New Vice President of Academic Affairs, TRIO Coordinator

Berkshire Community College (BCC) is excited to announce that Jennifer Berne has joined the College as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and that Frederic MacDonald-Dennis has also joined as the Academic Coordinator of the TRIO Program.

Berne, who lives in Lenox, previously worked as the Dean of Liberal Arts at Harper College in Illinois.  Prior to that, she served as an Associate Professor and Department Chair for the Department of Literacy and Elementary Education at Northern Illinois University.  Earlier in her career she spent a number of years at National Louis University, as a member of the faculty and later as the Department Chair, focused on Reading and Language. 

Berne is a prolific writer and presenter, and has been involved in the work of Achieving the Dream, she is an Aspen Presidential Fellow and she has been engaged in the accreditation work of the Higher Learning Commission.

Berne earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Master’s degree in English Literature and Composition Theory from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. In Teacher Education from Michigan State University, East Lansing.

jennifer berne

MacDonald-Dennis, who lives in North Adams, comes to College from Normandale Community College in Minnesota, where he has been the TRIO Director for the past three years. He brings with him over 25 years of experience in higher education administration including positions at the University of Minnesota, Haverford College, Art Institute of Philadelphia, University of Michigan and Emory University.

The TRIO (Talent, Resources, Initiative, Opportunity) Program at BCC is a federally funded program that provides free support services to students with an academic need as defined by the Federal government and meet one of the following criteria: neither parent graduated from a four-year, college; the student is receiving financial aid; or the student has a documented learning or physical disability.

MacDonald-Dennis holds a Bachelor’s degree in public relations communication and a Master’s degree in organization communication, both from the University of Alabama.