About Us

The STEM Starter Academy (SSA) was launched in order to build, enhance, and sustain the college's capacity to successfully graduate and transfer a greater number of students in STEM associate degree and certificate programs. Supported by the State Department of Higher Education and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the STEM Starter Academy's goal is to match the state's workforce needs for a STEM talent pipeline.

SSA fosters student awareness, interest, and academic success by providing a variety of opportunities through programs and services for STEM students. We are on a mission to recruit, retain, and graduate significantly more students in STEM pathways programs.

SSA will help to address gaps, promote alignment and build capacity to meet unaddressed student needs and to refine the model of articulated student support services and structured STEM curriculum that will promote:

  • Increased student awareness of and access to STEM programs of study and career opportunities
  • Enhanced student readiness for and recruiting into STEM pathway programs
  • Improved student retention based on academic success and overcoming “life barriers”
  • Increased completion through award of certificates or degrees and pathways to STEM jobs or transfer to higher level STEM academic programs
To learn more about the STEM Starter Academy, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's website

Contact Us

Audrey Frater, Director
Phone: (978) 322-8411
Email: fratera@middlesex.mass.edu



Sothy Gaipo has recently transitioned to a full time coordinator role with the STEM Starter Academy grant. She can be found in the Pathways Center, LC-306. Sothy is an MCC alumnus with a BA from UML and M.Ed from Framingham State University. She brings years of experience working with at-risk youth through the Lowell public schools, charter schools, and Department of Youth Services. Before entering the field of education, Sothy worked closely with an engineering and manufacturing team as a Production and Environmental Health and Safety coordinator at Koch Membrane Systems in Wilmington, MA. She is passionate about providing students access to the resources and support they need to succeed personally, academically, and professionally.

Sothy Gaipo, Project Coordinator
Phone: (978) 322-8414
Email: gaipos@middlesex.mass.edu

Mary Sadler, Administrative Assistant
Phone: (978) 322-8410
Email: sadlerm@middlesex.mass.edu
Last Modified: 9/19/19