clinical placements are essential components of our curriculum for our health programs for a high-quality, comprehensive learning experience; for student work-readiness; and for accreditation purposes,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs. “Our goal for May and June is to provide the safest, face-to-face completion experience – in small numbers, following detailed CDC and state guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing.”

In order to proceed with finishing clinicals during this time, Middlesex ensures students are comfortable with their participation.

“We asked every student before and after the re-entry about how comfortable they are with the procedures in place,” said Mary Jenny, MCC’s Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Dental Assisting Program. “All students were given the option to opt out at any given time. None chose that. They all stated they felt safe coming into the lab with the safety measures in place.”

Jennifer Mason, an MCC Adjunct Faculty member for Phlebotomy, has also received positive feedback from students.

“Students have greatly appreciated the commitment by the department to ensure they are able to get clinical time and to have such a strong process in place to make it happen,” she said. “They are happy to be able to put their knowledge to work in the lab.”

Mason lists the safety measures the college has been taking in order to finish the work while remaining safe – rotating the class in small groups, screening for COVID risks, supplying appropriate PPE, cleaning appropriately, washing hands frequently, and assuring students their health and safety are vital.

Christine Laviolette, Assistant Professor in the Medical Lab Tech Program, lists more safety measures the college has put in place – wearing masks into the building, signing in at the front door to keep numbers at 10 or below in one area at a time, and filling out questionnaires.

Laviolette also emphasizes hand washing, wearing PPE – including lab coats, gloves, masks and face shields – and practicing social distancing. Undergoing these safety measures and being able to practice skills in a lab is essential to preparing students properly, Laviolette believes.

“Our field of medical laboratory science is in the forefront of this pandemic,” she said. “Our communities need more medical laboratory technicians, so we felt it important to get them completed so that they could join the battle against COVID-19.”

Much of what Dental Assisting students need to do in the lab requires lab equipment, according to Mary Jenny. The program also has to follow protocols set in place by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which mandates the completion of clinical hours. However, the students can practice on mannikins rather than people during this time.

In the phlebotomy program, students learned skills online and through lectures and now can put the theory into practice. Skills include blood drawing, performing EKGs, safety, order of draw and aseptic technique. According to Mason, performing and watching these techniques in person is more effective.

For Laviolette, it seems unfathomable that students who have been working for two years or more would not be able to graduate because of the pandemic. She’s glad MCC can help students complete their work.

“The value of continuing education during these trying times is to get these citizens – who desperately want to make a difference in our communities – to work on the front lines, she said. “Our students are ready, willing and able. We are so very proud of them!”

Mason emphasizes that now is the time to finish preparing the students directly for the workforce – because their help is needed more now than ever.

“This is what all of us in healthcare have trained for,” she said. “Use the proper PPE and provide the best care possible to patients. This is the time to train for a career in healthcare.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissionrequirements/health.aspx or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information on MCC’s Health Programs.

To register for Summer and Fall classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Receive $50k in Funding to Help Launch Businesses 5/27/20206/12/2020 10:29 AM
Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business program – an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed for students to start or grow a business – just wrapped up an intensive semester.

The students had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). The EEVF committee gave out $50,000 in seed funding in a virtual ceremony over Zoom on May 14, 2020.

Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Associate Professor of the Business Division, believes the program benefits students who are not ready for debt funding, but are seeking a “friends and family” round of funding without having access to it.

“This grant approach is filling a real market need for low to moderate-income everyday entrepreneurs within our ecosystem,” she said. “We believe this is a unique value proposition to MCC’s program and makes us a natural partner to the rest of the funding ecosystem. Local small business growth means jobs for local people – our friends, family and neighbors – and our community college.”

During the virtual ceremony, the students each had 10 minutes to present their business plans and 15 minutes to answer questions from the EEVF committee.

Students’ businesses invested in include:
  • $17,000 invested in Fleek Beats Beauty – seller of beauty products and services
  • $10,000 invested in MoooWing Wings & Bar –fast/casual café & sports bar
  • $7,500 invested in LoWellNess – wellness center
  • $7,500 invested in WholeSoul Wellness – personal health coaching
  • $5,000 invested in Kai Photography – photography studio
  • $3,000 invested in Mello Bookkeeping – financial bookkeeping and consultancy for small businesses
Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2020 and 2021.

Gabrielle Rodriguez is the owner of Fleek Beats Beauty. While this was her first class at Middlesex, she is interested in taking more after her experience.

“MCC has not only provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to launch and grow a business, but the mindset that is required,” she said. “I highly recommend the course to anyone that is trying to start a business but doesn’t know how or where to start. The value within the education you receive in this accelerated course is priceless – completely changed my life.”

For Kai Rodriguez, of Kai Photography, she needed a boost to her business because she wasn’t ready to give up.

“I went and got exactly what I expected – more knowledge and hope in my future with my business,” she said. “MCC helped me reach my potential by allowing me to continue my business and put me on the right track as an entrepreneur.”

Aleksa Wilk, owner of WholeSoul Wellness, has been looking forward to taking the Launch Your Business Now course. She says although it took her three business ideas to find the one she wanted to pursue, she’s excited and proud to share it.

“Stacie Hargis has been working with me since the beginning,” she said. “She has been a wonderful resource to reach out to for classes, my career and this program. Franky [Descoteaux, an MCC adjunct faculty member] also very much inspired me on the first day I enrolled. I loved her energy and wanted to work with her.”

MCC’s 16-credit Launch Your Business Now certificate program was developed for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business they want to launch – or scale up – within four to 12 months.

Students who complete the Launch Your Business Now coursework are encouraged to pitch their business idea to the funding committee of the EEVF to support student businesses and help start-ups get off the ground. EEVF is a committee of the Middlesex Community College Foundation.

For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s Launch Your Business Now certificate program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at hargiss@middlesex.mass.edu.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for summer and fall courses at MCC.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offering Free Early Childhood Education Course This Summer6/4/20206/11/2020 12:54 PM
Middlesex Community College strives to provide education that is accessible and meaningful. This summer Middlesex is offering free online Early Childhood Education courses that will prepare educators to meet the EEC teacher qualifications and help students progress on their academic pathway at MCC. MCC’s Early Childhood Career Pathways Grant is providing these courses for qualified students through the Early Education and Care (EEC) office.

“We are offering these courses to help students who would like to advance academically,” said Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of Career Pathways Grant. “Completion of these courses will help students advance in their careers to become teachers as part of the state’s ECE certification process.”

Courses include Digital Literacy for College Success, CDA Coursework, and Professional Development Workshop Series. MCC is offering virtual information sessions on ZOOM to discuss pathways. To join, email ececareerpathways@middlesex.mass.edu.

Reem Abuhamdeh is a 2020 MCC graduate who received the Outstanding Achievement in the Associate in Science ECE award this spring. She is grateful for her experience with the program.

"My advisor listened to my vision in teaching and guided me each semester to earn the certificate in ECE in two years,” she said. “The teachers were well informed about their subjects, and opened a window to current issues in the education field through updated articles and videos, besides their well-engaged lectures. I enjoyed the on-campus and online lectures – they both were clear on instruction, and easy to navigate."

MCC provides free college credit courses for employees of childcare programs in the Greater Lowell area. Participants can work towards their associate degree or one of the new Early Childhood certificates that will be offered this Fall through the Education Department.

MCC has been a leader in online learning for more than 20 years. Online instruction includes flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same skills, knowledge, credits and quality of instruction as face-to-face course options.

For more information or to enroll in the program, contact Wendy Valentine, MCC’s Director of ECE Career Pathways, at valentinew@middlesex.mass.edu or Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of ECE Career Pathways, at pynchonn@middlesex.mass.edu.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/education/pathwayspg.aspx for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Community Education & Training Awarded for Enrollments5/29/20206/10/2020 1:02 PM
Educating students for today’s workforce is a core principle of Middlesex Community College’s mission. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Holmes Corporation (HC) named Middlesex’s Community Education and Training in the Top 10 Enrollments for the Essentials of HR course.

“MCC’s Community Education and Training department has partnered with SHRM for over 11 years to provide high-quality coursework to HR professionals,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “We are grateful that employers are turning to – and counting on – MCC for the professional development of their employees and are so proud of the Top 10 SHRM Enrollment achievement!”

MCC will accept the award during a virtual conference. The department will have an opportunity to share a video of themselves talking about the importance of the program and the partnership between MCC and SHRM.

Middlesex and HC/SHRM collaborate on professional development and certificate programs for HR professionals of local businesses and organizations. As more people work from home, are furloughed, or laid off, this is the perfect time to take classes, gain knowledge and skills, and work towards career advancement or starting a new profession.

The SHRM Essentials of Human Resource Management course provides a detailed overview of all aspects of HR. Participants gain foundational knowledge in addition to an introduction to behavioral competencies essential to success. The course is geared towards current and entry-level employees who are starting out in HR.

The next SHRM Essentials of HR course will run on Zoom, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 10, 17 and 24.

To learn more, contact Sheila Morin, MCC’s Director of Community Education & Training, at morins@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3608.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Class of 2020 Esteemed for Their “Resiliency”5/21/20206/9/2020 1:06 PM
The Spring 2020 semester brought challenges faced globally. In the midst of the pandemic, Middlesex Community College students, faculty and staff acclimated to this new norm and finished the semester – and for the 2020 graduating class, their time at MCC – successfully. Middlesex is proud to confer 1,155 degrees and certificates to 1,073 graduates – 82 of whom earned multiple awards for their accomplishments.

The college held a virtual ceremony to celebrate the commencement on May 21. The video includes speeches from President James C. Mabry, Phil Sisson, Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, reading of names by Program Deans, and speeches by the student speakers. To watch, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms39zLuJPsI&feature=youtu.be

In his address to the graduates, President Mabry thanked students and MCC faculty and staff for their resiliency these past few months. Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the mission of Middlesex continues forward – leading students towards success.

“You are a special class who have proven once again that community college students are smart, tough and strong – no matter what,” he said. “I know that because of what you have overcome, you will continue to learn and grow and will make a big impact in this rapidly changing world. I ask that as you continue to follow your dreams, stay involved in your communities and help build a world that is open and tolerant – a world where all can lead safe and healthy lives.”

Provost Sisson introduced the Program Deans reading the names of the graduates. In his speech, Sisson commends faculty and staff for their guidance and dedication to the students, and for providing “transformative opportunities” both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Your successful completion of a certificate or degree is a clear milestone in your academic journey,” he said. “Each and every one of you – through your hard work and perseverance – has demonstrated your potential to become a leader in your profession, in your transfer institutions, in your local community, and in our global community. As the great leader Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world.’”

Middlesex serves a diverse population of learners – the age range of MCC’s class of 2020 is 17- to 68 years-old, and the graduates represent five states and 51 countries. There are 58 veterans, 13 Dual Enrollment High School graduates, 84 MCC employees, and 484 first generation students.

In her introduction to President Mabry, Linda Nara – 2020 graduate and 2019-2020 Student Trustee – highlights MCC’s vast range of students who all come to Middlesex with one purpose.

“Today’s graduates made a decision to start on a path to a brighter future,” she said. “Some are the first in their family to go to college, some started taking classes as high school students, and some returned to college after raising a family. Like many of today’s graduates, I am transferring to finish a bachelor’s degree. Others may be joining the workforce with real-world skills or changing careers. But we all have prepared ourselves for success.”

The 2020 graduating class have made a number of accomplishments during their time at the college. MCC’s Health Programs pinned 160 graduates who will continue on with their academic journeys or begin working on the frontlines of COVID-19.

MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Scholars program graduates 27 students, and 109 graduates are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges. Cara Hartsgrove, Sokharath Koy and Andrea M. Wallis were named to the 2019-2020 All-Massachusetts Academic Team,and MCC graduate Samuel A. Laderoute was named one of the”29 Who Shine” by the Mass. Department of Higher Education.

Student speaker Ijebusonma Agundu received the 2020 James E. Houilhan Jr. Student of the Year Award. She came to MCC from Nigeria because she wanted to go to college in the U.S. She will continue on towards her bachelor’s degree at UMass Lowell and plans to go to medical school. An avid supporter of equal rights for women, she dreams of becoming an OB-GYN.

Agundu is proud of her MCC roots and for the opportunity her education provided her.

“I hope you will represent yourselves as Middlesex Community College ambassadors,” she said. “Please remember that we have been built up in content and in character. We have been taught to be leaders and problem solvers. MCC is a fantastic institution that gives every student equal opportunity to excel. The cultural diversity represented here allows students to explore their abilities and discover their full potential.”

Celia Garron was also chosen to be this year’s student speaker. She graduates from Middlesex more than 30 years after she first started. In-between her tenure at MCC, she married, had children and worked, but she never forgot what it felt like to be part of a college community, especially Middlesex. Garron also battled a life-threatening illness that reinvigorated her drive to live and to pursue her passions. Attending MCC was part of her “live list” – a list of dreams she plans to put into fruition.

In her address to her fellow graduates, Garron thanks the faculty and staff for their support.

“Some of the greatest gifts this time that faculty gave me was their willingness to meet with me individually,” she said. “Their constant support and encouragement of my ability to succeed enabled me to feel safe stumbling until I felt confident in my learning. I have built lasting relationships with the faculty and staff.”

Middlesex Community College Alumni Association is proud to invite the class of 2020 to the community. In honor of the graduating class, the Alumni Association and the Middlesex Community College Foundation established the $20.20 for 2020 Grads Campaign to go towards the Alumni Association Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in the fall of 2020 to a part-time MCC student working toward degree completion.

Visit https://www.givecampus.com/schools/MiddlesexCommunityCollege/give-20-20-in-honor-of-2020-grads#updates to donate in honor of MCC’s 2020 class.

To become a part of the MCC community, start by enrolling. MCC offers a variety of summer and fall course options. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Launches Career Coach – an Online Career Services Program5/28/20206/5/2020 11:03 AM
Middlesex Community College prepares students for today’s workforce. In partnership with data company Emsi, Middlesex presents Career Coach – an online resource to allow students and members of the MCC community access to skills that will help them become competitive in the economy, lead great careers, and be successful in their professional journeys.

“Career Coach is a powerful tool to add to our resources for our current students and our prospective students and their families,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Career Coach provides helpful, user-friendly career assessment tools and detailed, real-time information on regional job markets, which will be invaluable to all of our students. We are pleased to be able to add this resource to further enhance career services at the college.”

The new program is part of the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) initiative at the college in partnership with Credential Engine. Career Coach is valuable for students who come to college undecided in their program of study or are still unsure of what career path they want to take, according to Sisson. The partnership and program launch are intended to support the success of the students and the community Middlesex serves.

The program is also beneficial for adult-learners coming back to school to earn an associate degree, certificate, or to take classes to jumpstart a new career. For students who have been laid off or furloughed, MCC – and resources the college offers like Career Coach – can help get employees back on track.

Career Coach offers four essential functions to help narrow down programs of study to guide students towards successful and meaningful careers.

An Assessment component offers three different questionnaires for students to explore their fields of study and work. Students answer questions based on interests and the Assessment provides responses to connect those interests to matches in the workforce.

The Career component lists current job descriptions prevalent in the workforce with details such as career profiles, median salaries and required level of education. Careers are broken down into fields of interest to provide a wide-range of potential options.

Career Coach also provides a list of Programs MCC offers to help students find the best matched pathway based on interests and skills. MCC’s pathways offer a range of options, including Arts & Humanities, Business, Education, Health, Non-Credit Career Development, Public Service, Social Science and STEM. The program uses CIP-to-O*NET to connect programs with careers.

The Resume Builder component helps students build professional resumes students can use as they apply to jobs or advance in their academic careers.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careercoach to get started with Career Coach. Email questions to MCC’s Office of Career Development at careerservices@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC’s Summer Session 3 and Fall Semester will feature new online courses. Summer Session 3 runs for five weeks, starting on July 7, and Fall Semester begins on September 9. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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2020 Graduate Credits MCC for Helping Her Become a Leader5/20/20206/4/2020 1:17 PM
When Linda Nara came to the United States from Cambodia, she set out to become a leader. Though she was shy and lacked confidence, she kept telling herself she had to set an example for her sisters, her peers and for herself. At Middlesex Community College, she succeeded.

Nara found friendship and connection at MCC’s Asian American Center, which helped her adjust to her new home. In those first few weeks of starting school, she felt homesick and alone, but she said, “seeing myself reflected in the staff made me feel motivated.”

“Coming to Middlesex is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she said. “Had I not chosen MCC, I would not have had these enriched experiences, I would not have met my friends. I would not have met the amazing people at the Asian Connections Center or all the people who have helped me.”

As she grew comfortable at the school, she started becoming more involved. Nara has served as president of the International Club, is an active member of Asian Students in Alliance (A.S.I.A.), and is a student Orientation Leader and tutor in the Writing Center.

One of her greatest accomplishments at the school was being awarded a scholarship from the Chelly Foundation. When she went back to visit Cambodia, she met with the organization and spoke to young students about her experience at Middlesex and going to school in the U.S. – an adventure she highly recommends.

For the 2019-2020 academic year, The MCC Board of Trustees named Nara the Student Trustee. She was proud to be the first female Cambodian student to be awarded this honor at Middlesex.

As Student Trustee – and a member of the Multicultural Club – Nara attended events as a representative of the college. Taking her oath at the Statehouse in front of Governor Charlie Baker and speaking in front of W. Patrick Murphy, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, when he visited the college were two of her biggest accomplishments during her time as Student Trustee.

These moments helped Nara gain confidence and work on her networking skills, as well as understand the importance of diversity. Being involved in other events and clubs on campus meant learning from her peers who come from diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences. This helped shape her worldview.

“MCC loves diversity,” she said. “We celebrate diversity and everyone is welcome here, regardless of where you are from. Once you step foot in here, you are part of the community. That’s what makes me feel like I belong here and I could reach my potential here.”

One of Nara’s missions is to be a leader in fighting for women’s rights. Last year, she worked with Colleen Cox, MCC’s Chief Administrative Officer, to advocate for having female hygiene products available on the Bedford and Lowell campuses. As president of the International Club, she also helped promote International Women’s Day at the college.

At Middlesex, she enjoys the way people help each other– from classmates to faculty and staff. The “family-oriented” environment at the college, she believes, helps people reach their potential.

In one of her English classes with Professor Joseph Nardoni, she wrote an essay on self-actualization and the idea that people become the best versions of themselves when they are in a supportive environment resonated with her. She is also grateful to Professors David Kalivis, Cathy McCarron and Binnur Ercem for their classes and support.

Nara leaves Middlesex with a solid understanding of her personal and professional purpose. She credits her studies, her professors and her experiences in student clubs and organizations for preparing her for what comes next.

“I am absolutely going to miss this place,” she said. “I have learned a lot. Graduating means I built a solid grounding for my path. I have worked hard. I have used my time here wisely and got the most out of it. And I’m ready to get on to another stage of my path.”

She graduates with an associate degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences with a History, Politics and Global Studies Concentration. Nara is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She expects to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Global Studies before launching a diplomatic career in the future.

“Community college students are hard workers,” she said. “We chase our dreams. Each and every one of us come from a very interesting background. We all have struggles in life. We all have responsibilities. You can work and get a degree at the same time. It’s awesome!”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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2020 Graduate Calls MCC ‘Hub’ for Cambodian Students5/19/20206/3/2020 11:23 AM
For Farrorza Lim, Middlesex Community College offers opportunity. Lim came to the United States from Cambodia to go to college and to be closer to his father. His initial interest was due to the efficient customer service the college offered him in his search process. When he called, Middlesex answered. When he had questions, MCC guided him to the right places.

Once he arrived, Lim soon learned to call the college a “hub” for students from Cambodia to “start their journey.”

“I like the way they treat and help students,” he said. “For people who left their home and comfort zone to go to a new environment, it’s not easy. It’s something so hard to adapt to, but the lesson I learned from that was things will get better from day to day.”

During his tenure at Middlesex, Lim devoted a lot of time to helping others. As part of the Helping Hands Club, he volunteered throughout the local community, including at the Greater Lowell Boys & Girls Club. Having access to the club – and being part of the community – helped Lim adjust to this new chapter in his life.

Another place of comfort for Lim was going to the Asian Connections Center where he could talk to friends in his native language and learn about the culture and ethics of the U.S. He also held a work-study job at the Center where he helped organize events and kept the area clean.

“I learned from them,” he said. “MCC – the Asian Center, the school – I always hang out there when I’m free because that’s where I get my mind away from homesickness. With the large Cambodian community at MCC, I feel like home.”

MCC’s Asian Connections Center is funded with support from the college’s AANAPISI grant – a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program in 2017. The Center provides Asian American students a range of support services and co-curricular activities to improve their experience at the college, as well as completion and transfer outcomes.

Lim believes learning from other students was essential to his MCC experience. One of the more rewarding parts of his time at the college was with the Academic Enrichment Center (ACE). His first experience with ACE was during his first semester when he needed help writing essays. The next semester, he was recommended for a job by one of his professors and Lim became a writing tutor. For him, being on both sides was a perfect give-and-take of learning.

“You feel close to the students who teach you,” he said. “It’s not about me teaching people, but talking with people to learn from them and sharing knowledge with each other.”

Although he was nervous when he first started tutoring, Lim said faculty and staff were supportive and guided him to succeed. This support was a constant during his time at Middlesex.

“Instead of email, I could just go and talk with them directly,” he said. “The people from ACE and where I would study at the Asian Center, they are very helpful. It was hard for me to find recommendations back home, but here people reach out to you when you need help and I am very thankful.”

When he first arrived at MCC, Lim said his advisor offered him support – recommending an initial course load, following up with him as he got started, and telling him about a free English class he could take over the summer. His advisor also helped him with his plans to transfer to a four-year school.

In his final semester at the college, COVID-19 forced the college to transition to remote, virtual and limited contact systems and Lim was once again thankful for MCC’s quick response to his needs. Lim’s advisor ensured they continued to meet virtually and checked in to make sure he was doing okay.

Before COVID-19, Lim relied on the college’s resources to do work online and he did not have immediate access to wi-fi. Once social distancing went into effect, he reached out to MCC’s library and they provided him with a hotspot so he could complete his work from home.

Lim graduates this spring with an associate degree in History, Global Studies and Political Science. A Commonwealth Honors student and member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, he will continue on at UMass Lowell to get a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a Concentration in International Relations.

In the future, he hopes to get a master’s degree and work for the government at the state or federal level. Lim’s advice to current and future students at Middlesex is to play an active role in the campus community.

“Take opportunities at Middlesex,” he said. “Instead of just taking classes, take other opportunities and try different activities. Try to engage in school. Playing games or going online to check for scholarship activities, those are two different things but they all engage in school. They offer a lot.”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Nursing Alums Work on the Frontlines of COVID-195/6/20206/2/2020 11:27 AM
Middlesex Community College is proud to prepare nurses. Although the effects of COVID-19 have required the college’s Nursing Program and faculty to be creative in their teaching styles, the program’s mission of student success remains the same. For Middlesex alumni – Lauren Dominguez, Jennie Lim and Rachel Williams – who are now battling on the frontlines of the pandemic as nurses, they believe their education served them well for the workforce.

“Nursing is a practice profession and every pre-licensure nursing program requires hours of practice to ensure graduates are prepared to transition safely into the workforce,” said Dr. Sandra Shapiro, MCC’s Program Director of Nurse Education. “This is important work, educating nurses has never been so vitally important to our local and global communities than it is now!”

Dominguez calls her experience at MCC “life changing.” She has wanted to be a nurse since she was a child and came to Middlesex as an adult-learner looking to pursue her dream. Now she works in the Emergency Room at Emerson Hospital.

“Middlesex prepared us to be good nurses,” she said. “They know what they’re doing. The level of expertise with the professors is unbelievable. I really respect that they helped and taught me.”

Lim believes that because of MCC, she feels prepared to do her job. As a nurse at Lowell General Hospital on D4 – an intermediate care unit – she provides care for both COVID and non-COVID patients. Although this is challenging, she remembers the persistence she learned at school.

“I loved my time at MCC and I’m so glad I went there for nursing,” Lim said. “It was tough, but no one ever said nursing school was going to be easy. If you put forth the effort, you will get through it and be successful. I never gave up.”

For Williams, nursing is a rewarding experience and she cannot picture herself working in any other profession. Having worked as a nurse for almost a year in the ICU, she now fully realizes the value of her education from Middlesex.

“It wasn’t like Middlesex was preparing me to take a test or get my license,” she said. “In all of my practice and lectures, they really prepared me to be a nurse and brought together the full picture of what it means and what your goal is. I felt that way in the program, but now that I’m a nurse, I can vouch for that.”

Dominguez, Lim and Williams all keep in touch with their professors and classmates. Most recently, people have been checking in to see how everyone is holding up or asking how each hospital is handling COVID-19 treatments.

This support from faculty was a fixture throughout their academic journeys – learning how to transfer the skills and theoretical approach they learned in school to the real world of nursing.

Dominguez says she grew a “thick skin” thanks to her professors, which helps in all of the challenging parts of nursing every day.

“They really need to prepare you because this is a tough job,” she said. “I remember one of my professors telling me, ‘you need to know the things that you don’t know.’ It means that when you don’t know something, be ready to learn and receive constructive criticism, correction and direction.”

