Massasoit Awarded $649,999 Grant from the National Science Foundation

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Massasoit Community College has been awarded a $649,999 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S-STEM) program. Massasoit’s project, STEM Scholars Associates, will provide scholarship assistance and academic support to low-income, academically talented students enrolled in the College’s Liberal Arts Transfer–Science (LATS) and Computer Technology and Information Management (CTIM) associate degree programs. The LATS program is by far our largest, most popular program of study, and has averaged about 1450-1500 students over the past several years.

The project will help advance educational research into success in STEM fields by examining the effectiveness of student participation in the high-touch, high-intensity activities that are central to its design. Of particular note is the project’s emphasis on addressing the lack of belonging that many underrepresented students cite as reasons they leave STEM majors or do not persist in these fields. Early research suggests that strengthening linkages between students, faculty, and industry professionals leads to increased connection and mutual understanding. “Of the current pool of students in the targeted degree and certificate programs, 40% are low-income students. Additionally, 63% are female, 50% are racial/ethnic minorities, and 17% are non-native English speakers; while well-represented at Massasoit, many of these students are underrepresented in STEM fields,” said Hollyce States, associate dean of grants and sustainability.

The STEM industries are vital sectors of the Massachusetts and US economies, and workforce demand in these fields is anticipated to grow over the next decade. Massasoit’s STEM Scholars Associates project is designed to increase the number and diversity of STEM professionals by addressing the common barriers to STEM success faced by low-income and underrepresented students. “This grant acknowledges the strength of Massasoit Community College’s STEM programs and will help us to build and strengthen our ability to send dedicated, prepared, and qualified STEM students into either a 4-year program or the workforce,” said Dr. Charles Wall, president.

Students will be eligible from four academic pathways: Liberal Arts Transfer–Science, Liberal Arts Transfer–Computer Science, Computer Information Systems–Programming, and Computer Information Systems–User Support. The program will provide financial assistance to enable students to attend full-time and will engage them in activities intended to improve academic performance and confidence, build professional aptitude and reasoning abilities, and establish a community of peers and professionals. Faculty mentors will help ensure that students stay on track toward achieving their academic and career goals. Industry partnerships will provide professionals for a career speaker series, host student interns, and serve as ambassadors for their industries. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in on-campus, undergraduate research, hands-on educational experiences that build critical thinking, problem solving, and workplace skills.

The grant begins on June 15, 2017 and the College will begin offering scholarship assistance to students beginning in spring semester 2018. “The scholarship is not aimed at new, incoming students, but at those who have taken, or are in the process of taking, at least 6 credits at Massasoit; students who begin in the fall will be eligible to apply in late fall for the spring scholarships,” said Associate Dean States.

At the conclusion of Massasoit’s five-year project, approximately 60 students will have earned or be in the process of obtaining a credential for entry-level positions and/or for transfer into a four-year institution in a STEM field.

Eshita Chakrabarti Named to Massasoit Board of Trustees

img_4094.jpgMassasoit Community College is pleased to announce that Governor Charlie Baker appointed Eshita Chakrabarti of Canton to the College’s Board of Trustees on March 30, 2017 in front of the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House. Ms. Chakrabarti’s appointment fills the vacancy of Trustee Dr. Mary Brophy, who recently concluded an esteemed 11 years of service to the Board. Massasoit Community College is pleased to announce that Governor Charlie Baker appointed Eshita Chakrabarti of Canton to the College’s Board of Trustees on March 30, 2017 in front of the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House. Ms. Chakrabarti’s appointment fills the vacancy of Trustee Dr. Mary Brophy, who recently concluded an esteemed 11 years of service to the Board.

Eshita Chakrabarti is the host, producer, and director of Faces of South Asia, a television program on All-Access Television with a focus on social issues such as human trafficking, child marriage, domestic violence, opioid abuse, gender equality, LGBTQ and LGBTQ senior issues, mental health, and topics related to abuse, rape, and recovery. Ms. Chakrabarti emigrated from India in her early twenties and is a global advocate for the civil rights of women and children. Ms. Chakrabarti represents women of diverse cultures and supports promoting education about and adjudication of social issues centered on mainstream America.

