Eight MCC students and three faculty/staff advisers spent their Spring Break this year working hard to help restore New Orleans, still ravaged by the effects of Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago! The MCC Team took part in the Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul restoration program.
Give a big MCC Blog shout out to Yelinda Luis of Lawrence, Weasnar Nay of Dracut, Shelby Luna of Lowell, Sara I. Diaz Tolentino of Lowell, Genesis Martinez of Lawrence, Ira
Moll of Bedford,, Courtney Lemire of Billerica and Alexa Bostwick of Lowell! Thanks to their efforts, along with advisers Maureen Goulet and Donna Corbin, and MCC's New Orleans go-to guy Joe Eiler, a ton of much needed work was completed.
MCC again partnered with students from Nichols College of Dudley and Pine Manor
College of Boston. They worked on
rebuilding homes through the Saint Bernard Project. This year was the first time MCC students
worked with the NOLA Tree Project. This
non-profit organization works to replace the thousands of trees destroyed
during Hurricane Katrina. Digging up the
soil to plant the trees, sea shells were found even though they were working
many miles inland. This had quite an
impact with students. Through the tree
project they learned the different species of trees indigenous to the area and
how the trees work to keep excess water under control.
The students' day began on the work site between the hours
of 6:00 am and 9:00 am and their day finished anywhere between the hours of
5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Each day new skills
were learned such as planting trees and bushes, hanging insulation and drywall,
painting inside and outside, and refinishing furniture. Each student came back to home base with sore
muscles, dirty and tired, but with an enthusiasm to get back at it the next
Along with working hard, the students were able to enjoy the
culture of New Orleans. They went to the
Saint Patrick’s Parade where locals on the many floats threw items to spectators including
cabbages, potatoes, carrots and of course NOLA beads. They listened to a jazz
band featuring Charmaine Neville, they enjoyed New Orleans cuisine at the
famous Dooky Chase’s restaurant, took a swamp boat tour, toured the levees and
The students represented MCC honorably with dedication, hard work and
always a positive attitude. MCC should be
proud of these students. If you see any
of them during your day don’t hesitate to say thank you!!
Laissez les bon temps roulez!
The Middlesex Community College campus staged a large-scale training exercise to test the college's ability to respond to critical incidents on campus, in this case, the worst-case scenario of an active shooter causing a campus-wide lockdown.
The drill was conducted by the college's Emergency Management Team, a multi-layered organizational structure that oversees responses to multiple types of incidents on campus, from the smallest to the larger in scale.
The training exercise this year was made even more successful with the involvement of more than 50 students from the Theater Department who played the roles of victims, as well as leaders from the Student Union Government Association, who barricaded in classrooms with faculty and staff. The theater students met with Karen Oster beforehand to apply their moulage kits and prepare for their roles.
Before the training exercise began, the students were briefed by Bedford Police Sgt, Patrick Towle, an MCC alum and 2013 Distinguished Alumni, and a leader of the area's regional SWAT team. The drill was conducted in partnership with the Bedford, Billerica, and Lowell Police Departments, as well as the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (INEMLEC). The NEMLEC Foundation helped support the drill with a donation to promote training.
As part of the exercise, a plainclothes Bedford Police Officer played the role of a gunman on campus, opening fire in the college's Bedford library.
The "suspect" fled the library and went to Henderson Hall, where students and staff barricaded themselves in classrooms, employing some of the training skills that the college's Public Safety team has been conducting. Since last October, more than 400 members of the college community have been training in tactical sessions designed to help them respond to the potential of an active shooter on either of MCC's campuses.
Bedford Police Officer Craig Naylor, along with Lowell Police Officer Thomas Hickey - the college's two Campus Resource Officers - provided the first line of law enforcement response.
Some of the students continued their roles in the quad outside Henderson Hall.
The "gunman" was unsuccessful in getting into the classrooms where the students barricaded.
Meanwhile, the Emergency Management Team opened the Emergency Operations Center, and began sending out mock texts to the college community to alert them about the unfolding drama.
Once the suspect was contained in an office at Henderson Hall, MCC's Student Affairs team began administering aid to the victims in the library, with the help of college personnel from across all departments.
The students involved remarked afterwards in an event debriefing how comforting and supportive the college staff was in helping take care of them in the aftermath of the "attack."
Student Affairs personnel led the effort, too, to collect all of the students together in the campus center, to ensure that all had been accounted for.
The NEMLEC teams led the safe evacuation of students and staff from their barricaded locations.
Afterwards, during the debrief, Karen Oster and her team of actors took a well-deserved bow for their roles in making the training exercise all the more realistic.
President Mabry thanked all of the MCC students, faculty and staff who participated, as well as the college's Emergency Management Team. He especially thanked the external partners from the law enforcement community for helping the college stay on the front end statewide of training its personnel to deal with public safety issues.
Congratulations to the students on the receiving end of generous scholarships at this year's MCC Advancement Scholarship Ceremony held on the Bedford campus!
In all, 48 different scholarships were presented to 41 of our students, for a total of $47,450 in awards!
This is a great tradition at MCC as we recognize the accomplishments of some very deserving students and the strong and generous commitment from our donors, who provide financial assistance to our students as they work ever so hard to achieve their dreams of higher education and meaningful careers.
Let's give them all a big round of blog applause!