Lim credits several of her professors for their influence, including Professors Bradley, Small and Lavallee. Each of them brought different strengths and assistance when she needed it.

“I loved all of the professors, but there were a few who stood out to me,” she said. “My professors were always available whenever I had questions or struggled with a topic and my classmates were always very supportive.”

Williams gained a lot from each of her professors for a number of reasons, but it is their understanding and passion for their subjects that stands out.

“The nursing faculty was super supportive of us and really wanted us to succeed,” Williams said. “All the professors were passionate about the areas of their focus and about teaching. They were really helpful in building those foundational skills and the values I’ve taken with me in my nursing practice.”

Having a network of support – whether with former faculty, classmates or current co-workers – helps them endure. The biggest challenge through this pandemic is not something that could be taught, but learned in the moment. Having to witness the isolation their patients feel in the wake of families not being allowed into the room is a struggle they all face.

“I can only do so much with a mask and a shield and these big gowns,” Dominguez said. “They can’t see my face, they can’t see me smile, they can’t see me cry. They might feel the emotion, but they can’t see it and that is really difficult. That has really changed how I treat my patients. It’s sobering and it’s sad and I’m trying to be a little bit more verbal on my plan for them."

Lim finds it challenging to leave a patient’s room because of how lonely and afraid they feel.

“These individuals are fighting for their lives alone,” she said. “Families are depending on us to support and advocate for their loved ones. Through it all, my colleagues and I are rolling with the punches – doing the best we can while still providing quality care for our patients.”

Williams has helped be creative in allowing patients to connect with their families.

“It’s been hard not letting family members in,” she said. “But they’ve been using technology to be creative – an iPad to connect to Zoom for families to be present with them, and I can give them privacy to be together.”

Despite these challenges, their hard work and determination has shown their resiliency.

As she works through the pandemic and sees how it changes every day, Dominguez believes Middlesex prepared her for how to respond to it.

“We need to adapt and change and be willing to learn in order to do our job effectively,” she said. “It changes the way I look at my colleagues. We are so in this together. I could not be prouder of the people I work with and the management who’s leading us. We’ll learn from this and we’ll learn together.”

COVID-19 has created new stressors to an already demanding job, according to Lim – especially the fear of the unknown and a heavier workload. Now a primary nurse, she delegates tasks to a team. When they work on a patient, there is always another right behind with little time to process what is happening in the moment.

“Despite everything that’s being thrown at us, we still remain resilient and hopeful,” Lim said. “We have our good days and days when we feel absolutely defeated. But regardless of the circumstances, we will show up for our next shift, whether it be for 8 or 12 hours, ready to work as a team.”

In the beginning, Williams said it was hardest with there being so many unanswered questions and having to figure out new plans to deal with COVID-19. But the goal to treat patients above all, remains the same.

“The core nursing practice hasn’t changed,” Williams said. “We’ve definitely had to make a lot of adjustments to the way we do things.” It has reinforced how vital our role is and how resilient we are. How much we make a difference in the outcome of these patients is an important role.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/nursing/ for more information on MCC’s Nursing Program. Registration for MCC’s Summer and Fall Programs are now open. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Alum Works on Frontlines of Testing for COVID-19 5/14/20205/29/2020 10:52 AM
Alex Pum works on the frontlines of testing for COVID-19. A Middlesex Community College alum of the college’s Medical Laboratory Program, Pum works as a second shift Senior Medical Technologist at Lowell General Hospital. In this role, he performs lab testing and processes and provides results, which includes for COVID-19.

Although the practice of assuming patients are infectious when treating them is not new to COVID-19, Pum believes it is more important now than ever to remain adaptable at work because “yesterday’s information might already be too old.”

“One of the best pieces of advice I have heard is to act as if you have a current infection with the coronavirus,” he said. “We have a responsibility to protect each other. Our actions truly have a certain weight to them.”

The student in him also wants to remind people to check sources to ensure they are “credible and reputable” as so much information streams in about COVID-19.

It was at Middlesex where Pum learned how to relate the theory he studied in his classes to practical experiences in the lab. He credits his professors – Sue McHale and Chris Laviolette – for their guidance.

Having professors who also worked in the field was valuable and relevant to him.

“Science is an ever-changing field,” he said. “So a fresh and current perspective is always enlightening.”

The program was like a little family of support for him. Pum worked full-time at night while taking classes, so he would sleep when he could – including at school, in-between classes. He believes that because MCC has a diverse population of students with an assortment of needs, his classmates and professors were understanding and would wake him up for class.

“It was comforting to know that my professors knew my story and that they believed in me,” he said. “I was absolutely expected to do my work, study and attend classes. They just had the gentle hand I needed at the time.”

Amid the pandemic, McHale has had to alter the Med Lab Tech program to keep students safe and on track with their learning – and to continue offering support.

Under normal circumstances, students complete a competency-based bootcamp before being allowed to complete clinical experience at a hospital. This would usually be on-campus, but as MCC has had to adhere to social distancing, McHale instituted a virtual laboratory experience in its place.

“Faculty developed intensive simulations in the areas of microbiology and urinalysis using photography and videography to build patient case studies, while the college supported our needs in other clinical disciplines allowing for the purchase of software to enhance student learning,” McHale said. “Students complete these assignments independently using our LMS and the faculty provide continuous support and guidance when needed.”

In addition to spearheading donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Lowell General from Middlesex, McHale also collaborates with faculty and clinical experts in hospitals and in the industry. The team shares tips and tools to enhance the learning outcomes for future medical laboratorians. This allows graduates of the program an opportunity to develop more advanced clinical thinking skills in the field.

It’s this commitment to success from McHale, the Med Lab Tech Program and MCC that prepares students like Pum to be workforce ready – despite unexpected challenges that arise.

“I do not think I could have done as well as I could have if I had done it anywhere else,” Pum said. “It is not an exaggeration to say that MCC has been life changing.”

For more information on MCC’s Medical Laboratory Technician program, contact Suzanne McHale, Program Coordinator, at mchales@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-322-8412.

MCC’s Quickstart Summer Session and Summer Sessions 1 and 2 will feature enhanced online learning options. Summer is a great time for students to take general requirements.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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2020 Graduate Finds a Home at MCC5/21/20205/28/2020 11:25 AM
Altagracia Sanchez is part of Middlesex Community College’s 2020 graduating class. She came to Middlesex because of its affordability and proximity to home, she stayed because it became another kind of home.

“There are so many people from all over the world that there is no chance someone could feel like an outsider,” she said. “Diversity is intrinsic to MCC, it is obvious with the diverse staff and student population here.”

As an adult-learner and mother, Sanchez juggled school with other responsibilities, including working part-time. She especially appreciated the flexibility of online learning, calling online classes a “huge advantage for many non-traditional students like me.”

Her initial plan at the college was to learn English in order to get a job. Once classes started and she became more involved on campus, her mindset changed.

“If I wanted my kids to be successful in a foreign country, I needed to be a role model for them,” she said. “MCC gave me the tools to be up-to-date with my profession.”

Sanchez began her journey at MCC with the Prepare to Attend College (PAC) free non-credit program because she didn’t speak English. After taking basic English classes, she took a break for a semester before registering for college-level courses.

She only scored one point below the necessary score for English 101, but instead of re-taking the test, Sanchez registered for the Academic English for Bilingual Students and Grammar and Editing courses on the recommendation of MCC Professor Willy Ramirez, who has a program for advising Latino students.

The Academic English for Bilingual Students course was taught by Professor Anahit Shahinian who became a mentor for Sanchez – through her guidance and confidence in her. Sanchez says Shahinian was part of all of her accomplishments at the college.

“I am afraid that my words might not be enough to express what she means to me,” Sanchez said. “I am completely sure that my story would have been very different without her. Professor Shahinian wants everyone that crosses paths with her to be successful.”

After Sanchez finished her first courses, Shahinian recommended her as an English Language Learner tutor. Sanchez found support and friendships during her time at the MCC Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). She calls her experience with ACE and as a tutor “game-changing” because of her passion for helping people.

“Working at the ACE department gave me something that I didn’t have,” she said.” It gave me a sense of belonging. I felt at home. At ACE, I grew up personally and professionally, and had the honor of meeting marvelous people which I am grateful for.”

For Sanchez, going from an ELL student to an ELL tutor was key to her success and pushed her further. She went on to become a writing tutor, Supplement Instructor (SI) Leader, and an accounting tutor for the math department. These opportunities allowed her to be an active member of the MCC community – on- and off-campus.

As an MCC SI Leader, Sanchez participated in conferences around the area, including running a workshop at the Northeast Regional Conference for SI leaders in March 2019 and sitting on a panel at the 4th Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning, Challenging Language Inequities in Education at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center in April 2019. She has also participated on a panel at the Teaching Multilingual College Students conference in a collaboration between Middlesex and UMass Lowell.

Representing the ACE Department, Sanchez attended CareerCon events on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses where she met with students, MCC staff members and potential employers. She has participated in La Guagua reading groups – once as a moderator – and in Latinos Unidos.

In addition to Shahinian and Ramirez, Sanchez credits Professor Vikram Sharma, Virginia Drislane, Noreen McGinness Olson and Mari Sapina-Kerkhove for helping her succeed.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all faculty and staff for the help they provide to all students and for their unconditional encouragement,” she said. “MCC counts on wonderful people who are committed to do their best. Thank you for the extraordinary support throughout the arduous path towards your students’ success.”

Sanchez graduates as a Business Administration-Accounting major. She received the Outstanding Achievement in Associate in Science, Business Administration Accounting Program Award, as well as the W. Brian Van Lierop English Language Learners Prize for her achievements.

With a bachelor’s degree from the Dominican Republic, Sanchez will attend UMass Lowell’s Manning School of Business for an MBA.

“Graduating feels very good,” she said. “It means that immigrants like me – not so young woman, mother of two boys – can have dreams, but despite all adversities, if we persevere and work hard, we can achieve those dreams.”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Virtual Admissions Sessions to Local High Schools5/11/20205/27/2020 11:17 AM
Middlesex Community College understands that students cannot afford to pause their academic journeys. Middlesex has worked hard during this COVID-19 crisis to transition coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems that keep students on their academic path. In an effort to accommodate prospective students and their families, MCC’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment is offering virtual sessions.

As a leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex has made an efficient and successful transition to remote systems. Jeffrey Tejada, MCC’s Director of Diversity Outreach and Recruitment, believes it is critical to offer virtual platforms to guide current and future students.

“I think now more than ever, in light of the crisis we are experiencing, students and families need to feel reassured that MCC has their needs, interests and concerns in mind as we help them navigate through the college enrollment process,” he said. “Attending college is an equally exciting and nerve-wracking experience.”

The Getting Started @ MCC sessions – which began weekly in March – help students understand and complete the enrollment process. Sessions answer questions related to the community college experience and feature the resources, services and opportunities available to students, including Mass Transfer, Academic Advising, Student Engagement, Academic Map and Pathways.

Sessions will now be offered bi-weekly in addition to being catered to local high schools, including in Lowell and Lawrence – which will feature a bilingual session to accommodate the city’s large Latinx population.

Maintaining connections with local high schools is beneficial to prospective students to learn what is available to them. Karyn Cassidy, College Relations Counselor at Lowell High School, believes MCC has been responsive to Lowell High’s needs.

“Jeff Tejada has continued to provide virtual opportunities for our seniors in an effort to keep them connected and moving towards their goal of attending college in the fall,” she said. “These services are a reminder to our students that college is still a possibility.”

While applying for college can feel overwhelming, Tejada believes these sessions answer questions, help eliminate fears, and show students that they are not alone in this process.

“Many of our applicants are first-generation students who are both feeling tremendous pride and sense of accomplishment in being the first members of their families to go to college,” he said. “But they are also concerned about the various unknowns that come with applying, enrolling and attending college.”

The webinars also include sessions on Dual Enrollment for high school students wanting to earn college credit, Health Programs for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, and International Admissions for students who wish to come to the U.S. for their studies.

Education does not have to be put on hold because of COVID-19 and Middlesex understands that students need guidance on the college process now more than ever.

“Despite these extremely difficult and unprecedented circumstances, the critical function of educating our students continues at Middlesex,” Tejada said. “The connectivity offered through our Getting Started @ MCC virtual sessions and other webinars allows us to continue our critical work of recruiting and guiding students to Middlesex Community College.”

To participate, students receive an email invitation with a link to the webinar of choice. Participants can choose to use the mic and chat function or the camera as they connect with the Admissions representative.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx for more information and to sign up for a virtual session.

To register for summer and fall classes at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Nursing Program Faculty Go Above and Beyond5/12/20205/26/2020 11:32 AM
Middlesex Community College celebrates its phenomenal Nursing Program. The program transitioned to remote and virtual learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For Middlesex, students and their success continue to be the number one priority, and faculty have risen to the challenge of altering their teaching styles in a manner of weeks.

Dr. Sandra Shapiro, MCC’s Program Director of Nurse Education, believes that educating nurses has never been so important – on the local level and globally. She credits the MCC faculty for their creative approach to making the transition to remote learning.

“Every nursing faculty member in the department has been courageous, flexible, creative, collaborative and simply amazing as they have had to move – without preparation – from face-to-face teaching to remote learning,” she said. “They are all doing a herculean job within each of their courses to ensure that students are able to meet the student learning outcomes, are supported in their efforts to learn remotely, and are acknowledged for the challenging times that they find themselves in.”

Dr. Shapiro believes the pandemic has shifted the way the Nursing Program will continue in the future and has created an opportunity and circumstances to allow for positive changes despite the challenges.

Faculty have been using voice-over PowerPoint presentations, case studies and Blackboard Collaborate sessions. Susan Miller, a new full-time faculty member in the ACUE course, created a research assignment for her students called “The COVID-19 Student Presentation Project” – an assignment Dr. Shapiro calls “new, appropriate and timely.”

“When the March break ended, they were able to continue the learning in a remote fashion as if they had been doing it that way all along,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Each faculty member took this opportunity to grow and be creative.”

The biggest challenge for the program is providing opportunities for students to practice in a clinical setting. To combat this, Middlesex provides software to simulate clinical experiences so that students have access to a virtual simulation model that continues to provide valuable and deep learning.

Although the program has made a successful and well-rounded transition to remote learning, behavioral skills – such as giving injections – need to be taught and practiced in a classroom or lab setting. Dr. Shapiro looks forward to when this can happen again.

“The nursing faculty await a time in the near future when students – even in small groups – can return to the classroom and gain competence in these skills,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Until nursing education at MCC once again takes place in our classrooms, faculty will continue to adapt, be nimble and be creative in order to provide a quality education during a pandemic.”

When making these changes, faculty also have to take into account the regulating agency – the Board of Registration in Nursing – and the accrediting agency – the Accrediting Commission for Nurse Education – both of which oversee the program and any changes that are made.

Dr. Shapiro – and the Nursing faculty – have received positive feedback from students.

“It has been humbling to the faculty that in times of great turmoil students are valuing their professors,” Dr. Shapiro said. “From one student to her professor, ‘You have worked so hard to keep us all updated as you move everything to online and remote learning. I can’t express how appreciative I am that you are so organized and open with us. You have put so much effort into all of this for us. You made us feel worthy of being nurses of the future.’”

Middlesex offers both full-time day and part-time evening/weekend options to prepare nurses to earn an Associate in Science, as well as eligibility to take the NCLEX. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/nursing/ for more information on MCC’s Nursing Programs.

To register for classes at MCC – for the summer and fall – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Learn More About MCC’s Enrollment Process with Virtual Webinars for Parents & Families5/18/20205/22/2020 1:43 PM
Middlesex Community College understands applying to college can be an overwhelming process for prospective students and their families. Middlesex provides high-quality education that is accessible and affordable, especially during these confusing and challenging times. As a leader of online education for over 20 years, MCC is prepared to make the enrollment process an easy one using a virtual platform. The college’s Office of Admissions has created virtual Information Sessions for parents and families.

These Parent and Family Information Sessions will cover the benefits of community college and how to support the future college student on this new journey. The webinars will answer questions, help eliminate fears, and show families they are not alone in this process.

Education does not have to be put on hold because of COVID-19 and Middlesex understands that families need guidance on the college process now more than ever.

“We know that a lot of families are trying to figure out how to approach the fall semester,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Middlesex is in a position to offer meaningful and enriching academic experiences to students, some of whom may not have previously considered community college.

“Participating in a virtual Parent and Family Information Session is a great way to learn about the wonderful things MCC and our campuses can offer your student. These events provide parents and families with a one-stop opportunity to learn about how to get started on their Middlesex journey.”

The first session will take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 and another will occur at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26.

Webinars also include sessions on Getting Started @ MCC to help students understand and complete the enrollment process; Dual Enrollment for high school-aged students wanting to earn college credit; Health Programs for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare; and International Admissions for students who wish to come to the U.S. for their studies.

To join, participants receive an email invitation with a link to the webinar of choice and can choose to use the mic and chat function or the camera as they connect with the Admissions representative.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx for more information and to sign up for a virtual session.

To register for summer and fall classes at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC To Celebrate Class of 2020 with Virtual Commencement5/18/20205/21/2020 1:23 PM
Middlesex Community College is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and success of its students. MCC’s class of 2020 cannot celebrate in person because of COVID-19 and the temporary closure of The Lowell Memorial Auditorium. The college has orchestrated a virtual celebration that will air at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 21 on Lowell’s local access station LTC. At 9:30 a.m., the ceremony will start with a photomontage of the graduates from the past year.

In her 30 years of working in higher education, Pam Flaherty, MCC’s Dean of Students, has witnessed the “determination” and “strength” of community college students working towards their goals. For the class of 2020, she describes the “grit, perseverance and resiliency” they have shown, even under a virtual lens.

“Many of us are missing the distraction of spectator sports in this unexpected and difficult time,” she said. “In the face of adversity, fear and anxiety, the determination and resolve of our graduates has brought the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. You are champions! I honor, respect and applaud the class of 2020 in this virtual celebration and know that they will leave their ‘imprint’ in purpose, spirit, endurance and generosity in our world forever!”

A virtual commencement ensures each graduate will be recognized, while all of MCC’s students, faculty and staff remain safe. There will be special messages from the college President James C. Mabry and Provost Phil Sisson. Program Deans will read the names of the students.

Flaherty believes the two student speakers – Ijebusonma Agundu and Celia Garron – exemplify the determination and strength of the 2020 class.

"Writing this speech made me vulnerable because I was sharing a part of me that people hardly knew about,” Agundu said. “This year really taught us a lot about flexibility, strength and perseverance! We might not be together in our robes this year, but this is our ode, our moment, so let’s be proud of it!

“These are challenging times but let’s smile because we didn’t mount this milestone alone – because it took a village. It took your hard work, sleepless nights, patience and help from the teachers. Let’s not allow this virus to take away our joy or ruin our parade! Salute to the Class of 2020, because we made it!”

For many years, Colleen Cox, MCC’s Chief Administrative Officer, has led the cross-college group that plans the event. For 2020’s commencement, they made the decision to do everything possible to still create a time and way for MCC’s students to be celebrated.

“We are extremely proud of the program we have,” she said. “We have included footage of past ceremonies that includes a platform party, faculty and staff processional from the Cowan Center across the street to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, bagpipes playing, and the more than 50 flags carried by Lowell High School ROTC that represent the countries of our students. Although we are not able to celebrate in-person, we are committed to offering the same pomp and circumstance to our 2020 graduates.”

While this year’s ceremony is virtual, the group believes MCC’s class of 2020 deserves to wear their caps and gowns and walk across the stage.

“Although we cannot celebrate together in person, I want students to know that – along with the faculty and staff of the college – I am tremendously proud of their accomplishments,” said James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “Even though the class of 2020 will have officially graduated, we are inviting the more than 1,000 graduates to next year's commencement ceremony, giving them the opportunity to wear their cap and gown and officially cross the stage.”

The 2020-2021 year will mark the college’s 50th Anniversary, providing the 2020 and 2021 graduates a celebration with faculty, staff and alumni from across the college’s 50-year history.

To make room for this larger group, the 2021 ceremony will be held as Lowell’s Tsongas Arena. According to Cox, at this time “we will highlight and celebrate our hardworking and resilient MCC alums and graduates.”

To make this year’s commencement more personal, MCC’s Department of Marketing Communications has created digital ways for graduates and their families to celebrate, including providing details for students to host virtual watch parties.

“Commencement is the most important day in the life of a student,” said Beth Noel, MCC’s Director of Marketing Communications. “On the College’s website, you can download printable posters, graphics to share on social media, and backgrounds to use during watch parties. On the graduation website, you can also find a list of all graduate names, academic honors and awards. Our graduates worked hard for this moment and we want to make sure that even during this pandemic, they are acknowledged.”

All that is required to watch the virtual commencement is internet access and a device. Visit https://www.ltc.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/LTCLowell/ to join in on the celebration.

Register for MCC’s online Quickstart and Summer Sessions 1 & 2 starting on May 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Foundation Establishes Student Emergency Appeal4/30/20205/21/2020 9:25 AM
As Middlesex Community College finds new ways to teach and support students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission of the college’s Foundation is more important now than ever before. MCC serves a diverse population and many community members suffer from financial, food and housing insecurity – and these struggles have been heightened due to the current health crisis. In response, the Middlesex Community College Foundation established the Student Emergency Appeal to support students who are directly affected.

The MCC Foundation’s mission is to provide equitable access to a quality education and help students succeed academically and professionally. Raising funds for students suffering from financial stress due to the repercussions of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing is at the heart of what the Foundation does.

“This appeal augments our efforts as student need has increased substantially due to job losses, loss of childcare, the loss of the access to technology – never mind the increase in the challenges with food and housing insecurities,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancements. “Our Student Affairs and Financial Services departments are doing a great job working with students to address and meet those needs.”

The Foundation’s appeal is in addition to the Student Emergency Fund that the college had in place to support students for one-time emergency-based needs, such as house fires, floods and unexpected job loss.

More students than usual have reached out for assistance, according to Jonathan Crockett, MCC’s Coordinator of Essential Needs & Community Resources. Many inquire about accessing the Food Pantries – located on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses – and for Market Basket gift cards community members have donated.

“Right now, we have a lot of students dealing with un- or underemployment and food and housing challenges,” Crockett said. “We’re seeing a ripple effect for some of our students. I know that there are so many people right now who are feeling like they’d like to be helpful in any way they can. The need is now more than ever. I’m grateful to the Foundation both for recognizing the need and for their outreach.”

Crockett expects the requests to increase in the next few weeks. He also emphasizes that students have appreciated the outreach effort, whether or not they have needed extra support.

To contribute to students in need, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/emergency/ to donate online, or make a check payable to the Middlesex Community College Foundation – with a notation to the MCC Emergency Fund – and mail to PO Box 8681, Lowell, MA, 01853.

For more information on the MCC Foundation, contact Sherri McCormack at mccormacks@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3034. To get in touch about MCC’s Food Pantries, contact Jonathan Crockett at crockettj@middlesex.mass.edu or call 781-280-3785.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Classes at MCC – A Leader of Online Education4/21/20205/20/2020 11:20 AM
In these difficult times, students need to be assured that they are receiving an education from an institution with a proven track record of success in online learning. Middlesex Community College has been a leader of online education for over 20 years. This summer, MCC will offer an expanded roster of online learning for its Summer Quickstart Session, as well as Summer Sessions 1 and 2 – all starting on May 26.

“Middlesex Community College has a decades long history of providing high-quality, affordable hybrid and online course offerings,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our faculty have consistently been supported with excellent professional development to create strong, customized online content and many faculty, courses and academic programs have won state and national awards/rankings for outstanding online work.”

Because of the college’s achievements, Middlesex was able to act quickly and effectively in transitioning to remote, virtual and limited contact systems during this COVID-19 crisis. In a matter of weeks, faculty members have had to alter their courses to remote learning – and they have risen to the challenge of relaying content in a creative and successful fashion. This is because at Middlesex, student success is at the core of what the college does, according to Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts.

“When faculty prepare to put a course online, we talk about teaching – not about technology,” Olson said. “Technology changes frequently, so it is important that instructors select and learn the tools that are important to teach their subject matter in the way that makes sense to them and supports their unique teaching styles. Middlesex has always been about using the online tools to develop personal connections among teachers and students so deep learning can happen.”

In the fall of 2019, MCC offered 390 online and hybrid courses – a combination of online and face-to-face instruction. Online enrollment continues to grow and constitutes about 20 percent of total enrollments at the college.

MCC is approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education to offer fully online programs and has received multiple awards over the years. Most recently, the college ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

The college understands that the COVID-19 crisis has financially burdened many students. To ensure student success, MCC’s Student Accounts is offering summer payment plans for the first time. In addition, the college will waive all $20 enrollment and $10 late payment fees.

This summer, current MCC students can complete general education requirements; college students home for the summer can keep their minds fresh for learning or improve their GPA; high school-aged students can gain college credit; adult learners and those who were laid-off as a result of COVID-19 can learn a new skill or work towards starting a new career; and furloughed workers can take advantage of the time to complete professional development opportunities.

