Academics

Dean Eileen Costello pins Fortunate Munhutu May 2015

Fortunate Munhutu receives her pin from Dean Eileen Costello during MWCC’s 42nd nurse pinning ceremony.

Ninety eight graduates of MWCC’s day, evening and LPN to ADN  nursing programs celebrated  a  milestone during the 42nd annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony held May 21 at the Fitness & Wellness Center.

Each graduate, dressed in a traditional nurse uniform, was welcomed into the profession by having a nursing pin fastened to her/his lapel by a fellow nurse—a family member, friend or faculty member. The eight-star pin is imprinted with the words “Service to Humanity and the World” with the nursing symbol in the middle.

“This is a big night for our nursing students,” Executive Vice President Ann McDonald told the gathering of hundreds of friends and family members, current students and alumni. “I see first-hand, every day the dedication our nursing students have to their studies and profession.”

Eileen Costello, Dean of the School of Health Professions, Public Service Programs and Social Sciences led the ceremony with the assistance of faculty members.

The graduates also lit electronic candles and recited the Florence Nightinigale Pledge, an oath originally composed in 1893 and named for the founder of modern nursing.

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Student Government Association President Cathy Teague leads the Class of 2015 to their Commencement ceremony.

Unlike Mount Wachusett Community College’s first commencement in 1966, when 71 graduates received associate degrees in six academic programs, the college this year awarded 842 associate degrees and academic certificates to 785 graduates enrolled in nearly 50 program options.

During the college’s 50th commencement on May 20, President Daniel M. Asquino asked the graduates to reflect on their accomplishments and their journey ahead.

“Lives change here like nowhere else. Over the past 50 years, tens of thousands of students have crossed this stage and they are now contributing members of our communities,” he said. “I challenge you to go forward and use your skills and the education that you received to continue these pursuits and to improve your life, that of your family and friends and that of our community, your state and your nation, and that you manifest an overall behavior that generates happiness, goodwill and contagious optimism.”

Kevin Berg

Commencement speaker and 2015 Alumnus of the Year Kevin Berg

Keynote speaker and 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award recipient Kevin Berg urged the graduates to embrace change, persist toward their goals with drive, determination and desire, and accept the help and support of others as needed.“To me there can be no greater honor than being asked to give the Commencement address at the institution that started me on my path in becoming the person I am today,” said Berg, who grew up in Gardner and is now executive vice president of production for CBS Network Entertainment in Los Angeles. “My path clearly had its genesis right here at Mount Wachusett.”

After studying broadcasting and communications at MWCC, he worked for six months at a news station in Boston. In the summer of 1984, he moved to LA, where he landed a job in television production and quickly moved up the ranks working with award-winning director Marty Pasetta and then at CBS.

Dan with dental hygiene students

President Asquino congratulates Dental Hygiene grads.

“Some of you graduating tonight have a clear idea of what’s next, and there are those who haven’t a clue of what’s next – and there’s nothing wrong with that. I went through many of those phases myself,” Berg said. “But regardless of what category you might fall into, to ensure success, a path must be discovered. It may present itself or you may have to hunt it down, but that path will lead to your ultimate destination. Each and every one of you will be embarking on a completely different path – some windy and curvy with road blocks that seem impossible to maneuver. Others will be full speed ahead, straight, clear, no bumps in the road. The type of path to your designation is not yours to choose but yours to successfully navigate.”Berg, who was presented with an honorary doctorate in Humanities, is fiscally responsible for all worldwide production costs and schedules and oversees spending in excess of $1.5 billion annually. He has been involved with the launch and continuing success of the hit CSI and NCIS franchises, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, Elementary, the Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, Madam Secretary, the Amazing Race, Survivor and many others.

Jim Garrison and President Asquino

Long-serving Board of Trustees chairman Jim Garrison received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters and the 2015 Service Above Self Award for his leadership and generosity. In appreciation, he also received a standing ovation.

MWCC also presented business leader, philanthropist and college advocate James O. Garrison with an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters and the 2015 Service Above Self Award. The award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to MWCC and the 29 North Central Massachusetts cities and towns that make up MWCC’s service area. In addition to extensive community service, Mr. Garrison is a former chair of the college’s Board of Trustees and benefactor of the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education scholarships.

