MCC’s Corporate & Community Ed. Programs “Skill Up” EmployeesNew8/16/20228/16/2022 12:05 PM
Continuing education is the gateway to new and exciting opportunities. Whether just starting out or hoping to advance in a career, students of all ages, backgrounds and experiences can come to Middlesex Community College to engage in professional and personal development to enhance their lives, including MCC’s Corporate and Community Education and Training (CET) programs.

“MCC’s Corporate and Community Education and Training division is a leader of educating the workforce, meeting the demands of today while keeping a pulse on the future of employment in the Commonwealth,” said Audrey Nahabedian, MCC’s Dean of Workforce Development and Innovation. “Our courses are designed to train employees for high-demand industries that will satisfy the needs of local employers while skilling up employees seeking better opportunities.”

This Fall 2022 semester, Middlesex will feature a variety of programs – on-campus and online – to provide knowledge and skill training for high-demand industries, including health and medical, computer and Information Technology (IT), communications, management and more!

In MCC’s health and medical courses, students are prepared to sit for certification exams and enter the workforce in entry level roles with hands-on practice and training. Options include Medical Interpreting, Pharmacy Technician, and Dental Hygienist Webinars on Local Anesthesia Outcomes and Dental Radiography.

Students looking to update their computer skills can engage in a suite of computer application courses that includes Microsoft Excel, Google IT, Business Applications and Practical Computers. Upon completion of these courses, students earn a certificate that will prepare them to enter the workforce and build up their resumes.

For students looking to grow into a management role, Middlesex offers the Nonprofit Management Certificate and the SHRM Essentials for Human Resources and Certification Exam Prep courses. The certificate programs provide knowledge of key concepts that are adaptable for students to work in management in a wide range of industries.

To prepare students to improve their communications skills, MCC’s CET offers Better Workplace Communications, Effective Project Management, and Grant Writing. Students can also enroll in courses to add diverse skills to their resume, from an FAA Remote Pilot Certification to an Interior Design Certificate.

“Education is a lifelong endeavor,” Nahabedian said. “For professional or personal purposes, an education from MCC is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to improve your life.”
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MCC’s New TRIO Directors Are Preparing for the Fall Semester8/11/20228/16/2022 12:03 PM
One of the things Middlesex Community College does best is offer students personalized support. Two of MCC’s newest hires – Jennifer Stach and Joanne Jaber Gauvin – and their teams provide services for students to improve their grades, stay in school, graduate and transfer to four-year schools through TRIO Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Stach is MCC’s Director of the TRIO Program for Student Achievement for students who have a documented disability. Working in collaboration with the Office of Disability Support Services, the program assists students in applying for scholarships and financial aid, literacy education workshops, tutoring, executive functioning support, and academic and transfer advising.

“TRIO students go everywhere and do amazing things,” Stach said. “We work hard to know what our students’ individual needs are and to help our students get all the support we can provide.”

As the Director of the Student Success Program, Gauvin is returning to Middlesex and the TRIO Program where she once worked as the lead advisor. The program supports eligible students who meet low-income requirements or are first generation in their family to go to college. Services include academic, career and transfer advising and tutoring in math, writing and reading.

“Our goals are to help our students complete their education at Middlesex and transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree, and we will work as hard as they do to help them meet their goals,” Gauvin said. “We have great advisors who are knowledgeable in so many area and students can expect a warm environment in which they can come for assistance in almost anything.”

Both programs are planning visits to four-year colleges around Greater Boston as well as cultural events at museums and libraries during the Fall 2022 semester. Workshops will help students build skills to help them with time management, test prep, financial literacy and study habits.

Having worked in higher education for her entire career – including in Admissions at Middlesex – Stach understands the college experience at several levels. She holds a master’s in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University and is earning a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Studies.

“My most recent position was as an Academic Coach helping students who had not had great outcomes in high school find success in college,” Stach said. “I really fell in love with that work, so when the opportunity to return to MCC arose, I jumped at it. I really appreciate the work that MCC does in making education accessible for so many people.”

Gauvin has also spent her career working in the student affairs side of higher education. Throughout all of her positions, the part she enjoyed most is building connections. This includes collaborating with colleagues and helping students “from all walks of life.”

“MCC is a very special place,” Gauvin said. “Community here is very special and their focus is clear – student success! Coming back to work here is such a privilege.”
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Students Invest in Lifelong Learning at Middlesex CC8/9/20228/16/2022 12:03 PM
With Middlesex Community College’s Community Education and Training (CET) programs, students have the opportunity to explore new careers, update skills, and engage in personal enrichment experiences that can change their lives.

“Lifelong learning allows an individual to expand their horizons, from enhancing skills to advance in a career to finding a new hobby or passion to enjoy,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Director of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning. “MCC’s Community Education and Training division offers a wide variety of courses all year round, but Fall is the perfect time to sign up and try something new!”

For those who want to add photography as a hobby or their career, Middlesex offers two levels of Digital Photography, which can be completed as part of a certificate program. Whether a student is interested in the artistic or technical side of photography, in the courses, they learn to shoot and edit using relevant technology.

“In Digital Photo 1, you learn how to shoot in manual mode and how to use your camera to create the images you want,” said Amanda Correia, MCC Instructor. “Digital Photo 2 is where we dive more into the fun and creative side of photography, practicing shooting in manual mode but also considering composition and lighting. In both, I teach how to edit images using the industry standard software for hobbyists and professional photographers.”

Individuals who want to improve their customer service and hospitality skills – or gain more experience in a particular side of customer service – can complete MCC’s online Customer Service certificate. Class subjects include hotel management, event management and design, and food and customer service skills training.

MCC’s Culinary Adventures courses provide an opportunity for individuals to learn new cooking skills. Students can participate in Trick or Treat Cake Decorating, Coolest Holiday Cookies, and Introduction to Cake Decorating to improve their baking habits.

“Whether you are seeking professional development or personal enrichment, MCC’s courses provide a fun, hands-on and immersive experience for students of all ages,” Ellis said.
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There’s Still Time to Register for MCC’s College for Kids and Teens 8/3/20228/16/2022 12:02 PM
Students ages 8 to 17 are making the most of their summers with Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids and Teens summer programs. Running weekly through August 18, courses help young students explore future career options while having fun!

“There’s still time to sign up for classes this summer,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC Director of Workforce Development & Life Long Learning. “College for Kids and Teens is a great way to ease back into school as fall approaches, while still enjoying summer!”

Hands-on, interactive lessons are taught be expert professionals in their fields, covering subjects not traditionally taught in school. This summer’s MCC’s College for Teens Career Exploration courses include Engineering and CAD, 20th and 21st Century Music, Business, and Medical Laboratory Technician. MCC Professor Katie Durant also taught a Creative Writing program.

“It is important to introduce career exploration to students early on so they can start working toward a career they love and find rewarding,” Durant said. “We need our arts, we need our writers. Beyond our necessary novels, memoirs and poetry, writers are behind our blogs, speeches, manuals, news articles, marketing campaigns, and so much more. Writing skills are valuable in almost any career, and if you love writing, a writing degree can be the most practical one you can get.”

Featuring both half- and full-day programs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, MCC’s College for Kids programs will run through August 18. Students can choose courses on subjects such as the creative arts, sports, cooking and baking, fashion design, film production and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
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MCC’s Accelerated Sessions are Low-Risk, Bring High Rewards7/27/20228/16/2022 12:02 PM
Education is the gateway to opportunities, and Middlesex Community College makes lifelong learning possible. While attending school may feel challenging because of work and personal responsibilities, Middlesex helps students fit education into their busy lives. With MCC’s eight-week accelerated Mini-mesters, it has never been easier or faster to advance in a career.

“One of the things Middlesex does best is provide students with hands-on training inside and outside of the classroom to get them workforce ready,” said Dr. Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “If you are interested in starting a new career or enhancing the skills of the position you hold now, MCC has a variety of degrees, certificates and single courses that will help you build on your knowledge. An education is truly transformative toward an individual’s life, and Middlesex offers an affordable, accessible and flexible experience to help you reach your goals.”

Enrolling in Mini-mester courses can help students try out a new field without committing too much time or money. A selection of courses from MCC’s 80+ programs allow students to explore subjects and majors of interests while completing general education requirements.

Whether a student is looking to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year institution, or jumpstart a career, MCC’s Mini-mesters are the perfect way to earn professional development in a short period of time. Going this route is a low-risk commitment, but provides a high-quality education, while developing and honing relevant knowledge and skills.

Running twice each in the Fall and Spring semesters, Mini-mesters offer the same content, academic standards and instructional hours as the traditional 15-week semester. To provide students with even more flexible learning, Middlesex offers on-campus, online, hybrid and hyflex course formats.

At MCC, students can choose to attend full- or part-time, take advantage of award-winning student support services and resources, and get credit for previous learning or work experience. In addition to helping students transition into continued education or the workforce, starting at Middlesex saves students thousands of dollars on tuition.

“There is no better time than now to register for classes and get a jumpstart on fall plans,” Rodríguez said.
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MCC Lists Tips on Financial Wellness Ahead of Fall 2022 Semester8/15/20228/15/2022 12:08 PM
As the start of the Fall 2022 semester approaches, Middlesex Community College’s Success Scholars Program wants to help students stay financially well. One of the main tips the program suggests is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“Completing the FAFSA is the easiest way to get money for college,” said Serrahtani Parrish, MCC’s Success Scholars Program Financial Wellness Coach. “Many students and their families fail to complete the FAFSA because they think they don’t qualify for assistance, but that is a big mistake. They may be eligible for state or federal grants, work-study funds, or federal student loans. Completing a FAFSA can save you money and time.”

Parrish emphasizes that the number one rule for taking out a student loan is borrowing only what is needed. Students have to pay back their loans, so it is important to keep track of education-related finances. Starting at MCC helps to lower the costs of college overall, whether a student plans to transfer to a four-year school or jump into the workforce.

College scholarships are another way to help students pay for college, according to Parrish. The benefit to earning a scholarship is not having to pay back the awarded funds. While Middlesex offers many student scholarships in partnership with the Middlesex Community College Foundation, there are also many external scholarships available for which students can submit applications.

To stay ahead of finances, Parrish recommends students learn budgeting basics. This includes creating a budget and continuing to follow it. Another important basic to staying financially well is understanding how credit cards work. While using a credit card helps to build good credit, it can also lead individuals to spend too much money too quickly.

Meeting with an MCC financial wellness coach or using online resources such as iGrad, will provide students with a plan to set themselves up for success during their time at Middlesex and beyond. This keeps students financially healthy, while avoiding racking up debt.

MCC will host two in-person FAFSA Assistance Drop-in Days on the Lowell campus from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, August 15 and Monday, August 22. Financial aid specialists will be on hand to help students and their families fill out the free and easy application.

“We’re here to help,” Parrish said. “It’s always a good idea to make a financial wellness plan, especially at the start of a new semester.”
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MCC Hosting Drop-In Hours to Help Students Apply for Financial Aid8/10/20228/15/2022 12:00 PM
Middlesex Community College strives to provide students with an equitable, accessible and affordable college education. Ahead of the Fall 2022 semester, MCC’s Office of Financial Aid is encouraging students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by hosting two FAFSA Assistance Drop-in Days on the college’s campus in Lowell.

“Completing a FAFSA is one of the best ways a student can set themselves up for financial success while attending college,” said Gina Pearce, MCC’s Financial Aid Coordinator. “These events are an opportunity for students and their families to meet with us in-person, ask any questions they might have, and go step-by-step through what can often seem like an overwhelming process. We’re here to help make affording college easier!”

Financial aid specialists from the college will be available in Lowell from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 15 and Monday, August 22. Students and their families can drop-in anytime during these hours to meet specialists in Computer Room 201 of the Cowan Center.

During these events, specialists will be on hand to talk to students and their families about what financial aid is and how it can help them afford the costs of education. This includes helping to pay for tuition, fees, books, living expenses, transportation, and personal expenses.

The events also present an opportunity for students to better understand the different types of financial aid available to them and the expectations that go along with accepting assistance. With guidance from staff, students can learn how to access MCC’s Financial Aid website and understand their financial aid options.

Whether a student is taking classes full- or part-time, they can complete their FAFSA each year while attending college. Applications are available every year on October 1, and while there is a priority deadline of August 1, students can apply for financial aid throughout the year.

“The FAFSA is free and easy to fill out,” Pearce said. “It’s worth it because students often qualify for more than they think!”
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MCC’s Best Ways to “ACE” Classes This Fall Semester8/8/20228/15/2022 11:59 AM
Ahead of the Fall 2022 semester, Middlesex Community College’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE) are providing a variety of resources to help students “ace” their classes. One resource is the ACE Google Classroom that debuted on Monday, August 1.

“The ACE Google Classroom has tips and strategies on how to be a successful college student,” said Christine Bell, MCC’s Director of Academic Support Programs. “Students who take advantage of the resources will learn how to better prepare for classes, navigate the online learning system Blackboard and other technology tools, and learn organization skills such as how to manage their time and study smarter.”

The resource guide was created to help students transition to online learning when the pandemic started, according to Katelyn Stewart, an MCC ACE Student Leader. The newest version includes strategies and tips provided by students because they know best about what needs to be done in order to be successful in classes.

“We’re reworking the ACE Google Classroom so it’s more for everyone,” Stewart said. “It has tips on how to prepare for class, take notes, how many hours you should expect to work on a class – the different things that a new student needs to know, but may not know. It has a wide variety of information in general for helping students out.”

In addition to tutoring in education, reading and writing, Stewart helps train other tutors. Hoping one day to work as a special education teacher, the work she is doing as a tutor is preparing her for her future career.

“I really love the ability to teach and help people progress,” she said. “When they walk out of a session clearly feeling good about their paper, I really love that. I’m here to become a teacher, it’s my passion.”

Stewart also collaborated with Bell to come up with a list of what students should do before starting the semester. This includes staying organized with a weekly schedule to block out time for school, work and personal time. Students should also make sure they have the appropriate materials for classes – and know where to find them – before the semester starts.

One of the best ways students can familiarize themselves with the resources and tools Middlesex offers is finding out their student A number and downloading the MCC mobile app, according to Stewart and Bell. This helps students connect with classmates and stay updated on what is happening around the community, including class offerings, activities, clubs and events.

As Stewart lives within five minutes from MCC, she also wants to emphasize the value of staying close to home and starting at a community college. “I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, and the financials to get yourself started was nice,” she said. “It’s really conveniently located.”
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Middlesex CC Helped Alum Find New Direction and Pursue Passion8/4/20228/15/2022 11:59 AM
After Chelmsford-native Davis Laich realized studying Business at a school in Ohio was not right for him, he returned home to Massachusetts to figure out his next steps. A visit to Middlesex Community College’s campus in Bedford made him consider the college as his start in a new direction. The decision, he said, “changed my life.”

“I went into Middlesex as a slow start back into things, but immediately, the professors were engaging,” Laich said. “They made you engage with the world around you and see it from a critical lens. Talk about going from being apathetic about education to really passionate about something. The passion that was instilled in me was essential.”

Laich’s time in MCC’s Commonwealth Honors program in particular left a lasting impression, helping him find a passion for understanding information in new and exciting ways. A U.S. History Through Film honors course taught him skills he could carry onto his next steps. These included researching, navigating databases, using various sources, and presenting his research project on the Black Male Experience Throughout History.

“Middlesex doesn’t shy away from holding you accountable,” Laich said. “The research project changed the way I look at schoolwork. It was a good opportunity of preparation. You have a deadline, you have to read, analyze, submit papers. It trained you to dive into the work.”

While he started off taking a few credits a semester as he got more comfortable at Middlesex, Laich enrolled in MCC’s eight-week Mini-mesters to catch up on credits in order to graduate in two years. He also took classes over the summer and winter breaks.

“They allowed me to graduate from Middlesex on time and fit more credits into those semesters where I had taken less credits initially,” he said. “They’re useful in getting you where you need to go on the timeframe you want.”

Working while taking classes also taught Laich a few important lessons, including holding himself accountable and managing his time and energy. MCC made this process easier by being close to his home, offering affordable tuition, and running many classes online. Having one-on-one access to advisors was another benefit, a factor that made his transition to the larger UMass Lowell “a fluid experience.”

Taking advantage of the MassTransfer system, Laich went right into his Journalism and Professional Writing program at UMass Lowell after graduating from Middlesex in 2021. He is currently working in an internship at the Lowell Office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events where his main tasks are to write a weekly newsletter and facilitate daily operations. He finds it exciting to be pursuing a profession that inspires him and he credits Middlesex for affording him the opportunity to make this professional switch.

“Middlesex taught me so many things in life,” he said. “It was such a welcoming environment that propelled me forward in the way I wanted to go. I will always be indebted to MCC.”
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MCC’s Advising Team Lists Keys to Success Ahead of Fall Semester8/1/20228/15/2022 11:58 AM
One of the top things Middlesex Community College’s Office of Advising wants students to know ahead of the Fall 2022 semester is to register early for classes. Doing so makes sure that students have time to access the resources available at the college to make the start of the semester as smooth as possible.

“The best thing a student can do to prepare for a new semester is continue adjusting their academic plan,” said Bryan Wint, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Pathway & Academic Advising. “Our diverse Advising team is here to help guide students through that process. A few small changes could lead to earlier degree completion. We can help you set achievable short- and long-term goals, stay organized, manage all of your coursework, and connect with available resources that will lead you to success.”

MCC’s team of Academic Counselors – Yohanka Tejada, Helen Vargas and Josselyn Porter – came together to list a number of other ways students can get off to a strong start.

Calling academic advising the “hub to success at MCC,” Tejada believes students should get to know their advisor as soon as possible. This is because advisors are one of the best resources to planning out the semester, as well as a student’s time at MCC.

For Vargas, finding strategies to stay mentally healthy before the semester starts helps students avoid feeling stressed or overwhelmed later on. Being mindful and focusing on wellness will also aid academic, professional and personal success overall.

Porter suggests students get access to their books and other course materials before day one. Whether through the bookstore, Libraries or online, getting materials early on provides a sense of what the semester will bring. She also recommends becoming familiar with the online tools MCC uses in classes and to keep students informed, including MyMCC, Navigate and Blackboard.

Another important tip Porter emphasizes is getting and staying organized. Buying a day planner or using the calendar on MCC’s email system are both helpful in terms of staying on top of what needs to be done throughout the semester.

“College is hard, but we have the tools to keep you on track,” Porter said. “The earlier you register for courses, the more successful you will be as a student. Stay connected to the college, your advisor and your professors!”
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MCC To Expand Express Registration Ahead of Fall 2022 Semester8/2/20228/15/2022 11:58 AM
A lot goes into starting an education, but Middlesex Community College is prepared to help. Middlesex is expanding the college’s Express Registration hours after a run of successful events to get new and returning students ready for the start of the Fall 2022 semester.

“Our students have proven that they enjoy the opportunity to meet with staff face-to-face as they walk through the enrollment process,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Express Registration – whether in-person or online – is a chance to go through the process step-by-step and get to know all that MCC has to offer. Middlesex prides itself on supporting students on an individual level, and Express Registration allows us to help students tailor their MCC experience to meet their needs!”

Middlesex is adding a virtual option starting on Monday, August 8. During each event, students can meet one-on-one with experts throughout the college. In addition to enrolling in classes, staff can talk with students about paying for college, building a plan for their time at MCC, and taking advantage of all of the award-winning student support services and resources the college offers.

On Wednesday, August 3, students can go to the Bedford and Lowell campus from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. to participate in Express Registration. Starting the week of August 8, Express Registration will be offered 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. virtually on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in person on Wednesdays. The in-person options are available on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses.

“We’re excited to get students ready for the semester,” Freitas-Haley said.
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MCC Helped Graduate Find Work in Field While Continuing Studies7/28/20228/11/2022 2:50 PM
As she looked ahead to life after high school, Lucera Story, of Chelmsford, was unsure of what to study in college or pursue for a career. Middlesex Community College helped her find her passion and develop a clearer plan for the future.

“I’m responsible for financing my college,” Story said. “I didn’t want to end up in debt when I didn’t have a solid plan. It ended up being a really good choice because I graduated high school in 2020 and wanted to stay close to home.”

An introductory Criminal Justice elective course renewed Story’s interest in the law and how everything works within the system. Deciding to major in Paralegal Studies, her favorite part of her classes was learning the language used in court, researching cases, and understanding how cases are written.

The knowledge learned in MCC’s program, along with an internship with Boston Law Collaborative helped her turn an interest into a career path. During her internship, she worked in family law both remotely and in-person when completing administrative tasks. Story gained a lot of experience working on divorce cases and the paperwork that was involved, including financial statements, complaints and interrogatories.

“I loved my experience working with them,” she said. “They just hired me as a paralegal.”

Story completed all of her program at MCC online. She preferred this format as it lessened the anxiety she might feel being in a classroom. To do well in her classes, she worked on finding a space within her home that would be the best environment in which to focus.

Guidance from Halye Sugarman, MCC’s Paralegal Studies Program Coordinator & Professor, also helped keep her on track and answered her questions. Although Story praised all of her professors for their support, Sugarman is someone who “always goes above and beyond.”

“I could tell that she genuinely cared about whether we understood what was being taught, and I loved being in her class,” Story said. “I would look forward to her class every week and wish that I could keep taking classes from her.”

Graduating from Middlesex made Story’s transfer process easier. She chose to move to a state school to take advantage of the MassTransfer program so that all of her credits would carry over. MCC helped her plan out her classes by semester, ensuring a smooth transition to her new school.

In the future, Story looks forward to completing her bachelor’s degree and attending law school. Thanks to her associate degree from Middlesex, she can gain a lot of experience in the field while continuing her studies.

“I now have a steady job that can support me while I finish my schooling,” Story said. “I couldn’t have done that without the program at MCC.”
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MCC Hires Alumna as Newest Criminal and Social Justice Professor7/26/20228/10/2022 1:15 PM
Middlesex Community College welcomed a new faculty member to the college’s Criminal and Social Justice program. Amairanys Rodriguez is a Lowell-native and alumna of Middlesex who found a “truly diverse and cozy” space at MCC to pursue her passion. Now as a faculty member, she wants to provide a similar experience for her students.

“I felt so comfortable at MCC and wanted to give back to the college that helped me when I needed them most,” Rodriguez said. “I am hoping to bring hope, excitement and lots of knowledge from my experiences. I want to be a role model for my students, make sure all their questions get answered, and help them choose the path they want to succeed in.”

Two experiences inspired Rodriguez to work in the criminal justice field. One was participating in the Junior Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) during high school. She found an appreciation for leadership and being a role model “in and out of my uniform.” The second experience that influenced her decision was seeing someone close to her get arrested.

“I learned a lot more about the system and the injustices, and I knew I needed to get involved because it became my passion,” Rodriguez said. “I have worked in many different entities within the criminal justice system and the mental health field and collaborated with many different people, which helped me become well-rounded in my education.”

After Rodriguez graduated from high school, she was determined to study criminal justice, but did not know how to start. She chose Middlesex because of the college’s campus location in her hometown, which allowed her to stay close to her family. As a student at MCC, she flourished from completing her general education courses in small classes, taking interesting electives that broadened her knowledge, and engaging in the campus community with her classmates.

“MCC is a fantastic way to start because even if someone is a little indecisive, it can help fill in that gap and help students remember why they chose this program in the first place,” she said. “MCC got me started and boosted my confidence in what I wanted to achieve in life.”

Rodriguez continued her education by transferring to UMass Lowell. Although she had originally considered becoming a police officer, she said “life had a different plan for me.” Instead, she went on to earn a master’s degree with the intention of teaching at the community college level.

As a faculty member at MCC, she hopes to show her students all of the different options that are available to them from studying this field. The most important thing Rodriguez wants her students to understand is that education – at MCC in particular – is a great way to get their start in the academic and professional world. This is especially true because “all the staff and faculty here want to see students grow.”

“The world’s criminal justice system needs fresh faces, new people to save lives, and new people we can trust,” Rodriguez said. “We need a new generation of criminal justice-seeking students to help save the world.”
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MCC’s Law Center Continues to Assist Greater Lowell Community7/21/20228/9/2022 1:03 PM
In the face of ongoing and ever-changing challenges, the Middlesex Community College Law Center provides mediation services, consumer information, school-based violence prevention programs, and international conflict resolution training to the Greater Lowell community. MCC’s Law Center was one of the Consumer Mediation Programs awarded as part of a $2 million funding initiative by Attorney General Maura Healey.

“The Law Center has administered the Local Consumer Program (LCP) since 1990, opening approximately 27,000 cases and saving consumers over $7 million,” said Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D., MCC’s Executive Director, Law Center. “We are thrilled to continue working with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to provide assistance to consumers and are grateful for the opportunity and funding to support our work.”

Through the LCP, MCC’s Law Center helps community members handle issues they have with businesses, including those related to used cars, lemon laws, and airline ticket refunds. The Center assists consumers from the beginning of the process to the end, filing claims on their behalf and negotiating with businesses to reach a resolution.

Through mediation services, ¬the Law Center helps all sides come to an agreement on their own terms. Working in partnership with local schools, Keilah Paquette, MCC Law Center Site Coordinator at Lowell’s Sullivan Middle School, has found that students, staff and teachers are better able to communicate with each other in a confidential, non-judgmental space.

“Communication, active listening, empathy and the ability to be non-biased go into being a mediator,” Paquette said. “All of those roles helped me to have successful mediations. I got to really see the effect that peer mediation has on students, and it made me feel good about being able to help them through their conflicts and become someone in the school that they trust.”

The program has received positive feedback from both students and staff. Everyone is able to speak and be heard about the issues that they have going on in their lives. The value of peer mediation in schools has increased because many conflicts are now starting over social media and text messaging, according to Yvette Cheeks, MCC Law Center Mediation Coordinator.

“This allows for a lot of misunderstandings and misinterpretations,” Cheeks said. “With the assistance of trained student mediators, interpersonal conversations can take place and students can share their emotions, feelings, wants and needs in an effort to resolve their conflicts. This is a social and emotional skill that is imperative and needs to be cultivated as youth move into adulthood.”

MCC’s Law Center strives to find ways to reach out to the community and work with the college. Many Middlesex Paralegal Studies students intern, mediate, and go on to work at the Law Center.

“It’s been a wonderful partnership with MCC’s Paralegal Studies department,” Furi-Perry said. “Almost everyone working in the Law Center is an MCC alumni.”
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Middlesex CC Continues to Have Lasting Impact on Alum’s Career7/28/20228/8/2022 10:44 AM
As a full-time police officer for his hometown of Maynard, Christopher Sweeney was looking to enhance his career by getting a college degree. At Middlesex Community College, being able to take the majority of his classes online made all the difference.

“I was looking to get a leg up on my ‘competition’ and knew a degree in criminal justice would help me in that endeavor,” Sweeney said. “MCC has a great reputation in the area and the online program allowed me to still work full-time and enjoy my family life without having to worry about the times I had to be on campus.”

Flexibility was the number one thing Sweeney was looking for when researching programs. When he arrived at Middlesex, he also found supportive professors who cared about how their students did in their classes and in their futures. Although he graduated from MCC over a decade ago, he still keeps in touch with his professors Ronald Brevard and Heloisa DaCunha.

“Professor Brevard made such an impact on me during my time at MCC, that I am hoping to become a part-time professor so that I can have the same impact on others that he had on me,” Sweeney said.

One way Sweeney keeps in touch with his Middlesex roots is by talking about his experience and bringing in other presenters to speak to members of MCC’s Criminal Justice Club. As a student, he also helped plan trips to tour police stations, including the State Police Fusion Center.

Calling his time at MCC “fantastic,” Sweeney believes the program gave him a strong foundation of knowledge to progress in the industry. While his courses provided an understanding of what to expect from working in the Criminal and Social Justice fields, his Middlesex degree is “highly recognized within the profession” and has helped him move into higher positions.

Graduating from Middlesex in 2011 opened the door for Sweeney to continue his education even further. He transferred to UMass Lowell to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Now working for the Massachusetts Environmental Police, he is about to start a second master’s degree in Wildlife Forensics at the University of Florida.

Sweeney believes Middlesex provided the “leg up” he needed to make the career move.

