November 21,2016

Dear Students and All Members of the Mount Ida Community:

What makes Thanksgiving a uniquely American holiday is less its origins than how it has evolved. It is, of course, a remembrance of the survival of the Plymouth colonists celebrating their progress in a new land, facing yet another harsh winter.

What the holiday has become, however, is much more relevant and important.  It selects out no religion, no ethnicity, culture or race, but invites all to dinner in homes throughout America. It is our moment for family and friends when the doors of our homes are open without agenda – except lots and lots of good food and football. And for a moment, we are permitted to put aside our everyday cares, our anguish and anxiety and to spend time laughing, relaxing and embracing those around us.

This holiday could not come at a better time.  The election has frayed our minds and spirit. We need, both personally and as a nation, to take a break, relax for just a moment and to recognize our strengths, not our weaknesses.

We face a challenging moment in our history – whether you are a Republican, a Democrat or neither. But taking a longer view, our whole history has been one of challenge and we should not lose sight of that fact. Our republic and the democracy upon which it is based is one which anticipates change – at times wrenching and disjunctive – but that’s the deal we made at the start of this nation and we have since faced many moments just as demanding.

In each instance, we have shown our indomitable and unfailing spirit. And we will do so now. At our core, we are a nation of laws – at times challenging to enforce –  but very difficult to undo. Those laws, combined with the diversity of our people, give voice to every one of us.

You, our students, need to know that fact and to realize that, as volatile as this moment may appear, the election – and those who have been elected – will soon be old news and you will be the new and next chapter. The new administration has but a brief moment to demonstrate that it is worthy of our nation and our people.

I ask that you understand your ability to shape the future and not feel powerless. We drive by looking ahead, not into the rear view mirror. That applies to drivers and presidents. If our President-elect looks forward, he will see each of you, individually and collectively – there to challenge and to guide him.

To do so, you must become involved, not observers, not watching a screen to see what has happened, but to be what happens. Our task, as your teachers, is to enable and encourage you. We do so, eagerly, in order to be the resource to help you identify issues and causes that can lead to constructive change; to build your confidence and effectiveness to benefit our communities and our nation.  We do this because we know, so well, that you are the hope for our own future, as well as your own.

Fear of the future is neither a constructive nor a worthy emotion in a democratic society.  It  has never shaped our future and is inconsistent with the great progress that this nation has made over its long history. For more than two centuries, we have embraced new ideas and new people. Given that success, there is no reason to stop now.

I wish you and your families a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving – may laughter and joy fill your homes. And, if you have a moment, please take a walk down your street, look at the folks who pass you by, glance in the windows of the homes and apartments.  Be really proud of the humanity and diversity of our nation and proud of what we have built and will build yet again. You are the faces of the future of our nation and still remain its great hope.

Barry Brown

October 15, 2016

More than two dozen non-profit organizations gathered at Mount Ida College in Newton on Saturday, October 15, 2016 for the Inaugural Volunteer Expo spearheaded by Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. (pictured above in center)

“We were honored to be able to host this important event,” says Gregg Grenier, Director of Community Engagement at Mount Ida College. “At Mount Ida we are committed to service-learning and community engagement as part of both the student experience and for the entire campus.  It was wonderful to see our students and community engage with the many organizations who participated.”

When Congressman Kennedy arrived, he made his way to the stage, stopping at tables along the way, engaging in conversation with the non-profit volunteers and staff, then stepped on stage to be introduced by Jill Wierbicki Abrahams, the Mount Ida College Vice President for Advancement. Abrahams presented the Congressman with a letter signed by his great-uncle, President John F.Kennedy, who had written in support of Mount Ida when still a senator in 1956 – a letter that was recently discovered in Mount Ida’s archives.

Congressman Kennedy then spoke about his time in the Peace Corps and how volunteerism and community service had impacted him.  He noted that in this time of election turmoil, gazing out over the crowd, he was confident that our country was in good hands.  Kennedy then continued to meet and speak with the Expo participants before leaving to go to a similar event at the other end of his District in Norton, Ma.

”This event served as a launchpad for the new Center for Community Engagement at Mount Ida,” says Grenier.  “I can’t think of a more powerful way to not only show our campus commitment, but to reach out to our current, and we hope, future community partners in building this strong network.”  Most striking to Grenier was the ability of small, volunteer-run non-profits to work alongside much larger ones.  “You had “All Hands In,” for example, that fights human trafficking, and which is 100 percent volunteer, standing alongside the American Cancer Society that boasts 6000 employees and four million volunteers each year. The passion and excitement was the same.”