“His philanthropic endeavors have resulted in countless improvements and changes to MWCC that have enhanced the learning environment for college students and children and the vital role the college plays in the community,” President Asquino said.

Student speaker Yasmine Kanaan of Still River, a Business Administration major, shared her poignant story of how MWCC helped her overcome obstacles, redirect her life and discover her potential.

Yasmine Kanaan

Yasmine Kanaan

“My rise was not easy, and my journey continues as I work hard to better myself and put the pieces of my life back together,” she said. “I have gone from a lost young adult with no goals and no identity, to a student with a high GPA, an associate’s degree in business that I was able to complete in one year, and an acceptance to the University of Massachusetts Lowell. This was all possible because this college embraced me and opened so many doors for me. We all owe this day and our success to the Mount for creating that stepping stone, that opportunity for each of us to be able to have a better and brighter future, for creating an environment that makes it easy to transition back into school, and for faculty who are very willing to help and advise us in any way they can.”

Student Trustee Phillip M. Stan was presented with the Trustees’ Award. Bryce Bodley-Gomes of Ashburnham and Cindy Caron of Jaffrey, N.H. received President’s Keys. John Day of Gardner was presented with this year’s Dean’s Key.

Five retiring professors were awarded emeriti status: Joel Anderson, Media Arts & Technology; Paul Laverty, Mathematics; John McNally, Health Sciences, Fitness & Wellness; Elena Natalizia, Criminal Justice; and John Reilly, Business Administration.

Ollari family 1

Dental Assisting graduate Stephanie Ollari and her parents, Tim and Sandy, prior to the pinning ceremony.

In between learning about patient care, x-rays and cavity prevention, Mount Wachusett Community College dental assisting student Stephanie Ollari consequently taught her classmates and professors a lesson or two about the life-saving gift of organ donation.

Just two months after donating one of her kidneys to save the life of her father, Tim, the Millers Falls resident stepped onto the stage with fellow graduates during the college’s traditional dental programs pinning ceremony on May 15.

“Steph, you are such an inspiration to all of us,” classmate Kaylynn Gaskell said from the podium. “You have so much determination in you. Thank you for being so brave and having such a kind heart. We love you!”

Gaskell’s words brought tears to the eyes of many attending the event, which celebrated the academic achievements of 12 dental assisting program graduates and 15 dental hygiene program graduates.

Ms. Ollari was joined by her father, mother Sandy, siblings Elysia and John, and boyfriend Bryce Molner, and others who have stood by the family for many years during Mr. Ollari’s health battles, which included a double-lung transplant in 2009 due to an inherited, genetic condition.

She has been waiting two years to be old enough undergo the surgery. Her father had been on a donor list for seven years and on dialysis for three, and originally was adamantly opposed to the idea of accepting a donation from one of his children. But when Ms. Ollari’s siblings said they would willingly do the same for her, should she ever need one, he finally acquiesced.

Ms. Ollari turned out to be a perfect match for her father. They underwent the multi-hour procedure on March 12, National Kidney Day, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and both are well on the mend.

“I always say if I had a third one, I’d do it again,” the gregarious 25-year old remarked prior to the pinning ceremony.

“She didn’t miss a beat,” said Cynthia Cadoret, chair of MWCC’s Dental Programs department, which provides trainign at the colleg’s satellite campus in Fitchburg, located within the Fitchburg Family Community Health Center. The surgery was scheduled around spring break, and with some adjustments to her clinical experience schedule, she was able to keep up with her coursework, Cadoret said.

“I am just so very, very proud of her,” Mr. Ollari said of his daughter, who plans to work in the field before returning to her studies to become a dental hygienist. “The dental assisting program was huge for her to get the experience and skills he needs. She was dedicated and determined.”

“She’s very inspiring,” said Sandy Ollari. “She’s been wanting to do this since day one.”

Dental Assisting pinning May 15 2015 guy

Dental Assisting graduate Albert Wiafe is pinned by faculty member Susan Graves during the ceremony.

The ninth annual pinning ceremony included congratulatory remarks from new program chair Cynthia Cadoret, Dr. Melissa Fama, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and guest speaker E. Jane Crocker, president of the American Dental Hygienists Association, Massachusetts, and dental hygiene class president Celine Grimley.

