August 2017

Updates From the President

MCC_diversityAs we prepare to launch a new academic year and welcome our students back to campus, I want to take a moment to address the tragic events and turbulent aftermath that transpired at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville. The violent expressions of racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry are in complete opposition to the values of our country and the core commitments of our institution.

The college’s Statement on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity states: “Middlesex is committed to providing a learning, working and living environment for its students, employees and other members of the College Community, which values the diverse backgrounds of all people. The College is committed to assuring that the “College Experience” is one that challenges, empowers, supports, and prepares its students to live in, work in, and value our increasingly global and diverse world. The College believes that the diversity of socio-economic, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability backgrounds of members of the College Community enriches the institution and its various constituencies. The College will not tolerate behavior based on bigotry, which has the effect of discriminating unlawfully against any member of its communities.”

As an educational institution dedicated to civil discourse and critical thinking, as well as providing learning opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds, it is necessary for Middlesex to stand in unity with the larger community when these fundamental principles are under attack.  Middlesex will always respect and protect the rights of both free speech and freedom from discrimination, as these are essential foundations for the learning environment. To this end, we are developing a new review process to ensure that requests to use campus facilities are in alignment with college policies.

The safety and well-being of all members of our community remains our focus as we prepare for the new academic year. I believe now more than ever, we need to do everything in our power to promote a system of higher education that is open to all and build pathways to success for everyone who walks through our doors. A well-educated population with opportunities for social and economic mobility is our best bet for a bright future.

I look forward to seeing you at Smart Start Professional Day on August 29.

– Jim Mabry

Upcoming Events

  • August 29 – Smart Start: Opening Day for Faculty/Staff, 8:30 a.m., UML ICC
  • August 30 & 31 – New-Student Orientation
  • September 5 – Fall Classes Begin

MCC In The News



College Financial Literacy Workshop

Fin. Lit Robert and screenOn July 25th, the Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA) and the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (CMAA) co-hosted a College Financial Literacy Night. The purpose of the workshop was to help students and their families gain a better understanding of the financial aid process. Robert Baumel, Director of Financial Aid, presented tips on how to complete the FAFSA application, as well as an overview of the financial aid process. With the assistance of a CMAA staff translator, Visal Chin, we were able to present the workshop simultaneously in Khmer and English. The event was well attended by incoming students, current MCC students, parents, and community members.

2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 12.32.05 PM.pngThe AANAPISI Team had a unique opportunity to participate in the 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies (SEAAS) Conference at UMass  Lowell on July 27-29. The SEAAS Conference is a national summit of researchers, community organizers, artists, students, service providers, policymakers, community members, and others. The purpose is to reflect on the histories and current states of Southeast Asian American communities and to discuss solutions to the most pressing issues facing Southeast Asians in the U.S.

Staff representatives from Middlesex attended the conference along with colleagues from other AANAPISI schools, including UMass Boston, Bunker Hill Community College, California State University East Bay, and Highline College. The conference provided break-out sessions that focused on programming best practices in improving access, retention and graduation of Southeast Asian American college students through the AANAPISI grant. The session’s presenters included Virak Uy, Director of Asian American Student Advancement Program at MCC, and Maria Puente, Interim Dean at Bunker Hill Community College. Additionally, the AANAPISI session attendees had an opportunity to visit the Asian American Connections Center at MCC.

MCC staff that attended the conference were Pam Flaherty, Dean of Students, Pat Demaras, Assistant Dean of International and Multicultural Affairs, Cherry Lim, Program Specialist, Noreen McGinness Olson, Director of Academic Support Program, Virginia Drislane, ELL Learning Specialist, and Yatsen Paak, ACE Program Assistant. Additionally, several MCC students also attended and served as volunteers throughout the conference.

Title III Update

mcc_360_fin_colorAfter a thorough review of the proposals submitted for the Student Portal and IPAS contract, a final vendor will be selected before the end of August. Following that, the MCC 360 committee will begin working in the fall on the next two requests for proposals — for the CRM and Data Analytics software.

