November 2018

Updates from the President

Upcoming Events

  • 6 p.m. Friday, November 30 – MCC Evening in Verona: Premier of Romeo & Juliet (fundraiser) Theatre Production, AAC
  • 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 4 – Trustee Meeting with Student Union Government Association (SUGA), Nesmith House, 229 Andover St., Lowell
  • 2:30 p.m. Thursday, December 6 – FSA meeting, Lowell Cowan Center Lower Café
  • 5 p.m. Friday, December 7 – PTK Honor Society Induction Ceremony, Café East, Bedford
  • January 2, 2019 – Wintersession Begins
  • January 22, 2019 – Spring Semester Begins
  • 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 23, 2019 – College Wide Open Forum, Lowell Cowan Center

MCC in the News

Current Grant Initiatives

MCC 360 Update


MCC Navigate is now available to students as a self-service resource for planning and scheduling through the Student Portal. Faculty and staff training continues to progress as well with 44% of full-time faculty and staff trained on the use of MCC Navigate as of November 2018. Additional training sessions for Navigate have been added to the weekly training schedule and these sessions will run on Monday and Tuesday afternoons until the end of this semester. The coming year will see other new resources added to the Student Portal including Online Orientation and Financial Wellness modules. Both the Online Orientation and the iGrad Financial Literacy and Career Resources platform are anticipated to be available to students in Spring 2019. With our Analytics Officer Robin Marra on board you’ll also be hearing more about how we use data to address questions related to services for students and institutional effectiveness.

Academic Divisions

Arts, Humanities & World Languages

La Guagua Reading Group

On Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 at 11:30 AM, 4 MCC La Guagua Reading Group members (current MCC students and recent MCC graduates now at UMASS) presented together in a literary panel during the Lawrence International Bookfair 2018. This year the bookfair was dedicated to Puerto Rico. Each La Guagua member did research on a famous author from Puerto Rico and conducted a 10 minute presentation on the author and their work. The students did an amazing job presenting! La Guagua was given a certificate of recognition from the City of Lawrence.

Kerouac Reading Marathon

On Thursday, October 11th, MCC hosted the Kerouac Reading Marathon! In honor of the 60th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s novel Dharma Bums, a large group of students, faculty, administrators, staff, and members of the Lowell community all took part in a day-long reading of the entire novel. The event kicked off at 9:30am in the Federal Building, then proceeded through Kerouac Memorial Park, and finally concluded at 5pm in MCC’s new Academic Arts Center. This event was sponsored by the MCC Public Humanities Center, the Commonwealth Honors Program, the Provost’s Office and the English Department.

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Music Department Activities

Music faculty member Orlando Cela was the guest conductor of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra on November 2, which performed at the auditorium at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut. Works by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Brahms were featured.

Music faculty member Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, pianist, performed in a chamber music concert with Boston Symphony Orchestra members John Ferrillo, Principal Oboe; Elizabeth Ostling, Associate Principal Flute; and Blaise DeJardin, Principal Cello on October 28. The concert was part of the Gratwick Series at Milton Academy in Milton, MA where outstanding classical artists are brought to perform for students and alumni. Works by Bach, Messiaen, Ravel and Gaubert were performed.

Carmen Peralta and members of the BSO.

Concerts and Outreach Programs in the Recital Hall in the AAC

The inaugural concert on October 12 was entitled A Celebration: Honoring the City of Lowell through Music. MCC faculty members Raley Beggs, guitar; Orlando Cela, flute; Susan Dill, choral conductor and Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, piano were joined by Carley DeFranco, soprano; Cambodian musicians Sovann Khon, tro sau, Sithul Eang, voice and Cambodian flute and Kimhan Meas, drums; the African Fellowship Choir; and the MCC student and alumni chorus. World premieres of works by MCC faculty composers Richard Chowenhill, David Janssen, Pamela Marshall and Aaron Rosenberg, which were inspired by Lowell, were also featured. The full capacity crowd enjoyed the great variety of music.

This concert was filmed by Lowell Telecommunications Corporation and edited by Ron Campbell. It can be viewed here:

The Carlos Odria Trio performed the second concert in the new recital hall in Lowell on November 2 as part of A World of Music Concert Series. The audience responded enthusiastically to their rousing performances of World Jazz pieces.

Carlos Ordia Trio.

On November 14, as part of the Music Outreach Program, there was a MCC student showcase concert performed for LIRA, UMass Lowell’s organization for retired people interested in the arts. MCC student singers, guitarists, pianist, French Hornist and bassoonist performed a variety of music.