MCC offers a three-week Summer QuickStart Session – May 26 to June 12. Summer Session 1 is five weeks and runs May 26 to June 25; Summer Session 2 is eight weeks, running May 26 to July 22. Summer Session 3 will run for five weeks from July 7 to August 6.

For more information and to register for summer classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/summer or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Health and STEM Programs Donate PPE to Lowell General3/27/20205/19/2020 11:15 AM
Middlesex Community College is proud to partner with local businesses and organizations to offer help to those who need it most. The college had a surplus of critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they donated to Lowell General Hospital (LGH) during this COVID-19 crisis.

Suzanne McHale, Chair of MCC’s Medical Laboratory Technology program and employee at LGH, orchestrated the donations along with the Biotechnology, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs at the college.

“Since these PPE are not currently being used for in-person learning due to the COVID-19 shelter at home situation we are all experiencing, these articles can be better used and are desperately needed by hospitals such as Lowell General,” said Paul Patev, an MCC Biotechnology professor.

MCC students have clinical and internship experiences at LGH, thanks to the partnership the two institutions share. Students use the same PPE as hospital professionals during their laboratory and cleanroom work. The equipment – and the clinical and internship experiences – allow MCC to prepare students to work in Health and STEM related-fields upon graduation.

“This is a great thing we can do as a college – with whatever excess we have – to give to our local hospital,” McHale said. “LGH supports our healthcare programs tremendously and this is one of our ways to give back to them.”

The college was happy to donate the extra materials they had in storage, which included over 500 face masks, more than 40 boxes of gloves, 15 plus packages of lab coats, 50 face shields, over 50 bottles of hand sanitizer, nearly 50 Coveralls, over 5 containers of wipes, 900 Bouffant caps and thousands of booties.

On Monday, March 25, McHale presented the majority of the donations to Shirley Murrant, LGH’s Laboratory Director and the LGH security team – Luis Lopez Pezzotti, Tyler Michaud, Cody Krygowski and James Urbaez. She also delivered equipment to the hospital’s satellite location, the Saints Campus, on March 18 and March 25.

Visit www.lowellgeneral.org/news-and-media/news/lowell-general-hospital-is-accepting-donations to make a donation to Lowell General Hospital.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Remote Courses to Community Partners5/13/20205/18/2020 2:33 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Education & Training (CET) partners with local businesses and organizations to provide professional development to employees. During this COVID-19 pandemic, MCC transitioned courses to remote, virtual and limited contact systems, including CET. As more people work from home or are furloughed, this is the perfect time to take classes, gain knowledge and skills, and work towards career advancement.

A leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex is adept at providing its courses and instructors with the tools needed to transition classes to remote learning.

“This is a perfect example of how MCC supports our employer partnerships – and has done so for over 30 years,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “Even throughout the pandemic, we continue to support our employers with cost-effective, flexible and customized education and training so they can continue to flourish – despite the difficult circumstances.”

Tim Scanlon, MCC’s Program Manager of Business & Industry, collaborated with Marci Barnes from Juniper and instructor Chris Soucy from Innate Forces to transition the Essentials of Communications and Interpersonal Skills courses to Zoom.

“The three of us had a few meetings as a team to develop a plan to move forward that is mutually beneficial for Juniper, MCC and the training provider, and worked through any kinks along the way together,” Barnes said. “They have both been very flexible and easy to work with to make this experience the best it can be for our employees.”

Soucy’s in-class format of the course is a single half-day delivery. For the remote version, the workshop is delivered once a week for three weeks. Although there were challenges involved – including missing face-to-face interaction – Soucy enjoys witnessing the improvement of an employee’s skills grow over time rather than just working with them for one day.

“My sense is this helped deepen the learning,” he said. “We studied it and practiced during the workshop and then shared how we applied it at the start of the next session.”

Barnes believes Zoom allowed for a smooth transition as the instructor was able to interact with the employees, and employees could interact with each other. Having a video component aided in employees’ comfort levels and created a cohesive environment of learning.

“Middlesex’s flexibility to adjust and move the classes to a virtual platform was imperative to the success and completion of the grant,” Barnes said. “I am impressed that MCC was able to shift so quickly to make these content areas and classes available to our teams.”

In the transition, Soucy added content to his learning materials – a participant guide and slide deck ¬¬– ¬to include more written detailed information. In the learning exercises, he uses small group discussions and partner exercises. A benefit to using Zoom, Soucy believes, is being able to record the sessions for employees to view later.

“Given near-universal closure of non-essential businesses, the main benefit of online learning is that it allowed the training engagement to happen in April, versus needing to postpone or cancel,” he said. “The interpersonal communication skills sessions are an ideal topic. We are all experiencing a strain in communicating with others so that any skills can be immediately applied.”

Soucy related the content of the Essentials of Communications course to working from home and Barnes said feedback from the employees was positive. As working from home is new for many, being able to discuss these skills provides employees with the strategies needed to perform better.

“We are all being challenged and stretched right now, and that is a primary way for us to grow,” Soucy said. “What cements this growth is how well we can apply what we’ve learned right now in isolation and then when physical distancing ends.”

To learn more about MCC’s professional development courses, contact Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Program Manager of Corporate Education & Training at tuzzolol@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3109.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Culinary Arts Program Gets Creative with Remote Learning 5/5/20205/18/2020 10:48 AM
Middlesex Community College – like many colleges and universities across the country – transitioned to remote, virtual and limited contact systems for the college’s coursework and student services due to the effects of COVID-19. MCC’s faculty had to make quick and creative solutions to continue offering students hands-on learning experiences.

As a leader of online education for over 20 years, Middlesex was able to make a smooth transition to remote courses. Kim Morrissey, MCC’s Hospitality & Culinary Arts Program Coordinator, also credits the college’s students for their resiliency during these challenging times. The students coming together “in this new virtual world” has been inspiring.

“They have been working hard to create fantasy restaurants and creating presentations to share with their classmates,” she said. “They have also been virtually planning large scale events and taking virtual tours of restaurants, hotels and event venues. Many of my students have been sharing photos of their own recipes and food they have been making at home.”

Andy Sirois is an adult-learner who came to Middlesex to get a certificate in Culinary Arts. He is impressed by the quality of instruction at MCC and lists the community, the support, and the ease of the registration and payment process as the best parts of attending the college.

“Being able to continue with these courses has provided some structure to my day and I feel I am still making progress,” Sirois said. “I enjoy it so much that after I get my certificate, I’ll stay and take a few more business courses to get my associate in Culinary Arts/Hospitality.”

His Business courses with Morrissey are asynchronous classes, so materials can be accessed at any time. Morrissey provides videos, narrated presentations, a discussion board, readings and assignments in addition to live virtual meetings.

The transition to this style of learning was smooth, but Sirois’s Food Science & Sanitation class requires more hands-on, practical learning. To combat this challenge, Professor Jim Giordano includes instructions for students to bake on their own. Students just need to have access to a kitchen, stove and baking utensils.

Giordano has been making demonstration videos for his students along with schematics and diagrams. He has even been working with a video editor to ensure his instructional materials are high-quality and easy to follow.

For the class, Sirois baked a fruit tart and a Torte De L’opera at home – creating a slideshow depicting each stage of the process, from how to make a ganache to a chocolate glaze.

Andrea Melanson is also a Culinary Arts student taking Giordano’s class. She made a Joconde Sponge Cake and documented the process with a one-minute video that included descriptions of her process.

“I have been trying to bake things that we baked in the previous baking class to improve my skills and do the projects that we would have been doing in the kitchen classes,” Melanson said. “During this uncertain time, it is something that I look forward to. It is interesting to be able to do the projects at home and that helps me stay calm when I feel stressed or anxious.”

Although she doesn’t always have the necessary ingredients for every recipe, Melanson said coming up with substitutions is part of the fun.

Melanson is expecting to graduate in 2021. Her favorite part about Middlesex so far has been meeting and working with a diverse group of people who she has learned from, both in her studies and socially.

Both Sirois and Melanson miss the in-class component and connection to their fellow students and professors, but see the benefit to working at their own pace at home.

Giordano has been inspired by his students and their perseverance, despite the circumstances.

“I know that connecting with them as if I were in class will be more meaningful,” he said. “We’re also trying to communicate with video conferencing just to keep in touch and see each other.”

For more information on MCC’s Hospitality & Culinary Arts program, contact Kim Morrissey, Program Coordinator, at morrisseyk@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3170.

MCC’s Quickstart Summer Session and Summer Sessions 1 and 2 will feature enhanced online learning options. Summer is a great time for students to take general requirements.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Places First, Second and Third at Mass. DECA Competition5/7/20205/14/2020 12:12 PM
On February 22, Middlesex Community College took home first, second and third place in various categories at the Massachusetts DECA Competition held at Stonehill College. The competition allows students majoring in marketing, finance, hospitality and management an opportunity to compete with other local colleges and high schools.

Professor Vikram Sharma attended the event with six MCC students. Middlesex won first and second place in the Human Resources event, while they took third place in Accounting. The college placed fifth in the Entrepreneurship and Marketing categories.

“Competitions like these prepare our students for the real world,” Sharma said. “They enhance learning beyond the realms of classrooms and textbooks. Students learn how to network and build professional contacts.”

The events are judged by professionals within the industry and their feedback is valuable to the students who hope to enter the workforce, according to Sharma. Students also gain presentation, leadership, organization and team-building skills.

Gabriel Sarrategui is an MCC Business Administration student who hopes to transfer to a four-year school to continue studying Business. He’d like to work in management for nonprofit organizations once he graduates.

“These competitions are important to education because they teach communication, presentation, skills from each specialized role play, and adaptation to quick learning and confidence,” Sarrategui said. “No matter what major an individual studies, participating in DECA provides an experience to learn and better themselves.”

Participants at the event engaged in individual or team role play events, according to Sarrategui. They were given a situation and 30 minutes to create a statement and solution before presenting it to the judge.

Throughout the competition, Middlesex students competed against students from four-year universities who are in their junior and senior years – many of whom have taken more advanced courses in their fields. For Sharma, this emphasizes the significance of MCC’s accomplishments.

He especially appreciates witnessing students who started off shy gaining confidence by participating in events like these. Faculty and staff get to see the dedication they provide for their students be rewarded – which further inspires them to continue trying to make a difference in their lives.

“From the college’s perspective, this fulfills the mission to prepare our students to be the leaders of tomorrow,” Sharma said. “It increases student engagement and serves as an inspiration to other students that they are on par – if not better – than their competition.”

Registration for summer and fall courses is now open. Call 1-800-818-3434 or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ for more information and to register for courses.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Named to All-Massachusetts Academic Team4/29/20205/13/2020 11:58 AM
Middlesex Community College is proud to celebrate student success. Three Middlesex students have been recognized as outstanding two-year college students and members of Phi Theta Kappa’s (PTK) 2020 All-Massachusetts Academic Team.

Cara Hartsgrove of Tewksbury; Sokharath Koy of Lowell and originally from Cambodia; and Andrea Wallis, formally of Lowell and now in Pelham, N.H., were honored in a virtual “PTK Community College Excellence Week.” MCC Students were featured on the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges’ (MACC) social media pages on April 29.

Every year, MACC honors the All-Massachusetts Academic Team to showcase the best and brightest students in the 15-college system. Phi Theta Kappa – the international society for two-year colleges – the Coca-Cola Foundation, community college presidents, and community college state associations annually co-sponsor the All-State Academic Teams.

Cara Hartsgrove graduated with an associate degree in Criminal Justice in the Fall of 2019. She plans to attend UMass Lowell for her bachelor’s degree and her ultimate goal is to become a police officer. She believes MCC was a stepping stone for her future and credits her professors for their support.

“I liked Middlesex a lot,” she said. “The teachers were always helpful and there was always someone available to give guidance. Middlesex has a lot to offer, whether it be with using the library, having tutoring services or having advisors available.”

Hartsgrove enjoyed taking both in-person and online courses. In addition to her studies, she worked with the food pantry as part of a service-learning opportunity to run drives for winter clothing and personal items. She said that helping other people makes her happy.

“PTK is like a family, in which we all work together because of our accomplishments,” she said. “We are recognized because of how hard we push ourselves to excel.”

Sokharath Koy is a Psychology major who will graduate in May. He enjoys MCC’s flexible schedules so he can manage his classes while working full-time. Koy came to the U.S. in late 2016 and plans to study Sociology at UMass Lowell. MCC provides him with a solid educational background and intensive learning experience that he said benefits his personal life in addition to his academic journey.

“I love the campus with diverse students from different towns and countries,” he said. “I learn more about myself than I ever thought within such an environment. I get a lot of support from the tutoring center, especially for my writing because English is my second language.”

Koy enjoys working with the knowledgeable professors at MCC, as well as with Virak Uy, MCC’s Director of Asian American Student Advancement Program. Through PTK, Koy has been able to attend events where he shares ideas and experiences with other members.

“I would like to express my thankfulness to MCC and PTK for their strong support and for allowing me to be a representative in the All-Massachusetts Team,” he said. “I am very glad to know someone believes in my dream, inspiring me to work harder in order to change my life.”

Andrea Wallis is pursuing Medical Office Administration and hopes to graduate within the year. Many of her courses have been completed online as she balances her studies with her job. Wallis was inspired to work in hospice after going through the experience with her mother and their family.

“Middlesex is so accommodating and I would recommend it to anyone no matter your age or if you think you can’t possibly go back to school,” she said. “Do not doubt yourself. You can do it. No matter what, MCC will help you get through any obstacle, so never say never.”

Wallis originally started at a different school, but transferred to MCC for the Medical Office Administration program. She is thankful for the guidance from her professors and MCC staff members.

“I would always tell myself as long as you pass, you will be alright,” she said. “Once I started getting good grades, I pushed myself to make sure I continued and that makes me feel wonderful. I am honored to be part of PTK.”

Since 1918, PTK has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students, while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join PTK.

For more information about MCC’s All-Massachusetts Academic Team members, contact Steven Rossi, MCC’s Director of Student Engagement, at rossis@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3789.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Teams Up with Community Partner for Remote Course4/28/20205/12/2020 12:24 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Education & Training (CET) has partnered with Community Teamwork of Lowell (CTI) for several years to offer employees professional development opportunities. When COVID-19 struck, the two organizations teamed up to transition the planned Crucial Conversations course to remote learning.

MCC has been a leader of online learning for over two decades. When it came to transitioning the course to a virtual platform, the college collaborated with CTI and instructor Laura Kangas – who has taught at MCC for 20 years as an adjunct professor and loves working with the supportive and dedicated team – to format the class to Zoom.

“This is a perfect example of how MCC supports our employer partnerships – and has done so for over 30 years,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “Even throughout the pandemic, we continue to support our employers with cost-effective, flexible and customized education and training so they can continue to flourish – despite the difficult circumstances.”

In the course – for directors, managers and supervisors – Kangas helps her students learn the necessary skills to engaging in difficult conversations that could be emotional and high stakes. Although the course covers sensitive topics ¬¬– and CTI employees had expected to take the course in-person – Lisa Wholey, SPHR, HR Director of CTI, said feedback from the class was positive and that Middlesex “didn’t miss a beat.”

“We count on Middlesex and feel fortunate to have them as a partner because they listen to what our needs are and to what’s going on,” Wholey said. “It’s been great. The facilitator was able to make it like they were almost in the classroom.”

The remote format allows Kangas and the 21-person class to be able to connect with each other in the larger group, have breakout rooms for small-group discussions, play videos and use the whiteboard feature. The conversations, Kangas said, have been rewarding.

“Being able to talk to another human being in a very protected, calm and relaxed atmosphere for two hours was very special,” Kangas said. “Students were amazed by how intimate it was. Even though you’re on a computer, the conversations were amazing and people really opened up.”

Both Wholey and Kangas believe this time of working or being at home during the pandemic is an excellent opportunity for employees to work on professional development.

“The curriculum is really tailored to what’s going on at this time,” Wholey said. “The instructor used examples of working from home and what kind of conversations come up. She made an adjustment to the curriculum so that it was relevant and timely.”

For Kangas, being part of a class – and having access to other people via a remote service like Zoom – helps foster a community, despite being away from the office.

“The students are really dedicated to learning everything they can and being the best they can be,” Kangas said. “Even in these worst of times, people are still working hard to do everything they can to learn all the skills they can to be a better contributor.”

While Wholey said, “In this time, it keeps people connected. Many of them felt it was so great to see their colleagues across the agency,” Kangas said, “You get some personal contact and it’s not just writing to each other.”

To learn more about MCC’s professional development courses, contact Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Program Manager of Corporate Education & Training at tuzzolol@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3109.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Student and Security Officer Helps Keep MCC Healthy & Safe4/23/20205/11/2020 12:17 PM
In the face of the pandemic, Middlesex Community College has transitioned coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. As an open-access institution, the college’s Public Safety department is on-campus for students and employees who require access. Stephanie Guerra, an MCC student and Security Officer on the Lowell campus, has been on the frontline of keeping the college community safe as MCC navigates the COVID-19 crisis.

As a student and a Security Officer for Securitas on MCC’s Lowell campus, Guerra has had a positive experience both academically and professionally. In her position during this crisis, she has been helping employees and students get materials they need to continue teaching, working and learning.

“I’m able to help students and staff with maintaining safety practices throughout the college,” Guerra said. “We’ve been able to provide students with laptops so that they can continue their classes online, as well as provided home delivery to students who are not able to pick them up. It’s been a great experience and the students appreciate it.”

Guerra – and the rest of MCC’s Security and Facilities departments – have been instrumental in keeping the college running. The best part of the job for her – especially now – is helping students and employees stay healthy and safe.

“During this pandemic our public safety team has been there to assist the college in whatever way possible,” said Patrick Cook, MCC’s Executive Director of Public Affairs. “In Stephanie’s case, she has been helping maintain the continuity of learning for students, faculty and staff by assisting us with the distribution of laptops and chrome books, clay for the sculpting class, musical instruments, and access to our food pantries. It feels especially appropriate because Stephanie herself is an MCC Student and is able to help her fellow classmates in this manner.”

When employees or students do have to come to campus to pick up materials, the public safety team ensures that everyone follows the proper protocols, which includes wearing gloves and masks, and maintaining a six-foot distance from others. The team also washes their hands often, offer sanitizing stations across campus and floors, and have a cleaning crew come in to sanitize the building every day.

“I feel like everyone’s been very understanding and cooperative,” Guerra said. “Everyone’s been great about following the rules, signing in, and maintaining the six-feet distance. The staff and faculty that we work with, including the Public Safety department, get things done – which is great.”

Every morning, Guerra starts the day by checking the news and emails for campus updates. She’s eager to help as best she can as part of the team. While there are not a lot of people on campus at a time – and the campus is quiet for a large part of the day – she believes it’s important for someone to be there when something is needed.

“Stephanie has proven herself to be reliable, attentive to detail, and extremely supportive to our entire college community,” said Dan Martin, MCC’s Director of Public Safety. “Less than a year on the job, Stephanie has been promoted to shift supervisor due to her ability not only to problem solve, but to be a leader with her peers.”

Guerra is a Mechanical Engineering student who is interested in STEM club. She’s enjoyed taking math classes and working with her fellow Security Officers. In the past, she’s worked details at the Nesmith House, including when the college welcomed W. Patrick Murphy, United States Ambassador to Cambodia, and at President James C. Mabry’s Soupfest.

Working with detectives to gather information has also provided an interesting experience for Guerra who appreciates being able to implement practices learned from work into the real world.

Faculty and staff have been supportive of Guerra as she goes through her Middlesex journey, including helping her learn the right skills and knowledge she needs to be successful.

“I really enjoy working with the entire Security department and MCC staff,” she said. “Everyone has been really helpful in these difficult times.”

To register for classes at Middlesex Community College, including MCC’s four Summer Session offerings, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Helps Students Stay Financially Well with Comprehensive Guide4/9/20205/7/2020 3:23 PM
Stress arises during challenging times, but Middlesex Community College is here to help. Middlesex has always worked hard to support students with their finances. The college’s Financial Wellness Program compiled a list of resources to help during this unexpected crisis.

Juan Breton, MCC’s Financial Wellness Specialist, emphasizes the importance of financial health, especially during times of hardship.

“Unfortunately, many times we forget that we might qualify for financial assistance,” he said. “Many factors are taken into consideration during the application process – you just need help finding what’s out there.”

MCC’s Financial Wellness Program works with current and former students to better understand their finances. The program offers coaching on personal financial literacy, knowledge of higher-education financing and repayment, and how to improve financial behaviors for budgeting, saving and reducing debt. MCC’s program partners with iGrad ¬– a free service providing 24/7 assistance – to help students with money management, financial-aid education, resources and tools.

iGrad offers a special Coronavirus and Your Financial Health page. Students can learn tips on how to protect their personal finances, investments and retirement; how to continue their education, career or employment search; how to plan for their futures; and how to navigate the stresses the effects of COVID-19 are having on their mental health, society and the economy.

iGrad’s comprehensive guide for how to stay financially well during this time also offers resources found around Massachusetts that may be beneficial to students.

Breton suggests students contact their service providers for internet, cable, cell phone and utilities. Many companies have announced a delayed late fee charge and disconnections. This also applies to some banks and credit unions who may waive late payment and overdraft fees. Metro Credit Union is offering Hardship Loans for those whose employment is affected by COVID-19. For students struggling to find work, iGrad offers a link to apply for unemployment benefits.

The guide is updated as more information becomes available. Make sure to contact your local providers for more information on how they can help you.

Visit https://middlesex.igrad.com/landing/coronavirus-and-your-financial-health for more information, or contact financialwellness@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3230.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Lists Activities to Keep Kids Busy & Engaged4/22/20205/6/2020 11:04 AM
Middlesex Community College wants to help keep students engaged and on-track with their education during these difficult times. The college’s Education and College for Kids departments have collected a number of activities for families to do together in order to keep learning and having fun during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Dobrin, MCC’s Chair of Education, recommends establishing routines and activities to provide a sense of normalcy – even when in this “new normal”– as best as possible. Activities include walks outside, family meals, homework time and bedtime stories.

“A sense of routine and predictability help children feel safe,” she said. “In these times of uncertainty, this becomes especially challenging and even more important. It’s important to maintain routines as they’re a key way of helping children mark time. This may even be an opportunity to start some new routines – involving kids in the process makes them more meaningful.”

MCC’s College for Kids helps maintain a sense of normalcy for kids throughout the summer. Students who attend are not just kept busy, but are constantly engaged and learning in a hands-on environment that is stimulating and interactive.

“College for Kids is a room full of open doors for a diverse group of youth to learn about themselves, a few different careers paths and gain access to college,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of Community Education & Training. “The youth that attend College for Kids learn that attending college will give you many options and Middlesex Community College is one of them. Summers are about making memories, friendships and discovering your path.”

Ellis shared a few photography and science lessons – inspired by College for Kids – for families during this time to get everyone outside or moving around the house.

For kids learning colors and ABCs, Ellis suggests assigning a new letter or color each time the activity is completed and taking pictures of objects that match the color or letter. Families can also go on a ‘Word Hunt’ by taking typical flashcards outside and having children find the word that matches the card and snapping a picture of the item to start a collection.

Adding photography to a game of BINGO is also a great way to spark kids’ imagination. Have them try out cooking or a new hobby, snap a picture of their pet, or go out for a walk and see what interesting photographs they can capture. Then share what they find on social media and tag MCC’s accounts.

To work on writing and storytelling skills, Ellis recommends having a child take a picture of a scene in or outside of the home and then writing or telling a story based on the photograph.

For space and science fanatics, Ellis suggests a DIY moon sand project using flour and oil for kids to make and then play with. Kids can also craft mini constellations using just a few supplies, like paper and toilet paper rolls. These science projects are easy to put together, but spark kids’ creativity and imagination.

For more art project ideas, Bethany Peck (MCC College for Kids teacher and Corporate & Community Education instructor, Chelmsford resident and artist, and preschool teacher for Chelmsford Community Education) suggests simple and fun projects using materials most people have on-hand.

Kids can dip leftover tubes from paper towels or toilet paper into paint to transform a blank surface into a layered, colorful masterpiece. She also offers tips on how to take sidewalk art to the next level by using masking tape to create different shapes and patterns, and then coloring it in with chalk. Kids can also transform their front door by making stained glass using the same tape technique with paper mache or washable markers.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/activities to find out more about these activities.

Go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663 to register for MCC’s College for Kids this summer.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Offers Remote Services to Students4/7/20205/5/2020 11:37 AM
In a manner of weeks, Middlesex Community College faculty and staff transitioned coursework and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. Because MCC is an open access institution serving a diverse population, these changes were designed with a focus on a quality education that is accessible, meets academic outcomes, and supports student success.

“The speed with which we have moved to remote teaching, learning and working is quite stunning,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “This amazing pivot has only been accomplished through the sustained creativity, hard work and collaboration by everyone at the institution. What we have learned and what we have accomplished in the last few weeks has given the institution new and different ways to serve our students.”

MCC is committed to ensuring that the student learning experience continues during this global health crisis. Understanding that not all students have access to the technology they need to learn remotely, the college distributed over 200 chromebooks to students in need. Providing this technology for students who would not otherwise have access is a step towards keeping the semester running smoothly and students on their academic paths.

