MCC Alumna Finds Footing in Career During PandemicNew5/11/20215/11/2021 4:06 PM
Dana Meyer started her teaching career amid a pandemic. The Middlesex Community College alumna had always felt drawn to working with children and in a school setting, even though she was unsure of what to pursue for a degree. She realized her passion and academic and professional path while she was at Middlesex.

Calling this realization a “self-driven epiphany kind of moment,” Meyer – who lives in Chelmsford – enjoyed taking courses within MCC’s Education department, as well as Psychology and Sociology classes. Through these courses she understood that being a teacher is where she fit into society and how she could help other people, particularly the next generation of students.

“Middlesex is where I started to found myself as an adult,” she said. “I started to live these individual experiences – whether it was the Outdoor Adventure Club, volunteering or poetry events – where I could really come into my own, find my voice and place in the world in a community that was incredibly welcoming and inclusive.”

A Commonwealth Honors program student during her time at MCC, Meyer participated in several events and activities around campus, including working as an Orientation Leader. Through these experiences, she learned how to be a leader who “leads by lifting others up.”

“A teacher is there for the students and Middlesex really helped highlight the boons of being in that position,” she said. “That sense of community was so instilled in every part of the campus and every part of the classes. I still feel it today and I try to instill it in my own environments, like in my classroom.”

After graduating from Middlesex in 2019, Meyer transferred to Fitchburg State University where she transferred all of her credits to complete her bachelor’s degree. While working as a long term substitute in a fourth grade classroom in Belmont, she is also finishing up her master’s degree at Fitchburg State. Her start as a teacher just happened to be in the midst of a pandemic.

“It was probably the highest value of learning on the fly that you could have,” she said. “I was able to take everything that I learned in theory from all of my degrees and put it into practice. It was of course wild – I had a lot of sprinting to do to make sure I was keeping up and giving the best I could to my students. I have grown so much from just this year.”

As the school year started in a hybrid format, Meyer was teaching two cohorts of students in person and then online in the afternoon. She is happy to have her students all back in-person now, but while doing remote teaching, she was able to learn a lot about different technology she could use in her classroom. Not only did it help her practice to learn and try different methods of teaching, she also believes it helped to keep her students engaged while online.

Meyer’s first experience in a classroom happened as part of a Service-Learning opportunity in one of her Education courses at Middlesex. She visited a classroom and was able to then reflect on what she witnessed and connect it to what she was learning in her own classes.

While at Middlesex, Meyer also spent time babysitting, nannying and volunteering for special education programs in schools. She worked as a substitute teacher while she was studying at Fitchburg State, in addition to more practicum experiences in a classroom.

“Getting into the classroom early on makes an enormous difference,” she said. “You can read about children and read about theory and development, but until you’re seeing it, you’re not really getting a sense of how it works.”

For Meyer, Middlesex “fostered success and achievement.” It starts with having professors who were passionate about their subject and shared their experiences working in the fields they were teaching. In her classes, she got to hear about lived experiences to connect the content to actual situations, including strategies for what works and what does not.

One of the most relevant teaching moments Meyer experienced in her Education courses at MCC was when her professor handed out a printout – with names blacked out – of challenging parent emails. After reading through them, her professor asked them, “what do you do?”

“These real-life situations are how I really started to build both a lens and skill set for how to address different situations that I would then encounter in a classroom,” she said. “It equipped me with tools that I’m even subconsciously putting into play today.”

While at Middlesex, Meyer also valued the diversity of the community – something she now emphasizes in her own classroom. Because Middlesex fosters an inclusive environment, Meyer felt like the college – including other students, faculty and staff – cared about her individual success and gave her opportunities to develop her voice. Having a space at MCC to share her writing at open poetry events and fiction readings in particular gave her a platform.

“The ability to listen to stories, share my own story of coming originally from Israel, being a first generation college student really opened my eyes, my heart, my mind to the world,” she said. “It’s something that I implement right into my classroom. Our diversity share is huge and my students have different walks of life even at 10-years-old, so I think it’s important to share and explore other languages and cultures.”

Despite the pandemic, Meyer is enjoying the start of her career. And while she continues to learn and hone her practice, she emphasizes that she “started with the best roots at MCC.”

The Education pathway at MCC helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/education/ for more information and to discover your path to an Education degree at Middlesex.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters at 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 Dual Enrollment Student Named to All-Mass Academic Team5/5/20215/11/2021 4:02 PM
A Dual Enrollment student and member of Middlesex Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) – the international honor society of two-year colleges – Hannah Ditmars is on her path to success as she earns both a high school diploma and an associate degree. She was also one of three Middlesex students named to the 2021 All-Massachusetts Academic Team for outstanding two-year college students.

Every year, the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC) honors the All-Massachusetts Academic Team to showcase the best and brightest students in the 15-college system. PTK has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students for more than 100 years while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Ditmars is joined on the team by fellow MCC students Gianna Tringali and Riana Willsie.

“I feel very grateful and excited for the recognition and opportunity to be a student at Middlesex,” Ditmars said. “Phi Theta Kappa offers so many opportunities for college students, including aiding in the affordability of college costs, helping students explore career paths they are interested in, and teaching them skills for the professional workplace.”

After she graduates from Westford Academy in June 2021, Ditmars will continue at Middlesex to study as a Business Administration Transfer major. She started at MCC in Fall 2020 in response to hearing about the high school’s return plan. As a partnership was already in place between Westford Academy and MCC for Dual Enrollment classes, Ditmars jumped at the chance to participate, calling it “a great opportunity.”

At Middlesex, Ditmars enjoys being able to earn college credits and grow comfortable taking college-level classes while at home. Although her classes were all online because of the pandemic, she believes they were interactive and provided a connection between her peers and professors – particularly in MCC Professor Deborah Botker’s American Government course Ditmars took in the Fall of 2020.

“I have been extremely impressed by the quality of classes as well as the support I have been receiving as a student,” she said. “My professors have been very attentive and accessible and I frequently join the optional office hours.”

During office hours for her classes, Ditmars has a chance to ask questions, talk over content and materials, and get to know her professors better. She has appreciated all that her professors, academic advisor and MCC staff have done for her as a whole. Because of their dedication to her success, Ditmars feels as though she is “valued as a student and learner.”

As she is an active participant at clubs and organizations at Westford Academy, Ditmars is looking forward to joining more programs that MCC offers. Her interests at her high school have included the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, Human Rights Club and Speech and Debate Team. She also participated in MCC’s Earth Day event, called “Planting Bee Friendly Seeds” and hosted by Massachusetts Student Public Interest Research Group (MSSPIRG).

In the future, Ditmars wants to finish at Middlesex and take advantage of MCC’s MassTransfer program. She is hoping to continue her studies at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Business to complete her bachelor’s degree.

She said, “I believe Middlesex Community College has prepared me for achieving my goal of having a successful transition to UMass Amherst by providing a rigorous curriculum and a nurturing supportive academic environment.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ditmars and her classmates – as well as honorees of the other Mass. community colleges – were honored for their 2021 PTK All-Massachusetts Academic Team through a virtual “PTK Community College Excellence Week” at the end of April 2021.

MACC works on behalf of the Community College Presidents and their local Boards of Trustees to advocate, communicate and collaborate to strengthen community colleges for the benefit of students, communities and the Commonwealth. The community colleges currently represent more than 136,000 students in every region of Mass., educating nearly half of all students in the state’s public higher education system and serving the largest share of first-generation students, low-income students and students of color.

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.

By providing general education courses required by most colleges and universities, Dual Enrollment at MCC allows high school and homeschool students an opportunity to earn college credit, seek enrichment beyond courses offered at the high school, and save money on tuition. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/dualenroll/ or contact dualenrollment@middlesex.mass.edu for more information.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters at 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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Lowell Chamber Orchestra to Close Out MCC’s Spring Concert Series5/4/20215/11/2021 4:01 PM
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring 2020 semester, Middlesex Community College has been creative in offering online courses, programs and events. This includes MCC’s “A World of Music” concerts run by the Music department, who will close out the Spring 2021 series with a performance by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra.

“I am incredibly proud of the creativity of the Music department in providing the ‘World of Music’ concert series,” said Mathew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts. “For many in our Middlesex community, the concerts are some of the only bright spots in the midst of the pandemic. Department Chair Carmen Peralta develops programs that are extremely interesting, featuring highly talented musicians – many on our teaching faculty – performing diverse and entertaining pieces of music.”

Entitled “On the Double,” the concert will air at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. The performance will feature masterpieces for double string orchestra – groups split, mirror and separate. Works will include Dirge-Fantasy by Jeremy Gill, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta by Bela Bartok.

An MCC Student Recital will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7 – featuring a compilation of student singers, pianists, guitarists, cellists and the MCC World Drumming Ensemble.

Previous performances throughout the Spring 2021 semester have included “Celebrating Black Composers from Europe, Africa, United States and South America” from MCC faculty members, a concert by The Rasa Strings Quartet, and another concert by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra entitled “Miniature Universes.”

All events are free. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings. Contact Rodriguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923 for more information.

Middlesex is now registering for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters. For more information – and to register for 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 Theatre Department to Put on a Livestreamed Hit Musical4/27/20215/11/2021 4:01 PM
Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex Community College has been creative in providing opportunities for students in the performing arts to practice their craft – from online theatre productions to at-home concerts. After a year of postponing their Spring production, the Middlesex Theatre department is excited to offer a livestreamed performance of “Man of La Mancha” – one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time.

Karen Oster, MCC’s Chair of Performing Arts, got to work from the start of the pandemic to figure out how to continue performances for her students. Throughout the year, Middlesex Theatre students have put on “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” and “It’s A Wonderful Life: Radio Play,” among other online performances.

“Even though we had to postpone, the entire team persevered and held out hope that we would finally be able to present this production,” Oster said. “To reference a song from the musical, this became our ‘Impossible Dream,’ and has been our mantra throughout this whole year. With months of socially distanced rehearsals, masks, testing and other safety protocols ¬– as well as a cast and crew that have been fully vaccinated and quarantining a week prior to performance – we are so excited to finally be able to share this production with you.”

Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote,” “Man of La Mancha” follows a play within a play about a playwright on trial attempting to preserve his manuscript. Using his storytelling to present his defense, the playwright reimagines himself as a bumbling knight on a quest – hoping to charm his fellow prisoners and redeem his name.

The original Broadway production debuted in 1965. The show was nominated for seven Tony Awards and won five, including for Best Musical. There have been four Broadway revivals since its initial debut and has over 10 adaptions in different countries.

Curtain times for “Man of La Mancha” are 7 p.m. on Friday, May 7; 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 8; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 9. The performances will be filmed at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center where the MCC Theatre department has been able to perform while following strict health and safety guidelines.

Tickets are $10 for general admission. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/performingarts to buy tickets and to learn more about MCC’s Performing Arts department.

For more information about MCC’s programs and opportunities – and to register for Summer and Fall 2021 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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Students Advance Careers in MCC’s Awarding-Winning Classes4/29/20215/11/2021 4:01 PM
Middlesex Community College educates students for today’s workforce. In the Community Education and Training (CET) program at Middlesex, experts and professionals in their fields provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. This includes in CET’s award-winning Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certificate programs.

“Now is the perfect time for people in all stages of their careers to take professional development courses at Middlesex,” said Sheila Morin, MCC’s Director of CET. “If you are working from home, furloughed, laid off or looking to enter a new profession, our courses are offered online to provide a flexible, convenient and affordable way to strive towards career advancement.”

In the SHRM Essentials of Human Resource (HR) Management course, 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, or for those who are looking for an effective way to boost their employee management skills.

Throughout the course, students learn topics related to the HR function, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, learning and development, performance management and employment law. Once the course and modules are finished, student are awarded a certificate of completion.

“SHRM's HR Essentials is a great foundational course with a little bit of ‘everything HR,’” said Carla Patalano, MCC CET Instructor. “Having this professional development lends credibility to individuals who are either considering HR roles, are new to HR, or have had HR duties assigned to them. We have a lot of fun in this class! I go out of my way to keep the energy level high in the online sessions and focus on interaction via polls, activities, breakout rooms, chat, etc.”

Lisa Marie Noke-Kearney – of Billerica – has been taking classes at Middlesex to earn an associate degree in human services. Having worked for a number of years as Director of Human Resources, she wanted to take CET’s SHRM Essentials of HR Management course to learn more about the field as it is in current times.

From bringing her experience in the field into the classroom to breaking down the information with examples, Noke-Kearney believes that Patalano was an effective instructor. She also appreciated the details that went into the slide presentations, the overall outline of the course, and being able to take it from home.

“That was the best class I’ve ever taken online,” she said. “She got everybody involved. The dynamic of being with your classmates was really fun. People weren’t sitting around not raising their hand or not being engaged – you wanted to be part of the conversation. In our breakout groups, everybody felt good about what they were learning and what they were doing.”

In addition to her experience working in the field, Noke-Kearney is now working on the academic part. She enjoys being able to look back at her notes and resources and have a reference guide.

“Having both the education and hands-on experience really helps,” she said. “Taking the class has helped me look at things in a different way. It’s preparing me to work with clients and helping me think or stand in someone else’s shoes.”

For students who want to upgrade their skills, learn updated knowledge, or start out in a new career, Noke-Kearney recommends they go to Middlesex.

“The quality of the teachers are amazing,” she said. “They work in the field so I felt a connection to them. I really enjoyed my peers, I loved the flexibility of both campuses – I could go to Lowell or Bedford – and I like the variety of what Middlesex has to offer.”

The next section of the SHRM Essentials of HR Management course starts on June 3 and runs online from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday nights through July 1. Students will review and student the class lecture, as well as complete assignments online before joining in the weekly class meeting and discussion portion.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/shrme/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to enroll in the course.

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about CET’s certificate programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or contact Sheila Morin 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 Honors Student Studying to Become a Nurse Practitioner5/6/20215/6/2021 3:43 PM
Merilyn Mbombo’s hard work and commitment to her education is paying off. From the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mbombo began her education in the United States with English classes at Middlesex Community College. Now a Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) member and Nursing major, she views Middlesex as a starting point to a successful future.

“Starting from taking English as a second language classes and transitioning into college classes has been a long and enjoyable journey,” she said. “Middlesex Community College is a very welcoming place and is a great place to learn. It provides a good learning environment with people who are well-qualified to walk you through your academic journey at MCC and help you transition to a four-year university.”

Mbombo was referred to Middlesex by the African Community Center in Lowell. The proximity of the campus to her home in Lowell, affordability of classes, and comfort of the environment the community provides inspired her to continue her education at MCC.

Throughout her academic and professional journey, Mbombo said she is “aspiring for excellence” – which she tries to prove in everything she does. After graduating from MCC in 2022, she plans to transfer to a four-year university before starting work as a nurse practitioner. Mbombo believes that participating in the CHP at Middlesex will help her meet her long term goals and lead her to a more successful future.

“Being part of the honors program is such a privilege,” she said. “It is an opportunity not to miss and I know from the bottom of my heart that I would never regret taking this chance one day.”

In the CHP, Mbombo has discovered even more about her potential and ability to achieve anything she wants and works for. Her confidence has shined as she strives not to underestimate herself and to do the best she can in all of her work.

As part of the CHP community, she has also realized the importance of being humble, asking for help when she needs it, and learning from others.

“I have learned to remain humble because the best way to learn and gain knowledge is to admit that I am empty, hungry and willing to learn,” she said. “I think that the Commonwealth Honors Program will also help me learn and stay focused on everything I do to be successful.”

This same mindset has helped Mbombo through her studies at Middlesex in the Nursing program. Although challenging, the program has taught her a new perspective. From studying questions to prepare for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), learning more about what a nurse does in the role, reading notes daily, to staying on top of all of her responsibilities, Mbombo has come to understand the value of remaining flexible and committed.

“Dedication is key,” she said. “Without loving and having passion to become a nurse, it is impossible to enjoy the journey and accept having to sacrifice a lot to be a nurse one day.”

Her strong resolve has also helped her adjust to learning through a pandemic. While the transition to online courses was difficult in the initial adjustment period, Mbombo has had a good experience with MCC’s online education. One of the more important benefits to online learning for her has been having recorded lectures that she can then look back at when studying.

Overall, Mbombo is grateful to be part of the MCC community. In addition to having learned relevant knowledge and skills to succeed in her future career, she feels as though she has become a stronger and more confident professional.

In all of her classes and experiences – from her English classes to Nursing, and as a CHP scholar – Mbombo has also grown into a leader and change agent. Part of what has helped her be so successful is the feeling that Middlesex is home.

“The diversity of students that attend MCC gave me a sense of belonging and made me never feel like a stranger,” she said. “I am proud to attend such a school that promotes diversity and inclusion.”

Students who participate in MCC’s CHP must have at least a 3.2 GPA upon applying and receive guaranteed transfer to any of the honors programs and colleges in the Mass. university system, enhanced prospects for acceptance to private four-year schools, and increased opportunities for scholarships. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/honors/ for more information.

MCC’s Nursing & Allied Health Division prepares students to go into exciting and rewarding careers, as well as to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Students learn the knowledge and skills they need to help people, including practical and clinical hands-on experiences.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/healthcareersdiv/ for more information about the Nursing, Dental Programs, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Assisting, Medical Lab Technician and Radiologic Technology programs at 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 Board of Trustees Selects the College’s Fifth President5/4/20215/6/2021 3:40 PM
The Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to select Philip Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, as the next President of Middlesex. The MCC Board will bring their vote to the Board of Higher Education and Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos E. Santiago to approve the selection at a meeting to be held later this month.

“I am deeply honored and also very humbled to be selected by the MCC Board of Trustees to become the college’s fifth president,” Sisson said. “I want to thank them for their support and for their trust in me to lead our college forward. I came to Middlesex because I wanted to be part of this storied institution with its history of excellence and visionary leadership. It is a reputation I intend to uphold and further build upon in the coming years. Middlesex is an exceptional institution and I know first-hand that it has at its core an extraordinarily dedicated, talented and innovative faculty, staff and administration who are fully committed to the mission of the college.

“I eagerly look forward to working closely with all of them as we continue to provide the highest quality education and support services that we can possibly offer to our amazing students who deserve nothing less and who inspire us every day. I fully comprehend the critical role the college plays in the communities we serve, especially in our host communities of Bedford and Lowell. I look forward to creating a renewed level of engagement with our communities focusing on equity, access, opportunity, support and success for all of the students we serve, as well as leading a team that will affirm Middlesex Community College as a national leader in community college education for our next half century. I am confident our greatest days are yet to come!”

Sisson has over 30 years of diverse and exemplary college leadership experience in the areas of campus administration, strategic planning, academic and student affairs programming, fiscal management, resource development and business, community and K-16 partnerships – all with a clear and consistent focus on equity, access and student success.

After earning a bachelor’s in Communications, Theater and Secondary Education and a master’s in Counseling, both from Rhode Island College, he completed coursework in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Connecticut/Storrs and went on to enroll in the University of Massachusetts/Boston EdD program in Higher Education Administration (ABD).

“Phil is a trusted campus leader within the college community and has a strong state and national reputation for developing innovative programs to support assessment and pathways for student success,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC President. “He knows the college inside and out and is respected by the faculty and staff he leads. His work advancing the equity agenda has been ground breaking and will continue to help the college better connect with its diverse student body.

“Phil and I will work together for the next two months – as we have over the last six-and-a-half years – to keep the college on track and work for a smooth transition. I am positive that Provost Sisson is the right person to move the college forward at this time.”

The final three candidates for the position included Sisson; Dr. Lisa Armour, the Vice President for Assessment, Research & Technology at Santa Fe College; and Dr. Julie Leidig, the Provost & Academic/Executive Officer for Northern Virginia Community College.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I want to congratulate MCC Provost Phil Sisson on his selection as the next person to lead Middlesex Community College into its second half century,” said Trustees Chairman James Campbell. “I have had the distinct honor of working with all four of the past presidents, and I am confident Phil has the leadership and vision to make sure Middlesex continues to provide an affordable and equitable education for our students, and a vision that works closely to support the communities we serve. Phil knows the landscape, and he knows the talent that our faculty and staff bring to the table to help the college meets its strategic goals, and I am confident he will foster those strengths moving forward.

“My goal when this process began last summer was to make sure that the search for the fifth president of Middlesex was going to be one that was transparent, professional and inclusive, and one that listened to the voices of both our internal and external communities. Our Search Committee brought forward what I believe were five qualified finalists for consideration by the college community. The breadth of experience brought by those candidates allowed our college community to consider several opportunities for the college moving forward. I want to personally thank the Search Committee and the MCC staff who have helped usher this entire process through since last Fall. Their support all along the way helped ensure the integrity of this search and provide us with an open and methodical process that has yielded a solid choice as the next leader for this college.”

Sisson developed a passion for teaching and serving adult learners and for the unique mission of community colleges at Bristol Community College (BCC), where he served for six years as the Director of Student Support Services and Evening Administrator in the Division of Continuing Education. After serving for a year in an interim promotion as the Assistant Dean of Continuing Education and Community Services at BCC, he accepted a position as the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at the Edward J. Liston Campus at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), the largest community college in New England.

Serving for seven years at CCRI, Sisson was promoted twice to the positions of Dean of Workforce Education & Lifelong Learning and the Dean of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. Sisson moved next to the Cape where he served as the Dean of Language & Literature, Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Life Fitness at Cape Cod Community College. Within a year he was selected as the Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs for three years.

For the past 11 years, Sisson has been serving in his current position at MCC. In this role, he has acted as a change agent and collaborative leader – working with teams of colleagues across the institution – to establish and maintain a number of noteworthy and innovative academic, student affairs and enrollment initiatives designed to better serve students. His focus on student pathways and outcomes; workforce development and growth; and inclusion and equity has continued to position Middlesex as the flagship community college in the state.

Leading college-wide efforts for both the comprehensive and the interim five-year accreditation reports to NEASC/NECHE, the college continues to be highlighted in workshops and events as an exemplar in accreditation standards and outcomes. Sisson has also worked to enhance the college’s regional and national profile through engagement with premier higher education organizations and successful applications to highly selective grant projects and awards including: AAC&U’s Roadmap to Success Leadership College, NILOA’s Excellence in Assessment Award, NEBHE’s High Value Credentials Project, AAC&U’s Guided Pathways and Equity in Learning project, Complete College America’s Guided Pathways recognition of academic pathways and program maps, and most recently AACC’s Equity in Transfer Initiative in partnership with the University of Massachusetts/Lowell.

From Sisson’s early years as a classroom instructor at the Wheeler School in Providence, RI to his more than 25 years of adjunct experience at five higher education institutions, Sisson is first and foremost an educator. Throughout his career, he has focused on student access, student success, student completion and equity, spending the last three decades championing the transformative power of a community college education. With strategic vision, entrepreneurial leadership and open communication, Sisson has committed his career to creating a diverse and inclusive community where all students are able to learn, grow and succeed.

Middlesex is celebrating 50 years as an institution as of September 2020. Sisson is the fifth president for the college, joining President Mabry, Dr. Carole A. Cowan, Evan Dobelle and James Houlihan.

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 Students Win at Mass. DECA Competition4/28/20215/6/2021 3:40 PM
Middlesex Community College prides itself on providing students with relevant opportunities inside and outside of the classroom to help them reach their goals. At the 2021 Massachusetts DECA Competition, Middlesex students won first and second place in their categories.

The competition allows students majoring in marketing, finance, hospitality and management an opportunity to compete with other local colleges. Vikram Sharma, MCC Associate Professor of Business, led three Middlesex students through their events.

Having to participate in the event in an online format added an additional challenge to the competition for students, according to Sharma. Their success should also be emphasized as they were preparing for the event while working through the pandemic.

“We have done well in the past, but this year it feels more special as it really shows that our students can withstand pressures of the pandemic and so many other challenges,” Sharma said. “Despite these odds, our students worked hard and were successful in their events.”

Middlesex was the only community college among four-year colleges and universities participating. The MCC students who participated were using the knowledge and skills they learned in introductory courses against students at other colleges who have taken advanced accounting courses, according to Sharma.

“As a faculty member, this is very inspiring and motivating,” he said. “It feels great that we are preparing our students for the real world. Being a part of this competition is also a great networking opportunity, makes our students great team players, and instills strong leadership and communication skills.”

MCC student Brian Rosa won first place in the Financial Accounting individual event against students from three other colleges. Middlesex students Tyler Galvin and Natalie Mayo placed second in the Financial Statement Analysis team event against four other teams.

The events are judged by professionals in business industries and their feedback is valuable to the students who hope to enter the workforce. Students gain presentation, leadership, organization and team-building skills through their participation.

In his individual competition, Rosa had to audit the balance sheet of a case study and then present his work to two judges who acted as the owners. By participating in the event, Rosa believes he is gaining relevant knowledge and experiences that show his passion and dedication for his subject. This success will lead to more opportunities from four-year schools and future employers.

“Employers essentially invest in you to help grow their businesses,” he said. “By having things like the Mass. DECA Competition on your resume, it shows to employers that you are a worthwhile hire and investment because you go above and beyond in your related field and will likely be a top performer for the employer should you be hired.”

A Business Administration Transfer major from Burlington, Rosa took a break after graduating from high school before starting at Middlesex in 2020. He notes that because he has Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), he has struggled with studying and learning essential repetitive tools. Through hard work and commitment, Rosa proved to himself that he can be successful in his academic and professional endeavors.

His second year participating in the event, president of the Business and Economics club Galvin helped Sharma plan MCC’s part in the competition. A Business major from Chelmsford, Galvin is proud of his club members for their achievements.

“We were so happy to have placed so high this semester especially as the only community college competing,” he said. “We had been practicing for the weeks coming up to the event and knew we would do great. I was so happy for Brian and Natalie as this was their first official DECA competition.”

As a team, Galvin and Mayo prepared for their presentation by working on previous case studies. For their event, they were given 24 hours to look through the case study and prepare a recommendation on how to proceed.

Mayo is a Business Administration major and student math tutor at MCC’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) from Dracut. She also participates in MCC’s theatre program and Business Club. About the Mass. DECA Competition, she said, “I’m really glad I participated because it’s good experience for a future career in business and it looks good on a resume.”

MCC’s Business program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

Middlesex is now registering for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters. For more information – and to register for 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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Local Author Got His Start in MCC’s Technical Writing Program4/22/20215/6/2021 3:40 PM
Completing a certificate program at Middlesex Community College provided Lowell-native Chris Boucher with a career and a hobby. With Middlesex’s Community Education and Training (CET) program, Boucher learned the knowledge and skills he needed to get hired and succeed in the field of Technical Writing. Having honed his writing abilities through the program, he also credits MCC for helping him with his creative writing and publishing his novel, “Pivot Move.”

A few years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from UMass Lowell, Boucher was uncertain about his career tract and prospects. While he was applying to jobs that appealed to him, he did not meet the requirements and was not getting interviews. MCC’s program “made all the difference.”

“In the past, I was applying to technical writing jobs without really knowing what they were, but I had an English degree and thought I could do it,” he said. “But no one seemed to agree with that until I was enrolled in MCC’s program. It was so easy afterwards.”

In the program, Boucher had a chance to write every day, build a strong portfolio to show to potential employers, and receive feedback from professors and classmates. All of these essential opportunities led to improved writing and more confidence for him. Another relevant skill Boucher learned was how to write for a particular audience, whether that included for a technical or creative writing project.

“MCC helped me in a number of ways,” he said. “I was an English major in college, but I struggled in my writing classes. The Technical Writing program forced me to apply what I may have learned but never really put into practice. I learned to write clearly, concisely and always with the audience in mind.”

After finishing MCC’s program, Boucher worked for 10 years as a Technical Writer. Although his role changed, Boucher believes the skills he learned in his courses transferred over because his time at Middlesex taught him more than how to be a professional writer.

Going to school in the evenings allowed him to work during the day, which honed his project management skills. This helped Boucher balance his responsibilities between working in his full-time role and writing his novel during nights and weekends.

He also learned how to better use technology, which proved valuable when developing a website to promote his book. And while he never expected to write a book of fiction, Boucher believes MCC’s Technical Writing program provided him with the tools in order to do so.

“Some people might be in the space of, ‘do I really want to be a technical writer? Is it going to kill my creativity?’ he said. “That wasn’t the case at all. It’s still writing every day. Those habits and discipline and improving all the time – in no way did it hurt me. Based on the other skills that I learned, it only helped me.”

Boucher went on to earn two master’s degrees, one in Learning and Technology and the other in Creative Writing. While he had chosen MCC’s Technical Writing program because it was affordable, he also learned the value of lifelong education and how it could enhance his career and personal life in a number of ways.

“Middlesex sold me on how important it is to keep learning,” he said. “I had earned my tuition back before I even finished the program. It’s worth it in the long run – from a financial perspective and a happiness perspective – and the difference it makes in your life by opening up these other opportunities.”

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about CET’s certificate programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/or contact Sheila Morin 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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Middlesex CC Student Performers to Shine at Online Concert4/27/20215/6/2021 3:40 PM
Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex Community College has continued to provide students with high-quality courses, activities, experiences and events. For students in MCC’s Performing Arts programs, this includes opportunities to practice their art. Middlesex will present a Student Recital for its next performance of the online spring concert series, “A World of Music.”

“We feel that it is important for students to be able to perform for one another and for the general public, especially during this time when they are separated from each other,” said Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of Music. “We are delighted that our Student Recital will feature student singers, pianists, guitarists, cellists and the MCC World Drumming Ensemble.”

Featuring a compilation of student performers, the concert will air online at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7. Each student recorded their individual performance at their homes or in a socially distant and safe way at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford and the Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in Lowell.

From Westford, Margaleet Katzenblickstein is an MCC Dual Enrollment student interested in majoring in Performing Arts, Music. Although online, she enjoys being able to perform.

“Even while at home, performing gives you a chance to connect with others and be part of something bigger than just yourself,” Katzenblickstein said. “It also gives you a goal to work toward, which is useful.”

Em Russell – from Dracut – graduated from MCC’s Performing Arts, Music program in the Fall 2020 semester. When Rodriguez-Peralta invited her to be part of the recital, she jumped at the chance to perform and engage in her passion.

“I am so happy to share the music I love performing with others in any way I can,” Russell said. “Virtual performances provide the opportunity to share that music with more people than ever – and that is something I definitely enjoy.”

The final performance of the concert series will be by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra who will perform “On the Double” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.

Previous performances included “Celebrating Black Composers from Europe, Africa, United States and South America” from MCC faculty members, a concert by The Rasa Strings Quartet, and a previous concert by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra entitled “Miniature Universes.”

All events are free. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings. Contact Rodriguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923 for more information.

Middlesex is now registering for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters. For more information – and to register for 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 to Host Admissions Virtual Open House Event for New Students4/21/20215/6/2021 3:40 PM
Middlesex Community College has a lot to offer students for both the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters – from resources and support services to flexible course options and affordable pricing. Middlesex will host a second Admissions Virtual Open House Event at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27 for prospective students and their families to learn how MCC helps students reach their goals.

Through presentations and question and answer sessions, the event also provides an opportunity for those interested in MCC to meet faculty and staff face-to-face through the online platform. The first Admissions Virtual House received positive feedback from attendees, according to Camille Brown, MCC’s Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment.

“We are eager to share our programs, course formats, great value, easy transition to college and transferability of courses to all potential students interested in joining our community of learners,” Brown said. “High school students interested in taking college classes students can hear from a Dual Enrollment student panel, graduating high school seniors can get answers to all their questions about registering early, and adult learners can attend a session just for them.”

The event will use a new software – SCHED – to make the experience more dynamic. With sessions on a variety of subjects throughout the college, attendees can choose what they want to learn about most at Middlesex. Sessions will be hosted by experts throughout the college who will talk about their department offerings.

During the event, attendees can learn about Getting Started at MCC, including as an Adult Learner or as a high school or home-schooled student in the Dual Enrollment program. Other sessions include topics on Academic Advising, Financial Aid, Tutoring Services, Disability Support Services, Student Wellness, Career Services, MassTransfer, Veterans Services, the Honors Program, the First Year Experience Course and Interdisciplinary Courses.

Attendees can also meet with faculty across the many programs Middlesex offers – including the Arts and Humanities; Communications; Business, Public Service and Legal Studies; Education; Social Science; the Health fields and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Both MCC’s Summer and Fall 2021 semesters will feature classes in-person, online and blended hybrid of both formats to offer students options that work best for them. MCC’s Admissions Virtual Open House Event will provide students and their families with more information on these course offerings, as well as the college’s more than 80 certificate and degree programs, student services and more.

After registering for the Open House, attendees will receive an email from SCHED providing them with instructions to sign-up for their sessions. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/openhouse/ for more information and to register for the event.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for MCC’s Summer and Fall 2021 semesters.

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 La Guagua Poetry Virtual Reading 4/22/20215/5/2021 3:04 PM
Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex Community College has come up with creative ways to engage students in virtual community events. Middlesex will host the first ever La Guagua Poetry Virtual Reading featuring local, regional and international poets and translators. The event will take place from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 1.

For this year’s virtual reading, 17 poets were invited to participate. The list includes Zeina Hashem Beck, Deborah Bennett, Samir Delgado, Alexis Díaz-Pimienta, Rhina P. Espaillat, Danielle Legros Georges, Audrey Henderson, Michael Leong, Pablo Medina, Philip Nikolayev, Pedro Poitevin, Patrick Sylvain, Taty Hernández Durán, Jean Dany Joachim, Daisy Novoa Vásquez, Lada Osman and Octavio R. González.

The virtual reading is part of MCC’s traditional La Guagua Poetry Festival and will feature past participating poets who will read from their works.

Willy Ramirez, MCC Associate Professor of English and founder of the festival is planning the fourth La Guagua Poetry Festival for Fall 2022. A festival and an interdisciplinary one-credit course, the festival provides students with an opportunity to examine the themes of cultural diversity and social inequity. Students can also reflect on their experiential learning through mentor and mentee engagement with poets, translators and publishers.

“In essence, the creation of the reading group La Guagua and its poetry festival was an effort to empower students the same way I was once empowered,” Ramirez said. “With this group, students are encouraged to climb that ladder of discovery for themselves, to understand that future and success are so much more than simple words, but an extension of self and commitment.”

