Alumni Stories

Daniel M. AsquinoAs we prepare to recognize the service of all the men and women who have served our country, I urge all of you to take the opportunity to reflect on the importance of Veterans Day and the contributions and sacrifices made by millions of Americans. About 350 veterans are currently attending Mount Wachusett Community College, and I am proud of their accomplishments both in service to their country and in our classrooms. I want to thank each of these students for their service.

The majority of these students served their country in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The history of our college has always been closely tied to our veterans. When members of our local Veterans of Foreign Wars post visit us each year to make a contribution to support student scholarships, past commander and MWCC alumnus Don Progen and others remark that when they returned home from Vietnam, they found Mount Wachusett Community College to be, “a haven.”

We strive to continue to be that haven for our veteran students. These students bring great leadership skills to our campus and ultimately to our workforce. They are a tremendous asset to our communities. I am proud that Mount Wachusett Community College has been named for the fifth consecutive year, as a “Top Military School” and is also a designated Yellow Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In addition, USA Today has named MWCC as one of its “Best Colleges for Vets” in 2014. Most recently, WGBY in Springfield filmed a segment spotlighting our residential and educational partnership with the Northeast Veteran Training and Rehabilitation Center, run on a portion of campus property by the Fitchburg-based nonprofit Veterans Homestead, Inc. To view this inspiring video, go to http://ow.ly/DOW4r.

If you would like to learn more about our Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, visit mwcc.edu/veteran. I extend my deepest gratitude to our staff in this center and across the campus who work with our student veterans as they pursue their academic goals.

The campus will be closed on Veterans Day as we honor our veterans.  Please take the time for reflection and recognition of our heroes.

Mary Bergevin, Paula D'Entremont, and Sue Hermanson

MWCC’s first nursing program Director Paula d’Entremont, center, with members of the first graduating class, Mary Bergevin and Sue Hermanson.

Alumni, faculty and staff of the MWCC Nursing Program gathered on June 25 at the Gardner Campus to reconnect and celebrate four decades of nursing education at MWCC. Alumni in attendance were representative of each decade since the program was established.

Mary Bergevin and Susan Hermanson were on hand to represent the first graduating class of 1974. ”This is absolutely wonderful seeing everyone together” commented Ms. Hermanson. “It took 40 years, but was well worth the wait.”  Mary Bergevin remarked that “It is exciting to reflect on the differences and advances that have been made when comparing how we learned with what the students have available to them today.”

The event featured a session on “Laughter Yoga” as well as tours of the new Sim Lab and information about continuing education programs.

Judy Fredette, ADN Nursing Program Chair who organized the event, commented ”It is exciting for us, as faculty, to reconnect with our former students and retired colleagues to find out how they are doing in life, to learn if they ever went beyond MWCC in their education, where they are working now, what we did right and what we can do better.”

Many in attendance expressed their wishes to make the Nursing Alumni Reunion a regular event. If interested in helping to plan future events, please email alumni@mwcc.mass.edu.

- Carol Jacobson

2014 relay tv

President Daniel Asquino and other members of MWCC’s Relay for Life team were among the 2,155 participants in the 24-hour walk to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in support of research.

Mount Wachusett Community College students, staff and faculty were among the 2,155 participants who walked to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in this year’s Greater Gardner Relay for Life.

The 159 teams raised more than $444,000 during the 21st annual relay, held June 13 and 14 at MWCC’s fitness track. Participants and survivors walked to support loved ones battling cancer and in remembrance of loved ones who have passed.

MWCC’s relay team, chaired by Vice President of Finance and Administration Bob Labonte, Professor Susan Goldstein, and campus police Lt. Melissa Crouteau, received overwhelming support from students to walk the entire 24 hours.

LaBonte thanked the college community for supporting MWCC’s team, including Theatre Technical Director and Set designer Jeffrey Boisseau, who created the team’s giant television booth in keeping with the event’s television theme this year.

The MWCC Alumni Association also hosted a team.

