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Speech! Speech!
Today's blog post comes via Communications Professor Jill Arabas!  Take it away, Jill!
Of all the courses at Middlesex, one of the most transformative is Speech. Many students enter the course petrified of standing in front of an audience. By the end of the semester, they know how to command a room, get their classmates to laugh, and persuade their peers to recycle their trash, visit the Dominican Republic, or vote in the next election.


Middlesex students have been giving speeches on some fascinating topics this semester. Caroline Porter told her classmates about the axolotl, a Mexican salamander on the endangered species list. She even brought two of her pet axolotls into class.

Kimberly Guevara talked about her experience with her beloved ballet pointe shoes, blisters and all, while Jonathan Mendonca explained how to make pizza (and made the class hungry). Rosemary Gathecha gave a talk about her homeland of Kenya, complete with minty candies for the crowd. Briana Serrano narrated a slideshow of her beloved Chicago. And Chase Webber spoke about Lake Baikal in Russia, the world’s deepest lake, which he visited with his engineer father.

“Speech class gives students the chance to learn public speaking in a safe environment,” says Arabas. “It’s a place for students to make mistakes, take chances, and learn not to say ‘um’ and ‘like’ long before they give that speech that really counts – on a job interview or presentation that can change their life.”

“It amazes me the skills that students already bring to the class,” says Prof. Gordon Curry. “The activities used in this class are really tools to help bring out what they already possess but need the right venue in which to try.”

The Speech classes at Middlesex draw students from all majors, from Nursing and Computer Science to Business and Liberal Studies. Public speaking courses are consistently rated among the most useful of college offerings because they give students expertise they can use immediately and far into the future.

“It’s exceeded my expectations,” says Ali Alogaili, who gave his informative speech on happiness. “You learn who you really are and what other people think of you. It gives you the chance to stand in front of everybody and talk about your personal experience, hobbies and skills, and that’s not as easy as it looks.”

Alogaili’s classmates have given speeches ranging from Facebook privacy and Siberian huskies, to how to tell when someone is lying, to what it’s like to be the oldest sibling. Next up are persuasive speeches, followed by everybody’s favorite, the demonstration speech (which often comes with tasty goodies or other kinds of samples).

Depending on the instructor, MCC students also learn to give impromptu, extemporaneous and, of course, special occasion speeches, so they can get practice for that wedding toast, birthday party or eulogy that they’ll eventually have to give.

Best of all, they have a good time doing it.

“The class is so much fun,” says Adrian Gilbert, who recently gave a speech on the basics of soccer. “I’m learning how to be presentable, talk on my feet, make slides and make a presentation. I love being here. I get to talk about what I love. And I get to interact with other students who share the same passions that I do.”

To learn more about programs in the college's Communications program visit  https://catalog.middlesex.mass.edu/preview_program.php?poid=2174&catiod=18

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Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 1:36 PM by MCC Blog Admin | 2 Comments
The Votes Are In, and so is MCC!


Middlesex Community College is one of only 83 college campuses in 23 states that has been designated as a "Voter Friendly Campus" as part of a national initiative to recognize student engagement!

The designation holds participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encourage students to register to vote in national elections.

The mission of the campaign is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. MCC was evaluated and chosen based on a campus plan to engage our students in the elections in the fall of 2016, how we facilitated voter engagement on both our campuses, and a final analysis of those efforts.

The Voter Friendly Campus designation program was started last year through a partnership of the Campus Vote Project and NASPA, the organization for student affairs professionals in higher education.   The goal or the program is to help institutions develop plans to coordinate administrators, faculty and student organizations in civic and electoral engagement.

The Voter Friendly Campus designation helps MCC administrators develop a strategy to engage students and set clear goals to a path can be created in advance of elections.  The activities can be institutionalized for years to come, keeping students engaged as they enter and move through their time at MCC.


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Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 1:04 PM by MCC Blog Admin | 4 Comments
Amazing Advocates
The best ambassadors the college could ask for boarded a shuttle bus and headed to the hallowed halls of the Massachusetts State House to make the case for increased funding for public higher education in Massachusetts, and in particular, their college of choice, Middlesex Community College!
The group travelled together to the State House with Steve Rossi, their adviser on Student Government, and joined more than 600 other advocates in the Great Hall for a rally and speaking program.  After the open forum, the MCC group went off to meet with some of the legislators covering our Bedford and Lowell service areas - special thank yous to Senators Jamie Eldridge and Eileen Donoghue, and Representatives Ken Gordon and David Nangle!
Besides lobbying for fully funding campus budgets, the students also made pitches for protections for undocumented students and fair and just treatment of adjunct and non-tenure track faculty.
Many of the students met with MCC President James Mabry prior to their trip to Boston, to discuss effective manners with which to approach their advocacy bids.
Who knows?  Some of these amazing students may have a future career themselves among the legislators not just in the Massachusetts State House, but on Capital Hill in Washington.
What do you think? 
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Posted: Monday, March 06, 2017 1:56 PM by MCC Blog Admin | 0 Comments