“MCC is where it all started for me,” he said. “If I hadn’t started at MCC, I’m not sure I would have continued on through my master’s degrees. In my professional goals, I know that it played a role in my hiring at MA Environmental Police, putting me in a better position.”
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Changes Strengthen MCC’s Criminal & Social Justice Program7/19/20228/4/2022 11:53 AM
One of Heloisa DaCunha’s favorite parts about teaching at Middlesex Community College is witnessing her students cross the stage at graduation. From seeing them arrive at Middlesex on their first day to watching them develop their knowledge, skills and sense of self, she feels proud of playing a role in her students’ successes.

“I really believe in the community college mission,” DaCunha said. “We’re providing this excellent education to students at an affordable cost. We’re serving a population that resonates with me and I can identify with them. So many are just like me – they’re the first in their families to go to college, English is not their first language, and they are not the typical college student who has the luxury of attending without other responsibilities.”

Born in Brazil, DaCunha came to the U.S. at 11-years-old, not knowing how to speak English. She was the first person in her family to go to college, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Criminal Justice from UMass Lowell. After 12 years as a professor at Middlesex, DaCunha was named the Department Chair of MCC’s Criminal and Social Justice program.

Before coming to MCC, DaCunha worked in Lowell for several years with survivors of rape and sexual violence. Her expertise then – and now at MCC – was counter-terrorism and criminology. Each faculty member at MCC offers a different focus to provide students with a full-range of what to expect in the workforce – whether their chosen career path is in policing at any level, the court system, corrections, social work, human services or at nonprofit or state agencies.

To incorporate more social justice topics into the curriculum, MCC professors ask students what they know about the changes that have been made and why it has happened. Students get a deeper understanding by engaging in conversations and conducting hands-on research projects. One of the projects involves looking into whether or not the criminal justice system is diverse and representative of the population it serves, and how that affects the relationship.

“Students focus on a major city in Massachusetts that is diverse and research the diversity in the department,” DaCunha said. “How many officers speak a second language, how many are female, how many are a person of color? Then, they make a decision – is the police department representative of the city they serve? Every time, they find that there is tension and that the department does not represent the community.”

Starting in the Fall 2022 semester, MCC will give officers who have gone through the Police Academy nine credits toward their degree. In addition to providing online, hybrid and accelerated options, as well as three degree options depending on their goals, this allows students to fit an education more easily into their lives while enhancing their careers.

“One thing that we do at the college-level that is not done anywhere else in training is teach them interpersonal skills,” DaCunha said. “Our program teaches them how to talk well, to present themselves, treat everybody the same, not use implicit bias, not profile, not stereotype. People really get that through a college education they can apply in the field.”
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Middlesex CC Awarded $735,000 Workforce Training Grant7/13/20228/3/2022 10:47 AM
Middlesex Community College received $735,000 as part of the Baker-Polito Administration $15 Million Workforce Training Grant awarded to the 15 Massachusetts community colleges.

The funding supports “the creation and expansion of training programs in high-demand industries, such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, information technology and cybersecurity,” according to a press release from the Baker-Polito Administration.

“These funds will support what community colleges do best – providing education and training for eligible individuals ready to enter the workforce,” said Dr. Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “Middlesex will focus on both credit and noncredit programming that can be completed in a year for positions in high-demand and much needed fields, such as healthcare and IT.”

MCC plans to focus on the nurse assistant, cybersecurity and medical lab technician, Google IT and pharmacy technician education and training programs. As part of the training, individuals will receive help in transitioning into the workforce with their knowledge and skills.

“We feel so fortunate to receive this funding,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “This resource will be a game changer for unemployed and underemployed workers, as well as our employer partners across the state, who are struggling to build a strong workforce. MCC has a rich and robust history of educating and training our regions’ workforce. This funding will help those who may be interested in getting back in the workforce but need to sharpen their skills have the ability to take that next step toward advancing their career.”

Across the state, approximately 1,500 people will participate in the trainings at no cost, according to the governor’s release. Each community college will be provided funding to serve 75 individuals. Individuals who are unemployed or underemployed will have prioritization. More funding will be provided based on enrollment needs.

“These grants complement our administration’s ongoing work to address the skills gap by building additional training capacity at all the Commonwealth’s community colleges so people have opportunities to gain hands-on skills and knowledge in growing industries,” Governor Baker said. “It is crucial that we provide more residents with quality training options and eliminate the gaps between what skills the Massachusetts workforce has, and what skills employers need.”

Bunker Hill Community College and the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges will jointly administer the grant program with the Executive Office of Education and in consultation with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the regional Workforce Investment Boards.
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MCC Awarded Federal Grant to Support Upward Bound Program7/20/20228/2/2022 3:35 PM
Middlesex Community College partners with local high schools to make a college education more accessible and possible for students. A recent five-year $1.488 million TRiO Upward Bound grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow Middlesex to continue strengthening the academic skills of eligible Lowell High School (LHS) students.

“The goal of the program is to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in high school and to encourage them to pursue postsecondary education,” said Dr. Colleen Winn, MCC’s Director of TRiO and Gear Up. “We are thrilled to continue fostering the partnership between Middlesex and Lowell High School, as well as to provide these students with a comprehensive and coordinated array of academic instruction, support and advising services.”

MCC’s Upward Bound program will help 55 eligible LHS students graduate from high school, apply to college, and build upon their knowledge and skills in their next steps. This program is just one of the ways in which Middlesex helps students attend and graduate from college through targeted student support services and programs that meet each individual student where they are.

The most recent batch of funding is in direct response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Lowell community, including an increase in housing, food and job insecurity. Often, these stressors prevent individuals from being able to successfully complete their education from high school and through college.

Having served LHS students since 2000, MCC’s Upward Bound has reached a three-year 94 percent postsecondary enrollment compared to the national average of 40 percent for students in similar demographics, according to Winn.

Students in the program meet in a cohort at LHS and receive academic instruction and support, counseling, tutoring, access to cultural activities, and exposure to college campuses. Other services include individualized case management, dual enrollment courses, college application advising, workshops on academic skills, test preparation, financial literacy and assistance with applying for financial aid.

Over the summer, students engage in a six-week program with a one-week overnight experience. This opportunity includes helping students who are attending college in the fall prepare to transition into higher education.

“Attending college opens up a variety of exciting and life-changing opportunities and possibilities for students,” Winn said. “MCC’s Upward Bound program ensures that these students can access the resources, support and skills they need to succeed at the next level of education and in life.”
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MCC Dual Enrollment Prepared High School Graduate for Next Steps7/7/20228/1/2022 1:10 PM
Middlesex Community College gave recent high school graduate Leah Thomson, of Reading, a huge advantage as she started considering her options for college. Through MCC’s Dual Enrollment Academy, she got a head start on earning college credit and was rewarded with a number of choices for a four-year institution.

“Thanks to the help of MCC, I was able to be accepted into Bentley, Salve Regina and UMass Lowell,” Thomson said. “MCC has greatly prepared me for college courses and I feel extremely confident in my abilities now that I have attended MCC.”

Thomson learned about Dual Enrollment from a guidance counselor at her high school when she started her senior year. She chose Middlesex because the courses were affordable and flexible. In particular, she enjoyed being able to take online courses she could complete on her own time.

“I love online courses, especially self-paced ones,” Thomson said. “They allow me to learn in any form I’d like to. I can take my time with my material or spend all day on my work. Online courses give me the flexibility to use my hours as I please.”

At Middlesex, Thomson also had the opportunity to dive deeper into subjects that are not traditionally taught in high school. Her goal in the future is to earn a bachelor’s degree in business before pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA).

Taking MCC’s Introduction to Business, Social Media, Business Communications and Statistics gave her early exposure in her field of study. Completing the courses also helped her finish general education requirements that will transfer to a four-year institution. This will allow Thomson to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in less time.

Another one of the main benefits of Dual Enrollment for Thomson was being able to take one class to earn both high school and college credit. Classes such as English 101 taught her how to perform well at a higher level.

“English 101 was most beneficial to me in learning what is expected of me in college courses,” she said. “There was a lot of new learning I had to do from my professor on the differences of high school papers and college papers.”

As she prepares to start at UMass Lowell in the Fall, Thomson is grateful for getting her start at Middlesex and for all the ways the college set her up for success.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent here at MCC,” she said. “I am extremely grateful for every opportunity they have made possible for me.”
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MCC Kicks Off College for Kids and Teens Summer Programs7/18/20227/28/2022 12:48 PM
Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids and Teens summer programs are off to a strong start! Taught by experts in the field, courses are designed to help young students explore future career options. Most courses run for one week to allow students to pick and choose from a variety of options they can fit into their busy summer plans.

“MCC’s College for Kids and Teens courses engage young students in exciting and fun ways while providing early exposure to subjects, majors and careers,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Director of Workforce Development & Life Long Learning. “Signing up for classes over the summer keeps students’ minds fresh throughout the summer months, while they learn more about what they will and won’t want to pursue later in life.”

MCC’s College for Teens this summer include Engineering and CAD, 20th and 21st Century Music, Business and Creative Writing. Christine Laviolette, MCC Medical Laboratory Technology professor, taught a College for Teens Medical Laboratory Technician Career Exploration course earlier in the summer to introduce students to the field.

“Students in my Medical Laboratory Technician program were engaged and very curious about the role of the medical laboratory technician as it applies to the overall healthcare team,” Laviolette said. “They got to perform some basic hands-on testing and really seemed to enjoy it. They asked some excellent questions. Dare I say, we may have planted a seed in a couple of students – I know one said that his participation in our class solidified his decision to attend MCC after high school graduation.”

Featuring both half- and full-day programs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, MCC’s College for Kids programs will run through August 18. Kids ages 8 to 17 can choose courses on subjects such as the creative arts, sports, cooking and baking, fashion design, film production and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Featuring hands-on, interactive lessons, one of the major benefits of taking MCC’s College for Kids summer programs is that the courses cover subjects that are not traditionally taught in school. In MCC’s Graphic Design and Web Design for beginners courses, students learn skills and software that are used in a variety of careers.

In the graphic design course, students create their own board game using Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to make artwork, rules, themes and setups of the games from beginning to end. The web design course helps student design their own website using Adobe XD on a theme of their choosing, which could include an art portfolio, a fan page, video game forum, or more.

“It’s never too early for students to start thinking about their futures,” Ellis said. “MCC makes sure to encourage doing so in fun and hands-on ways!”
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Two Recent Grads Fulfill Dreams of Working in Law at MCC7/14/20227/28/2022 10:38 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Paralegal Studies program helped two graduates fulfill lifelong dreams of working in law. Both Kristen Wolf, of Haverhill, and Hannah Moudree, from Montana, chose MCC’s American Bar Association (ABA) approved program because it was affordable and provided the knowledge, skills and experiences they needed to jump into the workforce.

“This was a way for me to incorporate my interest into a career,” Wolf said. “MCC helped me reach my goals by making the transition back to school truly seamless. If I had a question, it was quickly answered and I was able to concentrate on my studies.”

Moudree – who relocated to the area for the military – enjoyed working with faculty member Halye Sugarman, MCC’s Paralegal Studies Program Coordinator & Professor, as well as staff in the college’s Veterans Resource Center (VRC). Whether she was asking a question related to her classes or GI Bill, everyone was “responsive and willing to help.”

“MCC opened the door for me and gave me confidence to secure a job in the legal field,” Moudree said. “There are supportive staff and the campus is beautiful.”

As the only Paralegal Studies advisor for the program, Sugarman works with each student as they go through their courses, internship experiences, and take their next steps. Students can choose from a Paralegal Studies certificate or one of two associate degree options to transfer to a four-year college or enter the workforce in a variety of fields of law and other industries.

Middlesex also offers a fully online option for students who would not otherwise be able to fit education into their schedules. While Wolf said, “This worked for me as I am a later in life learner and I still needed to work to provide for my family,” Moudree said, “the professors made [online courses] worthwhile and engaging.”

“This has been life-changing for our students as so many of them have full-time jobs and families,” Sugarman said. “Being able to take classes online frees up their time and people from different areas can take courses without worrying about traveling.”

To enhance classroom learning, many students take on internships. Moudree completed hers online at a court service center in Lowell working with family law. The combination of her education from MCC and her internship is helping her in her position at a real estate firm in Waltham.

“I aided two supervising attorneys with client intake from the MA area,” Moudree said. “We would help clients fill out affidavits, complaint forms, and guide them through the steps of filing legal paperwork.”

Wolf’s experience at a small law office in Groveland allowed her to apply her skills to real-life situations. She continues to work there after she was hired as an official employee a few months into her position. Wolf is now at Merrimack College and hopes to start in law school in Fall 2023.

“Attending MCC was truly a turning point in my life,” Wolf said. “It invigorated my love of learning and it gave me an incredible base for my future in law. I could not be happier about the choice I made with MCC.”
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MCC’s Express Registration Makes Attending College Easier7/11/20227/27/2022 11:03 AM
From meeting early on with advisors and staff members to making an informed financial choice, developing and following a plan to having a better choice of classes, there are a number of benefits to registering for Middlesex Community College’s Fall 2022 semester early. With MCC’s Express Registration, the college admissions process has never been easier.

“One of the best parts about being a community college is having the opportunity to make personal connections with students and their families from the first day they arrive at MCC to well beyond their time here,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “Our Express Registration Wednesdays allow prospective students to come to campus, meet with enrollment specialists, ask questions, and walk step-by-step through the admissions process.”

Starting on July 13, at 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, prospective students and their families can walk in to either the Bedford or Lowell campus to register for the Fall semester, learn about student support services, and tour the campuses.

Experts from the Office of Financial Aid will also be available to talk to students about their options. This includes going over how to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), decide on payment plans, and get a sense of how they can afford a college education.

Middlesex hosted its first Express Registration event on Wednesday, June 15 on both campuses. Over 100 students registered for classes and had the chance to meet with staff across the college to get them on track to start in Fall.

Learning early on about programs, support services and resources – and who can help them – provides time for students to develop a plan. Following a plan guides students through their time at Middlesex to their transfer institution or into the workforce.

Registering early for the Fall 2022 semester also allows students to decide which types of classes best fit into their schedules without worrying about classes filling up. MCC offers a range of on-campus, online, hybrid and hyflex courses for students to choose what works best for their time and learning styles.

Registering early also gives students the opportunity to register for one of MCC’s First Year Experience (FYE) courses. In addition to giving students a college credit, these courses introduce them to the campuses, transitions them from high school to college-level courses, and encourages them to engage in the community.

“The earlier on in the summer students are able to get set up with classes,” Freitas-Haley said, “the better prepared they will be come Fall!”
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MCC’s Prepare to Attend College Sets Up Students for Success7/12/20227/26/2022 10:53 AM
At Middlesex Community College’s most recent Prepare to Attend College (PAC) graduation ceremony, one of the most common themes in students’ speeches was the positive impact the program has made – and will continue to make – on their lives.

Part of the English Learner Institute (ELI), PAC is a free program that allows non-native English speakers to develop their skills. They are then able to go on to take college-level courses at Middlesex and beyond, as well as enter the workforce. Offered three times during the year, students can participate at the time that works best for them.

“PAC is an opportunity for students who come from countries across the world to learn to speak and write in English,” said Audrey Nahabedian, MCC’s Dean of Workforce Development. “Enrolling in these free courses provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to attend college in the U.S. or receive high-quality opportunities for their careers and futures. It’s a win-win for the students and the institution as these courses familiarize students with MCC, leading to many of our graduates registering at the college to enroll in for credit courses.”

At the Wednesday, June 29 ceremony, MCC President Phil Sisson, Provost Arlene Rodríguez, and other members of senior college leadership were on hand to congratulate students from PAC’s two courses. Students received a certificate and read from a script they had written for the ceremony. The moment of recognition for each student also presented an opportunity for them to practice the skills they learned in their classes from instructor Charles Zhang.

“PAC classes are fun and useful,” Zhang said. “The courses attract a rich pool of people from around the world. Evidence shows that students who put in a good effort and complete our PAC program become happier and more confident. They also understand this country a bit better and have bigger visions for their lives.”

Yanxia Gou, from China, graduated from MCC’s PAC One course. In her speech, she thanked Zhang for his commitment to students.

“Charles understands well his students and is very nice and caring to everyone,” Gou said. “He can use simple ways to explain many hard concepts and help me build more confidence and interest. Because of his passion and great teaching ways, we learn how to talk with each other in English, we get to know each other, and become good friends.”

For Karla Zepeda, from Mexico, MCC’s PAC Two course was a chance to practice the English skills she learned in college.

“My PAC Two class is full of people from different parts of the world ¬– Latin America, China, Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia,” she said. “We are here for different reasons, fulfilling a dream. A dream that seems impossible when there is a language barrier. However, this course has helped us to gradually take down that barrier to come across endless better opportunities for us, and the best of all, for free.”
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At Middlesex CC, Student Learns and Earns to Jumpstart Career6/30/20227/21/2022 12:48 PM
Coming from Gujarat, India and now living in Billerica, Jeel Patel was looking to attend a college that would help her adjust to education in the United States and get her on track to a career. With affordable options that provide hands-on experiences, her aunt recommended that Middlesex Community College “is the best to start your education.”

“I am grateful to be a student at MCC,” Patel said. “I have learned a lot of new things that will help me a lot for my future career. I was able to study without worrying about my tuition fees.”

Having completed part of a bachelor’s degree in India, Patel came to Middlesex knowing what she wanted to pursue for a major. She has been interested in biology since high school, which led to her interest in biotechnology. “I want to help discover cures for dangerous diseases,” she said.

In her classes, Patel learned more about the biotech field and the options available to her as a career path. Her internship at Takeda Pharmaceuticals allowed her to work and gain experience while actively studying the subject.

Patel considers “the best experience at MCC” to be working in MCC’s biotech lab. The experiences provided her with the opportunity to practice her skills in a safe space before performing the work at her internship.

“I gained a lot of knowledge from being a part of the Learn and Earn Experience in terms of knowledge and training,” she said. “Working at Takeda has been a great experience for me. I get the opportunity to learn new things every day and it excites me every time.”

Both MCC’s Director of Biotechnology Dr. Mariluci Bladon and MCC’s Director of the Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience Stefana Soitos offered Patel the support and encouragement she needed to get through the program. While Bladon taught her the theoretical knowledge and skills of the industry in classes and labs, Soitos guided her through the application process for the Learn and Earn Experience.

“I did not have to worry so much about entering the Learn and Earn Experience,” she said. “The whole process was very simple. I am so grateful I pursued my associate degree from MCC.”

Patel graduated from Middlesex in the Spring of 2022 with her associate degree in biotechnology. A member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society for two-year colleges, she completed her degree with honors. For her next steps, she hopes to transfer to Northeastern University.

Soitos said Patel is also one of several MCC students to have been offered a full-time job from Takeda after completing the internship. The internship – and Middlesex – “is my first step to enter biotechnology,” she said.

“I have learned a lot from MCC,” Patel said. “I am sure that those things are going to help me for the rest of my career.”
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Middlesex CC Embraces the Future of Learning with Hyflex Options7/6/20227/20/2022 2:38 PM
Middlesex Community College makes the learning experience – and getting an education – easier for students. For the Fall 2022 semester, in addition to offering on-campus, online and hybrid course formats, Middlesex will offer a variety of hyflex learning options for credit and noncredit courses. In this modality, professors teach from the classroom to a mix of students who are at home and on campus.

“Middlesex wants students to have flexibility in their learning, and hyflex options are the next step,” said Dr. Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “As the future of learning, this combination of modalities will allow students to balance their education with other personal and life responsibilities on a weekly basis, rather than having to decide at the beginning of the semester. This will help to prevent students from falling behind in their work or having to drop out of classes.”

Each week, students can decide whether they want to learn from home or in the classroom, based on their needs and what works best for their schedules. To help make the transition between online and face-to-face learning easier, the course will use digital engagement tools – such as Zoom, Collaborate and Blackboard – as a space for discussions and materials.

“I am happy to teach using hyflex technology as it provides more flexibility for student learning,” said Dr. Marie Tupaj, MCC Associate Professor of CAD & Engineering, who will be teaching her first hyflex course in the Fall. “In hyflex courses, students listen to lectures remotely in real time or attend class in person. Students easily change their lecture location for each class depending on what fits their schedule and needs.”

MCC’s hyflex classrooms are set up with technology that allows faculty members to teach to students who are learning on campus and at home at the same time. Technology includes control panels, computers, monitors, cameras, microphones and speakers.

Whether at home or in class, all students in hyflex courses will have the opportunity to engage with each other in full-class discussions, group work, breakout rooms, Google documents, and other tools for interactive learning.

Beth Noël, MCC’s Director of Marketing Communications is teaching the noncredit Digital Media Marketing course in the Fall. While Noël will be teaching on the Lowell campus, students can opt to take the course at home or in person.

“MCC strives to make getting an education accessible and easy for all students,” Noël said. “My noncredit course meets in the evening and with family commitments, it is not always feasible for students to get to campus. MCC’s new hyflex course options make it possible for students to fit education and professional development into their busy lives.”
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Earn a Certificate and Enter the Workforce in Nine Months with MCC6/29/20227/19/2022 10:34 AM
With Middlesex Community College’s nine-month Medical Assisting program, students learn the knowledge and skills they need to enter the healthcare workforce immediately. The full-time program is completed over two semesters with an externship in the spring. One hundred percent of the students who go through MCC’s program and pass their certification exam are hired into jobs, according to Claudia Guillen, MCC’s Director of Medical Assisting.

“The demand for medical assistants in jobs is very high right now,” Guillen said. “This program is wonderful for anyone starting in the medical field. As a medical assistant, there are a lot of opportunities. They are making good pay and they’re really needed.”

Jeff Belanger, of Chelmsford, turned to MassHire to help him get into the healthcare field after acting as his mother’s primary caregiver for five years. The organization led him to Middlesex where he started taking courses and practicing clinical procedures in the basic skills lab. While he learned from knowledgeable and passionate professors – including Guillen – his externship experience helped Belanger “put the knowledge I am learning to use.”

“My experience here at MCC and what I am learning is priceless,” Belanger said. “I feel that the knowledge I am learning is truly preparing me for my future in the medical field.”

From Cambodia, Middlesex is Phanou Khiev’s first educational experience in the United States. Her decision to come to the college – after 19 years away from school – was due to MCC’s diverse student body and reputation for having an “advanced” medical assisting program. From clinicals to labs, practicing skills and learning how to be a professional in the field, “my overall experience here at MCC has been great,” Khiev said.

“Professors are helpful, understanding and try their best to make the program learnable and as flexible as possible,” Khiev said. “The students help each other with group study and try to understand each other, sharing their experiences. The program makes me feel that I am ready to start my practice anytime.”

At MCC’s Spring 2022 Health commencement ceremony, both Belanger and Khiev received the Medical Assisting Awards for Academic Excellence and graduated with certificates in Medical Assisting. Each is looking forward to starting their new careers.

To help students fit the program into their schedules, MCC’s program offers hybrid options with online classes and face-to-face labs. With a background of working in the Medical Assisting industry and other healthcare fields, Guillen chose to bring her knowledge and experience to Middlesex because of the emphasis community colleges put on teaching and preparing students for the workforce. From jumpstarting educational pursuits to finding them jobs, community colleges “provide a lot of help to students,” according to Guillen.

“Medical assisting is a wonderful start,” Guillen said. “You get to know your patients, you do a lot of teaching. There’s a lot of opportunities for growth.”
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MCC Adds Accelerated Option for Medical Laboratory Technology 6/30/20227/18/2022 10:44 AM
The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on a team of healthcare workers often referred to as being in “the hidden profession,” according to Suzanne McHale, MCC’s Professor & Program Coordinator of Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT).

Medical Laboratory Technicians are members of the clinical laboratory who perform tests to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders. With jobs across Massachusetts in high demand, Middlesex Community College is expanding its MLT program to pilot an 11-month accelerated associate degree program for prospective students with previous degrees and experience in areas such as biology, chemistry, microbiology and biochemistry.

“The MLT field offers many employment opportunities and job security, and MCC has hospital and clinical affiliations all over Merrimack Valley, Worcester, Boston and southern New Hampshire who are eager to hire our graduates,” McHale said. “Our program prepares MLT students with a wide range of skills and experience in all areas of the laboratory. The accelerated offering is a flexible and quick option for students to complete their degree, enhance their job prospects, and work while attending school.”

“This accelerated program will help me become a Medical Technician while solidifying my knowledge of a medical lab,” said MCC student Linedlay Alcide. “I think this is a great program to use my previous classes and background to help me qualify for more jobs.”

MCC’s program will be piloted in the Fall 2022 semester, in addition to the traditional MLT associate degree program. Throughout the 11-month program, students will take online classes as part of the eight-week Mini-mesters in the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as one class during the WinterSession. In-person lab experiences will be scheduled on evenings and on Saturdays. Over the summer, students will complete their seminar courses and external practicums. Students in the pilot year of the program will graduate in Summer 2023 with their associate degrees.

Upon completion, graduates will be eligible to take the national Board of Certification Exam with the American Society for Clinical Pathology for Medical Laboratory Technician. With this certification and one more year of work in the clinical laboratory, individuals may then apply to take the Medical Laboratory Scientist exam.

“After working alongside such brilliant medical technologists, I quickly realized that I wanted to learn more, and I wanted to contribute more,” said MCC student Stephanie Cofske. “I wanted to fully understand the capacity at which they work, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. The accelerated program here at MCC is the perfect opportunity to achieve my goals, as I already have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.”

For students new to the field, Middlesex offers a traditional two-year MLT program, which has a long history of success. With a near 100 percent pass rate on the certification exam, the program was also recently reaccredited for 10 years through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).

“While searching for my dream career, I finally found it in MCC,” said MCC student Nene Mariama D. Bah. “As a Medical Lab Technician student in the accelerated program, I will learn all the professional courses and training related to the MLT program and get my diploma in less than one year. Because of saving both time and money while studying in the accelerated MLT program at MCC, this is far more convenient for me.”
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Top Five Reasons to Register Early for Middlesex CC’s Fall Semester6/21/20227/14/2022 1:41 PM
Students who are registering early for Middlesex Community College’s Fall 2022 semester are setting themselves up for success. Middlesex has created a list of top five reasons why students who register now will have positioned themselves for a strong start.

“We understand that while unexpected circumstances may arise, prospective and current students who register early on often feel more comfortable going into the start of a new semester,” said Scott O’Neil, MCC’s Dean of Enrollment Services. “Summer offers a perfect opportunity for students to figure out their next academic steps, gain a sense of all that the college offers, and know from day one what they need to do to be successful in both the short- and long-term.”
  1. MCC students who register early have a better choice of classes. One of the most convenient things about taking courses at Middlesex includes the flexibility of creating a schedule to match individual needs. Classes are offered in a traditional 15-week semester or during two eight-week accelerated Mini-mesters. Four class formats – in-person, online, hybrid and hyflex – allow students to decide what works best for them without worrying about classes filling up.
  2. Meeting early on with advisors and staff members provides an idea of who is available at MCC to help. In knowing how to get assistance, students have a better idea of what they need to do from their time at MCC to get to their transfer institution or into the workforce. Connecting with people at the college also allows them to figure out which classes they need to take to fulfill general requirements, explore majors, and plan for what comes next.
  3. Students who develop and follow a plan now will avoid any confusion and feelings of being rushed at the end of the summer and beginning of the Fall semester. Students also have a chance to learn more about the programs and student support services and resources that will help them be successful, before having to balance everything with the start of classes and coursework.
  4. One of the major benefits of taking courses at a community college is saving thousands on tuition costs. By registering early, students will have more time to complete their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). MCC students also have access to financial aid and financial wellness advisors who can help them decide on payment plans and the best ways to save money now and in the future.
  5. Students who register ahead of the Fall semester can sign up for one of MCC’s First Year Experience (FYE) courses. In addition to earning a college credit and exploring a field of interest, this allows students to get to know the college, campus and community. Students meet with classmates, faculty and staff members before their first official day.
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Middlesex CC Student Thrives Off of Receiving and Giving Support6/23/20227/13/2022 2:51 PM
From Kenya and now living in Lowell, Ruth Wango is passionate about helping others. Both as a nursing student and an employee in several positions across the college, Wango is a fixture in the community of Middlesex Community College. Inside and outside of the classroom, all of these opportunities are helping her build a foundation for her future.