From the Dominican Republic and now living in Lawrence, Vivian Villaman graduated from Middlesex in 2016 as a Psychology major. She has continued to participate in La Guagua Poetry Festivals, including as a moderator for a conversation between MCC students and a Haitian American poet. She calls the festival a “celebration of art through poetry, music and languages.”

“The festival is a valuable tool for students because it exposes them to a different learning atmosphere,” she said. “Moreover, students are given the opportunity to interact with people from different ethnic backgrounds. Students feel represented by taking part in different types of art forms. It gives them the unique opportunity to participate in workshops led by people who look and sound similar to them.”

Gerald Jansen Ramon graduated from MCC in 2018 with an associate in Information Technology Cybersecurity. From Lowell, he also moderated conversations between the poets and students. Calling it “a lovely encounter between different cultures and languages,” Ramon is always impressed by the variety of cultures and voices he has witnessed perform at the festival.

“It was significant as it helped me to build relationships with poets and students as well,” he said. “In addition, it helps the community to be engaged and see other career paths, such as arts.”

The La Guagua Poetry Festival Virtual Reading is co-sponsored by Office of Student Engagement, Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Office of International and Multicultural Affairs. Participants do not have to register for the event. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/english/laguagua/readings.aspx or contact Ramirez at ramirezw@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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Make Summer Productive with Classes at Middlesex CC4/20/20215/4/2021 2:46 PM
Summer is the perfect time for students to get back on track with their academic plan or get ahead with electives and general education requirements. With a mix of online and blended hybrid course options, Middlesex has a plan in place to help students meet their goals and have a productive and successful summer. MCC offers flexible schedules, high-quality courses and affordable prices. Summer semester starts on Tuesday, June 1.

"MCC summer courses can help you stay on track and complete your degree on time,” said Maria Gonzalez, MCC Academic Advisor. “For example, if you need to take a particular course in the Fall, you could take the prerequisite course for it in the summer – helping you finish the requirements you need to complete without delay."

During the Summer semester, students of all ages can take classes to improve their GPA, finish their degree faster, earn transferable college credits and get an early start on their education. Ellen Grondine, MCC’s Dean of Education & K-16 Partnerships, encourages high school students to enroll in summer courses at Middlesex as soon as possible. After a year of remote learning, MCC can help high school students get college ready.

“Many high school students take advantage of the summer months to tackle a college-level course that may need a little extra attention and focus,” Grondine said. “The time spent this summer will save time later as students are earning college credits and meeting high school graduation requirements. Courses fill fast, so planning ahead can really make all the difference.”

MCC’s Summer sessions offer a variety of course subjects, from art to anthropology; the performing arts to business; communications to criminal justice; education to English; health to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and so much more. With accelerated sessions, Middlesex helps students fit education into their busy lives.

"Taking summer classes at MCC is a smart and fast way to get classes completed in either three-, five- or eight-week sessions,” said Josselyn Porter, MCC Academic Advisor. “This can lighten your load for Fall and Spring, and get you to graduation quicker.”

The three-week Summer QuickStart Session will run from June 1 to June 18. Summer Session One is five weeks and runs June 1 to July 1; Summer Session Two is eight weeks, running June 1 to July 28; and Summer Session Three will run for five weeks from July 13 to August 12.

For 21 years, Middlesex has designed award-winning online curriculums that allow students to interact with content, professors and their fellow students in immersive and meaningful ways. The Summer 2021 semester will run via three primary learning modalities – online with class meeting times, online with no class meeting times and online with on-campus lab.

Students taking courses online with class meeting times have fully online classes with scheduled meeting days and times. In online classes with no class meeting times, students have fully online classes with no scheduled meeting days or times as their lectures, lessons and exercises are completed online, over the course of the semester.

Online and on-campus lab courses combine online instruction and on-campus labs, and follow strict health and safety guidelines such as social distancing and mask wearing.

MCC understands that students need to feel financially stable and supported, and that students’ money matters. The college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track. Students who fill out their FAFSA by May 1 may qualify for financial support to help them get the most out of their education.

MCC is registering for both the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters. For more information and to register for courses, 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, 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 Awarded Voter Friendly Campus Designation 4/16/20215/4/2021 12:43 PM
Dedicated to student academic, professional and personal success, Middlesex Community College strives to support students in a variety of ways. Throughout the pandemic and beyond, Middlesex has continued to offer creative opportunities for students to participate in community events, including providing students with the information they need to become informed and involved in local, state, national and global politics. MCC was designated a “Voter Friendly Campus” for helping students engage in the voting process.

Middlesex is one of over 235 campuses in 37 states and the District of Columbia designated as a “Voter Friendly Campus.” The initiative, led by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education ¬– held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encourage their students to register and vote in 2020 elections and in the coming years.

The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. MCC was evaluated based on a campus plan about how Middlesex would register, educate and turnout student voters in 2020; facilitated voter engagement efforts on the campuses; and a final analysis of MCC’s efforts – all in the face of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic. The designation is valid through December 2022.

“Being recognized as a Voter Friendly Campus reflects the passion that our students have for civic engagement,” said Kelly Bowes, MCC’s Coordinator of Civic & Service Learning. “MCC students understand the importance of using their votes – and their voices – as a powerful tool to create change in their communities and the world. We hope to continue our successes as we strive to ensure that 100 percent of eligible students are engaged voters in all elections, and those who are not eligible are given opportunities to use their voices in other ways.”

As part of the college’s effort to be designated – even amid the COVID-19 pandemic – Middlesex planned virtual activities that include voting registration drives, Constitution Day, campus dialogues, National Voter Registration Day. election event, post-election conversations, virtual debate watch parties, dialogues on racial justice, Get Out the Vote initiatives, virtual class visits and social media outreach.

MCC has made a strong statement about the civic mission of higher education to prepare students to be engaged participants in the country’s democracy and is excited to continue engaging students through 2020, 2022 and beyond.

The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural and city campuses. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes many Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program is ultimately serving over 3.5 million students.

MCC is registering for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters. To register for 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!

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.

Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and legal support organization that works to eliminate barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and helps campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.
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Keep Kids Busy This Summer with MCC’s Virtual College for Kids4/13/20214/29/2021 11:42 AM
In the College for Kids program at Middlesex Community College, children and teens ages 8 to 17 can engage in informative, interactive and immersive online classes from a leader of award-winning online education. Middlesex has transitioned College for Kids to online formats for the duration of Summer 2021’s programming to ensure students stay safe and healthy.

MCC’s College for Kids classes provide students with an opportunity to have fun while exploring careers, learning new skills, meeting new friends, boosting self-confidence, and following a routine – all from the comfort of their home. The program features seven weeks of half day programs from 8:30 a.m. to noon, or 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., running July 6 through August 19.

“This past year has been challenging for everybody, so it’s important to provide as close of a sense to normalcy as possible for our youth,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training. “Our College for Kids educators understand how to engage students in a fun and exciting online world of learning that will keep them busy, happy and having fun ¬– the best way to spend a summer!”

Public school teachers and expert professionals teach courses on topics such as science, cooking, arts and crafts, photography, fashion design, online gaming, graphic and web design, creative writing and filmmaking.

In Amanda Carkin’s Graphic and Web Design for Beginners class, every student creates their own website. Carkin’s focus for the class is to show students the different tools and techniques of graphic design and have them apply it to a real-world situation of their choice.

“I always found that engaging the students with favorite shows, anime and more has really got the kids thinking for their projects,” Carkin said. “This year will be the same focus, just letting the students’ imaginations grow and have fun doing it – also telling them anything is possible.”

Last year’s College for Kids program also ran online due to the pandemic. Although not in-person, Middlesex was able to pre-package materials and hand them out to families for pick-up for classes that required hands-on tools. For Bethany Peck’s online art classes, students explore – and interact with – a wide range of art materials and techniques.

“With teacher support, students learn to develop confidence in their creative process,” Peck said. “To prevent screen fatigue, age appropriate movement breaks and art games are built into the sessions!”

MCC’s College for Kids will host two virtual information sessions over Zoom for new and returning families to learn more about virtual programs, partnerships and offerings. The first will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20 and the second is at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 22. For access to the meeting link, contact Lauren Ellis at ellisl@middlesex.mass.edu.

For the complete 2021 online 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, 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 Helps Set Up Students for Financial Success4/20/20214/28/2021 1:42 PM
With flexible course options, access to a variety of support services, and affordable pricing – Middlesex Community College helps students fit education into their busy lives. Middlesex understands that the pandemic has caused unexpected financial challenges to many. To help, MCC encourages students to fill out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), in addition to offering financial wellness resources.

Middlesex wants to make sure students know that financial aid is available to them, and that they may be eligible for more assistance than they think. Students must fill out their FAFSA each academic year in order to qualify. The priority deadline to fill out the FAFSA is Saturday, May 1. Students can still apply for aid into the Fall, but have a better chance of receiving more funding by applying now.

“Many students do not realize that they are eligible for financial assistance,” said Kimberly Tibbetts, MCC’s Director of Financial Aid. “Completing the FAFSA can make a huge difference in being able to afford college. As Middlesex participates in most federal and state grant, scholarship and loan programs, students and their families who qualify can take advantage of several opportunities that allow them to invest in their education – leading to their future academic and professional success.”

Financial aid awards are based on financial need, enrollment status in an eligible program, and availability of funding. Additional forms of financial aid, including student employment, federal work study programs or scholarship opportunities, may be available for those who qualify.

The goal of MCC’s Financial Aid Office is to ensure there are no financial barriers preventing students from earning a college degree or certificate. The office provides information about student-aid programs, and financial aid advisors are available to assist eligible students in accessing these programs.

“Filling out your FAFSA early is essential to making sure you receive the highest amount of aid that you are eligible for,” said Juan Breton, MCC’s Financial Wellness Specialist. “Students who successfully complete their FAFSA application early are more likely to have a solid financial plan for their college expenses.”

In his role with the college, Breton – who is also an MCC alum – runs workshops and activities to support students’ financial health and success. While helping students come up with a financial plan that works best for them, the programs also teach students about topics related to paying for college, including applying for aid, grants and scholarships, repaying student loans, smart borrowing, different types of aid, and avoiding debt.

“I am happy to serve as a resource for students who are looking for avenues that would help them navigate their paths to reach their financial and academic goals,” Breton said.

MCC student Oriana Lara is a Paralegal Studies major from Lowell. She has participated in Financial Wellness events hosted by Breton, including workshops on budgeting and credit scores.

“I believe it’s really important to be aware of your finances,” she said. “Having a workshop like this has helped me make better decisions on my finances.”

For the Fall 2021 semester, Middlesex is offering students a financial wellness incentive to encourage them to complete their FAFSA and make a financial plan. Students who participate will be awarded a $25 credit towards their Fall 2021 tuition bill.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialaid/ to learn more about applying for financial aid. MCC’s Financial Wellness resources help students set themselves up for success. For more information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialwellness/ or email financialwellness@middlesex.mass.edu.

Registration for MCC’s Summer and Fall 2021 semesters 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, 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 Certificate Program Helped Alumna Turn Hobby Into Career4/8/20214/27/2021 3:56 PM
With a certificate from Middlesex Community College, Geovana Carvalho is establishing a new career. Carvalho enrolled in Middlesex’s Digital Photography certificate as part of the college’s Community Education and Training (CET) program. For her, education is a stepping stone to building her photography business.

“I believe that knowledge is the best investment you can make,” she said. “You will see that it is way more than taking good images and getting a certificate – it will give you the tools that you need to accomplish your goals.”

From Brazil, Carvalho now lives in Lowell. Middlesex was her first experience with education in the United States. Although she had not anticipated taking the certificate classes online, she believes the class and her instructors “made the best out of the circumstances.”

“I am really happy that I took the step to enroll in classes,” Carvalho said. “I wanted to take an activity that I enjoyed doing from a hobby to a possible career. I was able to learn and take advantage of it.”

Her instructor for Photography I and II Tory Wesnofske was of particular help in making the adjustment to online learning, according to Carvalho. By building a connection with the class, Carvalho believes Wesnofske “went above and beyond” to share knowledge and make the class feel comfortable.

In this welcoming online environment Carvalho was able to enjoy sharing a common hobby with people from different backgrounds. She also learned about all of the various opportunities that were open to her with a certificate and the knowledge it provided.

“It definitely boosted my confidence,” she said. “It showed me that I can achieve my goals if I put the work into it. It gave me networking opportunities and resources to build a business out of a passion. My company’s roots began with a hobby that I loved. It’s a local business inspired by my community.”

Having lived in Lowell for 20 years – with children of her own – she understands the challenges the past year has presented for everyone and wants to do her part to help a population who has had to miss out on a lot of milestones because of the pandemic.

After completing MCC’s certificate, Carvalho used her new photography business to give back to her community. Partnering with Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA), she took free portraits for seniors in high school throughout Lowell.

“Students have missed so many special moments because of the pandemic and I have seen so many people in my community struggling to get the basics,” she said. “I really wanted to give back to my community and CBA really embraced my idea and is helping me to connect with the kids that really need and can take advantage of the opportunity.”

Through the certificate, Carvalho learned the importance of staying consistent and challenging herself. While the pandemic has brought unexpected obstacles, she also believes it has created new opportunities for her. Using her new photography skills, she has enjoyed being able to record this unprecedented time.

“With photography, nothing has really changed,” she said. “People will always want to make memories and remember them. For me to be able to document a little bit of it is a gift in the middle of all the craziness.”

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about CET’s certificate programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/or contact Sheila Morin 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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Middlesex CC Offering On-Campus and Online Courses This Fall4/6/20214/27/2021 11:50 AM
Featuring in-person, online and hybrid course formats, Middlesex Community College’s Fall 2021 course offerings fit the needs of all students. With options that work best for them, Middlesex students can reach their goals faster – without having to pay four-year college tuition prices. Registration for the Fall 2021 semester is now open.

Understanding that every student has different learning styles, MCC is offering a variety of flexible course options. From the start of the pandemic, the college has built upon its 21-year history of success with online learning to provide effective online classes, and followed health and safety protocols to ensure that students have continued access to courses, spaces and resources.

“Faculty are creating a variety of class structures to be offered so that students can sign up for the courses that they need, in the way that they need them,” said Joanna DelMonaco, MCC Professor of Mathematics. “Students can find the same course offered in many different modalities – on campus, online or a little of both. Fall will be full of opportunities for student learning in a variety of ways!”

MCC’s Fall 2021 semester will use six course delivery formats. Each format is specially assigned to courses depending on what works best for student learning and safety.
  • Online and On-Campus Lecture – These hybrid (blended) classes combine on-campus and online instruction.
  • Online and On-Campus Lab – These hybrid (blended) classes combine online instruction and on-campus labs.
  • Lecture – This is a traditional on-campus face-to-face course. Classes meet weekly on campus with students and instructors.
  • Lecture and Lab – This is a traditional on-campus face-to-face course and lab. Classes meet weekly on campus with students and instructors.
  • Online with Class Meeting Times – This is a fully online class format with scheduled meeting days and times. Students must be online during scheduled meeting times.
  • Online with No Class Meeting Times – This is a fully online class format. There are no scheduled meeting days or times. Lectures, lessons and exercises are completed online, over the course of the semester.
In preparation for the Fall semester, MCC has invested in their faculty to assist in the creation of high-quality courses with online components, according to DelMonaco. Classes will embed tutors to provide on demand assistance with the technology of the course, as well as help with content.

Whether online and on-campus, the college will also support students by offering access to Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders – peer tutors who are connected to the course and host organized tutoring sessions for students in that class.

Middlesex will continue following guidelines provided by the CDC and Governor Baker to ensure that the MCC community remains healthy and safe when visiting the Bedford or Lowell campus. Students coming to campus will be in a controlled setting, following MCC’s strict safety practices, including social distancing and mask wearing.

The Fall 2021 semester begins on Wednesday, September 8. For more information and to register for 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 Welcomes Alumni Back to Speak on Writing with Students4/13/20214/22/2021 12:42 PM
With 50 years of supporting students, Middlesex Community College is inspired by the college’s over 26,000 alumni. Middlesex will welcome back six alumni as part of the Spring 2021 Visiting Writers Series. The live streamed event will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 22.

The participating Middlesex poets and writers include MCC Assistant Professor of English Willy Ramirez, Dana Shahar Meyer, Deenah Jacques, Boyd Mason, Emily Grochowski and Charles Paolilli. They will take time to read from their work and answer student questions.

Before returning to Middlesex as a professor, Ramirez earned a bachelor’s from Pace University and a master’s in Spanish and Latin America Literature and Cultures at New York University. His poetry has been published in anthologies such as “Atlantic Currents: Cork & Lowell Writers” in 2020, “Retrato íntimo de poetas dominicanos: Antología poética de la diaspora” in 2019, “Feipol Anthology” in 2018, and “Poets in New York” in 2013, among other publications.

An avid reader, Ramirez has a passion for knowledge and adventure which inspired his interest in teaching. Throughout his journey – including at Middlesex – he had mentors who motivated him and helped shape his path. To provide his students with a similar experience and opportunities, Ramirez founded the La Guagua Reading Group and the annual La Guagua Poetry Festival.

“My experience with people taught me that human beings pertained to a long and unavoidably connected chain in history,” Ramirez said. “I strive to give students what these extraordinary people once gave me – guidance, patience, trust and the tools to create my own path.”

A 2018 MCC graduate, Shahar Meyer went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Fitchburg State University and is finishing up a master’s program. At Middlesex, Shahar Meyer enjoyed the sense of community, support from professors, and the ability to save money on tuition.

Shahar Meyer’s poetry has been published in Massachusetts’ Best Emerging Poets, MCC’s Dead River Review and other local magazines. A winner of the 2019 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival’s MCC Poetry Contest, she has self-published four children’s literature collections. Now a fourth grade teacher, she believes writing provides a platform that is unique to the individual.

“Reading or listening to other writers gives one endless opportunities to be humbled and to grow as a writer themselves,” she said. “There is nothing more personally educational than exposing yourself to the stories of others. Only half of writing is mastering your craft – the other half is finding your voice.”

An MCC Dual Enrollment student, Jacques graduated in 2015 and transferred to Salem State University. An active member of the community, she participated in a variety of student clubs, including at the Multicultural Center, Women’s Leadership Network, Latinos Unidos and the Paul Sullivan Institute. She also enjoyed taking different classes that helped her figure out what she wanted to pursue.

In addition to having her work published in MCC’s Dead River Review, Jacques’ chapbook “Stranded” was published by Salem State in 2018. She is now applying to MFA poetry programs for Fall 2021. At Middlesex, Jacques had what she calls an “amazing” experience that helped her grow confident in her abilities as a poet.

“It’s important to talk about creative writing because it’s truly a healing process – not only for yourself – but for others who are touched by your words,” Jacques said. “They may be inspired to pursue their own healing or question what’s been taught by them, or maybe it could be a call to action.”

As an adult learner at MCC, Mason was offered a welcoming environment and easy admissions process. He graduated with highest honors and is now writing his first novel based in Maine. He credits the college and his professors for helping him to develop his abilities as a writer.

Mason’s work has been published in MCC’s Dead River Review where he also did some editing work. About his first novel he said, “it never would have happened without my time at MCC!”

“It is important to talk to students about writing because the written word is what makes the world go around,” he said. “With every film that is made, there needs to be a written script which drives the story. Every great speech that will ever be remembered ¬– from ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ to ‘I Have a Dream’ – was written before it was spoken.”

After graduating from MCC with highest honors – as well as a writing award – Grochowski earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing. In addition to her poetry being published in MCC’s Dead River Review and “La Guagua Anthology: Celebration & Confrontation,” she will be featured in the anthology “14 International Younger Poets.” She is now applying for graduate writing or philosophy programs.

From Lowell, fiction writer Paolilli writes about the cultures and landscapes of the Merrimack Valley. He graduated from Middlesex in 2016 and went on to earn a bachelor’s in English from UMass Lowell.

MCC Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. To reserve space, contact Tom Laughlin at laughlint@middlesex.mass.edu or Student Engagement at StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/english/creative.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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Alumna Returns to MCC to Work as Lowell Campus Police Officer3/31/20214/22/2021 10:25 AM
Middlesex Community College welcomed a new police officer to the Lowell campus. An alumna of MCC’s Dental Hygiene program, Officer Andeth Vann is an Air Force Veteran who is excited to be coming back to Middlesex to engage with students and the community. As Officer French on the Bedford campus is also an alum, now both of MCC’s officers are alumni.

Having lived most of her life in Lowell, Vann was looking for a steadier job and income to support her family. After seeing dental hygiene on a list of most lucrative jobs in a struggling economy, she started researching programs. Middlesex stood out with a strong curriculum, opportunities for clinical experiences, and the convenience of being close to home.

“I went into dental hygiene and it was life changing,” she said. “I was able to secure not only a career, but having it be such a lucrative profession – especially at a time when there was economic stress – afforded me opportunities. I was able to buy my home only a year after. I was able to work and meet with different dental offices and get experience.”

When Vann called Middlesex for more information, an employee welcomed her with service she came to expect from the college. Having opted to go into the military instead of college after graduating from high school, Vann did not know how to go about the application process. The guidance and encouragement she received comforted her as she started her new path.

“He set the tone for the rest of my time at Middlesex,” she said. “I can’t ever remember a time where I sought out help and didn’t get it. If the person didn’t know the answer right away, they were always helpful in directing me where to get it. It’s a great, close knit community.”

Vann graduated from Middlesex in 2012 after completing two years of prerequisite courses and the Dental Hygiene program. She went on to temp at various dental offices, getting the chance to work with different doctors and practices. Soon after, she started at a practice where she still works on Saturdays for a dedicated following of patients.

MCC’s Dental Hygiene program – and Vann’s experience working in the industry – helped her as she transitioned into her new career as a police officer. Being one-on-one with patients honed her customer service skills and taught her how to build stronger connections with people. Now as an officer in the community – although often under higher pressure situations – she knows how to interact with the public to “be able to have that relationship in a moment’s time.”

Although Vann had considered working as a police officer in the past, it was never the right time for her to commit. Her friends and family ¬– including a friend who is a lieutenant – kept encouraging her to take the civil service exam and enter the police academy.

Vann did so at age 39 – keeping up with the twenty-somethings around her – and went on to finish as class president. At the graduation ceremony, Vann addressed the crowd full of her family and classmates and made sure to take a moment for herself to appreciate the work she had put in to get to that moment.

“I remember thinking, remember this moment because everything came full circle – all the struggling, the crying, the body aches,” she said. “Now to be able to serve my community again in a different realm; it’s an honorable thing to be able to give back to a community that has given me so much. It allowed me as an immigrant child to make dreams possible.”

Vann believes she was able to achieve her dreams because of the work she put in to become both a dental hygienist and police officer. As she returns to MCC’s campus, she has the opportunity to inspire students with her story. Understanding that she has had a unique career pathway from dental hygienist to police officer, Vann wants students to know they have many options available to them and can pursue whatever job that interests them. She also emphasizes the importance of being able to make an impact on the community.

“What I hope to be able to convey to students is where we come from does not necessarily dictate where we can go,” she said. “If I – looking back – allowed for my past and my story to hinder me, I would never be here. Even though there were times of immense self-doubt, it really is a turn in your own thinking. When your heart takes over, it really overturns what your mind tells you. In my heart of hearts, it can be possible.”

As a student at Middlesex, Vann was busy balancing her coursework with her responsibilities as a mother and adult and was unable to participate in clubs or campus events. As an officer on campus, she has the chance to dive more into the MCC community, including participating in activities held at the Asian American Connections Center or Veterans Resource Center.

Vann is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree from UMass Lowell – and while she enjoys the experience – she wants to emphasize the value MCC offers as a community college. At Middlesex, Vann believes students can “reap the benefits” – from the ability to develop interpersonal relationships with other students, faculty and staff, to being able to engage with a smaller, diverse community.

“It’s a phenomenal experience, not just in the Dental Hygiene program, but at MCC altogether,” she said. “I’m ecstatic to be able to come back full circle and walk the grounds again of the campus at MCC and see some familiar faces. It’s been an interesting journey.”

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dhdepartment/ for more information about MCC’s Dental Hygiene program, or contact Karen Townsend, MCC’s Director of Dental Hygiene, at townsendk@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3045.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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 Planning Virtual Commencement for 2021 Graduates4/5/20214/21/2021 3:54 PM
Inspired by the commitment and dedication students make to earn their degrees and finish their programs, Middlesex Community College is honored to play a part in their academic journeys. Middlesex’s 2021 Commencement will once again be virtual as the pandemic continues to prevent the college from hosting in-person events.

A virtual Commencement ensures each graduate will be recognized, while all students, faculty and staff remain safe. MCC’s 2021 graduation video will premiere live at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 27 on LTC channel 8 or MCC’s YouTube channel.

In learning how to adapt to circumstances presented by the pandemic, the Middlesex class of 2021 has earned “unique skills and grit,” according to Pamela Flaherty, MCC’s Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students. She believes this determination and flexibility will help them be innovative and successful leaders in the future.

“MCC students persevere, and this has never been truer than throughout this past year,” Flaherty said. “At this year’s Commencement, we are excited to celebrate the accomplishments they have made, highlight the strength they have shown, and wish them well as they continue on with their educational and professional pursuits.”

As Middlesex celebrated 50 years on September 24, 2020, the virtual Commencement will feature a photo retrospective of MCC students from the last 50 years, student speakers, and special video messages from faculty, staff and the community.

To help celebrate, all graduates who complete the graduation application process by April 30, 2021, will automatically receive a special graduation box in the mail. The box will include a 2021 tassel, a keepsake graduation cap and an invitation to the Alumni Association among other items.

Eligible MCC graduates will also have the opportunity to have their photographs taken on campus in May 2021. As a gift from the college, students will receive a free 5x7 photo shipped to them along with proofs to purchase additional photos.

To make this year’s Commencement more personal, MCC’s Office of Marketing Communications has created digital ways for graduates and their families to celebrate, including details for how to host virtual watch parties and downloadable social media graphics and posters.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/graduation/ for more information about this year’s virtual Commencement, graduation box and complimentary graduation photo session.

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 Foundation Awards Student Scholarships4/1/20214/20/2021 1:14 PM
With a mission to support student success, the Middlesex Community College Foundation strives to help make education more affordable and accessible for Middlesex students through scholarships. In the Spring 2021 semester, the MCC Foundation awarded nine scholarships to students in nursing, paralegal studies and health programs.

“The MCC Foundation is proud to support our students through the many scholarship opportunities offered by the college,” said Sherri McCormack, Dean of Advancements. “This spring, the nine awards presented helped students to enhance their educational experience and achieve their academic goals.”

McCormack encourages students to use the common scholarship application to apply for scholarships as there are several opportunities available. Financial assistance can help relieve the burden of added stress so students can better focus on their studies and complete their programs.

MCC’s Nursing Department established The Marie Ryder Beacon of Hope Scholarship to honor Ryder’s retirement, who served as an MCC Nursing Professor for 40 years. This year, the scholarship was awarded to Nursing student Erica Paddock of Methuen.

As she nears graduation from the program, Paddock looks forward to a future of caring for service members like her husband. She is grateful for the community Middlesex provided, as well as for helping her grow more confident and capable as a student.

“Receiving this scholarship aids in the financial obligations that come along with furthering one's education,” she said. “I am now motivated more than ever to complete my nursing program and transition into a BSN certified nurse. I can only hope to make MCC and the Beacon of Hope Scholarship Foundation proud of the nurse I will become.”

Established due to her support of MCC’s paralegal students, The Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship was awarded to paralegal students Tammy De Sola of Arlington, Stephen Deninger of Phillipston and Kristen Wolf of Haverhill.

Deninger feels prepared for his new career thanks to Middlesex – from the knowledge he learned in his classes to the experiences he received in his internships. As the pandemic caused financial stress for him, the scholarship he received is enabling him to graduate on time in Spring 2021.

“This scholarship could not come at a more advantageous time,” he said. “This scholarship will be the life preserver that I need to make it to the other side of this semester and into the workforce as a paralegal.”

The Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship was established in honor of the care Drake received from MCC students while at the Carleton-Willard Village Residential Home in Bedford. This year’s recipients include Catherine Cullen of Acton, Nicole DeFranzo of Burlington, Arlin Estevez of Lawrence, Ashik Tamang of Lowell and Daniel Yepes Gonzalez of Salem, N.H.

A Dental Hygiene program student, Estevez is completing her final semester. During her time at Middlesex, she has balanced her studies with working as an Assistant Manager at Market Basket and as a Supplemental Instruction Leader at MCC. After graduating, she hopes to continue her education to earn a bachelor’s degree in public health.

“This scholarship will be helpful for me to continue my education,” she said. “It gave me more motivation to move forward. In fact, I will take advantage of this award and use it productively. I appreciate your support for my education, which is my main priority for my future.”

The MCC Foundation raises funds to go towards helping students have academic, personal and professional success. In addition to providing students with financial assistance, scholarships go towards grants for programs, equipment, abroad opportunities, entrepreneurship and technology; fundraising campaigns to renovate and build state-of-the-art facilities; and special events and activities that make MCC and its students, faculty and staff a fixture in the community.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/donations for more information on how to support students and to 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, 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 Helps Students Launch Businesses with Certificate Program4/7/20214/20/2021 11:27 AM
Middlesex Community College helps students achieve their goals. In Middlesex’s Launch Your Business Now certificate program, students are provided with the knowledge and tools they need to start their own business – from concept to launch.

"If you keep thinking about starting a business but hesitate – or are just not sure how to take the first step ¬– then the Launch Your Business Now certificate program is right for you,” said Stacie Hargis, MCC Associate Professor of Business. “The accelerated format drops you right into the action to get you started. Before you know it, you can be launching your business within the semester and year ahead."

MCC’s Launch Your Business Now certificate is intended for students to take an active approach in starting their business. Designed to be completed over the course of one or two semesters, the 16-week credit program also teaches students how to seek seed money – or growth funding – depending on the needs and goals of their business.

“This program was the best six months of my college investment ever,” said Romany Meas, Owner of Romany Photography. “If you are thinking about starting a business, please start with education. This combined with your hard work can lead to long-term success.”

In the Entrepreneurship and Opportunity course, students use tools and practices to evaluate ideas and business opportunities, test the viability of these opportunities, and prepare a business model to launch or strengthen a venture.

The Entrepreneurship in Action course allows students to apply a workable small business plan to start or maintain a new venture with their business model. With the choice of two business electives, students can choose from a variety of courses that best fit their business model.

Throughout the certificate program, students develop their business with assistance from weekly peer-mentoring and coaching from professors. They are able to write a business plan with financial projections and then create and deliver a 10 minute pitch of their plan. Students also prepare for a presentation to give to potential investors and funders.

“The Launch Your Business Now program was an amazing curriculum that laid out all aspects of getting your business started that I would never be able to learn on my own,” said Jessica Salani, Owner of BodyFuel Café. “The support, education and resources were exactly what I needed to help my business take off.”

There are seven scholarship opportunities available for the Fall 2021 semester to help students in the Launch Your Business Now program afford their education. For more information about the scholarships available or the program in general, visit www.launchatmcc.com or contact Hargis at hargiss@middlesex.mass.edu.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for MCC’s Summer and Fall 2021 semesters.

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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Five Chosen as Finalists to be MCC’s Fifth President3/29/20214/16/2021 10:49 AM
The Middlesex Community College President Search Committee today announced that five finalists for the next president of MCC have been selected to meet the college community and be considered for appointment by the Board of Trustees.

The five finalists moving onto the next phase of the presidential search are:
  • Felicia Ganther, JD/PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Maricopa County Community College District;
  • Lisa Armour, PhD Vice President for Assessment, Research, and Technology, Santa Fe College;
  • Stephanie Bulger, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Instructional Services and Planning, San Diego Community College District;
  • Julie Leidig, PhD, Provost and Academic/Executive Officer, Northern Virginia Community College;
  • Phil Sisson, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Middlesex Community College.
The five candidates are scheduled for virtual campus conversations the weeks of April 5 and April 12. Open forums for faculty, staff, students, the Board of Trustees and Foundation and the community at large will be held.

Following the candidates' forums, the Board of Trustees is expected to vote to recommend the appointment of the next president at a special meeting to be held in May.

“On behalf of the Search Committee, I am honored to bring forward five distinguished candidates to be considered to become the fifth President of Middlesex Community College,” said Trustees Chair and Search Committee Chair James Campbell. “For several weeks, a diverse committee representing our college population as well as our Board of Trustees and Foundation, along with community partners have worked professionally and openly to select an extremely qualified slate of finalist candidates. I am confident one of these individuals will be well suited to take Middlesex Community College into its next half century of providing quality education to our student population and remaining the vital community resource that it has become recognized as during its first 50 years.”

To learn more about the presidential finalists see: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/presidentialsearch/mtfinals.aspx

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 Dual Enrollment Student Is A Greater Lawrence Tech Standout4/1/20214/13/2021 12:47 PM
A high school senior at Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS), Bridget Severino is taking college-level courses at Middlesex Community College. In MCC’s Concurrent Dual Enrollment program, Severino is getting a head start on her college experience.

Severino – who was nominated by GLTS for Technical Student of the Year Award – believes that being exposed early to the expectations, coursework and resources of college in the comfort of her high school environment gives her an advantage as she continues her education.

“You are getting affordable college-level classes done on a schedule that you are used to,” she said. “It will make it easier to manage.”

The prerequisite courses she is taking through Middlesex also apply to her high school diploma. Having taken MCC’s World Civilization After 1500 and English Composition I and II classes, she believes she will be better prepared for when she attends a four-year college or university.

“These classes have helped me become more academically inclined at a faster rate,” she said. “I understand different world topics more through my MCC history course. It is truly eye-opening knowing how countries have established themselves throughout these many centuries.”

GLTS is in its second year of partnering with MCC to offer Dual Enrollment courses, according to Gregory Haas, Assistant Principal of GLTS. The school is interested in continuing its partnership with Middlesex, as well as expanding the opportunities available to students.

