At Haddam-Killingworth High School, Patrick Boots discovered an interest in radio and broadcasting, a passion he continues to develop today as a student at Middlesex Community College.
Because Middlesex partners with many area high schools, including Haddam-Killingworth, eligible high school students can take select college courses at their school. For Patrick, it was the Digital Media Production course.
Before his high school graduation in 2021, Patrick looked at a few of the state universities, but the new media production program Middlesex became his top choice.
With encouragement from Janet Klinck, former director of student activities, Patrick joined the college’s Radio Club to help boost its student membership. Soon enough, he represented the Radio Club at Student Senate meetings, where he learned how senate members planned activities and funded student organizations.
In late 2021, former Middlesex student Julie Noriega was serving as the Student Senate president, and she encouraged Patrick to seek that office after she graduated in Spring 2022.
Patrick began his role as the senate’s president at the end of May and was heavily involved in the college’s summer recruitment cycle. This included advising, Summer Fridays at Middlesex, and orientation.
Now in the fall, as the college reemerges from the pandemic effects of the past two years, more students are involved in campus activities. Patrick is guiding the Student Senate in helping bring the clubs back on ground and increase their awareness. He also worked with past senate leaders to get well-established groups back on track.
Since Middlesex is part of the 12-campus state community college merger known as CT State, Patrick is also focused on how the senate can maintain its self-government and “keep it unique, like Middlesex always has been.”
While the Student Senate takes up a big part of Patrick’s time, he also volunteers at the Tech Center, installing software and providing computer maintenance for the campus community. He has participated in STEAM Train, a tech program operated by Donna Hylton, former program coordinator of computer information technology at Middlesex.
As a work-study student, Patrick serves as a tutor for the Center for New Media, and he is involved with the Computer Club and video gaming. Off-campus, he is a video engineer for WFSB TV, a role he began two months ago with help from Amy Desson, an adjunct professor at Middlesex, who is also an executive producer at the station.
“Middlesex is a great place. It opens up so many opportunities for students,” says Patrick.
At the end of the Spring 2022 semester, Patrick acted in and edited a film entitled “The Golden Handshake” for the college’s Arts & Media Festival. The festival showcases student work from the past year. Patrick worked with Dan Nocera, corporate media producer, to produce the project, which was based on the June 2022 retirement of Rich Lenoce, former professor and director of the Center for New Media.
While Patrick is still focused on his educational success at Middlesex, he hasn’t given much thought yet on where he will go from here. He says he definitely wants to earn a master’s degree in new media and radio, most likely at a school in Connecticut, perhaps UConn.
Patrick appreciates the support from Interim CEO Kimberly Hogan and the entire college administration.
“There’s a lot of community at Middlesex. It’s a small campus but it has a big heart,” he says. “Maybe I can teach at Middlesex one day. I’d like to give back to the future generation of media professionals.”
Written by Thea Moritz