Laura Krueger, of Meriden, Conn., graduated from MxCC in 1989 with an associate degree in broadcast communications. She was the first woman to receive the Broadcast Communications Award, which recognizes the department’s top student. She also served as a tutor for the broadcast department and the president, station manager, and disc jockey of WMXC, the college’s closed-circuit radio station.
Since then, she was employed as a producer/director at Comcast Cablevision in Middletown, production manager of Dimension Media Services, disc jockey and videographer for Silver City Sound & Video, and floor director for Fox 61 News in Hartford. Laura was also the assistant marketing director of Meriden Square Mall, the director of business development at Community Health Charities, manager of national advertising and media for Cecchetti USA, and 22-year owner and director of Meriden Dance Center.
Laura is currently the director of public relations and marketing for The Salvation Army in Hartford, covering Connecticut and Rhode Island. She promotes publicity and brand awareness, is the media relations liaison for print and broadcast and manages media training for officers and staff. She was deployed as the public information officer for Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Laura is a PRSA Mercury Award winner and member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Julé A. Crawford
Julé Crawford began her college career at MxCC as a part-time student with three small children. She graduated in 1979 and transferred to Wesleyan University as an Etherington Scholar, then went on to receive her Juris Doctor from University of Connecticut School of Law. Julé has been practicing Family Law in the Middlesex County area since 1985. Julé is the founding chair of the Foundation’s signature fund raising event, the Red Moon Fest, which has raised nearly $100,000 for student scholarships since its beginning in 2012.
Ken has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry with broad experience in compliance, operations, retail banking, technology implementation, electronic delivery channels, vendor management, customer service and facilities management. Ken is currently associated with the Northeastern Banking Services Group where he serves as a Managing Director, responsible for various consulting engagements at banks headquartered in New England. The engagements include Core Vendor selection and conversion, Process Improvements, Compliance and Regulatory Matters and Information Technology and Security. Prior to that, Ken was associated with several community banks after a long career at People’s United Bank, Bridgeport, CT. In the community banking arena he was a member of the senior management team at Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Company in Hamden, CT where he was a key player in the opening of the bank in 2008 and subsequently was responsible for Operations, Technology, Compliance and Vendor Management.
Ken attended the University of New Haven and is a member of several organizations including the Bank Compliance Association of CT where he served on the Board of Governors for over 7 years. Ken is also a member of the Westbrook Elks, where he volunteers at the annual Beach Jam for Breast Center, a major event where funds are raised for breast cancer patients at Middlesex memorial Hospital and Smilow at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Ken also volunteers at the Guilford Job Network, which provides job search and networking support for those in transition.
Ken lives in Northford with his fiancée Carolyn Sommer and his daughter Holly.
Laura Pieper, LCSW, began her professional career as a social worker at Middlesex Hospital’s Family Advocacy Program, where she worked on the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team and the Intensive In-Home Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Service (IICAPS) as well as other programs. Later, she worked with the state Department of Children and Families in Middletown as an enhanced care coordinator, helping to place foster children with complicated medical and psychiatric illnesses. In 2006, she established Clinton Counseling as her private practice located in Clinton, Connecticut. She works with children, adolescents, teens, and their families with a specialization in the treatment of developmental trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Laura’s interest in the MxCC Foundation sprang from her work with teens and young adults who too often feel disenfranchised after high school. She believes a strong community college system can offer life-changing opportunities to those for whom a four-year college is beyond reach.
She and her husband Gary live in Wallingford, Connecticut, with two happy pugs. Their three adult sons live in Boston and Arizona.
Rick Morin is a CPA at Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski, LLC. Morin has over 25 years of experience in public accounting, including over 15 years with the largest regional accounting and business consulting firm in Connecticut. His experience ranges from estate, trust, and succession planning to probate filings and estate settlement services. He has helped to raise awareness of charitable planned giving and legacy planning opportunities in Middlesex County, and has spoken about taxation issues for various professional organizations. Morin received his B.S. Cum Laude from Central Connecticut State University and has been licensed as a CPA since 1988. Currently a member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Central Connecticut Business and Estate Planning Council, Morin also serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Morin is a member of the Middlesex County United Way Audit Committee. He is Treasurer for the Connecticut Business Planning Council.
Lenell Kittlitz is currently the Assistant Director of Construction Services for the Capital Region Education Council, CREC, an organization that connects people and resources for a quality education. Previously, she was Director of Facilities and Planning for the Connecticut Community Colleges Board of Trustees from 2000-2012. Lenell was Co-Chair of the Society of College & University Planners (SCUP) North Atlantic Fall 2013 conference LEEDING the Way at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT and is a US Coast Guard veteran. She serves on the President’s Executive Council for Gateway Community College, has been a Corporator for the Middlesex Community College Foundation, a member of the Connecticut Veterans Engagement Board and the Board of Trustees for the Veterans Administration for the State of Connecticut. Ms. Kittlitz holds a BS in Public Administration from the University of Hartford and an MS in Organization and Management from Central Connecticut State University.
