STEM Scholar Associates Awarded $27,000 in Scholarship Funds

On January 9, six Massasoit STEM Scholar Associates were awarded $27,000 in total scholarship funding under the S-STEM grant from the National Science Foundation. The total funds awarded complement existing financial assistance so that each of the recipients will be covered for the cost of attendance to attend Massasoit full time.  Student who continue to meet eligibility requirements may renew their scholarships for up to five semesters. STEM Scholar Associates will participate in a variety of activities and events on campus to enhance their academic success and help them prepare for future careers in STEM.

Awardees were Nicole Dacey, Catherine Murphy, Mollie O’Keefe, Austin Schofield, Mackinley St. Louis, and Vu Ni.

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Massasoit Receives $58,765 Grant from the Baker-Polito Administration to Drive New College Access, Affordability, Digital Learning Initiatives

On December 11, 2017 The Baker-Polito Administration announced $1.2 million in grants to sixteen Massachusetts public colleges and universities to make college more affordable and accessible through enhanced digital learning opportunities.

Performance Incentive Fund (PIF) grants are issued by the Department of Higher Education and seek to incentivize the state’s higher education institutions to produce cost savings for students through collaboration across the campuses. Since 2012, the fund has awarded more than $25 million in grants.

“Performance Incentive grants allow our state colleges and universities to explore new digital innovations in teaching and learning to make higher education more affordable and accessible for students across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “Massachusetts is poised to be a leader in online learning, and we are pleased these grants will help our public higher education institutions achieve that goal.”

In this round of grants, Massasoit Community College received $58,765 to launch new initiatives to increase use of Open Educational Resources (teaching, learning and/or research materials that are in the public domain) in a bid to reduce the use of costly textbooks. The “Massasoit Millions” Initiative aims to save its students $1 million annually by 2019.

Currently, 51 Massasoit courses use free Open Educational Resources (OER) instead of text books, saving students $136,464 in Fall 2017 alone. We strive to make it clear to students which courses use OER, posting it where students search for their courses. Every semester, Massasoit has dozens of courses that do not require textbooks. For these courses, your professors have eliminated costly textbooks and replaced them with Open Educational Resources (OER) — electronic resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing.

Last month, Governor Baker announced he will establish a new Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning to develop recommendations that will lead to more online learning opportunities for Massachusetts residents to obtain education and skills for in-demand fields.

“New approaches are needed to expand higher education opportunities for all Massachusetts residents, particularly for those who need flexibility and are not able to take traditional classes on a college campus,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “Incentivizing grants like these will help ensure the Commonwealth’s higher education institutions can provide services that meet the demands of today’s students.”

The Department of Higher Education strives to improve college access, affordability and completion of degrees and certificates.

“These grants are part of the Department of Higher Education’s strategic focus on increasing opportunities for students to earn credentials that will position them for good jobs and continued career growth, especially in high-skilled industries that fuel the state’s economic development,” Secretary James Peyser said.

“From the start, the Performance Incentive Fund has encouraged campus leaders to think in new ways about some of the most intractable problems we face in higher education,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education. “We’re now beginning to see the fruits of that effort, as we award grants to campuses that want to build on the gains and successes of prior years’ funding.”

“It’s exciting for me to see our public campuses emerging as leaders in digital learning innovation, which is a key strand running through this year’s grant proposals,” said Chris Gabrieli, Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. “We’re also seeing a lot of energy go into work to improve the remedial coursework which, sadly, is required of thousands of our students who arrive on campus unprepared for college-level work. These efforts will help reduce barriers and accelerate the timetable for students to complete their degrees.”

Further details on the funding history and program highlights of the Performance Incentive Fund Grant Program can be found here.

Massasoit Partnering with B21 to offer Free ESOL Classes

Brockton 21st Century Corporation, Massasoit Community College, and Eastern Bank are partnering to offer free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes as part of the Transformative Workforce Initiative Program.

Courses are open to all adult learners, regardless of their current English proficiency, and preference is given to those who live or work in Brockton.

Students who are interested must complete placement testing, which will be held at the Conference Center at Massasoit, 770 Crescent Street, Brockton on the following days. A testing appointment is necessary.

Wednesday, 12/13/17, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Wednesday, 1/10/18, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday, 1/17/18, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Wednesday, 1/24/18, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Wednesday, 1/31/18, 5:30 to 7:30 PM

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Massasoit’s Criminal Justice Department to Present Social Justice Seminar

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Join the Criminal Justice department to hear from Adam Foss:

When a kid commits a crime, the US justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if saddling young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time. In this searching talk, Adam Foss, a former prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, makes his case for a reformed justice system that replaces wrath with opportunity, changing people’s lives for the better instead of ruining them.

