Campus Life

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.”

VFW donation to MWCC Foundation

The Ovila Case Post 905 VFW recently presented a $1,000 donation to the MWCC Foundation to support scholarships for student veterans. Pictured, from left, MWCC Foundation Executive Director Carla Zottoli, MWCC Director of Veteran Services Bob Mayer, past Commander Donald Progen, Commander-elect Joseph LeBlanc and President Daniel Asquino.

The Ovila Case Post 905 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Gardner recently donated $1,000 to Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation’s Veterans Memorial Scholarship.

President Daniel Asquino, Foundation Executive Director Carla Zottoli, and Director of Veteran Services Bob Mayer accepted the generous donation from VFW Commander-elect Joseph LeBlanc and past Commander and MWCC alumnus Donald Progen, and thanked the post members for their continued support of MWCC and student veterans.

The scholarship was established to recognize the important role played by MWCC in ensuring that the sacrifices and service of veterans who served the country will not be forgotten.

Scholarship funds are awarded to new or returning full-time students who were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or are currently serving in the Reserves or National Guard.

 

Left to right: Peter Kaufmann, Dan Asquino

Professor Peter Kaufmann, chair of the Automotive Technology department, was recognized for 35 years of service by President Asquino and the college community during the 20th Annual Employee Service Awards Ceremony.

President Daniel M. Asquino and the Division of Human Resources and Payroll honored employees who reached the milestone years of service with the college during the 20th Annual Employee Service Awards Ceremony on May 4. Collectively, the recipients represent 405 years of service to MWCC students and the college community.

In addition to the service awards, MWCC announced the recipients of the 2015 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance, the recipients of the college’s fifth annual da Vinci Parachute Award, and the recipient of the state Workforce Mentoring Award. Five retiring professors were presented with emeriti status: Elena Natalizia, Joel Anderson, Paul Laverty, John McNally and John Reilly.

Cindy Doyle received the Commonwealth Citation individual award, and the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement and the snow removal team were presented with group awards. Honorees include: Evan Berry, Patricia Brewerton, Heather Daly, Michelle Errington Nicholson, Fagan Forhan, Lauren Mountain, Daniel Soucy and Teresa Tambling of the Center; and Norman Boudreau, Jason Brunelle, Leonard Charbonneau, George Couillard, Alan Cumming, Daniel McMilleon and Roland Meunier of the snow team.

MWCC introduced the da Vinci Parachute Award in 2011 to recognize employees who demonstrate innovation and creativity in their field. Melissa Croteau and Carol Jacobson received the 2015 individual awards, and the da Vinci group award was presented to Inclusive Hiring Committee members Kathy Boucher, Mark Boudreau, Charity Colley, Teresita Encarnacion, Maria Gariepy, Eric Johnson, Natalie Mercier and Carla Morrissey.

Melissa Croteau was recognized as nominees for the state Workforce Mentoring Award.

Peter Kaufmann was recognized for 35 years of service to MWCC, and Luz Lopez and Laurene Minns were recognized for 25 years of service. Employees recognized for15 years: Joel Anderson, Jacqueline Belrose, Patricia Brewerton, George Couillard, Julie Crowley, Teresita Encarnacion, Melissa Fama, Michelle Holman, Cynthia Krusen, Valerie LaPorte, Nancy Thibodeau, Stephanie Wiseman and Gardner Wood. Employees recognized for 10 years: Kristine Asselin, Gregory Clement, Rebecca Forest, Judy Fredette, Margaret Jaillet, Gaurav Khanna, Kathy Lewis, Thomas Montagno, Jess Mynes, John Reilly, Candace Shivers, Brenda Tatro and John Walsh. Employees recognized for five years of service include: Stephanie England, Eveliz Rivera-White, Marianne Segool and Tracy Sheridan.

 

 

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.

 

JamesGarrison74

Jim Garrison

Community leader and long-serving volunteer James O. Garrison is the recipient of Mount Wachusett Community College’s 2015 Service Above Self Award. The award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions within the 29 cities and towns that make up the college’s service area, will be presented during MWCC’s 50th Commencement on Wednesday, May 20.

