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 Presidential 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 Bridgewater 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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Honors Students Present at End of the Year Conference

On Wednesday, April 26, students in the Commonwealth Honors program on the Canton Campus held their annual honors conference, where projects were on display in the Akillian Gallery.

Five students were awarded Honor Garden scholarships: Kaylee Basel, Bradford Besson, Jennifer Brady, Cyre Coleman, and Evan Weidmann.

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The Brockton Honors conference was held on Wednesday, May 3, in the Upper Student Lounge on the Brockton Campus. Research projects from students enrolled in Seminar in Ethics, Human Growth & Development, Brockton as Text, and individual Honors Directed Studies were presented to the college community. Topics included prison reform, charter schools, and project-based learning. 

The mission of the Commonwealth Honors Program at Massasoit is to create enriched educational opportunities for academically talented and highly motivated students; to encourage the recognition of these students as an integral part of our college community; to encourage faculty to mentor these students; to assist in the transfer of these students to four-year colleges and universities appropriate to their needs; and to provide opportunities for independent study as well as small peer classes for students who can work above the collegiate norm to develop individual skills.

Faculty Member Presented with Teaching Grant from the Arc of Greater Plymouth

Congratulations to Professor Melissa Winchell, Ed.D., for receiving the Spreading Inclusion Teacher Grant from the Arc of Greater Plymouth.

The award was presented on Wednesday, April 25 by Bobbi Martino, Projects Coordinator at Arc of Greater Plymouth, and a group of individuals served by the Arc.

The grant will provide financial support for a newly revitalized student club on campus, advised by Professor Winchell, who teaches English, and Professor Robin Peery of the Foreign Language Department. The club will promote the inclusion of Massasoit’s new MAICEI (Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative) students by engaging disabled and non-disabled students in collaborative community projects.

Shelby Richards, an Arc client who offered her advice for Massasoit’s new program, said “I really liked being on campus. The coaching and mentoring helped me with my goals. In the beginning, I was nervous walking around campus, [and about] where to go, but then I got help and it made me more comfortable.”

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(l-r) Professor Melissa Winchell; Shelby Richards; Bobbi Martino, projects coordinator at Arc of Greater Plymouth; Joseph Conley; and Alita Fontaine.

For more information about the new MAICEI program at Massasoit, please click here.

2nd Annual Dale Dorman Radio Conference Held April 25

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Massasoit Community College hosted the 2nd Annual Dale Dorman Radio and Digital Media Conference on Tuesday, April 25th in the Anna Buckley Performing Arts Center on their Brockton campus. The free event was open to the public.  

Special guest speakers included NewsCenter 5 anchor Doug Meehan; Boston Radio Personality Jackson Blue; National Voice-Over Artist John Taylor; and Director of News/Coordinating Producer for New England Sports Network’s Larry Lawson.

Over 25 professional media professionals and personalities shared their expertise in workshops and panel discussions. Topics included Fake News and the Media; Creating Content for Media (filmmaking, radio, television, voiceover, and print); Behind the Scenes of a Live TV Shoot; and Breaking Into the Industry.

Below are a selection of photos from the day. For more information about the Dale Dorman Radio Conference, contact Professor Lisa Zinsius Supka at lzinsiuss@massasoit.mass.edu.