Claudio Mir MCC 2024 Alumnus!
Claudio Mir ’96 has been named the 2024 Middlesex College Alumnus of the Year. As Alumnus of the Year, Mir will deliver remarks at Middlesex College’s 57th Annual Commencement Ceremony on May 16.

Claudio Mir MCC 2024 Alumnus!



Claudio Mir ’96 has been named the 2024 Middlesex College Alumnus of the Year. As Alumnus of the Year, Mir will deliver remarks at Middlesex College’s 57th Annual Commencement Ceremony on May 16.

Mir serves as senior program coordinator for the Collaborative Center for Community Engagement, Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Rutgers University, where he oversees the Advancing Community Development Program, which was co-developed with Johnson & Johnson.

“One of the things I’m thankful for Middlesex College is that it pushed us. It motivated me to work harder. I came out of Middlesex with that work ethic and all the tools that I needed,” said Mir.

Now a pillar in the New Brunswick community, Mir moved to the United States at the age of 22. He trained as a professional actor at the National School of Theater in the Fine Arts Palace of Santo Domingo in his native Dominican Republic. He would parlay his theatrical talents in other ways, working for a social service agency in Trenton putting together plays about social issues like AIDS, and in a research position at what-was-then the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), where he collected data from members of the Latino population for a state HIV prevention project. But that grant-funded project lasted for only one year.

“I applied for unemployment benefits and someone said I could go back to school [tuition free] for approved study. I chose photography, and that’s how I ended up at Middlesex College,” he explained.

Mir needed to complete a year of remedial classes in his first year at Middlesex College. Once completed, Mir says, “I was unstoppable.”

He credits the “rigor” of Middlesex College for helping him reach the next milestone in his educational journey – acceptance into and thriving at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

“I actually put my portfolio together at Middlesex before I applied to Mason Gross School of the Arts,” he recalled, adding that a lot of people discouraged him from applying. “Even my friends were saying I was crazy for applying to Mason Gross.”

Despite the naysayers, Mir was at the top of the list of students accepted to that competitive school. Once there, Mir says he was well-prepared.

“There was nothing they could throw at me that I didn’t have the discipline for or know how to tackle – from math to English to whatever, Middlesex got me ready.”

After graduating from Mason Gross, he worked at the Institute for Arts and Humanities Education as an artist-in-residence responsible for designing and implementing arts integrated curricula in various New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania schools. While at that institute, Mir started a project with a dean at Rutgers – Community Artists in Residence and Training (CART) – which had him supervising 5-7 artists who were being trained to work in communities all around New Jersey. Mir later transitioned to operating CART from the Rutgers’ side.

In addition to his associate degree in Professional and Commercial Photography, a B.F.A. in visual arts from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Mir holds a M.F.A. in creative writing from Rutgers.

As Mir prepares to join the College community in celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2024 at Commencement, he is looking back on his time on campus with gratitude.

“I was thinking about how Middlesex made me feel like I was part of a community and gave me all the tools I needed. Whether your objective is to go to a four-year school, to take a break, or go straight into the workforce, those tools I got at Middlesex.”

Mir will deliver his remarks to the Class of 2024 at Commencement on May 16, 2024 at Jersey Mike’s Arena at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. For more information about the 2024 Commencement Ceremony, visit

Every year during commencement, the Alumni Association Board of Trustees, in collaboration with Middlesex College and Middlesex College Foundation, presents the Alumnus/a of the Year Award to recognize an outstanding alumnus/a for individual achievements, contributions to their field or profession, service to their community, and demonstrated loyalty to Middlesex College.



Middlesex College, established in 1964, is a public, two-year institution of higher education located in the heart of New Jersey. With a main campus in Edison and centers in New Brunswick and Perth Amboy, Middlesex College offers over 85 degree and certificate programs encouraging its more than 10,000 students to explore, grow, and thrive. Middlesex College, through dedicated faculty, state-of-the-art educational facilities, and holistic student supports, is committed to providing a high-quality, affordable college education that provides every student an opportunity for growth and achievement. Middlesex College is Middlesex County’s premier destination for lifelong learning and workforce training. Learn more at

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