Academics

Nursing Class of 2014

MWCC’s Associate Degree Nursing Class of 2014.

The academic achievements of MWCC’s 41st associate degree nursing graduating class were celebrated during a traditional pinning ceremony held May 22 in the Fitness and Wellness Center.

The graduating class was comprised of students enrolled in the day and evening programs and included LPN’s who returned to continue their education through the college’s new Bridge to Nursing program.

MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino congratulated the students on their success completing one of the college’s most rigorous academic programs. He noted that the care and compassion of nurses bring tremendous comfort to patients who are often at their lowest moment and in pain. “You truly can make a difference in their healing and their lives.”

Eileen Costello, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Community Service Programs, also welcomed the graduates and their families. Cindy Andrews, Director of Nursing and Assistant Vice President of Seven Hills Pediatric Center, delivered the keynote address. As part of their clinical experience, the students receive training at Seven Hills, and many are hired by the long-term care center for children with severe disabilities. Three employees of the center were among the graduates.

“Mount Wachusett nurses have just been a godsend to us,” she said. “They are so well trained.” Andrews encouraged the graduates to continue on with their education and always advocate for their patients. “They’re relying on you to be their voice.”

Dressed in traditional nurse uniforms, the students were welcomed into the profession by having the program’s nursing pin fastened to their lapels by a family member, friend, or an alumnus of the program, or a faculty member, to the cheers of family and friends. The pin symbolizes where the nurses completed their studies to become an RN and distinguishes them from other health care professionals. The eight-star MWCC pin is imprinted with the words “Service to Humanity and the World.”

As part of the ceremony, the students also took a nursing pledge that dates back to Florence Nightingale, who distinguished herself during the Crimean War by coming to the aid of sick and woundedsoldiers.

Dental Hygiene pinning 2014 awards

Dental Programs Director Anne Malkasian with this year’s award recipients Whitney Fox, Jennifer LePage, Brigitte Wong, and Bonnie Buckingham-Stone.

Graduates of MWCC’s Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs were welcomed into the profession during the department’s annual pinning ceremony on May 16 in the Raymond M. Lafontaine Fine Arts Center theatre.

Dr. Melissa Fama, vice president of Academic Affairs, and Anne Malkasian, program director, congratulated the graduates on their achievement.

“Nelson Mandela once said, ‘There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’  I hope that you will not see today as an end to your education but a beginning. I hope that you will embrace lifelong learning and advance yourself to your highest potential,” Malkasian told the graduates.

“We are reminded daily and most recently in the media, of the injustices in the world, in Nigeria especially, where more than 300 young girls have been abducted simply because they are pursing education,” she continued. “Let this act be a reminder to us all, how precious our liberty is, to follow our dreams in this great country, this state and in this institution – of Mount Wachusett Community College.”

Malkasian, who is retiring this summer after years of expanding the successful program, was recognized by the students and faculty for her dedication and leadership.

Government Affairs consultant Charles Glick, who met the students during their annual visit to the State House to advocate for legislative changes in the dental profession, was the keynote speaker. As government affairs consultant to American Dental Hygiene Association Massachusetts, Glick serves as a “cheerleader” of sorts for the dental hygiene profession and coach to legislators on the impact of regulations, he said.

“I have learned so much over the course of the last few years. I am now able to do root planing and scaling. Just kidding! Seriously, I have learned that dental hygienists and dental assistants are educators. You educate people in the prevention of a disease that is fully preventable.  You aren’t just putting sharp instruments into people mouths, though you are well qualified to do that, you are treating the whole person. You are health coaches encouraging people to do the things they need to do when they go home. You are clinicians, educators, advocates, managers and researchers, in order to prevent oral disease and promote health.”

2014 MWCC Eve of Excellence Honors Program

Honors Program Coordinator Professor Sheila Murphy, left, with 2014 Honors Program graduates Sara Halloran, Tiffianie LeBlanc Nicole Pippert, Amanda Woods, Heather Rick, Sara Dwelly, Lourdes Abreu, Seth Pease and Jessie Bigwood. Not pictured, Kyna Bell, Cory Berndt, Lisa Ray.

Mount Wachusett Community College celebrated the academic accomplishments of extraordinary students at the annual Evening of Excellence awards dinner May 15 at the Doubletree Inn, Leominster. The students were honored with prestigious awards not only for their performance inside of the classroom, but for their contributions in the community as well.

In addition to curriculum awards and other recognitions, the MWCC Foundation presented a number of awards during the ceremony. The foundation has awarded $260,000 in scholarships during the 2013-2014 academic year.

To view photos, click here.

The following awards were presented:

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

All USA Academic Team Nominees: Bryan Sanderson and Kathleen Craigen

Visions Program Award: Monica Medeiros

RX Award: Tasey Chartier

Best of English 101: Asia Traffie, Leah Trudeau and John Mossey

Sandy Signor Award: Heidi Lupien of Gardner

Jean Tandy Award: Dylan Safford

2014 Newman Civic Fellow Award: Kathleen Matson

Service Learning Scholarship: Roxanna Figueroa and Bryan Nolan

 

CURRICULUM AWARDS

Art: Thomas Hill and Melissa Agin

Automotive Technology: Benjamin Brookman

Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing: Laura Calix

Broadcasting and Electronic Media: Tiffianie LeBlanc

Broadcasting and Electronic Media – Photography Option: Samantha Skinner

Business Administration Career: Nina Margand

Business Administration Transfer: Carly Mongeau

Clinical Laboratory Science: Casey Gallant

Complementary Health Care: Paul Campbell

Computer Graphic Design: Jennie Laronga

Computer Graphic Design – Web Concentration: Sara Dwelly

Computer Information Systems: Kendra Killian

Criminal Justice: Elizabeth Reiser

Dental Hygiene: Lauren Phillips

Early Childhood Education Career: Paula Rocheleau

Early Childhood Education Transfer: Rachael O’Neil

Fire Science: Zechariah Matson

General Studies: Amanda Woods

Human Services: Bryan Sanderson

Liberal Arts & Sciences: Erin Leamy

LPN to ADN Bridge: Cory Berndt

Medical Assisting: Kelsey Toomey

Natural Resources Technology: Seth Pease and Angela Wyman

Nursing: Lani Cabral and Krista Shell

Paralegal: Heather Rick

Physical Therapy Assistant: Alissa Zbikowski

 

MWCC FOUNDATION, INC. AWARDS

Alumni Scholarship: Linda Patterson

Barbara Chaplin Memorial Scholarship: Caroline Flagg

Barnes & Noble Scholarship:  Rachel Kalagher, Briana Cullins and Sarah Croce

Carl Tammi Award: Bryan Nolan

Carrie Progen Memorial Scholarship: Leandro Lopez

Craig Hamel Scholarship: Pranee Terry

Edith Baldyga Scholarship: Caroline Flagg

Ellen Daly Dental Hygiene Scholarship: Tasey Chartier

James D. Murphy Scholarship: Jillian Johnson

Jonathan C. Craven Scholarship: Amanda Gorrell

John Burton Award: Shane Williams and Melissa Agin

Joseph B. Ruth Scholarship: Eveliz Rivera-White

Joseph S. Baldyga Veteran’s Fund: Michael Feeley

H. Marilyn Kiosses Scholarship: Katelynn O’Brien

Melissa Herr Marsh Scholarship: Jessica Johnson

Michael & Christine Greenwood Business Scholarship: Marissa Lacruz

Millie McGuire Foundation: Sandra Bushey

Mount Observer Scholarship: Tiffianie LeBlanc

Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund: Jane Crowley and Julie Sullivan

Robert Weibel Scholarship: Jennifer Potvin

Robert H. Gilman Memorial Scholarship: Suellen Dias

Roberts Scholarship: Micaiah Bushnell

Sara Kajel Award: Lindsay Howard

Sharyn Rice Scholarship: Moises Ramos

MWCC Veteran’s Memorial Scholarship: Bryan Sanderson

 

MEMORIAL AWARDS

Aspasia Anastos Award: Yamileyka Rojas

Judge Moore Award: Seth Pease and Heather Rick

Peter J. Trainor Leadership Award: John Day

 

HONORS SOCIETY RECOGNITION

Alpha Beta Scholarship: Mary Burns and Kathleen Matson

Honors Program: Lourdes Abreu; Heather Rick; Nicole Pippert; Amanda Woods; Cory Berndt; Tiffianie LeBlanc; Seth Pease; Jessie Bigwood; Sara Dwelly; Sara Holloran; and Lisa Ray

 

Business Lunch & LearnMWCC’s summer business luncheon series returns this year with a variety of professional development, supervisory and management sessions. The college’s Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development has bundled several of its popular course offerings for entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits as well as corporate staff.

On June 6, the session “Creating a Collaborative Workplace” will introduce the fundamental aspects that drive effective coaching and mentoring programs in organizations. Participants will learn ways to improve leadership and reduce key employee turnover, and be introduced to the critical skills needed to conduct coaching conversations, adapt one’s coaching style to fit changing situations, and become familiar with developing a coaching plan for business.

On June 20, “Human Resources and Business Staffing Fundamentals” will provide insights into ways to protect your business, your employees, and yourself from legal liability. In this session, participants will receive practical legal business advice from hiring to firing from a legal advisor and private sector human resources executive.

On July 18, “The Art of Giving a Performance Appraisal” will provide new and seasoned middle managers with tips to constructively and effectively inspire greater involvement, innovation, and business results from staff members Participants will learn about “the management by objectives process” as one example to support the appraisal process.

On Aug. 1, “Making the Transition to Management” will provide an overview of three leadership skill sets necessary to ensure individual and organizational performance. Participants will learn ways to adjust their management style to empower employees to find their own answers to business challenges and discover why coaching employees is essential to ensure maximum performance, motivation and retention.

On Aug. 15, “Negotiating to Win: Persuasive Communication” will cover essential techniques and approaches to positively influence and persuade customers, colleagues and stakeholders for a mutually desired outcome, such as resources for a project, funding for a new initiative, or establishing a team initiative to support a new product or service.

The luncheon series will conclude on Aug. 22, with an information session on the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund. Information about obtaining training grants, as well as recent changes to the program, will be provided.  The Workforce Training Fund is a state fund financed entirely by Massachusetts employers. Its purpose is to provide resources to Massachusetts businesses and workers to train current and newly hired employees.

All sessions take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in the North Café at MWCC’s Gardner campus, 444 Green Street. The cost for each session is $15 when pre-registered or $17 at the door and includes a complimentary lunch. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for one or more sessions online at  http://mwcc.edu/wf/business-luncheon-series, by phone at 978-630-9575, or email training@mwcc.mass.edu.

 

Whos Who 2014 CJ Grace and Sandra

MWCC students recognized in the 2014 Who’s Who list include, from left: CJ Husselbee, Grace Hartin and Sandra Bushey.

MWCC students enrolled in a range of academic programs and involved in numerous activities have been selected as national outstanding campus leaders and will be included in the 2014 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

The students were selected based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and the potential for continued success. They join an elite group of students from more than 1,000 higher education institutions in the United State and several other countries. The tradition of recognizing noteworthy college students in a Who’s Who biographical volume began in 1934.

The honorees were among the student leaders recognized by the office of Student Life during a reception April 24 at the Gardner Museum.

Students named this year include: Lourdes Abreu, Maria Alicea, Sheila Beane, Nicholas Bonfilio, Koral Brooks, Constance Brown, Mary Burns, Sandra Bushey, Ramon-Alejo Correa, Kathleen Craigen, Brianna Cullins, John Day, Anna Farwell, Nelida Figueroa Lopez, Grace Hartin, Thomas Hill, Charles  Husselbee, Jillian Johnson, Rachel Kalagher, Naomi Kiarie, Erin Leamy, Leandro Lopez, Heidi Lupien, Amber Martel, Kathleen Matson, Joan Mellanson, Dawn Murphy, Linda Patterson, Seth Pease, Elizabeth Reiser, Edward Sanchez, Bryan Sanderson, Hayleigh Sundstrom, Austina Towle, Brigitte Wong, Bridgette Woodcock and Jeffrey Young.

PTK All Massachusetts Award

Award winners Bryan Sanderson and Kathleen Craigen are congratulated at the State House ceremony by President Daniel Asquino.

MWCC student leaders Bryan Sanderson and Kathleen Craigen were honored as members of the All-Massachusetts Academic Team during a recognition ceremony at the State House on April 24. The Phi Theta Kappa honor society, community college presidents and the Massachusetts Community College association sponsored the event.

Sanderson, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and president of the college’s Veterans Group, will earn an associate degree in Human Services in May. A highly engaged figure on campus, Sanderson has continuously named to the President’s and Dean’s lists. He is also a Commonwealth Corps Member, a student ambassador, peer veteran liaison/mentor, and work study student for the college’s Veteran Success Center. He founded the MWCC’s Students Serving Our Students (SOS) office, now located within the Center of Civic Learning and Community Engagement, and was a recipient of the Campus Compact’s national Newman Civic Fellow Award in 2013.

Craigen also will graduate in May with an associate degree in Human Services. This year, Craigen is serving as the AmeriCorps MACC*VISTA for MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement. She also serves on the Student Government Association and participates in the Leadership for Life Series. During this spring semester, she is completing an internship with the Students Serving Our Students (SOS) office located within the center, working on capacity building and volunteer management at local nonprofit organizations. Craigen works directly with the new General Studies capstone courses, ISC 220, working with students placed within the community at the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster.

 

Linda Coyne

MWCC Student Linda Coyne will major in the new Health Information Management program.

MWCC will present an information session on its new Health Information Management associate degree program and career opportunities in this growing field. The free information session, led by Associate Professor Mary Jo Bowie, MS, RHIA, RHIT, will take place Wednesday, May 14 at 5 p.m. at the Gardner campus, room 127.

Health information management is a vital component of the healthcare process. Individuals working in HIM are at the intersection of medicine, business and legal, and play a key role in ensuring that the healthcare organization is compliant with state and federal regulations regarding capture, storage and release of all medical data. In this career, individuals who have an interest in the medical field and information technology skills contribute greatly to the healthcare industry without being direct care providers.

This field is seeing rapid expansion with major federal initiatives, including the conversion of all medical records to electronic medium at a national level, and the conversion of the coding structure used throughout the U.S., as well as a new method of paying for healthcare (pay for performance). These initiatives will require significant new hiring of HIM-credentialed employees to meet workforce needs over the next 10 years.

In addition to serving as an Associate Professor Ms. Bowie is a consultant and owner of Health Information Professional Services in Binghamton, New York.  She is an active member of the American Health Information Management Association and has been a consultant to acute care, long term care, drug and alcohol, ambulatory surgery centers and other facilities for 22 years. She has worked in the health information management profession for 27 years and is the author of several textbooks including Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices and Understand ICD -10-CM and ICD-10-PCS: A Workbook.

MWCC is currently accepting applications to this academic program, which will begin this fall. For more information call 978-630-9292 or email mjaillet@mwcc.mass.edu.

STEM Starter Academy event April 2014

High school students extract DNA from strawberries during a STEM Starter Academy demonstration.

Approximately 250 students from several North Worcester County high schools sampled college life and STEM careers during Mount Wachusett Community College’s STEM Starter Academy event on April 4. The event, coordinated by the divisions of Academic Affairs and Access, Transition & Development, featured a variety of science and health sciences demonstrations, hands-on experiments, and information about financial aid and college readiness, and served as a prelude to MWCC’s STEM Starter Summer Academy.

Mount Wachusett is currently recruiting 30 students to participate in its STEM Starter Summer Academy, which will run July 7 through Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gardner campus. Participating students will receive two free college courses, textbooks, a $1,750 stipend, academic support, tutoring, and community service and industry tours.

Funded through a $300,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the summer academy is open to students who graduate from high school in 2014 or earlier; place into English Composition and Intermediate Algebra or higher; and enroll in one of MWCC’s STEM starter qualifying majors in the fall 2014 semester.

Qualifying STEM majors include biology, biotechnology, chemistry, clinical laboratory science, computer information systems, dental hygiene, fitness leadership and exercise science, natural resources, nursing, physical therapist assistant, physics or pre-engineering.

Courses offered during the summer academy include intermediate algebra, statistics, introduction to functions and modeling, life science for allied health, introduction to biotechnology, and introduction to psychology.

For more information about the STEM Starter Summer Academy and other STEM programs at MWCC, contact the admissions office at 978-630-9110 or admissions@mwcc.mass.edu.

Several MWCC faculty and staff shared best practices with colleagues throughout the state during the 2014 Massachusetts Community College Conference on Teaching, Learning & Student Development. The March 28 event, held at Northern Essex Community College, focused on the theme of Social Justice and the Community College.

“I am extremely proud of the Mount Wachusett Community College faculty and staff who presented five unique workshops that were well attended and spoke to the conference theme of social justice,” said Dr. Melissa Fama, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “I enjoy attending a conference where best practices in teaching are shared among the community college educators.”

The MWCC presenters focused on the topics of overall student success; civic engagement and service learning; and support for veterans transitioning to college.

In her presentation, “Active Learning Promotes Success in Science,” Professor Christine Kisiel discussed ways to provide opportunity for all students to succeed in science, regardless of their prior educational experience, background or skills. She shared examples of classroom activities that give students a voice in their learning, which empowers students to succeed.

Advisor and adjunct professor Robert Mayer presented “Soldiering On: Helping Soldiers Become Students and Active Citizens.” Soldiering On is a program for veterans transitioning to college and creates a cohort of students enrolled in a specialized First Year Experience course and English Composition 1. Examination of social, economic and environmental issues are integral parts of the curriculum to teach critical thinking, time management, writing, oral presentation and study skills.

Daniel Soucy, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Civic Engagement, discussed the new General Studies capstone course, “Global Issues and Veterans.” This unique course teaches social justice through the intellect and intuition, using the classroom and community veteran sites as learning spaces.

Fagan Forhan, Director of Experiential Learning opportunities and Civic Engagement and Director of the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, and Associate Dean of Students Greg Clement presented “Strategies for the Institutionalization of Civic Learning.” The session explored successful ways in which MWCC integrates social justice and civic learning into the student experience. The model begins with a foundation that supports collaboration among faculty, co-curricular programming and community partners.

Shelley Errington Nicholson, Director of Community Learning, and Human Services student Bryan Sanderson, founder of the Students Serving Our Service (SOS) program, described the launch of this successful new peer support program. Sanderson, who viewed his classmates’ struggles as a social justice issue, worked with the Center of Civic Learning and Community Engagement to develop the program. The program is aimed at increasing student retention and services by facilitating access to basic needs such as housing, transportation, child care, which can become obstacles to students’ success.

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Mount Wachusett Community College is recruiting adults of all ages, experience and education for training in the growing field of advanced manufacturing. Full scholarships are available for eligible students who enroll in an upcoming six-week day program or five-week evening program that will be offered at MWCC’s Devens campus.

Students who successfully complete either program will earn an MWCC Certificate of Completion, OSHA 10-hour Safety Certification and the National Career Readiness Certificate.

The six-week Advanced Manufacturing Industrial Readiness Training will meet Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Classes will begin on April 28, and a second session will be offered beginning on June 9. The course includes hands-on, lecture-based material as well as self-paced KeyTrain curriculum leading to the National Career Readiness Certification.

Information sessions for the day program will take place at MWCC’s Devens campus, 27 Jackson Road, on April 10 and April 15 at 10 a.m.

The five-week, 75-hour Medical Device Manufacturing Program will meet Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. The course will be offered April 22 through May 22, and again from May 27 through June 27.

Information sessions for the evening program will take place at the Devens campus from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 7, April 14 and April 16.

The training programs are designed especially for unemployed or underemployed adults, veterans and recent high school graduates who want to train for careers in medical device manufacturing and related industries. Programs provide students with training in skills required for entry-level employment as technicians in manufacturing, validation, quality control, documentation, process operations and more.

Students must possess a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Students will have access to staff members who will assist them with the registration process, facilitate access to support services, and help them with their search for employment when they have completed the certificate program successfully. Tutoring and job search support is also available.

Manufacturing accounts for nearly 25 percent of the workforce in North Central Massachusetts, employing more than 14,000 people in the region. The demand for skilled workers continues to grow as a result of new opportunities and the retirement of older workers.

Both programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. The evening program is also funded by a grant to MWCC and Operon Resource Management by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Rapid Response Program.

For more details about the program or to register for an information session, call 978-630-9569.