During the ceremony, the graduates were pinned by faculty members and several students were presented with awards.Class President Celine Grimley received the Dental Hygiene Department Award; Tasey Lemieux received the Dental Hygiene Curriculum Award; Samantha Dunn received the Johnson & Johnson Award; Jillian Legere received the Hu Friedy Golden Scaler Award; Sharon DiNardo received the Dental Assisting Department Award, and first year-student Alyssa Adoretti received the Ellen Daly Scholarship.

John Day Cathy Teague Phillip Stan President Daniel Asquino

President Daniel Asquino with award recipients John Day, Cathy Teague and Phillip Stan during MWCC’s annual Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony. VIEW MORE PHOTOS HERE

Dozens of area students received awards and scholarships during Mount Wachusett Community College’s annual Evening of Excellence academic awards ceremony, held May 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Leominster. The ceremony showcased students receiving national, state and regional awards in recognition of their performance inside the classroom as well as their contributions in the community.

In addition to college curriculum and outstanding achievement awards, the MWCC Foundation also presented a number of memorial awards and scholarships during the ceremony. The foundation has awarded more than $280,000 in scholarships this year.

“This is a fantastic time of the year,” President Daniel M. Asquino told the honorees. “It represents and celebrates your many accomplishments, academic pursuits, civic engagement and contributions to the community.”

The following awards were presented:

