Another challenge facing Sisson is planning for the future of Middlesex. Almost as soon as he unpacked his briefcase last spring, he became actively involved in co-leading a collegewide mandate to plan MCC’s goals over the next decade. “The timing couldn’t have been better, he said. “The beauty of this first year has been the fact that the Strategic Planning process has been happening. That has been invaluable for me,” said Sisson. Last fall, almost 400 students, staff and faculty gathered together in a series of focus groups addressing how the college should grow and change to meet a variety of current and future challenges, he explained. “I’ve learned a lot just by seeing all these people,” said Sisson. “And I have learned things that would have taken two or three years to figure out. Working on the Strategic Plan has informed my thinking, and I have been able to influence that process.” The Strategic Planning Committee is in the process of creating a set of general statements about what the college will be working on in the next few years, and to guide where its resources will go, said Sisson. That “bold statement about what we will do in the future” will be shared with the college community later this spring, he said. As Sisson moves into his second year at Middlesex, he is circumspect about what he has planned for the future. “All institutions have to change to be more responsive. The only thing I can promise people is that there will be change,” he said. “However, I can say that any and all changes will revolve around meeting the needs of our students and giving them every opportunity to be successful,” said Sisson. “That is the most important component of our work – and everybody at the college plays a role in that.” Kathy Register [News Briefs] ELL Middlesex Makes List of Military-Friendly Colleges Thanks to MCC’s Veterans Resource Center, Veterans Advisory Board and other special veterans services, the college has been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs. The 2011 list of Military Friendly Schools honors the top 15 percent of U.S. colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students. Schools on the list range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools. The List of Military Friendly Schools was compiled by G.I. Jobs, an online magazine that polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide. For more information, visit For more information about MCC’s Veterans Resource Center, contact Pamela Flaherty, Dean of Students, at or 781-280-3631. MIDDLESEX Commonwealth of Massachusetts MCC to Host Asian Studies National Conference Middlesex Community College will play host to the 17th annual Asian Studies Development Program National Conference, to be held March 24-26, at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. Titled Asian Studies: Traditions and Transformations, the conference is co-sponsored by Middlesex, the Asian Studies Development Program (ASPD), and the Association of Regional Centers of Asian Studies. The ASDP National Conference is an annual event that provides an opportunity for ASDP alumni and other interested college and university faculty members to share research related to Asian cultures and societies. It also promotes sharing of strategies for effectively infusing Asian content into undergraduate humanities and social science curricula. For more information visit or contact Dona Cady, MCC Interim Dean of Humanities, at or 781-280-3721. ACA DE M OW at established 1995 LMACS Science Teacher Honored Melissa Chen, a science teacher at Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School (LMACS), was recently named one of New England’s most innovative science teachers by Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a Lexingtonbased biopharmaceutical company, in partnership with The New England Patriots Radio Network. As winner of a Cubist Pharmaceuticals Science Education Leadership Award, Chen accepted a $500 check to be used by the charter school’s science program. An accredited high school, LMACS is a partnership program with MCC for Lowellarea youth between the ages of 16 and 21 who have left school prior to graduation, and those at risk of dropping out. |6| Y MIDDLESEX COMMUNITY COLLEGE L Middlesex Community College Asian Studies Development Program Profiles