January 2019

Updates from the President

Table Of Contents

  • Upcoming Events
  • MCC in the News
  • Current Grant Initiatives
    • AANAPISI Grant
    • MCC 360 Update
  • Academic Divisions
    • Arts, Humanities & World Languages
    • Hospitality and Culinary Arts
    • STEM
  • Student Affairs
    • Advising
  • Institutional Advancement
    • College Advancement
    • Community Education & Training
    • Corporate Education & Training
    • Marketing Communications

Upcoming Events

MCC in the News

Current Grant Initiatives


Cultural Competency Training

On November 26, the Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA) hosted a Cultural Competency training for MCC Faculty and Staff. The goal of the training is to enhance the cultural awareness, understanding, and interactions of our staff with our Asian-American students and their families. The training provides strategies for faculty and staff members on how to become more culturally responsive to the Asian-American students in the work environment. Over the past two years, 222 faculty, staff and administrators have attended the training. More training will be offered for all faculty and staff during January and throughout  spring semester.

Financial Aid Workshop

Financial Aid Workshop - Virak Uy.jpg

On December 17, the Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA) hosted a Financial Aid Workshop for students. Gina Pearce, Financial Aid Counselor, presented an overview of the financial aid programs. Participants gained a better understanding of the financial-aid process, as well as assistance with completing their FAFSA applications. As part of the AANAPISI grant initiatives, PAASA will continue to provide financial literacy education programs.

New Asian American Student Advancement Program Specialist

Linda Thiem picture - Virak Uy.jpgWe are pleased to welcome Linda Thiem as our new Program for Asian American Student Advancement (PAASA) program specialist. Linda has six years of AANAPISI-centered experiences as both a student and staff/faculty member. She received her BA and M.Ed. from UMass  Boston, where she participated in high-impact leadership programming in both AANAPISI student support and mentoring programs. Linda is also an adjunct instructor for UMass Boston’s Asian American Studies Program, where she regularly teaches a multi-disciplinary course, titled “Asian Women in the U.S.” She identifies herself as a second-generation Khmer American, daughter of refugee parents, and was first in her family to obtain a college and graduate degree. Linda’s identity development informs her approach toward student success, and she is looking forward to working with the Southeast Asian community in Lowell. In her new role, Linda will be providing individualized student support – in the form of academic advising and mentoring students through the Asian Connections Center. Additionally, she will assist in coordinating programs and services for PAASA.

MCC 360 Update


In December, the on-boarding support for MCC Navigate continued with a series of virtual trainings that allowed attendees to access the Navigate training session from their own computers. Eighteen members of our faculty and staff signed up for virtual training. As of December 20th, 53 percent of professional and faculty advisors with assigned advisees have attended Navigate training. We will continue our training sessions in the spring as we “Go Live” with MCC Navigate on February 1st for all students faculty and staff. In addition, Institutional Research, in conjunction with HelioCampus, is verifying the Banner data tables in the data warehouse to ensure consistency in definitions and how data is stored. This review and verification will allow HelioCampus to develop/create visualizations through the Tableau reporting tool and start us on our way to using analytics to inform decisions around enrollment, retention and student-success initiatives. Also, thank you to those who took part in the external evaluation session on November 15th. Your input and insight was very much appreciated.

Academic Divisions

Arts, Humanities & World Languages

Music Student Recital in Bedford

We had such a variety of performers who performed in the December 10 Student Recital in Bedford – singers, pianists, guitarists, bassoonist, and even a French horn student.


English Faculty Highlighted

Check out this news article in which one of our English adjunct faculty members, Louisa Saladino-Kuhl, was highlighted for making a difference in the life of a returning student.


Music Professor Holds Master Class at AAC

The Donahue Family Academic Arts Center’s Recital Hall was the site of a Master Class run by MCC faculty member Orlando Cela on Nov. 18 in which two students performed staples of the flute literature. Due to the technological capabilities of the Recital Hall, the audience had the rare opportunity to be able to read the music as it was being explained and performed. Additional Master Classes are being planned for the future.