MCC student performer at Outreach Concert

Upcoming Concerts in A World of Music Concert Series

Friday, November 30 at 8:00 pm. MCC Concert Hall, Bedford Campus
Noted performers Jill Dreeben, flute and Peter Clemente, guitar will perform a colorful program of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Astor Piazzolla, Katherine Hoover and a duo by John Kuziak written specially for them.

Monday, December 10 at 12:30 pm. MCC Concert Hall, Bedford Campus
MCC student recital featuring instrumentalists and singers

Student Performances Outside of Middlesex

Fatima Al-Muntafik, guitar student of Raley Beggs, is a member of the Boston Guitar Orchestra, which gives performances throughout the Boston area.

Fatima Al-Muntafik, (first row, first on the left) guitar student of Raley Beggs, is a member of the Boston Guitar Orchestra, which gives performances throughout the Boston area.

English Department

Denise Marchionda attended the week-long Apple Academy in Cupertino, CA in September. She is now officially an Apple Learning Specialist.

Slam Your Vote!

English department reports that the “Slam Your Vote! Open Poetry and Fiction Reading and Contest held on Wednesday, 11/14, in Bedford’s Café East was a great success with 19 readers of poetry and fiction reading for over 90 minutes! After the “ballots” were tallied from the audience, performance poet Nathaniel Price won the $50 prize! The event was co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement.

Group photo of “Slam Your Vote” event. Winning reader Nathaniel Price is in center with light blue hoodie.

Fall 18 events co-sponsored by MCC-ASDP and Asian American Student Advancement

Ardeth Thawnghmung, Chair of UMASS Lowell’s Political Science department, gave a talk at MCC to students and faculty on Everyday Economic Survival in Myanmar.  The talk focused on how people in Myanmar cope with extreme hardship that leaves little time for civic engagement thus affecting the emergence of the democratic values needed to sustain a more open political environment.

Artists from Cambodian Living Arts-Heartstrings performed the multimedia production Heartstrings, which explored the personal journeys of 5 artists from Cambodia.  Through a mix of storytelling and music, three generations of artists shared insights into their experiences over the past 40 years and into the transformation of Cambodia through the arts.

Sreang Heng gave a talk to faculty and students on Buddhism, Culture, Society, and PoliticsSreang Heng is a Fellow of the Harvard and Yale Universities Scholar-At-Risk programs and is founder and president of PEN Cambodia.  He is currently an MCC AANAPISI Scholar for AY 2018-19.

Helen Sworn will give a talk on Dec. 5th on Human Trafficking in Cambodia.  The presentation will introduce the issue of human trafficking in Cambodia and anti-human trafficking practices by the non-profit group Chab Dai. The talk includes a discussion on how attendees can be change agents in addressing human trafficking.  Helen Sworn is the Founder and Director of Chab Dai, a nonprofit based in Cambodia that combats human trafficking through collaboration, capacity building, advocacy, and research. Dr. Cordisco Tsai is a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a consultant/academic advisor for Chab Dai.

Curriculum Development/Courses Taught

Through MCC-ASDP professional development and AANAPISI grant opportunities this past year 30 MCC faculty developed Asian focused curriculum in 55 sections covering courses in Anthropology, Art, Business, Communications, Composition, Computing, Cyber Security, Economics, Geography, History, Humanities, Literature, Math, Philosophy, Psychology, and Library Guides for Asian Studies.

Faculty Presentations

East-West Center (EWC) International Conference in Seoul, Korea presentation:  Dona Cady, Professor of Humanities and ASDP Alumni Association President, through EWC and self-funding, presented on “Gender and Relational Cultivation” on the panel Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities for Women and Children. She also participated in an Asian leadership workshop.

Dona Cady, Professor of Humanities, presented at the Western Conference on British Studies in San Antonio, Texas a paper, “There and Back Again:  Amelia B. Edward’s Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys” which was part of a panel Women Travelers in Nineteenth Century Italy.  The paper is part of a longer chapter in a book project Victorian Women Travelers to Italy in the Long Nineteenth Century.

Dental Hygiene

Professor Leah MacPherson was invited to speak at the American Dental
Association (ADA) Annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii in October 2018.
Professor MacPherson gave three lectures on “Periodontal Up-dates for
the Dental Practitioner” & one hands-on course in “Concepts in Non-
Surgical Periodontal Therapy.”