For students in need of extra help, MCC’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) offers eTutoring services in a variety of subjects, including writing, math, science and nursing.

ACE has created two different methods of tutoring. Asynchronous Tutoring allows students – in any subject – to upload writing assignment directions and a draft to receive comments from a writing tutor. Synchronous Tutoring – live sessions via Zoom – allows for students to have tutoring in real-time. Students may also request tutoring in subjects not currently provided based on availability. Supplemental Instruction (SI) Sessions will also be offered via the college’s online learning management system.

Students who receive support from MCC’s Office of Disabilities Services (DSS) will continue to be able to receive assistance. DSS has set up WebEx and online meetings in order to have private breakout rooms for students to connect with them. These private breakout rooms are also available for general advising sessions through MCC’s Advising Center. Advising will begin with group sessions and use private rooms for personal questions.

Bryan Wint, MCC’s Director of Advising & Academic Pathways, believes the transition to remote advising has challenged faculty and staff, but has also provided an amazing opportunity for the college.

“We can gain a lot through providing remote services to students,” he said. “If we can continue to refine our practice in remote learning, we can serve a broader range of students, meeting their needs and providing them with a comprehensive experience.”

For students needing help on a research paper or project, MCC’s librarians and library staff are also available to assist students remotely. The library’s remote hours are 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on Fridays – online materials are available 24/7.

“We offer essential services and resources to support remote learning and instruction,” said Donna Maturi, MCC’s Director of the Library. “Reference Services may be accessed via email, chat and text during our normally scheduled business hours. Contact us if you wish to schedule a research consultation or library instruction session. While it may be at a distance, we look forward to serving you.”

Students can do more than learn remotely. They can also register for the summer and fall semester classes, make payments, check their billing status, get refunds electronically, and setup installments plans without having to come to campus or mail checks – all online. According to Chris Fiori, MCC’s Director of Student Financial Services, MCC made a timely investment in their new Ecommerce system – Touchnet.

“This has allowed staff to focus more time on individual financial wellness counseling with our students, and created a better customer service experience as well,” he said.

Mental wellness is a huge priority for the MCC Community. Middlesex is offering Distance Counseling on a case-by-case basis, over the phone or online in private breakout rooms. Additionally, the college has many students who suffer from financial, housing and food insecurity. To provide on-demand money management, financial aid education, resources and tools for our students and faculty, MCC offers an online Financial Wellness program called iGrad. Students and staff who may need to access the MCC Food Pantries – in Bedford and Lowell – can contact the college. The pantries will be opened on an as-needed basis.

Maintaining a sense of community is beneficial to mental health. The Multicultural Center launched a virtual office for students seeking connection. Staff will be available for remote services and support 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to meet, socialize and study. Many MCC student clubs including the Bible Study Club, the Gamers Guild and the Veterans’ Club are also hosting virtual meetings and events where students can connect.

MCC wants all students to know that just because classes and services have moved to remote or limited options – and even though the MCC community is apart – MCC’s students are not alone. MCC is here for them and working hard to provide the support and connections they need to succeed.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/deanofstudents/remoteres for a complete list of all of the ways MCC is helping students ease the transition from in-person to remote services. Contact information – such as emails and phone numbers – are listed on the website.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Remote Noncredit Classes at Middlesex Community College4/17/20204/30/2020 12:09 PM
In the face of this global crisis, Middlesex Community College has had to move quickly in transitioning coursework and support services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. MCC’s Corporate & Community Education & Training has consistently offered online class options, but in order to protect its students and employees, many of the traditional face-to-face courses in the program were transferred to remote learning.

Middlesex has been a leader of online education for over 20 years. Because of the college’s vast history of success with online learning, the transition to remote learning has been done efficiently and successfully. Online classes offer flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same quality of education as face-to-face options.

As more people stay at home, this is a great time to take courses. Professional development and personal enrichment courses teach valuable knowledge and skills students can use in the workforce or in life. Students can choose to finish a certificate program or take specific classes based on their – or their company’s – needs.

High Performance Work Style in a Virtual World is a live webinar that will take place 6 – 8:30 p.m. on April 21. The webinar covers the RESPECT model – Recognition, Empowerment, Supportive Feedback, Partnering, Expectations, Consideration and Trust – for new managers, contributors and teams now working in a remote environment.

The live webinar Leader as a Team Builder in a Virtual World will take place 6 – 8:30 p.m. on April 28. For new managers, contributors and teams learning to work in a remote environment, the webinar will help establish leadership skills.

An Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia live webinar for healthcare professionals, front line staff and students provide fundamental knowledge and skills related to caring for patients. The webinar will start 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. on May 12.

MCC’s Nonprofit Management Certificate courses have moved online. Classes include Program Development & Evaluation, Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations, and Strategic Planning & Capital Campaigns. The certificate program introduces concepts and skills related to management components for nonprofits. Classes start as early as April and go into June.

Beginning 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 1, CompTIA Exam Prep will prepare students interested in entry-level IT technician work. Students must have basic computer user skills and during class will be prepared to troubleshoot, problem solve and understand issues related to networking, operating systems, mobile devices and security.

Classes such as Adobe Photoshop, Digital Media Marketing and Social Media cover topics important to enhancing communications skills. Adobe Photoshop teaches students how to batch process images and add advanced masking techniques, special effects and filters to create the best photos possible.

In Digital Marketing Media, students learn how to gain the most out of different media outlets, including how to use platforms, emails, search engine and web optimization, and mobile and online advertising to build a marketing campaign.

Classes for the Social Media Certificate provide a foundation and skill set in a range of social media platforms. Courses begin May 26 and cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and blogging sites, as well as how to build a social media marketing plan.

The online Medical Interpreting course starts 6 – 9 p.m. on June 1. The 60-hour program trains medical interpreters with knowledge of standards of practice, ethics, HIPAA regulations, cultural competency and medical terminology.

MCC’s Personal Trainer National Certification teaches biomechanics, exercise physiology, fitness testing, equipment usage and health assessments starting 9 a.m. to noon on June 6.

SHRM Essentials of Human Resource Management is an introductory certificate course providing the necessary foundational knowledge needed to start a career in HR. The course also benefits managers interested in improving leadership and training skills. Students will learn topics such as HR Function, Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Benefits, Learning and Development, Performance Management and Employment Law. The course begins June 10.

Check out MCC’s Corporate & Community Education & Training’s spring 2020 catalogue – www.middlesex.mass.edu/uniflip/sp20noncredit/ – to learn more about the above classes and all that MCC has to offer.

To register, call 1-800-818-3434 or email career_training@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Promotes Staying Mentally Healthy During COVID-19 Crisis3/18/20204/29/2020 10:46 AM
In these scary and confusing times, it is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical well-being. Middlesex Community College cares about its community and wants to ensure that people are taking care of themselves and remaining mentally fit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health “includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”

Lynn Gregory, MCC’s Personal Counselor, encourages the community to take “fasts” away from news and technology because they often lead to over-stimulation for the brain.

“Our culture likes to separate the ‘body’ and the ‘mind’ and the ‘heart,’ but as research now shows, they are all interconnected,” she said. “Many of these strategies are common sense, but sometimes we forget the basics when we are very stressed. Eat and drink healthfully, get adequate sleep for your body, move your body in ways that feel good (exercise), practice meditation and relaxation, reach out for connection and for help if you need it. Remember social distancing does not mean social isolation, look for the helpers and be one yourself if you can – and pay attention to attitudes and beliefs – consider incorporating gratitude, compassion for self and others, mindfulness and optimism.”

MCC students are finding ways to stay connected to campus- and regular-life.

“Using video and voice chats, I feel like I’m able to continue to interact with my friends and peers,” said Ira Libby, ’22. “I feel like I’m able to bring a little bit of school life home with me so that I don’t feel so isolated.”

“In this pandemic, I’m finding sanity in an otherwise crazy time by socializing with my friends in MCC’s Gamers Guild,” said Austin Hamilton, ’20. “We are building, creating and having fun to keep our spirits up.”

The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) offer advice on how to take care of yourself and your loved ones. People handle situations differently, so it is important to remain calm and open-minded, as well as to be a source of support and comfort.

The following information has been compiled directly from the CDC and WHO websites.

The CDC suggests:
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of daily activities for several days in a row.
  • Share the facts about COVID-19 to better understand the actual risk to yourself and loved ones.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member.
  • For taking care of your children:
  1. Take time to talk with your child or teen about the outbreak. Answer questions and share facts in a way they can understand.
  2. Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset and share how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  3. Try to keep up with regular routines. Create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  4. Be a role model and follow the advice from above.
WHO recommends:
  • Don’t attach COVID-19 to any ethnicity or nationality. Be empathetic to those who got affected, in and from any country, those with the disease have not done anything wrong.
  • Don’t refer to people with the disease as “cases”, ”victims”, or “the diseased.” Refer to them as “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, and “people who are recovering from COVID-19.”
  • Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.
  • Find opportunities to amplify the voices, positive stories and positive images of local people who have experienced the new coronavirus and have recovered or who have supported a loved one through recovery and are willing to share their experience.
  • Honor caretakers and healthcare workers supporting people affected with COVID-19 in your community. Acknowledge the role they play to save lives and keep your loved ones safe.
  • For children:
  1. Help children find positive ways to express disturbing feelings such as fear and sadness.
  2. Keep children close to their parents and family, if considered safe for the child, and avoid separating children and their caregivers as much as possible.
  • For older adults:
  1. Provide practical and emotional support through informal networks and health professionals.
  2. Share simple facts about what is going on and give clear information about how to reduce the risk of infection in words older people with/without cognitive impairment can understand.
  3. Encourage older adults with expertise, experiences and strengths to volunteer in community efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak (for example the well/healthy retired older population can provide peer support, neighbor checking, and childcare for medical personnel).
  • For people in isolation:
  1. Stay connected and maintain social networks. Try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routines. Stay connected via e-mail, social media, video conference and telephone.
  2. Pay attention to our own needs and feelings.
The CDC also lists signs of mental stress to watch out for:
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
  • Signs in children may include:
  1. Excessive crying or irritation
  2. Returning to behaviors they have outgrown
  3. Excessive worry or sadness
  4. Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  5. Unexplained headaches or body aches
Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html for more information from the CDC.

Visit https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2 for more information from WHO.

Go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/covid19 to stay updated on all MCC COVID-19 related information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Remains a Leader in Online Education for Over 20 Years3/25/20204/28/2020 11:15 AM
Online education is accessible, convenient and a fit for everyone. Middlesex Community College has been a leader of online education for over 20 years and offers a host of online options every semester. During this challenging time, MCC joins schools around the Commonwealth in transitioning courses to remote options in order for students to finish the semester.

Middlesex was one of the first colleges in the state to offer remote learning. The Comprehensive Distance Education Program launched in 1998 and over the last 20 years, MCC has taken a careful, consistent and innovative approach to transforming their online platform. The program began with 77 students and now serves thousands each semester. The college invests considerable resources into supporting online faculty and making online academic support available to students 24/7.

“Middlesex has been a leader in quality online learning for well over a decade, having received numerous awards for exceptional online programs,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our online course completion numbers for our students are very strong – sometimes stronger than our face-to-face courses. Students can really thrive in an online environment and are often stronger participants overall in online courses.”

Online instruction includes flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same skills, knowledge, credits and quality of instruction as face-to-face course options. Review materials, take practice exams, complete assignments, and interact with students and faculty – enhanced by the ever-evolving capabilities technology allows.

“It was very easy to follow with the instructions the teacher gave us through Blackboard,” said Gabrielle Menard, a Graphic Design student graduating at the end of the semester. “The website is very ergonomic friendly for students who are not used to online learning and there’s useful services provided as well, like the Blackboard Student Manual and other college resources – i.e. library, helpful links, etc.”

Online learning provides students with opportunities to engage with the curriculum in different and exciting ways. This can include performing virtual biology dissections and chemistry experiments, watching the latest Ted Talks and other videos, and taking virtual tours of the Sistine Ceiling.

Online classes appeal to a variety of students who make up the core of Middlesex – professionals learning a new skill; adult learners seeking a new profession; high school students wanting college credit; or traditional college students earning credit while working full- or part-time.

“Until online courses came into my life, college was just a thought for the future,” said Dawn Stickney, an MCC Graduate. “They allowed me to prepare my schoolwork in a timely manner around my kids’ sporting events and my work schedule.”

For students who are new to online learning, MCC offers these tips on how to maximize your online learning experience for success:
  • Be open-minded to trying a new way of learning
  • Be flexible and patient when technology isn’t as efficient as you want
  • Establish a routine and avoid procrastination
  • Stay connected and ask for help if needed
  • Maintain your computer and files so you don’t lose valuable information
  • Participate on your own time with reflection and consideration
  • Communicate clearly with your own words in a concise way
Middlesex offers 15 degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online, including Accounting, Criminal Justice, Business, Hospitality Management, and Liberal Arts.

MCC’s faculty and online programs have received several awards over the past two decades. MCC’s Online Business Administration Program was named no. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Degree Programs by Intelligent.com and the Online Hospitality Management Program was ranked no. 3 in the country by BestColleges.com in 2018.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/Online/student_tips.aspx to learn more about MCC’s tips for mastering online education.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC & Community Teamwork of Lowell to Offer Free Online Course4/14/20204/23/2020 2:09 PM
Middlesex Community College strives to provide education that is accessible and meaningful. In collaboration with Community Teamwork of Lowell, Middlesex is offering a free online Child Growth and Development course. MCC’s Early Childhood Career Pathways Grant is funding the course for qualified students. The online course starts May 1.

“We are offering this course to help students who would like to advance academically,” said Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of Career Pathways Grant. “Completion of the course will help students advance in their careers to become teachers as part of the state’s ECE certification process.”

The course will include an examination of the development of children from pre-birth through puberty and is required for Early Childhood Education students working in childcare programs, according to Pynchon.

MCC provides free college credit courses for employees of childcare programs in the Greater Lowell area. Participants can work towards their associate degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development through funding from the Office of Early Childcare and Education.

MCC has been a leader in online learning for more than 20 years. Online instruction includes flexible schedules and easy access to resources with the same skills, knowledge, credits and quality of instruction as face-to-face course options.

For more information or to enroll in the program, contact Wendy Valentine, MCC’s Director of ECE Career Pathways, at valentinew@middlesex.mass.edu or Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Assistant Director of ECE Career Pathways, at pynchonn@middlesex.mass.edu

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Hosts Virtual Admissions Events for Prospective Students3/31/20204/22/2020 12:42 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Office of Admissions is introducing Virtual Admissions Events. To keep its students and staff safe, the college has suspended all in-person services, but MCC wants to ensure that prospective students and their families can still gain all of the important information needed to get started at MCC.

“Participating in a Virtual Admissions Event is a great way for students to learn about all of the wonderful things our college and campuses have to offer,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “These events provide students with a one-stop opportunity to learn about how to get started on their Middlesex journey.”

The first MCC Admissions webinar debuted on Monday, March 30, which covered Getting Started at MCC. These sessions answer questions related to MCC’s more than 80 degree and certificate programs, noncredit courses, online learning options and honors opportunities. Students will learn about specific areas of academic interest and the admissions process. Some support services Middlesex offers include academic and career counseling, tutoring, disability support and other special programs.

The other topic in these webinars is Dual Enrollment at MCC. This event appeals to motivated high school and homeschool students who want to take college level courses while still enrolled in high school or are taking homeschool classes. Students who participate in Dual Enrollment at MCC can graduate with their high school diploma and associate’s degree in the same year.

The next scheduled Getting Started at MCC Events will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7 and 10 a.m. on Friday, April 10. The next scheduled Dual Enrollment at MCC Events are 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1 and 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. More sessions will be added as needed.

Admissions is also hosting Lunchtime with Admissions events. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions about how to get started at MCC. These events will take place 12:30-1:30 Mondays through Fridays. These sessions are virtual and participants can type or speak their questions to counselors in real-time.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx to sign up for one of these special Virtual Admissions Events.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Join MCC’s FREE Alumni Association in Time for the 50th Celebration2/27/20204/21/2020 11:35 AM
Middlesex Community College celebrates 50 years in September. Since its inception in 1970, the college has expanded its Bedford campus and extended its outreach into Lowell. Middlesex provides opportunity for every student who walks through the doors. If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alumni!

Join MCC’s FREE Alumni Association to take part in the college’s 50th celebration, to connect with your fellow alumni, and to be updated on all college happenings.

Over the past 50 years, Middlesex has been comprised of faculty and staff whose main goal is providing students with the education, knowledge and skills they need to flourish.

With 26,000+ alumni, the college has a strong networking base ¬– for current and former students – ensuring that MCC continues to be a leading force in the communities the college serves.

“The mission of the MCC Alumni Association is to inspire lifelong connections with MCC,” said Amy Lee, MCC’s Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations. “By joining the Association, alums have the opportunity to connect with fellow graduates as well as MCC faculty and staff to share their stories and post-MCC journeys with one another – and to support future MCC students and alums on the path toward achieving their goals.”

MCC works for students with a multitude of needs – international students seeking to improve English-language skills, returning adult learners studying a new skill, veterans returning to start their education, or recent high-school graduates getting an associate degree before transferring to a four-year college.

Middlesex students are proud of what they accomplish – whether it be in the work they put in for their majors, internships, clubs, organizations or other experiences the college offers. Learn about how programs have grown, catch up with old friends, and check in with the faculty members who made a difference in your education.

“Because of financial constraints, I did not attend college as a traditional-aged student,” said Sheri Stuart Denk, 1990 graduate of MCC. “Twenty one years after graduating from high school, I enrolled part-time as an MCC student. This academic opportunity was instrumental to my success – pursuing a Liberal Arts degree from Middlesex, an American Studies degree from Smith College, and a Masters in Community Social Psychology from UMass Lowell.

“These academic programs rekindled my love of learning and the faculty and staff provided an experience that transformed my life.”

Alumni Association Benefits include lifetime use of MCC Career Services, subscription to MCC’s magazine Profiles, invitations to alumni networking and social events, volunteer opportunities for MCC and the Middlesex Community College Foundation, seasonal discounts at MCC’s bookstore, discounts on auto and home insurance from Arabella Insurance, a reduced rate rental fee of MCC’s historic homes – the Middlesex Meetinghouse in Bedford and the John Nesmith House and Federal Building in Lowell – and engagement with fellow alumni.

Joining is easy! Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ or contact Amy Lee at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. If you are already part of MCC’s Alumni Association, make sure your information is up-to-date – so you don’t miss any exciting updates or events.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Hosts 15th Women in STEM Luncheon4/15/20204/17/2020 10:40 AM
Middlesex Community College held its 15th Women in STEM luncheon on March 4. Five female panelists – all active in STEM-related professions – visited with students, faculty and staff to share their experiences in their careers.

“It is not often that we get to recognize the great women we have in the STEM fields,” said Amanda Bordenca, MCC’s Cybersecurity EDP Systems Analyst and coordinator of the event. “This event is an opportunity to show our students, faculty and staff that women are becoming much more visible and prominent in the STEM fields. We want to encourage our students to pursue STEM careers and learn about the possibilities that a STEM career provides.”

After listening to the panelists speak, students had the opportunity to ask questions and network. The panelists included Jamie Coryea, Julia Kelly, Danielle McGeary, Jane Downing and Christina Papadopoulos.

An MCC alum, Jamie Coryea, was a member of STEM club and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society before transferring to UMass Lowell for her undergrad in Electrical Engineering.

“It is important for the students to be aware that women can be successful and obtain a leadership role in STEM fields even though they are in a minority,” she said. “Women in STEM demonstrate that regardless of your age, background, ethnicity, etc. you can do anything you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter what you have or where you come from, it is your drive that makes a successful engineer.”

MCC Professor Julia Kelly believes in the importance of breaking down stereotypes that may hinder women from pursuing a career in STEM.

“I think it is important to see women in STEM as it shows we have retained women in the field, not only attracting them in the introduction phase,” she said. “More women in visible positions in STEM might also inspire young women to not think of spin-off clubs – such as Society of Women Engineers – for women as ‘reverse sexism,’ but an effort to claim and maintain more women for STEM.”

Danielle McGeary, Vice President of Healthcare Technology Management, talked about coming from a small town and emphasized that “it doesn’t matter where you come from” as a matter of empowerment for the students.

“Hosting events like these is essential to fostering a strong pipeline of diverse professionals in STEM careers,” she said. “It is so important to empower those who are underrepresented in STEM since having a diverse workforce is essential for the success of our disciplines moving forward. The more diversified our outlooks, thoughts and conversations are, the stronger our work and solutions will be overall.”

Jane Downing, Chief, Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Branch, spoke about her education history as a means to emphasize building a foundation for her career. She said she was inspired by the interest of students at the event.

“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics provide key foundations for the future workforce,” she said. “The Environmental Protection Agency was pleased to support MCC’s STEM program to inspire students to engage in public service and studies needed to tackle our most pressing environmental challenges.”

Christina Papadopoulos, Chelmsford Town Engineer, spoke on the challenges she experienced during her journey to becoming a civil engineer.

“These students got to see firsthand what it looks like to be a confident woman in STEM and hear our stories,” she said. “We didn’t let others dictate our futures – we achieved our personal goals despite all the obstacles – and so should they.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/stem/ for more information. Contact Kate Sweeney, MCC’s Dean of STEM, at sweeneyk@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3609.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Places Third in National Engineering Competition4/8/20204/15/2020 11:09 AM
At Middlesex Community College, practical experience is vital to student success. Middlesex Professor Cristopher Algarra led a team of three engineering students – Xynone Cabal, Justin Murphy and Andre Reyes – to participate in the ATEA 3D Futures Competition sponsored by Dessault Systemes. The team built an automated bottle filling machine from scratch and placed third in the national competition.

Algarra has wanted to lead a research project since he first started at MCC three years ago. Thanks to LSAMP – a program offering support for minority students interested in research projects and conferences – the project was greenlit. Algarra selected students from three of the major Engineering disciplines – Environmental, Civil and Mechanical – in order to bring in diverse mindsets and learning experiences.

During what should have been everyone’s summer break, the team worked an average of eight hours a day through June, July and August. The third place designation is an excellent reward, but Professor Algarra considers finishing the project to be an accomplishment of its own.

Algarra describes a near-disastrous experience that almost ended the project when water flooded the system and the machine started smoking. They called it quits that afternoon, but the students were determined and emailed him the next day asking for another shot. Their persistence worked.

“Putting your students into a challenge drives their motivation, which makes them do great things,” Algarra said. “Projects and certifications can show that here at Middlesex, we take into consideration every little step of how to be a great engineer or technician.”

Cabal is considering her next options and plans to attend a state university to major in Environmental Science. At Middlesex, she majored in Civil and Environmental Engineering and was an Orientation Leader, OSE Office Assistant, LSAMP scholar and participant of a few clubs. She calls MCC “home” and with this project, appreciated the real-life experience she was offered.

“I wanted to be educated on how projects are run from start to finish,” Cabal said. “To me, joining this project meant that I could tell future employers that I have experience working in the field. It has given me the experience needed to be competitive because I now know the technologies that are industry standard.”

At MCC, Reyes majored in Computer Engineering, was an LSAMP scholar and participated in STEM club. He is continuing his Computer Engineering major at UMass Lowell and wants to minor in Robotics because of his experience with the project.

“Because of this project I was able to broaden my knowledge of different parts of the process as well as have a reason to jump head first into learning new skills in order to complete the project,” he said. “It was a grand experience to have the opportunity to meet Professor [Michelle] Stein and Professor Algarra through STEM club and being an LSAMP scholar. Their teaching and guidance motivated me and gave me confidence to continue my career in engineering.”

Now at UMass Lowell, Murphy is continuing his education in Mechanical Engineering. At MCC, he participated in LSAMP and STEM Club and felt these experiences – along with his studies – prepared him with a solid foundation.

“I absolutely loved my time at Middlesex,” he said. “I acquired many skills and a valuable education. The professors at Middlesex are amazing, especially Professor Algarra and Professor Stein. They really care about their student’s success both in the classroom and in life – and they definitely made a major impact on my experience.”

Algarra sees value in assigning projects to all of his classes, including having the students present their work. Before teaching, he worked as an engineer and discovered his passion for higher education while working as a student teacher at Merrimack College. He especially appreciates all that Middlesex has afforded him and his students.

“It’s amazing the things you can see at community colleges and the opportunities that students can get,” he said. “I’m a big promoter of community colleges now – I think the students can start their education at an affordable rate and find amazing opportunities.”

To learn more about MCC’s Engineering Science Program, contact Department Chair Michele Stein at steinm@middlesex.mass.edu or call 781-280-3932. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/stem/engscitran.aspx for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Registration Is Now Open for 2020 Summer Sessions at MCC2/25/20204/14/2020 12:31 PM
Relax on the beach, catch up on that book (or Netflix) list, enjoy those summer weekend getaways – and make your summer productive by taking courses at Middlesex Community College. Registration is open for MCC’s four Summer Sessions, running May 26 through Aug. 6.

