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Moroccan Roll!

This January, 15 MCC students and 4 faculty advisers spent an extraordinary 10 days in Morocco, exploring the rich culture, art, history, economics, and business practices of this exotic country. Located across from Spain on the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco is known as the gateway to Africa. Its history has left it with diverse cultural influences from Europe, the Middle East, ancient Rome, and the native Berbers.

The trip followed 6 weeks of classroom preparation from the advisors, including an introduction to the Arabic language. The international fellowship course had been planned by an exploratory trip to Morocco last January that was funded by the US Department of State Partners to the Americas Capacity Building Grant. This year’s trip was funded solely by the college and a small contribution from the students. MCC’s Business Department has had an ongoing partnership with several higher educational institutions in Morocco to promote entrepreneurship.
The students on the trip were: Andrea Merrill, Emily Cranston, Gianni Tambito, Hamid Bouagal, Malayah Montgomery, Nicholas Mozzicato, Nicholas Stewart, Qingyang Gao, Ran Qiao, Randy Nguyen, Sarah Donahue, Shannon Whittemore, Sopaul Choer, Stephanie Valdes, Vicheath Kyle Yonhorn. Fatima Al-Muntafik participated in the classes but was unable to travel due to visa complications.

Advisors for this year’s trip were Salah Dahany (World Languages), James Dottin (Business), Ashli Ree (Fashion), and Rob Kaulfuss (Economics). Last year’s planning trip also included Judy Hogan, Dean of Business and Public Service, Dona Cady, (then) Dean of Global Education, and Stacie Hargis (Entrepreneurship). Special thanks should also go to Kristen McBride-Silva for her administrative support.
In addition to explorations of the medinas (old walled cities), markets, and historical palaces, the major highlights of the trip were:
1) Day-long visit with students at one of our partner ENSETs in Mohammedia.
2) Tour of the world’s largest solar power plant in Ouarzazate.
3) Visit to the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (largest in the world open to the non-Muslims).
4) Exploration of the Roman ruins in Volubilis.
5) Lunch with the American Consul and regional governor in Casablanca at Rick’s Café (famous recreation from the movie Casablanca).
6) Tour of the new Renault auto plant and port in Tangier.

All in all, a wonderful learning experience for our students!  The whole globe is their classroom! 
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Posted: Thursday, January 25, 2018 2:31 PM by MCC Blog Admin | 0 Comments
Calling All Alumni!

This month, the MCC Alumni Association held its first social and networking event at the historic Nesmith House in Lowell.  Close to 30 alumni, representing a broad range of class years from the first MCC graduating class of 1972 to the class of 2016, came to celebrate, connect, and share stories with fellow MCC alums.  Fiona Almeida, MCC alumna 2012 and Alumni Association Board member, greeted the group and discussed that the Alumni Association’s mission is to engage MCC alums through social events and to provide opportunities for alums to network, to fund raise for the MCC Foundation, and to advocate for MCC in the community.
Several alumni shared their MCC experiences with the group and talked about how the college has made a positive impact on their careers and lives.

The MCC Alumni Association plans to hold more social events in 2018, and the Alumni Association is actively looking for members to join committees and to volunteer.  For more information about the MCC Alumni Association, go to: www.middlesex.mass.edu/alumni, follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/middlesexccalumni, or contact Amy Lee, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations at leea@middlesex.mass.edu.

The Alumni Association, established in January 2017 under the auspice of the MCC Foundation, provides formal leadership and a voice for MCC alumni while working in close connection with MCC Foundation.  The Alumni Association is governed by a 20 member volunteer alumni Board.  The MCC Alumni Association encourages lifelong involvement with Middlesex Community College.   All MCC alumni, including transfer students, are automatic members of the MCC Alumni Association.

Are you an MCC alum who hasn't connected yet with the college?  Please drop us a line and let us know what you've been up to!  We'd love to hear your post-MCC story!

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Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 2:01 PM by MCC Blog Admin | 0 Comments
No More Stress!

Ahhhh,  Stressbuster Week!  That glorious week of varied, much-needed stress-reduction events and activities at MCC, designed to help students and employees clear their minds, have some fun, and get ready for the home stretch of finals!

Sponsored by the Middlesex Activities Crew (MAC) and Wellness (Office of Student Engagement), this year’s Stressbuster Week events included a variety of options on both campuses throughout the week.   Many students enjoyed chair massage, offered on both campuses by professional massage therapists.  Many others also spent 5-10 minutes in one of the 4 therapeutic electric massage chairs.

A balloon artist brought his talent to both campuses, entertaining students with incredible balloon creations.  Over 100 PB&J sandwiches were created at the Make Your Own PB&J stations, sponsored by the MCC Food Pantry.  6 students in the Intro to Guitar class provided a lovely mini-concert on the Lowell campus, serenading students and employees as they boarded the elevators.  The Lowell Student Lounge hosted a ping pong tournament, healthy snacks, and a comfortable space to unwind. 

An abundance of free hot chocolate and popcorn certainly helped with stress reduction, and those participants who attended the free Reiki and YOGA sessions were especially appreciative!  Free coffee and donuts didn’t last long, and helped give an energy boost to those who enjoyed it.  The Bedford Meditation and Reflection Room was transformed to a temporary napping station, and several people enjoyed the free meditation class held there as well. Lots of students shared their written comments on the “Positive Thoughts” board, or completed a hand-written thank you card to someone special in their life.   In Lowell, the Personal Counseling Department handed out information about stress reduction techniques.

Throughout Stressbuster Week, students and employees could be heard saying things like “This is free??!!  This is awesome!  Thanks MCC!  I needed this!  Wow!  This is great!  We should have this every week!  I LOVE this!  Thank you!” 

Well, you are welcome!  Another semester is almost over, and we have all worked hard to make it productive and successful.  From the Office of Student Engagement, we wish you the best of luck with finals, and a safe and happy holiday season.

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Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 3:08 PM by MCC Blog Admin | 0 Comments
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