“Fabulous Fakes” on Display in Akillian Gallery through January 24

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In the Fabulous Fakes display, twenty well-known works of art have been recreated as either exact duplications or creative interpretations. Works by Tony Andrade of Quincy, Evelyn Cunningham of Worcester, Joanne H. Fitzgerald of Middleboro, Chuck Foltz of Dorchester, Kris Kreitman of Quincy, Elaine B. Levin of Sharon, Dan McCole of South Boston, Daniel A. Myers III of Quincy, Toby Lynne Schwartz of Randolph, Eugene Shea of Weymouth, Maureen Vezina of Green Harbor, and Carole Ann Wool of Chicago are currently on display.

A reception will be held in the gallery on the college’s Canton campus on Friday, January 12 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and the public is welcome. For more information, call 508-588-9100, x2124.

Image: “Southie Gothic” by Dan McCole, a creative interpretation of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.”

Canton and Brockton Students Present at Honors Conferences

On Wednesday, Friday, December 1, students in the Commonwealth Honors program on the Canton Campus held their annual honors conference, where projects were on display in the Akillian Gallery.

Gaeyello Desimeau
Canton Commonwealth Honors Student, Canton Student Senator 

“Prior to attending Massasoit I was a lost soul, a mother who had a secret, a wife who struggles with the unknown and a dreamer who’d only dreamed. In 2011, I took a leap of faith and came here and did the testing.  At that time, I left thinking I am too old, I cannot do this. Again I put my education on hold,  but I had always told my kids go for what you want and be the best that you can. I hold my kids accountable for their education and I let them know every day you have to be an honors student.

It wasn’t until April 2016, I finally got the courage to apply here and continue my dream. It happened because I ran out of excuses for myself.  When I came here, I only knew one person on this campus and I walked in through these doors, with my head held down. 

I was born and raised in Haiti, growing up I always wanted to be a lawyer but I was too afraid to share that dream. After my first semester here, I was recommended for English Comp. II Honors and I met Professor LaFontaine. After my first class I wanted to drop out, I thought I cannot do this and I was the oldest person in my class. The day after one of our weekly meetings I had a long talk with Prof. Lafontaine who asked me what I want to do and what I want to be. I explained my fears, he listened to me. He said, ‘Gaeyello, you can be whatever you want, you just have to apply yourself and go forward with that.'”

Gaeyello will graduate from Massasoit in spring 2018 and has been accepted to UMass Boston for the Fall 2018. Heeding the advice of Senior VP Nick Palantzas, Gaeyello will continue on to earn her master’s degree and then a law degree and plans to come back to Massasoit to pay it forward.

Jessica LeBlanc
Canton Commonwealth Honors Student, Student Senator, and member of Phi Theta Kappa

“Personally I never thought I was the type of student that could be in the honors program. In high school, I only did what was required of me and I didn’t do anything more. When I started here at Massasoit, I didn’t realize my potential until I was recommended for the Comp II honors class being offered in the spring.

Before I was part of all these activities, I would just go to class and go home. I didn’t socialize at all. This year, however is completely different. The honors group meets every Wednesday in the honors room and we talk about how we can get others to join and benefit from this program.

This program opens so many doors for students who want to takes advantage of it. I have also gotten the opportunity to tutor in the Academic Resource Center. Tutoring is a great experience for my future. I plan to be an elementary school teacher so tutoring sort of gets me in the zone for that. The program has also helped me get more involved in the school.” 

Jessica will graduate in spring 2018 from the honors program and plans to attend a four-year institution in the fall.

 Scott Buresh
Canton Student Senator, Canton Commonwealth Honors Student

“In high school I never felt accepted, was failing my classes. When I came to Massasoit I met Professor LaFontaine. He told me, there is always room to improve, he ended up recommending me for his Honors English Comp II class, it is there I really found a real sense of community. Many of the students in the group formed an honors study group that meets weekly in the ARC on campus to discuss the assignments we were given and peer edit each other’s work. For the first time, I found a group of like-minded individuals that wanted to challenge themselves for the better. There was a sense of healthy competition that inspired each of us to keep pushing our own boundaries. The assignments were more challenging that previous classes and the grade standards are higher. Almost all of us, have the intention to transfer to four-year colleges and these high standards are helping us to prepare.”

Scott with graduate in spring 2018 and will attend UMass Boston in the fall to major in Chemistry.