During the Expo, participants were able to engage in a service activity to be able to put their passion into practice. Individuals wrote letters to our soldiers that are placed overseas and were able to create “get well” cards for hospitalized children. It was a unique way for individuals to learn about volunteering while simultaneously being able to volunteer their time.

The Expo was co-hosted, along with Congressman Kennedy’s office, by the Mount Ida College Center for Community Engagement and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The following organizations were represented at the Volunteer Expo:
Action for Boston Community Development
AIDS Action Committee/Boomerangs
All Hands In
American Heart Association
American Cancer Society – Relay For Life
Boston Cares
Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital
Chesterbrook Community Foundation, Inc.
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Fallon Ambulance Service
Horizons for Homeless Children
Ignatian Volunteer Corp: New England
Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center
Mass Network of Foster Care Alumni
Massachusetts Campus Compact – AmeriCorps*VISTA Program
Norfolk County RSVP Volunteer Program
Peace Corps
Boston Scholar Athletes
United Cerebral Palsy Organization of MetroBoston
USA Universal
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network



The 2nd Annual Career Night will take place on Wednesday, November 2nd!

Karson Tager of the Karson & Kennedy Mix 104.1 morning show is the keynote speaker at this year’s Career Night, Wednesday November 2, beginning at 4:30. The event, will feature alumni panels for each of the four schools, a dinner and a chance to hear Karson Tager at 7.

Here is a list of Alumni Panelists (subject to change) with the panel locations. Panels begin at 4:30.

School of Applied Sciences – Campus Center Oak Hill Room:
Despina Najarian CVT – Vet Tech ’15, MSM ‘16 – Veterinary Technician at BluePearl Veterinary Partners; Lab Assistant at Mount Ida College
Sam McEwan – Vet Tech ’13 – Associate Scientist at Biogen
Julie Spillane – BS in Dental Hygiene ’15 – Dental Hygienist/Consultant at Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Kathy Tilton – Applied Forensic Science ’09 – Pathology Assistant at Boston Medical Center
Tiffany (Witte) Simpson – Funeral Home Management ’09 – Advanced Sales Manager/Funeral Director, Dignity Memorial (SCI)
Jacob Cormier – Funeral Home Management ’16, Apprentice at Boucher Funeral Home (will attend unless there is a funeral that day)
Jim Heald – Funeral Service ’95 – Owner and Funeral Director at Heald and Chiampa Funeral Home

School of Design – Campus Center Theater:
Taylor Birse – Interior Design ’11 – Interior Designer at Cummings Properties
Betsy Dolinko – Fashion Design ’10 – Quality Control Supervisor at LION Apparel and has her own line
Caitlin Greene – Graphic Design ’09 – Graphic Designer at Olympia Sports
Leah Duffney – Graphic Design ’15 – Packaging Designer at Cool Gear International
Matt Reynolds – Graphic Design ’11 – Senior Art Director at Metropolis Creative
Brittany Fernandes – Fashion Marketing ’14 – Assistant Merchandiser at TJX
Tia (Dellarocco) DeAngelis – Fashion Marketing ’10 – former boutique owner/operator at Fate Consignment Boutique

School of Social Sciences & Humanities – Shaw Solarium:
Melissa Jacobson – Psychology ’14 – Community Support Counselor at Riverside Community Care; grad student at Suffolk University
Stephanie Grant – Psychology ’16 – Mental Health Specialist at McLean Hospital
Eliza Madrigal – Psychology ’15 – Corporate Recruiter at Granite Telecommunications
Chris Santiago – Criminal Justice ’98 – Director of Public Safety at Wheaton College
Michaela Dady – Education ’16 – Assistant Teacher at Chickering Elementary School

School of Business – Shaw Multi-faith Space:
Tre Wilkerson-Glover – Hospitality Management ’15 – Office Manager at Shorelight Education
Stephen Butch – Management ’97 – Sr. Apparel Demand Planner at New Balance
Brett Conley – Business Management ’09 – Director of Marketing at Affinity Marketing
Chandler Webb – Business Administration ’13 – Co-Founder at Pointman & Partners LLC
Alex Milot – Business Administration ’13 – Marketing Coordinator at Massachusetts Dental Society
Greg  Hagan – Sport Management ’09 – Head Women’s Soccer Coach & Assistant Sports Information Director at Mount Ida College
Zachary Rosen – Sport Management ’14 – Salesman at NES Group