Academic Affairs

First-Year Experience

FYE/IDS courses in the summertime!

Many students got a jump start on the fall semester by attending FYE/IDS courses in August. These three-day, IDS courses included “FYE/IDS 101 (Freshman Seminar),” “IDS 103 Leadership,” “IDS 106 Career Exploration” and “IDS 108 Wellness.” Some students even completed three of the one-credit courses during this time.

Students were engaged in collaborative group work and great discussions on a variety of topics. The leadership group focused on “social change” and explored leadership styles and skills, and individual and group values. The time spent on campus also provided many opportunities to learn more about the college community, support services and resources. Students also participated in myriad activities and even had fun! All in all, it was an exciting time to be on campus in August … see you in September.

Taking a short break outside Café East: instructor Melissa Welch and some of her students in the “IDS 103 Leadership” class.
Students in the “IDS 101 Freshman Seminar,” and Peer Champion Tianna Guerra, enjoyed a breath of fresh air with their instructor Willy Ramirez.

Office of Professional Development

SmartStart_Icon.jpgThe Office of Professional Development, in collaboration with the President’s Office, the Lowell Campus Manager’s Office, Office of Marketing Communications, and the indispensable Ellen Ricca in IT, has been hard at work preparing for our fall Professional Day on Tuesday, August 29th, in Lowell. The theme of the day is “Smart Start.” Along with the President’s Opening Forum in the morning, the central activity of the day consists of two sessions of various professional development presentations, followed by lunch at the UML ICC, and a reception in the late afternoon. For more information, please visit the Professional Day web page at

Academic Divisions

Business, Education and Public Service

Fashion Merchandising

Ashli Ree had a meeting with the store manager and the district manager from Brighton Collectibles in Burlington Mall. They discussed how the school and the company can work together to better prepare Fashion Merchandising and Business students for both internships and long-term career opportunities. After the meeting, Ashli shared employment information with current students and graduates.


Performing Arts

MCC-ChilderenTheatreMCC’s College for Kids three-week Children’s Theater program, directed by Performing Arts Chair Karen Oster, culminated in performances of “Lion King Jr.” at the Merrimack Repertory Theater on July 28th and 29th.


Nursing and Allied Health

Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, and Dental Lab Technology

logocoda2xThe Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, and Dental Lab Technology programs were notified that the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), at its  August 3, 2017 meeting, granted these programs the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements,” until the next site visit in 2023. Congratulations to the faculty and staff in these programs for all their hard work and dedication! And a special thanks goes to Peg Bloy, Apollon Bouzerdan, and Karen Townsend for providing the leadership to achieve this very positive finding.

And there’s more good news: Amanda Kozik, a second-year Nursing student, was recently awarded a $500 scholarship by the Altrusa Club of Merrimack Valley. Selection is based on merit, financial need, and academic ability. Congratulations Amanda!



The Office of Admissions and Recruitment is busy as ever preparing for the fall semester.

  • wie_buttonStaff members are hard at work meeting with new and returning students during Walk-in Enrollment, enrolling students in selective programs, recruiting at our scheduled campus tours and information sessions, and visiting our community partners.
  • Recently, Assistant Directors Alison Handy and Jenna Engelsen hosted a group of 55 young students, ages 6-10, on our Bedford campus. They were accompanied by high school and college student chaperones as part of the new Power Scholars program out of Woburn. We believe it is never too young to expose children to the benefits of a higher education, and look forward to working with this organization again in the future.
  • Additionally, we will be piloting a new on-campus recruiting event this fall. The Admissions staff will be offering combined information sessions and tours on both campuses. This will allow prospective students and families a place to gather information about MCC and ask questions, as well as a chance to see both of our amazing campuses! Please feel free to interact with staff during our tours. We love when faculty or staff give us a wave or even stop to say a few words.
  • Lastly, we are beginning to plan our fall Open House. Please save the date, Saturday October 21st, on the Bedford campus. Be sure to keep an eye out for information in your email about how you can participate in this important recruiting event. We are always so lucky to have collegewide participation.See you in September!