The Brockton Honors conference was held on Monday, December 4, 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.

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.

Ninotska Love Addresses Campus Community in Recognition of Transgender Awareness Week

On November 15, 2017 the Office of Diversity and Inclusion welcomed keynote speaker Ninotska Love in recognition of Transgender Awareness Week.

Ms. Love was born in Ecuador, but later gained asylum in the United States where she began her transition in 2013. In 2015, Ms. Love attended LaGuardia Community College in New York and in September 2017 she became the first out transwoman to attend Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She spoke about her life before and after her transition.

Alpha Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Inducts Fall Class

Seventy-one Massasoit Community College students are the newest members of the Alpha Kappa Upsilon Chapter of  Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges. Students were inducted in a ceremony at the College’s Canton campus on November 6, 2017.

The purpose of PTK is to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. PTK has been present at Massasoit since the 1980’s and currently has over 2,000 members, including alumni. Students must have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) to be eligible for membership, and must maintain at least a 3.25 GPA throughout their studies at Massasoit to remain a member in good standing. Along with strong academic achievement, PTK students regularly engage in civic, community, and charitable activities both on campus and beyond, as well participate in regional and international academic meetings.

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Below, please find a list of some of this fall’s new members:

Haydn Ady
Alyssa Aghajanian
Guerline Alexandre
Gislayne Almeida
Medjeen Anglade
Marina Azamfirei
Adam Blowers
Janet Brown
Sadie Brown
Vincent Burdziuk
Scott Buresh
Balazs Busznyak
Jazmin Carrasquillo
Elijah Carter
Melissa Cash
Jazmin Carrasquillo
Emily Champagne
Ashley Cook
Michael Corkren
Thomas Courtney
Michael Courtright
Jonathan Delgado
Gaeyelle Desimeau
Trevonne Deveaux
Walas Dexaus
Michelle Donovan
Alex Donovan-Ortiz
Laurie Durkan
Jean Felix
Chelsea Ferreira
Berhley Figareau
Robert Flanagan
Elizabeth Gleason
Joanna Gomes
Lauren Gregoire
Hannah Guidaboni
LaToya Guzman
Amira Hardaway
Kathryn Henley
Jeremy Hermanson
Jessica LeBlanc
Andrew Ledoux
Jayme Lownsdale
Jeanine Martin
Heidy Martinez
Joshua McCray
Cassandra McKenney
Nakisha Meres-Gabriel
Jean Nabosse
Kimberly Nashawaty
Mira Nunes
Renee Johnson
Soujoud Kanaan
Tiffany Perez
Floyd Phan
Lauren Phillips
Marcus Pierre
Darnele Pierre
Louis Adhemar
Nathalia Rocha
Tashae Samuels
Austin Schofield
Evandra Silva
Cheryl Tappa
Mariette Tchinkou
Stephanie Thibert
Sheri Turner
Kathleen Valiente
Giana Vittoriso
Zachary Ward
Rachel Williams

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Massasoit Welcomes Author Edwidge Danticat for One Book, One College Event

On November 7 & 8, acclaimed Haitian author Edwidge Danticat joined Massasoit for its annual One Book, One College event and a discussion of her book Breath, Eyes, Memory. With nearly 700 attendees from the College and greater-Brockton community, the three events were a tremendous success. Thanks to the Massasoit Library for their many months of work in coordinating this event.

Below, please find photos from the event.

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Massasoit Hosts Unity Day

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On Monday, October 23, Massasoit’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion welcomed Sara Ting to Unity Day, celebrating Massasoit’s diversity and stand against racism.

The inaugural Unity Day event at Massasoit Community College was designed as a way to celebrate the diversity of our college population and promote inclusivity among all who learn and work here. In August 2017, the Presidents of the 15 Massachusetts Community Colleges released a joint statement where they stated:

We embrace our shared values of global citizenship and prize the richness of cultural wealth in our diverse communities. We respect people from all nations, cultures, background, and experience and welcome them to join our community of scholars and learners, for therein lies the hope and the future strength of our nation and our world.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion strives to promote and support, in various ways, reaching new heights in diversity and inclusive excellence at Massasoit Community College.

“The goal of Unity Day Event was to create a climate of respect for the richness of diversity that we have on our campuses and in the surrounding communities. We were excited to welcome diversity trainer and speaker Sara Ting to discuss the value of engaging in thoughtful discourse and forging connections across communities through empowered listening,” said Yolanda Dennis, Chief Diversity Officer at Massasoit.

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