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

All USA Academic Team Nominees: Cathy M. Teague and Phillip M. Stan

Visions Program Award: Stevie LaBelle

RX Award: Kimberly Mertell

Best of English 101: John L. Alden, Karin J. May, Lara E. White

Sandy Signor Award: Diane L. Mascitti

Jean Tandy Award: Jessica E. Foley

2015 Newman Civic Fellow Award: John S. Day

Service Learning Scholarship: Lori G. Belliveau, Julianne R. Hutchins

CURRICULUM AWARDS

Accounting: Gregory A. Lizotte

Art: Corinne M. Goodrich

Automotive Technology: David S. Niall

Biological Science: Meghan K. Durgin

Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing: Savannah M. Cooke

Broadcasting and Electronic Media – Video/Film: Jordan S. Jubacz

Broadcasting and Electronic Media – Photography: Michael D. Taillon

Business Administration Career: Pamela A. Mercer

Business Administration Transfer: Derek L. Gaidanowicz

Clinical Laboratory Science: Prabha S. Amaresan

Computer Information Systems: Crystle R. Monahan

Criminal Justice Corrections: Lance M. Grieman

Criminal Justice Law Enforcement: Derek N. Gyles

Dental Hygiene: Tasey J. Lemieux

Early Childhood Education Career: Lauren E. Hildreth

Early Childhood Education Transfer: Heidi M. Lupien

Exercise and Sports Science: Patricia Rousseau

Fire Science Technology: John J. Gilmartin

General Studies: Charles M. Njaaga

Graphic & Interactive Design: Desiree M. Procell

Human Services: Renee P. Chandler

Legal Studies: Kimberly L. Bonk

Liberal Arts & Sciences: Kayara S. Burnett

Liberal Arts – Theatre: Austina L. Towle

LPN to ADN Bridge: Catherine W. Migwi

Medical Assisting: Tess L. Aucoin

Natural Resources: Michelle Nye

Nursing: Karlee E. McIver, Jared E. Robie

Pre-Engineering: Bryce K. Bodley-Gomes, Charles Gesner

MWCC FOUNDATION, INC. AWARDS

Alumni Scholarship: Alexander R. Campbell

Barbara Chaplin Memorial Scholarship: Heidi M. Lupien

Barnes & Noble Scholarship:  Bianca A. DiGiannantonio, Ashley Hancock

Carl Tammi Award: Crystle R. Monahan

Carrie Progen Memorial Scholarship: Kathryn M. Ahearn

Craig Hamel Scholarship: Lindsay M. Howard

Edith Baldyga Scholarship: Roxanna M. Figueroa

Ellen Daly Dental Hygiene Scholarship: Alyssa B. Adoretti

Father Adamo Scholarship: Renee P. Chandler

James D. Murphy Scholarship: Phillip M. Stan

Jonathan C. Craven Scholarship: John S. Day

John Burton Award: Amber Martinez

Joseph B. Ruth Scholarship: Mary Lisa Burns

Keith Nivala Award: Thomas J. Mullins

Marilyn Kiosses Scholarship: Kimberly L. Mills

Melissa Herr Marsh Scholarship: Amy L. Moisan

Millie McGuire Foundation Scholarship: Diane L. Mascitti

Mount Observer Scholarship: Bryan R. Nolan

Robert H. Gilman Memorial Scholarship: Stephanie A. Zamojski

Robert Weibel Award: Garrett J. Watson

Roberts Scholarship: Louis A. Ayisi

Sara Kajel Award: Amanda L. Stewart

Sharyn Rice Award: Aaron Trudeau

MWCC Veteran’s Memorial Scholarship: Aaron Trudeau
MEMORIAL AWARDS

Aspasia Anastos Award: Lara E. White

Judge Moore Award: Bryce K. Bodley-Gomes, Todd Perry

Peter J. Trainor Leadership Award: Thomas Berger
HONORS SOCIETY RECOGNITION

Honors Program Graduates: Victoria R. Allen, Ivy Benoit, Bryce K. Bodley-Gomes, Kayara S. Burnett, Mary Lisa Burns, Chantal A. Froystein, Colette M. Leon, Brandi Logue, Phillip M. Stan

First MWCC graduation 1966

MWCC’s first Commencement exercises took place on June 12, 1966 with 71 graduates. This year, the college will award more than 840 degrees and certificates to 781 graduates. Pictured, from left, 1966 graduates and award recipients Mary Pieloch and Doris Townsend; Dr. Arthur F. Haley, President; graduate and award recipient James Eacmen, Jr.; and Commencement speaker Dr. Howard B. Jefferson, president of Clark University. (Photo courtesy of The Gardner News)

Fifty years ago, lifelong Gardner resident Helen Lepkowski was among a handful of Mount Wachusett Community College faculty members to congratulate the college’s first graduating class.

On Wednesday, May 20, the former business division professor and her husband, Ed, a former MWCC trustee, will maintain their longstanding tradition of attending the celebration. Unlike the first ceremony, where 71 graduates received associate degrees in six academic programs, the college will award more than 840 associate degrees and academic certificates to 785 graduates enrolled in nearly 50 program options.

Mount Wachusett’s first commencement, held outdoors on Sunday, June 12, 1966 at the Elm Street campus, featured Dr. Howard B. Jefferson, the third president of Clark University, as the speaker.

“It was very small and it was just wonderful and intimate. It was a beautiful day,” Mrs. Lepkowski recalled. “It’s always a wonderful opportunity to be there and there are always people you know who are graduating or are there for the occasion.”

MWCC’s 50th Commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the college’s Fitness & Wellness Center.

Among this year’s highlights, Gardner native Kevin Berg, executive vice president of production for CBS Network Entertainment in Los Angeles, will deliver the commencement address. Berg also will receive an honorary doctorate of Humanities, as well as the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award.

Community leader and long-serving volunteer James O. Garrison will receive is the recipient of Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2015 Service Above Self Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions within the 29 cities and towns that make up the college’s service area. Mr. Garrison, former MWCC Board of Trustees chair and benefactor of the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education scholarships, will receive an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters. Prior to the commencement ceremony, President Daniel M. Asquino and the Board of Trustees will recognize Mr. Garrison and his wife, Peggy, for their generous gifts and commitment to students during a rededication of the Garrison Center.

Business Administration graduate Yasmine Kanaan has been selected to deliver the Class of 2015 Student Address.

Five retiring professors will receive emeriti status: Joel Anderson, Media Arts & Technology; Paul Laverty, Mathematics; John McNally, Health Sciences, Fitness & Wellness; Elena Natalizia, Criminal Justice; and John Reilly, Business Administration.

New this year, two food trucks will be on site to curb appetites: The Dogfather Truck of Worcester, and Dylan and Pete’s Ice Cream Truck of Boston. The MWCC Alumni Association will return with flowers for sale, and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society will conduct its 12th annual Project Graduation food drive. Graduates and their guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the commencement rehearsal and/or ceremony. Donations will be delivered to the Gardner Community Action Committee, the Winchendon Community Action Committee, and MWCC’s Students SOS office.