“We are proud to present this year’s Service Above Self Award to Jim Garrison for the  tremendous impact he has made on our college, in the lives of so many of our students, and in the greater community,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

“Mr Garrison’s spirit of generosity and willingness to share his time, talents and resources epitomize the essence of what it means to be a caring, engaged citizen in a democratic society,” President Asquino said. “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.”

A member of MWCC’s Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2014, including four years as chair, the Philadelphia native developed a passion for education and helping others while earning an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Garrisons moved to North Central Massachusetts in 1990 when he purchased the Gardner company H&R 1871, and immediately became involved in community service.

“The thing that struck me about Gardner was the dedication of the people in the community,” Mr. Garrison said. “Within the first week of arriving, I was visited by a number of business leaders, including President Asquino.” The first program launched by the company and MWCC focused on helping high school graduates get back on track. The program was not successful, Mr. Garrison said, due to a high rate of homelessness among the participants. However it raised awareness of underlying issues, and correlation between the importance of early childhood education prior to kindergarten, and academic success later in life.

With this in mind, in 2005, he and his wife, Peggy, donated $1 million to the MWCC Foundation to support stipends for MWCC students in need of child care, as well as scholarships for students studying early childhood education. The Garrisons also provided additional funding to build the child care center and preschool on the Gardner campus, which is named in their honor.

Mr. Garrison, a resident of Acton, continues to volunteer as a member of the MWCC Foundation. In addition, he currently serves as chair of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, chair of the Greater Gardner Industrial Development Corporation and Foundation, chair of the GFA Federal Credit Union Supervisory Committee, and on the Heywood Hospital Board of Trustees. Previously, he served on the board of directors of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts.

A former president and CEO of Instron Corp., in Canton, which manufactures and services materials testing instruments, system and accessories, Mr. Garrison retired from the U.S. Naval Reserves with the rank of Commander. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Miami University in Ohio, followed by an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Recognized for his dedication promoting education, health and economic development, Mr. Garrison is a recipient of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and Business Person of the Year awards; the MWCC Foundation Harold E. Drake Jr. Citizen of the Year Award; Gardner Visiting Nurses Association Make a Difference Award, and Community Health Connections’ Community Health Champion Award. Earlier this year, Mr. and Mrs. Garrison were recognized with the Heywood Healthcare Community Health Hero Award.

 

Gardner Mayor, MWCC Trustee and Alumnus Mark Hawke with 2015 MWCC Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Inductees.

Gardner Mayor, MWCC Trustee and Alumnus Mark Hawke with 2015 MWCC Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Inductees.

Gardner Mayor, MWCC Trustee and Alumnus Mark Hawke shared lessons learned throughout his career in business and public service with 17 Mount Wachusett Community College students who were inducted into the Chi Gamma Chapter of Alpha Beta Gamma, an international business honor society, at the 25th annual induction ceremony, Thursday, April 23.

After graduating from MWCC, Hawke transferred to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, then went on to earn an MBA from Anna Maria College. After pursuing a career as a financial analyst, he took a pay cut to take a job with the City of Gardner, and learned he loved the work so much, he wanted to run for Mayor. Now serving his eighth year as mayor, he still loves the work. “In this job, I can see the results of our work. If we plan to build a playground, we build a playground. If we say we are going to fill a pothole, we fill a pothole and we see the result.”

He shared several pieces of advice gathered from his own career and lessons learned from other business leaders. “Never stop learning, never stop trying, and surround yourself with a good team,” he said. He challenged the students to work hard and always to strive to surpass expectations. “You will be noticed and rewarded.” He also credited Mount Wachusett Community College for putting him on a path of academic success. “It is an intimate setting and you really get to know the faculty, the staff and the college leadership,” he explained.

To be eligible for membership into Alpha Beta Gamma, students must be enrolled in a business curriculum, have completed 15 academic credit hours in a specific degree program and demonstrate academic excellence by attaining a grade point average of 3.0 or above. At MWCC, the programs include Business Administration, Paralegal Studies, Computer Information Systems, Graphic & Interactive Design, and Medical Assisting.

