AROUND THE VALLEY
MCC Board of Trustees Selects the College’s Fifth President
The Middlesex Community College (MCC) board of trustees voted unanimously to select Philip Sisson, MCC’s current provost and vice president of academic nad student affairs, as the next president of MCC. The MCC Board will bring their vote to the board of higher education and commissioner of higher education Carlos Santiago to approve the selection at a meeting to be held later this month.
Sisson has over 30 years of college leadership experience in the areas of campus administration, strategic planning, academic and student affairs programming, fiscal management, resource development and business, community and K-16 partnerships.
“Phil is a trusted campus leader within the college community and has a strong state and national reputation for developing innovative programs to support assessment and pathways for student success,” said Dr. James C. Mabry, MCC President. “He knows the college inside and out and is respected by the faculty and staff he leads. His work advancing the equity agenda has been ground breaking and will continue to help the college better connect with its diverse student body.”
Sisson served for six years as the director of student support services and evening administrator in the division of continuing education at Bristol Community College, where he served for six years. After serving there for a year in an interim promotion as the assistant dean of continuing education and community services, he accepted a position as the assistant dean of academic affairs and chief academic officer at the Edward J. Liston Campus at the Community College of Rhode Island, the largest community college in New England.
Sisson was promoted twice to the positions of Dean of Workforce Education & Lifelong Learning and the Dean of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. Sisson moved next to the Cape where he served as the Dean of Language & Literature, Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Life Fitness at Cape Cod Community College. Within a year he was selected as the Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs for three years.
For the past 11 years, Sisson has been serving in his current position at MCC. In this role, he has established and maintained a number of noteworthy and innovative academic, student affairs and enrollment initiatives.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Reopening of Additional Phase 4 Industries to Go Into Effect May 10
The Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will move forward in the commonwealth’s reopening plan to reopen certain outdoor Phase 4 industries effective Monday, May 10.
On March 22, Massachusetts loosened restrictions and advanced to Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. Since then, daily new COVID-19 cases have dropped by 45%, hospitalizations have dropped by 23%, and deaths have dropped by 69%. All these metrics have dropped by around 80% or more since the beginning of the year. The commonwealth also remains a national leader in COVID-19 vaccinations, and over 3.9 million people are fully or partially vaccinated, and Massachusetts is on track to meet its goal of vaccinating over 4 million people by the beginning of June.
Effective Monday, May 10:
- Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks will be permitted to operate at a 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
- Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts and other appropriate safety measures after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.
Additionally, large capacity venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open at 12% capacity as part of Phase 4, Step 1 will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%.
Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high-risk sports.
Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses.
Grocery stores and retail stores with a pharmacy department should consider dedicated hours of operation for seniors, but will no longer be required to offer senior hours.
Additional Changes Anticipated to be Effective Saturday, May 29:
Contingent on continued positive trends in the public health and vaccination data, on May 29, additional sectors will be permitted to reopen and gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings and private settings.
The additional sectors that will be permitted to open include:
- Parades, street festivals and agricultural festivals, after submitting safety plans to the local board of health including measures for maintaining social distance, staffing and operations plans and hygiene and cleaning protocols.
- Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, which will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90-minute limit and no dance floors.
Subject to public health and vaccination data, the restaurant guidance will be updated to eliminate the requirement that food be served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.
GLCF Announces Fiscal Sponsorship of 100+ Women Who Care Boston Metrowest
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) announced the recent fiscal sponsorship of 100+ Women Who Care Boston Metrowest, a group of philanthropic women dedicated to amplifying the awareness and support of deserving nonprofits in the region.
With a mission to strengthen communities west of Boston through the power of collective giving, 100+ Women Who Care Boston Metrowest brings together women who care deeply about local causes and are committed to making an impact. The group meets four times a year to donate $100 each to a nonprofit organization serving local needs.
“By supporting 100+ Women Who Care Boston Metrowest, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation embraces their vision of strengthening the local community through collective giving,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF President & CEO. “We are proud to help these generous women continue to foster positive change.”
Lawrence Partnership Announces Grant To Help Area Food Businesses Meet Digital Demand
The Lawrence Partnership has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Baker-Polito Administration for a pilot program that will help area food service businesses increase their digital business capacity so that they survive the pandemic and are positioned for long-term success.
The Digital Optimization Program will provide businesses access to free or subsidized digital technology tools, including new or enhanced websites, social media programs, contactless technology, customer management systems (CMS), financial management systems, and online ordering systems. In addition, the businesses will have access to food-based industry workshops and individual consultations with digital experts.