Using her own diverse experiences, Ms. Chakrabarti has dedicated her time to assisting vocationally inexperienced women with assimilating into modern American culture. She is an advocate for DOVE, an organization devoted to ending domestic violence, and Saheli, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of South Asian women and their families. She also serves on the board of the Massachusetts Political Women’s Caucus and is a host and producer for Comcast Cable. She is a graduate of Jamshedpur Women’s College and has a Bachelor’s degree in economics. Ms. Chakrabarti resides in Canton, Massachusetts with her husband Dr. Aniket Chakrabarti and is the mother of two daughters.

“Eshita is a community-minded leader whose wealth of insight, commitment to advocacy around cultural and social issues, and dedication to service will enrich the Board’s efforts in supporting our students,” said Dr. Charles Wall, president of Massasoit Community College.

Former Trustee Dr. Brophy is a Brockton resident who works for the Veteran’s Administration Healthcare System and serves on the Board of Trustees at Cardinal Spellman High School. She was the Chair of the Massasoit Board of Trustees for just under two years.

“Dr. Brophy was a remarkable leader whose efforts have guided the Board and the College through many significant accomplishments,” said Dr. Charles Wall, president of Massasoit. “We are truly grateful for both her service and her passionate commitment to the betterment of the Massasoit community,” added Dr. Wall.

Radio/TV Classics Live Salutes Veterans and First Responders

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On Sunday, June 11, Massasoit Community College hosted its final production of Radio/TV Classics Live, a live comedy and music performance of classic radio and television shows. The evening featured many of Boston’s leading radio, television, and theater personalities as well as special guest John Astin of The Addams Family. The show included a special presentation of “Command Performance,” a salute to veterans and first responders.

Established in 1990, Radio/TV Classics Live has raised more than $100,000 in scholarship money for Massasoit graduates going on to four-year colleges. The production has provided Massasoit students the rare opportunity to meet and learn from radio and television professionals – actors, writers, directors and sound effects editors – from the Golden Age of Radio who were on the cutting edge of what was then the nation’s primary communication and entertainment medium as well as current radio personalities and television broadcasters.

In addition to John Astin, who has more than 150 television and movie credits across his 60 year career, special guests included Hank Phillippi Ryan (WHDH-TV and best-selling author); Barry Nolan (NPR’s Says You!); Jordan Rich; Scott Wahle; Laurie Kirby; and the Massasoit Radio Players, comprised of current and former faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College. The Tinkertown Big Band performed throughout the show.

Paul Sullivan and Sullivan Tire and Auto Service were the generous sponsor of the show; Mr. Sullivan joined retiring president Dr. Charles Wall on stage for a skit in the first act.

Produced entirely by volunteers, every dollar raised above the actual expenses of the program goes into a scholarship fund administered by the Massasoit Community College Foundation, a non-profit charitable foundation of the College.

Special thanks to Professor Bob Bowers, chair of the Communicative Arts department, and his committee for their hard work and dedication in executing this performance.

Massasoit Community College Graduates Second Largest Class in College’s History, Awards Posthumous Honorary Degree to Ousamequin, Massasoit of the Wampanoag

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On Friday, June 2, 2017, Massasoit Community College held its 50th annual commencement ceremony. The College graduated its second largest graduating class in its history with 1040 graduates, ranging in age from 18 to 69, earning 1080 awards. 70 percent of the graduates are a first generation college graduate in their family. President Wall honored Ousamequin, Massasoit of the Wampanoag, for whom the College is named, with a posthumous honorary Associate in Humanities and a presidential medallion.

Edith Andrews of the Aquinnah Wampanoag accepted the honorary degree in recognition of Ousamequin. Ms. Andrews is an active member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag community and she, along with several others, played an integral role in the recent re-interment of Ousamequin’s remains in Warren, Rhode Island. She serves on the Board of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe, on the Constitution and Election Committee, on the Culture and Historic Commission, and is a former Commissioner on Indian Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“I am honored and humbled in accepting this posthumously for Ousamequin. He was truly the first humanitarian this country had. Without him, the Pilgrims would never have survived,” she stated. “I am hoping and praying that when you leave the College, and when you hear about the Indians that met the Pilgrims, you remember that we have a name. You will tell people, I know them! They are the Wampanoag Indians!”