“My experience at Middlesex has been amazing,” she said. “It has taught me a lot and I learned a lot of new things about life and school. I made new friends and met different amazing professors and students.”

Wango enjoys keeping busy at Middlesex. A member of the African Cultural Club, she works as a Career Ambassador and Diversity Peer Educator. She has also recently taken on a Peer Mentor role for the college’s Success Scholars program. “Working in MCC has brought a huge difference in my life, whereby I learned new skills and gained knowledge,” she said.

Designed to ensure students have the support they need to earn their degrees, the Success Scholars program is focused on the academic, financial, career and personal wellness of Asian American, Black, African American, Latinx and LGBTQ+ students. Wango helps students build their profiles on MCC’s internship and job boards, as well as goes over their resumes and cover letters with them.

“MCC has helped me reach my goals by providing me with resources, tutoring and advisors who have helped me in my studies,” she said. “I wanted to get involved with the Success Scholars Program to exchange ideas with people, meet different people from diverse backgrounds, and help students reach their goals and encourage them in their education.”

In addition to her job and club responsibilities, Wango is a serious student working toward her dream career as a travel nurse. Wanting to pursue a job in the healthcare field since childhood, Wango has now realized that the nursing profession also provides stable employment, pays well, and offers a flexible schedule.

“In MCC’s program, you get to learn new skills that you’re taught to apply in the field, and one is able to understand what is being taught in class.” she said. “I am a person who loves to help people and see them in a good state.”

When she arrived at Middlesex in 2019, Wango first started by taking general education requirements. The first professor she met was Cathleen Twomey who taught her Reading, Writing and Reasoning course. Calling Twomey a “happy, kind and understanding professor,” having someone offer support from day one of her time at the college made a huge difference. Wango is now giving back that guidance to new students in all of her roles throughout Middlesex.

“I love MCC because it has shaped my education and I learned a lot of different things that I did not know,” she said. “Apart from getting a job through my education, MCC will help me gain additional skills which will help me in my academic and professional goals.”
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MCC to Offer Remote Pilot Certification Course This Summer6/27/20227/12/2022 11:58 AM
Learning how to fly a drone can enhance a career or provide a fun, new hobby. This summer, Middlesex Community College’s Community Education and Training (CET) division is offering an FAA Remote Pilot Certification course on the college’s Bedford campus for those who want to add a useful skill to their resume.

“The certification benefits a variety of industries, from allowing real estate agents to take aerial photos to helping engineers better envision their ideas,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for CET. “MCC’s program is for anyone who wants to earn the certification but has not had any previous aviation experience. It really serves to make businesses more legitimate in the services they offer.”

Over three days, participants will learn about FAA requirements for drone operations, regulations and safety practices. In 21 hours, participants will also learn about the National Airspace System, Weather, Aircraft Loading and Performance. Upon completing the course, participants will be prepared to take the written exam.

The course will be taught by David Price, who was a pilot before getting into aviation safety education. MCC’s CET courses and programs provide employees with the training and skills they need to advance in their careers.
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MCC’s Sustainability Club Leads the Way in Ramping Up Efforts6/15/20227/11/2022 11:24 AM
Middlesex Community College is doing its part to build and maintain sustainability efforts in the community. Led by Middlesex science faculty member Lisa Lobel, the main purpose of MCC’s Sustainability Club is to create engagement and awareness around learning about sustainability.

“Sustainability is for everybody,” Lobel said. “It’s important to consider, regardless of your chosen profession or path. Our planet is our life support system. For us to live on it, we have to take care of it.”

Lobel wants club and community members to think more about how they can support sustainability in their own lives and on campus. This includes growing food, learning about resources found in the forest, and understanding what conservation is.

One of the major projects the club worked on in the winter was tapping trees on MCC’s Bedford campus for maple syrup. “We learned about which trees to tap, tapped them, collected the sap, boiled it down, and then had a pancake dinner,” Lobel said. “That was really fun and the students were into it.”

This spring and summer, the club has been working in the Community Garden. Club members meet to do some wedding and “keep the momentum of the club going,” according to Lobel. There are also two student workers who will be leading the way in maintaining the garden, including Mike Frye, a Biology Transfer student from Tyngsborough.

“Working in a community garden is a new experience for me, so I am excited to learn about all the parts that make the garden run successfully,” Frye said. “The Sustainability Club is an important place for members to access information from each other on issues and potential solutions to issues in their own communities as well as on each of the campuses. It is one way to show our interconnectedness as we deal with various problems under the umbrella of sustainability. By sharing our concerns and strategies, we are able to share the weight of these larger issues, hopefully making them lighter and more actionable.”

In the Fall, Lobel plans for the club to work with agencies in Lowell on a habitat restoration project for the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. MCC students will help with clean-up, removing invasive species, park visioning, planting and maintaining native species, and social media.

While the club is full of students from her science classes, Lobel wants other majors to get engaged too. Not only is it important on a personal level, but many industries and companies are also looking to be more sustainable, Lobel believes. MCC’s club is helping to provide the knowledge and experience students need to gain a competitive edge upon entering the workforce.

“Businesses are really thinking about how they can promote sustainability,” Lobel said. “If Middlesex students go into the corporate world, they’ll learn it’s an important tenet that businesses want people to think about. Whatever major you are, I want to try to include everybody in the club.”
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Award-Winning Singer Darlene Love Performs for MCC Fundraiser6/16/20227/7/2022 11:43 AM
Oscar and Grammy award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer, actress and author Darlene Love dazzled audience members of the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in a performance for Middlesex Community College’s Celebrity Forum on Monday, June 6, 2022.

Named “one of the greatest singers of all time” by Rolling Stone Magazine, throughout the years, Love has been associated with performers such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Before sitting down to talk to Love about her historic career, MCC President Phil Sisson spoke of the difference that the annual event has on the lives of Middlesex students.

“Celebrity Forum is a critical source of support for our mission of providing affordable access to a high-quality education for our diverse community of learners that we serve,” President Phil Sisson said. “We cannot build a successful open access institution without the help of our donors and we greatly appreciate those committed sponsors who have supported us for so many years.”

Hosted by the Middlesex Community College Foundation, the event was MCC’s 21st Celebrity Forum to raise funds in support of student scholarships. TJX Companies, Inc. has been a proud Presenting Sponsor of MCC’s spring fundraisers since 1999.

“Devoted donors, community partners and local businesses and organizations make the College’s and Foundation’s support of students possible,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Advancement. “We are endlessly grateful for their continuous generosity and to have shared an evening of music, celebration and partnership in the name of transforming the lives of students. Thank you to all who helped bring back this tremendous event, in particular to Ms. Love who offered an astounding performance!”

Long-time Middlesex partner and supporter Enterprise Bank was a sponsor of this year’s Celebrity Forum. “Enterprise Bank is delighted to continue our support of MCCs Celebrity Forum,” said Chester J. Szablak, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales, Community & Customer Relationship Officer at Enterprise Bank. “These community partnerships are essential for the economic and social viability of our communities. The support that our sponsorship provides to MCC students in the form of scholarships makes this so rewarding.”

In a video highlighting the work of the MCC Foundation, Computer Science student Kwadwo Bempah, of Lowell, spoke on how receiving a scholarship helped him go to MCC without worrying about having to pay for college. “Words cannot describe how grateful I am and I know this opportunity, this chance you have given me, is going to be life changing,” he said.

“The MCC Foundation Celebrity Forum is a wonderful annual community event held to raise awareness and much needed scholarship dollars for our MCC students,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancement. “Our sponsors, donors and friends come together to meet and engage with our students and alumni to learn of the opportunities created by their MCC experiences and how they utilized those experiences to build their careers and better lives for themselves and their families.”
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MCC Provides Kids & Teens a Safe, Fun & Interactive Place to Learn 6/13/20227/6/2022 2:49 PM
With Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids and Teens programming, students can get an early start on exploring possible academic and career options. This summer, Middlesex will feature a variety of courses for kids and teens ages 8 to 17 to stay productive, have fun and jumpstart their futures.

“MCC’s College for Kids and Teens has been an inclusive, diverse, fun and safe space for our son,” said Melissa McCarthy, of Concord. “The program has provided a robust program that allows him his moment in the spotlight, builds confidence, and creates connections we know will last a lifetime!”

MCC’s College for Teens program has added a Medical Laboratory Technician Career Exploration course for the summer. Students can learn more about the college’s Medical Laboratory Technology associate degree program, clinical and laboratory experiences, and all of the career directions the industry offers. MCC’s program runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 28 to June 30.

In MCC’s College for Kids courses, students have the opportunity to try out courses centered on creativity, sports and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). For those interested in art, Middlesex will offer Cartooning, Painting on the Surreal Side, Creative Drawing, Film Production & Editing, and Fashion Design.

Sports-related offerings include Sports and Recreation and Fun with Games, while students interested in STEM can sign up for Coding for Kids, Minecraft, Graphic Design for Beginners, All About Science, and Case Studies in Veterinary Medicine.

“My twin daughters have been participating in College for Kids for the past few years, including Cake Decorating, Creative Drawing, Cartooning, Web Design, Engineering and Fashion Design,” said Kimberly Tambo, of Chelmsford. “We really do enjoy the camps. They improve each year, learn new things, and love to apply their learning throughout the year. It’s great to have a fun and safe space for them to be creative and gain lifelong skills.”

College for Kids courses will run in-person from July 11 to August 18. There are both half and full day programs offered, starting at 9 a.m. and going until 4 p.m.
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Middlesex CC Gives Student Second Chance at Continuing Education6/8/20226/30/2022 2:06 PM
Being rejected, called names and punished for not meeting expectations left Donnah Mukanziza feeling “fragile” about continuing her education. Although she was nervous because of her previous negative experience elsewhere, Mukanziza got a second chance at completing her education with Middlesex Community College.

“MCC did not only help me get over all my fears, but also gave me faith, patience, confidence and courage to believe in myself, to stop doubting myself, to know myself through guidance on how to be better,” Mukanziza said.

From Uganda and now living in Acton, Mukanziza started at Middlesex at the Adult Learning Center. In the program, she developed her reading, writing and mathematics skills with a small cohort of classmates. The goal of the program is to prepare students to sit for a high school equivalency exam.

After earning her GED (General Education Development), she transitioned into the college’s Links program to gain the skills she needed to succeed in college-level courses. Both programs offered small class sizes and individualized academic and career advising to guide her through her next educational and professional steps.

“The special thing about the programs was the way students are grouped according to their needs,” she said. “The teachers’ involvement with the students made it easier to learn. They give enormous guidance on what to do next.”

As the Links program is supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mukanziza was also able to go through the program for free. “The endless financial support from the Links Program pushed me to keep myself in school,” she said.

Many professors and staff members helped her to develop into “the strong woman I am becoming,” Mukanziza said. This includes MCC’s Director of the Adult Learning Center and Links Program Katherine Innis, MCC’s Program Coordinator for the Links program Karen Spengler, and her computer tutor Evans Milt.

Mukanziza is also grateful to Dr. Mariluci Bladon, MCC’s Director of Biotechnology, for teaching her more about the industry, as well as Middlesex’s biotech offerings. It is Bladon’s passion for students and her ability to “always look out for students beyond the class” that helped Mukanziza decide she wanted to pursue a career in biotechnology.

With guidance from Bladon and her advisors, Mukanziza got accepted into MCC’s Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience. She is excited to start her coursework and internship at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the Fall 2022 semester.

“I cannot express enough how MCC has transformed me,” she said. “I am very proud to be one of MCC’s students.”
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Middlesex CC Launch Your Business Now Students Awarded $19,000 6/9/20226/30/2022 11:40 AM
At the end of the Spring 2022 semester, students enrolled in Middlesex Community College’s Launch Your Business Now (LYBN) program were awarded $19,000 by the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). Five Middlesex students received non-equity seed grant funding to help grow or launch their small businesses.

The program is a perfect fit for students who are not ready for debt funding but need assistance, according to Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. In receiving the grant funds, students can also use the award to leverage more traditional lending. Hargis believes the funding opportunity is more accessible because it is “friends and family” based.

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

During the event, students had 20 minutes to present their business plans and answer questions from the EEVF committee. The committee included MCC administrators and local entrepreneurs and bankers, such as Patrick Martin of Martin Insurance in Lowell, Germaine Vigeant-Trudel of the Lowell Development and Finance Corporation, and Reagan Mahoney of People’s United.

The students’ businesses and funding include:
  • $5,000 to Squared Away – house clean outs and estate sale company
  • $5,000 to Divine Beauty – an esthetician and permanent makeup professional
  • $3,000 to Devine Design Clothing – and up-and-coming Lowell-based designer
  • $3,000 to Thy Craft Panda – a graphics and printing shop
  • $3,000 to Swangel’s bakery – an allergy-free small-batch bakery
Students will use the seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses throughout the year. The funding was made possible by a generous grant from the Cummings Foundation.

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

“Receiving this EEVF seed money grant allows me to establish and grow my business without a start-up debt burden and will lessen the financial risk inherent in a small business start-up,” said Sue Boswell, MCC LYBN student and owner of Squared Away. “I am so grateful that this opportunity exists to support area entrepreneurs. These funds will allow Squared Away to lean into the excitement we have for our business and let us focus on hitting the ground running to build our business. We will purchase tool bags, yard signs and other marketing materials as well as two tablets to help centralize and simplify photos and inventories at each client's home. It is great the funding committee got to know us, like us and trust us with these funds.”
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Oral Health Partnership between Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Middlesex Community College and Lowell Public Schools Provides Dental Services to 70 Youth6/14/20226/29/2022 12:45 PM
LOWELL - Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Middlesex Community College, and Lowell Public Schools hosted a dental hygiene clinic for fifth and sixth grade students attending Bartlett Community Partnership and Butler Middle School on Wednesday, June 8.

The clinic is part of a partnership to provide students with preventative oral hygiene care with the goal of improving the health and wellness of children. In total about 70 schoolchildren received free dental exams and sealants from Middlesex Community College dental hygiene students during the “Give Kids a Smile” event.

“One of the biggest benefits of MCC’s dental hygiene clinic is being able to offer low-cost or free services to the community,” said Karen Townsend, MCC’s Dean of Health. “While our students gain hands-on clinical experience, people who would not otherwise have access to dental health care improve their overall health. Our faculty member Maureen Strauss worked to put the Give Kids a Smile partnership together with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Lowell Public Schools to serve local children. The goal is to provide students with necessary dental care that will help them perform at a higher level in school. It’s a win-win all around.”

The Oral Health Initiative is inspired by research that shows that poor oral health due to lack of dental care adversely affects students’ performance in school. To address this issue, MCC dental students create lesson plans to integrate dental health into the school curriculum by teaching students to brush, floss, and eat healthy food. They also perform dental exams and cleanings for students. The goal is to keep students in school and focused on academics and to not have them distracted by pain, lack of eating or sleeping.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Therapy Dog In-Training, Bear, also attended the event to visit with students while they awaited treatment.

So far, the Oral Health Initiative, which also includes Regis College, has provided classroom dental education for 790 second and fifth grade children, distributed 2,545 toothbrushes and oral health aids, conducted 500 oral screenings for second and fifth grade children and provided other dental services, including fluoride varnishes, sealants and x-rays.
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Alumna Benefits from Partnership Between MCC & William James6/1/20226/27/2022 11:06 AM
Growing up in Wareham, Dr. Jennifer Burns moved to West Springfield when she was young and attended boarding school in Lenox until the age of 12. A victim of sexual violations, she ran away from school and experienced homelessness for a number of years. At Middlesex Community College, she started her journey to studying and working in the field of psychology.

“My overall experience was amazing,” Burns said. “The faculty and staff are invested in students’ successes. MCC faculty and staff supported my educational needs, especially the TRIO program. This resource was instrumental in helping me to succeed as an older student.”

At Middlesex, Burns also benefitted from dedicated professors such as Robert Fera and engaging in Service-Learning Experiences. In one instance, Burns was part of a cohort who went to Boston Commons to engage in service with the homeless population. “This experience ignited a passion within and I wanted to continue my education beyond MCC,” she said.

Burns continued on to UMass Lowell to earn a bachelor’s in Psychology and Legal Studies and a master’s in Community Social Psychology. She completed her doctorate from William James College (WJC) in Organizational Leadership Psychology AoE Neuropsychology. At a recent event marking the colleges’ new articulation agreement, Burns spoke of her journey from starting at MCC to graduating from WJC.

“Speaking from the heart and being vulnerable in front of my colleagues was uncomfortable at first,” Burns said. “However, being authentic is part of my core and I would not be the woman I am today if I did not embrace my shadow side and persevere through life lessons.”

Now an external consultant with the Lawrence Police Department, Burns runs trainings for the Recovery Coach Academy and Trauma and is an adjunct faculty member at both MCC and WJC. Her goal is to “teach and empower others to become their best versions of self” – something she has learned from her experiences at both colleges.

“MCC embodies a sense of community and encouraged me to value the importance of higher education,” she said. “WJC embodies the values that I believe in: social responsibility, experiential learning, personal growth and development, and fosters sense of belonging for all students.”

The articulation agreement between Middlesex and WJC is meant to provide a stronger bridge for students completing their psychology, human services and liberal arts and sciences requirements at Middlesex. Students can then transfer their credits to William James to earn a bachelor’s and advanced degrees through a cohort model, peer mentoring and professional development.

“This partnership between Middlesex and WJC will help to provide easier access points and a trajectory for students in a variety of disciplines,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s President. “Our missions are completely aligned to make a difference for today’s students, Leading to a highly prepared and more diverse mental health workforce.”

“The work that we do as educators is not to ‘provide to’ or to ‘impose upon,’ but it is to bring out the greatness that exists in a person,” said Nicholas Covino, WJC President. “You form community, you find the brilliance that exists in that student, even in the students who may doubt themselves, and you help it to emerge. We’re eager to welcome more dedicated, talented students from MCC into the WJC community, and to provide the training and support they need to advance their education and to launch an important career at a time when behavioral health professionals are needed more than ever.”

Founded in 1974, William James College is an independent, non-profit institution and a leader in educating the next generation of mental health professionals to support the growing and diverse needs of the mental health workforce. Integrating field work with academics, the College prepares students for careers as organizational leaders and behavioral health professionals who are committed to helping the underserved, multicultural populations, children and families, and veterans. William James College alumni can be found making an impact in a variety of settings, including schools, the courts, clinical care facilities, hospitals, the community, and the workplace. To learn more about the College, please visit williamjames.edu.

With MCC, students of all experiences, backgrounds and needs can access options, resources and support that set them up for success from day one. By starting at MCC, students save thousands on tuition costs, complete general requirements that transfer to four-year schools, and learn skills that make them competitive in the job market. Offering an immersive community experience on-campus, online and in a hybrid format – and 70+ degree and certificate options – MCC provides flexible and accelerated courses that fit into students’ busy lives. In removing barriers that often prevent students from pursuing higher education, MCC makes attending college more affordable and equitable. With MCC, education is possible!
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MCC’s Intensive English Institute Earns Four-Year Accreditation6/7/20226/23/2022 12:48 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Intensive English Institute was accredited for four years with the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). Middlesex is the second community college in Massachusetts, fourth in the U.S., and fifth globally to earn the distinction, according to Marilyn Glazer MCC’s Director of IEI & World Language Institute.

“MCC’s Intensive English Institute makes a remarkable difference in the lives of the students we serve, and we are ecstatic to have earned the distinction of accreditation with CEA for another four years until April 2026,” Glazer said. “We are constantly and consistently researching ways to improve the institute as we continue to provide the knowledge, skills and support to help students succeed in their U.S. higher education journeys. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity.”

MCC’s 18 hours a week, 16-week program uses high-quality research and evidence-based curriculum to provide students with comprehensive knowledge and skills; academic, career and transfer advising; tutoring; and learning and social opportunities. The college has a long history of serving international students from all over the world – including Asia, Latin America and the Middle East – helping them build a foundation to be successful at the U.S. higher education level.

Speaking Creole and French, Sabine Metellus came to Lowell from Haiti two years ago. When her supervisor for her cashier job at Home Depot approached her for a promotion, Metellus wanted to improve her English language skills. While she chose MCC because the program was affordable, she gained a lot from a supportive learning environment. She is now enrolled in MCC’s Fall 2022 semester to start an associate degree.

“MCC’s IEI helped me a lot,” Metellus said. “It was the best decision I ever made since I came to this country. The teachers are great. They make us feel at home. They go above and beyond to support students in their personal challenges by being there to listen and give advice and show us the way to achieve our personal goals.”

From Japan and now living in Lexington, Hiroko Nakano is learning to speak and read in English. She started at Middlesex in the college’s Adult Learning Center and transitioned to the IEI. One of the biggest lessons Nakano has learned in her work with the IEI is to remove the letter “s” at the end of certain words when she speaks and writes. Through repetition, she is learning to develop habits and better understanding of English grammar.

“After taking classes, I feel better than before in any situation in English,” Nakano said. “I may still struggle, but I believe it could be better day by day. I realized how to develop my English effectively at IEI and I’ll continue to study English.”

The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for the accreditation of English language programs in accredited universities and colleges and of independent English language schools. CEA’s recognition allows accredited English language organizations to use their CEA accreditation for certification by SEVP (Department of Homeland Security) to admit international students.

The Middlesex Community College Intensive English Institute is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation for the period April 2022 through April 2026 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S. For further information about this accreditation, please contact CEA, 1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400, www.cea-accredit.org.
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MCC Celebrates Third and Final Commencement for Class of 20225/26/20226/22/2022 1:23 PM
Middlesex Community College recognized State Representative Vanna Howard as the Distinguished Alum of its third and final 2022 graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 26 for the college’s Education and Liberal Studies programs. As Representative of the 17th Middlesex District in Lowell, Rep. Howard works to be informative, accessible and responsive for the people in her district. Her goal is to grow the economy, improve schools, and move toward equitable outcomes for all.

“Some of you will continue your studies,” Rep. Howard said. “Some of you will join the workforce. And some of you may take the time to figure out your next journey. That's exactly what I did. I took my time finishing higher ed. The best thing I did was volunteer in the community and with nonprofits. Along the way I met many people who cared about the health and well-being of their community. I learned where my passion was – public service.”

A year into her work, Rep. Howard is focused on education, public health, environmental justice, social and racial justice, and housing and economic recovery. At MCC, she learned more about adapting and responding in the real-world through effective communication and problem solving.

“Middlesex helped me be a better decision-maker and prepared me with the knowledge and skills to broaden my experience in life,” Representative Howard said. “MCC has graduated many who went on to distinguish themselves in all fields and I’m proud that you would consider me to be one of them.”

Liberal Arts and Sciences student Luis Berrizbeitia was the student speaker for the day. In attending Middlesex, Berrizbeitia made his return to college after attending a school in the Midwest a few years before. MCC provided him with a solid academic foundation, having the opportunity to learn from professors and tutor his classmates in the Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE). He was presented with the 2022 James E. Houlihan Student of the Year award and plans to continue studying at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to earn a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Conservation.

“MCC has truly been life changing for me,” Berritzbeiia said. “I am incredibly humbled to be given such an honor. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be at the speaker podium at a graduation.”

Middlesex kicked off its return to an in-person commencement – the 50th in the college’s history – on Tuesday, May 24 for the graduation and pinning of MCC’s Health programs. On Wednesday, May 25, the college awarded certificates and degrees to students in Business, Legal Studies, Public Service and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

"You are resilient, committed and persistent,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Arlene Rodríguez to the graduating class. “You embody a line by one of my most favorite poets, Pablo Neruda: 'Si no escalas montañas, jamás podrás disfrutar el paisaije.' 'If you don’t climb mountains, you’ll never be able to enjoy the view.'"
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MCC To Hold Three Commencement Ceremonies for Class of 20225/24/20226/16/2022 2:55 PM
For the 50th Commencement in the college’s history, Middlesex Community College is excited to once again return in person. To keep students, employees and guests safe, Middlesex will host three separate ceremonies on Tuesday, May 24 for the Health programs; Wednesday, May 25 for the Business, Legal Studies, Public Service and STEM programs; and Thursday, May 26 for the Education and Liberal Studies programs.

“Commencement is one of the most important days of a person’s college experience and it is a tremendous honor to witness our students walk across the stage,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s President. “These students completed the majority of the work for their degrees or certificates during the COVID-19 pandemic, facing a shift to online and hybrid learning amid a number of personal and professional challenges. We are happy to have found a way to return commencement to an in-person format. We look forward to being together for these special days of celebration of our students accomplishments.”

Middlesex is proud to celebrate the diverse backgrounds, experiences and needs of the graduating class of 2022. The age range is 15 to 77, with the graduates representing 11 states and 65 countries. There are 40 veterans, 17 Dual Enrollment High School graduates, 63 MCC employees and 39 percent of the graduates are first generation students.

“As they celebrate their commencement from MCC, the graduating class of 2022 has shown their resilience in the face of unprecedented obstacles and circumstances brought on by the pandemic,” said Rebecca Newell, MCC’s Dean of Students. “We honor this year’s diverse and impressive graduates who will continue on to four-year schools, enter the workforce, and prove themselves as productive members of the Commonwealth. We are proud to be a part of their journeys.”

The 2022 graduating class have made a number of accomplishments during their time at the college. There were 168 Associate in Arts, 599 Associate in Science and 155 Certificates, as well as 73 students who earned more than one award.

MCC’s Health programs pinned 116 graduates, and 43 students received department awards for their achievements. While 11 students made the Commonwealth Commitment to attend a Mass. state four-year college or university, MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program graduated 32 scholars, and 128 are members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the national honor society for two-year colleges.

Yuri Alarcon and Maggie Montoya were named to the 2021-2022 All-Massachusetts Academic Team and MCC Business Administration Transfer student Tara Barlett was named MCC’s “29 Who Shine” by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

“It is an amazing feeling to know that someone can take my words, understand my mission, and choose to support me with a financial contribution,” Barlett said. “My overall MCC experience has been great. I have wanted this experience for so long – and now that I’m in the middle of it – I’m excited to be here.”
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Two Middlesex CC Students Named to PTK All-Massachusetts Team6/2/20226/15/2022 1:48 PM
Middlesex Community College students Yuri Alarcon Diaz and Maggie Jeliane Montoya were named to the 2022 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Massachusetts Team. The students were recognized at an honors ceremony on April 29, 2022.

“At Middlesex, our students are leaders around campus, local, regional and national communities and organizations,” said Steven Rossi, MCC’s Director of Student Engagement & Retention. “Many of our students participate in PTK – the national honors society for two-year colleges – and receive networking, academic and professional development, and resume-building benefits. Yuri and Maggie are two standout MCC students who are being recognized for their hard work and commitment to their education.”

Diaz is a transfer student from Peru. Arriving at Middlesex in June 2021, he has been majoring in Electrical Engineering. He is happy and grateful to be part of PTK and recognized as a member of the All-Massachusetts team.

“It has been one fantastic experience to be part of this community as a student and as a member of the PTK honor society,” he said. “My dream is to become a Telecommunications Engineer and be able to spread my knowledge and passion in this field throughout the world, and be at the forefront of any technological innovations.”

Born in Puerto Rico, Montoya moved to the United States at 7-years-old. As she grew up, she was taught the value of education and worked hard to learn the English language, do well in school, and make her parents proud. Now 21, her goal is to become a Registered Dietitian “to better serve women of color dealing with eating disorders.”

“I hope to share my knowledge with whomever wants to learn because education is not meant to be bottled up for oneself,” she said. “Education and knowledge are meant to be shared to empower, uplift and liberate.”
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Middlesex CC Reflects on Global Accessibility Awareness Day5/19/20226/14/2022 2:06 PM
Middlesex Community College is dedicated to creating and providing an accessible and equitable education for all students and working experience for employees. Over the past year, Middlesex has made a number of changes college-wide to increase its accessibility efforts.

