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.


This year, we are graduating 33 Center for New Media students. All of our students are incredibly talented (the Arts & Media Festival can attest to that!) and we are so proud of them. Many of our students are transferring on to four-year universities such as Central Connecticut State University, the University of Tampa, Charter Oak State College, and the Hartford Art School (and more!). Others will be job hunting for the job of their dreams. We would like to wish our graduating students much luck as they move on from Middlesex! We can’t wait to celebrate with you at Commencement.

Cody Buffinton, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S. & Broadcast Communications Certificate
Alex Cannata, Broadcast – Cinema, A.S. & Broadcast Communications Certificate
Christopher A. Dearstyne, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Adam DeRezendes, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Matthew Fruin, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Colleen Jonas Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Hollie Lois Louise Kinney, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Sean R. McKeefrey, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Melissa M. Morro, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Andrew Saxe, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S. & Broadcast Communications Certificate
Michael Trudeau, Broadcast-Cinema, A.S.
Cindy M.Gerstl, Broadcast Communications Certificate
Justin C. Benito, Communication, AA
Sadie Deens, Communication, AA
Letisha Matias, Communication, AA
Mary B. McAndrew, Communication, AA
Jesse W. Ross, Communication, AA
Emmanuel J. Santiago, Communication, AA
Tyler E. Welch, Communication, AA
Jordan Blaine Yott, Communication, AA
Eleanor A. Gambardella, Fine Arts: Graphic Design Option, AA
Pete Hamadani, Fine Arts: Graphic Design Option, AA
Rachel L. Hoover, Fine Arts: Graphic Design Option, AA
Tonya S. Salyerds, Fine Arts: Graphic Design Option, AA & Multimedia, AS
Alicia N. Sheldon, Fine Arts: Graphic Design Option, AA
Kim Banfield, Multimedia, AS & Multimedia Certificate
Lindsay Marie Grote, Multimedia, AS
Dylan A. Hassell, Multimedia, AS
Patrick O. Parker Jr., Multimedia, AS
Henry Gregory Rominski III, Multimedia, AS
Tom P. Sullivan, Multimedia AS
Dana Thibeau, Multimedia, AS
Carmen C. Brown, Multimedia Web Design & Development Certificate

Four Center for New Media students are the recipients of the 2014 Middlesex Community College Academic Awards. These awards recognize high-level of academic performance at the College. Hollie Kinney, Mary McAndrew, Lindsay Grote, and Eleanor Gambardella were chosen by faculty to receive this award.

marymcandrew holliekinney lindsay

Hollie Kinney is the Broadcast-Cinema department’s winner. Hollie is an extremely dedicated and talented student. She has gone above and beyond in her studies, while working a part-time job and doing an internship with MxCC’s Corporate Media Center. After graduation, Hollie will continue her first editor job on a feature length movie called Charlie Gorman’s Wake, which is being shot mainly in Wallingford. She is looking for a summer internship and hopes to get one at WFSB or Viacom. She would like to return to school to earn her bachelor’s degree in the future, but her ultimate goal is to become an Academy Award-winning editor someday. We think she can totally achieve that goal!

Mary McAndrew is the Communication department’s winner. Mary has done well at Middlesex, juggling a waitressing job, her internship, and her schoolwork. She graduated from MxCC in 1989 with an associate’s degree in Human Services. After working in the field for over 20 years, she decided to change her career. After returning to MxCC to get an associate’s degree in Communication, she now has a new skillset and is ready to re-tackle the world. After graduation, Mary hopes to land a job in the communications field. She would love a job writing for an environmental magazine or working in public relations. Best of luck to you!

Lindsay Grote is the Digital Arts/Multimedia department’s winner. Lindsay has excelled at MxCC, despite being a part of many extracurricular activities and work. She is a full time student, a club representative on Student Senate, the president of Phi Theta Kappa, a volunteer firefighter, and works part-time. Lindsay entered into the Digital Arts/Multimedia program having taken advantage of the Career Pathways Program. This program provided the opportunity for Lindsay to earn college credits toward her degree during her senior year giving her a true head start toward achieving her desired goals. Her culminating capstone project has brought all of her skills together in the production of an original children’s illustrated book. Combining traditional illustration and drawing skills with photographs and digital compositing techniques, Lindsay has created both hard copy book formats, as well as an interactive, animated digital version of her story. After she graduates this spring, she will transfer to Central Connecticut State University to work towards her bachelor’s degree in graphic design. We wish her luck as she moves on from MxCC!

Eleanor Gambardella is the Fine Arts: Graphic Design department’s winner. Eleanor is a freelance web designer/developer, singer, composer and musician. She already holds an associate’s degree in Digital Arts/Multimedia from MxCC, and made the 2010 Connecticut All State Academic Team and the 2010 USA Today All State Academic Team. She was honored at the state capitol and given a proclamation from Governor Rell, received the 2010 Multimedia/Digital Arts Academic Achievement Award, was the co-vice president of public relations for Phi Theta Kappa and was acting president for most of the spring 2010 semester. This semester, she is taking her last two classes to complete her associate’s degree in Fine Arts: Graphic Design. Her goal is to combine digital arts and web design with visual arts and music for a healing multimedia experience, focusing within the online music industry. After graduation, she will continue to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts at Charter Oak State University. Good luck, El!

For a full list of winners, go to


telly_newlogolargeThe Telly Awards has named Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Media Center as a bronze winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards for their piece titled “The Functions and Values of Wetlands and Watercourses.” With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.

The 48-minute video is a beautiful visual exploration of the functions and values of wetlands and watercourses, focusing on the key areas of hydrology, ecology and land use.  It also features the voice over talent of MxCC alumna Liz Parra as the voice of the narrator’s digital assistant. It is the third and final video in the Municipal Inland Wetland Commissioners Training Program and was produced for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

“This video is one of the most beautiful videos the Corporate Media Center has produced,” said Dan Nocera, corporate media producer. “We are so honored that we have received a Telly Award for this piece.”

A team of faculty, staff, and students produced the video, including Dan Nocera, Doug Rogers, Barbara Rogers, Rick Eriksen, and Lloyd Langevin. Student production assistants include Hollie Kinney, Trent Jones, Basheer Troche, Lahcen Rachem, and Cindy Gerstl.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films.  Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

“The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” said Linda Day, Executive Director of the Telly Awards. “The accomplishment of Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Media Centerillustrates their creativity, skill, and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production.”

To find out more about the Telly Awards visit, To view the video series, visit CT DEEP’s YouTube channel at

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.