“Providing students access to programming that supports their post-graduate plans is integral to our mission of ensuring that students are college and/or career-ready,” he said. “Through Dual Enrollment, we have had students graduate from GLTS having completed almost half of what would be their freshmen year at college. Not only does this give students a jumpstart in terms of course completion, but they are also able to earn credits at a deeply discounted rate, reducing the eventual burden of student loans and further preparing them for post-graduate success.”

Students who participate in the Dual Enrollment program at Middlesex receive full access to campus resources, including remote services through the Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE), peer tutoring and academic and transfer advising.

Severino has taken advantage of the services provided by the MCC Libraries. There is access to more advanced databases for her to find sources beyond what she would find online herself. Overall, she “would recommend Dual Enrollment and Middlesex to other students.”

After she graduates from GLTS, Severino wants to continue her education to study Biology while working part-time as a Medical Assistant to pay for her own education. She feels prepared to be able to balance her work with her school responsibilities thanks to her experience at GLTS, and is ready to explore more topics related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in both her studies and work.

“I am a part of a system that has one goal – providing the best care to the patient,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do this for a while until I am able to become an Anesthesiologist. Being a Biology major is important to me – it was one of my favorite subjects in school. Wanting to become a doctor meant that being in STEM would help that tremendously.”

Her interest in STEM comes from wanting to learn about the environment, and better understand how to help the planet and other people.

“Being in STEM means that I get to be a part of a community of forward thinkers,” she said. “People who want to create and change the world for the better – new innovations and inventions that can change anybody’s life.”

As for how she will balance her work, Severino tries to “just go with the flow” and recommends embracing the opportunity to learn.

“There are always people who feel like they are not smart enough for certain things because they are afraid of being confused about a topic they have never been exposed to before,” she said. “While it may be scary, it can change your life forever.”

With 25 established partnerships with high schools across the region, Middlesex is ready to welcome new partners to its Dual Enrollment program. By providing general education courses required by most colleges and universities, Dual Enrollment allows high school and homeschool students an opportunity to earn college credit, seek enrichment beyond courses offered at the high school, and save money on tuition. For more information on Dual Enrollment at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/dualenroll/ or contact dualenrollment@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC’s STEM programs help students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_stem.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a degree in STEM at Middlesex.

With three-week, five-week and eight-week sessions, MCC’s Summer semester helps students fit education into their busy lives. 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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Middlesex CC to Debut New Admissions Virtual Open House Events3/23/20214/13/2021 10:17 AM
Middlesex Community College has a plan in place for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters to get students back on track with their education. Featuring classes in-person, online and a blended hybrid of both options, Middlesex offers flexible schedules and high quality content at an affordable price. MCC will host two Admissions Virtual Open House Events this Spring. The first will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 10.

“Our exciting Admissions Virtual Open House Events are using a new software to make the experience more dynamic for prospective students and their families,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Enrollment. “In this new format, attendees can look through our offerings and determine what they want to learn about most here at Middlesex.”

Freitas-Haley encourages students and their families to attend and hear about the college’s more than 80 certificate and degree programs, student support services and more. Through MCC’s new software SCHED, attendees can sign up for the sessions they want to join. Sessions are run by experts throughout the college sharing information on their department offerings.

In a session on Student Wellness, students can learn how Middlesex supports the whole student – including mentally and academically. MCC’s Career Services department will offer sessions on how they help students on their path from choosing a major to getting a job. A presentation on MassTransfer will discuss the benefits of transferring from MCC to a four-year Mass. university or UMass campus. To learn more about Financial Aid – and why students should apply – staff will walk through the application process.

Other sessions include topics on Academic Advising, Tutoring Services, Disability Support Services, the Honors Program, the First Year Experience Course, Interdisciplinary Courses and Getting Started at MCC, including as an Adult Learner.

Participants will also have the opportunity to meet with faculty across the many majors Middlesex offers – including the Arts and Humanities; Communications; Business, Public Service and Legal Studies; Education; Social Science; the Health fields and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

After registering for the Open House, participants will receive an email from SCHED providing them with instructions to register for their sessions of choice. A second Admissions Virtual Open House Event will take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/openhouse/ for more information and to register for the event.

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 Honors Student Wins MA Student Employee of the Year Award3/24/20214/8/2021 3:44 PM
Middlesex Community College student Caleb Chin won the 2021 Massachusetts Student Employee of the Year Award from the National Student Employment Association. An MCC Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) student and Computer Science major, Chin was recognized for this achievement among two-year and four-year college students across the state.

For the past five semesters, Chin has been working as a Computer Science Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader and Peer Tutor for MCC’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE). Through his work supporting students, he gets to learn about different subjects while further developing his communication and leadership skills. The experience has also taught him how to balance school with other responsibilities.

“I am honored and delighted to receive the MA Student Employee of the Year Award,” Chin said. “Being a student employee for the ACE department has been a wonderful and rewarding experience. I am happy that I had the opportunity to help my fellow students and give back to the MCC community. I am truly grateful for the many mentors and great friends that I have met throughout my time in the ACE department and I thank them for guiding me to where I am today.”

Chin was nominated for the award by Christine Bell, MCC’s Assistant Director for ACE. Calling him “one of the finest examples of an ACE student employee,” Bell is impressed by the ways Chin motivates students, is dedicated to his work, and has flourished in his role. Among the responsibilities Chin has handled, Bell lists becoming an SI Mentor, facilitating training workshops, participating on a career panel, and creating engaging supplemental materials.

“Caleb has grown tremendously,” Bell said. “Caleb adds his perspective and shows different ways to think about getting to the answer and many students credit their success due to his tutoring support. He is deeply committed to helping his peers achieve academic success and I am so proud of Caleb for being recognized as MA Student Employee of the Year.”

From California and now living in Lowell, Chin started at Middlesex in the Dual Enrollment program to complete his studies as a home schooled student. Through Dual Enrollment, he was able to take different classes to help him figure out what he wanted to study. In his third semester at MCC, he enrolled as a full-time student and will graduate with an associate degree in Computer Science in May 2021.

In his classes and at the college as a whole, Chin believes there is a “fantastic student community” with many opportunities for academic and professional development. Inspired by the “hardworking and curious students” in his classes, he turned his slight interest in Computer Science into a passion for programming at MCC.

As he has been studying at Middlesex through the pandemic, most of his recent courses have been online. His experience has been positive, and Chin believes his professors have adapted well to the online environment and have provided him and his classmates with a quality education.

Another benefit of attending MCC has been the honors program where Chin is learning valuable knowledge and skills to prepare him for his next steps in transferring to a four-year college or university. Through the program, he has taken a variety of classes with different professors who have honed his research skills – from finding and citing his sources, to pulling the information together into a paper. He has also improved his writing and presentation abilities, both in his classes and at the CHP research conference held each year.

“It was important for me to participate in the Commonwealth Honors Program not only to challenge myself academically, but also to explore a wide range of academic topics with a group of passionate and driven students,” he said. “The CHP has helped me prepare for the future by priming me with the skills to succeed in the academic world.”

At MCC, honors students will be recognized as CHP scholars at Commencement, participate in upper-level seminars, and receive membership in a community for academically talented, like-minded students to develop their fullest potential. The CHP at Middlesex strives to foster an environment that nurtures students’ integrity, honesty, perseverance, academic achievement, independence, intellectual curiosity, self-reliance and a collaborative spirit.

MCC’s Computer Science Honors Track is the first for a STEM field and allows Computer Science majors to take honors courses and graduate as honors scholars. Students take three honors courses in place of electives and present at the Honors Poster Conference in the spring to present their research projects.

Students who participate in MCC’s CHP must have at least a 3.2 GPA upon applying and receive guaranteed transfer to any of the honors programs and colleges in the Mass. university system, enhanced prospects for acceptance to private four-year schools, and increased opportunities for scholarships. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/honors/ for more information.

Part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) pathway, MCC’s Computer Science program helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_stem.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a degree in STEM at Middlesex.

Registration for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2021 sessions 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, 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 Virtual Women in STEM Event Inspires Students3/30/20214/7/2021 3:10 PM
To support students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Middlesex Community College held its 16th annual Women in STEM Event virtually on Thursday, March 18, 2021. All students had the opportunity to attend a panel featuring women in the fields of STEM who shared their academic and professional experiences in STEM.

“It is important to continue offering events like these virtually to keep our students engaged and hopeful about their futures,” said Amanda Bordenca, MCC’s Cybersecurity EDP Systems Analyst. “To increase visibility and heighten awareness of women in STEM fields provides guidance, support and mentoring to those looking into these career paths.”

Esra Eisa is an MCC Mechanical Engineering student from Sudan who expects to graduate in May 2022. When she was studying the subject in her country, many told her that it was not intended for women. By attending the Women in STEM Event, she felt inspired hearing from successful professionals in careers that interest her.

“I came from a poor country in Africa, where many parts don't have the necessities of life like electricity,” she said. “I'm here in the U.S. to get as much knowledge as I can and be able to help in the development of my country. Being in a community full of successful people, I believe this would push me forward to achieve my goals.”

MCC Electrical Engineering student Kwadwo Bempah also expects to graduate in May 2022. For him, attending an event focused on women in STEM fields provides an opportunity to hear about their experiences – both their struggles and their successes.

“I've always thought women – and especially women of color ¬– were underrepresented in STEM,” he said. “As an upcoming man in STEM, I want to listen to how I can help change that because after all, STEM should and must be a cohort of great minds.”

A Quality Assurance Associate to a pharmaceutical company, panelist Jessica Shores’ passion for chemistry was inspired by her high school teacher. She went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from UMass Lowell and work in the field where she can connect with like-minded professionals. For students in STEM, she believes that there are many opportunities to explore.

“It’s important for women to see other women being in the same environment they are,” Shores said. “Seeing other women being determined, motivated and working hard is what helps me continue this journey. I hope that through this Women in STEM Event, we as the speakers, can give a breath of fresh air to another person to continue their adventure through life.”

When she was younger, panelist Briana Lynch – an Atmospheric Scientist at CPP Wind Engineering and Air Quality Consultants – was fascinated by thunderstorms. She changed majors from an accountant to a meteorologist after a professional visited her class in college. With a bachelor’s from UMass Lowell and a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, for her, science is about collaboration and “working towards a common goal.”

“Having a role model can be incredibly influential on a person’s life, especially when they see someone who looks like them,” Lynch said. “This is particularly important for young people when they are discovering their passion and interests. I have been inspired by seeing women in powerful leadership positions within the meteorology community. I hope that by talking at events like this, we can inspire someone to pursue their dreams and continue to bring amazing achievements to the world of science.”

The Director of Public Works for the Town of Salisbury, panelist Lisa DeMeo has always liked building things. She worked for 20 years in the private sector and has spent 18 years as a Town Engineer, City Engineer and in her current role.

“There are almost no women in my field ahead of me,” DeMeo said. “I have some mentors I’ve come to rely on – they are all male. These are jobs that can be done by women. We all have to be seen.”

Product Development Manager for a medical technology company, panelist Ellen Jennings enjoys solving problems and working on hands-on projects. She has a bachelor’s in Marine Engineering from Mass. Maritime Academy and a master’s in Plastics Engineering from UMass Lowell.

“I believe it’s important to help women see what careers and opportunities there are in STEM-based industries,” she said. “Not everyone is exposed to women who work in these areas, so it’s good to make ourselves available.”

MCC’s STEM pathway helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_stem.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a degree in STEM at Middlesex.

With three-week, five-week and eight-week sessions, MCC’s Summer semester helps students fit education into their busy lives. 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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Middlesex Community College Reflects on One Year in Pandemic3/17/20214/6/2021 4:27 PM
As Middlesex Community College looked forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary in September 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. In the middle of the Spring 2020 semester, Middlesex had to transition all courses, student services and work to remote, virtual and limited contact systems. One year later, MCC has proven itself as an institution that innovates and perseveres, remaining steadfast in promoting its mission and focus on student success.

“Recognizing the plight of our students has meant that we’ve had to make many adjustments at the college,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President. “Everything in our work life was upended, our mission didn’t change. We are here to be accessible, to be equitable and to help our students be successful in their educational goals.”

Serving a diverse population of students, Middlesex understands the importance of helping students navigate these new challenges beyond their academics. From the start, the college put together a list of resources and services for students, including tips on staying mentally and financially healthy, and information on maintaining stable housing from MCC’s Law Center.

For students who did not have access to laptops, MCC loaned out Chromebooks and cameras, and installed wifi hotspots in the campus parking lots. To help keep the college’s food pantries stocked, MCC received a $20,000 grant to provide 3,000 free and pre-packaged meals for 200 students throughout the year, as well as over 400 grocery gift cards totaling more than $16,000.

“The college has been working very stridently on the equity agenda and we wanted to leave none of our students behind during this pandemic,” said Philip Sisson, MCC’s Provost & Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. “We were concerned about our students’ mental health and were sensitive to the fact that a lot of our students were significantly impacted by the pandemic. We were fortunate to be able to have a team that worked to address every service that the college offers to make sure that service was completely available to them.”

As part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, MCC received $2 million in grants that was given out to nearly 5,000 students. Despite funding and relief packages, many students had unmet financial needs that prevented them from paying off bills, or made them choose between buying groceries or taking classes. MCC’s Advancement Office raised $69,000 as part of an Emergency Appeal to help these students affected by COVID-19. Despite being unable to meet in person, the MCC Foundation also recognized scholarship recipients and donors during a virtual ceremony in Fall 2020, awarding 73 scholarships totaling $94,000 to 64 students.

During the transition, MCC’s 21-year history of award-winning online learning provided a strong foundation to build upon. With 900 courses in March 2020 shifting to online, the percentage of online classes went from 20 percent to 90 percent in one week. To meet these demands, the college’s IT department distributed 200+ laptops to faculty while MCC’s two instructional designers created training modules and support systems to help redesign curriculums. They also developed a faculty mentor program for those who had not taught online before.

Middlesex offered three course options from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021 – online with class meeting times, online with no class meeting times, and a hybrid of online and on-campus lab work. Although students missed being on campus and interacting with classmates and professors, many enjoyed the flexibility of online classes. Over the past year, Middlesex found many students excelled in a combination of both online and face-to-face courses, so the college offered options that blended the best aspects of both.

Many of MCC’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and healthcare students go on to perform important work in labs and hospitals across the state. Following health and safety guidelines, Middlesex was able to allow these students opportunities to finish necessary in-person lab and clinical work. This gave students a comprehensive learning experience, preparing them for the workforce and keeping them on track to graduate on time.

MCC’s phasing taskforce used what they learned from this experience to open the campuses up to students picking up modeling clay, meal prep kits and musical instruments – materials needed for their various classes. The Theatre department was able to put on three socially distanced shows, including “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” over Zoom – using individual cubicles to separate performers and green screens for special effects.

By continuing to provide services and make themselves available to students, Middlesex helped to maintain a sense of community as the college welcomed new students and helped current students through the challenging year. MCC’s Libraries worked on updating digital and physical collections, made themselves available for online reference help, and offered curbside services such as printing and picking up books. While the Office of Admissions hosted virtual Open Houses and helped students through the online application process, Advising held Zoom sessions for students to drop-in and ask questions – among other services for both departments.

Staff took advantage of the technology that was already in place to develop programs – such as Study Buddies and a Learning Online Bootcamp – that allowed students to interact with one another and feel more prepared in their courses. From the award-winning Blackboard Ambassador program that has students assist professors in online classes, to eTutoring and online Supplemental Instruction from the Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE), MCC students had a range of options to help them be more successful in their courses and collaborate with classmates.

Everyone at the college understood the importance of hosting events for the community to feel socially engaged. Over 200 virtual student events were held throughout the year, including the “A World of Music” concert series, an art show hosted by the Art department, and STEM Week and Black History Month events. To help against the feeling of loneliness, places on campus such as the Multicultural Center and Asian American Connections Center also hosted online events in addition to study sessions and workshops on financial aid and mental health.

“Middlesex, what I think they do very well is creating a sense of community and really making students feel like they aren’t going through the college experience by themselves,” said Malayah Montgomery, MCC History and Global Studies Major. “There are faculty members, staff members, who care about your experience and really want to help you. There’s always someone there to help and that sense of community has not only helped me, but everybody that I’ve been in contact with at Middlesex.” Students also benefitted from MCC’s noncredit options in the Corporate and Community Education and Training department by taking courses in personal enrichment and professional development. While some classes ran fully online, others were held in-person taking necessary precautions. Students ranging from kids in MCC’s College for Kids program to senior adults in the Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education for Seniors (MILES) – had the opportunity to stay busy and engaged, get back into the workforce, or gain valuable knowledge and skills.

Through credit and noncredit programs – and the college’s Alumni Association – MCC is prepared to get job seekers back into the workforce and help industries recover from the challenges the pandemic presents. Whether assisting the Chamber of Commerce with trainings over Zoom, participating in outreach events, or providing virtual alumni networking opportunities, Middlesex has continued to be a fixture in the communities of Bedford and Lowell.

As more COVID-19 testing sites became available and the vaccine rollout began, Middlesex saw an opportunity to further help the community. Both students and faculty in the Nursing department started performing swab tests on community members on the Bedford campus and have been administering vaccinations at Lowell General Hospital. Because some clinical sites shut down due to the pandemic, these experiences have provided crucial and historic learning opportunities for MCC students.

One year into the pandemic, MCC put together a three-part commemorative video entitled “An Anniversary Like No Other” to show how MCC students, faculty, staff and administrators processed, adapted and responded to unprecedented and challenging times. Because of this flexibility and persistence, the college is able to look towards a post-COVID world – and its next 50 years – using the skills, tools and lessons they have learned from these experiences.

The first chapter “An Unexpected Challenge” was released on Wednesday, March 17. The next two chapters “A Collaborative Solution” and “A Stronger Future” will be released throughout March. Visit https://youtu.be/A8h1FHb6bFA to watch and subscribe to the channel.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to learn more about what Middlesex offers, including courses for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters.

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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Alum Returns to Middlesex CC 27 Years Later to Finish Degree3/26/20214/5/2021 1:49 PM
An advocate for lifelong learning, Gerard McQuaid returned to Middlesex Community College after 27 years to finish the Criminology course he needed to graduate. The Medford-native started at Middlesex in 1989 and completed 60 out of 61 credits towards an associate degree in Criminal Justice. While he walked at graduation in 1994, he was unable to take the one remaining course to finish his degree program.

Having met with a financial advisor after his first child was born, McQuaid was inspired to change his career path. Though he wanted to finish his degree, the class he needed to take was not available in the summer and he put his education on hold in order to pursue a different direction.

In September of 1994, McQuaid started his own financial planning practice where he worked until his retirement in January 2021. He led a successful career, but that final Criminology course at MCC remained on his mind.

“It will be extremely rewarding [to come back to Middlesex] as it’s been important to me,” he said. “I’ll start the Criminology class the week after retirement. I didn’t miss a beat – ok, 27 years is a bit of a stretch. I’ll have that sense of accomplishment, I’ll stay engaged – learning is a lifelong process.”

After graduating from high school, McQuaid went straight into the workforce. While working at the MITRE Corporation, he participated in the Business and Industry Program where MCC instructors came to the organization to offer classes. Having the company pay for his tuition was the incentive McQuaid needed to succeed.

“The teachers were motivating, the class schedules were very accommodating,” he said. “That helped inspire confidence and passion into my school work.”

McQuaid remembers MCC instructors Lynda Pintrich and Peyton Paxton as standouts among a strong lineup of professors. He also sees the value and relevance that his courses had throughout his career and life. While his presentation classes helped him speak to audiences about financial planning, he improved his writing skills in his English courses. He also gained a new appreciation for the U.S. in his Constitutional Law course, and learned more about different cultures while studying about the people who immigrated to Boston between the 1800s to 1990s.

“The Criminal Justice classes were very helpful as a Security Aide at MITRE,” he said. “The discipline, the topics and the high ethics were extremely important. Holistically, Psychology and Sociology gave me a new perspective on things.”

Throughout his time as a student at Middlesex and in his career as a financial planner, McQuaid has witnessed firsthand the value of community colleges. He has seen many instances of clients paying a large amount of money for one year of college for their children – and then having the child drop out. Calling these situations “heartbreaking,” he emphasizes the benefits of community colleges as a starting point for everyone.

“The associate degree programs are so comprehensive,” he said. “And the ability to then transfer those credits can save the student thousands of dollars.”

McQuaid also believes that a certificate, degree or even just a few classes from Middlesex helps prepare all professionals in their career path. From a student taking a few different classes to figure out what it is they want to pursue, to a person working in the trades wanting to expand their business – McQuaid recommends they go to MCC.

“There is an excellent variety of classes,” he said. “The best plumbers, carpenters and electricians need to run their businesses. They could take accounting, business, computer applications and social media – they would have excellent billing resources, organized files, with a solid web presence to market.”

As he takes his online Criminology course at Middlesex, McQuaid is looking into the potential of taking additional courses over the next few semesters.

But first, McQuaid wants to see “how retirement treats me” because after all, “life changes and we need to be flexible.”

MCC’s Public Service program helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_pubserv.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Public Service degree at Middlesex.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

With three-week, five-week and eight-week sessions, MCC’s Summer semester helps students fit education into their busy lives. 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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Somerville Fire Captain Finds Success at Middlesex CC3/4/20214/1/2021 2:25 PM
Mike Khoury – a Captain with the Somerville Fire Department who lives in Andover – came to Middlesex Community College to help advance his career. By participating in MCC’s Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program, Khoury was able to use the knowledge and experience he has learned through work as credit towards his degree, helping him save money and graduate faster.

Khoury chose Middlesex because of CPL, the proximity of the campus to home, and on recommendation from his brother who is an MCC alum. He first started talking to Robert Kaulfuss, MCC’s CPL Coordinator, in Fall 2019 to go over his options and develop a personalized academic plan.

“My experience with MCC has been great,” Khoury said. “I’ve learned quite a bit in one year and I credit that to the school and to the professors. If it wasn’t for the CPL program, I probably would not have been so motivated to pursue a college degree.”

Majoring in Fire Protection and Safety Technology – part of MCC’s Public Service Pathway – Khoury started in Spring 2020 as a part-time student and is on track to graduate in the Fall of 2021 thanks to all of his CPL.

With Kaulfuss’ guidance – and Khoury’s hard work – Khoury received 15 college credits from certifications, licenses and trainings he acquired through his job. His career knowledge and skills have already credited him towards two required classes for his major – and he is hoping for a third – which would bring his earned credits to 24.

The CPL program also taught Khoury about College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, which are standardized tests that students can take and use towards credit to show their knowledge in their field. Having passed one so far – and with plans to take two more – Khoury has moved even closer to his credit goal.

“For someone like myself – who works full-time and is a father of two – the CPL program has been extremely beneficial,” he said. “I am grateful that I was allowed to take advantage of the program.”

Balancing his coursework with other responsibilities – while being in the middle of a pandemic – can be challenging. Having the ability to take his courses online has been a time saving convenience that allows Khoury to fit classes into his schedule more easily.

Another benefit of MCC’s program has been Mini-mesters. In these accelerated course options, Khoury can finish two courses in the same amount of time it would take to complete one in the traditional 15-week semester. In just eight weeks, Mini-mesters cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and contain the same number of instructional hours.

To keep up with his coursework in his online courses and with the faster-paced Mini-mesters, Khoury says that time management has been the “key” to his success

“Each course lays out its schedule and due dates at the beginning of the semester,” he said. “I use that to set aside time each week for school work.”

As he works in a challenging and high-risk job, it is essential for Khoury to have access to these flexible course options in addition to relevant coursework and knowledgeable professors. His job is complicated and requires that he learns topics related to the science of fires and how to extinguish them.

Among the important skills he is honing through MCC’s program include investigating the cause and origin of fires; learning fire prevention codes, equipment, programs and standards; and understanding laws that govern the job.

Khoury believes that MCC’s program “covers all of these topics and more” and that completing his degree will prepare him to be even more successful in his role. He also values learning the theoretical knowledge that goes into his job from professionals who have worked in the field.

“The professors have all been great,” he said. “I believe it helps that they all have experience in the topics that they teach. In my opinion, experience is something you can’t get from a book.”

MCC’s Public Service program helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_pubserv.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Public Service degree at Middlesex.

To get started with CPL, register at https://myexperiencecounts.mass.edu/home or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/priorlearning/ for more information.

Registration for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2021 sessions 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, 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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Lowell Chamber Orchestra to Perform at MCC’s “World of Music”3/22/20214/1/2021 11:46 AM
Amid the pandemic, Middlesex Community College is able to stream live recordings of performances throughout the Spring 2021 semester. Middlesex will continue its online spring concert series “A World of Music” with a performance by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, which will air online at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 3.

Now in their second season, the Lowell Chamber Orchestra is conducted by Orlando Cela, MCC Assistant Professor of Music. They will perform “Miniature Universes,” which includes music written for a small ensemble. While the sounds are like that of a full symphony orchestra, the music portrays a vast range of human emotions.

The performance will feature performances of “Dance Preludes” (third version) by Witold Lutoslawski; “Sinfonietta, Op. 1” by Benjamin Britten; and “Nonet, Op. 31” by Louis Spohr.

A semi-finalist in the Professional Orchestral Performance Division of the American Prize, the Lowell Chamber Orchestra released a new album entitled “The Suite,” which is receiving international praise.

“The album features suites by Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach, and examines the gallant style’s history and sets the groundwork for modern interpretations,” Cela said. “The Baroque vanguards pass the torch on to two contemporary composers – Anthony R. Green and Jose Elizondo – who shape and mold the style to match their own compositional artistry as they paint musical pictures of civil rights activism, heart-warming moments in the sun, and the passing of time.”

The Spring 2021 concert series debuted with MCC faculty members performing Celebrating Black Composters from Europe, Africa, Unites States and South America and continued with a performance by the Rasa String Quartet. There are two more online performances that will take place this semester. An MCC Student Recital will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7, while the Lowell Chamber Orchestra will air another performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, called “On the Double.”

All events are free. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings. Contact Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC Chair of the Music Department, at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923 for more information.

Registration for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2021 sessions 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, 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 Offer Dental Hygiene Alumni a Preview of Renovated Clinic3/10/20213/31/2021 10:46 AM
Amid the pandemic, Middlesex Community College continues to offer students, alumni, faculty and staff an opportunity to connect with the college community. As Middlesex is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the year, the college has been creative in developing online events and celebrations. MCC’s Alumni Association is collaborating with the Dental Hygiene department to run an event for alumni of the program.

The free event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 and is also open to alumni of MCC’s Dental Assisting program. Participants will have the chance to reconnect with classmates, network with other dental professionals, and learn about the newly renovated Dental Hygiene Clinic.

“The MCC Alumni Association supports alumni by providing a space for alums with shared interests to connect, learn from one another, and remain an integral part of the Middlesex community,” said Amy Lee, MCC’s Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations. “This event offers alums an opportunity to see MCC’s renovated dental hygiene clinic, hear from faculty, and make connections to other alums in the dental hygiene field.”

MCC’s dental clinic on the Lowell campus offers training hours for students while serving the community with a wide range of low-cost comprehensive dental services, including for those who could not otherwise afford the services.

Services go beyond teeth cleaning, including checking blood pressure; providing head, neck and oral cancer screenings; and nutritional counseling. Patients can also receive thorough cleanings, fluoride therapy, x-rays, sealants, cleaning of dentures or partials, custom fit athletic mouth guards and Arestin treatments to treat gum disease.

As the services provide an educational experience for students – and high-quality care for patients – the clinic was in need of updating. The renovation project included 24 new patient treatment rooms, new patient chairs in radiology and a new centralized sterilization center. It also included a revised floor plan that increased compliance with patient privacy laws (HIPAA) and increased accessibility. The dental assisting clinic also received five new treatment areas.

“We are so proud of our new clinic and all the benefits it provides our students and community,” said Karen Townsend, MCC’s Director of Dental Hygiene. “The new clinic optimizes clinician ergonomics and work efficiency, while providing students the opportunity to practice with state-of-the-art equipment such as integrated power driven instruments and intraoral cameras. In addition, the new design allows for significantly improved patient and student privacy.”

The updates have also allowed the department to safely reopen the clinics during the pandemic, according to Townsend. Students and staff can remain apart as they perform services on patients with more division and space between treatment rooms, and stay safe with optimized ventilation and air purification. Calling the renovation “long overdue,” Townsend looks forward to sharing the updated clinic with alumni.

Middlesex received a $499,254 Massachusetts Skill Capital Grant that covered the cost for some of the renovation. To raise funds for the remainder of the project costs, the Middlesex Community College Foundation created an additional fundraising campaign.

“MCC’s SMILE Campaign will support the efforts of the Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Dental Laboratory programs to keep the newly renovated clinic outfitted with the latest tools and resources to keep our students competitive as they enter and continue their dental careers,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancement. “As advancements are made in the dental field, our students will be ready with the educational foundation to become experts in their field.”

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni/events.aspx for more information and to register for the free event. To make a donation, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/donations/ or mail a check to MCC Foundation, P.O. 8681, Lowell, MA 01853 with the SMILE Campaign designation.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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 Named a Military Friendly School for 20213/16/20213/30/2021 4:45 PM
Dedicated to student success, Middlesex Community College strives to meet the needs of the college’s diverse population. Middlesex has been designated a 2021 Silver-Level Military Friendly® School by VIQTORY. MCC supports veterans and their families through the Veterans Resource Centers (VRC), a Veterans Advisory Board, and other special veteran services.

“I am so proud that Middlesex has received the honor of being a designated military friendly college,” said Pamela Flaherty, MCC’s Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. “We started from very humble beginnings in 2006 with a volunteer student. We have blossomed into two full VRC centers, providing an array of services for our veterans and military connected families.”

The annual list of Military Friendly® Schools honors the top colleges, universities and trade schools in the country. They are recognized for doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students, and ensure their success – in the classroom and after graduation.

Middlesex provides educational opportunities – as well as numerous veterans resources – to help make the transition from military to civilian life easier. Nicole Smay – an MCC Nursing major who is a Combat Veteran – served as an Army Medical Service Corps Officer and left with the rank of Captain.

Thankful for MCC’s help in navigating her VA benefits, Smay calls MCC Academic Counselor Melinda Turchiano her “safety net” in helping her use her post-9-11 GI Bill.

Smay also believes her experience in the Army helped to prepare her for her education, including understanding the importance of “looking out for your buddy.” To succeed in her studies, she relies on support from her classmates and professors, and tries to do the same for them.

“I firmly believe that the military prepared me for the rigorous education as a nursing student,” Smay said. “A nursing student must have a lot of will power, focus, and be able to internalize emotions and critically think while providing care to patients. The Army taught me how to do that as an Officer, and the professors of the nursing program have worked to fine tune those qualities."

Throughout the pandemic, the VRC is providing virtual support for military service members who are beginning a college career or returning to complete an academic program. Veterans and military-connected students can receive information about educational programs, assistance with accessing college resources, and answers regarding eligibility for government-, state- and community-sponsored services.

In the Fall semester, the VRC hosted online events for meetings for veteran and military-connected students to connect with each other as they become members of the college community. Workshops featured topics on wellness, executive functioning skills and career development. A two-part Veterans Day Series also ran online focusing on Black Soldiers during World War I and the effects of the influenza epidemic on Camp Devens in 1918.

MCC also provides Green Zone training to faculty and staff thanks to grant funding – trainings that have continued virtually during the pandemic. Green Zones help create a highly-visible network of college employees who better understand the unique needs of active military veterans and their family members.

For more information about veteran services at Middlesex, contact Jessica A. Frost, VRC Director, at frostj@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3282 or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/veteransresources/ for more information on how MCC supports veteran and military-connected students.

Military Friendly® is owned and operated by VIQTORY, a veteran-owned business. To learn more about MCC’s rating, visit: https://www.militaryfriendly.com/schools/middlesex-community-college/

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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Criminal Justice Student Finding His Path at Middlesex CC3/18/20213/29/2021 2:08 PM
Born and raised in Lowell, Tevin San chose Middlesex Community College because of its close proximity to home and affordability of classes. With Middlesex as his starting point, he believes he has gained a strong foundation of knowledge, skills and experience in his Criminal Justice courses as he considers his next steps.

In his studies and through guidance from his professors at MCC, San is learning all about the career options available to him and what the industry entails. Although he has not yet decided what he wants to pursue for his future career, he does know he wants to help people through work in the criminal justice system.

“Growing up, I’ve always felt the need to be able to help others and I found that Criminal Justice was the right way to do it,” he said. “The best part about my major pathway is learning about my rights as an individual.”

San’s Criminal Justice professor Ronald Brevard stands out to him as having a big impact on his academic journey. Making his passion for his subject clear, Brevard earned San’s respect and appreciation for the work he is doing. Even outside of class, San felt like he was always learning something from Brevard whenever they engaged in conversation.

“I could see how proud he was to be able to teach a class what he learned over his years of experience,” he said. “He made the class fun and enjoyable.”

Brevard is just one of the professors – and members of the community – who make MCC a supportive environment. For San, the best part about Middlesex is the people, who he considers to be “friendly, compassionate, respectful and caring.”

In classes, events or clubs – including Outdoor Adventure Club and Asian Students in Alliance (ASIA) – San was able to have “wonderful” conversations with his classmates and others.

For the sense of community, knowledge and experiences the college has provided to him, San believes “MCC has been quite the joy ride.”

“From meeting marvelous and enthusiastic people to learning wonderful and amazing things about life and myself, I can honestly say I learned more about myself at MCC than I have growing up on my own,” he said. “MCC has really been great and enjoyable.”

Part of the Public Service Pathway at the college, MCC’s Criminal Justice program provides students with a choice to go straight into the workforce or transfer to a four-year college. San will continue on with his education when he graduates from Middlesex after the Fall 2021 semester.

“The education I get from MCC will definitely help me when I transfer,” he said. “I also feel that I will have an advantage when applying to my future job because of the knowledge I have gained coming to MCC.”

MCC’s Public Service pathway helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_pubserv.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Public Service degree at Middlesex.

Registration for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2021 sessions 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, 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 Receives Grant Funding for STEM Internship Opportunities3/11/20213/26/2021 10:49 AM
The Boston Foundation announced that Middlesex Community College is one of four Massachusetts community colleges to share $426,656 in grants to invest in expanding and strengthening the state’s internship offerings for students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields – part of overall efforts to broaden the availability of paid internships to community college student statewide.