Massasoit Community College is the only public higher education institution in the Commonwealth to be named after a person rather than a location. In February 1966, the Board of Regional Community Colleges stated that the name was “in keeping with the historical significance” of Massasoit. As Massasoit’s namesake, the College recognizes him as part of its published history. Though the Pilgrims called him Massasoit, a hereditary title meaning great leader, his name was Ousamequin. As Great Leader of the Pokanoket Wampanoag, Ousamequin held the allegiance of numerous chieftains and villages in the Wampanoag Confederation, stretching from Narragansett Bay east to Cape Cod, including most of modern-day southeastern Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. Ousamequin led the Wampanoag as Massasoit for approximately fifty years. Known for his diplomatic skill and desire for peace, he is recognized as a man of integrity, loyalty, and generosity. He was a humanitarian, offering solace, succor, and refuge to early settlers.

Lais A. deCarvalho Costa of Abington was awarded the Presidental Scholar award, which is given to the graduating student with the highest GPA who has also completed the most credits, the most full-time semesters, and most credits in their last semester at Massasoit Community College. Lais graduated from the business administration program with a 4.0 GPA. She will transfer to Bridgewater State University this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in management with a concentration in marketing.

Kathleen Purple of Halifax was the student speaker for the Class of 2017. Kathleen graduated from the liberal arts transfer program; she will continue her education at Bridgwater State University this fall to study English. Earlier in the week, Kathleen was honored with the Bridgewater State University Merit Transfer Scholarship, which covers all tuition and fees at the University as she pursues her bachelor’s degree.

“The secret to milestones or the satisfaction they bring is that you don’t have to wait a few – or 50 – years for them to happen. This is true for everyone. Major life events like anniversaries and graduations are not the only laudible goals you can enjoy reaching. A moment of personal triumph or a couple of hours spent making a difference for others may turn out to be some of your most cherished achievements,” Kathleen said during her address to her classmates.

In his final commencement address as President, Dr. Wall asked the graduates,  “What is precious to you? First of course is to love and be loved; to be safe; to have your health; to have freedom; and to have time.” He added, “But second, and truly precious, what we have is education, higher education – the life of the mind. That, graduates, is what you and we share tonight.” 

To view the commencement video, please click here. For a full gallery of photos or to purchase prints from the day, please click here. A list of our 2017 graduates can be found here.

Students Recognized at Honors Convocation for Excellence in Leadership and Academic Achievement

Nearly 100 students received recognition at the annual Honors Convocation held on May 31, 2017 in the Buckley Performing Arts Center on the Brockton Campus. The event recognized students for their exemplary academic achievement, leadership and civic engagement. More than $32,000 in scholarships was awarded to students.

Twenty-six students were honored with the Commonwealth Honors Scholar Award and seven students were given the Green Key Society award. Green Key is an honorary activities society, established in 1968, designed to recognize the contributions made by students in the College and the wider community. Membership in this organization represents the highest honor the College can bestow for outstanding leadership in both the College and the community.

To view a list of honorees in the evening’s program book, please click here.

For additional photos, please click here.

Former Trustees Honored for Contributions to Massasoit

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On Wednesday, May 10, Massasoit Community College honored four past members of the Board of Trustees for their years of service and dedication to the school.

Each past member was recognized with a tree planted in their honor.

Honored during the ceremony were former trustees

David L. Phillips
Trustee, 2004 – 2015
Judith C. Waterston
Trustee, 2011 – 2017
Eugenie H. Fitzhugh
Trustee, 2004 – 2010
Peter G. Asiaf, Jr.
Trustee, 2007 – 2014

Families and members of the College’s sitting Board of Trustees were on hand for a dedication of the trees.