The Chi Gamma chapter has a long history of community involvement, including activities to benefit NEADS, a Princeton-based service assistance dog organization; the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center; the House of Peace and Education in Gardner; local food pantries; military troops serving overseas; and the national Alzheimer’s Association.

Who's Who 2015MWCC 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 2015 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

The 30 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 following honorees were among the student leaders recognized by the office of Student Life during a reception held April 23 at the Gardner Museum:

Louis Ayisi, Amanda Baldino, Andrea Bartlett, Thomas Berger, Aleisha Berthiaume, Michelle Blackmore, Evan Bonenfant, Tara Burke, Micaiah Bushnell, Carrie DeCosta, Roxanna Figueroa, Mary Fournier, Chelsea Garrity, Michael Godin, Celine Grimley, Emily Lapinskas, Jillian Legere, Brandi Logue, Siobhan Mack, Michael P. MacLean, Amber Martinez, Ariel Meaney, Sharon Nabulime, Michelle Nye, Desiree Procell, Phillip Stan, Cathy Teague, Sammi Tovar, Aaron Trudeau and Robin Wead.

MWCC STEM Building Ceremony

Participants in Mount Wachusett Community College’s Building Beyond Tomorrow ceremony marking the start of construction on its $41 million science building include, from left: State Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik; Gardner Mayor and MWCC Trustee Mark Hawke; former MWCC Board of Trustees Chair Jim Garrison; Senator Stephen M. Brewer; MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino; State Rep. Stephen DiNatale; Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Commissioner Carol Gladstone; Representatives from Architerra and Shawmut Construction; and MWCC student leaders.

With a nod to its future and that of its students, Mount Wachusett Community College celebrated the start of construction of its eco-friendly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) addition during a “Building Beyond Tomorrow” ceremony on Earth Day, April 22.

“Today we celebrate not just the assembly of bricks and mortar, but we truly lay a foundation literally and figuratively for the future of our school, our students, alumni, and indeed the future of our greater community,” MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino said to the gathering of students, faculty, legislators, community leaders and college supporters.

The new building will replace existing laboratories nearly a half-century old and will enhance the learning environment for all students, particularly those seeking careers in the STEM fields, he said.

“Our STEM students include first-generation college students aspiring to be the first in their families to attain higher education.

Many of the students are participating in the college’s STEM Starter Academy, a program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education, as well as the STEM SET Scholars program, funded through a grant by the National Science Foundation which awards up to $3,300 per year to participants.

“This building represents a tremendous investment by the Commonwealth in the future of our region’s students and graduates,” he said. “Today’s families and students are seeking ways to fund a college education in an era where student loan debt has ballooned and placed a tremendous financial burden on so many graduates.

“Increasingly, more students are recognizing the value of beginning their academic studies at MWCC before transferring for a bachelor’s degree and other advanced degrees in the profession of their choice.  By helping them during these foundation years, Mount Wachusett Community College plays a key role in meeting state and national goals of filling a shortage of graduates both at the state and national level to remain competitive globally.”

Carol Gladstone, Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, noted that the project is one of many DCAMMM projects at MWCC in recent years, including the construction of two wind turbines in 2010, the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education in 2006, the Senator Robert D. Wetmore Center for Innovation in 2004, and the biomass heating system in 2002.

During her first groundbreaking ceremony since being appointed earlier this year, Commissioner Gladstone said the project blends new, state-of-the-art construction with much-needed renovations that tie in with the college’s nationally recognized sustainability initiatives. “But what’s really most important is the purpose – the students – who are preparing to become nurses, dental hygienists, physical therapist assistants, scientists and other technology specialists to serve the Commonwealth.”

Long-serving State Senator Stephen M. Brewer, State Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik and Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, a member of MWCC’s Board of Trustees and an MWCC alumnus, were among the other featured speakers.

The new building is one of “so many wonderful things that have happened at Mount Wachusett Community College,” to benefit students, veterans and the region, said Senator Brewer, a key supporter of the new building during his tenure in office.

The $41 million project includes a 44,000 square-foot addition, a new 2,300-square-foot greenhouse and renovations throughout the existing Arthur F. Haley Academic Center. MWCC received $37.9 million in state capital funds for the project, as well as a $500,000 grant from Massachusetts Life Sciences for laboratory equipment.

