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Byrne Joins MCC Board As Its Student Rep

August 20, 2018

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The Middlesex Community College board of trustees has named Bridget Byrne of Littleton its student trustee for the 2018-2019 academic year.

A returning adult student with her own architectural-restoration business, Byrne is planning a career change and is enrolled in the Biotechnology Certificate program.

A single mother with a 13-year-old daughter, Byrne, 40, earned a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Smith College. She has run Byrne Restoration for almost 20 years.

“I restore furniture and also work on historic homes and church organs,” she said. “My specialty is finishes and painted surfaces.”

While Byrne loves the hands-on aspect of restoration work, she’s no longer happy about the toxic chemicals that are part of the job. Even with good ventilation and other protections, the strong solvents are harmful to the environment and the conservators using them.

So Byrne has begun developing her own, less toxic compounds.

“In restoration, we do lots of testing and sampling, which involves mixing together different products to come up with the best solutions for a particular job,” she said. “You’re basically doing chemistry lab work. I decided I wanted to go back to school to learn how to do that lab work the right way.”

Byrne enrolled at Middlesex to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering. However, after taking a “Mathematics for Technology” course and exploring other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, she realized she prefers the hands-on aspects of biotechnology. She is now pursuing a certificate in Biotechnology and expects to graduate next May.

While at Middlesex, Byrne has excelled in her STEM courses and is active in extra-curricular activities. She serves as a supplemental instruction leader, tutoring her peers in Engineering courses. Byrne is also vice president of MCC’s STEM Club, which is building a wind-turbine prototype, with hopes of seeing it installed on campus.

For more information about MCC, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu or call 800-818-3434.

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