“Every member of the Alumni Association Relay Team has experienced firsthand how cancer affects our friends and loved ones. On our team we had at least one cancer survivor and others who have been caregivers and all of us have known someone who has fought and won, or fought and lost, a battle with cancer,” said Mark Geoffroy, vice president of the MWCC Alumni Association. “I’m so glad that Mount alumni were able to come together for this great cause.”

Over the past two decades, the event has raised over $12 million making it one of the most successful relays in the country.

-          Alexander P. Moore

 

 

Nursing Alumni Reunion

May 28, 2014

Mount Wachusett Community College is hosting a Nursing Alumni Reunion on Wednesday, June 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the South Café of the Gardner campus.

The event is free to all MWCC nursing alumni and will feature a session on “Laughter Yoga” light refreshments, prizes, tours of the new Sims Lab, networking with former classmates and professors, and information about continuing education programs.

Established more than four decades ago, MWCC’s nursing program has graduated thousands of students who went on to build careers as Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and in other areas of health care.

Reservations are requested. To register, contact Associate Degree Nursing Program Chair Judy Fredette at 978-630-9328 or email jfredette@mwcc.mass.edu.

 

2014 Gateway and Pathways graduates

2014 Gateway and Pathways graduates

From the age-old wisdom of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to the reflections of teenagers wise beyond years, the May 27 graduation ceremony honoring 48 dual enrollment students at Mount Wachusett Community College offered a blend of insight and inspiration.

Students enrolled in the Gateway to College program and the Pathways Early College Innovation School, offered in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, were lauded for their accomplishments by educators, family members and friends gathered in the college’s Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center theatre. As dual enrollment students, the graduates all completed the requirements for their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credits or an associate degree.

“As I reflect on your accomplishments, one thing comes to mind and that is that you are going to be successful, for a variety of reasons, but one in particular. You have taken a different path to graduation. You decided to be nontraditional, you decided to think outside the box and be creative. All of these skills are going to be beneficial to you,” MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino told the graduates.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it,” he said, quoting van Goethe. Determining one’s calling, the president continued, can be difficult in the face of many changes, compromises, demands of time and the constant interruptions of living in a fast-paced world. “So dream,” he said. “Set aside some time for deep reflection and insight.”

Mahar Superintendent of Schools Tari N. Thomas praised the graduates for their strength and tenacity, otherwise known as grit.

“Grit is defined as sticking with things over the long term until you master them,” she said. “Research shows when it comes to achievement, grit is determined to be as essential as intellect. Research is now showing our grittiest students, the ones who are working hard with the greatest amount of determination, are the ones realizing the greatest success and even the greatest GPAs. All of you are unique and strong. You’ve demonstrated the grit necessary for high achievement, scholarly success and more. You’re hard working, tenacious and diligent and it will pay off.”

Gateway valedictorian Zoe Greim shared her personal story of adversity and triumph. Diagnosed in high school with Multiple Sclerosis, she viewed the news as a “wake-up call” to take charge of her life and not waste a minute of time. Disenchanted with the high schools she attended, she enrolled in the Gateway to College program at the advice of a guidance counselor and was named to the dean’s list or president’s list during all three semesters at the college. This fall, she will transfer to a university in Florida to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“We need to see life is too short to sit around and wait for good or bad things to come to us. We need to go out and make things happen. I know we can all do that, since we all made the decision to come here. We need to strive to be the best we can be. If you want something, go get it and don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way,” Greim told her fellow graduates.

Pathways valedictorian Erin Leamy reflected on the diverse paths each student took to reach their graduation day, as well as the common traits they all share.

“We all had something in common that inspired us to leave high school early and get a jump start on college. For some, it was simply time to move on. We no longer felt academically challenged. For others, high school had become stale, and we were looking for a fresh start. I can’t help but wonder how many diverse paths each of our lives will take – how many ways we’ll be challenged, and how each of us will respond to those challenges.”

