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Valerie Kapilow

MassBay Leaders

Valerie Kapilow Valerie Kapilow joined MassBay Community College in the summer of 2014 as a Project Manager in the Office of Strategic Planning, Institutional Effectiveness & Grants Development. In this role she worked on a variety of initiatives to increase access and support success in higher education and middle skills employment for underserved populations and non-traditional students. She moved from this temporary role to coordinating a Massachusetts Department of Higher Education grant initiative, STEM Starter Academy, on MassBay’s Wellesley Hills campus. She is currently the Project Director of STEM Starter Academy and the Director of the STEM Mentor Program.

Valerie’s STEM Starter Academy work involves designing and implementing various outreach, recruitment, support, retention and programmatic initiatives for the STEM Division and the students it serves. To achieve its goals, STEM Starter Academy offers many different programs and resources to STEM students including a dedicated STEM Academic Advisor and Career Development Counselor, opportunities to participate in the STEM Starter Academy Summer Bridge Program, STEM 4-Year Transfer Academy, the STEM Mentor Program, STEM Coaching Program and a variety of STEM Forums that are held throughout the year. Students receive a bi-weekly STEM Student Newsletter and are enrolled in STEM News, a virtual STEM resource center. STEM Starter Academy also facilitates field trips to STEM companies and four-year transfer institutions and represents the STEM Division at STEM Fairs, Expos and other venues.

Valerie also oversees the STEM Mentor Program which primarily fosters one-on-one mentoring relationships between MassBay STEM students and STEM professionals who work in regional STEM companies or organizations. In addition, The STEM Mentor Program provides students with substantive, networking, and career-focused programs throughout the year as well as scholarships and stipends to support students’ educational and professional development. This program is primarily funded through a charitable donation from Sanofi Genzyme and also receives funding from MathWorks. Over 60 students and 60 mentors participate in this program. “This program has been a cultural game-changer for many STEM students. Meeting professionals working in their field of study inspires them to persevere through adversity and challenging coursework. Practical advice and encouragement from a mentor translates to achievement and retention.”

Valerie is passionate about her work at MassBay and the abundance of opportunities the college offers to any student who has an interest in and is willing to put forth effort to achieve their educational and career goals. In her words…” It is tough to make your way in this world! Students need a lot of support and guidance as they seek a life that satisfies them professionally and personally. This demands that I have a well-equipped toolbox and am able to play many roles simultaneously. I am sometimes “teacher”, “task-master”, “coach” and “cheerleader”. I always provide a safe place where people can be free to bring their dreams, aspirations, passions and fears.”

Valerie has lived in Natick, Massachusetts for close to 30 years and has one daughter who is a 4th grade teacher in Wellesley. She loves to dance, do yoga, garden, cook, read and be outdoors as much as possible.

Prior to her work at MassBay, Valerie was the Associate Director of Career Services and Co-Director of Public Interest Advising at Northeastern University School of Law for over twenty years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Anthropology and a Master’s Degree in Management.

Valerie Kapilow