Enrollment Management

Bedford Student Information Center
Over the summer, the first floor of the Enrollment Center was updated and transformed to create a more student-focused and welcoming environment for student services. Lisa Gibson, Assistant Registrar, is now located in Bedford with the SIC’s Christopher Parcella, Serrahtani Parrish and Abbie Takvorian. Please come by and visit our newly restored location!

Enrollment Management Center
Congratulations to Carolyn Delehanty who finished the Mill Cities Leadership Institute on June 8th. In Carolyn’s words, “This program opened my eyes to the injustice impoverished people face every day. From homelessness, to incarceration and prejudice.” Because of the program, Carolyn has started a campaign, “Volunteer now, ask me how” that was showcased at MCC. She has also enrolled in courses to begin her master’s degree in Community Social Psychology at UMass Lowell.

Enrollment Systems

  • Degree Works – Degree Works UAT (User Acceptance Testing) for version 4.1.6 was completed by Enrollment staff with an upgrade taking place on August 7. This recent version will allow Enrollment staff to use the web-based Scribe application, rather than desktop application.
  • Parchment  – A process to release individual electronic transcript orders that are on hold for grades was implemented. This process allows Enrollment staff to release these order types when students’ grades have been rolled and updated in Banner, reducing the delivery time from several days to less than one hour.
  • Enterprise Content Management System – Enrollment staff is working with the Technology Center on completing the final preparations to release several electronic forms within our ECMS (Enterprise Content Management System) to students. This student self-service feature will reduce the need for paper documents and the staggering number of touch points it takes to have this type of information processed. Certain student holds, such as high school certification and in-state tuition eligibility, can be released by an Enrollment staff member within an hour rather than in days.

Fall 2017 Registration
Please see the June/July issue of Middlesex Connector for many of the changes in registration this summer. Highlights include:

  • Increased Walk-In options – This summer, students were provided many options for walk-in registration and testing; appointments and evening options were also offered to meet varying student needs.
  • On-time registration – New students must register by August 28th for day classes; after August 28th new students can register into our Late-Start classes.
  • Changes to the Enrollment Exception form – New students will no longer be able to obtain permission for Late Admit status; the Enrollment Exception form has been revised to eliminate this option. See this link.
  • Fall 2017 Final Exam schedule – The final exam schedule has been posted on the college website.

Student Financial Services

New Drop for Nonpayment Policy for Late Registrants

  • After review of data analytics from previous academic years, where statistics have shown a strong correlation between outstanding account balances with low course completion and GPA rates, Middlesex is now requiring a firm financial commitment for those students that initially register for the Fall semester after July 31st.Specifically, students will need to address their semester bill within two weeks of registration by doing the following: pay their bill in full; set up a payment plan with MCC; or apply for financial aid (and be in compliance with U.S. DOE minimum academic progress standards). Faculty will be notified of students who are withdrawn from their classes after the start of the semester via email by the Student Accounts Office. Please contact Christopher Fiori, Director of Student Financial Services, if you have any questions regarding this policy.

Student Affairs

Office of Student Engagement

Introducing the Office of Student Engagement

The Center for Health & Wellness and the Center for Leadership & Engagement have merged! The team will continue to provide integrated learning experiences that lead to student success, while also encouraging a sense of community pride, joy and well-being among the student body and beyond. The redefined joint mission statement reads: “To provide engagement opportunities and cultivate student success, within and beyond the classroom, with a focus on developing the whole student.” Every program and service offered will represent at least one of the following tenets:

  • Learning is a life-long process and occurs through a variety of experiences.
  • Personal wellness and life-balance are essential for student success.
  • Leadership is a process and attainable by everyone.
  • Engaging in the MCC community is central to student success, and creates a more satisfying and rewarding college experience.
  • Inclusive student-centered programming supports the growth and success of individual students and our entire campus community.