In November, 2018, Department of Nursing graduating students did their part in an effort to mitigate the issue of opiate addiction and its impact on the health of our communities. The unique aspect of this particular project is that the students immerse themselves into the issue by interviewing the “stakeholders” directly impacted by the crisis; addicted individuals both in recovery and those currently battling addiction, their families and significant others, nurses, doctors, paramedics, law enforcement officers, treatment facilities, public health departments and government officials. The end result was a powerful presentation provided to MCC peers and faculty.

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Academic Affairs

First Year Experience

Wicked Wellness Weekend IDS 105

Picture6Michael Cermak, professor of Sociology, took the lead in creating the IDS 105 Wicked Wellness Weekend course, blending academic perspectives on wellness and society with professional practice in the movement teaching arts.  Michael coordinated this unique course for more than 80 students, facilitators and practitioners who attended and supported the weekend course on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3 on the Bedford Campus.  In addition to Michael’s commitment to the weekend course, Jonathan Crockett, Micaela Kimball, Shannon Carroll, Karonika Brown, Alejandra Cabrera, Green Dragons (Raphael Marinho, Jin Kong and Josue Theosmy), Peer Mentors (Constantino Quispe, Amir Zamani, Cam DeChiara, Cameron Campbell, Ratthana Yorn and Blake Redfern), Matthew Olson and Jo Mucci also participated and shared Michael’s commitment and enthusiasm for the weekend course.

This highly participatory course engaged all in movement (i.e. Capoeira, Tai Chi, Bollywood Zumba, Yoga, Nia, and Free Movement) during group sessions, wellness evaluations and workshops with professionals.  Students also completed readings and assignments about current academic perspectives on wellness and society.  The assignments focused on student reflections about their own wellness habits and creating a project that compared different wellness activities in which they participated during the weekend course and beyond the weekend.  In addition to the work that students completed before and during the weekend, their final consisted of comparing and contrasting two wellness activities using the eight dimensions of wellness framework as well as sociological observations.  All reflections and analysis of this comparison were also included in the students’ “Wellness Ethnography” final.

Although the weekend of engaging activities by wellness practitioners, facilitated workshop sessions, vegetarian supper and lunch, smoothie breakfast and edible centerpieces of parsley, carrots and asparagus all came to an end, it was evident that wellness awareness and the mind/body connection was experienced by all!

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Student Affairs

English Learner Institute

Earlier this month, the English Learner Institute staff celebrated another PAC (Prepare to Attend College) graduation. Students from 15 countries and Puerto Rico attended classes three days a week in order to improve their English. The graduates had the opportunity to hear from Fatima Al Muntafik, current MCC student who attended the PAC class when she arrived in the US as a refugee a few years ago. Her message was one of appreciation and encouragement for the students as many are recent arrivals in the US beginning a new life.

PAC 2018 Graduation - Virak Uy.PNG

Multicultural Affairs

Cambodian Living Arts

CLA - Virak UyOn October 30, MCC’s Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA) and Asian Studies Development Program co-sponsored the Cambodian Living Arts musical performance event that explores the personal journeys of five artists from Cambodia. Through a mix of storytelling and music, three generations of artists share some intimate insights into their experiences over the past 40 years, and into the transformation of Cambodia through the arts. The event was well attended by faculty, staff, students and community partners

Commission on English Language Programs Accreditation Workshop for MCC’s Intensive English Institute

On October 18 and 19, 2018 Ginny Drislane and Marilyn Glazer-Weisner attended the Commission on English Language Program’s Accreditation Process workshop in Alexandria, Virginia where they received their accreditation manual, handbook, 44 standards, self-study template, information regarding the site reviewers’ visit to MCC, and learned who is among the members of the CEA commission. Gaining the insights for this process and the information they need to successfully complete the application for initial accreditation for the Intensive English Institute (IEI) is immensely helpful because it was fully supported by the CEA team in the workshop.

By December 20, 2018 IEI must submit the completed and signed Plan for our Self-Study to CEA. IEI have until February, 2020 to complete the writing of the self-study report by assessing the Intensive English Institute and various areas of MCC against the 44 standards provided. Once the self-study report is submitted to CEA, they review it and assign the site review team to conduct a visit by approximately May, 2020. The site review team conducts their search for evidence based on the self-study report on site at MCC for about two and one-half days. Then they return to Alexandria, Virginia to present their findings to the commission.

