Grants Projects

Middlesex Community College has a number of on-going Global programs and initiatives that benefit the college and the community.

Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad Grant 2015-2016

In 2015 MCC was awarded its third Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad grant Cambodia’s Cultural Heritage in the Modern World.  Twelve Lowell Public Scholl teachers and MCC faculty participated in over eighty hours of pre-trip preparation with in-country travel from July 5th –August 3rd.  The focus of this grant is to foster an appreciation of Cambodian classical and folk art forms among the general Lowell community and support strategies for sustaining these traditions in the local region.  From an international ceramic exhibit, to books, to sister school relationships, and many more, participant projects and curriculum modules will not only provide Cambodian youth with a strong sense of their cultural legacy by increasing their appreciation of Cambodia’s cultural arts heritage but also sustain the unique artistic culture of Cambodia in the United States by developing the assets of the Lowell community through cultural and educational activities.  

Fulbright Scholars in Residence (SIR)

Middlesex was successful in securing a grant to bring Dr. Mourad Tahan Jahan of Morocco to Middlesex for the 2017 fall semester and Dr. Mohamed El Kahaili of Morocco for the spring 18 semester. 

Dr. Reth Soeng of Cambodia to was the Fulbright SIR at Middlesex for the 2016-17 academic year.  

Dr. Reth SOENG comes to us by way of The American University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia where he is an Assistant Professor of Economics.  He is also a Visiting Professor of Economics in English-based Master Program at Royal University of Law and Economics (Rule)/Ecole Nationale D'Administration (ENA) in Cambodia.

Originally from a poor rural area in the Takeo province where he experienced the genocidal regime of Pol Pot Khmer Rouge during his childhood, he graduated from the Royal University of Phnom Penh where he also received post graduate training as a journalist.  He then studied at the National Teacher’s Institute Faculty of Pedagogy to teach high school math and later received a scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Cambodia in finance.  He was awarded the Royal Government of Belgium doctoral scholarship to pursue his doctoral studies at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, and graduated in 2009, and afterwards was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship for another two years at the Flemish Centre on International Policy of the University of Antwerp, where he carried out a joint research project with the National Bank of Belgium on the effects of economic globalization on labor market in Belgium.  Dr. Soeng became a Research Fellow at Centre for ASEAN Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, which continues to the present.  He is currently Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Cambodia.  He also chairs the Ministry of Education committee on high school textbook revision on economics, and has has published in numerous international journals and is a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Business and Management

Dr. Reth Soeng looks forward to teaching Macro and Micro-Economics this academic year at Middlesex and getting to know the Middlesex and Lowell community.  He welcomes the opportunity to visit classes and clubs to share his experiences and expertise.

Capacity Building Grants for U.S. Undergraduate Study Abroad:  The Morocco Experience: International Fellowship

MCC has been awarded a Partners in the Americas grants for $50,000 to build capacity for study abroad in Morocco. The Morocco Experience: International Fellowship study abroad will be a sustainable, collaborative effort by MCC and Moroccan partners to create an immersive experience for 18 students in the first year post-grant (2017). They will see first-hand the impact of a global economy and how they and their families are affected on the micro and macro levels. They will learn about small businesses, growth ventures, corporate and social entrepreneurship, and Moroccan markets. Through the Morocco Experience: International Fellowship, students will learn more about themselves, their own academic interests, and important cross-cultural issues as they explore other cultures – truly becoming global citizens. The group will also plan for the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) Weekend: Africa planned for April 2017 and will serve as a distinct course in itself as well as a way to generate student interest in the Morocco study abroad experience during the January 2018 Intersession.

Yary’s Kiln: Collaboration between Middlesex Community College & Lowell National Historical Park

Master ceramist Yary Livan, a 2015 National Endowment of the Arts Heritage Fellow, is an expert in Cambodian traditional pottery, embodies the tradition with artistry and excellence. He lives and works in Lowell, MA. Yary is one of only four master ceramists to survive the Khmer Rouge Genocide, one of only two still actively creating pottery.  People and institutions in Lowell came together to build a Cambodian style wood fire kiln to help insure that this art form, which dates back to the Angkor Kingdom, can continue and flourish.

Proeung Kang, master ceramist and professor at the Secondary School of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh Cambodia, joined Yary in Lowell during summer 2012 to help build the kiln. The Lowell National Historical Park hosts the kiln on park land, and The Parker Foundation granted funds to build the kiln. Middlesex Community College built the shelter and administers the care and use of the kiln through the Art Department. 

Through a National Endowment of the Arts grant Yary has been able to pass on his skills to Lowell Public School art teachers as well as engage younger generations and adults in art and craft enterprises.  

Preserving Cambodian Classical Music Grant

The Theodore Edson Parker Foundation of Lowell, MA has funded a pilot project that will enable the preservation and continuation of Cambodian classical music heritage. With the collaboration of Song Heng, Master Cambodian Musician, MCC and the Lowell Public Schools, the grant Angkor Watwill enable us to: (1) build the capacity of the Lowell Public Schools to instruct students in traditional Cambodian classical music through providing professional development to 20 K-12 music faculty and purchasing instruments required for performing the classical music; (2) support live performances of Cambodian classical music through training three local Cambodian folk musicians who will then be able to perform classical Cambodian music at celebrations, provide private instruction, and support performances by the Angkor Dance Company, a well-established and highly valued ensemble dedicated to preserving the Cambodian classical dance tradition; and (3) Introduce Cambodian classical music to middle and high school students and greater Lowell residents through an MCC Music Outreach Workshop and Concert Performance.


Title VI UISFL Residential Workshop on Chinese Culture

Middlesex has completed its 3-year project funded through a U.S. Department of Education Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language grant. This project aimed to develop a model for “fast-tracking” the integratefaculty listensd development of Chinese language and area studies programs at undergraduate-serving colleges and universities.  