“Our MCC Summer 2020 schedule offers flexible, accelerated course options to meet a variety of needs by including online and in the classroom courses,” said Audrey Nahabedian, MCC’s Dean of Enrollment Management. “Our goal is to provide core courses that are convenient at an affordable price. This schedule is intended to further benefit our current students, students who are home for the summer, high school students, and adult learners as they seek to earn credits, improve their GPAS, or come closer to finishing their degrees.”

Middlesex is offering a three-week Summer QuickStart Session, as well as three regular Summer Sessions between five- to eight-weeks long. A variety of day and evening courses – in Bedford and Lowell – and online courses are available.
  • QuickStart Summer – three weeks; May 26 to June 12
  • Summer Session 1 – five weeks; May 26 to June 25
  • Summer Session 2 – eight weeks; May 26 to July 22
  • Summer Session 3 – five weeks; July 7 to August 6
For more information and to register for summer classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/summer or call 1-800-818-3434.

Registration is also open for Spring Mini-mester II ¬– MCC’s accelerated, eight-week session – running March 23 to May 15. For more information – and to see the full list of Spring Mini-mester II course offerings – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy Visits MCC3/5/20204/9/2020 1:19 PM
Middlesex Community College welcomed W. Patrick Murphy, United States Ambassador to Cambodia, to the college’s Nesmith House during his visit to Lowell on March 3.

The event allowed Middlesex to show Ambassador Murphy all of the wonderful ways in which the college supports Cambodian students, including the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) grant Middlesex was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in 2016. Through the AANAPISI grant, the college opened the Asian Connections Center and strengthened the Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA).

During the event, Ambassador Murphy described his vast experience in international relations, as well as his service to the country. He offered some history into America’s support in Cambodia, as well as explained the benefits and challenges the countries have faced. The relationship, he said, is a work in progress, but he remains positive.

Ambassador Murphy also expressed his appreciation for the value of community colleges – having attended one when he was in college during summer break while he worked during the day and took classes in the evening with faculty who offered practical expertise, rather than theoretical.

“I was incredibly impressed by the student body because there were so many students as I recall – and I think it’s still the same at many community colleges – overcoming obstacles, juggling jobs, looking to get ahead and avail themselves,” Ambassador Murphy said. “And of course the student body was always very diverse – older, younger, American, immigrant – and the tone was so serious about studying. It was conducive for all of us to be the best that we could be.”

The ambassador explained how his department – as part of the 70th anniversary of America’s involvement in Cambodia – has dedicated themes to each month of the year in order to “focus on the good news in the relationship, to build understanding and closer ties.”

January focused on agriculture, February invested in youth education and technology, and March is celebrating women and gender issues.

Rady Mom, Lowell Representative and MCC alum, extended a warm welcome to Ambassador Murphy, calling MCC “home.” He was excited for the ambassador to witness the community MCC has created and for students to listen to the ambassador speak.

“This is the product of MCC. And I can say that through all the professor and student bodies, they unify and make stuff happen on a daily basis,” Representative Mom said.

Bopha Malone, MCC Board of Trustee from Bedford, also emphasized the importance of Ambassador Murphy’s visit, as well as MCC’s influence in the city of Lowell.

“Community colleges like MCC are an essential part of the community, providing access to a quality education to those who otherwise might not have access,” Malone said. “We're proud at Middlesex Community College to serve an especially diverse range of students of all backgrounds, including a large Cambodian population. It was an honor to have a chance to introduce the Ambassador to MCC and have him see for himself the wonderful work we do here every day.”

Sokhary Chau, Lowell City Councilor, was also a guest at the event. He spoke of the importance of merging cultures and bringing an understanding of Cambodia’s history to the youth population.

Linda Nara became MCC’s first female Cambodian Student Trustee in 2019. Although she was hesitant and homesick at the start of her college career, she credits the AANIPISI grant and the Asians Connection Center for helping her adjust to campus life. Seeing herself represented in the other students and staff – and participating in college activities – was vital for her success.

“Coming to MCC is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life,” she said.

While Nara presented Ambassador Murphy with a t-shirt from the Asian Connection Center, MCC adjunct art professor and Cambodian master ceramist Yary Livan – one of the only master ceramists who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide – gifted the ambassador a handmade cup. Livan’s work is part of a permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s Sackler/Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.

It is evident that Ambassador Murphy supports the relationship between Lowell and Cambodia – especially in regards to Cambodian students coming to the U.S. to receive their education. He believes community colleges in particular are a great option for students to have “a bridge to other things.”

“It’s good for the American economy,” Ambassador Murphy said. “It’s good for the relationship, it’s good for Cambodia when students come and avail themselves of our finest institutions and bring those skills back to Cambodia to help the country progress.”

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Host Award-Winning Poet and Alum 3/9/20204/8/2020 11:37 AM
Middlesex Community College will welcome home poet and MCC alum Anthony Febo as part of its Visiting Writers Series. Febo will perform and discuss his art at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, March 30 in the Lowell Campus Federal Building, Assembly Room. The event is free and open to the public.

A spoken word/performance poet, artist, actor and arts educator, Febo is a dedicated supporter of the arts and youth education. For over a decade, he has worked with non-profits in the Lowell and Greater Boston areas, coaching youth slam teams and touring as a solo artist.

“I approach all coaching and teaching from a place of human development,” Febo said. “I often say to any group of people I’m working with that I am not here to talk ABOUT poetry, I’m here to talk about personal growth and healing – I just happen to do that with poetry.”

At MCC, Febo found family. Being part of productions at MCC taught him about collaboration and the performance process. He honed “the skills needed to feel validated in my work.”

His teachers not only understood how to teach the craft, but were active participants who helped him to “feel first-hand what can happen when teaching is approached with showing love first.”

The mentoring he received from Performing Arts Chair Karen Oster left a big impression on him. When he was opening his first play at MCC, Oster supported him through the grief of losing his grandmother by advising him to channel his emotions into performance. In 2018, she attended his wedding along with other Middlesex faculty.

“I feel as if now – more than ever ¬– poetry is being used as a tool for self-exploration and discovery. It’s putting a megaphone to your heart and an audience to listen to it. It is connecting community ¬– a thread that brings our experiences together,” he said.

When asked what inspires him, Febo offered his thoughts through poetry.

“This. You. Here. Breath. Gratitude. Humbling myself. Honoring those before me. Listening to those who came after. Love. Showing love. Choosing joy. Accepting. Adding. ‘Anding.’ Forgiving. Redefining. Standing in my own truth. Seeing you stand in yours.”

Febo works as a freelancer, artist and teaching artist in Cambridge. His teaching credits include Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) in Boston’s South End, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and Powderhouse Studios in Somerville.

His new book “Tonight I Will Be An Island” – published by Game Over Books – will be released in the spring. As a poet, he has been featured at the Mass Poetry Festival, Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City – the birthplace of modern spoken poetry – and at cafes, theaters, schools and performing arts centers across the country.

He co-founded M.O.M.S. – an MCC and UMass Lowell college slam group – as well as Mill City Slam Slam at the Brew’d Awakening Coffeehause, and FreeVerse!, a spoken word youth organization in Lowell.

In 2019, Febo and his Adobo-Fish-Sauce partner Ricky Orng were awarded residencies at the Boston Center for the Arts, the National Teen Arts Convening at the ICA Boston, and the Strange Foundation in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

MCC’s Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. For more information, call 978-656-3363 or email StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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The Rasa String Quartet to Perform at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford3/6/20204/7/2020 10:09 AM
Middlesex Community College will continue its spring concert series, “A World of Music” with a performance by the Rasa String Quartet. The concert will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 29 at the Concert Hall on the Bedford campus, 591 Springs Road.

Formed in 2019 at the New England Conservatory, the Rasa String Quartet consists of violinists Kiyoshi Hayashi and Maura Shawn Scanlin, violist Claudia Do Minh Ramos and cellist Eunghee Cho. The ensemble is dedicated to creating meaningful connections with audiences by performing repertoire from the classical, world and folk genres at the highest level of artistry.

The performance will include works by Felix Mendelssohn, Alberto Ginastera and some original arrangements of regional folk tunes.

Upcoming performances from the “A World of Music” concert series includes “Evoking Landscapes through Music” by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra and conducted by MCC faculty member Orlando Cela at MCC’s Donahue Family Academic Arts Center Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18; an MCC Student Recital at the Concert Hall on the Bedford campus at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 4; and a performance by Belgian guitarist Jérôme Mouffe at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 8 at the Concert Hall on the Bedford campus.

For more information, contact Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, director of A World of Music, at 781-280-3923 or peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu.

Go to www.youtube.com/user/MCCmusicOnline2 to see video clips of previous MCC concerts.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for parking and directions.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Awarded for Revamped Student Onboarding Process3/11/20203/31/2020 10:55 AM
Middlesex Community College received a 2019-2020 NASPA Excellence Award, as well as an award from the League for Innovation in the Community College for the college’s new student onboarding process. The college also received the silver award in the Enrollment Management Financial Aid category from NASPA.

“It is an absolute honor to receive this award from the leading professional organization for Student Affairs,” said Rebecca Newell, MCC’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs. “It is a mark of distinction in the Higher Education community that verifies the tremendous amount of thought, effort and collaboration that went into the development of this program.”

Newell emphasizes the importance of reimagining and strengthening the student onboarding process to boost student success and retention. Orientation programs also offer students a chance to acclimate to the college lifestyle through activities that start to build a sense of community.

“When the program is intentional, meaningful, accessible and inclusive, it can be a real game-changer,” Newell said. “MCC’s program meets students where they are at and guides them towards a solid first eight weeks. Once students experience early success and connection, they are more prepared for the educational opportunities ahead.”

The new onboarding process welcomed students to both the Bedford and Lowell campuses over the summer where they participated in workshops, such as Financial Wellness and Resources and Services, and learned how to navigate the internship and job search.

New students also participated in a scavenger hunt to learn about campus-life and attended events that included movie nights, a Lowell Spinners’ game and orientations run by specialized groups such as for Veterans, first generation and international students.

The process had four functional areas, including the new Online Orientation – an interactive experience students could complete from any computer or mobile device. Students were invited to a New Student Registration session with Advising and Student Affairs, registered for first semester classes and signed up for a First Year Experience (FYE) Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) class they would take later in the summer.

From day one, students started to build relationships and develop a sense of belonging at MCC. In total, 750 students participated and the program had a 91 percent completion rate.

“Realizing that not everyone comes to college equally equipped to navigate the environment, our college community provided — and continues to provide — the support and guidance that all of our students need throughout their time at the college,” said Jo Mucci, MCC’s Director of FYE and IDS. “Transitions are not always easy, but the hope is that our new students feel a sense of belonging and connection to each other and to the college community.”

Students learned and developed strategies that could take months in which to adjust. They worked on academic plans and Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs), learned how to seek academic and student support services, and how to join co-curricular activities.

Students also wrote reflective essays on academic and career-oriented goals to share what motivates their success, as well as potential challenges.

New student Emily Puccia valued the lessons and readings the instructors provided, as well as walking MCC’s Fitness Trail with other participants.

“All First-Year Experience students at MCC should know that MCC does provide you so much dedication and education,” she said. “I know that right now it’s taking me awhile to get used to my schedule, but I now know where exactly I am going and what my assignments need to be and that I can always talk to my professors if I need help with anything.”

Feedback from all sides was positive.

“Faculty have reported students seem more prepared for classes and students are reporting that the information was timely and helpful,” said Steve Rossi, MCC’s Director of Student Engagement. “There’ll be more to come, but our team feels we are certainly heading in the right direction to welcome our future graduates to Middlesex Community College.”

The process remains in constant motion and will grow with students. The hope is the inclusivity of the new student onboarding will make a long-lasting impact on the students and the community.

“The student body has a changed and they are demanding a more responsive, convenient, clear, customized experience,” Newell said. “This new process accomplishes that. It is purposeful, varied and accessible.”

To register for MCC’s Mini-mester II, running March 23 to May, go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters/ or to register for MCC’s summer programs, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/summer. Call 1-800-818-3434 for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Foundation Awards Student Scholarships3/24/20203/27/2020 2:30 PM
Middlesex Community College is proud to support student success. The Middlesex Community College Foundation awarded 11 student scholarships on March 5 at the Nesmith House in Lowell.

Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancement, welcomed the crowd and thanked the student recipients and the generous donors.

“Our students work hard to attain and maintain good grades all the while balancing the challenges of college, work and family life,” she said. “We commend them for their sheer determination in seeking a better life for themselves and their families.”

Judy Burke, MCC’s Dean of Advancement, thanked her Advancement team, the students and the donors before presenting each recipient with their scholarship.

Kira Poole is a Liberal Arts/Psychology major from Lowell. She received the Positive Psychology Scholarship created by MCC alumnae Tayla Mayo and Dawn Stickney to promote the lessons of the Positive Psychology course developed by MCC Professor Bob Fera – who presented the award.

The Marie Ryder Beacon of Hope Scholarship was awarded to nursing students Jaime Breingan of Billerica and Alhassan Musah of Lowell. MCC’s Nursing Department established the scholarship to honor Ryder’s retirement, who served as an MCC Nursing Professor for 40 years. Ryder presented the scholarships with Dr. Sandra Shapiro, MCC’s Director of Nurse Education.

While Breingan said, “I feel like Middlesex provides an opportunity for people from all different backgrounds to be able to get an education – and that’s really meaningful education,” Musah said, “The Nursing Program at Middlesex is one of the best in the states. The faculty is really helpful and they give you the best advice.”

Katherine Gehly, MCC’s Dean of Allied Health, presented The Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship to Katelyn Bissett, a Dental Hygiene student from Woburn; Taylor Florence, a Radiologic Technology student from Methuen; and Nancy Lee, a Diagnostic Medical Sonography student from North Reading. The scholarship was established in honor of the care Drake received from MCC students while at the Carleton-Willard Village Residential Home in Bedford.

Bisset was grateful for her professors and “feels really prepared and ready to take my board exam.” About Middlesex, Florence said, “They’ve just provided me with so many resources to be where I am today – and successful – and I’m very thankful for that.”

The Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship was established due to Hervey’s support of MCC’s paralegal students. Halye Sugarman, MCC’s Paralegal Program Director, presented the awards to Debora Ferrante, a Paralegal Transfer student from Maynard; Jennifer LeMasurier, a Liberal Studies, Paralegal student from Dracut; Antoinette Mayi, a Liberal Studies, Paralegal student from Dracut; and Denise Warren, a Liberal Studies, Paralegal student from Lowell.

“It’s been a wonderful stepping stone to getting back on my feet after being a stay-at-home mom,” LeMasurier said. Mayi said, “I really love Middlesex Community College because I love the way the teachers interact with the students.”

Lois Kilberg, a Technical Writing Certificate student from Hudson, was presented with the Judith Tarutz Technical Writing Certificate Scholarship. Sheila Morin, the Technical Writing Certificate Program Director presented Kilberg with the award.

“I really learned a lot through the classes and learned new skills, new tools,” Kilberg said. “The class kept me going and the scholarship really encouraged me. I just started a new job this week. I couldn’t have done it without the program.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/donations to support students and make a donation to the above and other scholarships.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Classes at Middlesex Community College3/10/20203/25/2020 3:08 PM
Middlesex Community College is still registering for a host of course options – including Spring Mini-mester II, Summer Session and Youth classes.

Spring Mini-mester II runs March 23 to May 15. The classes offer the same courses, credits and quality of instruction in a condensed format – and are a great way to complete general requirements.

For more information – and to see the full list of Spring Mini-mester II course offerings – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Students have four options to complete classes at MCC during Summer 2020. The three-week QuickStart Summer Session runs May 26 to June 12; Summer Session 1 runs for five-weeks, May 26 to June 25; Summer Session 2 is eight-weeks and runs May 26 to July 22; and Summer Session 3 runs for five-weeks from July 7 to August 6.

For more information and to register for summer classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/summer or call 1-800-818-3434.

Youth – Assemble! ¬– MCC’s exciting Creating Comic Books course runs from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, April 7 through April 21. The course dives into the historical background of comic books, behind-the-scenes-stories, and techniques of both writers and artists who shaped comic books over generations.

Space is limited – to enroll or to learn more information about this or other course offerings at Middlesex, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC to Host “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Comedians at Spring Fundraiser2/13/20203/24/2020 2:24 PM
Join Middlesex Community College for an interactive night of laugh-out-loud hijinks and quick-thinking humor – all for a good cause! The Middlesex Community College Foundation will welcome “Whose Line is it Anyway?” comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 29 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium for a performance of their two-man improv show, “Scared Scriptless.”

Proceeds from “Scared Scriptless” support scholarships for Middlesex students. Since 2004, the MCC Foundation has awarded 140 student scholarships, totaling $343,500.

“The student experience is our number one priority,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancement. “Our ‘Scared Scriptless’ event seeks to raise funds to support student scholarships providing educational opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable. We hope you will join us!”

Tickets to “Scared Scriptless” are $39 to $69 and are on sale at www.lowellauditorium.com or by calling 1-800-514-3849.

Presenting Sponsor of “Scared Scriptless” is The TJX Companies, Inc., which for 22 years in a row has been presenting sponsor of MCCF scholarship-fundraising events.

“We are thrilled to partner with Spectacle Management and the team at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium once again for our spring fundraiser,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “We are grateful to our Presenting Sponsor TJX for continuing this journey with us for 22 years! This year’s event with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will delight our donor partners and the community.”

Sponsorship opportunities – which include a private dinner reception before the concert – are available at a variety of donation levels. For information about “Scared Scriptless” sponsorships, please visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/events/scriptless or contact Sherri McCormack at 978-656-3034.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Employees Recognized for Exemplary Job Well Done3/3/20203/18/2020 12:41 PM
The main objective of Middlesex Community College’s faculty and staff is to create a strong institution of learning and support for their students. On Monday, December 16, 2019, Middlesex faculty and staff were recognized for their hard-work and dedication at the 2019 Performance Recognition Program (PRP) award ceremony at Boston’s State House.

MCC’s recipients include Susan Anderson, Dean of Resource Development; Lisa Gibson, Assistant Registrar; Kathy Innis, Director of the Adult Learning Center; Karen Kurps, Purchasing Buyer; Michele Stein, Computing and Engineering Technology Department Chair; and the Department of Corporate & Community Education & Training.

“The PRP recognizes state employees for their extraordinary contributions to public service,” said Mary Emerick, MCC’s Vice President of Human Resources. “The PRP allows Middlesex to acknowledge and thank our outstanding employees who demonstrate exemplary leadership, strong commitment to service, and an extraordinary work ethic.”

At the awards ceremony, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito spoke about public service, and recognized the outstanding work of the award recipients.

Middlesex started the 2019 PRP with the statewide Massachusetts Human Resources Division and began accepting nominations over the summer. In August, a committee of employees representing all areas of MCC had the difficult task of choosing the recipients.

MCC also congratulated the PRP Citation Recipients during the college’s Professional Day Luncheon on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu to learn more about Middlesex Community College.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Keep Kids & Teens Busy This Summer with MCC’s College for Kids2/18/20203/11/2020 11:09 AM
When the lull of summer hits, Middlesex Community College keeps kids busy and engaged with an array of programming – from arts & crafts and baking to photography and science projects. Registration is now open for MCC’s College for Kids 2020 summer programs.

College for Kids offers up to six weeks of programming for full- and half-days for children and teens ages 8 to 17. Programs run July 6 through August 13, on the Bedford and Lowell campuses.

These fun and engaging summer programs provide children and youth with unique opportunities to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence. Programs are taught by public-school teachers or professionals who are experts in their field.

“College is a scary experience,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of MILES, College for Kids & Personal Enrichment. “But when it is all completed, it is often the best experience those who go through it can have. I like to view the College for Kids program in the same way! College for Kids offers six weeks of endless learning in a fun, hands-on and enriching manner.

“From seeing the Owl Show and holding a chinchilla, to building a city out of Legos or engineering a hovercraft – there is something for everyone. Even better, students get to feel what it is like to be on a college campus where some of the best times of your life take place.”

There are several new programs debuting this summer – step into the magical world of Harry Potter Mystical Art and create wands, magical creatures and golden snitches; become part of the Jr. Farmer Program at Great Brook Farm to gain a better understanding of animal and plant care; create a project from start to finish with the Graphic and Web Design for Beginners class that takes a deeper look into Adobe software; learn how to make balanced and healthy dishes with the Farm to Table Healthy Eating class; and explore different sports like basketball, soccer, capture the flag and more in Sports 101.

At MCC’s Academic Arts Center in Lowell, performers ages 8 to 17 will stage a production of “James and the Giant Peach, Jr.” and performers ages 13 to 17 will put on “Legally Blonde, Jr.”

Most full-day classes run 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Half-day programs run 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Students who enroll in two half-day programs can stay on campus for lunch between programs.

For the complete 2020 College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 781-280-3663.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for MCC’s Mini-mester II Accelerated Course Offerings2/10/20203/10/2020 11:46 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Mini-mester offerings maximize students’ time and efforts. Enrollment is open for Spring Mini-mester II – running March 23 to May 15.

“Middlesex understands that students have job, family and personal responsibilities,” said Phil Sisson, Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs. “Mini-mesters are a great way to fit education into those busy schedules – and have become a popular option for students.”

Mini-mesters offer the same courses, credits and quality of instruction in a condensed format. These accelerated courses are also a great way to complete general requirements – course offerings include English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

For more information – and to see the full list of Spring Mini-mester II course offerings – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Beatles Expert Rod Griffith to Address MCC MILES Spring Opener2/26/20203/9/2020 11:13 AM
Beatles and 60’s enthusiasts – come to Middlesex Community College to hear the inside scoop from an expert and fellow fan Rod Griffith. Middlesex will feature Griffith as keynote speaker for the spring Opening Session of Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education for Seniors (MILES) at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in the Bedford Campus Center’s Café East, 591 Springs Road.

The event is free and open to the public.

“I’ll be providing a lot of interesting insights into the recording of the Beatles’ final album together – Abbey Road,” Griffith said. “We’ll review all of the challenges that the band was facing by the end of 1968 – and how their lives began to diverge into different paths at that time and into 1969.”

Griffith will discuss studio techniques and tidbits behind the making of classic songs “Come Together,” “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun” among others. As a passionate collector of rare Beatles music and artifacts, Griffith was asked by the Beatles’ record label to act as a consultant, which led him to a role at the estate of John Lennon.

“They had an ability to create melodies that are timeless. And they never stayed the same – they always wanted to try new things,” he said. They weren’t interested in repeating their same success over and over. And the result is an incredible body of work that – quite amazingly – was created in just a seven year period together!

“They have a song for every mood – as I say. So almost anyone can find Beatles songs that are meaningful to them at any given time in their lives.”

Griffith spent 10 years in marketing positions at area technology companies before starting his own company 25 years ago – MarketReach in Nashua. Now a resident of Lowell and board member of the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL), he grew up in the Berkshires where he earned money as a teenager dusting off paintings for his elderly neighbor – Norman Rockwell.

MCC’s MILES program offers stimulating, interactive daytime seminars and workshops – with no term papers, tests or grades – for active, older adults ages 55+. This Opening Session provides community members an opportunity to learn more about MILES and the courses being offered – and is a good time to meet instructors and peers. Light refreshments will be served.

MILES Spring 2020 Session runs Mondays through Thursdays, March 23 through April 30. Classes meet from 2 to 4 p.m. and are facilitated by individuals with expertise in their field. Workshops and seminars focus on topics such as art, the environment, health, history, literature, movies and technology.

Each MILES course is $15 – with a maximum of $95 for the semester if you register for seven or more courses. All MILES participants enjoy free use of the MCC Fitness Center and library.

For the complete schedule of MILES courses, contact Lauren Ellis at 781-280-369 or email ellisl@middlesex.mass.edu. To register for courses, call 1-800-818-3434. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/MILES for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Journey to Becoming an OBGYN Begins at Middlesex2/20/20203/6/2020 1:48 PM
Ijebusonma (Sonma) Agundu has very big plans.

“I want to get into Harvard Medical School, become a successful OBGYN, humanitarian, New York Times Best Seller, and well-known advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Agundu 19, who is expected to graduate from Middlesex Community College in 2020 with an associate degree in biology.

Her dreams began in her hometown of Lagos, Nigeria, where she watched her mother struggle with fertility issues for more than a decade, finally giving birth to a baby girl when Agundu was 10 years old.

“My love for researching the female reproductive system came about as I watched my mother’s journey,” she said. “I love studying about life and the human body, and I have always had a love of helping others.”

Agundu came to MCC at the suggestion of her two godsisters, Imade and Ella, who came from Nigeria to study at Middlesex before transferring to UMass Lowell, calling it, “one of the best decisions ever.”

“The faculty and staff here never stopped believing in me and that is something that is hard to find,” she said. “Being a bilingual student in a foreign country was scary, but this amazing staff made me feel at home. I have met the kindest humans here.”

“MCC has done a pretty swell job in helping me become a better version of myself,” adding when she arrived she was a shy, homesick 17-year-old.

“I didn’t let that stop me from being an ambassador for my family in America,” Agundu said. “I just want to be that Nigerian girl who makes a difference – a shy girl pushing her way to the top.”

She has overcome her initial trepidation to become Vice President of the Student Union Government Association, and is an active member of the Women’s Leadership Network, International and Helping Hands clubs. She is also the former Vice President of the African Cultural Club.