Performing-Arts Student Wins Orchestra of Indian Hill Concerto Competition

MCC Dual Enrollment student and cellist Margaleet Katzenblickstein recently won the Orchestra of Indian Hill concerto competition. She will be playing the Double Cello Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi, along with cellist Alexander Zhang, with the Indian Hill Orchestra on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Littleton High School Performing Arts Center. Margaleet has taken several music courses at Middlesex, and is studying with MCC professors Carmen Peralta and Orlando Cela. She is also in MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program.

Hospitality and Culinary Arts

image1 - jennifer aradhyaOn December 6th, the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Programs wrapped up their Professional Development series for the semester by hosting the new Encore Boston Resort and Casino to the Lowell campus. Representatives from the Encore spoke to students about the resort and casino operations, and the more than 5,000 job opportunities they will have when they open in 2019. Students asked lots of great questions and learned about this interesting new property.


Cybersecurity Students Visit Cisco Systems
Twenty-six IT Cybersecurity students recently visited the Cisco Networking Academy at Cisco Systems in Boxborough. Organized by Professor Syeda Ferdous Begum, the field trip provided students with a valuable opportunity for education, training and career mentorship – as well as allowing them to further contextualize their learning. “It was a great opportunity to chat with some of the Cisco sales and network engineers, and ask them questions about the hardware we are learning on,” said student Shane M. Bairos Araujo. Professor Begum would like to thank Audrey Frater and Mary Sadler of the STEM Starter Academy for their support in making this event a success.

cisco photo - Syeda Begum.JPG

Student Affairs


Advisor Assignments for Spring 2019
Each semester assignments are updated for all faculty and professional staff at the college. After the add/drop period, advising staff will work diligently to have advisor assignments completed early in the spring term. Once completed, a communication will be sent to students of their assigned advisor. Faculty and staff will receive an internal communication as well.

Academic Maps
Updates to academic maps submitted during the fall semester have been reviewed and completed during the winter break. To view the latest copy of your program academic map, visit the current academic catalog, click on the academic map link and refresh the page. New programs for Fall 2019 will have academic maps created for marketing and promotion purposes will be created in February for review.

MCC Navigate
During the fall semester, over 60% of advisors and at the college attended a Navigate training session, The Navigate platform will go live to the entire college community on February 1st. All students will have links to My Explorer and My Planner on their portals. Faculty and Staff advisors will have a Navigate link added to their portals. Once live, we will grow into this new integrated planning and advising application. Additional training sessions for faculty and staff will be held during the spring semester. We will provide a mixture of workshops, , virtual / online, and provide some one-on-one availability.

To help launch Navigate at the college, we plan to have availability in the advising centers the week of February 11th This will allow students to setup their Navigate account and explore the platform. We’ll also have training availability for faculty and staff advisors.

New Part Time Hires:
To boost coverage in the advising centers, two new part-time staff members have been hired. Dan Dilling will be joining out staff on the Bedford campus, while Karina Fontanez will join us on the Lowell campus. Both individuals are expected to start within the next week. We look forward to increasing our capacity in the advising centers with these positions.

Professional Development
Advising will offer a few professional development opportunities for faculty and staff this spring semester. This will include internal training sessions on Navigate and DegreeWorks, but also include webinars and articles on improving advising practice. If there is a topic of interest to you or your academic division, feel free to contact a member of our team. We can review a variety of sources to explore if webinars or other relevant information is available. We encourage all faculty and staff advisors to create an EAB or NACADA account for additional resources.

Academic Advising Institute at MCC
This spring, Advising will hold our annual Academic Advising Institute at MCC for new faculty and staff. Attendees will receive a training and overview of Academic Advising, Career Exploration and Development resources, Transfer Advising resources, a comprehensive review of Academic Standing, Financial Aid, College policies, Navigate and much more. By attending this training, new faculty and staff will properly prepared to assist students in the academic planning process, utilize advising applications, and refer to appropriate college resources.

Spring Transfer Fair
Students who graduate from community colleges are more likely to persist and complete their baccalaureate and advanced degrees. To prepare students for transfer after degree completion, Middlesex will hold our College and University Transfer Fair. The fair, which will focus on Massachusetts State Universities & UMass Campuses will be held in Bedford on February 20th and in Lowell on February 21st. By promoting associate degree completion we can further assist students with the benefit of our MassTransfer and Commonwealth Commitment approve programs. All members of the college community are encouraged to attend this event.