Middlesex will receive $112,966 to implement the Northeast Regional Internship program to level the playing field for underserved students. MCC’s funds will help develop new work-based learning opportunities for students who are in – and considering – STEM, according to Rebecca Newell, MCC’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

“We have been given the gift of time to dig deep into research with our industry partners in order to best design an intentional program that will open pathways for our underserved students,” Newell said. “We aim to work closely with employers and our colleagues at neighboring community colleges to support the growth of an inclusive culture of experiential learning and build upon a diverse talent pipeline for the Northeast region.”

Funds will allow for the hiring of a program coordinator to oversee the program research and design. Working with the Career Development team to provide career supports for students, the coordinator will help cultivate new industry partnerships, conduct an examination of regional STEM employers to better understand their needs and expectations, and make intentional efforts to set the stage for an expansion of the program to other nearby community colleges.

MCC joins Bunker Hill, Massasoit and North Shore community colleges as recipients of the grant funding. Each college has developed plans intended to expand their internship opportunities for STEM and increase the number of local connections to businesses.

Research released by the Boston Foundation in 2019 showed that a large majority of paid internships in the state were awarded to four-year college students, limiting opportunities for community college students to get necessary career experience and income to support themselves during their studies.

“While these programs take different approaches, they highlight a number of critical elements: they recognize the importance of paid internships, the need for adequate staff and student supports, the necessity of true employer partnerships, and an intentional focus on equity,” said Paul Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We look forward to working with each of these programs as we charter an effort to build a stronger network of equitable, accessible internship programs across the system.”

The Boston Foundation’s 2019 report “Uncovering Hidden Talent: Community College Internships that Pay and Pay Off for Students and Employers” explored the state of paid internship opportunities in Massachusetts and offered a number of examples of alternative programs in other states. These grants were made possible by Success Boston, in partnership with Boston Foundation donors with an interest in education.

For more information about MCC’s STEM work-based learning opportunities, contact Newell at newellr@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3363. Contact Ted McEnroe at ted.mcenroe@tbf.org or call 617-338-3890 for more information on specific programs in this cohort of colleges.

The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, seeks to bring the collective power of our region’s people and resources together to drive real change. Established in 1915, it is one of the largest community foundations in the nation—with net assets of $1.3 billion. In 2020, the Foundation and its donors paid $215 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. The Foundation has many partners, including its donors, who have established more than 1,000 separate charitable funds for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. With support from the Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership, the Foundation also facilitates public discourse and action, commissions research into the most critical issues of our time and advocates for public policy that advances opportunity for everyone. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a consulting unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. To learn more about the Foundation and its work, visit TBF.org.

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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Perseverance is Key to Middlesex CC Business Major’s Success2/11/20213/24/2021 10:27 AM
When Kimeang Chhay first arrived to the United States from Takhmao, Cambodia in 2018, she was enrolled in Dracut High School as a senior because of her age. Without being fluent in English, Chhay passed her Math and English MCAS exams, but struggled with the Biology test. Without it, she was unable to graduate from high school on time.

Chhay was already accepted at Middlesex Community College but needed her diploma in order to start taking classes for her associate degree. Through Middlesex’s GED program, Chhay was able to improve her MCAS score to pass the test, earn her diploma and start regular classes. Despite the challenges that delayed her start, her perseverance kept her motivated.

“This shows that no matter how hard life gets, never quit and keep on moving forward,” she said. “Now I am a college student and an assistant at the Asian Center at Middlesex. I know there will be ups and downs, but I will fight through it and no matter what, I will graduate.”

A Business Administration Transfer major, Chhay hopes to graduate from Middlesex in 2022 and continue her studies at a four-year university. While she is still figuring out what she wants to pursue for a future career – her options include being a bank teller or a translator at a hospital – Chhay knows her strengths are math and connecting with others.

“MCC makes my major easier,” she said. “They set up all the plans and what I need to get done. They also gave me a lot of options of different courses to pick.”

In her Statistics course this past semester, she appreciated having access to a student Supplemental Instructor (SI) Leader who would host weekly Zoom calls to work through problems and answer student questions. Calling this benefit “really helpful,” Chhay was able to join in on her own terms when she had follow-up questions.

Because of the transition to mostly online courses with the pandemic, Chhay had to make adjustments like many other students. She found a routine that worked best for her – working during the day and studying at night – and was able to focus on her coursework better.

“The courses that I am taking at Middlesex will definitely help me throughout all my future college years,” she said. “Middlesex has taught me to manage my time with school and work, and gain leadership skills.”

In addition to taking classes, Chhay works for the Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA) in the Asian Connections Center as a work study student. As her favorite place on campus, Chhay enjoys the culture and environment the center provides as it helps students adjust to college life and the community.

“All the support from the students and staff is crucial to my success in college,” Chhay said. “Working in the Asian Center involves being there when students need help, especially to make students feel comfortable being in school and getting support from our center.”

Throughout the pandemic, the Asian Connections Center has hosted online events to maintain a community-feel, including a virtual Welcome Back Party, workshops on financial aid and new student orientation, and holiday celebrations. In the center – and at the college as a whole – Chhay has faced a welcoming and warm environment at Middlesex.

“Middlesex Community College is a school that I feel like I belong to,” she said. “MCC is full of different cultures and students from other countries and makes me feel comfortable and excited for what my future will hold.”

MCC’s Business program helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

MCC’s accelerated eight-week Spring Mini-mester starts on Monday, March 29. Complete general requirements and earn credits with the same high-quality content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. 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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Register Now for Middlesex CC’s Summer 2021 Semester3/1/20213/23/2021 11:43 AM
Registration for Middlesex Community College’s Summer 2021 semester is now open. Offering a mix of online and blended hybrid course options, Middlesex sets up students for success. With flexible schedules, high-quality courses and affordable prices, MCC students can have a productive summer and reach their goals. The Summer semester starts on Tuesday, June 1.

Students of all ages and stages on their academic pathways can take advantage of MCC’s Summer semester to improve their GPA, finish their degree faster, earn transferable college credits and get an early start on their education.

“Summer is a great time for current students to accelerate their courses and finish their degrees from other institutions to earn credits that can easily be transferred back to their colleges,” said Audrey Nahabedian, MCC’s Dean of Enrollment Management. “Many of our new students also successfully use summer courses to get a head start in their programs, and taking courses provides a way for them to ease into the college experience.”

In order to meet different student needs, the Summer semester will offer three-week, five-week and eight-week sessions, according to Nahabedian.

The three-week Summer QuickStart Session will run from June 1 to June 18. Summer Session One is five weeks and runs June 1 to July 1; Summer Session Two is eight weeks, running June 1 to July 28; and Summer Session Three will run for five weeks from July 13 to August 12.

For 21 years, Middlesex has designed award-winning online curriculums that allow students to interact with content, professors and their fellow students in immersive and meaningful ways. The Summer 2021 semester will run via three primary learning modalities – synchronous online, asynchronous online, and blended face-to-face with online learning.

Students taking synchronous online courses attend live classes at specific dates and times, and engage with professors and classmates in a live, remote setting using a camera and microphone.

In asynchronous online classes, students work independently while meeting deadlines, engage with the class on their own schedules, and have on-going access to online materials.

Hybrid course options allow students to complete coursework online and come to campus to complete practical course requirements. Students coming to campus will be in a controlled setting, following MCC’s strict safety practices, including social distancing and mask wearing.

MCC understands that students need to feel financially stable and supported. The college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track.

The summer semester starts on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. For more information and to register for courses, 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, 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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Students Find Success with MCC’s Accelerated Course Options3/16/20213/22/2021 12:37 PM
Middlesex Community College makes getting a college education easy. Dedicated to the academic, professional and personal success of students, Middlesex strives to help students fit learning into their schedules while saving money. With flexible course options, high-quality content and easy access to student resources and services, students can take accelerated courses with MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II, starting on Monday, March 29.

In MCC’s eight-week Mini-mester sessions, students receive the same content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. This allows students to complete general requirements and earn credits in a variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

“I like Mini-mesters because it gives me the opportunity to have three courses at a time,” said Sam Holmes, MCC Computer Science major. “I think they’re very convenient.”

Students starting their college education and hoping to transfer to a four-year college or university can complete general requirements at Middlesex and save money long term on tuition. Mini-mesters also provide students with an opportunity to explore different subjects and areas of interest.

“Take your core classes and then maybe take an elective or two in what you’re really interested in, and that might help shift your pathway,” said Malayah Montgomery, MCC History and Global Studies major. “I think Middlesex gives you a great opportunity to look at different classes and choose what looks interesting or what you want to learn about.”

Starting in Spring 2020, Middlesex made a successful transition to online courses and student services. For Spring Mini-mester II, three course formats will be offered – online with no meeting times, online with meeting times, and a hybrid blend of online and on-campus experiences.

In classes that are online with no meeting times, students interact with lectures, lessons and exercises all online over the course of the semester and have no scheduled meeting days or times.. Students taking online courses with meeting times have scheduled meeting days, and must be online during those specific times.

Hybrid online and on-campus classes – with either lectures or labs – allow students to complete some work online and some in-person in a safe and controlled setting, while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.

Students taking courses at Middlesex also have access to a number of resources and student services that will lend to their overall success at the college and beyond.

“MCC has great resources that help students, like advising, tutoring and the Libraries,” said Daniella Dankwa, MCC Student Trustee and Nursing major. “Make sure you ask questions, connect with your professors. The school has done a great job helping students during this time.”

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

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 MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II Accelerated Courses2/23/20213/18/2021 11:22 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Mini-mesters maximize students’ time and effort. These accelerated eight-week sessions help students reach their goals and stay on their paths with affordable, flexible and high-quality course options. MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 29.

With Mini-mesters, students complete general requirements and earn credits with the same high-quality content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. Students can earn credits in a variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

“The Mini-mester format allows students to finish prerequisites and take the subsequent course during the same semester,” said Aisha Arroyo, MCC Math Faculty Member. “For example, a student who finishes their RAMP-Up Modules in the beginning of the semester could take my Statistics course in Mini-mester II instead of waiting until Summer or Fall."

In MCC Business Professor Stacie Hargis’ Launch Your Business Now program, Mini-mesters allow students to better fit their studies into their life among work and other responsibilities.

“Our Launch Your Business Now Mini-mester options provide students with a format to dive right into a business plan and actively work on operations to launch their business,” Hargis said. “This is similar to popular accelerator programs in the startup ecosystem.”

MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II will continue to offer the majority of its classes online. Throughout its 50 years as an institution, the college has a 21-year history of award-winning online education and effective teaching. Featuring curriculums designed to run online, MCC’s courses allow students to interact with content, professors and classmates in immersive and meaningful ways.

Online courses will run via three primary learning modalities – asynchronous online, synchronous online and a hybrid blend of online and face-to-face.

In asynchronous online learning, students work independently while meeting deadlines, engage with materials and other students on their own schedules, and have on-going access to online resources, pre-recorded lessons and tutorials.

Students taking synchronous online courses attend live classes at specific dates and times, and engage with professors and classmates in a live, remote setting using a camera and microphone.

Blended face-to-face with online courses allow students to complete coursework online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 for more information and to register for Spring Mini-mester II.
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Rasa Strings Quartet to Perform as Part of MCC’s “A World of Music”3/2/20213/17/2021 4:48 PM
Middlesex Community College will continue its online spring concert series “A World of Music” with a performance by the Rasa Strings Quartet. The concert was recorded at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford and will air online at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 19.

Since winning first prize in the Chamber Music Yellow Springs 35th Annual Competition, Rasa Strings Quartet quickly emerged as one of New England’s finest young ensembles. The quartet consists of violinists Kiyoshi Hayashi and Maura Shawn Scanlin, violist Claudia Do Minh Ramos and cellist – and MCC faculty member – Eunghee Cho.

According to Cho, creating and performing art is the closest way to experience passion, beauty and miracle – something that has been missing throughout the pandemic.

“At this time, that medium is the virtual experience that mimics to the closest possible degree the in-person experience in all but geography,” he said. “One of the beautiful elements of the virtual medium is that geography is no longer a limiting factor in the experience of art. People can succumb to the miracle of newly created music from the comfort of their homes and from across the world.”

Using the string quartet as a vehicle for storytelling, the program will span over 200 years with string sounds that range from classical, imitations of rock, mariachi, Balkan gypsy bands and a vignette of an orange. Dedicated to creating meaningful connections with their audiences by performing repertoire from the classical, world and folk genres at the highest level of artistry, the ensemble will perform works by Aleksandra Vrebalov, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Jessie Montgomery.

More online performances – recorded at locations in both Bedford and Lowell – will take place throughout the semester. The Lowell Chamber Orchestra: Miniature Universes will air at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 3; an MCC Student Recital will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7; and the Lowell Chamber Orchestra: On the Double will air at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.

All events are free. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings. Contact Rodriguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923 for more information.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts March 29. 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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Beatles Expert to be Keynote Speaker at MCC’s MILES Opener 3/8/20213/16/2021 2:00 PM
Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex Community College’s Community Education and Training (CET) has been providing online opportunities for learners of all ages to start a new hobby, update skills or engage in conversations about a range of exciting topics. Beatles and 60s enthusiasts can enjoy a virtual presentation as part of MCC’s Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education for Seniors (MILES) Opening Session from keynote speaker Rod Griffith.

All are welcome to join the online presentation from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24 to join the free event that kicks off MILES’ spring session.

Griffith – a Beatles expert and fellow fan – was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at last year’s MILES’ opener, which was canceled due to COVID-19. As a passionate collector of rare Beatles music and artifacts, he will present “The Beatles: 50 Years Later” online.

“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. Due to his interests, he 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.

Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of CET, believes MILES’ online version offers students the opportunity to connect with others while pursuing life-long learning goals.

“Online classes give members a chance to stay social and share some face time,” she said. “We have a wonderful set of online classes that will keep members engaged and eager to participate. With our online format we are hoping to reach a wider audience to ensure that all adults ages 55+ can enjoy an online social and intellectually stimulating environment.”

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.

MILES Spring 2021 Session runs Mondays through Thursdays, March 24 through May 4. Participants pay $16 per class, with a maximum fee of $100 for the session.

For the complete schedule of MILES courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/MILES or contact Lauren Ellis at 781-280-369 or ellisl@middlesex.mass.edu. To register for courses, call 1-800-818-3434.

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or contact Sheila Morin 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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Biotech Student Finds Path with MCC’s Learn & Earn Experience3/3/20213/16/2021 12:30 PM
For Middlesex Community College student Tyler Krouse, education is about taking a step forward. Krouse participates in Middlesex’s Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience. The hard work and dedication needed to complete the program – and to succeed in the biotechnology field – is his motivation.

In MCC’s Learn and Earn Experience – funded by an $841,000 grant from the One8 Foundation – Krouse and his classmates are getting valuable work experience at the same time they are earning their associate degrees. Students in the program have guaranteed employment for the year – pending performance expectations – and are paid for their work.

Krouse – who is from Pennsylvania and now lives in Billerica – is working at Takeda Pharmaceuticals as a Manufacturing Technician. In this role, he is responsible for performing routine and critical manufacturing operations while maintaining Standard Operating Procedures.

“I believe the idea of obtaining your degree before you work in the field is starting to become outdated, especially within the biotech field,” Krouse said. “Not only does it help give you the practical tools to work within an industry, it tests your ability to balance your personal life to your work life, and to help continue moving forward.”

Another benefit of learning and working at the same time is having the opportunity to apply the theory and practice of concepts taught in class to real-world examples. Since Krouse feels comfortable learning techniques in a controlled setting in a lab at Middlesex, he is more confident in performing his work at Takeda – regardless of the end result. With school and work combined, he gets a “healthy environment” in which to explore his field.

A lifelong learner, Krouse has had other life and work experiences before attending Middlesex, including a degree in Music Business. From these experiences – which he believes “can give you skills that you will find useful when you land in an opportunity that you want” – he has gained a better understanding of why he wants to pursue a career in biotechnology.

“It lays a great groundwork for a vast array of career choices,” he said. “Learn and Earn helps you put that foot in the door while giving you experience and cementing career goals by putting you in an environment that shows you all the potentials you could have with this degree.”

At Middlesex, he has witnessed a commitment to student success unlike what he has experienced at other schools. He is grateful for his professors’ support and passion for helping their students with an interpersonal approach. Krouse is particularly impressed that his former chemistry professor still emails him to check-in to see how he is doing in the program.

“There is quite the amalgamation of professors here at MCC who have worked in all sorts of fields,” he said. “I have a fun time bouncing ideas and listening to their insights as I continue my education here at MCC.”

Having dedicated professors is just one part about the community college atmosphere Krouse enjoys. The college also provides high-quality courses and opportunities for students of all ages.

“Community college should be a foundation for students so that they can hone their pathways if they’re still unsure of their passion in life, and learn techniques before they continue elsewhere,” he said. “I believe MCC accomplishes that very well.”

After graduating from MCC in Fall 2021, Krouse wants to transfer to Northeastern University to pursue further education. As the biotech industry grows, he believes there is demand for students to “better understand the sciences to help bring medicine and devices into a patient’s hand.”

While the opportunity to be successful is available in the industry, for Krouse it starts by getting an education, gaining experience in the field, and being open to learning more.

“My experience within MCC has been great,” he said. “MCC gives care and attention to all their students, while not only pushing them to work within their fields, but also having great connections with companies to help them land that work.”

Benefits of the program include support from a dedicated Learn and Earn team at MCC, potential for permanent employment in the future, and fulfillment of the biotech internship requirement, according to Stefana Soitos, MCC’s Director of the Biotech Learn & Earn Experience.

“We continue to recruit students for the Biotech Learn and Earn Experience,” Soitos said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Takeda and AbbVie and are excited to welcome Ultragenyx as a Learn and Earn company partner.”

To provide more information for current and new students interested in MCC’s Biotech Learn and Earn Experience, the college is hosting its second virtual information session of the semester. It will take place online 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/biotechnology/learnandearn.aspx or contact Stefana Soitos at soitoss@middlesex.mass.edu to register for one of the virtual information sessions.

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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Fashion Merchandising Alumna Got Her Start at Middlesex CC2/24/20213/11/2021 12:05 PM
Caroline Donovan was unsure of what to pursue for a future career, but knew she wanted a job in fashion as she had been drawn to it since high school. After researching various fields and programs within the industry, Donovan discovered Middlesex Community College’s Fashion Merchandising program.

From Wakefield, Donovan started at Middlesex because the college was close to home and she knew it would offer a strong foundation of knowledge and skills before she transferred to a four-year college in New York City. During her time at MCC, she found everyone she worked with to be helpful and she had “a really great experience.”

“There truly is a lot of opportunity for someone in the Fashion Merchandising program at MCC,” she said. “Also, if students are planning on transferring to a school after MCC, they’re wonderful with the transfer process and can help the student with everything.”

While she was at MCC, Donovan worked at Dressbarn as the Assistant Manager on days she did not have classes. To stay organized, she signed up for morning classes to give herself time to complete her coursework in the afternoon.

“My manager at Dressbarn was very understanding about my schoolwork and she would make sure I had enough time to focus on school as well as working there,” she said. “I used to take advantage of the library at MCC as well as after school to settle down and get my work done.”

Her classes – which all transferred over as credits to her next school – included fashion and retail merchandising, retail management and electives such as algebra, writing essentials and business technology. Donovan enjoyed diving deeper into her subjects and the fashion world, meeting and learning from classmates, and having opportunities outside of the classroom to explore and gain experience in her field of interest.

During her year at Middlesex, Donovan attended two trade shows which she explains as “exhibits that give businesses and companies the opportunity to demonstrate their latest products.” These fashion trade shows – including both a local event in Marlborough and another in Las Vegas – offered companies a chance to feature their clothing and accessories for retailers to purchase and then sell in their stores.

“We wore a specific lanyard to show that we were students, so a lot of the time when we went to the exhibits, they would show us around and tell us all about how it works to be at a trade show showing off their products,” she said. “I loved going around and seeing brands that I recognized from boutiques that I shop at since I was able to see what clothing was going to be sold in the future seasons.”

Donovan went to the MAGIC Las Vegas trade show in February 2018 with three other students and MCC Fashion Merchandising faculty member Ashli Ree. Calling it the “best trip,” she got to experience firsthand what it meant to work in the fashion industry.

For Donovan, Ree was an influential professor during her time at MCC and even after she graduated by offering her guidance on her next steps and how to achieve her goals.

After a year at Middlesex, Donovan transferred to the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM) in Manhattan to study Fashion Media. Ree reached out to her in August 2020 when she realized Donovan only needed 36 more credits for her associate degree. Going through a reverse transfer process, Donovan was able to take the credits she earned from LIM to use towards an associate degree at Middlesex.

“By doing this reverse transfer, I was able to complete two degrees which will benefit me when it comes to applying for jobs,” she said. “Now I have one degree in Fashion Merchandising and one in Fashion Media, so this opens a lot of doors for me.”

Having earned a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Media from LIM in December of 2020, Donovan is now looking for production assistant jobs in New York. In the future, she is thinking about getting a master’s degree in Marketing. She credits her time at Middlesex with helping her succeed at LIM and in the coming steps of her academic and professional journey.

“MCC helped me become the person I am today,” she said. “I took everything I learned at MCC and brought it with me to LIM. Even after I left LIM, MCC has helped me with my studies and my career opportunities.”

MCC’s Business programs help students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

MCC’s accelerated eight-week Spring Mini-mester starts on Monday, March 29. Complete general requirements and earn credits with the same high-quality content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. 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’s Honors Program Prepared Alumna for Transfer to Brandeis2/19/20213/10/2021 11:10 AM
Middlesex Community College alumna Sophie Brill Weitz believes in taking advantage of all that education offers. As a home school student, she started at Middlesex in the eighth grade. By age 17, Brill Weitz had earned her high school diploma and an associate degree, and was ready to transfer to Brandeis University.

“I really enjoyed my experience at MCC,” she said. “I learned so much and it prepared me to go on to a four-year university. I loved the small class sizes and the community that faculty and students fostered.”

From Bedford, Brill Weitz participated in MCC’s Dual Enrollment program, which gave her full access to campus resources and student support services. As a Liberal Arts and Sciences major, she experienced college-level courses from a young age – encouraging her love of learning across a number of disciplines.

“I was able to select courses that I was interested in and have more flexibility than attending a traditional high school,” she said. “At the same time, I completed all of the courses traditionally completed in high school that colleges expect applicants to have taken.”

Despite starting at a young age, Brill Weitz felt comfortable attending Middlesex, calling the college a “diverse and welcoming community.” In her first class, she had professor Stephanie Pesce for English 101 Honors, and loved it so much she followed it up with English 102.

“She was an incredible professor and I absolutely loved the course,” she said. “She was very supportive and went above and beyond to help her students.”

As part of the Commonwealth Honors Program – including in her Honors English classes – Brill Weitz had the opportunity to present a project at MCC’s annual Honors Poster Conference. She was also invited to attend the UMass Amherst Undergraduate Conference where she presented her research on “The Historical and Cultural Development of Adolescence in the United States.”

“I couldn’t believe that I got to present my poster alongside such accomplished UMass students and classmates,” she said. “I actually wrote about the experience in my college application essay. I learned how to research a topic and how to present it visually and verbally.”

Brill Weitz believes the opportunities she was provided from the honors program – in addition to the high-quality courses she took at Middlesex in a variety of subjects – helped her in her transition to Brandeis. Now a senior, she majors in Education Studies while triple minoring in Journalism; Social Justice and Social Policy; and Creativity, the Arts & Social Transformation. The key to balancing her schedule is to stay organized.

“I’m interested in many different fields and I really like to explore and discover new topics and ideas,” she said. “I’m a big believer in trying out classes in different departments to find what you’re most interested in.”

Another way for Brill Weitz to explore her fields of interest is to participate in Service-Learning experiences. While at Middlesex, she was able to volunteer at a preschool classroom in Chelmsford. Working alongside a supportive teacher, she learned firsthand what it felt like to work in a classroom by talking to students at lunch, reading them stories and building connections with them.

Through this experience – as well as in the other Service-Learning opportunities she participated in – she had the chance to “apply theory from classes in practical situations and to learn by doing.” The value of receiving these hands-on learning opportunities –as well as the sense of community and support from professors – is what makes Middlesex special for Brill Weitz.

“The professors care about their students and provide a supportive and educational experience,” she said. “For anyone planning to attend a four-year college, going to MCC first is a great way to save money and gain course credit and experience in a college setting.”

MCC’s Social Science program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_socsci.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Social Science degree at Middlesex.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

MCC’s accelerated eight-week Spring Mini-mester starts on Monday, March 29. Complete general requirements and earn credits with the same high-quality content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. 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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Magician Learned New Tricks with MCC’s Business Program2/25/20213/8/2021 1:09 PM
When the pandemic struck, magician Ryan Lally – from Watertown – had to acclimate to new and challenging circumstances, much like many others. Lally developed a new business model to bring magic to the virtual world. His business background – including an associate degree from Middlesex Community College – helped him make the adjustment.

Lally first chose to come to Middlesex as a Dual Enrollment student at age 16. He was homeschooled and had several friends already attending. MCC was affordable and offered him “incredible educational opportunities” while preparing him with the know-how to run a successful business.

“I had an amazing experience at MCC,” he said. “The small classroom sizes led to very interesting discussions, and the beautiful campus made down time between classes very relaxing.”

After discovering a local magic shop in his hometown of Watertown at 12 years old, Lally first started learning tricks and by 14, was performing regularly. He knew that if he wanted to turn his passion for magic into a career, he had to have a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in business. At Middlesex, he was able to start his academic journey.

“I became interested in business when I began performing magic shows for pay,” he said. “It didn’t take long for me to realize that if I knew more about business, I could get more gigs at higher fees.”

Lally lists three MCC professors as having made difference in his academic journey – Stephanie Pesce, Hyatt Weiss and Vikram Sharma. He is grateful to their dedication to their students.

One of the highlights of his time at MCC was having the opportunity to travel to India with a group from UMass Lowell, as well as a separate group of students from China. They spent three weeks over winter break studying and traveling. Lally calls it “an eye-opening experience.”

After graduating from MCC in May 2017, Lally took advantage of MCC’s MassTransfer system to transfer to UMass Boston to earn a bachelor’s degree in Management, and then an MBA in 2019. He believes MassTransfer is an “easy decision” for students who want to attend a UMass college – or Mass. state university – after attending Middlesex.

For his Zoom performances throughout the pandemic, Lally has had to make financial investments in addition to using sound, lighting and cameras in new ways. Having a strong background in Business has allowed him to more easily make these changes.

Over the course of earning his Business degrees, he learned online tools to help him be more successful, including computer programs like Excel and Photoshop. He also found it beneficial to hone his social media skills to better understand how to use the platforms to his advantage in order to promote his shows to a larger audience.

“Being a magician in 2020-2021 has required me to adapt very quickly to a very new performing environment,” he said. “At first, gigs dried up completely and I was left unable to perform. Now I am performing these shows for nonprofits and children in need all over the country.”

MCC’s Business program helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

MCC’s accelerated eight-week Spring Mini-mester starts on Monday, March 29. Complete general requirements and earn credits with the same high-quality content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. 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 to Recognize the Mass. State Seal of Biliteracy on Transcripts2/17/20213/4/2021 4:01 PM
As an institution dedicated to student success and closing equity gaps, Middlesex Community College strives to promote and recognize the achievements of its diverse population of students. Middlesex is now proud to recognize the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy as part of the Mass. Department of Higher Education’s Equity Agenda.

The State Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to and appears on eligible students’ high school transcripts or diplomas. Qualifying students are graduates of public high schools who are proficient in both English and a world language by the time of their high school graduation. The seal is considered a statement of accomplishment that will appeal to colleges and employers.

Marilyn Glazer-Weisner, MCC’s Director of the World Language Institute and Intensive English Institute, is a simultaneous speaker of Yiddish, English and Spanish who has a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. Through her personal and professional experiences with languages, she understands the value of biliteracy.

“Middlesex recognizes linguistic equity,” Glazer-Weisner said. “All world languages are included in this opportunity which means that all world languages are treated with equity, respect and dignity. The State Seal of Biliteracy at MCC allows students to earn a tremendous head start in their college education.”

Middlesex helps students get credit for the work they have already done through the college’s Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program. With the Seal of Biliteracy, students place into college-level English Composition at MCC without needing placement testing or developmental courses.

“MCC will be among the first colleges in the state to offer credit for the Seal of Biliteracy,” said Rob Kaulfuss, MCC’s Coordinator of CPL. “We hope that all colleges in the state will eventually offer some form of recognition for high school students who have achieved this honor.”

For the Seal of Biliteracy Intermediate High level, students earn nine credits – three credits each over the course of three semesters – for world language electives. Students who qualify for Advanced Low level of proficiency receive 12 credits – three credits each over the course of four semesters – of world language electives for the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction.

Credits will appear on students’ transcripts with a descriptive line referencing the Seal of Biliteracy and the college will work with students to identify their specific language. MCC offers 16 world languages – Arabic, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Classical Greek, Modern Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Latin, Portuguese, Russia and Spanish.

If no matching language exists at the college, the credits will count as general Humanities electives. Each college and university will independently determine how these credits are recognized, including if they are transferable. According to Glazer-Weisner and Kaulfuss, Middlesex is proud to be the first college in the state awarded the Seal of Biliteracy, allowing MCC to help students recognize the value and benefits of being biliterate.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/priorlearning/biliteracy.aspx for more information on MCC’s Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy recognition, or contact Glazer-Weisner at glazerm@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3934.

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 Kick Off Spring 2021 Virtual ‘World of Music’ Concert Series2/8/20213/3/2021 3:04 PM
After a successful Fall semester run, Middlesex Community College’s Spring 2021 “A World of Music” will continue virtually throughout the semester. Performances will be recorded live and then streamed online for audiences to watch for free. The concert series will kick off with a performance celebrating Black composers in honor of Black History Month.

"We are looking forward to presenting this concert featuring a great variety of music by Black composers from around the world,” said Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department. “This music deserves to be heard much more often than it is!"

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 26, MCC’s Music department will release “Celebrating Black Composers from Europe, Africa, United States and South America,” recorded live at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in Lowell.

Middlesex faculty members will perform, including Todd Brunel on the clarinet and saxophone, Orlando Cela on the flute, Eunghee Cho on the cello, Rodriguez-Peralta on the piano, and Brazil-native Marcus Santos who will conclude the program with a drumming piece.

“My drumming piece features a diverse array of ethnic instruments from Cuba and Brazil,” Santos said. “I think it is important during these times to play this contemporary interpretation of an Afro Brazilian rhythm – that has been played since the 1700s – to represent justice.”

The performance includes a variety of styles from the 1700s to the present time, featuring works by Joseph Bologne (Le Chavalier de Saint Georges), Florence Price, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, “Blind Tom” Wiggins, Bongani Ndodana-Breen and Gerri Allen. There will also be a Jazz Improvisation for saxophone and drums, and Afro Brazilian drumming with a dancer.

More online performances – recorded at locations in both Bedford and Lowell – will take place throughout the semester. The Rasa String Quartet will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 19; the Lowell Chamber Orchestra: Miniature Universes will air at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 3; an MCC Student Recital will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7; and the Lowell Chamber Orchestra: On the Double will air at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.

All events are free. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings or contact Rodriguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923.

Register for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II, an accelerated, eight-week session that starts March 29. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or 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, 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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For Alumna, MCC Provided an Opportunity For a Bright Future2/4/20213/2/2021 11:34 AM
Victoria Makumbi’s dedication to her work – in both academic and professional settings – has been the backbone to her success. The Middlesex Community College alumna put herself through college and has built an impressive resume of achievements. Her journey started at MCC where she “was able to learn through hard work and perseverance, I can dream beyond tomorrow.”

“My experience at MCC was very enriching, enlightening and rewarding,” she said. “Attending MCC enabled me to be immersed into a sweet melting pot of students from different ages, cultures and backgrounds.”

In addition to MCC having “a great reputation for diverse learning,” Makumbi decided to come to the college because it was affordable, close to home, and recommended to her by friends. In her experience, she enjoyed MCC’s strong curriculum offerings, variety of pathway options, scholarship opportunities, small class sizes and flexible schedules.

When Makumbi was unsure if she could afford moving on to a four-year college, her advisor Jane Fain, MCC’s Coordinator of Transfer Affairs, told her about the MassTransfer system. Combined with financial support from the Lura Smith Scholarship, MassTransfer offered her a more affordable path to continuing her education. She is thankful for these opportunities and that MCC was so dedicated to her success as a student.

Makumbi graduated from Middlesex in 2010 and transferred to UMass Lowell to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting and then a master’s degree in Accounting. She worked first at Ernst & Young LLP and became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and is now working for The Kraft Group & Affiliates.

“This opportunity came along through a conversation sparked by a recruiter noticing I started my education at a community college and worked my way to earn a master’s degree and become a CPA,” she said. “Through grit, tenacity, perseverance and having a strong educational foundation at MCC, I have seen my career journey evolve successfully in ways I could not have imagined.”

At Middlesex, Makumbi studied Business Administration. Many of the courses she took that were required for her major helped her stand out, including Business Law – a course she says is important to becoming a CPA. Her professors also helped make the information easier to understand. Makumbi remembers Professor Barbara Noonan mimicking the dance movements of Elvis to teach the cardinal rule of financial accounting – “debits must equal credits.”

In Business professor Dr. James Dottin’s Principles of Marketing class, she learned how to relate the theoretical knowledge she was learning to practical real-life experiences. From Dr. Dottin, she also found an additional source of motivation.

“Dr. Dottin was a great inspiration for me as a Black student,” she said. “He set an example that with hard work I would be able to achieve success in the business world. It was inspiring to see someone who looked like me be successful and share encouraging words.”

While Makumbi developed a foundation of business skills at MCC, she also found her other courses to be beneficial. In her sociology course she learned about different cultures and how to relate more to others. She discovered the benefits of diet and exercise in her health and nutrition class – knowledge that helped her maintain good habits when she was working towards her CPA as she needed “strong mental and physical stamina” to stay on track.