“As part of MCC’s Digital Accessibility Team (DAT), it is our responsibility to ensure that the college is continually finding solutions to make working, teaching and learning accessible for every employee and student,” said Reginald Nichols, MCC’s Compliance Officer. “Global Accessibility Awareness Day reminds us why we must foster an inclusive on-campus and online environment that removes barriers and sets up our community members for success.”

Some of the highlights of the DAT team’s accessibility efforts from the past year involves creating an on-demand best practices search committee training video which include closed captioning. They are also putting all software through a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) review and approval process, and making sure accessibility review software and tools are available for faculty and staff to verify their content is accessible.The DAT team – along with MCC’s Academic Technology & Distance Learning division have hosted professional development workshops to cover accessibility topics and train attendees in best practices when creating digital documents and communications.

With the pandemic and the shift to more remote learning and working, MCC evaluated existing digital communications to make sure they meet International Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards and are accessible to students and staff with a wide range of abilities. This includes the website, videos, PDF files and social media posts, according to Beth Noël, MCC’s Director of Marketing Communications.

“From ensuring that users with mobility issues are able to navigate our website and that screen readers can easily translate words into audio descriptions, to adjusting colors and contrast for people with low vision, this work involved a cross section of employees from around the institution,” Noël said. “We worked to develop policies, procedures and training opportunities so that as a college, we can be proactive in our commitment to making digital content accessible. Technology is continually changing and MCC will continue make adjustments and improvements that enhance learning and working for the entire MCC community.”

In order to make the physical campuses more accessible, Middlesex has made a number of cosmetic changes that address previous ADA issues, according to Patrick Cook, MCC’s Executive Director of Public Relations. This includes restriping spaces for accessible parking, repaving parking lots and pathways, and regrading areas around campus. The college has also purchased six accessible transportation vans.

“This work has been in motion for the past four years in both Bedford and Lowell,” Cook said. “We wanted to make it easier for our students, employees and community members to get around campus, park in closer and better spots, and have an accessible option to get from one campus to another using the vans. Middlesex is committed to providing an accessible and equitable educational experience for all, and that includes maintaining our physical environments.”
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MCC & the Lowell Chamber Orchestra to Host Pride Month Concert5/31/20226/13/2022 1:54 PM
Middlesex Community College and the Lowell Chamber Orchestra (LCO) will celebrate Pride Month with a concert entitled “A Rainbow of Repertoire” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in Lowell as part of the college’s “A World of Music” concert series. Holding a pride concert with the LCO is a dream come true for Em Russell, Executive Director of LCO and an MCC music alum.

“I’m so grateful to the rest of the amazing LCO team for helping make my dream come true,” Russell said. “While the LCO features many LGBTQ+ composers throughout our seasons already, it is so wonderful to have the opportunity to showcase even more, especially living composers. We are so honored to share this amazing program with the community!”

The concert will include music by Hannah Rice, Steven Sérpa, Ethan Soledad, Kevin Lubin, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Benjamin Britten, and a specially commissioned piece by Julia Moss.

“This concert will feature a variety of ensemble sizes, varying from string quartets all the way up to large ensemble works conducted by LCO’s music director and MCC faculty member Orlando Cela,” said Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of Music. “The event will showcase LGBTQ+ composers from the Lowell area and around the world.”

Rice has written a Heavy Metal string quartet called “SQ666,” which has been composed using techniques from heavy metal rock music Sérpa’s “An Invocation,” for solo oboe and strings, is a tone poem inspired by his long-time collaborator, queer poet Jeffery Beam, about the small beauties of nature. Soledad’s “Why Wait,” for a 9-person ensemble, is about his own journey of self-discovery and defeating self-doubt, while Lubin’s string quartet “The Flower Shop” includes a spoken narration with words by Virginia Woolf.

The largest work of the afternoon will be a World Premiere by Moss, “The World is Too Much for Us.” Written for mezzo-soprano soloist Julianna Smith and a 10-person chamber ensemble, the work is based on conversations between the composer-performer pair about the feeling of being overwhelmed by the ever-growing clutter of life. Inspired by these ideas, she chose to set the piece to a poem by William Wordsworth about how people have become so obsessed with possessing material items and controlling nature. There will also be short works by Baroque composer Lully and 20th century British composer Britten.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public.
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Fallen State Trooper Tamar Bucci Receives Posthumous Honors at MCC Commencement5/25/20226/9/2022 1:07 PM
At Middlesex Community College’s Business, Legal Studies, Public Service and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 25, the college awarded Massachusetts State Trooper Tamar Bucci with posthumous certificate honors in Criminal and Social Justice. An alumna of MCC, Bucci was killed in the line of duty in Stoneham on March 3 of this year while she was attempting to assist a stopped motorist on the highway.

“As a student at MCC, Tamar is described by her criminal justice professors as ‘fiercely dedicated to public service,’” said Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “She wanted to be a police officer with every fiber of her being. They noted that she was forward thinking and really cared about the community, making it a better and safer place for everyone. When Tamar left MCC to pursue her dream, we knew she would be an excellent, dedicated, fair police officer. She became a selfless servant to the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Bucci’s parents Maral Bucci and Jim Burditt attended the ceremony to accept the award from MCC President Phil Sisson, MCC Dean of Business Judy Hogan, and Middlesex Criminal and Social Justice faculty members. Provost Rodríguez spoke on how proud the college was of Bucci, explaining that honorary certificates and degrees are “reserved only for special occasions and for individuals whose lives are lived in service and love for humanity.”

On Wednesday – from Colombia and now living in Lowell – MCC Criminal and Social Justice student Elizabeth Hernandez was the student speaker at the graduation. A full-time student and worker, Hernandez is now one step closer to pursuing her dream of becoming a police officer in Lowell. Her goal is to spread positivity through her work, as well as to increase awareness of educational and professional opportunities for English Language Learners and first generation college students.

“I was stronger than my fears, and for that reason, I am here in front of you,” Hernandez said. “After years of hard work, discipline, I was able to prove to myself that anything is possible.”

Joshua Moreaux – a manager at MCC partner company Takeda Pharmaceuticals – was recognized as the 2022 Distinguished Alum. A veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves, Moreaux moved to Lowell from Lake Charles, La. after being stationed at Hanscom Airforce Base. In his role at Takeda, he onboards new employees, including MCC students who are part of the Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience.

“People only grow when their surroundings tell them change is needed,” Moreaux said. “When met with an opportunity to do something better for yourself, take it.”

As he had done at MCC’s first 2022 graduation ceremony of the Health Programs, Middlesex President Phil Sisson led the ceremony. He will do so for a third time on Thursday, May 26 for the college’s Education and Liberal Studies programs.

“It is an honor to serve as your president,” he said.
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MCC Community Highlights Value of Open Educational Resources5/17/20226/8/2022 1:04 PM
Combined with hands-on learning, providing access to equitable and flexible education is what Middlesex Community College is all about. For many classes, Middlesex uses Open Educational Resources (OER) that are in the public domain. Faculty and students can learn, edit and cite the free sources of information to enhance the learning experience.

“OER break down barriers of affordability and accessibility for students, saving students money and providing access to course materials on day one,” said Tracy Joyce, MCC’s Coordinator of Library Services in Bedford. “The MCC librarians work with faculty to provide support as they search for and spend time adopting or replacing all or part of their course materials with OER. We are available to offer support and answer questions, and have created an online OER guide for all to access on the library’s webpage.”

Students can also work more hands-on with OER than they would reading a textbook, according to Nora McClellan, an MCC Liberal Arts and Sciences student from Carlisle, and the 2022 MCC OER Ambassador. This leads to deeper understanding of topics, helps students hone their research skills, and allows them to find the most updated information. McClellan also believes that working with OER teaches students about the public domain and copyright laws.

“By designating a whole library of open access resources, students are able to find the materials they need and not risk using a work that, because of intellectual property laws, is not available for them to use,” she said. “A student is less likely to take someone else’s copyrighted work if they are educated on how to look for a Creative Commons License and only use work that is available for them to use.”

One of McClellan’s goal as ambassador is to highlight MCC faculty who use OER. Working with Joyce, McClellan wrote a summary of why Middlesex faculty use OER in their curriculum, based on a questionnaire she created. Many of the participating MCC faculty – such as English faculty member Stephanie Pesce – understand the financial relief it brings to students.

“Accessibility and cost for students, as well as consistency for me as a professor to be sure all students could access the same material at the same time without barriers is important,” Pesce said. “Ensuring timeliness and relevance of being able to update or customize material is also one of the greatest assets to OER. Benefits are the cost, ease of use, consistency and delivery of the material, and digital content embedded in Blackboard.”

McClellan learned more about the value of OER – as well as affordable and accessible education – through her work with MASSPIRG. In addition to the faculty spotlight project, she also has developed promotional materials and presentations on OER to inform other students about the value of the research tools.

“The more I learned about this work and the power of OER to promote affordability and accessibility in education, the more I wanted to be involved,” she said. “It lifts the burden of buying a textbook and provides valuable educational materials.”
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MCC’s Theatre Department to Present “The Rocky Horror Show”5/23/20226/7/2022 11:36 AM
The Middlesex Community College Theatre Department will present “The Rocky Horror Show” in five performances at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center. Curtain times are 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 12. There will also be a midnight show on Saturday, June 11 where audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters.

“When the film ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ came on the scene, it became iconic in that it paved the way for so many to feel as if they could be accepted for who there were,” said Karen Oster, MCC’s Performing Arts Chair. “It celebrated individuality, freedom of expression, non-conformity and it was a blast. We offer this production of the stage version as a celebration of all of these things in a time when we are all in need of a little distraction and a big party.”

Peter Carranza, of Tyngsborough – who will play the character Frank-N-Furter – has wanted to perform in the musical since he first watched the film adaptation. The MCC Theatre major came to Middlesex after talking to Oster at a production at his high school, and will graduate in May 2022. He was drawn to MCC because of all of the opportunities to perform that the college and Oster provide to students.

“Performance opportunities allow for an environment where likeminded people can safely express themselves and work toward something they love,” Carranza said. I’ve made so many friends from performing at Middlesex and they’re all such wonderful people that I feel accept me for who I am.”

Carranza describes the musical as “a parody of Frankenstein with the addition of rock and roll, gothic subculture, science fiction and most importantly, love, sexuality and identity.” Throughout the show, there are references and familiar tropes from B-movies from earlier decades. Music, lyrics and book of “The Rocky Horror Show” are written by Richard O’Brien.

Tickets are $10 for MCC students, faculty and staff, and senior citizens, and $20 for general admission. Proof of vaccination is required and masks are strongly encouraged.

“Everyone on our team is in love with this show and has been waiting to do it for so long,” Carranza said. “We’re all so passionate about the project and it’s a total dream come true.”
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Middlesex CC Returns to In-Person Student Art Show5/18/20226/2/2022 2:25 PM
After two years online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Middlesex Community College’s Communication, Art & Design program is excited to return to an in-person Student Art Show. MCC’s Student Art Show kicked off on Friday, May 13 with a gala reception and award ceremony, and will run until Wednesday, May 25.

“We are thrilled to be back in person this year, and this will be the first student art show for our newly merged departments, featuring work from the Communication, Art, & Design majors,” said Dr. Jennifer Bauer, MCC’s Chair of Communication, Art & Design. “We have works from a variety of classes which include drawings, paintings, sculpture, pottery, mixed-media, graphic design, photography and film. The show really exemplifies the breadth and depth of our program, as well as the talent and hard work of our students.”

MCC student Liz Krin, who is from Cambodia, is pursuing a career in Graphic Design. She created a number of digital works for the Student Art Show, including a poster for MCC’s upcoming performance of “Rocky Horror Show.” She also is featuring three oil paintings.

“It is my first time participating in an art show, so my involvement was creating my digital artworks and fine arts pieces as well as putting it together on the foam board for the art show,” Krin said. “This is an opportunity for me to show my works and creativity to different audiences, which is also a great chance to build a network.”

A Liberal Arts student from Woburn, Kevin Burkett wanted to participate in MCC’s Student Art Show to highlight all that he has learned from his classes. In the future, he is looking to continue creating art as a graphic designer.

“MCC should be represented as a great school that has a lot of hard workers and great artists and students,” Burkett said. “I feel as though I am one of them and thought it'd be best to show what I have learned in the past two years.”

For MCC faculty member Angela Ales, the Student Art Show is an opportunity to celebrate the creativity of Middlesex’s talented students and art-related programs. She is excited to be able to do so in-person after “COVID has kept us away from so much.”

“I am thrilled that after such a long wait, we can now gather together and celebrate the artistic growth of our students,” Ales said. “Exhibitions are important not only to recognize the talent of our students, but to offer a creative challenge to our young artists, the ability to connect with family, friends, the MCC community, and in this case, with the Lowell artistic community. With awareness and caution we can come back together and celebrate our students’ accomplishments.”

Visitors can attend the Student Art Show at an exhibition space on 183 Dutton Street in Lowell, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, noon to 3 p.m. on Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
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MCC’s Dental Hygiene Program Partners with the International Institute to Provide Dental Care to Children from Afghanistan5/12/20226/1/2022 10:32 AM
Middlesex Community College’s Dental Hygiene department partnered with the International Institute of New England (IINE) to provide dental services to 32 children from Afghanistan. The services – including x-rays, cleanings and fluoride treatments by a pediatric dentist – took place on two Fridays, April 15 and April 22.

“Our collaboration with the International Institute provides the MCC dental hygiene students the opportunity to address health disparities, improve oral health outcomes,” said Maureen Strauss, MCC Professor of Dental Hygiene. “The partnership also allows the students to share their knowledge, skill set and perspectives.”

The service is part of the mission of MCC’s dental hygiene program, according to Strauss. She reached out to the International Institute to offer preventative care and education because the department wanted to give back to the community.

"IINE has resettled 228 Afghan evacuees since October 2021, many who are in need of dental support,” said Caroline Rowe, IINE’s Lowell Managing Director. “Dental appointments have been hard to schedule and can get expensive for many of our clients. This event provided much needed dental support and education to recently arrived Afghan evacuee and Syrian refugee children. Not only did they get their teeth cleaned, but they had a lot of fun in the process! MCC Dental Hygiene staff showed each child that going to the dentist is fun and important. The event highlighted MCC and IINE's continued partnership to support refugees in the Lowell community."

Kim Mosher, an MCC Dental Hygiene student from North Andover, got into the field to help others. She is getting valuable experience early on in her career because of her time at MCC, working with patients in the clinic and with “brilliant professors who are always there to support and guide us.”

“This was an excellent opportunity to provide oral healthcare treatment and education for the children from Afghanistan,” Mosher said. “It is incredibly rewarding to be able to deliver access to care for those burdened with unfortunate barriers in our community. Participating in this experience and seeing the smiles on those children’s faces has made my heart full.”

From East Boston and now living in Milford, MCC Dental Hygiene student Jessica Picariello has wanted to work in the field for a long time. The experience and education she is getting from Middlesex – including through this opportunity – is helping her work toward getting licensed and one day becoming a clinic instructor.

“To be able to participate in this experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity that many do not get to be a part of, and I am very honored and grateful that being a student is allowing us to help these children,” Picariello said. “Our class has been very lucky that we have been one of the first classes to use the brand-new clinics with all the state-of-the-art equipment.”

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NEW ENGLAND The International Institute of New England creates opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement, and pathways to citizenship. Learn more at https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=https%3a%2f%2fIINE.org&c=E,1,I3J0Dg5qgxgNRUtBKe7aRsNx4Fn0sHKuS7myKQahsId2ExYhePQ0yNAFB6o-AEW_x-cd5VDoxhMmNzFtsU2CZ8x-_hCRu34f8JMFVFSg6xcYmA,,&typo=1

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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC to Host Virtual Walkthroughs on Applying for Financial Aid5/16/20225/31/2022 11:51 AM
Middlesex Community College strives to help make getting an education more affordable for students. This includes guiding them through completing their Free Application for Financial Assistance (FAFSA). The Middlesex Office of Financial Aid will host two virtual FAFSA Walkthroughs through uAspire to prepare students to fill out the form.

“It is so important for MCC students to know that financial aid is available to them and that many often receive more assistance than they would realize upon applying,” said Kimberly Tibbetts, MCC’s Director of Financial Aid. “By partnering with uAspire, the college is creating another avenue for students to gain a better understanding of what the FAFSA is, how to complete it, and why financial aid is beneficial for them.”

The uAspire FAFSA walkthroughs will provide an overview of the FAFSA, as well as how to complete the form and get financial aid. Both sessions will take place at 6:30 p.m. online, one on Thursday, May 26 and the second on Wednesday, June 15.

In addition to the two virtual events, MCC students can text the platform to meet with a uAspire advisor and receive a response within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. Advisors are also available via a phone call and on Zoom. Free and confidential for students, the nonprofit helps keep students informed from the start of their education to the completion of their degrees.

“One of the biggest barriers our students face in getting an affordable education is not having the information or resources to guide them,” said Deborah Marsella, MCC’s Associate Director of Financial Aid. “The uAspire Walkthroughs and advisor services are more ways to get the word out on the value of financial aid and how students can access it.”
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MCC Named One of 12 Finalists for National STEM Competition 5/5/20225/26/2022 2:15 PM
Middlesex Community College is one of 12 finalist teams that will advance to the next phase of the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC), which is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Science Foundation!

The CCIC is a national competition where community college student teams, working with a faculty or administrator team mentor, use science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to innovate solutions to real-world problems. Finalists attend an Innovation Boot Camp to share their ideas with experts and practitioners in the field and compete for cash prizes.

The Middlesex team consists of the following students and faculty: Edwin Eisemberg, who is from Tyngsboro and lives in Nashua, Thomas Rua, of Lawrence, and Cristopher Algarra, MCC’s Chair of Engineering.

Working together, the team was able to develop an innovative solution for helping community college students in Massachusetts find STEM-related opportunities. Their project focuses on maintaining a mobile app that matches students with their academic goals and interests to enhance their career paths.

“This experience has helped build my problem-solving skills and experience working on a team,” Eisemberg said. “Both Thomas and Professor Algarra are extremely smart people to work with. Overall, it was very enjoyable and rewarding, both developing the idea and working on the team.”

The app makes it easier for MCC STEM students in particular to access scholarship, grant and job opportunities that they may not know exist otherwise, according to Algarra. The project took between 10 and 12 hours to create, including a written and video portion.

“It’s been a fantastic experience to share ideas and collaborate toward a meaningful goal with Professor Algarra and Ed,” Rua said. “It will serve as a perfect opportunity to nourish ourselves with relevant knowledge and experience to further develop and polish our project.”

Algarra is an advocate and mentor for MCC students participating in competitions such as CCIC. He continues to be impressed by Middlesex students and their achievements in competitions across the country.

“Every time I get myself into these competitions, the students surprise me even more,” Algarra said. “We have so much talent in our community and competitions are a great way to expose them.”

Now, MCC will move on to the Innovation Boot Camp in June. This Boot Camp will give the team the opportunity to be coached in building communication and entrepreneurial skills relevant to supporting innovation in both the private and public sectors. The sessions will include information applicable to commercializing ideas, using technology for social applications, communicating with stakeholders, refining a pitch, and more.

Visit www.aaccinnovationchallenge.com to learn more. Stay up-to-date on MCC’s team’s progress by following #CCIChallenge2022 and @middlesex_cc.
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MCC Comm. Student’s Short Film Selected for Local Film Festivals5/12/20225/25/2022 8:33 AM
Middlesex Community College Communications student Max Gofstein, of Lowell, had his short film, “Sit Down, Mr. Burton,” selected for the Boston Independent Film Festival and the Boxborough Student Film Festival.

“I feel capable in my ideas and am looking to share many more as they come to me,” he said. “This was just a project for school too! I’m really looking forward to making something without the time constraint. This short film and the class itself taught me how to get started with that.”

The story he created for class is about a man “who’s looking to get a job at a mental institution to finally use his knowledge he learned from college to do something important,” Gofstein said. The interview does not go as planned and the man must get himself out of a challenging situation.

Gofstein got his first camera when he was 8-years-old. He has been making videos ever since and has developed a passion for storytelling that he wants to turn into a career. Having started at Middlesex after graduating high school as a homeschooled student, he is trying to learn as much about communications and filmmaking as possible.

While he is familiar with working with a camera, Gofstein learned more about working with a team while creating the short film. He is also taking the time to explore all of his options within the industry. In addition to taking classes and working on projects, he is completing a social media internship.

Being able to work hands-on on relevant projects – combined with the content he learns in his lectures – is setting Gofstein up for lasting success. Dr. Jennifer Bauer, MCC’s Chair of Communication, Art & Design, is the professor who has influenced him most. The attention and advice he received has created “the exact type of learning environment I aspire to be in,” Gofstein said.

“Professor Jen Bauer has got to be one of the best teachers I’ve ever had,” he said. “She prioritizes student success and wants to see every student reach their goals.”

As he pursues his path as a filmmaker, Gofstein will continue to work on local productions as a production assistant. In the Fall 2022 semester, he will also start MCC’s Communication Transfer program to earn his associate degree. He plans to transfer to a four-year college after graduating from Middlesex to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“MCC is the start of the journey I’m ready to take,” he said. “I’ve gotten a look into what the field and the industry look like and now I’m inspired more than ever to put myself out there.”
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MCC Nursing Department Helps Community ‘Stop the Bleed’5/3/20225/24/2022 2:48 PM
Middlesex Community College’s Nursing department is helping the community to “Stop the Bleed” by holding trainings for the national certification. Between an event held on March 19 and another on May 6, almost 40 MCC students will be certified for the disaster preparedness drill.

“The intent of the program is to educate the public on bleeding control until help arrives,” said Susan Lavallee, MCC Professor of Nursing. “The program includes both a didactic and a hands-on practical session that covers all of the core bleeding control skills that include pressure, packing and tourniquet application, taught by trained instructors.”

Kerry Sorrentino, MCC Nursing Professor, brought the training to Middlesex as part of a clinical experience. The goal is to prepare community members and those in health care fields with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to respond in an emergency situation.

“Stop the Bleed is very important to ensure the safety of our community members both on campus and in the surrounding communities by providing training that can and has saved lives,” Sorrentino said. “Nursing students can participate in this training not only so they can potentially save lives on day utilizing these techniques, but once they obtain licensure or enter into their profession they can also become instructors and pass along the knowledge to the community.”

Calling her experience at Middlesex “phenomenal,” Nursing student Deanna Witkowski, of Bolton, is growing more confident in her knowledge and skills as she goes through the program. This includes the Stop the Bleed training. To start, Witkowski and her classmates watched a video before practicing applying tourniquets and stuffing wounds.

“It’s one thing watching videos, but actually doing hands-on practice is so much better and more valuable,” Witkowski said. “The value is to be ready and feel prepared if something like this happens in real life. This would mean life or death for someone.”

The Stop the Bleed training is another learning experience outside of the classroom that professors have provided to MCC Nursing student Danielle LaFontaine, of Haverhill. For the training, she appreciated how they used little equipment and simple techniques.

“Many students, like myself, learn best when given the opportunity to practice hands-on skill training,” LaFontaine said. “I truly believe that this program has prepared me to be a confident entry-level nurse and I recommend this program to all interested in Nursing.”

For Sorrentino, the training is also an opportunity to partner with local organizations, such as the local medical reserve corp., schools and libraries.

“I have been teaching this class for several years to other nurses, nursing students and community members, and it always has such a positive response,” Sorrentino said. “Participants walk away feeling confident after learning these skills and having time for hands-on practice that if needed, they can step in and use this skill to help someone in need.
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MCC Named Military Friendly® School by VIQTORY5/11/20225/23/2022 10:37 AM
Middlesex Community College has been designated a 2022-2023 Silver-Level Military Friendly® School by VIQTORY. Through the Veterans Resource Center (VRC), a Veterans Advisory Board, and other special services, Middlesex assists veteran and military-affiliated students in attending college.

“It is imperative that we honor the service and sacrifice of our veteran and military-affiliated students,” said Jessica Frost, MCC’s Director of the VRC. “The VRC was established to provide valuable resources, assistance with navigating educational benefits, social connections and programming. It brings me great joy to give back to our veteran and military-affiliated students every day.”

The annual list of Military Friendly® Schools honors the top colleges, universities and trade schools in the country. MCC was honored for its “holistic services approach.” This includes the college’s commitment to this population of students, assistance with financial aid, and retention through graduation, according to the website.

IT Cybersecurity student Jeffrey Callahan, of the South Shore, is looking to start a career in the information technology (IT) field. In taking advantage of the benefits he receives through the VRC, he is able to more easily navigate his return to school.

“Going back to school as a returning ‘adult’ student is not an easy journey,” he said. “The staff here have made that process a lot easier for me. I am utilizing a VA program for educational benefits and would have had a much more difficult time if I had not received this assistance from the college.”
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MCC Mechanical Engineering Student Places First in U.S. Competition4/28/20225/19/2022 12:41 PM
Middlesex Community College Mechanical Engineering student Isaac Venezia, of Lunenburg, won first place at the 2022 American Technical Education Association (ATEA) 3 D Futures Competition. His award-winning project was a 3D printed robotic arm that he designed and built himself. For his achievement, Venezia will receive $1,500 and Middlesex will get a plaque.

“I am very honored to receive first place,” Venezia said. “Competitions like this are important because they allow students to apply the theoretical concepts learned in courses to physical projects. Opportunities like this can help a student gain experience and recognition.”

Venezia started at Middlesex as a Dual Enrollment high school student. After buying a 3D printer, he signed up for the Solid Modelling I course taught by Cristopher Algarra, MCC’s Chair of Engineering. Venezia’s goal was to learn more about 3D printing and its accompanying program SolidWorks.

“Professor Algarra wants his students to succeed and is always willing to give us opportunities to go above and beyond the course requirements,” he said. “I am very grateful for the help, encouragement and opportunities he has given me.”

Throughout the semester, Venezia would talk through his project with Algarra and show him the updated versions. While Algarra helped him complete the video and application, Algarra believes it is Venezia’s self-determination that won him the prize.

“My main goal here was motivating him to continue engaging with the work,” Algarra said. “I’ve been working in the mechanical engineering area for a long time, he’s very advanced. He wants to learn, so I give him all the resources we have available.”

The project went through a series of changes before Venezia submitted the final product. One of the first stages was a robotic gripper, that turned into a small robot arm, and ended up as a larger arm. To make it work, Venezia used “stepper motors” and designed his own 3D printed gear reductions with timing belts and worm gears – something that he calls “far more difficult” than the first version of his project.

It was Algarra who inspired Venezia to enter the competition. From the start of his time at MCC, he has helped his students to extend their learning outside of the classroom. In 2019, he led his students to a third-place win at the ATEA competition. “Winning competitions sets an example of the quality of students we have at the community level,” Algarra said.

Algarra believes that these experiences also give students the opportunity to practice using programs before transferring to four-year institutions. In addition to providing a competitive edge when applying for jobs, it shows them how to follow guidelines in the same way they would in a job and connects students to real-world experiences.

Venezia said, “It certainly inspires me to continue learning and working on engineering projects.”
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Students Can Explore Next Steps with MCC’s Fall 2022 Offerings5/9/20225/18/2022 2:24 PM
Middlesex Community College is an affordable and flexible starting point for students looking to jumpstart their careers or kick off their college educations. In the Fall 2022 semester, students of all ages and experiences can come to Middlesex to explore academic and career paths, complete general education requirements, and gain early experience in their field of interest.

“We have a variety of options available at Middlesex that make getting an education easier for our students, while fitting classes into their schedules,” said Bryan Wint, MCC’s Assistant Dean, Pathway & Academic Advising. “This Fall, we have on-campus, online, hybrid and hyflex course options and accelerated eight-week Mini-mester sessions in addition to the traditional 15-week semester. We are able to work with students to guide them toward their best options and what they need to do to be successful in their academic and professional pursuits.”

As she prepares to start college, Sara Buckley, of Wilmington, is looking to take online classes while working part-time. She will start her classes at Middlesex in the Summer – before she even graduates from high school – and is looking forward to the Fall semester to complete more college prerequisites while exploring a possible career path.

“I’ve always had an interest in Fashion Merchandising and MCC’s program is allowing me to finish my general requirements while also taking classes to learn more about the industry,” she said. “I’m excited to get a better sense of what I’d be doing working in the field and how to get there. MCC also has a lot of internship opportunities that I want to try.”