Institutional Advancement

College Advancement

As 2018 draws to a close, please consider joining fellow faculty and staff members by making a gift to the MCC Foundation Middlesex Fund.

Your tax deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of our students by providing much-needed scholarships and innovative academic programs.  Your generosity also supports student, faculty and staff initiatives that are so important to the college experience.

In addition, the Middlesex Fund allows you to direct your donation to a particular area that may be meaningful to you, or to designate the funds for unrestricted use to address needs as they arise.

How can I Give?

Payroll Direct Deposit: Full-time employees may donate to an MCC Foundation fund through payroll direct deposit.  There are two options for the payroll deposit:

Annual Payroll Deposit Form – Your payroll pledge will be made over 26 pay periods during one calendar year.  A new form is required every calendar year.

Recurring Gift Direct Deposit Form – A recurring gift is a set amount to be donated to an MCC Foundation fund on a bi-weekly basis, and one that will recur indefinitely (until stopped or until the employee ends full-time service with the state of Massachusetts).

Online Giving: All employees may use the online giving feature.  Please click here to make your gift via credit card.

Mail: To donate by check, please send to the following address:

MCC Foundation
P.O. Box 8681
Lowell, MA  01853

Checks should be made out to the MCC Foundation.  Please list any fund designation in the memo field of the check.

Questions? Please go to: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/employgiving.aspx or contact: Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations at x3028 or leea@middlesex.mass.edu.

All donations are fully tax-deductible as allowed by state and federal law. The Middlesex Community College Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Remember MCC when you do your holiday shopping on Amazon!

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Community Education & Training

Community Education’s Noncredit Spring 2019 Course Schedule is available and now enrolling! Check out our workforce training, personal enrichment, and youth programs. New programs include “Medical Interpreting,”  “MS Excel Advanced with VBA,” and “Alzheimer’s Care” for health professionals and first responders, “SQL,” “College Essay Writing,” and classes for youth: school vacation week programming. More info: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/uniflip/sp19noncredit/

Community Education ran a course for au pairs to earn education credits while working in Massachusetts. Thirteen au pairs successfully completed our 48-hour program, “ESL for Life in America” and earned 4 educational credits. Kudos!

Our December/January Nurse Assistant Program is under way with 17 enrolled students.

Beginning January 2, in cooperation with the International Institute of New England and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community, MCC will train 10 students in our 100-hour Nurse Assistant Program. All classroom, skills lab, and clinical training will be held at D’Youville. This 16-week grant program, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, is designed especially for English Language Learners seeking a career in the healthcare field. This grant program offers training in cultural orientation, essential ESOL and MCC’s Nurse Assistant Program. The International Institute of New England serves a diversity of clients with a range of educational and professional backgrounds. The faster immigrants learn English, the more quickly they can obtain a good job, advance in their careers, and participate more fully in civic life.

book_hpSAVE THE DATE: Our spring 2019 MILES Opening Session is March 27, with keynote speaker Bill Cummings, author of “Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist.” Bill will also meet with students from MCC’s credit Entrepreneurship Program.

Corporate Education & Training

Corporate Education and Training delivered or will be delivering:

  • First Aid/CPR 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.
  • Leadership Development Series training sessions including Your Leadership Style, Effective Communication, Leading in Challenging Situations, and Engaging Employees, for Lowell General Hospital at the Main Campus.
  • Collaborating with the Early Childhood Program to offer Curriculum in ECE Programs, Administration/Early Childhood Program, and Infant Toddler Program Planning courses through the Region 3 Professional Partnership Grant.
  • Personal Protection/Active Shooter training at CTI in Lowell.
  • Microsoft Outlook training for Aved Electronics at MCC’s Lowell campus.
  • Grant Writing workshop at Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro.
  • Microsoft Excel Strategies I course at Align Credit Union in Lowell.

Hosted a Workforce Training Fund Program Information Session on Wednesday, January 16th from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. in the Federal Building. Kristen Rayne from the Commonwealth Corporation provided an overview of grant options and content on the Workforce Training Fund.

Marketing Communications

MCC Lapel Pins

New to the college? You may have noticed colleagues around the college wearing an MCC pin. You can request a MCC lapel pin 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.

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