A particular moment of pride for Makumbi during her time at Middlesex was her induction into Phi Theta Kappa, MCC’s honors society. While the recognition of her hard work opened up more networking opportunities, Makumbi was just as proud to have her mom come to the ceremony. She also made sure to attend many campus activities to network with and get to know her classmates and faculty.

Because the college gave her such a positive and supportive start to her academic and professional journey, Makumbi recommends other students choose Middlesex as theirs. From the professors to the variety of course and pathway options, Makumbi believes MCC provides opportunity for students.

“MCC is always evolving to cater to the student body’s needs and provides them with the most current learning to help them succeed,” she said. “MCC helped me gain confidence that I can step outside of my comfort zone and not be afraid to try new things.”

MCC’s Business program helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Spring semester Mini-mester II, starting on March 29. 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 Award-Winning Writer and Poet2/16/20213/1/2021 12:17 PM
As part of the Visiting Writers Series, Middlesex Community College will host poet, fiction writer, playwright and filmmaker Kevin Carey during an online event. The event will be live streamed at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3. Carey – who will read from his work and answer student questions – has always been interested in good stories.

“It’s how I think about the world I guess, everyone has a story,” he said. “I get to tap into those. The people and places I’ve known seem to be able to find their way into my prose and my poetry. I feel lucky, just being someone who loves to write.”

Carey is excited to share his work and conversations with the Middlesex community. Being able to make these connections is what he considers a “perk” of being a writer.

“I tell students that writing can change their life,” Carey said. “We all have stories to tell. I want students to believe that their experience is important, that we as readers can all identify with the truth that comes out of good writing. I want them to trust their own stories to carry that power. The trick is learning how best to tell them.”

To help improve writing skills, Carey recommends that students keep practicing. He also suggests that, “if you’re serious about writing, you have to be an avid reader.”

Coordinator of Creative Writing at Salem State University, Carey has published three books of poetry, “The One Fifteen to Penn Station (2012), “Jesus Was a Homeboy (2016) and “Set in Stone (2020); a novel “Murder in the Marsh (2020), and a chapter book of short stories “The Beach People” (2014).

As a playwright, he has had his play “The Stand or Sal is Dead” performed at the Actor’s Studio in Newburyport in 2018 and one act plays staged at The New Works Festival in Newburyport and The New Hampshire Theater Project.

His co-written screenplay “Peter’s Song” won Best Screenplay at the 2009 New Hampshire Film Festival, and Carey has co-directed and co-produced two documentary films about poets, including “Unburying Malcolm Miller” which premiered at the Mass Poetry Festival in 2017.

His works have appeared in The Red Mountain Review, Silk Road, Rip Tide: True Crime Stories by New England Writers, among others.

MCC Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. To reserve space, contact Tom Laughlin at laughlint@middlesex.mass.edu or Student Engagement at StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/english/creative.aspx for more information.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester session, starting on Monday, March 29. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to sign up 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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Esteemed Alumna Got Her Start with MCC’s Dental Hygiene Program2/9/20212/25/2021 11:24 AM
Middlesex Community College alumna Sarah Crow wants people to know that dental hygienists do more than just clean teeth. Having been awarded Dental Hygienist of the Year at the 2021 Yankee Dental Conference and as the President-Elect for the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) in Massachusetts, Crow believes it her mission to spread awareness of the value of her profession.

Referring to her nomination as dental hygienist of the year as a “dream,” Crow appreciated the outreach and support she received from her professors and the dental community as a whole. As President of the ADHA, her wish is to unite the dental community further and work on legislative initiatives. She believes she got an “elite start” with Middlesex’s program.

“Attending MCC was some of the best years of my life,” she said. “I have fond memories of the friends I made, the professors I encountered, and the experiences I was so fortunate to have. It’s not just about the curriculum – it’s about the professors and their passion for what they do and how they mentor each student in their path. I will be forever proud to be a graduate of MCC!”

From Lawrence, Crow started in MCC’s Dental Hygiene program at age 29 and balanced her coursework and student responsibilities with being a wife, mother and step-mother. Having been surrounded by a community of hard-working classmates much like herself, she witnessed how Middlesex provided students with opportunities “to make something of themselves and their lives on their own.”

“I know MCC had a great reputation when it came to dental hygiene,” she said. “It was a great location and I loved the character that came with a community college. I felt as though most of the students I met were like me in a sense.”

At Middlesex, Crow was elected president of MCC’s student club Student Members of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SMADHA) two years in a row. In this role, she honed her multi-tasking and leadership skills that would lend to her future career.

“Leading my class meant unifying and leading by example,” she said. “Our class was able to raise thousands of dollars through fundraising events which were used to give back to the students and the community that surrounded us.”

Crow also took advantage of the networking opportunities available to her, including attending a conference for the state’s professional association and acting as Master of Ceremonies for the 2015 Yankee Dental Congress Student Business meeting in Boston where she gave a speech entitled “The Power of Belief.”

After graduating from MCC in 2014, Crow got an immediate job at a dental office and worked her way up to the role of lead hygienist. She was also asked to serve as Council Chair on Public Relations for the Mass. Dental Hygienists’ Association not long after graduation.

Her office manager at the time – who had years of experience in the field – told Crow that “the best hygienists come from Middlesex.” This made Crow even prouder to be an MCC alumna and “validated what I knew to be true in my heart.”

“I owe my entire career to the Dental Hygiene program at MCC,” she said. “I’ve continued my studies in the area of Dental Hygiene education with hopes to teach at the very school that gave me my start in this wonderful career.”

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dhdepartment/ for more information on MCC’s Dental Hygiene program, or contact Sarah Peterson-Taggard, MCC’s Administrative Assistant of the Dental Programs at petersons@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3054.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

MCC’s accelerated eight-week Spring Mini-mester starts on Monday, March 29. Complete general requirements and earn credits with the same high-quality content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. 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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Register for MCC’s College for Kids Online Summer Classes 2/16/20212/24/2021 11:01 AM
Summer is coming and Middlesex Community College wants to help bring back a sense of normalcy, learning and routine for youths. Middlesex has transitioned College for Kids to online formats for this summer’s programming. With 21 years of experience as a leader of online education, MCC’s online programs offer high-quality content and immersive experiences.

Registration for College for Kids opens on Friday, February 19. The program will feature seven weeks of half day programs taking place from 8:30 a.m. to noon, or 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for children and teens ages 8 to 17. The program will run from July 6 through August 19.

These interactive and engaging summer programs provide children and teens with unique opportunities to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence – while keeping them safe and having fun. Programs are taught by public-school teachers and professionals who are experts in their field.

“Last year’s transition to online classes was a tremendous success and our students loved being able to continue taking our classes,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training. “From photography to fashion design, online gaming to graphic and web design, and creative writing to filmmaking – we offer an assortment of exciting programs taught by a wonderful team of educators who are able to create a fun online world of learning.”

This summer, other topics students can explore include science, cooking and arts and crafts. Students in last year’s online courses believed the online format worked well and that College for Kids was a productive way to stay busy while safe at home.

“We appreciate how well the sessions were structured and how it allowed for both instruction and hands-on time,” said Chelmsford-native Alexis Treat – whose daughter Caroline took an online class. “We also appreciate how it allowed her to participate and engage independently.”

From Ayer, Alison Chase’s daughter Jaiya flourished with a new creative outlet.

“She was busy, engaged and happy all day,” said Ayer-native Alison Chase of her daughter Jaiya. “And now she has a great base of learning that I know she’ll keep working on – especially in this time of pandemic when she cannot be doing a lot of her other normal activities.”

Allie Porter – from Littleton – is a past participant of College for Kids who enjoyed MCC’s digital photography class and medical lab science camp.

“It was a fun experience getting to take pictures outside and meet new friends,” she said. “Medical Lab science camp was really fun – we got to do experiments and learn about phlebotomy. It was so much more fun than real science class!"

For the complete 2021 online 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, 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 Classes for Children and Teens Over February Break2/3/20212/23/2021 10:56 AM
Make your child’s February vacation a productive one with courses at Middlesex Community College. With 21 years of experience being a leader in online learning, Middlesex can help students ages 7 to 17 stay active, engaged and safe at-home. MCC’s online February vacation classes are immersive, interactive and fun – providing students with new activities, important knowledge and skills, and preparation for college.

“We have an exciting line-up of new classes this February break,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of Community Education and Training. “Having such a long history of success with online learning has allowed us to provide entertaining content that is informative and useful. Our other spring courses – including our partnership with Black Rocket – are also great options for students who want more stimulation and education throughout the year.”

Students interested in the culinary arts can test their kitchen skills with two new classes – Kids Breakfast and Snack Bites, and Aspiring Chefs. For both classes, students ages 7 through 12 can learn new recipes along with kitchen safety skills.

In Makeup for Beginners, students 12 and older learn about basic principles of practicing good skincare and applying makeup. Topics include matching colors to skin tone and knowing how to put together an appropriate look for different settings.

For students who want to hone valuable life skills, MCC is introducing two new classes that will set up students for success as they prepare for college and grow more independent. In Eye for Investing, middle schoolers learn the why, what and how of investing through playing games and other fun activities. High schoolers have the opportunity to discover more about personal finance tools – from credit scores to savings accounts – in Financial Adulting Toolkit.

Before and after February break, MCC offers courses to improve skills and introduce new topics. Foundations of Geometry – January 26 through March 4 – teaches a deeper understanding of geometry concepts. In the World of Electrical Engineering – March 2 to April 4 – students ages 12 to 17 learn about the base theory of electrical engineering and its relevancy in life.

MCC is continuing its partnership with Black Rocket to offer online Virtual Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Camps at an affordable price. Through MCC, students can participate in high-quality live classes that cover topics including coding, game design, eSports, virtual reality and more.

For high schoolers looking to sharpen their test taking skills, Middlesex has partnered with The Princeton Review to offer MCC students 20 percent off test prep courses for the SAT and ACT.

MCC’s Community Education and Training provides academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. Call 1-800-818-3434 to register or visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/asnoncredit.aspx for more information about After School and School Vacation Week Programs.

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 Awarded Grant Funding to Train Greater Lowell Residents2/10/20212/19/2021 11:18 AM
Middlesex Community College has been identified by the Baker-Polito Administration as a recipient of the Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants for Expanded Training Capacity & Employment Program Performance. From the $1 million offered through grant funding, Middlesex will receive $121,847 to train and place unemployed residents as Computer User Support Technicians in the Greater Lowell-area.

Funding for the grants comes from the Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP), which was renamed to honor Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly in 2018 for his commitment to providing workers with opportunities that would lead them to financial and workplace security.

“I knew and worked with Sen. Donnelly years ago and I feel honored working on a grant that bears his name,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “At Middlesex, we strive to provide opportunity to people who would not otherwise have a clear educational or professional path. With this funding, we will be able to offer training participants the relevant knowledge and skills they need to be successful, while also playing our part in helping to strengthen the Mass. economy.”

In a press release by the state, Gov. Charlie Baker spoke of the need for workers to have access to jobs that will lead to a “competitive and sustainable economy” for Massachusetts. In the same release, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito emphasized the impact the pandemic has had on the workforce, as well as the need for relevant training to meet these changing demands.

MCC’s Community Education and Training (CET) department will collaborate with Google and the MassHire Career Center of Lowell to offer the Google IT Certificate program to eligible unemployed residents of Greater Lowell. The course will prepare participants to sit for the CompTIA A+ exam and then enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful Computer User Support Technicians.

Participants will have access to video lectures, quizzes and hands-on labs and widgets as they learn about troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration and security. The curriculum also offers personal stories from Google employees who bring with them diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Throughout the pandemic, MCC’s CET department has continued to run programs – witnessing firsthand how industries and companies are reacting to the pandemic. From this, they have gained a valuable understanding of the training job seekers need in order to get jobs in hiring industries.

“While we have had to adjust the ways in which we provide our training, we have adapted very quickly to the changing needs of industries and our partners,” said Sheila Morin, MCC’s Director of CET. “From the beginning, we reached out to our community partners, listened to what they needed, and responded with support. Although this is a challenging time for many, Middlesex is proud to have the ability to continue offering training opportunities that will get our residents back into the workforce.”

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or contact Sheila Morin 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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Student Finds Her Path – And Place – at Middlesex Community College1/29/20212/17/2021 10:50 AM
From the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, when Sandy Myra first arrived at Middlesex Community College, she was uncertain of her ability to succeed in American higher education. With MCC’s support and available resources – along with her determination – Myra gained confidence to excel in her coursework as she strives to become a nurse.

Myra – who now lives in Lowell – has a passion for helping people, especially for those who are struggling in difficult situations. Having experienced a feeling of hopelessness herself when she was unsure of whether she could afford an education, she said she “thought my life had no meaning and nothing good could ever come out of me.”

Being able to come to Middlesex – and be successful – has changed Myra’s outlook.

“Part of my hope was restored by MCC,” she said. “The teachers and students are patient and always ready to help. I felt lost when I started going to MCC, but the teachers didn’t try to rush me to get in line right away. They understood what I was going through and took their time with me until I was fully settled in at MCC.”

Myra’s first introduction to Middlesex was through Maria Cunha, MCC’s Program Director of Out of School Youth Program, who helped her adjust to academic life. From guiding her through the application process to making sure she had the right supplies – including a laptop – Cunha helped Myra feel as though she belonged at the college.

Calling her start at Middlesex “scary and fascinating,” Myra noticed differences in the classroom here versus in Africa. Differences ranged from trying to understand American English to managing her schedule – growing up, homework stopped in middle school – while also balancing a full-time work schedule. One of her favorite parts about MCC was being in a classroom full of diverse learners who brought with them different perspectives, including her own.

“Interacting with them really opened my eyes and broadened my knowledge about different societies, cultures and beliefs that I never knew of,” she said. “Being able to share where I came from – the cultural beliefs and history of my country with other students ¬– was also a great pleasure. The bond that this created is something that I will always cherish.”

Participating in clubs such as the African Cultural Club, Bible Study and the Women’s Leadership Network – as well as spending time with her classmates – helped make MCC a safe and happy space for Myra. She also took advantage of many of MCC’s resources, including help from Supplemental Instructors and tutors at the Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) – all of whom she believed were “helpful, smart and down-to-earth” and helped her find her path.

Myra had a lot of possibilities for a major, including international relations and criminal justice due to her interest in helping others. Inspired by her biology professor Dr. Mariluci Bladon’s passion for science, Myra realized she wanted to become a nurse and applied to MCC’s Corporate Education and Training’s (CET) Nurse Assistant certificate program.

“Coming from a third world country, I want to be able to help people from my country and other countries as well who have limited access to medical care,” she said. “I also plan to educate people with better ways of taking care of themselves so they can live healthy lives.”

Participating in CET’s Nurse Assistant program helped Myra gain relevant experience in the field and showed her “a close up of what nursing felt like.” While working through the program and also taking her credit classes at MCC was challenging, Myra was especially grateful to be able to complete the practical portion of the certificate. She enjoyed having a real opportunity to take care of residents, which motivated her to work her hardest and complete the program.

The experience also taught her the value of kindness, understanding that “offering a glass of water, holding a resident’s hand, and just being a good listener is enough to put a smile on someone’s face.”

While she learned the theoretical knowledge and skills she needed to be successful in her career, having a hands-on practical experience showed Myra that she did have a place in healthcare. As she has just finished her nursing prerequisites, she hopes to enter MCC’s nursing program.

Middlesex as a whole is helping Myra find her path, including staff, faculty, classmates and the various opportunities open to her. Now working for the Guild for Human Services, Myra believes she is as successful as she is because of her education at MCC.

“I offer direct care to individuals with intellectual disabilities and other health conditions,” she said. “I wouldn’t have this job if not for the Nurse Assistant program and the critical thinking skills I acquired at MCC. Middlesex Community College reignited a light in me that I thought was forever lost.”

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about the Nurse Assistant certificate program, as well as other programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/or contact Sheila Morin 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 to Host Several Virtual Events Celebrating Black History Month1/27/20212/16/2021 1:00 PM
As an institution serving a diverse population of learners, Middlesex Community College strives to celebrate the histories, art, music and cultures of the college’s students. Although the majority of courses, student services and events remain online due to the pandemic, Middlesex will host several online events throughout February to commemorate Black History Month.

“In the face of the many challenges our nation is facing, celebrating Black History causes the MCC community to reflect on the ideals that this country upholds of liberty and justices for all,” said Dr. James Dottin, MCC’s Department Chair of Business Administration & Economics and President/Chair of Faculty Staff Association. “We – the MCC community – play a part of making this world a better place for all people to live in peace and harmony no matter their color, gender, economic status or sexual identity.”

Many of the events are hosted by MCC’s Black History Month Steering Committee in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Affairs. With these events, the committee recognizes and celebrates the many achievements that African Americans have contributed to the country. By offering virtual platforms, they hope “many participate and learn with open hearts and minds.”

“At MCC, we want people to understand that Black lives are about more than marches and martyrs,” the Steering Committee said. “Black lives are not just heroic and tragic figures that we read about in the news or in history. There’s a joyous complexity and diversity of everyday Black lives and communities that many people may not have heard of before, and MCC’s Black History Month Steering Committee strives to introduce people to those stories from our own community and beyond.”

Follow the Leader: Recognizing Our Ancestors, Forging Our Own Paths will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, February 1. The online presentation and discussion will look back on significant leaders of the past in African American history, their path to the present day, and the implications of identity politics and social structures in the African American community.

MCC will welcome guest lecturer Dr. Thomas L. Doughton, Senior Lecturer from the College of the Holy Cross Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3. Dr. Doughton will present and lead a discussion that recognizes the history, diversity and multiplicity of “Strength in Diversity: New England People of Color.”

Dr. Doughton specializes in the Holocaust, comparative genocide, Native American studies, local history and African American history. A former resident of Paris where he did graduate work, he takes Holy Cross students to Europe for a six-week summer course on alternate years and has led tours on New England’s African American history for adults.

The event MLK & The Strength of Shared Dreams will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10. Presenter Ron Jones for Dialogue on Diversity will lead a live character portrayal and video to highlight how Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Poor Peoples Campaign” was a turning point in intersectional advocacy.

An event featuring song, dance, spoken word, poetry readings and Black history trivia entitled, Black Talent Showcase: The Journey will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.

In celebration of MCC’s 50 years as an institution, there will be an opportunity for Middlesex Black alumni, faculty and staff to discuss their experiences in shaping the college over the past 50 years. During the event – that will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24 – they will also talk about where they see the college going in the next 50 years.

“Celebrating Black History Month 2021 as part of the college’s 50th year anniversary is so fitting,” Dr. Dottin said. “The many contributions that MCC African American faculty, staff and students have made – and continue to make ¬– enrich the legacy of the college in striving for equity and inclusion for all.”

To kick off the Spring 2021 season of “A World of Music Concert Series,” faculty members from MCC’s Music department will perform “Celebrating Black Composers from Europe, Africa, United States and South America.” The concert – recorded at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center – will air online at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 26.

Throughout the month, the podcast The Liturgists will offer a daily episode of “Black History is American History,” highlighting Black public figures.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/internationalstudents/blackhistory.aspx for more information on MCC events celebrating Black History Month throughout February.

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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Living the Dream Partners Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy2/1/20212/16/2021 10:54 AM
On Monday, January 18, 2021, the Living the Dream Partners co-sponsored “Where Do We Go From Here?” – a virtual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration that aired online by Lowell Telemedia Center. The event raised $13,640 in support of students from both Middlesex Community College and UMass Lowell.

During the event, the Partners recognized two community members – one individual and one organization – who have dedicated their professional and personal lives to supporting citizens of Greater Lowell inspired by Dr. King’s beliefs. The 2021 Living the Dream Partners Award recipients included Carmen Bermudez and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB).

Bermudez – who serves as pastor at Iglesia Trono Celestial and is the founder of Hope Dove Inc., both in Lowell – is dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities and those living in extreme poverty have a better quality of life. Calling the award an honor, Bermudez asks the community to commit to answering “life’s most persistent and urgent question” posed by Dr. King’s – “what are you doing for others?”

“I am deeply humbled to be recognized as a recipient of the Living the Dream Partners Award,” Bermudez said. “Dr. King tirelessly worked for a more equitable future for all – and this is the reason many of us are able to stand here today. Though we may have different backgrounds and experiences, we are united by our commitment to serve the community around us.”

The MVFB is a nonprofit that seeks to provide nutritious food and essential personal care items to emergency feeding programs for the low-income, homeless and hungry within the community. Their mission is to not only meet but satisfy people’s basic human needs in order to help individuals gain “freedom from hunger” – especially during the pandemic.

“Those food pantries, meal programs, senior centers and schools are on the frontlines and are providing not only food, but a sympathetic ear as well as other services including rental assistance and advice, healthcare, fuel assistance and referrals to help our neighbors navigate this uncharted territory,” a spokesperson for the MVFB said. “Thanks to our local, state and federal representatives, corporate, faith-based and academic partners, families currently seeking food can maintain their health through nutrition.”

Reginald Nichols, MCC’s Assistant Director of Human Resources, acted as emcee and emphasized the relevancy of the annual event started by Lura Smith and family 23 years ago.

“The events of 2020 – as well as the hate-filled attack on the capitol – have left the country divided and have shone a light on equity, civil rights and institutional racism,” Nichols said. “As we look towards the future, and begin this new year, it is more important than ever to reflect on and honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.”

The event featured a video message from Congresswoman Lori Trahan, a blessing from Rev. Heather Prince Doss from Eliot Presbyterian Church in Lowell, and a community reading of Dr. King’s speech “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Dancers from Donna Miceli Dance – with compliments of Lisa Pilato Dance Center – performed to “Glory” by John Legend and Common. The Free Soil Arts Collective partnered with MCC’s Performing Arts Chair Karen Oster to present “Act Free,” a short play in a series entitled “Towards An Anti-Racist Tomorrow.”

New Living the Dream Partner Enterprise Bank was also the Vision Maker sponsor of the event. The Dreamer sponsor was George and Carol Duncan, while Community Teamwork, Inc., Nancy L. Donahue, James C. and Judith G. Mabry, The Leap Network, Lowell Sun Charities, George and Nancy Robb and Trinity EMS were all Partner sponsors. The Center for Hope and Healing was also a new partner organization and sponsor participating this year.

Visit www.livingthedreampartners.org for more information about the Living the Dream Partners, volunteer opportunities in the community, sponsorship opportunities to go towards supporting student success, and next year’s MLK Event.

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 MILES Provides Community Engagement for Seniors1/26/20212/11/2021 12:39 PM
Throughout the pandemic many are seeking opportunities to connect with the community in safe ways. Middlesex Community College’s Community Education and Training (CET) program has been successful in keeping participants active and engaged by transitioning to online formats, including CET’s Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Learning for Seniors (MILES).

“It has been wonderful to see our members interacting virtually,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training. “If instructors needed support, the college was able to provide that with tutorials and practice sessions. We made sure cameras worked, sound was turned on, and links were accessible in a timely manner – it was a great time!”

Elizabeth Valente – from Acton – has been a long time participant and now instructor for MILES. She loves diving into deep conversations in all of her classes, including her own open forum class. Though she was unable to teach a course in the Fall session, she is getting ready to continue teaching this Spring. Her preparation process to transition to an online class begins with research.

“It is important to have all your ducks in a row – subject, introduction, class guidelines, etc.,” she said. “I am a copious note taker and rely on the internet and personal experience. Creating a bullet cheat sheet to read from helps keep the discussion on track.”

As she believes socialization is the key to MILES’ success, Valente wants to make sure she establishes a community-feel from class one. In order to build “a sense of fellowship,” she welcomes and acknowledges every participant – and has them do the same for their classmates.

Conversations in her open forum class focus on topics such as places everyone has gone, how age plays a part in knowledge versus wisdom, present day manners or lack thereof, and the influence of music throughout their lives. The inspiration for her class stemmed from her desire to engage in more conversation about the subjects she was learning in her previous classes.

“There was so much more we wanted to learn,” she said. “What we think about, what we have experienced, where we are now in our lives. We are exercising our brains, we are focusing on the conversation – what we are learning and what we are contributing.”

Valente enjoys keeping her mind fresh and having the chance to learn – without worrying about grades or tests. Calling MILES “a great service to the senior community,” the three best parts of the program for her have been the ability to learn, think and make new friends.

“The program has been an integral part of my life and for many of the seniors I have met through MILES,” she said. “Like many of the students I have met through the program, we all came to learn, but have gained so much more. I am so grateful to be part of MILES and I hope to be for many years to come.”

MILES’ Spring 2021 session kicks off at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24 with keynote speaker Rod Griffith discussing his experience with and knowledge of The Beatles.

All courses throughout the Spring session will be offered online. Participants pay $16 per class, with a maximum fee of $100 for the session.

For the complete schedule of MILES courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/MILES or contact Lauren Ellis at 781-280-369 or ellisl@middlesex.mass.edu. To register for courses, call 1-800-818-3434.

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or contact Sheila Morin 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 Named As a 2021 Best Online Associate Degrees for Investment1/26/20212/10/2021 11:19 AM
Throughout the college’s 50 years as an institution, Middlesex Community College has welcomed 26,000+ alumni and continues to educate thousands of credit and noncredit students every year. The college’s 20+ year history of excellence in online teaching has distinguished MCC as one of the 2021 Best Online Associate Degrees, according to a new report by OnlineU that ranks Middlesex as no. 18 in the country for Highest Return on Investment for students. With flexible course options and a variety of resources and services available, MCC helps students get their start or get back on their feet.

A recent report by Emsi – a labor market analytics firm – shows that in 2018-2019, MCC students paid $28.6 million to cover costs of tuition, fees, supplies and interest on their loans. Taking into account the amount of money they would have made working versus going to school, students who choose Middlesex earn on average $5.70 more for every dollar – a total of $324.5 million in increased earnings and a rate of return of 20.9 percent.

Middlesex understands that students are struggling financially because of the pandemic and may be having trouble paying for their education. The Financial Aid Office guides students towards their best financial options to save thousands on tuition costs, get more for their money and reach their goals faster. In addition to offering personalized financial aid counseling and payment plans, the department also help students apply for grants, scholarships, work studies and loans.

To help students maintain – and develop – healthy financial habits, the college’s Financial Wellness department offers coaching, knowledge and resources, including iGrad – a free online platform providing 24/7 access to financial tools.

To gain long-term financial and professional success, MCC’s Career Development Office helps students enter the workforce. By establishing relationships with local businesses and organizations, the department provides students with access to the best networking, job and internship opportunities available.

Throughout the pandemic, the department has transitioned to online services – a process that has been “seamless,” according to Catherine Cosgrove, MCC’s Coordinator of Career Planning & Placement, and Karen James, MCC’s Assistant Director of Career Planning & Placement. During the Spring 2021 semester, the department will host online career readiness appointments, employer panels, an internship fair and virtual recruiting events.

In addition to their online resources Focus2 and CareerShift, most recently the college partnered with Handshake – an early talent acquisition recruiting platform designed to find internship and job opportunities – a resource used by many employers during the hiring process.

“Handshake has been a game changer for our students in that it provides opportunities across the country that pre-COVID did not appear on our former recruiting platform,” Cosgrove and James said. “With many employers transitioned to a remote workforce, an MCC student can apply for a remote position posted on Handshake in any region of the country.”

MCC’s Spring 2021 semester will feature a traditional 15-week session and two eight-week accelerated Mini-mesters that help students fit education into their busy lifestyles and complete their program goals more quickly – getting students into the workforce faster. With 90 percent of the semester online, students can more easily balance their coursework with other responsibilities.

A leader of online education for over 20 years, MCC features curriculums designed to run online. Courses allow students to interact with content, professors and classmates in immersive and meaningful ways. Online courses will run via three primary learning modalities, including asynchronous online, synchronous online and a hybrid blend of online and face-to-face.

Students can register for MCC’s Spring 2021 semester until Monday, February 1. To register, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

For more information on Financial Aid at MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/FinancialAid/ or contact financialaid@middlesex.mass.edu.

To learn more about the services and resources MCC’s Financial Wellness provides, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialwellness/ or contact financialwellness@middlesex.mass.edu.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/careerservices/careerevents.aspx for more information on MCC’s Career Development Office.

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 Biotech Program Gets Students Started in a Hiring Industry1/22/20212/9/2021 11:46 AM
For Middlesex Community College alum Joshua Moreaux, a job in biotechnology has never been more relevant. A United States Air Force veteran who worked with hazmat and hazmat materials during his tenure, Moreaux was looking to go back to school to get a degree in the sciences. At Middlesex, he was inspired by professor Dr. Mariluci Bladon to enter MCC’s biotech program.

Though he is from Lakes Charles, La., Moreaux was stationed at Hanscom Airforce Base and moved to Lowell. With benefits from the GI Bill, he was able to start at Middlesex – right down the street from where he lived. MCC offered a convenient location – and while he intended to start slow and take his time with one class – he flourished on his new path.

“I really fell in love with it – the teachers, the hands-on activities, everything was just phenomenal,” he said. “I really just threw my whole self into my studies and got involved with the PDA (Parental Drug Association). Anytime we had to do displays for people to come and see, I was involved in all of those things. I immersed myself into the entire program.”

Moreaux started taking classes in Environmental Studies, but after meeting with Dr. Bladon, she talked to him about the benefits of working in biotechnology. Though he had not known much about the field before, he was fascinated by the science of biologics and cells. Dr. Bladon won him over and after graduating from MCC in 2013, he continued on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Boston University and started work at a pharmaceutical company that is now Takeda.

Having started at MCC, Moreaux felt prepared to go to school and work in the field despite a grueling schedule that included working from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., then heading to classes until 9 p.m. It was a lot to balance at once, but he kept reminding himself to “focus on what’s right in front of me.” MCC was his perfect starting point, as the biotech program offered him both foundational knowledge and high-quality practical experience.

“I compare my lab experience at MCC to my lab experience at BU, and the lab, hands-on experience that you get at MCC far exceeded what I got at BU,” he said. “MCC has a very organized and robust program, so you’re able to take some cells and see them double and grow, and it far exceeded my expectations and the amount of clinical experience I got at BU by far.”

Now a Senior Trainer at Takeda, Moreaux works with new employees to get them onboarded. Takeda is a partner company to MCC’s Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience where Middlesex students have the opportunity to work full- or part-time as Manufacturing Technicians while completing their associate degree in biotech at Middlesex. Having experience from his time at MCC – as well as a passion for helping newcomers in the field – Moreaux recently met with the cohort of students.

“Having someone like myself be a connection for them is valuable, it’s all about networking,” he said. “All I told them was, ‘just focus on what you need to do, show that you can be proactive and take initiative – and all of those things help to build trust. Before you know it, people will start noticing that and they’ll start looking for positions to put you in.’”

In MCC’s biotech program, Moreaux believes students learn all about the industry – making the Learn and Earn Experience even more valuable as students can see in real-time how their skills transfer to the workforce. These skills include following standard operating procedures, using a lab book, writing down steps, and working in the lab. He also believes that because biotech is used everywhere – especially to fight the pandemic – the field provides students with job security.

“This is definitely an industry that’s always going to be beneficial for the public and for everyone,” he said. “Looking at this pandemic and dealing with COVID-19, the biotech industry is coming up with these therapies to treat for viruses and drugs for whatever diseases that we haven’t even seen yet.”

Moreaux enjoys keeping in touch with Middlesex and visited MCC’s new biotech lab to help students learn about the new clean room. He enjoyed being able to see the space in person – calling it “state-of-the-art” and comparing it to what he would find at his company – as MCC was in the discussion phase of building the lab while he was in the program.

“It’s good to give back and it gives me great pleasure to be able to give back to a program that gave so much to me,” he said. “The unfortunate part about being at MCC is that it ends before you know it. Knowing that, get involved, immerse yourself into the program, and look for all opportunities that are available to you.”

For more information about the Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience at Middlesex, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/biotechnology/learnandearn.aspx or contact Stefana Soitos at soitoss@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

Registration is open for MCC’s Spring semester, starting on January 26. 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’s Dual Enrollment Prepares High School Students for College1/20/20212/8/2021 11:33 AM
In Middlesex Community College’s Dual Enrollment program, high school students receive valuable opportunities to enhance their academic experience. Taking concurrent courses for high school and college credit allows students to better prepare for college and to give themselves a competitive edge in applying for – and succeeding in – higher education.

Middlesex provides Dual Enrollment students with full access to campus resources. In the pandemic, this includes remote services through the libraries, Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE), peer tutoring, and advising – who can help students transfer to four-year schools. Ellen Grondine, MCC’s Dean of K-16 Partnerships, Academic & Student Affairs, calls Dual Enrollment a “team effort.”

“Beyond the opportunity to earn college credit or the economic benefits of saving families thousands of dollars, we aim to teach students early on how to leverage the many resources and support available to our students at MCC,” Grondine said. “We know this will contribute to their long-term academic and personal success.”

Anne Ford, an English Teacher at Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, has been teaching MCC Dual Enrollment courses since she began at the school in 2018. Her classes include English Composition I, Classics of Children’s Literature, Modern Drama and Crime & Punishment in Literature. Ford believes MCC’s Dual Enrollment provides “an incredible opportunity” for students.

“Students taking Dual Enrollment courses are investing in their own future,” she said. “They are challenging themselves to become better students now, but also setting themselves up for future success as an undergraduate. They are developing skills that will benefit them in college.”

Ford believes there are many benefits of concurrent Dual Enrollment, including not having to take extra courses in addition to a normal workload, potentially boosting their weighted GPA, and taking introductory college courses while still in the comfort of familiar surroundings at their current high school.

“It has been my experience that students rise to the challenges of Dual Enrollment courses, and are eager to enroll in more Dual Enrollment courses as soon as their first ends,” Ford said. “Through the Middlesex Dual Enrollment program, students establish their college transcript, expand their skills, and save money on college courses all while still in high school. Honestly, what's not to love?”

Jesena Kalabokis is a junior at Innovation Academy Charter School who has already taken several of MCC’s Dual Enrollment course offerings. She was interested in challenging herself as she prepares to enter college and adjust to new expectations.