Partner institutions in the project were: Johnson County Community College (KS); Middlesex Community College (MA); Portland Community College (OR); University of North Carolina, Asheville; University of Texas, El Paso; and Mercer University (GA).

The primary outcome at MCC of the project was the development of a Chinese studies option embedded within a revised History, Politics, and Global Studies major; the development of interdisciplinary core courses (Chinese Literature, Balance Through Acting, Modern China, The Silk Road: Journey to China), and  improved Chinese language instruction (Chinese I, II, III, IV).


NEH Thinking Through Cultural Diversity:  Bridging Cultural Differences in Asian Traditions     

ASDP was awarded a 3-year grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of its Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges initiative. The focus is toKathy Foley assist 45 faculty members at 15 community colleges (organized in 5 different geographic clusters on the US mainland) to develop courses, programs and outreach activities related to cultural diversity in Asia, with a primary focus on China and Southeast Asia. The project included a 10-day Summer Symposium, Distinguished Lecture with Kathy Foley (see right), mentoring visits, a series of 2-day workshops in 2013, an online research conference and a final lessons-learned conference (this Nov.).  Middlesex was leader of a cluster that included Bristol and Quinsigamond Community Colleges. 

Deliverables included East Asia and South East Asia Certificates, new courses, 2-4 week modules, film series, multiple campus events, common book forums, Faculty/Student/Community Outreach, and an e-portfolio blog for discussion and RLO resources.

Grant site:


Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking 

The goal of the Middlesex Community College (MCC) project's Found in Translation: Humanities Education Developing Cultural Translators’ Democratic Commitment was to create learning experiences through humanities content that would educate our diverse students to be people who can effectively function at the intersections of cultures and communities. The grant work empowered students to manage successfully their responsibilities as “translators” between communities and cultures.  It raised students’ awareness of the varying cultural and community contexts within which democratic dialogue can occur, and it supported them in becoming effective change agents within their own spheres of influence. Doing this within the context of the humanities enabled our students to connect this important work on the local level to their roles as citizens in a complex multicultural democracy and a globally interdependent world. Themes supported by the MCC project are:

  • Giving voice to difference
  • Immigration, Nationalism and E Pluribus Unum?
  • Struggles for democratic voice
  • Power and opportunity
  • Identity, difference, and forming a public “We”

Extensive professional development was provided to our own faculty, faculty from our regional partners - North Shore Community and Northern Essex Community College, and other community colleges from across the state. A minimum of 35 full-time and 50 part-time faculty from MCC and other colleges will participate in the project.  Over 3000 students to date have taken redesigned courses. 

Professional development deliverables included institutes, workshops, development of a resource database that includes tool kits, and ongoing feedback and assistance with developing, implementing and assessing curricular and co-curricular programs. 

Global Education activities and events continue to be branded under the Bridging Cultures Project umbrella.

Grant Site:


Institute on Infusing East Asian Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum

This 24 year flagship ASDP two week program on Infusing Asian Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of individual teachers and institutional teams from both two-year and four-year colleges and universities. The Institute takes a faculty-development approach to enhancing teaching and learning about Asian cultures and societies through lectures, discussions, films screenings and site visits in a seminar-like environment of shared inquiry. The 2015 Institute focused on China. The first week of the program features presentations and discussions on Chinese religious and philosophical traditions; art; literature; and historical dynamics through the beginning of 20th century.  The second week concentrates on the social, cultural, economic and political dynamics from the early 20th century to the present.

Deliverables for MCC faculty included 2-4 week course modules and participation in Asian Studies events on campus.


LUCE Grant   The Association of Regional Centers for Asian Studies (ARCAS) Faculty Enhancement Program’s  “The Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia”   

The Association of Regional Centers for Asian Studies with the generous support of the Luce Foundation, sponsored two 5-week highly focused faculty research development study field study experiences culminating in a publication on the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia.  The Chinese Diaspormasksa in Southeast Asia project consisted of two groups of six (6) faculty and two (2) Co-Directors each, selected to create a balance of disciplinary interests and types of colleges served.  One group (summer 2012) focused on the Chinese diaspora in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (MSI region).  The other concentrated on Vietnam, Laos and Thailand (VLT region).  At the beginning and end of the field study, selected faculty had an orientation/debrief at the University of Hawaii’s National Resource Center on Southeast Asian Studies.

Deliverables included: Enhancement of Asian Studies programs at the widely-diverse ARCAS institutions, identification and examination of the rich permutations of human cultural interactions which have played out in cultures in ways ranging from tension and conflict, to the creation of viable, cohesive, and community-building strategies, by focusing on one diasporic community in several different societies, and sharing the findings of the research in previous objectives with faculties, scholars, and those interested in global interactions at ARCAS member institutions and other communities of concerned scholars and teachers of Asia.

A follow up grant proposal to LUCE is anticipated in 2016-2017.

Higher Education Development Grant

MCC staff and faculty have traveled abroad to bring their expertise where it was needed around the globe, including a recent Higher Education for Development grant (HED) to promote entrepreneurship and workforce development through capacity building in Morocco with Ecole Normale Supériere de l’Enseignment Technique of Mohammedia, supporting and facilitating the engagement of U.S. higher education in global development.        

For the past 15 years Middlesex has also worked extensively with local businesses, regional trade consortia and community organizations to promote and facilitate foreign trade between local businesses and global markets. More than 850 area-business people have received trade assistance services since 1988.

For more information about MCC's International Development and Trade Programs, contact Judy Hogan, Dean of Business, Legal Studies, and Public Service, at  or 781-280-3816.




Last Modified: 8/4/23