Stay tuned for a robust calendar that will continue to include wellness education, leadership development, faculty-student engagement opportunities, and social, athletic and recreational experiences. Over-the-counter health/first-aid supplies will still be available in limited quantities until depleted.

New Staff Member

IMG_9704The Office of Student Engagement welcomes Kirsten Morrow to the team! Kirsten brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her time working as an MCC Academic Advisor and her previous years in higher education. Her interest in student development theory will continue to serve students well. She begins her role as Coordinator of Engagement & Retention on August 28th.

Student Support Services

valerieDisability Support Services welcomed Valerie Morse to our team on August 14th. Valerie was hired as a part-time Disability Support Specialist and will be working on the Bedford campus assisting students with classroom accommodations and support services. Valerie comes to us with a strong background in special education working in the Pelham, NH, school district as an Access Specialist, Inclusion Facilitator, and Special Education Teacher/Case Manager.

Our Transition Program held its Annual Orientation on August 15th and 16th for the new class of 19 students starting in September. Our Transition Program team of Nancy Sleger, Terese D’Eramo and Kaleigh Tardiff has been busy working all summer to prepare for the new class this year. The Transition Program is a two-year, noncredit certificate program designed for students with significant learning disabilities who would find college-level academics too challenging, even with extensive supports.

The ICE Program (Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment) held its Welcome Day on August 17th. The ICE Program is a dual enrollment opportunity for high school students with intellectual disabilities, ages 18-21, who are enrolled in a participating school district. Program Coordinator Dawn Gross led this session welcoming four new students to the program this year.

Institutional Advancement


Save the Date!

SM_graphics_SP17.791_MAR_SM_CCDayFenwayThursday, September 28, is the second annual Massachusetts Community College Day at Fenway Park with the Boston Red Sox! Join Middlesex alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, and friends, along with other community college graduates from around Massachusetts, and cheer on the Red Sox as they play the Houston Astros. Prior to the game, the Red Sox will acknowledge students from each community college within Massachusetts.

Limited tickets are available!
Date: Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 7:10 pm
Ticket price: $32 for tickets

Do You Know Where Our Alumni Are?

Everyone who works at MCC has had opportunities to meet remarkable students throughout the years. Many have stayed in touch with the students, celebrating their successes. The Advancement Office would like to hear from faculty and staff who are able to provide information about MCC alumni – their careers and life accomplishments. MCC Advancement and Alumni offices appreciate the good work performed by alumni each day and want to encourage long-lasting relationships with the college. Please help the Advancement Office maintain accurate data on alumni. Tell the Advancement office about the impressive alumni you know. They could become Commencement speakers, Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, advisory board members, classroom presenters, student mentors, ambassadors for MCC, etc! Contact Dennis Malvers at or Amy Lee at and let us know about the alumni with whom you’ve kept in touch.

Corporate Education and Training

A Department of Labor Mass AMTC Tech Hire Grant was recently awarded to Mount Wachusett Community College. Middlesex, Northern Essex and North Shore community colleges are sub-recipients on the grant. Middlesex offered a training program centered around Quality in July. Nine students will graduate on August 24th from the Quality Training program.

Corporate Education and Training delivered:

  • Combined First Aid and CPR, Medical Administration Program training for LifeLinks. The courses are conducted at MCC in order to provide employees exposure to taking classes in a college setting.
  • Customized “Financial Fundamentals” and “Project Management” training at Enterprise Bank in Lowell.
  • A Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam/Review Prep course for the Mass Army National Guard military personnel at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford.


Community Education and Training

Community Education graduated 25 Nurse Assistant students in summer 2017, day and evening sessions.