MCC will also offer four accelerated sessions over the Summer semester. Students can choose between three-, five- and eight-week options, starting on Tuesday, May 31.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.
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Students Present Research at MCC’s 11th Annual Honors Conference4/27/20225/17/2022 12:50 PM
Middlesex Community College hosted its eleventh annual Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) Research Conference on Wednesday, April 20. The virtual event allowed Middlesex honors students to present their research on a topic of their choice.

“MCC’s honors program is another example of how the college fosters student success, providing learners with knowledge and experiences that will benefit them at their four-year institutions and in their careers,” said Binnur Ercem, MCC’s Professor of Sociology & Cultural Anthropology and Director of the CHP. “In addition to developing valuable research and presentation skills, the CHP’s annual research conference is an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate our students' determination, perseverance, hard work and desire for learning."

An MCC Math Transfer student from Chelmsford, Thomas Kerkhove presented his research on Native American filmmakers in the late 20th century. He created his poster for his final project in MCC’s U.S. History through Film course, discussing “how Native Americans are slowly beginning to move past their cinematic misrepresentation in Hollywood on their own terms.”

“One of the key aspects of the conference that I struggled with initially is how to condense all of my hard work into a short description for the judges,” Kerkhove said. “I have had to spend some time really figuring out how to convey the key ideas of my project – a skill that I know will be important for the future.”

For their presentation, honors students created digital posters and then spoke over Zoom, talking about their work and answering questions. Due to the nature of the virtual conference, students can share their work for a longer period of time, including having a chat function that allows visitors to ask questions and students to respond.

Kerkhove joined the CHP in order to hone his presentation skills and participate in seminar-style courses. He believes the best parts about MCC’s honors program have been being able to work with more challenging subject material, engaging in conversations with classmates, and feeling as though he is in a cohort of honors students.

Interactions with classmates and his professors – including Stephanie Pesce, Jennifer Bauer, Deborah Botker and Ercem – have also been a benefit of MCC’s CHP for Kerkhove. The experience has worked to “broaden my horizons with courses I might not have taken otherwise if they weren’t part of the Honors selection. He plans to transfer to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Fall.

“I find these experiences valuable because they provided an opportunity for me to practice my presentation skills in a low-stakes environment,” he said, “building confidence for my future college experience, as well as the presentations in my future STEM career.”
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MCC’s Education Program Helps Students Pursue Longtime Dreams5/5/20225/16/2022 10:03 AM
Two adult learners are getting the chance to pursue their dreams of working in education because of Middlesex Community College’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. Both Musu Gaye, from Liberia, West Africa, and Sandra Senion-Vaughn, of Lowell, are taking advantage of online classes to complete their requirements and start their careers.

“The benefit of the ECE program for students includes the coursework, materials and support services they receive through the academic pathway at MCC, while actively being engaged,” said Nancy Pynchon, MCC’s Director of the ECE Career Pathways Grant. “The goal is to help students who would like to advance academically and professionally in their positions as an early childhood educator, and the Career Pathways funding allows them to pursue their goals.”

Since the inception of the ECE Career Pathways grant at Middlesex in 2019, over 800 students have had coursework paid for towards their ECE Certificate, associate and bachelor's degrees.

Although working in education has been a longtime goal of hers, Gaye never felt that the option was available to her. After being encouraged by a friend to look into Middlesex, she learned a lot about the industry and found a community of support. This includes guidance from professor Nancy Pynchon who has worked with her a lot one-on-one.

“As an adult student with a disability and a first-generation student, I have learned and experienced a lot,” Gaye said. “The inclusion, resources, diversity, help and many more benefits make the learning process smooth for adults.”

Gaye’s interest in education stems from wanting to work with younger children. Her hope is to return to Liberia to teach and work with and underrepresented population of students. “Kids are curious learners, they want to know what is in that box, how did it get there,” she said. “I want to go back home to teach because of this curiosity.”

Having worked in education for a long time as a substitute in the Lowell public school system and as a teaching assistant, Senion-Vaughn wants to earn a degree to advance in her career. She believes that having a certification is going to make her resume stand out more to employers.

“I’ve always been in education,” Senion-Vaughn said. “That has been my passion, I love working with kids. I want that diploma so I can have something to fall back on and then after that, I can retire. It has given me a lot of job opportunities.”

Senion-Vaughn chose Middlesex because it was close to home and she wanted to do a two-year program instead of four to start. Throughout her experience, she has enjoyed the campus, professors, and all of her classes.

“The best part about MCC is the compassion for students,” and the willingness from professors to help,” she said. “They’re there to help the students.”
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MCC’s Literary Magazine The Dead River Review Debuts New Issue5/4/20225/12/2022 10:18 AM
Middlesex Community College’s online literary magazine The Dead River Review debuted a new issue on Tuesday, May 3. While the magazine presents an opportunity for Middlesex students, faculty and staff to share their creative voices, MCC students gain experience working on the publishing side of the industry – from reading submissions to putting the final copy together.

“I want to let people know that English and creative writing are indeed practical paths to pursue,” said Katie Durant, MCC English and Creative Writing Instructor. “There are lots of opportunities for wordsmiths in this world, and in creating each issue of the magazine, students learn valuable editing and publishing skills that can transfer into a real workplace.”

MCC Liberal Arts and Sciences student Nora McClellan, of Carlisle, has a passion for creative writing. She decided to get involved with MCC’s Dead River Review to learn more about the publishing industry, and called the process “collaborative and educational.” McClellan enjoyed working with Durant and her classmates.

“I have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes at a literary magazine,” she said. “Reviewing submissions has improved my critical reading skills. I also am more equipped to submit my own work to publications.”

Elizabeth Keegan, of Stoneham, worked on the publication to see if she enjoyed the editing and publishing sides of writing. The English and Writing major believed her entire experience in the program has made her a better writer, including working on the magazine. From discussing themes to reading submissions, editing work to formatting the issue, this early exposure showed her that she enjoys working in the industry.

“This was such a valuable experience for me in many ways,” she said. “Primarily, it has shown me how fascinating and enjoyable the backend of the writing process is, which is something I wasn’t exposed to before this. It also helped me better understand the process of why certain pieces are selected and others rejected, which will help me own writing in the future.”

Middlesex hosted a Dead River Review Catch and Release Party and Reading to feature the latest collection of poetry, fiction, essays and artwork created by MCC writers and artists. The community was invited to enjoy readings and presentations from the new issue.

In addition to working on the magazine, students in Durant’s capstone class learn more about the industry through special guest speakers, including authors, editors and producers. Durant believes the experience is also a valuable addition to students’ resumes. This exposure helps students who are interested in working in the field better understand their value in the workforce.

“Think about who creates and edits all that online credit,” Durant said. “Who writes for and edits newspapers, magazines, journals and books? Writers are in demand in this world.”
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At MCC, Student Is Pursuing Lifelong Dream of Teaching4/20/20225/12/2022 9:57 AM
At Middlesex Community College, Ella Wang is pursuing a childhood dream of becoming a teacher. From Beijing, China – and now living in Shirley – she has been given a new understanding of what it means to be a teacher. The support and guidance Middlesex has provided is inspiring Wang’s own teaching.

“Here, teachers give me the feeling of kindness, equality and respect,” she said. “Every employee I met in different departments at MCC shared this style. I think this feeling is very important for every student. MCC supports me, treats me kindly and encourages me to study hard!”

Upon arriving to the United States, Wang started taking classes in MCC’s ESL program. After going through the Adult Learning Center and Links Program – to gain skills and experience to succeed at the higher education level – she chose to continue studying Early Education.

Whether taking a course for her major or completing a general education prerequisite, Wang is absorbing valuable information. While English courses are improving her English language communication skills, history and geography courses are providing a better sense of the U.S. culture and location. In her education classes, Wang is also learning that the curriculum is focused on children and their development.

“There is a wealth of information and detailed standards,” she said. “Teachers can easily find relevant resources or institutions to seek support. These are the answers found in many courses. Every class is very important and lets me gain a lot.”

Professor Nancy Pynchon has been the most helpful during Wang’s time at the college, including by offering guidance on completing coursework and starting the job search process. The approach of all of MCC’s professors to show students patience and kindness stands out to Wang most. “The faculty here genuinely give anyone the opportunity to learn and are eager to help,” she said.

Wang believes that communicating with professors makes it easier to manage expectations of courses. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, she has registered for online and accelerated classes – including eight-week Mini-mesters – that have been a better fit for her schedule. She has also found that by being open with professors, she can ask for an accommodation or extension.

“I like this kind of class because I need to balance work, family and study,” Wang said. “This type of course is more suitable for full-time or part-time workers, saving transportation costs and flexibility to adjust time according to my own needs.”

After graduating from Middlesex, Wang plans to transfer to Fitchburg State University to continue studying Early Education. Middlesex has been a stepping stone for her to get used to higher education in America, be successful in her studies, and work toward her lifelong goal.

“I hope I can realize my dream after I came to America,” Wang said. “I love children and enjoy spending time with them. The smiling faces and whimsy of the children bring me so much joy!”
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Take Summer Classes at Middlesex CC While Having Fun in the Sun!5/2/20225/11/2022 11:11 AM
Middlesex Community College will help students make the most of their summer. Students can choose from four accelerated sessions to take elective courses, upgrade skills, or get on track to finish their degree sooner – without being in class the entire time.

“Summer is one of the most convenient times to take classes at Middlesex, and our accelerated and flexible options make it that much easier,” said Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s interim Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “Students as young as in high school to adult learners of any age can jumpstart their college experience and prepare to transfer to a four-year institution or discover a new career path without having to make a huge time commitment.”

Middlesex is a high-quality, low-risk investment for students to save money – at all times of the year. MCC’s on-campus, online and hybrid courses allow students to complete general education requirements and earn transferable college credit. Access to targeted student support services guide students to reach their goals, including tutoring, the Libraries, and academic, career, transfer and financial advising.

Students who take classes at Middlesex also have the opportunity to participate in internship, Service-Learning, professional development and networking opportunities that extend learning beyond the classroom. Early experiences in different fields give students a chance to explore pathways and decide what they want to pursue long term.

Featuring four flexible and accessible options, registration for MCC’s Summer 2022 semester is now open, including three, five and eight weeks long sessions.
  • Summer Quickstart: three weeks, May 31 to June 17
  • Summer Session One: five weeks, May 31 to June 30
  • Summer Session Two: eight weeks, May 31 to August 1
  • Summer Session Three: five weeks, July 12 to August 11
Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022, including students enrolled in noncredit courses, such as College for Kids. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.
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Kids and Teens Can Have a Productive and Fun Summer at MCC4/26/20225/9/2022 2:33 PM
Kids and teens can have a productive and fun summer in Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids and College for Teens programs. This summer, the programs will return to in-person offerings, as well as online options for some of the College for Teens courses.

“We want students to have fun this summer while they’re learning something new or strengthening valuable skills,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training. “It is never too early to explore career paths or areas of interest and at Middlesex, students of all ages benefit from discovering what it is they like to do. Our programs allow children and teens to dive into topics that are often not taught in school, setting them up for long term success for their future college careers.”

College for Kids and Teens offers a unique opportunity to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence. Middlesex designs interactive and engaging summer programs that are taught by MCC professors, public school teachers, and experts in their field.

For Summer 2022, MCC’s College for Kids will run in-person for six weeks, starting on July 11 and going until August 18, Mondays through Thursdays. Full- and half-day offerings include courses focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), cooking, arts and crafts, photography, fashion design, online gaming, graphic and web design, creative writing and filmmaking. Programs are offered on the Bedford and Lowell campuses.

A theatre program at MCC’s Academic Arts Center in Lowell will put on a production of “Matilda, Jr.” Taught by MCC’s Performing Arts Chair Karen Oster, the theatre program will offer two performances on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14.

In the College for Teens program, high school-aged students 14+ can take courses from a number of MCC’s Pathways, including Arts & Humanities, STEM and Business. In addition to honing students’ skills in these subjects, these programs offer hands-on opportunities to learn more about different fields and potential career paths for the future – before students start even college.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to come to campus, as of January 2022, including students enrolled in noncredit courses, such as College for Kids and College for Teens. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.
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MCC “World of Music” Performance Highlights Student Performers4/20/20225/5/2022 2:16 PM
To close out the Spring 2022 “A World of Music” concert series, Middlesex Community College will feature a performance by MCC Music students. The Student Recital will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2 at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford.

MCC Fine Music major student Anthony Lumenello, of Burlington, performed in his first Middlesex Student Recital as part of the Fall 2021 “World of Music” concert series. Now finishing up his first year at MCC, he will be performing in the upcoming recital.

“I’m excited to participate in the concert,” Lumenello, said. “Performing live in front of an audience is very thrilling to me and I haven’t had many opportunities to do it.”

Previous Spring 2022 concerts included performances by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, Middlesex Faculty Members, and the Dylan Jack Quartet.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. Middlesex requires all audience members to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
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MCC Student Named as One of 20 Top Student Employees Nationwide4/14/20225/5/2022 1:57 PM
Middlesex Community College student William Miner was named one of the 2022 top 20 Student Employees in the United States by the National Student Employment Association (NSEA). A Supplemental Instruction (SI) Mentor for MCC’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE), Miner “was incredibly honored and honestly shocked” for the award.

“I do not work with ACE because I crave any recognition, but really because I enjoy the work,” Miner said. “I have always prided myself on my work ethic and drive in the pursuit of success. Being named a top Student Employee is a rare gift which demonstrates that my hard work is appreciated!”

Living in Lowell when he first started at MCC – and now in Omaha, Neb. – Miner graduated from Middlesex with an Associate in Science in Liberal Arts in 2021. He is continuing to take online courses at MCC to finish prerequisites for medical school. In addition to being able to take credits at a lower rate, Miner feels more comfortable taking his science and math courses with professors he knows, and who know him.

One of the professors who has influenced him most at Middlesex is his Anatomy and Physiology instructor Jennifer Smulligan. Calling her “such an amazing professor,” Miner is impressed by how she goes above and beyond for her students. Both Smulligan and MCC English professor Denise Marchionda asked Miner to be a tutor for their classes. He’s grateful to them for the opportunity because he did not know how much he would come to love tutoring.

“I just wanted something to do that had to do with what’s important to me at the time, which continues to be my education,” he said. “Getting to be in courses as a tutor, you learn so much. I have a better understanding of these courses than I ever would have.”

As a mentor for SI Leaders, Miner gets to work with many classmates, faculty and staff from the ACE department. He was nominated for the award by MCC’s Dr. Virginia Drislane who is an ELL Specialist and Science Specialist for ACE.

“William stands out because of his unmatched enthusiasm to help out however he can,” Drislane, said. “His students loved him because he offered study skills strategies, technical support and encouragement in addition to supporting the content in the class. When I went to his sessions, I always left feeling like I had learned so much about the content and how to approach mastery of that content.”

Miner will start at the University of Nebraska Omaha in the Fall to work toward a bachelor’s degree in biology. From his classes to his tutoring, he feels as though MCC has provided him a “well-rounded education” that will set him up for success as he explores his next steps.

“It is the best job I’ve ever done,” Miner said. “I’ve had a lot of jobs and it is far and away the best. The ACEP department is incredible. I got the best education I could have from a community college and the time that I spent here.”
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Middlesex CC to Offer Virtual Open House for Prospective Students4/19/20225/4/2022 2:41 PM
By offering flexible and affordable options, Middlesex Community College makes getting an education even easier. To help prospective students and their families better understand the process of applying for and attending college, Middlesex will host a Virtual Open House at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26.

“One of the ways MCC provides flexible and accessible options is through a variety of on-campus, online and hybrid opportunities, including course formats and support services,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “In addition to our successful in-person Open Houses, our Virtual Open House provides a chance for prospective students and their families to explore all that the college has to offer. Participants can ask questions and choose what they want to learn about most.”

During the Virtual Open House, participants will get to choose from a series of sessions on the steps to enrollment, paying for college, and course placement. Sessions will also cover how to access student support services, including advising, tutoring, the Libraries, and resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet with faculty and staff across Middlesex to ask questions about academic programs, pathways and potential career opportunities.

The event will use the software – SCHED – to provide a dynamic virtual experience. After registering for the Open House, participants will receive an email from SCHED providing them with instructions to sign-up for their preferred sessions.

The college hosted two in-person Open Houses, one on the Lowell campus on Wednesday, April 6 and another on the Bedford campus on Wednesday, April 13.

Please note that Middlesex requires proof of vaccination in order to attend the in-person Open Houses in both Lowell and Bedford. Participants who are unvaccinated can still choose to come to the Virtual Open House, register for online classes, and access online student support services and resources while attending MCC.
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MCC Foundation Awards Student Scholarships in In-Person Ceremony4/13/20225/3/2022 12:17 PM
One of the barriers students face in getting a college degree is not being able to afford the costs of higher education. To help ease this burden, the Middlesex Community College Foundation raises funds for scholarships from generous donors. The MCC Foundation and Office of Advancement hosted a Spring 2022 Scholarship Ceremony on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

“The MCC Foundation Scholarship ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the success of our students and to honor and recognize the donors who make such an incredible difference in the lives of our students,” said Amy Lee, MCC’s Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations. “It is so important to the college to make getting an education more accessible, and the generosity of our donors helps students pursue their dreams without added financial stress.”

The special event was held on the college’s Bedford campus. A total of $31,750 was given out to 14 student scholars, ranging from $500 to $3,750. Scholarships were funded by a variety of sources, including memorial donations, local businesses, private foundations and private donors.

From Colombia and now living in Lawrence, MCC Mechanical Engineering student Thomas Rua was the student speaker of the event. He was one of two recipients of the Mashu and Abu Alam Scholarship, which supports a Black/African American or Latinx/Hispanic student as they pursue a degree in Health or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

“I feel tremendously inspired by the generosity of this family that has decided to assist hardworking students like me to thrive in college,” Rua said. “This scholarship and the ones that I’ve previously received have served as a cushion for me to keep supporting my immigrant family and still be able to focus on my studies intensely. MCC has played an immeasurable role in my development as a successful student, providing life-changing opportunities for me.”

Nursing student Laura Ferguson, of Arlington, received the Marie Ryder Beacon of Hope Scholarship. A faculty member at MCC for over 40 years, Marie Ryder was on hand to present the award to Ferguson, which was created by MCC’s Nursing department in honor of her service.

“It felt amazing, I did not expect to receive the award,” Ferguson said. “It provides funds I do not have toward my classes, which takes away stress that can be overwhelming at times.”

Dr. Alva Stair established the Verena Stair Memorial Scholarship to support non-traditional female students returning to school to seek academic fulfillment. Although he was unable to attend the ceremony in-person, he wanted to express his reasons for being a donor of an MCC Foundation scholarship.

“[The scholarship] brings wonderful memories of Verena and pleasure for the opportunity to keep her wishes alive to help young women,” Dr. Stair said. “She was only 46 when Lupus ended her buoyant life. My deep appreciation also goes to Carol Zachor, one of her closest friends, who was so instrumental in the creation of the MCC scholarship and held raffles to get it funded. It was a new concept at the time.”

The 2022 Spring scholarship recipients include:
  • Steve Brown – Judith Tarutz Technical Writing Certificate Scholarship
  • Laura Ferguson – Marie Ryder Beacon of Hope Scholarship
  • Danisha Ramirez – Mashu and Alam Scholarship
  • Thomas Rua – Mashu and Alam Scholarship
  • Helena Barley – Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship
  • Catherine Kane – Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship
  • Brooke Stevenson – Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship
  • Hisen Teker – Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship
  • Leinad Feliz – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship
  • Yusmeiry Gonzalez – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship
  • Catherine Houle – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship
  • Amira Moawad – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship
  • Billy You – Prudence Drake Health Programs Scholarship
  • Mital Sanariya – Verena Stair Memorial Scholarship
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MCC’s Theatre Department to Present “The Rocky Horror Show”4/11/20225/2/2022 11:01 AM
The Middlesex Community College Theatre Department will present “The Rocky Horror Show” in five performances at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center. Curtain times are 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, Friday, April 29 and Saturday April, 30; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. There will also be a midnight show on Saturday, April 30 where audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters.

“When the film ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ came on the scene, it became iconic in that it paved the way for so many to feel as if they could be accepted for who there were,” said Karen Oster, MCC’s Performing Arts Chair. “It celebrated individuality, freedom of expression, non-conformity and it was a blast. We offer this production of the stage version as a celebration of all of these things in a time when we are all in need of a little distraction and a big party.”

Peter Carranza, of Tyngsborough – who will play the character Frank-N-Furter – has wanted to perform in the musical since he first watched the film adaptation. The MCC Theatre major came to Middlesex after talking to Oster at a production at his high school, and will graduate in May 2022. He was drawn to MCC because of all of the opportunities to perform that the college and Oster provide to students.

“Performance opportunities allow for an environment where likeminded people can safely express themselves and work toward something they love,” Carranza said. I’ve made so many friends from performing at Middlesex and they’re all such wonderful people that I feel accept me for who I am.”

Carranza describes the musical as “a parody of Frankenstein with the addition of rock and roll, gothic subculture, science fiction and most importantly, love, sexuality and identity.” Throughout the show, there are references and familiar tropes from B-movies from earlier decades. Music, lyrics and book of “The Rocky Horror Show” are written by Richard O’Brien.

Tickets are $10 for MCC students, faculty and staff, and senior citizens, and $20 for general admission.

“Everyone on our team is in love with this show and has been waiting to do it for so long,” Carranza said. “We’re all so passionate about the project and it’s a total dream come true.”
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MCC’s Open Poetry & Fiction Reading Provides Safe Space for Writers4/12/20224/28/2022 11:09 AM
Over 30 readers participated in Middlesex Community College’s 2022 Open Poetry & Fiction Reading to an in-person audience of about 50 attendees. The event – open for the entire MCC community to share their creative works – is another opportunity to foster creativity and provide a safe space for expression at Middlesex.

“Open Poetry & Fiction Readings provide wonderful opportunities for student, faculty and staff creative writers to share their work publicly and for the campus community to listen, enjoy and celebrate the rich diversity of creative voices at MCC,” said Tom Laughlin, MCC Professor of English. “Reading publicly is also a valuable part of the process of being a writer. Through this process of making work public, writers often notice more in their written work and receive audience feedback that together helps them to further revise and strength their writing.”

The 75-minute event featured a group of diverse creative voices, according to Laughlin. While many participants read their works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, one individual played a ukulele and sang a poem, and a group of six students presented haikus they wrote in response to being able to remove masks.

One of the student readers was Razan Shahin, a dual Dental Hygiene and English Literature major from Salem. Although she considers speaking in public to be nerve-wracking, she enjoys presenting her work to others who also have an interest in reading and writing. MCC’s event “made me feel more welcomed and heard.”

“As a writer, it is extremely important to get your voice out there,” Shahin said. “To present not only your work, but your experiences, life lessons and emotions. This event is a chance to let my writing be heard.”

MacKenzie Taylor is an MCC Liberal Arts and Sciences major who was part of the Fall 2021 event. From Ayer and now living in Milford, Taylor was encouraged to participate because she was a member of Laughlin’s Creative Writing course. Although the prospect of reading her work in front of others felt intimidating, MCC’s event provided a safe and positive environment. “Everyone is very supportive and kind to one another,” Taylor said.

“It is so important to have events like this to not only promote creativity on campus, but this can lead to people becoming more comfortable with sharing their work,” Taylor said. “I think having such a safe space to expose yourself to a public reading can be a great way to ease yourself into it. Additionally, you can even meet people who you never cross on campus on a normal day.”

The Spring 2022 event took place on MCC’s Bedford campus at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. Part of the college’s Arts and Humanities pathway, MCC’s Creative Writing program develops student’s writing talents, helps them explore potential academic and career options, and sets them up for success by guiding them to reach their goals.
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MCC Sets Up Business Student for Financial and Academic Success4/7/20224/27/2022 11:06 AM
From Tegucigalpa, Honduras and now living in Lowell, Luis Raul Raudales was led to Middlesex Community College through the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Gear Up) with Lowell High School (LHS) in his sophomore year. Designed to help first generation college students make the transition to college, Raudales realized the benefits of starting at a community college.

“As an international student, the financial aid options of other colleges weren’t too promising,” he said. “This path provided me with an affordable way to continue my educational journey and start my college experience having to only worry about academics.”

Through Gear Up, Raudales went on college tours and received help signing up for the SATs, filling out the Common Application, and applying for financial aid. Now at Middlesex, Raudales plans to study Business in order to help his uncle run his coffee company, Café Solar in Lowell. He will continue to study Business Administration and Political Science or Government at a four-year institution.

“Gear Up greatly helped prepare me for moving to college,” he said. “They showed me how the college application process worked and what I had to do. I decided studying Business would best prepare me for this goal.”

Another benefit of Middlesex for Raudales has been the flexibility of choosing classes to make his own schedule. He can complete work on his own time, take on more responsibility, and become an independent learner. In gaining a better understanding of his working style, the skills he is building are preparing him to be successful in his next steps.

This includes diving deeper into the Business fields with classes on economics, mathematics and accounting. Each class offers an overview of a variety of topics, in addition to allowing him to complete his general education requirements. In his classes, he often works with the same classmates and faculty members, and enjoys building connections with familiar faces.

“This makes it possible to meet other people in your program, and make possible friends who will be able to help you in these classes,” he said. “I have quite enjoyed all my classes and have had good interactions with all of my professors.”

Raudales continues to be an active member of the community at Middlesex. He is involved in several clubs on campus, including Latinos Unidos and the Sustainability, Running and Philosophy clubs. He has also attended MCC run events, such as a Visiting Writers Series with a local author, bingo night and salsa lessons.

“I find joining these clubs and going to these activities to be good ways to get to know the campus community better and to meet new people who attend Middlesex,” Raudales said. “They help foster a sense of community and I think they expose the people – from students and faculty to the staff – to different experiences and opportunities they may not have.”
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Middlesex CC Debuts New IT Learn & Earn Experience for Students4/6/20224/26/2022 11:40 AM
Middlesex Community College is focused on getting students trained and in the workforce as soon as possible. This focus on career-connected learning is the reason MCC designed the IT (Information Technology) Learn and Earn Experience. Through this work-based learning experience, students enrolled in MCC’s IT programs can now combine their classroom learning with a part-time job working for the college’s IT security desks.

In continuing to expand its Learn and Earn Experiences, Middlesex President Phil Sisson sees the program as one of the most effective ways to set up future generations for stable employment and career paths. While these types of opportunities improve the lives of students, they also strengthen the Massachusetts workforce with knowledgeable and skilled employees.

“In addition to equipping students with skills they need to succeed in high-demand fields across the state, we are getting them into paid positions to experience real work and gain meaningful experience,” President Sisson said. “In their first few years of college, students are networking, learning about career paths, realizing if this work is what they want to do, and launching their careers at the same time they are earning their degree. For students’ time and investment, Learn and Earn is an invaluable asset and game-changer for their lives.”

The IT Learn and Earn Experience is a follow-up to MCC’s successful Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience. Students work for 18.5 hours a week with competitive pay to support the fully functioning walk-in service desks on both MCC’s Bedford and Lowell campuses.

“It was new for the college because the program involves hiring students but not into student positions,” said Kathleen Sweeney, MCC’s Dean of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). “It’s into a career position part-time but not in a superfluous role. It’s taking key jobs that Middlesex needs and filling it with Middlesex students.”

Students in the IT Learn and Earn Experience are gaining a wide-range of skills through hands-on work and mentoring from full-time staff in the department. They help answer questions, fix technical issues in real-time, set-up and inventory new technology, and make sure classrooms have what they need. Students also have a chance to go through the ticketing system of past issues and read documentation to learn more about how to troubleshoot particular situations.

“These students are our first responders at the service desks,” said Joseph Patuto, MCC’s Chief Information Officer. “They’re the first point of contact for faculty, staff and students seeking IT support. They have to have the communication, decision-making, customer service and soft skills behind their technical skills. It’s a great, strategic partnership, and I suspect there will be student positions that turn into full-time employment.”