“I think Dual Enrollment will help me when I get to college because I will have a good idea of what will be expected of me,” she said. “It also might help to alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with college since I am already earning college credit in high school.”

Kalabokis – who is interested in studying journalism in college – has taken Dual Enrollment courses that sparked her interest, including several English classes and an Introduction to Psychology course. She appreciates having access to these courses and has so far risen to meet the expectations required of the more rigorous coursework.

“It's easy to sign up for since we take the classes through our school,” she said. “You might be able to take less classes in college since you are earning college credit. It is a great option if you are a student who enjoys being challenged.”

According to Grondine, Ford and Kalabokis’ experiences are what MCC’s Dual Enrollment strives to provide to students. With 25 established partnerships with high schools across the region, Middlesex is at the ready to welcome new partners.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/dualenroll/default.aspx for more information on Dual Enrollment at MCC, or contact dualenrollment@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC’s Spring semester starts on January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for courses.

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 Libraries Provide Support to Students Throughout Pandemic1/21/20212/4/2021 3:10 PM
In the face of the pandemic, the Middlesex Community College Libraries responded to the needs of students, faculty and staff by overhauling their physical spaces and digital offerings. Throughout 2020 and the coronavirus, the Middlesex Libraries not only maintained – but improved upon – the quality and accessibility of their services and resources.

“The information professionals at the MCC Libraries guide students on their paths to success,” said Donna Maturi, MCC’s Director of Libraries. “We’re here to ensure the community gets the most from the Libraries’ virtual branch which has been loaded with course guides, eBooks and research guides by subject. In addition to helping students identify quality resources to inform their research, we offer online workshops, and help students acclimate to online platforms to become experts in their online courses.”

Ahead of the Fall semester, Library staff worked with faculty by phone, email and Zoom to help them reshape their courses for a full semester in an online setting. Their outreach throughout the community built valuable partnerships that helped develop a strong collegewide response to circumstances brought on by the pandemic.

Working with faculty, MCC Library staff edited and refined over 300 research guides, increased their eBook collection and databases to 134, and produced a collection of video tutorials that offer quick responses to questions students can reference called MCCLibVids. Library staff were also able to lead 200 instructional sessions in classrooms, allowing Library staff to directly reach over 3,000 students.

This continued access to services and resources played an important part in students’ success in their courses, including for Randi Froude – a Liberal Arts and Sciences major from Lillehammer, Norway. After reaching out to the Libraries for help on a psychology paper, a staff member met with her on Zoom to guide her through databases and how to cite her sources.

“It is incredibly important for students to have access to this kind of help from the Library,” Froude said. “Students are able to get in touch with a librarian who will patiently guide them in finding material they need for their projects – especially in the environment where all classes, and therefore all research, is done online.”

Tara Bartlett – a Business Administration Transfer major from Woburn – turned to the Library when she needed assistance working on projects. Finding the staff to be helpful, accessible and quick to respond, she was appreciative of their knowledge of MCC’s systems, professors and assignments. She also took advantage of the text and web chat options to meet with them.

“For first time students – and in a virtual setting – it’s important to have this system in place so you can continue to move forward with your assignments with confidence,” Bartlett said. “When I used the service, I was typically in the middle of completing something and was able to get assistance right away.”

Proving how valuable a resource they were to students, the Libraries welcomed almost 6,000 new patrons to their system. Results show that patrons used the Libraries’ search function – for books, articles and videos among other resources – over 350,000 times, and visited the Libraries’ website over 150,000 times to access research guides.

As a mother and full-time essential worker, it is important for Angelica Louis – a Health and Science major from Boston – to have these systems of support in place to meet her needs. She found the Library staff to be helpful – when she needed a document printed, but did not have time to visit during the normal scheduled hours, staff made sure she got what she needed.

“The Library staff recommended books and online tools to get my research paper completed,” Louis said. “Specifically, Ms. Jordana Shaw. She set aside time to join our Zoom class and always emailed me back to assist in any way possible.”

While most courses and services remained fully online, the Libraries also connected MCC community members to physical library materials by offering curbside and contactless pick-up.

Saimah Nfn – a Liberal Arts and Sciences student from Bedford –enjoyed how “convenient” the curbside and contactless pick-up options were. She was grateful to be able to take advantage of the Libraries’ printing services, which meant she did not have to worry about cost or her safety by going elsewhere.

“My experience with the Libraries has been great so far,” Nfn said. “I have been able to get my request for print-outs completed in no time by simply filling out a request sheet. Even at the last moment, the librarians were able to help me out. They made every effort to reach out to me when I had some issues with the file I sent – I appreciate them for their work.”

Visit https://libguides.middlesex.mass.edu/library for more information on how MCC’s Libraries help students reach success.

To register for Spring, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-3434.

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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Register for Middlesex Community College’s Spring 2021 Semester1/15/20212/3/2021 11:21 AM
Student success starts at Middlesex Community College. With affordable, flexible and high-quality course options, Middlesex helps students fit education into their busy lifestyles and complete their program goals more quickly. Register for MCC’s Spring 2021 semester today.

At Middlesex, college students can get a better understanding of their path and earn transferable credits; high school students can gain college experience and take advantage of effective online learning platforms; and adult learners can go back to school and upgrade or learn new skills – all while staying healthy and safe at home.

“The college is offering a spring schedule that is once again primarily online, placing safety for all students and faculty first,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. “We continue to provide an exceptional online learning experience for our students thanks to the high quality of our instruction and the commitment of our faculty to student success in the online environment.”

For over 20 years, Middlesex has designed award-winning online curriculums that allow students to interact with content, professors and their fellow students in immersive and meaningful ways. Online courses will run via three primary learning modalities, including asynchronous online, synchronous online and a hybrid blend of online and face-to-face.

In asynchronous online learning, instructors and students interact with course materials, assignments and each other through Blackboard. While there are no live classes that meet in real-time, students can make an appointment to meet with their instructor. Students taking synchronous online courses attend live classes at specific dates and times, and engage with professors and classmates in a live, remote setting using a camera and microphone.

Blended face-to-face with online courses allow students to complete coursework online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.

MCC’s Spring 2021 semester includes a traditional 15-week session and two eight-week accelerated Mini-mesters. Covering the same content, maintaining the same academic standards, and containing the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester, Mini-mesters allow students to earn credits in a variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

To register for course for MCC’s Spring 2021 semester – starting on Tuesday, January 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 Debuts New Program to Allow for More Student Interactions1/19/20212/1/2021 12:49 PM
After her classes transitioned to online formats during the Spring 2020 semester, Abigail Coleman found she missed talking with her classmates about an assignment or book before or after class and making small talk around campus. Understanding the need for social interactions between students, Middlesex Community College developed a resource called Study Buddies that allows classmates to connect with each other outside of class.

Coleman – who lives in Carlisle – took most of her courses in-person before the pandemic. Although the transition challenged her in some ways, she enjoys the creative tools her professors use to help students be successful in class. In one course, her professor put students in different breakout rooms each class so that they always meet with a new partner.

As a Dual Enrollment student at Middlesex, Coleman has the opportunity to take college-level courses where she believes there is a “richness of viewpoints” shared by classmates, as well as flexibility in her course options and support from professors.

From building time management and study skills to gaining more internship and job opportunities, Coleman has enjoyed the many benefits and resources MCC offers. This includes the ability to work and meet with a population of diverse learners who bring with them different perspectives, and help Coleman develop “a sense of how to participate in team projects.”

As someone who “thrives on being able to bounce ideas off of other students,” MCC’s new Study Buddies program provides Coleman and her classmates with more opportunities to get to know – and learn from – each other.

“Study Buddies provides an informal space to study together and clear up any misconceptions about an assignment,” she said. “I want to make sure that we have more opportunities to be social with one another and foster a sense of community. Study Buddies creates a platform where we can be more than muted boxes on a screen without disrupting class time.”

Students can opt into Study Buddies by joining specific courses on their class schedule, according to Bryan Wint, MCC’s Director of Advising and Academic Pathways. Groups gain access to one another’s contact information and can then communicate over Zoom or Microsoft Teams about courses, subject matter, homework, group assignments and exam preparation.

“The Study Buddy sessions are completely run by students, giving them some autonomy, but allows them to invite instructors, tutors, or use other resources,” Wint said. “Our community has adjusted to remote instruction and learning very well, but students have shared that they would like to find meaningful ways to connect with their classmates outside of the classroom. This is just another way we are helping them be more successful.”

Study Buddies will be available on Navigate, MCC’s online application designed for students to have easy access to all the important things they need to do. The app helps students adjust to college, explore career and program options, find sources on classes, and communicate with faculty, advisors and other students.

According to Coleman, students can join Study Buddies before the official start of the upcoming Spring semester. To register for courses – and to take advantage of Study Buddies and other MCC resources – visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/advising/ for more information about how MCC helps students succeed, including more information on Study Buddies and Navigate.

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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Living the Dream Partners Honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy1/12/20211/29/2021 10:34 AM
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words and actions continue to leave a lasting impact upon generations. Although the pandemic is preventing an in-person event, at 1 p.m. on Monday, January 18, 2021, the Middlesex Community College Foundation and the Living the Dream Partners will sponsor “Where Do We Go From Here?” – a virtual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

Joining Middlesex in this year’s Community Planning Committee are UMass Lowell, the African Community Center of Lowell, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell, Inc. (CMAA), Coalition for a Better Acre, Lowell Public Schools, Girls Inc. and the Middlesex Community College Foundation.

Dr. Francine Coston, Associate Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at UMass Lowell, describes the purpose of the Living the Dream Partners as continuing the work started by Lura Smith, former MCC Assistant to the President.

“We come together around celebrating and acknowledging the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King,” Coston said. “That truly is the value of the event. When we put on this celebration, it’s about the community coming together, working together and trying our best to realize Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream.”

During the event, community members will perform a reading of Dr. King’s “Where Do We Go From Here” address – given at the 11th Annual Southern Christian Leadership Conference Convention on August 16, 1967 in Atlanta, Ga. Other highlights of the event include a dance performance to the song “Glory” by Donna Miceli Dance in Lawrence and an enactment of “Act Free,” one of the plays in a series entitled “Towards An Anti-Racist Tomorrow” by Lowell’s The Free Soil Arts Collective.

Reggie Nichols, MCC’s Assistant Director of Human Resources, will act as a special guest emcee for the event that will recognize two Living the Dream Award Recipients for their service to the community.

This year’s event is sponsored by Vision Maker sponsor Enterprise Bank and Dreamer sponsor George and Carol Duncan, among other generous donors. Sponsorship opportunities for the virtual event are made in support to students at both UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College.

“The MLK Day event is an opportunity to celebrate the memory and continued dream of Dr. Martin Luther King,” said Sherri McCormack, Dean of Advancements. “We invite you to join us virtually by sponsoring our event to benefit students and help them realize their dream of a college education. We hope you will join us for this uplifting event!”

Visit https://livingthedreampartners.org/ for more information about the Living the Dream Partners, volunteer opportunities in the community, and sponsorship opportunities to go towards supporting student success.

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 Alum Named to an Elected Position1/14/20211/27/2021 11:10 AM
Middlesex Community College has welcomed 26,000+ alumni over the past 50 years in the college’s storied history. Serving a diverse population of learners, Middlesex is proud to help students find their path on their academic, professional and personal journeys. This past election day, MCC alum Danillo Sena was named to an elected position.

From Brazil, Rep. Sena became the first Brazilian immigrant to be elected to a state legislature in the country. At 14, he moved to Acton – where he still lives – and graduated from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.

Before becoming a state representative, Rep. Sena served as Senator Jamie Eldridge’s District Director and is a member of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus. His time at Middlesex – including participating in Student Government – helped him get to where he is now.

“My days at Middlesex set me up to be a leader today because I was involved with the school and worked with administration and staff to advocate for a variety of things that the student body needed,” Rep. Sena said. “I really liked my days at MCC.”

In addition to Student Government, Rep. Sena was involved in the Law Maker and Business Clubs and played on the intramural soccer team. A Liberal Studies major, he credits his English professor Dona Cady and Physics professor John Smith, as well as Rebecca Newell, MCC’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs, for making a lasting impact on his academic career. He still keeps in touch with his contacts at MCC.

“You build relationships that last a lifetime,” he said. “I’m honored and grateful to have met so many wonderful professors.”

Rep. Sena took many engineering and science courses at MCC before realizing his true passion. After graduating from MCC in 2009, he transferred to UMass Amherst to pursue a bachelor’s in political science. Although he did not expect to run for office, Rep. Sena wanted to work at any level of government – local, state or federal.

“I think that’s the most rewarding part of the job, when you impact someone’s life in ways that you probably wouldn’t have imagined that you would be able to do,” he said. “That makes my life easier and gives me great joy to be in a position where I can help people.”

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

MCC’s Spring 2021 semester starts on Tuesday, January 26. For more information and to register for 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, 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 Certificate Program Helps Student Land Job at LGH1/12/20211/26/2021 1:13 PM
Rachel Twerefour came to Middlesex Community College to start working in the healthcare industry as soon as she could. Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UMass Lowell, she chose MCC’s Community Education and Training’s (CET) Nurse Assistant certificate program to gain patient care experience before applying for medical school.

Based on recommendations from her UMass Lowell pre-medical advisors, Twerefour decided MCC’s program was the best fit for her. While the program best matched her schedule, she also found it to be the most affordable.

“MCC’s certificate programs allow individuals to take courses that will help their professional career in a very timely manner at an affordable cost,” she said. “MCC’s Nurse Assistant program prepared me for the future by teaching me the core values and skills that are needed to be the best healthcare professional I can be.”

The 100-hour certificate program includes 24 hours of weekend clinical training at a local long-term care facility and prepares students to work as a Nurse Assistant and sit for the Mass. nurse assistant certification exam.

At the Wingate facility in Haverhill, Twerefour took necessary safety precautions, such as getting tested and wearing masks, face shields and gloves when working with residents. She also made sure to wash her hands often.

Working with – and learning from – patients and professionals was a valuable experience, as well as having a balance between the theoretical knowledge she learned in courses with the hands-on experience she was gaining at Wingate. Calling her clinical experience “enlightening and extremely helpful,” she believes that performing techniques herself “helped solidify everything I had previously learned in the program.”

Twerefour credits her instructors April Champa and LeeAnn Harmer for their guidance, saying they “went above and beyond” to make sure students understood the content. With their support, she felt comfortable asking questions and gained confidence in her abilities as a Nurse Assistant.

Dedication from her instructors was of particular importance as Twerefour completed the program in the middle of the pandemic. Her classes were synchronous online live on Zoom. The effectiveness of the online formats and accessibility of the online resources impressed her.

“My experience at MCC was excellent,” she said. “The program coordinators did a wonderful job of providing updates about how the program would be during the pandemic and the instructors were so flexible and attentive during online learning and the practical experience.”

Having completed the certificate program, she can now work in the healthcare field while she pursues advanced degrees. After finishing the program in September 2020, Twerefour was hired by Lowell General Hospital as an Emergency Room Technician.

For students who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, Twerefour recommends they start with CET’s Nurse Assistant certificate program at Middlesex.

“The staff are extremely helpful and hard-working,” she said. “They do their best to help you truly succeed during and after the program.”

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives. For more information about the Nurse Assistant certificate program, as well as other programs and noncredit courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ or contact Sheila Morin 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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Middlesex CC Alumna Working on Frontlines of Pandemic1/7/20211/26/2021 10:53 AM
Now working on the frontlines of COVID-19 in the healthcare field, Alicia Gentile got her start at Middlesex Community College. As a Dual Enrollment student, Gentile appreciated MCC’s small class sizes and opportunities for growth. Having received flexible course options, supportive advisors and professors, and a strong foundation of knowledge and experience, Middlesex put her on track to help her in her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree and a career as a nurse.

“My overall experience at MCC was amazing and really shaped who I am today,” she said. “I always loved learning before I got to MCC, but MCC helped me cultivate that love and channel it into action. I felt confident because of MCC and I feel as though I was able to create a solid path for myself.”

From Groton, Gentile was a Liberal Arts & Sciences major at MCC who worked as a Supplemental Instructor in Anatomy and Physiology. As a Dual Enrollment student, Gentile took college-level courses starting in high school. Working towards her high school diploma while earning college credit helped her gain college experience and further challenged her academic abilities in a positive way.

A commencement speaker at her graduation from Middlesex in May 2016, she transferred to the University of San Francisco (USF) to receive a bachelor’s degree in Nursing with a minor in General Business.

“I’m grateful to have felt confident leaving Middlesex,” she said. “I was confident in my ability to take on difficult classes, and I was confident in the foundation MCC provided me. I don’t think I would be as prepared for USF if I didn’t attend Middlesex, and it really just made my transition to San Francisco – a city across the country – much easier!”

While she was studying at USF, Gentile was eager to get started in the healthcare field and earned an EMT Certification. She started work as an Emergency Response Specialist at Genentech, Inc – a biotechnology company in San Francisco – while in college and is continuing in that role as she prepares to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a Registered Nurse. For even more hands-on medical experience, she volunteers in the ICU at a local hospital.

Although she calls working in the healthcare industry during these times “sad and stressful,” Gentile believes she has learned a lot of perspective from working throughout the pandemic – about her patients and her treatment of them in particular.

“Many of my patients have not been able to see their families during very vulnerable and difficult times in their lives and I had to become part of their family to support them emotionally,” she said. “I celebrated birthdays with them, I FaceTimed their families with them, I sat with them when they couldn’t fall asleep, and I prayed with them when their families weren’t there. I experienced some of the most amazing recoveries and felt so grateful to be a part of that.”

Her passion for nursing and the healthcare industry started at Middlesex. It was her experience with her professors at MCC who made such a positive impact on her success.

“MCC just made me feel supported,” she said. “I really felt like the teachers wanted me to succeed and wanted me to learn, and my educational efforts were acknowledged. It was really encouraging to have so many teachers that rooted for me!”

Stacey Hubbard, MCC Professor of Math, Science and Biotechnology, influenced Gentile the most as a confidant and support system for her next steps. From answering her questions to fostering her love of science and healthcare, Hubbard helped push Gentile to pursue her goals. And when Gentile was struggling to determine where she should go for her bachelor’s degree, Hubbard guided her through the decision.

“I felt like she truly cared about where I decided to attend,” Gentile said. “I truly appreciate her for her unbiased help, especially during a time where I felt like I had so many outside influences.”

Gentile is grateful to Hubbard – and her other professors and advisors at Middlesex – for their guidance and support. She recommends that students who want a supportive learning environment that is designed for student success, should come to MCC for this experience.

“These teachers truly want you to succeed, learn and become the best version of yourself,” she said. “You’ll feel supported and you’ll walk away with a solid foundation for whatever you decide to pursue next!”

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

MCC’s Spring 2021 semester starts on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, including Spring Mini-mester I. Spring Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 29. For more information and to register for 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, 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 Corporate Ed. Partners with LGH to Offer Training to Staff1/7/20211/22/2021 10:49 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Education and Training program has partnered with Lowell General Hospital (LGH) for a number of years to provide leadership training to the hospital’s employees. A leader of workforce training for over 30 years, MCC’s Corporate Ed. understands how industries work and how to best prepare employees to succeed.

The partnership between MCC’s Corporate Ed. and LGH began in 2013 after they were awarded a $50,000 workforce training grant by the Mass. Department of Higher Education. They received a $250,000 Healthcare Transformation Training Fund Grant in 2015 from the Department of Labor to develop leaders.

“Lowell General Circle Heath is an amazing partner,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “At every level and in so many ways, LGH is selfless in their approach toward collaboration. Talented and gifted LGH staff serve on our advisory boards, provide clinical oversight for our health careers students, and offer help to the community when we all need it most. We are proud to partner with them to bring continued professional development to their staff, strengthening their employees as individuals and as a whole.”

LGH’s Deborah Bergholm-Petka, Director of Organizational Development, and Lori Lesofsky, Training and Development Specialist, describe the collaboration as helping to provide Circle Health and LGH with “a workforce of the highest caliber, the best work environment and the organizational culture needed to support the hospital’s mission and vision.”

“Middlesex shares Lowell General Hospital’s commitment to the community,” they said. “As one of the largest employers in the area, Lowell General has a diverse employee population with diverse professional development needs. MCC provides resources that support all of our employees. Supporting an engaged workforce ultimately allows us to take better care of the people who live in our community.”

In their ongoing partnership, MCC offers training in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Certified Healthcare Access Associate (CHAA) exam prep course, Leadership Development – Evolving Leader, Becoming a Strategic Leader, Authentic Leadership Presence, and Leadership Skills. They also offer an enhanced tuition reimbursement process for employees to pay for trainings.

With MCC’s trainings, LGH hopes to bring out the best in their employees to build a stronger organization overall. It is also important to them to support their staff in their professional development. Both Bergholm-Petka and Lesofsky believe MCC uses effective teaching styles to provide knowledge and that are tailored to match LGH’s needs, mission, vision and values.

LGH has seen positive feedback from both formal and informal sources, including course evaluations, according to Bergholm-Petka and Lesofsky. The results of the trainings have also impacted LGH’s employee engagement survey.

"Participating in the continuing education program at MCC gave me the opportunity to assess my job performance from an updated perspective,” said Kathleen Kania, Concierge Services at LGH. “This resulted in confirming my commitment to my job and in providing a better understanding of how it fits in with the needs of the company for which I work. It also provided an expanded view of my career choice."

As a leader of professional development and workforce training for over 30 years, MCC’s Corporate Education and Training program provides employees with the knowledge and skills they need to start or advance in their careers. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/bus_ind/ or contact Teresa Medina at medinat@middlesex.mass.edu 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 to Offer Free Early Childhood Education Courses this Spring1/5/20211/21/2021 2:19 PM
Middlesex Community College provides students with opportunities to set them up for success. For the Spring 2021 semester, Middlesex is offering free courses to Early Childhood Education (ECE) students who are working in the field and want to start their academic pathway. Classes are offered online and are funded through the ECE Career Pathways grant and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

“MCC’s ECE department’s programmatic mission is to provide students with the educational background and supervised training needed to work with young children,” said Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Coordinator of the ECE Career Pathways Grant. “With a child-centered focus, program emphasis is on developmentally and culturally appropriate practices as set forth and recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.”

Lowell-native Bernadette Baird is hoping to graduate from the program by Summer of 2021.

“MCC is helping me to achieve my goal of being a certified lead teacher by providing classes and programs designed to meet that goal,” she said. “The classes I was interested in were offered online, tuition is affordable, and I was fortunate enough to qualify for an EEC grant which helps immensely.”

Working full-time as a preschool teacher, Sovannara Tommy Reth – from Lowell – chose to come to Middlesex because of the college’s flexible course offerings.

“I wanted to grow and expand my education within the early childhood field,” Reth said. “MCC is offering a grant funded program and helping me with my professional development and allowing me to move up slowly and gradually.”

The grant provides students with funding toward college tuition, course materials, fees, tutoring services and career and college advising. The courses go towards completion of an associate or certificate program. ECE now offers two new certificates in addition to the currently offered Child Development Associate Plus (CDA+) credential – which qualifies students to apply for an Early Childhood Teacher certification.

Students are prepared to provide classroom support for children and other teachers in the Assistant Teacher certificate program, and are encouraged to apply if they are new to the field and want to gain knowledge and experience. In the Leadership certificate, students who have at least six months of lead teacher experience hone their leadership skills and gain research-based best practices, professional standards and competencies, and licensure requirements.

The ECE Career Pathways grant is available for eligible students who are pursuing their CDA and coursework towards their EEC certification. Registration is ongoing and fills up quickly.

For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/education/pathwayspg.aspx or contact Nancy Pynchon at pynchonn@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-226-8256.

MCC’s Spring semester starts on January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for courses.

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 Corporate Ed. Program Helps People Return to Workforce12/30/20201/20/2021 2:04 PM
During these uncertain times due to the pandemic, it is important for people to have access to a high-quality, affordable and short-term education that meets their needs. As a leader of workforce training for over 30 years, Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Education and Training program understands what industries are looking for and how to provide potential employees with the knowledge and skills they need to be hirable and successful.

MCC’s Corporate Ed. program receives grants that allow them to develop programs with companies to offer training in a specific industry to people who need financial support. While MassHire identifies potential participants, MCC provides the training opportunities.

“MCC's strong partnership with MassHire provides many opportunities for critical grants for training programs in our community,” said Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Director of Corporate Education and Training. “The grants will provide the underemployed, the unemployed and those seeking career changes with training for jobs that will secure their return to the workforce.”

Peter Farkas, Executive Director of MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, describes his company’s partnership with MCC as a way to help people get on a better career pathway.

“To stay current in the labor force now, you need to be a lifelong learner and have up-to-date credentials, whether that’s an associate degree or noncredit credential program,” Farkas said. “Middlesex does a good job offering programming for what industries need, and that’s critical.”

Both Middlesex and MassHire have identified three relevant industries from grant funding opportunities, predictions of growth based on the labor market, and whether the industry offers good pay and a solid career ladder. These industries include healthcare and social assistance, advanced manufacturing and information technology (IT).

“Through our many partnerships within the community and our collaboration with industry professionals, we are attuned to which industries are hiring and what it is they are looking for in future employees,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “Our partnership with MassHire – with the funds we receive from grants – allows us to provide training to those who need it most, getting them back into the workforce and on their feet.”

Participants of MCC’s noncredit healthcare and social assistance, advanced manufacturing and IT programs are prepared to go directly into the workforce. Courses are designed to offer both the theoretical and practical skills participants need to know. Corporate Ed. continues to update curriculums to match industry standards and to identify what the ongoing challenges and needs are within the industry.

“Middlesex has strategically looked at what types of programs and grants they need so that they’re pursuing the right type of programming based off of the demand within industry,” Farkas said. “The training, programming and education has been tailored to adapt to what industries are looking for.”

As a leader of professional development and workforce training for over 30 years, MCC’s Corporate Education and Training program provides employees with the knowledge and skills they need to start or advance in their careers. Visit http://www.middlesex.mass.edu/bus_ind/ or contact Teresa Medina at medinat@middlesex.mass.edu 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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LMACS Seeks New Executive Director 1/5/20211/19/2021 4:40 PM
When students have been given up on – or have given up on themselves – Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School (LMACS) offers an inclusive and supportive environment that holds its students to high standards and ensures they reach their goals. Dr. Margaret McDevitt will be retiring from LMACS this spring after 17 inspirational and passionate years of service and leadership to the school. Dr. James C. Mabry, President of Middlesex Community College and Chair of LMACS Board of Trustees, announced on Tuesday that a search committee is looking to hire the next LMACS Executive Director.

“Middlesex is proud of the hard work being done for these students at LMACS,” President Mabry said. “As one of the first charter schools in Massachusetts, LMACS has educated thousands of youths from Lowell and the surrounding community since its start. We are seeking a new Executive Director who will continue to guide students on their paths to success and truly make a positive impact on their futures – academically and personally.”

The accredited public charter high school partners with Middlesex to serve students between the ages of 15 and 21 who have left school or are at risk of dropping out. The program provides academic, social and career skills necessary to succeed post-graduation – emphasizing the importance of college education. Graduates of LMACS receive a high school diploma.

This supportive school community identifies, encourages and develops interests and abilities of its students, while acknowledging and respecting each student's personal and cultural identity. The curriculum of LMACS is built around a core of academic subject areas and is supplemented by required psycho-educational courses and career preparation.

LMACS provides all students with a school-to-work component, daily advising, and an opportunity to participate in dual enrollment at Middlesex. The LMACS curriculum reflects MCC’s small size and mission-driven culture. The school was designated a Vanguard School by Massachusetts Insight and is a recipient of the Edgerly Leadership Award in recognition of student achievement on the MCAS.

The search committee – comprised of Trustee members, LMACS staff and community members – will be looking for a candidate who will contribute leadership, enthusiasm and efforts toward the fulfillment of the school’s mission and the development of an innovative learning community that serves the whole student – academically, socially and emotionally – and its diverse student body.

LMACS is seeking an innovative school leader to commit themselves to the urgent and exciting needs of the school’s students and community. The Executive Director is responsible for providing administrative leadership, instructional leadership and student leadership, as well as building community relationships for LMACS.

Details regarding the job posting will be made available later this week in various education job opportunity sites, including MCC’s Human Resources page https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/employmentatmcc/default.aspx
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MCC Students Excelling in Biotech Learn & Earn Experience12/22/20201/15/2021 11:36 AM
The Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience is off to a strong start at Middlesex Community College. For 50 years, Middlesex has had a mission of guiding students on their paths to success. The Learn and Earn Experience – created to scale up the college’s already successful biotech program with an $841,000 grant from the Strategic Grant Partners (SGP) – is another way that MCC prepares students to reach their academic and professional goals.

The program allows eligible biotech students the opportunity to earn an associate degree while working full- or part-time as Manufacturing Technicians at a participating employer, including Takeda and Abbvie. Students are paid for their work and gain practical experience while completing their studies.

From Methuen, Alissa Gannon is working at Takeda and may have the opportunity to continue at the company in a permanent position after she graduates from Middlesex by the end of next year. Gannon chose MCC’s Learn and Earn Experience because it allowed her to go to school and work at the same time – something she was not certain she would be able to do elsewhere. It was important to her that she start her career as soon as she could.

“My overall experience has been great,” Gannon said. “I have gained so much hands-on experience. I was eager to start my future career and was presented with an opportunity to do so.”

Gannon’s goal – both at MCC and Takeda – is to learn as much as she can. In the Learn and Earn Experience, she receives both academic and professional development from her professors and professionals in the field. In the future, she is interested in continuing her education to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biotechnology.

“MCC’s biotech program gives a lot of insight into the field; especially with the new lab, it shows you exactly how to work proficiently,” she said. “You are learning how and why, then performing the tasks you have studied. You know exactly why you are doing things and how it all works.”

Takeda has also appreciated Gannon’s efforts.

"The team is thoroughly impressed with Alissa's dedication to learning, positive attitude and team spirit,” said Steven Li, Manufacturing Supervisor at Takeda. “We're blessed to have such good synergy from the get-go!"

As she is working during the pandemic, Gannon believes Takeda has put measures in place to keep her healthy and safe. She also finds working in biotechnology to be relevant to the science behind COVID-19, including learning about immunology and how viruses work. Overall, Gannon is grateful for the opportunity MCC and Takeda have provided to her, as well as for her professors for guiding her through the experience.

"I am only 22-years-old and have found my future career at a job I love,” she said. “It feels amazing to come home from work happy every single day.”

For more information about the Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience at Middlesex, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/biotechnology/learnandearn.aspx or contact Stefana Soitos at soitoss@middlesex.mass.edu.

Registration is open for both MCC’s Spring semester and WinterSession. The Spring semester starts on January 26 and students can take courses during MCC’s accelerated WinterSession from January 4 to 22. 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 Receives $2 Million in Student Aid from Federal CARES Act12/17/20201/14/2021 1:20 PM
Middlesex Community College serves a diverse population of learners who come to the college seeking opportunity. Understanding that the pandemic has created challenging financial circumstances for many within the MCC community, Middlesex continues to work hard to help lessen the financial burden some students face. As part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of March 2020, Middlesex received several grants totaling $2 million.

The U.S. Department of Education authorized more than $7 billion of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to go towards emergency student expenses related to the pandemic. MCC signed and returned the certification and agreement form to receive funds from the CARES Act.

“At Middlesex, we want to ensure students are receiving the education they need to help them remain on track with their degree or employment paths – regardless of their financial situations,” said Frank Nocella, MCC’s Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. “Funding opportunities help make MCC a more valuable asset to our students who experience unexpected financial hardships. While many unknowns remain due to the pandemic, education does not have to be one of them, and support from the CARES Act is crucial to our students’ success.”

Middlesex disbursed $997,070 of grant funds to 2,558 eligible students as of September 2020. An additional $1 million in grants was given out in December 2020 to 2,400 students, including $210,800 from the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund (GREER) for 469 students and $15,008 for 34 students from the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutional Fund (AANIPISI).

To be eligible, students must have been enrolled at Middlesex for the Fall 2020 semester, submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA, met Federal Title IV Financial Aid eligibility requirements, and incurred expenses caused by disruption of campus operations related to the COVID-19 crisis.

MCC has compiled a list of additional resources to help students who are struggling financially due to the pandemic. Named MCC CARES, these resources are made up of partnerships with local banks and community donations to fund the MCC Student Emergency Fund.

“The coronavirus pandemic has led to many changes for our students,” said Jeffrey Aalbers, MCC’s Interim Financial Aid Director. “A shift to online learning, unemployment or underemployment, home schooling for dependents, and lack of daycare options are just a few of the challenges facing our students today. MCC CARES is a way for the school to try and help our students as they deal with these economic challenges.”

Middlesex has also listed resources that link to housing assistance, grocery expenses, student loan debt, unemployment benefits and tuition appeal information. For more information related to tuition, financial aid or essential needs, contact MCCCares@middlesex.mass.edu or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/mcccares

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 Creates New Virtual One Stop Webpage for Easy Enrollment12/31/20201/12/2021 1:52 PM
In these challenging times due to the pandemic, Middlesex Community College knows how to help students reach their academic and professional goals. For the Spring 2021 semester, Middlesex will offer about 90 percent of courses online and has created a Virtual One Stop webpage to make remote enrollment a simple process. Registration is now open.

“MCC’s Virtual One Stop webpage makes applying to the college, registering for classes and preparing for the spring term easy,” said Scott O’Neil, MCC’s Dean of Academic and Student Technologies. “Each step has a defined action and includes contact information should any questions come up about a particular step.”

On MCC’s Virtual One Stop webpage, students start by applying to the college. MCC has a variety of options for students of all ages and stages in their lives with pathways and resources that will guide students to success. Students can enroll in a degree or certificate program, or just take a few classes.

Middlesex’s Online Orientation and First-Year Experience introduces new students to the college – going over academic expectations; how to navigate the campuses, information on clubs, organizations and events; and how to access academic resources and student support services.

Financial aid can help students pay for the costs of attending MCC – such as tuition and fees – as well as books, living expenses, transportation and personal expenses. The Office of Financial Aid will guide students through the process of completing a FAFSA and understanding what types of aid they qualify for.