Agundu works in the Academic Centers for Enrichment as a writing/ELL peer tutor, a Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader for pre-calculous and engineering, a Blackboard Ambassador for new students, an Orientation Leader in the Student Engagement Office, and as an International Student Mentor.

Agundu’s journey has not always been easy. Because her first language is Igbo, the native language of Nigeria, she did find communication challenging at times when she first arrived in the United States.

“I remember going to a restaurant for the first time with my dad and ordering ‘chips and ketchup,’ and the lady literally brought Lays potato chips,” she said. “Nigeria was colonized by the British so in school we learned using the British curriculum. Apparently Americans have different words from the British – in that moment I realized chips here are ‘fries’ which was tough for me to get used to.”

She credits ELL classes at MCC for helping improve her English and giving her more confidence.

“Diane Lauber, my first ELL professor, was the best at explaining and encouraging ELL students,” she said. “I certainly miss her and cannot wait to give her a big hug for doing that.”

Agundu said she has been particularly impressed by the diversity at MCC and said one of her favorite events was the Diversity Summit organized by Multicultural & International Student Services Coordinator Maria McDuffie Clark; Dean of Students Pam Flaherty; and Associative Dean of International, Multicultural and Veterans Affairs Pat Demaras in Maine during Spring Break 2019.

“I felt like there was magic in the air because through these workshops and activities, 30 new friends became family.”

Agundu, who is living in Lowell, plans to return to Nigeria in 10 years to continue working with the non-profit organization We Will Not Be Silent (WWNBS) that works to end rape and sexual assault. She also plans to help build a maternity hospital along with her sister, who wants to be a pediatrician.

“But don’t worry, I will come back to visit all my MCC family,” she said. “If anyone needs consultations or family discounts in delivering babies in 11 years, call me!”

Registration is now open for Spring Mini-mester II ¬– MCC’s accelerated, eight-week session – running March 23 to May 15. For more information – and to see the full list of Spring Mini-mester II course offerings – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Workforce Training Fund Grants Info Session Offered at Middlesex2/6/20203/5/2020 2:16 PM
Middlesex Community College will host an Information Session for businesses seeking Workforce Training Fund grants from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, March 4 in the Lowell Campus Federal Building, Courtroom, room 310. The registration deadline is Monday, March 2.

The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund, administered by Commonwealth Corporation, provides resources to businesses to train current and newly hired employees. The goal is to help improve employee skills and maintain the economic strength of the commonwealth’s businesses.

At the info session, an WFTF representative will present an overview of the grant options and answer questions in an informational setting.

WFTF provides training grants to Massachusetts employers up to $250,000 per application. MCC’s Corporate and Community Education & Training Program has helped many businesses secure and implement these grants.

Visit the Commonwealth Corporation website at www.commcorp.org/wtfp for more information on specific Workforce Training Fund programs.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Student Cellist Excels With MCC’s Dual Enrollment Program2/19/20203/3/2020 10:39 AM
When Nathaniel Abreu first started playing cello at 5 years old, the standard-size instrument was bigger than he was – thankfully they had smaller sizes available for children.

Born to a family of musicians, Abreu began by playing a violin like his sister Marisol, but he didn’t care for the high sounds. Instead, he selected the deeper sounding cello.

“Not too much thought goes into it when you’re that little, but the idea is that the sound speaks to you – and it still does,” he said.

Abreu’s dedication to his art – he needs to practice a lot – meant the average high school schedule wasn’t a fit for him. His parents made the decision to take him out of the Somerville school system to home-school him.

The family turned to Middlesex Community College for their Dual Enrollment Program. Even though he is on the younger side, Abreu said Middlesex exposes him to the college learning environment – and his age doesn’t matter.

“Everyone comes from different walks of life. It’s not unusual to have either a high school student or someone in their fifties – it makes no difference, you’re just here to learn,” he said.

Middlesex’s flexibility, affordability and customizable scheduling was ideal. Abreu says MCC is accommodating, well-managed and a supportive community. He quotes his mom in saying, “when you call, someone will answer the phone.”

The ability to earn his associate’s degree along with his diploma also appealed to him. Abreu had enough credits to graduate from high school early, but he continued at MCC to finish his associate’s – something that will help him at a college or conservatory as many of the institutions will accept his time at Middlesex as two years of college.

As a Commonwealth Honors student majoring in Liberal Arts & Sciences, Abreu has enjoyed all of his courses and listed off a number of non-music classes as some of his favorites.

“It’s much more difficult to find something I didn’t like,” he said.

Some standouts include an Honors Seminar on Latin American History & Literature with Professor Alejandro Raya, English with Professor Stephanie Pesce, and Anthropology with Professor Binnur Ercem.

Ercem’s class left such an impression on him, Abreu recommended it to his sister – a former MCC Dual Enrollment student now at Brandeis – which inspired her to change majors. It was a nice experience to share classes and much of his time at MCC with his sister. While she spent her last two years of high school at Middlesex, Abreu came for his entire high school career.

Abreu also credits his relationships with Performing Arts Professors Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta and Orlando Cela for opening up many opportunities for him.

“The music department here is really dedicated. I’m just so glad that a place like MCC – that thrives in all sorts of different fields – values the arts,” he said.

Rodriguez-Peralta has invited Abreu to perform at college fundraising events and student recitals outside of class. Abreu has performed with Cela, including at a recent concert with the Lowell Chamber Orchestra at MCC’s Academic Arts Center.

Beyond the cello, Abreu takes piano with Rodriguez-Peralta and conducted a small orchestra at Berklee College of Music with his classmates as part of Cela’s course.

“It’s fun to learn new instruments and challenging because you’re not used to starting from the beginning after years of going deeper into studies of one particular instrument. It’s a new feeling that is very helpful for growth,” Abreu said.

Abreu welcomes a challenge. For auditions, he is working on a piece that was once believed to be “unplayable” – Russian composer Prokofiev’s Cello Concerto.

“It's challenging, but a great piece of music, so it’s rewarding to work very hard on it and be able to understand it more deeply,” Abreu said.

He compares his selection of music to that of food preference – it depends on his mood. The amount of practice he does depends on the time of year – he’d guess between five to six hours a day – but he doesn’t count the hours so much as finishes what he needs to do at the time.

In the summer, Abreu often plays at festivals, including at the Koussevitzsky Music Shed at Tanglewood in 2016 and as part of the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program – a chamber music festival. Abreu smiled when he said that in the barn, “the cello sounds very nice.”

This year, Abreu was awarded an Honorable Mention for the YoungArts Foundation, which connects him to the program’s many alumni. In the spring, he’s looking forward to hearing from colleges and summer festivals.

Middlesex is just the starting point to Abreu achieving his dreams.

“I hope to be a performing musician,” he said. “It would definitely be a classical music position, but I’m not sure the specifics of that – whether it be orchestra or chamber – that’s what I hope to find out in college. Just make a living as a musician and do what I love to do and find my way.”

MCC offers several Dual Enrollment workshops, including 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11 at the Lowell Campus, Federal Building, Assembly Room or 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 at the Bedford Campus Center, Café East. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/dualenroll/ for all workshop availabilities and to learn more about the Dual Enrollment program.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Renovations Underway at MCC Dental Clinics2/4/20202/27/2020 2:48 PM
Renovations are underway at Middlesex Community College’s dental clinics. In fall 2019, construction began to equip the clinics with high-end materials, resources and experiences that students can use as they proceed into the workforce or continue their education to bachelor and advanced degrees.

These enhancements benefit students not only for lesson planning purposes, but by allowing them to provide care and assistance to the ever expanding community the school serves.

Karen Townsend, MCC’s Director of Dental Hygiene Education, believes the renovations will offer students a safer, more functional space. The updates also enable Middlesex to grow their program.

“Updating the clinic equipment will make our students’ experience much more relevant to how they will practice once they leave us, allowing us to improve our curriculum to meet current and emerging standards of care,” she said.

Since opening in the 1990s, parts of the dental clinics were updated in 2011, but the equipment being used in the operatories was old. Faculty and staff had to be creative with resources despite discontinued and unfixable parts.

Townsend is excited by the steps Middlesex is taking to keep up with this growing field.

“As with any field, dentistry is largely being influenced by technology as well as more sophisticated engineering of dental equipment and treatment methodologies,” Townsend said. “As more literature emerges about how oral health is truly part of overall health and wellness, more is learned about how to treat diseases of the mouth in the best way possible.”

The Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs develop the skills and knowledge necessary to assist at chairside in the dental environment – and according to students in the program, their work is all about the 600-800 patients the clinics treat each year.

MCC Dental Hygiene program graduate Lily Chung found her time in the clinic to be essential to her overall experience at the college.

“The dental clinic allows students to treat patients and this helps students to build a rapport with patients,” Chung said. “Also, it allows students to have the opportunity to treat patients similar to the real world experience.”

The impending enhancements will add value to the patient’s experience, including to the patients students care for as part of The Dental Hygiene Community Outreach Experience. Aiming to improve the dental health of Lowell’s underserved populations, the program includes partnerships with local schools, senior centers, state hospitals and local prisons.

Outside of the Outreach Experience, the affordability of services allows students access to more patients and patients access to services they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Townsend described the dental clinics’ renovations to comply with HIPAA (patient privacy), OSHA (safety), ADA accessibility and the Department of Public Health standards. The former two sterilization rooms will be combined into one functional space. There will be 24 complete patient treatment areas with patient and clinician chairs, front and rear dental delivery systems and new computers, LED dental lights, access to integrated intraoral cameras and integrated power-driven scalers, as well as cabinetry and storage spaces.

The dental assisting clinic – located on the second floor – is updating five patient treatment areas with front and rear delivery systems and CAD technology for dental laboratory technology.

“As more is understood about injuries common to dental practitioners, equipment is made with a mind to improve ergonomics while working,” Townsend said. “Our new equipment will significantly increase the comfort and work efficiency due to improved ergonomic design.”

The renovations are thanks to a Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant for $499,254. The program will also be kickstarting a fundraising campaign to raise additional funds.

With advancements being made in dental science, MCC is taking advantage of the opportunity to grow its dental programs, providing students with an innovative education and caring for the surrounding community.

“The clinic renovation will allow increased accessibility for individuals with disabilities, improved patient and student privacy, may potentially allow the clinic to obtain a DPH license to accept MassHealth and other dental insurance, allows students to learn and work in a state-of-the-art facility,” Townsend said. “And in the future, enrollment could be increased.”

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dentalprograms/ to learn more about MCC’s Dental Programs.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC To Host Dance Master Class & Performance2/11/20202/26/2020 10:59 AM
Put on those dance shoes and get ready to move – Middlesex Community College is hosting Forty Steps Dance in residency with a master class and performance.

The master class is at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28 and the performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29. Both events are located at the Richard & Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center (AAC), 240 Central St., Lowell.

Led by Sallee Slagle – MCC Dance Faculty Member & Artistic Director of Forty Steps Dance – the class and performance is sponsored by the Lowell Cultural Council. Those in attendance will have an opportunity to work with Slagle and members of her dance company.

“We are dedicated to teaching our students about the arts and in addition to classes, we also offer presentations, lectures and performances by professional artists which complements classroom work,” said Peter Waldron, MCC’s AAC Manager & Technical Theatre Supervisor. “Modern dance is a wonderful art form that engages the audience on a variety of levels and this promises to be an exciting evening of dance. Part of our mission at the AAC is to present professional artists – and this will be our premiere dance event in our new facility!”

The master class is free and open to the public for ages 14 and older. The performance is free for MCC students, $5 for seniors and students, and $10 for general admission. Registration is required as space is limited.

To sign up for the class or to request a ticket to the performance, email Peter Waldron at waldronp@middlesex.mass.edu.

Visit www.FortyStepsDance.org for more information. Go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/performingarts/ to learn more about MCC’s Performing Arts Programs and course offerings.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Honors Lowell Community Members at MLK Jr. Event2/12/20202/25/2020 10:46 AM
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words and actions continue to leave a lasting impact upon generations. On Monday, January 20, the Middlesex Community College Foundation and the Living the Dream Partners sponsored the “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve” Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center to honor his legacy.

“The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great American hero whose message of peace, unity and service resonates with the MCC community as we seek to promote learning, growth and engagement as the path to better lives and stronger communities,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President.

The event honored community members who have dedicated their professional and personal lives to supporting citizens of Greater Lowell inspired by Dr. King’s beliefs.

The 2020 Living the Dream Award recipients included Mercy Anampiu, Director of Health Promotion of Lowell Community Health Center; Leslie Rivera, Reengagement Specialist at UTEC, Inc.; Sally Thayer, Nutrition Manager at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell; and the organization History UnErased, represented by Executive Director Deb Fowler.

Anampiu strives to help bring positive changes for those in which she advocates at the Lowell CHC. She believes it is her duty to help others as much as she can, including something as simple – but meaningful – as “putting a smile on someone’s face.”

“If we do not continue the legacy of MLK, then who will?” she said. “The current global environment calls for more supporters of such bravery and resolve. We cannot be bystanders. We have to speak up for what we believe and advocate for our communities. We must be the light in the darkness around the world. MLK’s legacy must live on no matter how small in each facet of our lives.”

Rivera offers guidance and support to youth at UTEC, Inc. Despite threats of poverty, gang involvement and unemployment, she helps to establish important connections and resources that will lead to success.

At the Boys & Girls Club, Thayer fights food insecurity in addition to providing nutrition advice to her students. She is an advocate for equality, believing it is important for everyone to live by Dr. King’s teachings. In her role, she has the opportunity to inspire her students.

“The next generation needs to carry Dr. King’s legacy on to keep his beliefs alive,” she said. “Life is not going to get easier in the future and the country needs to remember his teachings. Youth needs to have it instilled in them so they can carry it forward.”

History UnErased seeks to incorporate the history of LGBT+ into schools’ curriculums and with Fowler at the helm – has expanded outside of Lowell into seven other states and all NYC middle and high schools.

“The compass of the Martin Luther King, Jr. event was a grand reminder that our ‘beloved community’ will thrive when we elevate – and respond to – the talent and wisdom of youth,” Fowler said. “Dr. King’s legacy is a call-to-action to continue his vision for ‘We, the people’ by continuing the struggle for equal access and opportunity to all in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, civic participation and citizenship.”

Reginald Nichols, MCC’s Assistant Director of Human Resources was a special guest emcee at the event, along with Christa Brown.

“As an open-access public institution of higher education, MCC mirrors the life of Dr. King by being a beacon of opportunity for populations of our great commonwealth seeking advancement in their lives through the tool of education,” Nichols said. “While our society has made great progress in the 91 years since Dr. King’s birth, we continue to need people willing to serve the cause to uplift humanity.

“As Dr. King said, ‘Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.’”

The event featured a blessing from Rev. Janine A. Dailey from New Bethel African Methodist Church; welcome speeches from MCC President Mabry, City of Lowell Mayor John J. Leahy and Congresswoman Lori Trahan; and performances from the UMass Lowell Gospel Choir, the house band Red House Collective from Innovation Charter School in Tyngsboro, the Mill Advised Dance Troupe and the Lowell Community Charter Public School (LCCPS) Cambodian Dancers and African Drummers Group.

Girls Incorporated of Lowell crafted the banquet table centerpieces, which included sculptures based on the girls’ modern interpretation of Dr. King’s belief in equality. Students from Lowell Pyne Arts School represented important figures throughout history, including Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Jr., Mother Theresa and Ghandi.

The Change Agent sponsor of the event was Enterprise Bank. Dreamer sponsors included George L. Duncan, Community Teamwork, Inc. and UMass Lowell. The Partner sponsors were Lowell Five Bank, Dr. James C. Mabry, Lowell Sun Charities, Inc., Yun-Ju Choi, Kevin Harkins and the Lura Smith Fund – MCCF.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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From Student to Instructor, Education Comes Full Circle2/5/20202/20/2020 12:13 PM
As a student, alumnus, adjunct faculty member and consultant, Jeffrey Davis has spent his 40 years at Middlesex Community College witnessing and participating in its growth. He’s passionate about the “respectful and fearless” ways Middlesex serves the community.

Davis planned to attend Georgetown University, but his mother needed his help. While four-year colleges told him to apply when he was ready to commit as a full-time student, Middlesex made it work for his lifestyle.

“I came down to an open house at Middlesex and I couldn’t believe how welcome I was compared to other colleges in the area. Middlesex asked ‘what’s your situation, what are you interested in,’ and then said, ‘here’s how we can work with you.’”

Davis started at Middlesex in 1979 and credits the Social Work Associates Program (SWAP) for his success. His professors were experts in their field who emphasized the importance of gaining practical experience.

In his second year, Davis completed a 20-hour a week internship other students were doing as part of their graduate studies. This experience – and his studies – stuck with him.

“I went to graduate school and from there I always found myself on the people side of the business, so I would say every single day, ‘I feel like I access my social work degree from Middlesex.’ None of my other training in management, at the master’s degree level, prepared me for that as well as my social work associate’s degree.”

Thirteen years later, Davis returned to teach professional development classes as part of the college’s Corporate and Community Education program – developed to promote personal and professional growth for life.

Davis’s first class – “Presentation Skills” – only had five students enrolled, but the college still ran the course. Public speaking and presenting felt daunting, even for Davis, but the small class size made it easy for him to provide the appropriate and theoretical expertise needed to overcome fears in a no-judgment environment.

The popularity of the class grew as businesses realized the benefits of offering personalized professional development on site. Davis credits Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, for fostering relationships with businesses to develop the program into more courses and expand to other corporate locations.

Davis helped create “Train-the-Trainer” classes, teaching employers how to provide current and new employees with the training necessary for success. The course material was geared to match the industry and skills of the specific business.

“They knew their stuff, they just needed to learn how to teach or train others,” he said. “Sometimes we were teaching engineers, other times it was medical doctors and nurses – yet other clients included accountants, even attorneys.”

The methodology Middlesex and Davis emphasize is to keep learning.

Davis tells his students, “You’re not done growing yet. I don’t know where you are in your career, but you’re not finished, you still have a lot to offer and because of being caught in the whirlwind of the day-to-day and maybe not receiving a lot of positive reinforcement, you don’t know that you still have a lot of potential.”

At this point in his career, Davis focuses on doing meaningful work. As a consultant with MCC, he leads retreats in team-building activities, discussing strategies and ideas for the future. He also worked with prisoners to prepare them to return to society and the workforce – reinforcing his belief that to uplift someone is to help them grow.

“You can't have this memorized script, you have to individualize it and treat people truly as individuals,” he said.

As needs of students evolve, Davis believes Middlesex is in a solid position to be a great facilitator of conversations to shift the future and help the community progress.

“It all goes back to how I was treated in 1979 when I walked on campus. They wanted to make a difference in my life. When I came here, I got guidance. That experience changed the trajectory of my life and then being able to come back to the college and be a part of doing that with others, that’s what keeps me interested.”

MCC’s Corporate and Community Education and Training courses are designed for individuals and businesses at all levels of their career and stages of life. For more information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or contact career_training@middlesex.mass.edu.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Graphic Design Student Turned to MCC to Help Find Her Path1/23/20202/19/2020 1:14 PM
As a teenager, Michelle Shipka was doubtful that college would be in her future.

Her hands tremble from an undiagnosed condition and she suffers from episodes of depression and anxiety. As someone on the autism spectrum, she has difficulty reading social cues and suffers from sensory issues.

Shipka says her outlook as a student at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School was “gloomy,” but coming to Middlesex Community College and challenging herself “made me a better leader and makes me reevaluate how I handle stress. I am a lot better off than I thought I would be.”

The 20-year-old Burlington native studied graphic communications at Shawsheen Tech, where she learned the technology of printing. In an effort to expand upon her skills, Shipka is studying graphic design at MCC, which she said felt to her like “a nice pairing of fields and trades.”

In Shipka’s first graphic design class at MCC, Professor Mary Hart encouraged Shipka to loosen up, enjoy the process of the work and not be afraid to try new techniques.

“That lesson in flexibility is something that I have carried with me to all my classes and it has made me brave enough to try new opportunities,” she said. “I tend to learn a little lesson from each faculty and staff member I encounter. They have guided me to be better than I was when I started the semester.”

Shipka said her experience at MCC has been enriched by opportunities presented by the staff at the Office of Student Engagement, including taking part in the Navigators Leadership Program, a six-week course combining leadership curriculum with community service work. That experience gave her the confidence to get involved with other opportunities throughout campus.

Academically, she particularly enjoyed a trip with other graphic design students to Boston to see the portfolios of graphic design students at Suffolk University and exploring the art and design sites that can be found everywhere in the city.

“Spending time with other graphic design students outside of the computer labs was a nice change of pace and inspiring,” she said.

While she is thriving at MCC, Shipka says she does still struggle with managing her disabilities. Due to her autism, if she is over-stimulated she runs the risk of just shutting down and not being able to do anything for a period. The over-stimulation can be exhausting.

“To combat this I try to remain in control of my scheduling and consciously ensure I am hydrated, fed and feeling good about the next steps in the day,” she said.

Shipka is not looking for sympathy and dislikes the term “differently-abled” rather than “disabled,” saying she feels it sugar coats the problems she faces.

“The most important step to my success was my honest conversation with myself about needing support,” she said. “I am never going to be normal, but I’m not hopeless. No one is.”

Disabilities Support Services at Middlesex has been a great resource for her academic classes, but she has to self-advocate for modifications in her studio art classes because her hand tremors do not have an official diagnosis. She has learned to speak up for herself and always try her best.

“At MCC, while there is the academic focus, it also seems like we are holistically cared about,” she said. “The professors want to know what impedes my progress. There are spaces for meditation and reflection. It creates a sense that we are not just here for academics, but to become overall better people.

“We really are part of a brilliant community at this community college. From the instant I stepped into my first class, there was encouragement to not only surpass personal limits, but to help others go beyond theirs.”

Over the summer, Shipka worked as an MCC Orientation Leader and this past fall was a Supplemental Instruction Leader for an English Composition II class, leading study groups and sitting in on the class.

Shipka plans to earn her bachelor’s degree in graphic design following graduation from MCC in the spring, while also pursuing internships and other opportunities to gain experience in the field. She is keeping an open mind with the hope of someday launching a non-profit organization to bring art and design to talented people who may not see it as a viable career or possibly working as a layout artist for a publisher.

“We’ll see where my path takes me,” she said.

Registration is now open for Spring Mini-mester II ¬– MCC’s accelerated, eight-week session – running March 23 to May 15. For more information – and to see the full list of Spring Mini-mester II course offerings – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Introducing MCC Theatre Department’s The Shakesportable Players1/30/20202/18/2020 11:06 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Theatre Department is excited to introduce The Shakesportable Players – a student performing troupe that brings classic Shakespeare scenes to local schools.

The goal of the troupe is to inspire and teach high school students who are interested in pursuing theatre. In post-performance talkbacks, discussions will center around relevant topics from Shakespeare’s works, including gender, race, sexual identity and violence.

Karen Oster, MCC’s Performing Arts Chair, selected the actors to perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, which will include stage combat and sword fighting choreography.

“We hope The Shakesportable Players program will be beneficial to teachers because we will ‘bring the work to life,’” said Oster. “Watching a scene be performed can bring a better understanding to the work.”

Jade Gordon, an MCC performing arts student, is thrilled to be participating.

“We as a cast are being forced out of our comfort zones and into the difficult positions of playing characters outside our normal typecasts while still delivering the depths that the roles deserve,” she said.

Gordon is most excited to play Julius Caesar in the Ides of March scene because, “This cast is comprised of some of my very good friends and I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to be repeatedly impaled by.”

Performances also include scenes from, but are not limited to, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet,” and can be catered to your classroom needs, including time, place and length – all for FREE!

For more information and/or to schedule a performance, please contact MCC Theatre Department Outreach Coordinator Amy Myres at myresa@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/performingarts/ to learn more about MCC’s Performing Arts programs.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Academic Arts Center to Host Its First Invitational Art Exhibit1/28/20202/13/2020 2:43 PM
Art is meant to be seen – and Middlesex Community College is proud to bring it to you. MCC will host the first invitational art exhibit held at the Richard & Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center – “Light on the Ordinary.” The exhibit opens on January 28 and runs until February 27. An opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 31 at the Academic Arts Center, 240 Central Street.

Featured artwork includes paintings by Lowell artists Michele Boll and Priscilla Levesque. The paintings focus on how light reveals beauty in various buildings and settings throughout Lowell. The artwork is comprised of small gems, ranging from five to 16 inches in size.

“This exhibit invites viewers to see art in everyday life and to find meaning in the expressive qualities of art,” said Margaret Rack, MCC’s Art Department Chair. “The impulse to make art is fundamental to our nature as human beings, but we need not be artists to get satisfaction and insight by looking.”

Boll is an artist and educator who runs a studio in Lowell. She is interested in highlighting “a hint of the human condition” throughout her work.

“My work is about those moments when light reveals what is beautiful about ordinary places and things,” Boll said. “I am generally attracted to run-down buildings, simple objects, alleys glimpsed in passing, or the way light caresses moldings on an old house. My goal is to capture the feeling of a place and moment in time and communicate that through my work. My final composition is never a rendering of an exact scene but rather a reflection of my connection to it.”