A team of experts from across the college ¬collaborated to find the best way to offer students relevant and hands-on learning experiences, including President Sisson, Sweeney, Patuto, Vice President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer Frank Nocella, Director of the Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience Stefana Soitos, Services Manager Kevin Belfiore, and Associate Professor of Computing Technology Nathan Percival.

“It’s a beautiful example of bringing together a variety of different stakeholders across Middlesex,” Soitos said. “It’s helping students to work toward their career and academic goals, and it’s also helping our IT department meet their staffing goals.”

Soitos helped in recruiting students to the program, creating their resumes and cover letters, and interviewing for the role. She is also helping Middlesex provide the students with networking and professional development opportunities, including an upcoming lunch with President Sisson, Patuto and Sweeney. To Soitos, this is “a perfect example of mentorship because we are connecting them to leadership at Middlesex, not everyone gets that opportunity.”

As they were hired at the same time, the IT Learn and Earn Experience students are part of a cohort of classmates who learn together. Belfiore works with them to schedule hours that are in balance with their studies. The goal is to have them see a variety of situations in order to have a well-rounded experience. If they do not have an answer when someone comes to them with a question, he and his team help them learn so they will be prepared for the next time it comes up.

“It works out for us, it works out for them,” Belfiore said. “They know our system, Blackboard, email, the student portal. When new students come walking in having trouble, our student employees are familiar with it. They’re learning on the job.”

For Middlesex IT student Victor Hugo Almeida, from Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, the IT Learn and Earn Experience is his first opportunity to work in the field. The college made the process for starting the program easy for him, from telling him about the experience to guiding him through each stage.

“The schedule is great and really well-balanced. Mr. Belfiore is super nice and understanding with making sure we are learning,” Almeida said. “I hope that I can gain as much experience as I can and I can’t wait to help even more.”

In addition to learning more about working in IT, Belfiore wants to make sure students understand what it is like to work in a professional working environment. From the start, he set expectations for the students on how to present themselves, including being friendly and knowledgeable, wearing appropriate clothing, and not being on their phones while working.

“They are the face of the service desk and are seeing a wide-range of people, from students, faculty and staff, administrators,” he said. “I want people to walk in and feel like they know what they’re doing. The students have the experience from their classes, I feel comfortable putting them out there.”

To help students better connect their classroom learning with what they are doing in their jobs, MCC developed an IT capstone experience – led by Percival – to offer support. Both the capstone and the Learn and Earn Experience were created intentionally by identifying what skills students would need to perform their jobs well, how that aligned with the curriculum, and what courses students would have had to complete before starting.

Their employment in the program is working on many levels, according to those involved.

“Students come in bright, energized, engaged and so positive,” Patuto said. “It has an ability to lift up the full-time staff. Everyone has been so supportive of the program and we in IT are ecstatic to have these students.”

“I love that this is working,” Sweeney said. “I’m excited for the potential going forward.”

Jumpstart your education and register now for MCC’s Summer and Fall 2022 semesters, featuring flexible, affordable and accelerated courses – including on-campus, online and hybrid formats. For more information, 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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The Middlesex CC Foundation Announces Return of Celebrity Forum4/4/20224/20/2022 12:40 PM
The Middlesex Community College Foundation is proud to announce the return of the Celebrity Forum, featuring Darlene Love – an Oscar and Grammy award-winning singer, actress and author. The event will take place on Monday, June 6, 2022 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

A donor reception will start off the event at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the 8 p.m. performance. Proceeds from the event provide support for scholarships for Middlesex students.

“One of the greatest barriers our students face in getting their education is financial, and the MCC Foundation continues to play a vital role in helping to ease the burden of not being able to afford college for so many,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s President. “The event will be a great way to bring the community together to celebrate the success of Middlesex students. I am looking forward to witnessing a tremendous performance and having the opportunity to speak to this amazing talent about her lived experience and professional journey.”

Over the years, Middlesex has hosted 20 Celebrity Forums and two spring fundraisers. After the 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MCC Foundation held a virtual event in 2021. The college is looking forward to once again celebrating in-person.

“We are ecstatic to bring back our Celebrity Forum and welcome such an enigmatic performer in Darlene Love to the college,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Advancement. “The work that the MCC Foundation does is critical to our students’ success, providing them with the funds to attend and complete their education. We are so thankful to all of our donors for their incredible generosity and support, and we are so looking forward to coming together for an exciting evening of music and cultural enrichment – all in the name of student scholarship!”

Love was named “one of the greatest singers of all time” by Rolling Stone Magazine and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. She has over five million views on YouTube and performed her hit “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” for 29 years on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Throughout her career, she has been associated with acts such as The Echoes, The Blossoms, The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, Tom Jones, the Ronettes, the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Johnny Rivers, and Sonny and Cher. She continues to captivate audiences worldwide with her warm, gracious stage presence and superb performances.

The TJX Companies, Inc., proud Presenting Sponsor of MCC’s spring fundraisers since 1999, has returned to support this year’s Celebrity Forum. The annual event presents well-known personalities for the educational and cultural enrichment of area residents.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/cf22 or contact Sherri McCormack, MCC’s Dean of Advancement at 978-656-3034 or mccormacks@middlesex.mass.edu. To purchase tickets, contact the Lowell Memorial Auditorium Box Office at 800-657-8774.

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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Attend MCC’s In-Person Open Houses on Bedford & Lowell Campuses4/5/20224/20/2022 10:40 AM
Understanding that applying for and attending college is a major decision, Middlesex Community College wants to ensure that prospective students and their families have access to all of the information and resources they need. Middlesex will welcome students at an in-person Open House at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13 on the Bedford campus.

“Our Open Houses are an opportunity for prospective students and their families to learn about what Middlesex can offer them, from starting out on day one to transferring to their next institution or entering the workforce,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Admissions. “We have flexible, affordable and accessible options that meets each individual student where they are, getting them on their path to success in ways that fit their busy lives.”

During the in-person Bedford Open House, participants will be able to meet with faculty and staff and ask questions about the variety of the college’s programs, student support services, and resources. Participants will also have a chance to walk around the college campus.

Middlesex will host two additional Open Houses in April – the first at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 in Lowell and a Virtual Open House at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26.

Please note that Middlesex requires proof of vaccination in order to attend the in-person Open Houses in both Lowell and Bedford. Participants who are unvaccinated can still choose to come to the Virtual Open House, register for online classes, and access online student support services and resources while attending MCC.

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

MCC is registering now for the Summer 2022 semester, starting on Monday, May 31. With four sessions – three-, five-, and eight-weeks – students can make their summer productive and jumpstart their fall plans. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC Alum Featured in “World of Music” Concert Series3/29/20224/19/2022 1:06 PM
Middlesex Community College will welcome the Dylan Jack Quartet for a performance as part of the Spring 2022 “A World of Music” concert series. The quartet is led by MCC Music alum and noted drummer Dylan Jack.

“It means so much to come back to MCC in a different role,” Jack said. “I’m coming back to the institution where it all started for me and I’m beyond ecstatic to share my passion with everyone at the place that set me up for my lifelong journey.”

The Dylan Jack Quartet will play music from their new album “Period Pieces.” About the album, Eric Snyder for JAZZIZ Magazine wrote, “This Boston quartet has conjured up a triumph. Hofbauer’s slurry acoustic guitar, Jerry Sabatini’s intrepid trumpet work, Tony Leva’s acoustic bass and trippy electronics, and Jack’s wonderfully musical drumming meld into a flowing suite of improvised pieces that move through spacey free improv, smoldering funk, warped bop.”

A 2008 graduate, Jack came to Middlesex to learn as much as he could about music. Crediting his professors for their encouragement in pursuing music, he is thankful for their guidance in expanding his perspectives, approach and style of music.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s from the McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, Minn. and a master’s from Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. Jack now teaches the History of Jazz at Emerson College.

The performance will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Academic Arts Center in the Recital Hall in Lowell. Middlesex requires all audience members to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The final performances of the Spring 2022 semester will feature a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 3 in Bedford. Previous concerts included performances by The Lowell Chamber Orchestra and MCC Music Faculty.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Spring 2022 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923.

MCC’s Academic Arts Center is located at 240 Central Street in Lowell. With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex St. in Lowell. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for more information.

MCC is registering now for the Summer 2022 semester, starting on Tuesday, May 31. Students can jumpstart their Fall plans and make their summer productive. The college is offering four flexible and affordable opportunities to help students start or continue their education at Middlesex, with three-, five- and eight-week options. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Registration Is Now Open for Middlesex CC’s Fall 2022 Semester4/4/20224/14/2022 12:59 PM
Dedicated to making college a possibility for all learners, Middlesex Community College meets each student where they are and guides them to success in ways that work best for them. Flexible and affordable options help get students on their paths to reach their goals faster. Registration for MCC’s Fall 2022 semester is now open.

“Now is the perfect time to start making Fall plans, and Middlesex has options that will work for a variety of student populations,” said Scott O’Neil, MCC’s Dean of Enrollment Services. “High school students looking to make their college application more competitive, soon-to-be high school graduates needing a bridge before attending a four-year institution, and adult learners hoping to jumpstart a new career will all benefit from the programs and resources that Middlesex has to offer.”

Starting at Middlesex is a more affordable option for many students, leading to them having to pay less in tuition overall. In addition to offering scholarship, grant and financial aid opportunities, the college’s more than 80 degree and certificate program options are designed to prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce.

MCC’s flexible course formats help keep students on track to complete their studies faster, including on-campus, online and hybrid course formats. Students choose which modality fits their needs and schedules when registering for classes.

Accelerated eight-week Mini-mesters – offered twice in both the Fall and Spring semesters –allow students to focus on subjects in a shorter period of time, complete their general education requirements, and start classes later in the semester if needed. As many students work part- or full-time while attending school, these options help them balance their coursework with other responsibilities.

Middlesex also understands the value of receiving hands-on, practical experiences in a program of study from early on in the college experience. Many programs offer students a chance to apply the knowledge they learn in their classes to real-world experiences, whether in a Learn and Earn, internship, Service-Learning, networking, lab or clinical opportunity.

To show students more about what the college offers, Middlesex will host a trio of Open Houses in April. At each event, prospective students and their families will have an opportunity to meet with faculty and staff from throughout the college, ask questions about the variety of MCC’s programs and offerings, and learn more about the Middlesex college community.
  • Lowell Open House: 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2022
  • Bedford Open House: 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13
  • Virtual Open House: 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26
Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022, including to attend the in-person Open Houses this April. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes, access online resources and student support services, and attend the Virtual Open House.

The Fall 2022 semester starts on Tuesday, September 6. Students can also register for MCC’s Summer 2022 semester – starting on Tuesday, May 31 – which offers an eight-week, three-week, and two five-week sessions. For more information, 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Recent High School Graduate Finds Her Career Path at MCC3/31/20224/13/2022 12:03 PM
As she started college, Gabriela Peroco’s goal was to jumpstart a career with many opportunities for advancement in a field she felt passionate about. Through guidance from supportive professors and the exploration of a variety of subjects, Peroco discovered the value of biotechnology at Middlesex Community College.

A homeschooled student from Ashland who now lives in Leominster, Peroco enrolled in the Dual Enrollment program at Middlesex after turning 16. While she wanted to get a head start on completing her college general education courses, she went on to find her future career path.

“My education here will impact my life forever,” Peroco said. “I was able to make tons of connections in my classes and with my professors. I was taught many things that I’m not sure that other community colleges would take the time to teach.

Looking for her next steps after finishing her high school and general education requirements, she spoke to Dr. Mariluci Bladon, MCC’s Director of the Biotechnology Program. She felt inspired by Bladon’s passion for the field, as well as the opportunities that would be available to her within the industry. Bladon first recommended Peroco to take the introductory biotech course to gain an overview of the field. “If you love it,” Bladon said, “you go into the program.”

“I took it and fell in love with it,” Peroco said. “That class convinced me to go into biotech. I really went under Dr. Bladon’s wing because I want to learn everything I can before I leave MCC. I’m really enjoying myself in the program, learning and meeting new people, and making connections with both the professors and classmates.”

At 17-years-old, Peroco was too young to complete an internship at a partner company. Instead, Bladon had her work as her Teaching Assistant, helping students with their homework and answering their questions in class and in labs. In addition to having more experience in the field, Peroco felt that she gained a better understanding of the material having gone through the course again in a different way.

This includes working with classmates in labs, one of Peroco’s favorite parts about the program. At Middlesex, students are getting valuable hands-on experience working in a lab that is similar to ones they will see in their jobs. They are getting this exposure early on in their academic and professional careers, performing tasks that will be expected of them in their roles in the field.

In the lab, Peroco is working with cells and learning how to use different machines, grow cell lines, and clean and sanitize equipment. “All of this is so important, and to do it properly too,” she said. “This stuff is needed when you’re working. Instead of making it a burden on you, the professors say, ‘make it a habit.’ I love the labs.”

Peroco credits much of her success to being able to communicate on an individual level with Bladon and her other MCC professors. Whether she goes to them with questions or for advice or letters of recommendations, they are committed to their students and are “very impactful.”

All of the opportunities Peroco has received at Middlesex has also made a difference, including MCC’s Dual Enrollment program. By taking college-level classes at an early age, she had already completed the prerequisites she needed for the biotech program before she entered her freshman year of college. She was also happy to have gone through her math and English requirements so she could focus the rest of her time on classes for her major.

“My experience with Dual Enrollment was great,” she said. “They were very helpful and I really appreciated the head start. I’m a really competitive person, so if it’s pushing me forward, I’m like, ‘yes, I’ll do it.’”

Peroco has already gained a sense of what her career path may look like from learning from her professors and being involved in MCC’s chapter of NEPDA (New England Parenteral Drug Association) for biotechnology students as the president. “It’s great listening to all of these people come in and talk to us about their lives, their studies, their work – it’s amazing,” she said.

A member of MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP), she is also the Middlesex club president of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE). Peroco believes that being involved in the college community, as well as “doing something that you love,” will guide students to success.

After graduating from Middlesex, Peroco plans to transfer to Northeastern University where she will study as part of the A2M (Associate to Masters) program between the two colleges. Her hope is to go into the research and development side of biotechnology, and looks forward to all that is available to her within this area.

To prospective students deciding on their college path, Peroco said, “You really need to look at something that you want to do. My dad has told me my whole life to pick something that you love as a job. Make the most of it.”

Part of the STEM pathway, the Biotechnology program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_stem.aspx to discover a path to a career in STEM at Middlesex.

Make the most of MCC’s Summer 2022 semester with four opportunities to take classes, including eight-, five- and three-week sessions. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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High School Student Enhancing Academics & Extracurriculars at MCC3/24/20224/12/2022 11:38 AM
As part of the Middlesex Community College Dual Enrollment program, Gautham Anoop, from Westford, is diving deeper into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). He is also participating in a variety of opportunities throughout the college that will set him up for long-lasting success – both at his transfer institution and in his career.

“I chose to come to Middlesex because I was looking to take more advanced coursess than those offered by my high school,” Anoop said. “MCC has allowed me to grow academically and get involved with things I would not have been able to do at my high school.”

An active Eagle Scout, Anoop has been interested in science since he was younger and enjoys the math that Chemistry involves. Due to his success in the course, Chemistry Professor Sophia Kazanis inspired Anoop to become a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader in the subject.

With Professer Kazanis’s assistance, Anoop was made aware of just one more of the opportunities available to him at Middlesex. “If it wasn’t for her,” he said, “then I would have never thought I was capable of tutoring others and might not be a student employee right now.”

Once he became an SI Leader for MCC’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE), he started tutoring health students who need to take the ATI TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills), designed specially to assess a student’s preparedness entering health science fields.

Understanding the value of opportunity, Anoop is also sharing his knowledge by helping classmates navigate college and take advantage of all that is available to them as part of MCC’s new Success Scholars Program. The focus of the program is to ensure that Black, African American, LatinX and LGBTQ+ students get the most out of their education at Middlesex.

As a Diversity Peer Educator, Anoop is supporting classmates by showing them resources at the college that will help them be successful. In his role, he builds relationships with other students to discuss interests, passions and academic goals, and helps them reach those goals.

Through the program, students are able to develop a stronger connection to the community, making them more likely to succeed – similar to what Anoop has learned from his own experience with Professor Kazanis. “I wanted to get involved with the Success program to make a difference on students,” he said. “Being involved at MCC allows me to connect with others.”

Another way in which Anoop is enhancing his education is by being part of MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP). In addition to allowing him to take more advanced classes – including for his Chemistry major – the Middlesex CHP is honing his research, critical thinking, and written and oral communication skills.

Getting to take MCC’s flexible and accelerated course options while still in high school has also been a benefit for Anoop. The courses “allow me to be more flexible with my schedule and get classes finished in shorter time frames,” he said.

In addition to completing online courses, he has also opted to register for three eight-week Mini-mester courses, a three-week Summer course, and two classes over winter break as part of the college’s WinterSession.

Planning to transfer to a four-year institution after finishing at Middlesex in Spring 2022, Anoop wants to study Chemical Engineering and improve conditions related to the environment. MCC has gotten him started by providing him with opportunities and experiences “to list on my resume that will help me increase my chances of academic and professional goals,

“I love MCC because of the people, the student employment opportunities available, and academic programs,” he said. “MCC has helped shape who I am today.”

Part of the STEM pathway, the Chemistry program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_stem.aspx to discover a path to a career in STEM at Middlesex.

Register now for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2022 semesters. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC’s Annual Women in STEM Event Emphasizes Representation3/31/20224/11/2022 10:30 AM
In support of all students studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Middlesex Community College hosts an annual Women in STEM event which features a panel of speakers who are working in the industry. This year’s event took place on Zoom on Wednesday, February 16 – a few weeks ahead of Women’s History Month.

“At this event, students had the opportunity to learn about new career paths and employment options in this field,” said Dr. Marie Hronik-Tupaj, MCC’s Associate Professor of Computing and Engineering Technology. “Through listening to the panelists’ journeys, students hear about experiences and lessons that they may use when navigating their own careers.”

The 2022 Women in STEM event was co-sponsored by the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) Boston and the IEEE Women in Engineering (WiE) Boston. Aseem Singh and Maira Sammmary acted as chairs, as panelists Summer Ford, Caitlin Cartwright and Madison Shano described their experiences as female professionals in the biomedical industry.

Singh, Chair of the EMBS-Boston section, has worked in the industry for over 10 years. Her goal for the event was to show female representation in the field to inspire the next generation of students and for them to know that women have proven themselves as “great leaders, great managers and great employees.”

“Women have traditionally been under-represented in the STEM industry, hence it was essential to have students gain some first-hand information from other successful women in their early careers and impress on their career paths, and the motivations behind their journey in the STEM field,” Singh said. “Aside from serving as role models, I think that it brings a sense of normalcy of attitudes towards the STEM industry, so that more women are encouraged to follow their passion and contribute to the industry.”

Ford has been involved in STEM since she was younger, working on a Lego League Robotics team. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona. Currently, she is a Research and Development Engineer III at Becton Dickinson and Co. where she works in New Product Development for oncology products.

“It can be a very daunting journey when first starting one’s career, and with the uncertainties stacking up, it is important to deliver a firm foundation for our younger generations,” Ford said. “Seeing women represented in STEM is a crucial part of career aspirations and empowerment. It is important to have the women who are currently in STEM roles empower and encourage women interested in STEM by providing advice, guidance and mentorship.”

An Associate Project Manager, Cartwright’s background is in marketing and medical devices, but works closely with engineering team members. She wanted to participate in MCC’s event to show the value of “cross functional partners and mentors” in a work environment. Her hope is to have inspired students to be confident as they navigate their careers.

“Women mentors help you navigate through industries that are normally men driven and allow for and reserve a space ‘at the table’ for women for their voices to be heard and valued, which I think is extremely important to have,” Cartwright said. “Women represented in STEM show that we can achieve great goals (high leadership positions) and lead successful teams while giving valuable individual contributions to a company and/or team.

Holding events such as Women in STEM allows the college to provide career exploration and networking opportunities outside of the classroom. Students have the opportunity to learn about different careers and the paths professionals took to get there, which helps them better understand what they need to do to reach their goals.

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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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At MCC, International Student Is Getting Her Chance for an Education3/23/20224/7/2022 12:17 PM
Even before the college she was attending in her home country of Sudan shut down due to political issues, Esra Eisa was not being supported as a young woman studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Although her family did not want her to study abroad, she was determined and got a U.S. visa to prove to them that she was serious about her education.

Now studying Mechanical Engineering at Middlesex Community College, Eisa is “breaking a generational cycle” and pursuing her lifelong goal of earning a college degree.

Upon arriving to the U.S. in January 2020, Middlesex was an easy choice for Eisa. By starting at a community college, she was able to lower the cost of her tuition and attend a school with strong connections to four-year institutions in Boston. MCC was also one of the only places who would accept her so close to the beginning of the Spring semester, and Eisa was ready to get started.

“As a girl of 19-years-old, by herself and without her family, the transition to the U.S. was huge,” she said. “It was a new life, new country, new continent, new people and new system. MCC was the perfect place to assist me both academically and personally.”

At MCC, Eisa worked on improving her English language and computer skills, connected with classmates and faculty, and participated in events and clubs around campus. However, the combination of the pandemic striking mid-semester, still getting used to her new environment, and dealing with mental health struggles was overwhelming.

Although her family asked her to come home, Eisa made what she considers “the hardest decision in my life” and stayed at MCC and in the country. Reaching out to her professors and finding mental health resources at the college helped her manage to stay on track with her coursework.

“MCC supported me and I managed to control my anxiety and get better,” she said. “MCC was the best fit to help me in coping with this big transition. It was a safe and encouraging place to learn.”

Two professors in particular helped Eisa through her adjustment to the U.S. higher education system, English Professor Anahit T. Shahinian and Physics Professor John Smith, who is also her academic advisor. With their guidance, Eisa was able to build upon her skills and set herself up for success. “I believe I have the skills to succeed,” she said, “but I needed direction.”

In choosing to study a STEM field, her long-term goals include helping to advocate for and empower girls, particularly from Sudan, to follow a similar path. Eisa is interested in working in higher education to fix systems that keep women from getting opportunities and support in Sudan. Her hope is also to further hone her research skills and develop an engineering company that will help work on “the many challenges my country faces, like energy and infrastructure.”

“After developing my skills and broadening my knowledge, I feel the need to give back to my community,” she said. “I consider myself privileged for getting education in the United States.”

At Middlesex, Eisa is getting first-hand experience that will help her reach her future goals. As a math tutor and Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader in MCC’s Academic Centers for Enrichment (ACE), she is mentoring and helping other students. One of her responsibilities is to oversee the Lowell Math Center, which she has done since the Fall 2021 semester.

This is the first job Eisa has ever held and she feels as though she is learning as much as she is providing, including developing her soft skills, study strategies and teaching techniques. Eisa has also been an active participant of the monthly trainings and workshops MCC offers to help tutors prepare for their role.

“My position at ACE is one of the best experiences I’ve had since I came to the U.S.,” she said. “It helped me better manage my time, manage my classes and learn new study strategies.”

Everything she has been a part of at Middlesex has been a learning opportunity for Eisa. In addition to tutoring, she is an active member of the Model Aviation Club and Pathfinder Starter Academy, and the co-leader for the African Cultural Club. She also participates in events related to the International Club and STEM.

“Being active while in college is so beneficial,” Eisa said. “It helped me personally to grow intellectually, make connections, meet people, strengthen my communication skills, apply my knowledge outside of the classroom, and find good career opportunities.

Whether she is keeping busy at school with her academics and extracurriculars, or thinking of her future plans, Eisa believes in the value of engaging in her community and giving back. Doing so “is essential to better understand its problems and participate in fixing those problems,” she said.

Looking ahead to her time after Middlesex, Eisa is applying to four-year institutions in the area to continue her studies. MCC is her “bridge” to adjusting to education in the U.S., and has provided her with academic, job, club, workshop and networking opportunities that have “helped me to grow.”

“I came to this country knowing nothing, but all I knew was I will get to wherever I set my eyes on and I will never stop fighting,” she said. “I’m my best self right now, still fighting to do big things.”

Part of the STEM pathway, the Mechanical Engineering program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_stem.aspx to discover a path to a career in STEM at Middlesex.

Register now for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2022 semesters. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC’s Accelerated Course Options Makes Getting an Education Easier3/21/20224/6/2022 10:39 AM
Middlesex Community College knows that time matters when it comes to getting an education. Accelerated and flexible options –including during MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer semester – helps make it possible for students to go to school. While MCC’s accelerated Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 28, the Summer semester begins on Tuesday, May 31.

Middlesex has seen a 127 percent increase in registration for Mini-mesters from Spring 2019 to this semester. Because MCC students are showing that they are interested in taking accelerated courses, the college is offering more of these types of classes in addition to maintaining the traditional 15-week format, according to Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s interim Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.

“The popularity of our Mini-mester offerings proves that students are looking to take courses over a shorter period of time,” Rodríguez, said. “In order to guide our students to success, we need to continue to provide options and support services that meets each student where they are. This Spring and Summer is the perfect time to start at MCC, earn transferable college credit, and get on track. For many students, a shorter schedule is a better fit for their busy and full lives.”

In less time, courses in MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2022 semester will offer the same content, academic standards and number of instructional hours as courses scheduled during the traditional semester. Mini-mesters are eight weeks, while the Summer semester will offer a three-week session, two five-week sessions, and one session that runs for eight weeks.
  • Spring Mini-mester II: eight weeks, March 28 to May 23
  • Summer Quickstart: three weeks, May 31 to June 17
  • Summer Session One: five weeks, May 31 to June 30
  • Summer Session Two: eight weeks, May 31 to July 26
  • Summer Session Three: five weeks, July 12 to August 11
Students will benefit from taking a Mini-mester or Summer course whether they are looking to transfer to a four-year institution, jumpstart a new career, or update their knowledge and skills. Combined with the ability to choose from on-campus, online and hybrid course formats, Middlesex makes getting an education more equitable, affordable and easier on students.

MCC’s accelerated Mini-mester and Summer courses also help students complete their education faster, whether they are a high school or college student home on break or an adult learner returning to school. Each session offers students single classes to meet general education requirements or explore majors, degrees or certificates to transfer to a bachelor’s program or start a career, and noncredit courses for professional and personal development.

All Middlesex students also have access to the college’s on-campus, online and hybrid student support services and resources. Students benefit from tutoring across all subjects, access to resources at the Libraries, and meeting with advisors to discuss academic, career, transfer and financial advising.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

To learn how MCC helps get students on their path to success and to register for the Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2022 sessions, 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC to Host In-Person Open Houses, First on Lowell Campus3/16/20224/5/2022 1:20 PM
“Middlesex Community College is excited to return to hosting in-person Open Houses for prospective students and their families to come to campus and learn all about what the college has to offer,” said Camille Brown, MCC’s Director of Admissions & Recruitment.

The first in-person Open House will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 on the Lowell campus. Middlesex will host two additional Open Houses in April – one on the Bedford campus at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13 and a Virtual Open House at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26.

“There is a lot of information to consider when starting college, and it is reassuring for prospective students and their families attending an Open House to walk through all of the details with us as they transition to Middlesex,” Brown said. “Our Open Houses, particularly the in-person ones, will allow participants to meet with staff and faculty from across the college, walk through the campus, and learn how MCC can help set them up for success.”

During the in-person Lowell Open House, participants will have the opportunity to make connections with MCC faculty and staff from across the college, gain information about how MCC sets up students for success, have their questions answered about MCC’s programs and support services, and take a tour of the campus.

Please note that Middlesex requires proof of vaccination in order to attend the in-person Open Houses in both Lowell and Bedford. Participants who are unvaccinated can still choose to come to the Virtual Open House, register for online classes, and access online student support services and resources while attending MCC.

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

MCC is registering now for the accelerated eight-week Spring Mini-mester II – starting on Monday, March 28 – and the Summer 2022 semester. Get a jumpstart on summer and fall plans and register now by visiting www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or calling 1-800-818-3434.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Real-World Experiences Make All the Difference for MCC Students3/23/20224/4/2022 3:13 PM
Students in Middlesex Community College’s Criminal and Social Justice program are learning hands-on what it is like to work in the field. In partnership with the Bedford Police Department, MCC Associate Professor Heloisa DaCunha created a Service-Learning project for students in her Criminology course to analyze data from real sources and present their findings.