Our fall noncredit programs are enrolling! Some terrific new programs include:
• Digital Media Marketing Certificate
• Graphic Design for the Nondesigner Certificate
• Customer Service Certificate
• Preparing & Supporting Students with Disabilities
• ServSafe Re-Certification
• Cybersecurity for Managers
• Driver Education
• French & Basic Italian Cuisine (cooking classes in partnership with UTEC)
• SMART Self-Defense
• MTEL exam prep
• Early Colonial America – classes for Au Pairs

Complete course listing link:

College for Kids

20841805_1766358673405005_153203108947416295_nBoth campuses were very active this summer with our College for Kids summer program! This summer, during the month of August alone, there were 150+ youth learning all about science and coding, making cakes and cupcakes, getting comfortable with the inner workings of film production and Stop Motion/I-Movie Software. Our Veterinary program attended Middlesex Country Animal Hospital and Strongwater Farm (therapeutic equestrian center) alongside our Digital Photography program that took pictures of all the action. Lastly, our MCC Children’s Theater production of “Lion King, Jr.” was a smashing success! Kudos to all the CFK summer staff and CET staff for enabling College for Kids to have such an impact on our youth.


MILES_timeless_SP17Do you have a passion or expertise that you would like to share with the community? The Middlesex Institute for Life Long Learning for Seniors (M.I.L.E.S) provides a rich learning environment for active older adults. If you would like to volunteer to lead a two-hour workshop (held 2-4 pm) this fall or in spring 2018, please email Lauren Ellis, MILES Program Manager, at We welcome topic suggestions. For more MILES info, visit our website.

Marketing Communications

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 9.41.15 AM.pngThere are lots of great reasons to choose MCC. The Office Marketing Communications selected 10 of them and created a fun video to share with students who are considering enrolling in college. Check the video out at

mcc_genericbannerCheck your closets and storage areas – Retractable Banners WANTED
If your office has an old or unused retractable banner like this one, please return it to the Marketing Office. We are eager to repurpose the hardware for the new academic year.

Our office is always on the lookout for professors who are willing to let us take photographs of their classes. These photos are an essential component of the college brand and are just one of the ways we are able to illustrate student success at MCC. If you are willing to have a photographer visit your classroom this fall, email use SUBJECT: Photograph My Class – our next shoot is scheduled for Monday, October 2.

Government & Community Relations

Director of Compliance Alisa Chapman has attended various trainings throughout the summer to ensure the College is up-to-date with best practices and current State and Federal regulations. These trainings include, Title IX, Sexual Violence response, Clery Act reporting, ADA for employments and emergency response.

Alisa Chapman and many representatives from across the campus are participating in an ADA Strategic Compliance Assessment with our State partners at DCAMM as well as outside consultants. This process started in June and is expected to last through the fall 2017 semester. These assessments evaluate MCC’s physical spaces as well as our policies, procedures and programs. Any questions regarding this assessment should be directed to Alisa Chapman.

Alisa Chapman, Patrick Cook and Dan Martin are in the final edits of the Annual Safety and Security Report. This report is in compliance with the Clery Act. The report covers various policies, 2014-2016 crime statistics for each campus, as well as our Emergency Response protocols and notifications. It is important for all members of the community to review the report and familiarize themselves with the policies and procedures in the event of an emergency.

Alisa Chapman has been asked to assist the Concord/Carlisle community with developing a Bystander Intervention program. This is still in the early stages; however, a group of community representatives will be meeting in the middle of September to develop the training which will take place later in the fall.

Alisa Chapman and Abby Vergados have been working to complete all clinical placement CORI/SORIs for AHP and CET for the Fall 2017 semester. Timely processing of these forms help to ensure that all students enrolled in courses that require clinical placements will be ready for placement at the start of their classes.

Director of Public Safety Daniel Martin has been updating the Active Shooter Presentation and Training for the upcoming Smart Start day on August 29. Dan will also be using this presentation for subsequent training opportunities on campus as we move into a new academic year.

Dan Martin, with support from Facilities, has been working on planned changes to the parking lots on the Bedford campus. These changes will not affect students, but will result in more streamlined parking designations for faculty, staff, and visitors.

With some changes to security personnel, Dan has been working with Lowell CRO Tom Hickey and Bedford CRO Craig Naylor, as well as Securitas Account Manager, Jeff Peterson, to ensure a smooth transition into the Fall 2017 semester.