Joseph Benavidez , who graduated in 2009 from the Gateway program and earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts from MWCC in 2010, was the keynote speaker. After graduating from MWCC, he transferred to Salem State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2013 and is now working as a journalist.

“Tonight, you are all warriors after a battle. You’ve earned your high school diploma. Some of you have already received college degrees as well. It took sweat and hardship to get here and that deserves a round of applause.”

Deborah Bibeau, assistant dean of transitions programming at MWCC, praised the partnership between the college and the school district. “As a testament to the long-term collaboration with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, this summer we’ll be preparing for the new Pathways students entering the program’s fifth year of operation, and new Gateway students entering the program’s ninth year of operation.”

Mount Wachusett Community College graduates

Graduates Lindsey Arnold and Kathleen Craigen.

In a Commencement address peppered with accolades and advice, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan praised the graduating Class of 2014 for their achievements and offered words of wisdom as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Mount Wachusett graduates receive “a better education” than most college and university graduates, Meehan said, because in addition to mastering their academic subjects and overcoming challenges, they learned how to be great human beings through the college-wide emphasis on civic engagement.

“You have unprecedented means to engage with your communities, and indeed the world,” he said during the college’s 49th Commencement on May 21. This year, MWCC awarded 857 associate degrees and certificates to 786 graduates.

A first-generation college student, Meehan earned his bachelor’s degree at UMass Lowell while working full-time as a janitor, then went on to graduate school and served seven terms in Congress before becoming chancellor of his alma mater.

“Some of you are the first ones in your families to get a college degree. Some of you are new immigrants that have come to the United States. Some of you got married earlier and raised families and have come back to college to earn your degree. But all of your collective experiences have made you stronger, and I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish if you set your mind to it.”

Meehan concluded his address with key tips for the graduates, urging them to be great listeners; commit themselves to lifelong learning to keep pace with a rapidly changing world; to never compromise their integrity; to follow their passion; and be humble and always remember their roots.

President Daniel M. Asquino commended the graduates for their ongoing commitment to improving the world around them through education and service, noting this past academic year, MWCC students collectively devoted more than 144,000 hours of service learning and volunteerism to their communities.

“My wish for you is that you use your education to continue these pursuits and to improve your life, that of you family and friends, and that of your community, state and your nation and that you manifest an overall behavior that enlarges your circle of good,” he said.

Chevenee Reavis and President Daniel Asquino

Alumna of the Year Chevenee Reavis and President Asquino on Commencement day.

Alumna of the Year Chevenee Reavis reflected on her memories while a student at the college and shared experiences about her career path since graduating in 2000 with an associate degree in Business Administration.

“What I remember most about being here at the Mount was learning about myself and what I had in terms of character and in terms of conviction.”

Reavis, who began her studies as a dual enrollment student and transferred to Emerson College for a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications, now serves as director of strategic initiatives for the global organization Water.org, raising awareness about the water crisis affecting 2.5 billion people worldwide.

The nonprofit, co-founded by CEO Gary White and actor Matt Damon, has transformed thousands of communities in Africa, South Asia and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation to more than one million people.

“We have an enormous mission and vision and that is to see the day when everyone in the world has access to safe drinking water and the dignity of a toilet,” she said to a round of applause. “It does sound so basic, and yet I think many of you here know it is unfortunately not the reality for everyone around the world. We’re not waiting for a cure. We’re not waiting for a scientific breakthrough. We know the cure – it’s engineering. We’ve known how to deliver safe water and adequate sanitation for hundreds of years.”

At MWCC, Reavis said, she learned what this year’s graduates are also learning – that they can create their own path in life.

“Whatever step this is for you, whether you’re going to another school, or this is a stepping stone in a job, or a personal goal, be really proud of yourselves.”

Jillian Johnson was presented with the Trustees Award for her service this year on the MWCC Board of Trustees. The President’s Key Award for academic excellence was presented to Natural Resources major Seth Pease and Business Administration major Nina Margand. Kathleen Matson and Bryan Sanderson were presented with the Dean’s Key, which is awarded for outstanding community service. Emerita status was presented to Biology Professor Christine Kisiel.

The 2014 Service above Self Award was presented to Attorney Charles A. Gelinas, Sr., for his ongoing leadership on many North Central Massachusetts initiatives.

For more photos, click here to visit MWCC’s Facebook page.

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

 

Chevenee Reavis 2014 Aluma of Year

MWCC’s 2014 Alumna of the Year Chevenee Reavis

Chevenee Reavis, director of strategic initiatives for the global, nonprofit organization Water.org, has been named Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2014 Alumna of the Year.

In 2000, Reavis simultaneously earned an associate degree in Business Administration and her high school diploma as a dual enrollment student. A member of MWCC’s Honors Program, she went on to graduate summa cum laude from Emerson College with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing. Since then, she has carved out a career as an international strategy, innovation, and public affairs executive advancing social justice around the world in such areas as health, economic equality, and access to clean water and sanitation.

We are delighted to welcome Chevenee Reavis back to Mount Wachusett Community College as our 2014 Alumna of the Year,” President Daniel M. Asquino said. “She arrived on our campus as a teenager with a thirst for knowledge, so it is fitting that she now devotes her time, energy and talents helping quench the thirst of those in need around the world. She truly is an inspiration.”

At Water.org, Reavis leads the organization’s global advocacy efforts and New Venture Initiative. Founded by actor Matt Damon and CEO Gary White, Water.org has transformed thousands of communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation to more than 1 million people.

She recently co-led an innovative multi-media campaign that includes the celebrity-studded, comedic online “toilet strike,” which features Damon, U2 front man and philanthropist Bono, actresses Jessica Biel and Olivia Wilde, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, and others raising awareness to the cause by pledging to “not to go to the bathroom until everyone in the whole world has access to clean water and sanitation.”

In January 2013, Reavis scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with fellow advocates, educators, musicians and celebrities during Grammy-nominated musician Kenna’s annual “Summit on the Summit” to further advocate on behalf of the 2.5 billion people worldwide affected by the water crisis.

Prior to joining Water.org in 2010, Reavis spent a decade advancing the missions of leading foundations, government agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Her public and private sector experience includes working with ACCION International’s Center for Financial Inclusion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Global Health Council, Management Sciences for Health, Pfizer, Inc., Starbucks Coffee Company, State Street Bank, and Unitus.

Reavis said she is thrilled to be selected for the award and for the opportunity to return to MWCC for commencement.

“I felt so comfortable at the Mount. It was a community that cared about my advancement,” she said.

Raised in a military family and a former resident of Ayer, Reavis came to MWCC in her junior year of high school. She credits a guidance counselor at Ayer High School for introducing her to the dual enrollment program, which was a pivotal opportunity in her life.

“The decision to attend Mount Wachusett clearly changed my path. As a result of my time there, I transferred to Emerson College in Boston. I consider it to be a really important part of my story.”

 

29WS 2014 Greg & Kathy NC

Kathy Matson, with her mentor, Associate Dean of Students Greg Clement, during the 29 Who Shine awards ceremony.

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education kicked off the 2014 commencement season on May 8 by recognizing recipients of the 29 Who Shine award. The annual ceremony at the State House honors one graduate from each community college, state university and University of Massachusetts campus for their academic achievements and civic contributions to the Commonwealth.

MWCC Business Administration Major Kathleen A. Matson, who has served this academic year as the student representative on the state Board of Higher Education, was among the recipients. Matson also serves as president of the college’s Student Government Association and holds numerous other leadership positions in campus organizations.

“The 29 Who Shine represent the best and the brightest of our public higher education system,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “I’m inspired by how these graduates are giving back to their communities and at the same, for many, also working full time to support their families. And even with all they have going on these students achieved high academic honors. These are the types of people who you want as your neighbor and I’m very proud of each of them.”

Each of Massachusetts’ 29 public college and university campuses selected its own honoree for the 29 Who Shine awards based on criteria established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

“Our public college and university graduates are ‘here to learn and here to stay,’” said Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education. “These outstanding individuals are citizens of the state who plan to build their lives and livelihoods here in Massachusetts. They have delivered a big return on the taxpayers’ investment in their education and we are delighted to honor their achievements.”

The ceremony also included recognition of each honorees’ faculty or staff mentor. Matson selected Associate Dean of Students Gregory Clement as her mentor. Singer-songwriter Whitney Doucet, a 2013 graduate of MWCC, also represented the college with her performance of “America the Beautiful” during the ceremony.

Additionally, publishers of most daily newspapers across the state have donated full or half-page advertisements to honor the students as a group on May 8. Central Massachusetts of the 29 Who Shine Publishers Campaign include The Gardner News, The Sentinel and Enterprise and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

 

Kathy Matson

Kathleen A. Matson

The state Department of Higher Education will spotlight top students from across Massachusetts at the fourth annual 29 Who Shine” student recognition ceremony on Thursday, May 8, at noon at the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House. The award honors 29 outstanding public college and university graduates, one from each community college, state university and UMass campus in the state, for their academic achievement and community service.

Kathleen A. Matson, a highly regarded student leader on campus and across the state who will earn an associate degree in Business Administration in May, is among the honorees.

A motivated, enthusiastic leader with a passion for helping others, Matson has served this academic year as the student member on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. As a full voting member of the board, she provides a voice for all public higher education students on issues such as affordability and college completion. During her term, she represented Massachusetts during a Student Voices conference in Washington, D.C., joining peers from across the country in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss ideas and concerns regarding higher education.

A member of the state-wide Student Advisory Council, Matson serves as a liaison between the council and the BHE. She has served on MWCC’s Student Government Association for two years, including the past year as president.

Matson earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice from MWCC in 1985, and then worked in the private security field for many years. In 2012, she returned to the college to pursue a business degree to combine her interest in these two fields. An exemplary student, she has consistently been recognized for her academic achievements as a President’s List and Dean’s List honoree.

In addition to working two part-time jobs and volunteering for her community, Matson has provided more than 400 volunteer hours to various campus organizations and student groups during this academic year alone. Among her many activities, she holds officer positions with the Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Beta Gamma honor societies, volunteers as an ambassador in the admissions office and as a mentor in the Students Serving Our Students (SOS) office, serves on the MWCC Alumni Association Board, and assists the campus community as a work study student in MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement. For her dedication and commitment to serving others, Matson was recognized earlier this year with Campus Compact’s national Newman Civic Fellow Award.

She and her husband, Calvin, have three sons: Isaac, who graduated from MWCC in 2012, served as SGA president and is now completing a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Westfield State University; Caleb, a Criminal Justice major, and Zechariah, a Fire Science major, who will both graduate from MWCC this year. All three sons are serving in the military.

The ceremony will also include recognition of each honorees’ faculty and staff mentors. Matson selected Associate Dean of Students Gregory Clement as her mentor.

“Greg has been a constant mentor and friend. He has always been there encouraging and helping me to attain goals I never thought possible. He has been instrumental in my success as a student leader, continually guiding me to broader horizons.”

Whitney Doucet, a 2013 graduate of MWCC, has been chosen to perform “America the Beautiful” during the ceremony. The outgoing, upbeat performer grew up in Leominster and discovered her love for music at a young age, particularly country music. She has been pursuing her passion for singing and performing since 2005 is a voice teacher in Boston and Worcester.

In May 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education launched “29 Who Shine,” a program to recognize outstanding students representing each of our 29 public campuses. The honorees, chosen because of their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service, stand poised to contribute greatly to the civic life and economic well-being of the state. Whether furthering their education or entering careers here in Massachusetts in fields as diverse as education, public policy, medicine, creative arts, and engineering, they truly embody the vibrant future that we all envision for the Commonwealth.