“I approached the Bedford Police Department and mentioned to them the skills and resources our students gain from this class and asked if we could be of service,” DaCunha said. “It was perfect timing because they have the need to determine whether there is a hotspot for crime in the town, and students gain the skills for a future job as crime analysts in any government level agency.”

With access to police call logs from the past five years, students analyzed crime rates, patterns and trends from police calls and emergency service responses to three hotels in the town. The goal was to determine if there was any illegal activity in the area using information that would not otherwise be made public, according to DaCunha.

Working with the data helped Nisa Rivera gain a better sense of how to use information “to confront real world problems.” The Criminal Justice student – who lives in Lowell – is hoping to transfer to a four-year college and become a lawyer in the future.

“Experiences like this are valuable to my education because it is something that can be applied to my occupation in the future,” Rivera said.

Students presented their findings on Wednesday, March 16 to the town of Bedford, including the police and fire departments, ambulance services and town officials. The event took place on MCC’s Lowell campus, allowing students to network with professionals from a variety of public service fields in attendance.

The project was an opportunity for Jenny Desmarais, an MCC Criminal Justice student from Dracut, to learn how to take data and turn it into something meaningful. In addition to sharpening her presentation skills, she enjoyed the opportunity to create a hypothesis based on real data and connect the work to the theories she learns in her classes.

“It allowed me to go beyond the comfort of the classroom,” Desmarais said. “It’s a more valuable experience to have conversations with and present information to real people in the field that I want to get into rather than just presenting to my classroom. This project was based on real data in a nearby town, it was relatable for many people living nearby who are familiar with the hotels.”

MCC’s Service-Learning opportunities help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to proceed directly into the workforce or continue their studies at four-year institutions. The Criminal Justice group-based project honed students’ data analysis, data report writing, interpersonal and public speaking skills, as well as gave them the opportunity to improve their knowledge of data analysis, crime rates and FBI-Uniform Crime Report statistics.

Matt Beauchesne, an MCC Criminal Justice student from Tyngsboro, worked with a partner to analyze data for one of the hotels. The end result was a chart listing calls from each year, labeled by month, that showed what the highest percentage of calls the police responded to at the hotels. Beauchesne – who will graduate after the Fall 2022 semester and transfer to a four-year institution – appreciated the opportunity to work on his research and collaboration skills.

“If you have a group who are just as motivated as you on a topic, then the quality of the final presentation will be good,” Beauchesne said. “Experiences like these are valuable to education because it allows us to meet people we typically would not have, such as meeting the Bedford Police Department.”

The goal of providing Service-Learning opportunities is to ensure that MCC Criminal and Social Justice students receive a well-rounded education – including hands-on, practical experiences – that will prepare them to continue on to a four-year institution and enter the workforce.

“It is important for local organizations to see the caliber of students we have and the value they can add to the workforce,” DaCunha said. “It is also important for students to start networking for possible future internship and job placements, and finally, students get to work with real work problems.”

Part of the Public Service pathway, the Criminal and Social Justice program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_pubserv.aspx to discover a path to a career in Criminal Justice at Middlesex.

Starting on Monday, March 28, MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II offers eight-week accelerated courses for students looking to get a jumpstart on Summer and Fall plans. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC’s Human Services Program Allows Alumna To “Save the World”3/17/20224/4/2022 2:08 PM
Marissa Melendez wanted to pursue a career path that would “save the world.” While her initial plan was to go to school for nursing, she did not feel as though the field – or the four-year college she was attending – was the right fit.

Instead, Melendez came back to her hometown of Lowell and attended the more affordable Middlesex Community College to study Human Services.

“My experience at Middlesex Community College was one that I will never forget,” she said. “I have always had a passion for wanting to guide others in a positive way and I feel that this program helped me spark an even greater passion for such a rewarding career.”

As a Children’s Intensive Home-based Therapeutic Care Outreach Counselor, Melendez works with a clinician in a home to provide services for families before they are placed in residential housing. In this role, she is getting the chance to help make a positive difference and happier home life for the children and families for which she works.

“This job is hard most days because watching children struggle in a society with such a stigma on mental health can be emotionally challenging,” Melendez said. “It can also be rewarding when I am able to watch these children and their families thrive once receiving the correct services.”

Thanks to MCC’s internship and Service-Learning experiences, Melendez knew early on that she was on the right track by studying Human Services. Working with a school social worker at a local high school helped her gain early exposure to potential jobs in the field. The opportunity also allowed her to apply the skills and training she learned in her classes to real-life situations.

“It was a great experience and it gave me a great opportunity to get my feet wet in one route of this field,” she said. “MCC has taught me that there is no timeline on life and everyone moves at their own pace – and that is OK!”

Melendez also appreciated MCC’s small class sizes because it gave her a chance to better connect with her classmates and faculty members. As she did not know much about Human Services before entering the program, she was more easily able to explore the field and all of the options available to her.

What she found was that MCC’s program – and the field itself – “is so versatile.”

“The Human Services profession as a whole consists of what I like to call a ‘giant umbrella’ of professions which will prepare each one of us to enter a field in which we can change and improve the mental, physical and emotional well-beings of others,” she said.

She learned a lot about the field from her classes with Paulo Barrio, MCC’s Department Coordinator of Human Services, in particular. The theoretical knowledge and advice she gained in her classes has given her knowledge and skills that will prepare her for her entire career.

While Barrio’s courses were challenging, Melendez believes he provided the sometimes hard-to-hear – but necessary knowledge that people who work in the industry have to know – in a meaningful way. This includes how to keep both the populations being served and the employees providing the services as safe and healthy as possible.

Having professors who were passionate for their subjects and how it made positive changes in the lives of others made a difference on Melendez’s perspective. Their guidance and open communication “helped me grow as an individual who wants to work with a diverse population.”

In addition to her job, Melendez is now attending Arizona State University to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Dynamics. Having graduated from MCC in the spring of 2021, Melendez completed her program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Middlesex “couldn’t have handled it any better,” she said, giving her the jumpstart to follow her passion.

“MCC gave me a strong foundation to not be afraid to pursue what I love and has taught me to use my voice to make change in the world,” she said. “I am proud to say that I am an alumna of MCC and I wouldn’t have wanted my education to begin at any other place because Middlesex is truly a special place.”

Part of the Public Service pathway, the Human Services program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_pubserv.aspx to discover a path to a career in Human Services at Middlesex.

If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join the free Alumni Association – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni for more information.

Register now for MCC’s eight-week Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2022 semesters. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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For Criminal Justice Student, MCC Is Paving the Way to New Career3/16/20223/31/2022 1:13 PM
For Dan Buckley, from Burlington, Middlesex Community College is the path to helping him reach his goal of becoming a police officer. Earning a degree, he believes, “will give me an edge in the extremely competitive hiring process.”

Buckley originally chose to come to Middlesex because his two sisters had gone on to lead successful careers after attending MCC’s Nursing program. “They always spoke very highly of MCC and encouraged me to attend as well,” he said.

In the spring of 2021, Lynda Pintrich, MCC’s Criminal and Social Justice Chair, led the program through a curriculum review to make it more representative of current times. The goal was to provide students, such as Buckley, with more culturally conscious courses, as well as a more well-rounded educational experience, according to Pintrich.

The program is preparing Buckley to think more critically and problem solve while working in the field, and is helping him to become more aware of issues around social justice and diversity.

“It’s giving me a broader knowledge base regarding the criminal justice system, social justice and community-based policing,” Buckley said. “Which is a necessity in the era of police reform.”

While still new to the program, the courses are already providing Buckley with a strong foundation in a variety of criminal justice topics. He is also honing his writing, communication and computer skills, which he considers “necessary in law enforcement.”

Having professors who are invested in both the subjects they are teaching and helping their students succeed is the best part of the program for Buckley. In almost all of his classes, he has benefitted from supportive instructors who engage students in what they are learning.

While “the staff, programs and community at MCC have all been exceptional,” he said, Professor Ronald Brevard stands out the most to him.

“In addition to being a knowledgeable instructor, he took the time to meet with me one-on-one virtually several times to offer career advice and guidance,” Buckley said. “He also helped me refine my resume and cover letter, and helped me prepare for oral board interviews with the police department.”

At MCC, Buckley takes both on-campus and online classes, but prefers being in-person on the Bedford campus. Calling the transition to online “easy and painless,” he is appreciative of the staff and academic advisors at Middlesex who have answered all of his questions.

While taking classes, Buckley has also started a new job as an Overnight Dispatcher with the Rockport Police Department – who will sponsor him when he enters the full-time police academy. Although he moved to Gloucester to pursue his new role, he chose to continue taking classes at MCC because it has been such a positive experience.

“I feel that I am getting a quality education that would be tough for other community colleges or state schools to match,” he said. “Without MCC, I do not believe that I would be at this point in my career so quickly.”

Part of the Public Service pathway, the Criminal and Social Justice program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_pubserv.aspx to discover a path to a career in Criminal Justice at Middlesex.

Starting on Monday, March 28, MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II offers eight-week accelerated courses for students looking to get a jumpstart on Summer and Fall plans. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC Learn & Earn Experience Jumpstarts Student’s Career3/9/20223/31/2022 9:58 AM
Tanja Sennick found Middlesex Community College’s Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience at the right time in her life. Going through a difficult divorce, taking care of her family, and struggling to find work, she was looking for an opportunity that would lead to positive change.

MCC’s Biotech Learn & Earn program allows Sennick to take classes toward her associate degree and work in a paid position at a partner company. While the opportunity was first brought about because of job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MCC’s program has helped to advance both Sennick’s professional and personal life.

“I have two children and I have to make sure I provide for them,” Sennick said. “I cannot be unemployed. The biotech field is growing right now. The income is great and the whole program has actually flipped my life around.”

From Germany and now living in Bedford after coming to the U.S. with the military, Sennick worked in the hospitality industry most of her life. She learned about MCC from an advertisement she saw at a grocery store and signed up to take classes as part of the college’s Links program.

Intended to set up adult students for success at the college level, the program provided Sennick with individualized attention and guidance to gain a better sense of her next steps toward education and employment. “Middlesex is very helpful, even when it comes to your personal life,” Sennick said. “They really try to help in each situation. I only have good experiences.”

Through the Links program, Sennick was connected to Stefana Soitos, MCC’s Director of the Biotech Learn and Earn Experience. She started taking classes in January 2021 and by May, she had updated her resume, interviewed with a partner company, and was taking summer classes.

By the time she got an offer to do her paid internship at AbbVie, she had finished her general education courses and prerequisites and was ready to start the Learn and Earn Experience in the Fall. The whole process had only taken eight months.

“All of a sudden, with the help of MCC’s Learn and Earn Experience, I was for the first time, able to not have to worry about my house, food – it literally changed my life 180-degrees,” Sennick said. “I got lucky with the college and my internship.”

In starting the program, Sennick realized that much of the work she was doing in her hospitality jobs applied to her new role in biotechnology. This includes writing standard operating procedures and working with the FDA and OSHA – “all the background you need for the biotech field or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics),” she said.

The combination of MCC’s classroom learning, lab work, and internship experiences is teaching her more about the benefits of working in biotechnology. The industry has allowed her to create a manageable balance between work and her personal life, provides a steady income, and has a clear career path that will lead to more opportunities in the future.

And because MCC’s biotechnology program – led and created by Dr. Mariluci Bladon – is so well-known and respected in Massachusetts, Sennick believes this has opened up many opportunities for current students and graduates to go out into the field and start their careers.

“It is a valuable job to do and I wish more people would do it because there are so many positions open,” she said. “Dr. Bladon gets so many job offers for us students. There are so many scholarships for students too. It’s such a great program.”

The work Sennick is doing in her classes and labs at Middlesex has prepared her to perform the tasks as a Manufacturing Technician at her internship with confidence. Being able to apply the information to something real makes the value of MCC’s Learn and Earn program all the more meaningful for her.

“You see how it actually transforms from the classroom to be hands-on,” she said. “You just learn and you get a better understanding of things when you have both the classroom and the practice. When you go into the lab, you realize, we did that.”

Every part of her internship at AbbVie is a learning experience. Being part of a cohort of MCC students who are also going through the program has provided Sennick with an opportunity to network, study with, and learn from her classmates, including those working at other partner companies. There have also been guest speakers who are working professionals in the field and come speak to students about their own experiences being in the industry.

Sennick believes Middlesex – and Soitos in particular – has helped her balance her education responsibilities with her work. To keep herself on track, she makes sure to get ahead in her homework when possible, stay organized, and take a few classes at a time so she avoids feeling overwhelmed. The college also makes sure to continually check-in with students on their progress and keep a line of communication open.

Having professors who understand that students are working while taking classes – and that unexpected challenges can come up – has also helped Sennick be successful. Whether she goes to them to ask for help or to give her an extension on an assignment, she believes the most important thing is to talk to professors about what is happening. “Every single professor is great,” she said.

MCC offers other resources that has helped Sennick be successful and navigate the college experience, including the TRiO program for students who are the first in their family to go to college. The program has helped her find where she can go to for questions on financial aid and tutoring assistance, especially for writing essays.

While Sennick’s academic and professional career in biotechnology is just beginning, Middlesex has helped jumpstart her path to a long-lasting and stable career in just a short amount of time. On track to graduate with her associate degree – and have a possible full-time job lined up – Sennick plans to transfer to Northeastern University through the Associate to Masters (A2M) partnership and continue on to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

For students interested in the biotechnology program or other programs Middlesex offers, Sennick recommends, “use everything Middlesex can offer you to make your studying easier.”

Funded by a grant from the One8 Foundation, MCC’s Biotechnology Learn and Earn Experience allows students to learn both in a classroom and lab setting while gaining valuable, paid work opportunities. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/biotechnology/learnandearn.aspx or contact Stefana Soitos at soitoss@middlesex.mass.edu for more information.

Starting on Monday, March 28, MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II offers eight-week accelerated courses for students looking to get a jumpstart on Summer and Fall plans. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Former Presidential Candidate Speaks to Middlesex CC Students3/3/20223/29/2022 11:15 AM
Middlesex Community College welcomed Fred Karger – an activist, author, political consultant and the first openly gay U.S. presidential candidate – for a visit on the college’s Lowell campus on Tuesday, February 22. During his visit, he emphasized the importance of talking about LGBTQ+ history, particularly with students.

“I very much enjoyed my meeting here and talking to students at Middlesex,” Karger said. “It’s the future of our country – colleges, universities – so it’s important to reach out to the students here and encourage them. I’m trying to travel around the country and get students active in politics and civil rights because this is how change happens.”

With over 30 years in politics – including work on nine presidential campaigns – Karger made a run for president for the 2012 election as a moderate Republican candidate. Although he did not go on to become the party’s nominee, he was considered a serious candidate and was included in the polls and qualified to participate in a debate.

Karger’s visit with Middlesex was organized by Deb Fowler, Co-founder and Executive Director of History UnErased. He spent time talking with Phil Sisson, MCC’s President, and Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, and answered questions from an audience of students and employees of the college.

“We are fortunate to work at an institution where representation and inclusion matters,” President Sisson said. “As one of the first in the state to include an opportunity to self-report on the application, we’ve also had a preferred name policy for a long time and have been very progressive. Karger’s history and commitment to this work is remarkable. We’re delighted he could come speak with students and thank him for his candor in making progress and advocating for change.”

As part of the conversation, Karger mentioned that one of his inspirations for running for president was Robert F. Gentry, the first openly gay mayor of Laguna Beach. During his campaign – and in his work thereafter – Karger worked to take action against those who fought against equality. In speaking at high schools and institutions across the country, Karger wanted people to know “you can do anything you want in life if you’re LGBTQ+, even run for president.”

“Today was really insightful,” said MCC student Erick Maldonado. “I didn’t know the history behind what Fred was doing and it was really eye-opening to see that there is a history of individuals who really care about the LGBTQ+ community and are open to really making changes in this world.”

To young people, Karger said, “get involved and stay involved; do well in school and work hard.”

Register now for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II, starting on Monday, March 28. For more information, 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC Forms New Transfer Partnership with William James College3/10/20223/24/2022 1:39 PM
Middlesex Community College’s new agreement with William James College (WJC), a private college of psychology in Newton, allows Human Services, Psychology and Liberal Arts students to complete their first two years at MCC before transferring to WJC to complete their Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Human Services.

“Middlesex strives to set up students for success beyond their time at the college, whether they are looking to transfer to a four-year institution or directly enter the workforce,” said Ellen Grondine, MCC’s Dean of Education and K-16 Partnerships. “We want students to understand that there are options and support available to them to ensure they are on the right track to reach their goals.”

Middlesex establishes articulation agreements with colleges to help make the transfer process easier. This new agreement is unique in the way WJC accepts MCC credit, according to Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Liberal Arts.

“In much of the ways MCC is focused on being the first two years of a college education, WJC is focused on being the second two years of a college education,” Olson said. “WJC doesn’t offer the traditional first year courses, such as Introduction to Psychology. They’ve turned to Middlesex to provide the strong general education so they can focus on the upper level psychology and human services courses.”

This model allows students to focus on developing the skills and knowledge for careers in behavioral health fields at the transfer institution, according to Olson. At WJC, students study as part of a cohort and take applied counseling classes, offered primarily online. They balance their studies with doing paid internships to practice their training, making them ready to enter the job market immediately after graduation.

For each WJC course, there are two three-hour meetings students are required to attend face-to-face. MCC is already looking at ways to make the in-person meetings easier for students who are used to coming to the Middlesex campuses in Bedford and Lowell. This includes offering courses on MCC’s Bedford campus or providing transportation to Newton for some “bridge classes” as students adjust to their new institution.

In order to attend the program, students must have completed an associate degree or have earned 60 undergraduate credits. Students can also work full-time while completing the program. WJC’s website describes the program as “critical to strengthen the behavioral health workforce with the skills and credentials of an undergraduate degree so students can build a career and make a difference in the lives of the clients they serve.”

For those who would not otherwise have the opportunity, Middlesex is the gateway to meaningful education and careers. Small class sizes, affordable prices, flexible course formats, and hands-on support services help students navigate college, be successful in their studies, and move on to programs well prepared for success.

Middlesex offers a variety of degree and certificate options in which students can earn transferable credit to take with them to their next institution. With MCC as a stepping stone, students can explore their interests before transferring to a school that provides higher level courses and programs.

“You may have remained undecided at MCC and focused on exploring while earning your associate degree, but even if you didn’t major in Psychology or Human Services, transfer to WJC is an option to pursue a career in Behavioral Health,” Grondine said. “So many people are interested in helping with the mental health crisis after the pandemic.”

Much of MCC’s success in being able to prepare students with the foundational background they need to proceed into a variety of industries is because MCC is a teaching college, according to Grondine. Students benefit from individualized support from professors who know who the students are and can help them use their strengths and learn from their challenges.

“Our faculty are invested in working directly with our students,” Grondine said. “WJC recognizes the value our faculty bring to the classroom and to our students’ education.”

MCC is also hoping to welcome back graduates who continue on to receive their master’s degrees as adjunct faculty members. As Middlesex serves a diverse population of students, both the college and WJC want to deepen and diversify the pool of students, faculty and mental health employees across the state.

“WJC sees their mission now as providing all levels of counselors directly into the field, and they have a strong emphasis on recruiting diverse students into these programs,” Olson said. “They recognize, like MCC, that the people offering support should better reflect the populations they are serving, which is one of the reasons they are interested in partnering with us.”

Middlesex offers a variety of articulation agreements and transfer opportunities for students to continue their education and advance their careers. Opportunities include the MassTransfer program, which allows MCC students to transfer to a Massachusetts state college, state university, or University of Massachusetts campus. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transfer/ for more information.

MCC is registering now for the accelerated eight-week Spring Mini-mester II – starting on Monday, March 28 – and the Summer 2022 semester. For more information, 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Registration Is Now Open for Middlesex CC’s Summer 2022 Semester2/28/20223/23/2022 12:29 PM
“Summer is the perfect time for students to be productive and get on track to reach their goals, and Middlesex Community College has a variety of options to set them up for success,” said Scott O’Neil, MCC’s Dean of Enrollment Services.

Registration for MCC’s Summer 2022 semester is now open. Featuring flexible and affordable on-campus, online and hybrid course options, Middlesex makes getting an education more accessible and equitable for all students.

“At Middlesex, our students are balancing their studies with personal, family and professional responsibilities and we understand the importance of meeting them where they are,” O’Neil said. “This means providing them with multiple course options, targeted student support services, and helping them navigate the college experience from the day they begin all the way to transferring to their next institution or entering the workforce.”

One way MCC offers students flexible and accessible options is offering multiple sessions over the course of the summer, including three, five and eight weeks long.
  • Summer Quickstart: three weeks, May 31 to June 17
  • Summer Session One: five weeks, May 31 to June 30
  • Summer Session Two: eight weeks, May 31 to July 26
  • Summer Session Three: five weeks, July 12 to August 11
From high school students on break to adult learners returning to school, Middlesex has options for students of all ages and backgrounds. MCC’s Summer semester provides a great opportunity for students to jumpstart their academic plan, finish their general education requirements, earn transferable college credit, and reach their goals faster.

Students who are new or returning to the college experience will also benefit from the variety of on-campus, online and hybrid student support services and resources Middlesex provides, including tutoring, the Libraries, and academic, career and transfer advising.

The college also offers payment options and plans, financial aid, scholarships and financial wellness counseling to help students afford and complete their education. For more information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialaid/ and learn how Middlesex can help put students on their paths to success.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022, including students enrolled in noncredit courses, such as College for Kids. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

Register now for MCC’s Summer 2022 semester, starting on Tuesday, May 31. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC’s Flexible Options and Affordable Prices Get Students on Track3/8/20223/23/2022 11:14 AM
Rather than wait for Summer and Fall, Middlesex Community College’s Spring Mini-mester II – starting on Monday, March 28 – is the perfect time for students to jumpstart their education and earn a certificate or degree to advance in their careers.

In addition to a selection of Business courses, students can choose from a variety of subjects during Spring Mini-mester II from over 80 degree and certificate options, and take classes during the day, evening and weekends. Online students can also choose to take classes with set times and days or at their own pace with no scheduled meeting times.

“Mini-mesters are a convenient and fast way for students to build on their previous education,” said Stacie Hargis, MCC Professor and Entrepreneurship Coordinator. “This is especially helpful with MCC’s Launch Your Business Now certificate which helps students leverage their knowledge base and passions while building the skills necessary to launch a business within one semester."

For students interested in finishing or starting their degree, upgrading their skills, or advancing in their careers, MCC’s Mini-mesters offer accelerated eight-week courses that cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and offer the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled during the traditional 15-week semester.

Another way Middlesex provides students with flexible and accessible learning options is by rewarding students for their life and past college experiences. By taking advantage of MCC’s Credit for Prior Learning (CPL), students can apply the experience they have gained through academically related employment, training programs, military services, and more toward college credits.

Combining experiences with a degree or certificate provides new or updated skills, training and expertise that can enhance a person’s career, leading to greater stability and a higher income.

CPL can also save students thousands in tuition costs because students will be able to take less courses overall to get their degree. Combined with Mini-mester sessions, CPL allows students to take fewer classes – and in a short amount of time – getting them on their way to transferring to a four-year institution or directly entering the workforce.

On-campus, online and hybrid course formats allow students to take classes in ways that work best for their needs, schedules and busy lives. With small class sizes and instructors whose main focus is on teaching, students also benefit from more personalized instruction and guidance.

All Middlesex students also have access to award-winning and free student support services, such academic, career, transfer and financial advising; tutoring for every subject and degree option; and mentoring on how to navigate college life and be successful.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

Register now for MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II and Summer 2022 sessions. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC Named Top Choice for High School Students in Massachusetts2/24/20223/21/2022 10:54 AM
Middlesex Community College has been named the best community college in Massachusetts for Dual Enrollment on the 2022 list of Best Community Colleges in Massachusetts by Intelligent.com.

“Middlesex is committed to collaborating with partner high schools throughout the region,” said Ellen Grondine, MCC’s Dean of Education and K-16 Partnerships. “Together we are providing students the opportunity to explore programs of study, take advantage of college resources and academic supports, and reduce future student loan debt.”

MCC’s Dual Enrollment program offers high school-aged and homeschooled students an opportunity to take college-level courses that count toward both a high school diploma and a college degree.

Abby Noël is a Junior at Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS) in Tyngsboro and has taken both concurrent and on-campus Dual Enrollment classes. Noël wants a career in environmental social justice. The two classes Noël is currently taking are offered on her high school campus during the school day.

“I decided to take college classes at IACS so I can get a head start on my college education,” Noël said. “It will save me money and help me reach my reach my dreams faster. So far, I have taken three courses and I am currently enrolled in Introduction to Psychology and Literature of Protest and Hope. By the time I graduate from high school, I plan to have completed 27 credits toward an associate degree. MCC’s Dual Enrollment classes are absolutely worth it!”

In recognizing programs, Intelligent.com compared 64 programs from 26 universities and colleges in the state with two-year associate degree programs. As part of its research, the website “reviewed tuition costs, the number of credits required to graduate, and the coursework delivery formats – such as online and in-person.”

With Dual Enrollment at Middlesex, students can complete general college course requirements and explore majors and possible fields of interest at an affordable price – saving thousands in tuition costs overall. In Massachusetts, Dual Enrollment students pay a state subsidized rate of $92 per credit versus the $252 current per credit rate.

Dual Enrollment students can also take advantage of MCC’s accelerated Mini-mester sessions. In eight weeks, Mini-mester courses offer the same content, academic standards and instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester.

“With the accelerated format of Mini-mesters, Dual Enrollment students can maximize their efforts and earn more college credit in a shorter period of time,” said Jillian Freitas-Haley, MCC’s Assistant Dean of Enrollment. “This gives them a distinct advantage in applying for and attending college, setting them up for success in a college environment, and allowing them to start at their four-year institution as a second semester freshman or higher.”

There is no minimum age requirement for Dual Enrollment students who are interested in being challenged by a stimulating and supportive learning environment at Middlesex. MCC Dual Enrollment students have access to all that the college offers, including student support services and resources, specialized advising, tutoring, small classes and participation in campus activities, events and clubs and organizations – all of which offer online options.

Prospective students and their families must attend a virtual Dual Enrollment Information Session. Sessions include an opportunity to connect with Admissions staff, process applications, and register for classes. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/dualenroll/ for more information and to register for an information session.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

Register now for MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester II, starting on Monday, March 28. For more information, 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC to Feature Music Faculty in “World of Music” Performance3/1/20223/17/2022 11:05 AM
Middlesex Community College will continue the Spring 2022 “A World of Music” concert series with a performance featuring MCC Music Faculty.

Pianist, and MCC’s Chair of the Music Department, Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, is looking forward to performing with her colleagues, including flutist Orlando Cela, clarinetist Todd Brunel and cellist Johnny Mok for what “should be a fun evening!”

“We will be performing beautiful works by Mikhail Glinka and Gabriel Fauré from the 1800s, as well as a colorful early 20th century piece for cello and piano by Manuel de Falla, which reflects the composter’s interest in Spanish folk music,” Rodríguez-Peralta said.

“From our current century there will be a wonderfully crafted Prelude and Fugue for piano by Boston composer Larry Belly, inspired by the music of J.S. Bach; as well as an energetic, rhythmic piece for flute, clarinet and piano by Guillaume Connesson influenced by techno music. We will end with a tango by Carlos Gardel arranged for all of us.”

The performance will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11 at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford. Middlesex requires all audience members to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and wear masks at all times.

Upcoming performances throughout the Spring 2022 semester include the Dylan Jack Quartet at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10 at MCC’s Academic Arts Center in Lowell and a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 3 in Bedford. The first concert of the series was a performance by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Spring 2022 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923.

Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for directions to campus and more information about parking.

