Above: Mayor Michael Rohde cuts the ribbon at the dedication of the Meriden Foundation Allied Health Lab at MxCC-Meriden.

In addition to awarding more than $82,000 in scholarships to Middlesex Community College students in the past two years, the Foundation used a number of recent grants and donations help fund several new academic projects and student resources in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Development of the Meriden Foundation Allied Health Lab

Outside support raised by the Foundation helped the College develop the new Meriden Foundation Allied Health Lab at the College’s Meriden Center. The lab was funded with a $12,500 naming gift from The Meriden Foundation and $3,000 grants from both The CUNO Foundation and The James H. Napier Foundation. The lab enhances the Certified Nurse Aid program with patient care equipment, hospital furniture, manikins, blood pressure and phlebotomy simulation trainers. Allied Health Coordinator Diane Bordonaro, R.N., worked with Institutional Advancement and the Foundation as grant administrator.

Science Classes Get State-of-the-Art Microscopes

MxCC science classes were made significantly more current thanks to new microscopes purchased with a $20,886 grant from the Dorr Foundation of New Hampshire. This equipment employs state-of-the-art technology that students may encounter in research and clinical environments. The microscopes serve about 60 microbiology students and 15 molecular genetics students per year. Associate Professor Marci J. Swede, Ph.D., worked with the advancement office and Foundation staff as principal investigator.

Supplemental Instruction Initiative to Promote College Readiness

A $25,000 award from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation of Boston funded the Supplemental Instruction Initiative for one year. The S.I. program serves our most “at-risk” students in a program that promotes college readiness in developmental reading and writing. Traditionally underserved students are increasingly in need of early intervention as well as creative, effective approaches to assist them in the journey to college readiness. Associate Professor of English Donna Bontatibus worked with the college advancement office and Foundation staff as principal investigator.

New Technology Implemented in Library

A $10,000 grant from an anonymous donor helped the college complete a C-Pod (Collaboration Pods) group computing station in the campus library. The C-Pods project enables 3-4 students sitting around one single computer and large-screen monitor, but each with a keyboard and mouse, to help each other work on a group learning project. The C-Pod stations are adjacent to the new Collaborative Technology Center and Library Tech Classroom that was funded in part by a $2,500 donation from Comcast Cable.

Fund Supports Radiologic Technology Students

Students in the MxCC-Middlesex Hospital Radiologic Technology program are benefitting from the new Dr. Michael Crain Radiologic Technology Fund, named in honor of the program’s former medical advisor. Nearly $2,700 was raised, including a grant from the Hollander Foundation of Stamford, and a lead gift from former Interim Associate Dean Lillian Ortiz. In its initial year, the fund helped 12 students attend their first professional development conference in Orlando, Fla. Prof. Judy Wallace and Rad-Tech Program Director Donna Crum provided instrumental leadership to this successful effort.

Financial Support Program Helps Single Parents Attend College

A new program designed to help students who are single parents with emergency funding needs was established thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Middlesex County Community Foundation. Single Parents Line of Hope will help fund indirect expenses that can be major obstacles in a single parent’s path to higher education. This project aims to help move single parents through community college into career paths by funding childcare and other critical support services, along with emergency needs, these heads of households face while attending college. Childcare and transportation expenses of commuter students are often unique to community college students and do not qualify as direct expenses in federal financial aid guidelines. “Our goal is to assist single parents in overcoming these huge burdens and obstacles to their college success,” said Prof. Judith Felton, program co-chair.

5K Road Race Raises Funds for MxCC Scholarships

On the last Saturday of October, the Foundation annually produces the MxCC $cholarship 5K, a road race fundraiser for student scholarships and college programs. Net funds raised by the 2011 $cholarship 5K topped $11,000, double the total of a year ago, thanks in great part to so many sponsors! These funds assist the MxCC Foundation in awarding scholarships to deserving students while also supporting campus projects and program enhancements.

Our field of runners was down slightly from last year’s record – due to the pending October blizzard that arrived later that day. Still, it was a great day for all – proof that the sun always shines on Middlesex Community College despite what the weather forecast says!