Open to independently-owned food based businesses in Lawrence, Methuen, Haverhill, Andover, North Andover and Boston, the program is a collaboration of the Lawrence Partnership, Groundwork Lawrence, Commonwealth Kitchen, ReThink Restaurants, Essex County Community Foundation, and Merrimack Valley Business Relief Coalition.
Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates COVID-19 Business Relief Program, Awards Final Round of Grants
Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, legislators and key partners celebrated the success of the Baker-Polito Administration’s COIVD-19 business relief program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). Gathering in person at Panela Restaurant in Lowell, a program grantee, the administration announced the end of the program, which has provided over $687.2 million in direct cash grants to 15,112 businesses across the Commonwealth. Among the awardees included in the final round were 108 additional businesses that received a total of approximately $4.8 million in COVID relief grants.
First launched in October 2020 as part of the Administration’s Partnerships for Recovery initiative to stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy, this program became the biggest state-sponsored business relief program in the nation after being infused with an additional $668 million in December. Established to provide direct financial support for businesses, the administration has tapped numerous partners to ensure specific economic sectors and priority demographics known to be the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic applied to the program and were prioritized for aid.
Greater Haverhill Chamber Welcomes Haverhill Print Cafe to Merrimack Street
The Greater Haverhill Chamber helped Haverhill Print Cafe celebrate their grand opening with a ribbon-cutting celebration on Monday, May 3.
Located at 126 Merrimack Street, the Haverhill Print Cafe does not offer coffee, but a relaxed well-equipped alternative for all printing needs right in downtown Haverhill. Clients have the option to work with a printing specialist to take their project from concept to production or simply take advantage of the cafe’s Instant Print Kiosk to fax, scan and print with WiFi or thumb drive. Other services include free local delivery, USPS direct mail services and authorized UPS packing process and shipping center.
Fresh Pearl MedSpa Opens in North Andover
Last week, Fresh Pearl MedSpa opened its doors in North Andover, Mass., to offer the community an innovative medspa that makes aesthetics services more accessible. Fresh Pearl MedSpa offers flexible options that enable more people to invest in themselves. With a personal, warm and welcoming approach, Fresh Pearl Medspa also offers three convenient ways to receive treatments: at its medspa location in downtown North Andover, via its concierge services in which Fresh Pearl comes to clients’ homes, or at events or parties.
Museum of Printing Acquires Major Vintage Type Collection
The Haverhill-based Museum of Printing has acquired the type collection of T. J. Lyons, who collected Victorian wood and metal type from the 1820s to the 1880s. Lyons amassed over 2,500 unique typefaces for his small print shop in Allston, Mass. Eventually the collection was housed at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston before its relocation to Haverhill.
“Tom Lyons spent two years in the AEF Airforce during WW1,” said his grandson Steve Lyons, “and he returned from France for a stint in an advertising agency, where he was inspired by a freelance designer, George Trenholm, who used Old Fashioned Ornamented Typography. … When the Great Depression struck, printers began dumping the old ornamented type, and TJ went all in to build his collection.”
This type was then in demand by ad agencies anxious for type that would stand out. Some of his type was made into film and digital fonts by VGC and Compugraphic in the 1960s and 1970s, but it all exists as individual pieces of wood and metal, to be set by hand, one letter at a time.
“This collection cries to be used,” said MoP president Frank Romano, “and the museum will have workshops and student projects that use this type for design and print projects.”
In addition to special collections and small exhibits, the museum contains hundreds of antique printing, typesetting, and bindery machines, as well as a library of books and printing-related documents. It is located at 15 Thornton Avenue and you can find them on the web at MuseumOfPrinting.org.
Penacook Place’s New Chapel Opens with a Special Blessing from Auxiliary Bishop of Boston
Penacook Place, a member of Covenant Health’s family of organizations, recently welcomed Most Reverend Robert F. Hennessey, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston and Vicar General Bishop — Merrimack Region to bless its new chapel, a sanctuary that came to fruition during the challenges of a pandemic.
Penacook renovated its ground floor into a chapel — a space that offers residents and their loved ones, staff and the community a place for reflection and religious services. The chapel is adorned with Stations of the Cross that were donated by Teresa Drelick, it can accommodate individuals aided by walkers and wheelchairs and has a folding glass partition to accommodate small and large occasions.