Starting on Monday, March 28, MCC’s Spring Mini-mester II offers eight-week accelerated courses for students looking to get a jumpstart on Summer and Fall plans. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Graphic Design Student Pursuing Her Dreams at Middlesex CC2/24/20223/16/2022 2:27 PM
Before Isabella Angelucci, of Pepperell, started at Middlesex Community College, she was hesitant about studying as an art major because she was told she would make more money in a health or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.

Angelucci followed her heart and enrolled in MCC’s Graphic Design program instead.

“There are so many great careers within the art fields, ones that make great money too,” she said. “Shouldn’t you be doing what makes you truly happy?”

Her courses at MCC have not only showed her that she can pursue a stable career in the arts, but are also honing her talents and creativity to be successful in the field long-term. While lectures teach her the knowledge she will need to advance in her major, practicing with programs such as Adobe Creative Cloud is providing her with the skills she will be using throughout her career.

Another valuable benefit of MCC’s Graphic Design program for Angelucci is having the opportunity to create and share projects with her professors and classmates. While she takes inspiration from others’ work, she is also learning how to give and take constructive criticism to improve and finesse her designs.

“I really enjoy being exposed to so many creative people,” Angelucci said. “It opens up my eyes to all the different styles and types of art that exist in the world.”

The program is also teaching her how to present her work – something she did not have much experience doing before starting at Middlesex. Sharing her work has given her a lot of confidence and also “encourages me to put my artwork out in the world.”

“The professors are always pushing you and your creativity,” she said. “And you can really see the growth of skills made throughout each semester.”

One of the Middlesex professors who has impacted her so far is Angela Ales. In her online Drawing and 2D Design classes, Ales has helped Angelucci’s art to “mature and grow.” Ales also introduced her to Lowell Western Avenue Studios where Angelucci has had the chance to network with local artists and witness active professionals at work in the field.

Angelucci believes it is these opportunities and the flexibility that Middlesex affords to students that has allowed her to be successful. Being able to take online classes, building her own schedule, and offering affordable tuition has given her a lot of freedom – a difference she has gotten used to after graduating from high school and leaving behind a more set schedule.

“My experience has been great so far,” Angelucci said. “It’s a bit different from the typical college experience since I’m not on campus much, but I’ve been able to make some amazing connections with some of the people around campus and have been able to obtain a flexible schedule that allows me to take care of myself.”

Although Angelucci is still considering her next steps, she is planning to transfer to a four-year college after graduating from MCC with her associate degree in Spring 2023. She hopes to continue studying Graphic Design and complete her bachelor’s degree. Middlesex gave her the chance – and the tools she will need – to pursue a career in the arts.

“Make sure you’re willing to put a lot of time and effort into your work,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to stand out!”

Part of the Arts and Humanities pathway, the Graphic Design program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_artshum.aspx to discover a path to a career in Graphic Design at Middlesex.

Get a jumpstart on summer and fall plans by registering now for MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester II – an accelerated eight-week session that offers the same content, academic standards and instructional hours as courses scheduled during the traditional 15-week semester.

MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 28. For more information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC’s Flexible Course Options Help Students Reach Goals Faster2/23/20223/16/2022 10:45 AM
“Understanding that education is one of the best ways to enhance a person’s life and career, Middlesex Community College strives to remove barriers that could keep people from going to school,” said Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “One of our flexible options include Mini-mester sessions, which allow students to complete their courses in a shorter period of time, getting them on track to reach their goals in ways that work best for their busy lives.”

MCC’s Mini-mesters are eight-week accelerated sessions that cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and offer the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled during the traditional 15-week semester. Combined with on-campus, online and hybrid course formats, Mini-mesters are a convenient option for students.

Mini-mesters work for students whether they are looking to start or advance their career, update skills or learn something new. Adult learners in particular are balancing their education with work and family responsibilities, but with Mini-mester courses, students can focus on the topic, complete their requirements, and earn transferable college credits in less time.

“The accelerated courses are great because you can get your credits faster if you can handle the amount of work in a shorter period of time,” said Mitchell Cummings, an MCC Fire Science student from Arlington.

Cummings chose MCC because it was close to home and offered his major, but Middlesex also helped him take advantage of his past knowledge and experience by offering Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). Applying his past experience toward credits will help Cummings finish his degree faster, in addition to working with an advisor to develop an academic plan based on his personal experiences, needs and goals. CPL also considers a student’s background, history, and previous college courses taken ¬– even for those who took a few courses.

“My prior credits are from my military training, online classes, fire academy and EMT,” Cummings said. “Receiving the credits was easy and I feel like my experiences from them has helped me greatly toward my goals.”

With two Mini-mesters offered during every Fall and Spring semesters, students can complete more classes over the course of a semester and be ready to transfer to their next institution or enter the workforce. At Middlesex, students taking Mini-mesters also have the ability to start courses mid-way through the full semester, when it works best for their timeframes.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 28. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

All Middlesex students also have access to the college’s student support services and resources, including advising, tutoring and the Libraries. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/academics/offerings.aspx and learn about MCC’s offerings for students of all ages and stages in their lives.

The college also offers payment options and plans, financial aid, scholarships and financial wellness counseling to help students afford and complete their education. For more information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialaid/ and learn how Middlesex can help put students on their paths to success.

To get started with CPL, register at https://myexperiencecounts.mass.edu/home or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/priorlearning/ 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Documentary Highlights Work of Master Ceramicist & MCC Professor2/15/20223/10/2022 11:02 AM
“As a Cambodian-American filmmaker, I feel that Cambodians have a lot of untold stories,” said Vibol Sungkriem, Director and Producer of the new documentary “Yary Livan: Khmer Traditional Ceramic Artist.”

The documentary tells the story of Yary Livan, one of two master Cambodian ceramicists in the world, a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, and a ceramics professor at Middlesex Community College.

Sungkriem was introduced to Livan at his studio at Western Avenue Studios by a friend who suggested making the documentary. At first, Sungkriem hesitated because he did not know much about ceramics. After seeing Livan’s work, he was inspired to move forward with the project.

“I knew of the importance of his work and to document it for the next generation,” Sungkriem said. “Due to the rareness and uniqueness of his talent, I decided to work on it. Overall, his rarity got the best of me.”

MCC hosted a film screening of the documentary on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at the college’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center. The event was free, open to the public, and included a reception and ceramics exhibit and a Q&A with Livan and the filmmaker.

Middlesex was honored to have held the event in Lowell where Livan lives and works, according to Dona Cady, MCC’s Professor of Humanities.

“Yary is a national and community treasure whose passion for teaching and preserving the Cambodian artistic form yet also reimagining it, illustrates the power of art and culture to inspire and educate,” Cady said. “His work touches the soul.”

“I am so pleased to see Yary and his work highlighted in this documentary film,” said Matthew Olson, MCC’s Dean of Humanities. “It is important to understand that Yary is one of the last surviving practitioners of this traditional Cambodian art form. We are proud to have him on our teaching staff, continuing this tradition with new generations and all across our community.”

Livan studied Khmer traditional ceramics and architectural ornamentation at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh in 1971, according to Margaret Rack, retired MCC Chair of Art and Design and current adjunct faculty member.

“Cambodian design, or Khmer Kbach, is a thousand-year-old tradition of ornamentation – it decorates objects and architectural surfaces throughout Cambodia and in the diaspora,” Rack said. “It is passed on as an oral tradition, with scant written scholarship except for the collection of examples. Even in Cambodia today, students trying to learn Kback mostly copy forms without knowing the many intricacies of meaning, nor how to distinguish designs that are distinctly Khmer compared to neighboring countries. This is largely the legacy of the Cambodian genocide, as there are few surviving master artists.”

Rack is at the forefront of sharing Livan and his work with the community of Lowell. In partnership with Livan and Lowell Public School Art Teacher Jacqui Miller, Rack participated in a 2016 Fulbright Hayes Group Project to Cambodia and has helped organize the classes Livan teaches to Lowell public school teachers.

Her most recent project – supported by a grant from the Lowell Cultural Council – is in collaboration with Joe Eiler, MCC’s Graphic Design Program Coordinator, to introduce classic Cambodian designs into an adult coloring book.

The project will feature descriptive definitions to “both educate and enchant” to go along with Livan’s hand drawn ink illustrations Eiler helped format to print, according to Rack. Miller will help with distribution, which will also be offered to local schools and community groups, and sold in Spring 2022.

Middlesex students have the opportunity to learn ceramics from Livan, working on hands-on projects and practicing techniques. At the end of the course, Livan brings his classes to the Cambodian Kiln located in the Lowell National Historic Park to finish their artwork.

This is just one example of how MCC provides students with valuable and relevant learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom. Flexible and affordable courses and accessible and equitable student support services – with on campus, online and hybrid options – prepare students for the workforce or to transfer to four-year schools.

Get a jumpstart on summer and fall plans by registering now for MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester II – an accelerated eight-week session that offers the same content, academic standards and instructional hours as courses scheduled during the traditional 15-week semester.

MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester II starts on Monday, March 28. For more information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register.

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Student Gains Confidence to Pursue Dream Career at Middlesex CC2/16/20223/9/2022 11:33 AM
“I am loving Middlesex Community College so far,” said Hanna Franca Gomes, an MCC Fashion Merchandising student from Minas Gerais in South Brazil. “I’ve always dreamed about working with fashion and having my own clothing brand, but only now I feel prepared and confident enough to start pursuing my professional life.”

Gomes is settling into her second semester at Middlesex. In addition to feeling more comfortable studying in a United States college classroom, she is improving skills such as time management and understanding all that is available to her at the college.

Whenever she has questions, faculty and staff are always available to answer them. She also takes advantage of online student support services that she finds are “just one click away” with quick and helpful information. “Not only the professors are exceptional, but everything else the college offers,” Gomes said. “We have support for all the situations we face as students.”

MCC’s Fashion Merchandising program initially stood out to her because it is one of only a few colleges to offer fashion programs in the area and she had friends recommend the school. Middlesex has “exceeded all the expectations I had,” making her feel optimistic for the future.

Having professors who are passionate for teaching their subject has helped Gomes better understand the material she is learning and how to apply it in the field. There are many opportunities inside and outside of the classroom – including a potential internship she is hoping to get – that are “offered equally to students.”

Her favorite part about the college is the dedication her professors show in helping her pursue her dreams. Combined with the knowledge and tools she can carry with her into the field, Middlesex is helping Gomes and her classmates “become leaders in our careers.”

“They encourage us to go after our goals and they pretty much assure us that we can achieve them,” she said. “Even when life turns out the way we were not expecting, we know that someone is there hoping for us to succeed.”

Gomes has found supportive professors even in classes outside of her program. English faculty member Joseph Nardoni is someone who Gomes said has “impacted me the most,” and she is looking forward to taking more of his classes.

“He is very good at what he does and he is very smart with the way he leads the class and teaches the content,” she said. “He taught me how to look at things from a different perspective with a sense of a real writer.”

In addition to her classes, Gomes is active around the MCC community. A member of both the Fashion Club and Bible Study group, she enjoys attending campus events. One of the benefits is meeting other people and practicing her English speaking skills, which Gomes believes helps her “with the process of learning the language.”

“Participating in clubs and events is a very good opportunity for you to get to know people, work on your networking, and socialize with students who are also in the same period you are in,” she said. “I met some nice people with very interesting ideals and ideas.”

After Gomes graduates from Middlesex, she plans to transfer to a state school and continue studying Fashion Design and work on her own Christian clothing brand. MCC has given her the opportunities, knowledge and skills she needs to move forward.

“With the classes I am taking at MCC, I will be ready to start my own business once I’m done and take responsibility of the legacy I want to build,” Gomes said. “MCC provides us every single ingredient we need to accomplish our goals, but it will always be up to us to make a good use of it.”

Part of the Business pathway, the Fashion Merchandising program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_business.aspx to discover a path to a career in Fashion Merchandising at Middlesex.

Register now for MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester II, starting on Monday, March 28. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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There Is Still Time to Register for MCC’s Spring 2022 Semester2/8/20223/8/2022 3:51 PM
“At Middlesex Community College, we celebrate our students’ successes, both in the short- and long-term,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s President. “Understanding the commitment and sacrifices our students make to get their education, MCC meets them where they are with accessible programs, opportunities and guidance. We strive to make it easier for students to reach their goals and get on their paths to success.”

Middlesex helps students of all ages, backgrounds and goals by offering programming that set them up for success. Flexible and affordable options – such as on-campus, online and hybrid course formats and student support services – allow students to fit education into their schedules, while balancing their family, job and other personal responsibilities.

One of the ways MCC makes learning flexible is with eight-week Mini-mester sessions. The accelerated sessions cover the same content, maintain the same academic standards, and offer the same number of instructional hours as courses scheduled in the traditional 15-week semester.

Compared to the Spring 2021 semester, MCC’s Spring 2022 Mini-mester I has increased in enrollment by 48 percent, while Mini-mester II has already increased in enrollment by 20 percent – ahead of its Monday, March 28 start date.

Middlesex students are choosing Mini-mesters because they allow for more customized learning, according to Arlene Rodríguez, MCC’s Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. They also allow students to get on track with their educational goals ahead of their Summer and Fall 2022 plans

“Mini-mesters are a popular and convenient option for so many of our students,” Rodríguez said “The accelerated courses allow students to start their education when they want, earn credits faster, fully commit to a subject in just a limited period of time, and take more classes over the course of a complete semester.”

Whether a student has graduated from high school and is looking to jumpstart their college career or is an adult returning to school after a break, Middlesex offers more than 80 degree and certificate options and has designed seven pathways to success to help students reach their goals.

MCC’s program pathways make it easier for students to navigate the college experience, helping them to understand what they have to do in order to complete their degree or certificate program.

Pathways keep students on track with their requirements and academic plans and allow them to explore majors of interest and possible careers, complete general requirements, and move forward onto their next steps, including transferring to their four-year institution.

Certificate options provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to enhance their academic achievements, directly enter the workforce, or start or advance their careers. MCC students can also complete certificates, professional development or personal enrichment classes as part of MCC’s Corporate and Community Education and Training division.

Middlesex also offers educational opportunities to prepare students to learn in a college environment. This includes teaching English language skills to non-native English speakers as part of the English Learner Institute and Intensive English Institute. In the Adult Learning Center, the college provides free training to help students improve their basic academic skills and prepare for HiSET or GED testing, attending college, job training or employment.

All Middlesex students have access to the college’s on-campus, online and hybrid student support services and resources, including advising, tutoring and the Libraries. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/academics/offerings.aspx and learn about MCC’s offerings for students of all ages and stages in their lives.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

Register now for Mini-mester II, starting on Monday, March 28. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Award-Winning Poet to Speak on Writing to MCC Students2/14/20223/3/2022 10:25 AM
Dedicated to guiding students to success, Middlesex Community Colleges provides opportunities inside and outside of the classroom that allow them to explore their potential careers, interests and fields of study. Middlesex will host poet Dr. Sandra Lim as part of the college’s Visiting Writers Series, in which the poet will speak with students on writing and share her work.

"There are many things to talk about with students these days, but I am happy to talk with them about what gifts poetry confers,” Lim said. “Mainly, I hope I can simply reflect on how certain poems come alive to me, and that the enthusiasm catches – the enthusiasm may then lead students into the deepest reaches of a work of art."

Lim’s event will take place in the Lowell Campus Federal Building Assembly Room at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2. The author of three books of poetry, she is a professor of English and teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

In addition to her three books – “Loveliest Grotesque” (Kore, 2006), “The Wilderness” (W.W. Norton, 2014), and “The Curious Thing” (W.W. Norton, 2021) ¬– Lim’s poems have appeared in journals such as The New York Review of Books, Poetry, Literary Imagination, The Baffler, The New Republic, The Yale Review, and The New York Times Magazine, among others.

Her poems and essays have also been included in the anthologies Among Margins: An Anthology on Aesthetics (Ricochet, 2016), The Echoing Green (The Modern Library, 2016), The Poem’s Country (Pleiades, 2018), and Counterclaims: Poets and Poetries (Dalkey Archive Press, 2020).

For her work, she received a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards in Literature, the Levis Reading Prize and Barnard Women Poets Prize for “The Wilderness,” a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio center, the Jentel Foundation, and the Getty Research Institute.

MCC Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. Contact StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3363 or 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 II, an accelerated eight-week session starting on Monday, March 28. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC Offers Teens a Variety of Options for Spring and Summer 20222/1/20223/1/2022 12:07 PM
“STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) should be introduced as early as possible, since studies show that when introduced in middle school or younger, it encourages lifelong interest,” said Julia Kelly, Middlesex Community College Associate Professor of Computer Science. “Computer science is one of the most versatile fields in addition to being quite lucrative when applied to jobs in industry or if paired with engineering.”

Through the college’s Community Education and Training (CET) division, Middlesex offers courses for youth that allow students to explore their interests, hone their general education skills, and learn more about college majors and career pathways. The programs run throughout the year and over the summer as after school, vacation and summer courses.

In MCC’s Summer 2022 College for Kids and Teens program, Kelly will teach two new coding programs to help students build a foundation in computer science. Students enrolled in the courses will learn logical thinking skills as well as other subjects that go along with computer science, including math, physics, chemistry, biology, writing, art and cultural exploration.

“Even if computer science is not a lifelong career, it can be a great supplement to any path in life,” Kelly said. “It is good to take the time to explore. Summer camps especially are excellent for branching out and enhancing whatever paths one chooses.”

In MCC’s youth programs – including the college’s Noncredit Youth Academy – students have the opportunity to jumpstart college and professional experiences in a variety of subjects, according to Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training.

“By engaging in our programs, teens are set up for success before they have even started college,” Ellis said. “MCC’s courses not only teach valuable skills students will need moving forward, but show them more about college, such as the process of applying and how to navigate classes and support services. The courses also equip students with healthy and mindful habits they will use both at college and in their future careers.”

MCC’s courses for teens cover topics including creative writing, music, engineering and business with direct, hands-on learning experiences taught by Middlesex faculty members. Students gain a better sense of completing a college application and following their next steps after graduating from high school.

Courses also include college and career readiness, algebra I and II review to help them improve general education skills, and financial literacy to give them a real-world understanding of money management skills such as credit scores, credit cards, loans and paychecks.

In the Brain Power Wellness for Youth course, students participate in interactive games and exercises to help them realize their potential and improve their focus, memory, creativity, confidence and manage their emotions, including anxiety and stress – all important to maintaining physical, emotional and cognitive health.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022, including students enrolled in noncredit courses, such as College for Kids and Teens. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

MCC’s CET programs provide academic, professional and personal enrichment for students of all ages and stages in their lives – whether they are looking to jumpstart or advance college or a career. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/cfteens.aspx or contact 781-280-3669 or career_training@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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC’s College for Kids Returns to In Person Programs This Summer2/11/20222/28/2022 11:12 AM
“We are so excited to welcome back our College for Kids community to in-person programming this summer,” said Lauren Ellis, Middlesex Community College’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training.

Middlesex is helping to bring back a sense of normalcy, learning and routine for youths with its College for Kids program. Registration opens on Friday, February 11. These interactive and engaging summer programs provide children and teens ages 8 to 17 with unique opportunities to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence.

“While the past two summers have provided robust and engaging online classes for our College for Kids community, Middlesex has proven that the college is ready to return to in-person opportunities and experiences,” Ellis said. “The health and safety of our students and employees is our number one concern. We have protocols and standards in place that allow us to safely come together to learn and have fun, whether we are outside or inside wearing masks.”

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

The program will feature six weeks of full- and half-day programs from July 11 through August 18, Mondays through Thursdays. Full-day programs run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and half-day programs run 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Students who take two half-day programs to make a full day can stay on campus for lunch in between the two sessions.

Programs are offered on the Bedford and Lowell campuses, as well as a theatre program at MCC’s Academic Arts Center in Lowell – which runs Monday through Friday.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated in order to come to campus, as of January 2022, including students enrolled in noncredit courses, such as College for Kids. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.

MCC’s College for Kids will host Parents Information Sessions ahead of the summer programs. To sign up for a session and to view the complete 2022 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Middlesex CC Alumna is a Dedicated Lowell Community Member 1/27/20222/24/2022 1:06 PM
“I was born different from everyone,” said Dolores ‘Loli’ Sierra, of Lowell. “I grew up with seizures and I had a clubfoot and all of these things. My mom’s doctor told her I would never talk, I would never walk, I would never do anything.”

Not only did Sierra learn how to talk and walk, she went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The accomplishment is a “milestone” for her family, and she is proud to have led the way for her younger sister who has now also graduated from college.

Sierra attended Middlesex Community College after graduating from high school. The supportive community of classmates and professors, opportunities to network and volunteer, and a newfound passion for psychology “opened my horizons more,” she said.

“I like doing research before I invest in anything,” Sierra said. “I’d seen that Middlesex had more one-on-one teaching, classes were smaller, and you could actually get to the professor if you needed them. Coming out of high school, I wasn’t used to college, I didn’t want to get lost.”

In her Introduction to Psychology course with Professor Donna Gray, Sierra realized she was interested in the ways in which the human brain develops and thinks, how personalities change depending on the person, environment, and where they are in their life. Knowing she wanted to help others in her future career, her field of study “made me understand people more.”

“The professors who run the program are just amazing at what they do,” Sierra said. “I still have my notebooks and I always go over them, all of that great information.”

Having places to go while on campus also helped Sierra feel more comfortable with the college experience. In MCC’s TRIO for Student Success Program, she found a helpful community where she could set and reach goals, access student support services, and go on trips to different colleges to see her options when it came time to transfer to a four-year school.

Her favorite space at the college was MCC’s Multicultural Center. As her mother is from Puerto and her father is from El Salvador, Sierra enjoyed sharing her cultures with others. In addition to meeting people from different backgrounds, experiences and interests, she also attended events and had a place to go to use computers, print papers, or study with friends.

“It was a welcoming area to different cultures,” Sierra said. “At the Multicultural Center, I learned to understand people’s cultures, where they come from, what their beliefs are, and what they like – and be able to appreciate that.”

Sierra also had a work study with the Middlesex Office of Admissions where she helped run events such as campus Open Houses or visits with local high schools. Even after her work study ended, she would assist the Admissions team, whether she was setting up for an event or sharing her college journey with prospective students.

“I would just tell them a little bit about my backstory and experience at MCC and the great things that I was able to do and accomplish,” Sierra said. “And just always advise them to get involved.”

Having graduated from MCC in 2014, she transferred to Southern New Hampshire University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Concentration in Adolescence Development.

Just as she prepared to transfer, Sierra was offered a job at the Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA) – an organization she has been involved with since she was younger. Despite the long commute between college and work, she could not turn down the opportunity.

She started in a part-time role – that eventually turned full-time – working as a bilingual speaker with younger children in an after school program. Sierra continued to take on more responsibilities at the nonprofit and is now the Community Engagement and Event Coordinator.

In her role with CBA, she helps community members to translate or understand paperwork, get to doctors’ appointments, and run big community events that often host up to 300-400 people. Her favorite part of her job is getting to work with and connect with people.

“Especially now with COVID-19, you realize you can impact the community in a great way and people are so grateful,” she said. “The community members are amazing and so kind. You get to create relationships with people. I like to be the go-to person. I’m full of information, I just want to share it.”

It is this passion for helping others that led her to being named one of the 2022 Individual Living the Dream Partners award winners at the annual Living the Dream Partners Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event. Grateful for the recognition, Sierra is quick to credit her mother for inspiring her love of volunteering.

“You do it because you have a passion for helping people,” she said.

To prepare for such an impactful role in the community, Sierra also credits her time at Middlesex – through her studies and engagement around campus – for helping her work with the community where she has to be “an open butterfly to talk with everyone.”

While she started college as someone who was shy and unsure of reaching out to people, she grew more comfortable asking for help and sharing more of herself, whether it was to make new friends or network.

And another part of the reason she loves to give back is because of the limitations her mother’s doctor once tried to put on her life.

“I’m a person who can talk, walk and do so many great things,” Sierra said. “It just makes me so proud because it’s those little miracles that people would never know this person went through when they were younger, and look where they are now.”

Part of the Social Science pathway, the Psychology program 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. For more information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/dyp_socsci.aspx to discover a path to a career in Psychology at Middlesex.

If you have ever taken a class at MCC, you are an alum! To share your story – and join the free Alumni Association – contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations, at 978-656-3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni for more information.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Spring 2022 semester, including Mini-mester II starting on Monday, March 28. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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MCC Kicks Off “World of Music” with Lowell Chamber Orchestra2/3/20222/24/2022 10:43 AM
Middlesex Community College will kick off the college’s Spring 2022 “A World of Music” concert series with a live performance by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra (LCO), conducted by MCC faculty member Orlando Cela.

The LCO will present works from the Baroque Era, combined with later pieces inspired by this era. The Double Concerto for Recorder and Traverso by Georg Philipp Telemann and the Suite from “Castor et Pollux” by Jean-Philippe Rameau will be performed.

“The performance is a collection of pieces that reframe four- and five-hundred-year-old works into a modern lens,” Cela said. “The program revolves around a brand-new work by Dana Kaufman, commissioned by the LCO, called ‘Greyed Rainbow,’ inspired by the Pollock painting of the same name. The concert opens with Francis Poulenc’s ‘Suite Française,’ which brings back the music by Renaissance composer Claude Gervaise in a very unusual orchestration.”

There will be also a showcase of ancient and new instruments in Telemann’s Double Concerto for Recorder and Flute, with Aldo Abreu and Cela as soloists, according to Cela. A suite of Baroque dances from the opera ‘Castor et Pollux’ by Jean-Philippe Rameau in a new, modern combination of instruments, will close out the program.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 19 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Academic Arts Center in Lowell. Middlesex requires all audience members to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and wear masks at all times.

Other performances throughout the semester include MCC Music Faculty at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11 in the Bedford Campus Concert Hall, the Dylan Jack Quartet at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10 at MCC’s Academic Arts Center, and a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 3 in Bedford.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Spring 2022 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923.

MCC’s Academic Arts Center is located at 240 Central Street in Lowell. With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex St. in Lowell. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for more information.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Spring 2022 semester, including the accelerated eight-week Mini-mester II starting on Monday, March 28. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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Middlesex CC Awarded Funding from Bedford Cultural Council1/25/20222/23/2022 10:23 AM
Middlesex Community College was awarded a $450 grant from the Bedford Cultural Council – an agency supported by the Mass Cultural Council – in support of the college’s Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT). Funds from the grant will go toward Racial Healing Circles that MCC will run on the college’s Bedford campus during the Spring 2022 semester.

“Middlesex is a leader of engaging in impactful conversations, making meaningful changes, and actively fighting against racism,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s President. “Funding and support from the BCC allows us to continue and enhance this important and necessary work.”

Middlesex was selected to participate in the 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). MCC is now one of 55 campus-based AAC&U TRHT Centers.

In addition to integrating racial equity work into its strategic plan, the college sees the Center for TRHT as an opportunity to engage in college-wide honest dialogues on race and to serve as a resource and partner within MCC’s communities.

This includes leading Racial Healing Circles, which will be run by Middlesex faculty, staff and students who went through training by the Racial Healing Circle Practitioner Institute workshop in January 2022, according to Darcy Orellana, MCC’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“Racial healing is an essential and ongoing part of building more just and equitable communities together,” Orellana said. “A Racial Healing Circle is a way to bring people together by providing a compassionate space to share stories and deeply listen to one another so that we can discover our common and interconnected humanity. Through the practice, we can build relationships and engagement to tackle the impact racism has on us.”

The mission of MCC’s TRHT Center is for internal and external communities to engage in racial healing and build deeper collective capacity toward racial equity and justice in relationships, structures, policies and practices. Through this work – including Racial Healing Circles – Orellana encourages participants to imagine what the community will look, feel and be like when the belief in a racial hierarchy has been eliminated.

Moving forward, Middlesex strives for a community that will “eliminate the false belief in a hierarchy of human value based on race,” actively challenge racism, be equity-minded, and be responsive to diverse identities and community experiences, Orellana said. Racial Healing Circles and similar activities and conversations will help MCC create a positive narrative about race, prepare the next generation of leaders to build just and equitable communities, and pinpoint key leverage points for change.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

There is still time to register for MCC’s Spring 2022 semester, including Mini-mester II, starting on Monday, March 28. 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 education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!
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