Students can then plan out their semester and register for courses based on their degree or certificate program, or the individual classes they need to take. Options include the traditional 15-week semester or accelerated eight-week Mini-mester courses. Formats include asynchronous online, synchronous online and hybrid delivery, in addition to some in-person course offerings.

Academic Advisors guide students through their time at MCC and beyond. Whether assisting students with their academic planning or helping them transfer to a four-year college or university, advisors help students be successful, stay on track, and reach their goals.

MCC understands that the pandemic presents a challenging time financially for students and that their money matters. To help, the college offers payment options, payment plans and financial wellness counseling. Enhanced online financial services make viewing and paying bills easy, and students can get refunds faster with funds deposited directly into checking or savings account.

Dedicated to helping students on their academic paths, MCC provides a student portal to help them get acclimated to the college, explore career and program options, find sources on classes, and communicate with faculty, advisors and other students.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/onestop for more information about how to get started at MCC.

MCC’s WinterSession will run Monday, January 4 through January 22, 2021. The Spring 2021 semester starts on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, including Spring Mini-mester I. Spring Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 29.

For more information and to register for 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, 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 Corporate Ed. Trains Employees to Develop Leadership Skills 12/21/20201/12/2021 11:22 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Education and Training program partners with local businesses and organizations to help companies identify their workforce training needs. These partnerships use a collaborative process to develop programs that offer the most relevant and effective professional development opportunities for companies.

MCC’s Corporate Ed. collaborated with Jeffrey Davis, MCC adjunct faculty member; Joanna Dowling from the Center for Manufacturing Technology (CMT); and Natasha Simmers, Human Resources Manager for Accumet Engineering, to build a 50-hour training program focused on leadership for Accumet employees.

“Joanna Dowling hired us to teach the leadership portion of a training for Accumet at CMT,” said Lisa Tuzzolo, MCC’s Director of Corporate Education and Training. “Although this is the first of its kind, Middlesex has been partnering with community businesses and organizations for over 30 years to deliver tailored and comprehensive training opportunities for employees. Not only do our trainings strengthen companies, but they also hone the talents and skills of people within the Commonwealth, leading to a more advanced, capable and well-rounded workforce.”

Middlesex has partnered with CMT for several years. With a strong foundation of knowledge in advanced manufacturing, Dowling understands what makes a company successful in the industry. According to Dowling, CMT works with MCC because of Corporate Ed.’s “flexibility and dedication,” and believes the pandemic presents an opportune time for companies to offer training to their employees.

“We were extremely happy with the professionalism and content delivery with Jeff Davis and the support team/staff at Middlesex,” Dowling said. “If employers are faced with downtime for their employees, it is a perfect time to invest in training to give their employees an opportunity to improve on critical skills that they might be lacking or in need of for that next promotion.”

Before developing his program, Davis engaged in conversations with Simmers to find out why Accumet was looking for trainings. Through these conversations, he understood there was a desire to provide employees with ways to build their leadership skills, “preparing them for roles with expanded responsibility, visibility and influence.” These types of conversations between the group were continuous throughout the duration of the trainings to ensure Accumet and their employees were learning the information they needed to be more effective leaders.

“We all agreed to re-visit the training program every few weeks and make adjustments in the content and the training activities, based on observations and feedback from the participants,” Davis said. “These regular meetings were very helpful in the tailoring of the training, especially when a second cohort of participants was identified.”

Topics included defining effective leadership, building leadership credibility, communicating in the workplace, having productive difficult conversations, and increasing accountability, among others. Davis describes his method of teaching the program as an “inside-out model.”

“Leaders cannot credibly influence others to grow and change unless they are on their own professional development journey that is resulting in genuine change, from the 'inside-out,” he said. “As leaders, we are less capable to offer others what they need – encouragement, acknowledgement, improvement feedback, confidence, courage, humility, curiosity – unless we first give those important qualities and characteristics to ourselves.”

Simmers appreciates MCC’s ability to tailor the program to meet Accumet’s needs, as well as the leadership Davis has shown throughout the trainings. She also believes the program has improved employees’ communication and self-awareness skills.

“The employees keep raving about the instructor Jeff and the class content, and say that their co-workers absolutely must take the class,” Simmers said. “Jeff was great about establishing communication with me to create content catered specifically to employees in each cohort.”

Nine employees participated in the program, four in one cohort and five in another. Despite needing to follow strict health and safety protocols – including social distancing – due to the pandemic, Davis was able to build a community-feel within the program.

The training participants enjoyed working together to motivate each other throughout their learning, as well as engaging in deep conversations. Based on feedback from the participants, Davis believes the biggest takeaway was gaining more confidence in themselves.

“This has become the platform for taking more courageous leadership actions at work – talking to their coworker about a sensitive subject, after putting off that conversation for a long time,” he said. “Advocating for their team with their manager. Asking questions with a curiosity and 'what can we learn' mindset, instead of troubleshooting an issue to find out who did something wrong.”

Solinka Potter, a Sales Representative at Accumet, emphasizes how much confidence she gained from participating. When she was offered a place in the training, her first instinct was to say “why not?” After getting to the first session, she realized how much she going to benefit from it.

“It will help me through my whole life,” she said. “Before, I would keep my questions to myself and was quieter, hiding behind my computer. I’d be embarrassed thinking, ‘am I going to say something stupid?’ Now I feel that I have the confidence to speak up and help and encourage others too.”

As a leader of professional development and workforce training for over 30 years, MCC’s Corporate Education and Training program provides employees with the knowledge and skills they need to start or advance in their careers. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/bus_ind/ or contact Teresa Medina at medinat@middlesex.mass.edu 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 Continues to be a Leader of Online Learning Platforms12/15/20201/7/2021 1:50 PM
With award-winning experience and a strong line-up of curriculums created to run online, Middlesex Community College continues to help students reach their academic goals throughout the pandemic. For the Spring 2021 semester, Middlesex will offer about 90 percent of courses online. Registration is now open.

“MCC’s faculty have 20+ year experience teaching online,” said Roxanne McCorry, MCC’s Director of Academic Technology & Distance Learning “Through the use of web conferencing tools, interactive activities, engaging content and flexible course schedules, students can take a variety of courses to attain their goals.”

Designed to best meet the needs of students, MCC’s online courses run via three primary learning modalities, including asynchronous online, synchronous online and a hybrid blend of online and face-to-face. All of MCC’s online class formats use Blackboard as the Learning Management tool, and require students to complete coursework by specific due dates, according to McCorry.
  • In asynchronous online learning, instructors and students interact with course materials, assignments and each other through Blackboard. While there are no live classes that meet in real-time, students can make an appointment to meet with their instructor.
  • Students taking synchronous online courses attend live classes at specific dates and times, and engage with professors and classmates in a live, remote setting using a camera and microphone.
  • Blended face-to-face with online courses allow students to complete coursework online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.
Margaleet Katzenblickstein is an MCC Dual Enrollment student from Westford. She is interested in music and world languages and expects to graduate in the spring of 2022. As she is homeschooled, Katzenblickstein chose MCC to meet her educational goals, as well as for an introduction to learning at the college level.

Taking advantage of MCC’s Learning Online Practice Course helped prepare Katzenblickstein for the Fall semester and her online courses.

“Although I had taken summer classes online and was familiar with the technology, I wanted to improve my confidence learning online and brush up in areas where I could use some improvement,” she said. “It made me a bit more familiar with the way Blackboard and online schooling work.”

Katzenblickstein enjoys synchronous online courses because she can see her professors and classmates on screen throughout class. She appreciates the benefits of online learning – especially as it helps her to remain safe during the pandemic – and found she learned a lot.

So far, she has enjoyed her time at Middlesex.

“I really appreciate the diverse array of classes and opportunities MCC offers students – whatever the age,” she said.

MCC’s WinterSession will run Monday, January 4 through January 22, 2021. The Spring 2021 semester starts on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, including Spring Mini-mester I. Spring Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 29.

For more information and to register for 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, 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 Law Center Helps Community Secure Stable Housing12/17/20201/7/2021 11:59 AM
With a mission to help students be successful – both inside and outside of the classroom – Middlesex Community College understands that academic success is related to an individual’s most basic needs being met. MCC’s Law Center is helping students and the community maintain their stable housing situations in direct response to housing insecurity due to the pandemic.

Middlesex was named one of 12 state qualified Community Mediation Centers to assist with the operation of a statewide Housing Mediation Program sponsored by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which is conducted under the oversight of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC).

The goals of the evication diversion initiative programs are to help lessen the effects of the pandemic. Mediation services help prevent tenants from experiencing homelessness, and landlords from committing mortgage and tax delinquencies and foreclosures, according to Patricia Lemire, Esq., Director of MCC’s Law Center.

“The MCC Law Center is working with the local district courts with summary process eviction cases, and has a working partnership with local community programs – such as Community Teamwork of Lowell (CTI) – to assist in housing mediation cases,” Lemire said.

MCC’s Law Center – located in Lowell – has offered conflict resolution services to the community since 1989. In addition to providing the mediation program, the Law Center has compiled a list of resources the community can use to receive assistance to keep or get housing. This includes how to contact Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) and HomeBASE Assistance.

Stable housing is one of the most critical ingredients for academic success – especially during the pandemic, according to Jonathan Crockett, MCC’s Coordinator of Essential Needs and Community Resources.

“Without stable housing, students may lack critical internet access, a safe and comfortable place to study and live, and a reliable place to get quality sleep,” Crockett said. “With most courses being offered virtually, reliable internet access is essential. Compared to their housing-secure peers, students dealing with housing instability are significantly more likely to suffer poor academic performance because of their compromised living situation.”

For more information and to access services from MCC’s Law Center, call 978-656-3342 and select option three, “Housing Eviction Mediation Program.” For a list of resources to help against financial hardships, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/mcccares

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 MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester12/3/20201/5/2021 1:26 PM
In these unprecedented times, students need a plan in place to help them reach their goals and continue their education now. With affordable, flexible and high-quality course options, Middlesex Community College guides students on their paths to success. Registration for WinterSession and Spring 2021 is now open.

Featuring curriculum designed to run online, MCC’s courses allow students to interact with content, professors and their classmates in immersive and meaningful ways. Throughout the three-week WinterSession, two eight-week long Mini-mesters, and a full 15-week semester, about 90 percent of courses will run online.

“For the upcoming semester, MCC will be offering a variety of convenient and flexible online course options for new and returning students in every discipline,” said Audrey Nahabedian, MCC’s Dean of Enrollment Management. “With over 20 years of experience in providing quality online learning, the college continues to focus and build upon providing affordable courses to support students in achieving their transfer, career and re-training goals.”

MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Mini-mesters help students fit education into their lifestyles and complete their program goals more quickly. These accelerated course options cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and contain the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional semester. Students can earn credits in a variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

Online courses will run via three primary learning modalities, including asynchronous online, synchronous online and a hybrid blend of online and face-to-face.

In asynchronous online learning, students work independently while meeting deadlines, engage with materials and other students on their own schedules, and have on-going access to online resources, pre-recorded lessons and tutorials.

Students taking synchronous online courses attend live classes at specific dates and times, and engage with professors and classmates in a live, remote setting using a camera and microphone.

Blended face-to-face with online courses allow students to complete coursework online and come to campus only to finish practical experiences in a safe and controlled setting while following MCC’s strict safety protocols and social distancing.

MCC’s WinterSession will run Monday, January 4 through January 22, 2021. The Spring 2021 semester starts on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, including Spring Mini-mester I. Spring Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 29.

For more information and to register for 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, 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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Virtual Events Help Maintain Sense of Community at MCC12/8/20201/5/2021 12:45 PM
In the face of the pandemic, Middlesex Community College transitioned most courses and student services to remote, virtual and limited contact systems starting in the Spring 2020 semester. Middlesex is committed to maintaining a sense of community at a time when connection among students, faculty and staff is more important than ever. MCC’s Office of Student Engagement came together to create a number of virtual student events for the Fall 2020 semester.

While everyone at Middlesex looks forward to having more in-person events and engagement when it is safe, having virtual events provides an outlet and comfort for students, according to Emily Norton, MCC’s Assistant Director of Engagement, Athletics and Retention.

“MCC students are as interested as ever to feel connected to our community,” Norton said. “We’ve seen high engagement in monthly events and are committed to providing a much needed opportunity for students to connect with their peers and feel supported and engaged with the MCC community.”

Events include virtual murder mystery escape rooms, online trivia games, DIY tie dye kits, and handing out MCC Pride Packs that feature a build-your-own Swoops, the college owl mascot. The department has also hosted events in collaboration with other offices across the college, including career panels, speakers, a mindfulness series and a virtual Fall Fest.

The Office of Student Engagement learned a lot from the transition to online formats in the spring. While some clubs were able to meet online, the department realized a need to include asynchronous events in addition to synchronous – much like in courses – for more people to be able to participate on their own time. Some of these events include workout videos and family game night ideas, as well as a virtual version of the annual Student Engagement Celebration.

“We learned how to interact with people in ways that we had never considered before,” Norton said. “The situation is unprecedented so we had no idea what would work and what wouldn’t. This really freed us up to try different things.”

Lauren Norman – a Liberal Studies major from Billerica – has attended several of the events, including a Diplomat in Residence talk. She is also a member of MCC’s Philosophy Club and has participated in online meetings. In order to stay connected at Middlesex, she enjoys doing as many events as she can.

“Being engaged on campus through joining clubs or taking part in student events is just as important as doing well in my classes,” she said. “When everything went online last spring, I missed the on-campus events and being able to socialize with other students. Taking part in the events offered this semester has helped me find somewhat of a sense of normalcy.”

Since Norman does not drive, having online events has helped her participate in more activities. Whether she is watching a visiting speaker, working on one of the activities, or talking to classmates in a club meeting, the best part has been the connection to others.

“MCC is such a supportive community and losing that would make these trying times more difficult,” she said. “Knowing that there are other people struggling with the same issues I am and being able to discuss them with others helps.”

Norman expects to graduate in Spring 2022. She wants to transfer to a four-year school to study Political Science with a Concentration in Public Policy. In the future, she is interested in pursuing a master’s in law and working at a disability nonprofit as a lobbyist.

As the pandemic presents a learning opportunity for both the college and students, Norman appreciates being able to continue her education.

“Education is the key to future success,” she said. “MCC does so much to support students, even in this online learning environment.”

Middlesex will continue to host virtual events in the Spring 2021 semester. Registration is open for both MCC’s Spring semester and WinterSession. The Spring semester starts on January 26 and students can take courses during MCC’s accelerated WinterSession from January 4 to 22.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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 Lowell Food Pantry Awarded Funding Due to Pandemic11/24/202012/31/2020 11:38 AM
Serving a diverse population – especially during these challenging times due to the pandemic – Middlesex Community College strives to support students’ health and well-being in addition to their academic success. As part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the city of Lowell has awarded the college $20,000 in direct response to the food insecurity MCC students are suffering because of COVID-19.

Middlesex understands the importance of having students’ basic needs met in order for them to be successful. In 2016, the college opened food pantries – run by Jonathan Crockett, MCC’s Coordinator of Essential Needs & Community Resources – to support the MCC community on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses. The CDBG funding expands options in the Lowell food pantry, including a large chest freezer with over 3,000 free and pre-packaged meals for students to access throughout the year.

“The pandemic has been devastating for many MCC students struggling with food, housing and financial insecurity,” Crockett said. “Generous funding from the city of Lowell’s CDBG will provide much-needed food and personal-care resources for our most vulnerable MCC students. For some MCC students, these resources may mean the difference between having food for themselves and their family, or going hungry.”

From June 2020 to May 2021, the CDBG funding will serve 200 students. The frozen meals are a healthy option with lower sodium and higher nutritional value for students to heat up in the microwave. Having the ability to store frozen meals allows Middlesex to be responsive to increasing student need, while following health and safety measures as students can access the freezer with minimal contact with others.

The CDBG funding also supports the purchase of items from grocery stores to keep MCC’s Lowell food pantry stocked with items that students need most, according to Crockett. 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.

Part of the CDBG funding will also go towards stocking up on personal care items, such as body soap, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products and diapers. Providing items that are expensive but essential to personal and family health helps relieve stress students may be feeling.

MCC’s food pantries are accessible by individual request from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week for MCC students and employees. To access the pantries or obtain a $25 Market Basket gift card, call Public Safety in Bedford at 781-589-0234 or in Lowell at 781-589-1384. For more information, email foodpantry@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 to Host Virtual Drop-In Enrollment Sessions for Spring Semester12/1/202012/30/2020 10:57 AM
Take charge of your pathway to success! Middlesex Community College’s Spring 2021 semester begins Monday, January 26. MCC’s Office of Admissions will host Virtual Drop-In Enrollment Sessions to guide students to success Tuesday, December 1 through Friday, December 11.

The Virtual Drop-In Enrollment sessions will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

These sessions provide prospective and new students an opportunity to log on to speak with an admissions counselor and enrollment staff about getting started at MCC. Participating students will learn more about MCC, including topics on admissions, course placement and financial aid.

“Middlesex has so much to offer this upcoming Spring semester and we 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. “In these sessions, students can learn more about the college, meet with our staff and advisors, and be more prepared for the semester. Please join us on our Virtual Drop-In Enrollment sessions to have all of your questions answered!”

With Virtual Drop-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, disability support and transfer counseling.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/admissions/virtual.aspx to participate. For more information, contact admissions@middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434.

To register for the Spring 2021 semester – including for the two accelerated Mini-mesters – 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 Offers Free Training to Bedford and Burlington Residents12/10/202012/22/2020 11:08 AM
Middlesex Community College – in partnership with MassHire Metro North Career Center – is offering free job training in the healthcare or life science industries for residents of Bedford and Burlington. Eligible residents who are seeking a start or change in their careers can learn knowledge and skills that will make them competitive in high demand industries. The initiative is funded by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, said Middlesex is proud to offer relevant training thanks to funding from CDBG.

“The economic development managers in Bedford and Burlington care about their respective communities – as does Middlesex,” Burke said. “We are excited to provide education and training that will help so many people hone skills and re-enter the workforce in these tumultuous times. It is a remarkable opportunity and we are proud to be a partner in this initiative that will allow residents a chance to get back on their feet and start exciting careers.”

Middlesex is one of the training vendors partnering with MassHire to offer skills training. A leader of workforce development in Massachusetts for over 30 years, MCC strives to provide students with interactive and hands-on experiences – including internship and externship components – that lead to better prepared and more hirable employees.

“At MCC we know that many local families have been hit hard by the pandemic,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “We are so fortunate to be able to participate in this grant to provide qualified Bedford and Burlington residents access to a variety of training opportunities. Options are available in both our credit certificate programs and our workforce development offerings at no cost to the student.”

Examples of MCC’s credit certificate programs include Medical Coding and Billing, Healthcare Administration, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant, Phlebotomy and Biotechnology. MCC’s noncredit career training programs include Pharmacy Technician, Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide, Technical Writing Certificate, Google IT Help Desk Certificate and Medical Interpreting.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/academics/ for more information on MCC’s credit certificate programs and www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining/ for more information on MCC’s noncredit career training programs.

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 Awards Student Scholarships in Virtual Ceremony12/2/202012/21/2020 11:53 AM
Dedicated to helping students reach success, the Middlesex Community College Foundation awarded over $94,000 in scholarships in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, November 18. Middlesex and the MCC Foundation are proud to recognize the recipients and donors for their hard work and dedication to education, despite being unable to meet in-person due to COVID-19.

Speaking on behalf of himself and James Henderson, Chairman of the MCC Foundation Board, Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC’s President, highlighted efforts made throughout the college to adapt to new circumstances. He emphasized the importance of remaining virtual – both in coursework and events – to keep everyone safe throughout the pandemic. Calling the event one of his favorites, he is proud to spotlight students and the donors “who help students’ dreams come true.”

“Our students have persevered through challenges that include job loss, health issues and multiple family demands, and have stayed on track to complete their education,” President Mabry said. “Overcoming these challenges makes their commitment to learning all the more inspirational.”

In total, 73 scholarships were awarded to 64 students from 27 cities and town. Scholarships ranged from $500 to $7,000 and were funded by a variety of sources – including memorial donations, local businesses, private foundations and private donors. ¬This year, the average amount each student received was $1,000.

Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, is inspired by these student scholarship winners and the hope they provide for the future. She also understands the value of what these scholarships mean to the donors who created them.

“Thank you to our donors for your generosity, without you we cannot support our students through scholarship,” Burke said. “To the donors who have established scholarships in their loved ones’ names, we know that these scholarships help to carry on their legacy and we will never lose sight of that.”

The MCC Foundation introduced three new scholarships, including the Alumni Association Scholarship, created in honor of a refrain said by many MCC alums, according to Gail Tuzzolo, President of MCC’s Alumni Association and an MCC Foundation Donor – “MCC set us up for success and for great things.’”

“Members of the MCC Alumni Association are a community of compassionate and proud MCC grads and former students who work together to give back to MCC,” Tuzzolo said. “The MCC Alumni Association Scholarship was established to help current MCC students and future alums on their path to success and great things.”

Alex Corcoran and his family established the Bruce Corcoran Scholarship in memory of his father. A proud alum of MCC and Emmanuel College, Corcoran returned to school at age 40 and then 50 to receive an associate and a bachelor’s degree.

“My father always valued the importance of secondary education,” Corcoran said. “Our family wanted to honor his memory by creating a scholarship through the MCC Foundation that allowed us to assist students in our community achieve their dreams through education.”

The Robert Luddy Scholarship was created by his family. His daughter Jennifer Luddy, a former MCC employee, said she “will always have a special place in my heart” for the college.

“This scholarship was given by my family in honor of my father, Robert Luddy,” Luddy said. “While he never had the opportunity to travel, he encouraged me to join the Peace Corps and go to Africa. I received so much from my father, and from my friends in Cameroon where I lived for two years. This scholarship honors Middlesex Community College, my father and the many friends I made through the Peace Corps. Thank you to all!”

The 2020-2021 scholarship recipients include:

Nicole Archibald (Salem, NH) – Emily Boudrot Memorial Scholarship, Geraldine B. Deragon Scholarship Manneury Arias (Lawrence) – Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Thomas Barry (Lexington) – Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Bensu Bastopcu (Lowell) – Spring Event Scholarship, Ely Kumler Family Memorial Scholarship Shane Bourgeois (Waltham) – Caryl Dundorf Scholarship, Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Antonietta Carberry (Dracut) – Spring Event Scholarship Marissa Crue (Hudson) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Full-Time Students Daniella Dankwa (Lowell) – Collegiate TRIO Programs Scholarship Shauna Ehrgott (Winchester) – Kathy Reticker Scholarship Eleanor Erardi (Boxford) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Part-Time Students Christian Ferraro (Wilmington) – Charles and Olga Malvers Memorial Scholarship, Paul Sullivan Scholarship Myah Folland (Billerica) – James and Dorothy Sullivan Scholarship Amanda Ganley (Billerica) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Part-Time Students Brett Gotthelf (Boxborough) – Carole Cowan Scholarship Hannah Guillen (Wakefield)– Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Cassandra Harmon (Billerica) – Kathy Reticker Scholarship Kelli Harris (Billerica) – Spring Event Scholarship Leslie Hernandez (Lawrence) – Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Pichraksmey Hoeu (Lowell) – Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Daniel Holloway (Shrewsbury) – Spring Event Scholarship Amy Jussaume (Maynard) – Shirley W. Thidemann Memorial Scholarship Rosemeen Khalifa (Billerica) – Keri-Lyn (Gleason) Farley Scholarship Nelli Krutko (Lexington) – Robert Cataldo Scholarship Ben Lipsey (Bedford) – Robert Minue Scholarship Sha Liu (Billerica) – New England Woodcarvers (NEWC) Scholarship Yahaya Lodi (Framingham) – Lura Smith Scholarship Angelica Louis (Lowell) – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship Alicia Machado (Lowell) – Unitas Scholarship Kim Mai (Lynn) – Kim M. Forte Memorial Scholarship Thuy Nha Uyen Mai (Hudson, NH) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Full-Time Students Robin Masi (Concord) – Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship Kimberly May (Lowell) – Linda R. Gallagher Scholarship Malayah Montgomery (Bedford) – Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Purity Mosonik (Lowell) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Part-Time Students Gabriel Muniz (Acton) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Full-Time Students Mickey Mwangi (Tyngsborough) – Robert Luddy Scholarship Sophiah Nanyanzi (Burlington) – Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship Lauren Norman (Billerica) – Alumni Association Scholarship Elizabeth Obleschuk (Lowell) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Full-Time Students Aiden (Josh) Paine (Bedford) – Spring Event Scholarship Cassidy Peinert (Lowell) – James C. Judith G. Mabry Completion Scholarship Joshua Peters (Dracut) – Securitas Security Scholarship Leaphea Pin (Lowell) – Bruce J. Corcoran Memorial Scholarship Odette Pinales (Lawrence) – Aradhya-Beauchemin Arts Scholarship, New England Woodcarvers (NEWC) Scholarship Aschley Poulard (Lowell) – Deolinda Mello Memorial Scholarship, Lura Smith Scholarship Rylee Pratt (Billerica) – Paul Sheehy Memorial Scholarship Vanessa Puga (Dracut) – Instrumentation Laboratory Scholarship Juliet Quinn (Lowell) – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship Gabryella Rodrigues (Maynard) – Audrey A. Cogliano Memorial Scholarship Courtney Roth (Dracut) – Spring Event Scholarship Thomas Rua (Lawrence) – Northeast Association of Realtors (NEAR) Scholarship Chanmanith Seng (Lowell) – Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA Scholarship Michelle Shipka (Bedford) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Part-Time Students, New England Woodcarvers (NEWC) Scholarship Serena Stack (Burlington) – Collegiate TRIO Programs Scholarship Rose Steeman (Ayer) – MCC Performing Arts Scholarship, MCC Foundation Merit Award for Full-Time Students Brooke Stevenson (Winchester) – Securitas Security Scholarship Marady Thaep (Lowell) – Spring Event Scholarship Danielle Tran (Wilmington) – Tom McKay Memorial Scholarship Emma Turnbaugh (Lowell) – MCC Foundation Merit Award for Part-Time Students Rebecca Winebrenner (Tewksbury) – Markowicz-Dundorf Scholarship Katelyn Winter (Lowell) – Instrumentation Laboratory Scholarship Daniel Yepes Gonzalez (Salem, NH) – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship Johannah Zacharer (Lunenburg) – Catherine L. Goodwin Memorial Scholarship, John Michael Delehanty Memorial Scholarship Paula Zaldua (Woburn) – Thomas O’Mahony “Spirit of Excellence” Award

For more information about MCC Foundation Scholarships – or to join MCC’s free Alumni Association, contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/scholarships 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 Students to Perform Recital for “World of Music” Concert Series 12/2/202012/17/2020 3:15 PM
Middlesex Community College has been creative in offering online formats and programming this semester, despite the pandemic preventing on-campus events from happening. Middlesex will close out this semester’s “World of Music” concert series with an MCC Student Recital. The concert will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 11.

"During this time when people are isolated and cut off from each other, it is important for our students to be able to share and communicate through music,” said Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of Music. “We are delighted that we can feature them in this Student Recital, where they were either recorded at home or in one of our Halls at Middlesex."

The Student Recital will feature student singers, pianists, a solo guitarist, a trio of guitarists, a cellist and the MCC World Drumming Ensemble. The concert series previously featured performances by Rodriguez-Peralta on the piano; “Lowell Threads” by members of the Lowell Chamber Orchestra (LCO) and MCC faculty members; Jerome Mouffe on the guitar; and “Hidden Landscapes” by the LCO.

All events are free and still available to watch. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings.

For more information on MCC’s Music offerings, contact Rodriguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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 Theatre Department to Perform a Holiday Classic Play12/9/202012/17/2020 3:15 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Theatre Department continues to be creative in providing students and the community with performance opportunities throughout the pandemic. The department will put on a virtual live production of “It’s A Wonderful Life: a Radio Play” by Joe Landry at 7 p.m. Friday, December 11 through Sunday, December 13.

Karen Oster, MCC’s Performing Arts Chair, got to work preparing to offer students safe performing opportunities at the start of the pandemic. Although there is a need to run things differently, she also believes it is important to continue forward.

“Right now is a major historical event in our lives and we have to continue to thrive even though it’s happening,” Oster said. “Everyone needs a sense of normalcy – even now more than ever – we have to feel like our brains and bodies are still working, we’re still moving and active. We have to stay connected and engaged.”

The radio play is based on the film of the same name and is performed as a 1940s radio broadcast. In the show, an ensemble of characters join George Bailey as he contemplates the value of his life one Christmas Eve. Performers will act on stage safely spaced out to maintain social distancing and are separated by plexiglass stands built by Peter Waldron, MCC’s Technical Director.

Liv Steeman – a Performing Arts Theatre major from Ayer graduating in Spring 2021 – believes there have been strong efforts made to provide a close community feel throughout rehearsals for the play, even when they are apart.

“This show has proven to me that there is no stopping theatre from happening,” she said. “It is a powerful force that can help people in difficult times. I love performing, I love entertaining people, and I love allowing them to forget about their worries for at least a little while.”

Remaining active within the Theatre Department and taking classes at Middlesex has helped Steeman through difficult times during the pandemic.

“I was always able to continue learning about what I am passionate about,” she said. “And I am so glad to have done it at Middlesex Community College.”

For Peter Carranza – a Performing Arts Theatre major from Tyngsborough graduating in 2022 – he appreciated being able to return to doing something he loved, even if it was under different circumstances and required wearing masks and staying apart from others.

“Now is a time that people really need theatre,” Carranza said. “Theatre can be an escape from the world we live in. To transport someone to a different world and tell them a story and make them forget about life for just a couple of hours, it really feels like something people need now more than ever.”

He also found being in the show to be a challenge, but in an inspired way.

“Working on this show was both very fun and quite difficult,” he said. “I get to play several characters and go through a whole range of voices, which is something I’ve never really done, but having the experience is important when you want to be able to show off your range of voices and characters.”

Jared LeMay – a Performing Arts Theatre major from Tyngsborough in his second year at MCC – plays George Bailey. LeMay considers the role to be an “honor and a dream come true.”

“After months of quarantine – which felt like eternity – Middlesex did an amazing job setting up a safe socially distant way to present something heartwarming for the holidays,” he said. “Even though things have taken heavy precautions, I am very happy to be on the stage once more.”

LeMay knows this is a temporary solution to doing something he loves and he hopes the audience will love the show as much as he does.

“I want to thank Karen Oster, the cast and crew for an amazing show,” LeMay said. “I hope you all get to tune in on the production. Please enjoy Middlesex Community College’s production of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’”

To register for a performance at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 11; Saturday, December 12 or Sunday, December 13, email MCCTheatrePerformingArts@gmail.com with your name and selected show date. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/performingarts/ for more information.

Registration is open for both MCC’s Spring semester and Wintersession. The Spring semester starts on January 26 and students can take courses during MCC’s accelerated Wintersession from January 4 to 22.

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 Awarded for Innovative Online Learning Support Program12/1/202012/17/2020 2:05 PM
The League of Innovation in Community College has recognized Middlesex Community College for the Blackboard (Bb) Ambassador program with the Innovation of the Year Award. MCC’s Bb Ambassador program was developed by Noreen McGinness Olson and Beth Kelley from the college’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) in 2018.

“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious national recognition,” they said. “We are looking forward to exploring ways to expand, develop and grow this program in order to help more students be successful in online learning.”

The program was created in order to support the increasing number of students taking online courses. This creative solution has a student leader – Bb Ambassador – assist with students’ adjustment to online learning. Bb Ambassadors are trained student employees who support online students in the first four weeks of the semester. They help students understand course expectations and navigate the learning management system, Blackboard.

Among other tasks, Bb Ambassadors assist students in locating and submitting assignments, posting to a discussion board, communicating with professors, planning for time management, and coming up with study strategies. They also help to create a comfortable online environment for their classmates to ask questions.

Having this program in place in the Spring 2020 semester enabled ACE to respond quickly to the transition to fully remote learning due to the pandemic. With the system in place – after transitioning to remote learning – ACE was able to double the number of courses supported with Bb Ambassadors in immediate response.

According to McGinness Olson and Kelley, Bb Ambassadors have made a positive difference in student success. In an anonymous survey, Middlesex students offered their feedback.

While one MCC student said, “I found that the Bb Ambassador is helpful in figuring out what assignments and other items were due by the due date, and I liked the fact that they had simplified the assignment instructions for the students,” another said, “The Ambassador reminded us of tasks and was much more personalized than just an alert I can easily ignore from the application.”

MCC Faculty have also found the program to help the success rate of their courses. According to Deborah Botker, MCC’s Department Chair of Social Sciences, the program allowed faculty to do more outreach with students and offer more office hours and individual tutoring. Lorraine DiBona-Jones, an MCC English Instructor, credits her Bb Ambassador for valuable technical support, setting up sessions to help students better understand how to use the online system.

“The Bb Ambassador presence has given me great peace of mind to know that such a willing, well-rounded and personable teaching assistant was available to my students – especially during this pandemic,” said Louisa Saladino-Kuhl, an MCC Professor of English. “I enjoyed working with the Ambassador and look forward to the possibility of working with more in the future.”

Dr. Robert Awkward, an MCC Professor of Business Administration, is interested in continuing to use Bb Ambassadors for as long as they are available.

“Sign me up every semester for every course,” he said. “It is one of the best innovations to have occurred at MCC in years!”

For more information on MCC’s ACE, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/ace/ or contact ACE@middlesex.mass.edu or call 781-280-3591.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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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Student Awarded Funding to Start Business at Middlesex CC11/25/202012/10/2020 12:19 PM
Gabrielle Rodriguez came to Middlesex Community College to put her dreams into action. In MCC’s Launch Your Business Now certificate program, Rodriguez had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF) and was awarded $17,000 to launch her business Fleek Beatz Beauty.

“My plan for the present and future is to learn as much as I possibly can, so that I may position myself to one day assist other women of color and provide them opportunity, as the EEVF has graciously done for me,” Rodriguez said.

