Jamie Chan, a 2012 graduate of the Graphic Design program at Mount Ida feels like the luckiest man on the planet.  He’s doing what he loves, in a great place, with creative people and making a good living at it.

“Every day when I walk in the door as Lead Graphic Designer at Margulies Perruzzi Architects. I feel really lucky,” Jamie says.  “I’m living my dream, but I didn’t take the usual path to get here.”

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Jamie attended community college, and only decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in his late 20s. He worked freelance for several years, then began exploring colleges to find the right match.

“I had a friend in the 3-D animation and graphics program at Mount Ida who was very happy there, so I came to campus, spoke to the professors and took a tour, but one of the deciding factors was I offered a generous scholarship.”

Initially Jamie was concerned that his being older than the traditional student, or his years of professional experience might make the classes less challenging. But, it was quite the opposite. “What I liked the most, was the professors recognized that I had been working in the field for several years and were able to provide individualized attention, as if they were a creative director working with an employee.  With their help, I was able to enhance my skills and talent, take them to the next level and forge my career path.”

When graduation loomed, Jamie checked out the listings from the Career Services Department at Mount Ida, and “that’s where I saw the listing for my current job.  I researched the company, culture, sent my resume, had a series interviews and the rest, as they say, is history.”

One of Jamie’s biggest and proudest moments was being asked to design a mural depicting science and technology that is to appear on the wall on the newly-created School of Applied Sciences Center at Mount Ida.  “I spent hours doing my homework in the building when I was a student and it was pretty boring.  Now, I’m helping to create a new, vibrant space at my alma mater.  I feel like I’m giving back in a way.”

Jamie’s advice for current students at Mount Ida is to not be too eager to grab the first job they are offered. “It’s better to wait than take a position that isn’t right, that you end up disliking and having to leave.  If you’re patient and fortunate like I am, you’ll end up excited to open that door each morning.”

August 2015-

The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), recognizing the work of the Student Affairs’ Center of Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE), has selected Mount Ida College as one of fewer than 80 institutions nationwide to participate in the 2015-2016 NASPA Lead Initiative.

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The recognition and selection was based on Mount Ida’s “dedication to promoting civic learning and democratic engagement as a core function of the division of student affairs,” says Stephanie Reynolds, Assistant Director of Knowledge Communities and CLDE initiatives at NASPA  – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

The Lead Initiative is designed to promote professional development, networking and peer-to-peer sharing among the NASPA member participants. Selected institutions, representing public and private four-year and two-year colleges and universities, have committed to a series of strategies to work in partnership with on and off campus constituents to influence students’ ongoing commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement, including:

  •  Building clear and tangible civic learning and democratic engagement activities into student affairs division strategic goals and learning outcomes;
  •  Collecting and reporting data on the efficacy of campus efforts using tools that measure gains in civic learning and democratic engagement;
  •  Creating strategies in collaboration with students that increase civic learning and help solve community problems through collective action.

“We are obviously thrilled to have been selected to be a LEAD institution for the second year by NASPA.  But more importantly, we are looking forward to sharing what we have learned on our own campus and, in turn, learning from our colleagues,” says Laura De Veau, Mount Ida College Vice President for Student Affairs. “We have long recognized the importance of civic engagement and introduce it to our students from their very first days and we have been heartened at the growth of our program in a sustainable way within our unique community.”

Mount Ida is proud to be the founding higher education sponsor of the N2 (n-squared) Corridor project, a public/private partnership to establish the N2  Corridor as a work-live-learn-play destination. Comprised of nearly 500 acres of commercial, educational, retail and recreational land along the Newton-Needham line, the N2 Innovation Corridor is home to some of the nation’s fastest growing and most well-known innovation companies.

In addition to $50,000 in support from the City of Newton, the Town of Needham, local businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a matching grant to the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce to fund a year-long competitiveness study and create a marketing plan for the N2 Corridor as the Corridor enters a period of marked expansion and development.

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“By partnering and promoting their shared assets, Newton and Needham are uniquely positioned to attract industry and drive development,” said Congressman Joseph Kennedy III, in announcing the federal grant. “This N2 Initiative grant will help leverage the Corridor’s strengths and capitalize on our rapidly expanding innovation sector as we continue our efforts to expand access to economic opportunity throughout our Commonwealth.”

“The N2  Corridor provides a singular advantage for our students at Mount Ida and for opportunities to be involved in innovation from the ground up,” says Barry Brown, President of Mount Ida College. “It is an investment not only in N2, but in our students’ lives and futures.”

“The N² Corridor is a great example of how municipalities and private partners can work together to more effectively advocate for the resources needed to finance projects based on holistic plans that will have a big impact on the area,” said Newton Mayor Setti Warren. “This grant will enable us to get the expertise needed to create the strongest, most effective plan to spur the economic development that will attract innovative companies, entrepreneurs, and high-paying jobs to Newton and Needham.”