Campus buzzing with MCC spring semester

Dear Friends,

What an exciting Spring 2022 semester we are experiencing! Continuing to build on our successful health and safety protocols including masks indoors and encouraging vaccinations, we increased our on-campus and hybrid formats to over 50% of classes offered. More on-campus learning brings a much-welcomed hustle and bustle of students and staff. It is such a joy returning to our campuses.

While many students have longed for in-person classes, others have filled our online and live online classes, which we continue to innovate for students who need the convenience of learning where and when it fits their work/life schedules.


Joining us on campus is the first group of 85 Mesa College Promise (MCP) students. The program provides funding for two years of MCC education for graduating high school students with demonstrated need who reside in the city of Mesa. MCP also features enhanced advising and support for student success. Find details about the program on our website –


Moving forward on recommendations by the Red Mountain Campus Vision Team, we are expanding its Allied Health Science education focus by increasing current offerings in dental hygiene, phlebotomy and nursing assisting and adding EMT and paramedic classes.


MCC hosted a roundtable on trucking and supply chain infrastructure featuring U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, along with local elected officials. We were also pleased to host a visit with State Senator Tyler Pace and Representative Michelle Udall.

MCC partnered with Pegasystems Inc. to create a fast-track Pega certification program. The certification, which may be earned in one semester, prepares individuals for positions with more than $114,000 annual starting salaries.

Maureen Howard, an MCC fashion design student, won the Green Flag program’s third annual business plan challenge $500 prize. Green Flag Mesa is a partnership between the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and MCC, providing our entrepreneurial students with work space, business tools, and mentoring.


MCC faculty, students and staff continue to shine across the nation. Niccole Villa Cerveny, Ph.D. was invited by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to serve as a member of the U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Geosciences. Charles “Wes” Foster, MSN, BA, RN, CMSRN, OCN, MCC nursing faculty, was named president of the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board. MCC Religious Studies Professor Elizabeth Ursic was one of 12 faculty members selected from colleges across the United States to attend a faculty development seminar exploring the challenges the country of Jordan is facing as one of the most water-poor countries in the world. Yvonne Schmidt, MCC study abroad coordinator, was one of only 20 in the nation selected as an inaugural Gilman International Scholarship Advisor Ambassador.


Kudos to members of the MCC Alumni Advisory Board, Events and the Selections Committees who did not let a pandemic deter them from keeping the college’s renowned alumni engagement moving forward. Quickly adapting to virtual meetings, the members continued the business of the Alumni Association selecting, awarding and mentoring Alumni Scholarships students plus choosing Hall of Fame honorees and celebrating them at a great, outdoor, in-person event.

The college achieved its highest fundraising year ever (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), receiving $990,353 in support of our student scholarships from caring donors, many who are our generous alumni.

I continue to be honored to serve as MCC’s interim president, a role I have been filling since February 2020. As a public entity, the Maricopa County Community College District is committed to holding national searches for leadership positions. Status of the hiring process can be found at

Be well. Stay safe. I hope to see you soon.

With Thunderbird Spirit!
Lori M. Berquam, Ph.D.
Interim President, Mesa Community College