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Veterinary Technology Program Receives National Accreditation

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Massasoit Community College is pleased to announce that the College’s new Veterinary Technology Program has been granted Initial Accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (AVMA CVTEA). Massasoit’s Vet Tech students, including the first class graduating this June, will now be considered graduates of an AVMA CVTEA accredited program and are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Students are required to sit for and pass the VTNE in order to become credentialed veterinary technicians, and in Massachusetts must have graduated from an accredited program to be eligible to do so.

The veterinary technology program at Massasoit is a two-year, cohort-based program that culminates in an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.

Massasoit Community College began pursuing the idea of offering a Veterinary Technology Program nearly a decade ago, and hired a group of faculty and outside consultants to develop a curriculum and program. In 2013, Massasoit began discussions with Norfolk County Agricultural High School, a vocational/agricultural high school in Walpole, Massachusetts. The two institutions had created a strong working relationship through prior collaborations, and in October 2013, a formal memorandum of understanding was signed, committing the two institutions to cooperating in the development of a Veterinary Technology Program.

The program has two options: a traditional component where students may apply for admission at Massasoit Community College, and if they meet the entrance criteria, be admitted to the program; and an early college program that allow students in good standing at Norfolk County Agricultural High School in the school’s animal science program to begin taking courses in the Veterinary Technology Program. Upon graduation from the high school, students are then eligible to continue the Veterinary Technology Program at Massasoit Community College and complete the degree in less than two years.

A particular strength of the program is the opportunity for students to gain extensive, hands-on experience in the College’s new clinical instruction facility, which opened in the fall of 2016. The cutting-edge facility includes a surgical suite and a digital radiology room and houses colonies of live dogs and cats, enabling hands-on training of students in all aspects of practical veterinary technician skills, including surgical prep and assistance, imaging, examinations, and general animal care. The partnership with Norfolk County Agricultural High School furthers the breadth of practical skill-building. Students who are enrolled in the co-requisite Large Animal Medicine and Management and Research Animal Management courses will meet weekly at the high school throughout the semester to work directly with horses, cows, sheep and pigs, and lab animals such as mice, rabbits, and rats, as well as with avian and exotic species.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for Veterinary Technicians will grow by 30% in the metro Boston area between 2012 – 2022, driven by the increase in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, as well as the regional and national growth in pet ownership. In Massachusetts, only four programs offer degrees in Vet Tech. While two are public institutions, (Holyoke and North Shore Community Colleges), the other institutions (Becker College and Mt. Ida College) are private. The establishment of the Vet Tech program at Massasoit provides students with an affordable career path close to home.

The Veterinary Technology Program at Massasoit has benefited from strong support and interest from the community. Numerous veterinary facilities and other animal-related organizations have volunteered to host student interns and to provide expertise and other support, especially VCA South Shore Weymouth Animal Hospital, which worked closely with the program to provide temporary instructional space until the instructional facility was completed.

For more information about the Veterinary Technology Program visit us at www.massasoit.edu/vettech or contact Silvia Coviello, CVT, CVPM, Veterinary Technology Program Coordinator at scoviell1@massasoit.mass.edu or 508-588-9100, x2380.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Christopher Blunt Receives “29 Who Shine” Award from Department of Higher Education

 

On Friday, May 5, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education honored 29 outstanding students from the Commonwealth’s public colleges and universities, honoring one graduate from each community college, state university and University of Massachusetts campus. Massasoit Community College’s honoree, Chris Blunt, is a student in the Business Administration Transfer program and serves as the College’s elected Student Representative to the Board of Trustees.

Mr. Blunt is a United States Marine Corps Veteran, having served four years on active duty, including a tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and a tour in Bahrain in support of anti-piracy efforts; he also served two years in the Marine Reserves. During his time in the Marines, Mr. Blunt worked as an Aviation Supply Specialist, conducting supply chain management operations for rotary wing aircraft. During each of his deployments, Mr. Blunt earned a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for professional achievement and superior performance. Mr. Blunt has also received several letters of appreciation for volunteer service; was promoted to the rank of Sergeant within four years of honorable service; and earned two Good Conduct Medals for exemplary personal and professional conduct.

