If you have an interest in film and video production, and you want to surround yourself with students just as passionate about learning the ins and outs of the industry, then consider becoming a member of the MxCC Film Club!

“Students can get involved by simply showing up with a positive attitude ready to learn,” said Mason Rice, President of the MxCC Film Club, which is in the late stages of being made an official part of the College’s extracurricular activities. “Whether you are a cinema major, an aspiring actor, a creative writer, or you’ve had ideas floating around in your head for years that you want to get made, we offer a comfortable, relaxed, and welcoming environment.”

The club’s advisor, Professor John Shafer, was thrilled to hear student interest from Rice about getting the club off the ground. While MxCC had a video club back in the late 80s/early 90s, it had been many years since there had been enough interest to restart such an endeavor. Shafer equates the new awareness to the exciting additions to MxCC with the Center for New Media.

“We in the [Communications] department are supportive of them doing this,” said Shafer, about the club’s members. “The great thing about our department is that students have to collaborate and form connections with each other in class, and the club is a further reflection of that — where the students get to call the shots.”

Film and media production is a competitive business, and one of the club’s goals is to function like a collaborative production-like meeting. This format allows students to connect with fellow peers and industry professionals to better prepare them to enter the job field. The club gives students the freedom to mentor one another, provide hands-on workshops, discuss ongoing projects, and review and watch old and new movies or short films.

There are also plans to propose a budget to the Student Senate for the club to purchase their own supplies to be used during meetings. Currently equipment goes to students in classes as a first priority, but with their own cameras the club wouldn’t have to work around course schedules.

Rice urges students to stop by for a meeting, and while he can’t predict the future of the club, he is optimistic about growing members. “…The hope [is] for more aspiring filmmakers to come up the pike and carry this club and themselves beyond what we have simply laid the foundation for,” he said.

The MxCC Film Club meets Fridays from 12-4 p.m., Chapman Hall, Room 629 (Lower Level), in the Center for New Media. For additional information students can contact John Shafer, Coordinator of Communications/Broadcast Cinema, and advisor to the club at

ssggonyeaThere are heroes at Middlesex Community College. Not the kind with capes that fly, but the kind that wears an American military uniform and defends our freedoms. The events going on in the world today are frightening. It is comforting to know that we have people in this world who aren’t afraid to stand up and protect us even if they have never met us. One such person is my husband, Staff Sergeant Steven Gonyea,  who is currently serving in the Army National Guard.  Ssg. Gonyea, a multiple-deployment combat veteran, has spent his entire adult life defending his country and protecting all of us in it.

I recently interviewed him as part of my COM*125 New Media Production class about his military career, and Ssg. Gonyea said, “Soldiers don’t think of themselves as heroes.  We just know we have a job to do and we do it.”

And what a dangerous job it is. During Ssg. Gonyea’s last deployment, his team was escorting a convoy out of Iraq into Kuwait when an improvised explosive device (IED) was triggered on the side of the road as they drove past.  He jumped from the gunner’s turret of the up-armored humvee which was on fire.

After spending 6 days in Camp Arfjan hospital in Kuwait, the Staff Sergeant was returned to his unit to complete his tour. Although he was lucky enough to survive, at least 2 others in the convoy were killed.  When asked about the explosion, Ssg .Gonyea only shrugs his shoulders and murmurs sadly, “It happens.”

How has his brush with death changed him?  “I live every day as if it will be my last. I no longer worry about the little annoyances in life. It isn’t worth my precious time left here on earth,” he answers with a wistful smile.

And part of his time left on earth is being spent at Middlesex Community College, brushing up on his skills in their Center for New Media. Ssg. Gonyea is currently studying Broadcast-Cinema. After he graduates, he wants to make documentaries.

“I already have a bachelor’s degree,” he exclaims, “but the New Media Center here at Middlesex is cutting edge and will  teach me all of the hands-on skills that I need to change careers.”

From the battlefield to the film set. Thank you for your service, Ssg. Gonyea, and thank you to all veterans and active duty military for your service!



Blog post by Amanda Gonyea, a liberal arts and science major at MxCC, and wife to Ssg. Gonyea. Both Amanda and Ssg. Gonyea are active in MxCC’s Veterans Club.


A couple of weeks ago, my COM*228 Broadcast Journalism Workshop class went for a tour at the WFSB news channel 3 studio. This wasn’t my first tour of the studio, but I really enjoyed the experience anyway.

Our tour guide was Chris Collibee, who works as the Assignment Manager. He gave us some inside knowledge of the workings of the station. We toured through the Better Connecticut set, and learned that the set is completely moveable. The station can turn the set into anything they want.