Bishop Hennessey then blessed the chapel as well as extended a blessing on behalf of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston. Bishop Hennessey shared, “We are in the season of Easter — a season of hope. The chapel’s opening conveys a message of dedication, hope and resilience.”
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Project LEARN Welcomes New Board Members
Edward Crockett works as a strategist and consultant with experience within financial services and diversified industrials sectors. Crockett, a Lowell High School alum, obtained an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2018, Crockett has worked as a consultant at EY-Parthenon. In his spare time, Crockett’s an avid fan of independent cinema, European soccer, the NBA, bookstores, craft beer, and creating a better future for his hometown of Lowell, Mass. He’s also currently engaged in a multiyear hunt for the world’s best pizza (Current Leader: Roberta’s of Brooklyn), and he counteracts that search with CrossFit, yoga and the occasional half-marathon.
Magaly Ronan serves as the assistant principal at the Greenhalge Elementary School in Lowell, where she has worked since 2017. Prior to this role, Ronan worked in various capacities for the district supporting curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Ronan was the first in her family to receive an undergraduate degree. A proud Lowell High alum, Ronan continues to be a lifelong learner through participating in ongoing graduate courses and workshop webinars. She lives with her family in Lowell and loves gardening, do-it-yourself projects like furniture refinishing and upholstering, attending music and art shows, relaxing by the pool or beach and most of all, spending time with her daughter, Corey Jayne.
Narin Sinuon works as an IT specialist that supports over 200+ employees within Lexia Learning and also serves on the company’s cultural committee. The Lowell High School alum worked at Lowell Catholic High School as their only full time IT support technician where he helped roll out their Chromebook initiative. During his spare time, Sinuon enjoys spending time with his two daughters and his wife. He enjoys anime, photography, and keeping up with the latest technology. Sinuon was one of the co-founders of Cultural Shock Apparel, having served as their director of marketing for six years. He is also involved with the local Lowell community having served on UTEC’s board as a teen, formerly served as a committee member on the Clemente Park Committee, and a former board member of the Angkor Dance Troupe.
Phitsamay Sychitkokhong Uy is associate professor in the college of education’s Leadership in Schooling Program and co-director of the Center for Asian American Studies at UMass Lowell. Uy went on to graduate from Boston College as the first and only Lao-American refugee to receive a Doctor of Education from Harvard University. With 25 years in the K-21 education field, her teaching experiences include being an elementary teacher, a literacy specialist, an Asian American studies instructor and a teacher education professor. Uy has been involved in various community boards of directors including Southeast Asian Resource Action Center. She currently serves on Mass Humanities, Pencils of Promise, and the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund and is a member of the Merrimack Valley DEI Consortium.
Lawrence Nursing Grad will Represent NECC at Statewide “29 Who Shine” Event
Yashana Rivera of Lawrence will graduate from Northern Essex Community College (NECC) with high honors and an associate degree in Nursing in May. A bi-lingual nursing graduate with a passion for delivering health care in Greater Lawrence, Rivera has been selected to receive the “29 Who Shine” award which honors class of 2021 graduates from each of the state’s community and public colleges and universities for their service. Rivera works part time as a medical assistant providing rapid COVID testing and has also volunteered with the Movement Family, an organization that helps the homeless by delivering meals and COVID care packages. She recently began administering vaccines in Lawrence as a volunteer. After passing her nursing boards, Yashana plans achieve her ultimate goal of becoming a family nurse practitioner serving the Lawrence community. In her free time, Rivera circuit and weight trains, practices yoga, and hikes. She also loves to travel and has been pirana fishing in the Amazon, climbed Macchu Picchu, and dined aboard a floating house in Lake Titicaca.
Lazarus House Ministries Welcomes Five Dynamic Board Members
Deacon Mike Curren is a nonprofit manager and member of the Order of the Diaconate at St. Augustine Parish in Andover.
Art Durkin is a real estate agent and consultant at Keller Williams Realty in Andover.
Todd Johnson is a senior vice president at USI Insurance, as well as an attorney, who lives in Tewksbury. He is passionate about serving those in need.
Olivia Rosa works in resource development and marketing. She favors the quote: “The trees act not as individuals, but as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t yet know. But what we see is the power of unity. What happens to one happens to us all. We can starve together or feast together.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Jesus Suriel is a senior branch service manager at Enterprise Bank in Lawrence and is strong supporter of the fight against poverty and hunger.