“Chris is an excellent student who is deeply committed to Massasoit and his fellow students,” said Dr. Charles Wall, president of Massasoit Community College. “We are proud to see Chris honored for his hard work and academic excellence, and look forward to seeing his future successes.”

Additionally, Mr. Blunt is an active officer in the Brockton Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1046, and in Fellowship Masonic Lodge in Bridgewater. He volunteers at the Brockton Veterans Administration Hospital and has participated in several charitable fitness challenges. Mr. Blunt serves as the Vice President of both the Massasoit Veteran and Servicemember Club and the Honors Association. He has recently been inducted into the Alpha Kappa Upsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa with a 3.97 GPA. Mr. Blunt also serves as a Student Veteran Ambassador and is a work-study student in the Massasoit Veterans Center.

As part of the ceremony, students are asked to name a faculty or staff mentor who has contributed to their success. Chris chose to honor Brian Smith, Massasoit’s Veteran Services Academic Counselor. According to Chris, “Brian’s selfless dedication to serving the veteran population is a true example for others to emulate. Being a veteran himself, I view Brian not only as a mentor, but a friend and brother as well. I can confidently say that Brian has made a positive and lasting impact on my education and ultimately my life.”

Massasoit and Bridgewater State University Announce MCC2BSU to Streamline Transfer Process

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A new initiative starting this fall – MCC2BSU – guarantees dual admission into targeted undergraduate programs at Bridgewater State University to Massasoit Community College students.

MCC2BSU expands upon the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Commonwealth Commitment program, but goes further by admitting students to both institutions simultaneously and providing an affordable, near-automatic pathway between them.

“This initiative provides streamlined transfer coordination, which is a critical component in making transitions between institutions easier to students,” said Dr. Charles Wall, president of Massasoit Community College. “Enhanced partnerships between institutions – matched with strong partnerships between counselors and students – will have a great impact on student success.”

Bridgewater President Frederick Clark Jr. Esq., sees MCC2BSU as “a new model, which encourages and supports students to clearly see their path from community college to university and bachelor’s degree completion in a number of majors. In education, the new initiative will serve as a “grow your own teacher” program, according to President Clark, helping to address teacher shortages and lack of diversity in Gateway cities.

“This model further enhances the excellent relationship we have between students and faculty at both institutions,” said Dr. Karim Ismaili, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bridgewater.

Every year, approximately 350 Massasoit students go to Bridgewater to attain their bachelor’s degrees. “Students will have access to resources on both campuses, which will create a smooth pathway in their transition,” said Dr. Wall.

In addition to guaranteed admission to Bridgewater, Massasoit students will benefit from a number of Bridgewater benefits including:

  • collaborative and intensive academic advising with a BSU advisor on the Massasoit campus;
  • participation in a summer residential program for qualifying students;
  • no need to reapply to Bridgewater after completing the associate degree;
  • deep engagement of peer mentors, faculty members and administrators to ensure their success; and
  • Bridgewater’s Connect card, an ID that offers a number of discounts at local businesses as well as campus access to events and select specialized programs such as financial literacy.

Also, Massasoit students who meet guidelines of the Commonwealth Commitment program will attend Bridgewater at frozen tuition and fees throughout their remaining two years of study. Students would realize an approximately 40 percent savings if they attended BSU through the Commonwealth Commitment. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Commonwealth Commitment is an agreement between the state’s 15 community colleges and four-year institutions that freezes tuition and fees upon program entry while offering other rebates.

“The initiative also provides a framework through which both institutions will identify and focus resources on meeting the workforce needs of the region and the commonwealth,” said President Clark. “By tying all pieces of the admission and transfer process together and offering high levels of support, we are offering the first program of its kind between two-year and four-year public institutions in the Commonwealth.”

Presidents Wall and Clark signed an agreement establishing the program on Tuesday, May 2 on the Brockton Campus of Massasoit Community College. They were joined by administration and deans from both institutions. 

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