Levesque follows the pointillist technique developed by French painter Georges Seurat, which blends color by creating tiny dots to merge into a final product.

“I am intrigued by the relationship between buildings and their surroundings, and how light changes the appearance of brick, wood, stone or glass,” Levesque said. “Since moving to Lowell almost six years ago, I have spent a lot of time walking around the city looking for subjects to paint. Rather than working on location, I take photos and then paint in my studio. This works well for me because I can consider the entire composition rather than dwelling on small details.”

Hours for the art exhibit are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is available at the Edward J. Early, Jr. Parking Facility, 135 Middlesex Street.

Contact Angela Ales at alesa@middlesex.mass.edu for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Honors Program Celebrates 10 Years1/21/20202/12/2020 11:19 AM
Ten years ago, Middlesex Community College history Professor Dr. David Kalivas noted a missing element to the MCC experience – an honors program.

After hearing about our sister schools participating in the Commonwealth Honors Program, Dr. Kalivas initiated a self-study and applied to the Board of Higher Education for admission into the growing program. In 2010, Middlesex was approved and became a Commonwealth Honors College and Dr. Kalivas became its first director.

“It’s one thing to have our own homegrown honors program,” Dr. Kalivas said. “But it’s quite another to become part of the Commonwealth Honors Program system that is certified by all of our peers at the universities and other community colleges across the state, which is then further certified and made legal by the Board of Higher Education.”

Since its inception in 2010, the program has grown rapidly in graduates, participating students and financial aid awarded.

“We’ve gone from six or seven graduates to more than 35, and 40-50 students taking contracts to 350 plus,” Dr. Kalivas said. “The college gives out about $27,000 in local scholarships and our students earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships every year when they transfer to different schools. We have a 100 percent success in transfer rate so far – all of our students transfer to four-year colleges.”

The Commonwealth Honors Program provides MCC students with an opportunity to learn at an advanced level, participate in seminar-style classes, and guarantees transfer to any of the Commonwealth Honors Programs or Honors Colleges in the Massachusetts university system.

“Students must take a minimum of three honors courses – two of them must be seminars and one of those seminars must be a team taught interdisciplinary class – to graduate. They also need a 3.2 GPA and to participate in two Undergraduate Research Conferences,” Dr. Kalivas said.

Each year, the Commonwealth Honors Experience culminates in the Undergraduate Research Conference. This conference is designed to give honors students an outlet to display the research skills they have learned over the year.

“The Undergraduate Research Conference is where students really demonstrate their research abilities,” Dr. Kalivas said. “It’s the capstone experience because they are presenting their research in a concise way to the public.”

Dr. Kalivas says it’s this research that really separates the program from others.

“The hallmark of the program – and what we’ve really been growing it around if you will – has been research,” Dr. Kalivas said. “When students transfer to four-year colleges and universities, one of the things they must be able to do is write a coherent, well-sourced and thoughtful research paper that is focused around a central thesis of a research question. If they can’t write that kind of research paper, they are going to be at a disadvantage at a four-year institution. So the trademark of all our courses – particularly our seminars – is to prepare them to become critical thinkers and to write a bona fide research paper that is a minimum of 12 pages.”

In addition to the research, the honors program seminar-style classes provide students with the opportunity to study more in-depth material and engage more with their professors.

“Students are able to have a give and take in class so that when they get to the four-year institution they are ready to not only think critically, but think quickly in class. We really focus on developing students’ reading, writing, research and verbal skills so that they can engage fully in their courses.”

After 10 years as MCC’s Director of the Commonwealth Honors Program and on the verge of his own retirement, Dr. Kalivas still sees the opportunity for growth in the program.

“This is a great thing we have. We have a dedicated honors seminar room and we have a dedicated space for our honors office,” Dr. Kalivas said. “But I’m just looking to build. Imagine this whole floor,” he motions around him. “Honors – that would be the first step. Then you have a space for students to congregate and hang out, you have a space for honors faculty to have their offices and interact, and then have space for honors classrooms. That would further build the esteem of the program.”

For more information about MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/honors/ or call 781-280-3553. Register for spring-semester courses by visiting www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or calling 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Nursing Program Ranks No. 2 in Massachusetts 1/8/20202/11/2020 10:04 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Nursing Program was named No. 2 for associate degree programs in Massachusetts on the 2020 list of Best Schools for Registered Nursing Programs by Nursingprocess.org.

Dr. Sandra Shapiro, MCC’s Director of Nurse Education, emphasizes the importance of a supportive, educated and student-motivated faculty for the success of the program.

“We have knowledgeable and committed faculty that are dedicated to student success,” Dr. Shapiro said. “They go above and beyond, day after day, to offer students opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to care for patients with complex healthcare needs.”

Dr. Shapiro asserts that students are faculty’s number one priority. Over several semesters, the nursing faculty worked together to devise a curriculum framework that best suits their students’ needs. They also developed a more intensive student evaluation process.

“The nursing faculty are highly educated and very experienced in the areas of their nursing specialty,” Dr. Shapiro said. “They continue to increase their knowledge in both nursing care and in educational practice. The faculty have an attitude that they can always be better, and their reflective practice is key to a successful Nursing Program.”

The resources Middlesex provides to students is another strength of the program. Faculty members carefully choose the most relevant textbooks and online videos to provide diverse learning experiences. Students take exams on a software program that is similar to the format of the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) for Registered Nursing. This helps students practice how to take the test so they are better prepared. The Nursing Skills Lab allows students to develop and apply expertise they can then use on real patients when fully prepared.

According to Dr. Shapiro, MCC has made strides in providing students and faculty with greater technology and resources across all nursing courses.

“The college leadership recently enabled the Nursing Program to enhance its simulation lab,” Dr. Shapiro said. “The lab is now equipped with state-of-the-art simulation mannequins – an adult, a child and a baby. With education and training to run the new equipment, faculty will soon be able to offer students amazing learning opportunities!”

Middlesex offers both full-time day and part-time evening/weekend options to prepare nurses to earn an Associate in Science, as well as eligibility to take the NCLEX. The program’s curriculum combines classroom learning of science, technology and general education courses with laboratory and clinical experiences.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/nursing/ for more information on MCC’s Nursing programs.

Registration for MCC’s Spring 2020 courses are now open. To register, go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Alumna Built a Bus, Hit the Road and Ate A Lot of Food1/22/20202/10/2020 11:10 AM
It all started with a lie – Ally Voner, Middlesex Community College alumna, laughs when she tells the story of how her mother convinced her to take classes at MCC.

Voner was ready to give up on the college experience after facing personal challenges at her previous four-year school. As motivation, her mother told her that in order to have health insurance, she would have to resume classes.

For years, Voner struggled with epilepsy. During her stressful time at her previous school, the seizures were constant, preventing her from driving. Thinking it was a matter of survival, Voner enrolled at Middlesex. Her parents drove her to classes and though she was shy and hesitant at first, she’s glad she got that push.

“I ended up really finding myself when I came here,” she said. “I’m so happy my mom did [lie] because I met a lot of people. They really meant a lot to me.”

It’s the community Middlesex provided that stands out the most to her. She took classes with the same core group of people, including an older veteran who shared life stories and wisdom. Voner credits Professor Jan Arabas for helping her realize the importance of small class sizes and the impact a professor can have on a student just by devoting time to him or her.

“She taught me to really go with my gut, both in a work environment and as an artist,” she said. “Coming here, everybody wanted to learn more. Everyone was trying to get back on their feet. It sounds cliché, but learning is power.”

Thanks to the personal connections she made, Voner wanted to continue at a four-year college that mimicked the intimacy of the small class sizes Middlesex offered. She transferred to Montserrat College of Art in 2011.

“I don’t like feeling like a number,” she said. “I like having personal interactions. I learned that I can learn so much from other people.”

It’s this notion that led Voner and her partner Chris Boudrow towards their latest endeavor – their blog Good Bites & Glass Pints. The pair underwent a laborious process to transform a school bus into a livable space they drive around to small, locally run restaurants. After their meal, if it’s Good Bites & Glass Pints worthy, they write up a positive review and create marketing materials for the restaurant to then purchase.

The couple worked in restaurants in a range of different roles for most of their professional careers, witnessing the best and the worst of the industry. While they gained an appreciation for quality service and tasty food and drinks, they also recognized just how much work maintaining a restaurant involves.

Having vast knowledge of the restaurant world also made them aware of how big restaurant groups were taking over the industry. Coupled with their mutual desire to travel, Voner and Boudrow decided to experience food and culture across the country, while helping smaller-run restaurants.

“This whole blog, with being able to build this sense of community, to be able to help foster it, experience it, we’re really hoping to let these small places thrive,” Boudrow said.

Voner and Boudrow just returned from their first big trip, up and down the eastern coastline. The adventure helped them work out the kinks. They’re back in Massachusetts in order to regroup, make some extra income and collect their cats, who will be making the next journey with them.

“You gotta dive in,” Boudrow said. “You can slowly try to work your way and stick to your comfort zone, unless you just dive in and fully immerse yourself. It’s the only way you’ll know what it’s really gonna be like.”

Building the bus itself took immense will- and manpower. In the dead of winter, Voner and Boudrow deconstructed the bus, pulling out seats and repurposing the space with a bed, small kitchen area and work space, including a station for Boudrow to complete his designs and for Voner to write the blog. There were times when they wanted to give up, the process seemed impossible and unforgiving, but Voner kept asking, “What are we gonna do with just a bus?”

As they were preparing and saving for their trip, Voner lost her job. Not many places were looking to hire someone with a looming end date in place, many even told her she was “too ambitious” to lock down. Boudrow’s employer hired her to do social media and other tasks in the restaurant – he also sent them on their trip with a yeti to act as a cooler and propane gas to cook.

Once on the road, space was tight and the driving hours long – in order to charge anything, the bus would have to be on – and when they got down south, the lack of air conditioning was difficult to take at times.

The perks of the job were plentiful and kept the pair motivated. The whole point of their journey was to meet new people, experience different cultures and cuisines, and create mutually beneficial relationships with other small business owners.

Voner believes that by meeting people, she learns a lot about herself and the world around her. “Even if you don't think it in the moment, you do,” she said.

“There’s this sense of winner-takes-all in America and we’re trying to push against that because we can all be successful together if we work together,” Boudrow said.

Some food highlights of the trip include visiting The Village Garden Food Truck Park in St. Augustine, Fla., where they ate creamy acai bowls and pizza; feasting on a family-style southern spread in Savannah, Ga., and enjoying the best barbecue they’ve ever had – as well as their favorite of all the restaurants – at Dave’s BBQ in Virginia Beach, Va.

While Boudrow said, “You don’t see in-between these pictures what’s happening. You only see people’s highlight reels,” Voner continued, “Being rejected a bunch of times is what got me here.”

It’s at Middlesex where Voner realized this didn’t have to stop her. Learning with other people – even though they were vastly different – shaped her personal and educational experiences.

“Every day, whenever I got home, I didn’t feel like such a weirdo,” she said. “When I listened to [the other students], I opened up a little more.”

This feeling continues throughout the blog and social media coverage. As they travel and talk to locals about where to eat and share experiences, Voner and Boudrow can carry out their dreams while making invaluable connections.

When pressed for her final thoughts on her MCC journey, Voner said, “Because I was able to get back on my feet, I started having less and less seizures. I was able to get a license. Which seems like nothing to most people, but I never thought I would retain a license. Middlesex is really the start of my success.”

MCC is celebrating its 50th year starting in September 2020. If you have ever taken a class at Middlesex, you are an alumni! To join us in celebrating – and to share your story – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/ for more information.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Future Entrepreneurs: Take MCC’s February Break Babysitting Class1/29/20202/6/2020 3:43 PM
It’s never too early to start a business. Young entrepreneurs – ages 11 to 15 – can spend their February vacation week at Middlesex Community College completing the Babysitter’s Training Certificate. The two-day, seven hour course takes place 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18 and Thursday, Feb. 20.

Students learn the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly care for children and infants. Participants develop leadership skills, learn how to develop a babysitting business, keep themselves and others safe, help children behave, and learn about basic child care and first aid. Participants are asked to bring a doll with them from home.

“It is always exciting to learn a new skill and when vacation weeks take place being able to enroll in a class or program is the perfect time to do it,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for MILES, College for Kids & Personal Enrichment. “Our Babysitting certificate has been able to train 20 youth on more than childcare, first aid and CPR – it helps them develop leadership skills and team building. We get the young minds thinking critically about developing a business.”

The $130 cost of the course includes the certificate fee as well as a copy of a Babysitter’s Training Handbook, Emergency Reference Guide and a CD-ROM for babysitters to use in the class and on the job.

Space is limited – to enroll or to learn more information about this or other course offerings at Middlesex, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Receive $50k in Funding to Help Launch Businesses1/14/20202/5/2020 1:48 PM
Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program – an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed for students to start or grow a business – just wrapped up an intensive semester.

The students had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). The EEVF committee gave out $50,000 in seed funding on December 19, 2019 at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell.

Students’ businesses invested in include: Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2020.

MCC’s 16-credit Launch Your Business Now certificate program was developed for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business they want to launch – or scale up – within four to 12 months.

“Someone who is naturally entrepreneurial just wants to get started,” said Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. “This is why we’ve designed the program to be completed in one intensive, action-oriented semester to support students developing a business concept with a solid foundation for success.”

“I’ve been able to gain confidence as the course progressed. I am now equipped with the proper knowledge moving forward in my journey. I will continue to utilize my tool box with content I was able to learn from the curriculum,” said Jocelyn Pedraza, a Spring 2019 participant of the Launch Your Business Now program.

Students who complete the Launch Your Business Now coursework are encouraged to pitch their business idea to the funding committee of the EEVF – who can award seed money in the form of competitive grants – ranging $1,000 to $20,000 – to support student businesses and help start-ups get off the ground. EEVF is a committee of the Middlesex Community College Foundation.

For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s new Launch Your Business Now Certificate program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at hargiss@middlesex.mass.edu.

To register for MCC spring-semester courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Joined by Lowell Chamber Orchestra for Performance1/15/20202/4/2020 11:26 AM
“A World of Music” – Middlesex Community College’s spring concert series – will debut a new season with a performance of the “Grand Chamber Music” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Donahue Family Academic Arts Center Recital Hall on the Lowell campus.

MCC faculty member Orlando Cela will conduct, MCC faculty member Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta will play piano, and MCC dual-enrollment student Nathaniel Abreu will play cello.

They will be joined by members of the Lowell Chamber Orchestra – Wei Zhao on flute, Amy Dinsmore on oboe, Wolcott Humphrey on clarinet, David Stevens on saxophone, Stephanie Busby on bassoon, Megan Riccio on French Horn, Susanna Powers on violin, Jessica Cooper on viola, John Dowd on double bass, and David Wade on electric guitar.

Featured works include Nonets by African British composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor and Bohsulav Martinů and a new septet by Armando Bayolo inspired by “Los Caprichos” by Francisco Goya.

Another performance by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra at MCC’s Donahue Family Academic Arts Center will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. Both performances are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, director of A World of Music, at 781-280-3923 or peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu.

Go to www.youtube.com/user/MCCmusicOnline2 to see video clips of previous MCC concerts.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for parking and directions.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Violinist Returns Lowell-Built Violin ‘Home’ to Play at MCC1/16/20201/30/2020 11:13 AM
Violin-maker, or luthier, George E. Bryant believed there was no such thing as a perfect instrument. But violinist Scott A. Noseworthy holds a perfect – for him – violin in his possession, 130 years after Bryant constructed it.

Bryant built the violin in 1889 at his workshop in the then Boston & Maine Railroad Depot. Ownership of the building was transferred to Middlesex Community College in 2008 from the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission. In 2018, the college opened the Richard & Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center.

Middlesex was happy to reunite the instrument with its birthplace. Describing the moment as “fantastic” and “a little surreal,” Noseworthy’s father Scott F. Noseworthy, said, “The college itself is a great facility. I am happy to see that organizations like MCC are willing to invest in the Arts. The quality of the facility is absolutely first rate.”

“It’s wonderful to have this historical connection come back to help us celebrate the reincarnation of this fantastic building,” said MCC’s President James C. Mabry. “Lowell is a city with a rich history and being able to welcome this young violinist and this historic violin back to the Donahue Family Academic Arts Center is a great honor.”

An American Civil War veteran, Bryant lived in Lowell almost his entire adult life. He crafted violins for 45 years. Noseworthy grew up playing violin and now plays in the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra and attends the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Noseworthy was gifted the Bryant violin from a family friend, who had received the instrument as a gift from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

“When he received the violin, Scott had been struggling to learn a piece called La Folia by Corelli,” Noseworthy’s father said. “There was a passage in the piece that caused him trouble on nearly every attempt with his student instrument. He had sampled several instruments in an attempt to find a suitable upgrade, but none of them truly felt ‘right.’ The first time he tried the piece on the Bryant instrument was the first time he played it clearly. From that moment, he essentially ‘bonded’ with the instrument.”

Along with the instrument came an appraisal confirming the violin was built by Bryant in 1889. While researching, Noseworthy’s father discovered that the former building in which Bryant worked was now the Academic Arts Center owned by Middlesex. He said, “I felt that this was somehow fitting, considering part of the building had originally been used to support the arts!”

Noseworthy flew from his home in West Allis, Wis., and played the instrument at MCC’s Academic Arts Center on August 7, 2019. His choices – Ashokan Farewell, a piece associated with the American Civil War and the formerly illusive La Folia, for what Noseworthy’s father describes as “recognition of Scott taking ownership of the instrument.” Middlesex was honored to be part of that magical, musical moment.

With the arrival of the Donahue Family Academic Arts Center, came a new sound booth – a perfect addition for students interested in the Technical Theatre Certificate Program. The 18-credit certificate is designed to prepare students for employment in the technical side of performance and entertainment.

Courses include instruction in music technology, computer-aided design, electric circuitry, sound and lighting design, costume construction and safety. Upon completion of the certificate, students are prepared for the workforce or can continue onto a four-year degree.

For more information, visit https://catalog.middlesex.mass.edu/TechTheatre or contact Peter Waldron at waldronp@middlesex.mass.edu. To register for spring-semester courses, go to www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/donations to donate to MCC’s Aspire Campaign to help invest in the arts or make a check out to the MCC Foundation and send it to MCC Foundation, P.O. 8681, Lowell, MA 01853.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Improve English Language Skills at Middlesex Community College1/13/20201/29/2020 11:15 AM
Students at Middlesex Community College have several opportunities to improve their English learning skills. Registration is now open for MCC’s spring-semester Intensive English Institute (IEI) and the English Learner Institute (ELI).

A selective, noncredit program, the Intensive English Institute provides rigorous instruction and cultural immersion for non-native speakers who want to improve their English-language skills in order to advance in their studies or on the job. Classes begin Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Located within MCC’s World Language Institute on the Lowell Campus, the IEI offers advanced and high-intermediate English courses. Placement is determined by a one-on-one evaluation.

IEI curriculum includes reading, writing and grammar, speaking and listening exercises, and one-on-one conferences with instructors. The program meets 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday on the Lowell campus.

“Our talented and hard-working English-as-a-second-language students deserve to have teaching and learning that prepares them for their dreams and goals,” said Marilyn Glazer-Weisner, Director of the World Language Institute & IEI. “Our IEI curriculum is informed by research and results in the field of language learning. Our students are exposed to material written by native speakers, for native speakers.”

The English Learner Institute also offers a variety of noncredit courses focusing on developing basic English and other skills essential to functioning in American society, and helping students continue their education.

MCC’s ELI spring-semester runs Jan. 27 through May 15. Classes meet for approximately three hours, during the day and evening on the Lowell campus. All ELI courses are offered at a reduced rate. Admission to ELI is open to all and does not require an MCC admission application.

Class options are available Monday through Friday. A Saturday class option is debuting this semester – the Bridge to College course will meet 9 a.m. to noon, Feb. 8 through March 28. This noncredit program is designed for students wanting to improve their English-level in time for fall 2020 courses at Middlesex. The cost is $150, in addition to material fees.

ELI courses are designed to serve students who are newcomers to the United States or who need to develop basic English skills. Topics such as technology, life skills and social conventions are covered. ELI courses are non-sequential. Students may enter the program in the fall, spring or summer semesters.

Support services are available to all ELI students, including an English Language Learner Tutoring Lab, a technology-enhanced Language Lab, access to computers, library services, and student services, such as career counseling and academic advising.

For more information about MCC’s Intensive English Institute, contact Marilyn Glazer-Weisner at glazerm@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3934. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/iei for more information.

For more information about the English Learner Institute, courses offered, and fees, visit: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/internationalstudents/pac.aspx or call 978-656-3104.

To register for MCC spring-semester courses, visit: www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students and Faculty Travel to Haiti to Save Lives1/2/20201/28/2020 11:13 AM
In January of 2019, Middlesex Community College students Jennifer Peou, Danielle Russek and Rachel Williams, along with Nursing professors Susan Lavallee and Susan Ryan, traveled to Haiti with the Lavi Project — a nonprofit made up of volunteer medical and support professionals who provide medical care to small villages in Haiti.

“Our team traveled to four different clinical sites providing medical care to more than 900 patients,” Peou said. “This opportunity was presented to Nursing students by Professor Lavallee, who advocated for us to be a part of this life-changing experience.”

Professor Lavallee found it critical for Nursing students to learn from experience.

“Jennifer’s letter of application to the project spoke about a desire to become more empathetic. This really hit home for me as Nursing faculty because we have always struggled with the idea of, ‘How do we teach empathy?” Lavallee said. “What I’ve realized is that it cannot be taught, you have to put students in a position to experience it.”

Bob Bancroft, Founder and CEO of the Lavi Project, found the contingent from MCC — especially the three students — incredibly easy to work with.

“They plugged in to what we were doing with an incredible ease, confidence, compassion and integrity, and really brought something unique and special to the team,” Bancroft said. “I was very impressed with their base knowledge, and yet they were still very eager to learn and grow throughout the entire trip.”

Peou credits her education at MCC for preparing her for this adventure.

“The people of Haiti taught me to be humble, to appreciate all that we have and do not have, and to be thankful for every single day that we are given,” Peou said. “This experience was only possible because I made the choice to attend nursing school at MCC.”

The next Lavi Project team leaves for Haiti this January. Your tax deductible donation will assist the medical teams in providing hope and healing to the people of Haiti. Visit www.laviproject.org to learn more about the Lavi Project.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/nursing/ for more information on MCC’s Nursing program. Registration for Spring 2020 classes is now open. Call 1-800-818-3434 or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration to register.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Leads the Way with Online & Evening Course Offerings1/9/20201/23/2020 11:55 AM
Middlesex Community College helps students fit education into their lifestyles. Many Middlesex students hold full- or part-time jobs in addition to their studies. With evening and online class offerings, students save time and money without sacrificing quality.

Registration is now open for Spring 2020 online and evening courses.

Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Social Science, Interdisciplinary Studies & Online/Weekend Education, highlights the benefits of online and evening education.

“Adults who are looking to attend Middlesex – both new students and those returning to college – want education to be useful and convenient,” he said. “Whether you are coming to school for job advancement, to change careers, or simply to get your degree for yourself or your family, Middlesex provides the right mix of online and evening courses. Mixing some face-to-face classes with online is a great way to get started.”

MCC offers 15 degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online. Another 10 degree programs can be completed 80 percent online through hybrid course offerings, which combine online and in-class instruction.

Olson emphasizes the importance of evening classes for students who want to have hands-on and face-to-face instruction for subject matter they find difficult, or for classes that include labs. Having access to either or both of the college’s two campuses – in Bedford and Lowell – provides access to campus amenities such as the library, Student Information Centers and peer interaction in class and out.

Evening courses are a great opportunity to complete general education and introductory courses, including math classes, English Composition, Introduction to Psychology and Biology.

Roxanne McCorry, MCC’s Director of Academic Technology & Distance Learning, believes taking an online or evening class is time well spent – and helps develop professional skills.

“The new skills based economy has changed the job market forever,” McCorry said. “Your core skills will determine your value in today’s economy and you can take the time to learn and develop on a daily basis. Investing in yourself pays the best dividends.”

Learning or improving upon professional skills increases value in the workforce. Some examples of skills Middlesex helps develop and hone include entrepreneurship, programming, marketing, copywriting, health care practices, foreign languages and Microsoft Excel.

The college has a proven track-record for the success of their online programming. MCC’s Online Business Administration program was ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Administration Programs – one of the first programs at Middlesex to be offered fully online.

“Our faculty assisted several institutions with the development of their online programming, including presenting at conferences all over the country, and continue to be considered the premiere instructors in the field,” said Judith Hogan, MCC’s Dean of Business, Legal Studies & Public Service. “Our students readily tell us that our online course instruction and technology is superior to anything they have experienced.”

Whether as a new or returning student, MCC provides a high-quality and affordable education with the convenience and flexibility of online and evening classes. Spring classes begin Wednesday, Jan. 22. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for Spring 2020 classes. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/ to discover your path.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Spring 2020 Courses at Middlesex Community College1/7/20201/22/2020 11:12 AM
Winter might be in full swing, but spring is coming! Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to register for spring-semester courses at Middlesex Community College. Classes begin Wednesday, January 22 on the Bedford and Lowell campuses, and online.