Frances A. Viggiani, PhD Emerita Professor of Management, Alfred University, Alfred, NY holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior and an MA in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University, and a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts. Frances moved to Connecticut in 2012 and taught as an Associate Professor in the School of Business at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven until 2017. She had taught for nearly 20 years in Alfred University’s College of Business. She retired after teaching for UConn’s School of Management in 2018. She has published and given conference papers on participatory management and democracy in the firm, and on leadership development. In 2015 she published “Systemness: A Case Study,” with D. Szczerbacki (re Connecticut State Colleges and Universities). Planning for Higher Education Journal. V. 44, N. 1, October–December. Frances is a resident of East Haddam. She grew up in the Middletown area as her father was on the faculty at Wesleyan for many years.
Riley McConnell, Student Representative
Riley McConnell of Middletown is a first-year student at Middlesex Community College who is seeking a degree in communications. She is a member of the MxCC Student Senate and is the Student Advisory Committee representative for the MxCC Foundation. She is passionate about making community college an amazing experience for all students as well as creating a fun and safe learning environment for people who are trying to further themselves and their careers. She is working toward a future career in campaign marketing or media sales.
Judy Cook, Retired
Judy was born and educated in New York City. She spent her working years managing the health and pension benefits for New England Electrical Workers Benefits Fund, retiring after 35 years. Judy then moved to Haddam 10 years ago and joined MILE at MxCC 9 years ago. She spent 4 years as MILE’s secretary and 4 years as MILE’s chair. MaryAnn Cox spoke to the MILE Executive Board regarding the MxCC Foundation. This led to MILE initiating the Extra MILE Fund and peaked Judy’s interest in the work of the Foundation.
Judy is now spending her retirement years traveling in the United States, Europe and South America.
Robert Olson is a veterinarian and owner, along with his wife Dr. Virginia Nunez, of Connecticut Valley Veterinary Associates (CVVA). CVVA consists of five general practice veterinary hospitals located throughout Middlesex and Hartford counties. Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital in Middletown is where Dr. Olson has been practicing animal medicine for the past 30 years, working under and then taking over for original owner and mentor Dr. Pieper. Specialty and Emergency hospitals Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center and VETS Emergency Treatment Services are also part of the CVVA branch of hospitals and Pieper Memorial is currently the training hospital for veterinary technician students at MxCC. Dr. Olson earned his BA and DVM from Purdue University and volunteers his time with the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). When not working with animals he enjoys traveling, hiking, and sailing.
An East Hampton resident and 1978 graduate of MxCC, Cindy attended Long Island University and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science, and a concentration in biology. She later earned both her Master’s degree in Business from the Hartford Graduate Institute/ RPI and her Master’s degree in Library Science from SCSU.
After working for the State of CT as a computer programmer at both the Department of Environmental Protection and the State Comptroller’s Office, Cindy decided to use her skills to assist her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Palmer, O.D. in establishing and managing his practices in both Middletown and East Hampton.
Outside of her professional pursuits, Cindy has shared her considerable talents on the East Hampton Economic Development Commission, while assisting in the growth and development of the Girls Scouts of America on the statewide, national and international levels.
FRANK STELLABOTTE, FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE
Frank Stellabotte, director of the biotechnology programs at MxCC, is also co-advisor of the S.P.E.A.K. (Students Promoting Equality, Acceptance and Knowledge) student organization on campus. He serves on advisory boards for the BioPath Initiative, a partnership between the city of New Haven and Southern Connecticut State University, and the biotechnology programs at Capital Community College and Norwich Technical High School. A member of the Society for Developmental Biology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Frank encourages his students to think analytically and critically whether or not they choose to pursue a career in the sciences. Prior to moving to Connecticut from Los Angeles, he worked as a postdoctoral scientist conducting hearing research at the House Research Institute and the University of Southern California. He earned a PhD in biology from Wesleyan University, where his research led to the discovery of a newly identified cellular population in fishes. In his free time, Frank enjoys spending time at home in Norwalk, Conn., with his family.
Aarlan Aceto, Faculty Representative
Dr. Aceto is a 1995 graduate of MxCC’s OD&D program, and has worked in the optical profession ever since. He earned a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) in Political Science with an International Studies minor from UConn in 2003, and a Doctor of Optometry from the New England College of Optometry (Boston, MA) in 2009.
Dr. Aarlan Aceto has been an Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Rotations at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois. This institution specializes in medical education, research, and clinical practice. Previously, he had been an Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences School of Optometry in Worcester, and Owner/Optometrist of Dr. Aceto & Associates in Dayville and Taftville, CT. He has experience with accreditation organizations, state and national professional organizations, and in developing externship networks in a healthcare field.
In his application materials, Dr. Aceto wrote, “For the past 20+ years, I’ve dedicated my entire professional life to the field of eyecare. As an alumnus I hope to serve, not only as just a teacher and administrator, but as a mentor to show each student what they can achieve with this program.”