Cathy Teague

Cathy M. Teague

The state Department of Higher Education will kick off the 2015 commencement season by recognizing top students from across Massachusetts at the fifth annual 29 Who Shine award ceremony on May 14 at the State House. The award honors 29 outstanding public college and university graduates, one from each community college, state university and UMass campus, for their academic achievement and community service.

Mount Wachusett Community College student Cathy May Teague of Winchendon will be among the students recognized by Governor Charlie Baker, state education officials, campus presidents and others attending the ceremony.

“I want to congratulate the outstanding Class of 2015 graduates for the recognition they have received and thank them for their substantial contributions to their local communities,” said Gov. Baker. “Each of the ‘29 Who Shine’ honorees, in addition to being an accomplished student, is civically engaged in ways that improve the quality of life in Massachusetts.”

“Each one of our 29 honorees is from Massachusetts and planning to remain in Massachusetts,” noted Richard M. Freeland, commissioner of higher education. “Through their dedicated scholarship and deep engagement in their local communities, these students are making good on the taxpayers’ investment in their education.”

A lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Teague has her hands full as a full-time student, a mother of three young sons, and stepmother to two teenagers and a 20-year-old soldier serving in Afghanistan. Yet she makes it a priority to carve out time to serve fellow students as president of Mount Wachusett Community College’s Student Government Association, vice president of the college’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and mentor to peers who are struggling with academic or personal issues by volunteering with the Students Serving Our Students (SOS) program.

Teague has taken a leadership role in civic engagement on and off campus, participating in many endeavors such as helping to build a home with Habitat for Humanity of North Central Massachusetts, food drives to assist those in need, and fundraising to benefit student-centered campus initiatives and community nonprofit organizations. As president of the SGA, she spearheaded the college’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which served more than 80 families this past year. Additionally, she and her husband, Jason, reach out to help others in as many ways as possible, for example opening their home on Thanksgiving to veterans.

A first-generation college student, Teague participated in the college’s Rx program, a TRIO Student Support Services program designed specifically for health care majors.

“It became clear that in order for me to have a stable career, I needed a college education,” Teague said. “Because of the support, scholarships and positive encouragement I received at Mount Wachusett, I have grown into a confident person with a clear path.”

An outstanding student academically, Teague was recognized this spring as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Academic Team and nominated to the All-USA Academic Team. She has been named to the President’s List and the Dean’s list for academic achievement and will be recognized as a Civic Scholar at Commencement for her extensive service learning and volunteer work. This spring, she also was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

Teague is applying to become an AmeriCorps VISTA, and plans to continue her studies at MWCC to earn a Physical Therapist Assistant degree to achieve her career goal of working with children as a PTA.

The 29 Who Shine campaign asks each honoree to select a faculty or staff mentor to accompany them to the celebration in Boston. Teague named Elaine R. Gagne, an adjunct professor of English, reading and first year experience. The Athol resident also works as a technology teacher for grades K-6 at the Orange Elementary School.

“Professor Gagne has given me endless encouragement through personal and academic challenges. She helped me unlock my potential, allowing me to grow not only as a student but to grow into many leadership roles. She also taught me that if my dreams don’t scare me, they are not big enough,” Teague said.

“I am so proud of Cathy. When I had her in FYE, I knew she was going to go far,” Gagne said.

Sam Leveillee MWCC GID exhibit 2015

MWCC student Samuel Leveillee recevied Best in Show in the collegiate category for his digital photo art “Let Your Imagination Soar.”

For the first time, Mount Wachusett Community College’s annual spring graphic design exhibit was opened to high school students, resulting in two best in show awards in the high school and collegiate divisions, as well as dozens of awards in categories ranging from website, magazine and logo design to DVD cover, portrait illustration and advertising.

The juried exhibit, currently on display at the college through the summer, featured 75 pieces in 14 categories created by MWCC Graphic and Interactive Design students, as well as 25 pieces in five categories created by high school students. The college received more than 75 submissions from students at Oakmont Regional High School, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, and Murdock High School.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our students and faculty, and was thrilled to share the design exhibit and awards reception with the students and teachers from area high schools,” said Professor Leslie Cullen, chair of MWCC’s Graphic and Interactive Design department. “This was our most well-attended, successful opening receptions yet. We hope to expand the show next year to include more high schools.”