A complete listing of spring course offerings is available on the college website www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ in MCC’s Spring Academic Advising Schedule.

Middlesex offers flexible schedules to fit your needs with day, evening and weekend options. Combined with a small-class environment, attentive and accessible teachers, and honors courses for high-achieving students, MCC provides a quality education at a price you can afford. For those interested in Arts & Humanities, Business, Education, Health, Public Service, Social Science and Stem, Middlesex offers seven pathways to success.

For 20 years, MCC has been a leader in online education. The college offers 15 associate degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online, plus 10 programs that are 80 percent online. We also offer hundreds of online course offerings, plus hybrid courses — which combine online and face-to-face instruction.

The spring semester is 15-weeks and runs January 22 through May 15.

The college also offers accelerated Mini-mester sessions twice during the semester. Spring Mini-mester I runs January 22 through March 12 and Spring Mini-mester II runs March 23 through May 15, with most courses online. Students can earn credits in a wide variety of subjects, cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and contain the same number of in-class instructional hours as the 15-week session.

For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for Spring 2020 classes. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/ to discover your path.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register for Accelerated Classes at Middlesex Community College12/18/20191/21/2020 12:31 PM
Middlesex Community College offers quality education at an affordable price and on your time. MCC students can complete courses at an accelerated pace with our three-week Wintersession and two eight-week Mini-mesters. Registration is now open for all three accelerated 2020 sessions, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

“These popular accelerated sessions — Wintersession and two Mini-mesters — are just a few of the ways Middlesex strives to help our students discover they can fit education into their busy lives,” said Phil Sisson, Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs.
  • Wintersession – runs January 2 through January 17, on the Bedford campus and online.
  • Spring Mini-mester I – runs January 22 through March 12, with most courses online.
  • Spring Mini-mester II – runs March 23 through May 15, with most courses online.
Wintersession and Mini-mester classes cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards and contain the same number of in-class instructional hours as courses scheduled during MCC’s traditional 15-week semester. Students can earn credits in a wide variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/wintersession for more information about Wintersession and www.middlesex.mass.edu/minimesters for more information about Mini-mesters, or call 1-800-818-3434 for all enrollment info.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 90 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Walk In and Enroll for Spring Classes at Middlesex12/23/20191/16/2020 11:14 AM
Walk in and take charge of your pathway to success! Spring-semester classes at Middlesex Community College begin Wednesday, Jan. 22, and there’s still time to register.

Walk-In Enrollment will be held Monday through Friday, Jan. 6 to 17, on the Bedford and Lowell campuses. New and returning students can meet with an advisor, build their class schedules, and register for spring courses.

Hours for Walk-In Enrollment are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday. Visit the Bedford Campus Enrollment Center (Building 9), Room 118 on 591 Springs Road and the Lowell Campus Cowan Center at 33 Kearney Square, ground floor.

With Walk-In Enrollment, students can learn about MCC’s more than 80 degree and certificate programs. They can also receive information about financial aid and other student support services — including tutoring, career counseling and disability support.

Learn about MCC’s many transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Transfer counseling and transfer-credit evaluation will also be available — transfer students should bring their transcripts.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/walkin for more information about MCC’s Walk-In Enrollment or call 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Students Advocate for the Importance of Community Colleges12/10/20191/15/2020 11:26 AM
Recent high school graduates, adult learners, veterans, international students, first generation students and more make up the 1,200 students at Middlesex Community College whose needs are ample and diverse – and whose voices want to be heard.

Student Advocacy Day, organized by the Executive Office of Community Colleges, took place on Wednesday, October 23. The day provided an opportunity for students to emphasize the importance of investing in community colleges and the students they serve.

Congregated in the Great Hall of the Boston State House, nearly two dozen MCC students, along with more than 200 student representatives from other community colleges in Massachusetts, shared how their college experiences have shaped their lives. MCC students were joined by President James C. Mabry who offered his support.

“For the 200 students from across the state, including 22 students from MCC, the first Student Advocacy Day was a chance to learn more about the issues facing community colleges, meet with legislators and advocate directly for more resources for community colleges, and a chance to see democracy in action at the State House. The students did a great job making the case and greatly impressed the 10 area legislators they met with.”

Thanks to the large turnout from MCC student leaders, the group split in two and conducted 10 separate meetings with legislators who work closely with MCC, including State Senators Edward Kennedy of Lowell, Diana DiZoglio of Methuen, James Eldridge of Acton, and Representatives David Nangle and Thomas Golden of Lowell, Marc Lombardo of Billerica, James Arciero of Westford, Kenneth Gordon of Bedford, Tami Gouveia of Acton and Sean Garballey of Arlington.

MCC Graduate Senator DiZoglio said, “It was a real pleasure welcoming students from Middlesex Community College to the State House for Community College Student Advocacy Day. Community colleges play a vital role in Massachusetts and I am happy to support them as a proud graduate of Middlesex myself.”

Hustling up and down five floors, students encountered several MCC alumni who now work in the State House, including DiZoglio. A group of students also spotted a glimpse of Cambodian Prince Sisowath Thomico. Senator Kennedy brought the students into the newly-refurbished Senate Chambers, while Representatives Golden and Nangle invited the students into a live House of Representatives discussion – the students watched as first responders and veterans received awards of recognition from the House.

“Student advocacy was a wonderful opportunity for students to meet with the men and women who represent them in the Massachusetts legislature and help make the case for why our community colleges statewide need their support,” said Patrick Cook, MCC’s Executive Director of Public Affairs. “The State Senators and Representatives were very giving of their time and listened to the impassioned stories from our students, who really are the greatest ambassadors our college can offer.”

Each year, 156,000 students attend the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts and receive a wide-range of programs, workforce training, arts courses, campus athletics and clinics for community members. The colleges do their best to provide students with as much support and services as possible – advising, tutoring, food pantries, clothing closets and community partnerships. Many students face daily challenges on top of taking classes to achieve their educational and career dreams.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu for more information and to see all that MCC has to offer.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Hires Information Security Officer to Ramp Up Online Safety12/12/20191/14/2020 11:15 AM
In a world where online presence is almost as prevalent as in-person, cybersecurity is key. Middlesex Community College takes it seriously.

Cybersecurity promotes healthy online practices and protects against attacks, such as spam, viruses, disruption of systems and theft of identities, data and other sensitive information. MCC hired Dr. Davis Mirilla as Information Security Officer to spearhead the college’s protection plan against these outside online forces.

He’s excited to dive in.

“We are particularly grateful for the support of improving our cybersecurity posture that we enjoy from President Mabry and members of the executive management,” Mirilla said. “With these buildouts, we will create a proactive and resilient cybersecurity program for MCC.”

“My role as CIO is to work with President Mabry and his Cabinet to ensure acceptable levels of risk are established regarding Information Security,” said Joseph Patuto, MCC’s Chief Information Officer. “In the past, this was a part-time responsibility of the CIO, but to maintain an acceptable level of risk, you need an expert on your IT Team. I am pleased to work with Davis as he develops and promotes the college’s Information Security Management program.”

At Middlesex, Mirilla will review, develop and implement information security tools and controls, such as emails, anti-malware and log/monitoring. This will enhance the protection and reduction of the overall risks associated with the college’s data and network infrastructure.

In an effort to remain cost-effective, Mirilla is reviewing and evaluating existing equipment to integrate with newer technology. He considers the implementations to be “best of breeds” to “give us greater flexibility in proactively responding to the cyber threats out there.”

Another project includes working with HR to rollout Cyber Awareness and Education programs to benefit students, faculty and staff, in an effort to teach how to safely engage and manage personal online activities. As Mirilla said about the internet, “it’s really wild out there.”

Working collaboratively with MCC cybersecurity faculty, Mirilla will help create relevant professional opportunities for students to enhance skills and knowledge. These opportunities provide students access to and training in the infrastructures MCC uses to protect the college.

Middlesex students gain an edge in the employment market to be prepared immediately after graduation for roles like Security Operations Center Analyst or Digital Forensics Technician. Mirilla is appreciative of “the unique opportunity of living my passion for helping and mentoring students in the exciting field of cybersecurity practice.”

Mirilla emphasizes that maintaining an effective cybersecurity program and participating in these cybersecurity practices at MCC is the responsibility of all. Some tips to help the community protect themselves include limiting the amount of information put out on social media and being wary of emails that come from unknown sources or include suspicious attachments.

He said, “The flip side of the convenience and quality of life we enjoy is the dangers posed by the predominance of determined online crooks taking advantage of the anonymity which the internet provides and wreaks havoc on less savvy users.”

Mirilla comes to Middlesex with a strong IT and cybersecurity background in both the operational and consulting areas. He has worked for several important companies on their cybersecurity programs, such as Joslin Diabetes Center, Charles River Laboratories International, AON Cyber Solutions and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He also has a vast educational record, holding a bachelor’s in Business Administration and Management from Yaba College of Technology in Lagos, Nigeria; a master’s from Boston University in Computer Information Systems, with a concentration in Security, and a doctorate in Computing from Pace University in New York — he is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

At MCC, Mirilla hopes to build an exemplary program for other higher education entities to reference.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Registration is Now Open For MCC Spring 2020 Courses12/5/20191/13/2020 11:32 AM
Registration is now open for spring-semester courses at Middlesex Community College. Classes begin Wednesday, January 22, 2020, on the Bedford and Lowell campuses, and online.

A complete listing of spring course offerings is available on the college website www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ in MCC’s Spring Academic Advising Schedule.

Middlesex offers flexible schedules to fit your needs with day, evening and weekend options. Combined with a small-class environment, attentive and accessible teachers, and honors courses for high-achieving students, MCC provides a quality education at a price you can afford. For those interested in Arts & Humanities, Business, Education, Health, Public Service, Social Science and Stem, Middlesex offers seven pathways to success.

With online learning at Middlesex, your classroom can be as close as the nearest Internet connection. For 20 years, MCC has been a leader in online education. We currently offer 15 associate degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online, plus 10 programs that are 80 percent online. We also offer hundreds of online course offerings, plus hybrid courses – which combine online and face-to-face instruction.

Middlesex recognizes that many students, after completing their MCC coursework, intend to transfer and pursue a bachelor’s degree at another institution. For these students, the college offers the state’s Commonwealth Commitment/MassTransfer Pathways program, which can save students an average of 40 percent from the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree. Visit www.mass.edu/masstransfer for more information.

For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for Spring 2020 classes. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/ to discover your path.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Celebrates Aspire Donors with Breakfast & Student Performances12/20/20191/9/2020 1:17 PM
In continuing to invest in the arts, Middlesex Community College celebrated the Aspire Campaign on Wednesday, December 4 at the Richard & Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center with a breakfast to thank donors for their support. As the college enters into the public phase of the campaign, potential donors are now invited to contribute.

President James C. Mabry announced that the campaign had reached 60 percent of its $1.5 million goal. “The Academic Arts Center is above all, a safe learning environment for our students,” President Mabry said.

The donors who made the Academic Arts Center possible include Richard and Nancy Donahue whose family name graces the building; Enterprise Bank; Linda and John Chemaly; Lisa and Mark Saab; Align Credit Union; Jack and Terry O’Connor; George and Carol Duncan; Jim and Eileen Henderson; Jim and Judy Mabry; Ron Ansin and family; Judy and Marc Burke; Dr. Carole A. Cowan; and Atty. Annie O’Connor and Atty. Terry Downes.

“The arts program is vital for students to have a creative outlet,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancement. “Thanks to our generous donors, we now have a wonderful facility in the Donahue Family Academic Arts Center to accommodate these academic needs.”

In the middle of President Mabry’s introduction, students Jade Gordon, Lizzie Cormier, Cam Merullo and Tommy Carnes performed a scene from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” under the direction of Karen Oster, MCC’s Chair of Performing Arts.

Among the donors to speak was Nancy Donahue, Linda Chemaly and Alison Burns, Enterprise Bank Senior VP, Community Relations & Customer Experience Officer.

MCC student cellist Nathaniel Abreu performed three medleys for the crowd. A dual enrollment student, Abreu was named a National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Classical Music and was invited to participate in an arts immersion week in New York City in the spring.

In fall 2018, the college opened the Richard & Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center with a performance of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Since the inaugural performance — and thanks to the new space — the performing arts program has been able to go from two shows a year to four. MCC most recently put on Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” to rave reviews.

“The Aspire Campaign directly supports students in the college’s performing arts program,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “There are still several naming opportunities available for donors to leave a lasting impression on the Academic Arts Center and on the arts in Lowell.”

To donate to Middlesex Community College’s Aspire Campaign, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/donations or make a check out to the MCC Foundation and send it to MCC Foundation, P.O. 8681, Lowell, MA 01853.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Graduate & Professional Continues Education as Transfer Student12/19/20191/8/2020 11:33 AM
Jeffrey Day has always been interested in how mechanical things work, spending his free time taking things apart and figuring out how to fix them.

This passion led the Lowell-native to attend Greater Lowell Technical High School where he majored in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).

“In high school, I was always encouraged that I could open up my own business because I was always willing to take initiative and kept this willingness to learn more about my craft,” Day said. “Every chance I had, I wanted to demonstrate how much I knew about the trade. I was determined to stand out in my class and my teachers helped me get to that point.”

Having learned his craft well, the next step after graduating from Greater Lowell Tech in 2016 was learning more about how businesses operate. This led Day to study business at Middlesex Community College.

Day struggled with financial hardships and finding a way to continue working as a service technician for A. Fagundes Plumbing and Heating in Lowell — where he has worked since his junior year of high school — while furthering his education. With help from staff at MCC, he was able to make it happen.

He graduated in May 2019 and credits MCC with helping him find his path and build his confidence.

“When I started at MCC, I was unsure about what pathway I wanted to pursue, but one of my first professors, John Femia, assisted me with a pathway that would help me transfer more easily,” Day said. “A lot of the things he taught me I still use today and he’s been great with helping me with recommendations.”

Day, 21, said he grew as a person and was able to make personal and long-lasting connections with other students while attending MCC by taking advantage of opportunities and joining clubs like the Outdoor Adventure Club and Running Club, as well as serving as President of Asian Students in Alliance (A.S.I.A).

“A lot of the events I did attend, from informational sessions, cultural meetings and entertainment gave me a chance to talk to people that I normally would not talk to,” he said. “I learned some new information. At MCC, there is a place for everyone. No one should feel left out.”

Academically, Day said he felt more dedicated to his studies than he did in high school because he was genuinely interested in learning more about the subject matter of every course he took and because the professors found ways to engage him.

“My professors helped me develop skills like public speaking, managing teams and finding ways to think out of the box,” he said.

Following graduation from MCC, Day transferred to UMass Lowell, where he is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

When he is not in class or fixing a heating or air conditioning system, Day loves to travel and has visited every state on the east coast, as well as Texas and Puerto Rico. Travel is a passion he hopes to continue as he finishes his education and builds his career.

Upon graduation from UMass Lowell, he plans to work full time at A. Fagundes and hopes to pursue higher positions within the company.

“There is a lot of room for growth into leadership positions and I want to take advantage of that,” he said.

Registration for Spring 2020 courses at Middlesex Community College is now open. For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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Register Now for Wintersession Courses at MCC11/21/20191/7/2020 10:59 AM
Middlesex Community College offers quality education at an affordable price and on your time. MCC students can complete courses at an accelerated pace with our three-week Wintersession that runs Wednesday, January 2 to Friday, January 17, 2020 online and on the Bedford campus.

Registration is now open and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, said, “These popular accelerated sessions are just a few of the ways Middlesex strives to help our students discover they can fit education into their busy lives.”

Wintersession classes cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards and contain the same number of in-class instructional hours as courses scheduled during MCC’s traditional 15-week semester. Students can earn credits in a wide variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

In a Wintersession class, you can:
  • Complete degree requirements
  • Keep on track toward graduation
  • Reduce your credit load during spring semester
  • Study a subject intensively, for a short period of time
  • Complete a course that won’t fit in your fall or spring schedule
With online learning at Middlesex, your classroom can be as close as the nearest Internet connection. For 20 years, MCC has been a leader in online education. We currently offer 15 associate degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online, plus 10 programs that are 80 percent online. We also offer hundreds of online course offerings, plus hybrid courses – which combine online and face-to-face instruction.

Middlesex recognizes that many students, after completing their MCC coursework, intend to transfer and pursue a bachelor’s degree at another institution. For these students, the college offers the state’s new Commonwealth Commitment/MassTransfer Pathways program, which can save an average of 40 percent from the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree. Visit www.mass.edu/masstransfer for more information.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/wintersession or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for classes.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC’s Online Business Administration Program Ranks in Top 5012/11/20191/2/2020 12:11 PM
Middlesex Community College has been ranked No. 41 in the country on the 2019 list of Best Online Associate in Business Administration Degree Programs by Intelligent.com.

In recognizing programs, Intelligent.com assessed 224 universities and colleges, comparing 417 programs. MCC was commended for its “Workforce Preparation Focus.” According to the website, each program was rated on reputation, cost, course strength and flexibility, and provided a score between 0 to 100. Middlesex scored an impressive 57.78.

Judith Hogan, MCC’s Dean of Business, Legal Studies and Public Service, explains that the Business Administration Career Degree was the first online program Middlesex offered — which was one of the first colleges to offer fully online programs.

“Supported by a rigorous online training program, MCC faculty developed courses with the help of instructional designers with a particular expertise in online pedagogy and course design,” said Hogan. “Our faculty assisted several institutions with the development of their online programming, including presenting at conferences all over the country, and continue to be considered the premiere instructors in the field. Our students readily tell us that our online course instruction and technology is superior to anything they have experienced.”

The program focuses on providing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to proceed directly into the workforce. The fundamental areas of learning include accounting, business-computer applications, management, marketing and business law, as well as elective courses.

Concentrations include Fashion Merchandising, Accounting, Office Systems, and Administration and Hospitality Management Programs. Many students have the opportunity to participate in internships, which provides more experience towards getting a job post-graduation.

Students in MCC’s Business Administration program who earn an Associate in Science degree can also go on to transfer to a four-year college.

Registration for MCC’s Wintersession and Spring 2020 courses are now open. For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/academics/ for more information on MCC’s online Business Administration program.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Returning-Student Studies Engineering12/4/201912/23/2019 10:56 AM
Middlesex Community College is known for its diverse student body, including in interests and experience. For example, a student with an art history degree who is studying engineering with aspirations of one day making it to NASA.

Following his graduation from high school in Manchester, Conn., Michael Donovan headed to the University of Connecticut to study art history.

“I was at college because other people wanted me to be, not because I wanted to be,” he said. “Ultimately, I grew disenchanted with the major towards the end of school and so upon graduation, I had little motivation to pursue anything related to it.”

The 33-year-old Arlington resident is finishing his final semester at Middlesex Community College, preparing to graduate with an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering. He plans to transfer to UMass Lowell in the spring to earn a bachelor’s.

“I chose to return to school for engineering because I wanted to challenge my entrenched beliefs about what I was not capable of and I was finally mature enough to do so,” Donovan said. “Learning about why things work the way they do has always been a private interest of mine, and I have always been a hands-on individual – so what better path than engineering?”

He chose MCC due to its affordability and low-barrier to entry, but learned the school had a lot more to offer than a reasonable price tag and convenience.

Donovan said MCC inspired him to think differently and to question preconceived notions he had about his own capabilities. Facilitating a transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, he built his confidence and reaffirmed that he made the right decision.

MCC Computing and Engineering Department Chairwoman Michele Stein has a big impact on his educational experience at MCC, Donovan said.

“She gave me a shot at being one of her Supplemental Instruction leaders for Intro to Engineering in Spring 2018, and I have been an SI leader with the ACE (Academic Centers for Enrichment) Department ever since,” he said. “She has also written numerous recommendation letters for me that resulted in scholarships and even a trip to NASA.”

Donovan added that working with the ACE Department has been one of the most rewarding experiences of his life, watching the dedication of the staff provide students with everything they need to succeed.

“I am particularly grateful to Assistant Director Christine Bell and SI Coach Prof. Beth Kelly for being professional allies as well as wonderful people who are always willing to go the extra mile for us,” Donovan said, adding that overall, MCC provides a great environment for creating a community of success.

“Small classes mean people get to know you, so it is easy to build relationships,” he said. “Professors are more accessible both in and out of class, and being in a particular major means you find yourself in class with the same people, so you have a readymade social network.”

Donovan took two internships that expanded his knowledge and cemented his passion for engineering. He interned in the summer of 2018 at RazorTool in Woburn and as a research assistant in UMass Lowell’s Department of Plastics Engineering this summer.

He is leaving his options open as he thinks about a potential career path “because mechanical engineering is so broad that it could literally take you anywhere,” – maybe even to Cape Canaveral.

“As I progress and get into more specialized classes, I will be able to determine areas of strength that will also help shape my future choices, but I do really like space.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/academics/departments.aspx for more information about the different pathways students can take at MCC.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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MCC Acts Against Student Food and Housing Insecurity 11/20/201912/20/2019 11:06 AM
Meeting the needs of students requires more than academic or intellectual stimulation – bodies need to be nourished and sheltered in order to flourish.

A Wisconsin Hope Lab survey taken in 2017 by Middlesex Community College students revealed 41% of the students experienced food insecurity within the previous year. In response, the college expanded the food pantries they opened on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses in December 2016. This was just the start of a new initiative – and conversations – for the college.

Jonathan Crockett has been with MCC for 13 years. In August, he was instituted as Coordinator of Essential Student Needs and Community Resources. While he runs the food pantries, Crockett also works with students, employees and community partners to raise awareness of the need for, and the presence of, food and housing resources for the MCC community.

“There’s a perception that once you’ve arrived at a place in your life of being able to go to college, you’re beyond some of those basic needs, you’ve arrived at a new place of financial security, an independence of stability,” he said. “And that’s just not a safe assumption.”

Every Wednesday throughout the Fall semester, Crockett and volunteers hand out donations of fresh produce on campus, like apples or onions. By accepting the free food, hundreds of MCC students, faculty and staff become part of the food pantry, which helps to raise awareness of and destigmatize food insecurity.

In addition to on-campus donations, Crockett believes partnering with local businesses and organizations allows MCC to reach more students. Merrimack Valley Food Bank provides 75% of the resources in the pantries, including 20 frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving. This year, the Manolis Foundation will also supply 50 students with Free Thanksgiving Baskets that include a frozen turkey and all the side ingredients. Within 24 hours of posting, all baskets were claimed.

The need also extends to the Bedford campus. Bedford Rotary Club member Diana Jarvis recently delivered a $1,000 donation check to the MCC food pantries. She said, “The Rotary would like to help Middlesex and its students however we can.” The Bedford Rotary Club is also interested in having further conversations about how they can support MCC students dealing with housing insecurity and homelessness.

Opening the pantries allows students to have a safe place to go without having to suffer in silence. Witnessing the reality and prevalence of food insecurity also alerted the school to other pressing and distressing issues.

A 2019 Massachusetts pilot program addresses the need for affordable housing in higher education. The program pairs state and community colleges to provide housing for five active students in need. Last year, Middlesex received two beds, while its counterpart UMass Lowell had three. Crockett believes the program made a difference.

“Not surprisingly, but thankfully, we discovered that their experience of being in stable, permanent, safe housing had a tremendous impact on their academic and personal experiences for both students coming from situations of homelessness or housing insecurity into a more stable situation,” Crockett said.

For Crockett, it’s important to be in a position to have a conversation with students. He helps students think about their housing situation – who they can move in with, who can help them – as well as their financial situation – how to budget or how to navigate the apartment renting process.

“I’ll sit down with students to learn more about their circumstances, more about their needs and what’s happening in their lives,” he said. “And then the work that I do is try to figure out how to connect them with the support and resources that make the most sense for them. Sometimes those supports are here at the college, different departments or resources that we might have. Sometimes it’s in the community, sometimes both.”

An important aspect of Crockett’s job is to assist faculty and staff in looking out for signs of a student struggling. This might include a throwaway comment, insinuation in a reflective paper or a sudden change of academic or personal behavior or unidentified stress.

He said, “During classroom visits, having this sort of conversation reminds people that even if you’re not dealing with this now as a struggle, many people around you are and that most of us are one or two paychecks away from – or one medical incident away from – needing help.

“I’m excited to continue to shift and build a culture where we recognize as a community that needs exist and then we work collaboratively as both the student population and the employee population to figure out how to take care of each other.”

The Lowell Campus Food Pantry is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays and is located inside the Lowell Student Lounge (213A). The Bedford Campus Food Pantry is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Bedford House (Building 5), Room BH 103.

The pantries offer supplemental food items, such as canned soups, vegetables and fruit; rice and pasta; milk, cheese, eggs and some frozen and fresh foods like ground turkey and produce; as well as personal hygiene items.

The MCC Food Pantries provide volunteer opportunities for those who would like to offer support, including monetary or in-kind donations. For more information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/studentlife/mccfoodpantry/ or email foodpantry@middlesex.mass.edu. For more information on food/housing resources, contact Jonathan Crockett at crockettj@middlesex.mass.edu.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, we educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners. MCC offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
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