Technology Center

The college’s wireless network has been expanded to provide even more coverage from anywhere on campus and easier connectivity. New wireless network names are MCCGuest and MCCWiFi. MCCGuest provides an unsecured connection to the internet/www. MCCWiFi provides a secure connection. Staff, Faculty and Students should choose to use MCCWiFi when connecting their mobile device or laptop to the wireless network. The secure MCCWiFi connection also provides a persistent connection for authenticated users, whereas the MCGuest access requires users to re-login after 48 hours.
The college is pleased to announce that the Technology Center Service Desk Tier One response is now provided by BlackBelt Help. BlackBelt Help is a 24/7 service desk and can be reached anytime day or night, holidays, and weekends at x3301 (978-656-3301). BlackBelt Help will answer the calls or emails and provide support for issues that they can resolve immediately and escalate those that cannot be resolved by them to Technology Center staff for internal resolution.
Now students, faculty, and staff on the Bedford Campus can have access to on-site service at the Walk-In Service Desk in Bedford, located in AR (Bldg. 1), 2nd floor. The Bedford Walk-In Service Desk should be open for business by mid-September.
Banner 9 is a major upgrade to the Banner enterprise application system which will provide new functionality and a completely new look and feel. Many back-end projects have been completed to prepare the environment and systems infrastructure that is mandatory for the upgrade. More work will continue to happen in the coming months to achieve a smooth and successful upgrade for this major piece of college software.
Students and faculty will experience better performance and response from the new and improved VDI infrastructure. CAD and Engineering labs have moved into the VDI environment as well starting this Fall semester. One of the major benefits of using VDI technology is the ability of students and faculty to use the same software used in the classroom from off-campus, making it easier and more convenient for students to complete assignments. Students and faculty can access the VDI system from on campus or off campus on the My MCC portal by clicking the Academic Virtual Desktop link under My Launchpad.
9 new Capital Skills Grant computer classrooms and 10 English Composition mobile technology classrooms have been provisioned for the Fall semester. These classrooms provide wireless projection from laptops, iPads, or iPhones using Apple TV devices installed in the rooms. Classrooms, wireless projection, iPads for faculty and students in English Composition courses.
Blackboard LMS has undergone a major cumulative upgrade. This upgrade allows for the college to implement the new Ally product from Blackboard into the system. Ally is a revolutionary product that focuses on making digital course content more accessible which benefits all students, not only those with disabilities. Ally provides alternative accessible formats for course content items and provides feedback and tools to the instructor on how to improve the quality of their content. Nancy Curll has joined the Technology Center team and will be a resource for the Blackboard Ally product.
Another new tool in Blackboard, which replaces the Digication system, is the Blackboard Portfolio system. Portfolios are an invaluable tool in academic and professional development. They provide a powerful medium for students to efficiently collect and organize artifacts representative of work completed over time.
Faculty, staff and students can now access their email through the MCC Mobile app. Download the mobile app from the Apple or Google Play stores. More information on MCC Mobile available here:
The My Links list of links on the My MCC portal have been categorized, refined, and redesigned to provide easier access to major systems. More improvements are planned including the ability for users to move and organize the links themselves into a “favorites” category and to collapse and expand categories. Another addition to the My MCC portal is the My Inbox web part that provides a quick view of most recent items in your e-mail inbox. The My Inbox web part appears on the portal for Faculty, Staff, and Students. For students, we hope that it provides a more visible presence to their college email and encourages them to read their college e-mail often. A future enhancement for this web part is a “privacy screen” to hide it, if desired.
The Technology Center has completed an internal reorganization. Kevin Belfiore’s title is Principle Manager of IT Services, Pramod Bhardwaj’s title is Principle Manager of IT Infrastructure, and Ellen Ricca’s title is Principle Manager of IT Applications. Nancy Curll has joined the Technology Center as Instructional Technologist and is a resource to faculty for Blackboard.

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