This academic year, the college revamped its Computer Graphic Design programs in print and web design into Graphic & Interactive Design program, which combines studies in both areas. More than 100 people attended a recent opening reception and awards ceremony, including MWCC GID faculty and alumni, graphic design teachers from Oakmont and Monty Tech and their students and families, as well as MWCC alumnus Robert Parks, who performed on acoustic guitar for the event.

MWCC student Samuel Leveillee of Templeton, won best in show in the college category for his digital photo piece, Let Your Imagination Soar. Leveillee, who is graduating in May and transferring to Hampshire College to pursue a bachelor’s degree, also received best in category awards for magazine design, digital illustration, and web & interactive design, as well as honorable mention in the DVD cover category.

Laurynn Bedard Oakmont RHS MWCC GID exhibit 2015

Oakmont Regional High School student Laurynn Bedard won Best in Show in the high school division in the digital illustration category for her digital self-portrait.

Oakmont sophomore Laurynn Bedard of Westminster won best in show among high school students for her digital self-portrait, which also one best of category in digital illustration.“To have art work that was showcased at Mount Wachusett Community College was an incredible honor,” she said. “I have never participated in an exhibit that was strictly for the appreciation of graphic design work, but I have participated in other local community art shows that encompassed mixed media art and graphic art. I was very shocked and immensely humbled to receive the Best of Show award for the high school categories. There were so many talented students that submitted fantastic work. I can’t express how grateful I was and still am for the award.  I enjoyed the show, and it is a great memory that I will not forget,” she said.

“The opportunity to have Oakmont students submit their graphic design work to a local show that was focused on graphic design was awesome; usually that is not the case, said Oakmont graphic design teacher Lawrence M. Szalay. “It was well received by the Oakmont students. They expressed enjoying both the high school and collegiate work that was exhibited. Oakmont students had success and it was truly a great experience for me to witness the pride they have in creating strong graphic design work. The awards and accolades presented to students on all levels in all categories were great.”

PTK SOS 2015

Phi Theta Kappa co-advisor Fagan Forhan, second from left, with PTK members and Students SOS office mentors John Day, Cathy Teague, Phil Stan, Stevie LaBelle, Carrie DeCosta, Jana Murphy, Jennifer Snow and Chelsea Garrity during the PTK induction ceremony.

This spring, MWCC’s Phi Delta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society inducted 85 new members, and presented sizeable donations to community organizations from funds raised through a variety of events.

During the chapter’s induction ceremony on May 4, chapter officers and members presented a $750 check to the Gardner Community Action Council, a $750 check to the Winchendon Community Action Council, and a $1,000 to the student-run Students Serving Our Students program at MWCC.

New inductees include: Marcus Altman, Justin Arsenault, Louis Ayisi, Ivy Benoit, Yvonne Bentley-Wandless, Thomas Berger, Adam Bergeron, John Blombach, Bryce Bodley-Gomes, Cynthia Boucher, Kaci Bradshaw, Lisa Clark, Kyle Cole, Emanuel Corbeil, Tiffany Cranfill, Rebecca Daniel, Carrie DeCosta, Bianca DiGiannantonio, Khaien Donawa, Julie Edwards, Krista Felaco, Roxanna Figueroa, Francisco Figueroa-Vazquez, Cassandra Fontaine, Chantal Froystein. Dawn Fuller, Carly Gagne, Sara Gallant, Paul Galvin, Chelsea Garrity, Corinne Goodrich, Jamie Grant, Celine Grimley, Paulette Hachey, Stephen Hall, Kaitlyn Jozefiak, Yasmine Kanaan, Carol Karuci-Mirolli, Sara Khan, Helen Koge, Rose LaFargue, Emily Lapinskas, Cassondra Lavigne, Samantha Lazo, Kimberley LeBlanc, Elie LeMieux, Leslie Lupien, Paula Lynde, Trevor            Malerbi, Tammy Mariani, Leanne McCarthy, Ellen McGahan, Catherine Migwi, Marissa Mitchell, Lauren Molnar, Jana Murphy, Eliud Mwangi, Dorcas Mwathi, Kimberli Nutting, Todd Perry, Michelle Racette, Karren Ricci, Bryan Richard, Magaly Rios, Nathan  Roberts, Tasha Rocheford, Darlene Rossi, Angelica Ryan, Erik Salmonson, Jacqueline Scribner, Brendan Shea, Jennifer Snow, Trenton Solomon, Silvana Sosa, Phillip Stan, Rachel Sullivan, Teresa Tambling, Austina Towle, Aaron Trudeau, Mary Volpe, Christopher Waye, Melissa Wilbur and Robert Williams.