CEA, Commission of English Language Programs consists of professionals from the field of teaching English as a Second Language in higher education and in privately-owned intensive English programs. To date they have accredited 341 institutions and programs in our field. Earning CEA’s accreditation for the IEI and MCC elevates the professionalism of our faculty, staff, and program and provides IEI staff with a team of peers who continue to support our work while giving MCC the recognition that we are a member of institutions offering this learning opportunity to international students.

Enrollment Management

Welcome to Sopheavin Sin

We are excited to welcome Sopheavin Sin in the Enrollment Management Center as an Enrollment Assistant. Sopheavin is an MCC student who is seeking her Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and she is involved in numerous volunteer activities. Sopheavin has served as an Asian Student Orientation Leader and has completed the MCC Staff Cultural Competency Training.

Spring 2019 Registration

Spring 2019 Registration opened on October 15, 2018 for returning students. 7659 registration letters were mailed to currently enrolled students with information on how to register for Spring classes. Early registration is being actively promoted as the best way for students to meet scheduling needs and complete degree requirements.

In November, a postcard promoting MCC’s Wintersession and Minimesters was mailed to students and potential populations interested in accelerated class options.

Walk-in registration/advising postcards will additionally be mailed in early December to notify students of our December and January walk-in hours in Bedford and Lowell, as listed below.

  • Dates: December 17 (Monday) through December 20 (Thursday)
    Walk-In Hours will be from 9am until 5pm Monday – Thursday
  • Dates: January 8 (Tuesday) through January 17 (Thursday)
    Walk-In Hours will be from 9am until 5pm Monday – Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays throughout this period.

Retention calls and outreach to students to encourage Spring registration have started through the Student Information Centers, Enrollment Management Centers, Admissions, and Advising. These calls will continue throughout December and January.

Final Exam Schedule for Fall 2018

The detailed Fall 2018 final exam schedule with dates, times and room locations has been posted. Please go to: to confirm dates and times.

Student Evaluations – Pick Up and Return Dates

Picking Up Student Evaluations

All student evaluations will be available for you beginning on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. You should pick them up at the appropriate location prior to the last class. Listed below are the links to where you should pick-up and return your evaluations.

Full-Time Faculty Student Evaluations

Part-Time Faculty Student Evaluations

World Language Institute Faculty Evaluations

Returning Student Evaluations

Full-time and World Language Institute student evaluations must be returned to the appropriate location no later than Friday, December 14, 2018. These evaluations need to be sent to the University of Washington for processing prior to the holidays in order to ensure timely results.

Part-time student evaluations must be completed and returned to the appropriate location no later than Tuesday, December 18, 2018.

Off-term class evaluations must be returned to the appropriate locations by the last day of class.

Please note that the Student Information Center hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30am-7:00pm and Friday 8:30am-5:00pm.

Institutional Advancement

Marketing Communications

Profiles magazine is now on campus

fa18_profileLook for the fall issue of Profiles, our friends/alumni magazine, on campus in Bedford and Lowell. “It’s Never Too Late” is the theme of this issue and our cover story focuses on the opening of our gorgeous newly refurbished Richard & Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center on the Lowell campus.

Inside we celebrate Returning-Adult Student Success by spotlighting students Daniel Mead, Wendy True, Fatima Al-Muntafik and Kenneth Sargent. We also highlight Engineering Tech students Christian North and Justin Murphy, and profile Engineering Professor Michele Stein, Student Trustee Bridget Byrne, and alumna Lydia Warren.

Here’s a link to the online 2018 fall issue of Profiles:

Marketing Communications Brings Home the Gold – Twice!

The Office of Marketing Communications won three Medallion Awards – two gold and one silver – during the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) District 1 Conference, held recently in Annapolis, Md. NCMPR, the premiere organization for two-year college communications professionals, awards Medallions to spotlight the best work among District 1 member colleges. More than 200 entries were submitted in 38 categories.

MCC_NCMPR_Awards18 - Jennifer Aradhya

Also, during the conference, Jennifer Aradhya, Dean of Marketing Communications, and Elizabeth Noel, Assistant Director, presented “Sharing Student Stories to Boost Enrollment & Reputation,” a breakout session detailing our award-winning “myMCC” marketing campaign.

Please, Tell Us Your Stories

Don’t forget: Marketing Communications is always looking for “good news” to include in news releases and social media. So, don’t be shy: Please let us know when you or your division/department receive an award or grant – or any other good news about students, faculty and staff.