Designed by Boston-based Architerra, Inc. to meet LEED Gold certification for efficiency and sustainability, the new building will contain energy-efficient features to tie in with the college’s commitment to sustainability. Shawmut Design & Construction, also based in Boston, is overseeing the 18-month project as construction manager. Completion is anticipated in fall 2016.

Amenities in the new building will include eight new classrooms and laboratories, four lab prep rooms, 24 new faculty offices, student study space and interior glass walls to highlight STEM student innovation. Renovations to the Haley Academic Center include a new visitor entrance, a multi-purpose room, an academic advising suite, a refurbished student-centered campus hub and increased accessibility to the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

From an economic standpoint, this is the largest construction project in North Central Massachusetts, which in itself helps boost the region’s economy by providing work for Massachusetts businesses and bringing more traffic to local businesses and service providers.

 

Academics-New-Building-ExteriorState officials, legislators and business and community leaders with join the MWCC community on Earth Day, April 22, to celebrate the start of construction of the college’s new $41 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building. The Building Beyond Tomorrow ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Commons Area of the Gardner campus.

Carol Gladstone, Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, and President Daniel M. Asquino will be among the featured speakers.

“This is another exciting milestone in the history of Mount Wachusett Community College,” said President Asquino. “This project supports trends in teaching and learning and reflects the national and statewide STEM initiatives while providing the best possible education for our students.”

Site preparation work began in March on the 44,000-square-foot addition and renovations to the Arthur F. Haley Academic Center. The Commonwealth is investing $38 million in the project to support the academic needs in North Central Massachusetts. The project will be one of the largest in North Worcester County.

Amenities will include eight new classrooms and laboratories, four lab prep rooms, 24 new faculty offices, student study space and interior glass walls to highlight STEM student innovation. New laboratory equipment, including projection microscopes with 60-inch flat screen monitors, will be acquired through a $500,000 grant the college received from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

Designed by Boston-based Architerra, Inc. to meet gold LEED certification for efficiency and sustainability, the new building will contain energy-efficient features related to heating, exhaust, lighting and plumbing to tie in with the college’s sustainability initiatives.

Upgrades to audio/visual equipment and enhanced wireless capabilities in labs and open areas, are also among the features, as well as a new 2,300-square-foot greenhouse for science programs. Improvements to the Haley Academic Center will include a new visitor entrance, a multi-purpose room, an academic advising suite, a refurbished student-centered campus hub and increased accessibility to the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

MWCC ECE Week of the Young Child Art Exhibit

Early Childhood Education faculty, students, alumni , Garrison Center students and area child care centers celebrated Week of the Young Child with an art exhibit and reception on April 14.

For the ninth consecutive year, Mount Wachusett Community College’s Early Childhood Education Department, MOC Head Start, students, teachers and most importantly, preschool children, have adorned the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education with creations in celebration of the annual Week of the Young Child.

This year, the exhibit combined art, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, to tie in with the MWCC’s Humanities Initiative focused on the writer and naturalist.

To date, MWCC students have completed a combined 300 hours of service learning to make the event a success. Guests visited the center throughout the day on April 14, and were amazed at the imagination, ingenuity and creativity that children’s art represents. In the afternoon and evening parents, grandparents, friends and important others joined the children for an open house with Early Childhood students supporting the teachers and offering guided tours of the artwork. Additionally, accepted students in Early Childhood and Elementary Education were invited to join the festivities and learn more about the academic program.

“It certainly is a tremendous amount of work for all those involved, but when we have the opportunity to see the joy on the faces of our youngest members and hear them explain complicated pieces in the simplest of terms to those around them, we know why we are passionate about our art show,” said ECE Professor Maureen Provost.

“At the end of the day it is about the children, their families and their lives. I am thrilled to be part of their journey and excited to see what their futures hold. Thank you to anyone who was a part of this experience!”

This year’s event was sponsored by: the MWCC Early Childhood Education Department; children and teachers at the Garrison Center; MOC Childcare and Head Start Services; the Early Childcare Education Club; service learning students from Early Childhood and Elementary Education; the MWCC Humanities Project, funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities; and MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau