International Human Rights Lawyer
Tanya Henderson, MxCC 1989-1991, is now an international human rights lawyer and the Public Policy Director for Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Middlesex, she served as President of the MxCC Student Senate and was instrumental in the creation of the Human Rights Park which stands at the entrance to Snow Hall. She went on to major in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts and earned her JD from Suffolk University Law School.
“I will always be grateful to Middlesex for giving me the ‘second chance’ I needed in my younger life,” said Tanya. “Those years in community college helped me to develop confidence as a learner; they were critical in my journey.”
See MinasList.org for more information.
MxCC Mother/Daughter Pathway
Mary Cavallo, MxCC 1998, and daughter Emma Palmieri, MxCC 2011, applaud Middlesex for providing the perfect pathway for achieving their Bachelor’s Degrees from Trinity College’s Individualized Degree Program in Hartford. Emma, who graduated from MxCC Phi Theta Kappa and was the first recipient of an MxCC Honors Society Scholarship, praises the solid background she received from Middlesex, particularly in history, with “thanks in particular to Professor Triay.”
“The amazing diversity I found in every class at Middlesex was a valuable and memorable part of my educational experience,” recalls Emma’s mother.
Mary, who graduated Cum Laude from Trinity in 2004, is now the CEO of ViBergman Real Estate, serving the tri-state area with offices in Manhattan, Greenwich, and Boston.
Daughter Emma plans to complete her Bachelor’s Degree at Trinity in Educational Studies in 2015. Both alumnae live in Middlefield, Connecticut.
Formerly of Middletown, now living in Indiana, Jeff Turco, who studied at MxCC from 1989-1991, is Assistant Professor at Purdue University (German, Comparative Literature, and Medieval Studies), He first found his love of learning at Middlesex. After earning his B.A. from Connecticut College, he received his PhD from Cornell University, 2009. Jeff is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships to Germany and Iceland.
“I’ve often looked in vain for teachers as good as the ones I had at MxCC: Tom Melbert (Shakespeare), Bill Nagle, and the late Dick Srb. I became a German professor because of Tom Melbert’s class on Goethe’s Faust which still sets the standard I try to live up to as a teacher. MxCC is the academic affiliation of which I am most proud.”
Janet Suquilanda ‘13
When I moved to CT in 2003 from NYC and left my job of 15 years I was unable to land a full-time job here in CT as an Administrative Assistant. Most jobs available were only on a part-time basis. That’s when I decided to change my career and after having my third son.
Once he was in preschool I started to volunteer, then I was hired to substitute while attending college. My new career was Early Childhood Education. While I went to school I landed a job in the computer lab on campus, where I was given the opportunity to study and complete my assignments while working and helping out other students.
I had the pleasure of meeting wonderful staff who helped me achieve my goals, especially Landi Hou, who was the staff assistant in the computer lab. Dr. Ijey was also a wonderful coordinator to the program and teacher. I would not have done it without any of these wonderful people.
I graduated in 2013 and now I am a teacher assistant for Community Renewal Team doing exactly what I wanted to do. Believe it or not, when I was a child I always pretended to be a teacher and I achieved that dream. And now my son is attending MxCC. Thanks, MxCC, for this opportunity, especially at my age.
Teacher of the Year
Greg Marrone, MxCC Class of 2002 and resident of Wallingford, Connecticut, was chosen Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 by Connecticut Regional School District 13. Greg earned his B.S. and M.A. from CCSU in Sports Performance and has taught Physical Education and Health at Memorial Middle School in Middlefield, for the past nine years.
“The caring faculty and staff at Middlesex were an exceptional part of my experience there. Ever accessible, they were always willing to go that extra mile for their students.”
Music School Owner
Frank Natter, who studied at MxCC in 2003-2004, owns and operates a music school in Deep River, Face Arts Music. He is an Alfred Publishing Author of several works on music, including The Total Acoustic Guitarist. Frank is also Enrichment Teacher for the Middletown Adult Education Program.
“I began my endeavors as an author and teacher before completing my degree in Music Theory at CCSU (2009). This was most certainly due to the education and encouragement I received at MxCC, which gave me the confidence to take on these challenges soon after finishing my experiences there.”
Frank thanks many professors for helping him reach his goals at MxCC including Professor Bynum, Professor Triay, and Professor Burstein.
Dmitri D’Alessandro, MxCC Class of 2000, says he’s been leveraging everything he learned at MxCC to run his business at Middletown Framing. “As a small business owner, had I not received that toolbox of skills in my Multimedia studies, I would have had to spend thousands of dollars to learn what I needed to know—from the creative to the traditional, it was all there.”
Middletown Framing is located at 502 Main Street, Middletown.
After struggling through a few years of college 20 years ago, it never occurred to me that I could go back and actually finish what I started. A friend helped me take those first steps, and my MxCC advisors took it from there. They gave me the guidance and confidence to tackle the hardest part–getting started! The rest is history! The experience has taught me how to succeed in every aspect of my life. Best thing I ever did and I reap the rewards every day.
Archeologist & Professor
Nicholas Bellantoni, MxCC ‘73
Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni’s primary work has been as Connecticut State Archeologist and Associate Research Professor in the University of Connecticut’s Anthropology Department.
“MxCC was extremely important to my development because I did very poorly in high school. I spent four years in the U.S. Navy (1968-1971) and used the G. I. Bill to go to school. MxCC accepted me as a returning veteran after I successfully completed their required probation courses. I took my first anthropology course at the community college, and ended up making it my career!”
Graduating from Middlesex in 1973, Bellantoni attended Central Connecticut State College where he earned a BA in Anthropology and MA in Biology. He received his Ph.D. from UConn in l987.
Master of the Web
Tom Barton, MxCC ’93
Tom Barton earned his A.A. in Accounting and B.S. in Finance, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Quinnipiac College, Hamden, Connecticut, in 1995. He is founder and CEO of Web Solutions, Inc., a digital marketing firm with over 20 employees located in Meriden and serving clients throughout the U.S.
“At the starting point of my college career, MxCC gave me the foundation I needed. Thanks to dedicated faculty members such as Professor Nancy Kelly of the Business Department, my experience at MxCC fostered my passion for learning.”
Faith Jackson, MxCC ‘99
Director of the Human Relations Office for the City of Middletown since 1997, Faith Jackson is responsible for planning, organizing, and administering multi-dimensional programs to ensure diversity and inclusion in the use of City programs and services. She is past president of both the Middlesex County NAACP and the Middlesex United Way and currently serves as Corporator for Liberty Bank, Middlesex Hospital, and the Middlesex Community College Foundation.
“MxCC provides a positive means for anyone wanting to further his or her education. I highly recommend it. It does not matter how slowly you go—as long as you do not stop.”
Dale Griffith MxCC ‘89
Dale Griffith attended Middlesex in the 70’s and 80’s while raising her children through difficult marriages, graduating with honors finally in l989. Earning her BA at Wesleyan (l992) on scholarship, Dale was then hired by the York Correctional Institution to give writing workshops with author Wally Lamb to female inmates. She earned an MA from Wesleyan in 2005, became an adjunct instructor at MxCC, then full-time member of the English Department in 2007, and is now a full professor.
“Middlesex changed my life. When I enrolled for the second time, my personal life was in shambles. My self-esteem was low. While Wesleyan later polished the rough edges, it was MxCC and its wonderful teachers who helped me to find some treasure in the rubble of my life.”
Izzi Greenberg MxCC ’03
Izzi Greenberg graduated from MxCC in 2003 and earned her BS in Government at Wesleyan in 2005. She served on Middletown’s North End Action Tem (NEAT) for 12 years and as its Executive Director for the past eight. Izzi now leads the Middlesex Coalition for Children as its Executive Director.
“My experience as a student at the Community College was very positive. I have created lasting relationships with several of my wonderful Middlesex teachers.”
Civilian Dispatcher Trainer
David Boyce, MxCC ‘99
Graduating from Middlesex with an Associates Degree in Broadcast Communications, David Boyce then went immediately to work for the City of Middletown as a 911 Dispatcher. A lifelong resident of Middletown, David is the Civilian Dispatcher Trainer in the City’s Central Communications Center where he conducts quality assurance on police, fire, EMS, and 911 calls and provides preliminary and continuing training for new and current dispatchers. David is also an EMT, Justice of the Peace, and a Notary Public. He is Chairman of the City of Middletown’s Human Relations Commission.
“At Middlesex I enjoyed serving as Vice President of the Student Senate and appreciated the dedication given by so many of the professors there.”