President Anna Wasescha has announced she is leaving Middlesex Community College to become the new president/CEO of the West Central Initiative (WCI), a regional community foundation located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Wasescha will return to her home state to begin her duties on May 8, but will come back to Middlesex to preside over the college’s 50th anniversary commencement ceremony on May 25, 2017.
As president of Middlesex Community College since 2011, Wasescha led efforts to strengthen the breadth and depth of the college’s academic offerings, while deepening relationships with the community and developing programs focused on workforce needs. This year she helped negotiate the move of the MxCC Meriden Center to Platt High School, the opening of the Magic Food Bus, a food pantry at Middlesex in Middletown, and a partnership with Wesleyan University’s Center for Prison Education. Individuals who are incarcerated at nearby correctional facilities in Cheshire and York are now eligible to earn an associate degree from Middlesex Community College. Under her leadership, the college foundation’s asset base doubled and both annual giving and the number of endowed funds increased.
“It will be very hard for me to leave Middlesex and say goodbye to everyone. This is such a warm and welcoming college. I felt it the first day I arrived on campus, and it still feels that way after six years. Middlesex is an exceptional community college with a 50-year legacy of tremendous accomplishments. I know you will keep that proud tradition alive long into the future,” said Wasescha in a letter to the college community and its volunteer boards. “The community of volunteers that supports this college is one of its greatest assets. Thank you all for your unswerving commitment to Middlesex Community College,” she added.
The Dean of Academic Affairs, Steven Minkler, will oversee the day-to-day administration during the month of May. There are no immediate plans to begin a search for a permanent replacement.
“Middlesex Community College—and the Connecticut State College and Universities—have been fortunate to benefit from Anna’s inspiring leadership over the past six years,” said Mark Ojakian, CSCU president. “I commend President Wasescha’s vision, commitment, and passion, as she strengthened the college’s academic programs and developed community partnerships on behalf of her students. We wish her the very best and thank her for her unwavering service to our state, her students, and to Middlesex Community College.”
In her new position, Wasescha is returning to familiar territory. She was previously the provost at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, also located in Fergus Falls.
Reporting to the WCI Board, Wasescha will lead, direct and manage the organization, and guide its strategic direction. She will also act as WCI’s chief spokesperson and represent the west central region of Minnesota. WCI invests resources in local communities for regional success, using the tools of economic development and community development by promoting philanthropy. “I am excited about the new challenges and opportunities at the West Central Initiative, and look forward to this new direction in my career,” said Wasescha.
—April 26, 2017