Submit an online Marketing Communications Request Form to request a news release. Include the WWWW info – who, what, when & where – with your Request Form. We will do our best to share your good news with the wider community.

lapelMCC Lapel Pins

You may have noticed colleagues around campus wearing a round MCC lapel pin. You can request lapel pins from Marketing Communications. (And we now have extra lapel-pin replacement backs, in case you’ve lost yours.) To request pins or replacement backs, please use this form.

MCC Folders Available

Need folders for an internal or external special event? Our branded MCC folders are available. To request folders, please email with “MCC Folder Request” in the subject line. In the body of the email tell us:

  • The quantity you need
  • The purpose/event you need them for
  • Date needed
  • Where to deliver them

We will do our very best to fulfill all requests.

Adult Learning Center

The Adult Learning Center (ALC) and Links program are proud to highlight past student and 2018 MCC Graduate, Natalie Mukankusi. Natalie’s journey at MCC started in the spring of 2015 when she enrolled in the Adult Learning Center on the Bedford campus to prepare for the High School Equivalency Certificate Exam. She attended classes faithfully for several months and was able to successfully pass the HiSET in May 2015.  During the fall semester, Natalie enrolled in Links, where she completed First Year Experience, Explorations in Science and Basic Writing.

In the spring semester of 2016, Ms. Mukankusi became a liberal studies major and by the fall, was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and became a member of the Commonwealth Honors Program. Not wanting to waste any time, she completed the 63 credits needed for her degree by December 2017. In May 2018, Natalie graduated from MCC with high honors and was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS).  She has now transferred to Carlow University in Pittsburgh with a full scholarship and is enrolled in an accelerated (BS + MS) Biology-Cardiovascular Perfusion program.

This summer Natalie came in to say good-bye and asked us to pass along this message: “Thank you MCC for nurturing me into who I am and who I will be. Many thanks to the staff who have been part of my successful journey.”

IMG_0154 - Teresa Medina

College Advancement

MCCF Scholarship Applications accepted until December 14!

The MCC Foundation Scholarship application process is open until December 14, 2018.  Please encourage students to apply for award opportunities.  The application, scholarship information, and resources for the application can be found at  Please contact Amy Lee for more information.  Also note that on Tuesday, November 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Advancement staff will be tabling on each campus (Main Street in Bedford and Lowell Campus Cafeteria) to answer student questions about MCCF scholarships.

Remember MCC when you do your holiday shopping on Amazon!

Amazon Smile - Teresa Medina

#GivingTuesday is Tuesday, November 27!

Giving Tuesday - Teresa Medina#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday takes place on November 27th and will kick off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back. The Middlesex Community College Foundation will be participating in #GivingTuesday and hope you will join us on the Lowell Campus in the Cowan Center lobby or on the Bedford Campus Main Street from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  We hope to see you!  Online donations also graciously accepted!

Corporate Education & Training

Corporate Education and Training delivered or will be delivering:

  • First Aid/CPR, Medication Administration Program, and Medication Administration Recertification trainings for LifeLinks. The courses are conducted at MCC in order to provide employees exposure to taking classes in a college setting.
  • Emotional Intelligence training at E Ink in South Hadley.
  • Group Leader Training at Mack Technologies in Westford. Training topics included Communication Skills for Supervisory Training and Identifying and Building on Strengths.
  • Excellence in Leadership Supervison Training for Group Leaders and Supervisors at Nova Biomedical in Billerica. Training topics included Introduction to Your Leadership Style and Team Building I.
  • Leadership Skill Development workshop at Juniper Networks in Westford.
  • Certified Quality Technician (CQT) exam prep class for students that completed the Quality Training Program through the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing TechHire Consortium.

Hosted a Workforce Training Fund Program Information Session on Wednesday, November 7th from 8:30am—10:30am in the Trustees House. Kristen Rayne from the Commonwealth Corporation provided an overview of grant options and content on the Workforce Training Fund.

Homeland Security

Program on Homeland Security Executive Director Terry Downes appeared several times recently on WBZ Radio in relation to acts of terrorism. On October 23 he appeared on “WBZ’s Jay Talking” broadcast from Midnight to 1:30 AM, discussing the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. On October 24, 25 and 26 he was interviewed live by the WBZ News Department, each day providing analysis of the manhunt for the person responsible for sending improvised explosive devices to former President Obama, former Secretary of State Clinton and other federal officials. On November 8 he was again interviewed live, providing analysis of the overnight mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, which claimed the lives of 13 people.

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