Our Voices

Committed to Student Success

Dr. Avelino Mills-Novoa, MCTC presidentWhen Dr. Avelino Mills-Novoa was introduced to students, faculty, staff and the community as the interim president of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), one thing was clear: he is committed to the success of students.

“This college is a bridge,” said Avelino. “Specifically, the bridge that spans the gap between the populations we serve and their opportunity and self-determination.”

Avelino is committed to education as a social justice tool. He is a trained therapist, former professor of community psychology, department chair and interim dean at St. Cloud State University and former assistant dean at the University of Minnesota’s General College. He has worked with children, domestic abuse victims and young adults struggling with mental health issues. His biography is truly impressive, but his ability to personally connect with people is what leaves a lasting impression.

“One of my most gratifying moments on campus so far has been meeting and talking with students as they checked in for new student orientation,” he said. “I heard their stories and dreams. It makes me happy to see so much hope. I also feel the heavy responsibility of providing support for those hopes and dreams.”

Following his appointment, Avelino spent his first week on campus meeting with faculty, staff and students. “I came out of retirement to serve the College because I feel so strongly about MCTC's mission. The College helps people like me.”

“I have mindfully chosen to be of service to students and to my colleagues.”

An immigrant from Cuba, Avelino began learning English when he was 10 years old. “My story isn’t that different from the students on this campus,” he said. “I’m an immigrant and a person of color. Education changed my life.” Read Avelino's welcome message to incoming students here.

Published July 8, 2014


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