From Dracut, the 29-year-old is a mother of five boys and wants to show them the importance of pursuing a passion. Rodriguez is proud to support her family and is committed to being a lifelong learner as she grows and develops her business and as a professional. MCC was the start of what she considers an already rewarding experience.

“I chose to attend MCC to obtain the education that I needed to make my dreams a reality, become my own boss, change my family’s lives, generate wealth, and of course to disrupt the beauty industry for women of color,” she said.

Rodriguez credits her education at Middlesex for helping her make her business plan a reality. She is most grateful for the mentorship from her professors Stacie Hargis and Franky Descoteaux, as well as for their support. The knowledge they have given her – combined with funding from the EEVF – has shown her what it means to be a successful entrepreneur.

“Every day I wake up and start my to do list of action tasks, and I sit in front of this beautiful computer with everything I need to run my business around me,” she said. “I say to myself ‘wow, they believe in me, they believe in my vision, they believe in my mission. My confidence is sky high and it's all because of these amazing people at MCC.”

For her work, Rodriguez was nominated to be a part of MCC’s new chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), a five-step development program that hones leadership, communication and team building among other skills. As part of NSLS, she has more opportunity to receive scholarships and guidance, network, and develop her business mindset.

Referring to the opportunities and support system she has been given at Middlesex as a “mini village,” Rodriguez believes she has been set up for success.

“The professors, education and resources you receive is unmatched,” she said. “No matter what you want to study, you will leave MCC a smarter and better person – period.”

Whether working towards an associate degree, earning credits for an advanced degree or upgrading skills, MCC has students covered with 20 business degree and certificate programs – including bookkeeping, payroll, sales, automotive or aviation mechanics, human resources, management, marketing, retail buying, hotel management, convention planning, tourism and launch your own business.

MCC’s Business program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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 Adds Computer Science Track to Honors Program11/23/202012/8/2020 12:56 PM
Middlesex Community College strives to help students find their paths and reach their goals. In an effort to continue supporting student success, Middlesex is adding a Computer Science track to the college’s Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP). Participating in CHP nurtures students’ integrity, honesty, perseverance, academic achievement, intellectual curiosity and a collaborative spirit, while honing leadership, research and networking skills.

Binnur Ercem, MCC’s Director of the CHP and Professor of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology, worked with faculty from the Computer Science program to offer five seminars that are eligible for honors credit for students who qualify.

“This new and one-of-a-kind track is the first honors track in a STEM field,” Ercem said. “The track provides an opportunity for computer science majors to take honors courses and to graduate as honors scholars.”

Qualifying MCC students will take three honors courses in place of elective courses, according to Sylvia Yeung, Chairman of MCC’s Computer Science Department. Course options include Ethics and Technology, English Composition I and II, World Cultures, and Globalization.

“The Computer Science honors track is the first STEM honors offering at Middlesex and provides a distinctive opportunity for students,” Yeung said. “Eligible students are strongly encouraged to participate in this program since it does not increase their credit requirements for graduation.”

CHP provides advanced-level course options and seminar-style classes for students who have at least a 3.2 GPA upon applying to the program. MCC students gain an increased opportunity for scholarships, guaranteed transfer to any CHP or Honors College in Massachusetts, and an enhanced prospect for acceptance to private four-year colleges and universities.

Students in the CHP participate in an Honors Poster Conference in the spring to present their research projects. In 2021, the event will be held virtually.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/honors/ for more information on MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program or contact the department at honors@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3553.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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 Establishes Partnership for Leadership and Success11/18/202012/8/2020 12:56 PM
In a continued commitment to providing students with valuable professional development experiences, Middlesex Community College has established a chapter with the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). As part of NSLS, students complete a five-step development program online with a curriculum that hones leadership, communication and team building among other skills.

MCC’s chapter will be led by Steve Rossi, Director of Student Engagement, who believes NSLS helps students develop foundational knowledge that will guide them in advanced leadership experiences at Middlesex. These experiences include the Navigators Leadership Program and Leadership in Action: Paul Sullivan Institute.

“This is a great opportunity for MCC students to think about leadership as they get ready to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year school,” Rossi said. “NSLS introduces students to leadership concepts and practices they can immediately apply to their MCC career and beyond.”

Christian North – who is originally from Santiago, Chile and now lives in Arlington – is a Mechanical Engineering Science Transfer major who expects to graduate in 2022. In addition to attending MCC, North works full-time and is founder of MCC’s Model Aviation Club. After graduating, he plans to transfer to a four-year school to get a bachelor’s in Aeronautical, Aerospace Engineering and pursue advanced degrees. In his work, studies and club participation, North understands leadership requires compromise and finding common ground.

“I understand the importance of leadership training, how to work in different teams, and the importance of communicating clearly among peers to complete projects successfully,” he said. “I also understand the importance of mentorship and networking in the real world.”

Communications major Sabrina Lewis – originally from Worcester and now living in Lowell –plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree and start her own business after graduating from Middlesex. As president of Communication Media Club and Fans of Japan Club, Lewis is an active member of the MCC community. She believes NSLS is a great opportunity to learn and progress in her academic and professional career. For her, being a leader starts with communication.

“A leader is someone who not only directs, but is an active listener in line with being a great communicator,” she said. “At MCC, the clubs, events and job opportunities that I have been involved with helped me to be a leader and practice my leadership skills.”

Completed online, the steps to become part of NSLS include an orientation for new members to learn expectations and how the program works; a leadership training day with interactive videos to help them identify goals and overcome obstacles; three live-steamed speaker broadcast events with leaders, celebrities and best-selling authors; three success networking team meetings in small groups to set goals and accountability; and an induction to receive a certificate of achievement and lifelong membership into NSLS.

Additional benefits from NSLS include access to scholarship and award opportunities, a job and internship board, partner discounts and benefits, recommendation letters from admissions officers and employers, a professional communication training tool, and a network of support from across the country.

NSLS joins MCC’s other student achievement programs – Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society for community colleges, and MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program. To participate in NSLS, candidacy is determined by local chapter leaders. MCC students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher to be selected for nomination.

Contact Steve Rossi, Chapter Advisor at Studentengagement@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3789 for more information.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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 Helped Alumna Find Ambition & Confidence in Her Career Path11/19/202012/3/2020 2:46 PM
At Middlesex Community College, students continue to use the knowledge and skills they learn during their time at the college well past graduation. Seda Korroch attended Middlesex to help bridge the gap between high school and a four-year college. She believes that her experience at MCC is reflected in her everyday life and taught her how to be more motivated in her studies.

From Bedford, Korroch graduated from Middlesex as a psychology major in Spring 2020. Although she struggled in high school, she worked hard at MCC to improve her grades and set herself up to be in a solid position to transfer to UMass Amherst to earn a bachelor’s degree.

MCC provided her with the opportunity to meet and learn from mentors, as well as with experiences that expanded her interests. Her professor and advisor Jennifer Pisarik offered her the support and encouragement she needed to succeed, while her time in MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program developed her abilities further.

“Every day at UMass, I use the confidence, ambition and knowledge I gained at MCC to keep furthering my education,” she said. “The rigorous schedule of homework, papers and reading helped me develop the study techniques I needed to support my ambitions.”

While her initial interest in psychology stemmed from the opportunity to work with people, Korroch grew more fascinated by her major as she dived deeper into her coursework. The cognitive, developmental and social psychology specialties in particular showed her what she wanted to do in her career because of how they all relate to each other.

“We are constantly having to combine subjects like biology and chemistry with philosophy and human nature,” she said. “I like the challenge of being a scientist who studies something with this many moving – and oftentimes contradictory – parts.”

In the Commonwealth Honors Program, Korroch came to understand why she wanted to pursue psychology – which is what she considers the first step to being motivated – as well as the value of hard work and commitment. In addition to research projects, she learned how to complete literature reviews, analysis and applying the knowledge she learned in classes to real-world situations. All of these experiences are relevant to what she is now doing at UMass in her studies and in her job at a developmental psychology research lab.

“The honors program was so instrumental in my success at MCC,” she said. “The subjects and professors really inspire students to push themselves academically. The research papers helped me figure out I had more of a passion for research than I initially thought, and the flexibility of what the paper could be on helped me explore more areas in my major.”

In addition to her studies, Korroch also had the opportunity to work for MCC’s Office of Disability Services as a student note taker. She enjoyed helping her classmates while being able to sit in on other classes she found interesting. For her, it is the support Middlesex offers that stands out the most and she was proud to have been a part of that.

“I always recommend MCC to anyone who wants to further their education and have an amazing support system behind them,” she said. “The staff and faculty genuinely want to see students grow into their full potential.”

Whether going for an associate degree, earning credits towards an advanced degree or upgrading skills, MCC has students covered with 10+ degree and certificate programs in Social Science – including anthropology, economics and finance, geography, history, human services, international relations, peace and conflict studies, political science, pre-law, psychology and sociology.

MCC’s Social Science program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_socsci.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Social Science degree at Middlesex.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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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Alumna Gets Second Chance at Education at Middlesex CC11/19/202012/2/2020 1:30 PM
Danielle Rico learned to enjoy school at Middlesex Community College. While she struggled in high school, Middlesex was her second chance. At MCC, Rico started excelling in classes, gained practical experience in the field she wanted to pursue for her career, and connected with professors who helped guide her to her next steps. She also happened to meet her best friend.

After graduating from Middlesex in 2012 from the Hospitality Management program, Rico transferred to Lasell College to receive a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Event Management. While in school, she was balancing her coursework, a full-time job at a local hotel, and raising her infant daughter. Now she works as the Director of Sales and Events at Kimball Farms in Westford.

Kim Morrissey – MCC’s Program Coordinator for Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Travel Service – helped Rico succeed throughout her time in the program. Even now, Rico will often reach out to Morrissey for recommendations of MCC students and alumni when she is hiring new staff at Kimball Farm. Most importantly, having a mentor at MCC who supported her without judgement made a huge difference in Rico’s approach to school.

“My personal story – going from someone who hated high school, then got pregnant in college, and somehow turning into someone who received straight A’s and loved school – is an important story to tell,” she said. “I want other people out there who are in a similar situation as I was to know that it is possible to succeed, graduate and excel in life even when unexpected challenges are thrown your way.

“I always thought having my daughter so young was going to make it impossible to finish school and find a good job – but the complete opposite happened. Having her gave me a reason to try harder and do better in school and in my career.”

One of the best parts of the hospitality program for Rico was the internship requirement. The knowledge and skills she learned from this real-world experience continues to help her in her job. For her internship, Rico worked at a hotel and was able to show her coworkers and managers that she was serious about working in the hospitality industry. From age 15, Rico knew this was the right industry for her and she appreciated being able to prove herself to other professionals as she learned the ins and outs of the job.

“This is the only industry I have ever worked in and I don’t see that changing,” she said. “I am a people person and I enjoy making other people happy. When I am planning events with clients, this is what I get to do all day long!”

Rico recently joined MCC’s Advisory Board for Hospitality and Culinary Arts and had her first meeting on Zoom due to the pandemic. She enjoys having the opportunity to network with other professionals and help students on their paths. At an MCC alumni webinar this past September, she talked to students about her experience in the hospitality industry – in particular how COVID-19 presented new challenges for her at work, especially in the beginning.

As Kimball Farms is outdoors, the company was able to reopen with new restrictions just a few months into the pandemic. While her department is used to hosting over 600 events a year and had to cut back, Rico said they were creative in coming up with new ideas. She believes flexibility is an important skill to learn in the hospitality industry.

“We never used to offer children’s birthday parties, but this is something new we developed this year and offered our guests,” she said. “While I don’t foresee COVID-19 going away very soon, I do remain hopeful that things will go back to somewhat normal next year!”

Overall, Rico loved her MCC experience – from the people she met to the opportunities that were provided to her.

“MCC is willing to give people a chance,” she said. “They give students a great platform to succeed. Having professors like Kim definitely helps too!”

Whether working towards an associate degree, earning credits for an advanced degree or upgrading skills, MCC has students covered with 20 business degree and certificate programs ¬– including bookkeeping, payroll, sales, automotive or aviation mechanics, human resources, management, marketing, retail buying, hotel management, convention planning, tourism and launch your own business.

MCC’s Business program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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 Visiting Writers Series to Feature a Trio of Alumni11/17/202012/2/2020 12:05 PM
As part of its Visiting Writers Series, Middlesex Community College will host three alumni – John Sibley Williams, Katie Durant and Rob Mendonsa – during a live stream event where the writers will read from their work and answer student questions. The event will take place online at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. All three alumni credit MCC for helping them find their paths.

Williams came to MCC unsure of what he wanted to do for his career. MCC Professor Gail Mooney – in addition to his courses in writing and journalism – inspired his writing and creative vision. During his time at MCC, he also had the opportunity to work for the college’s newspaper, which won him the honor of representing Middlesex at a national journalism conference.

“MCC motivated me and provided me further tools toward my goal of being a writer and working in 'the book business',” he said. “My experience in journalism at MCC helped me attend State University of New York, then Rivier University, then Portland State University. That trajectory all began at MCC.”

Williams graduated from MCC in 2000 and now teaches poetry in addition to working as a freelance editor, writing coach and literary agent in Portland, Ore. He has published two books of poetry – “As One Fire Consumes Another” and “Skin Memory” in 2019 – and three poetry chapter books, “Summon” in 2019, “Disinheritance” in 2017 and “Controlled Hallucinations” in 2013. His work has been published in over 500 journals and he has won several awards, including the Philip Booth Award and American Literary Review Poetry Contest.

A 2009 highest honors graduate from MCC, Durant now teaches at Middlesex with her mentor and colleague Joe Nardoni, who helped her to nurture her skill, talent and joy for writing. She transferred to Wellesley College for her bachelor’s and earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Bennington College. Returning to teach at MCC allows her to help students who were in a similar position as she was when she came to the college.

“MCC was the place where I found myself and began to understand my place in the world,” she said. “Talking to students about writing is important because writing leads to critical thinking and understanding your own mind better. Writing leads to a kind of consciousness – an awareness of both the self and the world around us.”

Durant is the Editor-in-Chief of Dead River Review – MCC’s online literary magazine – and works as a freelance writer, tutor and editor. A creative nonfiction and fiction writer, her work has appeared in The Citron Review, The James Franco Review, The Voices Project, The Middlesex Review and Wellesley Magazine, among others.

Mendonsa came to MCC at 26 for a fresh start. As he was also working full-time, he chose MCC because it was close to home, offered flexible courses and was affordable. In addition to his studies, he worked in the Bedford Writing Center to help classmates improve their writing skills. Mendonsa credits his professors – Tom Laughlin, Kate Baker and Jonathan Bennett – for offering him guidance and support both in writing and in his career.

At MCC, he learned that writing is important because it allows people to express themselves.

“Writing is important because it is not only a way to organize ideas, but also a way to transmute indescribable emotions and experiences into art,” Mendonsa said. “It can help channel empathy and convert the human experience into something beautiful and awe-inspiring, allowing the writer to carve out pieces of their identity into living documents that stand as testaments over the limitations of time, space and human thought.”

A fiction and poetry writer, Mendonsa transferred from MCC in 2019 to attend Ithaca College where he is majoring in Writing with minors in Philosophy and English. He plans to graduate in Spring 2022 and go on to an MFA program.

MCC Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. To reserve space, contact Tom Laughlin at laughlint@middlesex.mass.edu or Student Engagement at StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/english/creative.aspx for more information.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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 “A World of Music” Awarded by Bedford TV11/18/202012/1/2020 3:15 PM
As part of Bedford TV’s annual awards ceremony, Middlesex Community College’s “A World of Music” concert series was awarded Best Musical Performance. Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department and Director of the World of Music, received the award for her performance on the piano.

“I am thrilled that the concert series was recognized by receiving the Best Musical Performance award from Bedford TV,” Rodriguez-Peralta said. “We are grateful that Bedford TV records so many of our concerts held in the MCC Concert Hall in Bedford, and we also value our loyal audience members from the Bedford area.”

The Fall 2020 concert series includes several performances live recorded and aired on Bedford TV for the community to enjoy. Rodriguez-Peralta’s winning performance drew inspiration from puzzles, including two sets of Preludes and Fugues in C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach and Larry Bell; Sonata in A flat Major, Op. 110 by Ludwig van Beethoven; Prelude from “Pour le Piano” by Claude Debussy; and four “Preludios Americanos” by Alberto Ginastera.

A graduate of The Juilliard School, Rodriguez-Peralta has appeared as a piano soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Peru and Mexico. She is often invited to give lecture recitals on Latin American music at universities in the U.S.

Rodriguez-Peralta started the concert series in the Fall of 2001 with concerts in MCC’s Bedford Concert Hall. Over the years, the series has expanded to include performances in Lowell as well.

This Fall, performances have included Lowell Threads: Mozart, Marshall, Nabors and Nakatani with MCC faculty members and the Lowell Chamber Orchestra; guitarist Jerome Mouffe; and Hidden Landscapes by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra. The series will come to a close with a live recording of an MCC Student Recital at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 11.

All events are free. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ for links to watch each of the recordings. Contact Rodriguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923 for more information.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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 Helped International Student Find Her Path11/12/202012/1/2020 3:15 PM
When Apitchaya Ramirez first arrived from Bangkok, Thailand to the United States to start her college journey, she was afraid it would be overwhelming. She chose Middlesex Community College for its small class sizes and the ability to connect with her professors and classmates on a personal level. Instead of feeling lost, MCC’s welcoming environment helped her feel comfortable as she adjusted to her new circumstances.

“As an international student, I did not want to jump right into a big university because I felt I wasn’t ready academically and financially,” Ramirez said. “MCC was affordable – but not only that – it was filled with valuable academic resources and support that prepared me for my future.”

Ramirez – who now lives in Malden – worked as an au pair when she first came to the U.S. and started at Middlesex in the Adult Learning Center where she improved her English, math and digital literacy skills. When she felt more prepared, she started taking courses to go towards an associate degree and participating in more events and clubs across campus. MCC helped her learn what she wanted to pursue both academically and professionally.

As a History, Politics and Global Studies major, Ramirez graduated from MCC in 2017 and transferred to UMass Lowell. For her bachelor’s degree, she studied Peace and Conflict Studies with a minor in American Studies. After graduating in Spring 2020, she decided to serve as an AmeriCorps member in the New American Integration Program (NAIP) at Somerville Community Corporation.

“I participated in many leadership programs at MCC which allowed me to become more confident and develop other skills, such as organization, time management, team work and professionalism,” she said. “I found that these skills were important after MCC as they were part of my success in college, later on when I graduated from UML, and in my career.”

During her time at MCC, Ramirez participated in the International Club and First Year Champion, as well as worked as an Orientation Leader, Peer Facilitator and Peer Mentor for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative Program. A member of the Commonwealth Honors Program, she enjoyed participating in the Annual Honors Conference and attended many events on campus, including Orientation Day, the MCC International Thanksgiving Dinner, and other Welcome Month events.

Her favorite courses the honors program offered were in the social sciences – a seminar on Globalization with Professor Binnur Ercem and a seminar on World Cultures taught by professor Dr. David Kalivas. She also credits professors Dona Cady, Robert Kaulfuss and Stephanie Pesce for “going above and beyond” in support of her success. With a heavy reading requirement and research projects, Ramirez believes her courses were intense, but engaging.

“I got to present two research projects from honors courses at the Annual Honors Conference in 2016 and 2017 which I was very proud of my works,” she said. “Looking back, these honors course I took were so important for me as I learned to challenge and put myself off my limit.”

As part of the International Fellowship, Ramirez had an opportunity to travel to the UK and Ireland with nine students and three faculty members. She is appreciative of the faculty who attended with her – Cathy McCarron, Dona Cady and Donna Gray – as well as Maria McDuffie Clark who “gave me the opportunities to join many leadership positions at MCC.”

“People at MCC – professors, staff, other students – are there to help you succeed not only in college, but also in life,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about getting lost in this community because there are resources and guidance available for you from day one.”

While taking courses, Ramirez was also working full-time. The secret to her success was time management. To balance her schedule, she worked the afternoon shift and would take three classes in the morning, along with one online course. She also said it was important to focus on what she was doing at the time – whether she was in class or at work. If she needed extra help, Ramirez would also visit her professors or take some time with a tutor.

To help her manage her stress, she said, “I always gave myself a half-day break each week, just to decompress.”

Now part of MCC’s Alumni Association, Ramirez continues to receive benefits from Middlesex, including a community connection and network of support. She also enjoys recommending MCC to others.

“Whether you’re a high school student, college student who takes a gap year or still deciding what you want to do, or an adult learner, every penny is worth your investment in education at MCC,” she said. “I guarantee that regardless of what stage you are in life, MCC is a place for everyone.”

Whether going for an associate degree, earning credits towards an advanced degree or upgrading skills, MCC has students covered with 10+ degree and certificate programs in Social Science – including anthropology, economics and finance, geography, history, human services, international relations, peace and conflict studies, political science, pre-law, psychology and sociology.

MCC’s Social Science program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_socsci.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Social Science degree at Middlesex.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for classes.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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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Middlesex CC Alum On His Path to Becoming a CPA11/12/202011/25/2020 11:09 AM
Middlesex Community College helped alum Garen Simonyan adjust to college after graduating from high school. Now working towards becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – with a job lined up at a firm in Boston – Simonyan returned to Middlesex to finish additional credits. He believes MCC helped prepare him for his future.

A Waltham-native, Simonyan graduated from MCC in the Spring of 2017 as a Business Administration Transfer major with a Concentration in Accounting. He transferred to UMass Boston and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance.

“MCC has helped set the pace for my career growth and development,” he said. “Through MCC, I truly realized the career path I wanted to take in accounting, after having taken a couple of courses here.”

Two classes stand out during his tenure at Middlesex – Introduction to Business with MCC Professor Ashli Ree and Financial Accounting with MCC Professor Vikram Sharma. Simonyan said he enjoyed “the process of jumping into the business world” and his professors’ style of teaching – including how they could present topics in interesting ways.

While he was earning extra credits towards his CPA, Simonyan chose to take a class with Ree again because of how helpful she had been when getting his associate degree.

For him, the Business program made such an impact because it helped build a solid foundation that provided him with the knowledge and skills he needed to succeed. Having the opportunity to talk to his professors about their own personal experiences also inspired him and showed him he could be successful in his career path.

“I pursued a business degree ¬– specifically in accounting – because I enjoy learning and working with different industries and how they operate,” he said. “Luckily as a future auditor, I will have the opportunity to work in different industries, with companies both large and small.”

Simonyan worked through college as a Customer Experience Coordinator at his local T.J. Maxx and is currently performing bookkeeping services for a few clients until he starts his full-time position in 2021. When he was in high school, he worked with his family at an autobody shop and made a schedule to balance work and coursework. This helped him adjust to working while taking classes at Middlesex.

Because of his positive experience at Middlesex, Simonyan recommends other students attend ––¬ especially as a starting point ¬– to figure out what they might want to pursue.

“It is the best knowledge that students will gain, for such low tuition pricing as well,” he said. “Large universities have incredibly high pricing, for essentially the same introductory courses that MCC provides. Community colleges in general, are the best place to launch college careers.”

Whether working towards an associate degree, earning credits for an advanced degree or upgrading skills, MCC has students covered with 20 business degree and certificate programs ¬– including bookkeeping, payroll, sales, automotive or aviation mechanics, human resources, management, marketing, retail buying, hotel management, convention planning, tourism and launch your own business.

MCC’s Business program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules.

Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a Business degree at Middlesex.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for classes.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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 for MCC’s Spring Semester Opens Monday, Nov. 911/6/202011/24/2020 11:19 AM
Registration for Middlesex Community College’s Spring 2021 and WinterSession is opening on Monday, November 9. In these unprecedented times, students need a plan in place to help them reach their goals and continue their education. For over 20 years, Middlesex has designed award-winning online curriculums that allow students to interact with content, professors and their fellow students in immersive and meaningful ways.

“The college is offering a spring schedule that is once again primarily online, placing safety for all students and faculty first,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. “We continue to provide an exceptional online learning experience for our students thanks to the high quality of our instruction and the commitment of our faculty to student success in the online environment.”

At Middlesex, college students can get a better understanding of their path and earn transferable credits; high school students can gain college experience and take advantage of effective online learning platforms; and adult learners can go back to school and upgrade or learn new skills – all while staying healthy and safe at home.

Over three weeks, MCC’s WinterSession covers the same content, maintains the same academic standards, and contains the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester. Students can earn credits in a variety of subjects, including English, science, history, social science, mathematics and more.

WinterSession is a great opportunity for students to stay on track with their academic plans and complete courses during January – before the Spring semester begins, according to Sisson. Because of the condensed format of these courses, students should understand that it will require planning and focus to succeed.

MCC understands that students need to feel financially stable and supported. In addition to freezing tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year, the college offers personalized financial aid counseling, payment plans and a supportive community to help keep students on track.

The Spring semester starts on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. MCC’s WinterSession will run Monday, January 4 through January 22, 2021.

For more information and to register for 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, 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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Nursing Alumna & Marine Vet Turned to MCC for a Fresh Start11/10/202011/23/2020 3:45 PM
At Middlesex Community College, Victoria Otero found a built-in system of support at the college’s Veterans Resource Center (VRC). A veteran of the United States Marines, Otero came to Middlesex for a career change. She chose MCC’s Nursing program and believes her experience with the VRC helped set her up for success.

“The VRC is a place to meet with fellow veterans who may be experiencing difficulty returning to an educational environment,” she said. “It allows us to make connections with our fellow comrades in arms. Serving in the military is a unique experience – we share a bond – and no matter what branch we may have served, we can all come together as one at the VRC.”

During her time at MCC, she made a point to visit the VRC at least every other week to check-in. Calling the VRC a “positive environment” for veterans, Otero believes the center guided her on how to access the resources and opportunities available to her. She believes the success of the center starts with Jessica Frost, MCC’s Director of the VRC.

“She was instrumental to my success at MCC,” she said. “She always pointed me in the right direction, and if I needed words of encouragement, she knew exactly what to say. She is truly dedicated to the veterans at MCC and is essential to our success.”

With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration already in hand, Otero chose MCC’s Nursing program for its high first-time passing rate for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and reputation for honing the skills of well-prepared graduates.

Otero started at MCC by taking prerequisite courses. Although her courses challenged her, MCC professors were valuable mentors who guided her and her classmates through the program. In particular, Dr. Jean Cremins – who taught many of her prerequisites – further inspired her interest in medical science, and Nursing Professor Kate Small was dedicated to supporting students with her interactive teaching style.

In addition to receiving support from the VRC, Otero took advantage of student-led tutoring and one-on-one tutoring sessions with professors. She also enjoyed the Supplemental Instruction program, believing it gave her the added confidence and knowledge to succeed in her courses.

A member of the Veterans Club, Otero was also President of the Nurse Club. Although the trip was canceled due to the pandemic, she raised funds to go with some club members to the Student Nurses Convention in Disney World.

From Salem, Mass., Otero lived in Puerto Rico for a number of years before returning to Massachusetts. She graduated from MCC in May 2020 and has started an RN-to-BSN program at UMass Dartmouth in addition to beginning her first job as a nurse in a rehabilitation hospital.

Thankful for an “awesome experience” that helped prepare her for her career as a nurse, Otero encourages MCC students to continue their education during these difficult times.

“Stay strong and don’t lose sight of your educational goals,” she said. “MCC will prepare you well for what lies ahead.”

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/veteransresources/ for more information on how MCC supports veteran and military-connected students.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for classes.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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 Sets Up Veteran and Military-Connected Students for Success11/10/202011/19/2020 3:38 PM
Although the majority of courses and student services are online for the Fall 2020 semester due to the pandemic, Middlesex Community College has continued to connect with students. As Middlesex supports all students, the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) strives to ensure MCC veteran and military-connected students remain on their paths to academic, professional and personal success.

The VRC is providing virtual support for military service members who are beginning a college career or returning to complete an academic program. Veterans and military-connected students can receive information about educational programs, assistance with accessing college resources, and answers regarding eligibility for government-, state- and community-sponsored services.

Jessica Frost, Director of the VRC, believes in taking a holistic approach to supporting veteran and military-connected students. According to her, many of these students are older and often try to handle situations on their own. Frost and the VRC want to make sure the students know that at Middlesex there is a built-in system of support to directly help their needs.

“There are so many different complexities that our students are facing in this particular population that we want to make sure they’re supported in every way that we can,” she said. “It’s also about self-advocacy. I try to let them know that I’m here to support them and to not only provide academic advising, but career development – to look at how their wellness is going, to make sure they are getting any mental and physical support.”

As a veteran and MCC alumna herself, Frost understands that returning to school can be overwhelming. Many students have to manage academic responsibilities on top of family and other personal needs. There is also a culture change for veteran students – going from a stricter schedule in the military to following a more flexible schedule at school. Having a dedicated place with resources that help students adjust is valuable to their retention and persistence to graduation.

“Every time a student crosses the stage and graduates, that’s a win-win for us all,” Frost said. “When I see our students with their cord – they have a special red, white and blue cord – that’s always a special time for me and it makes me so proud when I see how hard our students work.”

In Green Zone Trainings run by the VRC, MCC faculty and staff learn how to better support veteran and military-connected students. The training helps participants better understand the experience these students bring with them. To Frost, it is important to build a foundation in a positive way to set students up for life-long success. The combination of work the VRC does with student services across the college – including tutoring and advising – helps MCC veteran and military-connected students look forward to their futures with excitement and potential.

“That’s one of the reasons I do what I do,” Frost said. “I love the idea of giving back to our veteran and military-connected students because they need the support – it’s important so that they don’t ever feel that they have to figure it out on their own.”

Frost will also often encourage veteran students to take on a mentoring role with younger students in their classes. She suggests they share their lived experiences and help classmates understand the importance and value of going to school.

In the Fall semester, the VRC has hosted online events and meetings for veteran and military-connected students to connect with each other as they become members of the college community. Based on a survey Frost sent out in the spring, students expressed interest in a Veterans Day event, as well as workshops on wellness, executive functioning skills and career development. Frost set up a two-part Veterans Day Series called Unsung Heroes in History and the Unseen Foe of World War I that takes place the week of Veterans Day.

In collaboration with MCC’s Multicultural Center, the first session of the series will be a presentation called The Harlem Hell Fighters: Black Soldiers from World War I Onward by Ron Jones, Director of Dialogues and Diversity, a theatre company. The lecture discusses the struggle African Americans suffered to move into the middle class of America and how they were not recognized as soldiers and sailors in World War I and World War II.

The second session will be a presentation called The Unseen Foe: Camp Devens in the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. This timely workshop run by Cara Fosse, Fort Devens Museum Executive Director, will talk about how military members were affected by the influenza pandemic.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/veteransresources/ for more information on how MCC supports veteran and military-connected students.

Registration is open for both MCC’s WinterSession and Spring Semester. WinterSession runs January 4-22. The Spring semester starts January 26. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ 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, 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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Alumna Starts Career in Accounting with Help From Middlesex CC11/4/202011/19/2020 11:27 AM
Jackie Krozy came to Middlesex Community College to give herself a competitive edge. Her interest in Middlesex stemmed from the appeal of an associate degree in Business Administration, the value of the MassTransfer system, and her desire to attend a college with a diverse student body and strong support systems in place.

A first generation student from Needham, Krozy graduated from MCC in December 2015 and transferred to UMass Lowell where she graduated magna cum laude in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting. After working for two years, Krozy started her master’s in Taxation from Bentley University. She will graduate in the summer of 2021 and begin working as a Tax Associate for a company in Boston. MCC was her starting point.

“MCC helped me develop the confidence that I needed to succeed in my university and current graduate studies,” she said. “During my education at MCC, I was provided many opportunities to lead, teach other students and work in teams – which have been invaluable towards leading others in accounting.”

Calling her experience at Middlesex “wonderful and memorable,” Krozy found success in building connections with her professors, taking high-quality courses that prepared her for her future academic and work experiences, and taking advantage of teamwork and leadership opportunities. The combination of all of these now helps her in her role as Diversity and Inclusion Manager for the Graduate Student Association at Bentley.

Two Business Administration professors in particular offered encouragement and helped her gain confidence in her work. Dr. James Dottin, Department Chair of Business Administration & Economics, helped her grow into a leader by assigning relevant coursework and guiding her in her role as President of the ePortfolio club. Barbara Noonan was Krozy’s career mentor and sparked her interest in accounting.

It was her first Introduction to Business course with Dr. Dottin that helped her realize she had made the right choice of a major. In her next semester, she took Financial Accounting with Professor Noonan and was inspired to go into accounting. Calling the course life-changing, six years into her educational journey, Krozy still loves what she does.

“I chose to pursue a business degree because I have always been fascinated with numbers,” she said. “Upon becoming an adult and living independently, I have developed a passion for managing finances and budgeting, which motivated me to pursue a degree in business and then study accounting.”

In all of her classes she learned relevant and valuable skills that helped her succeed both at Middlesex and in her bachelor’s and advanced degrees. The knowledge she learned at MCC ¬¬¬– including in teaching her classmates mathematics, accounting and business as a peer tutor for the Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) – enhanced her resume and honed her talents for being a leader in her field.

In addition to tutoring, Krozy worked as a student note taker. She was Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa, MCC’s honors society, and participated in a number of student events throughout her time at the college. She is especially grateful for participating in MCC’s TRIO Student Success Program as she was able to form lasting friendships and discover her place at the college.

She said, “I recommend MCC especially for students who want to make a smart move towards investing in their future studies and who want to make life-long friendships and professional connections.”

Whether working towards an associate degree, earning credits for an advanced degree or upgrading skills, MCC has students covered with 20 business degree and certificate programs ¬– including bookkeeping, payroll, sales, automotive or aviation mechanics, human resources, management, marketing, retail buying, hotel management, convention planning, tourism and launch your own business.

MCC’s business program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx for more information and to discover your path to a business degree at Middlesex.

Middlesex is hosting a Virtual Pathway Open House for the Business, Public Service and STEM programs at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10 on Zoom. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/openhouse or email admissions@middlesex.mass.edu.

MCC is celebrating 50 years! If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join in on the 50th anniversary celebrations – 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 and to join the Alumni Association.

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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