 

Mount Wachusett Community College has scheduled a series of information sessions at its Gardner campus for fall enrollment into two of its popular dual enrollment programs: the Pathways Early College Innovation School and the Gateway to College program.

Dual enrollment students complete requirements for their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credits or completing an associate degree. School choice funding covers the cost of tuition and fees of both programs, which are offered in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District.

One of the first two innovation schools created in Massachusetts, the Pathways Early College Innovation School provides motivated high school juniors and home schooled students the opportunity to accelerate the pace of their academic careers by simultaneously earning an associate degree and their high school diploma.

To be eligible for Pathways, students must live in Massachusetts, possess a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0, be at least 16 years old and entering grade 11 by the start of the fall semester, and be recommended by the sending school.

Students must attend a Pathways information session and have current Accuplacer scores in order to apply. Upcoming information sessions for the Pathways school will take place on May 12 and 14; June 16 and 18; and July 7 and 9. The first day of each session provides the information about the school, and the second day of each session includes the Accuplacer test.

MWCC’s Gateway to College program, established in 2005 as the first Gateway site in New England, provides a second chance for students ages 16 to 21 who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out. Students simultaneously earn their high school diploma as well as college credits toward an academic degree or certificate. The majority of the graduates continue their education at MWCC or at another college or university.

Gateway applicants must attend a three-day information session to be considered for the program. Upcoming Gateway information sessions will take place on May 12, 13 and 15; June 2, 3 and 5; June 16, 17 and 19; ; July 7, 8 and 10; Aug 4, 5 and 7; and August 18, 19 and 21.

To register for an upcoming information session in either program, or for more details about the programs, contact MWCC’s Division of Access & Transition at 978-630-9248 or visit mwcc.edu/access.

AACC conference group photo

AMMQC national advisory board members, from left: Dennis Bunnell, Industry Consultant and Committee Chair; Jacqueline Belrose, MWCC Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development and National Director of the AMMQC grant; Dorey Diab, President, North Central State College, OH; Barbara Roseborough, Interim Provost and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Southwest Tennessee Community College; President Daniel M. Asquino, Ph.D, Mount Wachusett Community College, MA; Brent Weil, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, the Manufacturing Institute, Washington, D.C.; and Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., Chancellor, Bossier Parish Community College, LA.

Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel M. Asquino and Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development Jacqueline Belrose joined colleagues from three other community colleges to share highlights of their advanced manufacturing partnership during the American Association of Community Colleges’ annual conference in April in Texas.

In September, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $15.9 million TAACCCT grant to expand career opportunities in advanced manufacturing at MWCC and partnering Southwest Tennessee Community College, North Central State College in Ohio, and Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana. The colleges created the Advanced Manufacturing, Mechatronics, and Quality Consortium (AMMQC) to help job seekers quickly obtain training and credentials in the advanced manufacturing fields of Mechatronics and Quality career pathways.

“This grant is the story of how four colleges drew on the strengths of each region and are able to effectively work on a project in which our consortium is stronger than the sum of our parts,” President Asquino said during conference presentation. “We designed this using a Center of Excellence approach, in which our emphasis was on obtaining funding that would promote our areas of strength, and not simply address perceived shortfalls and weaknesses. We committed to establishing regional advisory boards drawn from our local manufacturers. And we agreed to work with the Manufacturing Institute so we could ensure that our curriculum aligns with various industry recognized credentials.”

As a group, the programs share a common interest in appropriate and deliberate use of assessment tools, non-credit to credit transition, acceleration of degree completion, and the nexus between education and industry credentials.

Prior to the presentation, the AMMQC national advisory board met. In addition to President Asquino, members include Jacqueline Belrose, MWCC Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development and National Director of the AMMQC grant; Dennis Bunnell, Industry Consultant and Committee Chair; Barbara P. Roseborough, Interim Provost and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Southwest Tennessee Community College; Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., Chancellor, Bossier Parish Community College; Dorey Diab, President, North Central State College; and Brent Weil, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, The Manufacturing Institute.