After the Better Connecticut set we were able to stand in the news studio to watch the 5 o’clock newscast. I knew that there wouldn’t be many people in the studio since the cameras are all mounted and set, but it was still really interesting to see how everything is controlled separately.

For the second half of the news cast we were able to stand in the control room. In a news station, this is where all the action is. Everything is controlled through this small room. It was really neat to see the different positions, director, producer, and technical director, work together. I was particularly interested in the producer’s position. We got to see the rundown of the show. The rundown is basically the line up of the different news elements. The producer tracks the timing of each news package to keep the show on schedule. They can move stories around, or even delete them from the show completely.

An unexpected treat while we were there was getting to peak into the server room. If you’re a bit of a tech geek, this is a dream room. Our little studio at the school runs on 3 servers out of a closet. The WFSB server room is huge by comparison. We learned how the information for the shows media is stored, and how it is accessed and broadcasted. It was a rare treat that I wont forget.

Having the opportunity to tour the WFSB studio was really exciting. It allowed our class the unique privilege of seeing the fast paced world behind the news broadcast.



Blog post written by Rosemary Picarelli, broadcast-cinema major at MxCC.


The Connecticut Broadcasters Association has selected an incoming Middlesex Community College student as one of its annual scholarship recipients. Cobi O’Connell of Essex received the award because of her proven talents and desires to pursue a career in broadcasting. She will formally enter the Broadcast-Cinema associate’s degree program at MxCC in the fall.

O’Connell recently graduated from Valley Regional High School. During her senior year of high school, she has earned college credits at Middlesex Community College by taking a course in computer graphics through an articulated class at Valley, known as the College Career Pathways program.

“I chose to join the College Career Pathways program to expedite my college career by earning college credits while I am still in high school, which will get me into the industry sooner,” said O’Connell. “I’m really excited to be coming to Middlesex and I am honored that I received this scholarship.”

O’Connell already has a head start in the industry. She currently works as a private contractor for Paulson Training in Chester where she edits training videos and she directs two public access shows in Westbrook. After graduating from MxCC, O’Connell’s ultimate career goal is to direct a broadcast in Connecticut.

“Cobi O’Connell was one of 10 Connecticut Broadcasters Association scholarship awardees, selected from more than 110 impressive entries from all over the state by a judging panel of Connecticut radio and TV station managers,” said Don DeCesare, president and general manager at WLIS-AM and WMRD-AM, and a past chairman of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association. “Cobi is an exceptionally impressive young woman. She’s already completed numerous college credits during her high school years and enters Middlesex Community College able immediately to concentrate on study in her chosen field, which is broadcasting and communications,” added DeCesare. “We are so pleased to assist her financially as she moves toward a career in Broadcasting.” DeCesare also was the 2014 Commencement speaker at MxCC.

In 2012, another Connecticut Broadcasters Association scholarship honoree, Shavandalice Davis of New Britain, selected MxCC to pursue her studies toward a career in broadcasting.

This year, the Connecticut Broadcasters Association ( presented $50,000 in scholarship funds to students pursuing a career in broadcasting, communications, marketing, engineering, or electronics. Awards are made to Connecticut residents who are entering their first, second, third or fourth year of study in a broadcasting-related area at any university and college in the country.

Founded in 1966, Middlesex Community College ( is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. In all it does, Middlesex Community College strives to be the college of its community. By providing high quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, the college enhances the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. MxCC, recently named a “Great College to Work For” by “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” offers more than 50 degree or certificate programs at the main 38-acre campus in Middletown, the downtown Meriden Center, the shoreline, and online.

Since its establishment in 1955, the Connecticut Broadcasters Association has been a respected industry leader in legal, governmental, education and community issues on both the State and National levels. Members include broadcast TV stations, radio stations, vendors and companies with a business interest in broadcasting, educational facilities, and individuals with involvement in the broadcasting industry. Member radio and TV stations also participate in Connecticut Broadcasters Association public service campaigns supporting the work of the Connecticut National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Connecticut Department of Public Safety’s Office of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications – Emergency Alert System (EAS) and AMBER Alert programs, among other efforts. For more information about the Connecticut Broadcasters Association and its annual Scholarship Program, visit or call (860) 305-2038.

About the Center

Middlesex Community College's Center for New Media is located in Middletown, CT.

The CNM offers innovative associate degrees in broadcast-cinema, graphic design, multimedia, and communication, as well as certificate programs in areas such as interactive entertainment, gaming, 3D animation, new media production, news and sports production, corporate media and web design.

We are a designated Center for Excellence in broadcast education and we prepare our students for jobs in the growing field of new media with a hands-on education.

Learn more about programs at MxCC's Center for New Media at

This project was funded by a grant awarded under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.

News in Pictures


Photos from Flickr